Double Figures

Happy Birthday

VIEWS OF COLAC. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/384702

Ten years ago today I tentatively pushed the publish button on the first post of My Western District Families, my new family history blog. I had no idea how many more times I would come do that or even if anyone would read my post. Ten years later I’m still here, the name changed long ago to Western District Families and I have now published 451 posts. 

Thankfully someone did read my early posts and with the support of the Australian Geneablogging community, Western District Families took off beyond my expectations. Ten years on more than 4000 visitors come to the site each month each viewing 2.5 posts on average. 

Western District Families has grown to include the Obituaries Index with the names of the 1038 people included in the seventy-nine Passing of the Pioneers posts to date.  On top of the 451 posts I mentioned earlier, I have also written  170 biographies of the men and women of Hamilton’s WW1. It’s something I’m most proud of and there are more biographies to come. There is now a section dedicated to the stories of Western District Women.  Two Facebook pages have evolved, one for Western District Families that has taken on a life of its own with a touch over 10,000 followers, and another for Hamilton’s WW1 with 540 followers.

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts over the years. I know there are some who have been dropping by here since 2011. Your ongoing support, encouraging words, and interest in the history of the Western District have got me this far and inspire me to keep going into the future.  

Now it’s time for some cake.  Happy Birthday Western District Families. 

cat

Edna Walling Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/280983

Trove Tuesday-Cemeteries of SW Victoria

During the early years of online family history research, one of my go-to websites was Ian Marr’s Cemeteries of SW Victoria. For around twenty years I relied on Ian’s site to find where my Western District family were buried and like many other was grateful for the time Ian spent photographing headstones and then compiling them into indexes.

Ian even produced CDs of his indexes and then a USB for access to the larger cemeteries such as Hamilton and Portland. I purchased both and would use them in conjunction with the website when I needed a quick look-up. When I started Western District Families, I was able to link through to Ian’s site for some of my posts. It was while testing a link last year, I discovered the Cemeteries of SW Victoria website was no longer.

It was sad to see it go after all the work Ian put into it and I was left wondering how I was going to do without it. Then I remembered the National Library of Australia’s Australian Web Archive, a part of the Trove website. The archive grew out of what was called Pandora, a collection of selected websites with Australian content. In recent years, the archive has expanded to include all website domains ending in .au. Annually, the websites are copied to the archive as they appear at that time.

Sure enough Cemeteries of SW Victoria has been archived. To access the site follow the link

Once at Trove, you can navigate the Cemeteries of SW Victoria website in just the same you would have when it was a live website.

Of course, if you didn’t already have a USB with the larger cemeteries you will not be able to access those, however, you can now find the Hamilton Cemetery and the Warrnambool Cemetery online. Also, Carol’s Headstone Photographs site has lists of headstones at some of the other cemeteries on the Cemeteries of SW Victoria USB such as Camperdown.

When you do a Trove search you will notice categories along the top of the results page. Among those categories is “Websites” and that is how you can access the Australian Web Archive. It’s worth clicking on “Websites” as well as the other categories such as “Magazines and Newsletters” because there is more to Trove than newspapers and you never know what you might find.

The great thing about the Australian Website Archive is information from Australian sites won’t be lost. I was delighted to be approached by the State Library of Victoria in 2015, requesting permission to copy Western District Families for the archive when it was known as Pandora. Now each September, WDF is copied and I know that no matter what happens, WDF will live on within the Australian Web Archive and ten years of work on WDF won’t be for nothing.

Passing of the Pioneers

March is Women’s History Month and just as I did in March 2017, this year I have compiled an all female Passing of the Pioneers. It’s only a small group of seven, almost half the number in 2017, but a worthy group all the same. Remember to click on the underlined text to find more information on a subject.

NEVILLE, Ann Terry – Died 28 March 1900 at Hamilton. Ann Neville was born at Old Brentford, London in 1821. She was married in 1852 to William Carter and they set off for Australia on the Priam in the same year. After arriving at Portland, they went on to Warrnambool and later Port Fairy. In 1854, they decided to leave the coast and move north to Hamiton. The trip from Port Fairy to Hamilton in a bullock wagon took them a week. They settled in South Hamilton.

On 31 December 1868, William died at the age of forty died leaving Ann with six children aged fourteen down.

In 1885, Ann applied to be included on the local voter’s roll. She held allotments 47 and 49, suburban lots in the Parish of South Hamilton. They were located on the southern banks of the Grange Burn between Monivae and Pierrepoint Streets.

At the time of Ann’s death, she left two sons and four daughters. She was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

HEADSTONE OF ANN TERRY CARTER, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

WATSON, Margaret – Died 1 March 1914 at Coleraine. Margaret Watson was born in Scotland around 1827. She married David Drummond in Tillicoultry, Scotland on 12 June 1852 and they boarded the Chance at Liverpool, England on 23 July 1852. It was a difficult journey with forty-six deaths and on arrival in Melbourne on 28 October 1852, the ship was quarantined and remained so for almost three weeks. Once on dry land, the couple made their way to the Geelong district. A son James was born in 1853 but sadly he died the next year. Another son Richard was born in 1854 and a daughter Margaret in 1857. James was born in 1862 at Duck Ponds near Geelong.

The family moved west to join other members of the Drummond family sometime after 1862 with a son John born at Casterton in 1867.

CASTERTON c1868. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/767592

It was also the year David Jr died at Sandford aged seven. The following year baby John died, also at Sandford. In 1869, another son was born and named David. He was born at Dundas suggesting the family had moved to Coleraine, within the Shire of Dundas. By 1870, the Drummond family were living in the township of Coleraine in the vicinity of the Albion newspaper office.

On the evening of 28 October 1870, David’s niece Janet was staying over. That night a huge storm hit Coleraine and the level of the Bryan Creek, close to their home, began to rise. Soon their cottage was surrounded by water. After 12.30am rescuers attempted to rescue the Drummond family. The water was knee-deep and the current was too fast to safely cross. Constable James Mahon made a dash for it but was carried away. Fortunately, he managed to land on top of a pigsty and was able to get back to safety. He tried again and was able to save one of the children.

Storekeeper Louis Lesser also headed across the water and rescued another child. He was also able to lift Margaret out of the water and onto the roof of a cowshed. David got three children to safety and went back for three more, James and Margeret Jr and his niece Janet. Suddenly, the current caught him, and all four were swept away. Around 1.00 am the water had fallen enough for another attempt to cross to the cottage. Margaret was found sitting on the cowshed.

Along with members of the Drummond family, several other people were missing The harrowing task of searching for bodies began at first light with the whole town turning out even though very few had slept. By 6.00 pm on Saturday evening, five bodies had been recovered, all of them children. Five adults were still missing.

COLERAINE c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Image no. B 21766/52 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/52

A funeral for some of the victims of the flood, including those from the Drummond family took place on Monday 31 October.

Margaret was suddenly widowed, left to raise two sons, Richard and David. She remained in Coleraine and her sons went on to marry and raise their own families. Margaret led a quiet life but remained active in her old age. She moved in with her son Richard at Coleraine in her final years but remained active around the home right up until her death on 1 March 1914. Margaret lived to eighty-seven, a long life punctuated with tragedy. She was buried at the Coleraine Cemetery with David, James, and Margaret.

DRUMMOND FAMILY GRAVE, COLERAINE CEMETERY

You can read more about the Coleraine floods on the link to The Great Flood of 1870

STEVENSON, Ruth – Died 25 March 1918 at Colac. Ruth Stevenson was born around 1847 north of Melbourne. Her father Joseph Stevenson arrived in Melbourne around 1840 and started a timber yard in Swanston Street. He also purchased blocks of land in Collins Street. He was a carpenter and built Kirks Bazaar and the Royal Mail Hotel on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets. He also built the first punt to operate on the Yarra.

By 1846, Joseph had moved to the area which became known as Diamond Creek where Ruth was born. An old leger in her possession, showed Joseph also contributed to the naming of the Diamond Creek. He had a bullock he called Diamond which became bogged in the creek. Diamond died in the creek, and from then on that spot became known as the spot Diamond died. From there, it became known as Diamond Creek.

The Stevenson family then moved to what would become Christmas Hills and again Joseph Stevenson played a part in the naming of that location. More about that can be found on the link – Christmas Hills. From there the family went on to Kangaroo Ground, followed by Yarra Glen then known as Yarra Flats.

In 1869, Ruth married Thomas Sadler, born in Scotland and living in the Yarra Flats district. The couple remained in that district and raised a large family. That was until 1888 when Ruth was set for the biggest move of her life, more than 250 kilometres away to the Terang district. The Dixie estate south of Terang, once owned by Duncan Walker was subdivided in 1887. Thomas was able to secure a remaining portion of the property.

CURRENT TOPICS. (1888, September 13). Camperdown Chronicle p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18584661

Thomas was given a send-off at the Yarra Flats Hotel in September. Ruth wasn’t in attendance but Thomas accepted a gold watch on her behalf as a going away gift for her hospitality and kindness. The Sadlers moved to the property at Dixie which they named Ecclefechan after a village east of Dumfries in southern Scotland, close to where Thomas was born.

Thomas died in February 1903. The following month, Ruth suffered another loss when her married daughter Annie Carson was found drowned in a well at Dixie. Ruth died at Doctor Brown’s Private Hospital in Colac and was buried at the Terang Cemetery. She was aged seventy-one.

MURRAY, Janet – Died 8 March 1919 at Clear Lake. Janet Murray was born around 1830 in Glasgow and arrived in Australia about 1852 on the James Steadford. In 1853, she married Alexander Robertson at the Geelong Presbyterian Church. They spent some time in Ballarat around 1854 before returning to Geelong until around the late 1860s,

The next move for the Robertsons was to Bochara station in the Hamilton district where they spent nine years, Land was opening up in the Clear Lake district to the north of Balmoral and Alexander selected land there around 1880. The Robertsons then moved south to the Telangatuk district. Alexander died in 1898.

During WW1, Janet was involved with the Telangatuk East branch of the Red Cross. By April 1917, she had knitted thirty-nine pairs of socks over the past year. Janet’s obituary stated, by the end of the war she had knitted 100 pairs of socks.

 (1917, April 5). Rupanyup Spectator and Lubeck, Banyena, Rich Avon and Lallat Advertiser,p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121052771

Janet died in 1919 at the age of eighty-nine. She left seven children, five boys and two girls, 49 grandchildren, and 39 great-grandchildren.

COLLIE, Ella Georgina – Died 22 March 1941 at Cobden. Ella Collie was born in 1882 at Caramut. She went to school at Caramut before her family moved to Camperdown sometime after 1894.

Ella had sang at school and when once in Camperdown she started singing with the Presbyterian church choir and also as a soloist. In October 1901, she sang at celebrations for the opening of Camperdown’s new Presbyterian church.

CAMPERDOWN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63175

In 1902, the Collie’s left Camperdown for Terang and Ella and her brother George were given a send off by the choir. Ella received a gold brooch.

PERSONAL. (1902, June 3). Camperdown Chronicle p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26566773

In 1906, Ella married William McConachy and they setteled at Koortmoolong on the Port Campbell Road at Jancourt, east of Terang. Ella continued her singing into married life. In 1916, she sang at a concert to raise funds for the Jancourt school’s organ fund.

Ella threw herself into community life. In July 1917, she held a “kitchen utensil” evening at Koortmoolong.

Cobden Times and Heytesbury Advertiser 28 July 1917: 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page16521487

In 1918, Ella was in charge of the produce stall at the Jancourt Jumble Fair, raising funds for the British Red Cross.

Around 1920. the McConachys moved north to Cobden. Ella continued her community activities in Cobden, always offering a helping hand at events. As a member of the Cobden Presbyterian Church (below), she was involved with the Presbyterian Ladies Guild and was vice president in 1936. She was also a member of the Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union (PWMU).

COBDEN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND SUNDAY SCHOOL c1933 Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/772413

In 1932, Ella was vice president of the Cobden Boy Scouts Association. She was also on the committee of the Cobden auxiliary of the Camperdown hospital and in 1938 was vice president She was a vice president and president of the Cobden branch of the Australian Women National League (AWNL) and represented Cobden at the annual AWNL conferences in Melbourne. At the 1939 conference, the delegates were addressed by Prime Minister Menzies. .

Ella died in 1941 aged fifty-eight, leaving her husband William, four daughters, two sons, and two grandchildren. She was buried at the Cobden cemetery. A memorial service was held at the Cobden Presbyterian Church,

LAING, Agnes Isabel – Died 7 March 1944 at Port Fairy. Agnes Laing was born at Yallock station around 1864 where her father was the manager. The family moved to nearby Terang while Agnes was still a young girl.

After leaving school, Agnes became a teacher, registered in 1879 and taught at the Terang school. Her teaching career ended in 1895 when she married William Osburne the owner of the Terang Express newspaper. Agnes and William went on to have one son, George Laing Osburne, known as Laing, the following year.

Agnes attended the Terang Presbyterian Church, and was the organist for nine years.

TERANG PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234278

Agnes was interested in politics and was involved with the Australian Women National League (AWNL). In 1913, she was recognised for her work as secretary of the local branch of the AWNL. In 1938, she was presented with a gift for the recognition of her services to the Terang branch of the AWNL.

During WW1, Agnes was an active member of the blind auxiliary and she was in charge of the Red Cross Jumble Shop in Terang. In July 1915, Agnes wrote a letter to the editor of the Camperdown Chronicle to announce the opening of the Jumble Shop. She also wanted to put to rest rumours goods donated for the front were not reaching those they were intended. She was also involved with the Terang sub-branch of the Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia ( R.S.S.I.L.A.).

In the 1920s, Agnes was on the committee of the Terang Rest rooms. She enjoyed golf and played at the Terang Golf Club. She often played with William and in August 1929, they paired up in the Mixed Foursomes at the Terang Golf Club annual tournament.

Agnes and William lost their only son in 1933, when Laing died. William died in 1939. Agnes lived out her days at her home in High Street, Terang with her widowed daughter-in-law Eugenie. Agnes died in 1944 at the Port Fairy Hospital at the age of eighty. She was buried at the Terang Cemetery.

SCOULLER, Mary – Died March 1946 at Colac. Mary Scouller was born at Carpendeit, east of Cobden in 1884. She married Arthur Fisk in 1922 and they spent some time living at Korweinguboora, south of Daylesford where Arthur ran a grocery and post office. They returned to Carpendeit around 1931 living at Leura View.

Mary was an active worker for the Bungador State School and the Bungador Presbyterian Church. Services were held at her home as there was no church at Bungador. She was also involved with other charities and during WW2, the local patriotic funds. Her son Charles enlisted in 1941.

Mary died in 1946 at the age of sixty, leaving Arthur, two sons and two daughters. She was buried at the Colac Cemetery.

Wonderful Western District Women Part 7

Emma CROUCH (1832-1904)

Emma Crouch was born in 1832 in London, England the youngest daughter of Edmund and Matilda Crouch.  Her father died while she was still a young girl and her older brothers George and Charles left England for Australia arriving in Portland around 1838.  Her sister Matilda married and moved to the United States of America in 1849. Emma continued to live with her mother and they resided at Roxeth, in the parish of Harrow on the Hill in London.  By the 1861 England Census, Emma and her mother were living still at Roxeth with Emma was working as a governess. Her mother died two years later.

In 1865, Emma’s sister Matilda died in California, and her children, Arthur McCann aged twenty, Kate McCann aged sixteen, and Eustasia de Arroyave aged eight, travelled to England to live with Emma in Roxeth. The following year, Emma then aged thirty-four along with her nephew and nieces, boarded Great Britain (below) for Melbourne arriving on Boxing Day, 1866. 

“GREAT BRITAIN”. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/95167

They then caught the steamer S.S. Edina (below left) to Portland to join Emma’s brother George and Charles.

SS EDINA NEAR WARRNAMBOOL c1863. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/28324

The brothers had established themselves in Portland. Both were in business and George was one of Portland’s first councillors. The Trangmar brothers James and Charles were their business partners at times and George and Charles each married a Trangmar sister.  

Once settled in Portland, Emma started a school in Hurd Street. 

Advertising (1876, July 11). Portland Guardian, p. 2 (EVENINGS.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63316814

She was also an active member of the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church (below).

ST STEPHEN’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, PORTLAND. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/4157628

The Crouch family connection with the Trangmar family continued in 1876 when Emma’s niece Kate married James William Trangmar, a son of James Trangmar Sr. They moved to Coleraine where the Trangmar family operated a store. In the following years, Emma and Eustasia also moved to Coleraine, around the time James took over full operations of the store.  I like to think Emma and her nieces may be in the photo below, possibly in the garden of the adjoining house.

J.W TRANGMAR’S STORE, COLERAINE c1890. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/767465

Emma also established a school for young ladies in Coleraine beginning in 1881.

Advertising (1880, December 16). Hamilton Spectator, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225488162

She kept busy in the Coleraine community.  She was a member of the Coleraine Glee Club with Kate and Eustasia. The glee club opened the evening entertainment at the Coleraine Presbyterian Concert in 1881, thought to be the best concert held in Coleraine. Also on the bill that night, was Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson Dickens, a son of author Charles Dickens. Alfred was living in Hamilton then and dropped in to read one of his father’s works.

COLERAINE c1909 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/385977

Emma was an active member of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church congregation and ran the local Girls Friendly Society connected to the church. The first Coleraine Industrial Exhibition was held in    1887  and Emma was on the executive committee. For the 1890 exhibition, the walls of the hall were adorned with artworks by local ladies including Emma. At the 1894 exhibition, Emma won first prize with her tortoiseshell cat.  She also entered potted plants and cut flowers into shows run by the Coleraine Horticulture Society.

Portland was still close to Emma and she often holidayed there. In 1904, however, Emma fell sick after her return to Coleraine from a summer holiday in Portland. To convalesce, she travelled with Eustasia to Kate’s home in Sturt Street, Ballarat but she died on 11 April 1904. She had remained close to her nieces during their thirty-eight years in Victoria and it was fitting Emma spent her last days with them.

The Portland Guardian reported Emma’s remains arrived by the evening train, then were “resting the night before the altar at St Stephen’s” ahead of the funeral service. The funeral cortege left the church for her burial at the Portland Cemetery. 

A memorial service was also held at Coleraine after her death and, on 20 December 1904, a stained glass window was dedicated to the memory of Emma at the Holy Trinity Church, Coleraine (below). It was made by Mr. Montgomery of Melbourne and it depicted the Good Shepherd with the words “To the glory of God and loving memory of Emma Crouch, born Oct. 8, 1832, at rest April 11, 1904”

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, COLERAINE 1970. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216987

DRISCOLL Mary (c1828-1908) also known as Mary O’DRISCOLL and Mary WADMORE

Mary O’Driscoll was born in Middlesex, England around 1828.  At the age of twenty, she married James Wadmore and they started a family.  On 8 November 1854, the couple and baby Mary boarded the Constant at Southhampton with their destination being Portland Bay.  James acted as an assistant to the ship’s surgeon on the voyage which saw an outbreak of whooping cough.  

Local Intelligence. (1855, February 26). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571784

The Constant arrived at Portland Bay on 22 February 1855. Mary was carried ashore by one of the crew.

PORTLAND BAY c1857. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/266998

James secured work with Charlton Hedditch at Cape Bridgwater, a twenty kilometres or so further west. It was an isolated area on the coast, a far cry from Westminster, London.  It was there in 1855, a daughter Ann was born. In 1856, James was able to select land at Cape Bridgewater, close to what is now Blowholes Road, in partnership with George Terril. A son William was born the following year and a daughter Sarah in 1859.

A month after Sarah’s birth, James was fishing on the rocks on the west coast of Cape Bridgewater with his mates George Terrill and Robert Wilson. 

CAPE BRIDGEWATER c1880. Image courtesy of the State LIbrary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/335580

The sea was rough and the men decided to move from their position as it was becoming dangerous. They set up in a new spot but about ten minutes later James returned to where they were first located.  A large wave came up and washed him from the rocks. George and Robert saw him swimming but he soon tired and sank.  His body was found washed up on the rocks the following Thursday and an inquest was conducted.  Mary’s account was forwarded to Portland’s Police Magistrate and subsequently to the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser.  

FATAL ACCIDENT AT BRIDGEWATER (1859, October 31). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3 (EVENINGS.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64512566

CAPE BRIDGEWATER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64458

That left city girl Mary with a farm and four young children, including a newborn to raise alone. However, with the help of the other women in the district, she soon learned all she needed to run her farm and raise her children in the harsh and often lonely environment she found herself in.

Mary’s care extended beyond her own family. She was known for riding a “spirited bay mare” across the district helping those who were sick. In doing so, she was familiar with the ailments of the local residents.  In 1873, Mary was called as a witness at the inquest into the death of young Joshua Black who was found dead in his bed one Monday morning in May. Mary was one of the last people to see Josuha alive on the previous evening, and she was able to say he appeared well and in no pain. With her knowledge of Josuha’s medical history, she was also able to offer the evidence that Josuha’s health at times was fragile and he had previously had a bad cough and some pain above his heart but had been well since the last winter. Margaret’s witness statement is part of the inquest file of Josuha Black held by the Public Record Office of Victoria and available online. In her statement, her opening sentence was, “I am a labouring woman living at Cape Bridgewater”.

When Mary’s daughter Sarah was fifteen, around 1874, the local state school teachers approached Mary with an offer to train Sarah as a teacher. Mary was very proud of Sarah who went on to become the headteacher at Kentbruck six years later. Mary remained at Cape Bridgewater until around 1905. By then, Sarah was the headteacher at Tahara State School and her sister Ann was living with her and keeping the house. Sarah retired from her position and she and Ann moved to Portland. It was planned Mary would move from Bridgewater to live with them.  She sold her various farm implements.

Advertising (1905, June 16). Portland Guardian, p. 2 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63692584

Sarah and Ann purchased, Annesley in Julia Street, Portland, to operate as a private guest house. 

 

“ANNESLEY”, PORTLAND Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233404

The girls looked after her mother until her death at Annesley on 3 March 1908.  Sarah and Ann continued on in Portland with Sarah contributing to the Book of remembrance of the pioneer women of the Portland Bay district in 1934, in which Mary’s story was told.  Sarah Wadmore died in 1941 and her sister Ann in 1942.

Margaret BROWN:  (1835-1939) also known as Margaret WALKER

MARGARET WALKER. The Age, 11 August 1939

“As quietly as she had lived for 104 years, Mrs. Thomas Walker, Hamilton’s grand old lady, passed away at her home in Shakespeare Street on Thursday last.” (Portland Guardian, 23 October 1939)

And so began the obituary of Margaret Walker (nee Brown).  After fourteen years of the newspapers documenting some of Margaret’s significant birthdays, 90, 99, 100, 101, 103, and 104, they were saying their last farewell to a woman who lived during the reign of six British monarchs. 

Margaret was born in Launceston on 11 August 1835 to Scottish immigrants John and Margaret Brown.  They had arrived in Launceston in the early 1830s.  They headed to Victoria around 1840 on the City of Sydney and John Brown was employed at Customs House in Portland.  On 11 August 1852, Margaret’s seventeenth birthday, she married Thomas Walker, a twenty-nine-year-old Londoner who had arrived in Portland in the early 1840s.  They were married by Presbyterian minister Reverand Ross at Portland.

The couple settled in Portland and remained there until 1866, when they moved to Hamilton, residing in Lonsdale Street.  Thomas made his living as a land agent and was able to acquire land around the town. Margaret and Thomas had eight children.  Two died as babies and in September 1880, her eldest son John Thomas died aged twenty-one.  Then in July 1900, son Frederick was accidentally killed at Subiaco, Western Australia.

Close to 1909, Margaret and Thomas went to live at 5 Shakespeare Street, Hamilton and that is where Thomas died in April 1909 at the age of eighty-six. By that time, Mary had one remaining son, George who lived in Geelong, and two daughters, Eliza in Melbourne and Maria who lived with Margaret.

When Margaret was ninety-seven, Maria died on 1 July 1932 at Hamilton at the age of seventy-six. The following year was Margaret’s ninety-eighth birthday and she was given a walking stick. By the time her ninety-ninth birthday came around in 1934, she hadn’t used the walking stick.  She also didn’t wear glasses and would spend a few hours in her garden each day. By that time she also had nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Also in 1934, was the centenary of white settlement in Victoria, and an event was planned for Portland on 19 November. Margaret booked her accommodation well in advance. Her name would appear in the Book of remembrance of the pioneer women of the Portland Bay district written to coincide with the celebrations. She was one of only thirty-five female settlers named in the book still alive for the centenary. On the day, she was seated in a special area for those who had lived in Portland prior to 1864. 

PORTLAND CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS 1934. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/766444

Margaret expected to be presented to the Duke of Gloucester but organisers overlooked that detail on the day. Word got back to the Royal party and a letter was forwarded to Margaret. She received it from His Royal Highness through his equerry (Captain Schrieber) in December 1934. It read:

The Royal train, Queensland, December 3rd, 1934.

Dear Madam, the Duke of Gloucester is sorry to hear that, owing to an oversight, you were not presented to him when His Royal Highness visited Portland, and he wishes me to congratulate you on attaining the age ninety-nine years, and hopes that you will continue in good health to see your centenary. You will be glad to know that His Royal Highness enjoyed his visit to Portland very much.

It was a busy year. Margaret planted a commemorative tree at the western end of Gray street, Hamilton for the centenary celebrations, and she produced seventeen pieces of eyelet linen work, made to give as gifts to family and friends.

In 1935, Margaret’s 100th birthday celebration was held at the Hollywood Cafe in Hamilton with the Mayor of Hamilton, Cr. Stewart, in attendance. The Hollywood Cafe can be seen on the extreme left in the photo below. The enclosed verandah displayed the name of the cafe, and it shared the ground-level verandah with the boot and shoe store.

GRAY STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62977

After that outing, it became difficult for Margaret to get out on her birthday, so the Mayor of the day would visit her at her home instead. For her 101st birthday in 1936, twenty-five friends and family gathered at Margaret’s home in Shakespeare Street. Highlights were a birthday cake with 101 candles and a telegram from the Red Cross Society. Sadly Margaret’s daughter Eliza died in November of that year.

The next three birthdays were celebrated quietly at home but Margaret continued in good health. That was until only weeks after her 104th birthday. Margaret became fragile, eventually passing away on Thursday 19 October.  She was buried the following day at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery with Thomas and Marion.

GRAVE OF THOMAS AND MARGARET WALKER AND THEIR DAUGHTER MARION WATSON. HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

Her obituary read:

During the whole of her sometimes eventful life, Mrs. Walker was a lover of all things beautiful, and in quiet contentment, surrounded by her own people and home where she could indulge her liking, which amounted to almost passion, for her garden, she enjoyed to the full her heart’s desire.  (Portland Guardian  23 October 1939)

The remaining living member of Margaret’s immediate family at the time of her death was her son George Joseph Walker. He died in 1960 at Geelong.

REID, Isabella (c1873 -1953) Also Known as Isabella Gilhome

Isabella Reid was the daughter of William Reid and Johanna Steven and was born near Heywood in 1874, one of thirteen children. The Reid farm was Athol Hill on the Fitzroy River two miles from Heywood. In August 1917, Isabella then aged thirty-four, married Charles Gilhome of Colac at the Heywood Presbyterian Church.  The reception was held at Heywood’s Federal Coffee Palace on the corner of Edgar and Scott Streets and owned by her father.

Portland Guardian (1917, August 17) p. 2 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64019248

Isabella and Charles at first lived at Heywood but moved to Bundoora in early 1918. It was then a rural area and Charles ran a dairy farm.  Around the same time, Charles began feeling unwell and was diagnosed with a liver condition. That led to depression and in July 1918, his doctor told him he should go away for a while. Charles and Isabella discussed his plight and Charles decided he would go away for a break. But it was too late. He died on Friday 12 July 1918.

Isabella initially stayed in the Bundoora area but returned to Heywood to be with her aging parents. In 1921, her father William died and in December 1922, the property in his estate was put up for sale including Athol Hill and the coffee palace.  Isabella went on to purchase the coffee palace and adjoining land from the sale.

Advertising (1922, December 23). Weekly Times, p. 18.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224001699

Vanda Savill’s book Dear Friends, Heywood (1976) mentions Isabella Gilhome and her sister Eliza Reid ran the coffee palace owned by the Reid family.  It’s hard to establish when that was. A newspaper article from the Portland Guardian in 1914 mentions Miss Reid as the hostess, however that could have been her sister Eliza.

Heywood Jottings. (1914, April 29). Portland Guardian, p. 3 (EVENING).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63968838

Isabella didn’t hold ownership of the coffee palace for long because, in September 1924, it and the adjoining shop was purchased by Edwin Bond.

In May 1925, Isabella’s mother Johanna died aged eighty-three.  After her death, Isabella purchased Retreat in Millbanke Street, Portland, and she and her sister Eliza left Heywood.

News in Brief (1925, October 26). Portland Guardian, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64108579

 On 8 July 1927, a furniture sale on Isabella’s behalf was held at Retreat with the property already sold.

Advertising (1927, June 30). Portland Guardian, p. 2 (EVENING).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64257690

Isabella again returned to Heywood.  As a widowed woman, it was necessary for Isabella to generate an income and she was able to that with property investment. Later her obituary would read, 

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Gilhome took part in many business transactions, becoming well known as a keen businesswoman through the purchase and sale of houses and shops. She was one of the first to recognise the growing land values in a period of rapid development.

In May 1929, Isabella bought a block of land and house in Heywood from the estate of Patrick King with frontages to Edgar and Lindsay Streets. 

Advertising (1929, April 24). Portland Guardian, p. 2 (EVENING).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64269205

In 1932, she applied to purchase Crown Land adjoining Scott, Edgar, and Lindsay Streets.  While in 1945, she applied to subdivide allotments 4 and 5 of section 7 in Lindsay Street. In 1946, the Portland Shire Council bought a house belonging to Isabella at Heywood for £1300 for use as an engineer’s residence.  

Isabella’s activities in Heywood and Portland went beyond business. She was a generous and charitable woman and gave back to the community. In 1927, she donated a blackwood armchair to the Portland Hospital and another chair for the women’s ward at the hospital.

PORTLAND HOSPITAL c1945. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/366378

During WW2, Isabella was active with the Heywood Red Cross and was on the committee of the Heywood Returned Soldiers Association Women’s Auxilary  She donated money and knitted balaclavas and socks towards the war effort. 

William and Johanna Reid were among the earliest parishioners at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Heywood and by 1939, their daughter Isabella was the oldest parishioner. In April 1939, she was given the honour of turning the key at the official opening of the St Andrew’s Sunday School. Her connection to St Andrew’s extended to the Heywood Presbyterian Ladies Guild.

Isabella Gilhome died in July 1953 at Heywood aged eighty. She was buried at the Heywood Cemetery.   

 

You can read about more Wonderful Western District women on the link: Western District Women

 

News you say?

On Sunday night, the Western District Families Facebook page was restored. Thank you for your continued support of the page. Still, nothing is ever certain and it’s worth subscribing to this site to ensure you continue to stay connected with Western District Families.

Western District Families

If you have dropped by my Western District Families Facebook page since Thursday you will have noticed it’s looking slightly different.  I’m sure you’ll be surprised as I to learn Facebook thinks my page is…wait for it…a news page.  

Photographer: John Henry Harvey c1900. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41449

As you’ll know, most of the news I share is as old as that in the photo below.

Photographer: Lindsay Cumming c1910s. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/25931

The page may or may not be back. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the coming days…or weeks. On the bright side, this site has nothing to do with Facebook and can continue as normal. After all, this site is the WDF’s Facebook page’s reason for being.

You can stay connected with Western District Families by subscribing here. Each time I publish…

View original post 132 more words

News you say?

If you have dropped by my Western District Families Facebook page since Thursday you will have noticed it’s looking slightly different.  I’m sure you’ll be surprised as I to learn Facebook thinks my page is…wait for it…a news page.  

Photographer: John Henry Harvey c1900. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41449

As you’ll know, most of the news I share is as old as that in the photo below.

Photographer: Lindsay Cumming c1910s. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/25931

The page may or may not be back. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the coming days…or weeks. On the bright side, this site has nothing to do with Facebook and can continue as normal. After all, this site is the WDF’s Facebook page’s reason for being.

You can stay connected with Western District Families by subscribing here. Each time I publish a new post, you will receive an email notification. I have lots planned for the next few months with March being Women’s History Month and April is Western District Families’ 10th birthday and, of course, Anzac Day.

The Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook page is still active and I’ll start some regular posts there, and don’t forget the Western District Families YouTube channel.  You’ll not only find videos I have made, but also a great playlist of videos relating to Western District history.  You can find the playlist on the link-Western District History

Besides that, I’ll continue to receive my news by traditional means…

Photographer: Joseph Dunne c1928. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/773162

…and I’ll wait.

Photographer: Victorian Railways c1947. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/446848

 

A story of Black Thursday – 6 February 1851

Today is the 170th anniversary of Black Thursday when Victoria burned. The day lingered long in the minds of the early settlers. It was mentioned in their reminiscences and in their obituaries. It was a historic marker on the timelines of their lives, just as were the reigns of monarchs, wars, and the battle of Eureka.  Some were just days old on 6 February 1851 but their connection to that day carried with them until death.  Some spoke of that day with their families and those memories were repeated in obituaries. 

Coming after a year of drought, it was a day like the settlers had never experienced with extreme heat and strong winds. Dust storms swept the colony.  As the temperature climbed, fires broke out across Victoria. 

Mary Learmonth (nee Pearson) witnessed the destruction of the day. She was nineteen and living with her parents at Retreat run near Casterton.  Such was the intensity of the fire, birds, and wildlife sought refuge at their homestead. The fires would remain fixed in Mary’s memory for another reason.  Her mother died two days later on 8 February 1851. 

BUSHFIRE 1864). Engraver: Frederick Grosse. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/236429

For Margaret Kittson (nee Jennings), Black Thursday remained a vivid memory.  She was also nineteen and on the day she was in Portland with her mother as embers rained down onto the streets. They heard their home at Bridgewater was destroyed. They rushed home only to find it still standing but those around it were gone. 

The obituary of Frederick Bilston mentioned his experience of the Black Thursday despite him being only fifteen months at the time. And while his own memory of the day would have quickly passed, it stayed in the memories of his parents, Thomas and Annie.  Not only did they lose their livelihood on 6 February 1851 but they fought for their own survival and that of their family and neighbours.  Frederick’s father owned the Bush Tavern on the Fitzroy River at Heywood, then known as Second River.   
 

“BLACK THURSDAY,” IN THE PORTLAND BAY DISTRICT. The Melbourne Daily News (Vic. : 1848 – 1851), p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226521766

Years later, eldest son George Yarra Bilston aged eleven at the time of Black Thursday, wrote his memoirs in which he recalled the day.
 

Memories of the Past (1939, March 2). Portland Guardian, p. 6 (EVENING.).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64391965

Thomas Bilston also held property south of Heywood on the Surrey River. One of his employees, William Brown lived there with his wife Margaret and young family. With the help of Annie Bilston, Margaret put three of her young sons in a cedar box and covered it with a damp cloth. As they made their escape, the fire was on their heels and caught on to the box. Annie and Margaret threw the burning box, with the infants still inside, into the Surrey River, saving their lives. The box still existed in 1937 when it was exhibited at Merino.

PERSONAL NOTES. (1937, August 2). Portland Guardian, p. 3 (EVENING.).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64276575

In 1895, in recalling his life for the Casterton News, William Moodie, then of Wando Dale at Nareen, revisited 6 February 1851.  He was ten and on his way to Portland to continue his education.
 
After being several months at Wando Vale it was found desirable to send me somewhere to finish my education, and as Mr. John Browning had recently opened a boarding school in Portland my two uncles and I started on 5th July 1851, to ride there. We stayed at the Smoky, now Hotspur, that night, and started off the next morning a smoking hot day, memorable ever since as “Black Thursday” and rode into Portland with the fires raging around us. We left the Heywood Hotel, then kept by Bilston, half an hour before it was burnt to the ground, and had to gallop for our lives through the Nine Mile Forest, the road only being a narrow cleared track. We arrived safely, and I often wonder how.

BLACK THURSDAY – THE TRACK OF DEATH. Artist: William Strutt. Image courtesy of the State Library of NSW https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/1cvjue2/ADLIB110315047

He continued,
I have seen some hot things in fires since, but never saw Black Thursday equalled. A messenger was sent down from Wando Vale that night to Portland, riding all night, to tell Mr George Robertson that 2000 sheep, his woolshed, and timber for a new house had all been burnt. He started off straight back riding the same horse and was home at Warrock in good time on the moning of the 7th, showing what grass-fed horses could do in those days. (Portland Guardian, 23 September 1895)

THE BUSH ON FIRE (1865). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/236426

 
Margaret Young died at the age of 101 in 1918. Her obituary mentioned she was, “widely known for her kindly and generous attributes, had a remarkably clear recollection of events which passed during her long life. She had lived during the reigns of no fewer than six British sovereigns, namely George III, George IV, William IV, Victoria, Edward VII, and George V.”  It didn’t, however, mention her remarkable story from Black Thursday. Fortunately, she told Janetta Robson who recounted the story in 1933. Margaret, her husband Samuel and their children were living at the Grassdale run near Digby, owned by brothers John and George Coldham.  It was George Coldham who was named in Margaret’s Black Thursday story:
 
A STORY OF BLACK THURSDAY.
(By Mrs. J. Robson).
This little story was told to me by Mrs. Young. You have all heard of Black Thursday, on February 6th, in the year 1851, when nearly the whole of Victoria from the Murray to the sea was on fire. In the Western District on a station employed as a shepherd was a Mr. Young with his wife and two boys, who resided in a little two-roomed hut. Mrs. Young was a smart energetic woman and particularly clean and neat. Her little house was spick and span and everything shining. She not alone cleaned inside her house, but she had a ti-tree broom and used to sweep all round her little hut, She used her broom with such good effect that there was not a leaf or blade of grass for half a chain round her hut. Their employer, Mr.Coldham, used to tease the little lady that she would have all the grass swept off the paddock.
 
Well, the morning of Black Thursday dawned so-called because it got so black with smoke one could not see half a chain away. The sky looked crimson and the heat, as the day went on, became terrific. There was a strong northwind blowing all day. Everyone knew there must be a terrific fire not far away, so everyone made what preparation they could. Towards midday, the heat was like a furnace, and birds and kangaroos and wallabies were flying and rushing south. Mr. Coldham arrived at Mrs. Young’s hut in great haste, on his horse, a big strong grey, named General, covered with foam. He called out to Mrs.Young that the fire was quite near to the hut, and to put some food together quickly, and he himself pulled the double blanket off her bed and lifted the two boys on General, and told Mrs. Young to sit behind him and hold on tight. So away they rode to the Miatike Creek. Mr. Coldham dipped the blanket in the water, and the four of them sat on General’s back with the wet blanket spread all over them. The fire came like a tidal wave burning leaves and fern scattering all over them. It blew over the creek and went on its way of destruction,
 
They sat there in the creek for hours till it was safe to leave. Old General and the wet blanket had preserved their lives. They rode across the burnt paddock and what was their joy to see the little hut quite safe from harm. As there were no trees near it and the grass all being swept away around, the fire had passed on and never touched it. (Portland Guardian, 7 August 1933

A BUSHFIRE TO THE NORTH OF MOUNT MORIAC (1854). Artist: Michael Minter. Image courtesy of the State LIbrary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/75390

Other notable losses in the district were at the property of Mr. Millard on the Surry River who lost his wheat.  Mr. Howard the sub-collector of customs at Portland lost his new cottage, the furniture, and outbuildings. To the east, Niel Black at Glenormiston lost thousands of sheep and Messrs Cole and Ware lost their woolsheds.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1851, February 7). The Argus, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4776049

Further north, Mr. Ritchie near Mt Napier lost crops and fencing. Fires burned around The Grange (Hamilton) and the ground between there and Mount Sturgeon (Dunkeld) was blackened.

DOMESTIC GAZETTE. (1851, February 8). Port Phillip Gazette, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224813332

The driver of the mail coach from Geelong to Portland witnessed hundreds of horses galloping east to escape the flames.

THE LATE BUSH FIRES (1851, February 10). The Argus, p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4776100

A BUSH FIRE IN AUSTRALIA, Artist: James Turner. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40610

The losses were extensive throughout the Western District.

THE LATE BUSH FIRES (1851, February 10). The Argus, p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4776100

THE TRACK OF THE BUSH FIRE (1879). Artist: Samuel Calver. Image courtesy of the State LIbrary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/157938

Belfast (Port Fairy) was threatened.

FIRES AT PORT FAIRY. (1851, February 12). Geelong Advertiser, p. 2 (DAILY and MORNING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91916148

BLACK THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1851 (1888). Engraver: F.A. Sleap. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/47777

Along the coast, fires burned from Geelong to Loutit Bay (Lorne) and through to Apollo Bay and up into the Otways.

“BLACK THURSDAY” IN THE CAPE OTWAY FOREST. (1851, February 12). Geelong Advertiser p. 2 (DAILY and MORNING).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91916146

Artist William Strutt arrived in Victoria in 1850 and was in Melbourne on the day of the Black Thursday fires. The eerie mix of dust, smoke, and red sky along with the emerging stories of the terror stayed with him. On his return to England, he was inspired to paint his masterpiece Black Thursday in 1854 bringing together all of what we have read above, such as the mobs of horses, settlers running for their lives, and birds and kangaroos fleeing. 

You can read more about what the painting represents on the link to an article from The Herald of 1865 – Mr. Strutt’s Picture of “Black Thursday”. The painting now hangs at the State Library of Victoria (SLV) and you can read how the painting made its way from England to Adelaide in 1883 and then to the SLV in 2004, on the link – Black Thursday: William Strutt’s “Itinerant Picture”

BLACK THURSDAY, William Strut (1854). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/74159

Further reading

Geelong Advertiser – 7 February 1851 – A description of 6 February 1851 at Geelong

Geelong Advertiser – 12 February 1851 – A description of 6 February 1851 at  Portland 

Geelong Advertiser – 19 February 1841 – Losses at Portland 

South Australian Register – 25 February 1851 – Reports from across Victoria

Empire (Sydney) – 5 March 1851 – A description of 6 February 1851 at Warrnambool

 

Passing of the Pioneers

The first of the pioneer obituaries for 2021, a year which also marks the 10th birthday of Passing of the Pioneers in July.   There won’t be a Passing of the Pioneers post next month because I’m aiming to do an all-female version in March for Women’s History Month, and another in April as part of the Western District Families’ 10th birthday celebrations.  April is the month with the smallest number of published pioneer obituaries.  Since 2015 my time leading up to April has been spent writing posts for Hamilton’s WW1 in preparation for Anzac Day and the Passing of the Pioneers post has missed out.  I’m going to make a special effort to get some April obituaries out for what will be the 80th edition of Passing of the Pioneers.

This month there are ten obituaries including the wife of a Baptist minister and a successful racehorse trainer from Warrnambool.  Don’t forget to click on the underlined text which will take you to more information about a subject. 

WALTERS, Hugh Oxenham – Died 10 January 1891 at Warrayure.  Hugh Walter was born in England around 1821.  He married Jane Walter in Devon in 1845 and they started their family.  In 1853, they left England for Australia, settling in the Geelong district. Around the late 1860s, Hugh took up land at Warrayure, east of Hamilton.  He named his property  Devon Farm.  There he bred high-quality long-wooled sheep and purebred poultry, Hugh’s wife Jane died in 1877 aged fifty-three.  Hugh remarried to Mary Houston in 1879. 

Hugh was described as a “quiet, unassuming man”.  Away from his farm, he enjoyed showing sheep and poultry, and with much success. In 1887, at the Horsham Grand National Show, for example, Hugh’s sheep won three first prizes and two second prizes, and his poultry, four first prizes, and three second prizes.  He also enjoyed ploughing competitions and was a member of the Hamilton Farmers’ Union.

Hugh was sixty-nine at the time of his death leaving his widow Mary and eight children, four sons, and four daughters. He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  

KEARNEY, Mary – Died 27 January 1892 at Hamilton.  Mary Kearney was born in Ireland around 1834 She married Michael Cummins and they settled in the Warrnambool and Port Fairy districts. In 1864, a daughter was born at Byaduk south of Hamilton. Michael Cummins died in the same year leaving Mary with young children. The following year, 1865, a Mrs Cummins applied to the Hamilton Hospital and Benevolent Asylum for assistance. She was given an allowance for groceries but was told nothing more could be done for her.   

In 1872, Mary married William Arnott of South Hamilton and a son was born that year. On 27 January 1892, Mary was visiting her old friend Mrs Bloomfield.  While they admired Mrs Bloomfield’s garden, Mary suffered an apoplectic fit. She died two days later at the age of fifty-eight. Mary was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF MARY ARNOTT (nee KEARNEY), HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY

SEYMOUR, Robert – Died 15 January 1896 at Glendinning. Robert Seymour was born around 1831.  He was the manager of the Spring Hill station north of Harrow from the late 1860s. In 1871, he married Mary Johnstone Dunn Beath, a daughter of David Beath the first storekeeper at The Grange (later known as Hamilton).  A child was born in Horsham in 1875 and in the same year it was reported in the Hamilton Spectator Robert was very sick and his recovery looked unlikely.  

Around 1882, Robert took over the management of the Glendinning station near Balmoral. During his time there, he collected samples of stream tin or alluvial tin. Other landholders in the district had also discovered stream tin, giving a group of men hopes gold and other minerals may have been present in the district. In 1892, Robert and others including Messrs Horwitz and Rippon from Hamiton formed a company to undertake further exploration. Robert died in 1896 at the age of sixty-five.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery. 

GRAVE OF ROBERT SEYMOUR, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

HUTTON, Thomas – Died 5 January 1900 at Penshurst.  Thomas Hutton was born in Hobart in 1843. Around 1846, having heard of good grazing land in the colony of Victoria his father David travelled to Portland. He leased part of the Purdeet run near Mt Rouse (Penshurst) and the family moved to Victoria to join him.  David bought Purdeet in 1851 and changed the name to Cheviot Hills. Thomas was educated at Hamilton under Mr Moss and Cavendish under Mr Elliot, the headteacher at the local National School.

On finishing school, Thomas went to Port Fairy where he is older brother George was a general merchant. Thomas eventually went in partnership with him. He was still taking an interest in farming at Penshurst in partnership with his brother William in the property Gazette station. During that time, Thomas and William built a woolshed on the property, still in use today William died in 1869.

Advertising (1865, March 11). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194470503

Thomas was very active in public affairs at Port Fairy.  Like his brother, he was a member of the Port Fairy Borough Council and Mayor from November 1875 until July 1876.  His brother George Hutton was Mayor from 1872-1874. Thomas was also a Lieutenant with the local battery of the Garrison Artillery. He was also a member of the Masonic lodge. 

David Hutton died in 1875 and Thomas went back to Cheviot Hills to join his brother John in its running. He married Jean Mason in 1878, the eldest daughter of Captain Mason of Port Fairy.  David and Jean and their family lived at Eden, a home build on the Cheviot Hills property.

In 1884, Thomas donated a row of Norfolk pines for planting on the western side of Sackville Street, Port Fairy (at right in the photo below).

NORFOLK PINES IN SACKVILLE STREET, PORT FAIRY c1960, Photographer: Lillian Powling. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/95732

During the 1880s, Thomas was on the Penshurst railway committee. He was also a Justice of the Peace and secretary to the managers and committee of the Penshurst Presbyterian Church for many years. In 1889. Thomas became a Mount Rouse Shire councillor. He went on to serve twice as President, in 1893-94 and 1896-97.     

FORMER MT ROUSE SHIRE OFFICES, PENSHURST, 1968. Image courtesy of the John T. Collins Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233458

Thomas died in January 1900 at the age of fifty-six leaving his widow Jean, three sons, and two daughters.  He was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery. Jean died on 19 October 1925 at Hawthorn.

SINCLAIR, Jane Roderick – Died 5 January 1900 at Casterton. Janes Sinclair was born in  Glasgow around 1822 and arrived in Australia in the 1850s. She married Baptist Reverend Ebenezer Henderson in 1861 at Morpeth near Hinton, New South Wales.  Ebenezer had arrived at Hinton in February 1861 after an invitation for him to be the pastor of the Hinton Baptist Church.  He was a widower with a son and daughter and had previously been in Geelong. Ebenezer resigned his position in September 1867 and by the early 1870s, the Hendersons were in Warrnambool. In 1873, Ebenezer accepted the position of pastor at the Hamilton Baptist Church. 

FORMER HAMILTON BAPTIST CHURCH.

Jane helped out with the Baptist Sunday School. She was also an active member of the Hamilton Ladies Benevolent Society. The group gave her a send-off in 1891 when it was decided the Hendersons would leave Hamilton due to Ebenezer’s failing health. It was said at the send-off, Jane was always available to help someone in need.  The couple was also given a send-off by the Baptist Church community in August 1891.

The Hendersons took up residence in Kew, however, things did not go well. Jane had a fall while stepping from the train.  Also, Ebenezer’s health didn’t improve and medical advice suggested the climate in Hamilton may be better than in Melbourne. The news the Hendersons were returning was announced in the Spectator in March 1893.  They eventually moved to Casterton to live with Ebenezer’s daughter Mary Hughes.    

Jane died at Casterton in January 1900 at the age of seventy-eight.  Her remains were transported from  Casterton to Hamilton by train and she was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF JANE HENDERSON (nee SINCLAIR), HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

Ebenezer died in 1904 at Casterton, the oldest Baptist pastor in Australia. In 1918, the Hamilton Baptist Church unveiled a memorial pulpit dedicated to Ebenezer.  Jane was remembered. She “was well-beloved, and it was due to her loving care that he (Rev. Henderson) was so long sparred. She helped all who were in sorrow.”

No title (1902, December 13). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221241039

FOLEY, Thomas Nicholas – Died 28 January 1913 at Hamilton. Thomas Foley was born at Coleraine in 1867. His father Cornelius was the manager at the nearby Mt Koroite station, something he would do for thirty-five years.  In 1891, Thomas married Margaret Maria O’Hagan and they settled at Coleraine and started a family.  They were living on the Cavendish Road and Thomas was breeding and showing pigs.  In 1903, Thomas took up the freehold and license of the Hamilton Inn in Lonsdale Street, Hamilton from Mary Meagher.

DOYLE’S HAMILTON INN, LATER FOLEY’S HAMILTON INN. FORMERLY IN LONSDALE STREET, HAMILTON, C1880 Image no. B 21766/53 Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/53

His brothers were also in the hotel trade with Cornelius Jr the licensee of the National Hotel at Coleraine and John, the licensee of the Hermitage Hotel at Harrow.  Thomas had the entire premises renovated on purchase of the inn.

Advertising (1903, November 24). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226112992

Thomas has a keen interest in sport particularly coursing.  His dogs were runners up several times at the Commonwealth Stake at Camperdown. He also enjoyed football and often donated trophies to the local league.  Thomas was a staunch supporter of the Labor party and a member of the Australian Natives Association (ANA).  In January 1912, Thomas transferred the license of the Hamilton Inn to Jemima Grogan but retained the freehold.

On 23 January 1913, Thomas, by then living in Coleraine Road, Hamilton suddenly fell ill and there were fears for his life. It was reported in the Hamilton Spectator the following day he was suffering from heart failure.  The next day, the Hamiton Spectator was happy to report Thomas was out of danger.  His health failed again and he died on 28 January.  Thomas left his widow Margaret, and a young family of three boys, and four girls. He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery. 

In 1914, Jemima Grogan moved on from the Hamilton Inn and the hotel was put up for sale.

Advertising (1914, March 28). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119826027

In 1917, Thomas and Margaret’s son Cornelius was killed in Belgium.  A memorial to him was added to the Foley headstone at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF THOMAS FOLEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

UEBERGANG, Charles – Died 18 January 1918 at Warrnambool. Charles Ubergang was born in  Marzdorf, Silesia, Prussia around 1828. Military service was compulsory for young men but Charles was found to be unfit for service.  Around the age of twenty-one, he made his way to Australia.  His obituary states he took the ship Flying Fish to Adelaide arriving in 1848, However, Shipping Intelligence from the time, and printed in the South Australian Register, show a Charles Ubergang arrived via the ship Alfred from Hamburg, arriving on 6 December 1848. Rather than go overland to Victoria, Charles caught a boat sailing from Adelaide via Tasmania.  He made his way to the Warrnambool district and spent time there as a carrier, taking goods to the goldfields.  He was living in Purnim in 1853 when he was naturalised, giving him the rights of a citizen of the colony.  He married in 1854 to Augusta Klose

In 1855, Charles selected land close to the junction of the Hopkins River and the Mt Emu Creek, east of Warrnambool. It was there in 1862 when his sister-in-law was bitten by a snake. Despite the efforts of Charles and a doctor to save her, she died as a result.  Around 1893, Charles moved into Warrnambool and took up residence in Raglan Street. Augusta died in 1917 and Charles lived only months after, dying on 18 January 1918 at the age of ninety.  He left three sons and four daughters and was buried at the Warrnambool Cemetery.

JESSUP, Elvina – Died January 1920 at Warrnambool.  Elvina Jessup was born in 1849 in Norfolk, England, and arrived in Portland with her parents in 1852 when she was three years old. Her father Walter became a police constable in the town.  In 1869, Elvina married Benjamin Jewell and they went on to have nine children at Casterton  They later moved to Allansford where Benjamin died in 1896.  At the time of her death, Elvina left a sister, seven children, twenty grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She was seventy-four.

SAVIN, William – Died January 1924 at Portland. William Savin was born at Launton, Oxfordshire England around 1843. He arrived with his parents Samuel and Hannah at Portland in 1853 aboard the ship Eliza.  The family first went to the Crawford estate near Condah where Samuel had work.  They then moved further north to Muddy Creek, south of Hamilton where Samuel took up land.  

MEMBERS OF THE SAVIN FAMILY ON THE BANKS OF MUDDY CREEK c1885. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772275

William married Elizabeth Addinsall in 1865. He later took up land with his brothers in the Macarthur district.  He retired to Portland around 1899.  There he was involved with the Portland bowling and golf clubs. Elizabeth died in 1912 and the following year, William remarried to Theresa Lear.  At the time of his death, he left his widow Theresa and his three daughters from his marriage to Elizabeth.

CONNELLY, Henry ‘Harry’ – Died January 1940 at Warrnambool. Harry Connelly was born at Yangary in 1866.  First sitting on a horse as a baby, Henry started his career as a jockey as a young boy, winning races in the country and Melbourne. He also spent time living in Sydney where he rode more winners. Harry later turned to training horses and his first big success came in 1900 with the horse Aquarius winning the VRC Grand National Hurdle,  That win helped him get more clients and for the next twenty-six years, he had a successful training career.  He would spend the winter and spring at Caulfield then return to his Warrnambool stable at the Warrnambool racecourse for summer and the autumn.  In 1909, he trained Aberdeen to third in the Melbourne Cup, 

Harry married Agnes Lucas in 1890. Two of their sons followed Harry into the racing game, with Joseph and Robert becoming jockeys.  They rode for Harry as Robert did in 1918 when he rode Cobram, owned and trained by Harry, to a win in the Grand National Steeplechase. Henry’s grandson was photographed on the horse after the win. 

HARRY CONNELLY TRAINS HORSES ENGAGED IN NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE (1921, May 28). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 4 (SPORTING EDITION).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242503979

It was said Harry was camera shy but newspaper photographers managed to capture him several times, particularly at the Warrnambool May Carnival.  He was a fixture at Warrnambool meeting and he didn’t miss a Warrnambool winter meeting for fifty years.

WESTERN DISTRICT TRAINER DEAD (1940, February 3). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 55. Retrieved January 9, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225983711

   

Harry at the races in Melbourne in 1919.

 

SNAPPED AT MELBOURNE RACE MEETINGS (1919, December 6). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 18.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222567323

Harry (left) at the Warrnambool May Carnival in May 1921 with Robert Hood, one of his long-time owners.

RACING AT WARRNAMBOOL (Victoria), MAY 3, 4, and 5. (1921, May 14). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 48.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140258819

Harry (left) at the 1929 Warrnambool May Carnival.

SOME WARRNAMBOOL PERSONALITIES. (1929, May 11). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 25 (METROPOLITAN EDITION).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141392076

Harry at the 1936 Warrnambool May Carnival in 1936, four years before his death.

WARRNAMBOOL (V.) RACE WEEK (1936, May 16). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27 (METROPOLITAN EDITION).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141773372

Harry died in 1940 leaving three sons and two daughters.  An extensive article about Harry’s racing career and the horses he trained can be found on the link to the Sporting Globe –        http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article178135059

A New Year Dawning.

Happy New Year. I hope 2020 was kind to you.  The photo below was taken on a New Year’s Day at Erskine House, Lorne.  A beach holiday at Lorne was, and still is a popular summer destination for Western District people. 

NEW YEAR’S DAY AT LORNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/4178468

2021 is a milestone year for me because it marks the 10th birthday of  Western District Families (WDF).  I forgot WDF’s 9th birthday in April 2020 so I best not forget this year.

Before moving on to 2021, a look back at 2020, a good year for WDF. It took a pandemic and lockdowns, but more people visited the site than ever before in 2020, a year when I published fewer posts than ever before. The Western District Families Facebook page also had a good year.  We saw some great photos, many with equally good stories. Best of all, from my prompts, the most wonderful stories and memories flowed from the page followers, now almost 10,000 in strength.

LITTLE AIRE FALLS, BEECH FORESTc1906. Photographer: J.M. Arndt. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/122909

WILLAURA STATE SCHOOL c1910. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/310021

Finally, Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook page passed 500 followers despite me not posting there as much in 2020.  Because it was a “stay at home” Anzac Day, I posted a virtual Last Post with images of the men from Hamilton who lost their lives during the Great War.

 

Thank you to everyone who has supported this site and the associated Facebook pages. I still have to pinch myself when I look at the number of WDF followers and the numbers reading my posts. It is much appreciated.

2020 gave me an opportunity to do something I had only dreamt of doing. That was to visit Byaduk, the home of my Harman and Bishop families, and talk to the locals about their town’s history. But as luck would have it, I was invited to speak at Byaduk on Australia Day.

BYADUK

It was an absolute highlight of my time researching and writing about family history and I was able to meet the wonderful Byaduk community, some of whose families have been in the district for more than 150 years. Long time followers will know I have written much about my Byaduk families here and I also wrote a family history Providence: the story of James and Susan Harman and their descendants for a Diploma of Family Historical Studies in 2016.  James and Susan were among the first settlers at Byaduk in the year the post office opened in 1863.

Another family history related highlight of 2020 was the opportunity to speak to the Hamilton U3A via Zoom. Putting my big collection of photos to good use, we took a virtual tour of the old Hamilton Cemetery looking at the symbolism of some of the headstones and monuments and the stories behind the graves. It was fun and good to share my passion for the cemetery with others.

HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

As mentioned, I didn’t get many posts published this year but the ones I did, I enjoyed researching. The most significant and moving post of 2020 was from October, The Great Flood of 1870 with a focus on the loss of life at Coleraine. It was a post prompted by a headstone I saw at the Coleraine Cemetery in between lockdowns this year.

COLERAINE CEMETERY

I was surprised to find it was not the most viewed new post for the year. Instead, that honour went to the September Passing of the Pioneers post.  Looking back on it now, it was the most detailed of the 2020 Passing of the Pioneer posts and included ten most interesting subjects such as Duncan Stewart of Camperdown, Elizabeth Brown of Hamilton, and Barnabas Hamilton of Kirkstall.

The most viewed post of 2020 was again The Big Flood published in 2016 about the disastrous 1946 Western District floods.  The high numbers are aided by the hits which come each time there are storms and/or heavy rain in the Western District and people get on the search engines for information. With storms forecast over the coming days, I expect the post to kick off its 2021 views.  However, disaster posts are popular. When the Earth Moved at Warrnambool published in 2018 moving in on The Big Flood as the most popular post

A nice surprise came with the most viewed Hamilton’s WW1 post. It was the story of former Hamilton State Scholl teacher Stephen James Filmer, written a few years ago now. I knew of Stephen before I wrote his story. He was the youngest child of the Filmer family of Byaduk and his sister Hazel, the eldest child, married my 1st cousin 4 x removed Absolam Harman of Byaduk.  Stephen was killed at Bullecourt in May 2017.  I’m so pleased people are reading Stephen’s story.

WALTER STEPHEN FILMER. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H06583/

I can’t promise how many posts I’ll get out to you this year, but there will be some. I can promise the photos will keep coming on the WDF Facebook page and I won’t forget to celebrate Western District Families’ 10th birthday.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021.

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/369609

Passing of the Pioneers

When I begin researching a Passing of the Pioneer post, I have two aims – not too many Hamilton obituaries and as many women as possible. Unfortunately, as I often do, I failed this month with four Hamilton people from eight obituaries and one woman.  When I started Passing of the Pioneers, only the Portland Guardian and Camperdown Chronicle, along with The Argus were available at Trove newspapers, the source of the obituaries. Eventually, the WW1 years of many Western District papers became available including the Hamilton Spectator. It was 2016 before the Hamilton paper was digitised from 1860 to the WW1 years.  Since then I’ve been playing catch up on Hamilton obituaries. 

Finding the obituaries of women has been an issue all along with many women’s deaths marked with a family notice or a few lines in the main section of the paper. Some deaths were not mentioned at all or were only known of if death was a result of an accident or an inquest was required. It was usually women of a certain status who received an obituary of any substance. Even then, I often need to refer to a husband’s obituary to fill in the gaps between the woman’s birth, childbirth, and her death.  This month the woman I have found to remember was not of a high class, but she was of high character making her worthy of the obituary she received. 

MINOGUE, Simon – Died 12 November 1880 at Portland. Simon Minogue was born around 1815 in Ireland.  He married Johanna Quin in County Clare and they had two sons Daniel and Jerome before they boarded the Agricola for Port Phillip in 1841. In the months after arriving in Victoria, the family moved to Portland and Simon took up Wattle Hill in West Portland.  Stephen Henty was the vendor and Simon paid £10 per acre.  He also bought land at Mount Clay and Bridgewater.

In July 1849, Simon was the successful tenderer to provide 100 piles for the construction of the Portland dam. Simon was an active member of the Catholic community in Portland. In April 1857, he was a trustee of the land set aside for a Catholic Church in Portland.  He also contributed £30 to the building fund. In 1858, he was elected to the Roads Board.  Simon died in 1880, leaving his widow, Johanna, and nine children.  Johanna died just eight years later in 1888.

BUTLER, Josiah – Died 18 November 1890 at Hamilton. Josiah Butler was born around 1841 in Brixton, England.  He arrived in Victoria around 1857 and spent time at the goldfields.  He then went to the Balmoral district where he worked as a hawker for storekeeper James Cuzens.  On 1 July 1878, he married Sarah Ann Goss at the home of Sarah Ann’s brother in Gray Street, Hamilton. It was around the time Josiah moved to Hamilton and started the construction of a soap works.  It was located in the vicinity of the Friendlies Oval in King Street and opened in July 1879. Josiah spent £1000 on equipment but it took time to get the factory operational because there was no ongoing water supply. The winter of 1879 saw water reverses build-up and by January 1880, Josiah was producing three tons of soap a week and sending five tons of tallow a month to Melbourne. 

Advertising (1881, October 4). Hamilton Spectator, p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226063235

Josiah later moved into candlemaking but poor health saw him sell the business in February 1883 to Denton Bros. By June 1883, he had opened the Economic Cash Grocery in Gray Street, not far from the Thompson Street intersection. He sold all manner of things including sporting goods, bicycles, and tricycles.

Advertising (1883, June 9). Hamilton Spectator, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225495881

Tricycles for adults (below) were taking off and in 1884, Josiah attempted to start a tricycle club in Hamilton.

AN ADULT TRICYCLE. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia. Image no B 34321B 34321 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+34321

He also had an interest in cricket and in 1885, donated a Challenge Cup for a series of matches between the Hamilton Academy and the Portland College. In 1886, as an agent of Messrs Bussey & Co., he donated a cricket bat to the highest Hamilton scorer in a match against Ararat. 

Later, Josiah moved east along Gray Street to the corner with what is now Cook Walk, where he ran a fancy goods store.  He died in 1890 leaving his widow Sarah, three daughters, and two sons.  Sarah carried on the store no doubt helped by two of her daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth who later ran a fancy goods and toy shop at 45 Brown Street Hamilton until their retirement in 1954.  Sarah died in 1932, and Rachel and Elizabeth died within two months of each other in 1959.

SANDISON, John – Died 12 November 1901 at Glenisla. John Sandison was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland around 1831.  At age sixteen, he left for Australia and found work at Skene station near Hamilton. The 1850s saw the discovery of gold and John set off for the diggings not only in Victoria but also the New Zealand goldfields.  Once back in Victoria, he secured the mail run between Apsley and Hamilton.  In 1861, John married Mary Alexander, and the following year he opened a butcher shop in Gray Street, Hamilton at first in partnership with Mr. L Kaufmann.  They dissolved their partnership on 1 September 1866 and John continued on alone.

Advertising (1866, November 10). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser, p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194467086

John was a member of the Hamilton Mechanics Institute and sat on the committee. 

HAMILTON MECHANICS INSTITUTE

He also enjoyed sport and was involved with local athletics. Eventually, John selected land at Glenisla in the Western Grampians.  In January 1899, a fire broke out at Glenisla spreading on to John’s property.  He lost all his grass and fencing. In July that year, his wife Mary died.

John died in 1901, leaving three sons and four daughters, the youngest being seventeen.  John was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF JOHN SANDISON, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

KENNEDY, Christina – Died 1 November 1909 at Hamilton.  Christina Kennedy was born in 1855 at Geelong.  She married Alfred Bulley in 1872 and their first child was born in 1875 at Brunswick.  Alfred worked on the Ararat to Hamilton railway line during the 1870s and in 1881, a daughter was born at Coleraine. Around 1891, Alfred contracted spinal disease attributed to working in wet conditions on the railways. It left him an invalid.  Life became very difficult for Christina, caring for Alfred and her daughters.  In 1893, their plight came to the attention of the Hamilton Ladies Benevolent Society.

HAMILTON HOSPITAL AND BENEVOLENT ASYLUM. (1893, July 13). Hamilton Spectator p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225182270

In 1902, Alfred applied to the Old-Age Pensions Court for an allowance. He couldn’t make it to the court so Christina represented him.  The court heard she earned 15 shillings a week as a laundress. One of her daughters helped while the other stayed at home with Alfred. From her earnings, she had to pay rent on their home in Milton Street.  The Reverend Canon Hayman acted as a witness and said Christina was a “respectable hardworking woman”. Alfred was granted 6 shillings a week

Christina worked hard and attended Christ Church Anglican Church on Sundays but she fell ill in 1909 and required an operation. She died in the Hamilton Hospital on 1 November 1909 aged fifty-four.  Christina’s obituary was one normally seen for a woman of a higher station but it demonstrates she obtained much respect, not just pity.

…was a striking example of what a woman may accomplish.  Her life was not a path of roses, for the thorns of adversity were in her way for several years, and she had been the practical breadwinner for her household over a long period…but notwithstanding the burden thus placed upon her she faced her task bravely, and by her indomitable spirit of perseverance and industry had gained the highest, admiration and respect from all. But despite the fact her hands had to be used in the performance of work of somewhat heavy manual character, she preserved her womanly characteristics continuously, and in all her intercourse with others, there was a fine air of refinement and gentleness, combined with kind heartedness, which irresistibly appealed for appreciation. In all the work she was compelled to do for others the latter were always pleased to have her service again. Her character was upright and her actions just, and it Is worthy of commendation that the fine high principles which enabled her to struggle on despite great disadvantages and guided her in the upbringing of her family. who helped her in later years,…”
Christina left Alfred and her daughters, Jessie and Hannah.  The girls continued to look after Alfred until his death in January 1911.
 

GRAVE OF CHRISTINA BULLEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

FIELDER, William John – Died 10 November 1917 at Camperdown.  William Fielder was born around 1846 in London and arrived in Australia about 1853 with his parents.  His father Thomas was an officer with HM Customs in Melbourne. Thomas died suddenly in 1875 and soon after William arrived in Camperdown. In 1878, he married Matilda Sophia Greer.  William worked as a painter, decorator, and signwriter.

Advertising (1902, August 14). Camperdown Chronicle, p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26568362

William was heavily involved with the Camperdown Amauter Theatrical Society and performed in many plays and operas.  He also played with the society’s orchestra and painted all the scenery.  He considered his time with the theatrical society the happiest time of his life. He was well-read and sat on the committee of the Camperdown Mechanics Institute.  He was also a member of the Camperdown Bowling Club.

Matilda died on 14 September 1897 at their home in Brooke Street. She was just forty-seven. In August 1908, William decided to live with his daughter in Queensland. He was given a send-off at the Mechanics Institute while the Camperdown Brass Band played outside.  As reported in the Camperdown Chronicle, William in his speech at his send-off said he was proud because, “…Camperdown had been loyal to him and he had been loyal to Camperdown. He had never got anything outside Camperdown that he could get in it. He had made that the rule of his life. He trusted that everybody would do the same. Camperdown was one of the best places in the world. He believed in it.”

William did not stay away from Camperdown long returning within a few years.  He died in 1917 and was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery leaving five daughters to mourn his loss.

An obituary in the Camperdown Herald of 14 November 1917 mentioned William had originally worked at the Argus newspaper.

SCULLION, John James – Died 13 November 1918 at Terang. John “Jack” Scullion was born around 1867 at Mount View Garvoc and remained there for the duration of his life. With two of his young brothers, he carried on the running of Mount View for their father John.  Jack was president of the Garvoc Racing Club and he served on the board of the Garvoc Butter Factory.  Jack never married and was just fifty-one at the time of his death.  Requiem mass was held at St Thomas Catholic Church, Terang (below).

ST THOMAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, TERANG. Image courtesy of the State Library Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63483

The funeral left the church for the Terang Cemetery.  The Advocate newspaper reported,
The cortege, one of the longest seen in the town, comprising…representatives from most distant parts of the Western District, was a strong proof of the love in which his friends held him, and the respect in which he was held by those who, though associated with him publicly, did not always share his views – no surer sign of recognised worth.
 

WHITEHEAD, Robert – Died 5 November 1922 at Warrnambool.  Robert Whitehead was born in 1849 at Goodwood on Spring Creek, south of Caramut, the home of his father Robert.

“GOODWOOD” c1859. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/475909

Robert was one of the first students at Melbourne Grammar School which opened in 1858.  Robert had an interest in racing and did some amateur riding during his early years.  Prior to his death, Robert Whitehead senior divided the Goodwood property among his sons.  Robert named his share Wurroit and built a home in the 1870s (below).  He married Jane Phillips in 1877 and they raised a large family.

“WURROIT”, 1984. Image courtesy of the John T, Collins Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/4116726

Robert was a breeder and judge of sheep and horses. In January 1900, a grass fire went through Wurroit and only the homestead and paddocks close to the homestead were saved. He lost 2000 sheep. Jane died in October 1908 leaving Robert, three sons, and three daughters.  

In 1913, Robert married Myrtyl McFarlane and two daughters were born in the following years. They spent time living in Kerford Street, Malvern, and at Spring Gardens in Warrnambool where Robert died in 1922.  

CARTER, William – Died 14 November 1927 at Hamilton. William Carter was born in 1853 at Portland.  Soon after the family moved to Hamilton and William went to school at Hamilton and Western District College.  In 1879, he married Emma Crossy and they would go on to live in Pope Street.  William worked as an accountant and auditor and in 1882, he took over the business of the late H. W. Thirkell. 

Advertising (1882, February 11). Hamilton Spectator, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226058332

William and Emma had five children, but four predeceased their parents.  In 1884, Francis died aged six months. Minnie died in 1886 aged fifteen months. In 1889, seven-year-old Charles died, and in 1892, Percival died aged five years and five months.  Their only surviving child and firstborn, Annie Julia married in 1902.

William’s passion was volunteering with the Hamilton Fire Brigade.  He was one of the founding members of the brigade, elected to office at the first general meeting in January 1881 and he was a long-serving Captain.  He was a very active member and a special presentation was made to him in August 1888. He retired from fire fighting duties in 1898. but he remained on the committee and helped out with the fire brigade sports.

Since its beginnings, accommodating the brigade was an issue. They started out in a council owned timber building next to the Town Hall when it was Gray Street,  The brigade soon outgrew and during the 1890s there was a big push for brigade owned and built fire station.  While some committee members were keen on the idea, William Carter later admitted he preferred the option of the brigade buying the existing station.  He was overruled and the new fire station opened in 1901.  William said it was then he’d realised it was the right thing.  He served as vice president of the brigade committee becoming president in 1918 when the position became vacant due to the departure of William Melville to Melbourne.

FORMER HAMILTON FIRE STATION c1903. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399013

William was also the secretary of the Hamilton Christ Church Anglican Church, the Hamilton Friendly Societies Union, and the Hamilton Angling Society. He was also involved with the Hamilton Rope Quoits Association.

William died suddenly in 1927 aged seventy-four, leaving his wife Emma.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery with his children.  Emma died in 1942.

GRAVE OF WILLIAM CARTER AND FAMILY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY