Passing of the Pioneers

This edition of Passing of the Pioneers is a joint one with both July and August obituaries.  The pioneers include graziers, a butcher, a commercial traveller and a man with 104 descendants at the time of his death. They came from right across the Western District from Beeac to Carapook and places in between.  As usual, any underlined text is a link to a further information about a subject.

JULY

MANIFOLD, Peter – Died 31 July 1885 at Purrumbete.  Peter Manifold was born around 1817 in Cheshire, England.  With his parents and siblings, Peter travelled to Tasmania around 1831.  In 1836 Peter was around nineteen years old and he and his brother set off for Victoria. They settled at Batesford for a few years before deciding to look at the land further west in 1838  Peter and his brother John arrived at the Stony Rises and climbed Mount Porndon.  Below they saw expansive grass plains and Lake Purrumbete and they knew it was the place for them.

PURRUMBETE HOMESTEAD c1913. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/75019

Peter was a member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Roads Board from 1859 and then the Hampden Shire Council.  From 1877 he a was a member of the cemetery trust.  He never married.  You can read a biography of the Manifold brothers on the link to the Australian Dictionary of Biography-http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/manifold-peter-2840

PATTERSON, George Robertson – Died 9 July 1912 at Casterton.  George Patterson was born in Glasgow in 1841.  He arrived in Victoria with his parents in 1850.  In 1858, he went to live at Warrock with his uncle George Robertson.

WARROCK HOMESTEAD c1900. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769379

Around 1873, George purchased his own land, the property Capaul on the Glenelg River in the Dergholm district.  In 1876, he married Mary Grace Simson of neighbouring Roseneath and a son George was born in 1877 followed by Isobel in 1879, Charles in 1881, and Hugh in 1883. Sadly Mary died in 1885 at St Kilda leaving four children under ten.  In April 1890, George remarried to Ireland born Sara Guilbride in Christchurch, New Zealand. George managed Roseneath and took over much of the management of Warrock in his uncle’s last years. George inherited Warrock after his uncle’s death in 1890.  From 1882-1889, George was a Glenelg Shire councillor.  He also contributed financially to the Presbyterian church, the Casterton Hospital and the Casterton Pastoral & Agriculture Society.  Sara died in 1908 at Casterton and George died four years later leaving an estate of more than £92,000

PALMER, Thomas McLeod – Died 31 July 1915 at Elsternwick.  Thomas Palmer was born in London, England in 1831.  His father was an officer with the East India Company.  In 1838, Thomas with his parents and nine siblings left England for Tasmania. He was educated at Launceston Grammar School then worked in a merchant’s office.  In 1850 he left for the Californian diggings and returned to Australia in 1854 taking up Dederang station south of Albury.  Thomas arrived in the Western District in 1863 after purchasing Grassmere station.  He also purchased Tooram a dairy farm near Allansford.  In 1864, Thomas married Elizabeth Miller.

George’s innovative farming methods saw him put Tooram on the map for its dairy and cheesemaking. George also raised pigs at Tooram and produced bacon.  It was a large concern and required many workers and that was how George come to employ a large group of Afghan men in 1883.  An incident in March 1883 in which one of the Afghans was killed, saw Thomas in court facing manslaughter charges.  He was later acquitted.

Thomas’ wife Elizabeth died in 1888 at the age of forty-seven and poor health forced Thomas to retire around 1890 but he still kept an interest in the industry.  Thomas was also on the Warrnambool Shire Council.  At the time of his death, Thomas had one son and two daughters. 

Two interesting articles about Tooram are on the following links  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142438769  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142438520  You can also read Thomas’ biography at the Australian Dictionary of Biography on the link http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/palmer-thomas-mcleod-4360

HOPE, Ann – Died 20 July 1916 at Kirkstall.  Ann Hope was born around 1832 in Haddington, Scotland.  She married Barnabas Hamilton and they left for Portland aboard Othani arriving in 1854.  The couple settled at Kirkstall and remained there for the rest of their lives at their property Hopefield.  When they first arrived the land was bush and Ann remembered the “old hands” or former convicts from Tasmania employed in the district.  Barnabas died in 1907 and Ann in 1916.  She left three sons and two daughters and was buried at the Tower Hill Cemetery.

In 1937, a diary written by Barnabas Hamilton was found in a box belonging to his son.  It described his and Ann’s departure from Scotland and his first employment in Victoria.  It also included a description of Sing Sing Prison in New York, visited by Barnabas before he went to Australia.  You can see more about Barnabas’ diary on the link to the Camperdown Chronicle http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28320120

CUMMING, Thomas Forest – Died 30 July 1918 at Toorak.

THOMAS CUMMING c1865. image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/235425

Thomas Cumming was born in Melbourne at a property on the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets on 26 September 1842.  He went to school at Robert Lawson’s Melbourne Academy which later became Scotch College.  His father John Cumming purchased Stony Point station on Mount Emu Creek near Darlington while his older brother John Jr purchased nearby Terrinallum in 1857. When Thomas finished school he went to work for John at Terrinallum learning about all things agricultural.  When John Cumming Sr. died, Thomas inherited Stony Point and began improving the merino stock introducing new bloodlines.

STONY POINT STATION WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217389

In 1865, Thomas married Selina Dowling and they went on to have five sons and three daughters.

SELINA CUMMING (nee DOWLING) Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/235438

In time Thomas also bought a sheep station on the Darling River in NSW.  In the 1870s Thomas purchased Hyde Park station near Cavendish with John Simson, father-in-law of George Patterson (see obituary above).   A leader in the breeding industry, he was the founder of the Australian Sheep Breeders Association in 1877.  He was a longtime secretary with the association and was still on the committee at the time of his death.

In 1881, Thomas sold Stony Point but retained his interest in Hyde Park.  It was also in 1881 Thomas became the member for Western Provence in the Legislative Council, retaining the seat until 1888.  He moved to Melbourne and ran a land valuation and stock agency business in Collins Street Melbourne.  From 1900, he was president of the Old Scotch Collegians and in 1904, President of the Royal Agriculture Society.  He also sat on the Closer Settlement board and Licence Reduction board.  You can read more about Thomas Cumming at the Australian Dictionary of Biography on the link http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/cumming-thomas-forrest-273

“DEATH OF MR. T. F. CUMMING.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 3 August 1918: 36. Web. 12 Aug 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140209940&gt;.

AUGUST

BEVAN, Thomas – Died 23 August 1915 at Beeac.  Thomas Bevan was born around 1829 in Devonshire, England.  He married Elizabeth Eastlake and they left for Australia, arriving at Geelong around 1851. In 1863, Thomas and Elizabeth settled at Beeac. Thomas was a devout Methodist and was a local preacher for the church for fifty-one years.  He also conducted the Methodist church choir and was the Sunday School superintendent for fourteen years.  Thomas was also a member of the Rechabite Order, a Justice of the Peace for twenty years and trustee of the Beeac Cemetery at the time of his death.  Thomas survived his wife Elizabeth, who died in 1895, by twenty years. At the time of his death, Thomas had four sons, eight daughters, fifty-four grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren, a total of 104 descendants.

FRASER,  John Alexander – Died 9 August 1917 at Hamilton.  John Fraser was born in Inverness, Scotland around 1834 and arrived in Australia by 1877.  With his wife Mary Dugalda Mackiehan, John lived in Warrnambool and was employed by Messrs Patterson in the town.  He later obtained work with Rolfe & Co, wholesale merchants of Melbourne and his life as a commercial traveller began.  For thirty years, John travelled the roads of the wider Hamilton district as a representative of Rolfe & Co. His home during much of that time was in Hawthorn.  John was a member of the Commercial Travellers Association and gained the respect of all who did business with him.  He was described in his obituary as, “overflowing with Scottish sentiment and a fund of national anecdote, he was a most-interesting raconteur.”  On 9 August 1917, John still working at eighty-three, stopped by his room at the Argyle Arms Hotel in Gray Street, Hamilton before catching a train home.  He suddenly took ill at the hotel, collapsed and died.  He was buried at Hamilton (Old) Cemetery, leaving a widow and three sons.  On 13 November 1917, a memorial stone donated by fellow commercial travellers was unveiled at John’s grave.

SMITH, George – Died 16 August 1917 at Melbourne.  George Smith was born in the Chetwynd district west of Casterton in 1853. His father died when he was three and his mother remarried.  George became a butcher and operated a shop in Henty Street, Casterton (below).

GEORGE SMITH’S BUTCHER SHOP, HENTY STREET, CASTERTON. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767590

He married Mary Gill in 1874.  In 1900, George sold his business and in time became the ranger and health inspector for the Glenelg Shire Council.  At the time of his death, George left his widow, Mary and nine children. One of George’s daughters Grace married Jonathan Diwell, my first cousin 3 x removed.

KELLY, James – Died August 1917 at Hamilton.  James Kelly was born in County Armagh, Ireland and married Rose Etta Jackson there.  James and Rose arrived at Portland in 1857 where they stayed for a short time before James decided to try his luck at the Bendigo diggings.  By 1860, the Kellys had settled at Hamilton.  James worked for the Hamilton Borough Council and was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters.  When James died in 1917, he left his widow Rose, two sons and two daughters.  Rose died on 22 January 1918 and was buried with James at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

MILBURN, William – Died 15 August 1918 at Casterton.  William Milburn was born in Durham, England around 1837.  He arrived in Victoria around the age of twenty-one and went to the Ballarat diggings.  While in Ballarat, he married Mary Coxon in 1863.  The following year William selected land near Carapook, north-east of Casterton.  When the Retreat estate on the Glenelg River was subdivided, William purchased a block and named it Olive Grove.  He lived there for twenty years before moving to Jackson Street, Casterton about 1917.  William was eighty-one at the time of his death and left his widow Mary, four sons and six daughters.  You can read more about William and Mary’s family on the link to Glenelg & Wannon Settlers & Settlement – www.swvic.org/carapook/names/milburn.htm

FREEMAN, Alice Maria – Died 28 August 1951 at Portland.  Alice Freeman was born in Mount Barker, South Australia in 1855.  She married Charles Langley in 1877 in the Mount Barker district.  They moved to the Murtoa district where other members of the Langley family were living.  In the 1890s, the Langleys moved to Halls Gap in the Grampians.  In 1898, Alice’s son Arthur wrote a letter to “Uncle Ben” of the Weekly Times, describing the family’s life in the Grampians.

“OUR LETTER BOX.” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 24 September 1898: 8. Web. 12 Aug 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222632641&gt;.

Later Alice and Charles leased the Morningside Guest House in Halls Gap and then the Bellfield Guest House.

“Advertising” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 14 December 1907: 17. Web. 9 Aug 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205002162&gt;.

The Langleys moved to South Portland around 1909 and Charles took up farming.  Alice attended St Stephen’s Church (below) and later in her life she was made a life member of the St Stephen’s Ladies Guild.

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

Alice was also a great worker for the war effort, knitting socks during the two world wars.  She lived to the great age of ninety-five and left two sons and two daughters.

When the Earth Moved at Warrnambool

It was an ordinary Autumn morning in Warrnambool, 7 April 1903, the Tuesday before Easter.  Children went off to school, businesses opened their doors, and ladies went out to do their shopping.

WARRNAMBOOL c1908. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386015

The steamer SS Flinders was docked at the breakwater and a monumental mason was working on a headstone at the Warrnambool Cemetery. An angler cast his line off the bridge close to the mouth of the Hopkins River while small boats dotted the water.

hopkins

FISHING AT THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/771584

Others, like George and Jane Rolfe of Lyndoch, still hadn’t emerged from their homes and at James Beeching’s Princess Alexandra Hotel, a man was asleep in one of the bedrooms.  As clocks ticked over to 8 minutes to 10:00am, a loud rumbling like cannons discharging, rang out across the town and then the ground began to shake.  It lasted around eight to ten seconds but seemed longer as houses rocked and tanks “oscillated” on their stands.  One of the crosses on St John’s Church (below) toppled and smashed through the slate roof.

ST. JOHN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WARRNAMBOOL c1903. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53807

Ink bottles at the police station spilt, chimneys fell and crockery smashed in homes and shops.  A tank on the roof of the Commercial Hotel split flooding the hotel, and the man sleeping at Beeching’s Hotel woke with a start when plaster fell from the roof.  Close to the Hopkins River, the bottles in the Anglers and Hopkins Hotels shook.  At Lyndoch, George and Jane Rolfe fell from their chairs and books dropped from the shelf onto Jane’s head.

LOOKING TOWARDS “LYNDOCH”, WARRNAMBOOL. Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386021

The fisherman on the Hopkins River bridge watched as a large wave rolled over the sandbar at the river’s mouth.  The small boats on the river shook so hard, those onboard feared their vessels would fall to pieces as the water around them seem to boil. Looking to the shore they were terrified at the sight of the river banks trembling.

LOOKING TOWARDS THE MOUTH OF THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62549

At the nearby cemetery, monuments fell, others swivelled on their bases and urns smashed to the ground. The box the monumental mason was standing on toppled and the frightened man clung to the large monument he was working on. The crew of the SS Flinders felt the steamer move and watched the breakwater tremble.

WARRNAMBOOL BREAKWATER c1890-1900 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/368096

There was an immediate reaction. People ran from homes and businesses in fear of their lives.  In Timor Street, a woman fainted.  Dogs were barking and horses were stirred-up.  At the Warrnambool State School, children rushed for the doors while others jumped out windows.  In the upstairs infant room, the quick thinking teacher Miss Evans closed the door to the room before the young children could stampede down the stairs.  Frightened children cried out for their mothers.

WARRNAMBOOL STATE SCHOOL c1906 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/336508

It was said that of the 7000 people of Warrnambool, 6500 were out in the streets.  Some experienced a giddy feeling, others were suffering headaches and nerves were on edge.

“THE EARTHQUAKE.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 9 April 1903: 6. Web. 24 Jun 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197906248

Damage was greatest in the low-lying areas of the town.  At the cemetery, the damage bill was estimated at £500.  The Bayview Hotel had seven bedrooms with plaster off the ceiling.  Closer to the centre of town, Mona cottage in Banyan Street was partially demolished. The floor of the Warrnambool Town Hall on the corner of Liebig and Timor Streets was littered with plaster as if the roof had lifted and rested down again and a gas pipe was also broken.

WARRNAMBOOL TOWN HALL Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64477

The earthquake wasn’t confined to Warrnambool.  At Samuel McDonald’s Russell’s Creek home, pictures fell to the floor and clocks stopped. At Koroit three distinct shocks were felt, scaring children and shaking crockery.  At Killarney, Framlingham, and Grassmere houses shook and bottles on shelves fell to the floor.  At Allansford, horses and cattle ran spooked in their paddocks.  Goods were thrown to the floor in a shop in Sackville Street, Port Fairy and as the Port Fairy Court House (below) shook, people ran into the street.  Around 11:00am (Victorian time) shocks were felt at Gladstone and Georgetown, north of Adelaide. 

PORT FAIRY COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233234

Those at Woodford also felt the shaking, enough to unearth ninety-four sovereigns buried under a tree.

“GOLD FINDING BY EARTHQUAKE.” Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954) 25 April 1903: 25. Web. 4 Jul 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169742657&gt;.

 As the weeks passed, repairs took place and life in Warrnambool returned to normal despite some uneasiness among residents

AERIAL VIEW OF WARRNAMBOOL c1928 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/20371

Winter arrived but that didn’t stop people getting out and about like on the evening of Tuesday 14 July 1903. There was a concert at the Christ Church Parish Hall in Koroit Street, a group of footballers were meeting at a South Warrnambool hotel, and a ball was in progress at the Oddfellows Hall next to the Ozone Hotel (below).

warrnambool

THE ODDFELLOWS HALL ON KOROIT STREET NEXT TO THE OZONE HOTEL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/20268

Closer to the river, at the Angler’s Hotel a daughter of the licensee Andrew Pyers was practising the piano and George and Jane Rolfe relaxed in a sitting room at Lyndoch.  Police Constable Trainor was on duty, patrolling near the beach. At around 8:28pm, singers at the concert in the  Parish Hall launched into the song, “Life’s Dream is O’er”.

WARRNAMBOOL CHRIST CHURCH PARISH HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234738

Just as they sang the lyrics, “Life’s long dream is o’er, life’s dream is o’er, farewell! farewell!”, a loud rumble rang. To George Rolfe, it sounded like a clap of thunder before an intense shock moved his house, again knocking books from the bookshelf.  Constable Trainor by the beach saw a strange light then felt a severe shock.  Back at the Parish Hall, there was a rush to the door with similar scenes at the Oddfellows Hall where plaster fell from the roof and walls. 

At the Anglers Hotel, a falling chimney dropped a large stone through the roof into the fireplace where Miss Pyers played and the lid of her piano slammed shut.  Andrew Pyers and his daughters were terrified as a barrel fell from its stand and rolled across the hotel floor and bottles fell from the shelves.

BRIDGE OVER THE HOPKINS RIVER LOOKING TOWARDS THE ANGLERS HOTEL . Image courtesy of the State Library of Victora http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386019

At St John’s Church, another three crosses each weighing more than 125 kilograms, fell from the roof. One landed thirty feet away from the church. Nine minarets on the northern wall were damaged.  Across the town, water tanks burst.  In Liebig Street, three chimneys fell at the Victoria Hotel and a large concrete ornament on the roof of Peter Hand’s tobacconist shop fell to the ground. Weighing over 100 kilograms, it just missed a man standing in the doorway.  Nearby, a plate-glass window at Alfred Emery’s drapery smashed and the store window of crockery importer John Villiers also smashed and undoubtedly some of his fragile stock.  

LIEBIG STREET WARRNAMBOOL INCLUDING THE STORE OF JOHN VILLIERS. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386010

The earthquake lasted only about four seconds but it was intense. As it occurred at night, the damage wasn’t obvious until morning.  Many of the buildings damaged in the first quake were again affected, such as the Commerical Hotel. The area around the Hopkins Valley from the mouth of the Hopkins River again saw the most damage.

AERIAL VIEW OF THE MOUTH OF THE HOPKINS RIVER c1928 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/20465

Curious holes formed near the mouth of the river.

hopkins

“THE EARTHQUAKE.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 16 July 1903

On the western bank. Proudfoot’s Boathouse sustained damage.

proudfoots

PROUDFOOT’S BOATHOUSE ON THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54159

George Rolfe’s Lyndoch and Reg Selby’s Clifton had cracks in the walls. There were two landslips on the river bank and a large hole formed between Lyndoch and the jetty. At the Hopkins Hotel, cracks repaired after the previous quake reopened and Mr Haberfield’s stone cottage sustained further damage.

hopkins1

LOOKING ALONG THE WESTERN BANK OF THE HOPKINS RIVER TOWARDS THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoira http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62680

A little further along the river, the cemetery was in ruins, with the damage more extensive than in April. The Argus of 16 July 1903 reported nearly every monument was either out of place, partially or totally destroyed.  Some had snapped at the base.

“THE EARTHQUAKE.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 16 July 1903: 5. Web. 6 Jul 2018 .

Further along, there was damage to John Ware’s home Weeripnong.

‘WEERIPNONG’ OVERLOOKING THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234656

Across Lady Bay, the suspension bridge over the Merri River was kinked and there was a crack in the breakwater.  In the CBD, the Warrnambool Town Hall stood up better than during the first earthquake, however, it was thought the wall facing Liebig Street would need rebuilding. Three clocks at the Post Office stopped at 8:27pm and plaster had fallen from the ceiling.

WARRNAMBOOL POST OFFICE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/304572

The two storey Ocean View Coffee Palace on the corner of Banyan and Merri Streets had extensive damage.  The north wall was knocked out and the western wall on Banyan Street was damaged near the foundations and the building was condemned by the council.  Mayville a stone cottage in Banyan street was badly damaged and Isabella Palmer’s house in Lava Street was a wreck.  The spire at St Josephs Catholic Church had twisted. The Geelong Advertiser of 16 July 1903 reported it was “out of plumb at a distance of twenty feet down from the summit.  The twist has thrown it three inches out”.

ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, WARRNAMBOOL. c1907 Image courtesy of the State ibrary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54604

The earthquake was once again felt across the Western District, including at Port Fairy where the shaking lasted fifteen seconds.  Port Fairy folk rushed into the streets, clocks stopped and crockery smashed.  At Illowa, the Mechanics Institute shook and at the Illowa Hotel, bottles fell.  At Ararat, Casterton and Clunes, windows rattled while at Cobden and Hexham there was concern among residents who felt their homes shake.  At Hawkesdale, the quake lasted eight seconds while at Penshurst, a rumbling like thunder was heard and a water tank split at Newfield near Port Campbell.

Other towns affected were Terang, Camperdown Hamilton, Portland, Allansford, Panmure, Purnim and Garvoc. Even at Ballarat, statues at the Mechanics Institute were shaken about 8:30pm, the fire station tower swayed and a hole appeared in Barkly Street.

Fortunately, there were no fatalities as a result of either earthquake.  There were some minor injuries and, not surprisingly, shock.  

After the April event residents were very uneasy.  That was not helped by the link made between the earthquake and the volcanic nature of the area.

“General news” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 18 April 1903: 24. Web. 13 Jul 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197943395&gt;.

After each of the earthquakes at Warrnambool, attention turned to Pietro Baracchi, the Government Astronomer.

PIETRO BARACCHI Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/792772

Baracchi was based at the Melbourne Observatory home to Victoria’s seismograph.

MELBOURNE OBSERVATORY Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/1724584

After the first quake, Baracchi developed the seismograph film but found only slight movement recorded at the observatory at 09:53:40, ninety seconds after it was felt in Warrnambool.  He didn’t have a lot more to offer.  He said there was no prior warning, however, the previous year had seen more tremors recorded than in any other year.  He put that down to a heightened awareness of earthquakes.  He thought investigating the damage may show more about the cause of the quake. 

TOWER HILL c1903 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53889

Baracchi’s explanation was not enough and people were demanding answers.  The Warrnambool Mayor invited Baracchi and the head of the Melbourne University Geology Department, Professor John Gregory to Warrnambool to conduct an investigation.  Baracchi declined the invitation saying he was busy at the observatory and it wasn’t his job.  His job was to describe the reading received at the Observatory but determining the cause was the work of Professor Gregory. 

Councillor Russell of the Warrnambool Borough Council said, “the scientific authorities had shown great lack of spirit in the matter and added that if they wanted to know anything about it, they should come of their own accord and not wait to be invited.” Councillor Price agreed, “The matter is of great interest not only to us but to the whole State.”(The Herald 15 April 1903)

Professor Gregory did take up the invitation and arrived in Warrnambool on Friday 17 April visiting those sites with the most damage.  He left town to analyse his findings and prepare a report but before his departure, he attempted to debunk the theories the earthquake was connected with Tower Hill.  He said if that were the case, the centre of the damage would have been around Koroit.

JOHN GREGORY “THE NEW PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY.” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 3 March 1900: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198523079&gt;.

Before the professor presented his report, the second earthquake occurred.  The Argus of 16 July reported on the Melbourne Observatory seismograph readings, “The record, which is made on sensitised paper, showed on development that the earth wave was southerly in its origin, and that, although the shock was somewhat severe for a few seconds it quickly died away. The instrument indicated that the shock was of almost double the intensity of that which passed through Melbourne on 7 April.” Pietro Baracchi wasted no time getting to Warrnambool to inspect the damage from the second quake. He examined the holes at the Hopkins River some claimed was a sign of volcanic activity.  He dismissed the suggestion, putting the occurrence down to closing fissures forcing up mud and sand 

LOOKING AWAY FROM THE MOUTH OF THE HOPKINS RIVER TOWARD THE CEMETERY IN THE DISTANCE Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/60534

Meanwhile, the day after the July earthquake Professor Gregory stated his earlier investigations had led him to believe the first earthquake was caused by a slip in the sea floor off the south-west coast and the second earthquake was likely to have occurred for the same reason.  He didn’t believe it was linked to volcanic activity.  The April 1903 earthquake measured magnitude 5.0 and the July 1903 earthquake measured 5.3.  In September 2015, a magnitude 4.8 quake was recorded in a similar location off the south-west coast as described by Professor Gregory, along with reports of windows rattling in Warrnambool.  The earthquake of 14 July 1903 remains Victoria’s most destructive earthquake with the April event not far behind.  The following photos from The Australasian are an example of the devastation.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Knowing about the 1903 Warrnambool earthquakes now gives me a greater appreciation of the older monuments in the Warrnambool Cemetery and the fact they still stand today.  

WARRNAMBOOL CEMETERY OVERLOOKING THE HOPKINS RIVER

SOURCES

Advocate – 25 April 1903

Bairnsdale Advertiser & Tambo & Omeo Chronicle – 9 April 1903

Border Watch – 11 April 1903

Camperdown Chronicle – 9 April 1903

Geelong Advertiser – 14 April 1903 

Geelong Advertiser – 8 April 190311 April 190316 July 1903

Hamilton Spectator – 9 April 1903

Leader – 11 April 190325 July 1903

Mount Alexander Mail – 9 April 1903

Portland Guardian – 17 July 1903

Punch – 23 July 1903

The Age – 7 April 19038 April 19039 April 190315 July 190316 July 1903

The Argus – 8 April 19039 April 190315 July 190316 July 190317 July 190318 July 190320 July 190313 October 1923

The Australasian- 9 May 190318 July 190325 July 1903

The Herald – 7 April 19038 April 190315 April 190315 July 1903

Weekly Times – 11 April 1903

Weekly Times – 25 July 1903

McCue, Kevin, Historical earthquakes in Victoria: A Revised List, Australian Earthquake Engineering Society

Passing of the Pioneers

This month seven pioneers join the Pioneers Obituary Index including a banker, a blacksmith, and a man who inadvertently shaped my family history.  As usual, I’ve included links to further information throughout the post so click on the underlined text to learn more.

CHIRNSIDE, Thomas – Died June 1887 at Werribee.  As much as I’d like to look at Thomas Chirnside’s life story in-depth, it would need more space than I can give in this post. There are so many interesting facets of his life such as the many properties he owned, his contribution to thoroughbred breeding and racing in colonial Victoria, and his association with the Victorian Acclimatization Society.  Instead, I’ll give you an overview of his life with links to further information and at the end.

THOMAS CHIRNSIDE (1874). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/153091

Thomas Chirnside was born in 1815 at Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland.  He left Scotland in 1838 and his first stop in Australia was at Adelaide in January 1839 before going on to Sydney.  His younger brother Andrew arrived in Melbourne later in 1839 so Thomas travelled to meet him. The brothers then went on to Sydney to buy stock to take overland to Adelaide to sell.  Thomas and Andrew then took up a run on the Loddon River in 1840, passed and named by Major Thomas Mitchell only four years before. From the Lodden, Thomas and Andrew followed the path of Mitchell again towards the Western District and in 1842 they found before them the highest peak in the Grampians named Mount William by Major Mitchell.

VIEW TOWARDS MOUNT WILLIAM

The land appealed to the brothers and they established a station named after the nearby peak.  It was not without its dangers.

“THE GAOL BREAKING CONVICTS.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1840 – 1845) 27 March 1843

The brothers ran Merino sheep and cattle at Mount William and a large woolshed (below) with twenty stands was built in 1865.

MOUNT WILLLIAM WOOLSHED BUILT c1865. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. B 71655/17 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+71655/17

Thomas and Andrew went on to buy Mokanger station on the Wannon River near Cavendish in 1843 and in the years after, acquired properties such as Mount Emu Creek and Carranballac near Skipton (below) and Kenilworth South and Victoria Lagoon near Cavendish.  By 1870 between them, they had acquired around 250,000 acres of land in Victoria.

CARRANBALLAC WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233898

The Chirnside name was soon connected with horse racing in the colony.  It’s amazing to think they were standing thoroughbred stallions at stud in 1845, but while it was the early days of racing in Victoria it was happening decades before in New South Wales and Tasmania.

“Advertising” The Melbourne Courier (Vic. : 1845 – 1846) 27 August 1845: 3. Web. 14 Jun 2018 .

The Chirnsides were soon racing their progeny and it was Mount William station bred Alice Hawthorn in the late 1850s who brought them their first notable success.  It appears Thomas was more interested in the breeding side of the business while Andrew was into racing, with many horses they bred raced in Andrew’s name including 1874  Melbourne Cup winner Haricot.

From 1849, Thomas began acquiring land at Wyndham, west of Melbourne and he soon built up an estate of 80,000 acres known as Werribee Park.  As a member of the Victorian Acclimatisation Society, Thomas began importing animals from the old country, red deer, foxes, hares, pheasants, and partridges. It wasn’t long before “fine old English gentleman” were hunting the new arrivals around the vast expanse of Werribee Park.

“MR. CHIRNSIDE AND THE CAMP AT WERRIBEE PARK. To the Editor of the Geelong Advertiser.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929) 16 March 1861: 3. Web. 17 Jun 2018 .

Although a homestead and outbuildings were built in the early days at Werribee Park, in 1873 work started on a beautiful mansion.

WERRIBEE MANSION c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/155659

Thomas lived at the mansion but in the years before his death, he moved to another of his properties, Point Cook where much of the Chirnsides’ thoroughbred breeding took place.

POINT COOK HOMESTEAD IN 1971. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169911

Thomas never married and as he reached old age in the 1880s, he signed all his property over to his brother and nephews except for Point Cook.  Thomas did return to live at Werribee Park and took his own life there in 1887.  He was buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

You can find more information about Thomas Chirnside on the following links

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Australasian

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Argus

Biography of Thomas Chirnside from the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Alice Hawthorn – The Western Mare

If it was not for Thomas Chirnside and his brother Andrew, my family history may have been very different.  From the 1850s, my ggg grandfathers Charles Hadden and James Mortimer were employed by the Chirnsides.  The Haddens came from Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland just thirty kilometres from Thomas Chirnside’s birthplace. Charles, his wife Agnes and three sons went straight from Melbourne to Mokanger after they arrived on the Marco Polo in September 1852.  They weren’t there long before they went east again to the Chirnside’s Carranballac Station where Margaret was born in 1853. Charles then thought he’d try his luck at the diggings but it wasn’t long before he was back working for the Chirnsides again but at Mount William Station where a daughter Ellen was born in 1861.  In 1863 they arrived back at Mokanger and son John was born there the following year.  After ten years, of moving they finally decided to settle there.

James Mortimer, his wife Rosanna and four children also arrived in Melbourne in September 1852 on the Bombay, and a daughter Mary was born the following year at Mount William Station. Around 1860, the Mortimers moved on to Mokanger.  James Mortimer was a ploughman and later an overseer and Charles Hadden a boundary rider at the Cavendish property.  The Hadden and Mortimer children grew up together and on 17 March 1870, William Hadden by then himself working at Mokanger, married Mary Mortimer at the property.  William was twenty-three and Mary just seventeen.  William continued working at Mokanger into his eighties and saw the property change hands from the Chirnsides.

McEWEN, Peter – Died 9 June 1902 at Hamilton.  Peter McEwen was born in Argyllshire, Scotland and arrived in Victoria in 1863.  He went first to Tullich station near Casterton owned by Miles Fletcher before becoming the manager of Argyle Station. In 1867, Peter took over the running of Dunrobin Station also near Casterton, holding the position of manager until his death.  In 1872, Peter married Jessie Fletcher and they had three sons and three daughters.

In 1901, the Casterton Caledonian Society was formed and Peter was the inaugural chief of the society.  A kind and charitable man, the respect for him was demonstrated when people from across the district attended his funeral to pay their respects.  More than seventy buggies along with horsemen followed the cortège which travelled from Dunrobin station to Casterton reaching a length of almost a kilometre as seen in the photo below.  You can read an article about the funeral on the link – Funeral of Peter McEwen.

THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF PETER McEWEN MOVING ALONG RACECOURSE ROAD, CASTERTON ON 11 JUNE 1902. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/774845

HELPMAN, Walter Stephen – Died 24 June 1914 at Warrnambool.  Walter Helpman was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, a son of Captain Benjamin Helpman and Ann Pace, a sister of Mrs Jane Henty. The Helpmans moved to Victoria and settled in Warrnambool.  Walter attended school in Portland before going to a grammar school in South Melbourne.  In 1869, he joined the National Bank at Warrnambool before moving to the Geelong branch as an accountant.  In 1875, he became manager of the Colonial Bank at Koroit and in 1876, started a branch at Port Fairy. In 1877, Walter became the manager of the Warrnambool branch of the Colonial Bank and he married Isabella Murray in the same year. The first of Isabella and Walter’s children was Francis born in Warrnambool in 1878. Then followed twins Isabella Jean and James in 1881 and Gordon born in 1884.

Walter left the Colonial Bank in 1902 and the Helpmans left Warrnambool. Walter had a job as a clerk with the Customs Department in Melbourne and he and Isabella moved to 547 Collins Street, Melbourne, the location of the Federal Hotel.

FEDERAL HOTEL, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/247026

In 1907, Isabella and Walter’s son James married May Gardiner at Millicent, South Australia.  A son Robert known as “Bobbie”, was born to James and May at Mt Gambier in 1909.  Walter and Isabella returned to Warrnambool around 1912, but two years later Walter died.  Isabella died at Warrnambool in 1924.  Their grandson “Bobbie” grew up to become Sir Robert Helpman.

ILLINGWORTH, John – Died 11 June 1915 at Casterton.  John was born in Lancashire, England in 1835 and went to London to take up an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and wheelwright.  On completion, he travelled to Dublin, Ireland and while there, he and friend decided to travel to Australia.  They arrived in 1860 and John spent time in Melbourne and Castlemaine before moving on to Ballarat where he remained for twenty years. There he married Sarah Jane Culliford in 1867.  In 1882, John and his family arrived in Casterton and settled on Toorak Hill.  John purchased the blacksmith and wheelwright business of Alexander McBean.

JOHN ILLINGWORTH’S CARRIAGE FACTORY AND BLACKSMITHS, CASTERTON c1906. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766354

“Advertising” Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954) 7 March 1903: 32. Web. 18 Jun 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169741611&gt;.

In the same year, John also purchased the Temperance Boarding House in Henty Street, Casterton. 

Away from work, John attended the Casterton Methodist Church and was a trustee and circuit steward as well as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent.  John was also a member of the Glenelg Lodge of Freemasons. At the time of his death, John left his widow Sarah and two sons and two daughters.

CASTERTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1880. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766563

HICKLING, Wyatt Ware – Died 19 June 1916 at Macarthur.  Wyatt Hickling was born in  Warrnambool around 1876.  As a child, he was sent to Dresden, Germany for two years to attend an English school.  On his return, Wyatt attended Geelong Grammar before going to St Peter’s College in Adelaide.  After his schooling, Wyatt went to work for Mr Henry De Little at Caramut North Estate before managing a property in Western Australia. On his return to Victoria, Wyatt became a partner of Caramut North.  He was known throughout Victoria as a good judge of merino sheep and was often called upon to judge at sheep shows.  He was involved with racing, coursing and the arts, taking the lead role in a number of local productions. In 1900, Wyatt married Tessa Ada Ferguson of Adelaide and they had two sons.

On Wednesday 31 May 1916, Wyatt was travelling in a motor car near Macarthur with Mr N. Whitehead when they crashed into a large rock.  Wyatt was thrown from the car and severely injured his spine at the base of his skull.  When help arrived he was unconscious and taken to the nearby Ripponhurst homestead.  Doctors were called from Hamilton and Warrnambool before two doctors from  Melbourne travelled to Macarthur to asses Wyatt’s injuries.  He showed a slight improvement but never regained consciousness and died nineteen days after the accident on 19 June.

DAVIDSON, William – Died June 1917 at Woolsthorpe.  William Davidson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1832.  He married Eliza Ogilvie in 1854 and they travelled to Australia, arriving at Port Fairy in 1855.  William went to work for Joseph Ware at Minjah before opening a store at Woolsthorpe. His store was located on what was known as the Great North Road from Warrnambool to the Ararat diggings.  It was a busy road and Woolsthorpe was a popular overnight stop for travellers. They often stocked up at William’s store and he was known to take up to £100 a day.  William left the store and took up dairy-farming continuing until he suffered a stroke around 1905.  William was well-known in the Woolsthorpe district by his nickname of “The Chaffer” because of his tendency to tease.  Eliza died around 1914 and William lived on for another three years. He left twelve surviving children, forty-three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

THOMSON, Annie – Died 14 June 1930 at Hamilton.  Annie Thomson was born in 1855 in the Shelford district were her parents James Thomson and Christian Armstrong were living at the time.  Around 1860, the Thomsons moved to the Edenhope district after James purchased an interest in the Ullswater and Maryvale Stations.  In 1870, James Thomson purchased the Monivae estate, just south of Hamilton.  In time, Annie’s father built a new homestead to accommodate his large family and she spent around seven years living there prior to her marriage.

MONIVAE HOMESTEAD OPEN DAY 2017.

When she did marry, Annie was thirty but it could have been earlier.  In 1881, her beau James Allan Learmonth, a son of Hamilton businessman and grazier Peter Learmonth and Mary Jarvey Pearson of Prestonholme left for Mexico to manage a property bought by his father.  Five years passed yet Allan and Annie’s love remained strong and in 1886, Allan returned from Mexico to marry her.  The wedding was a large social occasion and sparked much interest within the Hamilton community.  Celebrated on 1 September 1886, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hamilton, the marriage was not followed by the usual wedding breakfast.  Instead, two weeks later James Thomson hosted a private ball for two hundred guests in the Hamilton Town Hall for the newlyweds in lieu of a wedding breakfast.   

Soon after, Allan and Annie left for Mexico and they remained there until 1892, arriving back in Australia with four children, all born in Mexico.  Allan then took up the running of Corea near Dunkeld. The following year, Peter Learmonth died and Allan took over Prestonholme.  Allan died in 1928 and Annie in 1930, leaving three sons and three daughters.  She was buried with Allan at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

GRAVE OF ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

Annie’s parents James and Christina Thomson were to the Hamilton Presbyterian Church as James’ parents Peter and Mary Learmonth were to the Methodist Church, each devout supporters of their chosen faith. Of course, when Annie married James she moved to Methodism and she and James showed the same devotion to their faith as their parents before them.  After Annie’s death, a stained glass window was installed in Hamilton’s Methodist Church (now Uniting Church) to memorialise the couple.

MEMORIAL WINDOW FOR ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON UNITING CHURCH (FORMERLY HAMILTON METHODIST CHURCH)

2019 VAFHO Expo in Hamilton

Great news for family history researchers living in Western Victoria and the South-East of South Australia.  The 2019 VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisation) Expo will be held in Hamilton on Saturday 1 June 2019.

HAMILTON FROM THE AIR IN 1927.
Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/177671

I’m excited because we rarely get such events in the west of the state and Hamilton is pretty much the centre of my family history universe. Plus, the expo will be held at my old school Monivae College, a great venue for such an event.

MONIVAE COLLEGE, HAMILTON

There will be guest speakers, exhibitors and more.  I attended the VAFHO 2013 conference in Ballarat and it was a well-run event with great speakers.  To get a feel for the range of speakers, topics and exhibitors that may attend the 2019 Expo, follow the link to the program from the 2018 Expo at Sale https://vafho.com/2018-sale-expo/  Of course, the program will be different at Hamilton and I’ll keep you updated on who’ll be there as we move closer to the date.  I can’t wait…

Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to a double Passing of the Pioneers covering April and May. You’ll find eleven obituaries of Western District pioneers and as always there are some great characters and stories. They include a butcher, a brewer, publicans, and a teacher of young ladies and they have connections to such towns as Camperdown, Coleraine, Branxholme and Byaduk. Remember if you click on the underlined text, you will go to further information about a subject.  This month, some of the links will take you to newspaper articles, cemetery records and the Victorian Heritage Database.

APRIL

McLEOD, John Norman – Died 18 April 1886 at Tyrendarra.  John McLeod arrived at Port Phillip from Tasmania in 1843 aboard the Tamar. He then went on to New South Wales and married Agnes Paterson on 20 August 1844 at Port Macquarie. The newlyweds returned to Port Phillip and John took up Borhoneyghurk station west of Geelong.  Their first child, a daughter was born at Geelong in 1845.

“PORT PHILLIP” The Melbourne Daily News (Vic. : 1848 – 1851) 14 February 1849: 4. Web. 14 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226471840&gt;.

John then took up runs further west in 1850, Tahara and Winninburn located on either side of the Wannon River.  In 1853, he sold the Tahara run and purchased land at Bolwarra near Portland where he built Maretimo (below).

MARETIMO, PORTLAND c1895 Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/266298

John continued to acquire property purchasing Castlemaddie at Tyrendarra and Mt Clay Station near Heywood. On 5 April 1865, he set off to Western Australia from Portland aboard the barque Douglas with five other locals including his brother Magnus. They took 1200 head of sheep, cattle, hay and more, in an expedition to establish grazing interests in there. By 1866, he had returned.  John sold Maretimo in 1873 and based himself at Castlemaddie.   During his life, John was a Magistrate and sat as the Portland representative in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1858.  After John’s death, a stained glass window was installed at St James Church, Tyrendarra in his memory.

CUE, George – Died 22 April 1897 at Casterton.  George Cue was born around 1813.  As a young man, he was a midshipman aboard the HMAS Lapwing with his uncle, Sir Thomas Ross as captain.  George then married Maria Theresa Collins and they travelled to America but returned again to London before choosing to travel to Australia.  They arrived at Melbourne aboard the Royal George in November 1850 with their five children.  During the 1850s George Cue and his family moved to Casterton when he was appointed Clerk of Courts.  He also held the role of Lands Officer and in 1872 he was appointed the Receiver of Revenue for the Casterton district.  Maria died in 1883 and George’s eldest son Thomas Cue left for Western Australia where he discovered the Cue goldfields in the early 1890s.  George was eighty-four at the time of his death in 1897 and was buried at the Sandford Cemetery.

WIGGINS, William Henry – Died April 1902 at Camperdown.  William Wiggins was born in Launceston, Tasmania around 1841 and arrived in Victoria as a child with his parents who settled at Portland. When William was older he moved to the Geelong district and completed a carpentry apprenticeship.  In 1863, he and his brother John took up the licence of the Mount Shadwell Hotel at Mortlake. John had earlier hotel experience having purchased the Buck’s Head Hotel at Drysdale with another brother James during the 1850s.  In 1865, John Wiggins purchased the Leura Hotel at Camperdown (below), and William became the manager.

WIGGINS’ LEURA HOTEL, CAMPERDOWN. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/337215

William was a fan of the arts as a member of the Camperdown Dramatic Club but he was also a keen sportsman.  He was a founder of the cricket club and was captain for a time.  He was also a leading player for the Camperdown Football Club and participated in coursing, angling and shooting.  It appears William never married.

BROWN, Thomas – Died 27 April 1903 at Hamilton. Thomas Brown was born in Paisley, Scotland around 1844.  In 1862 at the age of eighteen, Thomas arrived in Victoria with his parents Peter Brown and Margaret McFarlane.  Thomas and his brothers started a butchering business which included a tannery and fellmongery. In 1864, Thomas opened his own shop in Thompson Street next to the Commercial Hotel.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 22 April 1864: 3. Web. 20 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194723938&gt;.

In 1867, Thomas married Mary Ann Cameron and their large family began the following year.  By 1888, Thomas had moved his butcher shop into Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street.

THOMAS BROWN’S BUTCHER SHOP Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR).

Outside of business, Thomas was an elder of the Presbyterian Church and superintendent of the Sunday School.  He was associated with the temperance movement as a member of the Sons of Temperance and sat on the Hamilton Hospital committee. He was a charitable man as indicated by his obituary, “The poor of the town have lost a friend”.  Thomas left his widow, Mary Ann and seven children. Three children predeceased him.  Mary Ann died in 1928 at her home Weeroona in McIntyre Street, Hamilton.

CROUCH, Emma – Died 11 April 1904 at Ballarat.  Emma Crouch was born in 1832 in England.  Emma’s brother George left for Australia and her sister Matilda married and moved to the United States where she had three children.  In 1865, Matilda died in California and her children, Kate and Arthur McCann and their younger half-sister Eustasia de Arrayave, travelled to England to live with Emma at Roxeth near Harrow, London. The following year, Emma with Kate, Arthur and Eustasia boarded the Great Britain for Melbourne arriving on 26 December 1866.  They then caught the steamer S.S. Edina to Portland to join Emma’s brother George.  Emma established a Ladies School in Hurd Street, Portland and the Portland Girls Friendly Society. She was also an active member of the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 5 September 1876: 3 (EVENINGS.). Web. 20 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63336246&gt;.

Emma’s niece Kate married James William Trangmar in 1876 and moved to Coleraine and in time, Emma moved also moved to Coleraine.  She was also active in that community, entering flower shows and Coleraine Industrial Exhibition in 1894, winning first prize with her tortoiseshell cat.  Emma also set up a school for girls in Coleraine around 1880 and was an active member of the Holy Trinity Church congregation.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 October 1881: 3. Web. 20 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226059479&gt;.

In 1904, Emma fell sick after her return to Coleraine from summer holidays in Portland. To convalesce, Emma travelled with her niece Eustasia to niece Kate’s home in Ballarat but she died on 11 April 1904. Her body was taken by train to Portland and a service was held at St Stephen’s Church before her burial at the Portland Cemetery.  On 20 December 1904, a stained glass window was dedicated to the memory of Emma at the Holy Trinity Church, Coleraine (below).

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

REID, Mary – Died 1 April 1912 at Branxholme.  Mary Reid was born around 1819 in Scotland.  She married Thomas Begg and they started a family.  In 1855, Mary, Thomas and their children left for South Australia on the Nashwauk.  After three months at sea, the ship crashed into the coast at the mouth of the Onkaparinga River near Noarlunga just south of Adelaide. Fortunately, the Begg family were rescued safely but they lost all their belongings. Thomas left Mary and the children in Adelaide and went to the Bendigo diggings for around fifteen months but returned no richer for his efforts.   Around 1865, Thomas selected land near Branxholme naming the property Fontus.  Thomas died in 1895 so Mary moved to the home of her daughter Agnes and her husband William Gough at Royston, Branxholme (below).  Mary remained there until her death in 1912.

ROYSTON, BRANXHOLME. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/215598

MAY

CAMERON, Donald – Died 5 May 1879 at Portland.  Donald Cameron was born around 1810 in Scotland and arrived in Victoria after travelling overland from Sydney in 1835.  He took up the Glenroy Station at Moonee Ponds in partnership with a relative Duncan Cameron.  Donald heard of the good prospects at the Portland Bay settlement and decided to see for himself.  He arrived just in time for the first crown land sales in October 1840.  He purchased a block opposite where Mac’s Hotel now stands and built the Portland Bay Hotel (below).

THE PORTLAND BAY HOTEL. The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 – 1889) 17 December 1884: 197. Web. 30 May 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60620119

While the hotel business made Donald a wealthy man, his obituary alluded to an early land purchase near Harrow of £200 which brought him a profit of between £20,000 and £30,000 when he sold the property soon after buying it. From the profits, Donald bought the Oakbank estate of more than 6000 acres near Heywood in the early 1850s. He built a large homestead (below).

OAKBANK HOMESTEAD Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 8 September 1906: 6 (“THE LEADER ” ILLUSTRATED SHOW SUPPLEMENT.). Web. 28 May 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198136017

Donald then purchased the larger Hilgay near Coleraine around 1859. He married Eleanor Mary Jane Hughes on 7 April 1863 at St Mary’s Church, St Kilda and they resided at Oakbank.  Donald took an interest in politics and contributed large sums of money toward electioneering.  In May 1879, Donald travelled to Portland and took a room at Mac’s Hotel. He developed inflammation of the lungs and died at the hotel on 5 May.  His widow Eleanor died the following year on 21 June at the age of sixty-one. They had no children.

WINTER, Arbella – Died 1 May 1892 at Condah.  Arbella Winter was born at around 1821.  She arrived in Tasmania around 1839 with her brother George Winter.  During the voyage, she met fellow passenger Cecil Cooke.  Just a month after they disembarked at Launceston, Cecil and Arbella married at St John’s Church, Launceston.

“Family Notices” Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846) 23 May 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016.

Soon after, the newlyweds boarded a schooner for Victoria arriving at Portland Bay on 10 July 1839 to join Arbella’s brother Samuel Pratt Winter already in the Western District in the vicinity of the Wannon River.  Cecil travelled with his own accommodation, having brought a hut from England which he erected at Portland.  Soon after, Cecil took up a run on the Smokey River, or Crawford River as it more commonly known.  In 1842, a daughter Emily was born but she died the following year. The couple would go on to have five sons. 

Cecil was finding pioneering life tough and things were not going to plan so he went further north to Harrow in 1845 and set up the Pine Hills estate. More bad luck came when a fire went through the property in 1846.  By 1849, Cecil had sold Pine Hills to David Edgar.  He then bought Lake Condah station (below).

LAKE CONDAH HOMESTEAD c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334482

Arbella was very close to her brother Samuel and from the early 1870s, Arbella and her family spent more time at his property Murndal near Tahara upon Samuel’s insistence. Samuel died in 1878 and Arbella and Cecil’s son Samuel Winter Cooke inherited Murndal. Another son, Cyril Trevor Cooke became Murndal manager from 1883.

MURNDAL c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334528

Arbella died on 1 May 1892 at the age of seventy-one. Arbella was buried at the private cemetery at Murndal.  Arbella was a strong woman and contrasting in character to the genial Cecil.  Gordon Forth, in his paper “The Winter Cooke Papers: a valuable record of the pastoral age in Western Victoria”. (La Trobe Library Journal. 7.25 1980-04. 1-8), wrote she was “dogmatic and critical to the end”.

ARBELLA WINTER, c1864 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334479

As a symbol of devotion to his wife and her Christian values, Cecil had a church built in her memory at Spring Creek (below) near Condah with the foundation stone laid on 24 March 1894.  Cecil Cooke died in 1895.

SPRING CREEK CHURCH NEAR CONDAH. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233693

SLOANE, Thomas – Died 22 May 1910 at Hamilton.  Thomas Sloane was born in Belfast, Ireland around 1835 and arrived at Portland when he was seventeen with his parents and three younger brothers.  Thomas’ grandfather had already arrived in Victoria and was farming near Tower Hill so Thomas went to work for him.  At the time, Victoria was in the midst of the gold rush and Thomas’ four uncles were going to the Bendigo diggings so he joined them.  He was there only six months and although having some luck he moved on to the new diggings at Mount Ararat around late 1855.  It was at Ararat he met his future wife Susan Sloan and they married in 1856.

Thomas set up a soda water business and ran that until 1867 before he and Susan moved to Portland.  Using the money acquired at the diggings, Thomas built a soda water factory, the White Horse Brewery and a bakery.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 29 March 1866: 1 (EVENING). Web. 29 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64636152&gt;.

He sat on the Portland Council for six years and was a member of the local artillery.

Trade was tough and the Sloans moved to Hamilton in 1873 where they saw greater opportunities. Thomas took a position with brewers Younger and Hunter at the Grange Brewery.  After two years, Thomas bought out the owners.  He also purchased the North Hamilton Brewery in Pope Street from his brothers James and Robert.  In 1882, Thomas had a timber building constructed in Cox Street, Hamilton for a cordial factory.

Thomas was a member of the Portland Brass Band as a drummer and when he moved to Hamilton wasted no time in joining the band in that town.  The band practised in the local Lands Office but when it was no longer available to them, Thomas offered his cordial factory as a rehearsal room at no cost.  The band went on to rehearse there for many years.  Later, Thomas took up lawn bowling and had great success at the sport.  He was also a member of the Princess Alice Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows.  The Sloans lived at Whinhill  (below) in Pope Street. When Thomas died in Hamilton in 1910, Susan was still living as were three sons and four daughters.  Four children pre-deceased him.

WHINHILL, THE HOME OF THE SLOAN FAMILY, POPE STREET, HAMILTON.

CHRISTIE, Alexander – Died 4 May 1914 at Hamilton.  Alexander Christie was born at Garvald, East Lothian, Scotland around 1827.  He arrived in Melbourne in 1852 and worked as a joiner and the following year, he married Janet Fortune. On 18 March 1854, Janet died at St Kilda aged twenty-two. Alexander’s obituary mentioned Janet had died from sunstroke. It also mentioned another marriage after Janet but he again became a widower.

In 1864, Alexander joined his brothers John, Richard, and Peter and selected land at Byaduk. The brothers soon became known for their success in their pastoral pursuits and specialised in breeding Lincoln sheep.  Alexander was on the board of the Dundas Shire from 1872 until 1890 and was President in 1878, 1885 and 1889 (Dundas (Vic. : Shire). Council Dundas Shire Centenary, 1863-1963. Hamilton Spectator for the Dundas Shire Council, [Hamilton], 1963).  Alexander was also a Justice of the Peace, Magistrate and a trustee of the Byaduk North Cemetery. On 14 May 1885,  Alexander married Euphemia Forsyth and in time they moved into South Hamilton just off Digby Road.  Alexander died in 1914 and was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

CRIDLAND, Alice – Died 16 May 1920 at Purrumbete.  Alice Cridland was born in New Zealand around 1866. On 6 August 1886, she married Australian William Thomson Manifold from Purrumbete, Victoria. The wedding was held at St Mary’s Church, Papanui in Christchurch, New Zealand.  After the reception which included a six-tier wedding cake, the newlyweds set off on their honeymoon first to the North Island of New Zealand and then on to Europe.  William took Alice back to the Western District and the home he inherited from his father John’s estate, the Purrumbete Homestead with 10,000 acres. A son, John (below with Alice) was born in 1888.  The couple had a further two sons and two daughters.

ALICE MANIFOLD (nee CRIDLAND) WITH HER SON JOHN MANIFOLD c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167588503

Alice was very active in the local community.  She was a supporter of St Paul’s Church and Sunday School and Matron of the St Paul’s Boys’ Club. She also supported the local grammar school and the Weerite School.

ALICE MANIFOLD (nee CRIDLAND) FRONT LEFT c1890. ALSO IDENTIFIED IS JANE MACKINNON, WIFE OF DANIEL MACKINNON OF MARIDAYALLOCK, TERANG STANDING BEHIND ALICE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85387

During WW1 Alice was active with the Red Cross and other patriotic groups, but she also saw three sons go to war with one not returning.  Edward, John, and William all enlisted with the British Military. Lieutenant William Herbert Manifold was killed on 28 April 1917 in France while with the Royal Field Artillery. He was twenty-seven.  Just over three years to the day of William’s death, Alice died at the age of fifty-four.  She was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.

Seven Years

Today is a special day because it’s Western District Families’ seventh birthday.  I routinely post on 12 April each year to mark the occasion but this year I didn’t know how I could make this year’s post any different from the past six birthday posts.  Since I’ve been busy finishing more biographies for Hamilton’s WW1 before Anzac Day, I even considered if I would post at all.  But it’s because of Western District Families I find myself writing those biographies which I find most rewarding.  Therefore, I should not only acknowledge Western District Families today but also thank you for supporting me through the past seven years.  I know some of you have been readers almost since the beginning. 

Another reason to write a post today was that I needed to thank Laura Hedgecock and the GeneaBloggersTRIBE for recognising Western District Families’ “blogiversary”.  You can read Laura’s post especially for Western District Families’ 7th Blogiversary on the link – http://geneabloggerstribe.com/happy-blogiversary-to-western-district-families/

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s Women’s History Month and the Passing of the Pioneers of March 2017 featured only women.  Unfortunately, since there are many more newspaper obituaries for men than women, I wasn’t able to keep it up this year.  This March there are eight pioneers with half of them women.  As I find often, the pioneers had things in common. Two of the male pioneers were struck by gold fever in the early 1850s as was the husband of one of the female pioneers.  One lived in a house built by another of the featured pioneers, and two pioneers operated hotels.  If you click on any of the underlined text throughout the post, you will go to further information about a person or subject.

VIALLS, EdmundDied 19 March 1879 at Hamilton.  Edmund Vialls was born in London around 1848.  He studied medicine and did his residency at Poplar Hospital, London.  In 1867, he won the medicinal and surgical gold medals for his work.  Edmund arrived in Victoria in 1870 and by 1872, he was in Richmond at the Melbourne Hospital.  He was appointed surgeon at the Hamilton Hospital but he also set up a private practice.  He engaged Hamilton builders William Holden (see below) and William Dunn in 1876 to build a home and surgery at the corner of Gray and Kennedy Streets,  Hamilton (below) and soon had a thriving practice at the building known as Hewlett House, Hewlett being the maiden name of Edmund’s mother Elizabeth.

HEWLETT HOUSE, HAMILTON

Edmund was also the medical attendant for the Hamilton branches of the Foresters, Hibernian and Oddfellows societies. At the age of thirty-one, Edmund died from epilepsy and congestion of the brain.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF EDMUND VIALLS

QUIGLEY, John – Died 31 March 1898 at Wannon.  John Quigley was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1819.  In 1841, John a surveyor by trade left Ireland for Australia, via Plymouth, England. Arriving at Plymouth, John went to the immigrant depot finding, 

…600 other emigrants were not being fairly treated in the matter of rations, and made it his business to communicate to the commissioner, a Mr James, in London, who personally enquired. into the matter and set it right. Shortly afterwards, notwithstanding that the head scrang of the depot had given orders for the fiery young Irishman not to be admitted there, he found that the immigrants had been mulcted to the extent of 10s 6d per head, kept back from them by the agents. Once more he communicated with Mr. James, who hurried down to Plymouth with £300 in cash wherewith to recoup the defrauded ones. This so annoyed the master of the depot that he took more stringent steps to prohibit Mr.Quigley’s entrance to the place, with the consequence, that he was sued for a breach of the regulations and ordered to pay £15 damages with costs. Mr Quigiey was congratulated by Mr. James on his determination of character, which, subsequently, stood him in good stead, and, needless to add, made him very popular with the six hundred. These, engaging a band, marched through the streets of Plymouth with young Quigley and a companion, McCluskie, at their head, in celebration of the victories he had won for them.  (Hamilton Spectator, 2 April 1898)

Once in Melbourne, John sought work with horses and was employed by Messrs Solomon at Saltwater River Station.  Today Flemington Racecourse stands on land once part of the station which extended as far as Keilor.  After two years working for the Solomons, John decided to go out on his own. He had two failed attempts in the Murray Region and at Kilmore before meeting Acheson Ffrench of Monivae Station, south of the present Hamilton, who offered him a position.  However, John received a better offer at the neighbouring Grange Burn Station arriving during December 1846.  John was in charge of 600 head of cattle at the station where the main homestead was located near what is now Prestonholme HomesteadIn 1848, John married Winifred Tracy.

In 1851, many in the west of the colony were travelling east to the newly discovered goldfields and John joined them.  He went to Fryer’s Creek, south of Castlemaine where gold was discovered around October 1851.  Life on the diggings wasn’t for John and he returned to Hamilton in 1853. But that time, the first township blocks were for sale. John managed to buy the first lot offered on the site of the Bank of Victoria, for the £50 and was Hamilton’s first ratepayer. John also bought the first farm offered in the district, sixty-six acres across the creek from Peter Learmonth at Prestonholme.  Another first, John was reportedly the first man to win a steeplechase in the district held on the flat near the Digby Road bridge at Hamilton.

In 1854,  John purchased the Wannon Inn on the Wannon River at Redruth near the Wannon Falls. His licence was granted in 1855 and John set about improving the business.  

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 5 October 1854: 1 (EVENING). Web. 16 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571022&gt;.

In 1860, he sold the Inn for £4,000 and acquired 5000 acres at the Wannon which became the Falls View Estate.

WANNON FALLS c1860s Photographer Thomas Washbourne. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/361595

 The photo below was taken very close to the northern border of John’s property.

VIEW TOWARD WANNON FALLS

“REDRUTH.” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 31 August 1861: 2. Web. 13 Mar 2018.

John also bought the Bochara Estate and selected land on the Merri Creek near Warrnambool among other places.  He was often asked to enter politics but he liked to keep his political interests at a local level and was one of the first men on the Dundas Roads Board in 1858. It later became the Dundas Shire Council and John was President from 1863 to 1866. By 1870, John was feeling the strain of overextending himself financially.  He retired from public life and lived out his life quietly at the Wannon until his death in 1898. John was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

KILPATRICK, Ann – Died March 1903 at Sandford.  Ann Kilpatrick was born around 1826 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She married John Grant and they left for Victoria arriving in 1841 aboard the Grindlay. With a man named William Murray, John and Ann headed west.  John first found work at the property of the Whyte brothers near Coleraine before moving on to the Henty’s Merino Downs. The Grants then took up a run near Penola, South Australia where two children were born, however, by the early 1850s, John was off to the diggings. On his return, the Grants sold up at  Penola and they bought the Woodford Inn at Dartmoor by 1853.  They stayed there for around three years and in that time another son was born. 

In 1856, the Grants purchased land at Sandford and built the Caledonian Union Hotel in the town and operated it from 1857.  It was considered a pretentious building considering the size of the town. A fire broke out at the hotel in 1871, damaging the second storey of the building.  The Grants rebuilt but did not reinstate the second storey.

THE CALEDONIAN UNION HOTEL, SANDFORD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234008

After John Grant died in 1879, Ann continued operating the hotel up until her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

HOLDEN, William – Died 18 March 1910 at Hamilton. William Holden was born at New Brighton, Lancashire in 1832.  He arrived at Adelaide in 1852 and headed east to the Victorian diggings.  After some time in search of gold, he returned to Adelaide but was back in Victoria by 1860. On 19 May 1863, William started out from Dunkeld to travel to Hamilton, the place he would finally settle after ten years of a nomadic life. He left Dunkeld at 11.30am and arrived in Hamilton at 7.30pm.  He found the people of the town out in the streets celebrating the marriage of the Prince of Wales. 

A mason by trade, William got work on a new stone Post Office in Gray Street built in the year of his arrival and then worked on a two storey bluestone building in Kennedy Street for use as a grain store.  In time, it became Hamilton’s Temperance Hall. It is seen to the left of the photo below.

KENNEDY STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

In the 1870s, William entered a partnership with builder William Dunn and together they set about “building” Hamilton. They built some of Hamilton’s grandest buildings, most still standing today. They included the banks, the Bank of Australasia, Bank of Victoria and Colonial Bank, and the residences of doctors including Hewlett House and  Roxburgh HouseThere was also the Hamilton Academy completed in 1875, the St Mary’s Hall in Lonsdale Street and the Hamilton goal.  In addition, they built several shops in the CBD of Hamilton including a strip of shops running from the corner of Gray and Thompson streets.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In 1876, William married Elizabeth Pearson, a daughter of William Pearson and Ann Routledge. John and his family were part of the Hamilton Baptist Church congregation with the devotion to his faith in the naming of his first son, William Joseph Baptist Holden.  William Jr was born on 17 April 1977 at Brighton Cottage, in Lonsdale Street, Hamilton.  The property is now known as Tavistock.  In 1887, Ralph the two-month-old son of William and Elizabeth died and in 1891, Thomas aged two weeks died. The two boys are buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery below.   

GRAVE OF THE CHILDREN OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH HOLDEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

William later had a business in Thompson Street operating as a bakery, grocer and chaff merchant.  He retired from work around 1895 and in 1901, he put up for sale a house on the corner of Lonsdale and McIntyre Street and his shop in Thompson Street up for sale.   In 1905, Elizabeth died at fifty-seven.   

William, a democratic man, was interested in politics and the development of the political parties.  He was keen to know the winner of the 1910 Federal election but died before there was a result.  William died on 18 March 1910 leaving a family of five sons and one daughter.  He was buried with Elizabeth at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  William’s home Brighton Cottage was sold in August 1910.

HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH HOLDEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

WHITTAKER, Eliza – Died 13 March 1918 at Warrabkook. Eliza Whittaker was born in Ireland around 1823, a daughter of a Battle of Waterloo soldier. The Whittaker family moved to Somersetshire, England where Eliza met Samuel Trigger.  The couple had one child Emily in Somersetshire before moving to Ball Street Avening, Gloucestershire (1851 UK Census) where Christina was born.  Samuel was working as a miller but after the birth of a third child, the family boarded the Eliza sailing to Australia. By then there was also a baby Henry. 

The Triggers arrived at Portland on 9 April 1853 and made their way to Mount Taurus, north of Warrnambool. Eliza had a further five children, including twins at Penshurst in 1858.  Samuel selected land near Macarthur in the early 1860s and they moved to the area. In 1863, baby Mary Ann died at Macarthur.  After more than seventy years together, on 6 March 1918, the partnership ended when Eliza died at the age of ninety-seven. Just three weeks later, Samuel also died aged ninety-eight.  At the time of their deaths, the Triggers had four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren still living.

“A VENERABLE COUPLE.” Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015.

BOWKER, John Thomas – Died 23 March 1928 at Princetown.  John Bowker was born in King Street, Melbourne around 1848.  During the 1860s, John went to the Camperdown district.

In the late 1860s, and while still a young man, John was part of the founding committee member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Pastoral and Agricultural Society. After an inaugural P&A Show at Camperdown, it was decided a new showground site was needed. There were two sites on offer and John was among those who pushed for the selected site, mainly due to the picturesque views it offered.

CAMPERDOWN SHOWGROUND. Image courtesy of the State Library or Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386059

…for situation and the beauty of its surrounding, the Camperdown showground is unequalled in the colony. In its natural state, it is a beautiful spot, with the green slopes of Mount Leura and its more stately companion. Sugarloaf, rising up immediately behind it; whilst northwards is the township, looking prettier in the distance with its grass clothed streets, and its incomparable avenue of trees now almost in their complete spring attire: beyond the town, Lake Culongulac from the shores of which spread away to Mount Elephant and other distant hills, the verdure-clad plains. (Camperdown Chronicle, 25 October 1884 )

CAMPERDOWN SHOWGROUND. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

In February 1874, John married Eliza “Lissie” Lord at Geelong.  John was a butcher by trade and operated his shop in Camperdown.

“Advertising” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 30 January 1877: 3 (TRI-WEEKLY.). Web. 26 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64010246&gt;.

John and his family moved to a property at Princetown called Kangaroobie by 1884.  Eliza was a teacher and since there wasn’t a school at Princetown she started classes there in that year.  John was active within the Princetown community including as secretary of the Princetown Farmers’ Union.

In 1915,  John’s son Alwynne was killed at Gallipoli on 7 August 1915 while serving with the 8th Light Horse Regiment.  By 1926, John was the last surviving member of the founding committee of the Camperdown P&A and that year he travelled from Princetown to Camperdown for the show.  Two years later, John died at Princetown. He left his widow Eliza and three sons and one daughter.  He was buried at Port Campbell Cemetery.  Eliza died in 1935 at Princetown.

MOORE, Eliza – Died 24 March 1939 at Colac. Eliza Moore was born in the north of Ireland on  20 May 1954.  At the age of four, Eliza left Ireland with her parents and travelled to Australia aboard Chance, arriving at Port Fairy, in September 1857.  After some time in Port Fairy, the Moore family moved to Hilder’s Bridge near Grassdale.  Eliza, known as a “splendid horsewoman”, married Alexander Russell in 1874 at Warrnambool and they resided at Dennington. 

From around 1904, Eliza and Alexander lived in Colac and for the last fifteen years of their lives, they resided in Manners-Sutton Street, Colac.  Alexander died in 1938 and Eliza went to live at Lismore but was only there five months before she was hospitalised at Colac where she died two weeks later at the age of eighty-five.  Eliza was a keen worker for the church and went to services when possible. After her death, Eliza was remembered at St Andrews Church, Colac (below), the following Sunday during the service. Eliza was buried at the Colac Cemetery and left four daughters and five sons.  

ST ANDREWS CHURCH, COLAC c1945 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/384952

SCOULLER, Ann – Died 21 March 1952 at Stonyford.  Ann was born at Birregurra in 1863 but when she was a small child, the Scouller family moved to Carpendeit. Ann had to walk six miles to school through the bush to the Catholic chapel at South Purrumbete for school.  She later attended a school built on the property of Peter Morrison.  Ann was a devout worker for the Methodist Church and the Sunday School.  Services were then held in the barn of Mr Anson at  Lightwood Vale and the Minister would ride from Camperdown.  Ann was a good horsewoman and rode sidesaddle. She was also an expert needleworker, excelling in dressmaking, fancy work and crochet.  On 5 May 1897 at her mother’s home at Carpendeit, Ann married William Horace Lucas of Pomberneit.  They first lived at South Purrumbete before moving to Rocky Ridge, Stonyford around 1910 and were dairy farmers. 

THE LUCAS FAMILY AT “ROCKY RIDGE”, STONEYFORD C1908.
Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769557

Around 1926, William retired and he and Ann decided to move to South Yarra.  A send-off was held on 3 December 1926 at Stonyford with many turning out to farewell the couple.  City life wasn’t for them and Ann and William returned around 1931 and remained at Stonyford for the rest of their lives. William died in 1943.  In 1950, Ann celebrated her eightieth birthday. Two years later she died aged eighty-eight.  Ann was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery and left two sons and one daughter.