Passing of the Pioneers

There is no shortage of obituaries for publicans. This edition of Passing of the Pioneers sees another two join the long list already named on the Pioneer Obituary Index. You’ll also read about the first butcher in Casterton and the story behind Camperdown’s famous clock tower. Remember to click on the underlined text to go to Trove newspaper articles and other related information.

BEATH, David Alexander – Died 21 July 1883 at Hamilton. David Beath was born around 1810 in Scotland. He became a merchant and travelled to Ireland where he married Marion Johnston in January 1837.¹ Around 1840, David and Marion arrived in Victoria. David firstly took up grazing land at Moonee Ponds west of Melbourne, then in 1842, he was granted a grazing licence at Western Port, south-east of Melbourne, near what is now Hastings. That was not a successful venture and in 1846, he applied for insolvency.    

Next, David and Marion went to the Burnbank area between Ballarat and Avoca around 1847. In 1848, David accepted a mail run between Buninyong and Horsham via Burnbank, a route of over 220 kilometres.

Beath
SATURDAY MORNING, JUNE 24 (1848, June 24). Geelong Advertiser, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91457858

David, Marion, and their family arrived at The Grange (now Hamilton) in 1850 and took over the store of Mr. Malcolm. Then, the settlement was close to the banks of the Grange Burn between the Digby and Portland Roads.

021 (2)
LOOKING TOWARD THE FORMER GRANGE SETTLEMENT, HAMILTON

The map below shows Beath’s Store.

After the survey of the township of Hamilton, David ceased operating his store at the creek side location but remained living on the property he named Craigievar overlooking the rising new township of Hamilton.

Screenshot 2021-07-22 212821
BEATH’S STORE. Photo from the interpretive board at the Hamilton Wetlands.

David moved his store to Gray Street, Hamilton, but the name “Grange Store” remained. He also went into business with Ephraim Taylor in the buying and selling of sheepskins and greasy wool. Their partnership ended in 1862.

David was a trustee of the Hamilton Savings Bank and after the death of Alex Learmonth, he became the actuary.

Advertising (1874, March 14). Hamilton Spectator p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226072789

David died in July 1883 and was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery, below.

Beath (3)
GRAVE OF DAVID AND MARION BEATH, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

1 The Belfast Newsletter, Belfast, Northern Ireland, (1828-1907), 24 Jan 1837, p. 3

DOLMAN, William – Died 17 July 1884 at Coleraine. William Dolman was born in Bristol, England around 1805.  He arrived in Victoria in the early 1840s and went to Muntham station between Coleraine and Casterton. From there, he went to Casterton and opened the first butcher shop.

In 1858, William married Uleyear Wombwell. The couple lived at Merino, where William opened another business.

MERINO, c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/320262

They then left for Coleraine around 1863, and William started the first butcher shop in that town. The following year, he competed in a trotting match to Hamilton with Mr. Payne.

Local News. (1864, February 26). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194724238
Local News. (1864, March 11). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser , p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194723026

In 1876, William sold the butcher shop stock as he was leaving butchering. Mr. Wombwell took over the business. The following year, William opened a store in Pilleau Street Coleraine, and in 1878, he bought Coleraine’s Criterion Hotel. He sold the hotel in 1880, and as reported at the time he, “intends shortly to embark in another speculation in Coleraine”. It’s unclear if that eventuated.

William died in 1884. The funeral procession to the Coleraine Cemetery was over a kilometre long. In his time in the Western District, William never moved over twenty miles of the Muntham homestead where he started out. William’s wife Uleyear died in 1912.

MANIFOLD, Thomas Peter – Died 19 July 1895 at Melton. Thomas Manifold was born around 1865 at Purrumbete homestead near Camperdown, the second son of John and Marion Manifold.

THE LATE MR T. P. MANIFOLD. (1895, July 27). Weekly Times p. 10. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221169222

When Thomas was twelve, his father died and Thomas inherited the property Wiridgil (below).

Wiridgil
The Pastoralists’ review, Vol. 19 No. 4 (15 June 1909) http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-539767932

Thomas and his brothers were keen horsemen and enjoyed racing and polo. In 1895, the brothers made up the Camperdown polo team.

MANIFOLD BROTHERS, 1 APRIL 1895. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/256943

On 19 July 1895, Thomas rode with the Melbourne Hounds in a hunt at Melton. His horse Postscript fell at a jump, killing Thomas. He had only just mentioned to his fellow riders he had ridden the mare for five years and she never made a mistake jumping.

Thomas’ body was returned to Camperdown for his funeral, the largest seen in Camperdown.

THE LATE HUNTING FATALITY. (1895, July 23). The Age, p. 6. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203606884

Thomas bequeathed money to St Paul’s Anglican Church in Camperdown and the church put the money toward a church hall and Sunday School. The selected design (below) was constructed in 1896.

PARISH HALL & SUNDAY SCHOOL CAMPERDOWN. (1897, April 1). The Church of England Messenger for Victoria and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne, p. 1 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197317393

In addition, Thomas bequeathed £1000 for the construction of a clock tower in Camperdown. The council agreed, and the result was the wonderful clock tower below, synonymous with Camperdown.

Camperdown
THE CAMPERDOWN CLOCK TOWER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

McNICOL, Donald  – Died 19 July 1903 at Camperdown. Donald McNicol was born in Oban, Scotland around 1812. He arrived in Australia in 1839 to take up work with Niel Black, who had arrived a few months earlier with Donald’s brother Duncan. With his wife and three daughters, Donald spent a few months in the area that would become Ballarat before going to the Terang district in 1840.

Lake Terang
LAKE TERANG. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/4178389

The McNicols settled on the banks of Lake Terang and were one of the first European families in the area. After ten years, the family moved to the Camperdown district and Donald went into partnership with his brother Duncan in the properties Wuurong and Basin Banks. They dissolved their partnership around 1874, and Donald sold all but 50 acres of Wuurong to Thomas Shaw. In 1848, Donald and Duncan opened a store at Old Timboon, a settlement which gave way to nearby Camperdown, and also operated the first post office there.

Donald remained Scottish to the end and would kilt up for Caledonian Society events in Melbourne. In 1864, he attended the first Grand Highland Gathering of the Western Caledonian Society in Warrnambool.

McNicol
FASHIONABLE INTELLIGENCE. (1864, April 21). Melbourne Punch p. 6. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174530107

Family was important to Donald, something that stemmed from his childhood growing up in Scotland.

PERSONAL. (1903, July 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9815401

Today, you can see a plaque dedicated to the McNicol family in Mary Bradshaw Avenue, Terang.

WINTER, Sarah – Died 12 July 1911 at Hamilton. Sarah Winter was born in Devonshire around 1838. She married Jeffery Callard, and they left England for Australia on the British Empire, arriving at Portland in 1857. They remained there until the mid-1870s when they went to Hamilton. In 1881 Thomas bought the Hamilton Tannery from butcher Thomas Brown.

Callard
Advertising (1881, July 5). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226058689

Situated close to the Grange Burn at the end of Moore Street, Jeffery successfully built up the business. He died in December 1902, and with the help of her sons, Sarah continued running the tannery. 

Callard

Sarah died in 1911, leaving three daughters and four sons at the time of her death. She was buried in the Baptist section of the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery with Jeffery, and their son Thomas, who died in 1898.

Callard
GRAVE OF SARAH CALLARD, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

HARWOOD, Louisa Jane – Died 5 July 1914 at Geelong. Louisa Harwood was born in North Cornwall in 1836. With her mother and sisters, she travelled to Australia in 1849, arriving at Adelaide. In 1854, she married Caleb Mountjoy, and they moved to Avoca in Victoria.

There was an opportunity on the coast to the south, and Caleb and his brothers, Lawrence and Thomas, took up the Loutit Bay run, later known as Lorne.

LOUTIT BAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/44352

Caleb also had land at Barrabool Hills near Geelong, but he and Louisa went to live at Yan Yan Gurt at Deans Marsh for many years before retiring to Geelong. In March 1904, Louisa and Caleb celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Mountjoy
Wedding Bells. (1914, April 10). Spectator and Methodist Chronicle, p. 605. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154132338

In her later years, Louisa spent much of her time knitting fine lace for doilies, which were sold at church fetes and other charities. She was also a member of the Methodist Church.

Louisa died suddenly in 1914 and was buried at the Barrabool Hill Cemetery, Highton.

You can read more about the Mountjoy family on the link to Otway Life-The Mountjoys of Lorne.

DANCOCKS, Edward Bearcroft – Died 3 July 1915 at Casterton. Edward Dancocks was born around 1840 in Gloucestershire, England. In 1852, he arrived at Portland Bay with his parents, brothers Hercules and John, and sister Kate. From Portland, the Dancocks family travelled to Wando Vale before making their way to the Henty property, Merino Downs.

MERINO DOWNS, c1920. Photographer: Elizabeth Mason. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/766481

John went to work for Edmund Kirby at Springbank near Casterton and later was the manager at adjoining stations, Pieracle and Runnymede. In 1871, Edward married Martha Foster. His two brothers had earlier married Martha’s sisters.

During the 1880s, Edward took up the Casterton Hotel and operated it for the next twenty years.

CASTERTON HOTEL, c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Image no, B 21766/79 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/79

In 1905, Edward retired but continued living in Casterton until his death.

SWAN, Jane – Died 29 July 1918 at Lismore. Jane Swan was born in Scotland around 1844 and arrived in Victoria aged six. Her family settled in the Windermere district near Ballarat. On 4 May 1865 at Windermere, Jane married William Oman of Browns Waterhole (Lismore) and they settled there.

Jane was a member of the Lismore Presbyterian Church, and during WW1, the local Red Cross. For the war effort, Jane knitted three pairs of socks a day until she had a fall on 18 July 1918 and broke her thigh. She died eleven days later. Jane had eleven children, and ten were still living at the time of her death. Jane’s funeral was the day following her death, and sixty cars and horse-drawn vehicles followed the hearse to the Lismore Cemetery.

DRUMMOND, Robert George – Died 13 July 1924 at Hamilton. Robert Drummond was born in 1869 at Coleraine, the son of George and Margaret Drummond. George operated Coleraine’s Shamrock Inn until 1876, then the Koroite Inn. A year after Robert’s birth, in 1870, his sister, uncle, and cousins drowned when flood water inundated their home at Coleraine. In 1882, when Robert was thirteen, George Drummond died. Robert went to school in Coleraine before working for a short time for James Trangmar in his store in Coleraine, next door to the Koroite Inn.

Trangmar
STORE OF JAMES TRANGMAR, COLERAINE. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/767465

He then returned to school at Portland College. After leaving, he secured a job at the Horsham branch of the Bank of Victoria. In 1893, Robert went to Western Australia in search of gold. His mother Margaret died the following year. She had continued to run the Koroite Inn after the death of George Drummond, but she retired in 1891 and leased the property. The photo below from 1919 shows the Koroite Inn with Trangmar’s Store, next door.

WHYTE STREET, COLERAINE INCLUDING THE KOROITE INN, 1919. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/766397

Robert returned to Victoria and got work with Hepburn, Dowling, and Crawford, auctioneers at Casterton. He married Annie Fitzsimmons in 1898 and in the next year applied to take over the licence of the Koroite Inn, of which he was a part-owner.

In 1902, Robert purchased the freehold of the Victoria Hotel in Hamilton.

Victoria Hotel

Robert got involved with many community activities in Hamilton, including his election in 1907, as president of the Hamilton and Western District Licensed Victuallers’ Association. In 1920, Robert leased the hotel and the following year went into partnership with Cecil Miller in Miller and Drummond, Stock and Station agents in premises Gray Street next to the Victoria Hotel in Gray Street. You can just see the sign in the photo above.

Robert was a good singer known for his comedic performances and he took part in many theatrical productions. He was a member of the Caledonian Society and a director of the Hamilton Electricity Company. He was a vestryman of the Christ Church Anglican Church, a member of the Masonic Lodge, and a member of the directorate of the Associated Oil Corporation, Ltd.

Robert was buried at the Hamilton Cemetery and left his widow Annie and two daughters.

Passing of the Pioneers

Passing of the Pioneers is back and for this June edition, there are ten obituaries. Among them is the story of a man with links to royalty who led a quiet life in Hamilton. Also, the story of a woman whose time spent running the Railway Hotel at Dunkeld may have given her the crowd control skills to defuse a fracas at the Portland lock-up. All proof that obituaries are perfect for finding a good story from the Western District’s past.

CLARKE, Phillip-Died 26 June 1892 at Condah. “Poor Phil Clarke will be missed for many a day, for a kindlier heart never beat in a human breast, and there are many in the district can bear witness to the truth of this assertion”.

Phillip Clarke was born around 1836 and arrived in Portland in the early 1850s. He married Mary O’Meara, a daughter of Patrick O’Meara of Drumborg, and they raised a large family.

In 1890, Phillip took on the license of the Green Hills Hotel at Condah.

Advertising (1890, July 26). Hamilton Spectator p. 3. R http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225765911

He was only at the hotel for just over two years, when he died suddenly in June 1892. The funeral saw forty buggies and seventy horsemen follow his body to the Condah Cemetery.

Phillip not only held the freehold of the Green Hills Hotel but also the general store and blacksmiths. In November 1892, the properties, along with a cottage, were auctioned as one lot.

Advertising (1892, November 17). Hamilton Spectator p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225178416

Mary continued living at Condah. I believe this photo held by Museums Victoria with the subject identified as Mrs. P. Clarke depicts Mary Clarke, despite the location given as Branxholme.

MRS. P. CLARKE. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/767902

Mary died in 1925 in Portland, aged eighty-two.

HEARN, George Henry-Died 8 June 1910 at Hamilton. George Hearn was born around 1836 on the Isle of Wight, where his father, Brown Hearn, was the keeper of Carisbrooke Castle at Newport on the island.

Along with George, two of George’s brothers, Cornelius and Brown, came to Victoria. Brown arrived in the 1850s and from1863 ran the Western Hotel at Dunkeld before holding the license of the Cavendish Family Hotel. It seems George and Cornelius arrived later. Cornelius first appears in Hamilton in 1879, operating the billiard room at the Victoria Hotel. I think George arrived around the same time. The year before, Brown Hearn Sr died at Carisbrook Castle and was buried there.

Around 1890, George leased a hut on land in South Hamilton from solicitor Angelo Palmer, paying his rent quarterly. George never married and was a retiring man but developed a friendship with butcher James Steel of North Hamilton, having Sunday lunch with him each week. In April 1904, George’s brother Brown died at Cavendish. In 1906, Corneliu Hearn died at the Hamilton Benevolent Asylum.

As George aged, it became difficult for him to get to James Steel’s house on the other side of town, and his visits ceased. He received the old-aged pension, but it was the kindness of Samuel Keen and his wife Annie that saved George from an end like Cornelius at the local benevolent asylum. In his last weeks, the Keens took George in and he died at their home in South Hamilton in 1910. He was buried with Cornelius in the Anglican section of the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

George had an interest in genealogy and shared his knowledge of the Hearn family with James Steel. The family name, he said, went back several centuries and was originally Heron, with a heron forming part of the family coat of arms. Also, George’s grandfather was on Admiral Nelson’s ship at the Battle of Trafalgar. A connection with the royal family on the Isle of Wight went back many years, with several generations of George’s family in charge of the royal residence.

Queen Victoria’s grandsons Prince Alfred and George, born in 1864 and 1865 respectively, would visit the castle. George’s obituary mentioned he gave the young princes rides in a pony cart. However, Cornelius’ obituary mentioned he also gave rides to the princes, but in a donkey cart. That makes more sense than ponies because Carisbrook Castle still has donkeys, descendants of those used to drive a mill at the castle. The castle website has a page dedicated to the donkeys, a feature of the castle since the 16th century.

In 1881, those same young princes were in Australia and toured the Western District.

ARRIVAL OF THE PRINCES IN MELBOURNE. (1881, July 2). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 1 (THE LEADER SUPPLEMENT). Retrieved June 22, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198491771

They stayed overnight in Hamilton on 24 June 1881 at the Commercial Hotel and left by the train the following morning.

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/770966

James Steele encouraged George to reacquaint himself with Alfred and George, but, such was his way, George didn’t want to intrude. One of those young princes became King George V and he held a special place in the hearts of Hamilton residents. So much so, that they contributed financially to a bust to honour the King after his death, still standing today in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens.

You can see the grave of George’s father Brown Hearn at Carisbrooke Castle on the link Brown Hearn’s Grave and the grave of his brother William on the link William Hearn’s grave.

RYAN, Annie-Died 2 June 1914 at Harrow. Born around 1836 in Tipperary, Ireland, Annie Ryan arrived in Portland while still a young girl. She soon headed for Harrow and worked in sales at John Davis’ Hermitage Store for a year before marrying Thomas Henry Peet in 1856.

Annie and Thomas remained in Harrow for the duration of their lives. During the 1870s, Thomas was the licensee of the Spur Inn at Harrow. Thomas died in 1900. Annie moved in with her daughter Agnes, wife of James Kirby of Harrow, and died at her home in 1914. Along with her daughter, Annie also left three sons. She was buried at the Harrow Cemetery.

O’FLANAGAN, Elizabeth-Died 18 June 1915 at Hamilton. Elizabeth O’Flanagan was born around 1846. She married Andrew Mason and a son, James Kenneth Mason, was born at Port Fairy in 1875. Andrew died in 1881 at Port Fairy, aged thirty-six.

After Andrew’s death, Elizabeth moved to Hamilton and took a “responsible position” with J. Thomson and Co. in Gray Street in the millinery department around 1890.

Advertising (1892, September 22). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved July 2, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225181551

She then went out on her own, opening her first shop in Gray Street, As well as selling millinery and fancy goods, she ran an employment registry from her shop.

In May 1904, Elizabeth applied for a pension in the Hamilton Court of Petty Sessions. She told the court her business did not make any money, and she intended to close it. Her son, the verger (caretaker) of the Hamilton’s Christ Church Anglican Church, was in no position to assist her. The local pound keeper, Annie Bloomfield of South Hamilton, acted as a witness for Elizabeth. She mentioned some time ago Elizabeth lost her sight and the community raised money to send her to the eye and ear hospital for treatment. An adjournment was called to give Annie time to close her business. There was not a follow-up case.

Elizabeth didn’t close her shop, rather in 1905, she moved to a shop in Brown Street. By 1909, Elizabeth was living in Lonsdale Street. She died at the Hamilton Hospital in 1915.

MARTIN, Elizabeth Ann – Died 24 June 1915 at Mortlake. Born in Cornwall around 1849, Elizabeth came to Australia when she was five. She married John Heard, and they took up residence in Mortlake, where they lived for over sixty years. Elizabeth was a member of the Mortlake Red Cross League and contributed to the war effort. For example, in June 1915, she donated six handkerchiefs and six pillowcases to the Red Cross. She left three daughters and one son at the time of her death.

Elizabeth was a member of the Mortlake Methodist Church congregation and on 12 July 1915, a memorial service was held to honour her life.

MORTLAKE METHODIST CHURCH. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/771417

BARNES, Henry Bond-Died 21 June 1915 at Werribee. Born in Chicago around 1856, Henry arrived in Victoria as a child with his parents. He started in newspapers in 1874 when he co-founded the Ripponshire Advocate at Beaufort.

Riponshire Advocate p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13343595

With the land opening up in the northwest of Victoria, Henry saw a need for more newspapers. In 1879, he started the East Charlton Tribune. He then moved on to Dimboola and started the Dimboola Banner in 1877. He was there for three years before going to Nhill, where he established the Nhill Free Press and the Lillimur and Kaniva Courier. The weather was too warm for Henry in the Mallee and he turned to Gippsland and established a second newspaper in Warragul, the Warragul News, After a short stint in Tasmania he started the Foster and Toora Mirror, He also purchased the Toora and Welshpool Pioneer.

Around 1902, Henry headed west again and established the Werribee Banner, followed by the Winchelsea and Birregurra Ensign. With the railway expansion through Cressy, Henry saw an opportunity and in 1909, Henry established The Cressy & Lismore Pioneer.

Cressy and Lismore Pioneer and Western Plains Representative p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page14986301

He remained living in Werribee until November 1914, when he moved to Cressy.

CRESSY, c1913. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/39669

Henry was visiting Werribee when died suddenly on 21 June 1915, aged sixty-four.

STARK, Jane-Died 5 June 1917 at Mortlake. Jane Stark was born in Cornwall, England, around 1826. She married Thomas Rundle, and they arrived in Victoria in 1855. Jane was described as a “capable nurse” for Doctor Sweetman. She left two sons and four daughters at the time of her death.

McBEAN, Alexander-Died 13 June 1917 at Casterton. Alexander McBean was born in Scotland around 1842. He arrived in Portland in the 1850s. Alexander, also known as “Sandy,” learned his trade as a teenager. He first worked around the local stations before Mr. W. Handley at Sandford offered him an apprenticeship as a blacksmith. Later Alexander moved to the Ballarat district, then Edenhope before arriving in Casterton. During that time, he married Emma Smith in 1870.

At Casterton, Alexander ran a blacksmith’s shop behind the building, which would later become Cawker’s Mart. He then built his own blacksmith and wheelwrights shop.

BLACKSMITH SHOP OF ALEXANDER McBEAN, CASTERTON c1880. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/766561

In 1882, he sold the business to John Illingworth but remained working there overseeing operations. Alexander then left for Harrow, where he remained for some years.

In 1896, Alexander investigated the purchase of Mr. Grant’s blacksmith shop in Casterton to resume business in that town, while also continuing to operate at Harrow. About 1907, he returned to Casterton and opened a blacksmith in Henty Street near the bridge over the Glenelg River.

THE BRIDGE OVER THE GLENELG RIVER c1930. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63113

Advertising (1911, June 10). Advocate, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170928104

Alexander’s son George joined him in business, and he remained working until his death in 1917,

Alexander was on the board of management of the Scots Presbyterian Church at Casterton and was an elder of the church when a new church was built in 1909.

SCOTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CASTERTON. Image courtesy of the State LiIbrary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63512

He was also a Freemason and a member of the Sons of Temperance. Alexander’s funeral left his residence, Linwood, in Robertson Street, for the Casterton Cemetery Casterton. He left his widow Emma, five sons, and three daughters. Emma McBean died in 1925.

LUCAS, Alfred – Died 9 June 1938 at Pomborneit. Alfred Lucas was born at Kirkstall around 1881. In 1902, he married Eliza Lovett. They settled in the Pomborneit district on their property Bonnie Brae and Alfred ran dairy cows.

During the 1910s. Alfred moved into the stock and station business, working over the twenty years for auctioneering firms Doherty & Co. and Stansmore & Co. Eliza died in 1929 and Alfred died in 1938, leaving two daughters and three sons.

COLLINS, Jane Sophia – Died 20 June 1940 at Dunkeld. Jane Collins was born in Brixton, England around 1855. With her mother, she arrived at Portland when she was three aboard the Great Britain. They were to meet Jane’s father Edwin, who had travelled ahead and was at Hamilton. Once the family was reunited, they moved to Dunkeld and Edwin took over the Royal Mail Hotel in 1866. He then ran the Family Hotel in Dunkeld.

On 15 May 1876, Jane married mounted police constable William Young of St Arnaud at the hotel. William was stationed at Portland, and the couple settled in that town and started their family.

In 1877, the railway came to Dunkeld. Finding his hotel wasn’t close enough to the new station to capitalise on the extra business, Edwin Collins built the Railway Hotel opposite the new railway station.

Items of News. (1878, January 3). Hamilton Spectator, p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226042922

Edwin Collins died at the end of 1881 and his wife, Mary, took over the ownership of the Railway Hotel. and Jane’s brother Adolphus held the license.

For Jane, life as the wife of a police constable was not without excitement, and living in the police quarters next to the Portland lock-up meant she was close to the action. On 31 September 1891, police intervened after a sailor accused two men of punching him at Portland’s London Hotel.

THE LONDON HOTEL, c1890. Photographer: Oliver Dolphin. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69424

Constables Heaney and Scanlon arrested the men and took them to the lock-up. Once there, one prisoner overpowered Constable Scanlon. Constable Heaney went to his aid, but the second prisoner grabbed him. There was a scuffle with the constables receiving injuries. Jane heard the raucous and bravely intervened, hitting the two prisoners with a set of handcuffs, taking the men by surprise. It gave the constables a chance to overpower them and lock them in the cells. Jane’s heroics did not go unnoticed. The Portland Guardian, on 27 April 1892, reported how word of the incident got back to the chief commissioner of police, who suggested Jane should receive a reward of £5 for her bravery while placing herself at great risk.

William Young retired from the police force and he and Jane settled at Hamilton around 1893. The following year, Jane took over the license of the Railway Hotel in March, when her brother Adolphus moved to Hamilton to take up the Grange Hotel. Only months later, William Young died suddenly on 25 September 1894 at Dunkeld, aged fifty-two, leaving Jane and their four sons.

Jane continued in the hotel and in 1899, she married Adolphus Winter Lineker, a tailor. A daughter was born the following year. In 1903, Jane transferred the hotel license to her husband, but in1906, Jane’s mother Mary Collins died, leading to the sale of the Railway Hotel.

Advertising (1907, March 23). Hamilton Spectator, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226131435

Jane and Adolphus moved to Portland in 1909 with Adolphus opening a tailoring business in August of that year.

Advertising (1909, August 27). Portland Guardian, p. 2 . http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63989325

Around 1912, the family moved again, with Adolphus opening a tailoring business in Ryrie Street Geelong, but that was not their last move. The Australian Electoral Rolls over the next twenty years show Jane and Adolphus in Webster Street, Ballarat in 1916; Mair Street, Ballarat in 1919; Brighton in 1925; and Commercial Road, Koroit in 1931. It was there Adolphus died in 1934, aged seventy-one.

Jane moved back to Dunkeld to the home of her son. She died there in June 1940, aged eighty-five. She left four sons and one daughter. Jane’s funeral was in Koroit and her burial took place at Tower Hill Cemetery with Adolphus.

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s Women’s History Month and since I haven’t had time to write something new, I’m sharing the March 2017 Passing of the Pioneers post with the obituaries of thirteen women from across the Western District.

Western District Families

It’s Women’s History Month so I thought I would have an all female Passing of the Pioneers. Men have dominated past Passing of the Pioneers posts so I didn’t think it was going to be easy. However, I managed to find thirteen obituaries of some amazing women including sisters.  There was a common theme with several losing their husbands at an early age, leaving them to raise children alone. There is also extra information for most of the women so click on any underlined text to read more about the subject.

Mary DRISCOLL – Died 3 March 1908 at Portland. Mary Driscoll was born in Kent around 1828 and later married James Wadmore.  The couple came to Australia on the ship Constant on her maiden voyage for shipping agents Messrs S.G.Henty & Co with James acting as doctor’s assistant on the voyage. They arrived at Portland Bay on 24 February…

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Passing of the Pioneers

Finally, a new post and it’s Passing of the Pioneers. In this edition, you can read the stories of four women and five men, including a father and son, from the Western District’s past.  December Passing of the Pioneers posts are always sadder with deaths occurring in the lead up to Christmas Day and sometimes on the day itself. One woman featured this edition was preparing her home for Christmas visitors when she died, and another died on Christmas Eve.

The fourth edition of Passing of the Pioneers in October 2011 had an entry for a man whose fascinating story has stayed with me. In October 2019, when invited to speak at the Hamilton History Centre on interesting early settlers, I knew I had to include that man…Thomas Denton Clarke of Merino. Now his father, Thomas Clarke senior, becomes a Passing Pioneer.  His story is the feature this month, but it really only touches the surface of his interesting life, one that has given me some understanding of how his son became the man he did.   

It’s been awhile so don’t forget if you click on any of the underlined text, you will go to the original source, most times a newspaper article at Trove with more information about a subject,

CLARKE, Thomas Henry – Died 2 December 1865 at Merino.  Thomas Clarke was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and baptised in July 1815. From a family of sailors, he soon took to the sea, gaining certification as a Master Mariner.  In 1844, he married Mary Ellen Denton in Liverpool, and four children were born.

Life at sea

Thomas went off sailing the world, leaving his family for long periods of time.  For several years, he made an annual voyage to Portland at the helm of his brig Cornelius, taking the course via the Cape of Good Hope en route to Portland and via Cape Horn on the way home.

In 1850, he travelled via Hobart.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1850, December 27). The Argus, p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255611135

The cargo on the trip back to London in 1851 may have been on the nose at the end of the voyage.

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE (1851, February 5). The Melbourne Daily News, p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226518279

The Cornelius sailed into Portland Bay, just in time for Christmas 1851.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1851, December 31). The Argus, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4782518

PORTLAND BAY c1851. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85333

On 11 February 1852, the Cornelius was running late departing Portland but would sail for London the following day.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1852, February 11). The Argus, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4783182

The problem was, Thomas was having trouble mustering a crew for the voyage back to London, as were many ships because of the rush to the diggings.  Thomas eventually set off with a skeleton crew, including a young local boy, Joseph Pearson. High winds upon his already delayed departure saw Thomas take a risk rather than wait in port any longer. He sailed the Cornelius between St Lawrence Rocks and Portland Bay, an action not advised by others, including well-known local master mariner Captain James Fawthrop. 

Thomas got through successfully, but it wasn’t until he arrived in England he realised the ship’s false keel was missing, left behind on a reef in the St Lawrence passage.  

LAWRENCE ROCKS, PORTLAND BAY, 1865. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/95486

Thomas was barely back in London when he set sail again for Portland, arriving on 18 January 1853.

PORT OF GEELONG. (1853, January 12). The Argus, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4788871

After a couple of months in port, he returned to London on 1 April 1853 carrying wool and a box of gold dust.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1853, April 18). The Argus p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4791722

He reached Dover in 108 days. While there, he put in a good word for the port of Portland, a place he had developed a fondness for.

THE PORTLAND GUARDIAN AND NORMANBY GENERAL ADVERTISER (1854, February 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71569648

The following year, 1854, started in the same way, when Thomas arrived at Portland Bay on 4 February.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1854, February 17). The Banner, p. 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179811844

This time, however, Thomas had his wife and children on board.

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

Once in port, Thomas fell ill and required an operation.  Soon after, he advertised the Cornelius for sale.   

Advertising (1854, February 20). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71569711

Thomas finds his land legs

Thomas stayed on dry land and went into business as an auctioneer in Gawler Street, Portland, thus beginning the next chapter in his life.

Advertising (1854, June 15). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71570371

But he couldn’t part with the Cornelius, instead putting a master in charge of her. On 3 September 1854, the Cornelius set off to Singapore via Sydney when it wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef near Raine Island in the Torres Strait.

Life in Merino

On 28 May 1855, Mary Ellen died at Portland aged just thirty. In the months after, Thomas and the children went to live at Merino Waterholes, now Merino, where he set up an auctioneering business known as the Merino Auction Mart.

Advertising (1856, February 29). The Argus, p. 7. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4831997

In 1857, Thomas built the Farmers Arms Inn, later known as the Railway Hotel.

Advertising (1857, February 4). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567702

Aside from getting his own businesses off the ground, Thomas was very active in the community. In June 1857, he formed the Merino Flour Mill Company, calling for 200 shares at £10 each.  A wind-powered mill was earlier proposed and shareholders had already invested in that option.  Thomas put forward the option of a steam mill and many of the investors of the wind-powered mill were prepared to transfer to the steam option.

On 1 February 1859, a boiler and other related machinery made in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, arrived in Merino from Melbourne. It created a lot of excitement among residents with “five drays…drawn by 24 pure Clydesdale horses, …declared by competent judges to be the finest heavy draught horses seen in this part of the district”.  You can read more about the mill’s construction on the link- Merino Flour Mill.

TOWNSHIP OF MERINO. (1859, February 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64510216

The two-story mill is in the photo below from 1859, the year if its contruction. Over 160 years later, the mill building still stands.

Photographer: Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

As the mill equipment was arriving in town, a school was under construction at Merino.

TOWNSHIP OF MERINO. (1859, February 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64510216

As stated in the article, the school would open owing money.  Thomas Clarke was on the first Merino School committee in 1858 and appointed secretary and treasurer. He also had the task of organising a suitable school building. After locating one, there were insufficient funds leaving Thomas and committee chairman Reverend Russell to make up the shortfall of £88. They hoped for reimbursement once the school was operational and receiving subscriptions or government support.  Money was tight, and Thomas tried various methods to keep the school going and pay its debts.

In August 1860, Thomas wrote a letter to the Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser calling for subscribers to the school. There were men in the district, he said, who had bought the finest land in the country for a “trifling” price, and surely they could help keep the school going and put the books in the black. “Nothing will teach the young colonists and the rising generation to more patriotism than promoting their moral character and education-an example I have never lost sight of since I first landed on Australia’s shores.”  

During what was a busy period of his life, Thomas remarried in 1857 to Ann Clarke. In 1860, he suffered the misfortune of losing his crops to a bushfire in the district. In 1861, he was appointed a trustee of the land set aside for a Church of England building at Merino. St Peter’s Church, Merino, did open, but not until December 1867, two years after Thomas’ death.

ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, MERINO. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/766451

Thomas was deputy registrar for Births, Deaths, and Marriages at Merino from 1862, and the pound keeper.  He was also a handy fill in if a doctor or a clergyman wasn’t available. He had a good knowledge of medicine, most likely picked up during his time at sea, and he helped many in the district.  Assisting the school and some failed speculating proved detrimental to Thomas as he fell into insolvency in 1863. In October 1864, he was appointed as a valuer for the Glenelg Shire Council, receiving an annual salary of £58.

Thomas wrote many letters to the editor of the various district papers. In July 1857, he penned a detailed letter to the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser supporting the idea of the construction of a lighthouse on Lady Julia Percy Island around 35 kilometres south-east of Portland Bay, even offering advice on the construction.  The lighthouse never eventuated.  In another written in August 1863, after a visit to Portland, Thomas told of walking the beach and finding debris from a ship. He identified it as a  piece of American pine, matching the description of debris found at Swan Island near the entrance to Port Phillip Bay,  He explained how debris washed up on the beach at Portland could in fact be debris from a ship wrecked anywhere between Cape Bridgewater and Wilsons Promontory.

Thomas was just fifty at the time of his death in 1865, but what a life he led.  He left his widow, Ann, and eight children, including four young children born over the previous eight years.  On the day of his funeral, the cortege left Merino for Portland at 10 am with many people making the journey.  It was raining in Portland, keeping people away. Thomas was buried at the Portland North Cemetery overlooking Portland Bay which meant so much to him.  Ann died in 1898.

Thomas Clarke’s legacy

In 1867, the Merino correspondent for the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser reported on the growth in Merino and promoted the district as a good place to settle with a bright future.  He said, “Much of the early history of Merino is connected with the late Captain Clarke whose enterprise and energy gave an impulse to the early progress of the town.”

Thomas’ contribution to the maritime history of Portland was remembered in 1904, when the Portland Guardian recounted the 1854 voyage of the Cornelius from England.  That was the same voyage Thomas brought his family to Victoria.

The Portland Guardian, (1904, February 3). Portland Guardian, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63687181

An article in 1919 about Thomas’ life said he was a failure on the land, with many of his speculations not successful and suggesting his “ill fortune” followed him to the end, but it was full of praise for his life on the sea:

Captain Clarke’s early life was devoted to the sea, as were those of his ancestors for generations back. His experiences in the tea, sugar, timber and metal trades when in command, at different periods, of the ships Earl Grey, George Canning. Countess West-Moreland, Cornelius and Ruby, trading from India, Turkey, China, West Indies, Australia, and many other parts, would fill a good sized volume. From the end of the forties to the middle of the fifties, he traded regularly between London and Portland, the passage and back being made usually once a year, chiefly in the Cornelius…

The article also told of an c1851 painting of the Cornelius sold at a clearing sale after the death of Donald Cameron of Oakbank near Heywood in 1879. The auctioneers forwarded it to Thomas Clarke Jr at Merino and John Smith of Grassdale had a print made of the original.

DISNEY, Robert – Died 21 December 1875 at Hamilton.  Robert Disney was born in County Cork, Ireland around 1831 and arrived in Victoria in 1852, and was a police cadet by the end of that year. A year on and Robert was a Sub-Inspector and then Sub-Lieutenant. He spent time as a gold escort at Beechworth, Castlemaine, and Ballarat, among other places. In 1858, he was the officer in charge of the escort at Dunolly.

DUNOLLY. (1858, August 10). Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE M.&D. ADVERTISER).http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article253588476

Robert spent time in Ararat around 1864 before moving on to Swan Hill. In 1865, he received a promotion to Inspector 2nd Class, and the following year, 1866, he went back to Beechworth. In March 1869, Robert led a troop of mounted police to escort the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Alfred to Sandridge pier after a visit to the colony. A few months later, Robert received a transfer to Benalla before Kyneton for four years. By that time, Robert had reached the rank of Senior Inspector. 

In 1871, another transfer took Robert to Hamilton, where he was the District Inspector of Police, and took up residence in French Street. In November 1875, illness forced his retirement, and he was soon bedridden. Robert succumbed to his condition on 21 December 1875, aged forty-four. Robert was very popular in Hamilton and a lengthy funeral cortege, including many police members, left his home on 23 December for the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.    

HEADSTONE OF ROBERT DISNEY AT HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

TWOMEY, John Joseph– Died 1 December 1879 at Carlton.  John Twomey was born around 1790 in County Cork, Ireland. He married Margaret O’Connor, and they raised a large family.  Around 1842, the Twomey family arrived in Victoria and about 1851, John took up the Kolor run near Mt Rouse, south-east of Hamilton. He and his sons took up surrounding land, and each had their own portion. Edward had Langulac, Daniel and John Jr shared Kolor, and Timothy was at Banemore.  

In August 1865, John’s wife Margeret died. It came only months after a tragic loss for the family. On 5 April 1865, their son John and his wife were on the SS Western travelling overnight between Melbourne and Port Fairy. On arrival at their destination, John was nowhere to be found. Investigations found he didn’t disembark at Warrnambool, so he most likely fell overboard some time after he was last seen on deck, about seven miles off Warrnambool. A £100 reward was offered for the return of his body and John Sr continued on in partnership of Kolor with Daniel.

In August 1868, Daniel Twomey held a ceremony at Kolor for the laying of the foundation stone for a new homestead he was building. John Twomey had the honours and on taking the trowel he declared, “the stone well and truly laid”      

“KOLOR. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233438

John went to live at Langulac the property of his son Edward, around 1875. The older man in the photo below, taken at Langulac, could be John. 

LANGULAC HOMESTEAD, c1875. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/770166

Somehow, John came to be living in a boarding house at 11 Drummond Street, Carlton and he died there on 1 December 1879, aged eighty-nine.  His body returned to Hamilton and buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  His impressive monument also included a memorial for his missing son John Jr.  A charitable man until the end, John bequeathed £100 to the Hamilton Hospital.

GRAVE OF JOHN JOSEPH TWOMEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

TAIT, James – Died 28 December 1880 at Camperdown.  James Tait was born in County Caithness, Scotland in 1809.  He lived in Glasgow for around twenty years before travelling to Australia about 1854 with his wife, Jane Wares. Three years later, the Taits arrived at Camperdown and James opened the first store in the town. It was on the corner of Adeney and Campbell Streets, but in time, he constructed a store in Scott Street, later known as Penzance House (below)

James Tait’s Camperdown Store c1859 Photographer: Thomas Hannay, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/320656

James was a founding member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Roads Board. He was also an elder of the Presbyterian Church from 1863 and involved with the Sabbath school. He promoted temperance and religion and managed several of the local temperance societies.  

James died at this home in Scott Street, Camperdown in 1880. His burial took place at the Camperdown Cemetery, with around forty vehicles and twenty men on horseback making up the cortege. His widow Jane died in 1898.

TWOMEY, Daniel– Died 30 December 1891 at Penshurst.  Daniel Twomey was born in County Cork, Ireland around 1832, the fourth son of John Joseph Twomey (see above) and Margaret O’Connor. The Twomey family arrived in Victoria around 1845, and Daniel’s father took up the Kolor run at Mount Rouse. Daniel and his brother joined their father in acquiring land and later, Daniel took up the running of the Kolor run with his brother John.   

On 5 April 1865, John disappeared from the SS Western.  He died intestate and since he left a widow and a part share of Kolor, a “friendly” court case found it necessary to sell Kolor to dissolve John and Daniel’s partnership,  Daniel then purchased the property outright and set about building a new homestead.  He employed Melbourne architects Reed and Barnes with partner Joseph Reed appearing to have the design credit for Kolor homestead. Reed and Barnes came with good credentials. They had recently finished designing Rippon Lea at Elsternwick, the Melbourne Town Hall, and the former Menzies Hotel on the corner of Bourke and William Streets, Melbourne. Joseph visited Kolor in 1868 to inspect the site and the building started soon after. 

In August 1868, Daniel held a ceremony at Kolor for the laying of the foundation stone for the homestead. Around 200 people, including workers, were there to see John Twomey Snr. take a trowel and lay the stone.

JT Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/4121911

On 6 September 1871, Daniel married Helen Cameron, and they had four children.  Helen died in 1890 while away in Europe. Daniel felt the loss immensely and his health suffered. During late November 1891, he had a minor stroke but by Christmas Day, he was getting into the festive sprit. However, between Christmas and New Year, he suffered another stroke, and died on the morning of New Year’s Eve.   They left two boys and two girls under the age of twenty, all away at school in England.  Described as a lover of sport and a friend to the poor, Daniel had a gentle nature .  The funeral cortege left Kolor for the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF DANIEL TWOMEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

CLARKE, Anne – Died 13 December 1892 at Portland. Anne Clarke was born in Devon, England, around 1813 and arrived in Portland on the ship Francis Henty in 1854. 

THE FRANCIS HENTY, c1858. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/91541

She opened a school for young ladies in Gawler Street, Portland, in 1857.

ANNE CLARKE’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES c1859 Photographer: Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/318603

 

Advertising (1889, July 17). Portland Guardian, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63623908

Her obituary mentioned many of the girls she taught married in the Western District and Anne also educated their girls. In January 1891, Anne announced she was retiring and Miss Hayden would take over the school.

Advertising (1891, February 25). Portland Guardian p. 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63631900

Anne fell ill in late 1892 and the news reached Casterton, with the Casterton News reporting Anne had taught many girls from that district. She died on 13 December 1892.

Anne was among the women named in the Book of remembrance of the pioneer women of the Portland Bay district (1934). It mentioned before her arrival in Victoria, Anne taught at the school for the daughters of clergymen mentioned in Jane Eyre. That was the Cowan Bridge school in Lancashire, attended by the Bronte sisters in the 1820s.

DELANEY, Mary Ann – Died 2 December 1911 at Hamilton. Mary Ann Delaney was born around 183. She married John Cain in 1850. By 1861, they were living in Harrow and remained there for thirteen years before moving to Hamilton. Six sons and five daughters were born to Mary Ann and John, who lived in Milton Street, Hamilton. On the day before her death, neighbours saw Mary Ann hanging curtains on her front windows preparing for Christmas visitors. Her burial took place at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF MARY ANN DELANEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

BYRNE, Elizabeth– Died 12 December 1918 at Telangatuk. Elizabeth Byrne was born in Liverpool, England, and married there in 1858 to Thomas Jasper.  They had two daughters in Liverpool, Sarah and Maria, before leaving for Australia. There arrived at Hobsons Bay in April 1864 aboard the Albion.  They went first to Penshurst (then known as Mt Rouse), then Dunkeld before finally settling at Telangatuk, north east of Balmoral. They had a further nine children over that time. Thomas died in 1900.  At the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1918, she had ten children still living, 26 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. The photo below shows descendants of Thomas Jasper and Elizabeth Byrne, picnicking near Balmoral c1905.  Among them, is their son William, the only person named in the photo.

MEMBERS OF THE JASPER FAMILY, BALMORAL, c1905. Image courtesy of Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/773761

LORD, Eliza – Died 24 December 1934 at Port Campbell. Eliza Lord was born in 1853 at Geelong.  Her family went to the Ballarat diggings and her miner father Samuel Lord was at the Eureka stockade in 1854. In 1865, Samuel selected land at Pomborneit.  Known as Lissie and proficient in several languages, she started teaching in 1871 at Pomborneit. Her appointment was as a “teacher without salary” and she remained until 30 September 1873, when she retired.  Her report stated she… “requires only a little more experience and training to make a very fair teacher”.¹ Eliza had other plans and on 11 February 1874, she married John Bowker at Christ Church, Geelong.

The Bowkers settled at Camperdown, where John operated a butcher shop and they started a family.

MANIFOLD STREET, CAMPERDOWN c1882. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/172495

In the early 1880s, they moved south to Princetown on the coast. There wasn’t a school, and the townspeople were keen to have one built, with Eliza suggested as a teacher.

CURRENT TOPICS. (1884, March 22). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23580257

Eliza was a member of the Princetown Church of England congregation. During WW1,  Eliza and John’s son Alwynne (below) was killed at The Nek, Gallipoli on 7 August 1915 while serving with the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

In 1928, John died and Eliza continued to live out her days at the family property Kangaroobie, Princetown. She died on Christmas Eve 1934, aged eighty-two, leaving three sons and one daughter. Eliza’s burial took place at the Port Campbell cemetery.

  1. Public Records Office of Victoria, Teacher Record Books, VPRS 13579/P0001, Teacher Record No. 5201-5500, Eliza Bowker, Record No. 5278   

Discover your ancestors in lockdown

Recently, I had the pleasure to chat with Gavin from ABC Ballarat about using spare time in lockdown to kick off your family history research. You can hear more on the link to the ABC…

During the segment, I mentioned the links available here at Western District Families, which will take you to websites of family history and historical societies across the Western District. There are also Facebook pages and other useful links to help you discover your Western District family. Just go to the links tab at the top of the page or follow this link…

I haven’t managed a post here since April. My intentions have been good with near-complete drafts for April to July editions of Passing of the Pioneers, but I just couldn’t finish them before the end of their respective months. At least next year, I will have those four months ready to go. August Passing of the Pioneers will not happen and I’ll turn my attention to getting a September edition out.

I’ve had draft posts on various topics building up over the past couple of years and the number is now at 75. If I could get the time, there would be lots of new reading for you. There are around 500 published posts, so if you are new to Western District Families, there’s plenty of reading to keep you going until my next new post.

Wet weather and lockdowns have slowed my cemetery visits, but I managed a quick stop at the Old Dunkeld Cemetery recently and I’ll leave you with a photo from my visit.

DUNKELD OLD CEMETERY

Hamilton’s WW1…the story so far

HAMILTON. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2014.76/18 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/305964

With Anzac Day drawing closer, I thought it was time for an update on the WW1 project I started during the Centenary of WW1 and continue to this day. The initial aim was to collect the names of men and women with Hamilton connections who enlisted for WW1 and tell their stories. To date, the enlisted men number more than 730 and there are forty-eight enlisted women. Their connection to Hamilton could come from their birth in the town, education, or work. Or, it could also be through a parent or sibling living in the town. The names of those who enlisted in Hamilton are included, as are those named on the various memorials and honour boards around Hamilton.

Hamilton’s WW1 is also about the response of the Hamilton townspeople to the outbreak of war and the difficult years that followed. .The Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook page was useful in examining this through a daily post “100 years ago in the Hamilton Spectator” with an article from each edition of the Hamilton Spectator from 1915 to 1918.

There were articles about the football clubs, the local P&A show, and the races, all impacted by the war. Other articles told of the unfair treatment of the Indigenous men who marched from Condah to Hamilton to enlist, and anti-German sentiment particularly evident in Hamilton with German settlements located to the south of the town.

The Hamilton Spectator was a vital source of news from the front. People would gather around boards outside the Spectator office (below) to read the latest edition to ensure friends, work colleagues, or relatives were not on the latest list of wounded, missing, and dead. Everyone would have known someone who was serving. This photo of a small section of Gray Street, Hamilton demonstrates that.

HAMILTON SPECTATOR OFFICE, c1910. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399139

Several men from the Spec office enlisted including apprentice monoline operator William Hind killed at the Nek, Gallipoli on 7 August 1915. Next door was the office of stock and station agent John Fenton. John and his wife Helen saw two boys off to war but only one returned. A few doors to the right of John Fenton’s was the hairdressing and tobacconist shop of Harry Catterson, killed at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917.

In the background is the Hamilton Post Office. Several past and then current postal employees enlisted. Past employee William Head was killed at the landing at Gallipoli and Cyril Iles, a letter sorter at the time of enlistment, was killed at Pozieres in 1916. A bit further along and across the road was the Hamilton State School. Former teacher Walter Filmer was killed at Bullecourt in May 1917 and dozens of pupils had big brothers, uncles, and fathers overseas some to never return. Diagonal to the school was the Hamilton YMCA. Twenty-six members were either killed or died from wounds. So much loss in just half a block of Hamilton’s main street. I could continue in either direction along Gray Street and offer similar examples.

The response at home is also interwoven through the biographies of the enlisted men and women. As well as looking at the subject’s pre-war life, I explore how their enlistment impacted family and friends at home. Impassioned requests for the return of personal effects, family divisions over pensions and medals, and seemingly premature deaths of parents are throughout. Then there were the families of those missing presumed dead. Whether it was the typed letters by Alan Cordner’s father Isiah or the handwritten letters of Richard Hicks’ mother Janet, they were written with raw emotion. It wouldn’t have surprised me to find Isiah Cordner had somehow made it to the Middle East to find Alan, such was his quest for some sort of closure.

FROM THE SERVICE RECORD OF RICHARD ERNEST HICKS Service no. 3332, courtesy of the National Archives of Australia https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/140601/24

Currently, the number of biographies I have written for those men who didn’t return stands at 136 from a total of 183. I have also written a further thirty-five biographies of returned men and nurses, and added seven war memorials and honour boards from around Hamilton. There will be more honour boards to come with only photos needed for completion. The past year has restricted my access to boards but I should be able to start getting photos soon. Longer term, I’m working on bringing together the information gathered from the Spectator snippets on the Facebook page and the collection on this site into a more accessible format.

Below you will find the biographies and memorials/honour boards completed so far. The ranks and units were taken from the AIF Nominal Roll compiled in 1919 with the last rank and unit of each person. Click on the names to read more.

The Fallen

ANDERSON, Edward Handfield (2nd Lt) 57th Australian Infantry Battalion

AUSTIN, William John (Sgt) Australian Imperial Force Headquarters

BAULCH, Leith Silas David (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

BEECHAM, George James Leopold (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

BLACK, James (Pte) 51th Australian Infantry Battalion

BLACKNEY, James Alexander (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

BRIANT, Reginald (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

BROKENSHIRE, Joseph (Cpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

BURGESS, Ebenezer  (Pte) 21th Australian Infantry Battalion

CAMERON, Sidney Joseph (Cpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

CAMERON, Thomas Waddell (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

CATTERSON, Robert Henry (LSgt) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

COLESTEN, Stanley George (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

CONNOR, John Leslie (Sgt) 8th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron

COOK, George (Dvr) 6th Field Company, Australian Engineers

CORDNER, Joseph Alan (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion, B Company

COULTER, Robert James (Trooper) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

DARK, George Henry (Pte) 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion

DAVIES, Stanley Walton (Pte) 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

DOHLE, Alfred (LCpl) 4th Cavalry Division, 13th Australian Light Horse Regiment

DOHLE, Edmund (Pte) 38th Australian Infantry Battalion

DOUGLAS, Claude Campbell Telford (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

DRUMMOND, Robert William (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

DUFF, Robert William (Pte) 38th Australian Infantry Battalion

DUNN, Daniel Joseph (Pte) 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion

ELDER, Frank Reginald (Pte) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

EMMETT, Arthur Munro (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

EMMETT, Alfred Roy (Cpl) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion, C Company

EMMETT, Ernest (Pte) 2nd Australian Field Ambulance

EVANS, Arthur Leslie  (Dvr) 11th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

FENTON, John Wilfred (M.M.) (Lt) 2nd Australian Division Artillery

FILMER, Walter Stephen (2nd Lt) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

FINNEGAN, Terence (Pte) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

FOLEY, Cornelius Thomas (Gnr) 3rd Australian Field Artillery Brigade

FRANCIS, John Walter (Lt) 59th Australian Infantry Battalion

FRIEND, Percy O’Connor (M.M.) (2nd Lt) 31th Australian Infantry Battalion

GAYER. William Ventry (M.M) (Bdr) 4th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

GIBSON, Sydney Walter (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

GIBSON, Victor Robert  (LCpl) 60th Australian Infantry Battalion

GORDON, James (Pte) 1th Australian Machine Company

GRAVES, Hubert (BQMS) 12th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

GREEN, Francis Regis (Pte) 60th Australian Infantry Battalion

HARRIS, Leslie Duncan (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

HAYWARD, Herbert James (Pte) Depot Battalion

HENTY, Edward Ellis (Lt) 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

HERLIHY, George Joseph David (Pte) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

HERRMANN, Bernard (Tpr) 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment

HICKS, Richard Ernest (Pte) 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

HIND, William Arthur (Tpr) 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

HOBBINS, Albert Archibald (Gnr) 4th Australian Field Artillery Battery

HOPKINS, Clive Boyer (Capt) 45th Australian Infantry Battalion

HUDSON, Charles Robert (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

ILES, Cyril Thomas Brackley (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

INGRAM, John (Pte) 57th Australian Infantry Battalion

JACKSON, Walter Henry (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

JAFFRAY, Alfred John Cpt) 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron

JOHNSON, Francis Charles (Pte) 35th Australian Infantry Battalion

JOYCE, Matthew John (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

JOYCE, Thomas William (LCpl) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

KEEGAN, Roderick James (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

KENDALL, Frank Selwood (Pte) 5th Australian Machine Gun Battalion

KILKELLY, James Patrick (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion 

KINGHORN, Walter Rodney (LCpl) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

KIRKWOOD, William John Clyde (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

KNIGHT, James Alfred (Pte) 6th  Australian Infantry Battalion

LANCE, George Basil (Pte) 50th Australian Infantry Battalion

LEES, William Alexander Christie (Pte) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

LEWIS, Arthur Harold (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

LIEBE, Sydney August (Pte) 21st Australian Infantry Battalion

LINDSAY, Charles Henry (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

LOVELL, William Leslie (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

MALONE, John Henry (Pte) 57th Australian Infantry Battalion

McDERMAID, Robert Bailey (Dvr) 21th Australian Infantry Battalion

McKECKNIE, John Sinclair (Dvr) 4th Field Artillery Brigade ,

McLUCKIE, John Law (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

McPHEE, John Alexander (Pte) 2nd Battalion Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Army

McPHEE, Norman Edward (Sgt) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

McQUEEN, George William (Lt) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

McSWAIN, John (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

MORIESON, Ivan (Pte) 29th Australian Infantry Battalion

MORISON, John (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

MORRISSEY, Frank (Pte) 10th Infantry Brigade Headquarters

MULLANE, Leslie Alexander (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

NIDDRIE, Stanley Roy (Sgt) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

NIVEN, James (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

NIVEN, William David (Pte) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

NORMAN, William Leslie (Cpl) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

O’NEILL, Thomas (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

ORD, Thomas Hugh (ACpl) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

OSBORNE, Percy Beaumont (LSgt) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

PARR, Alfred John (2nd Lt) (D.C.M.) 59th Australian Infantry Battalion

PEACH, William Robert (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

PORTER, Norman Leslie (Pte) 12th Australian Infantry Battalion

PRIMROSE, Leslie John (Lt) No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

RHOOK, Henry Joseph William (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

RICHIE, George (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

RIGBY, Frederick Angus Rowland (Tpr) 22 Corps Light Horse

SACK, James (Pte) 1st Australian Machine Gun Battalion

SALTER, Herbert Ernest (LCpl) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

SANGSTER, Leslie Fairburn (Spr) 2nd Australian Division Signals Company

SCOTT, Alexander William Pte) 21th Australian Infantry Battalion

SHARROCK, Charles (LCpl) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

SHEEHAN, Albert Edward (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion, D Company

SHEEHAN, Daniel Denis (Pte) 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

SLOAN, Joseph (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

SMITH, Edwin Richardson (M.M.) (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

SMYTH, James Norman (D.C.M.) (Tpr) 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment

STAGOLL, Robert Leslie (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEPHENS, William Hudson (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

STEVENSON, Alexander John (Sgt) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEVENSON, Edgar Richmond (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEWART, Charles Herbert (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEPHENS, William Hudson (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

TAYLOR, John Woolhouse (Pte) 28th Australian Infantry Battalion

TAYLOR, Robert James (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

TAYLOR, Thomas Henry (Pte) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

THOMAS, Edward Courtney (Pte) 6th Australian Field Ambulance

THOMPSON, William Norton (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

TILLEY, George Edward (Tpr) 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

TOLEMAN, Kenneth (2nd Lt) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

TORBET, Gordon James (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

TREDREA, Francis Stanley (Pte) 60th Australian Infantry Battalion

TRIGGER, Samuel Winifred (Pte) 30th Australian Infantry Battalion

TUCKER, Virgil (Cpt) 16th Australian Infantry Battalion

TULLY, John Luke Victor (Pte) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

WARING, Frederick Charles MacLeod (Cpl) Australian Army Postal Corps

WATERS, William Henry (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

WESTGARTH, Horace Leonard (LCpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

WHITE, James Michael (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

WILLIAMS, Clifford Davies (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

WILLIAMS, Lancelot Hamilton  (Spr) 4th Field Company, Australian Engineers

WILLIAMS, Lewis Henry Clifford (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

WINNELL, William (Pte) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

WOMERSLEY, Edgar (Tpr) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

YOUNG, Clarence Everard (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

YOUNGER, John James Affleck (Lt) 10th Australian Infantry Battalion

HAMILTON WAR MEMORIAL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63848

Returned Men

ARMITAGE, Harold William (Pte) 16th Australian Field Ambulance

AUSTIN, Glenister Burton (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

BARR, Gordon (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

BOYD, William Charles (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

BOXER, Walter Henry (M.M & Bar, D.C.M.) (LCpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

BRAKE, William (Pte) Australian Flying Corps

BROWN, Thomas (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

CAMERON, Archibald Douglas (Dvr) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

COWAN, Duncan Brown (D.C.M.) (LSgt) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

CREEK, Herbert (D.C.M.) (Cpl) 1st Australian Armoured Car Section

DAVIES, Albert  (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

LEARMONTH, Basil Law (Lt) Australian Flying Corps

LODGE, Augustus Bernard (D.S.O.) (Capt) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

LODGE, Frank Spry (M.C. M.M.) (Lt) 2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion

LOVETT, Alfred John Henry (Pte) 12th Australian Infantry Battalion

MILLS, John Craig (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

PORTER, George Richard (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

RHOOK, Archibald Alfred (LCpl) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

SHAW, Ivan Thomas (Dvr) 2nd Australian Divisional Ammunition Column

UNDERWOOD, Arthur Bell Percy (M.M.) (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

WENSLEY, Albert William (Pte) 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

YOUNG, Leonard Hamilton (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

Nurses

ALLEN, Caroline Mary (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Serivce

CAMERON, Edith Clare (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

DELAHENTY, Margaret (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

DONNES, Alice (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

GREWAR, Gertrude Agnes (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

HARRIS, Fanny May Red Cross Volunteer Nurse

HUGHES, Catherine Josephine (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

KENNEDY, Josephine Millicent (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

MALCOLM, Edith Eileen (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

MALCOLM, Stella Agnes Blyth (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

MALSTER, Lilian Martha (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

ROUNTREE, Evangeline Amelia (S Nurse) Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service

SCOTT, Norma Norham (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

Memorials and Honour Boards

Lest We Forget

LEGEND: 2ND LT = 2ND LIEUTENANT, BDR=BOMBARDIER, CAPT=CAPTAIN, CPL=CORPORAL, DCM=DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL, DSO=DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER, DVR=DRIVER, GNR=GUNNER, LCPL=LANCE CORPORAL, LT=LIEUTENANT, MC=MILITARY CROSS, MM=MILITARY MEDAL, MSM=MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL, PTE=PRIVATE, SGT=SERGEANT, S NURSE=STAFF NURSE, SPR=SAPPER, SR=SISTER, TRP=TROOPER, WO1=WARRANT OFFICER CLASS 1

Featured image courtesy of the State Library of Queenland

©2021 Merron Riddiford

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. 

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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