Passing of the Pioneers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HAMILTON MECHANICS INSTITUTE

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

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

GRAVE OF JOHN SANDISON, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

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

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

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

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

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

GRAVE OF CHRISTINA BULLEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Passing of the Pioneers

Eight new obituaries enter the Obituary Index this month.  Four of the eight men were involved in the liquor trade either as publicans or wine and spirit merchants.  Unfortunately, there are no women this month. Hopefully, I can make up for it in November.

CARMICHAEL, George – Died 30 October 1885 at Casterton.  George Carmichael arrived at Point Henry near Geelong with his brothers William and James around 1839.  They went to the Port Fairy district where they took up land, George at Spring Creek. On 22 April 1850, George married Mary Fraser and they went on to have ten children. The following year, George took up the Retreat run on the Glenelg River near Casterton from John Pearson.  The Black Thursday bushfires had been through the property in February that year.  He also purchased the Refuge estate of 600 acres around twenty kilometres from Retreat

George invested in good stock and the10,000 acres of Retreat went on to become one of the finest runs in the colony. His Merino sheep were among the best in Australia as were his cattle and horses.  At one point he owned one of the leading sires of the Western District, King Alfred (below).  He also owned well-known sires Lord Clyde for which he paid £750 and Agronomer.  

King Alfred. (1870, November 12). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 24. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70463151

In 1867, George and Mary’s daughter Grace died aged seven.  For many years, George was a Glenelg Shire Councilor including time as Shire President. He retired from his position in 1868 when he took up residence with his family at Claremont in Newtown, Geelong.  

CLAREMONT, NEWTOWN. Image courtesy of the J.T.Collins Collectin, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230837

During the time the Carmichaels were living in Geelong, Mary died on 6 May 1872 while at St Kilda.  George remarried the following year to Anne Wright.  George was a great supporter of the Casterton Racing Club and was a steward of the Geelong Racing Club.  He was always ready to help those in need and offer advice.   

George left his widow Anne and his large family.  Retreat and Refuge estate were sold in 1886.

RUTLEDGE, Richard – Died 28 October 1887 at Warrnambool. Richard Rutledge was born in Ireland and arrived in NSW around 1838 following his brother William who was at Molonglo Plain near Queanbeyan.  Richard stayed in NSW for four years before going to his brother’s run at Kilmore.  He remained there until 1845 when William took up the Farnham Park run near Warrnambool and Richard settled on part of it. 

From 1847, Richard was the honorary secretary of the Port Fairy Racing Club and raced steeplechasers at the course.  He also bred carriage horses with the successful sire Cantab. He made several trips back to NSW to bring back cattle and horses and on one occasion, he married Alice Dickenson at Parramatta on 11 August 1849.  In April 1852, Richard went off to the goldfields at Mt Alexandra. He was there for about a year and made £100 after much hard work.  In 1860, Richard and his family went to England so his daughters could be educated in that country. They lived in Brighton but returned home after five years because the cold weather was affecting Alice’s health.  They arrived back in Victoria in January 1866.

Richard was buried at Tower Hill next to his brother. It was one of the largest funerals seen in the district.  He left his widow Alice, three daughters, and a son.

PHILLIPS, Lionel – Died 3 October 1889 at Hamilton.  Lionel Phillips was born around 1847.  On coming to Australia, he spent time in Sydney around 1875 before going to New Zealand. He was a wine and spirit merchant in Queen Street, Auckland before becoming the manager of Ehrenfried’s Brewery at Thames on the North Island. On 6 May 1879, he returned to Sydney to marry Frances Marks at the Great Synagogue in Elizabeth Street.  By 1882, Lionel was the manager of the Phoneix Brewery near Richmond on the South Island. Around 1883, he returned to his former premises in Queen Street, Auckland, and reopened his wine and spirits business.  In 1884, he was insolvent, owing £1200 to his creditors. 

Lionel and his family returned to Sydney around 1886. In early 1889, Lionel with a Mr Williams, purchased the Western City Brewery in Hamilton and he moved his family to Victoria.  The family resided in Milton Street. 

VIEW OF HAMILTON VICTORIA. (1888, April 17). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR).  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225809074

Lionel was quick to involve himself in the community.  He joined in on the organising of the Hamilton Hospital Carnival and was selected as chairman of the Procession committee. Lionel was a large man who suffered from asthma.  He developed bronchitis during September and never recovered.  He was just forty-two at the time of his death.  He left his widow Frances and a large family.  Lionel was buried in the Jewish section of the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  The remains of his headstone are below.

GRAVE OF LIONEL PHILLIP, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

COWAN, Duncan – Died 21 October 1891 at Hamilton.  Duncan Cowan was born in Paisley, Scotland around 1831 and arrived in Hamilton around 1871. On 13 December 1876, he married Eliza Swan at the Caledonian Hotel in Hamilton.  Duncan was a cousin of Hamilton butcher Thoms Brown and he went to work for him as a bookkeeper and remained for around eight years, In 1883, he then went to work as the actuary at the Hamilton Savings Banks in Gray Street. He was one of the leading parishioners of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. 

ST ANDREWS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH & HAMILTON ANGLICAN CHURCH c1890 Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H11827 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

On the day of Duncan’s funeral, the bell of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church tolled.  He left his widow Eliza and a young family of four sons and one daughter. During WW1, two of Duncan’s sons served with Duncan Jr awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal.

CAMPBELL, Archibald Thomas – Died 29 October 1891 at Hamilton. Archibald Campbell was born around 1823 in Argyleshire, Scotland.  He arrived in Adelaide around 1850 but when gold was discovered in Victoria, he headed off to the Bendigo diggings.  He was there for some time before going on to the Murray district.  In 1860 he returned to Scotland where he married Mary Isabella McCallum. Archibald with his new bride, returned to Victoria the following year.  It wasn’t long before Archibald and his family were off to New Zealand where Archibald operated a shop in Dunedin until 1872 when they returned to Victoria. 

Archibald took up the license of the Green Hills Hotel at Condah and operated it until 31 December 1875.

Advertising (1872, December 25). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194844688

 In 1877, Archibald moved to Hamilton to run the Argyle Arms Hotel in Gray Street.

Advertising (1878, February 14). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226067802

He remained at the Argyle for around three years. In 1880, one of Archibald and Mary’s sons Allen died at Condah aged seven. By 1884, Archibald had opened a wine and spirit store in Gray Street.  The family home was at Pennycross on the Dunkeld Road, South Hamilton (now Ballarat Road).

Advertising (1890, February 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225770051

Archibald left his widow Mary, three sons, and three daughters.  

BRAIM, Thomas Henry – Died October 1891 in Derbyshire, England.  Thomas Braim was born in Yorkshire in 1814 and was educated at St John’s College Cambridge.  He arrived in Tasmania with his wife Elizabeth Liley in 1836 to take up the position of headmaster at the Bishop’s Grammar School School in Hobart.  In 1840, he arrived in Melbourne and established a school at the Wesleyan Chapel on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane. It didn’t get off the ground so he went to Sydney where he successfully applied for the position of headmaster of Sydney College.  During his time in New South Wales, he published educational books and a history of NSW. 

Thomas and his family returned to England in 1845 for a year before returning to Sydney.  In Victoria, Port Fairy townsmen James Atkinson and William Rutledge asked Thomas to their town to set up a school.  He travelled there on the Essington. the boat of Charles Mill of Port Fairy.  He set up a grammar school in James Street (below)

BRAIM HOUSE, JAMES STREET, PORT FAIRY

Soon after arriving in Port Fairy, Thomas was ordained and was put in charge of St Johns Church, then a small wooden chapel with room for fifty parishioners.  While in the district, he also established schools at Yambuk, Farnham, and Tower Hill. In 1854, Thomas became Archdeacon of Portland and was in the role when the foundation stone of St Stephen’s Church was laid.

St Stephens Church Foundation Stone

 

St Stephens Church Portland

On 16 August 1860, Elizabeth died at Port Fairy.  Thomas remarried the following year to Caroline Simpson.  Suffering poor health, Thomas went on leave to England in 1865 but he never returned to Australia.  He died in 1891 leaving his widow Caroline.  You can find out more about Thomas Braim on his entry in the Australian Biography Dictionary on the link – Thomas Henry Braim

REEN, Timothy Denis – Died 11 October 1892 at Hamilton.  Timothy Reen was born in County Kerry, Ireland around 1842.  He arrived in Australia around 1867 aged twenty-nine. Eventually, he got work on the construction of the Ararat to Portland railway line which opened in 1877.

In 1879, Timothy married Catherine Murphy at Hamilton. They went to Melbourne and Timothy took on the license of the Yarra Hotel in Conventry Street, South Melbourne that year.  In August 1882, they returned to Hamilton and Timothy took up the license of the Hamilton Inn in Lonsdale Street (below).

HAMILTON INN, LONSDALE STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of South AustraliaB 21766/53 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/53

In 1885, he took over the nearby Caledonian Hotel.

Advertising (1885, October 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225775361

In 1887, Timothy and Catherine’s daughter Kate died and was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  In August 1891, Timothy laid down plans to extend the accommodation at the Caledonian Hotel as well as adding several loose boxes.

Timothy was a devout Catholic and a great supporter of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Hamilton.  He was also one of the main drivers behind the construction of a parish school. He was a very close friend of Monsignor Michael Shanahan of St Mary’s.

ST MARY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, LONSDALE STREET, HAMILTON

In 1890, three seats became available on the Hamilton Borough Council so Timothy ran.  He received overwhelming support, finishing second in the polling behind Robert Stayplton Bree. Much of the debate during the election campaign was focused on the construction of a corporation saleyards in Hamilton, something that had been a hot topic for some time and would go on for a further decade.  In September 1892, Timothy drove some of his fellow councillors to inspect one of the proposed sites for the saleyards. He caught a chill which developed into severe congestion of the lungs which eventually claimed his life.

Timothy’s body was taken to St Mary’s Church and his open coffin was placed before the altar. 

DEATH OF CR. REEN. (1892, October 13). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225179741

On 13 October, a large crowd of mourners gathered to follow Timothy’s remains along Lonsdale Street, Hamilton en route to the cemetery.   At 2.30 pm, thirty-four members of the Hibernian Society entered the church to join Monsignor Shanahan.  The coffin was lifted and carried out to the waiting hearse.  Monsignor Shanahan travelled to the cemetery in a carriage behind the hearse, followed by the Hibernian Society, the mourning coach with Catherine and two of the eldest children, then the councillors followed by around sixty more vehicles, thirty men on horseback and many on foot.  The procession stretched around two kilometres.

GRAVE OF TIMOTHY REEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

Timothy left his widow Catherine, three sons, and three daughters, the eldest eleven and youngest just eight months old. In 1893, Catherine continued the running of the Caledonian until 1894. She also donated money to the Hibernian Australian Catholic Benefit Society (HACBS) after Timothy’s death. Timothy acquired much property during his time in Hamilton, including the Caledonian but also the large property Broxbourne which was retained after his death and leased by his estate.  Monsignor Shanahan was one of the executors of Timothy’s will.

Advertising (1894, May 19). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225780745

The Caledonian hotel was sold to Daniel Scullion in 1907.  Catherine died in 1909 at Hamilton.  Timothy and Catherine’s daughter, Julia joined the Loreto order of nuns in 1902.  Known as Sister Eucharia, she taught for many years at the Dawson Street campus of Loreto Convent and also Mary’s Mount in Ballarat.  Timothy Jnr served during WW1.

 NEHILL, William Francis – Died 9 October 1936 at Terang.  William Nehill was born around 1849 in County Limerick, Ireland. He arrived in Australia with his parents around 1852 and they settled at Birragurra.  In 1875, William married Roseanne Campell who was also born in Ireland. They went on to have three daughters and five sons together.

Around 1888, William leased the Terang Hotel, eventually buying it.  In 1900, he built a new hotel on the site and he went on to own it until his death. William was a keen cricketer and was captain of the Terang team for many years.  He was also involved with coursing.   He was a devout Catholic and a great supporter of St Thomas’ Catholic Church in Terang

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

In 1930, William was checking out the new St Thomas Parish Hall and fell from the stage, breaking his leg which left him incapacitated.  In October 1932, Roseanne died aged eighty-one.  William survived for a further four years until his death in October 1936.  More than 200 cars were in the funeral cortege, at the time, the most seen at a funeral to pass through Terang. There were more than 500 people at the Terang Cemetery.  Two of William and Roseanne’s children predeceased them including Edmund who died of wounds in France during WW1.

William’s daughter Mary continued to run the Terang Hotel until 1939 when the hotel was leased.

Terang (1939, February 9). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 29.http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article172029920

Passing of the Pioneers

September Passing of the Pioneers sees ten new obituaries enter the Obituary Index. I started writing in mid-August and between limited time and some interesting stories among the subjects, it’s taken me almost to the end of September to finish.  You can read about a father and son, a woman who lost her sons during WW1 and another her grandson, and two young people who did so much in their comparatively short lives. There are also some connections as there often are.  They include two Branxholme pioneers who both operated out of the same shop. One of them became mixed up with rogue Hamilton solicitor Louis Horwitz just as another of the subjects did, however, their experiences were very much different.

WALKER, Duncan Stewart – Died 29 September 1889 at Camperdown. Duncan Stewart was born around 1827 in Arglyeyshire, Scotland. After the death of his father, Duncan came to Australia with his mother, arriving at Geelong in 1841.  Just thirteen  Duncan gained employment at Kardinia on the Barwon River, the run of Dr Alexander Thomson remaining for ten years.  He then went into partnership with Robert Lowe in a tanning and currier business on the Barwon River.  It operated successfully until the river flooded in June 1852. The following year the partnership was dissolved.

Advertising (1853, March 5). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), p. 2 (DAILY.). Retrieved August 30, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94360577

However, Duncan started a partnership with another member of the Lowe family in 1853 when he married Robert’s sister Margaret.  Soon after he bought two lots of land at Lismore in September 1853 at a price of £25. Around 1860, he took over operations of the Leura Hotel at Camperdown and he and Margaret moved to that town

LEURA HOTEL, CAMPERDOWN. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/307684

After selling the hotel in 1867 to John Wiggins, Duncan went into partnership with John Paton in the Dixie estate on the Mount Emu Creek near Terang, but eventually, Paton left the partnership.  Duncan was elected to the Hampden Shire Council in 1870 and sat until 1888 serving as president for the last two years.  He was also the first chairman of directors of the Cobden Cheese and Butter Factory in October 1888.

COBDEN CHEESE & BUTTER FACTORY. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/772409

Duncan was an elder of the Terang Presbyterian Church,(below), and was also involved with the church at Camperdown and Ecklin. He had a special interest in ensuring the religious needs of the Presbyterian community of the Heytesbury Forest were met.

TERANG PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/3044 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63615

In 1886, Duncan sold Dixie estate.

Items of News. (1886, December 11). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved August 30, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226158486

It was subsequently subdivided.

SUBDIVISION OF DIXIE ESTATE Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85606

After his death, memorial services were held for Duncan at the Presbyterian churches in the Terang district.

BROWN, Elizabeth Moncreif – Died 2 September 1900 at Hamilton. Elizabeth Brown, known as Bessie was born at Hamilton in1868, the eldest child of butcher Thomas Brown and Mary Ann Cameron.  When she was eight, she suffered from a bout of severe inflammation of the lungs damaging one of her lungs permanently. Bessie never married and devoted her life to her faith, charity, and temperance.  She was an active member of Hamilton’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church as a Sunday School teacher and honourary organist for around ten years.  

ST. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (foreground) c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

In May 1900, at the financial business meeting of the church, Bessie was given a purse of sovereigns in recognition of her work as the organist.  She was also given a bound copy of the new Hymnary which was making its way into Victorian Presbyterian churches after being adopted by churches in Scotland.  Her father spoke on her behalf saying Bessie’s work was “purely a labour of love, and from sincere desire to advance the welfare of the church.”

Bessie was a member of the Hamilton branch of the Band of Hope, the Hamilton Total Abstinence Society, Society of Christian Endeavour of which she was treasurer, and she was secretary of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) from the time of its inception in Hamilton. At the last WCTU meeting before her death on 14 August 1900. when the time came for Bessie’s secretary’s report, her father was called on to read it, with the chairman commenting he was sorry they could not induce her to read the report herself.  

On 29 August 1900, Bessie contracted a cold, and inflammation to her lungs resulted. She rallied for a time, but things took a turn for the worse on 1 September and she died the following morning aged just thirty-two. She was remembered for her quiet, unassuming nature and her devotion and enthusiasm to her various voluntary endeavours.  That admiration was evident with the large attendance at Bessie’s funeral. The pallbearers were made up of prominent townsmen including three past and future Hamilton Mayors. 

Items of News. (1900, September 6). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225689541

After Bessie’s death, The Band of Hope held a special night of entertainment to honour her work with the organisation.  Bessie’s father Thomas died in 1903 and in 1904, memorial windows in honour of Bessie and Thomas were unveiled at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

RYAN, Anthony – Died 2 September 1901 at Perth.  Anthony Ryan was born to Thomas Ryan and Margaret Witherow at Sebastopol in 1871. Thomas worked with Victoria Railway and with the opening up of the railways in the south-west in the late 1870s, the Ryans moved close to Hamilton. Thomas worked as the railway gatekeeper at Pierrepoint on the Penshurst line. Anthony, known to all as Tony, attended the Warrayure State School just east of Hamilton.  He was a very bright student and his final marks saw him offered a scholarship to the Hamilton Academy to complete matriculation.  While still a student, he was also helping as an assistant teacher, and on finishing his matriculation, he began teaching in his own right at the Academy.

THE HAMILTON ACADEMY. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/58

He was then appointed headteacher of St Mary’s School in Hamilton around 1900. Around the same time, Tony’s younger brother Edmund was following in his footsteps. He had received a scholarship from the Academy and was dux in 1890.  Edmund was then was taken on as an articled clerk with local solicitors Samuel and Horwitz. He showed an aptitude for the law but his life was cut short at just seventeen. Edmund died on 20 June 1892 from rheumatic fever.  Tony and Edmund’s mother had only died in the months before.

That same year, Tony left education and himself went in the law, working as a clerk for Samuel & Horwitz and beginning his study for the law examination. When partner Samuel Samuel was elected to Victoria’s Legislative Assembly for the seat of Dundas in April 1892, Tony became his private secretary. Samuel, however, died suddenly in Melbourne on 28 July 1892.  Tony got involved with the Hamilton branch of the Progressive Political League. He was appointed acting honorary secretary in January 1893 and in August 1893 was elected president.  He was vice-president of the Catholic Young Men’s Society. He was also the secretary fo the Grangeburn Cricket Club and 4 October 1895 turned down a nomination for President because he would “probably leave Hamilton”.

Probably became definitely soon after when Tony aged twenty-four announced he was leaving for the Western Australian goldfields. On 17 October 1895, he was given a send-off at the Caledonian Hotel. It appears he travelled first to Niagara close to 200 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie and where gold was discovered in January 1895.  It was there he had an interest in a butcher shop with Mr Hill.  He then headed to the goldfields further north in the area between Leonora and Laverton, at the Mounts Margaret, Morgans, and Malcolm goldfields.

Tony got into action quickly and threw himself into the community. He was chairman of the first progress committee at  Malcolm and chairman of the hospital committee. He contributed to the Goldfields Press and the sporting journal The Umpire.  He also joined Charles Geddes in partnership in building the Royal Hotel at Malcolm 1897 which they conducted successfully.  

ROYAL HOTEL, MALCOLM (1899, June 3). The Menzies Miner WA, p. 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article233066431

It was eventually time for both Tony and Charles Geddes to move on.  They sold the Royal Hotel and in September 1898, they were given a send-off by the people of Malcolm They explained their partnership would continue and they knew of some land which had not been prospected so they were going to try their luck. Two months later it was announced they were opening the Golden Pinnacle mine at the British Flag. Their luck must have been out because  Tony apparently ended up at Freemantle working at solicitors firm as an accountant. He then worked with a solicitor in Perth, before joining Dalgety & Co.  He then returned to the east and Hamilton.

GRAY STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399057

On 7 March 1899, the Young Catholic Men’s welcomed Tony back to Hamilton and gave a talk about the geography of inland Western Australia, an area he described as the “land of sand and sorrow”. Over summer 1900, as all good Hamiltonians do he enjoyed a holiday in Port Fairy staying at the Star of the West Hotel. He also joined the Liberals and at a meeting in Hamilton in April 1900 to discuss all things political in the Shire of Dundas, Tony was appointed chairman. He also returned to work for Louis Horwitz.  It was said he assisted Horwitz on his work “The Consolidation of the Statutes of Victoria.” volumes of which were published in 1898 but also in September 1899. That would have left little time for Tony to contribute.

LOUIS HORWITZ (1898, December 1). Melbourne Punch , p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article180221822

The goldfields of the west were once again summoning him.  At least friends from Mount Margaret who had notified him of a chance for candidature in upcoming WA elections It was an opportunity Tony couldn’t miss. He had a yearning for political life. In February 1901, a group met at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Thompson Street Hamilton to once again farewell Tony before his departure for the west. Louis Horwitz was among the speakers.

PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL, HAMILTON. (1888, April 17). Hamilton Spectator, p. 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225809074

The Evening Star in Perth conveyed news of the send-off from an article from The Age.  They added the following,

Political (1901, March 7). The Evening Star (Boulder, WA), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202849093

Unfortunately for Tony, he was not accepted as a candidate for the Labor party. His time away impeded his chances and he just missed out to fellow candidate George Taylor.  Tony joined George’s campaign assisting him in winning the seat.  On 16 April 1901, Tony was given a send-off at Lenora before his return to Perth after the elections.  He was presented with an inscribed gold locket.     
The Mt Lenora Miner, reflecting back only five months before when Tony was leaving Leonora, commented, “frequent were the remarks that the future premiership of the colony was within Mr Ryan’s grasp”.  The Mount Morgans Miner remembered him as one of the pioneers of Malcolm.  Tony was only thirty when he died but had done so much and had such a bright future. He was likened in several obituaries to West Australian Charles Vosper who died in January 190. They were taking similar paths into Western Australian public life.  They were also buried in the same cemetery, both in the Roman Catholic section.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
On 5 December 1902, a group of Hamilton townsmen met at the Prince of Wales Hotel to discuss a memorial for Tony. On 10 February 1904, a memorial was unveiled at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  Senator Trenwith was in town at the time so was asked to assist with the unveiling along with Father Shanahan.  A letter was read from Louis Horwitz who could not attend.

MEMORIAL FOR ANTHONY RYAN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

BEST, Jabez – Died 9 September 1903 at Branxholme. Born in Hastings, England around 1821, Jabez arrived in Tasmania with his parents in 1829.  He remained there until  23 September 1843 when at the age of twenty-two, he boarded the Minerva and travelled to Portland Bay.  His brother Thomas had arrived there a year earlier on 20 April 1842 also on the Minerva. Thomas had made his way to the area known then as Arrandoovong, later becoming Branxholme. and was running the Travellers Rest hotel. 

In 1853, Jabez married Nanny Penrose and they went on to have six children.  Jabez ran a store in Branxholme and was also the first postmaster, not to mention the Electoral Registrar, Dog Inspector. the correspondent for the Common School, and Registrar for Births, Deaths, and Marriages something he did for forty years before his daughter Sarah carried on the role. Jabez was a member of the Branxholme Presbyterian Church congregation and was the first secretary of the Branxholme Branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Jabez, who lived in Wyndham Street, Branxholme was rightly opposed to the poor treatment of the local aboriginals who knew him as “Sixty-Six”.  He was an abstainer and member of the Sons of Temperance. At the time of his death, he was the oldest pledged total abstainer in the Commonwealth having attended the first public Temperance meeting held in Tasmanian sometime around 1840.

Jabez left his widow Nanny, two sons, and four daughters to mourn him. He was buried at the Branxholme Cemetery, The Best family are remembered on the Branxholme Pioneer Wall, below.

BRANXHOLME PIONEER WALL

HAMILTON, Barnabas – Died 19 September 1907 at Kirkstall. Barnabas Hamilton was born around 1830 in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland. As a young man, he made a trip to New York but returned to Scotland where he married Ann Hope on 27 May 1854. Not long after, Barnabas and Ann, along with John, Catherine, and Matthew Hamilton, the parents and younger brother of Barnabas, began their journey to Australia. They set off from Aberlady, East Lothian travelling first to Edinburgh then Glasgow and then on to Plymouth, England where they sailed aboard the Oithona on 21 October 1854. They arrived at Portland on 30 January 1855.

John and Catherine went on to Warrnambool while Barnabas and Ann went to Kirkstall as Barnabas had obtained work on the property of Andrew Laidlaw. He remained there for three years before joining a shearing team at William Rutledge’s property Farnham Park between Warrnambool and Tower Hill. Barnabas and Ann settled at Kirkstall and raised six children. Barnabas was an elder of the Koroit Presbyterian Church (below).    

KOROIT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/389090

Barnabas was seventy-seven at the time of his death and left his widow Ann, four sons, and two daughters. He was buried at the Tower Hill Cemetery. Ann died in 1916. 

In 1937, four years after the death of Barnabas and Ann’s son John Hope Hamilton (see obituary below), a dusty box was found amongst his things.  Inside was an old diary belonging to Barnabas. It was then found Barnabas had visited New York prior to his marriage to Ann and their departure for Australia.  In the diary, Barnabas went into great detail describing the daily routine of the Sing Sing prisoners and the design of the prison.  You can read more on the link – Diary of Barnabas Hamilton.

SILBERBERG, Mayer Matus – Died 6 September 1908 at St Kilda. Mayer Silberberg was born around 1843 in Poland. While Mayer was still a young child, he and his parents Sciacob (Jacob) and Golda, two elder sisters and an elder brother made their way to England. They then left London on 2 August 1853 aboard the ship Asia bound for Australia, arriving at Port Phillip. They settled in Melbourne and Jacob ran a shop in Queen Street. At one stage the family was living in Bourke Street opposite the Theatre Royal.

When he was fourteen, Mayer’s mother Golda died on 17 August 1857  aged forty. By then, Jacob was running a small shop in Little LaTrobe Street and by 1860, Mayer was working at the pawnbroker’s store of Wolf Brasch in Swanston Street. Wolf was also Mayer’s brother-in-law having married Esther Silberberg in 1857. 

Jacob Silberberg moved to Macarthur by 1863 to operate the  French General Store and Mayer followed his father.

Advertising (1863, March 6). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser, p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194859010

Jacob built a new store in Macarthur in 1866 which Mayer helped him run. In 1869 and at the age of twenty-six, it was time for Mayer to out on his own and he took over the store of Jabez Best (see obituary above) at Branxholme.  

Advertising (1869, May 15). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser, p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194473249

In 1872, Mayer married Caroline Issacs and they went on to have seven children. He also continued to build up his business.

Advertising (1872, August 21). Hamilton Spectator, p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194847009

Mayer took over the shop of Mr Maxwell at Condah in 1879. He took out a grocer’s liquor license as he had done with the Branxholme store, something that would not have happened while teetotaller Jabez Best owned it.   

Advertising (1899, July 29). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Retrieved September 6, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225680581

In January 1885, there was a fire at Mayer’s Branxholme store. The family home was attached and they lost all their possessions but Mayer rebuilt. 

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator  14 February 1885:   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225661212

Mayer also took part in money lending.

Advertising (1889, August 15). Hamilton Spectator p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225764094

Mayer was active in the community.  He was a member of the Branxholme Mechanics Institute and a founder of the Branxholme Debating Society. He was secretary of the Branxholme Cemetery trust for seventeen years.  On 1 May 1885, a rifle club was formed at Branxholme on Mayer’s suggestion and he was a member of the first committee. Mayer was a Portland Shire councillor for around fourteen years and was president at the time of Australia’s Federation in 1901

In February 1902, Mayer announced was retiring from business and was moving to Melbourne. In March 1902, he resigned from his position on the Portland Shire Council  He was described by the Portland Guardian as the “Pooh-Bah” of Branxholme. The following month, on 4 April 1902, a gathering was held at Branxholme to farewell Mayer and Caroline from the district.  John Thomson of Monivae presided and various tributes were paid, telling of the charitable work of the pair.  They were presented with two silver dishes.  The inscription read, “Presented to Mr, and Mrs. Silberberg by the residents of Branxholme and Condah, as a token of esteem and regard, on their departure from the district after a residence of 32 years”. Soon after they moved to their new home in  High St, Prahan. 

In November 1903, Mayer lent his son Sidney £2000 plus interest so Sidney, a solicitor could enter a partnership with Hamilton solicitor Louis Horwitz. Horwitz guaranteed Sidney a return of £1000 return per annum. In June 1904, Horwitz left Hamilton for Western Australia. Reports came back a week after his departure that had fallen overboard from a ship between Adelaide and Freemantle and drowned.  Soon after, Sidney began hearing his partner had misappropriated significant sums of money from many Hamilton and district residents.  It turned out Horwitz didn’t drown.  He had faked his death and was subsequently brought back to Victoria to stand trial, leading to jail time.  That didn’t help Sidney.  He was insolvent and his father became a creditor of Horwitz.  Sidney faced the insolvency court in 1906.         

Mayer Silberberg died on 6 September 1908 at his home in High Street Prahan, leaving his widow Caroline, four sons, and three daughters. He was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery. Mayer left money in his will to the St Kilda and East Melbourne Synagogues, the Children’s Hospital, and the Melbourne Jewish Philanthropic Society.

The repercussions of Sidney’s failed partnership with Louis Horwitz were still dragging on in 1913, as Mayer’s family were trying to settle his estate.  Proceedings in the Insolvency court focused on a second mortgage taken out by Mayer on land in Hamilton and the underestimation of his proof of debt.  If you are interested in learning more you can read the related articles on the following links – Insolvency Court 1 – 7 November 1913 and Insolvency Court 2 – The Outcome – December 1913 

URQUHART, Alexander Wilson – Died 20 September 1911 at Myamyn.   Alexander Urquhart was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1822.  He arrived at Portland in 1853 and got work at Bowett station.  Soon after he married Euphemia McDonald of Branxholme. About ten years into their marriage they moved to the Whittlebury district near Condah.  Alexander obtained work as a shepherd for Cecil Cooke at the Lake Condah estate. He continued in that work for forty-seven years eventually working for Cecil’s son Samuel Winter Cooke.

In 1901, a bushfire that started at Tahara spread to the Condah area. Alexander’s wife Euphemia had her hands and feet badly burnt and was lucky to be saved by one her sons. Their home was not saved.  Alexander and Euphemia took up residence at the Condah Hills homestead where their son John was the manager.  Euphemia, who never fully recovered from the shock of the fires, died in July 1907. When Condah Hills was sold by Samuel Winter Cooke in 1911, Alexander went to live with his son but his health quickly declined.  Alexander left five sons and three daughters and was buried at the Myamyn cemetery.

BARCLAY, Janet – Died 4 September 1916 at Hamilton.  Janet Johnstone was born around 1840 in Scotland. Her family arrived in Victoria was she was still a young child and her father John Barclay operated the Greenvale Inn near Heywood. Janet married James Bannam in 1864 and they went on to have nine children.  She was an active woman, often outdoors, and was an excellent horsewoman. Janet had great community spirit and was always ready to help.  Back in the times when medical help was still some distance away, she was often called on to for assistance. 

In early June 1895, an explosion at the sawmill of James Bannam at Dunmore near Heywood, her son Arthur Bannam was killed along with her brother Robert Barclay.  WW1 broke and Janet grandson John died in 1915 from wounds received at Gallipoli.  Janet fell sick in September 1916 and was taken from her home in Milltown to the Hamilton Hospital where she died. She was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery. Janet left her husband James, seven sons, and two daughters.

McPHERSON, Mary – Died 30 September 1920 at Bostock’s Creek.  Mary McPherson was born in Canada to Scottish parents around 1848.  She arrived in Australia with her parents when she was four.  In 1869, Mary married Arthur Clingin. Arthur had discovered the Homeward Bound reef at Hillsborough in north-east Victoria around 1865.  They went on to have eight sons and two daughters. Arthur died in November 1897.  At the time her youngest child was just five and her oldest twenty-six. Mary made a move to the Camperdown district around 1900. She spent fifteen years living at Bostocks Creek. Tragedy came in November 1912, her son Wilfred, known to the family as “Little Billy” died in Albany, Western Australia at the age of thirty-two,

Mary was a member of the local Church of England congregation and helped out with community events. During WW1 three of Mary’s sons enlisted and she did her bit with the Red Cross.  The war, however, took its toll on Mary who suffered anxiety while her sons where away, heightened by the capture of her son George as a POW.  George died in a POW camp from pneumonia in 1918.  Mary died on 30 September 1930 and was buried at Camperdown Cemetery,  

HAMILTON, John Hope – Died 13 September 1933 at Camperdown.

SOME OF THE JUDGES, ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW—No. 3. (1911, September 21). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic.), p. 19. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146571833

John Hamilton was born at Kirkstall around 1856 to Barnabas Hamilton and Ann Hope. When still a boy, he went to work at nearby Farnham Park where his father also worked.  After seven years John was taken on as manager and remained for a further four years.  He then rented a dairy farm from William Horne at Allansford sending milk from his cows to the Warrnambool Butter Factory.  In 1882, John married Mary Alice Smith of Port Fairy. 

John and Mary then moved to Renny Hill on the banks of Lake Bullen Merri at Camperdown, with John taking over the running of the dairy which at the time was at the top of Park Lane, later named Taylor Avenue. Eventually, John became the manager of the whole estate from about 1911. The family lived in the manager’s residence (below). until around 1921 when they moved to their own home in Taylor Avenue opposite Rennyhill.

MANAGER’S RESIDENCE RENNY HILL, CAMPERDOWN (1899, August 12). Leader (Melbourne, Vic ), p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO “THE LEADER”). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198073954

When John arrived at Renny HIll the cows were mostly Jersey but he purchased a shorthorn bull at the Royal Melbourne Show, greatly improved the herd. He also set about improving the dairy and built a piggery.  So successful was his farm management, he won the Leader Dairy Farms Competition, worth 50 guineas, and open to all farms in the State. Mr. Hamilton’s portion of the prize was an inscribed silver teapot, given to him by William Taylor. Photos of Renny Hill also appeared in the Leader newspaper as seen below.

RENNY HILL, CAMPERDOWN (1899, August 12). Leader (Melbourne, Vic), p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO “THE LEADER”). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198073954

The following year, the Camperdown Chronicle included John in a series “Talks with District Dairymen” and he imparted his expert knowledge of dairy farming. A sample is below

TALKS WITH DISTRICT DAIRYMEN. (1900, May 17). Camperdown Chronicle p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26108100

William Taylor wasn’t keen on cropping, but eventually, John convinced him to trial three acres of oats. So impressive was the crop, oat cropping became a regular part of the farm.  John also trained sheep dogs and was in demand as a cattle judge at agriculture shows throughout the Western District and the Royal Melbourne Show.  He was also involved with the Camperdown Pastoral and Agriculture.

During WW1, George Leonard Hamilton, a son of John and Ann served with the 7th Field Engineers as a farrier reaching the rank of Sergeant and being Mienitoned in Distpatches.  Mary died on 11 November 1931.  In March 1933, just six months before John’s death, the Camperdown Chronicle ran a story on John, preserving some of his memories.  John was seventy-seven at the time of his death on 13 September 1933. He was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery leaving five sons and one daughter.

Passing of the Pioneers

Some of my favourite early settler stories come from those who had almost a lifetime of experiences before they reached Victoria.  Some of those I’ve written about here had travelled to such places as the Americas, the Middle East, and Indonesia during the 1840s and 1850s.  One of the subjects this month, Adolphe Destree had similar experiences and had basically travelled around the world before he reached Portland in his early twenties.  Nine others join Adolphe for June and while they hadn’t travelled the world, they still have their own interesting stories to tell.

DESTREE, Adolphe Jean Baptist – Died 11 June 1875 at Hamilton. Adolphe Destree was born at The Hague, Netherlands around 1835. He trained as a watchmaker and spent time working in Europe and London before travelling to North America.  After working in New Orleans and New York he sailed to Melbourne arriving in April 1857 on the Hussar

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1857, May 1). Mount Alexander Mail p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197086715

After some time working in Melbourne and only still in his early twenties, Adolphe made his way to Portland. He set up shop there, working out of the Portland Dispensary in Percy Street.

Advertising (1858, April 2). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876), p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64570850

In 1860, Adolphe decided to leave Portland for Hamilton.

Advertising (1860, February 29). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64513647

He set up shop in a slab hut near the corner of Gray and Brown Streets, Hamilton, then known as Keepings Corner after the local tinsmiths operating from that corner.

Advertising (1860, June 2). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser, p. 1.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194860690

On 1 February 1863, Adolphe married Annie O’Donnell and a son Adolphe Jr was born at Hamilton in 1864, the first of a family of five sons and one daughter. Henrietta born in 1868 sadly died at the age of ten months.

Adolphe moved his business from the slab hut to a more substantial shop in Gray Street closer to the intersection with Thompson Street. On the night of 20 September 1870, a fire broke out in Gray Street destroying seven shops including Adolphes.  Like many of the business owners, the Destree’s lived behind the shop and lost all their possessions.

DISASTROUS FIRE AT HAMILTON. (1870, September 21). Hamilton Spectator p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196305860

Adolphe moved into a shop across the road near the corner of Gray and Thompson while he rebuilt and he moved his family to Kennedy Street.

Advertising (1870, September 21). Hamilton Spectator p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196305853

Adolphe had an active public life.  He was on the committee of the Mechanics Institute from 1861 and the committee of the Hamilton Hospital and Benevolent Asylum from the mid-1860s. He was elected to the council in 1865 and was elected Mayor in 1868. With a young family, Adolphe was interested in the provision of education in the town. He was a shareholder and early director of the Hamilton & Western District College Company Ltd. and the honourary secretary and treasurer of the Hamilton Common School.

On 11 February 1875, Annie gave birth to a son Harold but exactly four months later on 11 June, Adolphe died after a short illness leaving Annie and five young sons. He was only forty. Adolphe was buried at the Hamilton Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF ADOLPHE DESTREE, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

Annie initially continued on Adolphe’s business but by September 1875 she had sold to Farroll & Sons Jewellery Importers.

TYTHERLEIGH, Robert – Died 17 June 1889 at Casterton.  Robert Tytherleigh was born in Axminster, Devonshire, England in 1807.  He arrived at Portland in January 1857 aboard the Mary Ann with his wife Susan and two sons, James and George.  The family settled in Portland and Robert began work as a blacksmith and farrier in Percy Street.

Advertising (1860, February 15). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser p. 4  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64513528

In 1881, Robert and Susan went to Casterton to live with his son.  He died in June 1889 aged eighty leaving Susan and five sons. One son and a daughter predeceased him.

In 1907, a son of Robert and Susan, John Tytherleigh must have been doing some family history research when he wrote to the Portland Guardian, hoping to find out the details of the arrival of the Mary Ann in 1857. The Guardian in response reprinted the shipping details from the papers edition of 30 January 1857.

The Emigrant Ship Mary Ann (1907, March 20). Portland Guardian p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63964872

FALKENBERG, Johann – Died 9 June 1899 at Byaduk.  Johann Falkenberg was born around 1835 in Prussia.  He arrived in Adelaide around 1852 and spent time in South Australia working for his brother before travelling to Victoria. He was just east of Hamilton at Pierrepoint for a couple of years before returning to South Australia. It wasn’t until 1863 when Johann finally settled in Victoria, taking up one of the first selections at Byaduk. In 1868, he married Ann Hallam and they went on to have a large family. Sadly Ann died in 1881 aged thirty-two leaving Johann with seven young children.

On several occasions, Johann wrote letters to the editor of the Hamilton Spectator. In 1874, he wrote of the plight of the selector farmer competing for land against the graziers.

THE HAMILTON LOCAL LAND BOARD. (1874, December 5). Hamilton Spectator p. 4.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226073023

He had ongoing sheep thefts from his properties and in 1884, he wrote of what appeared to be a case of one law for some and not for others.

FOREIGNERS AND ENGLISH LAW. (1884, September 30). Hamilton Spectator p. 4.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225660441

Rabbits were in plague proportions around the Byaduk area during Johann’s time there, living in the stones from the ancient lava flow of Mount Napier.  Johann felt he was the “greatest sufferer” in the rabbit situation.

Items of News. (1892, August 13). Hamilton Spectator p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226167070

Johann died in 1899 aged sixty-four and was buried at the Byaduk Cemetery.  He left four sons and three daughters, the youngest of whom was nineteen.

GRAVE OF JOHANN FALKENBERG, BYADUK CEMETERY

KERR, Elizabeth Adams – Died 1 June 1913 at Hamilton. Elizabeth Kerr was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1833.  She arrived in Sydney with her parents in November 1841 aboard the Trinidad.  Her father Thomas Kerr was a police constable in Sydney but he took up a job of customs officer at Portland which saw the family’s move to Victoria.  In 1850, Elizabeth married Walter Herd and they moved to the Coleraine district. They raised a family of five daughters but Walter died in December 1876 and was buried at the Coleraine Cemetery. In 1878, Elizabeth married  Thomas Penhall in 1878 and she continued living at Coleraine.  Thomas died in November 1912 so Elizabeth moved to Hamilton to live with her cousin Albert Kerr of Lonsdale Street. She died there on 1 June 1913 leaving five daughters.

BROKENSHIRE, John – Died 4 June 1914 at Hamilton. John Brokenshire was born about 1849 in Cornwall, England, and arrived in Australia around the mid-1860s.  In 1872, he selected seventy-seven acres of land in the Victoria Valley which he sold in March 1877.  He had married Emma Cooper in 1876 and the couple moved to Hamilton where John worked as a labourer. Their first child, a daughter Emily, was born that year.

The Brokenshire family saw much tragedy. John and Emma had nine children in total. Three children were born between 1876 and 1880 but by the end of 1880, they had all died.  Baby John died in February 1879. Then came a diphtheria epidemic in 1880.  Emma and her daughter Emily were admitted to the Hamilton Hospital in late April displaying symptoms of the disease. Emily died and was buried on 2 May.  Young Henry also fell ill and died on 19 May from erysipelas, a complication of his diphtheria diagnosis. In a matter of fifteen months, their three babies were gone.  Four more children were born during the 1880s, but three-year-old Thomas died in January 1888.  Two children were born in the 1890s, Elizabeth in 1892 and Joseph in 1895.

On 21 April 1914, another of the Brokenshire children would meet an untimely end. Twenty-six-year-old James was killed while helping convert the former Wesleyan Methodist Church in McIntyre Street, Hamilton into a private home.  The scaffolding James was standing on collapsed, and he fell onto a pile of bluestone and died soon after. John took the news hard and he died less than two months later. It was thought the shock of losing James advanced his demise.  John was sixty-five and left his widow Emma and two sons and two daughters.  Then on 27 March 1918, more tragedy when one of the remaining sons Joseph was killed in action in France

DAVIS, Hester Jane – Died 4 June 1914 at Mortlake. Hester Davis was born in Somerset, England about 1850 arriving in Victoria when she was around sixteen.  She married Thomas Montgomery on 28 April 1870 at Warrnambool.  They had no children.

Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers, 21 May 1870 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60449106

THOMAS MONTGOMERY – VIEWS IN AND AROUND MORTLAKE. (1902, February 8). Weekly Times p. 11.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221230136

The Montgomery’s lived at Killymard at Mortlake. Thomas was a shire councilor and also served as shire president with Hester accompanying him to many official functions. Hester was a devout Methodist and attended the Mortlake Methodist Church (below). She was involved with the church community in many ways including as a Sunday School teacher.

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

Hester died in 1914 aged sixty-four. She was remembered at a memorial service at the Methodist Church on 21 June 1914.  Memories of Hester, written by congregation members were read. 

IN MEMORIAM SERVICE. (1914, June 24). Mortlake Dispatch p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119790806

In September 1916, a memorial tablet for Hester was unveiled at the Mortlake Methodist Church. Thomas had remarried the year before to the widow of the Reverend H.J. Brownell, the former minister of the Terang and Mortlake Methodist Church who died in October 1898.  Thomas Montgomery died in March 1920.

RIGBY, William – Died 17 June 1914 at Portland. William Rigby was born in Staffordshire around 1850 and arrived in Victoria aboard the Athletae with his parents in 1855.  The family settled in Heywood. When William was older he went to work for the shire council and was the caretaker and librarian of the Heywood Mechanics Institute. In 1872, he married Sarah Ann Lovell.  In May 1898, William’s wife Sarah Ann died aged forty-four. in 1901, William remarried to Caroline Heazlewood Bye. William was a member of the Sons of Temperance and the Methodist Church. In January 1905, William went to Portland to celebrate the jubilee anniversary of his family’s arrival in Victoria.

Portland Guardian, 1 February 1905 p2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63691228

In March 1913, William resigned from his position as an officer of the Heywood Shire Council.  He had bought a cottage in Portland and was retiring there.  He died only fifteen months later at the age of sixty-five. He left his widow Caroline and his children from his first marriage to Sarah Lovell.

HEALY, Margaret – Died 8 June 1917 at Macarthur. Margaret Healy was born around 1837 in Kilkenny, Ireland. She arrived in Australia around 3 June 1852.  In 1854, she married Joseph Twist and they settled at Macarthur then known as Eumeralla. At the time there were only three tents and a wooden building called Robbies Store.  Margaret lived out her life at Macarthur and was eighty-six at the time of her death.  She left her husband Joseph, two sons, and four daughters. Joseph Twist died in 1919.

AUSTIN, Harriet – Died June 1917 at Hamilton. Harriet Austin was born in Huntingdonshire, England around 1837.  She married Thomas Walker and they had two children before they boarded the Ocean Home for Victoria in 1860.  On arrival, the Walkers headed for Hamilton settling in North Hamilton.  Around 1907, Harriet and Thomas took up residence in Collins Street, Hamilton.  Harriet died in late June 1917 and was buried at the Hamilton Cemetery on 26 June. She left her husband Thomas and five sons and two daughters. Thomas placed a Bereavement Notice in the Hamilton Spectator.

 Hamilton Spectator, 30 June 1917 p. 5 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119852490

MITCHELL, Alfred – Died 15 June 1932 at Sandford. Alfred Mitchell was born at Henty near Merino in 1865. On the death of his father Richard, Alfred inherited part of his land and after buying further land, he was able to establish the property, Trevellas Downs.  In 1888, he married Elizabeth Cox. Alfred was a leader of agriculture in the district and always open to new ideas.  His dairy herd was considered one of the finest in Victoria.  He was also a Justice of the Peace and Glenelg Shire councilor for 22 years from 1908 to 1926 and from 1928 to 1932 and president in 1916/7.  In 1931, Alfred lost his woolshed, skin shed, and grain when a fire went through Trevellas Downs.

THE HOMESTEAD AT TREVELLAS DOWNS, c1900. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/769284

At the time of his death, Alfred left his widow Elizabeth, four sons, and two daughters.  He was buried at the Sandford Cemetery.

Passing of the Pioneers

One of the best things about finishing a Passing of the Pioneers post is adding the new pioneers to the Pioneer Obituary Index.  If they have family already in the index, I link them up. When you look at the index, you will see parents, siblings, spouses, aunties, uncles, and/or cousins listed beside some of the pioneers. It’s to make it easier for you if you come across a relative in the index. There will be some linking to do now I’ve finished this post.  Previous passing pioneers Alice Sandry will “reunite” with her husband, Mary Ann Skilbeck with her brother, and David Hutton will have his son join him.  Don’t forget to click on underlined text throughout the post to read more information about a subject.

WYLIE, James Roxburgh – Died 20 May 1876 at Hamilton. James Wylie was born in Scotland around 1843, a son of Hugh Wylie and Margaret Roxburgh.  He attended the University of Glasgow where he studied medicine. After some time as an assistant physician in Glasgow, he took a position as a staff surgeon with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), in Alexandria, Egypt. It was during the time of a cholera epidemic in 1865-6.

JAMES AND MARY WYLIE c1872. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/402115

By 1867, James had travelled to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia) remaining for three years.  In 1868, he married Mary Thompson in Singapore and their first child Charles was born in Batavia in 1870.  The Wylies arrived in Melbourne later that year, 

A listing in the Government Gazette in late 1870, revealed James had been added to the list of legally qualified Medical Officers in Victoria.  James, Mary, and baby Charles then proceeded to Hamilton where James took over the practice of Dr. Jenkins at the Manor House while Jenkins travelled to England.

THE MANOR HOUSE, HAMILTON

Advertising (1871, April 19). Hamilton Spectator , p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196305691

Dr Jenkins returned and needed his home back so James moved his family and practice to a cottage on Gray Street opposite the post office.

Advertising (1871, July 12). Hamilton Spectator p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196306880

His time in Hamilton was short but James left a lasting legacy, Roxburgh House in Thompson Street. Tenders from builders were called for in the latter half of 1873.

Advertising (1873, September 10). Hamilton Spectator, p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226074995

William Holden and William Dunn won the tender and began work. The Wylie family was able to take up residence in mid-1874.

Advertising (1874, August 22). Hamilton Spectator p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226076370

Roxburgh House still stands today.

ROXBURGH HOUSE

In 1874, James was appointed deputy Coroner of Victoria acting from Hamilton and was appointed as the Public Vaccinator for Victoria. Away from medicine, James was on the committee of Hamilton’s Alexandra Ladies’ College (below).

ALEXANDRA LADIES’ COLLEGE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399135

James and Mary went on to have a further three children, girls Margaret, Harriet, and Josephine but In 1875, two-year-old Harriet died. She was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  By the end of 1875, Mary was pregnant again.

Tragedy struck again on 20 May 1876, when James died after a short illness leaving a pregnant Mary and three children.  It was found he died of a heart complaint at just thirty-three. Throughout his time in Hamilton, James was extremely busy with his various roles.  He was also visiting patients in surrounding towns and at Macarthur, he and Dr James had set up a surgery in the months prior to his death.  James was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery with his daughter Harriet.

HEADSTONE OF JAMES ROXBURGH WYLIE, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

On the 1 August 1876, a daughter Millicent Birmingham Wylie was born to Mary at Roxburgh House.  Mary and the children later left Australia for England and Mary remarried. Her son Charles returned to Australia to live around 1924. Charles was am an interesting character. He was a writer under the pen name “Flinders Barr”.  In 1928 he won a competition for the design of a Canberra Coat of Arm still in use today.

CANBERRA COAT OF ARMS. (1929, May 2). The Argus, p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4002833

Charles Roxburgh Wylie died at Warrawee, New South Wales on 17 November 1947.

ARNOTT, William – Died 2 May 1900 at Hamilton. William Arnott was born in Fifeshire, Scotland in 1842. With his parents, William arrived at Williamstown in 1850 and they made their way to Fiery Creek station (Streatham) where his father had work. He was then employed at William Skene’s station, Kanonalla on the Wannon River. On the way there, the family passed through Hamilton when it was known as The Grange and most of the settlement at the time was around the Grange Burn near Portland Road.

After five years at Kanonalla, the family moved to Hamilton. By that time William was fourteen and he went to work for blacksmith and wheelwright George Brownlees in Lonsdale Street as an apprentice.  Once qualified, William went into business with John Jones.

Advertising (1865, December 20). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser, p. 1.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194470707

The partnership was dissolved in late 1874 and William entered into business with William Betts.  They took over the blacksmith business of the retiring John Denholm.

Advertising (1875, January 23). Hamilton Spectator p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226076945

Around the same time, William entered into the retail trade with his brother James, taking over Mrs Fulton’s grocery business in Gray Street.

Advertising (1874, November 11) Hamilton Spectator., p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226076157

Arnott and Betts then took over the undertaking business of David Arnott. They offered a free coach for those who couldn’t afford it and erected headstones and grave fences. They even had photos of the latest monument designs. 

Advertising (1876, May 31). Hamilton Spectator p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226039620

In his personal life, William married Alice Sandry in 1869, and they went on to have nine children.  The family lived in a cottage behind the grocers in Gray Street.  In 1879, the couple’s infant son George died and in 1886, the couple lost their young son Norman Dundas. On 9 May 1887, their nine-year-old son Frederick died as a result of a fall from a wagonette near the Wannon. 

William was a Hamilton Borough Councillor from 1881 to 1887.  He was also a member of Hamilton’s Princess Alice Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows. He continued in his grocery business, eventually trading alone. By the end of the 1880s, he was operating as the Beehive Store, a cash grocer with produce and a steam chaff mill. In 1898, William sold to neighbouring store John Thompson & Co. who extended into his store.

The Portland Guardian,.” Portland Guardian  21 Dec 1898: 2 Edition: EVENING.

After the sale, the Arnotts moved to Cox Street, Hamilton. Less than eighteen months later, William was dead at the age of fifty-eight, leaving Alice, five sons, and one daughter.  He was buried at Hamilton (Old) Cemetery with his three sons and later Alice.

HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM ARNOTT AND FAMILY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

HARRIS, George Cornfield – Died May 1904 at Colac. George Harris was born around 1831 in Coventry, England. He arrived in Melbourne in 1852 aged twenty-one.  Two years later he married Elizabeth Columbine and the couple settled in Prahran and started a family. In the early 1860s, George moved his family to Barongarook near Colac, however, Elizabeth died in 1863 leaving George with young children. On 10 June 1865, he remarried to Elizabeth Hilton of Geelong and they went on to have a large family together.

George was instrumental in the construction of a church and Sunday school at Barongarook West.  He was also the Barongarook West correspondent for the Colac Herald.  George’s obituary mentioned his “brightly” written pieces ensured the “wants and requirements of the forest country were brought before the public, and especially under the notice of the Colac Shire Council.”. Given that description, it would seem the following Barongarook update from the Colac Herald in 1894 may have been the work of George Harris.

BARONGAROOK. (1894, July 3). The Colac Herald, p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91882409

At the time of his death, George had eight living children with four predeceasing him.

HUTTON, John Alexander – Died 2 May 1908 at Penshurst.  John Hutton was born in Tasmania around 1840.  When John was six his father David Hutton took up the Cheviot Hills run near Penshurst which he held until his death in 1875. At that time, John and his brother Thomas took up the property. In 1877, John married Christina Aitken of Penshurst and they went on to have two sons.

Fire touched Cheviot Hills a number of times but one deliberately lit during February 1892 caused much damage to the property. John and Thomas lost 2000 acres of grass, fencing, and valuable Merino rams.  John almost lost his life when fire encircled him while rounding up stock. 

EXTENSIVE BUSH FIRES. (1892, February 9). Hamilton Spectator p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226163601

In 1900, Thomas died and the following year Cheviot Hills was subdivided.  John retained a portion including the homestead. 

FAMOUS PASTORAL PROPERTIES: Cheviot Hills Adjoins Penshurst in Rich Volcanic Country (1942, January 3). The Australasian p. 24. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142415846

John was an active member of the Penshurst Presbyterian Church and sat on the Mt Rouse Shire council from 1887 until his death and was Shire President for much of his last ten years. He was also a trustee of the Penshurst Mechanics Institute. In September1905, a gig John was travelling in hit a rock and tipped over and John was thrown out.  He broke his thigh and suffered shock.  He died three years later aged sixty-eight leaving his widow Christina and two sons, Stanley and Oswald. He was buried at Port Fairy Cemetery.

JACKMAN, James – Died 27 May 1916 at Woodford.  James Jackman was born around 1847 near Tower Hill. He married Margaret Barry in 1867 and they went on to have ten sons and three daughters.  James was a champion ploughman, participating in ploughing matches as a participant and judge.  He was a crop and a dairy farmer, and his was considered a model farm.  James was also a director of the Farnham Cheese & Butter Factory.

GILL, James Bruce – Died 8 May 1918 at Sandford.  James Gill was born around 1849 in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of a watchmaker. He arrived in Queensland in 1867 aged eighteen. After some time there, he travelled south and purchased Runneymede near Sandford in 1880.

‘RUNNYMEDE’ HOMESTEAD NEAR CASTERTON, 1977. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217175

James was widely known in racing circles not only as President of the Casterton Racing Club for thirty years but also as an owner at metropolitan courses during the 1880s and 1890s. During his time with the Casterton Racing Club, the course was remodelled to take advantage of the hill on which the grandstand now sits. He also contributed half of the costs of the changes.

CASTERTON RACECOURSE c1905.
Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399152

The next photo shows a meeting at the Casterton Racecourse in 1914 at a time James was president of the club.

CASTERTON RACECOURSE 1914. Image courtesy of the State LIbrary of Victoria https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767564

James also enjoyed hunting and was a member of the Melbourne Hunt Club while his paddocks at Runnymede became a retirement haven for retired hunters.  In 1894, artist Herbert Woodhouse completed the work below showing sixty prominent members of the Melbourne Hunt Club. Among them are several Western District ladies and gentlemen including those by the name of Manifold and Chirnside.  James was also depicted and I have coloured his jacket below.  You can view the work and the names of those illustrated on the link to the State Library of NSW – A Meeting of the Melbourne Hunt Club

‘A MEETING OF THE MELBOURNE HUNT CLUB’. Image courtesy of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/1cvjue2/ADLIB110332134

On 15 July 1885, James married Ruth Pennycuick at the Christ Church, Warrnambool. Ruth was the daughter of the Mayor of Warrnambool James Pennycuick and a granddaughter of William Rutledge late of Port Fairy and Farnham Park, Dennington.  The couple did not have children.

James was a familiar sight around the district driving his black ponies, four in hand, and would often drive them as far as Warrnambool for the races. His obituary remembered that “…beneath a brusque. blunt exterior, he carried a warm and sympathetic nature; being distinctly one for whom esteem increased on acquaintance. He was very generous to his employees, and was ready at all times to do a good turn to anyone”.  From a noted family, James’ older brother was Sir David Gill a Scottish astronomer and he was among a group of colonists named in Burkes Colonial Gentry in 1891.  He was buried at the Casterton New Cemetery.

VAGG, Laban – Died 8 May 1920 at Bostock’s Creek.  Laban Vagg was born around 1837 in Somersetshire, England. Laban joined the British Navy and in 1855, was part of naval activities during the Crimean War (1853-1856). In the late 1850s, he joined the rush to Australia and arrived at Geelong.  He found himself at Ewen’s Hill, Cobrico near Camperdown, and met Jonas Jeffers. He went on to do fencing work with Jonas and he also married Jonas’ sister or maybe daughter Elizabeth in 1863.  They went to have eight sons and two daughters. 

About 1890, Laban and his family moved to Bostocks Creek district where he took up dairy farming.  He was a member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Shire Pastoral & Agricultural Society for more than twenty-five years and a director of the Camperdown Cheese and Butter factory.

Elizabeth died in 1891 aged forty-seven.  Her youngest child was just four at the time. Laban died in 1920 aged eighty-three leaving eight sons and two daughters. He was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.

SKILBECK, Richard – Died 12 May 1924 at Koroit.  Richard Skilbeck was born in 1838 in Compton, England. He arrived in Victoria in 1858 aboard the Salem.  He headed to Yangery Grange near Koroit owned by his uncle John Midgley.  He started work for them on the farm. In 1860, Richard purchased land in High Street, Koroit and built a small cottage. The following year he married his cousin Sarah Midgley.  Their new home was opposite the newly built Methodist Church which was most convenient as Richard was a devout Methodist and had been one of those who assisted with the construction of the church.   He was also a lay preacher and treasurer with the church.  In 1867, a new Methodist church was built (below).

Richard acquired more land around Koroit and began growing tobacco used to treat scab in sheep. It proved to be a successful crop. In 1864, he became a part-owner in the York Mill at Koroit with his brother-in-law William Midgley but they only kept it for two years.

Advertising (1866, October 10). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 3. Retrieved May 24, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194471135

In 1866, Richard took over the management of Yangery Grange after the death of John Midgley.  Richard’s successful farming practices saw the property become well known in the district.  In 1889, Yangery Grange was the equal runner up in a Prize Farms competition conducted by the government.  The judges found Richard’s farm was, “certainly one of the very best, neatest and most profitably managed holdings in the Tower Hill district”

GOVERNMENT PRIZE FARMS’ COMPETITION. (1889, September 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 10. Retrieved May 24, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198058642

It’s was said, Richard was the first in the district to use a threshing machine in partnership with Mr Holden of Port Fairy.  He eventually owned three threshing plants that worked full time at harvest time.

 

AN EXAMPLE OF A THRESHING PLANT, 1910. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/771220

Richard was on the committees of the Warrnambool and Koroit Pastoral and Agricultural Societies and served as President of both. He also was an exhibitor, showing his pigs, sheep, and cattle.  About 1890, he bought into the Koroit Butter Factory.  At the time, the factory wasn’t going well so Richard personally guaranteed the bank so the factory could continue to operate.  He was also chairman of the butter factory board for a good part of his thirty years involvement and chairman at the time of his death. He also represented the Koroit factory on the board of directors of the Western District Cooperative Produce and Insurance Company.

As a Methodist, Richard led a life of temperance and was the founding member of the Koroit Independent Order of Rechabites, a temperance organisation. He also collected funds to build a Temperance Hall in Koroit which also incorporated the Koroit Mechanics Institute.  He was also a trustee of the Koroit Botanic Gardens.

KOROIT BOTANIC GARDENS. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/443593

In 1893, Sarah died aged sixty-one.  In 1907, at the age of 70, Richard travelled to his home town in England and married a woman he knew before he left for Australia, Charlotte Dunn (nee Stables).  Charlotte herself had married after Richard left for Australia but was widowed.  Back in Australia, they settled into life at Yangery Grange and remained there until Richard retired when they moved to nearby Hillcrest owned by his son Alfred. Richard died at Hillcrest in 1924 aged eighty-seven, leaving five children. Two sons and one daughter predeceased him. Charlotte died on 5 October 1922 at Hillcrest

Richard’s obituary in the Koroit Sentintal mentioned his

Strength of character, intelligence, thrift, courage and other sterling qualities were possessed by their departed brother. Few men were so widely known throughout the State – certainly none in a Methodist connection – as Richard Skilbeck. He had known him for over 40 years and had on numerous occasions enjoyed his hospitality, and he knew that the inmates of his home were very dear to him. He not only founded a Christian home, but constantly showed his interest in the house of God. It was largely owing to him that the church was founded at Koroit and he had been an officer and administrator from its beginning. He would be sadly missed from the life of the church throughout the State.

In 1967, Harry McCorkall of Koroit edited and published The Diaries of Sarah Midgley and Richard Skilbeck: A Story of Australian settlers 1851-1864 which is a great read. More information about the Midgley and Skilbeck families can also be found at the Midgley family website

McCANN, Margaret Jane – Died 27 May 1947 at Dartmoor. Margaret McCann was born at Sandford in 1864.  As a young woman, Margaret was a good rider and would accompany her brother Peter on kangaroo hunts.  She married Daniel Sullivan in 1885 and they went on to have seven children.  After the birth of her own children, she acted as a midwife in the Dartmoor district. 

Margaret’s son Joseph enlisted in 1916 with the 38th Battalion while Margaret did her bit at home.  She was involved with the Dartmoor Red Cross, the local Comforts Fund, and the Catholic Church committee.  Sadly, Joseph was killed on 15 April 1918 in France. 

Margaret was eighty-four at the time of her death leaving three sons and two daughters.  Three of her siblings were still living, Peter aged eighty-five and Bella at Sandford aged eighty-seven, both of Sandford and Ann at Tallangatta.  Margaret was buried at the Dartmoor Cemetery.

Passing of the Pioneers

Just in the nick of time and after a few months break, Passing of the Pioneers is back with ten obituaries for the month of November.  Remember to click on any underlined text to take you to more information about a subject. 

RUSSELL, George – Died 3 November 1888 at Shelford. 

GEORGE RUSSELL 1852. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/282507

George Russell was born on 12 June 1812 at Cluny, Fifeshire, Scotland.  At the age of eighteen, he left Scotland for Hobart to meet up with his brother Phillip who had been in the colony for nine years. George spent several months at Dennistoun, the property of Captain Patrick Wood at Bowthell, Tasmania. The following year George leased land in the area and spent the next two years, improving and cultivating it, doing much of the work himself. By 1835, George was twenty-three and leasing a property at Lauriston when he heard the news of John Batman landing at Port Phillip and of the good land in the area. It was then he decided he must go and see for himself.

Soon after, Captain Wood sold a flock of sheep to men wanting to establish a sheep station at Port Phillip so George took up the opportunity to travel with the sheep. They left in March 1836 on the schooner Hettie, landing at what is now Brighton, Victoria.  From there, George and the two station owners rowed up the Yarra River to what is now the city of Melbourne.  They then walked around 200 miles over the next seven days following the Werribee River to the Barwon River and then to the Leigh River. As they made their way through the valley of the Leigh, George decided that was where he wanted to settle.

George returned to Tasmania for the winter of 1836 and made plans to return to the Leigh Valley. He sold his property and arranged for his sheep to be transported to Port Phillip. Around that time the Clyde Company had formed and George was chosen to manage it.  The company’s first station was on the Moorabool River and George went there from the spring of 1836.

Advertising (1838, December 8). Port Phillip Gazette (Vic. : 1838 – 1845), p. 3. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225006721

Two years later at the age of twenty-six, he built a hut in the Leigh Valley where he had visited two years before and close to what would be become the township of Shelford.  The land on which the hut stood become the Golf Hill estate. In 1850, George travelled to England then on to his homeland of Scotland. While there, he married his cousin Euphemia Leslie Carstairs in 1852 and a daughter was born the following year. George and Euphemia returned to Victoria and in 1854, a daughter Ann was born at Geelong.  A further five daughters and one son were born over the next eleven years until the birth on 24 April 1866, of a daughter Janet.

George had become a partner of the Clyde Company and in 1857, the company was dissolved and George was able to purchase the freehold for the Golf Hill property. In 1859, photographer Thomas Hannay toured the Western District and dropped in a Golf Hill and took this photo of the then brick homestead and the three eldest Russell daughters. The home was designed by Alexander Skene of Geelong in 1846.

GOLF HILL c1859. Photographer: Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/321169

On 3 March 1867, Euphemia died leaving George with eight children including baby Janet. The month prior to Euphemia’s death, George had purchased the Punpundhal estate near Camperdown. Considering his loss, George renamed the property Leslie Manor in remembrance of her. In 1882, he purchased the Strathvean and Poliah estates near Cressy from Hugh McVean.

In 1876, the brick cottage in the previous photo was demolished to build the homestead below, designed in the French Second Empire style.

GOLF HILL, SHELFORD. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/320773

George made a great contribution to the nearby Shelford community including covering the cost of the construction of the Presbyterian Church below.

SHELFORD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/320782

George died in 1888 and was buried at Golf Hill.  He left seven daughters and one son, Phillip. He inherited Golf Hill but Phillip’s youngest sister Janet, already having developed an interest in the property, who stepped in and took over the running of Golf Hill with Phillip’s blessing.  Phillip died in 1898 but with no wife or heir, it was Janet who inherited Golf Hill.

You can read more about George Russell and Shelford on the link to the excellent blog, Barwon Blog: Anything and Everything to Do With the Barwon River http://barwonblogger.blogspot.com/2013/07/branching-out-life-at-leigh.html

DILNOT, George – Died 29 November 1892 at Hamilton. George Dilnot was born at Herne Bay, Kent around 1852.  As a young man, he went to London to work as a commercial traveller. It was there he married Emily Wallis, a distant relative of Charles Dickens. Around 1882, the Dilnots arrived in Victoria and over the next two years, George held a range of jobs including working for James Henty and at Bruce’s Brewery at Sandhurst.  In 1884, the family arrived in Hamilton as George had been appointed to take over the running of the Western City Brewery (below) which he later bought and then sold again soon after.

VIEW OF HAMILTON VICTORIA. (1888, April 17). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Retrieved November 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225809074

George then became an accountant with the Hamilton Spectator in 1887 and 1888 as well as taking on freelance work. He was then able to open his own accountancy and auctioneering firm. 

George died suddenly in 1892 leaving his wife Emily and five children  A large procession left his residence Marathon on the corner of Carmichael and Gray Streets for the Hamilton Cemetery where more mourners had gathered including members of the Masonic Lodge.

GRAVE OF GEORGE DILNOT, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

In February 1893, Emily and the children returned to England to live.

EDWARDS, Morris – Died 9 November 1904 at Casterton. Morris Edwards was born in England around 1832.  In 1854. Richard Lewis of Rifle Downs near Casterton imported a three-year-old thoroughbred from England called King Alfred who would go on to become the colony’s leading sire.  Morris Edwards accompanied the horse to Australia as its groom on the ship Severn.  On the ship, Morris met a young lady Eleanor Anne Lamborn.  They married in 1856.

Morris stayed at Rifle Downs for a number of years before working for John Robertson at Straun.  In the early 1870s, Morris and Eleanor settled at Casterton. Around 1877, Morris took over the livery stables of Casterton’s Albion Hotel which he did for about three years before retiring.

Advertising (1877, October 9). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226043057

Morris and Eleanor lived on Toorak Hill at Casterton.  Morris died in 1904 at the age of 72 while Eleanor died in 1914 at Casterton.

In 1931, the following article was published in the Sporting Globe about a rather grisly family heirloom in the possession of Morris’ son Morris Jr. It was an inkwell made from a hoof of King Alfred who died in 1873 at Koolomurt near Casterton.

MOMENTO OF KING ALFRED (1931, January 10). Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 – 1954), p. 2 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved November 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article183010196

In 1934, one of Morris and Eleanor’s daughters wrote a Letter to the Editor of The Age in search of passengers from the voyage of the Severn in 1854, the ship her parents, aunt, sister and of course the horse King Alfred arrived on.

RIPPON, George Reynolds – Died 2 November 1912 at Hamilton. George Rippon was born in Geelong on 27 May 1867, a son of George Reynolds Rippon and Maria Smith.  In 1876, his father went into a partnership in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper, later becoming sole proprietor. The family moved from Geelong to Hamilton and George attended Hamilton College before going to work at the National Bank.  He then obtained a job a the Melbourne Stock Exchange.

Eventually, George returned to Hamilton and went to work at the Hamilton Spectator as a journalist. His father died in 1899 and George’s brother Herbert took over the running of the Spectator.  In 1900, gold was discovered at the foot of Mount William in the Grampians. It wasn’t long before the area was populated with those seeking their fortunes. George travelled to the Grampians to see the diggings for himself and decided to start a newspaper for the miners called The Mount William Pioneer.  Printed at the Hamilton Spectator, the paper and it was very popular with twenty-three editions published between July and December 1900.  The rush was short-lived and the newspaper folded.

WINTER ON THE MT WILLIAM DIGGINGS 1900 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/172520

No title (1900, July 28). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 27, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222249274

Like his father, George was a talented sportsman and was a particularly good cricketer, a notable all-rounder.  While at Hamilton College, George could throw a cricket ball over 100 yards.  He was also a good footballer and was captain of his team in Hamilton.  He had an interest in horse racing and was a handicapper for the Hamilton Racing Club and several other clubs around the district.  He was also one of the best runners in the area over 50 yards,  was a champion amateur billiards player, played lawn bowls and was an excellent shot.  He was au fait with the sport of boxing and refereed matches while he was on the Mount William diggings.

George was sick for most of 1912, having contracted a disease while in NSW. He succumbed on 2 November 1912.  When the news of his death reached the citizens of Hamilton, flags around the town flew at half-mast.  George never married and was buried in the Rippon family plot at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

RIPPON FAMILY PLOT, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

O’DONNELL, Annie – Died 20 November 1917 at Hamilton. Annie O’Donnell was born in Limerick, Ireland around 1840. She arrived in Victoria and on 1 February 1863, she married  Adolphe Jean Baptiste Destree born at The Hague, Netherlands. Adolphe was a Hamilton jeweller and watchmaker who previously had a shop in Portland. He also served as a Magistrate. A son Adolphe was born at Hamilton in 1864, the first of a family of five sons and one daughter.  In November 1868, Annie became Lady Mayoress of Hamilton when Aldophe was elected Mayor. On 11 February 1875, Annie gave birth to a son but exactly four months later on 11 June, Adolphe died aged forty.  Annie continued the business but by September 1875 she had sold to Farroll & Sons Jewellery Importers.  

Advertising (1875, June 26). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226071758

Annie eventually moved from Kennedy Street to French Street close to the Hamilton Botanic Gardens. In 1898, the Hamilton Borough Council was one of several councils to receive a cannon from the decommissioned HMVS Nelson.  It was placed near the main entrance of the gardens on the corner of French and Thompson Streets.  In 1900, for Mafeking Day, the council thought it a good idea to fire the cannon. They tried it two years earlier and the result was broken windows to homes and businesses in the area. Of course, nothing was different in 1900 and many, including Annie, suffered broken windows and structural damage to their homes.  Annie’s damage costs were £100 and she sought compensation from the council.   

At the time of her death, Annie had four sons still living. She was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

THE DESTREE FAMILY PLOT, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

RANKIN, John – Died 10 November 1936 at Colac. 

JOHN RANKIN. (1923, August 3). Farmers’ Advocate, p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223631678

John Rankin was born in the Mallee around 1865 and went to Colac with his family at a young age.  When he was of working age he became involved in the local dairy industry and went on to become one of the leaders of the Australian Dairy industry.  In 1892, John married Mary Jane Monkivitch.  Aside from dairying, John was a non-commissioned officer with the Mounted Rifles and on the board of the Colac Waterworks Trust.  Mary Jane died in 1932.

At the time of his death in 1936, John was chairman of directors of the Western District Co-operative Produce and Insurance Co Ltd, chairman of directors of the Colac Dairying Co Ltd, director of the Western and Murray Co-operative Bacon and Meat Packing Co Ltd, director of the Co-operative Insurance Company of Australia Ltd, a member of the executive council of the Victorian Dairymen’s Association, a member of the council of the Co-operative Butter and Cheese Factories Association of Victoria and a member of the Federal council of the Australian Dairy Cattle Research Association.  Four sons and three daughters survived John.  He was buried at the Colac Cemetery.  

SAVIN, Mary – Died 29 November 1936 at Heywood.  Mary Savin was born at Macarthur around 1867. Soon after, her parents William and Elizabeth settled at Muddy Creek, south of Hamilton.  The family were involved with the local Primitive Methodist Church.  Mary married John McIntrye in 1895 and they moved to Wallup in the Wimmera but later returned to the south-west, settling at Heywood. 

During WW1, Mary and John’s second eldest son Murray enlisted. He was killed on 4 July 1918 at Amiens France while serving with the 23rd Battalion.  In 1921, John McIntyre died and Mary continued on the farm with her sons. At the time of her death in 1936, Mary had eight children still living.  She was buried at the Portland Cemetery. 

On 24 June 1937, an article in the Portland Guardian reported on a send-off held for those members of the McIntyre family still living in the Heywood district who were off to Gippsland to live.  “And so this respected family has left the Heywood district to the regret of everybody in that locality.”

VAUGHAN, Daniel – Died November 1944 at Swan Marsh.  Daniel Vaughn was born at Ballangeich east of Woolsthorpe around 1872. As a young man, Daniel travelled around the country as a  shearer before selecting land in the Otway district.  In 1903, he married Mary O’Donnell and they went on to have a large family of eight sons and four daughters.  Daniel was a supporter of the union movement, horse racing and in his early days, he was a good footballer. He was buried at the Colac Cemetery.

BOYD, James Alexander – Died 10 November 1944 at Camperdown. James Boyd was born at South Geelong around 1857.  When he was about twelve, his parents went to live in Camperdown before settling at nearby Pomberneit. James married Mary Louisa Cooper in 1877 and they lived at Braeside Pomberneit. 

James was a  member of the Camperdown and Colac P&A societies.  He was also an exhibitor at the local shows with his Lincoln sheep and in 1932, he revealed to the Camperdown Chronicle his collection of prize cards from the 1880s.  He was also proved himself a thoughtful husband, having bought Mary a gold watch with his winnings.

CAMPERDOWN CHRONICLE. , OCTOBER 11, 1932. NEWS. (1932, October 11). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 30, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23367240

James was a member of the Leura Lodge of Freemasons, the Pomberneit Rifle Club and in his early days, played cricket for Pomberneit

In 1937, James celebrated his eighth birthday.  Later, he placed a Thank You notice in the Camperdown Chronicle

Family Notices (1937, June 22). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved November 30, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26090561

James was a champion for the local children.  He donated basketball trophies for local state schools to compete for in order to encourage the children to play. He also lobbied for a swimming pool at Camperdown for the ‘kiddies’.

LOOKING AROUND (1943, January 12). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved November 30, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28322115

Mary died in July 1940 aged eighty-four. James died in the Camperdown Hospital in 1944 aged eighty-seven and was buried at the Camperdown cemetery.

WHAT A COINCIDENCE

While searching for further information on one of this month’s pioneers Annie Destree (nee O’Donnell), I found the following Birth notices from the Hamilton Spectator of 13 February 1875. As well as the Destree birth there was also the birth of a daughter to another of this month’s pioneers Morris Edwards and his wife Eleanor. Fancy that!

Family Notices (1875, February 13). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved November 26, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226076215

 

Passing of the Pioneers

Finally, I’ve caught up with my Passing of the Pioneer posts. This is the June post and it is actually out in June…just.  I’ve found a new candidate for my feature posts Wonderful Western District Women.  It is Mary McDonald and you can read about her below.  There’s a bit of a waiting list of women to include in the WWDW posts, so when it’s finally Mary’s turn, I’ll write a broader piece about her life. Below you’ll also find the story of a mail coach contractor, a former Port Fairy Mayor and a singing saddler from Camperdown.  Remember to click on the underlined text for further information including the subjects’ names. Those links will take you to the original newspaper obituary.

CAWKER, John – Died 17 June 1876 at Merino. John Cawker was born in Devon around 1845, a son of a carpenter.  He travelled with his parents to Geelong from England in 1854 aboard the Joshua. By the time he was twenty, he had the contract to run the  Cobb & Co. Royal Mail coach between Hamilton and Penola, stopping at Coleraine and Casterton.

Advertising (1865, November 25). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194466567

John married Hannah Smith in 1868. In 1871, he took over the license of the Commercial Hotel owned and built by George Northcott and completed extensive renovations.

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, MERINO 1880 Image Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/22000/B21766_112.htm

John and Hannah lost their baby John in 1873. John was a member of the Merino and Sandford Pastoral and Agriculture Society and the Oddfellows society and was nominated for the shire council in 1875. The following year, John died suddenly aged just thirty-one, leaving his widow Hannah and a daughter.  Such was the shock of his sudden death, it was a talking point around the district for several days. 

John’s funeral left the Commercial Hotel, Merino at 11.00am on Tuesday 20 June for the Casterton Cemetery, followed by a lengthy cortege.  Just before Sandford, the cortege met with Burton and Taylor’s Circus who pulled to the side of the road to let the cortege pass. As they did, the circus band played “Dead March in Saul”. By the time they arrived at Casterton, the cortege had grown significantly. With several hundred people in attendance, it was the largest funeral seen in the district. Hannah took over the running of the Commerical Hotel but died the following year after a buggy accident.  She was just twenty-nine and left one daughter aged three.

RUFFLE, Charles – Died 4 June 1885 at Port Fairy.  Charles Ruffle was born around 1816 and was in Geelong by 1842, working as a baker and confectioner.   Soon after, he arrived in Port Fairy where he worked as an auctioneer.  He also established the Belfast Steam Flour Mill.  Charles was on the Borough Council from 1856 and was a Mayor of Port Fairy in 1866.  He was also a founding member of the Oddfellows society in Port Fairy. In 1882, he returned to Port Fairy after spending some time in Tasmania. He died on 4 June 1885 after a short illness.

McDONALD, Mary – Died 23 June 1906 at Gritjurk. Mary McDonald was born around 1841 and married John Hutcheson in 1861. John was around twenty-two years older than Mary and a widower. She went to live on the Grange Burn just west of Hamilton where John had built the town’s first mill.  John died in 1870 leaving Mary then aged around thirty, four sons and one daughter. Mary continued to run the mill until 1877 when she sold it to Charles Pilven of the Commercial Hotel. In something of a trade, Mary purchased the Commerical Hotel. 

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 April 1877 

The Commercial Hotel is the two storey building with a balcony to the right of the photo below.

VIEW OF HAMILTON INCLUDING THE COMMERCIAL HOTE c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia. Image no B 21766/53 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/53

In 1884, she leased the Hamilton Co-Operative mill, renamed it the Hamilton Mill and put her son John on as manager. Mary later purchased the Coleraine Flour Mill and spent a large amount of money improving the mill.  In November 1885, the mill burnt down. That didn’t stop Mary.  She set about rebuilding which included purchasing new machinery.

COLERAINE. (1886, August 28). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved June 29, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225773502

When older, Mary went to live with her son at Gritjurk near Coleraine.  Her health hadn’t been good with bouts of gout and dizzy spells.  She did enjoy walking around the paddocks of her son’s property and the afternoon of 23 June she set off for a walk.  Later in the day, her body was found in the dam by a neighbour.  An inquest found she had drowned but there was no evidence as to how she came to be in the dam. She was sixty-five.  Mary’s body was returned to Hamilton and she was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF MARY McDONALD AND HER HUSBAND JOHN AND THEIR CHILDREN AT THE HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

SHILCOCK, John – Died 26 June 1909 at Cavendish. John Shilcock was born around 1824 at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England.  As a young man, he spent time in the Yeomanry, similar to the Army Reserve.  In his early twenties, John decided to head for Victoria arriving around 1848.   He spent time at the diggings before arriving in Cavendish around 1853. He opened a boot and shoemaker’s shop and at one stage had six men working for him.

Advertising (1861, August 24). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 3. Retrieved June 29, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194861874

At the time of his death, John left a widow, five sons and two daughters.

KELLY, Mary – Died 25 June 1913 at Ballarat, Mary Kelly was born around 1832 in Belfast, Ireland. She arrived in Port Fairy around 1858 and from there, travelled to the Dunkeld district by bullock wagon  She married William Templeton in 1858 and they remained in Dunkeld district.  The couple went on to have four daughters and two sons. Initially, the family lived in town where William operated a store before moving out on to the land.  William died in 1910 and Mary went to live with her married daughter Irene in Ballarat.  She died there on 25 June 1913. Her body was returned by train to Dunkeld for burial.

DAVIS, Hester Jane – Died 4 June 1914 at Mortlake. Hester Davis was born around 1850 in Bath, England. She arrived in Victoria around 1866. In 1870, she married Thomas Montgomery and they made their home at Killymard at Mortlake. Hester was deeply involved with all facets of the Mortlake Methodist Church.

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

Hester died on 4 June 1914 aged sixty-four. The following year, Thomas remarried to widow Nellie Brownell. 

FEWTRELL, Phillip Russell – Died 7 June 1945 at Camperdown. Phillip Fewtrell was born around 1869 at Geelong.  He arrived at Camperdown about 1883 where he was employed by saddler Mr Chant before joining another saddler in the town, Mr McQualter. From there Phillip opened his own saddlery business. Phillip was a good singer, a bass and was a member of the Presbyterian Church choir, He was also a member of the Oddfellows society for forty-nine years and treasurer for twenty-six of those years.  Phillip, who lived in Campbell Street, left a widow and two daughters at the time of his death.

Passing of the Pioneers

Another catch-up Passing of the Pioneers post.  This one is for May and has seven pioneer obituaries. Among them are a Cobb & Co coach driver, an old mariner and a brother and sister.  There are also two men who were involved with many organisations in their communities and made lasting contributions.  Click on the name of a pioneer to read their newspaper obituary or click on any of the underlined text throughout the post for more information on a subject.

MINOGUE, Daniel – Died 18 May 1912 at Heywood. Daniel Minogue was born in County Clare, Ireland around 1836. When he was five, he arrived on the Agricola at Port Phillip with his parents.  His father Simon took up Wattle Hill at Portland.  Daniel took up farming with his father but for a while was running a bullock team to the diggings with a friend.  He also rode in races at the Portland racecourse., He married Anne Hussey in 1862 and they took up land at Drik Drik.  Daniel sold up after some misfortune and moved to Drumborg.  Anne died in 1902 and Daniel in 1912.  Daniel was buried at Heywood

MELVILLE, William – Died 8 May 1926 at Malvern.  William Melville was born on 19 August 1859 at the home of his parents in Drummond Street, Carlton. It was a difficult birth and William’s mother Ann died a week later.

“Advertising” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 27 August 1859: 4. Web. 5 Sep 2018 .

When William was eight his father William remarried to Annette Bayles and they made their home at Weerangourt south of Byaduk. At the age of ten, William was sent to Melbourne to attend Scotch College and from around 1876, Melbourne University where he studied law and then a Masters degree.  He played football and cricket for both Scotch College and Melbourne University, captaining the Scotch team. He was secretary of the University Athletic Association.  In 1884 at the age of twenty-four, William was admitted to the bar.

MELBOURNE. (1884, July 9). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929), p. 3. Retrieved June 10, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150159418

Around 1886, William went back to the district of his childhood and practised as a solicitor at Hamilton, setting up an office in Thompson Street around May 1886. Over the next thirty-four years his leadership, vision, generosity and passion did much to benefit Hamilton.

William was soon giving lectures around the district.  He gave the following lecture at Macarthur in 1886, and in 1889 presented the same topic at the Hamilton Mechanics Institute.

Advertising (1886, May 29). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved June 10, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225775510

But his repertoire didn’t end there, in 1896 for example, he delivered two lectures at Hamilton entitled “Australians As Others See Us” and “How The Men Propose”.

William married Minnie Florence Scowcroft at the home of Minnie’s uncle Peter Learmonth on 2 April 1890. 

Family Notices (1890, April 11). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939), p. 12. Retrieved June 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147281771

The couple made their home at Braeside at the eastern end of Gray Street, Hamilton They had six children, two daughters and four sons.  William’s father died in September 1897 and more sadness came four years later when  William and Minnie’s eldest daughter Annie Olive died on 7 June 1901 aged eight. She had been unwell so it was arranged for her to go to Echuca for the warmer air, but she died of heart failure two weeks later.

In September 1895, William was a candidate for the Hamilton Borough Council elections and won in a walk-over. On 31 August 1897, he was elected Mayor but resigned from the position in July 1897 wishing to retire from “municipal life”. He returned to the council in September 1907 and served as a councillor until 1912.

Throughout William’s time in Hamilton, he was on the committee of just about every sporting and community organisation around, most times heading up those committees.  I’ll outline some of those beginning with the Hamilton YMCA which was formed in 1911.  William was on the founding committee.  A building was built in 1914 on the corner of Gray and Kennedy Streets to house the YMCA activities and William laid the foundation stone on 19 September 1914.  William contributed financially to the building and also donated several trophies for the various sporting activities of the YMCA.

FOUNDATION STONE, FORMER YMCA BUILDING, HAMILTON

In addition, William was

  • a committee member of the Hamilton Water Trust for around fifteen years, a founding committee member appointed at the trust’s first meeting in  January 1899 
  • Vice President of the Hamilton Horticultural Society 
  • Honourary Secretary of the Presbyterian Church 
  • made an  Honorary Life Member of the Hamilton Mechanic’s Institution in 1898 in recognition of his service 
  • a member of the Hamilton Recruiting Committee during WW1
  • Chairman of the Telephone Committee proposing a telephone exchange in Hamilton which opened in 1901 
  • President of the Hamilton Brass Band from 1904 until at least 1918 and often dipping into his own pocket to help out the band’s finances 
  • at the first meeting to propose a scout pack in Hamilton in 1909 and provided funding for uniforms 
  • a founding committee member of the Hamilton branch of the St John’s Ambulance Association

He was also a generous contributor to Hamilton College and Alexandra Colege.  He was President of the Hamilton Fire Brigade from around 1900 for twenty years and one of the driving forces behind the building of a fire station.  The Hamilton Fire Station was opened in 1901. He contributed a large amount of his own money towards the construction.  

HAMILTON FIRE STATION. Image courtesy of the http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399013

William’s great lover of sport.  He was involved with the Hamilton Bowling Club and at one stage was the sole member of the grounds committee.  He even had his own bowling green at Braeside which he made available for tournaments.  He played with and served on the committee of the Hamilton Cricket Club and was a President of the Hamilton Football Association. He was on the committee of the Hamilton Rifle Club and was one of those instrumental in the construction of a Minature Rifle Range in 1908. He was also President of the Miniature Rifle club.  He was a President of the Hamilton Angling Club (below). Members of the tennis, rifle, athletics, and golf clubs all competed for trophies donated and named after William.

HAMILTON ANGLING SOCIETY. (1905, September 2). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved June 10, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226178465

The Hamilton Golf Club formed in 1896 and played on land leased by the club. William became the  Honorary Secretary of the club.  In 1905, the land used by the golf club became available for sale and William along with Thomas and James Robertson purchased the land. In doing so they secured the future of the golf club and enabled improvements to be made including a fine new clubhouse.

HAMILTON GOLF COURSE c1906, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167675114

William even sowed grass seed on the course and cut holes for the pins for tournaments.  The following article from 1905 when William was club secretary is an example of William’s energy and passion –

COMPLEMENTARY GOLF AFTERNOON. (1905, September 26). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226183623

William didn’t forget the little township of Byaduk, the location of his late father’s property Werrangourt. He showed great interest in events at Byaduk where the people affectionately called him Willie. He was a supporter of the Byaduk Presbyterian Church and in 1905, he opened the Byaduk Mechanics Institute. He was thanked for his “kindly interest and practical sympathy’ during the construction of the building. In 1907, the pioneers of Byaduk gathered for a celebration and a photo.  William sitting front right (below), was responsible for making the day happen.  He was also a regular exhibitor at the annual Byaduk Flower Show.

BYAYDUK PIONEERS 1907. WILLIAM MELVILLE IS FRONT RIGHT.

Probably William’s greatest contribution to Hamilton had its beginning around 1902 when William devised a plan for a piece of land in central Hamilton known as Market Square. It had been reserved for the purpose of a saleyard but was never used for that and became something of an eyesore. William had a vision for Market Square to become a leisure and recreation ground.  After much hard work lobbying and fundraising by Melville, the new recreation reserve was opened in September 1909. William paid for the surrounding fence.

MELVILLE OVAL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/305825

It was suggested the new recreation reserve be named after William Melville, maybe Melville Park or Melville Square.

THE RECREATION RESERVE– A SUGGESTION. (1909, July 13). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225036959

William in his modest way refused to accept the honour. 

NAMING THE NEW RESERVE. (1909, August 21). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225047793

The council were having none of it.  And so it became Melville Park better known as Melville Oval.  William humbly thanked the council for their recognition.

“MELVILLE PARK” (1910, November 11). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved June 17, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225675658

Melville Park was soon a popular venue for all manner of sports.

LAWN TENNIS TOURNAMENT AT MELVILLE OVAL, HAMILTON, PLATED JANUARY 26. (1914, February 14). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 57. Retrieved June 17, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143316960

William remained a great supporter of his old school Scotch College.  He led a group called the Hamilton Old Scotch Collegians and instigated the beginnings of the Old Scotch Collegians sitting on the first committee.  In 1911, he offered £500 towards a new assembly hall for the college.  In recognition of his support, the school named one of their sporting fields after William, Melville Oval.

Around 1918, William and Minnie moved to Melbourne, taking up residence at Weerona in Huntingtower Road, Malvern. In late 1920 he captained a Hamilton XI in a game against East Melbourne Cricket Club at East Melbourne. He did go back to Hamilton. One example was in 1924, when the Hamilton Rifle Club presented him with an album of photos of prominent club members, thanking him for his hard work and generosity with the club,

William died at his home in Moorhouse Street, Malvern on Saturday 8 May 1926 aged sixty-six.  He was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery. The principal of Scotch College W.S.Littlejohn remembered him as follows,

He was not merely a good lawyer, he was a good citizen. He made a lasting impression on the educational, social, civic, and church life of the community. Hamilton has been the recipiant of many generous gifts from his hands, He was a man of strong convictions. He firmly believed that his time, his talents, his means were gifts from the Almighty to he used in the servicé of others and that he must be prepared to give an account of his stewardship; and so he gave himself to the service of his fellows.  (The Argus 10 May 1926)

After Williams death, it was thought he should be appropriately remembered for contribution to Hamilton and memorial gates were constructed at the main entrance of Melville Oval. A collection was taken up in 1927 but it was 1931 before they came to fruition.

MELVILLE OVAL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63848

LEAR, Benjamin – Died 21 May 1928 at Branxholme. The deceased was one of the oldest nautical personalities in Victoria, and during an active seafaring life, had visited almost every country, and most of the world’s ports. And so began the obituary for Benjamin Lear. He was born at Devonshire, England around 1842 and arrived in Victoria around the 1860s. He spent his working life at sea and was known for his knowledge of nautical matters, particularly along the south-west coast of Victoria. He was best known for his work as a steward on the SS Dawn a steamer between Portland and Melbourne which he did for many years.

Benjamin’s most prized possession was a medal he received from the United State government for the part he played in discovering the wreck of Eric the Red during one of his coastal trips on the SS Dawn on 4 September 1880.  It was 4.00am somewhere off Cape Otway when Benjamin heard the faint sounds of people calling out. Soon the SS Dawn picked up three sailors clinging to a wrecked lifeboat. A rescue party from the Dawn was sent to locate the remaining crew. All were saved but the cargo was lost.  The ship had been sent from New York with exhibits for the 1880 Centennial Exhibition in Melbourne.

WRECK OF ERIC THE RED. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/296673

Benjamin married Mary Ann Dusting in 1871.  Mary died in 1874 aged twenty-three. Benjamin was working on the SS Julia Percy during that time and that’s where he met Jeannie Sage Crabbe in 1877.  Jeannie was employed to take care of the welfare of the female passengers on the steamer. They married in 1877.  Benjamin died at the home of his daughter at Branxholme in 1928 leaving his widow Jeannie, five sons and his daughter Mrs Dahlitz.

LYALL, William – Died May 1931 at Melbourne.  William Lyall was born in Warrnambool around 1851. William was a good rider and from the time he was a lad, William worked for Thomas Cawker.  He was employed as a driver on Cawker’s Cobb & Co mail coach Portland to Hamilton and Portland to Casterton.  He also travelled the route from Casterton to Mount Gambier.   In 1871, William married Catherine “Kate” Agnes King and they had several children in the Harrow and Edenhope districts.

Later, William worked as a groom at the Ardno mail stables and at the Nine-Mile Creek stables owned by Thomas Cawker.  He then worked for Thomas’ son James Cawker on the Mt Gambier Road at Casterton. He had been working there for around ten years when in May 1931, he decided to take a holiday to Melbourne.  Tragically he was hit by a tram and killed in Bridge Road Richmond. He died of his injuries in the Melbourne Hospital. William was deaf and it was thought he didn’t hear the tram.  Aged eighty, William was survived by his widow Kate, son and two daughters.

THOMSON, Mary – Died 20 May 1939 at Hamilton.  Mary Thomson was born at Maryvale Harrow around 1860.  In 1870, the Thomson family moved to the Monivae estate, south of Hamilton.  Mary was sent to the school of Misses Singleton, Ormiston Ladies College in East Melbourne (below)

STANFORD HOUSE (WITH DOME), EAST MELBOURNE FORMERLY ORMISTON LADIES COLLEGE Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/15415

Mary and her sister Christina never married and stayed on at the family home Monivae.  They were devout members of the congregation of the Hamilton Presbyterian Church.  Mary’s mother Christian died in 1906 and father James in 1910.  Mary and Christina stayed on at Monivae after their father’s death.  In 1914, Christina died suddenly at Monivae on 9 November with Mary at her side.  Mary then spent time in Malvern living with her sister Elizabeth. After Elizabeth died, Mary moved into Kilora (below), sharing the home with her widower brother-in-law Thomas Laidlaw, husband of Margaret Thomson who had died in 1932. Mary lived at Kilora until her death on 13 May 1939 aged seventy-nine

“KILORA”, HAMILTON

Mary is buried with other members of her family at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

THOMSON FAMILY PLOT, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

THOMSON, William Armstrong – Died 3 May 1943 at Portland.  William Thomson was the youngest child of James Thomson and Christian Armstrong. and was born in September 1876 at Monivae estate, south of Hamilton.  Soon after, William’s father had a new homestead built on the property to accommodate his large family.

“MONIVAE” Homestead (1966). Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230077

William attended the Hamilton Academy (below).

HAMILTON ACADEMY. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/58

He remained at Monivae until around the time of his father’s death in 1910.  William then moved to Portland.  Around 1914, he went on a world tour and visited Russia and China. William, who never married, died on 2 May 1943  at Portland aged sixty-six.  His body was taken to Hamilton and the funeral cortege left Monivae then the home of his brother Alexander, for the Hamilton Cemetery  William bequeathed £100 to the Port Fairy Hospital.  He had owned several properties in the town.  

DALZIEL, Robert John – Died May 1946 at Carpendeit. Robert Dalziel was born at Lethbridge around 1865. His father Alexander Dalziel was a bootmaker there.  The family moved to Bannockburn then to Carpendeit around 1885. Robert is one of the older boys in the photo below with his parents Alexander and Elizabeth.

ALEXANDER AND ELIZABETH DALZIEL WITH THEIR SONS. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/765729

In his younger days, Robert was something of an athlete and was “hop, step and jump” champion of the Western District. In 1894, he married Margaret Scouller. Robert was very active in the local community.  He was instrumental in the construction of a hall at Carpendeit and was President of the hall committee.  It was also due to Robert’s work which saw a school was built and Carpendeit receiving daily mail services and telephone services. 

Robert was a foundation member of the South Purrumbete Racing Club and was on the Carpendeit Cricket and Tennis club committees and supported the South Purrumbete Football Club  He also served on the school committee and was a trustee of the recreation reserve.  Robert was involved with patriotic efforts in the district during WW1 and supported the Methodist church. He appeared in The Age in 1938 with his son Alex and a grandson.  Robert was seventy-two at the time.

“THE AGE” COUNTRY READERS (1938, April 12). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 14. Retrieved June 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205928186

Robert died eight years after the photo at the age of eighty. At the time of his death, he left his widow Margaret and six children. 

Passing of the Pioneers

If you caught my last post, the March edition of Passing of the Pioneers, you will know the PP posts are running behind.  This is a very late April edition  There are just four pioneers but two led very full and interesting lives, one of those being among the earliest Australian Rules footballers in the state.  One of the other men was among the Wendish settlers who trekked from Adelaide to the Western Victoria in 1852.  I did try to find a woman to add to the mix but unfortunately, my April list of obituaries is currently men only.  Click on the links on the underlined text for further information about a subject.  They include a link to the very interesting Wendish  Heritage website,

CHIRNSIDE, Andrew Spencer – Died 30 April 1890 at Colac

ANDREW CHIRNSIDE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/153089

Andrew Chirnside was born at Berwickshire, Scotland around 1817. He arrived in Melbourne in 1839 and met up with his older brother Thomas who had was already in the colony. The brothers went on to Sydney to buy stock to take overland to Adelaide to sell.  They then took up a run on the Loddon River in 1840, passed and named by Major Thomas Mitchell only four years before. From the Lodden, Thomas and Andrew followed the path of Mitchell again towards the Western District and in 1842 they found before them the highest peak in the Grampians named Mount William by Major Mitchell. The land appealed to the brothers and they established a station named after the nearby peak.

LOOKING TOWARDS MOUNT WILLIAM

The brothers ran Merino sheep and cattle at Mount William and a large woolshed (below) with twenty stands was built in 1865. Thomas and Andrew went on to buy Mokanger station on the Wannon River near Cavendish in 1843 and in the years after, acquired properties such as Mount Emu Creek and Carranballac near Skipton (below) and Kenilworth South and Victoria Lagoon near Cavendish. From 1849, Thomas began acquiring land at Wyndham, west of Melbourne and he soon built up an estate of 80,000 acres known as Werribee Park   By 1870 between them, they had acquired around 250,000 acres of land in Victoria.

The Chirnside name was soon connected with horse racing in the colony.  The Chirnsides were racing horses they’d bred and it was Mount William station bred Alice Hawthorn in the late 1850s who brought them their first notable success.  Andrew was interested in the racing side while Thomas prefered the breeding side of the business. Many of the horses raced in Andrew’s name including 1874  Melbourne Cup winner Haricot (below).

MR. A. CHIRNSIDE’S HARICOT, THE WINNER OF THE MELBOURNE CUP. (1874, December 2). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 193. Retrieved May 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60447659

In 1850, Andrew returned to Scotland and married Mary Begbie. Children were born at Carranballac and the Chirnside’s Point Cook station. Andrew and Mary lived at Carranballac (below) for a number of years.

CARRANBALLAC HOMESTEAD. Image courtesy of the J.T.Collins Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233699

They then moved to Werribee where Thomas had built a large mansion (below).  In 1887, Thomas Chirnside died at Werribee.

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

In 1889, Andrew funded the establishment of a half battery of horse artillery at Werribee,  He paid for the horses, their feed, uniforms and instruction. Forty men turned up for the first meeting at the Werribee Club Hotel.  The battery was commanded by Andrew’s son John.  Andrew was also the founder of the Wyndham Racing Club and a president of the Wyndham Shire Council. In his last years, Andrew went on trips to Queensland and Tasmania but he was in poor health.  He died at Irrewarra, Colac the home of his daughter Maggie Calvert.  Aged seventy-three, he left his widow Mary, four sons and two daughters.  Mary died in 1909.

You can find more information about Andrew Chirnside on the following links:

Biography of Andrew Chirnside from the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Alice Hawthorn – The Western Mare

RIPPON, George Reynolds – Died 26 April 1899 at Hamilton.  George Rippon was born in Berkshire, England on 17 September 1838. His father John James Rippon was a successful manufacturer with several large factories.  George completed his school in France, giving him competency in the French language.  He arrived in Australia in 1857 aboard James Baines and worked for a surveyor at Geelong, thought to be surveying the railway routes through the Western District.  He then worked as an accountant.

By the 1859/1860 cricket season, George was playing for the Corio Cricket Club and was among the team’s better players with bat and ball. In February 1860 he topped scored in a shortened match against Emerald Hill.

CORIO INNINGS. (1860, February 27). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929), p. 2. Retrieved May 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148789089

In 1862, George was selected in a squad of twenty-two from Geelong and the Western District to play an All England team but unfortunately, he went out for a duck in the first innings of the match on 20 January 1862 and for eleven in the second innings. By 1863 he was captain of the Corio side.  George went to Sydney in 1866, as a member of a Victorian team for an intercolonial match, however, poor form in lead up games saw he dropped from the side. 

In October 1867, the Corio Cricket Club played two matches against an Aboriginal XI months before their departure for an English tour. On the Corio team was Tom Wills, considered the father of Australian Rules football and original coach of the Aboriginal team before Charles Lawrence took over.  Wills captained the Corio team in the first match and the Aboriginal XI was led by Lawrence. George Rippon captained the Corio side in the second match. He was clean bowled by Johnny Mullagh for seven runs, one of five wickets for Mullagh.  In the second innings, Johnny Mullagh was caught out off George’s bowling for four runs. 

CRICKET At GEELONG. (1867, October 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved May 30, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5781100

In his last season playing cricket in Geelong, George took eight wickets for twenty runs in a match against the Kardinia Cricket Club during January 1876,  

Australian Rules Football was emerging as a sport during George’s first years in Geelong. The Geelong Football Club was formed in 1859 and not only was George one of the first players for the club, he served as club president in 1859 and 1860.  In 1861, George was the leading goalkicker for Geelong. Another highlight was when he kicked a goal to seal the game for Geelong against Melbourne in a challenge match on 12 September 1863 at the Richmond Paddock (below).

FOOTBALL AT RICHMOND PADDOCK IN 1866. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/111640

In June 1865, the Geelong Racing Club was established and George was unanimously elected as secretary of the club.  By that time he was one of the best sportsmen in Geelong playing cricket, football, rope quoits, billiards and rowing.  Just one of his achievements was topping the bowling averages for Geelong Cricket Club in 1870/71. He was also involved in coursing including serving as secretary of the Geelong Coursing Club.  In 1872 he was Vice president of the Geelong Football Club.  

On 24 November 1864, George married at Geelong to Maria Smith and a son John James Rippon was born the following year. George and Maria lived in Moorabool Street with further children born at their home, sons George in 1867 and Herbert in 1869, followed by daughters Martha in 1870, Emma in 1872 and Alice in 1874.

Aside from sport, George’s literary and writing skills caught the attention of the Geelong Advertiser and he was employed by the newspaper around 1864 and remained there until July 1876 when he moved to Hamilton.  He was thirty-eight at that time.  There were several testimonials for George in Geelong. his home of more than fifteen years including one conducted by the Geelong Football Club,

GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB. (1876, July 8). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929), p. 3. Retrieved May 6, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150633093

George and family were off to Hamilton because George had purchased a share of the local newspaper the Hamilton Spectator. In July 1876, George entered a partnership with George Mott and George Robinson. Robinson took up a retiring role in the paper and left the proprietorship in 1879.

Advertising (1876, July 12). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved May 26, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226037595

George wasted no time getting involved with town activities.  As soon as the 1876/1877 season came around, he was playing with the Hamilton Cricket Club.   And when the 1877 football season started he was involved with the Hamilton team but in a non-playing role as a judge. By the 1878 football season, George was vice-president of the Hamilton Football Club. His wide-ranging sporting prowess continued in Hamilton where he left off in Geelong.  He was part of a team to play in the Murray Challenge Cup in cricket. George was still playing cricket in 1890 at the age of fifty-one, playing a match at Portland with his sons Herbert and George.  His obituary mentioned his last cricket match when he played with his sons and the three of them had a combined score of 179.  George was president of the Hamilton Cricket Club for many years.  He was one of the best rope quoits and billiards player in the Western District.  He continued his interest in coursing in Hamilton and was a president of the Hamilton Bowls Club. He was a member of the Hamilton Racing Club and acted as a judge and did the same at Penshurst. 

Away from sport, on 7 May 1879, George’s father John James Rippon died at Altham Hall, Accrington, Lancashire, England aged seventy-nine. George’s home Altham Lodge in Hamilton on the corner of Collins and Dryden Street was similarly named to the home of his father.  George and Mott built up the Hamilton Spectator and by 1876 it was published three times a week and was a leading voice in Western Victoria. In 1885, George Mott sold his share of the Spectator to George Rippon who became sole proprietor of the newspaper.

VIEW OF HAMILTON VICTORIA. (1888, April 17). Hamilton Spectator p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225809074

George was a member of the Hamilton Hospital committee, president of the Hamilton Fire Brigade for eighteen years and vice president of the Hamilton Pastoral and Agriculture Society.  He was a member of the Freemasons Lodge and was a Past Grand Registrar. He was also a Justice of the Peace and a member of Melbourne’s Yorick Club founded by Marcus Clarke in 1868 for men with literary interests. Among other members was Adam Lindsay Gordon.

On 12 March 1888, George and Maria’s eldest son John died aged twenty-two. In August 1891, Johnny Mullagh who was part of the Aboriginal Cricket XI tour of England died.  George Rippon called for a monument for his grave at Harrow and opened subscriptions to fund it. It was twenty-three years since George and Johnny were on opposing teams in Geelong. 

THE LATE JOHN MULLAGH. (1891, August 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226082134

There was plenty of support for George’s proposal and in late 1892, a memorial stone was erected at the Harrow cricket ground and a smaller monument on Johnny Mullagh’s grave.

HARROW. (1892, December 13). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR.). Retrieved May 29, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225182122

George’s wife Maria died on 18 September 1897 aged fifty-four.  George died at  Altham Lodge on 26 April 1899 aged sixty-one.  He was buried with his son John and wife Maria at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery. 

RIPPON FAMILY GRAVE, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

George’s son Herbert took over the Hamilton Spectator, owning it for fifty-five years.  Another son George wrote sports reports for the paper.  After Herbert died, his son George Reynolds Rippon formed the Hamilton Spectator Partnership and was managing partner until the 1970s. Herbert’s daughter Clarice was the office manager of the paper for three decades. The paper is still in publication today.

HAMILTON SPECTATOR

Additional Sources:

Hay, Roy and EBSCOhost Aboriginal people and Australian football in the nineteenth century: they did not come from nowhere. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2019.

Kirkpatrick, Rod and Victorian Country Press Association, (issuing body.) The bold type: a history of Victoria’s country newspapers, 1840-2010. The Victorian Country Press Association, Ascot Vale, Vic, 2010 p233.

RENTSCH, Johann – Died 14 April 1909 at Byaduk. Johann Rentsch was born in Germany around 1834.  When he was seventeen, he arrived in Adelaide aboard Helena in 1851 with several other Wendish families. The following year, the families set off for Victoria.  Their journey took four weeks and they arrived in Portland on 26 May 1852.  In May 1854, Johann purchased land in South Hamilton, on what is now the north-eastern side of Ballarat Road and Hillers Lane in an area with several other German settlers. The area was known as Hochkirch on the Grange.  In 1856 Johann married Magdalena Burger. The Burgers were another of the Wendish families who travelled from South Australia. The couple went on to have seven children.  Johann selected land at Byaduk around 1860 and he and Magdalena settled there for the rest of their lives. They were members of the Byaduk Lutheran Church. Johann was buried at the Byaduk Lutheran Cemetery.  

You can read more about the Wendish settlers in the Western District on the following link – Wendish Heritage 

MORRISSEY, Michael – Died 12 April 1913 at Branxholme. Michael Morrissey was born in Limerick, Ireland around 1853 and arrived at Portland with his parents the following year about New Zealander.  The family settled at Port Fairy.  When Michael was a young man, he took up land at Broadwater, naming his property Cloverdale.  In 1881, Michael married Anne Purcell. During his time at Broadwater, Michael was one of the selectors behind the Eumerella Drainage Scheme involving the drainage of the Eumerella Swamp with work beginning in 1906.  In 1912, Michael purchased a property at Mount Eccles and built a home.  The intention by Michael and Anne to live out their lives there was shortlived when in April 1913, Michael fell ill and went to Branxholme for medical treatment.  He died there at the age of sixty.  Michael was buried in the Macarthur cemetery.

 

Passing of the Pioneers

The Passing of the Pioneer posts are getting a little behind. To fix that I intended to do a March/April/May edition but it was too long so I changed to a March/April edition to be followed by a May/June edition, however, March/April got too long.  Instead, I’ll post March, closely followed by April and then a May/June combined edition.  Hopefully, by July I’ll be back on track with a monthly post again.  This edition with seven pioneers includes early residents of Glenthompson and Hamilton and a woman who had thirty-five grandchildren and thirty-five great-grandchildren when she died and a man who had forty-one grandchildren and forty-eight great-grandchildren at the time of his death. Imagine how many descendants those two have today.  Click on any underlined text to read further information about a subject.

HUTCHESON, John – Died 27 March 1870 at Hamilton.  John Hutcheson was born around 1819 in Abernethy, Perthshire, Scotland descending from a long line of millers.  After his father David died, John’s mother Isabella took John and his brothers to Tasmania to be close to relatives.  The Hutcheson boys, John, George, and David heard about the rich pastoral area of the Western District of Victoria and decided to see for themselves.  After arriving at Port Phillip, they took up Runnymede station near Sandford and in 1849 Mount Straun station near Digby. 

John and George bought land on the northern banks of the Grange Burn to the west of the Hamilton township. They planned to farm as well as follow in the footsteps of their ancestors and open a mill.  They had the machinery built in Melbourne and by February 1854, it was ready to transport by ship to Portland and then overland to Hamilton.  It was a slow process getting the mill components to Hamilton and constructing the building to house them.  Finally, in December 1855 the mill was close to completion.

PORTLAND. (1855, December 21). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154861185

And by February 1856 it was ready to go.

Advertising (1856, February 22). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876), p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE PORTLAND GUARDIAN.). Retrieved May 10, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71573744

George died in 1857 at Runnymede after he was kicked by a horse but John continued on with the mill. Opposition came in 1859 when Peter Learmonth opened a mill on the Grange Burn on the eastern side of the township. Aside from opening the first mill, John was the first person in the district to own a steam operated thresher.  He was also a founding member of the Dundas Roads Board in 1857.   

Sometime after his arrival in Victoria, John married Ann Robertson, sister of George Robertson of Warrock near Casterton.  Ann died in 1860 at South Hamilton. They had no children. In 1861, John married Mary McDonald.  

John was fifty-one at the time of his death.  He left his widow Mary, four sons and one daughter. His obituary read,

He was well read and held opinions in advance of his time. This, to some, made him appear somewhat eccentric, but those who knew him intimately were charmed with his conversation, and while admiring the man for his selfwill and robust turn of mind, they knew how soft a heart was covered by anapparently brusque exterior, and that many a family have had their flour ground or a bag of flour sent to them when they most wanted It, and no charge made, When a disastrous bush-fire ruined half the people on the creek a few years ago, Mr Hutcheson was the first to move in getting up subscriptions in their aid, and we are justified in saying that when the committee left the distribution of the funds to him, all were satisfied. Mr Hutcheson was a very retiring man; he loved the hum of his mill more than the bustle of the town,…He was a fine mechanic and could make anything in wood or metal, the old Hamilton Mill remaining a monument of his skill in that direction. (Hamilton Spectator 30 March 1870 p. 2)


GRAVE OF JOHN HUTCHESON AT HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

John was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery. After John’s death, Mary continued to run the mill until 1877 when she sold it to Charles Pilven of the Commercial Hotel. In something of a trade, Mary purchased the Commerical Hotel. 

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 April 1877: 3. Web. 21 May 2019  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226041685

The mill became a Rabbit Preserving Factory in 1892. John’s mother Isabella lived at Coleraine and died on 10 June 1876.  

PEARSON, John – Died 10 March 1885 at Portland. John Pearson was born near Edinburgh, Scotland around 1801. In 1832, he married Mary Simpson and four children were born. They left their home at Leigh, Scotland for Tasmania in early 1840 after John inherited Douglas Park at Campbell Town from his older brother Dr Temple Pearson who died on 1 October 1839. They set off on 24 January 1840 aboard the North Briton but during the voyage, she ran aground on the Goodwin Sands off the English coast near Kent and was put into Ramsgate Harbour. That delayed the journey a month and they departed again on 17 February. Back on course, as the ship rounded the Cape of Good Hope on 30 April 1840, Mary gave birth to a son, Joseph.  They finally arrived in Tasmania on 17 June 1840.

The Pearsons remained in Tasmania until 1846 when John sold Douglas Park and they travelled to Victoria aboard the Minerva captained by Captain Fawthrop on 30 May 1846.  With them were servants and all their household furniture.  On another ship John chartered, the Lady Mary Pelham were horses, cattle and farming implements.  It took two weeks to make the trip to Portland Bay.  Four nights were spent anchored at King Island due to rough weather.  Since there was no pier at Portland at the time, the horses and cattle swam ashore and John’s family were carried through the surf to shore.

John purchased Retreat station on the Glenelg River near Casterton and built a house and a woolshed. During their time at the station, the Pearsons saw the impact of the Black Thursday bushfires on 6 February 1851. Such was the fire’s intensity, birds and wildlife sought refuge at the homestead. Two days later on 8 February 1851, John’s wife Mary died. Her body was transported to the Portland North Cemetery for burial.  John sold Retreat soon after, taking up Yambuk Station in July 1851.  After three years he bought Mount Shadwell estate near Mortlake.  In 1855, John purchased the Glenorchy station near Merino. John decided to retire to Melbourne but lasted six months returning to the Western District in 1857 to reside in Percy Street, Portland. It was also in 1857, John brought new sheep bloodlines to the Western District.

PROBABILITIES OF A NEW AURIFEROUS DISTRICT. (1857, August 3). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved May 27, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7136358

John continued buying properties and in 1859 purchased the Rifle Range station near Coleraine. He was an avid reader and a keen gardener and was known for his floral displays and introduced new plants to Portland.  He formed his own opinions and more than once was encouraged to stand for a seat in the Legislative Assembly but he could not agree with the policies of parties requesting his nomination. He did serve as a chairman of the District Roads Board. John died at his home in Percy Street at the age of eighty-four and was buried at the North Portland Cemetery.  In his will, he left £50 for the widows of Portland.

McLENNAN, John – Died 4 March 1907 at Glenthompson. John McLennan was born in Scotland around 1832.  He arrived at Yuppeckiar, just west of what is now Glenthompson in 1862 to run the Cobb & Co changing station located at what was known as the “mail tent”. The changing station consisted of two tents, one for John and one for the horses.  The “post office” was a hole in a red gum tree with a flap of hide to protect the mail from the weather. 

A township was surveyed and when land became available, John purchased acreage and built the first house in the town which would become Glenthompson He also built a hotel on the main road but when the railway came through, he built a second hotel opposite the station.  In time, it became Mac’s Hotel (seen below, it was renovated in the 1920s). John also operated a store which was profitable for him. 

MAC’S HOTEL GLENTHOMPSON

John married Jessie Roderick in 1872. In 1883, John announced his intention to retire

Advertising (1883, November 20). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226049701

In 1884, John did retire and turned to wool-growing. He was given a testimonial at Glenthompson led by Charles Gray of Nareeb Nareeb.   

PRESENTATION AT GLENTHOMPSON. (1884, September 16). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225662520

Jessie died on 26 November 1895.  When John died in 1907, he left a son and a daughter. He was buried at the Glenthompson Cemetery.

GRAVE OF JOHN McLENNAN AND FAMILY AT GLENTHOMPSON CEMETERY

NICOL, Gideon – Died 20 March 1908 at Merino. Gideon Nicol was born near Aberdeen, Scotland around 1836. When he was fifteen, Gideon began working on ships, sailing first to Calcutta, India in 1851.  He then went on several voyages including to South America and then to Sevastopol to deliver horses for use in the Crimean War. Despite all his time at sea, Gideon managed to be in England in 1852 to witness the funeral of the Duke of Wellington.

Gideon arrived in Victoria in 1858 at the age of twenty-two aboard the Greyhound and set off for Warrnambool.  He secured work on stations as a bullock driver until heading for the New Zealand gold diggings in 1861.  When he returned, he selected 300 acres of land at Mount Warrnambool near Panmure in 1865. He also selected 600 acres at Tahara. In 1866, John married Ellen Dunne.

Farming was tough and in 1871, he was losing calves so he wrote a letter to The Australasian newspaper requesting advice.

QUARTER-ILL, OR BLACK-LEG. (1871, March 18). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 24. Retrieved May 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138081853

The correspondent from The Australasian provided a solution to Gideon’s problem and it must have held him in good stead.  By the time a correspondent from The Australasian visited the district in 1881, he found Gideon was running a successful farm.

A TOUR IN THE WARRNAMBOOL DISTRICT. (1881, July 16). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 25. Retrieved May 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article137816975

Gideon mentioned to the correspondent the problems he had with his calves ten years before and was still singing the praises of the solution offered by The Australasian

A TOUR IN THE WARRNAMBOOL DISTRICT. (1881, July 16). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 25. Retrieved May 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article137816975

Gideon was one of the first directors of the Farnham Cheese and Butter Factory Company and was a Warrnambool Shire Councillor for twenty-seven years including two terms as President.  He represented the Shire at the opening of the Federal Parliament in Melbourne in 1901.  At the time of his death, Gideon was a director of the Merino Butter Factory.  He was buried at the Tower Hill cemetery leaving his widow Ellen, one son and two daughters.  Ellen died in January 1914.

JENNINGS, John – Died 18 March 1910 at Hamilton.  John Jennings was born in England around 1819.  He arrived in Portland about 1846 and two years later he went to Hamilton then called The Grange.  Around 1849, John went to Adelaide where he married Bridget Priscilla Talbot. A daughter Catherine was born in Adelaide in July 1851. Back in Victoria around 1852, John and Bridget took up residence at Violet Creek to the south of Hamilton.   

JOHN JENNINGS -HAMILTON PIONEER. (1912, January 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 32. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198127055

John worked as a shepherd at Violet Creek but wanted a change in career and since there was a demand for timber in the growing town of Hamilton, he took up timber splitting at Victoria Valley in the Grampians. The timber he split was used to build the Hamilton Inn and the Victoria Hotel.  He then set up sawmill below Billy Goat Hill which overlooked the area which would more than fifty years later become Melville Oval. To accommodate his growing family, John built a house on Billy Goat Hill from timber he collected nearby.  It had slab walls and a clay floor and is pictured below.

JENNINGS FAMILY HOME – HAMILTON PIONEER. (1912, January 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 32. Retrieved March 30, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198127055

Bridget died at Hamilton in 1904.  John continued living at his home until his death in 1910.  He left forty-eight grandchildren and forty-one great-grandchildren at the time of his death.

jennings

PERSONAL. (1910, March 26). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 39. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142923081

GRAVE OF JOHN AND BRIDGET JENNINGS, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

John and Bridget’s son Jack and his wife Emma contributed eighteen of the grandchildren. After John’s death, his home of fifty years which had never been altered was dismantled and a new house built.    

HAMILTON PIONEER. (1912, January 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 32. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198127055

In 1912, some of his family came together and are seen below.

DESCENDANTS OF JOHN AND BRIDGET JENNINGS – HAMILTON PIONEER. (1912, January 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 32. Retrieved March 30, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198127055

Vanda Savill in her book Dear friends, now know ye: Hamilton District, wool centre of the world. Part one  (p180) stated by 1940, John and Bridget’s son John “Jack” Jennings had 183 living descendants consisting of nine children, 50 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren. Further, it says Jack was born in a tent on the site of the current Gray Street Primary School in 1853, however, his birth was registered in 1855.     

SCULLION, John – Died 8 March 1919 at Garvoc. John Scullion was born at County Antrim, Ireland around 1827.  When he was around seventeen, he went to England and worked for around five years in a foundry.  He left England at the age of twenty-two and sailed for Portland.  He worked as a bullock teamster travelling to and from the diggings.  In 1861 he married Janet MacKellar. 

John took up land at Wangoom near Warrnambool before going to Garvoc around 1864 and became a dairy farmer. In 1909, he lost his home in a fire.  It had nine rooms, three of stone and six of timber.  At the time John estimated his monetary loss was £800.  At the age of ninety-two, John died at his home Mount View, Garvoc, leaving his widow Janet and five daughters and three sons.  He was buried at the Terang Cemetery.

ANDREWS, Mary Ann – Died 31 March 1940 at Colac.  Mary Ann was born at Muntham station near Casterton around 1855.  She married Thomas Rhodes at Coleraine in 1873 and they moved to Lower Gellibrand between Lavers Hill and Princetown around 1885.  Thomas died four years after their arrival there on 8 December 1889 aged thirty-nine. Mary continued on at their dairy farm.  At the time of her death, Mary Ann had four daughters and two sons, thirty-five grandchildren and thirty-seven great-grandchildren.