Passing of the Pioneers

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

JULY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

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

Passing of the Pioneers

A small band of Pioneers come together for August Passing of the Pioneers. They include the first Mayor of the Borough of Portland and a crew member of William Dutton’s whale boat.

William McLEAN: Died 28 August 1888 at Port Fairy. At the time of his death, William McLean had resided at the Port Fairy Benevolent Asylum for ten years and was known to all as “Old Billy”. In 1887, he spoke about his life from his time in his birthplace of Scotland. William was born around 1790 and when around twenty, he joined the navy and was a crewman on the HMS Warspite which brought him to Sydney while escorting convicts in 1822.  After meeting some whalers, he decided to jump ship and join them. The whaling ship belonged to William Dutton, one of the first whalers to Portland Bay and William was with him.

Image Coutesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  PN05/05/77/00  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/78495

Image Coutesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. PN05/05/77/00 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/78495

When asked who was the first to Portland Bay, William Dutton or the Hentys, William replied that Dutton and his crew were there long before the Hentys. Later, William spent time whaling at Port Fairy where he settled.

Mary GRIERSON: Died August 1914 at Port Fairy. Mary Grierson was born in Scotland in 1827 and arrived in Victoria with her parents in 1839. They had sailed aboard the David Clark with Port Fairy’s Captain Mills at the helm.  Mary married David Thomas in 1846 and they settled at Rosebrook, near Port Fairy. They had a family of twelve, six girls and six boys. Mary was a member of the Presbyterian church and her goodwill was known throughout the district.

Thomas BEVAN: Died August 1915 at Colac. Born in Devonshire, England in 1829, Thomas Bevan arrived in Geelong in 1851. He moved to Beeac and became a local preacher for the Methodist Church. Thomas worked hard to build the community and had a strong involvement in all aspects of public affairs. He was also a musician, with violin and flute his instruments both learnt while still in England.

George HAYNES: Died 18 August 1916 at Port Fairy. The Port Fairy Town Hall flag flew at half mast the day George Haynes passed away. George was one of Port Fairy’s earliest residents and the first Mayor of the Borough. George was born in Staffordshire in 1826 and at the local grammar school. In 1854, he and his wife travelled to Australia, landing at Melbourne where they remained for around a year. George then moved on to Port Fairy where he settled and established a merchant business, Haynes and Young. Married twice, George had seven children from his first marriage.

Advertising. (1915, February 1). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved August 30, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94722841

Advertising. (1915, February 1). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved August 30, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94722841

Joseph LEWIS: Died 27 August 1916 at Port Fairy. Joseph Lewis was born in Staffordshire around 1824 and travelled to Australia aboard the Royal Saxon, landing at Williamstown in 1841Also on board was a relative of Charles Dickens.  After some time working at Little River Joseph travelled to the Grampians with a Mr Dwyer and they attempted to run cattle.  Unsuccessful, Joseph moved on to Port Fairy and purchased the property Glenview, residing there until old age when he moved into the Port Fairy town. Joseph left a widow, four sons, four daughters, thirty-two grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren.

Denis BERMINGHAM: Died 17 August 1917 at Port Fairy. Denis Bermingham was from Ireland and arrived in Port Fairy aboard the Chance during the 1850s. Spending time at Koroit and then Woodlands, Denis worked on the land. After moving to Port Fairy the 1880s, he worked for a few years on the harbour. Denis and his wife had thirteen children, nine of whom were still living at the time of Denis’ death.

Robert LEISHMAN: Died 28 August 1917 at Port Fairy. Robert Leishman was born in Scotland around 1830 and arrived in Victoria as a boy in the 1850s. After some time spent at Woodford, he settled at Crossley and for many years ran the farm Cockpen. He had also spent some time working on Korongah Station, then owned by Messrs. Knight and Lydiard.  It was there, during the 1870s that Robert’s wife passed away. During their time together they had a family of five. In the last years of Robert’s life, he moved to Rosebrook and then Bank Street, Port Fairy.

Passing of the Pioneers

This is the fourth “Passing of the Pioneers” and includes a chess champion who lived in Merino and plenty of Irish influence.  They highlight some of the pioneers of Victoria’s Western District by way of their obituaries as published in the Portland Guardian.  If you would like to read the full obituary, just click on the pioneer’s name.

Emma WITHERIDGE: Died  4 October 1888 at Portland. This obituary demonstrates the tone of many at the time.

OBITUARY. (1888, October 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63590480

George BEVAN: Died  17 October 1888 at Portland. George owned and died at the London Hotel in Portland.  His family notice shows he was born in Somerset, England and was fifty-nine at the time of death.  George had been in Portland since the early 1860s and was a keen sportsman and former Town Councillor.

Mary ROGERS: Died October 1912 at Greenwald.  Mary Rogers was eighty-six at the time of her death and had lived in Victoria for sixty years.  She originally went to Tasmania from Ireland with her parents as a small child.  Mary married Francis Egan who had passed away thirty years earlier.

William Sudgen Price LEWIS: Died 4 October 1915 at Hamilton. William Sudgen Price Lewis was the stepson of Richard Lewis, a former owner of Rifle Downs at Digby.  Born in Tasmania in 1835, William and his brother came to live with Richard Lewis when Richard and their mother married in 1841. In adult life, William leased Hilgay station for a time, bred fine livestock and was a member of several racing clubs. He later retired to Hamilton.

John H. ROW: Died 27 October 1926 at Portland. John Row was a Portland jeweller.

Advertising. (1879, March 27). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: MORNINGS.. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63341984

John McDONNELL: Died 17 October 1930 at Moree. Mr McDonnell was originally from Ireland and arrived in Australia in 1863 via Liverpool. He was considered one of the oldest people in the district. He married Catherine FAHEY and they selected land at Moree in 1865.

Catherine Bridget SAMPEY: Died October 1933 at Melbourne. Catherine Sampey arrived in Melbourne from Ireland aboard the Red Jacket in 1852. She travelled on to Chetwynd with her brother James Sampey and she later married Patrick WHITE of Casterton.

Elizabeth MONOHAN: Died 12 October 1933 at Casterton. Elizabeth Monohan was 100 when she died. Arriving from Ireland aboard the Frances Henty at age twenty-one, seventy-nine years before, she was still able to converse in Welsh and Gaelic in her later years. In 1859, she married John Glover at Sandford House.

Julia Teresa DOYLE: Died October 1934 at Portland. Born in Tipperary, Ireland but remembered as “a true type of a fine old English lady”, Julia Doyle arrived in Australia as a six-year-old in the mid-1850s. She married Frances SUTTON in 1874 and together they had six daughters and two sons.

Ernest John SEALEY: Died 25 October 1935 at Casterton. In his younger years, Ernest Sealey worked as a bullock driver transporting wool. In later worked on Portland’s deep-water pier, hauling logs from the forests to the pier.

Charles PRATT: Died 26 October 1935 at Birchip.

Obituary. (1935, November 4). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64290777

And so begins the obituary of Charles Pratt.  Charles or Charley has he was widely known, was born at Mumbannar in 1870.  In 1891, he went to Beulah in the Mallee and worked with his step-brother and later selected his own land near Watchupga.  He married Annie LAVERY in 1914 and they had three sons.

Thomas Denton CLARKE: Died 5 October 1937 at Hamilton. Thomas, born around 1847 at Liverpool, was the son on Captain Thomas H. Clarke who was a trader in Portland.  Thomas jnr was a champion chess player and a composer of chess problems.  He won many competitions for both pursuits.  Composing problems up until his death, it was considered probable, according to the obituary, that he was the world’s oldest composer.

James McCLUSKEY: Died October 1942 at Koroit. James McCluskey was born at Portland in 1857, not long after the arrival of his parents on the ship, British Empire. Soon after, the family travelled by bullock wagon to Kirkstall near Warrnambool.  In his early working life, James drove pigs to Port Fairy in order to load them on the steamer Casino to go to market in Melbourne.

Mary PRATT: Died 7 October 1942 at Greenwald. Mary, the widow of George COWLAND, was eighty-seven at the time or her death.  There were twelve children in their family.  Her obituary recalled her pioneering traits.

OBITUARY. (1942, October 26). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382483