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 Seacob (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.

Time Fillers

Social distancing is nothing new. This photo shows my Nana, Linda Gamble (nee Hadden) as a nineteen-year-old isolating at Cherrypool in 1938 with friends and family.  Cherrypool is a location on the Henty Highway between Hamilton and Horsham. All from Hamilton, the group camped out to protect themselves from a polio outbreak in early 1938.  When Nana talked of the photo she always laughed because isolating themselves was basically useless because a number of Hamilton people made the eighty-five-kilometre trip to visit during their time there.

As we’ve seen over the past weeks social distancing has led to novel ways to fill in time. That was no different out at Cherrypool.  The campers came up with the idea of a mock wedding with Nana as the bride.  That’s when this photo was taken.  A mock wedding in the bush is not an option for us at this time but we can learn about our past and Western District Families is a good place to start.

The main section of Western District Families has more than 430 posts.  You can simply start at this post and start scrolling or you can view the posts by category such as Western District History and Cemeteries.  In the right sidebar of this page, you will see the drop-down box for categories. You will also see the Pioneer Obiturary Category and from there you can read the seventy-nine Passing of the Pioneers posts from the most recent.  Or if you are looking for the obituary of a specific person, go to the tabs at the top of the page you will find the Pioneer Obituary Index.  There you can find a person within the alphabetical lists. Click on their name and you will go their Passing of the Pioneers entry.

Another tab at the top of the page is the Western District Links.  There are some useful links for websites if you are interested in researching Western District family history or local history including Facebook groups and pages.  You will also find links to all the Western District newspapers digitised at Trove.

There is also Hamilton’s WW1 with 160 biographies of men and women who served.  Hamilton’s WW1 is divided into Enlistments, Women, and Memorials., Whichever you choose, just click on the underlined names to read a biography.  There are nine new biographies available.  They are:

William Charles Boyd

Thomas Brown

John Leslie Connor

Duncan Brown Cowan

Edmund Dohle

Robert William Drummond

Gertrude Agnes Grewar

Thomas Leslie O’Neil

John James Affleck Younger

A handy tip while reading the posts and pages at Western District Families is to click on any underlined text which will take you to further information on a subject.  It may be a website like, Trove or the Australian Directory of Biography or it may be a related WesternDistrict Families post.

If you’ve made it through all that, you could check out the Western District Families or the Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook pages.  You don’t even have to be a Facebook member to view them either.  On the Western District Families page recently I’ve been posting links to books about Western District history you can read for free online.  Plus there are 1000s of photos you can browse through.  You will find links to both pages in the right-hand sidebar of this page.

If after all that you find yourself twiddling your thumbs again, try the Western District Families YouTube Channel.  You can view nine videos I’ve made including the Western District Families 2018 Album made up of photos shared to the WDF Facebook page.

Or you can view the playlist I’ve put together including sixty-seven history-themed videos from across the Western District such as ‘Mrs Funk and the Dunkeld and District CWA Cookbook’. Aged 100 in 1910, Mrs Funk reads through the cookbook and is reminded of people, recipes, and stories from her past in Dunkeld.  You will find that video and more on the link – WDF YouTube Playlist.

Happy reading and viewing.

Passing of the Pioneers

This edition of Passing Pioneers includes two months of obituaries, September and October. The photos I have posted at the Western District Families Facebook page have become a useful tool for finding obituaries.  Recent photos of Western District hotels have helped me find a number of obituaries of publicans past and there are four this edition.  During Family History Month in August,  I posted a photo of the Kent family of Casterton on the Facebook page and below you’ll find the obituary of one of the family members.  There is “feature” obituary for each month, with both subjects making significant contributions to their associated towns.  As usual, if you click on any underlined text, you’ll go to further information about the subject.

SEPTEMBER

BEGG, Thomas – Died 3 September 1895 at Branxholme.  Thomas Begg was born at Cumberland, Scotland around 1819.  He married Mary Reid in 1842 and they had three children.  In February 1855, the family left Liverpool onboard the Nashwauk bond for Adelaide, South Australia.  With them were around 300 other immigrants and 130 Irish Orphan girls. On day eighty-nine of the voyage, they reached Gulf St Vincent near Adelaide.  As the ship headed toward the mouth of the Onkaparinga River south of Adelaide, it hit the shoreline. Fortunately, the passengers were rescued and taken to nearby Noarlunga.  Everything the Beggs owned was lost but at least they survived. They travelled by land to Adelaide, where Thomas bid farewell to his family and left for the Bendigo diggings.

After fifteen months in Victoria with no luck, Thomas returned to Adelaide and took a job at a flour mill.  He was suffering from poor health and after doctor’s advice to move to the country they headed for the south-east of South Australia. The family remained there until around 1865 when Thomas selected land at Condah. He named his property Foutus. Thomas was a councillor for the Portland Shire from 1875 and Shire President from 1877 until his resignation in 1880.  He and Mary remained at Condah until the early 1890s when they moved to Branxholme.  In June 1892, Thomas and Mary celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at the Branxholme Mechanics Institute with 150 guests in attendance.  William died in 1895 after a long illness and buried at the Branxholme Cemetery.  The funeral cortege on 6 September was one of the longest seen in the district and the coffin was almost totally covered with wreaths.  Mary died in 1912 at the age of ninety-two.

BEGG FAMILY GRAVE, BRANXHOLME CEMETERY

MELVILLE, William – Died 7 September 1897 at Byaduk.  William Melville was born in Sutherland, Scotland around 1829.  He arrived in Victoria in 1852 and went into partnership with William Bayles forming Bayles and Melville in Melbourne. In 1858, William married Ann McDonald.  The following year Ann gave birth to a son, William Henry but she died as a result of the birth, aged twenty-four.

“Advertising” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 27 August 1859: 4. Web. 5 Sep 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154826326&gt;.

Meanwhile, business was good for Bayles and Melville and they expanded their interests into grazing land taking up Weerangourt south of Byaduk. On 18 April 1867, William remarried to Annette Margaret Bayles, a daughter of William Bayles and they settled at Weerangourt.  The partnership of Bayles and Melville was eventually dissolved but William continued on at Weerangourt.  In 1893, a new homestead was built.  William was also a Justice of the Peace. At the time of his death, William left his widow Annette and five sons and two daughters.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF WILLIAM MELVILLE AT HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

JACOBY, Sigismund – Died 15 September 1917 at St Kilda.

“OUR ST. KILDA LEGISLATORS.” The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 – 1930) 7 September 1889: 3. Web. 9 Sep 2018.

Sigismund Jacoby was born in Toruá, Prussia (now Poland) in 1837, the eldest of Salomon and Rosalie Jacoby’s seven children. Salomon was a soft goods merchant in Toruá.  Sigismund arrived in Australia around 1860 but left soon after for New Zealand where he worked in the retail trade.  He returned to Australia in January 1866 and by the end of April 1866 had opened a store “Albion House” in Gray Street next to the Bank of Victoria.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 28 April 1866: 3. Web. 14 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194470438&gt;.

By June 1866, Sigismund was on a committee investigating the viability of Hamilton having a fire brigade.  He was able to offer knowledge gained while in New Zealand.  By mid-March 1867, he was sitting on the Hamilton Borough Council. Also in 1867, Sigismund went into partnership with Isidore Rehfisch. The partnership was dissolved in 1868 and Sigismund once again traded alone.  In 1869, he partnered with Henry Horwitz of Horwitz & Co, a rival draper in the town. Sigismund moved to the corner of Gray and Thompson Streets and “Albion House” was let.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 April 1870: 1. Web. 11 Sep 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196302868&gt;.

On 4 August 1869 at the synagogue in Bourke Street West, Melbourne (below), Sigismund married Hannah Horwitz, a talented pianist and a daughter of Henry Horwitz.  They had four children, three boys and one girl, all born in Hamilton from 1870 to 1876.

THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE, BOURKE STREET WEST, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/236507

On 16 August 1875, Sigismund was elected as Mayor of the Borough of Hamilton.  An inaugural Mayoral dinner was held at the Victoria Hotel on the same day Sigismund was appointed as a Chief Magistrate. He held the Mayoral role until the following August when Councillor Stapylton Bree became Mayor.  Sigismund remained on the council and also sat on the Hamilton Hospital committee and was a founder and director of the Hamilton Gas Company. He believed as a resident, it was his duty to help improve the town.

After the first Hamilton Post Office was demolished in 1876, Sigismund purchased the bluestone to build St Ronans off Pope Street, Hamilton.  The home was of a similar design to the former post office.

ST RONANS, HAMILTON. The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 2 May 1903 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

ST RONANS, HAMILTON

By 1878, Sigismund’s youngest sibling Max had arrived in Hamilton and it was in that year both were naturalised.  The following year, Sigismund travelled to Europe with Hannah as a British subject.  To farewell him, a banquet was held on 3 April 1879, held in the Hamilton Town Hall.  Max took over the running of the store while he was away.

“ITEMS OF NEWS.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 August 1880: 2. Web. 15 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225488522&gt;.

In June 1881, Sigismund purchased The Wholesale Clothing Company consisting of five stores and factory in the Melbourne CBD, Fitzroy, Emerald Hill, West Melbourne, Prahran, and Carlton, the location of the head office.  The Bourke Street store was part of the Eastern Market (below).

EASTERN MARKET, BOURKE STREET, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41594

In 1884, moved on from the Wholesale Clothing Company when he purchased the Monster Clothing Company at 21 Bourke Street, Melbourne. The Hamilton Spectator shared the news.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 24 June 1884: 2. Web. 15 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226048664&gt;.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 6 March 1886: 6. Web. 17 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225773930&gt;.

Although he had left the town, Sigismund still took an interest in Hamilton affairs.  In 1883, he joined a deputation from the Dundas Railway League who met with the Minister of Railways to present a case for a railway line between Hamilton and Ararat.  In 1888, Sigismund left the rag trade and became a hotelier, taking over the Esplanade Hotel at St Kilda which he operated until 1897.

ESPLANADE HOTEL, ST KILDA 1891. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54610

In 1897, Sigismund purchased the Port Phillip Club Hotel at 232 Flinders Street, Melbourne across the road from the Flinders Street Railway Station and a few doors away from Young and Jacksons Hotel.  

PORT PHILLIP CLUB HOTEL, FLINDERS STREET, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41779

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 16 November 1897: 1. Web. 20 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226100390&gt;.

A good description of the hotel when Sigismund purchased it is available on the link to Melbourne Punch of 2 September 1897 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174627105.  Twelve months later, Table Talk published an article on the success of the hotel under Sigismund’s management and the improvements he’d made.  You can read the article on the link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145862760

Sigismund was a member of the St Kilda council from 1888 until 1914, serving as Mayor four times during that period. The Jacoby Reserve in Cowderoy Street, St Kilda West is named after Sigismund.  He was also one of the original members of the Melbourne Board of Works and he sat on the committee of the Alfred Hospital. At the time of his death, Sigismund left his widow. Hannah and three sons. Hannah died in 1935. Sigismund and Hannah are buried together in the St Kilda Cemetery.

Further information about Sigismund and his involvement with the St Kilda Council is on the link – https://heritage.portphillip.vic.gov.au/People_places/People_of_the_past/Councillor_Sigismund_Jacoby_JP

KENT, Michael – Died 21 September 1918 at Casterton.  Michael Joseph Kent was born in Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland and arrived in Victoria with his parents and siblings as a child.  The family lived at Portland and that is where Michael reunited with Norah Nell O’Brien, a girl he went to school with back in Kilkenny.  They married and moved to Casterton. Michael did labouring work with the Glenelg Shire, either employed directly by the shire or with shire employed contractors.  The Kents lived at Tara (below) and had seven children.  Two children died as babies.

TARA, CASTERTON, THE HOME OF THE KENT FAMILY c1890. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769213

During winter 1918, Michael Kent was working as a “day man” for the shire. His work as a labourer meant he was out in the wet weather and as a result, he contracted pneumonia and died ten days later.  He was sixty-three.  Nora died in 1941 aged eighty-eight.

McKELLAR, Rachel – Died 2 September 1926 at Malvern.  Rachel was born at Kilmichael, Scotland around 1836.  She travelled to Australia with her parents John McKellar and Rachel Harkness and siblings when she was fourteen. They settled at Knebsworth near Condah where Rachel’s brothers had already settled. On 3 July 1866, Rachel married Thomas Skene of Warrambeech near Hamilton.  Three years later, Thomas purchased Krongurt in South Australia and they moved there. Thomas died in 1884 and Rachel remained at Krongurt until 1902 when she went to live with her daughter in Melbourne.  She left three sons and five daughters and nine grandchildren.

CAVE, Elizabeth – Died 26 September 1944 at Cobden.  Elizabeth Cave was born in the Chatsworth district around 1860.  Known as Lizzie, she met Harry Quiney of Mortlake and they married at Harry’s parent’s home at Mortlake on 10 April 1884.  Harry held the licence of Mac’s Hotel in Mortlake and in 1885, Lizzie gave birth to her first child at the hotel.  In 1909, the Quiney’s built a new hotel on the same site (below).

MAC’S HOTEL, MORTLAKE c1930. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/60755

During the war years, Elizabeth was a member of the Mortlake branch of the Red Cross and acted as secretary. Harry Quiney died in 1920 and Elizabeth continued to run Mac’s Hotel until 1927 when she sold.  She then moved to Cobden to run the Grand Central Hotel (below).

GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL, COBDEN c1920 Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772415

In 1931, Elizabeth left Cobden for a holiday in Tasmania intending to take up another business on her return.  Elizabeth spent some time away from Cobden but was settled back there by the mid-1930s.

October

HAFERKORN, Charles Ehryott– Died 10 October 1884 at Hamilton. Charles Haferkorn arrived in Victoria around 1850.  He spent time in Melbourne before establishing a brewery and aerated water factory in Gray Street, Hamilton in 1858.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 12 April 1862: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194859878

In 1860, Charles married Frances “Fanny” Featherby of Croxton East. In 1873, Charles and family went to Balmoral when Charles took up the licence of the Western Hotel but the following year he suffered spinal injuries in a coach accident resulting in paralysis. He continued with the hotel with the help of Fanny.  After six years, the Haferkorns moved on to the Coleraine Hotel.  In 1883, they returned to Hamilton and Charles had the Grange Family Hotel built on the site of his former brewery in Gray Street, Hamilton.  Charles died at the hotel in 1884. 

GRAVE OF CHARLES HAFERKORN AT THE HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

Fanny married Samuel Fogg in 1886 and they continued to run the Grange Family Hotel (below).  The Grange Family Hotel in time became the George Hotel.

GRANGE FAMILY HOTEL, GRAY STREET, HAMILTON. Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). 

MARKS, Mark – Died 12 October 1892 at Colac West.  Mark Marks was born around 1833.  He settled in Colac and in 1857 he married Sarah Ann Owen and they went on to have eleven children over the next twenty-three years.  Mark operated three hotels in Colac, the Perseverance and Oddfellows Hotels during the 1870s and the Union Club Hotel from 1880 until the mid-1880s.

MURRAY STREET, COLAC LOOKING TOWARD THE UNION CLUB HOTEL ON THE CNR OF GELLIBRAND STREET c1913. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90333175

In 1886, Mark took over the Terang Hotel.  Mark and Sarah returned to Colac in 1891 taking up residence at Laurel Banks estate, Colac West.   Mark was a Colac Shire councillor, a supporter of St Johns Church, Colac and one of the oldest members of the Loyal Colac Lodge.  Mark was fifty-nine at the time of his death. Sarah died in 1907 aged seventy leaving seven sons and two daughters.

BROWN, William Clarke – Died 28 October 1908 at Coleraine.  William Brown was born at Thornbury House, Northampton, England in 1824 and arrived in Victoria in 1844.  He met Margaret Sefton who arrived in 1841 from Ireland, in Melbourne and they married at St James Church Melbourne in 1846.  They went to Heywood and William worked for Mr Bilston’s property before they settled at Dundas Vale, Bil-Bil-Wyt.  William claimed he was the first man to drive a cab in Melbourne and Hamilton. 

William and Margaret celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary on 6 February 1906.  Their thirteen children, eighty-one grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren joined them. James Meek, a photographer from Hamilton took photos at the anniversary celebrations.

“THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM AND MARGARET BROWN .” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 7 April 1906: 12. Web. 13 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221220108&gt;.

By that time, William was living with his son where he died in 1908.  Margaret died in 1915.

WALSH, Margaret – Died 1 October 1918 at Grassdale.  Margaret Walsh was born in Cork, Ireland in 1817 and arrived in Tasmania in 1841. She met Samuel Evans Young who she married and they left for Portland.  They settled at Tahara and Samuel farmed and during the 1870s, he operated the Tahara store.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 26 February 1878: 3. Web. 15 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226069628&gt;.

Margaret and Samuel remained at Tahara until Samuel’s death in July 1907.  The Age reported on Samuel’s death at the age of eighty-four and mentioned his wife was 100 years old.

“HAMILTON.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 22 July 1907: 6. Web. 13 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198611068&gt;.

However, Margaret lived for another eleven years but wasn’t 111 when she died, rather 101.  She spent those eleven years living with her son at Grassdale. Margaret lived through the reign of six British sovereigns.

MANIFOLD, James Chester – Died 30 October 1918 at Sea.

JAMES CHESTER MANIFOLD. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

James Manifold was born at Purrumbete estate (below) in 1867, the fourth son of John Manifold and Marion Thomson.  He was educated at Geelong Grammar School.

PURRUMBETE, ON THE BANKS OF LAKE PURRUMBETTE c1913 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/75086

After the death of their father John in 1877, Purrumbete was divided between the four Manifold brothers. Chester’s share was “Talindert“.

TALINDERT, CAMPERDOWN. The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982) 6 April 1940: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51271786

In 1890, James was elected to the Hampden Shire Council and would go on to serve as President.  The following year, he married Lillian Eva Curle on 11 March 1891 at St Paul’s Church, Camperdown.  James was involved with football and cricket and his in younger years, was one of the best sportsmen in the state. With his brothers William and Edward, he represented Victoria in polo (below).

“INTERCOLONIAL POLO MATCH.” Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 – 1900) 18 May 1899: 21. Web. 16 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article180224372&gt;

James was also interested in racing as an owner and breeder. One of his successes, with his brother Edward, was the 1896 Victorian Racing Club Grand National Steeplechase with Dungan (below) considered Australia’s greatest steeplechaser at the time  Dungan was killed less than two weeks later in a race fall at Moonee Valley on 25 July 1896.

“GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE WINNER.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 18 July 1896: 24. Web. 16 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139728388&gt;.

With the approach of Federation in 1901, James ran for the seat of Corangamite.  He was successful and was a member of the first Commonwealth parliament in 1901 but resigned in 1903.  He decided to run again for the Federal seat of Corangamite in 1913 and defeated sitting member James Scullin.

During WW1, James gave 3000 acres of land for returned soldiers and donated thousands of pounds for soldiers’ repatriation. His only son, Thomas Chester Manifold served with the Royal Field Artillery with the British Army. James travelled to England in 1917 for government and private business and in 1918 left Sydney for a trip to San Francisco.  It was on that voyage he developed pneumonia and died on 30 October. He was buried at sea.  James left his widow, Lillian and Thomas Chester. and a daughter.

As a result of his death, a by-election was held in the seat of Corangamite and James Scullin returned as the member.  Scullin went on to become Prime Minister of Australia from 1929 until 1932.  At a local level, James and his brothers were great benefactors to Camperdown.  A statue to honour James (below), located in Manifold Street, Camperdown, was unveiled in 1921.

JAMES CHESTER MANIFOLD STATUE, MANIFOLD STREET, CASTERTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/365691

MANIFOLD, William Thomas – Died 20 October 1922 at Camperdown.  William Manifold was born in 1861 at Purrumbete estate, the eldest son of John Manifold and Marion Thomson.  On 6 August 1886, William married Alice Mary Cridland at St Mary’s Church, Papanui in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The couple settled at the family station of Gnarpurt, Lismore for a time after their marriage. William and Alice eventually moved back to Purrumbete. (below) The station became known for its dairy herds.

PURRUMBETE HOMESTEAD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217424

William was a champion polo player and teamed up with his brothers James and Edward to compete for Victoria.  He was a supporter of the Church of England and Vicar’s warden of St Paul’s Church, Camperdown. He donated money to Geelong and Ballarat Grammar Schools and served as a Hampden Shire councillor.  During WW1, William and Alice’s son Lieutenant William Herbert Manifold was killed on 28 April 1917 in France while with the Royal Field Artillery aged twenty-seven.  Just over three years to the day after William Jr’s death, Alice died at the age of fifty-four.

On 20 October 1922, William MacKinnon of Marida Yallock, visited William at Purrumbete.  They were driving nearby when the car became bogged.  While trying to free the car, William had a heart attack, collapsed and died.  He was sixty and left two sons and two daughters.  William and his brothers contributed much to Camperdown and the clock tower they donated to the town in memory of their brother Thomas Peter Manifold who died in 1895 stands today as a reminder of that contribution.

CAMPERDOWN CLOCK TOWER, MANIFOLD STREET, CAMPERDOWN Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64881

Passing of the Pioneers

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

APRIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

WIGGINS, William Henry – Died April 1902 at Camperdown.  William Wiggins was born in Launceston, Tasmania around 1841 and arrived in Victoria as a child with his parents who settled at Portland. When William was older he moved to the Geelong district and completed a carpentry apprenticeship.  In 1863, he and his brother John took up the licence of the Mount Shadwell Hotel at Mortlake. John had earlier hotel experience having purchased the Buck’s Head Hotel at Drysdale with another brother James during the 1850s.  In 1867, John Wiggins purchased the Leura Hotel at Camperdown (below), and William became the manager.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s a bumper Passing of the Pioneers for December with twenty-five new pioneer obituaries from across the Western District.  Christmas is a particularly sad time to lose a loved one and this month there are five pioneers who passed away on Christmas Day. Two of those were at Casterton on Christmas Day 1917.  As with most months, there are those with something in common. This month, sons or grandsons at war was a common theme.  Remember to click on any underlined words to find further information about a subject.

David Wright BRAYSHAY – Died 16 December 1888 at St Kilda.  David Brayshay and his wife Maria Scott arrived in Buninyong near Ballarat around the time the Union Jack Lead near Warrenheip Street opened in 1857. He opened a drapery with a Mr O’Donnell almost opposite the Robert Burns Hotel in Warrenheip Street.  They then built a brick shop near the centre of the township. When the partnership dissolved, David remained in the brick shop and expanded into groceries. During his time in the town, he was a Buninyong Councillor from 1863 until 1869.

Things turned awry in 1869 when the Ballarat Star reported David’s insolvency and an order of compulsory sequestration. His insolvency case continued in the courts into 1870 and it was not long after David and his family arrived in Hamilton.  David purchased a large amount of land near Buckley’s Swamp and took over the running of Hamilton’s Victoria Hotel.

"Advertising" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 9 November 1870: 1. Web. 25 Nov 2016 .

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 9 November 1870: 1. Web. 25 Nov 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196302997&gt;..

1930 Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766568

THE VICTORIA HOTEL, HAMILTON, 1930. image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766568

David was again drawn to public life serving as a Hamilton Councillor and  Mayor. On 14 February 1884, the Hamilton Spectator reported David wanted to let 1000 acres of land, reclaimed from Buckley Swamp, for farming purposes.  David’s contribution to reclaiming the swamp was remembered in his obituary in the Hamilton Spectator.

"OBITUARY." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 18 December 1888: .

“OBITUARY.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 18 December 1888: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225762827&gt;.

During December 1888, Hamilton agents Robert Stapylton Bree & Co. advertised the sale of David’s land at Buckley’s Swamp because he was leaving the district.  The following advertisement appeared in the Hamilton Spectator on 13 December 1888 for the auction on the following Saturday.

"Advertising" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 13 December 1888: .

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 December 1888: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225759630&gt;.

The sale was then postponed because David, staying at The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, fell ill and died the day after the scheduled sale.  He left his widow Maria, one son and seven daughters. Maria died at Hamilton in 1902.

Ann SAVAGE – Died 4 December 1898 at Hamilton.  Ann Savage was born in Walkern, Hertfordshire, England around 1823.  She arrived in Victoria during the 1850s and in 1857 at Geelong married Mark William Hughes, widower and father of two sons.  The couple arrived at Strathkellar around 1859 and their first child Ellen was born at Hamilton that year. In 1862, a son Frederick Charles Hughes was born.  Mark set up a nursery business in Gray Street, Hamilton selling seeds and flowers and the family moved to Gray Street. In 1888, Ann and Mark’s son Frederick married my ggg aunt, Martha Harman, daughter of James Harman,  Mark Hughes died in March 1897 and Ann survived for less than two years after. Ann was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

John MacLENNAN – Died December 1908 at Mumbannar.  John MacLennan was born at Contin, Ross-Shire, Scotland around 1825 and arrived at Portland aboard the John Davis in 1853. With a good knowledge of sheep, John was employed by Henry Monro at Upper Crawford Station near Hotspur for six years then at Rifle Downs working for Richard Lewis.  In 1869, John took up land at Mumbannar where he was always willing to let the passing travelling public stop at his homestead.

Elizabeth KINSELLA –  Died 6 December 1914 at Hamilton.  Elizabeth Kinsella was born in Dublin, Ireland around 1828 and arrived at Geelong with her husband Richard Mullin during the mid-1850s. After living in Geelong for a couple of years, they moved to Portland and then Hamilton around the mid-1860s.  They lived in Cox Street and Richard worked as a carpenter. In her later years, Elizabeth was independent and had a great memory of all significant dates from her life.  Elizabeth left three daughters at the time of her death.

John LUCAS – Died 5 December 1915 at Macarthur.  John Lucas was born in Tasmania around 1841 and arrived with his parents in Victoria as a young boy.  He lived at Macarthur from the mid-1860s and he worked as a bootmaker.  He married Bridget Haley in 1863. Bridget died in 1903 at Macarthur.  John’s obituary indicates he had previously been married.  At the time of his death, John had five sons, three daughters, forty-four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Helen LAIDLAW –  Died 18 December 1915 at Hamilton.  Helen Laidlaw was the second daughter of James Laidlaw and Mary Coates and was born at Learmonth on 24 September 1860.  In the 1870s Helen’s father purchased Lake Wallace Station near Edenhope. He was soon back in central Victoria, purchasing  Amphitheatre Station south of Avoca around 1880.  It was at Amphitheatre Station where Helen married John Fenton of Ararat in 1884.

"Family Notices" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 31 July 1884: 2. .

“Family Notices” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 31 July 1884: 2. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226046744&gt;.

The following year, Helen and John’s first child Gwendoline was born at Ararat. Soon after they arrived in Hamilton and Nellie was born there in 1887. John ran a stock and station agency in Gray Street, Hamilton and served as Mayor from 1904 to 1906.

On 21 June 1915, Helen and John’s eldest son John Wilfred Fenton enlisted, embarking on 18 November 1915. Around two weeks later, Helen fell ill and her condition deteriorated until her death on 18 December at the Fenton home Lantana in Gray Street aged just fifty-five.  On 19 June 1918 John Wilfred Fenton, by then a Military Medal recipient, died from the effects of gassing in France.  Helen was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery and a memorial to John Fenton Jr appears on the headstone.

fenton-2

HEADSTONE OF HELEN FENTON, OLD HAMILTON CEMETERY.

William BROWN –  Died December 1915 at Branxholme.  William Brown was born around 1825 in Scotland and arrived in South Australia about 1850.  Three years later he married Maria Boyne, arriving in the Western District around 1863.  William worked at Muntham and Grassdale stations near Digby then owned by John Coldham.  By 1869, they were living at Branxholme where their daughter Agnes was born.  William worked as a contractor around the Branxholme district.  In February 1909. William lost a daughter and wife. First his daughter Mrs Rosina Joyce of Branxholme then just ten days later his wife Maria died.  Two of William and Maria’s grandsons, brothers Matthew and Thomas Joyce were both killed in France while serving in 1917.

Isabella IRVINE – Died 15 December 1916 at Mortlake. Isabella Irvine was born at Newcastle on Tyne around 1849 and arrived at Portland with her parents and three siblings in 1854 aboard the Indian Ocean.  In 1875, Isabella married Thomas Keogh and they spent their married life living in Mortlake. At the time of her death, Isabella had three sons and one daughter.  Two sisters were also still alive, Annie Boswell Irvine Small and Tomina Irvine Small both living in Mortlake and married to brothers Thomas and Charles Small.

Henry POTTER – Died 4 December 1916 at Hamilton.  Henry Potter was born around 1841 in Norfolk, England and arrived in Adelaide with his parents around 1854.  The family moved to Portland and Henry became an apprentice plasterer.  After his apprenticeship, Henry entered into a partnership with Thomas Wyatt lasting forty years. Henry married in 1861 to Catherine Stokes.  In 1870, Burns and Wyatt moved to Mount Gambier where they remained for five years completing several large jobs including the Mount Gambier Church of England.  By 1874, Henry and Thomas had moved their business to Hamilton and worked on the Alexandra Ladies College and the Hamilton and Western District College.  In his later years, Henry was a Clerk of Works for the Hamilton Borough Council on projects such as the Hamilton YMCA (below).  At the time of his death, Henry was the oldest living member of the Grange Lodge of Freemasons.

dscn0968

THE FORMER YMCA BUILDING IN HAMILTON.

Thomas McALLEN – Died 16 December 1916 at Port Fairy. Thomas McAllen was born around 1836 in County Clare, Ireland and left when he was twenty-seven with his wife Jane.  They arrived at Port Fairy and first lived at Yambuk then Tyrendarra.  Thomas retired to Port Fairy around 1910 and lived in Polding Street where Jane died in March 1915.  At the time of his death, Thomas had three sons and four daughters. Thomas was buried at the  Yambuk Cemetery.

Janet Manson CLARKE – Died 17 December 1916 at South Yarra.  Janet Clarke was born in Scotland around 1835 and on 23 August 1858, she married John Kennedy MacMillan a young Presbyterian minister.  With a demand for Presbyterian clergymen in Victoria, Janet and John left for Australia soon after their marriage and made their way to Beechworth where John was inducted as Reverend of the Beechworth Presbyterian Church.  In 1869, Reverend MacMillan was appointed to the St Andrews Presbyterian Church and remained there for thirty-five years.

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

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

Janet was also active in the community and was a founding member of the Hamilton Ladies Benevolent Society.  In 1891, Janet travelled to the “old country” Scotland accompanied by one of her daughters.

"Items of News." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 12 November 1891: . .

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 12 November 1891: . <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226165639&gt;.

Reverend MacMillan died in February 1904 and Janet survived him a further twelve years.  When she died, Janet had three daughters and five sons.  She was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

Elizabeth BYRNE  – Died 12 December 1917 at Tellangatuk. Elizabeth was born in Liverpool, England and was married there in 1858 to Thomas Jasper.  They arrived at Port Fairy around 1864 on the Birkenhead. By then the couple had three young daughters. After spending some time in Port Fairy, they went to Mount Rouse then Dunkeld before settling at Tellangatuk around 1872. The couple had ten children. Thomas died on 7 May 1900.  Elizabeth and Thomas had a further nine children after their arrival in Victoria and when she died, Elizabeth had twenty-six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Bridget GHEOGHAN – Died 25 December 1917 at Casterton.  Bridget Gheoghan was born in England in 1839 and arrived in Australia in 1853  In 1870, Bridget married  Robert Pierce at Penola. Bridget and Robert lived at Mount Gambier for eighteen years before moving to Casterton around 1880.  At the time of her death, Bridget had one daughter and four sons, with her youngest son John serving in France.  John died of pneumonia in France on 17 November 1918, seven days after the Armistice.

Mary Clare TYNAN – Died 25 December 1917 at Casterton. Mary Tynan was born in Ireland around 1864 and arrived with her husband Richard Bolton in Victoria around 1885. They headed to Casterton where Richard opened a barrister and solicitor practice. Better known as Clare, Mary left one son and two daughters when she died during the evening of Christmas Day.  Her son Richard was away on active service at the time of her death and returned to Australia on 1 July 1919.  She was just fifty-four.  Richard Bolton died in April 1920.

William Henry ROSEVEAR – Died 27 December 1917 at Condah.  William Rosevear was born around 1848 and in 1869, he married Margaret Morrison. He was a bootmaker at Condah for forty years.  William enjoyed cricket and football and was a longtime goal umpire for the Condah football team.  He left his widow Margaret and four sons.

John GILL – Died 1 December 1918 at Koroit. John Gill was born at Galbally, Ireland about 1844.  He arrived in Melbourne around 1864 and headed straight to the Koroit district to join family members.  He was a carpenter by trade but turned to farming. In 1891, John married Margaret McGrath and they had three children.  John was buried at Tower Hill cemetery.

Catherine GRANT – Died 7 December 1918  at Digby. Catherine was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1839.  She arrived in Australia aboard the Lord Raglan in 1862 with her parents and they made their way to the Digby district.  Catherine’s was a tragic life.  In 1865, she married Thomas Finlay and they had a son Edward in 1867 but tragedy struck in December 1869 when Thomas died as the result of a fall from a hay wagon.

"COUNTRY NEWS." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 28 December 1869: .

“COUNTRY NEWS.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 28 December 1869: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5809360&gt;.

On 8 March 1880, Edward Finlay then fourteen was accidentally shot while he and a friend prepared for a hunting excursion.  Edward died a short time after.  Catherine lost the two closest to her in the space of eleven years.  She never remarried and continued living at Digby for the next thirty-eight years.  As she grew older, living alone became more difficult and on 15 December 1913 Catherine slipped while tending to her chickens and dislocated her shoulder. In February 1915, Catherine fell in her backyard and broke her elbow.  On 7 December 1918, Catherine died aged seventy-nine and a large cortege followed her remains to the Digby Cemetery two days later.

Charles Henry JOHNSTONE – Died December 1930 at Mortlake.  Charles Johnstone was born around 1843 and arrived in Victoria as a fourteen-year-old.  It wasn’t long before he was drawn to the goldfields and spent time at the Ballarat and Clunes diggings. Still keen to chase his fortune, Charles went to the goldfields of New Zealand but had no success. After his return, Charles selected in the Laang district west of Cobden. In 1871, he married Louisa Molyneaux from Garvoc. Louisa died in 1923. At the time of his death, Charles had sixty-eight grandchildren and forty-five great-grandchildren.

John McLean GALLACHER – Died 1 December 1933 at Hamilton.  John Gallacher was born around 1867 at Redruth on the Wannon River.  As a young man, John went to the Wimmera as land became available but returned to the Western District. He married in 1899 to Emma Payne and they settled at Mount Eccles near Macarthur. In 1917. the family moved to  Hamilton and John and Emma were given a send-off at Macarthur’s Methodist church in July 1917. In his younger years, John excelled at football, cricket, boxing and rope quoits.  His obituary stated John, “by his sterling manliness. won hosts of friends, by whom he was highly respected.”  John and Emma had five daughters and one son and each of the girls became teachers.  John was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery and forty-five cars followed the hearse to the cemetery.

Janet Scott MacDONALD – Died December 1934 at Peterborough.  Janet was born around 1844 near Mount Buninyong. Her parents had arrived three years earlier from Perth, Scotland.  She married Charles MacGilivray in 1869.  In 1873, they moved to Peterborough settling “in the wilderness on the banks of Curdie’s Inlet”,

CURDIE'S RIVER. PETERBOROUGH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64687

CURDIE’S RIVER. PETERBOROUGH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64687

In the early days, Janet welcomed pioneering clergymen into her home and Charles MacGilivray was behind the construction of the first church at Peterborough. Janet was often turned to when a history of the town was sought.  She could tell of the times she was lonely when barely anyone else lived around or the tales of the many shipwrecks along the coast near Peterborough.  Janet’s six sisters all lived into their eighties and two were living at the time of her death.

Thomas O’HALLORAN – Died 24 December 1934 at Hamilton.  Thomas was born at Allansford around 1868. His first job was with James Farrar, a Warrnambool coachbuilder. He then went to Macarthur operating a coachbuilding and undertaking business.  In 1893,  Thomas married local girl Mary Ann Lucas a daughter of John Lucas (listed above). Around 1915, Thomas and Mary Ann moved to Hamilton and Thomas opened Thomas O’Halloran & Son undertakers in Lonsdale Street.

"Advertising" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 3 March 1917: 8. .

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 3 March 1917: 8. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129397006&gt;.

Mary Ann died in 1929 and since Thomas’ health was not good, he retired soon after. Thomas was considered one of the best cabinetmakers in the state.  His craftsmanship is still on display today in St Mary’s Catholic Church Hamilton, with Thomas having made the tabernacle and canopy over the altar and the confessional. He also made the St. Mary’s Church WW1 Roll of Honour. It was in the same church a Requiem Mass was held for Thomas on Boxing Day after he died on Christmas Eve from a lengthy illness.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63044

INTERIOR ST. MARY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63044

William Charles PEVITT – Died 25 December 1938 at Heywood. William was born around 1857, a son of Henry and Harriet Pevitt.  He married Alice Hannah Scantlebury at Sandford in 1880 and they had four children.  Alice died in 1893 at Heywood aged thirty-one.  After Alice’s death, William lived with family at Merino and then Homerton. In 1907, William married Mary Ann Brown at Warrnambool. William returned to Heywood and lived there until his death.  Mary Ann died around 1935.

George Edwin CHARMAN – Died 21 December 1942 at Coleraine.  George Charman was born in  1852 at Moorabbin.  He married Elizabeth Hollis at Portland in 1877. They spent the first nine years or so of their marriage at Portland before moving to Coleraine where they remained and had eleven children.  A sad time came in 1897 when their third daughter Mary Ann died suddenly aged fourteen.

"OBITUARY" Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 4 January 1943: 4 (EVENING). .

“OBITUARY” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 4 January 1943: 4 (EVENING). <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64383343&gt;.

In 1922, Elizabeth died and in time George moved in with his daughter Edith, wife of Ben Rigby.  It was there George died in 1942.  He was buried at the Coleraine Cemetery.

James WILSON – Died 25 December 1944 at Portland.  James Wilson’s parents were earlier settlers at The Lagoons, Bridgewater where he was born in 1863.  In 1886, he married Priscilla Hollard.  James ran a hairdresser and tobacconist shop in Portland and did some work for Messrs Learmonth & Co auctioneers in Portland.

"Mr. James Wilson's New Building." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 14 November 1894: .

“Mr. James Wilson’s New Building.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 14 November 1894: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65397334&gt;.

He spent time in Melbourne running a business and living at 346 Burwood Road Hawthorn in 1918 before moving back to Portland in 1937.  James was closely associated with the Methodist Church and Sons of Temperance.  Priscilla died in January 1943 at Portland.  James and Priscilla had no children.

William Henry ANDERSON – Died 23 December 1950 at Ballarat. William Anderson was born around 1861 at Linton and married Edith Gardiner of Smythesdale.  The couple moved to the Otways, early pioneers of the district.  William ran dairy farms at Princetown and Carlise River.  They remained in the district until 1914 when William and Edith moved to Wangoom, near Warrnambool but remained in dairy farming.  After WW1, William’s returned servicemen sons took up soldier settlement blocks at Chocolyn and William and Edith moved there until 1930. They then moved to Ferguson Street, Camperdown. William was a member of the Oddfellows and enjoyed following football and cricket.  He was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.  Edith died in November 1951 at Camperdown.

Passing of the Pioneers

Most of the pioneer obituaries found in the newspapers are for men which is unfortunate because we are always searching for more information about our female ancestors. For the month of October, the obituaries for pioneering women outnumber the men.  And great pioneers they were, making great contributions within their communities and all living to a very old age. But none lived longer than Margaret Walker (nee Brown) of Hamilton. Passing away in 1939, Margaret reached the age of 104 and remained healthy almost to the end.

Mark NICHOLSON: Died 27 October 1889 at Warrnambool. Mark Nicholson was born in Gloucestershire in 1818 and arrived at Port Phillip in 1840. Rather than practice his profession of law, Mark chose to run cattle at various stations across the colony. In 1848, Governor LaTrobe selected him to act as a Justice of the Peace at Warrnambool and in 1853 he was elected as the Warrnambool and Belfast (Port Fairy) representative in the Victorian Legislative Council. In the following years, Mark spent time in England but returned to Warrnambool to settle in 1873. A full biography of Mark Nicholson is available at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

John BEST: Died 9 October 1907 at Portland. John Best was born in Ireland in 1835 and arrived at Portland in 1857 aboard the General Hewitt. He travelled with his parents William and Letitia Best and his six siblings. The family settled at Heywood and John took up work as a carrier. Later he built bridges and roads for the local Shire. He purchased a farm at nearby Mt. Clay and he remained there until his death. He left a widow and seven children.

William SCOTT: Died 7 October 1909 at Wallan. William Scott arrived in Victoria for the gold rushes and settled in Camperdown around 1860. He took an active role in local politics, serving on the Hampden Shire Council. He was also secretary of the Camperdown P&A Society. There was barely an organisation around Camperdown that did not have William Scott on the committee. His obituary read,

In him has passed one of the rugged pioneers who came magnificently equipped physically, and with the indomitable energy and capacity for sustained effort responsible for the remarkable development that has marked the brief history of this country.

Williams remains were returned from Wallan by train and he was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.

Euphemia McLEOD: Died 3 October 1914 at Purnim.  Euphemia McLeod was born in Scotland around 1826 and travelled to Australia on the Edward Johnston around 1854. She eventually settled at Purnim with her husband George Crowe and she lived there for fifty years. Euphemia left three daughters and a son.

Ann Rebecca EAGAR: Died 12 October 1917 at Hamilton. Ann Eager was born in Devon, England around 1832 and sailed to Adelaide in the mid-1850s. It was there she married George Rowe and they made their way to Victoria, settling at Wickliffe. They remained there for around thirty years before taking up residence at Hamilton.

Only six months before her death, Ann and George had celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.  An article appeared in the Ballarat Star of 14 April 14, 1917 reporting on the couple’s anniversary. It told of George’s work as a builder. He worked on several notable buildings in the district including the Coleraine Catholic Church and the Argyle Arms Hotel in Hamilton. During the war years, Ann supported the cause, knitting socks for soldiers and by the time of her wedding anniversary, she had knitted 120 pairs of socks. Ann and George had three sons and two daughters, twenty-eight grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

Margaret BROWN: Died October 1939 at Hamilton. Margaret Brown was a great Hamilton pioneer living until the grand age of 104. In her last years, her life was documented as she reached milestone birthdays.  Margaret was born in Launceston in August 1835 with her parents having come from Scotland in 1830. The family sailed to Victoria around 1840 aboard the City of Sydney and in 1852 Margaret married Thomas Walker at Portland. During the mid-1860s, they settled at Hamilton where they remained. They had eight children, but two died as infants.

When Margaret was ninety-eight, she was given a walking stick but she had not used it by the time of her ninety-ninth birthday in 1934. That was also the year of the Portland Centenary and Margaret attended the town’s celebrations. During that year, she had also produced seventeen pieces of eyelet linen work. In 1935, Margaret’s 100th birthday celebration was held at the Hollywood Cafe in Hamilton with the Mayor of Hamilton, Cr. Stewart, in attendance. She also planted a commemorative tree for Victoria’s centenary celebrations. For her 101st birthday, twenty-five friends and family gathered at Margaret’s home at 5 Shakespeare Street. The highlight was a birthday cake with 101 candles. The next three birthdays were celebrated quietly at home. but Margaret continued in good health. That was until only weeks after her 104th birthday when Margaret became more fragile, eventually passing away in October. During her life, Margaret saw the reign of six British monarchs.

Margaret’s birthday articles 90th Birthday    99th Birthday  100th Birthday   101st Birthday   104th Birthday

Elizabeth SILVESTER: Died 7 October 1940 at Noorat. Elizabeth Silvester was born in England around 1852 and arrived in Cobden with her parents as a two-year-old. She ran a business in Cobden for fifty years and attended the Cobden Methodist Church. Married to William Gilham, Elizabeth left two sons at the time of her death, one of whom she lived with at Noorat for the last year of her life. She was buried in the Cobden Cemetery.

Robert Thomas SILVESTER: Died 7 October 1943 at Portland. Robert Silvester was born in Merino in 1862 but as a young man he moved to Portland and trained as a solicitor. He worked in the partnership Lynne, Silvester and Fielding before going into practice alone. From 1910-1920, Robert was president of the Portland Racing Club and was also president and captain of the Portland Golf Club.  Robert was also a member of the Portland Bowling Club and the following link is for an obituary from the club –   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64386872

Catherine McCLURE: Died 29 October 1952 at Camperdown. Catherine McLure was born at Mepunga in 1866, the daughter of James and Eliza McLure, early pioneers of the Warrnambool district. In 1885, Catherine married  Benjamin Jeffers at Warrnambool and they moved to Strathbogie. They later returned to the Western District and lived at Timboon, Kellambete and finally, Chocolyn were they resided for forty years. Catherine enjoyed making toys with her five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren and telling stories of days past.

Passing of the Pioneers

The final “Passing of the Pioneers” for 2011 sees another thirteen Western District pioneers remembered.  That takes the number of obituaries recorded into the sixties. The information in each listing is from the newspaper obituary which is a secondary source. If I have found a pioneer interesting, I may include further information, for which there will be a reference available. All “Passing of the Pioneers” posts can be found under “Obituary” in the Category tab in the sidebar.

“Passing of the Pioneers” will be back in 2012 and with more Western District newspapers available at Trove, there were will be even more obituaries to choose from. I have also updated the post “The Horsham Times goes Digital” to reflect the current additions at Trove.

Bridget Priscilla TALBOT: Died December 1904 at Hamilton.  Bridget Talbot was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1834 and arrived in Australia in 1848.  She married John Jennings in Adelaide in 1849 and they moved to Hamilton in 1852 where she resided until her death.

HAMILTON PIONEER. (1912, January 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918, 1935), p. 32. Retrieved May 27, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198127055

Richard PRICE: Died 15 December 1904 at Milltown.  Richard Price arrived in Victoria in the late 1850s and settled at Digby.  He later went on to Heywood before making his final home at Milltown where he worked in the sawmilling trade.  He had eight sons and two daughters.

John PERMEWAN: Died 23 December 1904 at Ballarat.  Born around 1837, John Permewan gave his name to the well-known stores of Victoria, Permewan Wright & Co. He was known around Australia in commercial circles.  Permewans still exists in Hamilton.  It has seen a couple of name and location changes, but I would often visit there with my parents in the 1970s and 80s for horse feed and saddlery, but it also stocked hardware and still does today.

Effie MURDOCH: Died December 1914 at Romsey.  Effie Murdoch is the oldest pioneer I have come across to date.  She died at age 106.  Effie was from the Isle of Skye, Scotland and arrived in Australia in around 1852.

Margaret HOARE:  Died 16 December 1914 at Nhill.  Margaret Hoare and her husband Bernhardt Mulraney arrived in Australia from Ireland during the 1850s.  After spending time around Hamilton, Mt. Gambier and Goroke, they settled in the Mallee at Nhill.  Margaret was eighty at the time of her death.

John HARRIES: Died 18 December 1914 at Stawell. John Harries was born at Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales in 1843 and arrived in Stawell in 1875.  Like many with Welshmen, John could sing and was a member of Prout’s band at Ballarat and sang in the Presbyterian church choir.

John THORNTON: Died 15 December 1919 at Mount Myrtoon.  John was born in Yorkshire in 1835 and travelled to Australia at age eighteen.  He spent time in Melbourne and Gippsland before settling at Mount Myrtoon.  He set up a successful stock and station business with links to Dalgetys. He was an accomplished cricketer and played for Victoria in his younger days.  He was the Melbourne Cricket Club’s oldest member at the time of his death.

Mary McLEOD: Died December 1928 at Narracoorte. Mary McLeod was born in the Isle of Skye in 1842. After her mother died when she was eleven, her father moved the family to Australia.  Mary took on the role of mother to her younger brothers. After they arrived in Melbourne, they travelled to Portland and then Narracoorte, South Australia by bullock wagon. She later married Angus MORRISON and they had eight children while living around the Apsley area.

Jenny Sage CRABBIE: Died 17 December 1932 at Branxholme. Jenny Crabbie was born in Edinburgh and having seen the boat the Julia Percy built in Scotland, she was offered passage to Australia by the ship’s directors, whom she knew.  It was because of the ship that Jenny met her husband Benjamin Lear in Portland.  Benjamin worked on the Julia Percy and continued to do so for some years after. Jenny would have been popular among Portland children. She was a confectioner, with a shop in Bentick Street, Portland for many years.

Annie PITTS: Died 12 December 1934 at Portland. Annie Pitts was born in Somerset, England and travelled to Australia with her parents, James and Sarah when she was three. She married John JENNINGS of Portland when she was twenty-one and they had ten children. Annie was eighty-five at the time of her death.

Louisa BROWN: Died 26 December 1937 at Camperdown. Louisa was just a baby when her family arrived in Victoria from Westminster, England. She married Henry SHARP, a stonemason, at Terang. They had four daughters and five sons, with the sons forming a quarrying business, Sharp Bros.

OBITUARY. (1937, December 30). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved December 26, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28321980

Nicholas WHITE: Died 17 December 1942 at Portland. Born in 1869 at Cape Bridgewater, Nicholas was a farmer but a keen sporting interest and was knowledgeable about all matters of cricket and horse racing. His wife had previously passed away and they had one married daughter, Ethel.

James Trotter KITTSON: Died 11 December 1945 at Cape Bridgewater. James was a member of the pioneering Kittson family.

OBITUARY. (1945, December 17). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 26, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64406262

James left a wife, son and daughter and was buried at the Bridgewater cemetery.