This edition of Passing of the Pioneers brings you obituaries from the months of November and December. You can read about the two men who carried out their respective businesses on opposite corners, one of the earliest European settlers with a taste for exploration and several women who devoted their lives to charitable works. Remember to click on the underlined text for further information on a subject.
KLUG, Carl – Died 5 November 1897 at Hamilton. Carl Klug was born in Bromberg, Prussia (now Poland) around 1827. Following the careers of his father and older brother, Carl went to the University of Berlin to study as a chemist. As a Prussian citizen, he had to serve time with the Prussian army. It was thought he served with another Hamilton pioneer we met in the last Passing of the Pioneers post, Sigismund Jacoby.
Sometime after his military service, Carl travelled to Victoria. He arrived in Hamilton around 1864 and opened a shop in Thompson Street.
He later moved to the corner of Gray and Thompson Streets.
On 25 April 1868, Carl married Eveline Kruger at Warrnambool. They went on to have five daughters and one son. In 1877, Carl was a member of the founding committee of the Hamilton Gas Company. Earlier in that year, Carl opened the Hamilton Ice Works, the first of its kind in the Western District. It took great financial investment, with Carl having to buy the necessary machine followed by much trial and error to get it working. He advertised he was making ice twelve hours a day. Unfortunately, the business didn’t take off and Carl moved into producing aerated water. In his role as a chemist, he made and patented medicines. Placing his lemonade and ginger beer advertisement under his chemist advertisement for arsenic doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Carl also treated his own ills which led to his demise. After having numbness in one of his legs, he simply rubbed cream on it. It was on until the pain got too great several weeks later did he call in the doctor who found his leg gangrenous and there was no choice but to amputate. Carl developed pneumonia after the operation and died. He was buried at South Hamilton Lutheran Cemetery.
JAMES, Henry Cottenham – Died 4 November 1898 at Casterton. Henry James was born in Nottingham, England around 1831. He arrived in Victoria in the early 1850s and went to the Ballarat diggings. He then went west to Carngham where he opened a store. While there, Henry took up a share in the Britannia Reef at Carngham. When he sold his share, he made a good profit so he took a trip back to his hometown of Nottingham. He also took the opportunity to tour Europe before returning to England to marry Helen Wayte. On arrival back in Victoria, Henry and Helen went to Pitfield where two children were born. By 1875, the James family were in Casterton and Henry opened a business selling stationery.
Henry was the secretary of the Casterton Racing Club, the Casterton Pastoral and Agricultural Society, the Mechanics Committee and just about every other committee in the district. He was also the Casterton correspondent for the Hamilton Spectator and The Argus. Henry James fell sick suddenly in 1898. He’d been planning a trip to the Melbourne Cup the following week. His health gradually declined until he died about a week later. Henry left his widow Helen, two sons and three daughters.
KENNAN, John Edward – Died November 1917 at Hamilton. John Kennan was born in Dublin in 1841 and arrived in Victoria in December 1855. He headed to Ballarat where he remained for several years and spent time in Melbourne and Bendigo. By 1865 he was in Kyneton where he married Jane Cameron Campbell on 21 August 1867 and they raised a large family. Their first child was born in Richmond in 1870, the year John arrived in Hamilton after buying George Robinson’s stationery shop. At the time George was the owner of the Hamilton Spectator. The family took up residence in French Street.
In time, John built a new store on the corner Gray and Thompson Streets.
That was where “The Vagabond” visited him in 1893 and later wrote about John’s successful business in The Leader.
John’s corner became known as Kennan’s corner. You can see the corner on the right in the photo below taken after John’s death but while still a newsagent. John also owned the shop next door occupied by Robertson’s drapery during his time.
John was a Justice of the Peace from 1887 and served on the Hamilton Council from March 1884 until 1904 and elected Mayor after only five months as a councillor. John was voted off the council in 1888 but returned in 1898 and remained until 1904. John was also an honourary Magistrate and a founding member of the Hamilton Gas Company in 1877. At the time of his death, he was the oldest member of the Grange Lodge at Hamilton. John left his widow Jane, five sons and four daughters. Gerald, one of John and Jane’s sons continued the business before moving to Melbourne in the mid-1920s.
READ, William Henry – Died 9 November 1936 at Branxholme. William Read was born at Davenport, Manchester, England around 1856. He travelled to Victoria on the Champion of the Seas (below)in 1866 with his parents and younger siblings.
They headed to Sailors Gully near Bendigo and then Learmonth where William gained farming experience from his uncle. William went on to manage the Tarrone station near Koroit followed by Greenhills station near Hawkesdale. On 22 September 1880, at Ballarat, William married Clara Edwards of Burrumbeet. In 1883, on the death of their uncle David Vines, William and his brother purchased Audley near Branxholme from their uncle’s estate. William later bought out his brother’s share.
William was a councillor with the Shire of Portland from 1889 to 1906, a member of the Hamilton Hospital committee and a member of the Branxholme Mechanics Institute committee. He was an active member of the Branxholme Church of England congregation and a Justice of the Peace.
Clara died on 11 June 1927. William carried on at Audley and spent time with his family as seen in this lovely photo of William and his descendants on the beach at Portland a year before his death.
William died at Audley in 1936, survived by four sons and one daughter.
READ, William Henry Vines – Died 1 December 1938 at Hotspur. William Read was born at Ballarat in 1881, a son of William Read (above) and Clara Edwards. The family moved to Audley at Branxholme when William was two. He later attended school at the Hamilton Academy (below).
After his schooling, William went to work for Thomas Laidlaw at Wonwondah, south of Horsham for two years. William worked for Messrs. A.E. Smith agents of Casterton in their Merino branch. While in Merino, he was involved with the Mechanics Institute and the tennis and rifle clubs. He moved to Terang in 1904 where he ran his own stock and station agency for around five years. In July 1909, William married Isabella Philip of Branxholme at the Branxholme Presbyterian Church and he remained in the Branxholme district.
Like his father, William was a Portland Shire councillor, holding his place for thirteen years including two terms as President. He was also involved with the Branxholme Progress Association, the Branxholme Racing Club and the Branxholme Hall committee. He was active with the Branxholme Presbyterian Church and a life governor of the Hamilton District Base Hospital. William died suddenly after collapsing while out with his son at Hotspur. He left his widow Isabella, two daughters and one son.
HENTY, Stephen George – Died 18 December 1872 at Tarrington. Writing the life story of Stephen Henty would take more space than I can allow here so I will base his story on his obituary published in the Hamilton Spectator with some help from his wife Jane. Stephen Henty was born in 1811 at West Tarring, Sussex, England the seventh son of Thomas Henty and Frances Hopkins. He left for Western Australia with his brothers James and John in 1829 going to the Swan River on the Caroline. With them were forty staff as well as stock including Merino sheep. They took up land but found it unsuitable so they headed for Launceston.
Stephen made a couple of trips back and forth putting into practice the navigational skills he picked up on his voyage to Australia. It was in the Swan River area where Stephen, at the age of twenty-two met sixteen-year-old Jane Pace, who had arrived from Yorkshire, England. Her mother carried a letter of introduction addressed to Stephen should need help on her arrival. Stephen and Jane married on 14 April 1836 at Fremantle and they soon set off for Portland Bay where the Henty brothers had a whaling station and were establishing themselves as sheep farmers.
Soon after reaching Portland, the Henty brothers received a surprise visit from Major Thomas Mitchell. He told them of good land inland, just to the north. Stephen set off and found the spot which would become Merino Downs. Jane wrote in her memoir, “My husband, Stephen, never rested until he had gone all through the interior, cut a track through fifteen miles of forest land with two men and a dray, and arrived on the banks of the lovely River Wannon about sundown, grass up to his shoulders. Exclaiming “this is Paradise,” he lay down and slept till sunrise”.
Elected to the Legislative Council of Victoria in 1856, Stephen and Jane spent much of their time at Findon in Kew. During his time in Melbourne, Stephen became one of the first members of the Melbourne Club. He resigned his parliamentary seat in 1870 due to ill-health and he and Jane retired to Tarrington, a property just east of Hamilton where Stephen died two years later. Stephen Henty is buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery with Jane who lived for a further thirty-four years.
You can read more about Stephen and his brothers in their biography at the Australian Dictionary of Biography on the link http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/henty-stephen-george-2257
CHAMBERS, Margaret Alice Werge – Died December 1903 at Tahara. Margaret Chambers was born in Melbourne in 1850. On 6 January 1883, she married Samuel Winter Cooke of Murndal, Tahara and Alice went to live at Murndal (below)
Margaret and Samuel did not have children and Margaret devoted much of her time to various charities in the district. That was no different in the lead up to Christmas in 1903 a busy time for charitable institutions. While sitting down to lunch with Samuel and her nephew William Gayer they discussed the latest happenings when suddenly Margaret didn’t respond. Realising all was not well Samuel and William got her to bed and a doctor called. She lapsed in unconsciousness and died soon after aged fifty-three. Margaret was well-respected in the community and evidence of that was demonstrated at her funeral. Two hundred mourners turned out to Murndal including all the Murndal staff. Eight employees were pallbearers and they placed in her coffin in her grave at the cemetery on the property.
DENMAN, Ellen – Died 7 December 1917 at Hamilton. Mary was born at Blackwood in 1871. In 1873, her mother Mary died leaving her father Joseph with nine children to care for. Ellen married Richard Millard in 1888. They settled in McIntyre Street, Hamilton. Ellen was a tireless worker for charity particularly the Hamilton branch of the Australian Natives Association (ANA). Described as a Trojan, she never expected payment or rewards for work. Her obituary read,
She was of a most friendly disposition, towards all with whom she came in contact, possessing a character for honour which appealed most forcibly, whilst her individuality was most distinctive and marked so strongly that it was recognised her will was unshakable when once she decided on a course of action. Had she been in a more public position there is little doubt that her qualifications would have placed her among the ranks of notable women. But social position deprived her of that opportunity, and she had to work for her home in her task.
LOVETT, Eliza Kardinia – Died 30 December 1929 at Pomborneit. Eliza Lovett was born at Geelong around 1879. She married Alfred Lucas on 12 June 1902. at the Camperdown Presbyterian Church and they went to live at Bonnie Brae at Pomborneit. Eliza was very active in the community as a member of the Camperdown Presbyterian Church Ladies Guild, the Public Hall committee and the women’s section of the Victorian Country Party. Eliza left her husband Alfred, two daughters and three sons.
DAVIS, Richard – Died 22 December 1949 at Camperdown. Richard Davis was born in Camperdown in 1864, however, his father died before his birth. He was one of the first children baptized at St Paul’s Church, Camperdown. As a child, Richard helped with the watering of Camperdown’s Finlay Avenue of Elm trees in Manifold Street planted in 1876.
Richard obtained a job with Andrew Walls, a road contractor and later started a similar business with partner Jesse Porter. He also added stone masonry to his skills. Richard married Elizabeth Rawbon in 1892 and they had six children. Richard was a founder of the Camperdown Traders Association and a member of the IOOF Lodge. He and his son Norman raced ponies, winning twenty-seven races with “Lady Howard” and “Joe Jewell”. Richard left his widow Elizabeth and four children at the time of his death. Elizabeth died in May the following year.