Passing of the Pioneers

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

JULY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

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

Passing of the Pioneers

When an obituary has only a female pioneer’s married name, I do like to find their maiden name. This month, there was one such pioneer, Mrs Susan Sloan. After a quick search, I found on her death record her father’s name recorded as Francis Sloan. As I don’t want to make assumptions based on a death certificate, I will continue to call her Mrs Susan Sloan, however, I will keep trying to find her maiden name in the future as I have an interest in Susan as you will see in her obituary below.

Marks DAFFY: Died 22 February 1902 at Cundare. Marks Daffy was born at County Clare, Ireland and arrived in Melbourne in 1857. He spent his first five years in the colony around the Barrabool Hills near Geelong, working on various farms.  With money saved, Marks selected land in the Colac district after the passing of the 1862 Duffy Lands Act. He set about building a fine dairy farm, using his good eye for stock to select the best dairy cows.  He gave up dairy-farming after twenty-five years and settled into an “easier” life as a grazier.  In 1887, after dissatisfaction with the Colac Shire, he ran for a seat which he won. Around eighteen months before his death, a fall from his buggy eventually left him bedridden and ultimately claimed his life.  His funeral procession was a mile long and was the largest to arrived at the Cundare cemetery.

William MOODIE:  Died 25 February 1914 at Coleraine. William Moodie arrived in the Coleraine district with his Scottish parents at the age of six weeks around 1841. His father took up the property Wando Dale at Nareen and so began William’s life on the land, breeding some of the finest wool stock. After taking over the property from his parents, he built the current Wando Dale Homestead (below) in 1901.

“WANDO DALE”, NAREEN. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H94.200/302
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217385

He also spent a good part of his seventy-three years in public life. He was a member of the Casterton Roads Board and the Wannon Shire Council. He was also involved with the P&A Society, the local Horticultural Society and St Andrews Church at Coleraine. William Moodie left a widow, seven sons and five daughters.

John KELLY: Died 7 February 1915 at Macarthur. John Kelly arrived from Tasmania, his birthplace, with his family when he was three years old. If John was eighty-five at the time of his death, it would mean that he arrived in Victoria in 1833, so I’m thinking it may have been a little later. Even still, he was an early arrival in the colony. John worked as a carrier with his brother, working the route between Geelong and stations as far west as Casterton.  He also ran a store at Yambuk for many years and took up property at Codrington.  He died at the home of his daughter Mrs Hindhaugh of Macarthur.

John MURRAY: Died 13 February 1915 at Hamilton. Born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, John Murray was a resident of Hamilton for over fifty years by the time of his death. His family arrived at Geelong aboard the Chariot of Fame and went directly to Hamilton. He spent much of his working life as a labourer and was a member of the Court Brotherhood of the Ancient Order of Foresters for over forty-five years. He was a widow and left five sons and one daughter from a family of twelve children.

Jane O’MAY: Died 17 February 1916 at Buckley Swamp. Jane O’May was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1822 and married William Kirkwood in 1842. William and Jane arrived in Portland in 1852 aboard the John Davis. They travelled by bullock dray to Warrock, near Casterton.

First Issue, August 20 1842. (1916, February 23). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64013668

First Issue, August 20 1842. (1916, February 23). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64013668

The Kirkwoods were hard-working pioneers and Jane left a large family at the time of her death.  Three daughters were still alive along with twenty-four grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. Jane’s grandson, William Kirkwood of the Hamilton South area, married my first cousin 4 x removed, Sarah Ann Reed.

James COWELL: Died 24 February 1917 at Mortlake. James Cowell was born in Cambridgeshire around 1838 and by 1868, had already established a butcher’s shop at Mortlake. He later became a road contractor for the local Shire. One of James’ three sons, Pte Harry Cowell, lost his life at Gallipoli.

Joseph WOMBWELL: Died 9 February 1918 at Casterton.  Arriving in Portland in 1853 aged seventeen years from Essex, England, Joseph Wombwell’s first job was at the Henty’s Muntham Station.  He married Betsy Ann Coulson in 1869, the daughter of Christopher Coulson and Mary Frances Stubbs and stayed in Merino until 1875. They then moved to Casterton and lived in a bark hut while Joseph ran a carrying business between Casterton and Portland. One claim to fame is that he delivered the “first load of grog” to the Sandford Hotel. The Hamilton Spectator also published a lengthy obituary for Joseph Wombwell

Susan SLOAN: Died 9 February 1918 at Hamilton. Susan Sloan was born in Glasgow, Scotland and after arriving in Portland in 1855, she went to Ararat where she married Thomas Sloan. They returned to Portland and ran a shipping business, but the trade was tough and they moved inland to Hamilton where there were greater opportunities, and they established a cordial business. Thomas died in 1910 and Susan continued to run the business until her death, after which time family members continued its operations until 1930. The Sloan’s cottage Whinhill in Pope Street, Hamilton was featured in an I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria group post as it is a highly visible and known to most who have lived in Hamilton. None of us knew the history of the cottage and there is still more we would like to find out.  The cordial business operated behind the cottage.


John MOFFATT: Died 9 February 1926 at Chatsworth. John Moffatt was born in Scotland in 1854 and arrived in Victoria with his parents in 1872 and resumed his education at Geelong Grammar.  At age 19 he took up the running of the Burnewang Estate near Bendigo before he inherited Chatsworth House from his uncle John Moffatt in 1879. He also leased his uncle’s property Hopkins Hill from the estate’s trustees. John Moffatt was a sat on the Shire of Mt Rouse and was a member of the Landowner’s Council.

DEATH OF MR. JOHN MOFFATT. (1926, February 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 21. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3733963

DEATH OF MR. JOHN MOFFATT. (1926, February 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 21. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3733963

John Moffatt’s uncle, John Moffatt, has been a Passing Pioneer and his obituary offers more history about the Moffatt family.

 

 

Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to November Passing of the Pioneers with a Stawell, Port Fairy and Irish flavour. The pioneers include a licensee, a chemist and an inventive engineer.

If you are new to the monthly Passing of the Pioneers, the obituaries listed here are a summary of the original obituaries, using dates and other information direct from the obituary. I make no attempt to check or correct information contained in the obituary. The original obituaries are found by clicking on the names of the pioneers.

A word of warning, while obituaries often have a wealth of information, that information must be treated with caution.  Naturally, obituaries are written using second-hand information and recall events that occurred many years before the subject’s death, therefore that information can often be incorrect and sometimes even fanciful.   Therefore, information found in an obituary can only used for a guide to find primary sources to qualify the claims of an obituary.

Alexander RUSSELL: Died 27 November 1867 at Port Fairy. When Alexander Russell first arrived in Port Fairy in 1847, he took up his chosen profession as a doctor. However, upon his return to the “old country” he gave away medicine and moved into the field of “mercantile speculation” and upon his return to Port Fairy established the Moyne Mill using machinery he brought back from Scotland. Alexander was also the first Mayor of Belfast (Port Fairy) and was elected to the State parliament as member for Villiers and Heytesbury. He relinquished his seat due to ill-health.

Mary D. KEATING: Died 8 November 1914 at Port Fairy. Mary Keating was born in Port Fairy and before her marriage to William Wall, she worked as a teacher at the local Catholic school. William was the Secretary of the Belfast Shire. During her life, Mary was a tireless worker for the Catholic church. William predeceased Mary by fifteen years and they had four children.

Michael QUINLAN: Died November 1914 at Hawkesdale. Michael Quinlan was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1835, and travelled to Australia when he was around twenty-four. He settled first around Koroit, before taking up land at Hawkesdale. He was a Minhamite Shire Councillor and enjoyed visiting the winter race meeting at Warrnambool.  Michael left one daughter at the time of his passing.

George KAY:  Died 11 November 1915 at Stawell. George Kay lived his forty-nine years in Stawell, in that relatively short time left his mark. He began work at the Stawell foundry and worked in engineering. He took up a partnership in the Kay & Co. Stawell Foundry and remained there until his death. One of his engineering feats was inventing a judging machine for the Stawell Athletics Club, famous for the Stawell Gift. The machine earned him much praise, including from the Governor of Victoria on a trip to Stawell. He was a member of the Stawell Rifle Club and a member of the Pride of Wimmera Lodge.  He left a widow and two daughters.

William WAREHAM: Died 3 November 1916 at Woolongoon. William Wareham’s obituary states he was born at Box Hill in 1844 , however his Victorian Birth registration shows Moonee Ponds in 1845.  At age nineteen, William went to work at Woolongoon Station, near Mortlake. He married and settled in the area.

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

He left a large family including thirty-two grandchildren.

Mary KELLY: Died 19 November 1916 at Stawell. Mary Kelly was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1836 and travelled to Australia with her parents when she was a girl. She married John Kay and they settled at Great Western.They later moved to Stawell and ran a wine saloon in Main Street before becoming licensees of the Star Hotel (later known as the Stawell Club) in the late 1890s. Family members continued to run the hotel until 1910 when John Alison took over the licence, but Mary continued to own the building.

Margaret ANDERSON: Died 20 November 1916 at Port Fairy. Margaret Anderson was born in Melbourne in 1844 and moved to the Western District with her family at the age of three, taking up residence at Rosebrook. She married John Wright and they settled at nearby Yambuk. Four years prior to her death, Margaret moved into Port Fairy. She was a devout member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church at Port Fairy. Three sons and one daughter were alive at the time of her death, with son George a parish priest in New Zealand.

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

William DAWSON: Died 30 November 1916 at Stawell. William Dawson was born in Stawell around 1868 and followed his father into the chemist business. After his father’s death, William took over the family chemist shop. William’s passion was sport and he was involved in most of what was on offer in Stawell.  He rode high-wheeled bicycles when they were in vogue and was an official at the Stawell Cycling Club. William was also a cricketer and played with state side, the Victorian Rangers. He was also a founding member of the Stawell Rifle Club and Golf Club and was a keen fisherman. Sport aside, William was a prominent member of the Stawell Brass Band.

Bridget MAHONEY: Died 15 November 1918 at Port Fairy. Bridget Mahoney was born in Ireland in 1823. She arrived in Australia with her husband John Clancy in 1855, travelling from America. Bridget and John settled on a farm at Yambuk.  John passed away around 1895 and Bridget continued to live at Yambuk until seven years prior to her death when she moved to Port Fairy to live with her daughter Lizzie.

William REES: Died 29 November 1918 at Stawell. William Rees was born in South Wales around 1830. He began an apprenticeship as a joiner and for the next five years he travelled to Canada and the United States, arriving in California in 1853. In 1854, he was lured to the goldfields of Victoria, including Ballarat, Carisbrook and Ararat. He married another native of South Wales in Jane Symons in 1855. William and Jane arrived at Stawell in 1857. William  worked as a carpenter for the Oriental and North Cross Mining Company for many years.

 

Misadventures, Deaths and Near Misses

Sometimes the Misadventure, Deaths and Near Misses (MDNM) posts are like a newspaper version of Funniest Home Videos (I’m thinking of the horse in the sidecar last edition), but there is, of course, a serious side.  The accidents of Western District pioneers remind us of the dangers they faced in their everyday lives. Even mundane clothes washing could turn disastrous.

Fire was ever-present in early homes for light, cooking, warmth and washing.  That led to many injuries and women were the most likely victims simply because they worked with fire often and their long dresses were prone to catch.   My own family did not go unaffected by fire.  My ggg grandmother, Ellen Gamble, lost her life in a house fire from a knocked candle and my ggg aunt, Jane Diwell passed away after catching fire while boiling turpentine and beeswax.  Newspapers articles on the danger of fire were often published.

fire

What to do in [?]ase of Catching Fire. (1900, May 12). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 43. Retrieved May 4, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71380496

What to do in [?]ase of Catching Fire. (1900, May 12). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 43. Retrieved May 4, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71380496

The following ladies all had accidents with fire and for each it was their impractical dresses that contributed to their injuries.

In 1889, Jane Brennan was travelling home from mass with her husband and son, when the boy smelt smoke.  They blamed a hot axle until they found  Jane’s dress on fire.  Despite her husband’s desperate attempts to douse the flames, Jane received severe burns.  Mr Brennan also had bad burns including his fingernails burnt off.  Despite being transported to the Ararat Hospital, a later edition of The Portland Guardian reported Jane had sadly died.  The cause of the fire was unknown.

For Constance Sarah O’Connell of Heywood and Eva Dyson of Bessiebelle, it was domestic duties that resulted in their burns.  Mrs O’Connell was tending a copper in the backyard of the Commercial Hotel, Heywood where she worked, when her dress caught fire.  A doctor was called from Portland to tend Mrs O’Connell’s burns but the poor woman was sent by afternoon train to Hamilton Hospital where she later died.  I am curious why she did not go to Portland, closer than Hamilton.

Eva Dyson was carrying out her household chores in front of a fireplace when her dress caught fire.  Her screams brought her mother and sister who were able to extinguish the flames but not before they all also suffered burns.

A past edition of MDNMs discussed the frequency of headlines such as “Peculiar Accident” or “Extraordinary Death” in the papers.  The death of  Matthew Kelly of Eurambeen was definitely “extraordinary” or maybe just what can happen when a joke gets out of hand.

The Portland Guardian,. (1888, July 23). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved May 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63589310

The Portland Guardian,. (1888, July 23). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved May 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63589310

On July 25, 1888, The Portland Guardian reported that Mrs Kelly would stand trial over the manslaughter of her husband.  I did not find an article about her trial and the result.

A peculiar accident occurred at the Ararat Railway Station in 1922 and the cause was the railway bell.  A Minyip lady received stitches above her eye as a result.

A RAILWAY BELL MISHAP. (1922, November 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72741866

A RAILWAY BELL MISHAP. (1922, November 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72741866

NEAR MISSES

It was a near miss for James Hadden, my gg uncle,  working at a saw bench at Mt Sturgeon Station, near Dunkeld.  The saw went between his fingers and while he suffered some nasty cuts, his fingers remained intact.

On September 12, 1884, two “cowboys” rode up beside the mail coach between Nhill and Dimboola causing the horses to bolt.  Both the driver and the only passenger Mrs Dungey of Kaniva, were thrown from the box seat of the coach.  Fortunately they both survived but Mrs Dungey was badly injured.  The driver managed to get the coach back in order, surprisingly with the help of the two culprits.  They loaded Mrs Dungey and the driver took her to a doctor in Dimboola.  The police investigated the incident, the second of its kind in a short period.

Mr Shrive did something that still occurs regularly today.   He fell from a ladder.   Notice Mr Shrive’s accident was the third of its kind around the time of  June 1888.

HARROW. (1888, June 29). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72883804

HARROW. (1888, June 29). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72883804

A bull had the last word when  Mr D. Williams, a butcher, was attempting to slaughter it.  The beast kicked its leg out,  pushing the butcher’s knife into the lower arm of Mr Williams, inflicting a nasty wound that cut the artery.

Albert Reed of Muddy Creek was my 1st cousin, 4 x removed, a nephew of my ggg grandmother Sarah Harman (nee Reed).  He owned a cantankerous young Jersey bull that happily roamed the paddock but would not enter the cow yard.  Until one day in August 1913 when it chose to jump the fence into the cow yard where Albert was standing.  It immediately charged Albert and for sixty metres, it pushed Albert along the ground trying to lift him up onto its horns.  Finally William broke free and called for help but the only person home was his mother Sarah Burgin, then 67.  Between them they were able to secure the bull.  It was later shot.

F.Lovell of Portland had a very near miss!

ACCIDENT. (1906, September 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63963309

ACCIDENT. (1906, September 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63963309

in 1889, Reverend Father Foley was on his way home from conducting mass at Goroke when he came across John Breen .  John had fallen from a horse and had broken his leg.  Rev. Father Foley constructed splints from the bark of a tree, lifted John into his buggy and transported him to Nhill hospital.  Dr Ryan of the hospital was most impressed with the surgical skills shown by the man of the cloth.