Passing of the Pioneers

In the post A Box of Chocolates, I explained writing stories of Western District pioneers and Hamilton’s WW1 servicemen is like lifting the lid on a box of chocolates…I never know what I’m going to get.  Writing this month’s Passing of the Pioneers was like dipping into a double layer box of chocolates. I’ve read many editions of the Hamilton Spectator and histories of Hamilton, so I knew of Angelo Palmer, a prominent solicitor in the town, but I’d never delved into Angelo’s life.  When I read his obituary for this post, I got two surprises.  Firstly he was a passenger on a clipper shipwrecked off Victoria’s south-west coast of interest to me because the clipper’s colourful captain also steered my ggg grandparents Charles and Agnes Hadden to Australia aboard the Marco Polo.  Secondly, there was something “magical” about Angelo but you’ll have to read on.

Other pioneers in this edition, combining August and September obituaries, include a Hamilton chemist described as the “poor man’s friend” and from the Darlington district, a man, his son and his son’s wife.  Click on any underlined text throughout the post for further information.

McARTHUR, Peter – Died 3 July 1897 at Camperdown.  Peter McArthur was born to well-off farmers on the island of Islay, off Scotland’s west coast, around 1817.  As a lad, he joined a ship’s crew and left home for a couple of years before returning to his father’s farm.  But in 1836 at the age of nineteen, he was off again with Sydney, Australia was his destination.  By 1839, he had moved south to Melbourne, meeting up with a man who would also become one of the Western District’s notable pioneer, Nicholas Cole.  They met Frenchman Jean Duvarney and the three men made their way to Geelong, buying a flock of sheep from the Manifold brothers. With their sheep, the three men headed further west and took up land near Darlington.

Duvarney left the partnership going on to build the Duverney Inn, later known as the Frenchman’s Inn, at the junction of the busy roads from Melbourne and Geelong to Port Fairy and Portland. In 1852 at that place, the township of Cressy was gazetted, named after Duverney’s hometown Crecy in France.

Around 1850, Peter and Nicolas Cole split their station and Peter named his share  Meningoort and Cole, West Cloven Hills.  In 1855, Peter married Margaret McLean about eighteen years his junior and they went on to have ten children. Margaret is pictured below with two of the couple’s sons.

MARGARET McARTHUR AND TWO OF HER SONS c1865-1870 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/235430

Peter was one of the first Magistrates in the area, a member of the district’s first Roads Board and a Hampden Shire Councillor. He was also a member of the Leura Lodge of Freemasons. Peter’s wife Margaret died on 23 March 1883 at the age of forty-eight after a long illness.  Peter survived Margaret by fourteen years, dying in 1897 at the age of eighty. He was buried at Camperdown Cemetery.

In 1941, The Australasian included Meningoort in their Famous Pastoral Properties series and you can read the article including more on Peter McArthur on the following link – The  Australasian.   The McArthur and Cole families remained on the properties Meningoort and West Cloven Hills and in 2013, the Warrnambool Standard published an article about the two families still there over 170 years after their forebears arrived.  That article is on the following link – Warrnambool Standard.

ROUNTREE, James Hughes – Died August 1902 at Hamilton.  James Rountree was born around 1847 in Ireland, a son of an Irish Protestant father and a Welsh mother.  He arrived in Victoria aboard the Great Britain in 1864 and worked as a dispenser at the Geelong hospital.  In 1874, he became superintendent of the Hamilton Hospital.  Fifteen years later, James opened a chemist  in Hamilton’s Gray Street.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 3 September 1889: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225760959&gt;.

James was a man who “abhorred idleness”, never taking a holiday and going about everything he did with great energy.  His commitment to his work meant he had little or no family life. Described as an unselfish and generous man, James often gave free advice to the less wealthy in the town, saving them a visit to a doctor.  James became known as the “poor man’s friend”.  

In 1875, James married Margaret Strang Kitchen and they went on to have eight children.  Most of James and Margaret’s children followed James’ profession.  Daughters Mary, Margaret, Jean, and Ella were chemists as was son James.  Mary Rountree married the well-known jockey Bobby Lewis in 1920.  Lewis rode four Melbourne Cup winners during his career and controversially rode Phar Lap to third in the cup in 1929.  Another daughter Evangeline served as a nurse during WW1.

James’ strict work ethic appears to have claimed his life.  He died at the Hamilton Hospital aged fifty-five.  James was a member of the Masonic and Orange Lodges and thirty members of the Masonic Lodge led his funeral procession and the hearse was followed by twenty-one members of the Orange Lodge.  James did not approve of flowers at funerals so predictably, flowers were not present at his own funeral by request of the family.

GRAVE OF JAMES HUGH ROUNTREE AND FAMILY, HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY

You can see the memorial window dedicated to James Rountree and his wife Margaret at the Hamilton Christ Church on the following link – Sacred Memorials

PALMER, Angelo Crotch – Died August 1912 at Hamilton. Angelo Palmer was born in Faversham, Kent in 1832 and grew up in Canterbury where his father was a professor of music.  Angelo and his brother William Henry attended boarding school from a young age.  William inherited his father’s musical talent while Angelo was expected to join the legal profession.  After his schooling, Angelo was articled to solicitors in London but with the discovery of gold in Victoria, he decided to leave England and seek his fortune. In 1852 at the age of twenty, he sailed aboard the South Sea, arriving in Victoria in February 1853.  Angelo set off to Castlemaine but within months was back in Melbourne in search of work, finding a labouring job with a builder.

Just as Angelo left England in 1852 so too his brother. William Palmer had gone on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London but left his studies behind around 1851 after he saw a performance by French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin.  Taking up magic, William changed his name to Robert Heller and travelled to the United States in 1852 where his career took off.   

ROBERT HELLER . Image courtesy of the W. G. Alma conjuring collection. Photographs. State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/342043

With the death of his father in mid-1854, Angelo returned to England. Within a year, he booked his return passage to Australia aboard a clipper on her maiden voyage. On 6 October 1855, the Schomberg (below) left Liverpool captained by James Nicol ‘Bully’ Forbes and with cargo and 430 passengers, including Angelo. The Schomberg was one of the largest and finest clippers built and Forbes was out to break a record of the fastest trip to Victoria, something he had done with the Marco Polo in 1852. His target was sixty days his target. On Boxing Day 1855, the clipper ran aground on a sandbar near Curdies Inlet at Peterborough, Victoria. Fortunately, a passing steamer the SS Queen rescued all passengers and transported them through to Melbourne. There was an investigation into the wreck and while Captain Forbes was acquitted but his reputation was ruined. The Schomberg eventually sunk off the coast.

THE CLIPPER, SCHOMBERG. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia. Image no, PRG 1373/19/38 http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1373/19/38

Back in Melbourne, Angelo decided to return to law, qualifying as a solicitor in 1859.  In 1860, he married Katherine Walker and a child, Fanny Dolby was born in 1861 at South Yarra. Another daughter was born in 1862 in Melbourne. In the same year, Angelo and family arrived in Hamilton and Angelo went into partnership with Henry Cox. Angelo and Kate’s first son, Saxon Harold, was born in 1864, but in 1866, their eldest daughter Fanny died.  In 1873, the couple lost another daughter, one-year-old Hilda Victoria. By 1869, Angelo was working alone and his services highly sought after. He acted as solicitor for the Shires of Mount Rouse and Dundas and the Borough of Hamilton. He was also one of the original directors of Alexandra College and the Hamilton and Western District College.

From 1869 to 1871, William Palmer as Robert Heller toured Australia and has been credited as the first person to perform a Punch and Judy show in Australia. Music wasn’t totally lost from his life as Robert played piano during his performances and his talent duly noted.  Robert performed in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, and even Smythesdale. It appears that’s as close as he went to Hamilton.

“NEWS AND NOTES.” The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924) 2 April 1870: 2. Web. 17 Sep 2017 .

The Hamilton Spectator reported on Robert Heller from time to time but never mentioned his connection to Angelo Palmer. It was not until after the death of Robert Heller in Philadelphia in 1878, various papers made the connection, but not the Hamilton Spectator.  William left a large estate and after various beneficiaries received a share, Angelo received the balance. 

“ITEMS OF GENERAL NEWS.” The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (Vic. : 1866 – 1888) 1 February 1879: 3. Web. 15 Sep 2017 .

The Hamilton Spectator came close to mentioning Angelo’s magician brother in the early 1890s. A magician was touring the colonies claiming he was a nephew of Robert Heller. The Spec reported on the magician’s prophecy for the upcoming for the Melbourne Cup and stated “At any rate, the brother of the late Robert Heller knows of no such nephew”

“SPORTING ECHOES.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 9 August 1892: 4. Web. 15 Sep 2017 .

Melbourne Punch responded and didn’t worry about naming names, even referring to Angelo as “Mr. Hamilton”.

“THEATRICAL GOSSIP.” Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 – 1900) 18 August 1892: 7. Web. 17 Sep 2017 .

In 1907, Kate died at the age of sixty-six. Angelo continued living at the family home in Skene Street and was eighty when he died in 1912. He was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery (below) with Kate and beside his young daughters. 

GRAVE OF ANGELO PALMER AND FAMILY, HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY.

It wasn’t until after Angelo’s death, the Hamilton Spectator spoke of the unspoken.

“DEATH OF MR. A.C. PALMER” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 12 August 1912: 3. Web. 15 Sep 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225284343&gt;.

I have only given a broad description of William Palmer/Robert Heller’s life,  but if you would like to find out more, the following sites will give you an idea of how big Robert Heller was in the world of magic and the influence he had on future magicians including Harry Houdini.

The Cemetery Traveller includes photos of Robert Heller’s grave including a photo of Harry Houdini paying his respect.  

The Magic Detective has written twenty-seven posts about Robert Heller and for a trip back into the world of 19th-century theatre, they are well worth reading. You can find the posts on the following link – Robert Heller

Punch and Judy in 19th Century America: A History and Biographical Dictionary by Ryan Howard discusses Heller and his Punch and Judy connection.  You’ll find that on the following link to Google books – Punch and Judy   

Strong on Music: The New York Music Scene in the Days of George Templeton by Vera Brodsky Lawrence has a reference to Robert’s early days in the United States.  You can read more on the following link to Google books – Heller on Broadway

McARTHUR,  Robert Ernest – Died 29 August 1929 at Terang.  Robert McArthur was born in 1867, a son of Peter McArthur (see obituary above) and Margaret McLean. He attended school at Geelong College before studying law at Melbourne University. Qualified as a solicitor, Robert returned to Menengoort to help his father with the property.  Robert had a great love of horses and was an amateur rider in cross-country events across the Western District, mostly for the Manifold brothers.  In 1897 and 1898, Robert won three races in each year at Warrnambool’s Amateur races. He also had success at the Oaklands and Melbourne Hunt Clubs and participated in polo matches.  In later years, Robert joined the committee of the Camperdown Turf Club and was an honourary starter for the Terang Racing Club and sat on the first board of the Western District Racing Association.

ROBERT McARTHUR (on right) -“CUP MEETING OF TERANG RACING CLUB, NEW YEAR’S DAY, 1921.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 8 January 1921: 41. Web. 15 Sep 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140252424&gt;.

Robert was also a Hampden Shire councilor from 1897 to 1907.  In December 1898, Robert married Alice Edith Kirkpatrick. In his later years, Robert went to live at Koort-Koort-Nong Station.

KOORT KOORT NONG STATION 1984 Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217275

Robert McArthur was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.

GRANT, John Scott – Died 13 September 1879 at Sandford.  John Scott Grant was born in Scotland around 1822. He married Ann Kilpatrick and they left for Victoria arriving in 1841 aboard the Grindlay. With a man named William Murray, John and Ann made their way west.  They first found work at the property of the Whyte brothers near Coleraine before John and Ann moved to Henty’s Merino Downs. John then took up a run near Penola, South Australia but by the early 1850s the lure of gold was too great and he headed to the diggings.  It’s not known how his luck went, but after leaving the diggings, John sold his Penola property and bought the Woodford Inn at Dartmoor.  He stayed there for around three years before purchasing land at Sandford in 1856 where he remained.  John built and operated the Caledonian Hotel at Sandford from 1857.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 19 June 1857: 3 (EVENING). Web. 15 Sep 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64568717&gt;.

John’s obituary states he also built a two-story house at Sandford, described as a”…rather pretentious building for those times”.  It apparently later burnt down and another house was built.  John was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters.  After John’s death, Ann continued on at the Caledonian Hotel until her death in March 1903.

ANDREWS, Catherine Forbes – Died September 1901 at Hamilton. Catherine Andrews was born around 1834 and arrived in Australia in 1854 with her husband John Stewart. They settled at Naracoorte, remaining there for around ten years before John bought Bochara around 1865 and in 1868, the properties Inverary and Louth. The Stewarts lived at Inverary (below) near Branxholme, but when John died in 1882, Catherine moved to Hamilton where she remained until her death.

INVERARY, BRANXHOLME 1978. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/215500

STANSMORE, Harry George – Died 2 September 1916 at Camperdown.  Harry Stansmore was born at Terang in 1857 and went to live in Camperdown as a child. He operated a livery business in Camperdown and acted as manager of the Manifold families’ thoroughbreds.  His involvement with the Manifolds saw Harry connected to wins in the Grand National Steeplechase and Australian Hurdle, among others.  About 1911, Harry went into the stock and station agent business.  Harry was involved with the Heytesbury P&A Society and was a well-known judge at shows including the Royal Melbourne Show.  He was a member of the Camperdown Turf Club and Camperdown Polo Club.  Harry married Elizabeth Cohen in 1888 and they had two sons and a daughter

DAVEY, Edith – Died September 1939 at Cobden.  Edith Davey was born at Port Fairy in 1861.  Her parents moved to the Port Campbell district and that’s where Edith remained for the duration of her life.  The Davey property was Edgecombe on the Great Ocean Road, just east of the Loch Ard Gorge. During August 1910, Edith’s sister Annie drowned in the property’s dam at the age of forty-seven and the following year her father died at the age of ninety and in 1915, her mother died aged eighty.  Edith remained alone at the property for the next twenty-four years.  Her obituary in the Camperdown Chronicle described Edith as one of the “grand pioneer women of Australia”.

“MISS EDITH DAVEY” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 26 September 1939: 5. Web. 14 Sep 2017 .

KIRKPATRICK, Alice Edith – Died 22 September 1952 at Melbourne.  Alice Kirkpatrick was born at the Beemery Station near Bourke, N.S.W. in 1870.  In 1898, Alice married Robert McArthur (see obituary above) and she moved to Victoria to live at Koort-Koort-Nong Station near Camperdown.  Like her husband, Alice took an interest in racing and was a life member of the Terang Racing Club and Camperdown Turf Club.  During WW1 she was secretary of the Camperdown Red Cross.  Alice was also secretary of the Camperdown Golf Club Associates. In 1928, Alice and Robert went to live near Princetown but he died the following year.  Alice remained at Princetown until around 1945 when she moved to Melbourne remaining there until her death.

© 2017 Merron Riddiford

 

Passing of the Pioneers

As the Passing of the Pioneer post comes together each month, I often find the pioneers have something in common.  Sometimes it’s their occupations or their birthplace.  This month, five of the twelve pioneers went to the goldfields after arriving in Victoria. It is one of the most common similarities I come across, and not surprising as gold was the big drawcard to Victoria in the 1850s. To read the newspaper obituary for each pioneer, just click on their name.  You can also click on other underlined text in the post to find more information.

William Henry GUBBINS:  Died 9 August 1905 at Penshurst. William Gubbins was born at Tavistock, Devonshire, England around 1827 and arrived in Victoria in the mid-1850s. After his arrival, he went to the diggings at Creswick then later Clunes. Around that time, William married Mary Ann Down and they had five children.  The family then spent time around the Terang district before purchasing  Burn Brae Estate at Penshurst in 1888.

J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233170

“BURN BRAE” HOMESTEAD, PENSHURST IN 1978. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233170

Mary Ann died in 1900 and William stayed on at Burn Brae until his death. William was buried at the Terang Cemetery.

John MILLMAN:  Died 2 August 1914 at Hamilton. John Millman was born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England in 1832.  He and his brother left England together, arriving in Melbourne in 1852.  John worked as a carpenter in Melbourne but his brother went “up country”.  By the time of the Eureka uprising in Ballarat in 1854, John was in Ballarat trying his luck as a miner.  Around 1855, John purchased a three month Miner’s Right for £2 and he later passed the document on to his family.  By 1861, John had arrived in Hamilton where his brother was residing.  It was in Hamilton John married Sarah Jane Knapp in 1878. A member of the Hamilton Rifle Club, John was also a keen horticulturist, competing at the various shows around the district.  Sarah died in 1910.

Mary LORD:  Died 23 August 1914 at Karabeal. Mary Lord was born in Wexford County, Ireland around 1833 and travelled to Portland with her parents around 1850.  They settled in that town and in 1860, Mary married Joseph Brewis.  At the time, Joseph was the manager at Mokanger Station near Cavendish and he returned there with Mary. After working at Mokanger for seventeen years, Joseph Brewis purchased land at nearby Karabeal they called Canridge and remained there for the rest of their lives.  Mary and Joseph had seven sons and one daughter. They were buried at the Cavendish Old Cemetery (below).

THE HEADSTONE OF MARY AND JOSEPH BREWIS OBSCURED BY THE HEADSTONE OF MARY'S PARENTS WILLIAM AND MARY LORD AT CAVENDISH OLD CEMETERY

THE HEADSTONE OF MARY AND JOSEPH BREWIS OBSCURED BY THE HEADSTONE OF MARY’S PARENTS WILLIAM AND MARY LORD AT CAVENDISH OLD CEMETERY

Edward HALL:  Died 8 August 1915 at Malvern.  Edward Hall was born in England around 1830.  He left Liverpool, England for Australia on the Satellite, arriving at Melbourne on 2 August 1851. He then sailed on the Red Rover to Port Fairy.  Edward worked as a tutor for the children of Messrs. Mills and Glare but in 1852 after the discovery of gold, he left for the Ballarat diggings with some other local men. It was short lived with Edward returning to Port Fairy the following year.  He next went to Brighton as a lay reader with the Church of England.  While there he had an encounter with bushrangers in the area where the suburb of Moorabbin is now located.  After that experience, Edward returned to Port Fairy, opening a school at Rosebrook and then teaching at Port Fairy.  He again returned to Brighton and then Nunawading where he remained until his death.

Mary Josephine ROACHE:  Died 24 August 1915 at Hamilton. Mary Roache was born in Ireland around 1860 and arrived in Australia in the mid-1870s.  Mary went to Hamilton and resided at the Town Hall Hotel in Gray Street when it was known as Mackey’s and the licensee was Michael Roache, possibly Mary’s brother.

"VIEW OF HA[?] [?]AM[?]TON VICTORIA." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 17 April 1888: 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Web. 19 Aug 2016 .

THE TOWN HALL HOTEL, HAMILTON c1888. (“VIEW OF HAMILTON VICTORIA.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR).

Mary married widowed travelling dentist John Mawson in Melbourne in 1887 and they had one daughter Veronica in 1892. After spending time in Melbourne, they moved back to Hamilton around 1901 and in 1902 John built a practice in Gray Street.  John Mawson died two years after Mary in 1917.

James SPRING:  Died 24 August 1916 at Bochara. James Spring was born in County Meath, Ireland in 1830. When eighteen, James sailed to Sydney, NSW aboard the Royal Saxon.  He then made his way south to Mount Gambier, South Australia. In February 1855, James arrived in Hamilton and settled north of the town at Bochara on the Grange Creek.  During February 1891, bad bushfires swept through the Bochara district impacting on James’ farm.  While his house was saved, he lost a lot of feed and farm machinery.

Thomas WHEATLEY:  Died 11 August 1917 at Terang.  Thomas Wheatley was born in Middlesex, England in 1827.  He joined the Royal Navy and during the 1840s spent time sailing around the South Seas. He joined the crew of the Aberfoyle and in 1854 landed a Geelong.  Thomas was able to take leave of his employment and went to the Ballarat goldfields but arrived in December around the time of the Eureka uprising. With unrest in Ballarat, Thomas continued on north to Creswick.  With no luck on the diggings,  Thomas eventually made his way to the Terang district and married in 1856 to Ellen McLaughlin, born in Kilkenny, Ireland.  He bought a bullock team and set up the first carrying business in Terang. Thomas was a member of the Salvation Army.  Ellen died around 1914 and eight of their children were still living at the time of Thomas’ death three years later.

Mary Ann Coughlan:  Died August 1917 at Caramut.  Mary Ann Coughlan arrived in Australia with her family in 1849.  She later met John Bendall the manager of John Moffat’s Hopkins Hills and The Gums.  They married in 1864 and lived at The Gums.  After that property was sold, the Bendalls ran a General Store and Post Office at Caramut and raised two sons and two daughters.  Mary Ann was widowed for more than thirty years with John dying in 1887 aged forty-seven but she remained in Caramut.

Janet CALDOW:  Died August 1918 at Caulfield.  Janet Caldow was born around 1832 in Ayrshire, Scotland. While still in Scotland she married Joseph Blain and they travelled to Australia aboard the Lord Nelson, arriving in Melbourne in 1855.  They went straight to the Ballarat diggings but soon took up a farm at Coghills Creek near Ballarat.  Around 1865, they moved to Garvoc, running a dairy farm and raising three sons and four daughters.  Joseph died around 1896.  Janet’s immediate family also immigrated from Scotland and lived long lives in Australia.  At the time of her death, the ages of her remaining five brothers and one sister totalled 425 years.

Adam Gordon LAIDLAW:  Died 1 August 1918 at Melbourne. Adam Laidlaw was born at Harrow in 1858 to Walter Laidlaw and Mary Gordon. Adam grew up on his father’s property Mundarra near Edenhope and later attended Hamilton and Western District College and obtained his matriculation.

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

Adam Laidlaw was associated with several properties including Ardachy near Branxholme where he lived for ten years.  He also owned Wootong Vale near Coleraine but in his later years leased the property out.  Never married, Adam was a philanthropist donating much money to charity including the Hamilton Hospital.  During the war years, he donated regularly to the War Loans Fund.  He was also a member of the Coleraine and Hamilton Racing Clubs.  Prior to the war, Adam went on a world trip but returned in 1915 and took up residence at the Melbourne Club in Collins Street.  In July 1918, Adam visited the Western District and returned to the Melbourne Club by the start of August.  On 1 August,  Adam was playing billiards when he fell ill.  He was rushed to hospital but later died.  Adam Laidlaw was buried at the Brighton Cemetery

Robert Ernest McARTHUR:  Died 29 August 1929 at Camperdown.  Robert McArthur was born in 1867 at Camperdown, a son of Margaret McLean and well-known pastoralist Peter McArthur of Meeningoort, Camperdown.  Robert attended Geelong College and was captain of the cricket and football teams and later went to Ormond College at Melbourne University, studying law.  He returned to Camperdown and helped his father manage Meeenigoort before purchasing  Koort Koort Nong (below) where he resided.

J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217051

KOORT KOORT NONG, CAMPERDOWN. J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217051

Robert was an amateur jockey, excelling at cross-country events and enjoyed polo.  In 1897 and 1898, he rode three winners at the Warrnambool Amateur Races. He also won the Melbourne Hunt Club Cup. Robert was a member of the Camperdown Turf Club and honourary starter at the Terang Racing Club and a founding member of the Western District Racing Association.  He was also a councillor on the Hampden Shire from 1898 to 1907. Another obituary for Robert is on the link here.

George GEMMELL: Died August 1945 at Camperdown.  Born around 1867 at Mortlake, George Gemmel moved to Cobden around 1880 working as a stonemason.  Works he was involved with included the foundations of Grand Central Hotel at Cobden, the Shire Offices and Poligolet (below) near Derrinallum.

 J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217239

POLIGOLET J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217239

George married Elizabeth Porter in 1890 and the family were members of the Camperdown Presbyterian Church.  At the time of his death, George had four sons, one daughter, sixteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.