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

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 north of Camperdown.

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.

Margaret McArthur died on 23 March 1883 at the age of forty-eight after a long illness.  Peter by this time was around sixty-six with children as young as eight.  He remarried in 1886 to Eliza Hood about thirty years his junior and they had a son.  Peter died eleven years later at the age of eighty.  He was buried at Camperdown Cemetery.  He left his widow Eliza, seven sons and two daughters.  Eliza died on 22 January 1926 aged seventy-nine.

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.

MENINGOORT HOMESTEAD Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169949

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 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 Union 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 says of the two-story hotel as a”…rather pretentious building for those times”.  A fire broke out at the hotel in 1871, damaging the second storey of the building.  The Grants rebuilt but did not reinstate the second storey.  Aside from the hotel, John was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters.  After John’s death, Ann continued on at the Caledonian Union 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 Passing of the Pioneers enters a second year, the fascinating stories keep coming.  Who could not be taken in by James Parker’s story? Gold, Captain Moonlight and more than a stroke of good luck make it an interesting read.  Or Octavius Palmer? While still a teenager, he travelled to California and took on the risky job of gold escort, while Mrs Isabella Gilholme’s business sense saw her acquire a portfolio of shops and houses.

Hannah BIRCHALL: Died July 1889 at Bridgewater.  I have mentioned Hannah Birchall  before. In the News -May 26  was about the passing of Mrs Hugh Kittson who was Margaret Jennings, daughter of Hannah. Hannah’s husband, Margaret’s father, was Cook Abraham Jennings. Hannah and Abraham arrived in the district during the 1840s.

Amelia PITTS: Died 11 July 1897 at Myamyn. Mrs Dudden was known by many around Myamyn due to husband Stephen Dudden’s work as storekeeper in the town. She arrived in Victoria during the 1850s. From a search at Trove, I found that only three months earlier on April 19, 1897, the Dudden’s residence, behind their shop, was destroyed by fire

James PARKER: Died 6 July 1899 at Heywood.  At the time of James Parker’s death, The Portland Guardian correspondent promised an account of Parker’s life, in the next issue. Finally on 9 August 1899, he came good with his promise and it was worth it.  I cannot possibly summarise the life of James Parker, so you must read the obituary for yourself here.  It is a fascinating read, particularly Parker’s encounter with Captain Moonlight.  I will, however, include a piece from the obituary which describes pioneer life.  As you read, keep in mind the obituary is from 1899.

The Late Mr James Parker. (1899, August 9). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63676913

William DISHER: Died 11 July 1902 at Stawell. William Disher arrived in South Australia during the 1830s. He married Agnes Horsburgh in 1842 and during the 1870s they moved to Kewell West, north of Murtoa. William and Agnes had twelve children and by the time of his death, the couple had seventy-two grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.  Incidentally, William’s mother had 220 direct descendants at the time of her death at ninety-two, including 120 great-grandchildren. William’s sister was Lady Eliza Milne, the wife of Sir William Milne a South Australian politician.

 

John M. SHEEHY: Died July 1903 at Casterton. How I need a man like John Sheehy in my life.

OBITUARY. (1903, July 28). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72840810

John MacEACHERN: Died 4 July 1908 at Nelson. While John MacEachern had only been in the Nelson district from the 1870s, he had been in Australia since 1839 having arrived in Sydney from Scotland with his parents. He made his way to Victoria, first working at Strathdownie as a stockman, where he proved himself an excellent horseman.

Edwin BOASE: Died July 1911 at Murtoa. Edwin Boase was a newspaper pioneer in the Wimmera. He arrived with his parents in Adelaide as a baby during the 1850s before they headed to Castlemaine. He learnt the printing trade in Ballarat before moving to Horsham in 1872 where he printed the first edition of The Horsham Times. He later founded The Dunmunkle Standard and published the paper for thirty-three years until the time of his death.  He married Isabella Cameron in 1878, a daughter of a former Horsham Mayor.

Octavius Frederick William PALMER: Died 18 July18 1914 at Terang. What a life Octavius Palmer led. He was born in London in 1833 and went to Tasmania with his parents and nine siblings in 1838. His father was Captain Frederick Palmer of the East India Company.  After schooling at the Church of England Grammar School in Launceston, Octavius left for the goldfields of California where he spent three years driving the gold escort team of horses. He returned to the Castlemaine diggings and after some pastoral pursuits with his brothers, he settled in the Western District around Warrnambool.

Octavius was a member of the  Warrnambool Polo Club and the Warrnambool Racing Club. He imported many head of Romney Marsh sheep in the 1870s.  An article  from The Age of September 1972, reports on the Palmer family breeding Romney Marsh sheep for 100 years with references to Octavius. How proud he would have been that his family continued to breed the sheep he preferred for the conditions of the southwest of Victoria.

I  couldn’t resist this insight into Octavius in later life. From The Mail (Adelaide), the article describes an “old buster”.

When The Heart Is Young. (1941, September 20). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved July 25, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54893294

Forty seems far too young to be thought of as an “old buster”!

Thomas BAILEY: Died 23 July 1914 at Ballarat. Like the JohnGreed above, Thomas Bailey was from Taunton, Somerset.  He was born there in 1840 but at a young age, he left for the New Zealand goldfields. He then went to Ballarat where he had various mining interests. He married Sarah Craig, the daughter of Walter Craig owner at the time of Ballarat’s Craigs Hotel.

Family Notices. (1869, January 29). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 4. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5815936

Thomas was a member of the Ballarat Anglers Club, Ballarat Hunt Club and had a keen interest in football.  His death was felt in many parts of Ballarat including the Old Colonists Hall, where, out of respect, a meeting was cancelled.

Richard BRYANT: Died 12 July 1919 at Hamilton. Richard Bryant was born in Cornwall in 1829 and married Elizabeth Millstead in 1850.  The couple travelled to Adelaide aboard the Epaminodas in 1853.  From there they went to Portland and Richard walked on to Ballarat in 1854 in search of gold.  After the death of Elizabeth, Richard and two young daughters settled on land at Mooralla.  He then married Irish-born Margaret Nowlan.  Margaret passed away in 1907.

I have a family link to Richard Bryant via a daughter from his first marriage.  Richard was the grandfather of Elizabeth Bryant McWhirter,  wife of James Stevenson of Cavendish.  James was the subject of the post “Hobbies Passions and Devotions.

Sophia Caroline GORTE: Died 10 July 1920 at Halls Gap.

Obituary. (1920, July 16). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73176649

I turned to Ida Stanton’s Bridging The Gap for more information about Sophia Gorte. Sophia’s husband Carl Wehl had a tannery in Stawell but owned land in Halls Gap. The house that Sophia built (as referred to in her obituary) was Glenbower 2 near Borough Huts, just outside Halls Gap. The house was so named as it was next to Glenbower owned by members of the D’Alton family, including twins Sophia and Henrietta.

That home went into ruin, however at the time of Ida writing her book, poplars and remnants of the garden still existed.   Ida tells how the D’Altons brought the poplars with them to Australia from Napoleon Bonaparte’s grave on the island of St Helena. This is not as unusual at it sounds.  A Google search found many others who also grew both poplars and willows grown from cuttings taken from the island’s trees.  An article from The Mercury tells of a Tasmanian family who did the same.

The bushfires of 1939 saw  Glenbower 2 destroyed. There are photos of both homes in Bridging the Gap, and Sophia Wehl is on the veranda in the Glenbower 2 photo.

Sophia Wehl’s daughter was a noted artist specialising in wildflowers. Her art teacher was neighbour Henrietta D’Alton who was famous for her wildflower art and had even exhibited overseas.

Margaret Ann DIWELL:  Died July 1932 at Hamilton. Margaret was my ggg aunt and daughter of William Diwell and Margaret Turner.  She was born at Portland in 1857 and married John McClintock in 1883. They lived at Grassdale and had eleven children including John, James Richard and Albert Edward featured in my Anzac Day post The McClintock Brothers.

OBITUARY. (1932, July 21). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64298800

In the post, Passing of the Pioneers – A Year On, I mentioned the dangers of  wrong information in obituaries. Margaret’s obituary offers an example of this. It mentions her parents arrived in Portland in 1850. They in fact, arrived on the Duke of Richmond in 1852.  Margaret’s mother is also mentioned because of her involvement in the murder trial of George Waines.  I wrote about that trial in Witness For the Prosecution.

John Thomas EDGARDied 10 July 1941 at Melbourne. John Thomas Edgar was born at Portland in 1848, the son of David and Sarah Edgar. The Edgars settled at Pine Hills estate near Harrow. David Edgar subsidised a private school at the estate for the use of his children and the children of other settlers and John attended that school before going on to Hamilton College and later Scotch College in Melbourne.

With his schooling completed, John returned to Pine Hills to learn the finer points of running Merino sheep. This saw him go to on to become an expert breeder and judge of the popular Western Victorian breed.  He took over management of his father’s property Kandook Estate at Harrow and later the ownership. In 1871, John married Margaret Swan and they raised a family of twelve children. He was the brother of Walter Birmingham Edgar  and a cousin to Jean Edgar, both Passing Pioneers.

Michael MURPHY:  Died 12 July 1943 at Melbourne. I have driven past Tobacco Road, Pomonal  many times en route to Halls Gap and finally I know how it got its name. Michael Murphy was a former resident of Pomonal at the foot of the Grampians.  He was one of the tobacco-growing pioneers in the area. I didn’t know tobacco was grown there, but it seems obvious now that Tobacco Road be named for such a reason.

Michael was also a supporter of local football and cricket and was a founding member of the Stawell Druids Lodge.  He was seventy-four at the time of his death, following complications of injuries received in a tram accident in Melbourne.

Isabella REID: – Died July 1953 at Heywood.  Isabella Reid was the daughter of William Reid and Johanna Steven and wife of Charles Gilholme. Isabella ran a guest house but after Charles’ death, she expanded her business interests into property.

DEATH OR HEYWOOD OCTOGENARIAN. (1953, July 27). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: MIDDAY. Retrieved July 24, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64435398