Category Archives: Pioneer Obituaries

Passing of the Pioneers

When I started posting pioneer obituaries under the heading “Passing of the Pioneers” in July 2011, I never imagined that “Passing of the Pioneers” would still be going three years on.  (I didn’t think Western District Families would still be going).  Nor did I expect that I could announce this month marks the posting of the  500th pioneer obituary.  Over the three years, thanks to the stories of those 500 pioneers, the amount I have learnt about Western District history and the families who built that history has been invaluable.  However, the best aspect has been the number of people who have contacted me after finding their pioneering ancestor in the posts.  I hope what I have provided has gone a little way toward them learning more about their ancestors’ lives.

The precis I give for each pioneer summarises the obituary that appeared in the paper when the pioneer passed away.  I don’t check the facts written there, such as ships sailed on or years of arrival.  I do search for the maiden name of married women, simply because I prefer to list them with their maiden names and not Mrs A. Smith, for example.  Sometimes I will search for further information about a pioneer and  in the entry I include links to the sources I have found.  So basically, what I give you is an index to pioneer obituaries with a link to the original and from there you can make what you like of the information provided at the time of the pioneer’s death.  Obituaries are, after all, an inaccurate source as the information contained is second or third hand and rarely do you read of negative characteristics of a person or their failures in life.

Importantly, I must thank Trove Australia because without the digitised newspapers I would never have been able to find the 500 obituaries of some of the Western District’s great pioneers.

You can either search or browse the Passing of the Pioneers obituaries. Search a family name in the search box on the side bar of this page or select “Pioneer Obituaries” in the category box, also on the sidebar.  You can then browse through the 36 posts beginning with the most recent.  Simply click on the name of the pioneer to go to the newspaper obituary. If you find a family member, feel free to comment and give more information if you have any.  Leaving a comment increases your chance of finding someone else researching the same person.

 

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This month’s pioneers include two men who knew family members of mine with both men being important figures in their respective towns.  There is also a bricklayer, a publican and one of the men who discovered the Londonderry mine at Coolgardie, Western Australia.

 

Hugh MURRAY – Died July 28, 1869 at Colac.  Hugh Murray was born in Scotland about 1814 and arrived in Tasmania with his parents and siblings in 1823.  At the age of 23, Hugh left Tasmania for Victoria and settled on the banks of Lake Colac before there was a town and today is considered  Colac’s first white settler.  Hugh had pastoral interests but also sat as a Magistrate at the local Colac Magistrates Court.  Last month’s Passing of the Pioneers included the obituary of Elizabeth Young of Hobart who married Hugh Murray in 1841.

EARLY SETTLEMENT AT LAKE COLAC c1875, BY NICHOLAS CHEVALIER.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No.  H3572 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/81081

EARLY SETTLEMENT AT LAKE COLAC c1875, BY NICHOLAS CHEVALIER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. H3572 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/81081

Hugh  knew my ggg grandparents Thomas Gamble and Ellen Barry but not in the way one would like their ancestors to be acquainted with an outstanding citizen of Colac.  It started with Thomas Gamble, said to have been employed by Hugh Murray to make bricks for his new home at Lake Colac, thus prompting the Gambles to move from Geelong to Colac. Their relationship soon soured.  As early as 1851, Thomas’ wife Ellen faced Magistrate Murray in the Colac Court of Petty Sessions charged with drunkenness, one of dozens of charges she would face during her life and it certainly wasn’t her first.  On January 1853, Thomas Gamble faced court as the defendant in a case against Hugh Murray.  Although the hand writing in the original register of the Colac Court of Petty Sessions (p.83) is difficult to read, I can make out the words  –  “Thomas Gamble – Charged alleged arson in setting fire to Hugh Murray Esq.”.  Fortunately the case was  dismissed.

Peter LEARMONTH – Died July 19, 1893 at Hamilton.  Peter Learmonth was one of Hamilton’s most prominent citizens from the 1860s to the time of his death, contributing greatly to the growth of that town and the  villages surrounding it.  Born in Scotland in 1821, Peter travelled to Tasmania to meet up with his brother William who had already bought land in that colony.  Gold attracted Peter and he left for the Californian goldfields in the late 1840s.  With no success, he made his way to Victoria in the early 1850s and had good fortune on the Castlemaine goldfields. Getting out while ahead during the mid 1850s, he took up a manager’s job at “Merino Downs” station owned by Francis Henty, but not before marrying Mary Jarvey Pearson at Portland in 1854.  By 1859, Peter purchased “Prestonholme” on the banks of the Grange Burn near Hamilton from George Younger and proceeded to build the Grange Burn Flour Mill.  He later purchased mills at  Byaduk, Sandford and Penshurst.  The homestead at Prestonholme” and the mill still stand today on the Mill Road, Hamilton.

PETER LEARMONTH'S PRESTONHOLME MILL.  Photo courtesy of Denis Steer.

PETER LEARMONTH’S GRANGE BURN MILL. Photo courtesy of Denis Steer.

Not satisfied with his milling empire, Peter established P.Learmonth & Co Stock & Station agents in Gray Street, Hamilton.  Peter’s sons continued the business after his death.

P. LEARMONTH & CO. STOCK & STATION AGENTS. GARY STREET, HAMILTON, WILLIAM TIBBITS (c1896). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H83.253/1 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/67235

Peter Learmonth was a member of the Dundas Shire Council for nine years, serving as President for four successive terms, a record he still holds.  He was also one of the first councillors of the Borough of Hamilton.   Peter was one of the driving  forces behind the Hamilton & Western District Boys College and Alexandra Girls School, two schools that built Hamilton’s foundations as an education town.

 

HAMILTON COLLEGE.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, J.T.Collins Collection.  Image no. H97.250/74 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/229855

HAMILTON COLLEGE. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, J.T.Collins Collection. Image no. H97.250/74 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/229855

 

ALEXANDRA COLLEGE, [No heading]. (1874, July 11). The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 - 1889), p. 52. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5985586

ALEXANDRA COLLEGE, [No heading]. (1874, July 11). The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 – 1889), p. 52. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5985586

The Hamilton Hospital was another of Hamilton’s institutions that Peter Learmonth helped set up and was President of the Hospital for 18 years.

HAMILTON HOSPITAL.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H32492/2732 , http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63599

HAMILTON HOSPITAL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H32492/2732 , http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63599

 

Two of  Peter Learmonth’s  children married into families that were also influential in Hamilton ‘at the time.  Eldest son James Allan Learmonth married Annie Thomson, daughter of John Thomson of Monivae in 1886.  A daughter Mary, married the son of another prominent Hamilton man, David Laidlaw jnr, son of saddler and self-made man, David Laidlaw.  Mary’s obituary appeared in April 2013 Passing of the Pioneers.  Messrs. Learmonth, Laidlaw and Thomson were a force to be reckoned with and include Peter’s brother, Alex Learmonth,  also a man of much influence, and it is not surprising that they were able to grow Hamilton into one of Victoria’s most eminent towns.

Later in life, Peter purchased land in Mexico and gave his share to two of his sons.  He also purchased “Correa Estate” near Dunkeld and pursued pastoral interests with much success.

A supporter of the temperance movement, Peter was president of the Total Abstinence Society and the work of he and John Thomson, saw a Temperance Hall opened in Kennedy Street, Hamilton.  They obtained an existing building and converted it to suit the needs of the Society.

As I write my Harman family history and delve into the local histories of Byaduk and Hamilton, Peter Learmonth comes up time and again.  A Methodist, he knew my ggg grandfather James Harman and at one stage James was acting as an agent for farm machinery on Peter’s behalf.   James’ daughter Julia married George Holmes jnr, the son of George Holmes who was a manager of the Grange Burn mill before managing the Byaduk mill.  George Jnr worked at the Penshurst mill and took over the Sandford mill with his brothers.

Peter Learmonth passed away at his home at “Prestonholme” .  He was 74.

Sources:

Dundas Shire Centenary, 1863-1963. Hamilton Spectator for the Dundas Shire Council, [Hamilton, Vic.], 1963.

Garden, Donald S. (Donald Stuart) and Hamilton (Vic.). Council Hamilton, a Western District history. City of Hamilton in conjunction with Hargreen, North Melbourne, 1984.

Glenelg & Wannon Settlers (website)

Macdonald, Anita Mariposa : a story of the Learmonths of western Victoria and Mexico, 1834-1930. Heatherleigh Publishing, [Melbourne], 1982.

John SYMONS – Died July 10, 1914 at Hamilton.  Born in Cornwall around 1828, John Symons’ trade was ship’s carpenter and after his arrival at Portland in 1854, his skills were in demand with much building work required. From Portland, John moved to Balmoral before settling at the Wannon, near Hamilton.  John farmed but was also a contractor for the Roads Board and later the local Shires.  One of his most important works in the district was constructing the bridge over the Wannon River at Redruth, a necessity to enable travel from Hamilton to Coleraine and beyond.  Timber for the bridge was cut using pit saws and John did much of that work himself.  During his marriage, John and his wife raised 11 children with seven still living at the time of his death.

William DUNN – Died July 1, 1914 at Box Hill.  William Dunn arrived in Victoria in 1855 from Somersetshire aboard the “Raven’s Craig”.  After two years in Geelong, he rode by horseback to Hamilton, his home for the next 44 years.  As a bricklayer and builder he constructed the Victoria and Colonial banks in Hamilton with William Holden and  Budock Vean, a home in French Street, Hamilton still standing today.  A devout Methodist, he held various positions within the church.

FORMER BANK OF VICTORIA, GRAY STREET, HAMILTON.  Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins collection, State Library of Victoria.  Image no.   H97.250/89 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230031

FORMER BANK OF VICTORIA, GRAY STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/89
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230031

Jane DONNELLY  – Died July 1, 1914 at Hawkesdale.  Born in Ireland around 1834, Jane Jenkins arrived in Australia in the 1860s, settling at Myamyn.  She married William Walshe and they raised six children.  In the meantime,  Jane established the Foresters Hotel at Myamyn and ran a store to cater for the many carriers who used the town as a stopover on their travels.  After the death of her husband , Jane remarried to William Jenkins in 1883 and for a time ran the former Victoria Hotel at Portland.

John MUNRO – Died July 1914 at Hotspur.  John Munro was born in Scotland around 1833 and sailed to Hobsons Bay aboard the “Champion of the Seas” in 1854.  Gold must have been his primary reason for coming to Victoria as he spent time around the various diggings before travelling to New Zealand and the goldfields of Otago.  After two years he returned and took up residence at Portland and married in 1867.  For many years he was a storekeeper and post office operator.  He also engaged in farming pursuits and in the early 1890s took up land at Hotspur.  At the time of his death he left a widow and nine children.  He was buried at the Hotspur Cemetery.

Alexander John McLEAN – Died July 23, 1915 at Hamilton.  Alexander McLean was born in Scotland around 1836 and arrived in Sydney as a three-year old with his parents.  They later moved to Victoria, taking up residence at Tower Hill.  From there, Alexander went on to Myamyn and then Macarthur where he was a founding member of the Methodist Church.  Alexander enjoyed telling stories of the pioneer days, before bridges spanned creeks or railways traversed the countryside.  Alexander and his wife had nine children.

Sarah Ann FARNHAM – Died July 21, 1916 at Hamilton.  Born in Somersetshire, England around 1839, Sarah Ann Farnham arrived at Portland  in 1858.  She married Andrew Lockie at Portland in 1860 and by 1866 they had moved to Hamilton were Andrew ran a saddlery business.  Leaving a family of six children and her husband, Sarah Ann was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

Mary SAVIN – Died July 1918 at Muddy Creek.  Mary Savin was born in Oxfordshire and sailed to Victoria with her parents in 1853.  Around 1855, the family travelled north to Muddy Creek where they settled.  Two years later, Mary married John Addinsall and they had a family of 12 children.  Like many of the early settlers at Muddy Creek, Mary was a Methodist and it was in a crowded Muddy Creek Methodist Church where Mary was given her last farewell.

John HUXLEY – Died July 21, 1918 at Portland.  John Huxley was born in Portland around 1863.  During the 1890s, John travelled to Western Australia, lured by the discovery of gold, but unlike the other July pioneers who chose to seek their fortunes, John struck gold in a big way.  John and several other men discovered the rich Londonderry mine at Coolgardie, Western Australia.  Having made his fortune, John returned to Victoria and purchased the Straun Estate at Merino.  A keen racehorse owner, one of John’s big successes came less than a year before his death, when his horse the Ruralist, trained by James Agnew of Hamilton, won the Great Western Steeplechase at Hamilton in September 1917.  The horse was also a two-time Brierly Steeplechase winner at Warrnambool.  John passed away at his seaside home “Kenly” at Portland and was buried at the South Portland cemetery.

Christina Emily FORD – Died July 26, 1931 at Hamilton.  Christina Ford was born in Macarthur in 1880 into a well-known pioneering family.  In 1905, she married William Baker and they moved to Portland and  raised nine children.  Christina was a keen volunteer for the Portland Football Club and was a member of the Australian Women’s National League.

Charles HOLDER – Died July 21, 1922 at Warrnambool.  The story of Charles Holder’s life appeared in the Portland Guardian on September 28, 1931, nine years after his death and it gives a great account of Melbourne and Victoria in the 1840s.  Charles Holder was born in Bristol, England around 1838 and from the moment he set sail on the “Wardshipton” as a three-year old with his parent and siblings, his great pioneering life had begun.  The voyage in 1841, with almost 300 other immigrants was harsh with 24 deaths including 22 children.  Three of those children were Charles’ young sisters.  Arriving at Hobson’s Bay, Charles, his parents and two remaining siblings, took a steamer along the Yarra River to Melbourne.

MELBOURNE 1841.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria,  Image no. H6262/2  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/87604

MELBOURNE 1841. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H6262/2 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/87604

After spending time on stations around Melbourne, including Dandenong as a boy and young teenager, Charles made his way to the Western District, working at the “The Gums” between Caramut and  Penshurst.  By that time, it was the early 1850s, and Charles headed to the Bendigo diggings but like so many his luck was out and he returned to the west of the state, working at Grassmere near Warrnambool.  In the early 1860s, he selected his own land at Cooramook and remained there for the rest of his life.

An obituary in the The Register (Adelaide) on September 2, 1922 , published at the time of Charles’ death has further detail of his pioneering life.

Ellen OSBOURNE – Died July 15, 1934 at Hamilton.  Born at Portland, Ellen Osbourne married local builder Thomas Cruse and they continued to resided at Portland .  She raised a family and was a devoted member of the Church of England.   Prior to her death, Ellen had been ill for many weeks and as a consequence was admitted to Kia Ora Private Hospital at Hamilton.   Ellen needed a blood transfusion but unlike today when we take  for granted stocks of blood at hospitals,  in 1934 there wasn’t a Red Cross Blood Bank.  Therefore, Ellen’s son donated the blood required for the transfusion.  Unfortunately it was not enough to save his mother.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

The stories of the Western District pioneers continue with June Passing of the Pioneers.  Pioneer obituaries come from a woman who was the first European woman at Colac, a man who survived a ship wreck of Tasmania, and a Reverend who started his career as journalist for the London Times.  Look out for the July obituaries when Passing of the Pioneers celebrates a birthday.

Nicholas COLE – Died June 22, 1879 at Darlington.  Born in England and heir to an estate in Plymouth,  Nicholas Cole decided to try his luck in Australia and arrived in Sydney in 1839.  During his voyage, he met another man Peter McArthur and together they sailed on from Sydney to Geelong.  They became partners and took up the West Cloven Hills and Menningort runs at Darlington.  Those early pioneers faced many hardships including the Black Thursday fires in 1851.  Nicholas ran Merino sheep and built up a herd that produced high yields of good quality wool.  More information about Nicholas, thought to be a desendant of “Old King Cole” the subject of the nursery rhyme of the same name, is at the following links –    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145242490    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29098160   www.stanbury.com.au/history1.htm

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

SHEARING SHED, WEST CLOVEN HILLS (1987) Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection. Image no. H95.200/65 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217139

Elizabeth Young – Died June 11, 1892 at Barongarook.  Jean Young was born in Scotland in 1823 and as a girl sailed to Tasmania with her parents and her father worked as a solicitor in Hobart.  In 1841, she married Hugh Murray.  They moved to Geelong and Hugh, considered the founder of Colac, moved to that area, before Jean and her young son joined them, becoming the first European woman in the district.  She raised a family of 14 children and endured the many hardships faced by early pioneer women in Victoria.   Among other things, Jean and Hugh were founding members of the Colac Presbyterian church and Jean remained a pillar of the church during her life.  Hugh passed away 23 years before Elizabeth in 1869.

George COXON – Died June 20, 1892 at Portland.  George Coxon was born and married in England and in 1857 , he and his family, including seven children, travelled to Victoria.  After a short time on the Victorian goldfields he took up farming pursuits in the Casterton district.  In his later years he moved to Portland where he passed away.  A profile of George and his family his available on the SW Pioneers website –    http://www.swvic.org/sandford/coxon_george.htm

Lawrence McKENNA – Died June 1914 at Curlew Hill.  Lawrence McKenna was born around 1830 in Ireland and  travelled to Adelaide around 1861.  The South Australian explorer John Stuart was about to leave on a government funded expedition to cross the continent and Lawrence joined his party.  Stuart eventually abandoned his attempt.  After 10 years on the goldfields of Victoria and New Zealand, Lawrence gained work at Woodhouse near Dunkeld in 1872.  He took a trip back to Ireland in 1874 then returned to Dunkeld to marry Elizabeth Irwin and they settled at nearby Curlew Hill.  In 1900, he was badly burnt while trying to protect his property during bushfires and never fully recovered.

Sophia GERDTZ - Died June 5, 1914 at Hamilton.  Sophia Gerdtz was born in Germany around  1831 and arrived in Melbourne during the early 1850s.  Her family travelled to Hamilton, where few buildings stood.  She first married Robert Thomson at Lyne Station in 1852 but was left a widow during the 1860s.  She then married storekeeper Cavendish Neville.  Again widowed, she spent the last years of her life living with her son at Pierrepoint, just out of Hamilton.

 Bridget McNAMARA – Died June 19, 1914 at Tower Hill.  Born in Ireland around 1843, Bridget McNamara arrived with her parents to Port Fairy in 1852 and they settled near Farnham and later Dennington. In 1866 at Warrnambool, Bridget married Hugh Reilly, afterwards settling at Southern Cross were they lived for the rest of their lives.

THE Roroit Sentine[?] AND Tower Hill Advocate. (1914, June 27). Koroit Sentinel and Tower Hill Advocate (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119554315

THE Roroit Sentine[?] AND Tower Hill Advocate. (1914, June 27). Koroit Sentinel and Tower Hill Advocate (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119554315

Reverend George Duke LEE - Died June 1915 at Hamilton. Born in Derbyshire, England around 1830, George Lee first worked as a reporter for the London Times in America.  After briefly returning to England he sailed to Victoria aboard the “Blue Jacket” in 1853 and made for the Ballarat goldfields.  He worked as a teacher but left after medical advice as his eye sight was failing.  Instead he went on a lecture tour for the Sons of Temperance Friendly Society through the Western District.  While visiting Chetwynd he became interested in the teachings of the Presbyterian church and entered the Ministry.  He was sent to the St. Johns Presbyterian Church at Cavendish where he remained for 30 years.

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

ST JOHNS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, CAVENDISH (1974). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection. Image no. H94.200/605 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217138

When George retired around nine years before his death, he moved to Hamilton.

William ALFORD – Died June 1916 at Ellerslie.  William Alford was born in England around 1831 and 21 years later he travelled to Australia.  He was a steward on the ship he sailed aboard which wrecked off the Tasmanian coast.  William and other passengers were able to reach shore on a dingy and they walked to Hobart without shoes.  William then travelled to the goldfields of Victoria, working as a driver with the gold escort out of Ballarat and later driving the mail coach between Ballarat and Geelong.  He moved to Ellerslie in the mid 1860s and he remained there for the remainder of his life.  William was a caretaker of the local Mechanics Institute and was involved with the Ellerslie Football Club.

James WORLAND – Died June 18, 1916 at Warrnambool.  James Worland was born in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire around 1851 and arrived in Port Fairy two years later with his parents and they settled in the Warrnambool district.  When working age, James took a job at a tannery and later purchased his own tannery.  William also took up many roles in the community including warden of the Christ Church and a founding member of the local branch of the Society of St. George.  At the time of his death he left a widow and nine children.

William DAVIDSON – Died June 1917 at Woolsthorpe.  Born at Aberdeen, Scotland, William Davidson arrived at Port Fairy in 1855.  He first took up labouring at Minjah, a property near Hawkesdale before opening a store at Woolsthorpe.  He later  then turned to dairy-farming .  William was known as “The Chaffer” around Woolsthorpe because he enjoyed having a tease.  A widower at the time of his death, William had 12 surviving children.

 

 

 

 


Passing of the Pioneers

Despite little time to devote to Western District Families as regularly as I would like, there is always time to remember the great pioneers of the Western District with the monthly Passing of the Pioneers.  There are just a small band of pioneers for May, but they each have wonderful stories.  Be sure to click on any of the links for more information, especially the link to the wonderful recipe and remedy collection of Mrs Eliza Duckmanton.

James HANKS – Died May 21, 1909 at Horsham.  While James Hanks was not an old pioneer, he was from a large pioneering family.  He was also my great grandmother’s brother-in-law.  James was born at Branxholme in 1871, the son of Thomas Hanks and Sarah Ashton.   He married Ellen May Harman of Byaduk in 1901.  James had worked in Horsham previous to his marriage and took Ellen to live there.  He worked for Messrs Broadbent Bros., carriers of Horsham and by the time of his death, he was the head carter.  James and Ellen had three children by 1909 and while Ellen was pregnant with a fourth, James fell ill with typhoid fever and died before their fourth child was born.  Poor Ellen was exhausted when her husband’s died, caring for him, the three children, one of those also ill, and coping with pregnancy.

Michael COTTER – Died May 10, 1913 at Dunrobin.  Michael Cotter arrived in Tasmania around 1844 and after 10 years, travelled to Victoria spending time at the Bendigo and Ballarat diggings.  During the 1860s, he started farming at Branxholme and remained there until later in life when he farmed at Carapook.   For a detailed history of Michael including his wife Catherine McIntosh and children, follow this link to the SW Pioneers site  http://www.swvic.org/carapook/names/cotter.htm

Wilhelm PETSCHEL – Died May 1914 at Hamilton.  Wilhelm Petschel born in Saxonby, Germany was one of Hamilton’s earliest pioneers.  Arriving in Adelaide in 1848, he made his way to Portland before taking up a job as a groom at Heywood.  He heard of the land sales at The Grange (Hamilton) and upon inspection of the land available was so impressed he purchased a block, declaring that day the happiest of his life.  William married in 1856 and two children were born from the union.  He was a founding member of the South Hamilton Lutheran Church (today at the Hamilton Pastoral Museum)

SOUTH HAMILTON LUTHERAN CHURCH.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H97.250/65  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/229921

SOUTH HAMILTON LUTHERAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/65
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/229921

 

Rev. Samuel FRASER – Died May 1914 at Terang.  Born in Scotland around 1844, Samuel Fraser arrived in Terang  around 1871 sick from consumption, but still able to take up his duties as Minister in the Parish of Mortlake,  based at the Terang Presbyterian Church. His health improved and he remained in the role until his death 43 years later.  Samuel was also the Honorary Treasurer of the Presbytery and clerk of the Presbytery.  Among Presbyterians, his was considered a “model presbytery”.  He married Miss Hamilton, the daughter of the Reverend William Hamilton of Mortlake and they had two daughters and four sons.  Several obituaries were published and they appear on the following links.   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119798095     http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119789693 

 

TERANG PRESBYTERAIN CHURCH.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/3044 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63615

TERANG PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/3044 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63615

 

 

John DUCKMANTON – Died May 1915 at Dunkeld.  John Duckmanton was born in Nottinghamshire, England around 1833 and arrived on the Yorkshire to Victoria about 1860, settling at  Dunkeld.   John was a carpenter and wheelwright and built the first state school at Dunkeld, among other buildings.  He belonged to the St Marys Church of England, sitting on the committee when the foundation stone of the church was laid and was an active member of the Loyal Duke of Edinburgh M.U.I.O.O.F.   He and his wife had a family of 12 and he left 33 grandchildren. I found an absolute treasure on the Museum Victoria website which is worth a look.  John’s wife Eliza Womersley was a bush nurse and in 1870 recorded her recipes and remedies in a book, using handwritten notes and cuttings from other publications.  The original book can been seen on the M.V. website on the following link – Eliza’s book.

Patrick BALKIN – Died May 17, 1916 at Hamilton.  Born in Kilkenny, Ireland around 1831, Patrick Balkin arrived in Newcastle, N.S.W. aboard the Red Jacket.  After two years he arrived at Port Fairy and then on to the Grange (Hamilton) with his wife Hannah Quinlan.  On arrival at the Grange, the town was only young, with just one hotel.  They settled at their property “Knockaney” where they stayed for the rest of their lives.  Patrick was a member of the Dundas Shire for 22 years and had a wish to advance his chosen place of settlement.  Hannah predeceased Patrick and he left a family of two daughters and three sons.

Jane MASON – Died May 14, 1918 at Strathkellar,  Jane Mason was born in Norfolk, England and arrived in Portland in 1852 aboard the Marmion with her parents.  The Masons settled first at Balmoral before moving close to Hamilton.  In 1865, Jane married Robert Fraser of Glencoe, Hamilton.  Around the beginning of the 20th century, they purchased Seesford at Muddy Creek. They retained the property until only months before Jane’s death when she moved to live with her daughter at Strathkellar.

OBITUARY. (1918, May 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119502066

OBITUARY. (1918, May 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119502066

 

 

 

 


Passing of the Pioneers

April Passing of the Pioneers includes one of the pioneers of the Presbyterian Church in the Coleraine district, a mother of 14 children, several Shire Councillors and a successful store keeper.

Thomas GOODWIN – Died April 7, 1914 at Rosebrook.  Thomas Goodwin was born in Tasmania about 1833 and arrived at Port Fairy as a child.  He farmed first in the Glenormiston district but when land became available at Farnham, he moved there.  In his later years he farmed at Rosebrook.   He left three sons and four daughters.

Letitia WILLIAMSON – Died April 11, 1914 at Koroit.  Letitia Williamson was born in County Armagh, Ireland.  She arrived in Victoria in 1857 and married James O’Neill in Melbourne the following year.  They spent some time in Melbourne then moved to Koroit where James was a boot maker.  James passed away around 1903 and when Letitia passed away she left six children.

William QUILL – Died April 13, 1914 at Portland.  William Quill was born at Werrangourt Station, Byaduk around 1845, but his family moved to Yambuk when he was a boy.  After his marriage to Miss Doherty, William and his new bride settled at Macarthur.  William was on holiday in Portland when he passed away.

Samuel KEEN – Died April 21, 1914 at Hamilton.  Samuel Keen was born in Stafford, England around 1846 and came to Australia aboard the ship “Helen” about six years later with his parents.  The family travelled to Hamilton by bullock wagon, where Samuel remained for the rest of his life.

Rev. W.J.GILLESPIE- Died April 24, 1914 at Hawthorn.  Reverend Gillespie was born in Antrim, Ireland in 1826 and trained for the ministry in Belfast.  He travelled to Australia in 1867 with his wife of five years, Mary Oliphant Morrison.  The following year he took up position in charge of Coleraine, Casterton, Merino and Digby Churches and remained in that role until 1902.  During his time at Coleraine he was president of the Coleraine debating club, and chairman of the Board of Advice, Mechanics Institute and Railway League.  With his health failing, the Reverend and his wife moved to Melbourne where he remained until his death. He was buried in the Coleraine cemetery.

Mr Arthur Grainger HILL – Died April 7, 1917 at Edenhope.  Arthur Hill was born in Somersetshire, England and when he arrived in Australia he first settled in N.S.W.  He came to Victoria to work with the Railway Department of Victoria.  Around 1880 he was appointed Engineer of the Wannon Shire Council.  Due to  a successful period of employment with the Shire, upon his retirement he was awarded a bonus of a year’s wages.

Mrs Sarah CHAMBERLAIN - Died April 22, 1917 at Hamilton.  Sarah Chamberlain was born in Ireland around 1836 and arrived in Australia in the late 1850s.  She married Peter Lewis and they had two sons, however Peter passed away.  She then married Benjamin Chamberlain of Port Fairy and they had three daughters and one son.  Sarah was buried at the Port Fairy cemetery.

George TRANGMAR – Died April 25, 1917 at Melbourne.  George Trangmar was born in Brighton, England around 1828  and arrived in Victoria in 1849.  He started in business with his brother James in Portland before opening a store in Coleraine in 1851. He remained in business there for 25 years and during that time was a member of the Wannon Shire, including some years as President .  During the 1870s he purchased the Toolang Estate near Coleraine for sheep farming.  He sold Toolang around the turn of the century and moved to Melbourne.  He was buried at Coleraine Cemetery.

Thomas Lewis WYATT – Died April 15, 1918 at Hamilton.  Thomas Wyatt was born in London, England around 1831 and married at St., Brides Church, London in 1853.   In 1855, Thomas and Mrs Wyatt. a young son and Thomas’ brother James, left Plymouth aboard the “Anna Maria“, arriving at Portland in  February 1856.   He took up the trade of plasterer and his work took him to Mt. Gambier and Melbourne, before he went into partnership in Hamilton.  He was a founding member of the Portland Oddfellows lodge.  Thomas left a widow, two sons and three daughters

Johanna STEVEN – Died April 1925 at Heywood.  Johanna Steven was born near Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in Victoria with her parents around 1860.  Mr Steven owned what was known around Portland as the “Wee Station” in South Portland,  a small acreage as up to date as a large pastoral station which attracted visits by tourists to the town.  Johanna married William Reid at Portland and they raised a family of 14 children.  Johanna and William were foundation members of the Heywood Presbyterian Church.

William PHILIP – Died April, 1933 at Hamilton.  William Philip was born around 1858 and was educated at the Hamilton Academy and Geelong College.  After Geelong, he returned to the Western District and owned properties including “Violet Creek“, “Kenilworth” and “Mt. William“.  He was a member of the Dundas Shire Council for 20 years and was a member of the racing, golf and swimming clubs as well as the Masonic Lodge.  His support assisted the financing the Hamilton War Memorial and  local swimming pool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Passing of the Pioneers

March Passing of the Pioneers shares obituaries of well-known residents of Hamilton, Heywood and Portland.  They include the surveyor of Camperdown and yet another man who was at Blue Lake, Mt. Gambier the day Adam Lindsay Gordon took his famed leap.

Thomas BROOKS – Died March 7, 1888 at Hotspur.  At the time of his death, Thomas Brooks was on of the oldest inhabitants of the Heywood district, having arrived in 1853.  His death was a result of an accident, after 62-year-old Thomas delivered a coffin to Hotspur from Heywood for the funeral of Mr Fidler.  After the funeral he returned home, only to fall from his horse.  He received head injuries, from which he died.  A contract worker for the local shire, Thomas was known as an eccentric and was referred to as “Old Tom Brooks”  For more information about Thomas see the South-West Victoria Pioneers website.

John THOMSON – Died March 27, 1894 at Melbourne.  Anyone who lived in Hamilton and district prior to the late 1980s, would know the name John Thomson as that was that name that adorned the front of one of Hamilton’s longest running department stores John Thomson & Co of Gray Street, locally known simply as Thomsons.  John Thomson arrived in Victoria from Scotland at a young age and was educated at Scotch College, Geelong and the Hamilton Academy.  He joined his uncle and brothers, Alexander and William in the store, first established as an Iron store in 1866, and later became a partner.  He had a strong association with the Hamilton Presbyterian Church and when he died, aged 46, he had attended  the Convention of  the Presbyterian Fellowship Association.  He fell sick over the weekend and passed away.

 

Advertising. (1953, July 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 21. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23256981

Advertising. (1953, July 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 21. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23256981

 

 

 Robert Dunbar  SCOTT - Died March 7, 1898.  Robert Scott was born in Scotland and he and his wife arrived in Victoria around 1851.  Robert was employed as a land surveyor, his first job to survey the western part of Port Phillip.  He set up camp near what would become the town of Camperdown and set about laying out a new township.  He named the first streets, including Manifold Street after the Manifold brothers.  He selected land on the banks of Lake Gnotuk and established the property “Gnotuk Park”.  Robert was a member of the local P&A Society and the Freemasons.  In the late 1890s, he sold “Gnotuk Park” and let a property at Craigieburn.  He later moved to Melbourne establishing himself as a commission agent, but lost money in the crash after the land boom.  A further account of Robert Scott is on this link – A Link With The Past – Interview with David Scott.

Mercy ERRI – Died March 26, 1932 at Cobrico.  Mercy Erri was born in England and arrived in Victoria with her parents in 1857.  Her father started in business in Camperdown, one of the early pioneers of that town.  Mercy trained as a nurse and was a Sunday School teacher.  In her later years, she became an invalid, confined to her bed, but she continued to produce beautiful needlework, even with failing sight.  Mercy was 88 years old when she died and never married.

James MOLLOY  – Died March 25, 1937 at Portland.  James Molloy arrived in Portland with his parents aboard the “British Empire” when he was 11.   He went to school at All Saints school in Portland and during those years spent time with William Dutton extracting oil from whale blubber.  He was then employed by Edward Henty at Narrawong.  His next job was for the Bell’s at Heywood, training racehorses, his greatest success winning the Great Western Steeplechase at Coleraine.  Apparently he was with Adam Lindsay Gordon on the day Gordon took his leap at Blue Lake, Mt Gambier.  He later returned to Portland, working as a storeman and a water-side worker.  James married Mary Beglen and they had three sons and two daughters.

David Edmund BATES – Died March 5, 1938 at Casterton.  David Bates was born at Narracorte before moving to Casterton with his parents when six.  He was educated at the Casterton school before becoming an apprentice draper with Mr Mills.  David was an athlete and once ran second in the Stawell Gift.  He took a great interest in the public affairs of Casterton and served as secretary on the Casterton Hospital board.

Eliza MOORE – Died March 24, 1939 at Colac.  Eliza Moore was born in Ireland in 1854 and travelled to Victoria as a child aboard the “Chance“.  Her parents settled at Port Fairy and later at Woodford.  Eliza married Alexander Russell at Warrnambool and they farmed at Dennington.  They then moved to Colac where they remained until Eliza’s death.  In her younger years, Eliza was an excellent horsewoman and was devoted to the Church throughout her life.

Daniel FENTON – Died March 17 at Camperdown.  Daniel Fenton was born in Camperdown in 1860 and was the first child baptised at the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in the same year.  Educated at Camperdown State School, he spent his entire working life as a dairy farmer.  He married Mary Ann Shenfield of Cobden and five children were living at the time of Daniel’s death.

 

 

 

 

 


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 February 22, 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 25 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 18 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 February 25, 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

“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 73 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 February 7, 1915 at Macarthur.  John Kelly arrived from Tasmania, his birth place, with his family when he was three years old.  If John was 85 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 February 13, 1915 at Hamilton.  Born  in Stirlingshire, Scotland, John Murray was a resident of Hamilton for over 50 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 45 years.  He was a widow and left five sons and one daughter from a family of 12 children.

Jane O’MAY - Died February 17, 1916 at Buckley Swamp.  Jane O’May was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1822 and married William Kirkwood in 1842.  William and Jane arrived at Portland in 1852 aboard the “John Davis”.  They travelled by bullock dray to “Warrock“, near Casterton.  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 24 grandchildren and 21 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 February 24, 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 February 9, 1918 at Casterton.  Arriving in Portland in 1853 aged 17 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

Mrs Susan SLOAN – Died February 9, 1918 at Hamilton.  Mrs 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 a I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria group post as it is a highly visible and known to most who have lived in Hamilton time, 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 February 9, 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 aged 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

A small band of pioneers for January, ranging from the rich and influential through to a bullock wagon driver who drove produce to the ports, to aid the rich and influential become more so.  There is also the obituary of Catherine Grady, an Irish Famine orphan.

Francis HENTY – Died January 1889 at Kew.  Francis Henty featured here several times,  was one of the Henty brothers, early European settlers at Portland.  Francis had a house at Portland, one that I have written a post about,  Claremont, but he spent much of his time at the Henty property,Merino Downs , and in later in life, his home “Field Place” in Melbourne where he passed away.  Noted in his obituary, that while his presence was often not felt in the town, post the settling of Merino Downs, Francis Henty’s donations over the years were much appreciated.

The Portland Guardian,. (1889, January 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63591640

The Portland Guardian,. (1889, January 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63591640

FRANCIS HENTY (c1890) Artist unknown.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H24630 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/91524

FRANCIS HENTY (c1890) Artist unknown. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H24630 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/91524

 

Catherine GRADY – Died January 3, 1916 at Macarthur.  Catherine Grady was born around 1836 in Wexford, Ireland and arrived in Port Fairy at 17.  She married Archibald Hamilton there are they moved to Mt. Napier station where they remained for many years, then on to Macarthur were they both remained until their deaths.  Catherine was a nurse and it was said she attended over 300 maternity cases.  Catherine and Archibald raised a family of 12 children.  I found Catherine on the Famine Orphan Girl Database on the Irish Famine Memorial (Sydney) website.

John Sinclair COX – Died January 11, 1918 at Hamilton.  John Cox was born in Ireland in 1850 and travelled to Victoria with his family around 1857.  He resided in the Hamilton district almost from that time and ran a successful butchers.  At one time he ran for the Shire of Dundas but was unsuccessful.  John passed away at “Greenwood Park”, Hamilton and left a widow, two sons and one daughter.

Matthew TOWNSEND – Died January 1916 at Portland.  Matthew Townsend was born in Cambridgeshire in 1832 and arrived in Adelaide in 1857, but travelled on to Digby.  In 1865, he opened a store in Digby that he ran for 43 years, including 40 as postmaster and he married around 1867.  Matthew had many stories to tell of the old times in Digby included four-in-hand coaches, wool wagons and visits by Adam Lindsay Gordon.  In his later years, Matthew moved to Portland where he passed away.  He was buried at Digby cemetery.

Mary Ann MURPHY – Died January 26, 1918 at Willaura.  Mary Ann Murphy was an early pioneer, born around 1843, and she and her husband Patrick Nicholson, settled at Warracknabeal in the “early days of agricultural development”.  Around the turn of the century, Mary Ann and Patrick moved to the Ararat district, taking up a sub-division at Willaura,  Mary-Ann and Patrick raised a family of 14.

Elizabeth LANG – Died January 1927 at Warracknabeal.  Elizabeth Lang was born at Digby on “Black Thursday” 1851, her father having arrived with the Hentys some years before.  After her marriage she moved to the north west of Victoria where she remained until her death.

Mark KERR – Died January 31, 1925 at Portland.  Mark Kerr was born around 1850 at Portland, and it was noted he was born in the “Police Paddock”, not far from the place he died 75 years later.  Having been born in a paddock, it was fortunate Mark’s father was a doctor, but it was thought he didn’t practice in Portland.  Mark Kerr worked as a teamster, driving bullock wagons from the north with wool and other produce for the Port of Portland.  At one time he owned the Emu Flats Hotel at Kentbruck, built by another Passing Pioneer, John Johnstone.  He later returned to Portland where he remained until his death.

Mrs Eliza LEA – Died January 12, 1941 at Portland.  Born around 1857 at Portland, Eliza Lea, a former student of John Hill of Portland, joined the Education Department at 15 and the first school she taught at was North Portland.  She later taught at Koroit, Corindhap, Queenscliff , Coleraine and Casterton,  Mary Ann was a resident of Casterton for about five years and it was there she met her future husband Job Lea.  After marriage, she left teaching but Job passed away after two years of marriage, leaving Mary Ann with two babies.  After 19 years she returned to Portland before opening a store at Condah Swamp, including the first post office there.  Condah Swamp was later name Wallacedale, where she resided for 22 years.  In 1919 she again returned to Portland and remained there until her death.  One of Mary Ann’s son, Charles was killed at Gallipoli in 1915.

William BOYLE – Died January 3, 1942 at Camperdown.  William Boyle was born in Ireland around 1868 and arrived in Victoria as a 15-year-old.  Keen to see Australia, he travelled along the southern coast and then inland, droving stock from Central Australia to the Western District.  William later established newsagents in Camperdown that he ran for 50 years.  He was also a foundation member of the Camperdown Bowling Club and was playing up until weeks before his death.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to the last Passing of the Pioneers for 2013.  The obituaries include one belonging to a favourite Halls Gap pioneer of mine, Sophia D’Alton.  There is also a former convict and a man who saw Melbourne shortly after settlement.

For some holiday reading why not check out the earlier Passing of the Pioneers posts.  There are now 30 in total with hundreds of family names and some great stories.

William RENWICK - Died December 11, 1874 at Portland.  Born in Scotland around 1897, William Renwick left his native country around 1827 and sailed to Tasmania as an overseer of animals on a ship.  He continued his employment with the company after the voyage.  Around the early years of Melbourne’s settlement, when there were only three houses, William Renwick moved to the new colony.  He then moved on to Portland where he remained until his death.

Samuel HUTCHINSON - Died December 21, 1874 at Portland.  While his obituary doesn’t mention it, an article about the construction of the Steam Packet Inn, built by Samuel Hutchinson around 1841, reveals Samuel was a convict.  At the time of his departure for Portland from Tasmania, he had obtained his ticket of leave and was working as an overseer in a woodyard.   Samuel was listed as one of the purchasers of land in Portland in 1840.  His first wife, also a convict, passed away and he remarried.  At the time of his death he left a widow and six children.

Mrs Ellen J. LLOYD – Died December  1915 at Hamilton.  Born in Waterford, Ireland around 1831, Ellen Lloyd arrived at Portland in 1849 and went to Violet Creek Estate near Yulecart to take up work.  She met her future husband there and they married in Hamilton in 1850.  They settled at Muddy Creek and raised a large family, with 11 children living at the time of her death.  Ellen moved to Strathkellar around 1906 to live with her daughter, Grace Munroe, and she resided there until her death.

Henry POTTER – Died December 4, 1916 at Hamilton.  Henry Potter was born in Norfolk, England around 1841 and travelled to Adelaide with his parents around 1854.  The family moved to Portland where Henry took up a plastering apprenticeship before entering into a building partnership with Mr T. Wyatt that lasted 40 years.  They first operated from Mt. Gambier then Portland, Melbourne and finally in 1874, Hamilton.  In his later years, Henry Potter worked as Clerk of Works on several buildings around Hamilton.  At time of his death he was the oldest affiliated member of the Grange Lodge.

Sophia D’ALTON – Died December 13, 1916 at Stawell.  I have a soft spot for Sophia and her twin sister, Henrietta, actually they intrigue me.  The D’Altons were Halls Gap pioneers and lived at “Glenbower” just out of Halls Gap, near Lake Bellfield.  I had read about the site of their former home, now overgrown with bush, and wanted to find it.  I asked an old local and was directed to the site. At the time the D’Altons lived there, there were several residences, but bush fires over the years destroyed them.  It is amazing to stand in such an isolated spot and imagine the goings on at “Glenbower” when the sisters lived there.  Henrietta was an acclaimed wildflower artist, and many of her artistic friends from Australia and abroad visited their Grampians home.  So bohemian.

FIRES IN THE GRAMPIANS. (1914, February 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 26. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89311608

FIRES IN THE GRAMPIANS. (1914, February 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 26. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89311608

Sophia and her sister were born in Kilkenny, Ireland around 1836.  In 1856, their widowed mother, the girls and other members of the D’Alton family came to Australia, settling first at Stawell before moving to “Glenbower”.  Sophia and her sister remained there until a few years before Sophia’s death when they moved back to Stawell.  The pioneers of the Halls Gap district were tough and they were faced with many perils from fire to flood.  “Glenbower”, while eventually burnt out, out a close call in 1914 when fires licked its walls.  This fire most likely the reason for the sister’s last move to Stawell.

OBITUARY. (1916, December 16). Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12949152

OBITUARY. (1916, December 16). Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12949152

 

Isabella GORRIE – Died December 18, 1918 at Ararat.  Isabella Gorrie was an old resident of the Ararat district, having moved there with her parents when she was a girl. She taught at the local school and in 1878, she married Andrew Murray.

pp4

Family Notices. (1878, January 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 1. Retrieved December 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5916993

Isabella was a member of the Australian Women’s National League, a President of the local Red Cross branch and with the outbreak of WW1, she became the local representative of the Neglected Children’s Department.  Her brother Robert was the Town Clerk of Ararat for many years.

Richard Benson McGARVIE - Died December 19, 1938 at Camperdown.  Richard McGarvie arrived in the Pomberneit district, with his father  William in 1865.  Richard was a farmer until the 1920s when he moved into Camperdown.  Prior to that Richard he was an active community member of Pomberneit, as a member of the Victorian Mounted Rifles, the Pomberneit Rifle Club and the Camperdown Pastoral and Agricultural society.  He was a Councillor on the Heytesbury Shire and served as a committee member of the St James Church of England, Pomberneit.  He left a widow, Emma, and three sons and three daughters.

Mary SWAIN – Died December 19, 1941 at Camperdown.  Mary Swain was born in Port Fairy around 1860 but moved to Camperdown as a girl.  She married Joshua Beard and they had one son and a daughter.  Joshua helped build the railway between Camperdown and Timboon in the late 19th century and one of Mary’s dearest possessions was a photo of Joshua and a wagon laden with posts from that time.

James WILSON – Died December 25, 1944 at Portland.  James was born at The Lagoons, Lower Bridgewater in 1863 to John and Agnes Wilson, pioneers of the Bridgewater district.  In 1886, he married Priscilla Hollard.  James was a hairdresser and tobacconist in Portland and worked for Learmonth’s auctioning firm.  He ran a business in Melbourne for some time before returning to Portland in the late 1940s.  During his time in Portland, he attended the Methodist church and was member of the Sons of Temperance benefit society.  He and Priscilla did not have a family.

Ruth GALE – Died December 5, 1949 at Portland.  Ruth Gale was born in Portland around 1863 and attend Hill’s School at West Portland.  Ruth was a dressmaker and learnt her trade from Mrs Trickey of Portland.  Around 1889, she married Angus Martin and they moved around the state, residing at several different towns, before moving back to Portland around 1942.


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 November 27, 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 November 8, 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 15 years and they had four children.

Michael QUINLAN – Died November 1914 at Hawkesdale.  Michael Quinlan was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1835, and he travelled to Australia when he was around 24.  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 November 11, 1915 at Stawell.  George Kay lived his 49 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 November 3, 1916 at Woolongoon.  William Wareham was born at Box Hill in 1844 and at 19 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 32 grandchildren.

Mary KELLY – Died November 19, 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 November 20, 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 November 30, 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 the 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.

Mrs Bridget CLANCY – Died November 15, 1918 at Port Fairy.  Mrs Clancy 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 November 29, 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.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

If you have read my last post, A Pleasant Distraction, you will understand why October Passing of the Pioneers just got in by the skin of its teeth.  Thankfully I had the bones of the post done before “Hamilton Fever” took hold.  This month there are the obituaries of a bricklayer, a Gaelic preacher, a disgraced crewman from the General Hewitt and a member of the Henty family.

David HUTTON – Died October 9, 1875 at Mount Rouse.  David Hutton was born in Greenock, Scotland around 1809.  He was an engineer by trade, and left Scotland in 1833 for Hobart to follow his brothers.  One brother, William,  saw opportunities in the new colony of Victoria, and David later followed, arriving at Portland in around 1844.  He took out a lease on land at Mount Rouse and established Cheviot Hills.   David Hutton was a foundation member of the Mt. Rouse Board and served for seven years.  A Presbyterian, he was one of those behind the building of a church at Penshurst.  He was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery with other members of his family.   Hutton street in Penshurst is named after David Hutton.  Another obituary, published  in The Mercury of Hobart, has more on David’s story

Ewan McDONALD – Died October 13, 1891 at Warrion.  Ewan McDonald was born around 1808 and first went to the Colac district when he settled on land at Dreeite around 1866.  Ewan was a Presbyterian and at one time gave services at the Larpent Presbyterian Church in Gaelic.

John H. DUNN – Died October 29, 1914 at Hamilton. John Dunn was born in Geelong around 1860 and arrived in Hamilton, with his parents, two years later.  Like his father, John was a bricklayer and together they built some of Hamilton’s larger buildings.  A search for Dunn’s bricklayers found a reference on the Victorian Heritage Database.  The home mentioned, in the Church Hill area of Hamilton is well-known to me and was built by William Dunn, when John was still a baby,  In later life, John was a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites and the Methodist Church.  He married Miss H. Luxton of Macarthur and they had nine children.

James DUNCAN – Died October 8, 1916 at Balmoral.  James Duncan was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1837 and he arrived on the Flora McDonald to Portland in 1855.  He went to Rocklands, near Balmoral, working as a shepherd.  He left the district for Serpentine before returning to Glendinning station as overseer.  He later took up the carpentry trade in Balmoral.  He married Emily Rogers in 1876 and they had six children.

Elizabeth LEAHY – Died October 15. 1916 at Cavendish.  Elizabeth Leahy was born in Adelaide around 1849.  Her family came to Victoria to the goldfields of Bendigo and Ballarat, before returning to South Australia, taking up residence at Mt. Gambier.  Elizabeth later moved to Lake Bolac and met her future husband, J.H Wallis.  They married at Ararat.  The couple farmed in the Wimmera, moved back to Ararat before settling at Mooralla around 1910.

Samuel BROWNLAW – Died October 13, 1917 at Tyrendarra.  Samuel Brownlaw and his wife, Mary Ann Speechly, arrived on the Severn to Portland in 1856.  They first went to Yambuk, before settling at Tyrendarra were they remained.  In 1875, Samuel donated land for the Tyrendarra School.  Samuel left three sons and three daughters at the time of his death.

John Stevens ANDREW aka John FORSTER – Died October 5, 1918 at Merino Downs.  I have touched upon the obituary of John Andrew/Forster before, in the post The General Hewitt.  John’s obituary gave me some clues to the names of the crew members that caused unrest during the voyage and those that deserted.  John was one of those crew members, explaining his alias.  Unfortunately his obituary speaks of nothing else but that voyage that hung over his head, even after death,

Christina McGREGOR – Died October 1925 at Hamilton.  Christina McGregor was born in Inverness, Scotland around 1835. and arrived in Melbourne around 1847 on The Indian.  Aboard the schooner The Wave, Christina travelled to Portland.  Her next destination, on horseback, was to “Satimer Estate” near Casterton, owned by her uncle Alexander Davidson.   Station life must not have been proper for a young lady as Christina returned to Portland to attend the ladies school run by the Misses Allison.  It was in Portland she met her future husband Archibald McDonald, from Condah, where they remained for the rest of the lives.

Phillip Henry THEISINGER – Died October 1942 at Portland.  Geelong native, Phillip Theisinger, moved to Portland as a small child and remained there for the rest of his life.  He worked as a storeman and was a secretary of the Portland Waterside Worker’s Union.  Phillip was also a member of the Portland Citizen’s Band for 45 years and was a member of the Portland Masonic Lodge.  He married Sarah Ann Surrey and they had 12 children, but only three still survived at the time of Phillip’s death.

Henry COWLAND - Died October 21, 1942 at Portland.  Henry Cowland was born in Brixton around 1847.  He arrived with his parent to Portland aboard the Severn in 1856.  He attended the Butler’s School in Portland until he was 12 and then he obtained work as a contractor at Sandford.  He also worked as a fencer and a carrier, carting sleepers for the railway line between Hamilton and Portland.

HENRY COWLAND.  OBITUARY. (1942, November 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 24, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382636

HENRY COWLAND. OBITUARY. (1942, November 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 24, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382636

Annie DAWKINS – Died October 2, 1942 at.  Annie Dawkins was born at Glencoe, South Australia around 1866 and travelled to Victoria as a girl with her parents and they settled near Condah.  Annie married Henry Dyer Rundell at Condah in 1890.  She was a supporter of the Red Cross and did her bit during the two World Wars.  She left a family of five children,

Agnes Cecil HENTY – Died October 30, 1945 at Nelson, New Zealand.  Agnes Cecil Henty was the 6th daughter of Stephen and Jane Henty and she was born at Portland in 1850.  In 1877, she married Edward Stafford Coster in New Zealand and they resided at Canterbury on the South island. Twenty-five years later Agnes and family moved to Nelson and she remained there until her death aged 95.

Robert Henry HOLLIS – Died October 1946 at Portland.  Robert Hollis was born in Tarragal around 1863.  His parents moved to Gorae when Robert’s father began work as a stockman for the Henty’s.  After some time working as a butcher, Robert turned to farming and at the time of his death he “had a fine dairy farm and orchard property”.


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