A DUNN DEAL: THE WILL OF JOHN DUNN OF MT. BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (1894.) :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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Journal by itellya

The details of this will were found by chance (in the second result for a trove search for "WILLIAM BENNETT WRIGHT", limited to Victoria.)W.B.Wright most likely farmed the part of today's Keilor Park, Melbourne, near Wright's Rd. (Melway 15 A 5-6.)

I have previously written journals about Henry Dunn of Mornington and Edmund Dunn of "Viewpoint", Tullamarine being brothers, and Edmund being an early pioneer of the Mornington Peninsula. John, William, Charles, Richard and George were also brothers of these two and have not been mentioned by researchers in connection with Henry and Edmund.

Genealogy makes my head spin; that's why I generally stick to local history. I still haven't got old Tom Wright and young Tom Wright, who lived across Old Broadmeadows Rd (now Mickleham Rd) at Tullamarine from each other, sorted out. Several families, such as Alston & Jenkins and possibly Harrap and Bennett, were pioneers in both areas- near Tullamarine and Mornington. Therefore I will just provide the link for the will which should be of benefit to family historians who have more understanding of the family trees of the families mentioned.

N.B. Moonee Ponds meant near the Moonee Ponds Creek and between today's Strathmore Heights and Westmeadows, Camp Hill (later Gowanbrae), Edmund Dunn's "Viewpoint" and my great grandfather, John Cock's leased "Gladstone" extended east to The Moonee Ponds Creek. Henry and Edmund Dunn had both died in 1891. As the print in the article was so clear, I didn't bother checking the digitisation.

On reading the article again, I notice that John was described as a resident of Mount Barber (digitised as Mt Barker.) In this case I believe that the digitisation is correct and the typesetter had made a mistake, based on so many family members living at Mt. Barker. A google search for Mt. Barber, South Australia produced no results. Believe is a word that should be avoided in history so I checked text corrections and discovered that Mt. Barber had been changed to Mt Barker by a descendant of John Dunn's daughter, Elizabeth Paltridge.
(2 years ago mpaltridge)


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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2018-01-12 09:38:26

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by itellya on 2018-01-12 21:37:18

Now it's clear why Edmond Dunn's death notice asked Adelaide papers to copy.

I was puzzled by this: "By a codicil dated April 30,1894, he revoked the bequest of £300 to Maria Dunn,of Moonee Ponds" so I did a trove search for "Maria Dunn, 1890-1899".Had Maria remarried, left Edmund, or displeased John Dunn in some way? It seems that Maria may have done so well out of Edmund's will that she didn't need the inheritance. Perhaps she had inherited "Viewpoint" and sold it to the Church of England.

DUNN. –On the 20th inst., at his residence Richardson-street, Essendon*, Edmond, dearly beloved husband of Maria Dunn, in his 66th year. Deeply
regretted. Adelaide papers please copy.(P.1, Argus, 21-5-1891.)
* "Viewpoint" was still owned by Edmond's estate for several years and soon afterwards was leased by my great grandfather, John Cock who lived on Stewarton/Gladstone, the farm between Viewpoint and Broadmeadows Township (now Westmeadows) from 1892-3 till his death at the end of 1911. Later Viewpoint's owner was recorded as the Church of England.

Interestingly this application for probate reveals that Edmund's second given name was John.
Judicial and Law Notices
EDMUND DUNN, Deceased-Pursuant to the
provisions of the "Trusts Act 1890," notice is
hereby given, that all creditors and others having
claims against the estate of the late Edmund John Dunn,
late of Richardson street, Essendon, grazier, deceased
(who died on the twentieth day of May, 1891, and
probate of whose will was on the eleventh day of
June, 1891, granted to Maria Dunn, of the same
place, and Samuel Dunn and Alfred Alexander Dunn,
both of Borung, graziers, the executrix and execu-
tors appointed by the said will), are required
said executors, at the offices of the undersigned, on or
before the first day of September, 1891, after which
date the said executors will proceed to distribute the
assets of the said deceased amongst the parties
entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims
of which the said executors shall then have had
notice, and they will not be liable for the assets or
any part thereof so distributed to any person of
whose claim they shall not then have had notice
Dated this twenty fourth day of July, 1891.
(Name and address of proctors)
(P.8, Argus, 28-7-1891.)

by itellya on 2018-01-12 21:42:05

Oops, it wasn't an application for probate; probate had already been granted!

by itellya on 2018-01-12 23:12:54


And of course, you'll know by now that the two brothers who emigrated but did not settle in South Australia were Henry Dunn of Mornington and Edmund (or Edmond) Dunn of Tullamarine, both early Victorian pioneers in 1841.

Flour would seem to be the main factor behind John's financial success. Jane was his second wife.

Dunn, John (1802–1894)

by M. French

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

John Dunn (1802-1894), miller, was born on 13 February 1802 in the parish of Bondleigh, Devonshire, England, son of Charles Dunn, yeoman farmer. He was educated at a penny-a-week dame school and a boys' school. At 12 he was apprenticed to a miller at North Tawton to escape military service. In 1819 he became an 'improver', wandering from mill to mill in order to learn all aspects of the trade. He was manager of a mill at Bideford in 1830 when the birth of his son John prompted him to keep cows for a supplementary income. Poverty was so close that he was dissuaded from migrating to Canada in 1833 only by a rise in wages. He rented his own mill at Monkleigh, near Bideford, from 1835 until 1840 when he was persuaded by four of his six brothers to join them in South Australia.

With free passages for himself, his wife Ann, née Rowe (d.1870), whom he had married in 1828, their son and three daughters Dunn sailed in the Lysander and arrived at Glenelg on 6 September 1840. Determined to make money, he took up an eighty-acre (32 ha) section at Hay Valley (near Nairne), where his second son William Henry was born and where he erected the first windmill in the colony. The returns from dairy and agricultural produce were small so he ordered a steam engine from England and on 1 August 1844 began 'grist' milling for local farmers. Dunn's mill gave impetus to local development and by 1850 Mount Barker had become a wheat producing centre whilst Dunn & Co., doubling its milling capacity, had bought up surplus grain and begun a flour trade with Adelaide. In the 1850s trade was extended to the goldfields of California and Victoria and the sugar plantations of Mauritius. Dunn opened a warehouse and office in Adelaide in 1856 and built a new mill at Bridgewater in 1860. He acquired two more mills at Nairne in 1864. On the death of his first wife, John Dunn on 27 February 1872 married his daughter-in-law's sister, Jane Williams. He retired in 1889 and died at Mount Barker on 13 October 1894. The firm's eleven mills, five with the most modern machinery, then represented an investment of £150,000. They annually had an export trade of some 20,000 tons of flour to Britain, Western Australia, New South Wales and South Africa, some 400 employees, and a payment to farmers of £500,000.

John Dunn junior (1830-1892) was admitted a partner in 1852 but sold out to his father in 1862 to become a missionary in Fiji. On his return next year he built his own mill at Port Adelaide. In 1864 he rejoined the firm and merged his mill with it. In his absence, however, John senior had admitted as partners his son William Henry, son-in-law W. Hill (d.1885) and brother-in-law G. Shorney (d.1891). William Henry left the firm in 1878 to farm at Pekina near Orroroo and died in Adelaide on 7 July 1891.

The firm's family composition helped its success and also permitted a conscious mood of innovation. It was the policy of the firm that at least one partner was always travelling. Thus John junior visited Britain in 1866, 1878 and 1890, the second tour including the mills of South Africa, Austria, Hungary and America. After his death at Port Augusta on 6 February 1892 his sons Frederick and Alfred took command and the interest swung from mill modernization to the markets of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The family firm also showed excellent organizational ability. Following the movement of farmers, five mills were established in northern centres, one in the south-east and the mill at Port Adelaide was rebuilt in 1887; all were built on railway lines and thus linked with the firm's private wharves. The whole network was pinpointed with some fifty purchasing agents.

The firm's prosperity enabled the family to pursue political careers. John senior represented Mount Barker in the House of Assembly from 1857 to 1868 when he was unseated by a Court of Disputed Returns for alleged election bribes, and was a member of the Legislative Council in 1869-77. John junior represented Barossa in the assembly in 1875-77 and the council in 1880-88, whilst William Henry represented Onkaparinga in the assembly in 1875-77. Of greater note was the philanthropic bent of the family, all of them Methodists. John senior gave £500 each year to charities, spent £4000 on building the Wesleyan Church at Mount Barker, donated a recreation park to the town, established a university scholarship, built the Salem cottages for aged poor at Mount Barker and, from his estate sworn for probate at £100,000, left some £14,560 to religious, charitable and relief organizations.

Select Bibliography
H. M. Franklyn, A Glance at Australia in 1880 (Melb, 1881)
E. F. L. H(ill), The Staff of Life: A Short History of Milling, Some Hints on Bread-Making, and a Sketch of the Career of John Dunn, Esq., J.P. (Adel, 1883)
Mount Barker Courier, 12 Nov 1886, 4 Feb, 22 Apr, 29 July–19 Aug 1887, 19 Oct 1894
Observer (Adelaide), 11 July 1891, 13 Feb 1892, 20 Oct 1894
Critic (London), 11 June 1898.

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