ABRAHAM JOSEPH EATHER 1828-1906 Australia
The youngest son of Robert Eather 1795-1881 and Mary LYNCH 1802-1853 was Abraham, born in Windsor on 5 October 1828. In later life he settled in the Sydney suburb of Belmore and he died there on 12 May 1906.
His early years were spent as a jackaroo on his father's north-western properties and at the age of 19 he almost perished in a desperate adventure on the Narran River after setting out with a brother and two friends from Barwon with cattle and horses. It was then less than three years since discovery of the Narran and knowlege of local conditions was scanty. The waterholes had all dried up, so after travelling thirty miles Abe EATHER and James WARD left the other two in order to hurry to the Narran for water, but they lost their way and their companions, fearing disaster, tried to push on without the cattle. Young Abe was found by an aboriginal, almost dead after two days and nights without water.
With his brothers Tom and Jim, Abe spent some years on the Narran at his father's station at Angledool and on other family holdings nearby until they were driven out by drought.
In old age Abe used to talk about how in those remote parts he lit his pipe with one foot in Queensland and another in New South Wales.
On occasions Abe drove his father's stock from Angledool to Homebush, near Sydney, around 480 miles.
In the 1850's Abe settled in Sydney as a produce merchant in Sussex St. where he met and married his first wife, Margaret McELLIGOTT 1830-1856, who died at Ultimo leaving one daughter, Mary EATHER 1852-1853.
During this period, he was the winner of two pedestrian races which have gone down in the records of Australian sport. The former of these contests was held over 150yards on the Cook's River sporting paddock on Easter monday, 28 March 1853, with each contestant backed for 50 pounds. Eather was billed as the "pet' of Windsor while his competitor, HATFIELD, was backed by his hometown, Liverpool. Abe won easily and Liverpool rode home disconsolate; Windsor high up in the stirrups.
With his Easter success to support him, EATHER matched FARNELL of Parramatta at Cook's river on 25 April 1853, backed by his brother James, and Michel Despointes ( brother-in-law married to Cecilia) for a 100pounds each over 150yards. Excitement over the approaching contest gave circulation to some imaginative doggerel;
Parramatta says "Farnell
is a real Nonpareil" -
Windsor answers from afar,
"Look at Ether, see a star"
And indeed he was a star for he won easily.
"Abe used to race a horse fifty yards there and back for a wager.One day some shrewdies turned up with a stock pony instead of a racehorse; it turned the peg as fast as Abe did and Abe lost all his money".
Abe finished up running an hotel, but was a teetotaller all his life.
Abraham Eather's second wife, by whom he had eleven children was Ellen FARRELL 1842-1928 of Yarramundi, near Richmond. She survived him by many years and died at Belmore on 8 September 1928.
The children of Abraham and Ellen, nee FARRELL were:-
1. Margaret Eather 1864?1865
2. Abraham Eather 1866?1947 m. Mary Ann DUTCH 1867-1903
3. Herbert William Eather 1868?1955
4. Ellen Balbina Eather 1870?1957 m. Robert Francis Piers MURPHY 1868-1943 at Richmond, New South Wales in 1893.
5. Theresa Eather 1872?1946
6. Gertrude Elizabeth Eather 1873?1955 m. James Stephen LYNCH 1873-1948 at Canterbury, Sydney New South Wales in 1916.
7. Mary Magdalene Eather 1878?1952 m. Percy PLUMRIDGE 1892-1957 at
Belmore, New South Wales, in 1922.
8. Kathleen Cecilia Frances Eather 1881?1969 m. Vincent Joseph GATTENHOF 1881-1958 at Canterbury, New South Wales on 24 April 1906.
9. Joseph Bernard M Eather 1883?1944 m. Ellen Kinsela MADDEN 1886-1954 at Parramatta, New South Wales, in 1921.
10. Eileen Benedicta Eather 1890?1965 m. John Cole MEDCALF 1880-1947 at Canterbury, Sydney New South Wales,in 1915