Margaret Mary Henry (nee O'Connor)
Margaret Mary O'Connor was only 15 years of age when she married John Patrick Henry at Uralla on 5 Jan. 1871. Margaret was the oldest of the family of John O'Connor and Mary Murphy and was well used to helping her mother in the home and with the younger children. Margaret and John's first son, whom they named John Patrick like his father, was born just four days before Christmas, 1871, when Margaret's youngest brother, Moses, was only three years old. Margaret and her mother helped each other with their families, Mary O'Connor being always ready to teach her grandchildren and to listen to their childish stories, the same as she had done with her own family.
Margaret and John reared a family of twelve, eight sons and four daughters, each of whom took their place in the civic life of the town and district. John, the eldest, followed his uncles as a member of the Uralla Municipal Council, and served as Mayor in 1907. It was John Henry who set up, in 1918, and operated the machinery that supplied Uralla with electric light and power for many years. He also carried on a sawmill, a building business and undertakers service established by his uncle, J. F: O'Connor.
One of Margaret and John's daughters, Maude, trained as a midwife and established a nursing home in Uralla where she assisted many of the young mothers of the district.
A Letter written by Margaret Henry.
Uralla. 31 Oct 1899
My Dear Minnie,
Just a few lines to let you know that we all feel sorry for you in your loss I wish I could have gone up to you but we could not get d buggy or sulky: Or I would have let Lucie go, for I could not go as the children have bad colds. It is so hard to borrow a buggy and I have not got the money to go any other way, but Dear Minnie I feel for you for I know how good you were to your Mother and fond of each other, but it is a debt we all have to pay and, Dear Min I know your Mother has been well prepared to meet her Maker, or I would think so, for poor woman she has suffered a long time and it must be a good thing to think that God has had pity on her and relieved her suffering. I would have written to you sooner but I thought your Mother was getting better, Lord have mercy on her soul.
When you get reconciled to your loss we would like you to come down and stay with us for a time. Dear Minnie, I must now draw to a close, I do not know what I can say to help you, but be a brave girl and bear up for Mo's sake and your dear little ones, and try and cheer your poor old Father.
So with love to you all l remain your ever loving sister
Word reached Uralla at 6.30 p.m. on Friday of the death at Cessnock of James Edward Henry, second son of Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Henry, sen. of this town. He was a native of Uralla and leaves a wife and nine children, six of them very small, but fortunately, they are well provided for. The late Mr. Henry was at one time in business at Bundarra as a builder and contractor, but went into the picture show business at Cessnock and had a good connection.
"The Uralla Times". Thursday, 26 June, 1922
One by one the pioneers of the district are being gathered in to their Eternal rest, the last to pass over to the Silent Majority being Mrs. J.P. Henry senr. The deceased lady, who was before marriage, Miss Margaret O'Connor, was born on the Rocky in 1855, whither her parents were attracted in the early days of the gold field. Probably no family in the district is better known and respected than the O'Connor's, as apart from being pioneer settlers, they have reared well respected families and are numbered amongst our best citizens. They have always taken a keen interest in anything for the advancement of the town and district and displayed an intelligent interest in public affairs. Over fifty years ago the marriage was celebrated to Mr. J.P. Henry and of the union there are six sons and four daughters living. The sons are: John P. (Uralla), William (Armidale), Alfred and Edwin (Sydney), Frederick (Newcastle), and Roy (Uralla). The daughters are Mrs. Whitten (Duri), Mrs. J. Ryan (Gostwyck Road), Mrs. Lloyd (Tamworth), and Nurse Henry (Uralla). James, Raymond and Margaret predeceased their mother. Of the O'Connor family Patrick (Mobbinbri), John (Inverell), Moses (Armidale), Mrs. Wall (Ben Lomond), and Mrs. Nixon of this town are still in the flesh. All of these except Mrs. Nixon, who first saw the light of day in the Tenterfield district, were born on the Rocky River. Since marriage Mr. and Mrs. Henry have lived in the district, except for a break of five months at Inverell. Mr. Henry, who is still going strong and looks back on about seventy-three years, followed agricultural pursuits in this district and was also a carrier on the road in the days before the railway came to Uralla. The end came peacefully at 2.30 on Sunday, death being due to a hemorrhage of the brain. The lady took ill last week and all the family were sent for and were able to reach the bedside for her final hours on earth. The interment took place yesterday afternoon, the last sad rites at the graveside being read by Rev. Father McGrath. The funeral arrangements being in the hands of Mr. C.G. Cooper.