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Peter CLARK one of 12 children and second son of William CLARK 1811-1879 and Catherine MCALPIN 1814-1893 : In 1863 Peter, who was over 6' tall & age 25 years was engaged to Susannah CLARK 1838-1910 daughter of James Swales Clark. of Bulga (Susanna later married William Thomas SQUIRE on 7 April 1875).
After attending a wedding feast of friends, which lasted 3 days, he set out for "Guie" and "Doondi" two of his Uncle Wellow's (Wellow BALDWIN) stations. He was shot in the neck by the Bushranger WILSON on Warlands Range, Blandford near Murrurundi. The news of his death was wired to Paddy CULLEN of the Fitzroy Hotel in Singleton, who rode out to tell Peter's parents as well as his fiance, who hurriedly got ready & went to Muswellbrook where Peter was subsequently buried.in Muswellbrook Cemetery where an elaborate sandstone monument stands over his tomb.
within days of Clark's death, A public subscription raised enough money to create one of the Hunter's most unusual memorials.
A stonemason erected the impressive Warland Range memorial which today still stands a few metres from where Clark fell, mortally wounded, 148 years ago.
The isolated monument, restored in the 1920s, is no longer on the main road. It can be reached by crossing the railway line at Blandford and following a signposted if rough road
There are many, many accounts published of the death of Peter Clark. This one, told by the decendants of Ashton CLARK 1844-1925:-
"On the 9th April 1863 a party of young men & a boy camped at Captains Lagoon near the foot of Warlands Range. They were all residents of Bulga, & were now engaged on a droving trip, going from Bulga to the Gwee station owned by Mr. Baldwin on the Balonne River near the Queensland border, to take charge of 2 mob of cattle. The party consisted of 2 brothers James & Ashton CLARK, Peter CLARK & Samuel PARTRIDGE. James Clark was 23 years of age, Ashton was 19, Peter was nearly 26 & Samuel was 17 & was a drovers boy for Peter Clark. Peter was no relation to James & Ashton, though at the time he was engaged to be married to a sister of the Clark brothers & was an intimate friend. All 4 were accustomed to the roads from childhood & bore unblemished characters. Until the 9th April the journey had passed without incident worth recording. The travelling had been pleasant & the party were full of good will to each other & the world in general. On the morning of the fatal day, the journey was resumed as usual, & a few miles on the party were joined by a man named John Conroy who was riding to Breeza & was travelling the same road. When near the site of the monument, up the long slope of the hill in the direction of Murrurundi, perhaps a quarter of a mile away, they saw 2 men galloping towards them. Both were mounted on good horses & to all appearances it seemed as though a race was in progress. one of the riders appeared to be a black. One of the number called out "Oh look at the race look at the race". All of them sat on their horses & enjoyed the sport. Another called out as the riders drew nearer "I'll back the blackfellow". In a few moments the situation was taken in at a glance. What to them appeared to be harmless sport was nothing else than a life & death ride between a bushranger with a revolver in his hand & a young man who preferred to ride for it rather than tamely obey the summons to "Bail up" & hand over to a bush blackguard even at the point of a pistol. The bushranger wore black crepe over his face, hence the mistaken identity, when the facts of the case were made known it transpired the pursued man was a young GORDON, the son of Doctor GORDON of Murrurundi, the bushranger gave his name as Wilson, but was believed on good authority to be MCMANUS. As they passed the party, the bushranger pulled up & young Gordon rode on. The bushranger rode slowly back toward them, Samuel PARTRIDGE imitated the example of Gordon & rode for it. Instead of keeping to the road he turned into the bush to escape & raise the alarm. The bushranger immediately gave chase & opened fire. Partridge said he heard the bullet whistle close past him. He galloped straight for a steep gully & the horse jumped it safely. Later it was measured & found to be 14 feet wide. After firing at Partridge & seeing he had small chance of overtaking him, he rode back to the remainder of the party. Seeing him fire & knowing he was a desperate man & riding towards them, they quietly dismounted, CONROY & James CLARK who was leading the packhorse, were a short distance in the rear. The bushranger jumped off his horse, threw the reins down & with the revolver in his hand walked up to Peter Clark & roughly ordered him to hand over. Peter delayed as long as possible as he saw James Clark quietly closing in on the bushranger from behind. He was wearing a big silver watch with a long chain around his neck, as was the fashion of the times. "Hand over that watch & be quick about it" Wilson said offensively. Peter slowly unwound the chain from his neck & held both the watch & chain in his left hand. "Hurry up there said Wilson" aggressive as before. Ashton Clark was standing a few yards away in full view of both men. he saw his brother about a rod behind the bushranger, & he saw the deadly gleam in Peter's eye, and the grim set countenance seem to denote a man who had made up his mind & counted the cost, whatever it might be. he shuddered for instinctively he felt a tragedy impending & the chances were against Peter. If only his brother could get up first. However brave a man might be, the chances were in favour of the man who was armed. He looked at the big powerful revolver in the bushrangers hand & knew he would shoot without hesitation if the necessity arose, for no one knew better than the robber what capture meant to him. Ashton Clark looked at his friend & in his heart said "God help him". The Bushranger also seemed to feel the strength of the man he was up against. With very bad grace, Peter held the watch & chain out to him with his left hand. For several seconds the robber hesitated to take it. Then he held out his hand to take it & Peter sprang at him. Just as quickly Wilson sprang straight back & fired point blank. The bullet passed through Peter's throat and out his neck to one side. Instantly he fired again, the bullet this time passed through the heart. No Sooner was the second shot fired that James Clark was on the bushranger from behind & seized him by the left arm. Instantly the bushranger turned the revolver over his left shoulder & fired at James. With wonderful presence of mind, James had thrown the bushrangers own arm before the muzzle & the bullet passed through the fleshy part of the thumb & out near the wrist. Then began a life & death struggle as Clark closed on him. James Clark was a trained wrestler & his skill stood him in good stead. The bushranger was thrown & in falling, his head struck the hard road. This in all probability, dazed him for a moment. Conroy rushed forward & secured the revolver, throwing it away. James Clark then quickly overpowered him & called on his brother to bring the saddle straps. Between the 3 of them they bound him securely & left him lying on the side of the road in the water table. From the time the 2nd shot was fired, Peter sank quietly to the ground & died without speaking a word & without a struggle. He died like a very tired man sinking into heavy sleep. Ashton ran to him & placed his head on his knee. He called out "Oh Jimmy he's dying! he's dying!" But his brother at that moment was at death grips with the murderer. In perhaps a minute from the time the shots were fired, the murderer was lying on the road securely bound with his victim lying in his blood a few paces away, quite dead. It was only now that the actors in the grim tragedy began to realise the full horror of the situation. It was a beautiful autumn day between 9 & 10 o'clock in the morning. What bitter irony, the bright sunshine, the soft air of the morning, & the unbroken calm of the hills seemed to those horror stricken men. Even though the murderer was bound, their friend was dead, and to them the whole world was desolate. How the passing of one soul can often change the course of many lives. Both men took grave risks in attempting to capture a man so desperate, whom they saw only a few minutes before attempt to shoot down an unarmed boy. Both were equally brave & in the strength of their manhood , and now one was taken & the other left. With the report of the revolver, the strong arm had fallen, the strength of manhood departed, and between then now rolled the great ocean of eternity. Soon they were brought back to the grim reality of the situation by the foul curses of the wounded wretch lying on the side of the road. James Clark, calm & collected, picked up the revolver & turned to the murderer "Now" he said sternly "You have shot one man & tried to shoot 2 others. There is still one shot left & that is for you if I hear another word out of you" . The threat had the desired effect. reverently they laid their dead friend on their blankets , covered his face, and left him lying almost where he fell. Soon the bushranger began to lament his fate & begged his captors to loosen the straps that secured him. "No" said James firmly, "I am going to take no risks with you. When the police come they can please themselves what they do with you". " I didn't think this was going to happen when I rode out this morning" said WILSON. "If you didn't think it was going to happen why did you bring this thing along with you?" said James quietly holding out the revolver. There was no answer. After safely jumping the gully, & feeling pursuit was at an end, Partridge turned onto the main road a short distance on & fell in with some men with a horse & dray repairing the road. He told them what had happened & they in turn informed him that a trooper had ridden past them only a short while before towards Murrurundi. Partridge galloped on & overtook the trooper about a couple of miles further on. Quickly he told his tale. "Boy" said the trooper as he looked to his revolver. "Ride for your life to the police station at Murrurundi & I will go back". He was a brave resolute man, worthy of the highest traditions of the force he honoured. Without a moments hesitation he galloped back to the scene of the encounter. Dismounting & putting back the revolver in the holster, he grimly surveyed the scene. "Well done boys" he said. Those simple words of recognition conveyed all that was necessary from a brave man to brave men & spoke volumes. Unbuckling the handcuffs from his belt, he remarked to the murderer as the steel snapped on his wrists, " A bloody morning's work you have made of it." He then commissioned one of the men who had been working on the road to bring the horse & dray. Meanwhile Partridge galloped to the Murrurundi police station, only a few miles away & delivered his message. 3 troopers with their horses saddled were just ready to ride off on patrol Instantly they were on the road with partridge & in less than an hour were also on the scene. One can better imagine than describe the feelings of Samuel Partridge as he rode up to his mates. Ages seem to have rolled by since he left them not more than 2 hours before. There was all that was mortal of the man who had been as loving, gentle & considerate as a father to him , lying in the stillness of death. henceforth his name was to be only a softened & tender memory. Truly the boy could say "Every remembrance of thee I cherish". With a breaking heart he turned away. Almost 80 years have passed over his head & still the memories of that dead friend is soft & tender. Gently the police laid the corpse in the dray & seated the murderer beside it & set off for Murrurundi. Almost all the way, the bushranger lamented his fate & the pain of his wound. Small pity was bestowed on him by the enraged public as the news spread. Deep & bitter was the sorrow for the death of CLARK & bitter was the hatred for the murderer, who was taken to the police station & confined in the cells. The corpse was taken to Whiteman's Hotel at Murrurundi & laid on a table. An Inquest was held the same day & a verdict of wilful murder returned against Wilson. As the Doctor was removing the clothes from the body of CLARK, the bullet that had inflicted the fatal wound was found among them. It had pierced the heart, passed clean through the body, & was spent. The weapon used was a big powerful muzzle loading 5 chambered trauter revolver, & was one of the best of it's day. Under any circumstances, it was a truly formidable weapon. It was so constructed that the hammer was raised by drawing back a spur that projected through the trigger guard by the 2nd finger of the hand that grasped it. By simultaneously drawing back the spur with the 2nd finger & pressing the trigger with the index finger, the weapon could be discharged with the speed of a modern double action revolver. Hence the speed with which the 2 shots were fired. In all probability, had the bushranger been armed with a single action revolver & have been forced to cock it with his thumb, Peter Clark could have closed with him before the 2nd shot was fired. After the inquest at Murrurundi, the corpse was removed to Eaton's Hotel at Muswellbrook to a wait burial. Mrs Eaton being some connection of Peter Clark's family. While there it was visited by a great number of Friends & sympathisers, some coming long distances to pay their respects to his memory".
* Patrick(Paddy)CULLEN 1822-1893 son of Patrick CULLEN 1770-1822 and Elizabeth MCNAMARA 1783-1860 both from Ireland, they married in Sydney on 20 September 1811. Paddy was one of eight children, he was born at Windsor,NSW he married Caroline Hopkins HORNE 1827-1824 at Singleton 10 July 1847 the daughter of Samuel Horne 1798-1868 the chief constable of Patricks Plain and Elizabeth Evans 1804-1841
** Samuel Partridge 1850-1928 married Jane Charlotte EATHER 1851-1907 the daughter of Thomas EATHER 1824-1909 and Eliza nee CROWLEY 1822-1897
Ashton CLARK married Sarah Elizabeth EATHER 1861-1923
James Clark 1840-1911 married Mary DAWES 1848-1936
*** The fate of Harry WILSON:- From Murrurundi he was brought to the gaol at East Maitland to await trial. A few months later he was brought to trial, a miserable, wretched broken looking man. He was found guilty of murder by a jury within ten minutes, condemned to death & was executed at the East Maitland goal on October 4th 1863.When searched he also had in his possession a gold watch which was taken from a man during the hold-up of a coach a few weeks before he was captured. It was believed that Harry Wilson was an alias and he looked to be much older than 25, however, no matter his name or his age he hanged for his crime.
Wilson's second claim to fame? According to author Greg Powell, secretary of Hunter Bushrangers, Australia's longest running re-enactment group, Wilson holds the dubious honour of being among the first to be hanged on the new private gallows inside old East Maitland Gaol.
****In recognition of their bravery in capturing the bushranger, James Clark & Conroy were each awarded 50 pounds by the NSW Government.
Below a photograph of Peter Clark's memorial on Warlands Range
John Thomas, the youngest child of John William EATHER 1845-191 and Harriet nee CLARK 1849-1928, was born on 3 October 1891.
At the age of 25 and still unmarried he enlisted in the Australian Army on 17 October 1916, approximately a year after his brother Ivo mack had enlisted. He was posted to the same Battalion as his brother, the 35th, and went overseas amongst reinforcements. He saw Ivo in England while he was convalescing after having been wounded at Villers-Bretonneux. Back in Australia in 1919 after having been discharged from the Army, he returned to life on the land.
On Sunday the 13th June 1920 John was in the paddock at Bulga threshing lucerne seed, when the drive belt on the machine snapped.
John put his arm in the air to ward off the whip of the belt and fell into the thresher. His cries brought nearby workers to a most horrific scene, but nothing could be done to save John.
John William EATHER the first born of six children to Thomas EATHER 1824-1909 and Eliza nee CROWLEY 1822-1897.
When John William was born on the 8 March 1845 his parents were living in a house owned by his grandfather Thomas EATHER 1800-1886 in Windsor street, next door to the 'Union Inn', and there they operated a butchery and bakery. Not long after the birth the family moved to Bulga and took over the family farm 'Henriendi'which Thomas and Sarah had established twenty years before. It became their home for the rest of their lives.
John William was the only son of Thomas and Eliza Eather nee Crowley to reach manhood.
By 1897 'Henriendi' had shrunk to a fraction of it's former extent and in 1900 it was resumed by the government and subdivided into 600-acre allotments, which were put up for ballot under a closer settlement scheme. Over the years many members of the Eather family had been involved in partnerships on 'Henriendi' and the subdivision had the effect of bringing some later branches back in control of small portions of the old squattage. Among those who thus became small proprietors on 'Henriendi' were two grand-daughters of James Eather 1811-1899 ,Julia Eliza EATHER 1880-1955 the wife of Leopold GUEST 1869-1932 and Edith May EATHER 1871-1952 the wife of James Robert NELSON 1868-1950 and their brother, Thomas Charles EATHER 1866-1943 who married Hannah Mary MCGINNITY 1871-1929.
The family at Bulga retained interest in the old station after 1900, for John William Eather's six sons by his marriage to Harriet 1849-1928, the daughter of James Swales CLARK of Bulga, on the 31 January 1872 at St.Mark's in Bulga, were keen to be able to maintain the links between Bulga and the Namoi. Some of the brothers ballotted unsuccessfully for the Henriendi allotments, but in 1905 they finally persuaded the farmer who had drawn the homestead block, to sell out to them. The old house with the small area of land surrounding it reverted to the ownership of the Eathers'.
When Reginald Victor EATHER 1873-1946, eldest son of John William and Harriet, married Harriet Maria COUSINS 1882-1924 the daughter of Walter Young COUSINS 1856-1898 and Sarah Jemima MCFADDEN 1860-1885 on 30 November 1910 he took his bride to Henriendi.
The property was passed on to their daughter Wilga Elizabeth who married Charles COCHRAN in 1945, their son, Malcolm COCHRAN represented the fifth generation of family to live at 'Hendriendi'.
Henriendi could no longer support partnerships on the old scale and Reginald's eldest brother, Arthur Alexander EATHER 1875-1961, moved to the Scone district after marrying Jeanie mary PANKHURST 1891-1975 the daughter of Allan Sneesby PANKHURST 1865-1945 and Jane Ann RUSSELL 1864-1938. There, on the upper Hunter, the partnership of Eather Brothers at first leased the homestead area of old 'Milgarra station' at Bunnan and later in 1926 purchased it outright. The families of Arthur Alexander became well established in the district- James Allan and David Arthur at Milgarra, and Archibald Maxwell at Belford, Scone.
The Children of John William EATHER and Harriet CLARK:-
Reginald Victor EATHER 1873 1946
Arthur Alexander EATHER 1875 1961
Amy Louise EATHER 1877 1965
Gerald EATHER 1879 1911
Alexander Nicholas EATHER 1881 1959
Ivo Mack EATHER 1883 1952
Hope Isabel EATHER 1885 1949
Elizabeth Australia EATHER 1887 1954
Laura Ann EATHER 1889 1974
John Thomas EATHER 1891 1920
On 25 July 1843, when he was eighteen, Thomas EATHER 1824-1909 married Eliza CROWLEY in St. Peter's Church at Richmond. Eliza was nearly twenty-one and was the third daughter and fifth child of John CROWLEY 1775-1833 and his wife, Jane Charlotte, nee BRYANT 1796-1869.
Eliza's maternal grandmother, Jane ISON/LLOYD 1770-1823, had arrived at Sydney on the ship "Surprize" in 1794 and found a husband in William BRYANT 1776-1857, who had arrived on the ship "Pitt" in 1792. Jane Charlotte, born on 17 May 1796, was the first of two daughters born to them. In 1800 Jane ISON had married William EATON, and in 1804 they had taken up farming on a block of land near the confluence of Grose and Nepean Rivers near North Richmond. There Eliza had spent her childhood. Eliza's father, John CROWLEY, born at Millbrook in England, arrived in the colony in 1803 on the ship "Glatton", and married Jane Charlotte on 4 March 1811 when she was nearly fifteen. From 1820 they had farmed a grant of land on the Grose River adjoining the farm of William EATON. Eliza had been born on 30 August 1822 and the farm had been her childhood home.
The children of Thomas EATHER 1824-1909 and Eliza CROWLEY 1822-1897
John William EATHER 1845 1915 married Harriet CLARK 1849-1928
Mary Jane EATHER 1847 1847
Peter M EATHER 1849 1851
Jane Charlotte EATHER 1851 1897 married Samuel PARTRIDGE 1850-1928
Alexander George EATHER 1859 1859
Sarah Elizabeth EATHER 1861-1923 married Ashton CLARK 1844-1925
Stanley Common, the eldest son of Sarah EATHER 1861-1923 and Ashton CLARK 1844-1925, was born at 'Willow Farm' on 29 October 1888. He attended Bulga Public School with his brothers and sisters and when he was a young man he earned a living by felling timber in the range near Bulga. He had a team of bullocks and transported the logs on a bullock wagon to Gould Brothers Sawmill in Singleton. The journey usually took two days with an overnight stop at Yellow Waterholes Reserve. About 1917 he and his brother James (Jim) went into partnership on a block of land which they called 'Hillsdale'. It was covered in scrub and kept them very busy clearing it and building fences for farming. On the 3rd July 1918 Stanley married Lyndall Dorothy COOKE, the daughter of George COOKE 1865-1925 and Mary,nee CLARK 1865-1951. There was still no house on 'Hillsdale' so they lived in a tent on the farm. A citrus orchard had been planted and they commenced a small dairy herd. Jim also moved onto the farm and they employed four men to build a shed and clear the land for grazing. Stanley and his wife (called Dorothy not Lyndall) moved into the shed just before their first child was born. They then began to build a house, using ironbark and pine timber cut from the farm. They moved in as soon as the walls were up. Their family continued to increase and they had six children. The youngest daughter died at the age of 22 months. Stanley's niece Beulah SQUIRE often spen time at 'Hillsdale' after a new baby was born to help. The children were introduced at an early age to chores connected to the dairy section of the farm. At the age of four years the daughters were taught to assist in milking the cows. After the morning milking was completed, the cans were loaded onto a horse-drawn spring cart. Stanley would drive the cart to meet the milk lorry, driven by one of his cousins Dave CLARK, down at the Putty Road. Stanley was destined not to have a long life. One day he was chaffing sacaline and putting it into the silage pit, when he was taken ill. The next door neighbour, Mr. Os Thompson, took him into Singleton Hospital, where he died on 13 April 1941, aged 52. Dorothy and the children continued to live at 'Hillsdale' for about a year after Stanley's death, then they moved over the mountain to live with Dorothy's mother Mary (May) COOKE, at 'Leeholme', on the Putty Road. The house at 'Hillsdale' remained empty for more than ten years, except when used by an occasional employee of Jim CLARK.
James Clyde Young, the fifth child of Ashton CLARK 1844-1925 and Sarah,nee EATHER 1861-1923, was born at 'Willow Farm', Bulga on 30 May 1896. He was usually known as Jim. He grew up on 'Gerale' and attended the Bulga Public School with his brothers and sisters. About 1917 Jim and his brother Stanley took up land they named 'Hillsdale' near 'Willow Farm'. They worked the farm in partnership. While he was single, Jim used to ride home to 'Gerale' each week-end, and quite often on Saturday afternoons he would ride over to Bulga Post Office to visit the MCALPIN's, who ran it. There, on one occasion he met Rosamond CHAPMAN 1889-1990, daughter of Thomas CHAPMAN 1863-1929 and his wife Emily, nee WHITBREAD 1863-1902. Rosamond had come up from Sydney to visit the McAlpins, who were her cousins. Jim courted her and they were married in St.Paul's Church, Burwood in Sydney on the 22 June 1929. They made their home in a house that Jim built on 'Hillsdale'. Their only child Betty Joyce was born on 19 September 1931 in Garthowen Private Hospital at Stanmore in Sydney.
In the 1940's Jim had a property out in bush country that is now part of the Wollemi National Park. There, he ran a herd of cattle and every so often he would go out to muster them. He used to ride from Bulga on his horse 'Trigger', leading another horse 'King Pin' loaded with provisions in pack saddles. He followed a creek up to a place known as 'Junction' and then went on to 'Parnell Springs' and then further on to 'Paddock Hut' where he camped. There, he had a yard for the horses and a hut which he furnished with rough furniture, including a bed made with saplings and corn bags resting on two logs. He took the usual basic cutlery and cooking utensils and carried corned beef with him. He stored tea and sugar in Golden Syrup tins and kept the lot in a box because the rats used to invade the hut when he wasn't there. Loaves of bread were carried in a calico flour bag, which he always packed at the top of the saddle bags because the contents of the saddle bags were often damaged on the rough track. He'd boil the billy and cook pumpkin and potatoes over an open fire and supplemented his corned beef with tinned meat and finished it off with a desert of bread and jam.
On 14 March 1953 daughter Betty married Harold Onslow HARRIS in St.Andrews Presbyterian church in Singleton. Harold had been born in a private nursing home in Singleton, the son of Albert HARRIS 1896-1962 and Emily,nee WOODS 1893-1966. Harold used to go with his father-in-law on mustering trips to the bush country that Jim owned. They would set off with pack horses and food for a week. The property covered a huge area and was unfenced, so mustering the cattle was a difficult task. In 1961 they began looking for another grazing property, so that Jim could get rid of the bush country. On the 3rd of November 1962 Jim and Harold bought a grazing property known as 'Yellow Rock' at Carrabolla on the Paterson River, from Peter CAPARO. They stocked 'Yellow Rock' with a hundred head of Hereford Bullocks that roamed the mountains, and with the help of several drovers took them on foot a distance of one hundred miles to Carrabolla. The muster took five days. Some years later an adjoining property called 'Rudwood' was also purchased. From these properties the cattle were sold to the Newcastle Abattoirs at Waratah.
James Clyde Young CLARK died in the Singleton District Hospital on 24 October 1973 at the age of 77. A week previously he had been riding his horse around 'Yellow Rock' inspecting the stock. Rosamond, his widow, lived to be a centenarian, she was 100 when she passed away on 14 April 1990 in Elizabeth Gate Home in Singleton.
Sarah Elizabeth, the youngest child of Thomas EATHER 1824-1909 and Eliza, nee CROWLEY 1822-1897, was born at Bulga on 26 November 1861. She grew up on her parents farm and as a child had formal schooling in the Bulga Public School, which was newly established about the time that she started school. On 8 October 1885, when she was 23, Sarah married Ashton CLARK, son of James Swales CLARK 1812-1851 and his wife Elizabeth, nee McDONALD 1810-1899 who had married at Largs in Scotland and had later lived in the English county of Yorkshire before migrating to Australia. They had arrived in New South Wales on the ship "Thomas Hughes" in 1843 with their children, McDonald, Susannah and James. They had worked for a time at Black Creek (Branxton) and it was there that son Ashton had been born on 20 October 1844. In 1846 the CLARK family had moved to Bulga and had settled on a farm owned by Mr HALSTEAD. In 1848 they leased a farm of 550 acres from Joseph ONUS and named it "Willow Farm". It was just across Wollombi Brook from where Sarah lived and the two families knew each other well. The wedding was held at "Willow Farm". Ashton was age 40 years and Sarah 23 years. Ashton had been a boy of seven when his father had been accidentally drowned while teaching some shearers to swim away out at Narromine. He had grown up at "Willow Farm" and in 1863 he and his brother James had been on the ill-fated droving trip with their cousin Peter CLARK to stations near the Queensland border, when Peter had been killed by a bushranger while they were crossing the range north of Murrurundi. Sarah and Ashton made their home at "Gerale", a farm next door to "Willow Farm", where Ashton constructed a house. It was remembered by their granddaughters as a lovely old home. Sarah was a slim straight woman who always wore a white apron. After lunch she would change her dress, put on a clean apron and then spend the afternoon mending clothes or preparing fruit for preserving. She made excellent jam and was a good cook generally. She kept a good vegetable garden. "Gerale" was a busy place after Church on Sundays, when relatives would arrive for a baked dinner. Ashton had a sulky painted black and gold. On every second Sunday morning, when there was a Church service, they would dress in their best clothes and go off to Church in the sulky drawn by their pretty chestnut horse. The parson travelled to Bulga by sulky from Jerry's Plains, and often stayed to lunch at "Gerale". Usually Ivy and another of the daughters would stay back from Church to cook the baked dinner. Ashton's mother died in November 1899 and subsequently he took over "Willow Farm" as well as retaining "Gerale". Sarah and Ashton's family consisted of three daughters followed by three sons. All had been born at "Willow Farm". Ashton developed a fine farm on "Gerale". He ran a flock of sheep and a herd of cattle, and he developed a useful orchard. He had a very good set of stock yards and some of his neighbours without stock yards made use of them at times. There were numerous wild cattle in the ranges to the west of Bulga, and on occasions some of the farmers would muster some of them and succeed in driving them into Ashton's stock yard. From there they would drove them into sales at Singleton. On "Gerale" was a large dam fed by a spring. Ashton used to carry buckets of water for his garden from the dam with the aid of a yoke across his shoulders. He kept a small herd of dairy cows on the farm and had a set routine at milking time. He bailed up the cows and Sarah and their eldest daughter Ivy milked them. When the milking was completed, Ashton separated the milk and fed the separated milk to the pigs, while Sarah washed up. If there were young poddy calves to be fed, Sarah attended to this. All the milking chores were completed before the family returned to the house for breakfast. In the orchard there were three or four rows of fruit trees of different varieties, including plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples and pears. Quince trees were scattered around the paddock and Sarah became noted for her quince dumplings. A passion fruit vine grew on a large trellis at the end of the corn shed and nearby was a vineyard of table grapes. As on most farms, there was a large poultry run. Sarah was almost 62 when she died at Bulga on 2 October 1923. Ashton was a great bushman and had a very good eyesight, even in his old age. Following the death of his wife he often went off into the bush nearby and spent hours enjoying the tranquility of his surroundings
The photograph below of Ashton and Sarah with the family was taken on the front verandah of 'Gerale'
Born at Scarborough, Yorkshire, on the 28 December 1812,the son of James CLARK 1777-1863 and Susanna SWALES 1776-1831 who were married at Liverton on the 2 April 1798.
James was employed as a steward at 'Flowery Field' the residence of Cheshire merchant Thomas Ashton. In 1835 he married Elizabeth MCDONALD 1810-1899 from Largs, Scotland, the daughter of David MCDONALD 1781-1835 and Catherine YOUNG.(Catherine died at Black Creek,Branxton,NSW in 1844)
Elizabeth's brother Thomas McDonald, persuaded by family friend, the Rev. John DUNMORE LANG, had emigrated to Australia in 1831. James and Elizabeth with their children, Macdonald (b.1836), Susanna (b.1838), and James (b.1840), and Elizabeth's widowed mother, Catherine, left for Australia in 1842 on the 'Thomas Hughes'.
Arriving in Sydney in early 1843 the family went to the Hunter district; James worked for Helenus SCOTT at 'Glendon' and then later settled at Bulga, near Singleton.
The Clarks had four more children, Ashton (b.1844), Mary (b.1847), Harriet (b.1849) and Elizabeth, born in 1852 after her father's death the previous year. Of the Clark children, Mary died in 1857 and the others were married as follows : Macdonald to Susannah MCALPIN in 1863; Susanna to William T. SQUIRE in 1875; James to Mary DAWES in 1875; Harriet to John W. EATHER in 1872; Ashton to Sara EATHER in 1885; Elizabeth to Thomas S. COLLINS in 1879.
The Bulga farmers were plunged into sadness over the new year of 1852 when word reached them that their neighbour, James Swales CLARK of "Willow Farm", had been drowned on Christmas Eve in the river at Narromine. He had gone out there with his team of bullocks to load wool for transporting down to the coast. With him were his two eldest sons, McDonald and James Jnr. The news arrived in a letter from the station manager advising Elizabeth CLARK that her husband had drowned in the river and had been buried. When her sons returned she heard how James had gone swimming after lunch to help some of the station hands to learn to swim. He had appeared to dive but did not resurface and an aborigine who was a strong swimmer dived repeatedly and eventually found his body. They had buried him on Christmas Day on the bank of the river.James CLARK and his family had become popular members of the community in the three years that they had lived at "Willow Farm", and the community grieved with them in their sad loss. Six months later Elizabeth CLARK gave birth to another daughter and named her Elizabeth Catherine after her two grandmothers. James CLARK had wanted a daughter named after his own mother, so his wish was fulfilled. Elizabeth CLARK and her family continued to live on at "Willow Farm" in the years that followed.
Edwin EATHER, the third son, of Charles EATHER 1827-1891 and Eliza, nee HOUGH 1825-1870 was born at Richmond on 28 June 1852 and was a boy of about ten when he moved with his parents and siblings to "Henriendi". There he grew to manhood and learnt many of the skills of running a pastoral property.
At Gunnedah on 10 April 1877 he married Catherine Agnes TURNER 1855-1933 and they had three daughters and four sons. According to an old family bible, their first son, William Charles, was born at Gunnedah and died there when three months old.
The second child, Vera Eliza, was born at a place called "Cooboobindi"; the third in Eaton's Hotel at Muswellbrook; the fourth at Gunnedah and the fifth at Boggabri.
All the children except the first lived to adulthood and married.
Edwin EATHER and his brother Henry leased the 40,000 acre Namoi property "Norfolk" from around 1871 and still held the lease in 1878/1879.
About 1884 Edwin moved from Gunnedah to Narrabri, where he became the proprietor of the "Cooma Hotel". After a short while there he moved to Boggabri and took over the Centennial Hotel,the first hotel in that township.
They had been at Boggabri only a few years when Edwin died on 30 July 1890 - at the age of 38.
His youngest Edwin Royce was only a year old and his widow Catherine was left with six children all under the age twelve.
Their second daughter Blanche Marion EATHER, born at Gunnedah on 25 January 1883, married Albert Edwin HEAGNEY at the age of twenty. Nine years later, in 1912, Albert HEAGNEY died, leaving Blanche a widow at the age of 29 with five young sons. Blanche had outstanding musical talent and following the death of husband, she took up teaching music and soon had many pupils.
At night she played the piano at dances various social functions. During World War I from 1914 to 1918, she gave unsparingly of her services voluntarily played at every farewell function in Narrabri. She treasured the many letters of thanks that received from various patriotic committees. When silent movies became a feature of entertainment in a local theatre at Narrabri, Blanche provided the musical background to the pictures. She continued in this role until the advent of sound movies. For some years she supplemented her musical activities by managing the Narrabri Musical Store. With her sons, she embarked upon a moving picture undertaking in the Narrabri Town but it was a venture that proved unsuccessful. During her busy career, Blanche received engagements from such far-flung places as Mungindi, Walgett and Gunnedah, and legions of young folk learned to dance to music. In her later years she confined her activities to playing at socials and house-parties, while an orchestra which included her sons as instrumentalists, provided band music when required. Blanche HEAGNEY died in the Newcastle Hospital in May 1940 at the age of 57 after a long illness. She was interred in the Presbyterian section of the Narrabri Cemetery beside her late husband. Her five sons survived her. The eldest, Edwin, was at Narrabri West; Alexander (Alex) at Narrabri; Charles at Bellata, Matthew (Matt) Wollongong; and Richard (Dick) at Sydney. Her second son Alex attended the first EATHER reunion in 1977, but died during the following year. His youngest brother Dick subsequently became a subscriber to the EATHER Family Newsletter and attended a number of EATHER reunions in the years that followed. Dick's wife, Una Mildred, died on 6 September 1996 and her funeral service was held at the Woronora Crematorium three days later. Following her death, Dick moved from Kingsgrove to the Bethel Nursing Home at 96 Holder Street, Ashfield, and it was there that he died on 22 October 1999 aged 87 years.
Catherine in 1903 ar Narrabri married Matthew FANNING who died on 2 May 1913 at Narrabri, NSW
Catherine Agnes died on 4 November 1933 at Narrabri
CENTENNIAL HOTEL:- Corner Brent & Laidlaw Streets (north western corner)
In 1870, Mark Taylor built the Centennial Hotel on this site. It was a low flat wooden structure with a shingle roof. Catholic masses were celebrated in the parlour of this hotel until the new church was built in 1886. The Royal Hotel replaced the Centennial Hotel in 1909. Built by Laban Thomas Guest, it remains much the same as it was in 1909.
If you happen to be in the Boggabri area, call into the Museum,
Ellen EATHER who runs it will be more than happy to help with any enquiries about the history and the people of Boggabri.
The children of Edwin Eather and Catherine Agnes were:-
William Charles EATHER 18781878 Vera Eliza EATHER 18791940 Alexander Munro EATHER 18801965 Blanche Marion EATHER 18831940 Emily Gertrude EATHER 18851967 Joseph Mark EATHER 18871971
Edwin Royce EATHER 18891945
William Charles EATHER was born on 7 Jan 1878 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia, died on 23 Apr 1878 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia, and was buried in 1878 in Church of England cemetery, Narrabri, NSW, Australia. Vera May Elizabeth EATHER was born on 31 Jan 1879 in Cooboobindi, Gunnedah, NSW, Australia and died in 1939 in Narrabri, NSW, Australia at age 60.
Vera married Thomas BURT in 1900 in Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Alexander Munro EATHER was born on 17 Jul 1880 in Muswellbrook, NSW, Australia and died in 1965 in Auburn, Sydney, NSW, Australia at age 85.
Alexander married Ethel May MILLS (b. 1890, d. 1953) in 1910 in Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Blanche Marion EATHER was born on 25 Jan 1883 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia, died in May 1940 in Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW, Australia at age 57, and was buried in 1940 in Presbyterian Church cemetery, Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Blanche married Albert Edward HEAGNEY (b. 1881, d. 1912) in 1903 in Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Emily Gertrude EATHER was born on 13 Jun 1885 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia and died in 1967 in Sydney, NSW, Australia at age 82.
Emily married ???? (--?--).
Emily next married Francis J THUELL (b. 1893) in 1920 in Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Joseph Mark EATHER was born on 22 Apr 1887 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia and died in 1971 in Kempsey, NSW, Australia at age 84.
Joseph married Dorothy Maude HOLBOROW (b. 1897, d. Feb 1944) in 1915 in Kempsey, NSW, Australia.
Edwin Royce EATHER was born in 1889 in Boggabri, NSW, Australia and died on 31 May 1945 in Moparrabah, NSW, Australia at age 56.
Edwin married Mabel I JONES in 1918 in Bellingen, NSW, Australia.
Death Reg No: 8625/1890
Name: EATHER Edwin
District: Narrabri, NSW
Edwin married Katherine Agnes TURNER, daughter of John TURNER and Catherine A DETHICK, on 14 Apr 1877 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia.
Marriage Reg No: 4474/1877
Names: EATHER Edwin & TURNER Catherine Agnes
District: Gunnedah, NSW
At Gunnedah on 10 April 1877 Edwin EATHER married Catherine Agnes TURNER, daughter of Robert and Mary TURNER.
Edwin EATHER was born on 28 June 1852 in Richmond Bottoms, NSW, Australia, Birth registered Richmond, NSW V18521434 38A (and V1852911 158) Church of England Parish Richmond. He was baptized on 4 August 1852 in St Peter's, Church of England, Richmond, NSW, Australia. He married Katherine Agnes TURNER, daughter of John TURNER and Catherine A DETHICK, on 14 April 1877 in Gunnedah, NSW, Australia, Marriage registered Gunnedah, NSW 1877 No 4474. He died on 30 July 1890 in Narrabri, NSW, Australia, at age 38; Death registered Narrabri, NSW 1890 No 8625. He was buried in August 1890 in Church of England Cemetery, Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Birth Reg No: 8583/1864
Name: TURNER Catherine A
Father: Robert B
District: Goulburn, NSW (this is not Catherine A Eather nee Turner.j)
Death Reg No: 18328/1933
18328/1933 FANNING CATHERINE
Eather family Newsletter
Eather Family History
The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 13 November 1933
Mrs. Catherine Fanning, of Narrabri, who died at the age of 78 years, was a pioneer of the Narrabri district. She came to the district in 1890 with her husband, who later conducted the Cooma Hotel at Narrabri West. Mrs. Fanning was twice married. Her second husband died many years ago. She Is survived by three daughters and two sons.
Henry Charles, the eldest son of Charles EATHER 1827-1891 and his first wife Eliza nee HOUGH 1825-1870 was born at Richmond on 8 June 1849 and spent his childhood there. According to his obituary, he went to the Narrabri district when he was 16, about 1865, however, his younger brother, my great grandfather Alfred McAlpin was born at 'Henriendi', Narrabri in 1863, so, it is more likely that he went to Narrabri about 1862 when he was thirteen and the family moved from Richmond to the Liverpool Plains. He spent his teenage years on 'Henriendi' and learnt the skills of a stockman. After his father's bankruptcy in 1871, he was placed in charge of 'Henriendi', as well as neighbouring 'Pinegolba' and 'Gumanally'.
In 1876, the year that 'Henriendi' passed into the hands of John Kerr CLARK, Henry Charles and his brother Edwin were leasing 'Norfolk', a property of 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares)to the south of Narrabri on Jock's Creek.
On 23 May 1877 at Narrabri, Henry Charles married Lucina Sarah RIDGE 1857-1936, a younger sister of his stepmother. Martha May RIDGE 1843-1920
In 1878 Henry Charles was listed in the electoral roll as being a leaseholder of 'Norfolk' and a resident of 'Henriendi'. It appears that he was working either full time or part time for John Kerr CLARK, who, at that time was living in Tasmania.
In the early 1880s Henry Charles had a butcher shop at Tullamulla near Boggabri. By the year 1883 he was in financial difficulties (not necessarily related to the butcher shop). The insolvency index in the New South Wales Archives lists him as being in Insolvency Court on 2 April 1883.
Henry Charles and his wife Lucina had a family of five sons and two daughters. One son died in infancy.
By 1925 Henry Charles and his wife Lucina were separated and Henry Charles was living with his son Leslie Gordon 1884-1969 and his wife Ivy Josephine nee Kelly 1889-1971, who owned a large poultry farm at Wetherill Park near Smithfield in New South Wales.
Lucina spent her later years in Sydney and died there in 1936.
Henry Charles died on 2 September 1942 at the age of 93. His eldest and youngest sons had both pre-deceased him.