oconnorpr on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
Uralla has become famous in the eyes of the world as a wool producing district. New England wool, because of its fineness and cleanliness, has held the record price on the Sydney Market for fine wool, on various occasions in the early days and even to the present time.
As Edward Gostwyck Cory travelled in a northerly direction after crossing the Moonbi Range in 1832, he was well pleased with what he found and claimed that area as his holding, camping first at the headwaters of Carlisle's Gully, (on the present Rimbanda property). As he became aware of the good sheep country over the low range on the easterly slopes he moved his camp to the good creek now
known as Salisbury Waters and then finally formed his head station further downstream at Gostwyck with an outstationat Terrible Vale. In 1833 he sold to William Dangar who; with his younger brother Henry, became eminently successful pastoralists. In addition to their assigned servants they engaged large numbers of shepherds and farmers. The land where Uralla is today was a part of Gostwyck when Dangar's farmers grew their wheat on what is now Alma Park and the slopes of Mt. Beef. The grain was taken to their own mill on Gostwyck and made into flour.
Dangars were established more than 15 years on Gostwyck when the gold rush to Rocky River started, but they, recognising the value as sheep breeding country, of the land on which they were squatting, and believing in their sheep and wool as more trustworthy and stable than gold, ignored the rush of diggers except in so far as many of their shepherds and farmers left them to join in the rush. It is this faith in the "Golden Fleece" that is still the wealth of the district and the livelihood of many of the local residents, including the descendants of Andrew Carlon and his wife Ellen Bowen.
In 1854 Henry Dangar imported 28 specially selected Saxon rams as the nucleus of his specialised, fine wool flock which is producing wool of a very high standard. In 1925 it was written that rams from Gostwyck found a ready market among graziers owning small holdings and thus was the influence of acclimatised and well proven wool producers passed on for the benefit of the whole district. Among the descendants of Andrew Carlon are Tony Carlon of "Queenlea" and Carl Carlon of "Ballydine" Studs continuing this tradition of fine wool specialising, with the addition of some breeding from other areas to vary the type. Bernard King of Walcha has, on occasions, produced the prizewinning fine wool fleece at the Sydney Royal Show.
To replace the men who had gone to the diggings, Dangars sought new immigrants who would become their shepherds and farmers. There were many Irish people making use of the Bounty System to come to Australia, seeking a better way of life after the ravages of the iniquitous `Insurrection Act' of 1796 and the tyrannical landlords, and then the potato famine of 1846-7-8. When the bounty system was not operating, there were some occasions when Dangars paid the fare for some immigrants, so great was their need for good workmen to keep their station flourishing. There are so many among the Bourkes, Cahills, Carlons, Donoghues, Egans, Heffernans, Ryans, Shanahans and many others who spent their first few years in Australia as shepherds on Gostwyck, Salisbury Court or Terrible Vale. The earliest work in this area, besides shepherding the flocks and growing what food was possible, was clearing the land of excessive timber, the timber being used for the slab cottages, and, after the Robertson Land Laws, there was fencing the land into workable paddocks. As the squatters fenced their surveyed boundaries there were smaller blocks of land which the shepherds bought and settled on as they were able to do so.
The wealth of Uralla as a wool producing district received a new impetus about 1925 with the introduction of Pasture Improvement (spreading superphosphate and planting different grass seeds and clover). Improved pastures meant improved quality of stock as well as the capacity to carry greater numbers.
Andrew Carlon was left alone in Billuragh, County Fermanagh, Ireland, when his father Stephen took his mother Catherine back to her homeland, Dundee, Scotland. His brother, William had been killed in action at the Crimean War. Andrew sailed on the "Herald of the Morning" which arrived in Sydney 23 June 1858. He found employment as a shepherd on Salisbury Court where he continued for the next seven years.
Ellen Bowen sailed from Plymouth on the "Lady Milton", 8 March 1862 and arrived in Sydney after a long voyage of 112 days, 28 June 1862. She came to live with her sister Mary Jane; whose husband, James Kirkwood, owned a flour mill at the northern end of Bridge St. where the Blue Trail- Garage is now (1984). Ellen was 15 when she came to Australia and three years later, at 18 she married Andrew Carlon on 17 May 1865, and went to live with him on Salisbury Court. Later they moved to Terrible Vale and then to Rockwood until in 1882 Andrew was able to buy a block of the good pastoral land on Salisbury Plains from John Heffernan. Here he built a permanent home for his family. They had seven children at this time but their oldest daughter, Ellen succumbed to Rheumatic fever and died 10 June 1883, aged 11 years. They had six more children born to them but only two reached adulthood. In later years Andrew was able to assist each of his four sons to buy a good block of the Salsibury land so that they each had a home within sight of their parents home. It was their oldest son James, who in 1903 married Hanora King, `the widow of Walter King, who had come back to Uralla with her four small children, in 1900. James made a home for them which he named "Castlebrook" and where his grandson is still living. James and Hanora had three children added to the family. The oldest, Mary Ellen (Molly) joined the Little Company of Mary, trained as a nurse and served in the hospitals of the community at Lewisham, Wagga, Adelaide, Melbourne and is now at Kogarah, where she has been for the past 11 years.
MRS ELLEN CARLON
6 October, 1918.
At 9.45 p.m. on Sunday night there passed over the Great Divide, one of this districts oldest and most highly respected residents in the person of Mrs. Andrew Carlon, senior, late of Salisbury Plains. The late Mrs. Carlon, whose age was about 74 years, enjoyed robust health until about three months since, when an insidious internal malady manifested itself. Mr. and Mrs. Carlon came into town to obtain the services of a trained nurse and the best medical skill available. Drs. Harris, Retchie and Stevens being in attendance, but all that could be done was to alleviate the pain and patiently await the end. It was a relief when she finally fell to the last long sleep on Sunday night. In the passing of one who had proved herself a fond helpmate and been companion to her husband for over half a century, and a generous and loving mother to a large. family, there must be deep seated regrets, and although her end was marked to occur in a few days and was expected daily, still the void is there to be filled - and there can be no filling except in the loving memories that steal through shuttered windows and barred doors.
The lady, who was a Miss Ellen Bowen, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, 73 years ago. She was a sister of the late Michael Bowen, an old figure well remembered in the community. She came to Australia at the age of 15 to join her sister, Mrs. James Kirkwood. At that time Mr. Kirkwood kept a store and owned a flour mill on top of the hill opposite where Mr. H. Bower now lives. About four years later the marriage was celebrated to Mr. Andrew Carlon, the celebrant being the Late Dean Lynch. The couple resided on Salisbury Court, where Mr. Carlon was then employed. Later on he selected on Terrible Vale and they resided there for about twelve months and then moved on to another selection at Rockwood. This was sold in the year that the railway was opened, the family came to Salisbury again, Mr. Carlon having purchased his present home from the late Mr. John Heffernan. Mr. and Mrs. Carlon have resided there ever since, and a peculiar incident is that the four boys, who are all in good circumstances on the land, have properties within sight of their parent's home. Of the union there were thirteen children, five of whom died young, four sons and four daughters are left to mourn the loss with their father. The sons are James, William, Stephen and Andrew. The daughters are Annie, Mrs. T. Crowley of Armidale, Kathleen, Mrs. Len Sullings, Bridget, Mrs. A. Donoghue, and Sarah, Mrs. Mat Egan, all of Uralla.
The family is one that is highly respected throughout the district, and that they have the sympathy of the community was demonstrated by the large number of residents who attended the funeral on Monday afternoon. The remains were enclosed in a cedar coffin, and the burial took place in the R.C. section of the new cemetery. Rev. Father McGrath conducted the last sad rites at St. Joseph's Church and at the graveside. Mr. J.P. Henry had charge of the funeral arrangements.
MR. ANDREW CARLON SNR.
27 April, 1926
On Tuesday last there passed away one of the oldest identities of the district, in the person of Mr. Andrew Carlon Snr. in his 92nd year. The old gentleman has been in failing health for some time, and his end was not unexpected. He had been a resident of Salisbury Plains of many years standing, having been one of the first to select land there. From the comparatively small block then selected and later added to by industry and application the family has acquired several goodly sized blocks. He was a native of Ireland and emigrated to this country at an early age. His wife died several years ago.
The Late Mr. Carlon is survived by four sons - Messrs. William, James, Stephen and Andrew Carlon and four daughters - Mrs. Crowley, (Armidale), Mrs. Mat Egan, Mrs. A. Donoghue, and Mrs. L. Sullings all of this district.
The burial took place in the R.C. cemetery Uralla, yesterday, when a goodly number of relatives and friends were present. Rev. Father McGrath conducted the service at the Church and Graveside, and Mr. J.P. Henry had charge of the funeral.
Mr. JAS. CARLON MISSING
Uralla Grazier's Disappearance
James Carlon, a wealthy grazier, of Uralla, came to Sydney to attend sheep sales, and on June 18, after visiting his daughter at Lewisham Hospital, he disappeared and has not since been seen.
It is thought that Carlon, who is 64 years of age, may be suffering from loss of memory. He had a large sum of money in his possession.
From "Sydney Morning Herald", June 30, 1930.
He arrived safely at the home where he had been staying the following day. RK.
TRIBUTE TO LATE MRS. JAMES CARLON
On Wednesday, 21st ult., was laid to her earthly resting place one of the district's kindliest and most generoushearted women, a faithful and true mother, and one to whom our town and district owes much, and this small tribute is paid to her memory that others may be inspired to follow her splendid example. She, indeed, possessed the finest qualities of a good Australian mother, who firstly taught her children to reverence God, then impressed upon them duty to their neighbours and service to their country. Her only two eligible sons went forth at their country's call and served right through the Great War. These two young men came through and we are proud of them as worthy citizens.
Of a retiring and quiet disposition, yet ever ready with heart and hand, before ill-health overtook her, to assist any in need, Mrs. Carlon thus won the affection and esteem of all who knew her. She was one of those good souls who well observed the precept "Keep thy tongue from speaking evil," for she was never heard to speak an evil word of any.
Stricken with a creeping and painful illness which for the past three years laid her aside, and although it was known she was under sentence of death, she patiently bore her suffering with fortitude and courage, and gravely awaited the end without fear, in Christian faith. She has left her family the finest of all legacies the memory of a selfsacrificing and loving mother and a devoted and affectionate wife.
A very wide circle of friends extend their sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the family and husband the latter being one of a most generous and large-hearted men of our district.
There came one day, to join the angel throng,
A woman bowed through serving oft in pain;
And as she meekly stood, her form grew strong,
And long-lost youthful beauty dawned again,
Yet more was given, for all, with wonder fraught,
Bent low before the sweetness of her face,
Crying "What marvel hath woman wrought
To be thus clothes with sweet mighty grace. "
The one of seraph tongue made answer low,
One talent only hers, a faithful heart;
And she abroad but little could bestow,
So much was needed for her mother part,
And this with love she almost made fair,
That there she was an angel unaware.
Winifred Agnes, second daughter of James and Hanora Carlon was born at Uralla on 3 January 1906 and spent all of her early life on Salisbury Plains, attending the local Public School with her sister Molly and brother Joe. They began walking the three miles to school each day until their father had two horses quiet enough for them to ride and they would go, two on one horse and one on the other until their father bought a sulky and then they could drive in comfort.
When Winnie married Robert (Bob) Carey on 30 April 1929 she went to live in Salisbury Street in Uralla. It was there that their first three children were born and that Winnie nursed her mother through her last illness. Mary Aileen (Molly) Carey was only about seven years of age and her brother, Robert James (Jim) five years when it was found that they had cataracts on their eyes which necessitated long and tedious treatment so the family moved to Sydney, eventually buying a house at north Bondi where two more sons were born, Thomas in 1944 and Paul in 1946.
In 1952 Molly Carey married Robert Porter, a young bank clerk who was born at Lidsey, near Boguor Regis in Sussex, England. They have two daughters, Lorraine (Mrs. Mark Dowell), and Geraldine (Mrs. Michael Gleeson), both now living at Campbelltown. There are five grandchildren, Adam, Hayley and Leanne Dowell and Jennifer and Peter Gleeson.
Joseph Andrew Carlon was the only son born to James and Hanora Carlon and was born 2 March 1908. He attended the local public school on Salisbury Plains and then worked with his father on their home property "Castlebrook". In 1935 he married Elsie Anderson whose
parents lived at Rocky River. Their son Douglas John was born 3 May 1937 and their daughter, Honora was born 7 May 1939.
Joseph and Elsie lived at "Castlebrook" until illness forced Joe to retire to Tamworth where he died 9 September 1980. Elsie now lives in retirement in Uralla.
Douglas lives at "Castlebrook" and is one of the ordained Deacons of the church in Uralla.
Honora (Nora) is married to Neil Menzies whose parents, John Menzies and Doris Streeting live on the eastern edge of Salisbury Plains.
Neil and Nora's older son Andrew, after having worked his way through Agricultural College is now doing pastoral work on Gostwyck, repeating what his great great grandfather did one hundred and twenty years ago, but under what different circumstances and conditions!!! It is still the "Golden Fleece" that is the hope of the district and of the country, and the tangible wealth of many of the local residents.
Neil and Nora have a younger son David thirteen years old and still at school, and a daughter Fiona who is a twin with Andrew.
Summer Hill is a pretty little place towards the north of Tipperary, Ireland, where the eastern slopes of Mt. Knockanora roll down to the Cromage River. The town of Borrisoleigh is not far to the south. It was here that a daughter was born to John Winslow and his wife, Mary Connors in 1816. They named her Mary like her mother. At the same time, and further to the south, Patrick, Daniel and Catherine Bourke were growing up on the farm where their father, Patrick Bourke and his wife Mary, lived and worked, outside the city of Thurles.
Daniel Bourke was nearly forty years old when he married Mary Winslow in Borrisoleigh, in 1844 and brought her to his home at Thurles. His sister, Catherine married Martin Egan who worked on a nearby farm. The Bourkes had two children, Mary born 1845 and Patrick born 1847, when the potato crops failed and there was much hardship and suffering. By good luck (The Grace of God) and great care they survived and, when conditions had improved their family increased. Michael was born 1850, Catherine 1853, James 1855 and Thomas 1858. The Egans also had a daughter Catherine, born 1851 and a son Martin in 1856.
About this time Caroline Chisholm was advocating the advantages of life in Australia. Daniel's brother Patrick emigrated and sent home messages in accord with Caroline's advice. Both Daniel's and Mary's parents had died during the famine so that was one less tie they had with the home country. Their older children, Mary and Patrick had been to school and learned to read and write, an advantage that had been denied both Daniel and his wife. They decided to go to Australia and give their children more opportunities.
The Australian immigration laws were such that the bounty, or help towards paying their fares, was given to young married couples who could be expected to make a considerable contribution to the workforce. Daniel and Mary put back their ages, then found that they would have to pay an extra £7 for having more than three children under ten years of age, so they left the six years old Catherine with the Egan family. The fare for the family, parents and five children, was £18.
They procured berths on the "Abyssinian" which sailed from Plymouth 22 June and arrived in Sydney 20 September 1859. A fast trip of only 89 days (just less than three months).
Mr. Dangar of Gostwyck was looking for shepherds so he employed Daniel and it was not very long before Patrick was employed, too. Mary went as a servant to Beverley Station, near Bundarra. After some years of working and saving Daniel was able to buy his own block of land and build a home of their own for his family. He named the place "Summer Hill" after his Mary's home in Tipperary. Some of their descendants still live on "Summer Hill".
The family had been missing Catherine, just as she had been missing them. Daniel sent for her to come and rejoin them, and her cousin Catherine Egan came with her. They sailed on the "Racehorse" which left Plymouth 22 September 1866 and arrived here just in time for Christmas.
Catherine, now fourteen years of age, found on her arrival, that her sister Mary had married James Kennedy at Bundarra, two years earlier on 10 April 1864, and they now had a son Daniel one year old. Her brother Patrick married Julia Kennedy on 4 February. that year, 1866. Julia's father had died only five months after the wedding, 9 July 1866, and her mother Norah (nee Lenihan) was living with the Bourkes on Summer Hill. Catherine's mother was ill and so she was grateful for the companionship of her cousin. They had grown close as sisters over the years together.
1868 was destined to be a year of great sadness for the Bourke family. James, who was then twelve years old died on 6 February. Patrick and Julia's seven months old daughter, Mary, born 7 July 1867, succumbed to the dreaded typhoid fever on 28 February. Then Daniel's wife, Mary, weakened by the insistent stomach trouble she had borne for years and saddened by the sufferings of her children, died 13 March, 51 years of age and only nine years after coming to Australia. The family then leaned on Norah Kennedy for help and strength to keep the home going, and she, wonderful woman that she was, gave herself unsparingly for many years.
Patrick Bourke and Julia raised a family of ten children and always Julia was pleased and grateful to have her mother's help. Catherine was eight years in Australia when she married Francis Donoghue, a former shepherd and now owner of his own land and sheep on Salisbury Plains. They had six children but one little boy did not survive. Her cousin Catherine Egan married Patrick Shanahan who, with his father Thomas Shanahan and mother Bridget Heffernan were running their sheep property, "Harlow Park", which is on the road to Gostwyck. After their third child Bridget was born in 1877, Patrick took Catherine "home" to Ireland, to visit her parents. They sent her brother Martin out assuring him of a home and work on "Harlow Park" until he could find a place for himself. He sailed on the "Hereford" from Plymouth, 20 September and reached Sydney, 6 December 1878.
Patrick Shanahan and Catherine raised a family of eight children of whom the seventh, John Joseph was just a year old when Patrick's mother, Bridget died, 4 May 1888. Patrick had been especially close to his mother since he was left to look after her when his father first came to Australia and was preparing their home. Then he was all of ten years old when he brought her out on the "Herald of the Morning" which arrived 23 June 1858. That was thirty years ago
and he had never ceased caring for her. His father, Thomas died three years later, 4 July 189
Mary and James Kennedy had seven children, but unfortunately James fell victim to drink. Their son James had died back in 1870 when only a few months old and now in 1878 Kathleen, a baby in arms was ill. James came home one evening, drunk as usual and Mary, wearied with nursing the sick baby and with trying to do everything for the other five children, cried out to James, "If you can't come home sober for once then don't bother to come at all." With that he turned and walked out the door and was never again seen or heard of by the family.
Kathleen died soon after and Mary was left to do everything. Her father, Daniel came to live with her and was a good help. Mary had always been a good seamstress and now she was able to take in some sewing. Hanora, her oldest daughter, now twelve years old was also quickly learning the art of sewing and was able to assist her mother. The Boys, growing up without a father's guidence and restraining hand were notoriously undisciplined and a cause of much mischief in the town. On one occasion when there had been some disturbance, the police arrested Thomas, 12 years old and the youngest of the three, and were on their way to the lock-up when Daniel, 23 years and Joseph, 14 years, on their horses blocked the bridge and would not let the Police proceed until they released Thomas, then the three boys galloped off together and were not seen in the town again.
Mary and her two daughters, Hanora and Mary, were now all excellent seamstresses and went to Sydney where they did sewing for one of the big stores. Hanora used to sing in the choirs. It is from here that Hanora's story becomes one with Walter King's.
Mary Agnes Kennedy was four years younger than Hanora but the two sisters had grown close to each other and to their mother in the years after their brothers had left home and then when the mother and daughters moved together to Sydney. Mary, who was known as Minnie, married John (Jack) Carter in Sydney and so was happily settled with her own family and home when their mother died and Hanora went back to Uralla. Mary and Jack had two sons, Peter and Keith, Peter married Claire ..... but Keith did not marry, he lived with his mother until her death.
Martin Egan worked for a time on Harlow Park until he could buy his own block of land near Big Ridge, which he named "Millane Farm". On 9 May 1887, he married Anastasia Ryan whose home was along the road to Gostwyck. Anastasia had come from Thurles as a baby, carefully packed in a laundry basket and tended by her mother on the voyage out. William Ryan and his wife Anastasia Webster had travelled to Australia on the "John Temperly", which arrived in Sydney 1 August 1863. Their four years old son, Daniel was with them, too. William's brother John met the family in Sydney with his horses and dray. John was a hotel proprietor in Uralla at this time and perhaps he would have gone to Sydney for supplies as well. They had another brother James, at Kentucky. William went to work on Gostwyck until he was able to buy his own block of land along the Gostwyck Road, which he named "Rosehill". Here William and Anastasia raised their family of eight children, after two little ones had died in the typhoid epidemic in 1868.
Anastasia Ryan was 25 when she married Martin Egan and went to build there home on Millane Farm. They had nine children.
Many exiled Irishmen became so excited, enthused and involved in High Patriotism during the celebrations in 1875 to mark the centenary of the birth of Daniel O'Connell that they restored, or added, the "0" to their name.
Uralla was gazetted a village in 1855, just three years after the area's first big gold strike. The centre of the village was the junction of the Bundarra Road with the main north-south road linking Armidale and Tamworth. The Rocky River Goldfields, the cause of the first settlement, follow a five mile stretch of the Bundarra Road till it reaches the Gwyder River at Maitland Point. The mines burrow into the sides of the Mounts Welsh, Jones, Mutton and Beef, and into the creeks running between these mountains.
Moses and John began well with their digging, finding some good gold. Their families settled in to the new way of life, but for the two men, their involvement with their families, together with Anne's illness and subsequent death, meant that from here their ways parted. They always remembered the companionship and support of the early years and visited when they could.
John and Mary had their first child, Margaret Mary, born 3 June 1855. Mary had been helping Anne with the education of her boys and, when Anne became ill during 1856, the two boys stayed with John and Mary. Moses' and Anne's daughter, Mary Anne, went to work for one of the local families. John and Mary's family was further increased when Patrick Michael was born 23 Nov. 1856.
The "Armidale Express" of Saturday, April 18, 1857, reports:
The diggers working at the Rocky River are earning from £2 to £4 a week. Some of the ground near Garland's late store is turning out first rate. Connor's party, who are working a horse machine there are getting very payable stuff, the yield being from 2 to 3 dwts. to the bucketfull.'
`Gold, £3 12s. per Oz. for any quantity'.
`The weather is a bit more settled, but already we can snuff the chill and bracing air of approaching winter, particularly the mornings and evenings.'
`Our postal service requires some remarks, for whenever a river rises, we get no mails! Last week, for instance, Monday and Wednesday's bags arrived only on Saturday, and the newspapers were much damaged, and in instances, missing altogether. We presume that the down mails shared the same delay, and that the letters by them for Europe were too late for the `Columbian'. A highway like that to New England deserves to be in a better condition.'
John and Mary became restless through the long, cold, wet winter of 1857. The ground was slushy, slippery and boggy, so John, like so many of the miners could not make any progress. Once again the family was packed into the dray and they set off for a new mine John had heard about at Fairfield (Drake), near Tenterfield. Mary's third child, Mary Anne, was born at Tenterfield, 13 September 1858.
This was not a successful venture, John felt let down by the gold mine and his losses worried him, so they returned to Rocky River. John was only one of the many who suffered such reverses in gold speculating, but to him it was a stern lesson. He returned to his digging and sluicing at Rocky River. Now that the weather was warmer it was better. He also brought more horses and made up a good team.
With his earlier knowledge of shipping conditions at Morpeth to aid him, he now began a carrying business, taking down the wheat and wool, and any other produce, that was to be shipped from Morpeth to Sydney and thence to England and Europe. On the return trip he would bring back the much needed food supplies, clothing and building materials. The value of horse teams over bullock teams was speed, horses could travel twelve to eighteen miles per day compared to bullocks only eight to twelve miles a day. In wet years with flooded rivers and boggy flats the trip could take up to five months whereas in a dry year the trip could be accomplished in five weeks. The teamsters were usually assisted by a mate or a lad, or as in John Connor's case, by his son. It is told that even at eight years of age, Patrick could walk (and ride) with his father's team from Uralla to Morpeth and back. He knew the special harness that fitted comfortably on each horse and could assist with the morning harnessing and evening unharnessing every day. He even knew the special spiked shoes for each horse as they were strung on the row of nails along the side of the wagon. At Morpeth where the flats were so boggy logs had been laid in neat rows to form a path for the wagons, but these were so slippery that the horses were shod with spiked shoes to enable them to pull their loads. This meant that when the teams reached the camping grounds, each horse had to have its shoes changed to the spiked ones and then after the wagon was unloaded at the wharf and the return load on and the wagon back on firm ground, the process with the horses shoes had to be repeated, putting on the normal ones for the homeward trip. What lessons must have passed between father and son on those long, quiet times together?
By 1860 most of the Rivers between Morpeth and Uralla had been bridged or, as at Singleton and Aberdeen, a ferry provided. John was among those teamsters who tried the route to Kempsey and a deeper shipping port, but the mountains were too steep and hard for the horses. Bad and all as were the Liverpool and the Moonbi Ranges, they were preferable to the steep climb up from the coast. So they continued their method of using two teams to haul a load to the top of the Moonbi's, leaving that load there and going back for the second load.
Twenty years and more John continued these trips, leaving Mary to attend to the children. They had seven children though one little boy lived only eight months. She cared for them, started them on the road of learning and then sent them to the local school. When John came home from his trips, whether that trip had been quick and pleasant or beset with storms, bogs, or any of the various frustrations, Mary was always there to welcome him home and to make his life easier, at least for a while.
The Catholic Priests had just come to the area and John and Mary were happy to have their children baptised and to be able to attend Mass, even though perhaps, not as often as they would have liked. Father Timothy McCarthy took up residence in Armidale in 1853 but it took him the first three years just to ride once around his parish which extended from Singleton to Ipswich and from the Pacific Coast as far inland as he could go. In 1855 Father John Dunne arrived and it was he who baptised Margaret Mary Connor on 11 October 1855 when she was four months old, and then Patrick Michael Connor on 12 December
1856 just a few weeks after his birth. Later Father J.T. 0'Neil came to help in the parish and when Moses Henry Connor was born in 1868 it was Father J.T. Lynch who baptised him. Father Lynch had visited the area while he was still in Singleton. It was he who had organised the Catholics to build the little wooden chapel in Armidale, that Father McCarthy found on his arrival there.
A public meeting was called at Rocky River and a fund raised to erect a chapel at the diggings. On 30 August 1856 Father McCarthy stated that, "a suitable building will be completed in about a week". It was made of slab, lined with calico and would hold 150 children. It was to be used as a school as well as a chapel and stood mid-way between the two most populated areas, Mounts Welsh and Jones, near Mr. James Ryan's residence. A report in the "Freeman's Journal" of 17 January 1857 stated that `Divine Service is occasionally given by Rev. T. McCarthy, but generally by Rev. J.F. Dunne.'
By 1860 the population of Rocky River was declining as the gold was becoming more difficult to get. Uralla continued to grow as the centre of a large woolgrowing district. The little wooden church-school at Rocky River fell into decay through neglect and not being used when a new wooden church was built in Park Street, in Uralla. This was the Mass centre until the new brick building was erected at the northern end of Bridge Street in 1880.
Mary's time was well filled with caring for, and sewing for, the children while John was away, but the nights were long and lonely. She began the education of her children by always having her precious Bible and dictionary on the table. Every childish question was carefully answered and they were taught how to seek and find the learning that would stand by them throughout life. It is little wonder that the teacher's reports commented on their level of achievement at school, or that they were competent and confident to undertake high responsibilities as young men and women of their time. Her three sons all entered into the Public and Civic life of their areas.
Margaret Mary Connor met John Patrick Henry, a carrier like her father. They were married at Uralla on 7 January 1871 and their first child was born 21 December that same year, and named John Patrick like his father. John built a home for Margaret at the end of Hill Street, near the foot of Mount Mutton. There they raised their family of twelve children.
Mary's youngest boy, Moses Henry, was only three years old when Margaret's John Patrick was born so there was no time when Mary was not caring for or helping with a baby.
The opening of the Railway Station in Uralla in August 1882, brought mixed blessings and feelings to John Connor. The speed of the trains made a great difference to the time for travelling to and from Sydney, or any of the places along the way. It made a great difference to the time for bringing food supplies, and it considerably increased the quantity of all types of supplies that could now be brought to the town. But for John it meant that he and his horses were no longer wanted; their life's work was done. He sold his team, and, being 72 years of age, he retired to a quieter, less stressful way of life. He still did some searching for gold and some working in the garden, but mostly he let go everything. It was only a few short years until he died in 1887.
John Connor loved the sea and had great faith in its healing powers. In between carting trips to Morpeth, particularly during the cold New England winters, when colds and flu were prevelant, he would load the family into the buggy and go down the sea at Kempsey for a few weeks. When all were restored to good health he would bring them home and return to the daily grind of earning a living. The same if any of the children or Mary or himself, had a cut or sore that would not heal, down to the clean salt water was better than to any doctor. Only at the end of his life did the sea fail him, perhaps he left the cut too long; gangrene
I had set in. He spent some weeks at Kempsey but was no better on his return; then a few weeks with his youngest daughter and her family at Ben Lomond, but he returned home still not healed. Did he remember how many years he had pushed his body to the limit, working to make a good home for Mary? To rear and educate his children? They are all grown men and women now, settled in their homes and with their families. Even his beautiful horses had not been needed since the railway line had been opened in 1882. The Lord called him home, quietly and gently, Mary as always was there at his side, God Bless her.
URALLA & WALCHA TIMES Wednesday, April 27, 1887
OBITUARY. - We have again this week to announce the death of one of the oldest residents of this neighbourhood, Mr. J. O'Connor, who died at his late residence on Thursday morning last.
Mr. O'Connor, who had passed the proverbial three score and ten, was born in Dublin in 1810, and followed the occupation of a brewer. He landed in Australia in the year 1830 - 56 years ago - and during that time experienced many changes and saw many ups and downs. The first few years of his life in this colony were spent in and around Sydney. Being of an adventurous spirit and great physical strength, he was just the man fitted to be a pioneer. He was one of the first white men to penetrate and explore the Macleay River, and many a thrilling tale he could tell of his adventures with the wild blacks in that district, and it is known that the Macleay tribes were the most warlike of any aboriginals in the Colony, From the Macleay he came to the Hunter River and located himself at Green Hills, Morpeth, where for 17 years he remained in the employ of Captain Rapsey, of the old St. Michael storeship as wharfinger. Maitland and Morpeth were nothing more than a wild bush when he went there: but, before leaving, both places were rapidly growing, and good buildings were standing in place of the ancient stringy bark buildings that were first erected on the sites now occupied by the pretty towns of Maitland and Morpeth. Here again after 17 years as wharfinger, he took a whaling voyage through the sunny Southern Ocean; on his return to Sydney, meeting with his only brother, Mr. M: O'Connor, now of Bundarra, he gave up the sea and with him settled down at Moreton Bay, or, as it is now known, Queensland; but that great epoch in Australian history, the gold discovery, sent him moving and he arrived at the Rocky River with the first rush and has lived here -ever since, with one or two exceptions - for a short time in the neighbourhood of Tenterfield, and for a while in Fairfield, where he lost a lot of money, speculating in mining. For 35 years Mr. O'Connor has lived in this neighbourhood; he has watched it grow from a wild bush to what it is now, and we do not suppose that there are many older inhabitants in this part left behind him. He leaves a widow, 3 sons, 3 daughters, 17 grandchildren, 1 brother, Mr. M. O'Connor, and a sister, Mrs. Bermingham, of Chester, England. Those who knew Mr. O'Connor some few years back relate many prodigious feats of strength that he has performed. The cause of his death was a general break up of the constitution. He was buried on Friday at Uralla and was followed to his last resting-place by a large number of old friends. The Rev. Dean O'Connor officiated at the grave.
When Patrick Francis Moran came to Australia as Archbishop of Sydney, in March, 1884 it was natural that Mary Connor (Murphy) should write to him, as to an old school friend, and welcome him to the country that had given her a new start in life, security and opportunities for her children and peace and contentment for herself. It was natural, too that when he came to Armidale for the Episcopal Consecration of Rev. Patrick Joseph O'Connor as Bishop of Armidale on 4 March 1903, that he would stop in Uralla and pay a visit to Mary.
THE URALLA NEWS
Wednesday, August 18 1909
One of our Pioneers.
On Monday last, August 16, Mrs. O'Connor, sen., of Leighlin Cottage, Uralla, celebrated her 80th birthday and was the recipient of many kindly greetings and presents from friends and relatives. Except for a troublesome partial deafness, the worthy old lady is in possession of all her faculties, and her recollections of the early days of the district (of which she has been a resident for 55 years) are wonderfully clear, and particularly entertaining when exercised in connection with the history of the early days of the old Rocky goldfield. She has reared a family of three sons and three daughters, all worthy citizens, who had the pleasure of meeting together to greet her on her birthday. Her other descendants comprise 41 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren - all New Englanders - so that in wishing our brave old pioneer many happy returns of the day, the News ranges itself upon the side of quite a big section of the community.
In a corner of the living room in her little weatherboard cottage Mary O'Connor had set up her treasures, the statue of Our Lady on top of the three boxes-cum-cupboard with a tidy curtain hanging in front. Inside she had her shroud all ready as was the custom of the time, and on the lower shelf her treasured Bible and her dictionary, both now worn and well used. On the wall above hung the two pictures, the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Sorrows. Many were the times when this "Prayer Corner" was the source of comfort and strength for Mary as she raised and trained her children and cared for her husband and came to the aid of her many neighbours and friends. When one day, by a sad accident, fire burnt through the cottage destroying Mary's home and clothing, this one corner was saved.
The statue is still loved and cared for in Rita Dawson's home in Hill Street, Uralla, which is built on the same place as Mary O'Connor's little "Leighlin Cottage" used be.
THE URALLA TIMES
Wednesday, May 28, 1914
Death of Mrs. O'Connor
On Monday, the 25th, at 2 p.m. there passed away another of our brave old pioneers in the person of Mrs. O'Connor, of Hill Street, Uralla, at the ripe age of 85 years. A native of County Carlow, Ireland, she, accompanied by a younger sister, ventured upon the long and arduous voyage to Australia per sailing ship 61 years ago. After a year spent in Queensland she married her late husband (who predeceased her by about 27 years) and came from Ipswich per horse team overland to the then famous Rocky River diggings where, save for a short interval spent at Tenterfield, she has lived ever since and reared a family of three sons and three daughters, all of whom were assembled at her deathbed. Although grown very feeble she only took to her bed about 12 days ago, since when she gradually sank and died as stated, passing away as peacefully as an infant falling asleep. She leaves 91 descendants, viz., 6 children, 42 grandchildren, and 43 great grandchildren. A worthy and patriotic woman she never, since the granting of womanhood suffrage, failed to record her vote, and it was a source of honest pride to her to know that her children inherited her public spirit; two sons, viz., Messrs. P.M. and J.F. O'Connor and a grandson, Mr. J.P. Henry, being each in turn Mayor of their native town, Uralla. The first named was also first President of the Gostwyck Shire Council and J.F. O'Connor is the present Mayor of Inverell, and the youngest son, Mr. M.H. O'Connor, is an ex-Mayor of Hillgrove. Truly, an honorable record; may she rest in peace!
The funeral took place on Tuesday, a large number of relatives and friends following the remains to their last resting place. A service was conducted at St. Joseph's Church by Rev. Father McGrath, and afterwards at the old cemetery), where the interment took place.
The late Mrs. O'Connor's daughters are Mrs. J.P. Henry SNR. Mrs. Nixon and Mrs. Wall.
The first John Elliott we know of was quietly running his butchery business in Hastings in Sussex in England. His wife Mary Martin conducted "An Academy for Young Ladies" in Hastings. The life must have been too quiet for their son John. He joined the crew of a Merchant Ship together with his cousin Jacob. They were in Melbourne in 1851, and heard of all the people rushing to the Ballarat Goldfields so they jumped ship as their vessel sailed past Wilson's Promontory, the most southern tip of Victoria, and joined the rush.
By 1857 John was working as a gardener in the Parramatta area of NSW. There he met Sarah Lynch, an embroiderer who had arrived just that year from England. They were married on 11 September 1857, and then went up to the Macleay River. They had nine children born among the islands of the river delta where John was gardening for several of the settlers, but the river would flood too often and too quickly so after about fifteen years they packed their possessions into a dray and set out for higher ground. They arrived in Armidale, tired and weary and asked to spell the horses in the nearest yard which happened to be John Moore's. He immediately employed John Elliott as his gardener and Sarah became Mrs. Moore's seamstress. Their youngest son Walter was born in Armidale in 1879.
After a time they went to Rocky River but were not long there when most of that population were not getting much gold so moved either to a warmer climate or to Uralla, which was developing as the business centre of the district. John Elliott took a position as gardener with the Uralla Town Council and it was in that position that he organised the planting of the trees in Alma Park. Sarah was a renowned mid-wife and helped many of the young mothers in the district until she seccombed to an attack of the 'flu in 1891.
When Sarah Elliott (Lynch) died in 1891 her eldest daughter Mary, had been married for eleven years and was living with her husband and their daughter Tina at Currabubula. Sarah had been married to Patrick O'Connor four years and had two children, Una and Justin at whose births Sarah had assisted her daughter as mid-wife as was so often the way among the pioneer families when a young mother was fortunate enough to have her mother nearby.
Teresa, third daughter of Sarah and John, had been married for nine years and was living in Glen Innes with her husband and family. John, the oldest son had died young and Eleanor, the fourth daughter had joined the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was then known as Sister Patricia.
Joseph, the oldest living son had learnt the printing trade and was employed at the local newspaper printing works where he worked for many years and then set up his own printing press from where he issued a second newspaper to the people of Uralla, "The Uralla News". Joseph and his wife, Rosamond had a daughter Christina who was only eleven years old when her father died 11 May 1918.
Thomas went to Sydney to learn the saddlery trade and eventually returned to Uralla with his wife to open his own business. Thomas and Bertha had two children, Laurence and Una.
Walter was only twelve years old when his mother died. His sisters Kathleen and Anna cared for him and his father in the family home. As soon as he left school Walter went to work in McCalisters Store, one of the oldest businesses in Uralla. He continued there for many years and advanced in the knowledge of running the business until, at the time of the `Back to Uralla' celebrations in 1925, he was manager of the business which was then known as "The New England Stores Ltd." During those years he had married Mary (Molly) Eather, one of the eleven children of the local Police Sergeant James Eather and his wife Millicent Bath, who had grown up in the Walcha district. Walter and Molly raised a family of eight children and also gave much of their time and talents in helping the local community. Walter had a good singing voice and trained the local church choir while Molly sometimes played the organ. Walter was also a member of the local Dramatic Club. He served on the Town Council for many years and was Mayor during 1921. In later years Walter and Molly moved with their family to Armidale where . Walter died on 11 November 1949.
FROM "THE URALLA TIMES"
The Late Mr. Joseph Elliott.
Dear Sir - Permit me through the columns of your press to pay tribute to the memory of the late Mr. Elliott.
The deceased gentleman was highly respected in our town and district. To meet him was to respect him, to know him was to admire and esteem him highly. Straight forward to a detail honorable in all his dealings, his word was ever his bond; kindly and generous in disposition, courteous and gentle alike to young as well as aged, his manly conduct and many kindly acts and good deeds done behind the scenes will ever endear his memory to the people of this town. The writer, besides hearing of such actions, personally knows of many whom the deceased gentleman has befriended in their time of need.
One cannot help but feel that in his going out of this life, we shall not only miss his familiar figure and genial smile, but suffer the loss of a gentleman, the type of which our community can ill afford to lose. His memory may be cherished with a just pride by loved ones, relatives and friends.
Patrick Michael O'Connor, oldest son of John Connor and Mary Murphy was one of those who had the "O" restored to the family name, together with his parents, brothers and sisters. The explanation to the children was that the "0" had been accidentally omitted by a secretary and that this (the worldwide celebrations honouring Daniel O'Connell's birth) was a good time to put it on again. Patrick spent much of his early childhood on the road with his father and the horse team. Who could gauge the wisdom and knowledge learned from his father on those long intimate walks? This together with his mother's great care for her children's learning gave him a good start before he attended the local public school. When he was leaving school at the age of fifteen years, the Headmaster queried that such a brilliant pupil should not go to higher studies, but for Patrick the local community was to be his field of activity.
On 12 January 1887 he married Sarah Elliott in St. Joseph's Church, Uralla. Only three months later his beloved father died, 4 April. Patrick then entered wholeheartedly into the Local Government scene. He was an Alderman of Uralla Municipal Council from October 1891 to February 1896. Again when he returned to the district from Barraba, he was Mayor during 1904 and 1905. Then he became a foundation member of the newly formed Gostwyck Shire Council, May 1906. He was President of that Council from November 1906 to January 1908 and again in January and February, 1911. He remained a councillor till May 1914.
During this time Sarah had born him four sons and two daughters. The family lived at Northmont in the Barraba district for about five years until they were forced to abandon their pastoral pursuits by the 1902 drought. They returned to Uralla district where Patrick bought the sheep property "Fairview", on Kentucky Creek. When Granny's (Mary Murphy - O'Connor) cottage burnt down she went to live with Patrick and his family until her new cottage was built. In 1914 when Una and the older boys had left home to work, Patrick sold "Fairview" and moved in to Queen Street in Uralla, 11 May 1914. Patrick's mother died 25 May 1914 in her little "Leighlin Cottage" in Hill Street.
After he sold "Fairview", on Kentucky Creek and settled his wife and younger children in Queen St. Uralla, Patrick went to Trundle, where his son Justin was working as a builder and painter, and worked with him until Justin went to the War. Then Patrick bought land again, this time at Mobbinbri, via Boggabilla. This was one of those areas infested with prickly pear and Patrick set to to clear it whilst running cattle and sheep on it in the hope that they would help by eating the young pear plants as they came up.
When his sons'came home from the War they went to help him for a time but then each returned to the work they had been doing before enlisting. Patrick finally sold out and went to help his son Desmond who purchased land at Niangala and was busy clearing it and stocking with sheep. After a time with Des, Patrick retired to Bingara where he remained, doing some fossicking and puddling for gold in the Gwyder River, until illness forced him to go to Armidale to the hospital but he was not long there when he died 23 February 1940.
Sarah O'Connor (Elliott) remained in the house in Queen St. (northern end) Uralla, after her younger children finished school. Eva was working in Curtis' shop and Brendon was training in Munro's garage, while the older boys were at World War 1. Her brother, Joe lived next door and her brother Walter lived in Bridge St. so that his back yard joined Joe's and their father, who lived some time with each of his children, built a stile between the two gardens for easy access. These were anxious times with her three sons at the war and Sarah was glad to be in town and among relatives and friends. Her home was near to the church too, and how she prayed for her boys!! She confided them to the care of our Blessed Mother, and she attended all the devotions she could in the church with her many friends who also had their boys at the war. They would comfort one another and they worked together, through the Red Cross, to send what comforts they could to their sons, brothers and friends.
When the boys came home from the war, Sarah's three sons were among those safely returned, but she had lost two nephews, Bob Ryan and Joe Wall, and several very close friends including Fred Dorrington of "Manuka", where her children had attended the small school in his parent's home. She went with the boys to Patrick and the farm at Mobbinbri for a time, then stayed with Brendon when he began working in a garage at Baan Baa. About 1925 she came back to Uralla and made her home at "The Glen", that house to which she had first gone as a young bride so many years ago.
Una Cruse (O'Connor) returned to Uralla in 1938, some time after her husband, Jim had died at Charleville, and lived near her mother to care for her in her last years. Sarah
v Connor (Elliott) died III Uralla 4 April 1 942 and is buried in the new cemetery beside Patrick Michael who had died just two years before.
SEPTEMBER 14, 1912
URALLA TIMES LOCAL AND GENERAL
The annual Convent social is always a popular function, and this year it well sustained the reputation it has earned in the past. There was a great gathering present on Wednesday night last, both of spectators and dancers, the body of the hall being packed with dancers as was the stage with spectators, drawn no doubt by the announcement that fancy sets had been arranged. There were several fancy sets, and the fair participants in costumes added a breezy dash to the toniness of the function. Opinion was divided as to which set looked the best, but the Quakers, and Portias and Gottenbergs were generally admitted as being very very nice, and the Starlight set was very nice, and others nice. In fact, the whole thing was a charming idea. The Girls of Gottenberg were Misses Winnie Low, Alice Williams, Lorna Skewes, and May Nixon; while those sweet creatures the Quakers were Misses Ettie Pearce, Marjorie Bowen, T. Kerwan, and G. Doran. For ourselves we'd like to drop discretion overboard and say that the Portias (Misses M. Brennan, K. Pearce, E. Young, and Clay) won easily; but then, we might not have viewed the others in the same light, and you must do that, you know; and besides, there was the spice of good looks about the Starlights (Misses Maud Henry, Mary Bourke, Mary Haren, Annie Claverie) that will brook no indiscreet assertions about any other set whatsoever. Misses Elsie Nixon, Eva O'Connor, Reenie Rooke, May Ryan, Mary Post, and Viney Haren upheld the claims of the Geishas, and among the Nurses there were Misses Una O'Connor, Allie Ryan, Reta King, and Dot Rooke. There was also the Annie Laurie set, in which were Misses T. and E. Bourke, Bower, and E. Givney. The man members of these sets were - oh, but they didn't dress the part, and they should have, and - that's all about them. Mr. Herb Dewberry acted onerously as M.C. while the music was in the hands of Miss Smith and Mr. L. Melvaine, who appeared to give every satisfaction. The refreshment tables showed every sign of a lot of labor and care and are being expended in their preparation, and those who had the pleasure of sitting with the first contingent were not slow to express words of approval. Our rep. was unfortunately not able to wait for the shining hour of refreshments; but we heard an experienced matron say that they were of a class seldom if ever before provided for a public dance at Uralla, and that Mrs. E. Ryan had every reason to feel proud at the result achieved by herself and numerous. lady assistants. The function went off without a hitch, and resulted in a heap of enjoyment to all present. Besides which there will be a considerable sum of money handed over to the Sisters in their good work.
The Boys at the Front
There were the inevitable feelings of pride and honour fear and anxiety as the O'Connor boys and their friend: enlisted for service in the First World War. Milo was the first to go and was among the original ANZACS at Gallipoli being in the 5th Light Horse. He was wounded, spent some time in hospital in Malta and was back again with hi: Brigade for the Palestinian Campaign. From Malta he sent a postcard to his mother;
25/7/1915. This is a view of the big fountain in Valletta thcJ capital of Malta which is a very pretty island and c real heaven after the firing line. Am in hospital here but am pretty right again now. Love from Mick.
25/11/1915. Just a P.C. this week. I am in Valletta Hospital in Malta and the foot is getting on fine. I hope to be able to walk in a week or so. Don't know if you will get my last letter as I heard that the boat with our mail had sunk. Mick.
Justin wrote from Egypt:
15/11/1915. Have arrived safely and am quite well, will write letter later. Justin 3116 10th Rgm 2nd Batt. Intermediate Base. Egypt.
Just a note to tell you I am somewhere in France and keeping as good as gold. were three nights and two days in the train and are now where we can hear the guns o) the Boss Argument. But we won't go any further for a long time yet. More news later. No notepaper, no money, no tobacco, Hooray, who cares! Tons of love from Justin’.
A card of the Church at Flesselles (Somme)
'at Mass at this church last Sunday'
Then the family heard he had been wounded. The next news is a card to his mother,
`6 April Dear Mum, A bit of Welsh scenery. Received your letter and one from Una, Love to all. Justin. ' `Dear Dan, Your letters to hand. Pleased to hear from you. Am quite well again now. Got a whack round at the Somme but am back with the Batt. Very wet and muddy here. Justin.
The story of his injuries as told by himself after his return home was that he had been hit by shrapnel and received, among other injuries, a cut on his throat and was lying in a pool of blood when the ambulance orderlies went over the field after the battle picking up the injured. They looked at Justin and murmured, "He's done, poor fellow," and went on to the next injured man. Justin, who had been holding his hand over the wound to try and stop the bleeding, thought to himself, "I'm damned if I'm going to die for them," and so, pressing his hand firmer, he struggled to his feet and staggered and crawled to the nearest trench where he was given first aid and then taken to a hospital and eventually to England where he recovered completely and was able to rejoin his Battalion.
Desmond was shearing at Cunamulla in Western Queensland when his brothers enlisted. He waited to finish that shed and then, with several mates, went from there into the army. They were sent to France and after some time in the fighting lines, Des was badly injured on the leg and foot. He was sent to hospital in England but the crushed bones did not mend well and he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. The weakness in his ankle got considerably worse so that he needed the aid of crutches in his later years.
THE ARMIDALE CHRONICLE
Uralla & District News March 1918
Word was received on Wednesday that Lance-Corporal Justin O'Connor had been wounded in action in France.
We regret to report the death in action in France of Private J. Wall, of Ben Lomond. The young man was nephew of Mrs. Nixon and Mr. P. O'Connor.
Una O'Connor commenced school at the "St. Joseph's" Catholic School while the family were living at "The Glen" which was on the northern end of Bridge Street and quite close to the Church and school. She was ten years old when the family moved out to the sheep grazing property at Northmont, Barraba, from where she attended the local public school with her brothers. After five years the severity of the 1902 drought forced the O'Connors, like so many other families, to abandon their holdings. They returned to Uralla where Patrick O'Connor found a place at Kentucky Creek, called "Fairview". From here Una and the boys attended the subsidised school at the neighbouring property, "Manuka". "Fairview" was near to where the present water supply dam is on the Kentucky Creek.
After leaving school, Una and her cousin, Ally Ryan, conducted a boarding house at the corner of Bridge and King Streets. During the war years Una went to Ryde (Sydney) to housekeeper for Rev. Father Gell and remained there until 1924 when she left to marry James Cruse, a returned soldier who had just procured a block of land at Angellala Siding near Charleville in western Queensland. They lived there for fourteen years until Jim's untimely death during a severe heatwave in 1936. Una retired to Charleville for a few years but returned to Uralla in 1941 to care for her aged mother.
When her mother died in 1942, Una devoted her time to Church work, the Red Cross and other charities for twentyfive years until she herself needed to accept the services of Legacy in moving to a Home for the Aged in Armidale, where she was cared for until her death in April 1969.
Deaths in Q'land.
BRISBANE, Thursday, February, 1936
The greater part of the State continued to swelter in the heat-wave at Dirranbandi where the temperature was 114 degrees, the heat was directly responsible for the death of an old man named Edward Lynch, of Bollon. Another death is reported from the Cunamulla district, James Thomas Cruse, 53, owner of Nebraska station, near Angellala siding, who had been out mustering sheep, complained of pains in the chest and collapsed and died. Mrs. Cruse, who was alone at the time, set out on foot for Maryvale Station, four miles distant, and arrived there exhausted, having run most of the way.
At that time the thermometer at Maryvale recorded 110 degrees.
THE URALLA TIMES
Thursday 17 April, 1969
Mrs. U. Cruse
A well remembered charity worker and native of Uralla, Mrs. Una Cruse, died in her sleep on Tuesday night at Armidale's Home for the Aged.
She was 8O years of age.
Mrs Cruse had been in poor health for several years, and over the last two months her condition deteriorated.
She was a member of Uralla Red Cross and church organisations.
Yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock a Requiem Mass was held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. The funeral followed. She was buried in the Catholic portion of Uralla cemetery. Dean J. McKeon officiated.
Mrs. Cruse's husband, Jim, died in February, 1936. She lived in Gostwyck Street, Uralla, until four years ago when she went to the Home for the Aged.
She was predeceased by her sister, Mrs. E. King and brothers, Mr. Justin O'Connor, and Mr. Milo O'Connor. She is survived by her brothers, Des and Brendan O'Connor, both of Tamworth.
When Justin O'Connor returned from the War in 1919, he went back to the building trade and to the Trundle area where he had been working when he enlisted. He was one of the builders who worked on extensions to the Redemptorist Monastery and/or Juniorate at Galong in the early 1920's. While working there he studied the various uses of cement in building and then used it in subsequentb work, including bridg building
He joined the crew making the road from Narrabri to Mt. Kaputar and used his knowledge of cement for culverts to improve this road. He was still working on this project when World War II started. Justin again answered his country's call, serving in Australia. He helped to put down the submarine booms across Sydney Harbour and assisted with installations on the Hawkesbury River and at South Head, his skill in cement work proving valuable in construction works.
After the war Justin resided in the Walcha district and for the last few years, with his nephew, Bernard King on whose property he died 6 October 1958. He left a wife and one son Gerald, in Sydney.
Gerald, who was born at Uralla 22 October 1922, has always lived in Sydney. On 17 January 1949 he married Josephine Morrisson. They have two daughters, Pamela and Sharon.
Desmond O'Connor had to spend some time in Randwick Military Hospital after he came home from the war but as soon as he was able he returned to his former occupation of shearing. He continued as a shearer for many years even while looking after his farming and grazing interests, at Carlisle's Gully, then at Maitland Point, then West End Uralla, until he got a good block of land at Niangala which he named "Brooklyn". He had married Grace Everton Mutton at Uralla on 30 April 1924. Grace was born at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, where her father had gone in search of gold. When he died on the goidfields his wife, Jessie Menzies, returned to her father's home with her two young children, Grace and Harry. After some years Jessie married Frank Stace and went to live on his dairy farm on the southern edge of Uralla. It was from there that Grace married Des O'Connor. Their first daughter, Kathleen Frances was born 28 May 1925 at Uralla. It was about this time that Des's father, Patrick Michael O'Connor, had sold his land at Boggabilla, and he came and helped Des to clear and stock "Brooklyn", his newly acquired property in the Walcha District.
Three more daughters were born to Des and Grace, Gloria Mary on 11 March 1927, Grace Elizabeth on 1 March 1929 and Patricia on 30 August 1930. Grace died in 1940 leaving Des to care for their girls. His father also died in 1940 and his mother in 1942. In 1946 he married Molly Leahy and went to live on her family home, "Ewenby", Dungowan, selling "Brooklyn". After thirty years on "Ewenby" Des and Molly sold it and retired into Tamworth but lived a very short time enjoying retirement. Des died 10 February 1981 and Molly on 11 November 1982.
Kathleen married Ron Brazel and lives at Inglebar. They raised a family of five. Douglas married Fay Constable and they have Melinda Fay born 3 September 1979 and Bronwyn Elissa born 21 October 1982. Margaret Brazel married Anthony Doyle and their children are Kristie Cheree, born 28 June 1975, Tiffaney Jane, 8 June 1978 and Benjamin Cory 13 October 1980. John Brazel and his wife have Lisa Jane born 25 June 1976, William John 18 September 1978 and Amanda 12 July 1982. Kerry Brazel married John Riches 25 January 1981 and they have a daughter, Fiona Lee born 29 September 1982. Peter Brazel is not married (1984).
Gloria O'Connor was working in the Bank in Tasmania when she met Peter Casserly from Fremantle, W.A. They were married in Tamworth 22 January 1955 and went to Fremantle to live. There they raised a family of five children, Paul Desmond born 10 February 1956, and now married to Kerry Robinson, married on 5 October 1977. They have Michelle born 21 March 1978 and Michael William, born 13 January 1981, only a week before his great grandfather, Desmond O'Connor died. Gloria and Peter's second child, Frances was born 11 September 1958, and is now married to David Morse. Gloria's third child was Margaret, born 10 December 1961 and then there were twins Peter and Elizabeth, born 16 October 1964.
Thurs. October 3, 1968
Personality of the week
This week's personality is Roderick Brendon O'Connor, (Tom), the present Non Official Postmaster at South Tamworth, who was born at Barraba, but when only a few months old his family went to live at Uralla where his father conducted a butchering business and a sheep property.
He received his education in Uralla. Upon leaving school he took up work in a local garage and engineering works, and served his time with T Fords, Sunbeams, Napiers and the like.
Going to Queensland at an early age, he later had charge of garages at Wallumbilla, in the Roma area and at Hivesville near Kingaroy. About this time he took a keen interest in sound reproduction, and having had many years experience of silent picture projection, he started experimenting with "Talking Pictures".
In conjunction with the late Bob Brown, of Brisbane Telephone Exchange, who had much to do with the installation of the City's first automatic exchange, a `Sound on Film' apparatus was produced, and for some years Mr. O'Connor, in association with the late Arthur Johnson, toured much of Eastern Queensland with the first sound on film portable film projection unit. Mr. Johnson later had three such units in operation.
Leaving the `Road', Tom was in charge of projection at the main theatre in Gladstone when World War 2 broke out. His main sport during the years was rifle shooting - he was even a foundation member of the Hivesville Club, and he was an active member of the Gladstone Rifle Club. As such he was a Reservist of the Australian Army, and on the day after war was declared, found himself in uniform, and entered upon two months guard duty, guarding the Gladstone wharves and the Navy's fuel oil depot there.
It is of interest to note that only two Clubs were called up for Guard Duty in Queensland, the other was the Southport Club which was put to guard the terminal of the Pacific Cable. Both units were termed `Cable Guards'. With permission from the Authorities, Tom left the Rifle Club and enlisted in the A.LF. He was posted to Melbourne and joined in fitting out the mobile units of the 3rd Field Workshops. He went to the Middle East and was one of the Tobruk Rats, attached to the 3rd T/A Regt. Just before the battle of El Alamein he received injuries (burns) to both legs and arms that took many months hospital treatment.
He returned to Australia and then was sent with a sub-unit to the 7th Div. for their Air Borne offensive in New Guinea, where he spent the next year.
After receiving his discharge from the Army he conducted a store and Post Office, first at Niangala and then at Moonbi and then for ten years he was a relieving postmaster, doing duty at many small Post Offices from Currabubula to the border and from Dorrigo to Narrabri. Then he- settled down as postmaster at the Post Office at Southgate Shopping Centre, South Tamworth. During his travels he always had his camera ready and would drive and walk many miles to obtain an unusual or interesting photograph and delighted in showing his slides and giving a running commentary on them. He described himself as a `Colour Slide Crank', his collection of some two thousand odd slides, cover a territory from Cairns to Melbourne and from Point Danger to Ayers Rock and some from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Ill-health dogged his retirement and he spent much time in hospitals and nursing homes. He died peacefully at "Strathlea" nursing home in Armidale 14 April 1975 and is buried in the Evergreen Lawn Cemetary at Tamworth.
Milo O'Connor spent some time helping his father to clear the prickly pear from his Mobbinbri property when he arrived home from the War, but it was not long before he returned to shearing in Queensland. When land was made available for returned soldiers, Milo received a block on Hutton Creek, in the Injune district. He also received a further block of land and a quota of pine trees to plant a pine forest, which he planted with the help from his brothers Des and Brendon and a good friend, H.J. Evans. Milo and Mr. Evans pioneered woolgrowing on the headwaters of the Dawson River, of which Hutton Creek is a tributary.
Milo married Grace Albanese in St. Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane, 28 October 1919. The celebrant was the Rev. Jeremiah O'Leary and Grace's parents were Salvatore Albanese and his wife, Elizabeth Dini. Salvatore was a fisherman in the Brisbane-Moreton Bay district.
Milo and Grace's first son, Patrick Milo, was born in Brisbane, just in time for Christmas! 16 December, 1920. Then it was that the family moved out to the land Milo had acquired and he called his property "Gracedale." A second son, Clement Michael (Clem), was born 30 June 1925. It was at this time that Grace cut her finger and when it became poisoned it affected her whole hand so that she had to have her right hand amputated, but, great woman that she was, she continued to run the home and care for her husband and family with only one hand.
Milo was proud of having been in the Light Horse and also of having fought at Gallipoli, and each year he led the military parade through the streets of Injune on Anzac Day. He died in the Injune Hospital 18 April 1968, just a week before he would have led the procession for the fortyseventh time. Grace died five weeks later 24 May 1968.
Patrick Milo married Patricia Chandler and they have twin sons, Philip and Peter born in October 1948, and a daughter Susan, born 1951, and now married to Colin Evans and living at Port Headland, Western Australia. Susan and Colin have two sons Zachary and Joshua.
Clement Michael O'Connor married Margaret Davis and they have a son Gregory born in 1956 and a daughter Fiona Maree born 19 January 1960. On 17 January 1981 Fiona married Michael Caffrey in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Toowoomba
John Connor worked in Sydney first, then joined in exploring the area inland from Port Macquarie until he was employed by Captain Rapsey on the old storeship, the St. Michael. Moored at Morpeth, the end of the navigable reach of the Hunter River, the St. Michael was the supply depot for the convicts cutting cedar, the soldiers guarding them, the bush constables and others in the district. As the settlement developed the quantity of stores passing through the St. Michael increased. In 1832 the two steam packets, Sophia Jane and William the Fourth commenced a regular passenger and mail service, plying twice weekly between Sydney and the Green Hills (Morpeth).
Alcorn's Inn stood on rising ground where the old and the new tracks met on the Singleton (southern) side of Fal Brook crossing at Dulwich Farm. This was becoming a favourite place for camping and resting the working bullocks. James Glennie's house was on elevated ground upwards of a mile nearer Singleton. The present bridge at Camberwell is 3 miles in a downstream direction from the site of Alcorn's Inn. On lst January 1832 a Post Office was established at Alcorn's Inn, to be the most northerly inland Post Office in the Australian Colonies. Mail was carried up there once a week by the Mounted Police. James Glennie was the contractor in 1832 for the supply of rations and forage to Mounted Police operating in the upper districts, and rations for the lock-ups at Darlington, Merton and Invermein. At Glennie's store travellers could purchase flour, beef and some other necessities.
Moses Connor married Anne Farrell at Glennie's Creek in 1840 and their daughter Mary Anne was born there 21 March, 1841. Then came John in April 1843 and Michael 22 June 1845. Three more babies were born to them but when John returned from the whaling trip to the Southern Ocean with a group of men from some of the ships that had been trading between Sydney and Morpeth he found Moses and Anne in a sad state. Two of their babies had died and they believed this was due to the bad climate.
They wanted to move further north. John and Moses together procured a horse and dray and began preparations for the journey.
Even then another little boy died and Anne was very distressed. The departure was delayed but Moses felt they must move away from that area. Finally the two men with Anne and the three remaining children Mary, John and Michael set off on the long trek that took them to Ipswich.
Ipswich was the free settlement fifteen miles up-river from Moreton Bay, the former Penal Colony, now becoming a busy port. Ipswich had a newly developed coal mine and was growing as the centre for the large land holdings being taken up in the Brisbane River valley, over the mountains and across the Darling Downs.
It was in Ipswich that John met Mary Murphy, the Irish governess to one of the families he was welcoming to Australia. They were immediately attracted to each other, John felt this was the woman who could, and would as he soon learned, help him to settle down and build a truly Christian home. They were married by Rev. William McGinty who with Father Hanly were the only two priests working in this vast northern section of the Colony. Their marriage was celebrated on 15 August 1854, in Ipswich.
The Connor men were not happy with the work and conditions that they found in Ipswich and did not settle comfortably, so that when they heard of the successful gold findings at Rocky River (Uralla), they once again packed their families and belongings into the dray and travelled south. John having his new bride with him, Mary a little sad at leaving behind her sister, but Ellen was employed in a good family and was content that Mary must go.
The journey would have taken some months for it covers a distance of three hundred and fifty miles or nearly five hundred kilometres. For most of the way the track, now the New England Highway, follows the top of the Great Dividing Range. As soon as they reached Rocky River the men lost no time in staking their claims and then set up their homes.