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In the following section we have collected information regarding some "Burra Notables".  Some of these people you may have already seen in the Pioneers section, but the majority of the individuals are unique to this section. 

Our information is a combination of obituaries that have been summarised from the local paper (the Burra Record which was known as the Northern Mail from 1876 to 1878), plus some additional information taken from various sources.

To assist navigation, please select a letter for the surname of the pioneer you are interested in.

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BURNS, S.
(Mayor of Burra)

Burra Record, 7 June 1916 Death of Mr. S. Burns J.P.

Whilst it was received with many expressions of very deep and genuine regret, the news that Mr. Samuel Burns, J.P. of Kooringa, had passed away on Sunday night at 10 o’clock was quite expected.

Up till just 5½ years about Mr. Burns was noted or his great strength and activity, he had never suffered a day’s illness in his life, but was then suddenly the victim of a “stroke” which only his wonderful constitution enabled him to survive. He never completely regained his health, and about five weeks ago another stroke laid him low. Even from that he rallied and fro a time it was thought he would recover, but on Thursday night last there was another attack and from that he never regained consciousness.

No more highly respected man ever lived in the town than Mr. Burns. For 30 years he was a local preacher, and he upheld his precept by his example; strictly honest in his business, unvarying cheerful in health or sickness, thoroughly kind hearted, he enjoyed and deserved the respect and esteem of all.

On the whole his life was an uneventful one. He was born in Burra on June 22nd, 1858, and about 30 years ago established the blacksmith and wheelwright’s business which he owned to the last.

He took a very considerable interest in public matters. For some years he was a member of the Town Council and was Mayor for twelve months, whilst during his second year in the position he had to resign on account of his ill-health. He was Chairman of Trustees of the Burra Burra Lodge, M.U. I.O.O.F., and trustee of the Rachabite Lodge. He was prominent in Masonry and attained the Senior Warden’s chair in Kooringa. No 6, his health again preventing him taking the next step. Besides being a local preacher he was superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school for some years.

To mourn their loss, deceased leaves a widow, six sons and three daughters. The family comprise, Norman, Gladstone and Charles in Kooringa; Garfield with the Light Horse in Egypt; Robert, who enlisted in Fiji, with the King’s Royal Rifles n France; Jack in Melbourne; Mrs. Alan Murrie, of Port Pirie; Misses Lydia and Melva, of Kooringa, and three grandchildren. Deceased’s brother the Rev. J A. Burns, Presbyterian minister, Midura, is the only surviving member of the family.

The funeral took place yesterday when the last marks of respect were paid to an honored townsman and confirmed by the presence of his brethren in the virus orders and t by the townspeople generally. The funeral service was read by the Rev. A.J. . Finch and the mortuary arrangements were in the hands of Messrs. C.J. Pearce and Son.

Brummitt, Dr Robert

Burra Record, 19 Jan. 1927 Obituary

The death of Dr. Robert Brummitt, sen., which occurred at Medindie on Monday, 10th January, removes a once highly esteemed resident and physician of Burra.

The deceased gentleman was born in Lincolnshire in 1851, and early in life decided to embark upon a medical career. 

He was educated at Guy’s Hospital in London, and in 1874 was awarded the diploma of M.R.C.S. (Eng) and L.S.A. (Lond.). Shortly afterwards, having qualified for his profession, the doctor visited Australia, to which country he returned in 1877 to join Dr. Nesbit in practice at Burra.

For 23 years he lived in Kooringa, and despite the demands of his time, the doctor found time to interest himself in every movement, which involved the progress of the town. 

In April of 1900 Dr. Brummitt and family left the town, and before leaving they were given a splendid send-off, and embodied in a beautiful address presented on that occasion were a number of offices of usefulness held by him during his residence here. 

For four years he occupied the mayoral chair (1894. 1895, 1896, 1897) was a Justice of the Peace, member, President, and Treasurer of the Institute Committee, member of the Agricultural Society and Horticultural Bureau, also various improvements and reading societies, the founder of the Burra Benevolent Society, which in those days had plenty of scope for its work.  

It was almost impossible for a town to have had finer Christian gentlemen as doctors than the late Drs. J.I. Sangster (sen. and Jun.) and Dr. Brummitt, and these three gentlemen played a very vital part in the development of the Burra Hospital. 

A prominent Methodist, he was not only a regular attendant at church, but an office-bearer and most acceptable local preacher, and both his and his good wife’s removal at that time created a very big gap.

Upon leaving Burra, he made a trip to England and on his return settled at Medindie, where he practised until a few years ago. 

Dr. Brummitt married Miss Jane Roach, the younger daughter of the late John Roach of Aberdeen who survives.  There are also two sons Drs. Elliot Brummitt, of Medindie, and Robert D. Brummitt St. Peters; two daughters Mrs S. Forsaith, Mount Gambier and Miss M. G. Brummitt.

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Cave, John D.

Burra Record, 25 Oct. 1899 Obituary 

After a short illness of about one week John D. Cave, aged 77, has died at his residence, Victoria Park. [sic]  He was a resident for almost 30 years and a prominent townsman. 

He was interested in the Institute, was active in the early years of the first Agricultural Society [i.e. Show Society] and in the Anglican Church. 

He was Secretary of the Burra Hospital from its inception and clerk of the Burra and Hanson District Councils for many years. 

As a JP he was respected for impartiality and he took an interest in sports in the area. 

He was auditor of the Town Council and Secretary of the National Defence League.

The funeral on Saturday was largely attended.  He leaves one son, H.F. Cave (Manager of the National Bank, North Adelaide) and four daughters: Mrs P.L. Killicoat (Abberton Park), Mrs A. Butterworth (Adelaide) and the Misses F. & E. Cave of Victoria Park. [sic]

[In this item Victoria Park should read Victoria Place.]

Crewes, E. W.
(Mayor of Burra)

Burra Record, 28 August 1929

DEATH OF MR. E. W. CREWES

The news of the death of Mr. Ernest William Crewes, which occurred at the Burra Hospital on Sunday evening, after a short illness, came as a tremendous shock to the whole community, many of whom were unaware that he was seriously ill.

For some days previously he had been suffering from influenza and on Friday afternoon was removed to the Hospital. He was then able with his son’s assistance to walk out to his car. However, on Saturday morning complications set in and Sunday midday the distant members of the family and his only sister, Mrs. Hetty Richards, were hastily summoned and with the exception of his youngest daughter, who resides in New South Wales, were present at his bedside before he passed away.

Born at Bridgewater, Somersetshire, he afterwards lived in London until he was nine years of age, then, on the death of his father, he went to Cornwall. When about 19 years of age, in company with his mother and only sister, he left Cornwall for Australia in the ship, “Hesperus” and on arrival at Port Adelaide came direct to Burra, where with the exception of three years at Euriowie, near Broken Hill, the remainder of his life was spent.

Their first home was at Aberdeen where he went to work for H. Gartrell and Co, (in premises now occupied by Mr. Tiddy) in whose employ he remained for a few months. He then entered the employ of Messrs Samuel Drew and Co. After being with the firm for some years he was sent to take charge of a store Drew and Co. had started at Euiowie. While there he was made a Justice of the Peace and often had to marry and bury people. When he returned to Burra the Messrs Charles, John and Thomas Drew retired from the firm and in April 1889, he with Mr. John Drew jun. was made a partner under the firm of Drew and Crewes. Later on the firm merged into a Limited Company and in 1912 it was changed to Drew and Crewes Pty. Ltd. when Mr. Crewes was appointed Managing Director.

A man of unusual ability he, apart from a busy business life, found time to interest himself in all matters pertaining not only to the town but the district. Municipal matters possibly occupied the biggest share of the time he devoted to public affairs. For ten years he occupied the mayoral chair. His first term was from 1901 to 1902, the second 1914 to 1919 and the third from 1921 too 1922. Strange to relate he held office during the period of the Boer War and right through the period of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. In both struggles Burra was to the forefront in patriotic work, particularly in the latter when much of the enthusiasm and devotion of the Burra and District was due to the indefatigable and self-sacrificing work of the “War Mayor” who neither spared himself of his well organized committees and proved himself not only a loyal citizen but a capable and safe leader. In the Great War it would probably be safe to say that no individual in Australia did more than he.

His fame as a speaker and above all as an appealer went far and wide and in this direction he traveled hundreds of miles even speaking in other States. Apart from Municipal matters he was a member of every society or Committee that had the welfare of the town or district at heart, his business ability making him a valuable asset to any organization. His long experience as Justice of Peace was also appreciated by many folk and his advice freely and courteously given. He was a member, officer and local preacher of the Methodist Church and his ability as a lay preacher was far above the ordinary. His death will create an immense blank in the town and he will be greatly missed. He practically retired from public life after the war and it was only under pressure and for the purpose of raising the balance required to complete the monument, the erection of which was largely due to this initiative, that he consented to take the Mayoral chair in 1921-1922.

He married on June 16th, 1881, Miss Eliza Tickle, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Tickle of Yongala who survives. Of a family of eight, one daughter Evelyn, and one son, Ernest, predeceased their father. The family comprise: Mrs. J. L. Sandland, Peterborough; Mrs. J. Statton, Lower Mitcham; Mrs. J.P. Steele, Westboure Park; Mrs. P.A. McBride, Glen Osmond; Mr. K. R. Crewes, Burra and Mrs. J. Bishop, Grenfell, N.S.W., and several grandchildren. His sister, Mrs. P. Richards, resides at Prospect.

The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon when over 100 cars followed the remains to their last resting place. The hearse and coffin were simply covered with a beautiful lot of floral tributes from all parts and various organizations and the attendance at the grave an eloquent tribute to the esteem and worth of such a citizen.

At their own request men of the R.S. and S.I. League in khaki acted as bearers, this touching tribute showing plainly how our soldiers appreciated his efforts during the war. Could anything have pleased his more? The bearers were: Messrs L.M. Gordon (Lieut.), G. H. Dow, J. H. Murison, F. Spencer, W.R. Lee, and J. F. Stephen. Following the chief mourners were the Mayor and Councillors. A further token of respect was the fact that all business places in Kooringa and Aberdeen closed for one hour to enable their employees to attend the funeral. A short service was first held at he home conducted by the Rev. E. Lawson who also officiated at the grave assisted by the Rev. Ralph Lee. A very moving address was delivered by the Rev. W.O. Harris, Redruth, and Chairman of the Middle District. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs, C.J. Pearce and Son.

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Davey, William

Burra Record, 24 Mar. 1915 Obituary 

William Davey died on 22 March of pleurisy and bronchitis.  He had lived in Burra over 60 years. 

He was born in the parish of Stithians, Cornwall, in 1828 and was aged 86.  He came to SA in the Omega in 1851. 

He walked to Burra and got work as a miner and later as a storekeeper on the mine.  Later still he was District Council Clerk until he was 80 and Secretary of the Oddfellows Lodge. 

For 22½ years he was caretaker and librarian at the Institute.  He was an ardent Bible Christian and after union a trustee of the Methodist Church.  Mrs Davey died 10 years ago. 

He is survived by Mrs E. Statton (Hallett), Mrs E.L. Davey (Burra), Messrs S.H. Davey (Wallaroo), William (Petersburg), Jos. (Croydon), Alfred (North Adelaide), Samuel & Milton (NSW), A.S. and E.J. (Burra).

There are 49 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren

Drew, John

 

Burra Record, 61, 35, 20 Aug. 1940 Obituary

Mr John Drew died at his residence, Mt Pleasant, Kooringa, on 15 August.  He is a descendant of families that arrived here in the 1840s.  He had been ill for some weeks from heart and lung problems. 

He was born in Kooringa on 7 September 1868, the eldest son of the late Mr & Mrs Thomas Drew and educated first at Mr White's School and then at Prince Alfred's College until he was 17, after which he went to Pt Pirie to work for Messrs Prest Bros., of which an uncle, Mr W. Bosomworth, was a partner. 

When Messrs John, Charles & Thomas Drew, trading as Samuel Drew & Co., retired, Mr John Drew jun. came from Pt Pirie in August 1889 and with the late E.W. Crewes took over the business as Drew & Co.  This became Drew & Crewes and after some years, Drew & Crewes Pty Ltd. 

As a young man he was much involved with football and cricket and is said, when playing a Country v. City match to have hit a ball over the pickets and into the River Torrens. 

He was an old member of the Rifle Club and played bowls.  He was a member of Burra Light Horse under Major Watt. 

He was also a long serving member of the Burra Institute Committee and President more than once.  He was a member of the Town Council and Mayor*, during whose term the avenue of pines leading to the cemetery was planted.  He was also a long serving member of Kooringa Methodist Church in which he held all offices in turn and was a member and secretary of the Trust till his death.  He was for 40 years Superintendent of the Sunday school. 

On 29 September 1892 he married Miss Catherine E. Goode, 2nd daughter of the late Mr & Mrs B.P. Goode of Pt Pirie.  Three of four children survive: Ken M. Drew (Burra), Doris Mrs R. Scott (Barmera), & Mr John T.P. Drew (Leighton).  His second son, Alan Drew, died as a result of a car accident last year.  There are eight grandchildren.

[* He was West Ward Councillor Dec. 1903-Nov. 1905 and Mayor Dec. 1905-Nov. 1906.]

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Forder, A. H.

 

Burra Record, 19 Sep. 1917, Obituary

A.H. Forder died at his daughter's at Laura. 

He was the first organist at Kooringa Methodist Church, being succeeded by John Pearce. 

When he moved to Redruth he took a prominent role in the church there as choirmaster and organist. 

Some years ago he took up dairying at Thackaringa.  He was prominent here in musical circles and was clerk of the local court for many years.

He was twice married, but both wives predeceased him.  An adult family of sons and daughters survives.

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Henderson, W. H.

 

Burra Record, 2 July 1913, Obituary

W.H. Henderson died on 25 June aged 71, of senile decay. 

Mr Henderson had a business in Burra for 44 years and was born in Hawick, Scotland. 

He landed in SA in 1869 and went briefly to Clare before establishing a machinist and fitting business, now Henderson Bros and run by his sons. 

He leaves three daughters, two sons and 27 grandchildren: Mrs Alex Harris (Kooringa), Mrs Turley (Broken Hill), Mrs Haggar (Broken Hill), James A. Henderson (Kooringa) & Roy Henderson (Kooringa).

Holder, W. H.

 

Burra Record, 28 July 1909, Obituary

Sir Frederick Holder died on 23 July in Melbourne.

Sir Frederick Holder, Speaker of the House of Representatives, had an apoplectic seizure after an all-night sitting discussing the Old Age Pension.  He was greatly respected as Speaker for his fairness.  He collapsed on the floor of the House at 6.30 a.m. and died without regaining consciousness at 4 p.m. 

He was born at Happy Valley in SA on 12 May 1850, the son of Morecott Holder.  A promising student, he was induced to become a teacher and accepted a position under the Education Dept.  He however, felt he would do better as a journalist and secured possession of the Burra Record of which he became editor. He wrote columns also for the Advertiser and to the English newspapers.  While still editor of The Record he became Mayor of Burra. 

In 1887 he was elected to the SA House of Assembly at the head of the poll, along with W.B. Rounsevell with the latter edging out Sir John Cockburn by 5 votes.  (Sir John then got elected for Mt Barker.)

On 27 June 1889 he became Treasurer of SA in the Cabinet of Sir John Cockburn.

He was renowned for thoroughness and helpfulness and was never factious in opposition.  In policy he was consistent.  Of the 22 years in SA and Federal Parliaments he was a Minister or Speaker for all but three of them.  He represented the same constituents throughout.  In the SA Parliament he represented Burra and was elected to Federal Parliament first on a State-wide basis and then re-elected for Wakefield, which included Burra.  He was a strong supporter of Federal Union.

When the Commonwealth was formed he was Premier of SA.  In SA he was mostly Treasurer, but for a while under the Kingston Government when he was Commissioner of Public Works.  The state funeral took place in Adelaide on Monday and thousands attended despite torrential rain.

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Killicoat, Isaac

Burra Record, 22 Jan. 1886, Obituary.

Isaac Killicoat was buried yesterday.  He was born in Perranwell, a village in Cornwall 5 miles south of Truro on 3 December 1809.  As a youth he went into mining and attended night classes for an education.  At 19 he became a superintendent of operations employing 500 hands.  For 19 years before migrating to Sa he was Surface Captain to the Tresavean Copper Mine, Gwennays, Cornwall, one of the oldest and largest copper mines in England and the second in the world to introduce a 'man engine': i.e. a lift to lower miners into the depths of the mine.  This whole time he walked 5 miles 'back and forth' as the Cornish say, or 10 miles a day.

In 1848 he was engaged by John Schneider & Co., later the Patent Copper Co., to come to Burra and superintend the purchase of ore from the SAMA and others on behalf of the Smelting Co.  This he did till the mine closed.  He also bought land and grew wheat and hay.  More recently he bought Abberton Park, named after the vessel he came in, and devoted himself to sheep.  He also used irrigation there to grow fruit trees, especially oranges and lemons.

He was active in public life and greatly encouraged the completion of the Burra railway.  He stood for the Legislative Council once when the whole colony was a single constituency, but was not elected.  He was appointed a member of the first Burra District Council and elected chairman thereof.  He was also elected a member of the Midland Road Board: an office he held until his death.

He did much to establish the district's roads and bridges.  On mining matters he was a consultant, making two trips to New Caledonia to confer on the Ballade Copper Mine and also to Cobar Mines in NSW as well as to mines in New Zealand and was consulted by the owners of the mines on Yorke's Peninsula.

He was a member of the Church of England and a trustee of St Mary's, Burra.  Thrice married, his third wife survives him.  His eldest son has been dead for some years, but he is survived by two sons, three daughters and 22 grandchildren.

Burra Record, 29 July 1903, page 3

Reminiscences of Captain Killicoat.

Arrived at Pt Wakefield 18 July 1853 in the barque Malacca from Montevideo after a passage of 70 days with a cargo of 180 mules imported by the Patent Copper Co.  Other passengers were E.K. Horn, Mrs Isaac Killicoat and family and Mrs Skews and family.  These mules were used to carry low-grade surplus ore from Burra to Pt Wakefield - two bags or c. 2 cwt per mule.  This was then shipped to Swansea.  Mr Horn as agent went to Rio de Janeiro in the Malacca to buy the mules and then the barque went on to London for the Killicoat and Skews families and brought back a cargo of scrap iron. 

On reaching Rio the Capt. found that the mules had been bought in Montevideo and went there and got them aboard, taking six weeks to return in rough weather.  The Mexicans in charge had much trouble on the voyage to Australia due to very rough weather and several mules died. 

Mr Horn acted as Company agent in Pt Wakefield till the railway to Kapunda opened and traffic was then diverted there.  Mules were then used in wagons in lieu of driving in mobs with packs of ore by the Mexicans.  Other loads of mules followed and several loads of scrap iron, but while the Malacca was away it was found that Carculta ironstone near Black Springs would act as a flux for Burra malachite, so the load of scrap iron was used to build a wharf at Pt Wakefield and no more imported.  Mules were better than horses and had the longest and hardest stages (between Mule Camp and Burra) other stages to Kapunda via White Park which were shorter and easier were done by horses. 

The Company had a variety of teams using horses, bullocks, mules and donkeys and did much of their own carting while others were employed in various ways.  At the works store you could buy almost anything and there was a butcher's establishment to supply employees with meat at a time when many lived in the Burra Creek - some with large rooms, nicely whitewashed, cool in summer, warm in winter with fireplaces and shelves cut out of the ground.  The Patent Copper Co. had 18 reverberatory and three refining furnaces at work.  They constructed the roads and bridges between Burra and Pt Wakefield and Baldina

and were lessees of Baldina Run then.  They also owned land between Burra and Pt Wakefield and for example grew hay etc. at Kadlunga to feed their stock.  The Mule Camp and White Park belonged to them.  The Company still carry on smelting at Newcastle and have wharfs etc. at Pt Adelaide and Pt Augusta and one of the best copper mines, the Clara St Dora near one of our great northern railway stations - smelting the ore at Newcastle.

[Note: other sources say Chileans rather than Mexicans.  White Park was on section 271 & 172 Hundred of Waterloo c. 2km north of Tothill Creek.]

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Lane, Phillip

 

Philip Lane was born at Winkleigh, Devonshire in 1833, the son of John Lane and Mary Lane {Nee Veal}. John Lane was a boot and shoemaker and in 1847 Philip and his older brother came to South Australia by the "Princess Royal".

Philip started work for Mr. J. Nosworthy, machinist, in order to learn a trade. After a short time however he became associated with the business of Mr. James Phillips, saddle and harness maker, of Hindley Street, Adelaide with whom he worked for over four years. He then embarked in a brig called "The Gazelle" the second vessel to leave South Australia for the Victorian gold-diggings, where he engaged in prospecting for a few months. Returning to Adelaide at the end of that time, he subsequently made several trips backwards and forwards during three years, and met with a fair amount of success on the fields.

In March, 1854, when making a return journey overland, he fell in with celebrated bushranger Morgan, on the Wimmera, near Horsham, who said he had lost his way. Mr. Lane, not being aware of his identity, extended him an invitation to breakfast, which he accepted and having obtained direction, proceeded on his journey. The suspicions of the party being aroused, however, they thought it advisable to change the venue of their location, a move they heartily congratulated themselves upon, when, on describing their visitor at the town of Horsham, they were informed that it was none other than the notorious Morgan.

After working at his trade in Adelaide for eighteen months Philip removed to Gawler, and a year later settled at the Burra. Having spent four months in the employ of Mr. H. Dawson, saddler, he opened in a business on his own account, and was continuously associated with commercial life in the town for fifty years.

On the 13th of June 1859, Philip married Esther Moon at Kooringa. Unfortunately this union was cut tragically short when Esther died at the age of 21 on the 11th of June 1861.

On December 21st 1861, Philip married Louisa James daughter of William and Louisa James. Together they had 13 children Minetta, Flory, Horace (died age 1), Louisa, Mary (died age 3), Edith, Harry (died age 2 mths), Horace (died age 5 mths), Philip, Mary, Annie, Stanley Monteith and Muriel.

He handed his business over to his son Stanley while a second business established at Broken Hill was placed under the control of his eldest surviving son Philip.

Philip Lane was a member of the district council of Burra, and to his influence was due the proclamation of the Corporation. He had the honour of being elected the first Mayor, retaining the post for two years, and after a lapse of a couple of years was again returned for a similar period. Upon this occasion he was the recipient of a handsome presentation in the shape of a silver inkstand and tea service, suitable inscribed, from his fellow townsmen.

He was instrumental in obtaining many advantages for the town, among which may be mentioned the road from Market Square running eastwards, a public school, the Victoria Park Recreation Reserve, and the Burra Institute. He was a member of the School Board of Advice for a lengthy period, visiting Justice to the Redruth Gaol for some eighteen years, and a member of the Foreign Bible Society of which he was the treasurer for forty years. He was also one of the first members of the Agricultural Society.

Philip Lane died aged 79 years of Gastritis Syncope on the 18th of December, 1912 at Kooringa.

Largely reproduced from the Cyclopedia of South Australia

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McCulloch, A.

 

Burra Record, 21 Oct. 1890 Obituary

A. McCulloch Sen. died in Glenelg last Wednesday at 80 and was buried on Saturday at Kooringa.  He was well respected in his early days in the district for his charitable work. 

He came to SA in the Oriana in 1836 with Messrs J. Reed, Stephen King, Stubbs, and Henry Dundas Murray.  He bought 200 sheep from Murray to whom he acted as shepherd, the two flocks being depastured together.  He took a run on the Gilbert where he bought land.  Soon after he took up land from James Logan at Gottlieb's Well (near Terowie) and later extended it to Nackara.  Here he was renowned for his hospitality with sometimes 20 visitors at a time. 

In 1865 he took up Princess Royal and lived there until about a year ago.  Glenelg was his summer residence and he spent all last year there. 

In 1870 he bought Yongala Station.  Generally he was very retiring and his only public office was as Member of the House of Assembly in 1861.  His son-in-law is Mr Justice Boucaut.  He was very liberal to the Anglican Church and at Christmastime to the poor.  His failing health saw him succumb to a second attack of asthma. 

He leaves two sons, Duncan & Aleck, and three daughters, Mrs J.P. Boucaut, Mrs Fielder King and Miss McCulloch.  One son, John, died about three years ago.  There are a number of grandchildren.

McLagan, G. R.

Burra Record, 8 April 1891 Obituary

Mr G.F. McLagan [Should be G.R.] was the son of Dr McLagan of Perth, Scotland, but was born in Jamaica where his grandfather was a wealthy planter and slave owner, leaving at death an estate of £260,000.  He was also related to Dr McLagan, Bishop of Lichfield. 

Trained as an architect, Mr McLagan followed his profession in Melbourne, retiring with some £8,000, but this was subsequently lost in sheep farming in Victoria on the Murray River.  Here he had an accident which crippled him for life. 

He came to Burra about 12 years ago.  Rev. H. Howitt saw a photograph of a beautiful [church?] he had designed at Warnambool and asked him to draw the plans for St Mary's.  When they were accepted he came to Burra to superintend the building of the erection in 1879.  He also planned and superintended the building of the handsome home of Mr Hiles of Catarpoo.  He was 71 and leaves a widow and one son.

 Melrose, John

 

Burra Record, 6 June 1928

His Excellency the Governor General (Lord Stonehaven) received advice on Sunday last that His Majesty had been pleased to confer several Commonwealth honours. Amongst the names that appeared two closely connected with our district, viz., Mr John Melrose of Ulooloo, and Captain George Wilkins, who have been knighted. The latter’s first home was at Mt Bryan East. Needless to say that the above news was received with the greatest gratification throughout the district. Mr Melrose who is thoroughly well known has proved himself one of the most unselfish, large hearted and public spirited men throughout the district. He is not only a district man but one of the leading pastoralist in the State.

He was born at Rosebank SA, on January 12th, 1860, and educated at Price Alfred College and then spent a year gaining experience in a mercantile office and from there went to Franklin Harbour and assisted in the management of Wangaraleedini Station until 1883. Early in 1884 he went to Ulooloo Station to manage for his father and on the death of his father bought the estate from the trustees. Later he acquired with the late Mr H Dutton, the North Booborowie estate together with the flocks.

Sir John’s stock are well known throughout Australia and he has been able to build up his splendid stud only by personal supervision and his great interest in his flocks has kept him at his Ulooloo property for the greater part of his life. In July last year the Waite Institute “Rufus” (“Register”) of Monday states, “He is one of those pastoralists who like Barr Smith and Peter Waite, had had great faith in South Australia, and having prospered as a result of that faith and commendable enterprise, felt it a duty and a privilege to do something worth while in return for his country. I have met those who have worked for John Melrose and lived with him, and with one voice they have acclaimed his honesty of purpose his kindly disposition and his generous heart. When he lost that priceless possession, his eyesight, he still continued to direct his enterprises and he showed such supreme courage in rising superior to the great affliction that to his friends and acquaintances he stood revealed an heroic figure. In this way alone his life has been a a fine example to those who think the whole world is against them when they are checked by some trifling ailment or reverse.”

The above magnificent gift of £10,000 was only one of Sir John’s many benefactions. We have in Burra in the fine Maternity Wing a standing monument to his, coupled with Mrs W P Barker’s and Mr Tennant’s names. The first named gave £1600 each and Mr Tennant £750. Sir John has for many years been associated with the Hallett District Council and in all matters pertaining to the district. Sir John is also a member of the Burra Hospital Board. When the building of the maternity Wing was being discussed one day Sir John ordered the speakers to cut out the flattery and said, “I made my money in the district and I want to do something for it, something of lasting benefit, and there’s nothing more precious in life than mother and child.” And that is the spirit in which he has supported all district movements which have met with his approval and there could be no finer. Neither great wealth nor honours have cut him off from old associations and we feel sure that in extending to him our congratulations and expressing our delight at the recognition he has received from His Majesty the King we are but expressing the sentiments of every resident in the district who will with one voice cry “Long live Sir John Melrose.”

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Nesbitt, William Peel
(Mayor of Burra)

Burra Record, 16 May 1894 Obituary

Dr William Peel Nesbitt died at Salisbury on 12 May, aged 44.  He was the son of Dr Pearce R. Nesbitt and was born at Northampton on 3 June 1849.  He was educated at Bruce castle near London, Guy’s Hospital and Edinburgh University, during which time the disease which has now claimed him first appeared.  He was a Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery.  He visited South Africa, America and New Zealand before coming to Burra in 1875 and stayed here five years. 

In his time here he was a Warden of St Mary’s, President of the Institute, Member of the School Board of Advice and Mayor for a year.  With Dr Brummitt he worked to establish the Burra Hospital and was one of its first two medical officers.  He left Burra in 1880 for a North Adelaide practice and was given an address and silver plate in appreciation when he left.  He was an Honorary Medical Officer at the Children’s Hospital and for a time a Resident Medical Officer there.  He later became Medical Officer for Yatala Labour Prison, but had to retire due to illness 6-8 months ago.  For the last 18-19 years he lived with his sister, Miss Nesbitt.

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PINCH, Henry

Henry PINCH was born 1828 in St Mabyn, Cornwall, son of William Pinch and Mary Pearse Johns He died 7 Apr 1916. He was buried in Burra. S.A. At the age of 20 Henry sailed to South Australia on the "Duke of Bedford" which arrived at Pt Adelaide on Dec 18th 1848.

He met Francis Hicks on board and they married in the C.of E. Limehouse Hill Kooringa in 1849.  Francis was born at Mevagissey Cornwall. 

Their first home was a dugout whilst he built a house at Lot 104 Illogen St., Redruth.  Their daughter Mary was born there in 1852 (first girl to be born in Redruth).

He did some farm work near Adelaide, but that same year went to the Burra Mines. He is credited with bringing in the first team of horses to the district for the Patent Copper Company, however it appears he drove the first team of horses for the P.C.C. on the Gulf road later called Great Western Road. This road was used to cart ore from the mines through Clare to Port Wakefield. This was in 1950.

Prior to being a teamster, Henry Pinch worked as a blacksmith on the construction of a bridge which later became known as Dunn's Bridge and just south of the crossing the town of Balaclava was established.

In 1851 he sold his home and went to the Victorian goldfields at Forrest Creekbut did not stay long and returned to Burra.  Their second daughter Fanny was born at Burra in  1853...he worked on the mines as a tributer until 1869.  Henry then purchased “Pencarrow” now called “The Grove” and sold it in 1883 for 6,000 pounds.  He moved to Lot 62 St. Dye St., Burra.  He then returned to the Burra Mines and worked for them for the next 18 or 20 years. He then purchased "Pencarrow" and commenced grazing and farming.

Henry repurchased “Pencarrow”  in 1897 for 4,077 pounds and 10 shillings and deeded the property to his daughter Fanny who was by then married to Edwin Nicholas FINCH.  The property remained in the Finch family nearly 75 years.  Mary, his other daughter married Josiah Thomas and they lived at “Three Trees’, the adjacent property.   

He was Chairman of the District Council 1879 to 1881 and was also a member of the Town Council. He was a member of the Oddfellows Society.

His obituary states that he and Frances lived in the historical dugouts in the bank of the creek until he built a brick house in Redruth. In his spare time he put the roof on and, traction being very expensive, he carried every bit of timber for it from Kooringa on his back. He sold his creek residence for 3 pounds and shortly afterwards all the huts were washed out and it was then that Paxton Square was built.

Henry's home was the first built in Redruth. He subsequently purchased a farm of 701 Acres and held it for 18 years selling it to J Cockrum, afterwards repurchasing it and handing it to his son in law. He retired to Redruth.

Henry was also very involved with public life. He was a Burra District Councillor for 3 years, occupying the chair for a portion of that time, 2 years a Corporation Councillor, on the Committee of the Show Society, the Redruth Church and for some time a member of the Hospital Board.

For 65 years he was a member of the M.U.I.O.O.F in Burra and twice a Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge.  He was one of the oldest Freemasons in Burra being W.M in 1885. On the occasion of his Diamond wedding in 1909 he was tendered a social in the Masonic Hall and presented with an Address, the G.S and G.I being present; Wor. Bro. Fuss making presentation.

Henry died in 1916 at 87 years, a lengthy cortège testifies to the respect in which the old pioneer was held. The Rev Boyd read the funeral service whilst Messrs J.C.Pearce & Son had charge of the arrangements. Henry is mentioned in Ian Auhl's book "The Monster Mine" Residence-Aberdeen Burra.

Reference: Margaret Gleeson

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REED, Richard

Burra Record, 21 Feb. 1917 Burra Identities

Mr Reed was 80 on 22 January and is the person longest resident in the town*. He was born in Cornwall in 1837 and came to Adelaide aged 10 with his parents. They settled first at Kapunda where Mr Reed's father was a miner. 12 months later they moved on to Burra. Richard was engaged here in whim driving and other tasks and after a few years turned to plastering.

When gold was discovered in Victoria he made three trips to the gold fields in 1853-54. He then returned to Burra and purchased a team of bullocks and engaged in wood carting and carting other requirements of the mine. The men working on top were on tribute, but underground workers had wages. The hours underground were 7 to 3.

Aborigines were common in those days and corroborees were a common sight. There were magnificent gum trees on either side of the Burra Creek. Eventually Mr Reed turned to sheep farming and took up the property of 'Wandillah'. Money then could only be got at 10% and wool prices were low.

The droughts of 1863 and 1865 were disastrous and he lost practically everything. Mr Reed retired to Aberdeen about 14 years ago. In 1859 he married Miss Ann Henwood, daughter of Mr John Henwood of Burra and has three sons and three daughters: Richard Reed (Aberdeen), John Reed (Mongolata), James Reed ('Wandillah'), Mrs George Sara, Mrs C.H. Bartholomaeus (Aberdeen) and Miss Reed who lives with her father. Mrs Reed died about four years ago. He has never taken an active part in public life. He celebrated his 80th birthday by 'doing' the Murray trip with Miss Reed.

* While this may have been true, statements of this sort are not to be relied upon.

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Tiver, James

 

Burra Record VX, 844, 17 Mar. 1909, Page 3

Obituary.  James Tiver died at Aberdeen on Friday, aged 80.  He arrived in Sa in April 1855 from Bristol in the David Malcolm and came to Burra as contractor to the Smelting Works.  He erected the first buildings in the town of any note as well as bridges and the making of roads.  He constructed the black bridge over the creek in Aberdeen.* 

He took over the Aberdeen Railway Stores and ran them for over 40 years.  He also bought land between Hallett and Yarcowie and secured Tiverton and Banbury. 

He was an earnest Christian who occupied many of the offices of the Redruth Methodist Church and was for over 50 years the Superintendent of the Sunday school, relinquishing it two years ago. 

He represented the Redruth Circuit at Conferences.  He was also a JP, a Member of Loyal Aberdeen Lodge of Oddfellows.  A cortege of 70-80 vehicles followed the coffin to the cemetery in one of the longest funeral seen in Burra for some time.

He reached Burra in a bullock dray and once went to Wallaroo to erect a mine building when water cost £1 for 33 gallons.  Mrs Tiver was an invaluable helpmate.  Once on going to join her husband at Wallaroo they had to erect a cottage for her and the children in one day.  He leaves five daughters: Mrs Gray (Glenelg), Mrs E.F. Opie & Mrs A. Sara (Broken Hill), Mrs J.G. Sara (Aberdeen Railway Stores) & Mrs Stock (Campbelltown) and 43 grandchildren & 8 great-grandchildren.

[* Actually this is incorrect: the contract for the Redruth bridge went to Duncan Grant and he is mentioned in the paper throughout the construction of the bridge in 1879 and at its opening.  See Burra Record  II. 77. 19 December 1879, page 2.]

Treloar, Frank

 

Burra Record September 19, 1934 Obituary

The announcement of the death of our late grand old townsman, Mr Frank Treloar, came as a shock to his friends in Burra and district.  Although he was seriously ill the latest news received prior to Monday showed an improvement but he suffered a relapse on Saturday last and died on Sunday evening at his residence, Phillip Street, West Croydon. 

The deceased gentleman belonged to the mid north of S.A. He was born at North Adelaide on June 1s, 1852, and was the eldest son of one of the pioneers of S.A., his parents having arrived in South Aust. in the early forties. 

His father after a successful trip to the Victorian gold diggings took up land at Watervale and with his wife and baby, Frank, then only five months old, left per bullock wagon for their new home. 

Like all other pioneers their first home was a tent until a cottage was built.  Mr Treloar was one of the first scholars to attend Mr. Coles’ well-known school at Watervale. 

At 14 years of age he went to work for an auctioneer where he remained for four years, he then went in to the wheat trade at Hoyleton, which at that time was the shipping station for all wheat grown north of that town. 

He next turned to farming but unfortunately chose the dry areas near Orroroo.  He was married at that time and for five years he and his wife tried hard to make it a success and finally after losing all their money gave up the idea of fighting nature and went back to the old home at Watervale.  There for six months he acted as a wheat agent, after which he was appointed manager of Gum Creek station, owned by Sir John Duncan.  At that time that station comprised 32,000 acres and there was also an eastern block belonging to the proprietors who ran from 100,000 to 130,000 sheep.  He held that position for many years. 

Mr. Treloar, like his wife, knew and loved good horses and was a recognised judge of good stock and whilst at Gum Creek had the satisfaction of riding and driving some of the best horses in the state.  Whilst manager of Gum Creek the then flourishing Burra Coursing Club held many successful meetings on that station and in every instance Mr. Treloar held the position of judge. 

On leaving Gum Creek he came to Burra to reside, now some 35 years ago.  During that period he acted as Secretary for the Burra Burra Hospital, the Burra Agricultural Society, the Burra Sports association, and was also clerk for a number of years for the Hanson District Council. 

Mr. Treloar also occupied a seat on the Burra Town Council and was also one of the most consistent members of the Kooringa Masonic Lodge on whose roll his name occupies the second place.  He was also a member of the I.O. Oddfellows and A.O.F. Lodges. 

Up to within a few weeks of his death his marvellous energy never flagged.  He left Burra in November of 1930, to reside at Croydon and it can be truthfully said he left his heart in Burra and kept in close touch with the town until his death. 

He was a clever writer and many interesting articles from his pen appeared in the columns of The Record.  We can truthfully say that Mr. Treloar was beloved and esteemed by every person in the town and district for his geniality and for the honourable manner in which he carried out his duties, and although his demise occurred at such a great age, his death is sincerely regretted by everyone with whom he came in contact. 

His life partner, Mrs. Treloar, survives and a family of three sons, Messrs. Leonard, Clement and Roy Treloar, and three daughters, Mrs Rossini (Olive), Mrs. Hartwig and Hilda Treloar, all of Croydon.

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