Thursday, March 29, 2018

Playford's Past vol. 6 out now

The new Playford Local history journal is out.
This edition looks at:

  • The Boer War, Playford Uniting Church
  • Smithfields Blue Ribbon Army
  • Elizabeth Baby Show
  • Paddy Coglin's Horse Stud at Smithfield
  • Elizabeth Roller Skating Rink
  • Zoar Methodist Church and Cemetery
  • Smith's Creek
  • Growing up in Elizabeth
  • Smithfield Recreation Park
Grab a copy for only $5 at the City of Playford Library branches, Elizabeth and Stretton.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

55 Years ago today Queen Elizabeth II visits Elizabeth for the first time


55 years ago

Queen Elizabeth turns on the Windsor Green fountain
HTSA collection
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Elizabeth on February 21st, 1963, 55 years ago, a most momentous occasion in the history of Elizabeth.

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, first visited General Motors Holdens factory after which they were welcomed to the district by the Chairman of the South Australian Housing Trust, Mr. J.P. Cartledge at Windsor Green. Thousands of official guests including the Chairman of the Salisbury District Council, Mr. J.L. Lindblom and Mrs. Lindblom, waited to greet the Royal guests.

The festive air provided by flags, bunting and decorated shields on lamp posts around Windsor Green was continued down the Royal route along Philip Highway where thousands more lined each side of the roads to see the Queen.

In his welcoming speech Mr. Cartledge expressed “our appreciation of the honour extended to our town by your visit. The town has previously been favoured when, in November 1955, your Majesty graciously approved of it being distinguished by the name of Elizabeth. The name was the finest gift ever bestowed upon a town.”

 The Queen as presented with a fine lambswool knee rug mad by Mrs. L.L. Mann. Made from eight of the finest quality Australian lamb skins, it took several months to make.

The Queen in her speech said that she had taken an interest in the progress of Elizabeth ever since the Premier, Sir Thomas Playford, had asked that it be given her name. She then unveiled

Mr. G. Shedley’s fountain sculpture and turned a gold tap to start the flow of water.

Queen Elizabeth is greeted by Mr Carledge
HTSA Collection
 The Royal party inspected the dancing figures statue and then were driven to Ridley Road Reserve where all the schoolchildren of the district, 17,000 of them were lined up for her. After the Queen had left Elizabeth, a grand Royal Visit Variety Concert in the evening rounded off the day’s celebrations on Ridley Reserve. Presented by the District Council of Salisbury in association with the Elizabeth Arts Council, admittance was free and those attending were treated to performances by a wide range of well- known performers and including the local groups, the Salisbury & Elizabeth Brass Band, the Vectormen and the Elizabeth Singers.

Dancing until midnight concluded a very successful day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wasley family of Virginia

Henry Wasley arrived in South Australia in 1838 on the Royal Admiral.  He was born on 11 June 1805 in Cornwall and worked as a miner.  While in London, he had purchased two acres of land in Currie street and forty acres of land at Enfield.

When he arrived in the colony, Henry spent a few months at Government Square on North Terrace, while he built a cottage in Currie street.  He and his wife Jane nee Hosken moved in there when it was completed.
As Adelaide was suffering from low finances, Henry sold his town acre blocks and moved to Burra, where he worked in the mines until 1851.  Along with so many other South Australian men he travelled to the Victorian gold diggings, accompanied by his nine year old son. They remained there for eight months trying their luck, at Forest Creek, Adelaide Hill and Bendigo.  They were successful at Adelaide Hill.

Returning to South Australia he moved to North Adelaide before purchasing 160 acres land from a government auction of Virginia at £2 per acre.  He purchased section 3015, 3029 and 3028, off Angle Vale Road, just north of the township of Virginia.
He farmed his property from 1853 until his death in 1868.  An inquest was held into his death, after Henry and his wife returned home in a spring cart with one horse.  The horse was rather fidgety, and bolted as Henry was holding his head.  He fell and got caught up in the harness, the horse then dragged a distance.  He passed away a few minutes after the horse stopped. Henry is interned in the Carclew Cemetery. He was followed to his last resting place by a large concourse of people, 33 vehicles and 10 horsemen. The funeral was conducted by Rev. S. Keen.

In Nov 1866, Matthew Thomas, one of Henry’s son was thrown from his horse while in the act of jumping over a waterhole one Sunday evening at Lower Light.  He suffered concussion and lingered until Wednesday when he died.  He was 17 years old and is buried in the Carclew cemetery.
Jane died on the 3rd April 1869 peacefully at Virginia, she was aged 52 years. She is buried with her husband in the Carclew cemetery.

Children of Henry and Jane
Eliza Jane Wasley            24 June 1840 – 29 April 1846 buried in Carclew
William Henry after growing up in the farming family purchased 103 acres of land at two Wells in 1864.  He married Sarah Ann and died in 1927 at the age of 95.

John      b.1844
James Hosken
Matthew Thomas
1852 – 1929

Emily Ann          
Benjamin Hosken          
Sarah Ann                       
31/12/1868     5 days     Carclew                                          

The small township of Walsey, just north of Gawler is named after the family.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

UNDERDOWN family of Penfield

Emmanuel Underdown was born on the 23 Feb 1801 at Widworthy, Devon, England. He
married Mary Squire, born in 1801. Emmanuel, an agricultural labourer applied for free passage to South Australia. He, his wife and three children arrived in South Australia in 1838 on board the ship Lloyds. The children were John Squire aged 10, Maria Angola aged 8 and Lycurgus aged 4. The family first resided at Reedbeds and then acquired land at Peachey Belt. Mary had £500 from her family which may have made it possible to purchase land[i].
When Emmanuel died in April 1863 he was buried on his own land. When Mary died, his remains were disinterred and placed beside hers at St John’s Salisbury Church of England.

On the 8 Nov 1853 at the age of 26 years John Squire married Jane Fourth Herring at Gawler. Jane was born on the 16 Nov 1834 at Launceston, Cornwall, England. John and Jane had the following children:-

             Mary Ann was born on the 12 June 1854 at Salisbury.
             Amelia was born in 1855. She died in 1861.
             Robert Emanuel was born on the 18 March 1856 at Adelaide.
             Eliza was born in 1857.
             Maria was born on the 25 Jan 1861 at Salisbury.
             John Squire was born on the 8 Dec 1862 at Salisbury.
             Harriet was born on the 2 Oct 1865 at Salisbury.
             Alfred Ernest was born on the 4 March 1869 at Adelaide.
             Lycurgus Edward was born on the 1 Oct 1870 at Gawler.
             Noah Benjamin was born on the 21 April 1874 at Salisbury. Noah died aged 10 from an accident at home.

On the 15 April 1863 Emmanuel died intestate and the court had to decide if all his goods, chattels, farm and credits would go to his eldest son, John of Peachy Belt. John was granted everything.

In 1866 John purchased two more sections in the Hundred of Munno Para, Sections 4041 and 4049, when he was living near Penfield. He also owned section 4040 and 4060. Their property was located in what is now the Edinburgh RAAF Base and named Widworthy Farm after the birthplace of Emmanuel.

John Squire took an interest in local community, becoming a Councillor for Munno Para West 1863 – 1868, then Chairman from 1870 – 1878. He acted as treasurer for a time. He was also a member of the Virginia Agricultural Society.

John became unbalanced in December 1877 and Doctor Peel advised that he be placed in the Lunatic Asylum. After a short time stay, Doctor Patterson advised Jane to take him home. Not long after his release, on the 12 April 1878 he took his double-barrelled shotgun and shot himself in the head. He was aged 50. 

At the coroners court his two sons and two daughters were there to give evidence. The jury decided that John had shot himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Jane died on the 22 July 1898 at Marion aged 63. They are both buried in St. John Church Cemetery, Salisbury.

John Squire Underdown junior continued to farm and enlarged the farm holdings in South Australia. Robert Emmanuel Underdown, son of John Squire junior lost the property and died a poor man.

Underdown Road, Elizabeth South is named after the family.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Clack Family of Angle Vale

Noah Clack was born at Clanfield, Oxfordshire in 1836 in a Methodist home.  The son of John and Ann Kenbury. Eleven children were born to the couple, ten of them male. Two of the Clack boys migrated to South Australia.

He came to South Australia in 1858 on the ship Melbourne and after a stay of four years he returned to England.  He soon returned in 1864 upon the Utopia, this time with his wife and stayed until his death.  
Noah and his family were one of the first Europeans to settle in Angle Vale area, were he remained for about 12 years.  At different times he was Superintendent of the Sunday School, Chapel Steward or Society Steward.    The Clacks who knew Esau Burford (another early settler to the Angle Vale region) in England came out in 1859 and settled in the district, living in a hut on Burford's farm on the river. 
The family later moved to Appila West district then Wirrabara again serving in the local churches. The congregation at Appila West met for some time in a school room and when it came time to build a church, Noah assisted whole heartedly.

He married Harriet Baker on 7th January 1837 in Standford, Berkshire England.  They married and almost immediately came to South Australia. A son Walter James was born the following year. 

Walter James    1864
Albert George   1865
Elizabeth Anne  1867
Isaac John          1869
Joseph Horace 1871
Arthur Baker     1877
In July, 1861, Gawler River Company of Volunteer Rifles was sworn in.  Included in the names of those sworn in was Noah.

This story is recorded in the Recorder Port Pirie 5 August 1936 p.4 from a letter written by Leonard A Roberts from Angle Vale written to Joseph’s brother Isaac John.

One of the first mowers on the plains was made at Bateup's implement works; the castings came from Kapunda. The machine was tried in Hatcher's paddock.  Noah Clack and Robert Burt were deemed expert scythe hands—they could average two acres a day—and of course they were indignant about machinery coming to take their place.

So they challenged the new mower on an even start. Away went the two men, leaving a wide swath behind them, while those in charge of the machine experienced some trouble at first. But this was quickly rectified, and needless to say, at the end of the day the machine had left the hand-cutters far behind.
Noah was a District Constable for Munno Para West in 1869.  The Assessment records show that Noah occupied land from 1867, firstly in Angle Vale, Smithfield and then Virginia.   The records do not show section number or acreage, but the properties are described as dwelling or house and garden.

He became weak for a time before his death and peacefully he passed away while sitting at his chair.  The funeral was largely attended in the Wirrabara Cemetery. He was remembered for his kindly nature, a man who loved the House of God and delighted in his services. 
In 1875 Noah had purchased 455 acres of land at section 3 in the Hundred of Booleroo.

Walter was listed as a farmer in Angle Vale in 1883.

Albert George   b: c1865 SA? d: 17.12.1920 buried: Wirrabara SA
married Ida Ann             b: c1883 d: 25.4.1969


Joseph Horace Clack was born at Angle Vale in 1872.  He helped his father on the farm but was attracted to the Western Australian gold boom of the 1890’s.   Returning to South Australia in 1900 he married Eliza Jeffrey of Booleroo centre after which they settled in Port Pirie.  For 27 years he was employed at the Smelters, but due to ill health retired at age 55.  In his younger days he was a well-known athlete and competed in many events at northern sports meetings. Joseph died at Pirie South on 3 August 1936, resident of the district for 35 years.
Joseph and Eliza had two children
Henry Alexr (1902-)
Trenna Edith Vera (1904-)

The youngest son, Arthur Baker became a successful artist. He went to Way College and for a time was a tutor on a South Eastern station.  He had journalistic ambitions, worked at the Register for a time but this did not last long.  He attended James Ashton’s Art Academy in Adelaide.  He was affectionally known as “ABC”.  He moved to England and France to continue his artistic studies where he became a successful exhibitor at the Paris Salon.

Oliver a brother to Noah came to South Australia in 1864 on the Art Union.  Oliver became a farmer near Angle Vale.  He married Henrietta Kearse in 1864 and they had six daughters, all of whom were born at Gawler Plains.   He was a District Constable for Munno Para West in 1884.
Oliver was declared insolvent in February 1888.  He died 4th May 1918 aged 74. Henrietta died 30th July 1926 aged 81.

Australian Christian Commonwealth Friday 30 Sept 1904