Friday, June 16, 2017

Wilson family of One Tree Hill


Matthew Cooper Wilson
Matthew was born at Stilton, Huntingdonshire, England in 1823.  His father, also Matthew was a miller and baker at Stilton and was an earnest Methodist.   He married in 1846 an in 1852 he and his wife and family came to Australia in the ship "Woodstock," landing in Melbourne. Their stay was short, as they left for Adelaide, where, with his brother William, he took to farming at One tree Hill.
Matthew tendered for Clerk and Collector for Munno Para East Council, the first for the Council.  He was Clerk from November 1854 until at least August 1857.

He gave that up after a short time and went to Precolumb, where he carried on a private school for 13 years. The school was connected with an Independent Church, where Mr. Wilson acted as pastor.   The school opened in 855, Matthew worked there from 1857 to 1869.  In 1857 the school had 30 pupils, the following year 27.  School inspections were favourable, he received ‘good’ for school and discipline.  After the 1857 inspection it was recommended he be licenced when he resigns as District Clerk.

In November 1863 Matthew was voted as President of the Golden Grove and Precolumb Mutual Improvement Society.
On March 21, 1870, a meeting was held at the Precolumb Schoolroom, with Mr. W. Kelly presiding.  Matthew was presented with a purse of sovereigns on his leaving for Victoria.  Several men gave heart filled regret that he was leaving as he was a true friend and often helped out when people were ill. 

The family moved to Mount Gambier, where in 1873 he accepted the position of clerk and surveyor of the Mount Gambier East Council, which he retained to the end of his life.  For nearly 25 years he was secretary of the Mount Gambier Agricultural and Horticultural Society. He was also a member of the Mount Gambier School Board from its formation till his death.

Several of his children were born while he lived at One Tree Hill,
William Alfred                 born 11 March 1860 at Precolumb
Arthur Eusebius              born 1858 Precolumb died 2 June 1862 buried in One Tree Hill Cemetery
Howard Locke Dexter    1864 Precolumb – 1906
Matthew passed away in May 1908.


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