John Hensley was a Barrabool Shire councillor, serving from 1866 until 1871, but his life in Australia began many years before he came to the Geelong district. He was born in 1821 in Bristol, England. In 1838 at the age of 17 he emigrated with his 24 year old brother, Charles, on the Pestonjee Bomanjee to South Australia. In 1852 they bought the 79 square mile property Cairnbank in the south east. A number of successful years allowed them to pay off their loan in six years and then to have a two storey Georgian mansion to be built on the station. For eighteen years he had prosperity he never expected allowing him to expand to Pinnaroo, Mount Elgin and Bleak House stations. His brother, Charles, died on 30 April, 1878 at Cairnbank.
During this time in South Australia he had married Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth (née McLean) Hay and they had several children:
Richard — born 1847
Elizabeth — born 1849, married Rev John Sinclair on 27 August 1878
Mary Harriet — born 1851, married Robert Laidlaw Fletcher on 5 June 1873, buried in an unknown location in the Mount Moriac Cemetery on 17 November 1942
William Hay — born 1753, married Mary Annie Hudson in 1888 at Norwood, Adelaide
John Alexander — born 1856, married Katie McCullock on 21 May 1891, died 21 February 1921
Jesse Susan — born about 1859, married Robert Henry Boadle on 5 June 1888 at Cairnbank, died on 22 October 1946 at Nhill Hospital
Margaret Annie Stewart — born 1861, married George McCoy on 16 April 1885 at Ewerby Mount Moriac
Charles James — born 1863
In 1865 he moved to the Geelong district. In 1872 he was at Ewerby in Mill Road (Hendy Main Road, north of the Colac Road), Mount Moriac, a property previously owned by Benjamin Tindale, a native of Ewerby near Sleaford in Lincolnshire. In 1875 he bought Minter's Mount Moriac Estate of 680 acres. He eventually owned 5112 acres.
His first setback was in November 1872 with the failure of the Provincial and Suburban Bank. The directors were prosecuted for fraud. Then the pastoralists started to have their land forcibly resumed for agricultural selection. These events caused him great financial hardship.
In 1874 he was elected a trustee of St Thomas' Church of England in Winchelsea. In 1882 he retired to a new house built in Latrobe Terrace, Geelong, leaving his son-in-law to run Ewerby. He died of bronchitis on 29 September 1891 at the age of 70 at the Free Presbyterian Manse in Great Myers Street, the residence of his son-in-law with whom he had lived for the previous two years. Mary had died the previous year on 5 January aged 66. They are both buried in the Presbyterian section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
Lewis Charles, son of James and Penelope (née Baynes) Conran was born in 1821. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel who served in the 56th and 11th regiments in Canada and Jamaica. In the 1840s he went to Norfolk Island in charge of convicts. When he came to Victoria in 1851, just before the gold rush, he was appointed Sergeant-at-Arms to the Legislative Assemble and aide-de-camp to Governor Latrobe. He returned to England in 1852.
He married Catherine Spencer, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann (née Barry) Wills in 1850. They had the following children:
Thomas — born 1850, married Evelyn Ford in 1878, died 1915
Henry — born 1851, married Mary Molle in 1886, died 1924
Charles — born 1854, married Helen Brock in 1897, died 1939
Marcell — born 1855, married married Charlotte McLacklan in 1881, died 1935
Kate — born 1863, died 1964
Catherine died on 27 August 1884 aged 52 years.
Lewis returned to Geelong in 1874, taking up farming at Highton, living on the west side of Thornhill Road (south of Bonsey Road) at Barrabool House, a seven roomed dwelling with kitchen, pantry and stabling. The address of the house now is 13 Pepperdine Way. He grazed sheep and cattle on his land. In 1878 he applied for and was granted a slaughtering license.
In 1888 he married Catherine Sarah, daughter of Hugh Lawrence McLeod from Claremont, Waurn Ponds. They had the following children:
Hugh — born 1889, married Edith Cooke in 1918, died 1957
Noel — born 1891, died 1916
Enid — born 1892, died 1960
Catherine died on 21 August 1941 at Kandy in Ceylon.
Lewis was a South Barwon Shire councillor serving from 1876 until 1886 and was president from 1879 until 1880. He was also a Barrabool Shire councillor from 1878 until 1881 including a term as president in 1880. He was a member of St John's Church of England in Highton and for some time sat in the Church Assembly. He died on 10 January 1892, aged 72 years and was buried in the Church of England section of the Highton Cemetery with his first wife Catherine. He left an estate valued at £6642.
James Noble, eldest son of William and Jane (née Gray) Noble, was born in 1821 in County Tyrone, Ireland. He was the first of his family to arrive in the colony in 1840 at the age of 19 on the ship Ferguson. He initially set up business as a grocer. He was followed to the colony by his brothers John and William and sister Mary Jane in 1848. Two other brothers, George and Charles, and his father William came later. His mother died in County Tyrone, Ireland on 29 April 1855. Two sisters did not emigrate. He invested in vast amounts of real estate in the Geelong district and other areas as they were opened up for farming. He also had many business interests.
In 1848 David Hill Dow sailed to the Geelong districton on the Aurora, bringing with him his wife Agnes née Lamont, and three sons, John Lamont (11 years), Robert (7 years) and Thomas Kirkland (a baby) and daughter Agnes (9 years) . He became a station overseer and a Barrabool shire councillor from 1867 to 1870. He acquired what had been Hindhaugh's "Forest Station".
Son, John Lamont Dow was born on 8 December 1837 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. He became minister of lands, agriculture and mines in the 1886-90 Gillies-Deakin coalition. He was responsible for the introduction of land tax. He married Marion Jane Orr in 1869 and had three sons and five daughters. The eldest, David McKenzie Dow (1870-1953) was official secretary for Australia in America in 1924-31 and acting commissioner-general in 1931-38. He died in Melbourne on 16 July 1923. Further reading http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dow-john-lamont-3433
Son, Thomas Kirkland Dow was born on 4 July 1848 at Glasgow. He was an agricultural journalist working for the Leader and the Australasian after teaching in a state school near Ballarat for many years. He went overseas for the Age in 1898. He married Margaret Campbell née Keith, daughter of Andrew and Euphemia Keith of Freshwater Creek.. They had two sons and three daughters. He died at Tresco on 2 March 1918.
Son Robert who was born about 1841 died on 27 September 1866 and is buried at the Mount Duneed Cemetery. His mother Agnes Lamont Dow who died on 31 December 1874 is buried with him.
After the death of his wife David Dow left the district to take up a position as a station manager at Great Western, near Stawell. He married Barbara Stewart Marshall and had two more sons. After her death he married Agnes Hodge who was his widow after he died.
Hillside is a single storey homestead built of basalt with a slate roof. It was substantially altered by the addition of an early 20th Century art nouveau style veranda.
Alexander Fyfe erected Hillside in 1862. The land was originally taken up by him in 1855 and was intended to be a two storied home. After the ground floor was completed, Captain Fyfe chartered a ship to bring decorative temple stones from Burma for the second storey. The ship was lost at sea and the captain was unable to complete his home. He died on 8 May 1903 at the age of 76. He arrived in Australia with his wife in 1848 on the ship Stag. All of their ten children survived. He was a very prominent public figure in the early days of Victoria and Queensland, having been elected to the first Legislative Council for Geelong in the middle fifties at the early age of 24 years. He was the first person to open up a foreign trade between Geelong and the East Indies, having as many as five sailing vessels trading between these places. Migrating to Queensland in 1861 he took over a large squatting property. In 1868 he was elected to represent Rockhampton, and held the seat until 1874, when he returned to Victoria.
James Henty then purchased the house, adding the land to his holdings nearby and used it as a country holiday home for a few years.
James Stewart tendered for a four year lease of 682 acres for the years 1875-1879.
The next owner was Andrew White. He was born in 1829 at Stretton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire. He married Emily Walker in 1852. Andrew and Emily arrived in Australia in 1853 aboard the James L Bogert. He ran livery stables in Geelong which were well established by 1856. Emily died in 1861. His second wife Jane died in 1871. He had large land holdings in Connewarre. He purchased Hillside in 1878 and moved from Stretton Park with his family soon after. He became a councillor in the Barrabool Shire in 1878 and served until 1886. In July 1885 he was appointed a justice of the peace. He was also a South Barwon Shire councillor and served for ten years between 1878 and 1899 with several terms as president (1878-1879, 1885-1887, 1889, 1894, 1895-1896 and 1898-1899). He died intestate on 28 May 1900 in his 72nd year. His estate was valued at £46,305/17/5 and was divided between his widow, Catherine, and his children at the time of his death:
William Andrew White of Aphrasia Street, Newtown
Charles White late of "Darragh", Myamyn Street, Malvern
Emily Ann McGregor of Morangarell, NSW
Alfred Gilbert White of Hillside Mount Duneed
Henrietta Jane Whitelaw of Fitzroy Street, Geelong
Adeline Charlotte Collins of Prospect Road, Newtown
Laura Amelia Richardson of Pevensey Crescent, Geelong
His third son Alfred Gilbert (1868-19 January 1946) purchased Hillside from his father's estate in 1900 and lived there until his death. He was a former pupil of Mount Duneed School from 1878 until 1880. He was the municipal clerk at South Barwon Shire from 1894-1900, and served on the South Barwon Council for 46 years from 1900 until his death on 19 January 1946 being president for the following terms — 1903-1904, 1906-1907, 1921-1922 and 1931-1933. He married Elizabeth Orchard Matthews. His children were Mildred Bessie (born 1895), Constance (born 1897), Ruth Audrey (born 1899) Douglas Alfred (born 1900), Noel Stretton (born 1902) and John Wilfred (born 1907).
The prefabricated iron cottage, shown above, at Summerhill, 155 Mount Duneed Road, Mount Duneed is a rare example of a two room prefabricated iron cottage. It measures 24' x 12' in plan and is 9.5' high to the top of the segmental arched roof. The roof and walls are of 5" corrugated iron, with no supporting frame. The prefabricated iron cottage is of scientific, historic, social and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It is notable because it demonstrates British technical accomplishment in the history of prefabricated building construction. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register number H1131.
Mr and Mrs Joseph Williams and their two sons George and James with their niece Elizabeth Frear arrived in Melbourne by sailing ship 'Lochiel' in 1853. They erected the cottage in 1854. They lived in the iron cottage with its rounded roof, until a weatherboard house consisting of four rooms was erected in 1860 with further additions in the 1870s. Joseph Williams was a South Barwon Shire councillor from 1860 until 1861. He was looked after at Summer Hill by his son for 21 years prior to his death on 13 Jun 1892. His wife Hannah was the daughter of Captain Joseph Wilson. She died on 19 December 1863. They are both buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
George Williams was the oldest resident of the district, when he passed away on 4 November 1919 at Summer Hill. Born in Liverpool in 1836 he had resided at Mount Duneed since coming to Australia with the exception of ten years, which were spent in Melbourne working for the Geological Department. For many years he was engineer and secretary for the Shire of Barrabool. He was a Barrabool Shire councillor serving from 1870 until 1872. He was active in church affairs as a trustee, class leader and steward of the Methodist churches of South Melbourne and Mount Duneed. He left a grown-up family of two sons and three daughters. His wife Elizabeth née Frear pre-deceased him by 19 months. They are buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
The stone shed (in the picture below) and stone wall (surrounding the south side of the house), was also built in the 1860s. Mr GWF McIntyre purchased this property and Mr and Mrs S Seiffert, with their two sons Lindsay and Murray, were the tenants for many years.
Inscription on headstone:
In memory of
John Wilson Bell
loved son of
J C and Frances E Bell
died 10 April 1896
requiescat in pace
Bellbrae takes its name from John Calvert Bell who farmed the land behind Bells Beach during the later years of his life. It is not known if Bells Beach also takes its name from his family or from the original owner of the land, William Bell (probably no relation). For most of the time he was married to Frances Ellen (nee Wilson) he lived at Calder Park, in Torquay Road, Mount Duneed. He was an early captain of the Mount Duneed Rifle Club, resigning his position in September 1900 due to the pressure of private business.
JC Bell, who was born at The Leigh, Victoria on 15 December 1861, was the elder son of James Bell and Mary Stewart (nee Singer) who both migrated from Scotland. His mother claimed to have a family tree dating back to 1050 and was an 18th cousin of Queen Victoria. She was also connected to the Lyons family of Glamis. JC Bell attended Scotch College, Melbourne in 1871 and 1872. He enrolled at Geelong College for the 1873 year.
On 6 January 1885 he married Francis Ellen Wilson, the daughter of Charles AC Wilson the Leigh Shire Engineer, at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne. On 9 January a grand picnic, including a cricket match was held for the people of Teesdale at the Woolbrook estate. Two children were born to the couple before coming to Mount Duneed.
Clara Irene Stewart Bell was born of 7 September 1886. She entered Loreto Abbey, Ballarat, where she died on 10 May 1971.
Naomi Frances Woolbrook (Mid) Bell was born on 20 August 1887. She was the only child to marry. On 4 November 1919 she married Captain Charles Edward O'Byrne at St Joseph's Church in Malvern. She died on 23 December 1920 in Dublin, Ireland.
Honor Calvert Otway (Queen) Bell was born on 24 December 1889. She entered Loreto Abbey, Ballarat where she stayed until she died on 31 December 1967 at St John of God Hospital, Ballarat.
Harold George (Sonny) Bell was born on 24 July 1891 at Calder Park, Mount Duneed. He was killed in action at Ypres on 8 October 1917.
Mary Kathleen Alexander (Girlie) Bell was born of 16 May 1894. She died in Geelong on 13 March 1978 and is buried beside John Wilson Bell at Mount Duneed Cemetery. She had lived at "Addiscot" Belbrae with her father and later lived alone in a cottage nearby.
John Wilson Bell was born on 1 April, 1896. He died 9 days later on 10 April and is buried at Mount Duneed Cemetery.
JC Bell became a Winchelsea councillor in the coast riding in 1889 and later was elected to the Barrabool Shire in 1897 and served in the Coast riding until 1901. In March 1901 he was appointed a trustee of the
Mount Duneed Cemetery.
Two stallions were advertised at stud during the 1899 breeding season at Calder Park - a 14 hand trotting pony stallion named Sirocco and a 12 hand pony stallion named Woodland Hero.
Frances died on 17th September 1901 at Miss Murray's private hospital in Myers Street, Geelong. The funeral left the hospital at 10:30 the next morning, arriving at Bannockburn at 1:30 on the midday train from Geelong, then proceeding to Teesdale for interment.
In April 1905 JC Bell purchased grazing land near Bells Beach which was originally owned by William Bell. "Addiscot" homestead was built on this land about 1912.
On 3 March 1908 John Calvert Bell married his first wife's sister, Irene and lived at "Addiscot". She died on 15 January 1952 at a private hospital in Geelong, aged 87. She was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
John Calvert Bell died on 26 July 1937 and is buried in an unmarked grave in the old Presbyterian section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
John Calvert Bell should not be confused with John Bell of "Lunan" in North Geelong. This John Bell died on 4 August 1906, after an accident three weeks prior. He was a well known squatter of the Shelford district. He had four sons and one daughter.
Reported in the Geelong Advertiser 6 August 1906 page 2
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