from Geelong Advertiser 26 March 1869
Robert Smith Tuffs was born in 1828. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Johnson and Elizabeth (née Todd) Barley, on 30 July 1848 at St Pancras Old Church, London. He sailed to Australia with his wife Elizabeth and 4 year old son Robert on the Maria Hay arriving in July 1854. They had the following children:
Robert Johnson — born 1849 in London, drowned 6 September 1865 when sailing near Brearley brothers' tannery aged 16 years.
William Johnson — born 1855 at Duneed, married Rosina Martin in 1882 at Germantown, died 20 October 1928 at a private hospital at Hawthorn
George — born 1858 at Duneed, died 9 May 1859 at Germantown aged 14 months
Thomas — born 1860 at Germantown, died 1861 at Germantown aged 16 months
Elizabeth Maria — born 1862 at Geelong, married Arthur Edward Brearley on 22 November 1890 at her parents residence, died on 4 October 1937 at Kew in Victoria
John Robert — born 1866 at Germantown, married Jessie Ramsay Naples on 11 March 1897 at the Ryrie Street Presbyterian Church, died 12 August 1942 in the vicinity of the Pentland Hills
Arthur — born 1870, died 25 October 1878 at Germantown at the age of 8 years of a most painful illness, arising from previous accidental injury to the brain
He lived at the Bay View Hotel (German Inn) during the time it was run by Felix Mulholland (1856-1864).
He was one of the first councillors of the Shire of South Barwon, serving from 1857 to 1860. He was the first engineer for the shire from 1861 until his death in 1890. He was also the surveyor for the Borough of Queenscliffe. He designed the Wesleyan Church at Grovedale, the Lutheran Church in Grovedale, the Grovedale Primary School, Brearley brothers' tannery and St David's Lutheran Church at Freshwater Creek.
He was also engineer at the Borough of Newtown and Chilwell for 25 years and while there he designed the Newtown Fire Station in Pakington Street. The station, which had a bell tower 40 feet high, was opened on 27 September 1884. To celebrate the opening of the new station, a dinner was held. He also designed the Prince Albert Bridge which crossed the Barwon River at the end of Shannon Avenue. The bridge was opened on 31 May 1889 at a final cost of £2,600 to which the government contributed £1,000. It had a span of 240 feet and piles 64 feet in length were driven deep into the river bed. At the opening the contractor, JW Tait of Western Australia, stated "The bridge is of sound timber and will last fully half a century." The bridge lasted until 1959 when repairs became necessary to prolong its life. In 1965 the road was re routed to less flood prone land and a new bridge was built 220 yards upstream. The Country Roads Board bore 80% of the cost and the two councils 10% each.
He was a committee member of the Geelong Permanent Investment and Benefit Building Society which began in 1867.
He died on 27 July 1890 at the age of 62 and is buried in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. At the time of his death he owned two small farms at Germantown. These were sold in 1902. One of nearly 41 acres, was sold to Mr Andressen for £19/5/- per acre. The second, which comprised 18 acres, was purchased by Mr O Renzow for £21/15/- per acre.
He died while driving his car to Melbourne when he was overcome by a heart attack. He lost control of the car, which crashed through a fence and fell over a 20 foot embankment. The mishap occurred within three of four miles of Bacchus Marsh on the Ballarat side, in the vicinity of the Pentland hills. He left a widow and two daughters. He was buried at the Ballarat Cemetery.