The South-Western (Camperdown) District in 1888 – Biographical sketches of the Prominent Residents

Dunoon, George, Colac, is a native of Scotland, who arrived in Melbourne in 1864, and remained there about three years. He then moved to Colac, where he commenced his business of tailor and outfitter, which business he still carries on. He was the second resident tailor to start in the place, which had then only a population of 300 persons. At that time the aboriginals were numerous, and frequently held carousals in Murray-street.

Edmundson, William, J.P., Birregurra, is a native of England, who came out to Melbourne in June, 1857, going thence to Pirron Yalloak Station near Colac, and remaining there four years. In 1861 he went to Ripple Vale Station, which he managed for Sir Charles Sladen eleven years. He married in 1872, and then settled on Ellimanooth Station, where he now resides and carries on the occupation of a grazier. About three years since he was appointed a justice of the peace for the southern bailiwick.

Elkington, John, Lorne. This gentleman served his time to the wool trade, at Bermondsey, London, where he was born 17th June, 1818, and where he remained until his marriage in 1840. In August, 1848, he left England for Port Phillip, and arrived at Melbourne 8th January, 1849. He took up his residence at Geelong, and in 1852 was instrumental in establishing the first Chamber of Commerce in Victoria at that town. Mr. Elkington was variously occupied up to 1857, when he entered the municipal service, filling the office of secretary for Barrabool, Bannockburn, and Winchelsea road districts for a number of years. He also took an active part in framing measures for the Local Government Act at the conferences which were held in Melbourne from 1859 until 1863, in which latter year that Act came into operation. From 1862 to 1875 he resided at Mount Moriac, and has for the last eleven years resided at Lorne, where he carries on the business of land agent, &c.

Elkington, Victor, Winchelsea, is Australian by birth, being a native of Geelong, and received his education in Geelong and Melbourne schools. He has been connected with municipal affairs since he was ten years of age, having then assisted his father, Mr. John Elkington, now of Lorne, in various matters connected with the Local Government Act. He was appointed secretary and treasurer of the Winchelsea shire in 1874, and is clerk of petty sessions at Winchelsea and Mount Moriac.

Errey, Thomas Peter, Camperdown, was born in the parish of Heathfield, Sussex, England, and came to Melbourne in 1857, whence he proceeded to the Camperdown district. In 1860 he commenced farming and grazing, and in 1862 started in the butchering business, which he still carries on. He was appointed a justice of the peace for the southern bailiwick about four years ago. Mr. Errey was married in England, and has a family of two sons and three daughters.

Fenton, David, Cobden, was born in Scotland, and arrived in Geelong in 1849. He settled in the Camperdown district at an early date, and at the first land sale purchased one acre in the township for £74 and on it built the first house, which he occupied. He now resides near Cobden, where he carries on grazing.

Ferguson, W. M., Camperdown, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and came to Australia in 1854. He landed at Melbourne, and remained there about a month, after which he proceeded to the Camperdown district, and was for twelve years the secretary of the Hampden district road board, which afterwards, in December, 1863, constituted the shire of Hampden. He was also clerk of the bench at Camperdown. Subsequently he occupied himself as a professional accountant, and now resides at Timboon, the name Camperdown was better known by in the early days.

Fitzgerald, George Sydney, Mortlake, was born in Somersetshire, England, and arrived in Australia in December, 1853, landing at Sydney, N.S.W., and going gold-mining with varying success for eighteen months. Coming to Melbourne, he spent a few months in the metropolis, went to Westernport in 1855, and took 600 head of cattle to Mr. Thomson’s station at Keilambek, near Terang. On returning to Melbourne he engaged with Mr. Bourke, who resided at Mortlake, and in 1856 he purchased land at that place, adding to it from time to time, until he now owns over 1000 acres, which he utilises for grazing and farming purposes. With Mr. William Brumley and Mr. Walter Williams, Mr. Fitzgerald was the first to introduce horse-racing into the Mortlake district.

Forrest, Charles L., J.P., M.L.A., Colac, was born in Scotland on 16th September, 1838, and came to Victoria in 1852. After a brief residence at Fryers Creek, near Castlemaine, he settled in the Ballarat district. He lived there twenty-eight years, and was during that time a member of the Ripon shire council for twelve years, and president thereof twice. In 1880 he removed to Colac, and was a member of the shire council four years, being also elected its president. He was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly for Polwarth and South Grenville in 1886, and now holds the seat. 

Gellie, William, Camperdown, was born in the North of Ireland, and came to Australia in November, 1841, landing in Melbourne, and working for two years as a baker. He went to the Camperdown district in 1843, and followed various pursuits for a number of years. He then purchased land near the township, where he has resided since, and carried on grazing, &c. In 1841 he married, and in April, 1863, his wife died, leaving a family of two sons and four daughters.

Gill, Richard, Colac, was born in the county Galway, Ireland, and came to Melbourne with his parents in 1852. For about thirty years Mr. Gill resided near Laketown, and carried on farming. He then came to Ondit-road, and purchased the hotel known as the Irrawarra, where he now resides, after carrying on business for the past five years. His family consists of four sons and seven daughters.

Gray, George, Terang, was born at Canton, Nottinghamshire, England, and arrived in Australia in 1855, where, after following various pursuits, he in 1861 selected 128 acres of land in the parish of Keilambete,and has added to it from time to time, until he now has 400 acres near Terang, on which he carries on grazing. Mr. Gray has been a trustee of the Bible Christian Church at Terang since its establishment in 1863.

Gubbins, John H., Terang, was born at Tavistock, Devonshire, England, and came to Australia in 1854. He landed at Melbourne, and proceeded to the Creswick gold diggings, remaining there eight months. He then engaged in dairying for about seven years, after which he went to Clunes and carried on a hay and corn business for four years. He next went to Ararat, where he was grazing and farming for thirteen yers, and in 1878 he purchased the Ecklin March of 1535 acres, a tract of land draining into Mount Emu Creek, where he now carries on the avocation of a grazier.

Camperdown and Mount Leura
Victoria and its Metropolis, Past and Present, 1888
Coloured by Remembering the Past in Colour

Hallyburton, Adam, Pomborneit, was born in Perth, Scotland, in 1827, and came out to Australia in 1857, landing in Geelong, where he worked for ten weeks at boiler-making, after which he went to the Camperdown district, and took a contract to build a dairy for Mr. Hugh Scott, of Jancourt Station. He continued in the building line until 1867. In 1865 he selected the land on which he now resides, and where he carries on agricultural pursuits. In 1870 Mr. Hallyburton built the first school-house in the Pomborneit neighbourhood. The building is also used as a place of worship. The Rev. Mr. Wilson, now resident in Kew, near Melbourne, was the first clergyman to officiate within its walls.

Hamilton, David, Camperdown. This gentleman, although not an old colonist according to the ordinary acceptation of the term, has, since his arrival in Melbourne early in 1860, had considerable experience in various capacities which afforded him an insight into colonial affairs, and more especially with regard to municipal institutions, with which he has been intimately connected for over twenty-five years. He is a native of county Donegal, Ireland, who came out to seek his fortune beneath the Southern Cross before he had reached his majority. Being unable to obtain employment in Melbourne, he took up his “swag” and tried the bush, and, after a weary tramp, he got a couple of weeks’ work on a farm at the Plenty, by which he earned £2. Soon after this, through the influence of a friend, he obtained a tutorship in a gentleman’s family, near Meredith, which situation he held two years; and subsequently, for a few years, the combined appointments of teacher of the Government school at Lethbridge and clerk to the Meredith road board. In 1869 he was selected by the Hampden shire council, from amongst a number of other applicants, as their secretary and treasurer, an office which he has filled ever since. During his long connection with road boards and shire councils, Mr. Hamilton has gained an extended experience in the working of the municipal system in various phases. Besides discharging his strictly official duties, he has acted as honorary secretary to charitable and other movements. On the occasion of his leaving Meredith and Lethbridge his friends met and presented him with a valedictory address, and accompanied this testimonial with a handsome and valuable presentation of books. Mr. Hamilton was married in 1881.

Harlock, William, Pomborneit, was born in Geelong, Victoria. His father arrived in this colony in 1851, and lived in Geelong for eight or nine years, after which he removed to Ondit, near Colac, where he selected land under the Duffy Act, and carried on dairy farming for a number of years. In 1877 he purchased land near Camperdown, 150 acres of which Mr. W. Harlock has since bought, residing on it and carrying on grazing. Mr. Harlock, senior, is still living, and resides at Colac. Mr. W. Harlock was married in 1875, and has a family of one son and four daughters.

Harrison, George, Pomborneit, was born at Streatlam Grange, in the county Durham, England, and landed in Melbourne in January, 1854, by the ship Kent. Thence he went first to Geelong, and then to Tandarook Station, where he was overseer for Dr. Curdie for three years. He next joined a company established in Melbourne for the purpose of taking horses and sheep over to Western Australia. In 1865 he selected land under Grant’s Act at Mount Porndon, and has resided there ever since, carrying on farming. In 1869 Mr. Harrison was appointed shire valuer, and in 1872 rate-collector and inspector for the Hampden shire, and still retains the position. He has always taken a warm interest and a prominent part in connection with municipal affairs, and in all matters relating to the temperance movement.

Hill, Campbell S., Colac, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He came to Australia with his parents in the ship Clyde in 1840, and landed in Sydney, N.S.W. In or about 1856 Mr. Hill commenced business in a flour and general produce store at Rokewood, Victoria, and carried it on in Connection with his father’s flour mill for six years. In 1865 he took the Victoria Hotel at Birregurra, and occupied it for about seven years. Thence he went to the Colac district, and conducted the Great Western Hotel, at Irrewillipe, for seven years, and after two years at the hotel business in Melbourne, returned to Colac, and purchased the old-established Colac Hotel, where he now resides. See HILL, THOMAS, Dimboola.

Hills, George H., Colac, is a Victorian native, born in Melbourne in 1840, where he remained for nine years, when he went to Colac, in 1850, with his parents. At this time there were but very few inhabitants in the district. At the age of twenty-one he commenced business on his own account, purchasing township blocks in Colac, and being successful in selling them and others. About thirteen years since he bought 300 acres of land near Colac, on which he now resides, carrying on grazing and dealing in land and stock; and during this period he has bought an additional 300 acres, besides occupying 700 acres more, which he rents. Mr. Hills kept the Royal Hotel, Colac, for three and a-half years, and about 1870 he was appointed shire inspector, and filled the office for one year. He has been married about 15 years, and has a family of three sons and four daughters.

Hills, James, Colac, was born in Gravesend, Kent, and at nine years of age removed to Portsmouth, England. He came to Australia on 20th January, 1840, in the third emigrant ship John Bull, and landed at Sandridge. At that time Melbourne was nearly all bush. He, however, commenced business in Elizabeth-street, and carried it on there for four years, when he moved to Collins-street, and conducted business for six years. In 1850 he left Melbourne for Colac, but the guide that ought to have conducted him to Geelong got the worse for liquor and lost the way, taking him to Mr. Austin’s station, where he was detained four days through the drayman having lost his horses. Mr. Hills arrived at Colac on the 17th March, 1850, and established himself in business as a general storekeeper there, at which he continued until 1866, when he took to grazing cattle, and retired from active business in 1880. Mr. Hills was one of the chief promoters of the Church of England, and of the free Public Library, also one of the originators of the Melbourne Cricket Club, of which he was secretary. He was one of the first jurymen in the Supreme Court, when it was held in a store, Judge Willis being the first judge, so that he may fairly claim to be identified with the colony in its earliest days.

Hogarth, David John, Colac, is a native of Tasmania, born in 1856. He left Hobartown under engagement to the Hamilton Spectator, Victoria, and subsequently in 1882 purchased the Colac Reformer, assuming the editorial management of it. This newspaper has been in existence for fifteen years, and all the property in connection therewith is owned by Mr. Hogarth and his partner, Mr. H. J. Richmond. Mr. Hogarth married Miss E. Bowman, a Hamilton lady, daughter of Mr. T. Bowman, M.E., consulting gas engineer.

Hopkins, John Rout, J.P., Winchelsea. This gentleman, who is at once one of the oldest residents and most prominent public men in the locality where he resides, is a native of Hobartown, Tasmania, and son of Mr. Henry Hopkins, who was one of the first to ship wool from Tasmania to England in 1819 and 1821, and was the gentleman in whose house, at Hobartown, the Australasian League for stopping transportation to the colonies was formed, and the resolution to that effect drawn up. Mr. J. R. Hopkins came to Port Phillip in 1845, spent six months at the Barrabool Hills, and in 1847 settled on the Wormbete Station, four miles from Winchelsea, having 22,000 acres, where he has since resided. About 1849 the first church was erected in the locality, and, in 1861, the present one was built. Mr. Hopkins has been a member of the Winchelsea shire council almost since its establishment. He was also the first president of the Barrabool shire, and has been president of the Winchelsea shire council for the past seven years. He has held Her Majesty’s commission of the peace for the southern bailiwick for over thirty years.


Hunter, Charles H. D., Stonyford, was born in Scotland, and arrived in Australia in 1884, landing at Sydney, N.S.W. He came to Victoria in order to start a rabbit-preserving factory at Stonyford, near Colac. He commenced building the premises two years since last February, and had it running in seven weeks. He employs about fifty hands in the factory, and about 150 trappers outside. The first year he turned out 186,000 tins of preserved rabbit. The second year he only worked eleven weeks, and turned out 87,000 tins, and in 1887 he was manufacturing at the rate of from 18,000 to 22,000 tins per week.

Jamieson, Robert, Darlington, was born in Scotland, and sailed from Greenock in 1840, landed at Melbourne in April, 1841, and spent two years at Port Fairy. Thence he went to Dowler’s Creek, and remained there six years, removing then to Geelong, where he built a flour mill near the town, which he sold in 1851. He next went to Normildale district, and, in conjunction with his brother, purchased and worked a station, but after a time bought his brother’s interest in the property, and in 1858 sold the estate; the following year he purchased the Bolac Plains Station from Mr. Hood, and lived on it for about twenty-three years, and still possesses it. In 1881 he also purchased Stony Point, adjoining Darlington, from Mr. T. F. Cumming, on which property he now resides, carrying on grazing, and making a speciality of breeding merino sheep.

Johnston, J. G., Colac, was born in Geelong in 1857, and came to reside in Colac with his parents in 1867. His father, a saddler, still carries on business in Colac, and with him, about 1878, he went into partnership in the saddlery trade, with a tannery in conjunction, and remained in it until 1883, when he entered on the business of auctioneer and real estate agent, which he now carries on.

Laing, F. T. B., Terang, was born in Scotland, and arrived in Australia in September, 1842, in the ship Duke of Richmond. He landed at Port Phillip and remained there about three years, and in 1845 went to Deep Creek, known now as the township of Bulla. In 1848 he took charge of the Yallock Station and remained there until 1860, removing thence to the Colac district, where he stayed two years, then returned to Yallock Station and remained there until about 1867. He next moved to Terang, where he now carries on the avocation of drover, general stock manager, &c.

Lang, Alexander, Ondit, was born in Scotland, and came to Victoria in March, 1854. He immediately proceeded to the Colac district, and engaged in various pursuits there for about three years. Then, in conjunction with his brother Gavin, he purchased land at Coghill’s Creek, and carried on farming for a time, after which they sold the property, and returned to Colac, where they remained two years. Thence they went to Ondit, and selected 370 acres of land under the Nicholson Act, and a paddock of 400 acres under the Duffy Act. They then dissolved partnership, one remaining on each selection. The Lang brothers built the first house in the Ondit district, some twenty-six or twenty-seven years since. Mr. A. Lang purchased and selected from time to time nearly 3000 acres, which he occupies for grazing purposes. He was married about 1860, and has a family of three sons and four daughters.

Lang, Matthew, Terang, is a native of Somersetshire, England, who came to Melbourne in 1853. In 1867 he went to Terang and purchased a general store, carrying on business there until 1885, when he let the store and purchased land in the neighbourhood, on which he now resides and which he utilises for grazing purposes.

Lawler, Robert, Colac, is a native of Victoria, born in Colac in 1853. His father came to the colony in 1852 and settled at Colac, where he carried on farming and grazing until his death, in November, iS8o. Mr. R. Lawler lives on the old homestead. The property was taken up by his father under the different Land Acts. Mr. R. Lawler married in 1883, and has a family of three sons.

Linn, Mrs. Henry, Terang, is the widow of the late Mr. Henry Linn, of Terang. She was born in Ireland, and in 1851 came with her husband to Australia, landing at Melbourne and settling in the Geelong district, where they carried on general and dairy farming. They purchased land, and after farming for some years sold the property and went to Ireland, remaining there two years, and then returned to Australia, where they settled on Lake Keilambete, and where the widow now dwells. The late Mr. Linn died 13th December, 1885, at the age of eighty-two years, and his remains were interred in the Terang cemetery.

Lord, Samuel, Pomborneit, was born at Linton, near Bristol, England, and came to Australia in 1845. He landed at Adelaide, South Australia, and after remaining there for a time went to Sydney, New South Wales, where he spent a few months. He next returned via Port Phillip to South Australia, and in 1849 visited England, and, coming back, followed the goldfields for some years. In 1865 he selected land near Camperdown, in the neighbourhood of Pomborneit, where he now resides. He has also 480 acres at Princetown, which he utilises for grazing purposes. Mr. Lord’s family consists of eight sons and three daughters.

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