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

M’Arthur, Peter, J.P., Camperdown, was born in the Island of Islay Argyleshire, Scotland, and came to Australia in May, 1839, landing in Sydney, N.S.W., and then coming over to Victoria, or, as it was called, Port Phillip. The same year he proceeded to the Camperdown district, and took up Meningoort, the station on which he now resides, in company with the late Mr. Nicholas Cole, remaining in partnership until 1843, when they divided the station. At the time Mr. M’Arthur settled in the district there were but three or four persons within a radius of thirty or forty miles; the country was in its natural state, there being neither fences, roads, nor bridges.

“Meningoort” The Residence of Peter M’Arthur, Esq., J.P.
Victoria and its Metropolis, Past and Present, 1888
Coloured by Remembering the Past in Colour

M’Crae, James, Camperdown, was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived in Melbourne in December, 1852. He went to Camperdown about 1862, and, after following various pursuits for some five years, commenced the building trade, which he still carries on. Mr. M’Crae was appointed a justice of the peace for the southern bailiwick about four years since, which position he retains.

M’Donald, Ewen, Terang, was born in Rossshire, Scotland, and came with his parents to Australia in 1848. They settled near Geelong, and carried on agricultural pursuits for about ten years, when they sold out and removed to Mortlake, where they selected land in various parts of the district. In 1861 Mr. Ewen M’Donald purchased 160 acres on Lake Keilambete, settled on it in 1868, and still resides there, carrying on grazing. His father, the late Mr. John M’Donald, died in 1859, and was buried at Mortlake.

Macdonald, Farquhar, Terang, born in Rossshire, Scotland, came to Australia in 1848 by the ship Aurora, of London, landing at Geelong. Thence he went to Ararat, spending four years in that district, and thence to Lake Modewarre, a salt-water lake, with an area of about three square miles, lying near the main western road, west of Geelong (Modewarre is a native word meaning musk duck), and was eight or nine years in that locality. Eventually he removed to the parish of Glenormiston, where he selected under the occupation clause, and where he has lived ever since, carrying on grazing. His brother Simon came out at the same time, and settled in the same district, dying there in 1884, and being buried in the Terang cemetery.

M’Donald, James, sen., was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, in 1807, and came to Australia in 1839, by the ship Palmyra, landing at Hobson’s Bay, and finding what is now the magnificent city of Melbourne then nearly all bush. Early in 1840 he went to the Camperdown district, and was there with the late Mr. Neil Black for two years and a-half. He then engaged in various pursuits until 1854, when he purchased, at £5 per acre, the farm where he now resides. He also spent £10 per acre in clearing, fencing, and subdividing it. He was married in Scotland in 1839, and has a family of three sons and three daughters.

Macdonald, Murdo, Terang, was born in the parish of Glensheil, Ross-shire, Scotland, and arrived in Australia in December, 1848, landing at Point Henry, near Geelong, and hiring with Mr. Horatio S. Wills, with whom he remained a year, and for the following three years lived about the Wimmera and the head of the Hopkins River. He then went to the gold diggings for a year. (In 1852 his first employer, Mr. Wills, sold his station at Mount William, in the Ararat district, and went to live at Point Henry, and in 1859 visited Europe, leaving some of his children behind at a German university. He then returned to Australia, and purchased three blocks of grazing country in Queensland from Mr. Peter Macdonald, who had been superintendent for Mr. G. Armitage, and started for the new country with a splendid lot of stock and material. Shortly after taking possession Mr. Wills, and all employés, except one man who died in the bush, were murdered by the blacks.) Mr. M. Macdonald went to Mortlake in 1858, and settled at Noorat in 1862, having carried on grazing and agriculture there ever since.

M’Garvie, William, Pomborneit, was born in the North of Ireland, and arrived in Melbourne in 1844, going thence to the Barrabool Hills, near Geelong, and remaining there a year. He then went to the Plenty for a time, and was after that for three years at the Stony Rises, and followed various avocations until 1865, when he selected the property on which he now resides, and carries on grazing.

M’Kay, Hugh, Pirron Yalloak, was born in Scotland, and landed in Geelong from the ship Horult in October, 1854. He followed mining for five or six years, and settled in Pirron Yalloak nineteen years since, commencing and carrying on to the present time a general storekeeper’s business, and adding to it that of a grazier. Mr. M‘Kay was married in 1859. The first church in Pirron Yalloak was opened about twelve years ago.

M’Kenzie, Donald, Terang, was born in Scotland, and arrived in Australia in 1851, landing at Geelong. About 1863 he purchased land in the parish of Kolora, where he took up his abode, and has since remained, carrying on the avocation of a grazier. He recently paid a visit to Scotland. His son, Mr. Norman M’Kenzie, was born in Scotland, and came to Australia with his parents. He is now in possession of the property. Mr. N. M’Kenzie was married in 1877, and has a family of three sons and three daughters.

M‘Kinnon, Archibald, Mortlake, is a native of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, who came to Australia and landed at Geelong in 1852, going thence to Hexham, where he lived four years, carrying on farming. He then removed to Mortlake, and purchased the land on which he now resides, conducting the business of a grazier and farmer. Mr. M’Kinnon was married in Scotland, and has a family of three sons and two daughters.

Mackinnon, Daniel, Terang, was born in the island of Arran, Scotland, and arrived in Melbourne in September, 1839, by the ship Caledonia, the first vessel to sail direct from Scotland to that port. He took up a station at Mordialloc, in conjunction with the late Major Fraser, and, after remaining there nine months, proceeded to the Camperdown district in 1840, and entered into partnership with Dr. Curdie, that partnership existing for about three years, when he purchased the Jancourt Station, some few miles south of Camperdown. In 1852 he purchased the Manda Yalloak Station, near Terang, where he now resides, and carries on grazing.

M’Mahon, John, Kariah, was born in the county Clare, Ireland, and came to Australia with his parents in 1851, landing in Melbourne. The family removed to Perracoutta Station, near Moama, N.S.W., and, after remaining there one year, returned to Victoria, and settled in Geelong for seven years. His father, the late Mr. James M’Mahon, purchased some land near Winchelsea, and remained there four years. He then sold the property and removed to Birregurra, where he carried on farming for a few years. In 1865 he came to the Camperdown district, and selected land in the parish of Kariah, where he remained until his death, in October, 1883, leaving a widow and four sons and a daughter. Mr. John M’Mahon married in 1867, and has a family of six sons and one daughter.

M’Nicol, Donald, Camperdown, is a native of Argyleshire, Scotland, who arrived in Victoria in November, 1839, and landed at Williamstown with the late Mr. Neil Black. He first went to Ballarat for about three months, and in February, 1840, proceeded to the Western District, and remained there with Mr. Black for about ten years. At the expiration of that time he purchased the Woorong Station, and carried on grazing until 1874, when he sold the property to Mr. Thomas Shaw. Mr. M’Nicol now resides on a part of the estate. Mr. M’Nicol’s son, William, was the first white child born in the district, 8th February, 1841.

M’Nicol, Duncan, Camperdown, is an early pioneer of the district, who arrived per ship Ariadne, at Williamstown, in October, 1839, from whence he went to Glenormiston with the late Hon. Neil Black, and remained five years in his employ, after which he went into partnership with his brother Donald, and purchased a station at Timboon from Mr. Lloyd, on a portion of which he still resides. The first store in the district was opened by Messrs. D. and D. M’Nicol about 1848, and they also kept the post-office.

M’William, David, Terang, was born in Wigtonshire, Scotland, in 1814, and arrived in Melbourne in 1840, staying there about five years, after which he went to Port Fairy, and remained a few years. In 1856 he went to Terang, where he has been ever since engaged in grazing pursuits, and where he makes a speciality of breeding hack and trotting horse stock.

Manifold Bros., Camperdown (deceased). These gentlemen, three in number, were undoubtedly the pioneers of the now wealthy and important district of Camperdown. So far back as about the year 1838 they took up a vast area of land there for grazing purposes, and saw the growth of the district from a desert wilderness into — first, a magnificent pastoral territory, feeding countless flocks and herds; and later into a smiling tract of agricultural country, dotted with towns and villages, and with the homesteads of well-to-do farmers. The home station of the Manifold brothers is known as Purrumbete. It lies on the north shore of the splendid fresh-water lake of that name, about six miles east of Camperdown township, and is one of the finest estates in the Western District. Mr. Thomas Manifold died about 1871; Mr. John in January, 1877; and Mr. Peter on 31st July, 1885.

Manson, William, Mortlake, is a native of the colony, born in Richmond, near Melbourne, in 1853. In 1883 he went to Mortlake, and purchased the Mortlake Despatch, a newspaper established in 1869 by Mr. E. F. Hughes, and afterwards carried on by Mr. J. R. Baird, from whom Mr. Manson bought it. Mr. Manson is secretary to the Mortlake cemetery, which was established in April, 1866, and is also secretary to the local rifle club. The Mortlake Despatch is a bi-weekly newspaper, having a large circulation in that and the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Matthews, William, Kolora, born in Redruth, Cornwall, England, arrived in Australia in 1848 with his parents, who first settled down in South Australia at the Burra Burra copper mines, and remained there three years, after which they came to Victoria in the beginning of 1852. Mr. Matthews then followed gold-digging at Bendigo for eighteen months, and in July, 1853, went to Creswick. In January, 1855, he commenced store-keeping, and kept an hotel. He purchased land at Coghill’s Creek in January, 1857, where he carried on business for eighteen years. In 1875 he removed to Glenormiston, where he has resided since, carrying on the business of a grazier.

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

Mawbey, Henry, Terang, was born in Surrey, England, and arrived in 1837, at Port Phillip, where he lived for two years. He then formed a station at Mount Macedon, and, returning to Melbourne, resided at Brighton. Mr. Mawbey started the first public conveyance in Port Phillip, running between Melbourne and Brighton. He also carried on a butcher’s business in Melbourne until after the gold diggings broke out. After a residence of some years in Warrnambool, Mr. Mawbey settled down in Terang, where he carries on the business of a commission agent, &c.

Moodie, Alexander, Camperdown, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and came to Australia in 1852, landing at Geelong, and proceeding the same year to the late Mr. J. G. Ware’s estate, where he remained twenty-four years, part of the time on the homestead, and the balance on the dairy station. In 1876 he married a daughter of Mr. Duncan M’Nicol.

Morris, James S., Camperdown, was born in London in 1832, and came to Australia, landing in Tasmania in 1842, and remaining there six years. He was apprenticed in Hobart, and after serving about three years and a half, he went with his master to New Zealand, and finished his apprentice ship of seven years in Wellington. He stayed there until 1852, when he came to Victoria, landing at Geelong, and proceeding to Camperdown about 1857. In 1862 he commenced business as a general blacksmith, in which capacity he is still engaged.

Mountjoy, Thomas, Lorne. This gentleman, one of the first and best-known residents of the fashionable watering-place, Lorne, is a native of Cornwall, England, who arrived in Melbourne in 1853, and settled at Geelong. After a year on the goldfields, he commenced farming, with his brother Caleb, on the Barrabool Hills, and carried it on for ten years. In 1864 they went to Loutitt Bay, now Lorne, and, in 1868, started a Temperance Hotel, which they have conducted successfully ever since, and in which they have ample accommodation foi- 150 visitors. The brothers Mountjoy erected the first house in the district. They run a daily mail coach in summer between Birregurra railway station and Lorne; thrice a week in winter. Besides conducting the hotel, Mountjoy Bros. own 4795 acres of land in the parish of Bambra, on which they carry on grazing, and 4000 acres near Echuca, parish of Turrumbury.

Murray, Andrew, Colac. This gentleman was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and, with his parents, emigrated to Tasmania in 1822, landing in Hobartown. He remained in Tasmania eighteen years, spending the first nine years in the country, and the remainder in Hobartown. In January, 1840, he came over to Victoria, going from Melbourne to Geelong overland. Thence he proceeded to Colac, and entered into partnership with his brother Hugh, which partnership lasted for seven or eight years. During this time they took up the Wool Wool Station, and in 1848 Mr. A. Murray settled there, and has carried on grazing ever since. Mr. Murray was the first settler in that part of the country, which consisted then, as now, mostly of open plains, only there were, of course, no buildings nor fences to be seen. About 1844 the first place of worship, a Presbyterian church, was opened in Colac, the Rev. Mr. Gow being the minister.

Murray, Hugh, Colac (deceased), was born in Scotland, and came out to Tasmania with his parents in 1832, landing at Hobartown. He reached Victoria in 1836, and settled down near Winchelsea, where he remained for six months. During this time a party was organised to go out in search of Gellibrand and Hesse, who had started on an exploring expedition; and, passing on in quest of the lost men, the party came in view of Lake Colac and the surrounding country. Seeing a large number of blacks carrying pieces of flesh on their spears, the party became alarmed, and retreated to Mr. Murray’s camp with all speed, informing him of the lovely country they had seen, the splendid lake, and the abundance of game of all kinds. On this he and his party started at once, found and took up the country, of which he may well be considered the pioneer; and he took up his abode there and remained until his death. Ten years after his settlement Colac was a favourite haunt of the blacks. At first they were hostile, and harried the flocks with their dogs; but the resolute stand made by Mr. Murray, who went among some hundreds of them camped near the sheepfold and shot a number of their yelping curs that had caused such devastation amongst the pure and high-priced ewes, taken with such trouble to Colac, made the blacks appreciate the situation and decamp. In a short time the natives became friendly, and some of the younger ones made useful servants; one, named Jim Crow, remaining with Mr. Murray until his death. Mr. Murray was the first justice of the peace in the district, and was president of the shire council until his decease. He died in July, 1869, deeply regretted by all classes of the community. In 1841 he married Miss Elizabeth Young, and left a large family of sons and two daughters. See MURRAY, ELIZABETH.

Murray, Mrs. Elizabeth, Colac. This lady is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, born 23rd March, 1823. She came out with her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Young, to Tasmania at an early date. She married the late Mr. Hugh Murray, the pioneer of the Colac district, in 1841, and has resided in that district ever since. Mrs. Murray was only eighteen years of age when she first went to Colac. Her name, like that of her late husband, is intimately identified with the rise and progress of the place, and she has always evinced a great interest in all things tending to its advancement. Notably was she at the head of the movement for the establishment of the Colac library.


Murrell, Findon, Winchelsea, was born in England, and arrived in Australia in 1852. He went first to the Bendigo diggings, and followed gold-mining six years with varying success. In 1858 he went to Inverell, N.S.W., and remained there until 1861, when he settled in Winchelsea, opened a general store, and has carried it on ever since. In 1866 he was elected a member of the shire council of Winchelsea, and still holds the office. He occupied the president’s chair for two years, and was appointed a justice of the peace, which position he retained two years, but resigned on account of being in business.

Nelan, Rev. M., Colac, was born in 1840 in county Kerry, Ireland, and came to Victoria in November, 1863. He was first located in Gippsland for six months, after which he was appointed to assist the Rev. Father Fennelly at the Roman Catholic Mission of Carisbrook, and remained there six months. He was then, in November, 1864, appointed by the late Bishop Goold to the charge of the Colac Mission, which at that time included Mount Moriac and other places, and lived at Mount Moriac for nine years, for the reason that the presbytery was erected there. In 1873 he went to reside in Colac, having previously purchased ground from the Crown, and built a new presbytery at a cost of £2200. The handsome new church was erected about 1883, and cost £3613, and it is gratifying to know that both presbytery and church are out of debt. There is also a Catholic school in the Colac parish, the number of children on the roll being 120. There are other Catholic schools in other parts of the district. Several religious societies have been established by the pastor in this mission, and the attendance of the people at sacraments is remarkable. Father Nelan has two other brothers priests in Victoria, and two only sisters who are nuns at Geelong and Elsternwick respectively. The Rev. M. Nelan has also charge of Ondit, Birregurra, and Camperdown. At Ondit is a stone church which cost £1200; at the other places are wooden structures, and all free of debt.

Nicholas, William, Colac, was born in Bristol, England, in 1812, and emigrated to Tasmania in 1825, remaining there eight or nine years, when he came to Victoria, and engaged with the Henty family for six months. He then revisited Tasmania, but returned to Victoria, where he carried on brick-making and other pursuits. After a short engagement with Mr. Russell he went to the Colac district, where he was engaged with Mr. Hugh Murray and others, and has lived in the neighbourhood ever since, purchasing land and building himself a house on an allotment formerly owned by Mr. Moody. In April, 1845, he married Martha Davies, and has a family of four sons and two daughters.

O’Flaherty, Edward, Cobden, born in Meenafrafan county Tyrone, Ireland, in 1843, who was intended for a profession, arrived in Australia in 1860, landing at Adelaide, S.A. Thence he went to Ballarat, where he lived three years, being engaged on the goldfield there. He next visited New South Wales and New Zealand, remaining in those places twelve and eighteen months respectively. In 1871, having previously returned to Victoria, he went home, and spent eighteen months in Ireland, after which he came back to Victoria, and eventually settled in the Camperdown district, where he carries on a general store in conjunction with grazing.

Parker, George, Camperdown, is a native of Shottley Bridge, England, who served a seven years’ apprenticeship to the paper-making business with Mr. Peter Annaldole, of Shottley Grove, England. He came out to Australia in 1856, and landed at Williamstown, proceeding from Melbourne to Camperdown, where he has resided ever since. He kept a boarding-house and a bakery up to 1883, and in 1885 opened a boot and shoe store, where he now carries on business.

Prigg, Charles, Colac, is a native of England, who landed in Melbourne in 1848, went to Colac the same year, and engaged with Mr. William Robertson for three months. He then entered on farming pursuits, and met with heavy losses from what, in those days, were not uncommon — floods and fires. In 1859 he commenced contracting. He made the first metalled road in Colac, and took contracts from the Government prior to the establishment of the shire council. In 1862 he had contracts to the amount of over £4000. When Mr. Prigg went there, in 1848, the blacks were very numerous in the district, and not unfrequently troublesome; on one occasion there were about 350 of them assembled on Mr. Robertson’s station. Mr. Prigg commenced brick-making in 1870, and still carries on the business.

Prime, Isaac Hayden, J.P., Birregurra, is an old resident in the colonies, having come out to New Zealand so far back as 1848, and thence to New South Wales in 1851. He left that colony for the Ovens gold field, and after a time went to Bendigo. In 1853 he left Melbourne on a trip through North and South America to England, where he spent a few months, returning to Victoria in 1855. He then followed mining avocations, and also conducted a saw mill business for three or four years. In 1859 he settled in the Western District, in the parish of Murroon, about nine miles south of Birregurra, where he has resided since as a grazier. In 1864 he was elected a member of the Winchelsea shire council, and in 1870 occupied the presidential chair. He is a justice of the peace for the southern bailiwick. Mr. Prime is a native of Essex, England.

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