The Stuart Town Cemetery
The Stuart Town Cemetery, Wallaroi Road Stuart Town, was listed with the National Trust of Australia on 30th August 1994. The site was established on 18th November 1870. The area is 7 acres plus.
The Stuart Town Cemetery, formerly Omegal, is a very historical cemetery. It is a lasting memorial to our early forefathers. Pioneers of Store Creek,
Farnham, Stoney Creek, Mookerawa, Lower Mookerawa , Mumbil, Ironbarks and Stuart Town are buried there. These people were farmers, gold seekers, rail employees, rabbiters, those in the area in depression years and during the construction of Burrendong Dam and of course the cemetery is in use to this day.
Unfortunately, many graves are unmarked and the areas unidentified. No records are available prior to council controlling the area in the late 1960’s.
Wellington Historical Society has established a register of burials in the area with and without headstones. This listing is a very valuable historic record of the area. Elizabeth Gage has the earliest existing monument as she was buried in 1874. John Henry Smith died in 1918 at the age of 104. The Sloane Vault is the resting place of five of our early pioneers of this district.
In past years family members cared for their own family graves. A committee was formed in 1986 to assist with the general upkeep of the area. More recently locals held working bees to care for the area. Now Wellington Council maintains and slashes the area, as our residents were no longer able to do the physically demanding work required.
A wall of remembrance has been erected in the area. A sign is needed at the entrance gates stating the significance of the site and to contact Wellington Council for further information. A plaque will be replaced on the face of one of the gate posts by council( it was damaged beyond repair by a council truck, some time back).
Ever so many people visit the cemetery, to tend loved one’s graves or to find out valuable information on ancestors who lived in the area in bygone days.
Relevant details of this cemetery are held at council, as part of our application for funding for heritage grants.
The erosion problem occurred when council sprayed the cork elm trees. This caused severe erosion and denuded the area of vegetation, which in turn caused extensive damage to many of these historic headstones. We were granted moneys through the Heritage Assistance Program and worked with Wellington Council and McMurtrie and Sons under Lee Bradbury an Orange based stonemason to repair the headstones and restore the area to its original state.
There have been two Heritage Council Grants; $8,000.00 in 1995 and $5,000.00 in 1997. A further amount was gained through Wellington Council’s Local Heritage Assistance Scheme of $8,000.00 to complete the last three monuments which suffered the most extensive damage. Sadly, this far down the track more work is needed on the headstones.
*Constable W C Adie was stationed at Stuart Town as a Mounted Constable when he was accidentally killed in 1908, at the age of 25. On the 10th October 1908 he left town intending to make a patrol of the town and surrounds. By the following day he had not returned as expected and Senior Constable McConville set out to find him. After being informed that an unattended troop horse had been seen in the bush, Senior Constable McConville investigated and found the unfortunate Constable Adie seriously injured. Riding up the “bridle path” he failed to duck under the branch of the gum tree on the Stuart Town side of Jimmy’s Hill, where the Sir Robert Askin bridge is located. It appeared that he had lain seriously injured throughout the night. He died whilst being taken back to town for medical attention.
Constable Adie was born in 1883 and joined the NSW Police Force in 17th December 1907. He was engaged to Mary Marning at the time. She never married and lived all her life here at Mookerawa.
*John Garvey the bushranger (no headstone) died on 6.2.1866 aged 45. He and his accomplice George Bell committed a daring robbery upon a party of miners who were on their way from Smith’s crushing machine, situated under the police station, to Isaacs store with 100 ounces of gold or more. Garvey shot one of the miners in the breast but as the bushrangers were riding away William Bragg, a local butcher fired his gun and shot Garvey. The gold was never recovered.
Garvey had been a carpenter at Bell’s crushing machine. George Bell had resided with his father about a quarter of a mile from Smith’s crushing
William Bragg was publicly thanked by the people of Ironbarks and presented with a very handsome gold watch bearing an inscription appreciating his gallantry in shooting the bushranger Garvey.
*Elizabeth Gage died on 1st December 1874 aged 43 and has the earliest existing headstone.
*John Henry Smith died in 1918 at the age of 104 years. He is the oldest person recorded in the cemetery. He lived at Farnham with the Nicholls family. Past records have shown that he may have been a few years older than that. He sailed with Paul Jones and was a sailor until he came to Australia looking for gold. One day the bushrangers visited him. He had been notified that they were in the district. He had a lot of gold sovereigns and he put them in the bottom of his billy can. He filled the can right up with dripping. He had made some damper in the morning. The bushrangers came through and were searching his hut. He said “I haven’t anything for you. I only have some damper and dripping to give you”. He took the dripping can down out of the tree and gave the bushrangers fresh damper and dripping off the top of his sovereigns.
*John Sloane died on the 22nd October 1914 aged 82 years. John, his wife Eliza (for whom the vault was erected), Henry, Mary and Alfred are laid to rest in the vault. There are five coffins in the structure. John was a very wealthy man who built the Australian Hotel and owned a great many buildings in the main street near the hotel. He also was a large landholder. His details are noted in “Men of Mark”.
*Nathaniel Lawrence died on 6th January 1893 aged 76 years. He was convicted of stealing two half-crowns and was sentenced to be hanged. The
sentence was commuted to life on Norfolk Island. He came to Australia as a convict and was sent to NSW and then to Van Dieman’s Land. Nathaniel and his wife Bridget were shepherds on “Katella” a large property at Burrendong owned by Suttors. .
*Mary West, wife of Joseph is buried at Stuart Town. She died in 1891 aged 63 years. Frederick died in 1895 aged 53 years. Almer died in 1886 at 11 months. Fred, Carl and Grace West’s mother was a Weber. Joseph West was licensee of the Digger’s Rest Hotel in 1869 and again in 1889. The West family has had a long association with Stuart Town. Reputedly West’s lived in Alexander Street where Lionel Pulbrook now lives. Ron Halliday remembers Teddy West was a very old man with a white beard. “Dosie” lived there too. Grace was another name mentioned. The West’s were also blacksmiths. A delightful story by Ernest West recounts his travels to “The Yahoo” a gold dredge on the Macquarie River in the Branches from Ironbarks book. Joseph was a member of the Stuart Town Progress Committee too.
*Alice Louisa Poile died in 1882 aged 9 years. Herbert Trevor N Poile died in 1887 aged 5 months. Julia Isabel died in 1891 aged 15 years. Lucy Edith died in 1887 aged 18 years. William Foster Palmer died in 1891 aged 10 years. The death of infants and children is always so tragic.
Thomas Poile father of the above was a storekeeper and post master most of his working life. While he was post master at Stuart Town he fell victim to a hold up. He was proceeding to a gold claim on the Macquarie River with money to pay the men. A man with his face blackened rushed at him and directed him to bail up. The bushranger at the same moment fired a gun, which must have been loaded with slugs, as some pellets penetrated the flaps of the saddle and cut through Mr Poile’s trousers. The report startled the horse on which Mr Poile was riding and he kept on galloping until he reached the claim and thus saved the money. The site is still called Poile’s Rock. Folklore tells us that the “bushranger” was a local Mookerawa identity, who was never charged with the offence.
*Joseph Fitzsimmons was 15 years of age when he died in 1877. He was killed in a mining accident at Farnham.
*Charles Henry Boehme died on 16 November 1904 aged 72 years. He and his wife settled in Stuart Town and raised their family here. Henry migrated from Germany. He was known as Dr Boehme as he was often called upon to pull teeth, attend births, stitch flesh wounds and advise the correct medication for a variety of complaints and set broken bones. He was a manufacturer of cordial, ointments and medicines. The family owned and operated the Post Office mine and Boehme’s Battery. He was a prolific writer and his letters were printed in the Wellington Standard of Freedom & Gazette and the Wellington Times. He built their new home with a hall attached which he named “Liberty Hall”, now known as Boehme’s Hall. Henry had two books of poems published in Sydney during the 1880’s entitled “Chips from the Workshop” and “Scriptural Historical, & Experimental Facts”. Henry suffered a heart attack and died in Wellington after attending a Land Board meeting there concerning the Common. He had the public
welfare in mind always and did his utmost to make improvements for the local public.
*Duncan McDougal Denovan died on the 3rd December 1904 aged 26 years. He had a mate and claim at Long Flat, Lower Mookerawa. He saw a man floating in the Macquarie River at Boatman’s Flat. He rode to Stuart Town to report the incident to Senior Constable McConville. On the way back he thought he would check if his mate had put away the ducks they had shot. His horse wanted to go one way and him the other at the fork of the road. He came in contact with a tree and broke his neck. So, there were now two bodies.
*Jabez Priest died on the 25th March 1882 aged 67 years. He had the “Digger’s Arms” Hotel at Stoney Creek in 1865 and it closed in 1872. James had the “Old House at Home” Hotel at Omegal from 1865 until 1878.
*John King (no headstone) died on 10th July 1905 aged 37 years. He was born in Fiji in 1868. He married Sarah McGovern in Wellington and they went to live at Farnham. On the 10th July 1905 he was accidentally drowned in the Macquarie River at Yahoo. The river was in flood. His body was recovered on 11th November 1905 and brought to Stuart Town by Arthur Frappell.
*Sarah Anne Waterbury died in 1907 aged 56 years. John Thomas and Sarah had a wine saloon over the line in Alexander Street Stuart Town. J T Waterbury also operated the Old House at Home Hotel Omegal, Wellington Road in 1879.
*Patrick Marning died on 31st March 1915 aged 83 years. Patrick was a native of County Clare, Ireland. He brought out a large party of miners to work in mines and gold dredges and stayed on to become a successful grazier and farmer with a wide range of community interests. Some of the party he brought out were Thomas Gleeson and a nephew Patrick Quealey. A very well known tale told of Patrick was him saying “Bejabers if I live til I die, which I don’t think I will, sure I’ll see old Ireland again before I leave Australia.” Another incident was Patrick lining up to buy a ticket at the railway station. The lady in front said “Maryvale single”. Patrick said “Patrick Marning married”!
*Carl August Wilhelm Weber died on 20th June 1915 and is buried in the Church of England portion of the Stuart Town cemetery aged 85 years. He was born in Brunswick Germany c 1833. He was a baker and confectioner. He and his family lived in Stuart Town for approximately 40 years where for many years they kept a store in the premises now lived in by Graeme and Trish Sherring. His wife Alice died in 1896 aged 64 years and is buried in the Stuart Town cemetery. His granddaughter Alice inherited the store after the death of her grandfather.
The artefacts of Charles Henry Weber are displayed at the Wellington Memorial Soldier’s Club. He tried to enlist in WW1 but was not accepted because of his German name. A few weeks later he applied again, this time giving his name as Webber and was promptly accepted. Carl was gassed in the war and this caused his death in 1942. His name spelt Webber is listed on the memorial gates in Stuart Town.
*Florence Sharples aged 4 died in 1908. John S and Martha Jane were her parents. Jack and his son Roy Sharples lived next to Scott’s Battery. Times were very hard. Christmas came and they were stony broke. They went up the Wellington Gully and discovered the biggest nugget ever found in Stuart Town. 3¾ oz. It was a happy Christmas after all.
*Catherine “Kate” Mole was 36 years old when she died in 1877. Francis Read, her father married Anne and their daughter Kate married Charles C H Mole in 1893. Janet, another daughter married Lance Stanford who built the Australian Hotel and “Oakwood” where the two existing headstones are situated at Stoney Creek. The Read’s had a group of shops opposite the Railway Station. Frank was a prominent member in the community and assisted in raising funds for the erection of the Stuart Town Catholic Church.
*William Codner died aged 79 years on the 4th December 1904. He married Eliza Goninan and she died on 22nd May 1913. Richard Jonathon died on 21 May 1955 aged 86 years. He was known as “Dick” was one of the old time characters of the Mookerawa and Stuart Town District. This family lived at Codner’s Flat.
*Richard Goninan died on the 30th December 1876 aged 64 years. Richard and his wife Letitia followed the gold fields until they came to Cookey’s Flat, Lower Mookerawa were they settled on a block of land.
*Michael John Pope died at “Little Oakey”, Lower Mookerawa. Amby Pope made up a bush stretcher which the body was loaded into and was carried over the steep hills to “Macview”, Lower Mookerawa, where his son Tom lived. His remains were carried by Cliff Gates, Pat McMillan, Bill Lang and Herb Frappell. They crossed the Macquarie River in a boat at Frappells. Murray Bros funeral directors picked up the casket and transported him to Stuart Town for the funeral service. Michael was a well known identity from Oakey Creek. He rode his pushbike to many shearing sheds in the west. He was self educated and left school at 12 to work to keep his mother. Grandma Mary Pope was also bought across the hills on a stretcher and boated across the flooded Macquarie River to a waiting hearse when she died in 1914. She also is buried in the Stuart Town Cemetery.
*William St Clare Hayes died in 1894 aged 41 years. He and his wife Harriet settled in Ironbark and William was the licensee of the Railway Hotel.
Sadly his sons also died young and the licence was passed on to daughter Clarice who married Arthur Hansford and then on to Harriet and her husband Alfred Stibbard who ran the hotel for many years.
*James Souter “Scotty” Cameron was a Scotsman who came to Stuart Town after the great war. He had lost an arm when he was a captain the army. He taught school at Lower Mookerawa and later on at Mookerawa. He was a very well-educated man and helped out at any function in the town.
*Thomas Arthur Davis died in 1935 aged 77 years. He married Emma Cohen and they raised their family at Mookerawa. Their daughter Ciss married George Price and they owned various businesses in the town over the years.
*Charles and Emma Hall are both buried in the Stuart Town cemetery. Charles was a boot maker. The shop is still occupied in Alexander Street. It has the sign Cobbler’s Cottage hanging over the front door, clearly visible from the road. Family folklore states that Ben Hall had a meal with Granny (Emma) Hall. Granny had no fear of Ben but only of the troopers. Some say they were related but we have no proof of this.
*Arthur John Cohen died in 1970 aged 81 years. Arthur played the violin at local and district dances. He took out a bookmaker’s license in the 1920’s to field at No 9 meetings. He also had the mail run to Lower Mookerawa.
*Thomas Glawson died on 18 September 1949 aged 62 years. Mary, Tom’s wife was a schoolteacher at Walters/Gum Flat school at Lower Mookerawa where she met Tom. They moved to and operated the baker’s shop in Alexander Street before taking over the local post office.
*Hope Evelyn Glawson was only 17 when she met with a tragic and fatal accident at the railway crossing at Dawson Gates. The Glawson’s lived at Lower Mookerawa.
*Mary “Minnie” Fisher died on 23 July 1967 aged 85 years. She, along with Mrs Dickerson and Mrs Hanrahan, was a midwife. They were called upon at all hours to deliver babies.
*Thomas Edwards died on 12 November 1906 aged 63 years. They lived at Mookerawa. He married Emily Fitzsimmons. He served on the Wellington Council as Shire President. His son Albert established a very productive orchard in the 1920’s which was well known for the delicious peaches. His wife was Marion Beauchamp. Albert and his father both thought that Ben Hall was a gentleman.
*Arthur Frappell died in1939 on the 23 May, aged 62 years. He was considered the best axeman in the bush. He worked with Alec Glawson and the
Blyton boys gathering wood for the dredges. After Mr Frappell died the family moved to Stuart Town. The family home was situated on the Macquarie River on the road through to Hill End.
*Powell C W Foxall died on the 10th April 1904. He was aged 78 years. Powell undertook the position of secretary of the Mining Department at Stuart Town. He also tried his hand at shearing and in September 1886 he was one of twenty two shearers in a shed at Nevertire. He stated in a letter they were getting on with the shearing first rate, but they had 44,000 more sheep to go.
*George Calder died on the 28th June 1912 aged 79 years. George came from Scotland. He married Mary Stanton. Reputedly there was a cemetery on Stanton’s Flat Mookerawa.
*Clement Andrew Grimes died on the 14 March 1915 aged 15 years. He accidentally drowned at Mascot Dam. Maurice John Edward died on 17 December 1915 aged 8 years. He died from diptheria.
*Arthur Rivers died on 9 November 1910 aged 82 years. The Rivers old homestead was the social centre at Farnham. Many of the buildings still stand today.
*Thomas Nicholls died on the 22nd August 1917 aged 57 years. Thomas accompanied the explorer Ernest Giles on his second expedition, when they went from the Overland Telegraph Line to Perth.
*Thomas Dixon died on the 7th November 1942 aged 73 years. William Dixon died on 5th February 1952 aged 77 years. William, known as Bill, was one of the first trustees of the School of Arts Hall when it opened in 1934. The other original trustees were Mr T J Edwards, N H Warn, B L Dutfield, L R Lawson and J Gleeson.
*John Hansford died on the 7th May 1907 aged 61 years. Hansford is a very well known and respected name in the Mumbil area.
*Edward Frederick “Nipper” Dutfield died on the 12th January 1937 aged 57 years. “Nipper” was a pound keeper, auctioneer, estate agent and horse breaker and it was a well known fact and has been said “He was the best horseman ever seen”.
*Samuel Henry Medway died on the 10th June 1954 aged 70 years. Samuel and Zillah built their new home at Rose Hill West End, when they first married.
*Sarah Jane Smith died on the 8th June 1922 aged 76 years. The Smith family was well known and lived in the Store Creek area.
*John Henry Mitchell died on 6th September 1945 aged 73 years. John’s wife Bertha was appointed non official post mistress at Farnham in 1915 and was followed by her daughter Freda from 1937 and another daughter Eva was formally appointed in 1960. Another branch of the Mitchell family lived at Sandy Station.
*John Edgar Crick died on 2nd May 1922 aged 62 years. He taught at Mumbil before moving to Stuart Town where he owned and operated a business.
*James Peter Malkior died on the 22nd November 1912 aged 63 years. He had a blacksmith’s shop in Molong Street.