ADHS Newsletter No. 193 JUNE, 2001

Items of interest:

  • The story of the Hubble Family. Names mentioned – Robert Hubble, Philadelphia Martin, Mary Ann Daniels, Eliza Fisher, Edward Harkness, Colman & Lardner.
  • Lexton and gold. Names mentioned – David Anderson, William Millar, James Esmond, Thomas Clapperton.
  • Residents in Avoca who voted in the 1899 Victorian Federal Referendum. Names listed – ANDERSON Robert, ARNOLD Frederick W, ARNOLD Arthur BAILEY Charles BRENNAN James BAILEY William BROOKS Henry BANNISTER Arthur BROWN James BANNISTER Thomas BROWN William BARBAT Auguste J. BROWNLOW Edward S.P. BEDDOES George BURCH William BOWEN John BURNS David, CAMPBELL John CLASSEN Carl CARTER Ralph CLASSEN Henrich C. CHAPMAN John T. CLASSEN Herman CHARTRES William COGHLAN John CHELLEW William M. COGHLAN John CHELLEW William M. COMINS Arthur CLARK George COOK Francis CLARRIS John COOK George DALEY William C. DIXIE Arthur W DALY Edward C. DONNAN John A. DANCE Frederick DOWNING John DAVIES William DOWNTON George (Blacksmith’s Gully, Avoca) DOWSLEY, Henry F. DERRICK Thomas EBELING Gustavus A. ELLIOTT Benjamin EBELING Arthur FARNSWORTH David FORBES Charles FIELD Frederick FOSTER William FILBEY Robert GEER William H. GRAY William GILBERT William P. GREENWOOD Richard H. GOLDER Alfred GREGORY Thomas GOODE Edmund B. GREY Charles J. GOUGE John GRIMER Charles G. HAKENDORF James HEMPSEED James HAMMILL John HENDERSON Alexander HARBOUR David HENDERSON James SmithHARRIS James HENDERSON Joseph C. HARVEY Charles T. HERLIHY Edmund J. HARVEY James HILDEBRAND James HARVEY William HOPE George HARVEY William A. HORN William H. HAYNES William (High Street) HELLINGS Thomas HUTCHISON George IMPEY Llewelyn IMPEY George H. IMPEY Thomas jnr. JOHNSON Henry JOHNSTONE John JOHNSON William JOHNSTONE Robert KAYE Francis H. KEATING Richard KAYE Henry KELLY William KEARNEY Edward M.

June Meeting – The Story of the Hubble Family – The speaker at our June meeting, held at the Court House on Sunday, 17th June, has to be the envy of any family historian. His forebears kept detailed journals and diaries which are still in the family today! Thus Darryl Wagstaff kept us enthralled as he told the story of his Hubble ancestry, with its day-by-day details.

Maryborough pioneer Robert Hubble was born at Tunbridge, Kent, on 13th April, 1816, his parents being Robert Hubble and Philladelphia Martin. He became a carpenter-undertaker in London and later was employed at the British Museum for eight years, making display cabinets, etc. Robert married Mary Ann Daniels before he was 21 years of age, and they had eight children, seven of whom died young, followed by the death of Mary Ann herself, leaving Susannah the only surviving child He then married Eliza Fisher at Knightsbridge, where two children were born, Emily and Robert (Bob). Robert and Eliza decided to emigrate with Susannah, Emily and Bob, and sailed for Australia on board the S.S. Birmingham, arriving at Port Fairy in 1855. After living at Warrnambool for a while, they came to the Alma Diggings in 1856. Here Robert recorded in his diary, “Found a bit of gold”. Then disaster struck when he lost all his money at the White Star mine and the family moved to Barkly Street, Maryborough, where they lived in a tent. There were two more moves before they settled in a villa in Carlyle Street (now Inkerman Street).

From about 1858, Robert Hubble worked as a carpenter for Edward Harkness before opening his own furniture shop in Tuaggra Street in 1861. Later, he conducted a carpentry, undertaking and house-shifting business until his retirement in 1887. At this point, he handed over the business to his three sons, with young Robert (Bob) taking charge of the undertaking, John as manager (a position he held for sixty years), and William in charge of the timber yard and shop sales. The name of the business was changed from “R. Hubble and Sons” to “Hubble Bros.”

Robert Hubble was a staunch member of the Methodist Church and the Protestant Alliance and died in 1903, aged 87, whilst his wife, Eliza, died in 1907, aged 84.

Darryl, whose mother was a Hubble, gave fascinating details of the business activities from the diaries, such as the purchase of the first hearse in 1881 for £120, a coach for £30, and plumes for £15. Two pairs of horses were required for funerals, one to pull the hearse and one for the coach, the horses being adorned with the black plumes. The journals reveal that the first motor vehicle was purchased on 15th May, 1919, from Colman and Lardner, of Maryborough, at a cost of £220, the registered number of the vehicle being 17041.

The business grew in several ways in those years, involving insurance and friendly societies’ agencies, the ironmongery and timber yard in Tuaggra Street were expanded, and they made their own coffins for the undertaking part of the activities. Then, in 1926, by which time there were several family members employed in the business, there was another name change to “Hubble Bros. and Co. Pty. Ltd.”, with John Hubble as chairman, and his son, Robert (known as Bingo), as secretary of the company and in charge of the undertaking. The business traded very successfully until 1941, having given 81 years of service to the community.

It was then that tragedy struck with the accidental death of Robert (Bingo) whilst cleaning a gun. He was 47 years of age. The shock of losing his son deeply affected John and he died just two weeks later, at the age of 83. It was interesting to note that DuBourg’s, from Timor, were the undertakers for these two funerals. Later in that year of 1941, the family business was sold to Phelan’s. In 1973, the buildings which had been the Hubble business were destroyed in a big fire at Phelan’s complex.

The Hubble family were also involved in community affairs and activities over many years. From 1880 to 1986, there was always a Hubble serving with the Maryborough Fire Brigade (and Darryl is currently the Captain of the Fire Brigade) whilst Bob Hubble (son of pioneer Robert) was a councillor and served as Mayor in 1903-1904 and again in 1912-1913. The Masonic Lodge, the Brass Band, rifle shooting and cricket were other areas of interest. Family members served their country in both World Wars, with Edward Hubble paying the supreme sacrifice in WWI, aged 21.

Darryl Wagstaff now carries on the family tradition as an undertaker in Maryborough. We are indebted to him for taking the time to give us such a detailed insight into his family story, which is very much woven into the fabric of the history of Maryborough.

Next Meeting – Our next meeting will be held at the Court House on Sunday, 15th July, at 1.30 p.m. After the business meeting, we are to visit “The Mill” Information Technology Centre which is situated at the Pyrenees Information Centre on High Street. Wendy Taylor will explain what this new Government initiative is all about and those who do not have computers will have the opportunity to view this Society’s excellent web page and the many other sites linked to it

Looking Ahead – The following suggested events have yet to be confirmed :

Sunday, 19th August – Speaker to be arranged.

Sunday, 16th September – Walking Tour of Dunolly, with Ron Carless as our guide.

Sunday, 21st October – Visit to Lexton Public Hall to view Federation Photographic


Can You Help? – Astute readers will have noticed at the top of this newsletter that the positions of President and Secretary of this Society remain vacant and we are still seeking nominations from interested folk to fill these vacancies as well as that of Assistant Secretary.

History is where we came from and represents who we are today. Deep down inside most of us is the desire to know from whence we came and this fact is borne out today with family history research being one of the most popular pastimes for so many of us. Indeed, it becomes a total obsession for many folk. The many historical societies which have been formed in recent years have come into existence just in time to salvage something of our past and our heritage.

The Avoca and District Historical Society was formed in 1984 and is meeting the needs of researchers in our area through its policy of indexing any records to which it can gain access. It now has a card index system containing close to 100,000 entries covering people, buildings, schools, occupations, etc., and this is constantly being added to. The Society’s excellent web page creates much interest and generates many family history enquiries.

Although membership of the Society numbers more than 200 Australia-wide, and beyond, more local members are needed to assist in the Society’s valuable work at its Local and Family History Resource Centre at the Court House.

Back in 1984, there was a large group of local enthusiasts who successfully laid the foundations of the Society but, over the years, time has taken its toll one way and another and these original local members have not been replaced. Thus, the work of maintaining the Society’s records, acquisitions, etc., at the Court House now falls to a very small band of dedicated members.

If you are looking for a new interest, live in the wider Avoca area, and would like to be actively involved in the work of the Society, you can contact Jan Burnett on 5465 3265 or Dorothy Robinson on 5465 3528. They would be delighted to hear from you.

Condolences – The Society extends deepest sympathy to Denis Strangman and family on the death of his wife, Margaret, on 19th June, after a courageous battle with a malignant brain tumour. The daily bulletins appearing on the web site “Marg’s Journey” (linked to our own) have been inspirational and have shown what a very special person Margaret was. A brave lady is now at rest.

New Members – A warm welcome is extended to the following new members –

Ms Lorraine HUDDLE, of Belmont, Vic., who is the Heritage Adviser for the Pyrenees Shire (one day per month) and is able to help with restoration, identification and conservation of heritage places.

Ms Mary Anne GRAY (nee McCARTHY), of Werribee, Vic., who is researching the family of John and Honora McCARTHY, who came from The Firies, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Joan SEMMLER, of Mildura, Vic., whose interest is the DEIMEL family.

Mrs. Wendy RUTTER, of Morwell, Vic., who is researching the DOMNEY family.

A Reminder – Subscriptions Are Due – We are grateful to the many members who have renewed their membership so promptly. We would urge those of you who have not done so yet to fill in the renewal form in the April newsletter and post it, with your cheque, to the Treasurer. For those who remain unfinancial, this will be the last newsletter posted to you.

The Central Highlands Historical Association will hold a luncheon and Annual General Meeting on 11th August at the Snake Valley Hall. Cost is $15 per head for a three-course meal, proceeds to go to the Snake Valley Fire Brigade. For details contact Joan Hunt on (03) 5342 8782.

Database of Cornish Pioneers of Bendigo – The Cornish Association of Bendigo and District and the Cornish Association of Victoria are compiling a database of Cornish pioneers of Bendigo, with over 2,000 names already entered on it. The aim is to record the names and biographical information of as many Cornish-born pioneers as possible who spent some time in Bendigo, no matter how short. It is hoped to have this database ready by March, 2002. If you have a Cornish background and would like more information, write to Cornish Pioneers Database, P.O. Box 121, Eaglehawk, Vic., 3556, or find the form on the Bendigo Cornish Association web page at http://home.vicnet.net.au/~bendcorn/

Maitland Mercury Newspaper Index – We have been advised that Rod and Wendy Gow have released the index to the Maitland Mercury newspaper of 1846 (January to June). This index is available on a set of seven microfiche, containing over 19,000 entries on 840 pages and is available for $35, including postage. This is the fourth index in the series, others covering the years 1843, 1844 and 1845 on sets of six microfiche at a cost of $33 per set, as well as the index to the Hunter River Gazette newspaper, December, 1841 to June, 1842, on a set of two microfiche, costing $27, are also available. You can e-mail Rod and Wendy Gow at rgow@turboweb.net.au

Pioneer and Settlers Register 1865-1899, Charters Towers – The Charters Towers and Dalrymple Family History Association Inc. has now published this Register and copies are available for a cost of $18 (plus postage) from the Association at P.O. Box 783, Charters Towers, Qld. 4820.

Charters Towers Northern Miner Index – Also available from the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Family History Association Inc. is a new release of Extracts of Public Notices, 2nd Edition, 1885-1889, at a cost of $10, plus postage.

Pre 1901 Pioneer Family Register of the Midwest of Western Australia – This new publication gives names and family details of almost 950 individual pioneers who came to the Midwest Region of Western Australia prior to 1901. There are details of how they arrived in Australia and Western Australia, the form of transport used to reach this area, and the occupation they followed in those early days. The book consists of 188 A4 pages, costs $27.50 plus postage, and is available from the Geraldton Family History Society Inc., P.O. Box 2502, Geraldton, W.A. 6531, e-mail gfhs@wn.com.au, web page www.wn.com.au/gfhs

LEXTON AND GOLD – The 1st of July, 2001, sees the start of celebrations to mark 150 years since the official discovery of gold in Victoria. Lexton (originally known as Burnbank) remembers the part it played in the discovery of gold in Central Victoria.

In the winter of 1845, two Scottish gentlemen, David Anderson and William Millar, established a village at the junction of the squatters’ western and northern tracks – where Major Mitchell’s line of road from Portland to Sydney was intersected by the track being followed by squatters travelling from Geelong, Buninyong and Burnbank on into the Wimmera.

By the time the official gold discoveries were announced in July, 1851, Burnbank was well established, with two hotels, an official post office, stores, five carriers, sawyers, shoemakers, a tailor, several blacksmiths and wheelwrights, carpenters, teachers and all the tradesmen and professionals needed to make up a township.

James Esmond was well known in Burnbank, as he had worked on Woodstock Station and had been the driver of the mail coach from Buninyong, via Burnbank, across the Pyrenees and on to the Wimmera, before he went to California looking for gold. On his return from California, Esmond again became involved in the search for gold. The story goes that shepherds from Cameron’s Run, Clunes, told stories of gold while drinking at the Burnbank Inn. Esmond, with his companions Pugh, Burns and Kelly, set off from Burnbank along the Major’s Line across to Cameron’s Run, and found gold in July, 1851.

News of Esmond’s discovery was published in The Geelong Advertiser on Monday, 7th July, 1851. There followed a rush of diggers making the journey to Clunes from Geelong, via Buninyong and Burnbank. The small township of Burnbank, already a centre for Government administration, immediately became a scene of great activity and excitement.

Newspapers of the day, including The Argus, The Melbourne Daily News and The Geelong Advertiser, all reported the part being played by the township of Burnbank. Many of the first picks and cradles used on the diggings were made by the carpenters and blacksmiths of Burnbank. Thomas Clapperton’s wagons from the Pyrenees Store Co. at Burnbank were the first supply wagons on the diggings. Their tent store received some unfavourable comments because of the high prices being charged for goods! The provision of services for the diggers at Burnbank continued for at least another decade as prospectors criss-crossed Central Victoria, moving from one gold discovery to another.

A change of name for the township took place unexpectedly on 4th February, 1852, when a notice appeared in the Victorian Government Gazette saying that the name of the town was to be changed from Burnbank to Lexton.

Having been established before the official gold discoveries, Lexton (Burnbank) does not have substantial buildings, but it is proud of its historical background and the role it played in the early days of the Central Victorian goldfields.

(My thanks to Margaret Oulton for this interesting article on the importance of Lexton in our early history of the goldfields. Ed.)

FEDERATION – In last month’s newsletter, we looked at the story of how Federation came about on 1st January, 1901. It is interesting now to look through the names of residents in Avoca, shown on the Electoral Roll, who voted at the Victorian Federal Referendum in 1899 :-

ANDERSON Robert Miner ARNOLD Frederick W. Miner

ARNOLD Arthur Miner

BAILEY Charles Butcher BRENNAN James Gentleman

BAILEY William Farmer BROOKS Henry Storekeeper

BANNISTER Arthur Carter BROWN James Cordial Maker

BANNISTER Thomas Farmer BROWN William ” “

BARBAT Auguste J. Produce Dealer BROWNLOW Edward S.P. Compositor

BEDDOES George Miner BURCH William Shoemaker

(High Street) (Avoca Lead)

BOWEN John Carter BURNS David Draper

CAMPBELL John Farmer CLASSEN Carl Cabinet Maker

CARTER Ralph ” CLASSEN Henrich C. Coach Painter

CHAPMAN John T. Sawyer CLASSEN Herman Cabinet Maker

CHARTRES William Farmer COGHLAN John Miner

CHELLEW William M. sen. Engineer COGHLAN John Private

CHELLEW William M. Watchmaker COMINS Arthur Engineer

CLARK George Storeman COOK Francis Miner

CLARRIS John Miner COOK George Miner

DALEY William C. Miner DIXIE Arthur W Engineer

DALY Edward C. Net Maker DONNAN John A. Draper

DANCE Frederick Carpenter DOWNING John Miner

DAVIES William Miner DOWNTON George Draper

(Blacksmith’s Gully, Avoca) DOWSLEY, Henry F. Produce Dealer

DERRICK Thomas Farmer

EBELING Gustavus A. Produce Dealer ELLIOTT Benjamin Farmer


FARNSWORTH David Miner FORBES Charles Teacher

FIELD Frederick Farmer FOSTER William Publican

FILBEY Robert Gentleman

GEER William H. Clergyman GRAY William Clergyman

GILBERT William P. Draper GREENWOOD Richard H. Tailor

GOLDER Alfred Blacksmith GREGORY Thomas Publican

GOODE Edmund B. Postmaster GREY Charles J. Clerk of Courts

GOUGE John Miner GRIMER Charles G. Medical Practitioner

HAKENDORF James Tailor HEMPSEED James Tinsmith

HAMMILL John Brickmaker HENDERSON Alexander Storekeeper

HARBOUR David Farmer HENDERSON James Smith

HARRIS James Clerk HENDERSON Joseph C. Watchmaker

HARVEY Charles T. Carter HERLIHY Edmund J. Storeman


HARVEY William HOPE George

HARVEY William A. Storeman HORN William H. Labourer

HAYNES William Gardener (High Street)

HELLINGS Thomas Bricklayer HUTCHISON George Bootmaker

IMPEY Llewelyn Labourer IMPEY George H. Grocer’s

IMPEY Thomas jnr. Butcher (High St.) Assistant

JOHNSON Henry Blacksmith JOHNSTONE John Gentleman

JOHNSON William Doctor JOHNSTONE Robert Dairyman

KAYE Francis H. Harness Maker KEATING Richard Miner

KAYE Henry Carpenter KELLY William Miner

KEARNEY Edward M. Blacksmith (Avoca Lead)