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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Early Residents - George E. Cass MLA

George was born at Greenwich, England in 1844 to George Edwin and Harriet Cass. He arrived in Australia as a young man c1864, and in 1871 married Catherine McCubbin (b1849). The couple went on to raise a large family which consisted of George E.B. born c1872, Frederick Easterling c1874, Harry Whyte c1879, Arthur Monk c1880, Ernest J. c1882, Harriet M. c1883, Ethel K. c1888, Ellen I. c1891, and there is believed to have been one other.
An industrious man, Cass was a newspaper proprietor, pastoralist and spirit merchant and may  have had some financial connection with the Royal Hotel. He appeared in various newspaper articles during the period 1886–7, and in September 1886 he was noted as entertaining at ‘Mrs Brown’s Royal Hotel’, Springwood for he and his wife’s sixteenth wedding anniversary. The Nepean Times article attributed him with being ‘very energetic in bringing the pretty village of Springwood more prominently before the public’. He may even have had financial interests in the Royal Hotel at that time.
Cass was principal of G.E. Cass & Co. wine and spirit merchants, owner of the Nyngan Times and Dubbo Newspaper and owner of the Coonamble Independent from 1876 until his death. He was not a journalist by occupation and his ownership of the newspaper chain is thought to have been simply commercial speculation.
He was MLA for the Bogan from 1880–7 and 1889–92. The new parliament for 1891 comprised Sir Henry Parkes, Varney Parkes and Edmund Barton representing Sydney and St Leonards, H. Dawson the Monaro, S. Lees Nepean, W.C. Wall Mudgee, R.B. Wise Sydney South, Cass The Bogan, R. Barbour the Murray and T.T. Ewing the Richmond. As one can see, he mixed with some well-known and powerful gentlemen, many with surnames well known in the Blue Mountains area. W.C. Wall, D.R. Wall and Ignatius Wall held the tenure on kerosene shale outcrops in the Jamieson Valley c1888.
Cass was listed in the 1884 Sands Directory living or having rooms at 122 George Street, Sydney where he conducted a commission agents business. Messrs J.J. Buckland and E.N. Chapman were two other gentlemen in the same business, and C.J. Buckland, located in Pitt Street, Sydney was the agent for Crown Lands.
He retained ties with Springwood long after he left and was well liked, talented and reputed to be able to play the concertina with his toes. He died on 6 April 1892.

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