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Friday, April 22, 2011

Law and Order - Constable Robert Ritchie Alma Faunce

Constable Faunce came to Springwood at an interesting time in the history of the area. In 1902 he was given the task of collecting names, under the Women’s Franchise Act, that would enable the ladies of the district to be included on the 1903 electoral roll. However the task was not easy, and the Nepean Times reported that at least a dozen ladies refused to be enrolled. The election of 1903 was the first NSW election in which ladies were eligible to vote.
Constable Faunce was also faced - on a regular basis - with the arrest of drunk and disorderly persons. The railway workings brought all kinds of people into the area and the associated problems cause by the influx.  Tramps were also a common occurrence in the district during the early 1900s, and there was always a theft of some kind to follow up. The tramps broke into the ‘grand houses’, usually left vacant during the week in the hope of finding portable goods to sell or perhaps something to eat. However, Constable Faunce was equal to his job because more often than not he caught up with the criminal, arrested the drunk, put out the fire or, on one occassion, captured an escaped lunatic.
He was born in 1875, the son of Alured Dodsworth and Henrietta Charlotte M. Faunce.  Alured Dodsworth was the son of Alured Tasker Faunce who arrived in Sydney with the 4th Regiment of Foot on 9th October, 1832. 

In 1899, Robert married Ethel J. Saunders and following their marriage three children were born; Alured D. in 1901, Richard A. in 1902 and Harry S in 1904.  In March 1905, a send off was held in the Royal Hotel where Constable Faunce was presented with a silver cruet, butter dish and two salt cellars with his name engraved on each. These were to be sent on to him when he took up his new position at St Albans.  Attending the send off were Messrs F. Wilson JP (Chair), S. Duncan (Vice Chair), T.F. Smith (Secretary) and many other gentlemen of the area. Messrs J.D. Ewens JP, A. Colless JP and T. Garrett sent apologies.
During the evening Mr Maidment (licensee of the Royal Hotel) sang ‘Hearts of Oak’ to those assembled, and was joined with further songs from P. & R. Tanner, F. Towle, J. Gibbes and others.
Constable Middleton took the place of Constable Faunce, who died in 1942.

Pamela Smith from The Making Of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District.
Alured Tasker Faunce of Queanbeyan, Monaro Pioneers,

Early Residents - Frank Raymond

Frank Raymond’s father, also Frank, was a silk merchant in England and Frank junior was born in Ludgate Hill, London in 1825. He came to Australia in about 1849. In 1856 he married Mary Ann Brown (nee Tothill) in Curragong (which could be Cudgegong) Diggings near Mudgee. There is no official record of this marriage, which was not unusual in the gold fields of the time. Their first child, also without an official record, was Elizabeth born in about 1856. Arthur Rufus was born in Wellington in 1857 and Charles Francis followed in about 1859. Baby Frank arrived in 1863 in Penrith but died in the same year.
In 1865, Frank Raymond bought 80 acres in Springwood, which had been offered to Thomas Smith in 1862, but who did not take up the offer. It was to be auctioned but was bought by Raymond a few days before the auction. This land stretched between what is now De Chair Ave, along the present Macquarie Rd to Homedale St, now the heart of Springwood township. He sold 40 acres of this land to William Rayner in 1876 and got formal title to it in 1878.

In the 1870s he built the Springwood Hotel, which also served as a small store and later offered limited postal services. In 1877, after much lobbying to the Postmaster General by Charles Moore and William Henderson, Frank Raymond was asked to act as Receiving Office Keeper at Springwood. He agreed to meet the Mail Train from Sydney which arrived at about 8pm, but not to meet the Mail Train from Bathurst which got in at 5am. The Railway Porter was willing to hand over the mail bag to the early train and Raymond began this postal work on 9 July 1877 on a salary of £5 per annum. Receiving Offices were really only safe depots for mail and usually had just a small advance of stamps to the approximate value of £5. He resigned from this position on 29 August 1878 and recommended that his successor at the Springwood Hotel, William Martyn, be appointed.
In October 1876 he was one of a Committee formed to request the establishment of a school. On the sheet attached to the request a list of children of school age showed Frank Raymond nominating Elizabeth Thirdon, aged 10. His own children were well past the age of primary education, so perhaps Elizabeth was the daughter of an employee. A school was opened in 1878.
Springwood was growing quickly at this time and Raymond became worried about a certain degree of lawlessness in the town. On 14 August 1877 he wrote to Sir Henry Parkes asking him to use his influence to have a police constable stationed in the town:
       Within the past few months the following cases have occurred within my own knowledge—several thefts from the Platform, one horse stolen from my paddock belonging to James Stratton and never recovered, one attempted suicide, two cases of insanity, one imbecile, besides sly grog selling and larrikinism. Unfortunately we are getting a very rough class of men around us, in the wood cutters and Bushmen, and this class is likely to be largely augmented by those who will be brought here with the object of getting sleepers for the new Railway extension.
He went on to decry the actions of the bark strippers who were destroying the finest trees and the straightest saplings for bark and tie bark. He suggested that the Old Criterion opposite the Platform would be a suitable residence for a Constable, centrally located so he could watch both the road and the Railway. Sir Henry sent a letter to the Colonial Secretary supporting Raymond. He said that there were now some 30 persons in Faulconbridge and more at Numantia in the employ of Sir James Martin, Sir Alfred Stephen and Dr Badham. A Police Station was not built until 1881.
In 1882, still a Springwood land owner, Raymond attended a public meeting of local land owners to consider boring for coal. He felt that the discovery of coal would be a wonderful opportunity for Springwood and was one of a committee formed to collect money to pay for the venture. He was not very successful in this and felt a Sydney meeting should be held. He himself had offered the sum of £10. This project was not continued, probably because of a lack of funds.
Nothing more is known of Raymond in Springwood after this. A Frank Raymond, carpenter of 26 Pitt St Sydney is shown in the Sands Directory of 1885, and again in 1886 at the same address but with the occupation of photographer. From 1890 to 1898 he is listed as a photographer in Victoria Rd, Marrickville and in 1899 he died at the age of 74, his occupation still photographer. He was survived by his wife Mary Ann and his children Elizabeth, Arthur and Charles. His estate was valued at £166 9s 0d, which included his brick home in Victoria Rd, Marrickville which was valued at £125.

Shirley Evans in The Making Of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District.

More on Frank Raymond
In 1877 he attempted, unsuccessfully, to sell the Springwood Hotel.  The advert in the Sydney Morning Herald stated that the property comprised of 8 acres of land and the Springwood Hotel.  The hotel comprised of 12 rooms, stables, a detached kitchen, servants rooms and a general store.  There was a well fed well on the property and 400 assorted fruit trees.[1]

In 1889 he made another attempt to sell the hotel property, however this time it comprised of 53 acres, five of which were planted out with fruit trees and kitchen gardens.[2]  Prospective purchasers were advised to contact A.H. Ward or F. Raymond, Photographers Victoria Road, Marrickville.

[1] Sydney Morning Herald, 23.8.1877, p. 2.
[2] Sydney Morning Herald 22.5.1889, p. 4.

Early Residents - Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal

Charles Rosenthal was born in Berrima, NSW, on 12 February 1875. His father, Carl Johann Christian Rosenthal, was a school teacher, his mother was Emilie Clov. He received his education from his father until he was articled to an architect in Geelong at the age of fifteen. Charles finished his training in Melbourne in 1895 then moved to Perth to work with the Department of Railways and Public Works.  Later, he worked at Coolgardie. He returned to Melbourne in 1899, joining an architectural firm who sent him to manage their Sydney office in 1900.
On 11 September 1897 Charles married Harriet Ellen Burston in Brighton, Victoria. They had three children: Charles Burston (born in Brighton in 1899), Alvord (1901 in Petersham), and Christian (born in 1907 in Mosman).

Rosenthal became involved in the affairs of his profession, and in music. With his fine bass voice he was in the front rank of oratorio singers in Sydney. He was also in the army and held the rank of Captain in the Australian Garrison Artillery. At some point in time he acquired a house in Valley Heights where he lived. The house was known as Terranora.  In later years it was known as Green Acres and became the site of Roy Deane’s Orchid Farm.
While living in Valley Heights, Rosenthal’s energy and wide interests characterised his life. Apart from commitments in Sydney he was involved in the community life of Springwood.
He was elected President of the Rifle Club in 1906 and 1907, and opened the new range in October 1906. The new Rugby Football Club elected him Vice President in 1909, and he also played cricket. Rosenthal held the position of Vice President of the Springwood School of Arts and in his capacity as architect, submitted plans for the new School of Arts building.  These plans however, were not accepted.
Charles took some interest in the politics of local government. He gave support to the candidature of J.T. Wall in the first elections for the Kanimbla Shire Council. In the Blue Mountains Shire elections of 1908 he nominated but was disbarred because he was in arrears with his council rates. He stood again in 1911, but was fourth in the final count and was not elected.

His diverse interests saw him as one of the founders of the Aerial League of Australia in 1909, and a pupil of the W.E. Hart’s Australian Flying School at Penrith. He also offered to teach scouts the art of map reading and signalling.  Rosenthal’s performance as a singer, performing with the Philharmonic Society, and as an organist and choir master at Dulwich Hill Holy Trinity Church, made him popular for local performance. He sang at the 1909 Empire Day celebrations and also at the official opening of the Glenbrook School of Arts. On Empire Day 1911 he made a patriotic speech to the Springwood Public School.
Rosenthal was one of the most remarkable leaders of his time. His energy and optimism, his courage and breadth of interests found him at the forefront of any action in which he was involved. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he sailed with the first convoy as Lieut-Colonel, commanding the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade.  He established his reputation at Gallipoli where he was twice wounded. Rosenthal, re-formed with the 4th Division, was promoted to Brigadier-General and was soon in the thick of fighting in France. It was through his outstanding leadership in the battles of 1915–8 where he gained his military honours. He was mentioned in Dispatches seven times and was awarded the CB (1915), the CMG (1917), the KCB (1919), the DSO (1918), the Belgian Croix de Guerre (1917), the French Croix de Guerre (1918) and the Legion d’Honeur (1919).
Rosenthal returned to Sydney to restore his architectural practice and continued to pursue his other interests. He was Commander of the 2nd Division 1936–7, Alderman of the Sydney Municipal Council 1921–4, member for Bathurst in the Legislative Assembly 1922–5 and member of the Legislative Council 1936–7. He made a brief return to Springwood in 1923 to open the gates of remembrance at Christ Church of England.
He became a leader in his profession: twice president of the Institute of Architects 1926–30, a fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects and life fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.  In 1937 he was posted as Administrator of Norfolk Island, which he governed through World War II, leaving this office in 1945.
He did not return to Sydney until 1948 when he married for a second time in 1953. His wife was Sarah Agnes Rosborough (nee McKinstry). He died at Green Point in May 1954, and was awarded full military honours at his cremation.

Lindsay Paish in The Making Of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District.

More on Rosenthal:
The Argus, 31.3.1923, p. 12 – Sir Charles president of the King and Empire Alliance of New South Wales.  Addressing a meeting of the British Empire League, stressed the need for leading business men to take an active part in public life.  He stated there was a need to co-ordinate loyalist organisations so that they could speak with one voice. Those present included the president of the British Empire League was Mr. Thomas Ryan, Rev. James Thomas, Mr. James Roland, F. Jowett, Rev. A.W. Thom, Philip Glass and Sir John Monash and members of most of the loyalist associations of Victoria.

The Argus, 4.1.1921, p. 6 – Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal named as a possible new divisional commander.  Instead of command going to permanent officers it was suggested that divisional commands might be given to several citizen soldiers like Major General Sir Thomas Glasgow and Sir John Gellibrand, commissioner of Police in Victoria.

The Argus, 7.5.1921, p 19 – Burning of the Union Jack caused a wave of indignation among returned soldiers who fought under the flag.  A meeting held at the Town Hall was filled to capacity with an estimated 15,000 people standing outside. The convenor of the meeting was Mr. W. Scott Fell, while the main speaker was Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal.
The National Anthem was sung by those assembled.  Fell stated his disgust at the burning of the Union Jack and the red flag being flown in the Domain.  The following motion was agreed to with great enthusiasm: That this meeting of Sydney citizens express its abhorrence of the disgraceful acts of those disloyalists who on May 1 publicly insulted the Union Jack and paraded the red flag in Sydney. That the meeting affirms its loyalty to the King George V, as head of the British Empire, and pledge itself to use every endeavour to crush the act of disloyalty in Australia and to maintain at all times the Empire’s unity.

In separate articles the Argus reported that in Sydney the Royal Agricultural Society had debarred the St. Patrick’s Committee from use of the showgrounds in the future and stated that any act of disloyalty to King and Empire would receive the same treatment.  In Perth an Empire Loyalty League had been formed.   

The Argus, 14.5.1921, p. 20 – A request for the Ministry to take action to prevent the red flag being exhibited in the Domain in the future was made by a deputation from the Returned Soldiers Imperial League which waited on the Acting Premier (Mr. Dooley) The deputation consisted of General Sir Charles Rosenthal (vice president), Messrs. R. Hastings (secretary), T.V. Roberts and C. Davis.  Rosenthal stated that he felt it would be unwise to allow the red flag to be flown in view of the state of public feeling. 

Dooley argued in favour of the flag stating that it had a long tradition with English Conservatives, and many loyal men had marched behind the red flag including Mr. Hughes, Mr. Andrew Fischer and Mr. J.C. Watson.  He stated, in Europe it was the flag used by the people to denote international emancipation of workers, and as a symbol of an endeavour to substitute production for use over production for profit. Dooley stated that even the Salvation Army used the red flag.  Dooley stated that until the red flag was outlawed in England it was not his intention to prohibit the red flag in Australia.  Dooley said he would not do anything that would interfere with liberty of speech or opinion.  It would seem that Dooley accused J.C. Watson of marching behind the red flag when he was connected with the labour movement but Watson pointed out that labour colours were blue and white.
It would seem that the red flag was causing consternation at that time, so much so that carriers of the flag were given an armed guard in the Domain.  Ernest Edward Judd caused panic when he drew a revolver on a crowd of people hostile to his “red” sympathies.  He was taken to the police station and charged with a breach of the Gun Act.

The Canberra Times, 14.10.1926, p. 9 – Sir Charles Rosenthal addressed an audience at the Lyceum Hall Sydney and stated that he hoped licenses for the sale of spirituous liquors would not be extended to Canberra.  He suggested that the question whether Canberra should cease to be dry should be put in front of the people to decide not only those living in Canberra.  It would seem Rosenthal’s view was based on the idea that Canberra would only become one of the finest cities of the world but if the residents all remained sober.

The Canberra Times, 3.5.1927, p. 4 – The impending transfer of the seat of Government to Canberra celebrated by the Federal Capital League at a dinner at the Hotel Australia, Sydney.  Many prominent men were among the guests including Sir Charles Rosenthal, Hon. W.M. Hughes, Mr. W.A. Holman, Mr. T.R. Bavin, Sir William Vicars, Mr. T. D. Mutch (State Minister for Education) and many others.  Hughes declared ‘Canberra’ to be one of the ‘most beautiful places in the world.’ 

The Canberra Times 30.5.1930, p. 1 – Sir Charles Rosenthal of Sydney and Goulburn, architect, sequestered his estate.  His liabilities amounted to £9,000

The Canberra Times 16.7.1930, p. 3 – Examination in Bankruptcy.  Rosenthal stated he was bankrupt in Western Australia 32 years earlier when he was a draftsman in the public service.  He received a certificate of discharge for his liabilities that amounted to several hundred pounds.  He said the cause of the latest financial distress was partly due to his involvement in an insurance company in Melbourne that had gone into liquidation. Secured creditors amounted to £7,100 while the value of his securities and a policy on his life amounted to about £11,000.

The Canberra Times 4.4.1946, p. 2 – The Governor General and the Duchess of Gloucester gave a luncheon party at Admiralty House where several notable men and their wives were entertained.  Later, Their Royal Highnesses received Sir Charles Rosenthal and Lady Rosenthal who remained to tea.

There is also speculation that D.H. Lawrence used Rosenthal as a model for Benjamin Cooley in his novel Kangaroo.[1]

All entries are available from Trove
Oil on canvas painting from collection of Australian War Memorial Museum Canberra, ART02988, John Longstaff artist,  1919.

[1] A.J. Hill, ‘Rosenthal, Major General Sir Charles,’ Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp. 451-453.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Politicians - Sir Henry Parkes

Henry Parkes at his home at Faulconbridge

Funeral Procession at Central Railway Station

Henry Parkes Grave in Faulconbridge Cemetery

Clarinda Parkes
Although Sir Henry Parkes spent a comparatively short time in the Springwood district, his connection with the area was and still is a matter of pride to the residents. That his love of the place was also very deep is shown by his desire to have his beloved Clarinda and other members of his family buried in the little Faulconbridge Cemetery, even though he had had to give up his home, Faulconbridge House, prior to Clarinda’s death because of his ever present financial difficulties.

Sir Henry acquired large areas of land in North Springwood but did not appear to develop them in any way and they were probably sold or given in settlement of his debts. However in 1876 he bought 400 acres of land for £400 to the east of the Great Western Railway line in what is now the village of Faulconbridge. Here he built 4 houses: Stonehurst thought to have been named for his birthplace, Stoneleigh in England, Faulconbridge House named for his mother, Martha Faulconbridge, Moseley Cottage built for his sister Maria and Fern Dell, probably built to house an employee.

The life and achievements of Sir Henry Parkes have been well documented by so many historians that it seems redundant and presumptuous to write it all again. However, we feel that it is necessary to include some information about his life. He was born in England in 1815, the youngest of 7 children, to a farmer who fell on hard times and was forced to move to the city. Henry received only a very basic education and began labouring work as a small boy. He later became apprenticed to a bone and ivory turner. On the completion of his apprenticeship he set up in business for himself but was not successful. He had married Clarinda Varney and their first 2 children sadly died. They moved to London in hope of finding work but eventually decided to immigrate to NSW.
They set sail on the bounty ship, the Strathfieldsaye, in March 1839, arriving in Sydney in July. Clarinda’s third baby was born on the ship a few days prior to arrival. Conditions on the ship were very unpleasant but Sydney was not much better. They had precious little money, Henry had no job prospects and he was forced to accept a position working as a labourer on Sir John Jamieson’s farm at Regentville. After 6 months of this they moved back to Sydney, Henry finally taking the position of tide waiter with the Customs Department. He saved to buy the necessary tools and began a bone and ivory turning business in Sydney. He attempted to expand too rapidly and once again he was beset by failure.
Sir Henry had always been fond of books and writing and particularly loved writing poetry. His other passion was politics, and he was especially enthusiastic for social reform. He was a fine looking man and a forceful and persuasive orator. Feeling the lack of formal education himself he wanted to do his utmost to see that it was possible for every child to go to school. He wrote articles for newspapers, displaying remarkable journalistic skills despite this lack of education, and he involved himself in various political movements of the time. He established his own newspaper, the Empire, in 1850, becoming bankrupt in 1858.
He entered Parliament in 1856 and was Premier of NSW five times. His political life was as tumultuous as his business life but he achieved a great deal. He is now affectionately known as the Father of Federation as well as the Father of State Education. He was a great believer in rail transport and was one of those who fought to end the transportation of convicts to NSW.
When Henry, Clarinda and their family moved to Faulconbridge it was in response to a need for their own peaceful home. They had rented houses prior to this. Clarinda, a quiet woman who was more content in her home than in the arena of public life, was worn out from many years of child bearing and they settled happily into the loveliness of the Blue Mountains bush. Sir Henry invited many important people to their home, including the Princes Edward and George (later King George V) who were on a trip up to the Lithgow Zig Zag with a large party. They were given breakfast on the veranda overlooking the valley. The Princes are said to have planted a tree each but there is some confusion about the variety of the trees.
Sir Henry had a great deal of landscaping done on his property, making roads, planting trees and mounting statues on pedestals. He also had seating placed strategically to allow for the utmost enjoyment of the grounds.
When the Parkes family moved to Faulconbridge in 1877 Sir Henry asked that his official correspondence be sent there and, as there was no railway platform, he requested that it be put in a bag and thrown off close to his house. He later felt that a platform should be established there to deliver goods and to take up and set down passengers. He also had a Morse telegraph instrument installed in his house with at first a telegraphist and then his daughter Annie to operate it.
Clarinda’s health was poor during the years they lived in Faulconbridge and their two unmarried daughters, Annie and Lily, stayed with her during their father’s frequent absences. Clarinda, the first born, and affectionately known as Menie, had married a Presbyterian minister. He was tragically killed in a fall from a horse and Menie and her children moved from Victoria to Carlyle in Mt Victoria. She wrote many letters to her father and during the period of her widowhood made frequent requests for financial assistance which he must have been hard pressed to satisfy. During 1885 she thought she would move to Faulconbridge House and set up a school. However her brother Varney, who was training as an architect in Sydney, told her that the house would have to be sold. Their father was again in debt. Henry was supporting his wife and unmarried daughters, helping Menie and also maintaining another domestic ménage in Sydney. Like other men of the time he had a mistress. Eleanor Dixon, a young Redfern woman, had given birth to two children and was pregnant with a third prior to the death of Clarinda. Faulconbridge House was sold and the family moved back to Sydney.
In 1889, Henry shocked society and his family by marrying Eleanor. Annie and Lily moved out of his house in protest. Menie was horrified that he had married a girl younger than she was, but promised to try to love her as a sister. As family historians we are impressed by the fact that Eleanor’s three children, Sydney, Kenilworth and Aurora, born out of wedlock, were registered with the Parkes name and Henry named as father. This was so often not the case. Henry and Cobden were born after they were married. Eleanor died aged 38 in 1895 leaving Henry alone again. Julia Lynch, an Irish girl from County Cavan, had nursed Henry’s ‘sweet Nellie’ through her last painful illness and acted as governess to the small children and, at the age of 23, married Sir Henry in 1895. Henry himself died on 27 April 1896.

Although Sir Henry no longer had property in the Mountains, he had wanted Clarinda and himself to be buried at Faulconbridge Cemetery where he had set up a memorial to his parents. His son Robert who had died in 1880 and his sister Maria who died in 1891 were also buried there. Both Lily and Varney Parkes, daughter and son of Henry and Clarinda, were buried at Faulconbridge in 1929 and 1935 respectively. When Henry died, his remains were taken on a special train to Faulconbridge, accompanied by 200 people. Large crowds were there to hear the service and to say goodbye to a man whose greatness they respected. The Rev. J. Vaughan, at the conclusion of the burial service said:
       We are not called upon at this solemn moment, standing here around the open grave, to speak words of eulogy of the mighty dead. We are not here to speak of his public career, or the political institutions which he had founded, or the colossal part which he has taken in the public life of Australasia. All these things are written in this young nation’s history…
The attachment to Sir Henry felt by the local people has continued right up to the present day. In September 1882, after his return to Australia from a trip to England, he travelled up to Faulconbridge by train. All along the line he was ‘cordially received, and railway stations and bridges were decorated with bunting and ferns’. Upon his arrival in Springwood he paid a visit to the little school where a special address was read by a student. Unfortunately the lad had not been a student at Springwood for more than a year but had been brought up from Sydney. There were some very disgruntled parents who were not a bit pleased with the choice.
On Commonwealth Day 1901 wreaths were placed on the Parkes grave, the iron railings surrounding the grave painted and it was reported in the Nepean Times that the roses and other flowers within the enclosure were blooming beautifully. Michael Chapman, who had a house nearby, saw that his gardener kept the grave weeded and in order.
Early in June 1915 a special ceremony was held at the Faulconbridge Cemetery as a celebration of the centenary of Henry Parkes’s birth. It was attended by a number of dignitaries with the Hon. H. Hoyle, Minister for Railways, representing the Government. He read an inscription, which was to be carved on the tombstone:
       On this, the centenary of his birth, the Government and people of Australia remember, with feelings of gratitude and admiration, the patriotic example, and the enduring effects of the public labours in the interests of NSW, Australia, and the Empire, of Sir Henry Parkes, born May 27th, 1815, died April 27th, 1896.
In 1952 it was reported that the original plaque on the grave had been stolen during World War II and the Henry Parkes Cemetery Trust intended to ask the State Government to replace it.  On 27 January 2001 a special Centenary of Federation ceremony was held at the cemetery, attended by Gordon Samuels, Governor of NSW and his wife, descendants of the Parkes’ family and of other local families connected with him, and many local residents and visitors. This was organised by the Faulconbridge Residents’ Association and many fine speeches were made about Sir Henry and Federation. Later in the year, on 15 March, in a celebration of public education, local public school teachers met at the cemetery to celebrate Henry Parkes’s contributions to public education. A statement of appreciation to Henry Parkes was read on behalf of the teachers of the Blue Mountains.
In August 1902 The Mountaineer, arguing the case for a national monument to be erected at Sir Henry’s grave, said ‘Sir Henry Parkes loved his mountain home, where nature soothed him after many a time of turmoil and activity’. And in the same article, ‘We say that some national monument at his grave is due to Parkes. … True he was not perfect, but who is?’
Shirley Evans from The Making of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District.

More on Parkes:
In 1887 Sir Henry Parkes was in debt to the amount of £50,000.  He was forced to hand his assets over to trustees so that they could satisfy his creditors.  His principal assets were:
 * Land at North Sydney valued at £20,000
* Property at Faulconbridge valued at £19,000
* Coal property at Jamberoo valued at £5,000
* Property at Jervis Bay valued at £4,000
* Property at Coleridge valued at £2,000
* Property at Lawson valued at £1,300
* Property on the Holt Sutherland Estate valued at £1,500
* Property at Jerilderie valued at £500
* Property at Ashfield valued at £1,287
* Property at Wentworth Falls valued at £3,000
* Property at the Valley (Valley Heights) valued at £1,020
* Two lots at Springwood valued at £600 and £1,600
* Property at Guilford valued at £150
* Property at Moama value at £300
* Property at Canley Vale £120
plus various merchandise etc.

All up his assets were estimated to be worth £65,831.  Parkes creditors were numerous and included men like Messrs John Sutherland, Clarke, Abigail and Roberts, members of the Government of the day.  There may have been a hint of doggy-doings but the four men assured everyone that they were members of some kind of syndicate.  Other creditors were Hon. F. Vickery MLC (Vickery & Sons); the Hon. Charles Moore (owner of Moorecourt Springwood); Sir Saul Samuel and the late Hon. John Frazer MLC; the Hon. J. B. Watt MLC; Mr. A. Dean; Sir Daniel Cooper; Mr. James Watson (Treasurer in Parkes Government); Mr. John Shepherd; the Hon. S.A. Stephen MLC; Mr. Hugh Taylor MLA; Mr. W.C. Proctor, Mr. Sydney Smith MLA; the Hon. W.H. Pigott MLC; the Hon. Henry Mort  MLC and Mr. Fraser-Martin.[1]


[1] The Brisbane Courier, 17th October, 1887, p. 3.

Early Residents - Mary (Mollie) Fisher (nee Chapman)

Mary, or Mollie as she was more commonly known, was born Mary Nason Chapman in the year 1912. Her parents were Michael Nason and Charlotte (nee O’Connell) Chapman. Mollie’s father’s genealogy is rather complex but he was the second male to carry the name of Michael Nason Chapman, and had been named for his grandfather.
Mollie’s father was an electrical engineer by trade, and at one time served on the Blue Mountains Shire Council.  Prior to residing in the mountains the Chapman family lived at Glebe, and in an oral taped interview Mollie said that she could remember spending holidays  at Phoenix Lodge (currently Coomassie House) with her extended family. She was under the impression that her grandfather Henry had built the home, when in fact it was her great grandfather Michael. She also assumed that Chapman Parade was named for her father but we presume that it was actually named for her great grandfather who was the original holder of the land.
Following the death of her great grandfather the property had been transferred, c1907, to Henry Chapman (her grandfather) but it appears that on the same date it was transferred to Mollie’s father. They moved to Springwood around 1913. When she turned five Mollie attended Miss Bradford's College. The college was a girls’ grammar school that took day pupils as well as boarders.  It was located on the corner of the Great Western Highway (then Bathurst or the Western Road) and Lewin Street, Springwood. She recalled that she wrote on a slate board before progressing to a copybook. For sports they played skipping, netball and tennis.    
Later, Mollie attended St Joseph’s Convent, located on Hawkesbury Road, Springwood. In the interview Mollie said that when she completed her years with Miss Bradford she was a very good speller, but not so skillful when she left St Joseph’s.  According to Mollie, Father Simmons – from St. Columba’s College – petitioned for some time to have a Catholic school established in Springwood. When he succeeded, the nuns were from the teaching order of the Sisters of St Joseph’s. The nuns initially lived in what later became Fripp’s shop, and later still, in the home that had belonged to the Lawler family, where they took in boarders. There is conjecture that Lawler left the home to the Sisters because his daughter had joined the order, but this has not been confirmed. The schoolroom that Mollie could remember was the old weatherboard church building that had been moved from the opposite end of Springwood near the western subway. The school was then known as St Thomas Aquinas.
After concluding her education she was obliged to care for her ailing mother and father. Around 1924, portion 69 (the Chapman family land) was subdivided into 30 separate parcels. Four lay south of Phoenix Lodge and 26 lay along Bathurst Road (now the Great Western Highway). William Dawson purchased lot 5, and the rest were subsequently sold off over time to various other parties. 
According to Mollie’s recollections her parents fell on hard times, and were subsequently forced to sell Phoenix Lodge to Mr A.J. Taylor. Taylor, a solicitor, was also the owner of the cottage Greenheys. Her father apparently had made some bad decisions and lost three shops that were located in Devonshire Street, Surry Hills. Mollie and her parents moved across the road into the smaller sandstone home that was the gardener’s cottage - in the time of her great-grandfather - and Taylor gave Mollie the nameplate from their former home. This meant that the small cottage changed its name from Knock-y-theina to Phoenix Lodge.  The cottage was located on the western side of Chapman Parade.  Mollie said that in those days there wasn’t much in the way of entertainment for young people. One of her playmates was a girl by the name of Joyce Parry whose father had a farm and kept pigs. The Parry family lived nearby in the vicinity of Coomassie Avenue. In spring Mollie and Joyce would pick wild boronia, flannel flowers and waratahs that thrived in the area. Today the same locality is mostly modern day suburbia and has been stripped of much of the original bushland.
Her parents were very strict and wouldn’t allow her to go out. Finally they relented after about six months of continual asking, but she wasn’t allowed to attend the dances that were held in Springwood in the evening. She was only allowed to attend the afternoon matinee at the local picture theatre. Mollie was asked if she would like to work at St Columba’s College when her parents’ finances got bad, assisting the cook. Conditions were fairly tough because the girls employed there were made to work back three afternoons a week in order to have a half a day off.

On her 21st birthday the old cook made a special cake for the occasion but, despite this gesture, she only worked there a year.  Family finances were still not the best so Mollie took a job with Rose Lindsay. Mollie used to help with most of the indoor chores as well as milking the cow and bringing in the coke for the fires. Initially Rose would pick her up each day in the Lindsays’ car but eventually Mollie stayed overnight. She recalled many funny situations that arose whilst she worked for the Lindsays, like the time - not long after she started -  they had an exhibition of works at the house.  She said ‘she nearly collapsed’ when she saw the almost life sized nude paintings. The previous owners of the Lindsay’s home, the Foy family, were said to have had left religious statues everywhere, and therefore Norman’s nudes made a startling contrast.
Norman Lindsay suggested to Mollie one day that she pose for him and his protégé Margaret Cohen. At first she was reluctant, thinking the worst, but sketch her they did. Mollie still had the drawings. Prior to this Margaret Cohen had only executed floral studies. When Mollie learned to drive in the late to mid 1930s, Rose allowed her to use their car. Eventually Mollie took charge of most of the family shopping because Rose had tired of doing messages for all and sundry (neighbours) along the way, and felt shopping was a burden she wanted to avoid.

Cars were somewhat of a rarity in those days, and the only residents Mollie could remember owning a car, apart from the Lindsays, were Edgar Jesse Baldwin, Dr Schuette, Hedley O’Meagher, the Honeysetts, and her own father. His was a Metz that was used principally for pleasure. On her daily round of shopping, Mollie would pick up the papers and the mail from the train for the sister of Miss Coombes. She was the postmistress at Faulconbridge.  

The Red Cross children’s home was in Chapman Parade and Mollie did errands for the Matron stationed there also. About twenty youngsters were housed at the home at any one time, and she thought they were children who had never had a holiday. Paddy Ryan, who died when Mollie was quite small, lived opposite. When Rose Lindsay caught Mollie out horse riding one day, she wanted to know ‘what part of the cemetery she wanted to be buried in?’ Rose knew that Mollie’s mother didn’t particularly like her riding a horse because it was unladylike and because she wore riding pants.

Charlotte, Mollie’s mother, didn’t like her being out at the Lindsays, and thought it was an awful place. Perhaps she had good reason because Rose was well known for throwing  ‘gay’ parties at the house, and often too many drinks were drunk. Whenever this eventuated Mollie was called upon to drive the unsteady persons home.
A man named Toby became the new handyman gardener whilst she was there, and invited her to the cow shed one day for a surprise. Mollie thought that the cow had had her calf but he assured her that was not the reason. After puzzling over this disclosure for a while she met Arthur Davis on his way to the cowshed delivering a bag of chaff. Toby’s ‘surprise’ was somewhat horrifying, because Arthur and Mollie encountered him swinging from the rafters.
When Mollie reported this to Rose the latter was sure that Mollie had been drinking.

Mick Stratton had been the handyman at one time and was responsible for building the courtyard at the back of the house. According to Mollie, he was also the builder of the bottom studio. Mollie stayed with the Lindsays for about seven and a half years, and admitted that Rose Lindsay was very good to her. She said that Rose was a clever woman, and could turn her hand to most anything she tried. Rose modeled for Norman, made handcrafted garments, and worked the press for his etchings. It was in the latter service that Rose damaged her leg, which made her almost lame.
Mollie could remember the brothers Rupert and Roy Hillsmith who lived much further out along Chapman Parade. They would travel back and forward to work by horse and sulky. When visiting the Hillsmiths one day, when she was quite young, a terrible dust storm blew up and caused much consternation. Everyone thought that it was the end of the world especially when darkness fell much earlier than usual. The storm lasted much of the day, and was an eerie bright red colour. Charlie Stratton was the Chapman’s caretaker and lived in the smaller cottage, and later still the Ferguson family resided there.
In 1941 Mollie’s mother died and in 1944 she married Ernest James Fisher. During the Second World War Mollie was called up to work at the munitions factory and she was there for approximately two years. Ernest and Mollie never had any children.
2011: Both Coomassie House & Knock-y-theina still exist in Chapman Parade.

Pamela Smith
Blue Mountains City Council local studies vertical & image files and oral taped interviews.
The Making Of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District.

Left to Right: Charles Stratton, Kate Huges (on horse), Bessie Stratton,
Jessie Hughes, Isabel Stratton, Mollie alongside driver.
Outside Knock-y-theina.

Politicians - Sir George Wigram Allen KCMG MLA (1824-1885)

Sir George bought 480 acres of land from Sir Henry Parkes, at Faulconbridge, in 1881. He was the member for Glebe 1869–1883 and head of the Justice Department from 1873 until 1875.  Wigram Road, Faulconbridge is named for him.
He married Marian, the eldest daughter of Reverend W. B. Boyce, and in 1847, he was admitted as a solicitor in the firm of Allen, Allen & Hemsley. There was speculation about him being one of the earliest millionaires of Sydney but at the time of his death his estate was sworn at only £300,000.
In 1863 he was Secretary, and on the Board of Directors of what later became the Bank of NSW. Other notables on the board were Thomas Buckland, James Henderson, Robert Towns, William Walker and Frederick Tooth.  The Sands Directory for 1875 listed Sir George as the Vice President of the Savings Bank of NSW. He was also mentioned as being the President of Mutual Benefit No.1 together with Michael Chapman JP.  Chapman, who was a Springwood resident, was serving as a director with Randolph Nott, secretary.

In 1875, when Sir Henry Parkes was defeated, Sir George was elected as Speaker by a majority of just one vote. His opponents accused him of having over sixty relatives in the public service, an accusation that was possibly true. He was knighted in 1877 and died in 1885, survived by his wife, six sons and four daughters.
The Making Of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District, Springwood Historians.
Blue Mountains City Council local studies collection vertical and image files.

Ipkendanz Family

William (Wilhelm) Louis Ipkendanz was born in Hildesheim, Hanover in 1847, and was orphaned when he was just three years old. The years in between are a mystery however, after leaving Hanover for England – some several years later - William worked as a courier at one of the bigger hotels in London. Fortunate individuals, who were lucky enough to be able to afford the ‘grand tour,’ relied on William to organise tours, look after their luggage, bookings and transport.[1] Lina, born in Anet Switzerland, worked in one of the large hotels as well and, according to a relative, it was through the hotel connection that the couple first met.  Lina would have been a great asset to any hotel because she was reputed to have spoken eight languages.
The couple decided to make Australia their future home and William arrived in NSW in 1883, as a passenger aboard the Koonoowarra.  He sent for Lina (nee Probst) as soon as he was settled, and she arrived in Sydney aboard the Potosi in 1884.[2]  They were married at St Mathias Church Paddington a fortnight later.[3] She was just twenty years old - having been born in 1864 - making her considerably younger than William.  Lina’s sister Marie settled in Western Australia around the same time.[4] Marie married John Charles Zehnder in 1890.  As a matter of interest, the surname Probst/Propst means a lay administrator of a German Roman Catholic diocese or Lutheran synod. Probst is the Swiss form and means the same, while the English term is provost, which is derived from the same origin. All come from the Latin word praepositus or preposterous.

William was listed in the 1885 edition of the Sands Directory living at the Metropolitan hotel, Underwood Street, Paddington.[5]  In August, 1885 he is thought to have been the licensee of the Glasgow Arms hotel Harris Street, Pyrmont.[6]  In 1891, William applied for a Certificate of Naturalisation, which was granted on 14 August 1891.[7] This was no doubt prompted by a Government directive requiring all residents to be ‘naturalised citizens’ before they could purchase a home or property. This of course did not apply to people who were born in the colony or who were British subjects. William’s Certificate of Naturalisation was signed by no other that Sir Henry Parkes.

Royal Exchange Hotel Marrickville c1890s

'Elmhurst' Springwood

William & Lina
Following their marriage William and Lina had a number of children, they were: Hubert C. born in 1885 (d1886), Alice Marie born 1888, Arnold William born 1891, Robert Louis born 1893, Eric Pirival born 1895, Herbert Tyral born 1897 and Edward Kendall, the youngest, was born in 1899. Edward was the only child whose birth was registered at Springwood. It is of interest that Eric Ipkendanz (grandson) did not mention the birth and death of Hubert but he may not have known.

Between 1885 and 1890 William and Lina purchased the Royal Exchange hotel in Silver Street, Marrickville.  Various editions of the Sands Directory from 1890 to 1897 list William at the hotel, but it remains unclear when he became the owner but one could assume it occurred in tandem with his naturalisation.[8] Incidentally, the old-fashioned term retired ‘victualler’ was used on his deceased estate records.

Marrickville was the scene of severe flooding in 1889; homes were inundated under several feet of water and stranded residents had to be rescued by boat.[9]  Later, R placed a letter in the Sydney Morning Herald attesting to the generosity of the Ipkendanz family, who rendered assistance to about sixty homeless people by putting them up at the Royal Exchange hotel. Both William and Lina were praised for feeding, accommodating and clothing those in distress.[10]  A postscript at the end pointed out that neither William nor Lina had ‘any knowledge’ that R was writing the letter to the paper.  A paper written by Eric Ipkendanz (grandson) stated that a richly engraved Silver Samovar was given to William and Lina later in recognition of their unselfish deed.  The Samovar remains with the family to this present day.[11]
The Ipkendanz family were mentioned quite often in the Nepean Times even though they appear not to have moved to the area prior to the erection of Elmhurst.  From as early as 1893, William became actively involved in the Progress Association and was often called upon to preside as chairman. He became President of the Association in 1895, and his associates at that time were Messrs Axel Bech, J.T. Ellison, A. Ferguson, D. Mutch, J. Tanner and C. Lees.

During 1895, the Nepean Times reported that the Progress Association was ‘in a moribund state’ after several meetings had been postponed with the consequence that it had ‘knocked the heart out of its members’. Despite these problems, William remained a supporter of the Association well into the twentieth century, acting as Vice President in 1906 and again in 1907, when it was re-formed.

Much of the family’s earliest movements are unknown but c1890 they purchased approximately seven acres of land in Springwood, from the subdivision owned by Samuel Lees MLA. Lees subdivision encompassed an earlier land grant that had been given to explorer, William Lawson.  A family story suggests that the Ipkendanz family moved to Springwood because Lina missed the European climate, however, their grandson implied that it may have had more to do with the climate of Springwood and its reputation as a desirable place to live.[12]  Nevertheless, the younger Ipkendanz members spent ‘wonderful days ...roaming the valleys, learning the ways of the bush and ‘hunting for game.[13]  
The erection of Elmhurst, the family cottage, began at the commencement of February 1897, and in March of the same year the Nepean Times noted that Mr Ipkendanz’s new house was being ‘pushed along rapidly’.[14] The same article mentioned that S. Lees & Co. obtained the contract for carting the bricks and material from the railway station and, according to information obtained from their grand-daughter, the builder was a Mr Sam McGee.

By July 1897 their new home was almost ready because the Nepean Times informed readers that the Ipkendanz family were staying at Stefanson’s - an adjoining property on Hawkesbury Road - until the cottage was complete.  Lina lived in Elmhurst with the children while William commuted to Sydney whenever the need arose. Like most families in those days, the Ipkendanz family had their own kitchen garden and a cow. A small mixed orchard was also developed on the property for their personal use.
As the 1890s drew to a close, William chaired a banquet at the Royal Hotel that was being held for ex-MP, Mr T.R. Smith. Among the notables who gave their apologies for non attendance were Edmund Barton and Thomas Ewing MP. Elmhurst had a narrow escape from bushfire damage in 1898, and William lost some valuable dogs after they had taken poison bait. The culprits, Messrs Olsen and Rayner, laid bait down to keep the dogs away from a sheep paddock adjacent to the Ipkendanz property. Undoubtedly, some strong words were exchanged between the men; however Rayner and Olsen maintained they posted notices of their intent. Worse was to come however, when another of William’s dogs had to be put down after taking a bite out of the local postmaster, Daniel Parker.
The Ipkendanz children attended Springwood Primary School, according to anecdotal information supplied by long-time resident, the late Miss May Wiggins.  Later, Robert received his secondary education at Fort Street and is said to have travelled down by pushbike every Monday.[15] Given the state of the roads at that time however, it is more likely that he rode his bike to Springwood station and caught the train to Sydney.  During the week, before he returned home on Friday, Robert boarded with brother Arnold, who was doing a Maritime Engineering apprenticeship course at Morts Dock in Sydney Harbour.[16] This fact seems to be confirmed by information in the Sydney Morning Herald which stated that Arnold passed first year fitting and turning at Technical College.[17]  Arnold went on to become Chief Engineer for the P & O shipping line.[18] Perhaps due to his early experiences Robert became a keen cyclist and took part in many of the bike races held in the Blue Mountains.[19]

After Elmhurst was sold to Cardinal Moran, who founded the Catholic training seminary St. Columba’s College, the Ipkendanz family moved back to the city c1909.  They moved into the cottage ‘Bulwarra’ located at 77 Lucas Road Burwood.  The home was sold in 1933, after the deaths of William and Lina.[20] However, their attachment with the Mountains remained because Mary Alice Ipkendanz married Thomas Ashcroft (Springwood butcher) in 1912.  They had three daughters Jean, Gwenda and Valmai. Edward married Jessie J.G. Watson, daughter of Mr Watson, of Watson & Crane, in 1927, and they had a son Graham.  The Watson family also had property in Springwood.  Herbert Tyral married Daisy Nina Morse and had children John and Jill.  Arnold never married and Robert married Florence May Kerney in 1919; their children were Joan, Eric, Rita, Marie and Margaret.  

Additionally, the family purchased land in 1911 from a subdivision called Springwood Heights Estate on the corner of Railway Parade (now Macquarie Road) and Stanway Avenue, where   the cottage known as Urunga, was built in 1912.   Owning several allotments gave the family  room to build a tennis court.  This home was sold after the death of Lina.

After Robert left Fort Street he enrolled in Sydney Technical College Ultimo where he did wool classing and mechanical and book keeping courses.  Aged fifteen, he decided his future was on the land and several years later he was working as a jackeroo on a station in Central Queensland.  Later he advanced to other positions, like station book keeper, wool classer and maintaining the engines, overhead gear, handpieces and grinding combs and cutters for the shearers.  He worked on stations in southern Queensland and New South
Wales until enlisting in the army for World War One when he was twenty one years old.[21] He served with the 7th Light Horse and died in 1948, aged 53.
Sadly, son Eric, who was a Lance Corporal in the Australian Army, died in France in 1917, while fighting for the 55th Battalion.  He was only 22, and is buried in Bapaume Cemetery in France.

Lina seems to have been a great correspondent and hold very forthright views, which can be gleaned from several of her letters that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. She had strong views about military defence and, using the example of Switzerland, suggested that every able bodied male in Australia should take part in ‘military training for a certain number of years.’[22]  She even forwarded a copy of the latest military defence book from Switzerland to Senator Pearce before he embarked for the ‘Washington Conference.’[23] Lina considered that a period of military training would engender patriotism as well as support the British Empire in their bid for world peace.[24]
When William died in 1923, he still owned the Royal Exchange hotel and several shops in Marrickville. All the shops were rented out but the hotel had ceased to function. According to their granddaughter, the remaining family members formed a family company to manage the remaining business interests after William died. William and Lina are both buried in the Church of England section of Springwood Cemetery. He died aged 76, and Lina aged 66, in 1930. Arnold died aged 82 in 1973. Herbert Tyral Ipkendanz died 6.7.1970, and is buried in Boggabri Cemetery with wife Daisy Nina, who died 5.10.1970.

In 2011:
Elmhurst which served as the sister’s novitiate, then as a Presbytery, and lastly as the administration office for St Thomas Aquinas Primary School, is a sad reflection of a once family home and sits falling into decline.
Urunga still exists although the land has been reduced in size since the occupation of the Ipkendanz family.
St Columba’s College closed as a teaching seminary in the 1970s.  St Columba’s High School, St Thomas Aquinas Primary School and Church now occupy the site.
Royal Exchange Hotel still exists.

Pamela Smith


[1] Personal interview between Pamela Smith and William and Lina Ipkendanz’s grand daughter, 1999.
[2] Eric Ipkendanz, ‘A Record Of Our Life And Family,’ 1999, p. 1.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Eric Ipkendanz, 'A Record Of Our Life And Family, 1999.
[5] Sands Directory, 1885.
[6] Sydney Morning Herald, 20.8.1885, p. 7.
[7] Certificate of Naturalisation, State Records, Kingswood NSW.
[8] Various editions Sands Directory.
[9] Barrier Miner, (Broken Hill), 28.5.1889, p. 3.
[10] Sydney Morning Herald, 29.5.1889.
[11] Eric Ipkendanz.
[12] Ibid, p. 3
[13] Ibid.
[14] Nepean Times, February 1897.
Blue Mountains City Council local studies collection vertical & image files
The Making Of A Mountain Community: A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District, Springwood Historians.
[15] Eric Ipkendanz.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Sydney Morning Herald, 16.1.1909.
[18] Eric Ipkendanz.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid, pp. 3-4.
[21] Ibid, p. 6.
[22] Sydney Morning Herald, 4.10.1922, p. 14.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.