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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

"Maggie" Margaret MACPHERSON

Born 12 March 1854 in Toodyay, Western Australia [119]
Daughter of Duncan MACPHERSON and Mary WILSON [15]
Resided with her parents at The Byeen in the Newcastle-Toodyay district 1854-1867 [40] [127: pages 86, 182]
Arrived in what is now the Carnamah district with her parents in 1868 [120: 9-Jan-1930]
Initially resided with her parents in a three roomed stone cottage near the Yarra Yarra Lakes in Carnamah [119]
Later resided with her parents at Carnamah House, situated on Victoria Location 1172 of her father's Carnamah Station [119]
Their homestead Carnamah House was officially made a telegraph office in June 1874 [126]
Following her sister Bessie shifting to Greenough, she took charge of the telegraph post at the family's home on Carnamah Station [125]
Telegraphist in Carnamah from 1 August 1874 [125] [126]
Telegraph and Morse Code Operator at their homestead on Carnamah Station from 1 August 1874 to 24 November 1894 [126]
Postmistress and Telegraphist at their homestead on Carnamah Station from 24 November 1894 to 4 August 1913 [126]
     During the same period she was also Carnamah's Meteorological Observer [126]
     Her monthly salary for May 1875 was £1/5/- which was among the lowest in WA, probably due to limited workload [39: 7-May-1875]
     The other two telegraph offices with monthly salaries of £1/5/- were Arrino and Berkshire Valley to the north and south [39: 7-May-1875]
Sent a telegraph to Geraldton on 23 October 1879 advising authorities of the discovery of the remains of a white man in Carnamah [39]
     The remains of the man were discovered by an Aboriginal, and were subsequently sent to Dongara for an inquest [39: 24-Oct-1879]
In June 1898 she made a donation of £1 to the Home of the Good Shepherd through Mrs Eliza M. MOORE of Dongara [39: 23-Jun-1898]
Donated 10/- towards the fund being raised in aid of orphanages in 1899 through her sister Bessie [39: 5-Dec-1899]
Following her father's death in 1898 continued to reside in the family homestead with her siblings Bessie, Donald and George [19]
In his will her father directed £1,000 to be invested and that she and her sister equally receive all its interest and dividends [38]
In 1910 received telegraphs to send from Three Springs by telephone and post, which she then transmitted [9: 15-Jul-1910, 25-Aug-1910]
Complaints began in 1912 about the local post office being located at their homestead a mile from the railway station and town [31]
     Rather than walk the two miles there and back, people began leaving mail to be posted with local storekeeper Joseph E. BROWN [31]
     Another complaint was that the mail was closed off one and a half hours before the train arrived to collect it [31: 1-May-1912]
Travelled with her brother and sister to dances at the Railway Goods Shed in Carnamah by horse and buggy during the 1910s [7: page 151]
In late 1915 she won a fat sheep in a raffle that was being held in Carnamah to raise money for the Red Cross Fund [9: 10-Dec-1915]
     The sheep had been donated six weeks earlier by her brother Donald, raised £5/4/- but was donated back by its winner [9]
     It then raised another £5/10/- when she won it and it was her intention to put also donate it back to raise even more money [9]
She gave multiple donations to the Young Man's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) in 1917 and 1918 [39: 24-Mar-1917, 26- Jul-1927, 5-Feb-1918]
     The donations were to the trench comforts and military work that the Y.M.C.A. were undertaking during the First World War [39]
Two sons of her cousin Mrs Jessie SMITH became the first pilots in the world to fly from England to Australia in 1919 [81: 28-Dec-1919]
      The flight, over 28 days, consisted of Ross Macpherson SMITH, Keith Macpherson SMITH and two mechanics [39: 12-Dec-1919]
Received injuries to her face and nose in a riding accident [P25] while riding her horse down Old Telegraph Road in Carnamah [7: page 13]
Her facial injuries, which included a nasty wound caused by a stick or stake[P25], became cancerous and later resulted in her death [P83]
Qualified nurse Mrs Susan DURACK of Arrino resided at the homestead and treated her wound on a daily basis [P25]
Died 22 February 1921 in Carnamah; buried at the Culham Cemetery in Toodyay, Western Australia [119]
Nurse DURACK later cared for her brother Donald in his last days in 1931 [P139], and he bequeathed her £100 in his will [38]


From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Friday 25 February 1921:
"News comes from Carnamah of the death of Miss Maggie Macpherson, which took place last Tuesday."


From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Friday 4 March 1921:
Obituary
"It is with the deepest sorrow and sympathy with the relatives and friends that we have to report the death of Miss Maggie Macpherson, which sad event took place at Carnamah homestead on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. The deceased is one of the oldest settlers of the district."


From The Geraldton Express newspaper, Friday 25 February 1921:
Death at Carnamah
"Miss Margaret Macpherson, of Carnamah, passed away on Tuesday last at her residence at that centre. The deceased lady was 66 years of age."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Margaret Macpherson' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 24 November 2017 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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