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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Cowper Sutton TODD

Born 1868 in Shirley, Hampshire, England [20] [21]
Son of John Augustus TODD and Belgium born Clara Susan Arabella ARDEN [20] [33]
He was baptised in Shirley by Southampton, Hampshire, England on 1 April 1868 [33]
In 1871 he was living with his parents and siblings Frank, John, Agnes and Elsie at Beach Cottage in Milford Village, Hampshire [20]
His father, who was a Colonel in the Royal Army and later a Gentleman, died in 1880 at the age of 64 years [20] [21]
Resided with his widowed mother and siblings Frank, John, Hugh and Decima at Hope Villa in Henry Road, East Barnet, Hertford [20]
Later resided with his mother and siblings at 14 Ouseley Road in Battersea, London, England [20]
Worked as a Lawyer's Clerk in England prior to leaving for Australia, where he worked as an Engineer [20] [203] [204]
     Departed London, England on the steamship Jelunga and arrived in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on 17 August 1891 [203] [267]
     Departed Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on the steamship Ormuz and arrived in London, England in December 1896 [204]
Married Adria Catherine Emily COWPER-COLES on 31 August 1897 in Twickenham, Middlesex, England [403]
     At the time of their wedding he was working as a Commercial Traveller and was living in Twickenham [403]
     In 1901 he was a Poultry Farmer and they were living with their daughter on Huntingrove Farm in Slinfold, Sussex, England [20]
Departed Liverpool, England on the steamship Empress of Ireland and arrived in Quebec, Canada on 31 August 1906 [216]
     Following his arrival he proceeded to Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba [216]
     During his brief sojourn in Canada he worked on a bulk grain handling elevator [152] and as a farm labourer [204]
     He departed Montreal, Canada on the steamship Lake Manitoba and arrived back in England on 8 December 1906 [204]
He appears to have remained in England for two years and then emigrated with his wife and children to Australia [203] [204]
     They departed London, England on the steamship Waratah on 6 November 1908 bound for Adelaide, South Australia [203]
He was living in Coorow, Western Australia when he took up 323 acres of land in Latham for 10/- an acre in January 1910 [31: 21-Jan-1910]
     The homestead block had been advertised for selection at 12/6 per acre and was Victoria Location 4021 [31: 21-Jan-1910] [96: 18-Jan-1910]
Farmer and Grazier of Ditcham Farm at Lake Nedo in Latham, Western Australia 1910-1918 [6] [19] [80: 28-Oct-1925] [152]
     His farm grew to 1,990 acres and consisted of Victoria Locations 4021, 4119, 4209 and 4210 [39: 20-Apr-1918] [44]
     The land was taken up as three Conditional Purchase leases and one Homestead Farm lease [39: 20-Apr-1918] [44]
     It was described as 1,000 acres of good to fair cultivating land, half covered in timber and the other half in scrub [39: 20-Apr-1918]
     The remainder of the property was broken lake country and light scrub land [39: 20-Apr-1918]
     The farm was 8½ miles east of the railway and by 1916 he had cleared 200 acres of the property and felled another 100 acres [152]
     During June 1913 the local water finder "was successful in striking a good supply in a well" on his farm [9: 20-Jun-1913]
     By 1916 he had a house, stables and yard, a good well, a partial plant of implements but no machinery shed [152]
     The farm contained 170 chains of two-wire fencing by 1918 [39: 20-Apr-1918]
     S5T was his registered horse and cattle firebrand [80: 28-Oct-1925]
     Won the Old Buffers' Race at the Coorow Farmers' Progress Association's Picnic & Sports on 7 October 1911 [39: 12-Oct-1911]
Proprietor of the General Store and Post Office Todd's Store in Coorow, Western Australia 1912-1914 [9: 6-Mar-1914] [34] [215]
     He commenced business as a general storekeeper in Coorow around June of 1912 [9: 5-Jul-1912]
     During the period he had the general store he appears to have resided in the Coorow townsite and not on his farm at Latham [215]
     The premises of his store were situated on Lot 99 of the Coorow townsite, which was owned by the Midland Railway Company [34]
     His store sold copies of The Midlands Advertiser newspaper, which was produced and published in Moora [9: 5-Jul-1912]
     Member of the Coorow Progress Association in 1912 [9: 6-Sep-1912]
     He hosted the last meeting of the Progress Association at his store and proposed the motion for its winding-up [9: 6-Sep-1912]
     The reason for the winding-up was the recent formation of a branch of the Farmers and Settlers' Association in Coorow [9: 6-Sep-1912]
     In 1912 and 1913 guaranteed to contribute to the Coorow State School teacher's salary if the attendance fell below ten students [215]
     He wrote to Samuel J. F. MOORE, M.L.A. in July 1912 expressing the need for a school building in Coorow [215]
     Gave a donation at the Coorow Football Club's Annual Sports Day held in Coorow on 30 September 1913 [9: 10-Oct-1913]
     He had a donation box in Coorow in 1913 and 1914, which raised money for the Perth Public Hospital [39: 1-Jan -1914, 29-May-1914]
     Advertised his store with the catch-cries of "Goods supplied at Perth prices" and "Civility and attention at all times" [9: 13-Mar-1914]
     He operated his store until at least September 1914 [9: 11-Sep-1914]
In February 1913 he applied with the Midland Railway Company to buy Lot 99 to avoid it going up for public auction [34]
     He offered to pay £30 more than prices on adjacent lots when they were auctioned providing it was guaranteed he would get it [34]
     He was desirous of knowing so he could make improvements to his store which would otherwise not be worth his while [34]
     The Company obviously declined as Lot 99 went up for public auction along with other lots on 20 February 1914 [10: 10-Feb-1914] [27]
     Lot 99 was purchased at the auction by Mrs Janet M. JONES of Turipa Farm in Coorow for £40 [27]
     At the auction, however, his wife purchased the two quarter-acre Lots 1 and 2 (which they later sold to Heinrich W. BOTHE) [27] [34]
In April 1914 he advertised his farm at Latham for sale: "Wongan-Hills Mullewa line, 2000 acres, very easy terms" [81: 19-Apr-1914]
     Those interested in his property could apply for further particulars via Todd's Store in Coorow [81: 19-Apr-1914]
     By November 1914, when facing bankruptcy, he had ceased as a storekeeper in Coorow but was still farming [39: 19-Nov-1914]
There was a Todd Street on the west side of the Cooorw townsite, which was presumably named after him [382]
     Todd Street began at Station Street and intersected through Perenjori (now Long Street) and Brand (later West Street) [382]
     The street, which no longer exists, ran parallel to and in-between Thomas Street and Blythe Street (now Bothe Street) [382]
Advertised in November 1915 that he had a No. 3 Bagshaw Winnower that had only been used once and was for sale [81: 21-Nov-1915]
Gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the Agricultural Industries of Western Australia in Latham on 24 November 1916 [152]
He read an article in The Primary Producer newspaper about the destruction of rabbits by ants in Africa [353: 11-Oct-1918]
     He wrote into the paper that he believed the scarcity of rabbits in Latham was due to destructive ants [353]
     Locally, if a pig was in pigging and wasn't strong enough to rise, it would be destroyed almost immediately [353]
     If newly born calves weren't watched, they'd be killed as the ants would get into their eyes and mouths [353]
     Unless extremely dry there was never any chance of finding a carcass of a dead animal, as the ants would consume them [353]
     There weren't many kangaroos in Latham, which he believed was also due to the local ants [353]
     He also mentioned that a large number of cats were dumped in the country around Lake Nedo but never survived very long [353]
Farmer in Latham until 1918 [6] and by October 1918 was living in Mundaring [353: 11-Oct-1918]
     His farm in Latham was mortgaged to the Agricultural Bank, who called for tenders for its purchase by 6 May 1918 [39: 20-Arp-1918]
     The farm didn't sell and was subsequently forfeited before being re-offered for selection in November 1919 [81: 23-Nov-1919]
Traveller of 34 Hill Street in East Perth 1920-1922 [6] [50]
     Member of the British Settlers' Association - was Secretary in 1922 [39: 27-Jan-1922]
Departed Wellington, New Zealand on the steamship Ruahine and arrived in Southampton, England on 4 August 1922 [204]
     Despite departing from New Zealand their previous and future intended address was Australia [204]
     Their initial address following their arrival was Sidford Lodge in Shirley, Southampton, England [204]
     Resided with his wife and children at Radnor House on Oakington Avenue in Wembley, Middlesex, England 1923-1925 [421]
Prior to leaving England he lived with Margaret Mary Monica GRIEVES at Sunnymead on Barnhill Road in Wembley, Middlesex [203]
     He wrote a will on 16 July 1925, which would be his last, leaving his entire estate to Margaret [422]
     Departed London on the steamship Hobsons Bay and arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 28 August 1925 [63]
     He travelled to Australia with Margaret Mary Monica GRIEVES, who was listed as a 30 year old stenographer [203]
Insurance Agent of 1360 Pacific Highway in Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia in 1936 [50]
Father of Constance and Richard [215]
Died 1939 in New South Wales, Australia [265]

From the Progress Report of the Royal Commission on the
               Agricultural Industries of Western Australia on the Wheat-Growing Portion of the South-West Division of the State
Friday 24 November 1916 at Latham
COWPER SUTTON TODD, Farmer, Latham, sworn and examined:
     "I have been here seven years and hold 2,000 acres. I am situated 8½ miles east of the railway. I have 200 acres cleared and 100 acres felled, a house, a stable, a yard, but no machinery shed. I have a good well of water 30ft. deep, but my plant is only a partial one. I have six working horses, a couple of which belong to my wife. When I came here I had £1,000 capital and I have since got £200 from the Agricultural Bank and £200 from the Industries Assistance Board, but I have no crop in. I have no doubt that bulk handling [of wheat] would assist me. I was employed on an elevator when in Canada and know the whole operation right through. The bank business is no good to the farmer. What should be taken from the harvester to the siding in open wagons. In Canada the grain is dumped into the middle of the paddock and they keep it inside boards in the field and cover it with iron. Then it is quite safe in that condition until the farmer is ready to cart it. They thresh it in winter and cart is when they are ready. You can get a vacuum sucker and attach it to the wagon and pass the grain in through it. I have not considered the question of the operation in relation to the farmer. The best yield I have had has been 15 bushels, and if you are only working 300 acres it will cost you 10 bushels before you can make anything for yourself. With a similar area, of course, it would cost a good deal more. I do not think the present land laws are calculated to induce people to take up land. In some cases it is too dear and the holdings are too much distributed. People are put into isolated areas generally which prevent them making a living out of anything except wheat. I myself was 20 miles from a railway for a long time, and 20 miles is a long distance to have to cart everything, which prevents you from making anything out of your wheat. People come out to these distant places in the hope of others coming and of being able to do some good in a few years time, but here the position is becoming one of ruination. When the war came along I was about to do things. I had a contract for 300 acres of clearing, but I was blocked for want of water. I had to cart water for two years from Corinji siding, 17 miles away, and the rainfall has been disastrous. I certainly think we should all have our land free for a certain number of years until the country has been proved. If it is proved to be good we should be asked to pay for it, but no man is making anything out of it at the present time. If he had them he could not sell eggs or butter, and when you come to handle wheat at such a distance there is nothing left for you out of it. Every man who has been growing where here is in debt. None of them, however, keep books and do not know how they stand. If we could depend upon the rainfall the land would yield 20 to 30 bushels. If the Government were to help us over the bad seasons we would do all right in the end, although personally I would sooner do without the Government at all. All my transactions with them from been most unfortunate. I have only had a water supply of my own for the last two years. The first thing the Government should do should be to provide water for the settlers. A great number of them can keep poultry and pigs and tide things over if they have water. There should also be great leniency in regard to rents. We have been wasting time and energy up here for the chance of something ahead. I ask you is there any other body of men who would do the same as we have been doing for so many years?"

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Cowper Sutton Todd' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 16 April 2024 from [reference list]

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