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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Edward William BELL

Born 11 November 1857 in Calcutta, Bengal, India [272]
Son of Henry William BELL and Rebecca Matilda ARNOW [272]
He was baptised in Calcutta on 24 May 1858, at which time his father was the Assistant Overseer of Public Works in Lucknow [272]
Married "Una" Florence Una GRANT on 7 December 1892 at Saint John's Church in Bangalore, Madras, India [272]
     At the time of their marriage he was working as an Engineer and was 35 years of age, while his wife was 20 [272]
He was working as Assistant Engineer for the Public Works Department in India in 1895 [P132]
In 1904 he was the Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department in Rangoon, Bengal, India [272]
Later lived in India where he owned a farm and was on a £300 pension from the Indian Government [34]
He decided to buy farmland so his three sons had an occupation to follow him in [P132]
     He'd thought of buying land in Canada, however then heard about the Midland Railway Company's farms in Western Australia [P132]
     He paid a £20 deposit for a 420 acre farm in Winchester on 1 January 1914, and another £74/10/- on 29 May 1914 [34]
     Along with his wife and children departed from London, England on the steamship Borda on 17 September 1914 [203]
     They arrived on the Borda in Adelaide, South Australia [203] and then proceeded to Western Australia [34]
Farmer of Dikhushla Farm in Winchester 1915-1925 [9: 24-Apr-1925] [19] [44]
     He officially signed the final contract to purchase his Ready-Made Farm from the Midland Railway Company on 5 February 1915 [27]
     The farm's 420 acres was Lot M924 of Victoria Location 1937 and cost £1,890, payable by instalments over 20 years [27]
     He took out financial assistance from the Industries Assistance Board while establishing the farm [34]
In January 1915 he advertised for the clearing and burning of 90 acres of scrub and dead timber [9: 26-Jan-1915]
     He borrowed £100 from the Midland Railway Company for the purpose of clearing the 90 acres of his farm [34]
     Cleared and fenced 40 of the 90 acres with the help of his son and employed contractors to do the remaining 50 acres [34]
After harvesting his 1915 crop he sold 668 bags of wheat, and retained enough seed wheat to seed 210 acres in 1916 [34]
     He borrowed £38 from the Industries Assistance Board in May 1916 to purchase a horse [34]
     In 1916 he had 208 acres of crop planted [34] but dropped back to 150 acres of wheat crop in 1917 [10: 19-Jun-1917]
Member of the Midland Railway Ready-Made Farm Settlers' Association in 1916 [34]
     In August 1916 signed a petition to the Midland Railway Company requesting the prices of their farms be reduced [34]
He wrote a letter of complaint to the Midland Railway Company about his grievances and their unfulfilled promises on 12 July 1917 [34]
     His complaints were that there was insufficient water for stock, the "cleared" area of the farm contained tree stumps, [34]
     that only 57 percent of the farm was first class land, the land did not produce to the level the company had claimed, [34]
     the "roads" were just 4½ miles of track, the school at Carnamah was inaccessible for his two sons [34]
     and that the social conditions were also not up to the expectations they were led to believe [34]
Member of the Winchester-Carnamah branch of the Farmers & Settlers' Association in 1917 [34]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
Foundation Secretary and Treasurer of the Winchester Financial and Building Hall Committee in 1919 [10: 9-May-1919]
In 1920 the Midland Railway Company reduced the price and subsequent repayments for previously sold Ready-Made Farms [34]
     As a result, the 20 years to repay began again and the cost of his farm dropped by 40% from £1,890 in 1914 down to £1,134 [34]
     He then extended his farm to a total of 2,060 acres with the purchase of additional land from the Midland Railway Company [27]
     On 26 May 1920 purchased the adjoining 347 acre Lot M916 of Victoria Location 1936 for £1,041 payable over 20 years [27]
     Lot M916 had been half of the farm of Major Christopher H. HOSKYNS-ABRAHALL, who was Killed in Action at Gallipoli [34]
     On 28 September 1920 purchased the 1,293 acre Lot M1221 of Victoria Location 1936 for £808, payable over 15 years [27]
     He paid a £80/16/- deposit for Lot M1221, which was virgin bush, and then 15 payments of £48/9/10 [27]
Six horses strayed from his farm in December 1920, comprising three working horses, two young horses and a foal [39: 20-Dec-1920]
     The horses were branded E3U and he place a "Strayed" notice in The West Australian newspaper to try and locate them [39]
As an engineer he is said to have designed and overseen the construction of culverts and crossings for the local Road Board [P132]
Trustee of the Winchester Hall Committee [7: page 23]
He sold a portion of his farm, the 347 acre Lot M916, to Frederick J. BOWRA on 9 March 1925 [27]
Employed the services of auctioneer Thomas J. BERRIGAN of Three Springs to conduct a clearing sale on his farm [9: 24-Apr-1925]
     The clearing sale was held on the farm at 1 p.m. on Tuesday 28 April 1925 at which he sold his horses, plant and machinery [9]
His horses were four medium draught horses and his plant and machinery included a new Sunrise S.J.S.F. disc plough, [9]
     Sunshine Sundercut 10 disc plough, State Imp. 10 foot hay rake, State Imp. cultivators, 6 foot Sunshine harvester, [9]
     State Imp. 13 drill, set 4-leaf State Imp. harrows, I.H.C. oil engine, 3-knife Bentall chaffcutter, 6 foot Massey Harris binder, [9]
     Bagshaw ideal rotary H.P. grader, 2 ton International truck, Buggy, Spring Carts, Caollars, Chains, Hames and Winkers [9]
On 18 December 1925 the remaining 1,713 acres of his farm, Lots M924 and M1221, were sold to C. Henry MARTIN [61] [76]
Left Winchester with his wife and grand-daughter Alleyne in 1925 and shifted to the Perth suburb of Victoria Park [P17]
Resided of late at 17 Leonard Street in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park [39: 10-Mar-1936]
Father of Noel, Doris, Geoffrey and Hugh [34]
Died 8 March 1936; buried at Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Anglican, LE, 479) [2]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Edward William Bell' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2024 from [reference list]

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