Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs



Born 16 November 1860 in Upper Swan, Western Australia [P1]
Daughter of Edmund Keane BYRNE and Amelia JONES [P1]
Grand-daughter of Richard JONES and Mary BROWN, who arrived in the Swan River Colony on the Nancy on 9 January 1830 [P1]
     Her grandmother Mrs Mary JONES was said to have been one of the first three white women to arrive in the colony [39: 6-Apr-1937]
     Bullsbrook was reputedly named after her grandfather "Bull" Richard JONES, who was the first to build a camp there [39: 6-Apr-1937]
     Her father had been imprisoned in England for stealing a purse and arrived in Western Australia as a child convict in 1848 [P1]
Baptised at the Holy Trinity Church in Chittering, Western Australia [P1]
Resided with her parents on Spring Valley Farm in Swan and then on Brockhill Farm in Chittering [114: pages 2, 3]
Then resided with her parents on her father's Mount Pleasant Farm in Bindoon 1868-1882 [114: pages 3, 20]
     From a young age she assisted her parents with both domestic and agricultural tasks [225: 20-Nov-1943]
     She made bread when she needed to stand on a box to reach the table and used a harrow on the farm from the age of 12 [225]
     In 1881 she gave birth to a son out of wedlock, Robert Edward BYRNE, who died aged seven days [15]
Married (1) neighbouring farmer Edward WELLS on 29 August 1882 at Saint Luke's Church in Gingin [114: page 20]
     Resided with her husband Edward and later their children on Prospect Farm in Bindoon 1882-1905 [P1]
     For over ten years helped her husband run the Prospect Arms Hotel which was located on their Prospect Farm [P1]
     Horse-drawn coaches stopped at the inn and it was also used by police to stable their horses [225: 20-Nov-1943]
     "she had plenty of hard work but loved it" - including curing bacon and making butter [225: 20-Nov-1943]
     Her husband Edward died at the age of 58 on 6 November 1904, when their youngest child was less than three months old [P1]
     The farm was heavily mortgaged and with eleven children under her care she was forced to walk off the property [P1]
     Along with her children she lived for a year with her brother Thomas H. BYRNE on Mount Pleasant Farm in Bindoon [P458]
     With financial assistance from her brother E. K. BYRNE and Walter PADBURY she purchased a smaller farm in Wannamal [P1]
Farmer of Bush Grove Farm in Wannamal 1906-1917 [50] [114: pagre171] [181: page 153]
     Oversaw the management of Bush Grove Farm with her elder sons assisting in running the property [225: 20-Nov-1943]
     She was said to have been an outstanding horse-woman and rode horses until she was 56 years of age [225: 20-Nov-1943]
     In both Bindoon and Wannamal she was frequently called upon at varying hours to act as a midwife, and never lost a baby [225]
     Won 1st prize for Sponge Cake at the Victoria Plains Agricultural Show near New Norcia on 9 September 1908 [39: 17-Sep-1908]
     Foundation Committee Member of the Wannamal Farmers' Progress Association in 1910 [39: 18-Jan-1910]
     Member of the Women's League in Wannamal - was Vice President in 1911 [39: 30-May-1911]
     She opened proceedings at the Empire Day celebrations at the Wannamal State School in Wannamal in 1911 [39: 30-May-1911]
     Foundation Member of the Wannamal Hall Committee 1912-1917 [114: page 195]
     Guarantor on the Wannamal Hall Committee's £80 overdraft for the building of the Wannamal Hall in 1912 [114: page 105]
     Judge of the Cookery section at the Floral & Industrial Exhibitions at the Chittering Hall in 1912 and 1913 [181: pages 190, 191]
     Regularly helped organise dances and other functions that were held in Wannamal and was usually the supplier of supper [114]
     Provider of supper and music at some of the functions held in Wannamal, including playing the accordion [114: pages 97, 166, 170]
     Wells Street in Wannamal was named after her while Byrne Street in Wannamal was named after her brother E. K. [114: page 83]
     In mid 1916 she travelled to Albany to act as midwife for her pregnant daughter Mrs R. Maude MUNRO [P1]
     While in Albany she met her future second husband - widower Robert HOWE, who was lighthouse keeper on Breaksea Island [P1]
     Tendered farewell by the people of Wannamal and surrounding districts at a dance in Wannamal on 23 December 1916 [9: 29-Dec-1916]
     It was remarked at the dance that she was "a remarkable woman who had always taken a prominent part on all committees" [9]
     "a successful organiser, a model hostess, the mother of a family which helped to make all things go, the most friendly of women" [9]
     At a Social & Dance at the Wannamal Hall on 26 January 1917 she was presented with a suitcase and travelling rug [114: page 195]
Married (2) lighthouse keeper Robert Wilkinson HOWE on 12 March 1917 at Saint Paul's Church in South Fremantle [39: 10-May-1917]
     Resided with her second husband on Breaksea Island, on Rottnest Island and following his retirement in Perth [P22]
     They resided at 35 Tamar Street 1925-1934 and at 62 Petra Street in 1935 and 1936 in the Perth suburb of Palmyra [6] [50]
     They then resided at 14 Howick Street in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park 1936-1940 [6]
     In October 1940 they were living at 115 Canning Highway in the Perth suburb of South Perth [39: 26-Oct-1940]
Attended the wedding of her niece May I. BYRNE and Robert A. CALDOW in Three Springs on 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
She and her husband holidayed with her son Ted in Wannamal and her brother E.K. in Three Springs in April 1922 [9: 14-Apr-1922]
     Before returning to Breaksea Island they spent time with her daughter Lily in Mount Lawley and other relatives in Fremantle [9]
Wore a dress of fawn crepe de chine with hat to match to her son Edmund's wedding in Carnamah on 7 February 1927 [4: 19-Feb-1927]
She appears to have been in Carnamah on a visit in May 1929, possibly for the first birthday of her grand-daughter Vida E. WELLS [P1]
     Attended the Carnamah Football Club's Ball at the Carnamah Hall on 18 May 1929 in a dress of black crepe de chine [4: 25-May-1929]
After another holiday with her son Edmund in Carnamah she and her husband returned to Perth on 11 November 1935 [5: 8-Nov-1935]
When Darwin was bombed during the Second World War she and her husband left Perth fearing that it would be next [P22]
     They shifted to the Carnamah townsite and resided during 1942 in the house at 3 Niven Crescent next to the Anglican Church [P22]
     During their time in Carnamah her grand-daughters Vida E. WELLS and Margaret E. WELLS lived with them [P22]
     Along with her husband left Carnamah by train in mid January 1943 and shifted back to Perth [5: 15-Jan-1943]
     While on the train heading back to Perth she had a heart attack and had to be taken off at Moora [5: 15-Jan-1943]
After shifting back to Perth in 1943 she resided at 5 Yeovil Crescent in the Perth suburb of Bicton [225: 20-Nov-1943]
Mother of Robert, Ella, Ada, Edward, Rose, Lily, Edmund, Herbert, Maude, Elsie, Sydney, Frederick and Vida [P1]
Died 9 December 1946; buried at Fremantle Cemetery in the Perth suburb of Palmyra (Anglican, A6, 50) [2]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Emily Byrne / Wells / Howe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 February 2024 from [reference list]

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