Born 1880 in Irwin, Western Australia 
Son of Henry MORGAN and Annie Jane LITTLE 
Resided with his parents in Mingenew and after his father's death lived with his mother in Dongara, Fremantle and Perth [9: 5-Dec-1919]
Worked for Thomas R. READHEAD on Melora Station on the Upper Irwin [9: 5-Dec-1919]
Private 61 in the 4th Western Australian Mounted Infantry Contingent in South Africa during the Boer War [10: 29-Oct-1915] 
Married Esther Rachel PATTEN in Moonyoonooka in 1905 
Farmer of Morgan's Farm in Moonyoonooka 1904-1909   [86: 25-Nov-1909]
His farm was 400 acres in size and was divided into four fenced paddocks [86: 25-Nov-1909]
By 1909 the farm contained 150 acres of cleared land under crop, a good well, large dam and two-roomed cottage [81: 17-Oct-1909]
The farm was located six miles from the Moonyoonooka railway siding and and 13 miles from Geraldton [86: 25-Nov-1909]
Won the Committeemen's Race at the Easter Picnic & Sports held at Warren's Flat in Moonyoonooka on 3 April 1907 [31: 8-Apr-1907]
He advertised his Moonyoonooka farm for sale in November 1909, either for cash or on terms [86: 25-Nov-1909]
Farmer in Three Springs 1910-1919   
Initially his farm in Three Springs was 658 acres in size and consisted of Victoria Locations 3740 and 3939 
From 1910 to 1913 he also had Grazing Lease 4715/68 of 1,850 acres in Three Springs 
By mid 1911 he had extended his farmland by 500 acres with the purchase of Victoria Location 4246 
After further purchases of Victoria Locations 3729 (100 acres) and 4479 (2,000 acres) his farm totalled 3,258 acres 
By 1914 he also owned the 920 acre Victoria Location 3053 at the northerly end of the Mulliah / Yarra Yarra Lakes 
Member of the Kadathinni Farmers & Progress Association in 1911 [9: 21-Jul-1911]
Attended the Upper Irwin District Race Club's Inaugural Race Meeting held in Mingenew on Friday 28 April 1911 [9: 5-May-1911]
His horse named Bonnievale won both the Trial Stakes and the Handicap Hack Race, winning him £8 for each race 
Appointed to the Three Springs Local Board of Health in April 1912 [9: 26-Apr-1912]
He was one of 15 guarantors covering the £300 debt for the new Agricultural Hall in Three Springs in 1912 [9: 12-Jul-1912]
He may have founded a Scout group in Three Springs in 1914 [10: 30-Jun-1914]
Roads in Three Springs, Carnamah and Coorow came under the control of the Upper Irwin Road Board at Mingenew [86: 16-Apr-1918]
He was elected to the Upper Irwin Road Board in 1914 and served on the board until resigning in 1918 [86: 16-Apr-1918] [120: 24-Apr-1914]
Thanks to his efforts with the Upper Irwin Road Board the roads in Three Springs were made safer in September 1915 [10: 3-Sep-1915]
Remarks were that the wives and children who had been too afraid to face the dangers of road travel could now travel about 
It was suggested that children include in their prayers "Please bless Mr Morgan and make him chairman of the Roads Board! " 
One of his horses won the Pony Race at the Saint Patrick's Day Sports Meeting in Three Springs on 17 March 1915 [10: 26-Mar-1915]
Attended and donated £1 at the Westralia Red Cross Day Basket Social & Dance held in Three Springs on 30 July 1915 [10: 6-Aug-1915]
Along with Charlie and Bert MALEY travelled to around Yalgoo in September 1915, returning with a load of horses [10: 21-Sep-1915]
Looked after his brother George's Three Springs farm during some of the First World War when George was in the A.I.F. [10: 22-Oct-1915]
Foundation Captain of the Three Springs Rifle Club in 1915 [10: 29-Oct-1915]
Received a letter from his brother Henry W. MORGAN which had been written in Egypt on 24 May 1916 [30: item 7988288]
The letter was the last time he heard from his brother Henry, who was serving with the Australian Imperial Force 
His brother Henry passed away in France on 6 July 1916, after which it was discovered he was the executor of Henry's will 
One of four men appointed to manage and control the Three Springs Recreation Reserve in 1916 [10: 18-Aug-1916]
Grew 800 acres of wheat on his farm in Three Springs in 1917 [10: 19-Jun-1917]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs 
Starter of the horse events at the Sports Meeting held in Three Springs on Saint Patrick's Day Saturday 17 March 1917 
Member of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee in 1918, 1919 and 1921 
He was one of four committeemen who drew up the program for the local Saint Patrick's Day Sports Meeting in 1918 
Judge of the horse races at the Saint Patrick's Day Sports Meetings in Three Springs on 17 March 1918 and 17 March 1919 
Donated £1/1/- to the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee in 1919, and 2/6 in 1925 
Entrant in the Ugly Man Competition held in 1917 to raise money to pay for the gas plant at the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs 
Out of the ten competitors he came third, his involvement helping to raise the amount of £42/13/4 [10: 6-Jul-1917]
Member of the Three Springs Honour Board Committee in 1917 [10: 20-Jul-1917]
Resigned from the Upper Irwin Road Board in 1918 and was replaced by Arthur G. DARLING of Carnamah [86: 16-Apr-1918]
His resignation was "accepted with regret" and it was placed "on record the valuable services he had rendered" [86: 28-Mar-1918]
Won 2nd prize for Chaff in the Farm Produce section of the Three Springs Day held on Thursday 26 September 1918 [10: 4-Oct-1918]
Member of the Three Springs Race Club - was elected Chairman upon the Club's reformation in 1919 [10: 10-Jan-1919]
His horse Spring Park came 3rd in the Carnamah Plate at the Three Springs Races on Thursday 6 March 1919 [9: 14-Mar-1919]
Days later his horse Spring Park won the Saint Patrick's Handicap at the Sports Meeting in Three Springs on 17 March 1919 
His horse Spring Park came 2nd in the Consolation Handicap at the Picnic Race Meeting held in Arrino on 3 April 1919 [10: 18-Apr-1919]
His horse Spring Park competed at the Picnic Race Meeting in Carnamah on Thursday 27 September 1919 [10: 11-Apr-1919]
Member of the Hall Committee that managed the Agricultural Hall in Three Springs in 1919 [9: 29-Aug-1919]
He was taken to the Victoria Hospital in Geraldton Suffering from pneumonia, where he died aged 39 about a week later [86: 22-Nov-1919]
Died 22 November 1919 at the Victoria Hospital in Geraldton, Western Australia [9: 5-Dec-1919] [86: 22-Nov-1919]
His estate, including his farm, was offered by public auction at the Palace Hotel in Perth on Friday 4 March 1921 [9: 4-Mar-1921]
His 3,258 acres of farmland in Three Springs was sold to Arthur W. H. GULL and Albert R. STRUTTON 
His Victoria Location 3053 in Carnamah was sold to Albert R. STRUTTON and was later owned by Jasper W. GREEN  
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 15 December 1916 at Mingenew
FRANCIS JAMES MORGAN, Farmer, Three Springs, sworn and examined:
"Three Springs district has been settled agriculturally for nine years. There has been a reserve of 9,000 acres for an experimental farm on the western side of the [railway] line, but everything is on the eastern side, with the exception of what is known Mickey Brown's property, consisting of 17,000 acres. That property is still on the market. I have been there for six years. I was farming on the Chapman for about seven years previously. I took up 3,000 acres at Three Springs and I still hold it. It was Conditional Purchase land. For some of it I paid 10s., some of it 4s. 3d. and for the rest 3s. 9d.
At what price did the Midland [Railway] Company sell land of a similar quality in this district? Some was £1, some up to 30s., but of no better quality. They made a better sale of their land than the Government did? Certainly. How did the Midland Company sell their land? By auction. Some was sold for as much as £1 12s. 6d. an acre. Is there any more Government agricultural land available here? No. There is any amount of sandplain. Would you call the sale of land by the Midland Company a genuine business transaction? My opinion is there is no land in this district worth more than 10s. Are any of those who paid that price going ahead? No; some are holding their own and some are not making a living. The Midland Company appear to have sold their land for twice the price asked by the Government? More than twice as much.
If seasons had been normal and there had been no drought, would the settlers be able to keep their engagements here? They would have done no more than keep them. Do you think the land sold by the Midland Company is cheap? It is far too dear. But so far as the sale was concerned, it was legitimate and in the open market? Yes. Was the Government land available at the same time? There was a little available at the same price as mine at the time, and it was very mixed. It was indifferent land.
How far are you situated from the [railway] line? Five miles south-west. I have cleared about 650 acres and more of it is ringbarked. Do you believe in ring-barking? Not in that class of country. Salmon gum and York gum I have cleared. The rest wants scrub rolling. It costs 25s. to 30s. to clear [an acre]. I have 2,500 acres fenced. My water supply is one well and two dams. The well is 35 feet deep and has a good water supply. There are not many wells of good water here; most of them are of inferior quality. The capacity of one dam is about 1,000 yards and the other about 600 yards. They are not covered in.
What do they cost per yard? One cost 1s. 6d. and the other about 1s. They were done by myself and the price mentioned is what it would have cost by contract. The one dam is about eight feet deep and the other about four feet deep. They will see me through the summer and no more. They have been dry two or three times, but not last year because we had a storm in the summer. Usually they dry in April. I am a married man with six children, who have not attended school yet, because it is too far to send them and I have not been able to make arrangements for them, but I shall do so next year. There is no chance of getting a school nearer, because there is no one out there but myself. The school is five miles distant, but I do not blame the State for the absence of a school. Moora, about 80 miles distant, is where the nearest doctor resides. The Government has offered to subsidise a doctor and annual subscriptions have been promised to make up a salary of £450. The doctor was appointed, but he only stayed a day and went away again, because he was offered a better position among the timber mills. The fact is there are not many doctors in the country. I understand he was offered a £100 a year more in the other position.
Have you a set of implements? Yes, and 15 working horses. I have 850 sheep and seven head of cattle. When I went to Three Springs first I had no capital, but I had 500 sheep, nine horses, and a plant of machinery. I have had financial assistance since from Elder, Shenton & Co. Through them a loan was arranged with Mr. George Lukin. I was privately financed, and Elder, Shenton still hold the lieu over my stock. The financial institutions are quite reasonable in supplying capital for stock purposes.
The Government has a department of experts for the purpose of assisting farmers, wheat expert, fruit expert, dairy expert, and other experts, to investigate diseases in plants, etc. What assistance have you had from the department in developing your land, and what effect have they had in inducing better methods of cultivation? I have had absolutely no assistance from the department. Are their efforts of no benefit at all? None at all.
The railway transport service at Three Springs is fairly satisfactory, and the [Midland Railway] company makes a reasonable attempt to carry on the settlers' business, considering the times. The frights on super are high, but the same remark applies to the Government railways also.
I have 450 acres in crop, but no fallow. I believe in fallow, and it should certainly increase the yield. I have no fallow ready for next year. I use from 40lbs. to 45lbs. of seed to the acre, and 50lbs. of super. I have Federation, Yandilla King and Lott's middle season wheats. The highest average yield I have had was 24 bushels over 350 acres last year. This year I estimate my return will be 16 bushels. It requires three bags of a little more to pay for the expense of putting in and taking off [the crop]. A fair average yield for the district in normal years would be from 12 to 15 bushels. I use a four-furrow McKay mallee plough and a ten-disc Shearer. The Shearer takes eight horses. A fair day's work is from seven to eight acres. I use a 15 and a 13 [disc] drill. The 15 drill does about 17 acres [a day]. I have a six foot and a five foot Sunshine harvester. The six foot does seven acres a day, and the five foot about five and a half acres.
Do you think the farmer could reduce his costs by the employment of larger machinery? No, because there is too much lost time in yoking up and unyoking horses, and I consider six horses quite enough for any man to handle. I do not know much about bulk handling [of grain] or whether it would reduce costs. I have not given any consideration to the tariff [on imported farm implements].
I had a little rust last year, but nothing to speak about. I have tried some fodder crops, and artificial grasses, with but little success except the rape, although that was small, and was really an experimental plot. I have peach trees and vines, but I do not think any pip fruit will do any good here. I keep a few pigs, but not for market. The same applies to poultry. A man, in order to make a living at mixed farming under the best methods here, should hold at least 2,000 or 3,000 acres, and with help at harvest time, cropping, fallowing, and cultivating, he should be able to do 600 acres [of crop per year] all fallowed. But he would want help at seed time also. One man with one team would be doing good work if he cropped over 400 acres. I do not think the present land laws tend to encourage settlement. The process and the conditions are too severe. They were all right at the time I took my land up, but things are different now. There is land I would not have at the time, but I took another man up there and he was asked 7s. 6d. an acre for it. I got some of mine for 4s. 3d. Grazing land is better taken up under Clause 93 at £1 per thousand acres.
Do you find that your sheep pay you better than anything else? Yes. I might mention that I am actually working four farms, as I have two brothers away at the war and I am working a plant on each of their properties, so it is difficult to say what it costs to work my own place at the present time. With a better water supply I would carry 1,200 sheep. Rabbits are getting round here, but they have done no damage so far to the crops. Dingoes were troublesome about four years ago, and are getting troublesome again now.
There is no poison here, and there is not much in the district generally. Three Springs proper extends east about ten miles, and I have heard there is country taken up beyond that, but not yet worked. I think Three Springs has a prosperous future before it. I am quite confident of my own individual case. I consider that the land should be given free to the settlers for the first five years. The survey fee should be paid. Then there are many complaints as to the high cost of bags and machinery.
The soil here is no very deep when you get into blue or white clay. There is a good subsoil. The rainfall is given by the department at 16 inches a year, but I consider that to be too high, although we have had as much as 19 inches. But the average would only be 13 or 14 inches. The Carnamah record over 20 years gives an average of 15.50. You should surely have about the same? Perhaps so, but I spoke of the last five years more particularly, and we certainly have not averaged 15 inches over that period.
Did you have a total failure in 1914? No. I had 60 bags of wheat over 600 acres, but I had no hay."
From The Geraldton Guardian newspaper, Saturday 22 November 1919:
Death of Mr Frank Morgan
"We regret to announce the death of Mr Frank Morgan, farmer, of Three Springs, which occurred to-day at the Victoria Hospital. Deceased was brought to Geraldton about a week ago suffering from pneumonia, and gradually becoming worse, died as stated. He was about 39 years of age, and leaves a widow and six children. He was well known in the district, having formerly resided at Moonyoonooka. The funeral will take place tomorrow at the Anglican Cemetery."
From The Midlands Advertiser newspaper, Friday 5 December 1919:
"Keen and genuine regret was felt here at the early death of Frank Morgan of Three Springs. He was a useful member of the local Road Board, and a sterling public man. Born near Mingenew, 39 years ago, his father died while Frank was still quite young. His mother a real battler moved to Dongara for several years, thence to Fremantle and Perth, where he grew to manhood. Returning to the district he worked for some time on Mr T. R. Readhead's station Melora, on the Upper Irwin. Enlisting from here, he served through the South African war, afterwards following farming pursuits on the Upper Chapman. Going to Three Springs with the early rush he quickly made good and was always conceded the most useful and respected citizen of that thriving centre. Living usefully and unselfishly he has left an enduring monument to his memory."
From The Midlands Advertiser newspaper, Friday 4 march 1921:
"At the Palace Hotel, Perth, on Friday, March 4th, Messrs Elder Smith and Coy. will offer by public auction the estate of the late F. J. Morgan, of Three Springs. This is one of the finest properties in the State and buyers on the look-out for something genuine would be well advised to attend this sale."
|Reference: Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Francis James Morgan' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 5 December 2023 from www.carnamah.com.au/bio/francis-james-morgan [reference list]|
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