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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Herbert Thornton FOX

Born 14 April 1885 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England [20] [360]
Son of wool merchant Robert Alfred FOX and Margaret Hannah THORNTON [20] [21]
     His father had previously been married to Mary Jane WARMINGTON and Jane WHITAKER, both of whom had died [249] [360]
     On 1 July 1885 he was baptised at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter in Bradford [360]
     He was one of at least four children with a half-brother Robert, half-sister Sarah and brother Lawrence [20]
     He was born and grew up at his parents' home at 70 Beckside Road, Horton in Bradford, Yorkshire, England [20] [360]
Married Ethel Maude PILLING in 1909 in Yorkshire, England [21] and worked as a Merchant [203]
     Departed from London, England with his wife and Edgar SUGDEN on the steamship Otway on 17 February 1910 [203]
     After a voyage of just over a month, on 22 March 1910, they arrived on the Otway in Fremantle, Western Australia [338]
Farmer of Ellimatta Farm in Latham, Western Australia 1911-1934 [19] [39: 24-Jun-1929, 16-Nov-1934]
     Initially when he was in Latham it was known as Latham's Rock and was considered part of the Coorow district [50]
     He farmed in partnership with Edgar SUGDEN until April 1913 when they dissolved their partnership [39: 15-Apr-1913]
     In 1912 "Fox & Sugden" had cleared 50 acres of their land and had 20 of those acres in crop [9: 28-Jun-1912]
     F3S was their registered horse and cattle firebrand [80: 28-Oct-1925]
     Upon dissolution, he carried on with their farming business but also became liable for all of its debts [39: 15-Apr-1913]
     0FX was his registered horse and cattle firebrand in 1924 [80: 28-Oct-1925]
     His first motor vehicles were registered with the then local authority, which was the Perenjori-Morawa Road Board [325]
     In 1924-25, 1925-26 and 1927-28 he had a Cubitt vehicle with plate PM-6 and in 1926-27 also had a Paige with PM-100 [325]
He held a clearing sale on his Ellimatta Farm in Latham at 2 p.m. on Wednesday 28 November 1934 [39: 16-Nov-1934]
     The sale was conducted by Elder Smith & Co Ltd and was to sell the whole of his livestock, farm plant and machinery [39]
     His livestock consisted of seven horses - six farm working mares and geldings and one young stallion [39]
     Plant and machinery was a chaffcutter, scrub roller, 6-disc McKay plough, 22-disc Massey-Harris drill, reaper-thresher, [39]
     6-disc Robinson plough, 6-foot Shearer mouldboard plough, 33-tyne Massey-Harris cultivator, dam sinking plough and scoop [39]
Resided at 42 Marine Parade in the Perth suburb of Cottesloe 1934-1938 [39: 21-Jan-1938] [50]
     He then worked as a Tractor Expert for agricultural machinery firm H. J. Wigmore and Company Limited [39: 22-Jan-1938]
     He was a passenger in a car at Quairading when a tyre blew out and caused the car to crash into a tree with great force [39]
     The driver of the car was killed and another passenger received severe shock and abrasions [39]
     He suffered a fractured skull and severe concussion and after two days at the Quairading District Hospital he passed away [39]
Died 19 January 1938; buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Anglican, OA, 372) [2]

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
HERBERT THORNTON FOX, Farmer, Latham, sworn and examined:
    "I have been here five years and hold 3,120 acres. I was previously farming at Kokeby. I have cleared 530 acres, and I have a tank of 1,250 cubic yard, and have never been short of water. I put the tank down myself, and cost me about 1s. 9d. a yard. I am now sinking another. The best tender that I got for performing this work was 2s. 9d. for the same work. I have two blocks, one of them is seven miles from the railway and the other about four. I am a married man but have no children. My house is hessian and iron, and I have complete farming plant, five working horses and a cow. I had about £100 when I started here. The Agricultural Bank advanced me £300 on the first block, and I do not know how much I owe the Industries Assistance Board, but probably about £700.
     I have 400 acres in crop but no fallow. My highest average yield last year was eight bags, but I lost half of that in a hailstorm. The best average yield before that was five bags. That was in the year previous to the drought. It was take 12 bushels per acre to pay expenses, and no doubt bulk handling would further reduce costs, and if tank wagons were employed to bring the wheat to the siding the cost of bags would be minimised. The duty on farm implements should not be so severe. I think that I would prefer all my liabilities to be funded and the repayment spread over five or ten years.
     I pickle, but do not grade my wheat. I have grown a small paddock of barley for the use of the cows, and I have poultry, but have not raised eggs for the market, although my wife intends to go in for that. No man can make a living out here with less than 1,000 acres, which should be cleared, and he should work it in crop, stubble, and fallow. Working on his own a man should be able to work 300 acres. I have tried to bring about co-operation amongst my neighbours, but found it impossible, although there I no doubt as to the advantages that would accrue. The price of land I consider to be excessive, and also a bad policy to have settlement before the railways are constructed. The first direction in which the banks should lend money should be for water conservation. I consider the railway freights exorbitant. A family of two or three is compelled to pay about £1 a month more than they should for the various necessities of life. Fright also on wheat is exorbitant for the distance. It is ridiculous to expect a railway line in a new district to be a paying proposition. It is actually helping to develop the land; building material, and any of the small luxuries of life are an impossibility under the present freight charges. A neighbour of mine brought up lime in order to build his house, but the fright on the lime cost as much as the house. I should have built a decent house only that the frights were against me. Even with a bat house you want some timber, and iron. I have brelia poison on my land, and so at present it is impossible to get a run of stock."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Herbert Thornton Fox' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 August 2019 from  [ sources ]

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