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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Jimmy" James Alexander NIVEN

Born 10 May 1904 in Ardlui, Dunbartonshire, Scotland [28]
Son of butcher Robert NIVEN and Annie MUNRO [28]
He was born at 6:15 in the morning at Garabal Cottage in Ardlui [28]
Arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on the steamship Orvieto with his parents and twelve siblings on 4 August 1914 [P13]
After a short stay in Perth travelled with his parents to their pre-purchased Ready-Made Farm in Carnamah [P13]
Initially resided with his parents on Craigend Farm in Carnamah, Western Australia [P13]
Member of the Carnamah Sunday School in 1914 [7: page 238]
He and brother Thomas NIVEN took out a contract to purchase 1,202 acres of virgin land in Carnamah on 14 January 1924 [27]
     The 1,202 acres consisted of the two 601 acre Lots M995 and M996 of Victoria Location 2022 [27]
     Purchased the 1,202 acres from the Midland Railway Company for £1066/15/6, payable by instalments over 15 years [27]
Farmer in Carnamah in partnership with his brother "Tom" Thomas NIVEN as "Niven Bros" 1924-1935 [3] [6] [19] [27]
     Their farm was on the north side of what is now Reading Road and adjoined the corner of Reading and Inering Roads [62]     
     In December 1925 they and neighbouring farmers CUMMING Bros requested a road be established between their farms [34]
     The Carnamah District Road Board wrote to the Midland Railway Company to request consent to have a road surveyed [34]
     The Company denied consent, however at some later point the road was made, forming part of what is now Inering Road [34] [62]
     They had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and general repairers Henry Parkin & Son [53]
     Fires in early 1927 destroyed about 300 acres of their crop stubble, which was valuable livestock feed [81: 20-Feb-1927]
     In 1927 Niven Bros grew 1,700 acres of crop, which likely included their acreage of their brothers' on Craigend Farm [9: 29-Jul-1927]
     "Niven Bros" were reported to have spent Christmas at Dongara Beach in 1927 [4: 7-Jan-1928]
     The North Midland Times reported on 6 October 1933 that there was a parcel for them at the Carnamah railway station [5: 6-Oct-1933]
     From 1935 to 1938 they leased they their farm in Carnamah to William A. T. SARGENT of Wongyarra Farm, Carnamah [3]
     They completed paying for their farm, and in 1938 sold it to nearby farmers HOLLINGSWORTH Bros [3]
     In 1969 Stanley G. HOLLINGSWORTH sold what had been their farm in Carnamah to their brother "Jake" John NIVEN [3]
Won 1st for Ram in Strong Wool and 1st and 2nd for Fleece of Strong Wool at the Carnamah Agricultural Show in 1926 [9: 15-Oct-1926]
Member of the Carnamah Rifle Club in 1927 and 1928 [4: 11-Jun-1927] [9: 7-Sep-1928]
Won 1st prize in the three mile motorcycle race at the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Annual Show in 1927 [9: 21-Oct-1927]
He is said to have acquired a farm in Lake Brown with his brothers "Alec" Alistair Archibald NIVEN and "Tom" Thomas NIVEN [P13]
      Purchased a McCormack-Deering tractor from Carnamah agent Charles ROBERTSON in late 1927 [4: 10-Dec-1927]
      He presumably shifted to the property around this time as when the tractor arrived it was sent on to Lake Brown [4: 10-Dec-1927]
     In mid 1928, when he visited his family in Carnamah, he appears to have still been based at Lake Brown [4: 16-Jun-1928]
During February 1928 he purchased a new Fifty model Chrysler car [81: 12-Feb-1928]
He was among the 400 people who attended the Matrons and Benedicts Ball held in Three Springs on 31 August 1928 [4: 8-Sep-1928]
Attended the Show Ball following the Three Springs Agricultural Society's First Annual Show on 20 September 1928 [4: 29-Sep-1928]
Won the Motor Driving race in 38 seconds and without hitting any tins at the Carnamah Show in October 1928 [4: 25-May-1929]
Attended the Plain and Fancy Dress Ball held at the Carnamah Hall on Thursday 8 August 1929 [4: 17-Aug-1929]
Member of the Inering Bridge Club in 1930 [4: 4-Oct-1930]
Member of the Inering Cricket Club in 1930-31 [4: 22-Nov-1930]
On the evening of Thursday 15 March 1934 attended the Carnamah Race Club's Annual Dance at the Carnamah Hall [5: 16-Mar-1934]
Attended the Carnamah Golf Club's Opening Season Dance at the Carnamah Hall on Saturday 21 April 1934 [5: 27-Apr-1934]
On Saturday 12 May 1934 attended the Carnamah Football Club's Grand Opening Ball at the Carnamah Hall [5: 18-May-1934]
Attended the Dance held at the Carnamah Hall on Saturday 30 June 1934 to raise funds for Church organ repairs [5: 6-Jul-1934]
Attended the Inering School Dance held at the Carnamah Hall to raise money for books on Saturday 21 July 1934 [5: 27-Jul-1934]
Attended the Dance in aid of the Institute for the Blind held at the Carnamah Hall on Saturday evening 18 August 1934 [5: 24-Aug-1934]
Attended the Carnamah Football Club's Premiership Ball held at the Carnamah Hall on  Saturday 20 October 1934 [5: 26-Oct-1934]
Legislative Assembly electoral rolls list him with an address of Carnamah until 1935 [19]
His truck overturned on the Fremantle Road in Palmyra when returning from a picnic at South Beach on Sunday 2 February 1936 [5]
     To avoid colliding with a car he turned his truck sharply across the road into sand and loose stones where it overturned [5: 7-Feb-1936]
     Four of his passengers, including his sisters Jessie and Mary, were treated at the Fremantle Hospital for abrasions and shock [5]
Said to have also farmed in Lake Brown with his brothers "Tom" Thomas NIVEN and "Alec" Alister A. NIVEN [P13]
Wise's Western Australia Post Office Directory lists "Niven Bros" as farmers in Lake Brown from 1929 until 1939 [6]
Married Marie Francis Stuart BOYD in Darlington on 31 August 1941 [P13]
Resided in Kalgoorlie and worked on the mines 1941-1949 [P13]
     Resided at 46 Hare Street in Piccadilly, Kalgoorlie in 1942, and at 72 Campbell Street in Piccadilly, Kalgoorlie in 1944 [6]
     Resided at 4 Gilberton Road, Kalgoorlie 1945-1947, and at 20 Oberthur Street, Kalgoorlie in 1949 [6]
Farmer in Latham in 1953 [22]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1955 [13]
Later farmed in Perillup and then at Rocky Gully near Mount Barker [P13]
Resided of late in the Perth suburb of Bentley [2]
Father of "Jay" James, Judith and Robert [P13]
Died 4 October 1986; ashes interred at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (VC Section, Memorial Wall, D, 53) [2]

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 13 June 1941:
"The engagement was recently announced of Marie Stuart, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Boyd, of Darlington, to James Alexander, second son of Mrs. R. Niven and the late Robt. Niven, of "Craigend" Carnamah."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Alexander Niven' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 13 June 2024 from [reference list]

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