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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Jimmy" James GARDINER

Born 12 June 1861 in Papakura Valley, New Zealand [189]
Third son and ninth child of George GARDINER and Mary CRAIG [305]
Resided with his parents on their sheep property in Papakura Valley until shifting with them to South Australia in 1865 [305]
Educated at Port Augusta until 1870 and then at the State School in Saddleworth, both in South Australia [196] [305] [399: 22 Jan-1870]
On leaving school at the age of 11 he worked for the South Australian Carrying Company Limited [196] [305]
Clerk in Naracoorte, South Australia 1882-1886 [480: 7-Jul-1882, 26-Aug-1884] [481: 17-Feb-1886]
     He served as secretary of the Naracoorte Turf Club and Naracoorte Pastoral & Agricultural Society [480: 20-Oct-1883] [481: 20-May-1885]
In February 1886 he was appointed to take charge of the Provisional School at Lochaber, South Australia [481: 17-Feb-1886]
He then worked for a number of years as Accountant for stock and station agency William Hamilton & Co in Melbourne [305]
Married Emily Louisa BROWNE on 22 April 1889 in Northcote, Victoria, Australia [189]
Shifted to Western Australia in November 1895 to manage the new branch of the publishing firm Gordon & Gotch [305]
Resided at Victoria Square in Perth and then as an early settler in the suburb Melville Water Park Estate, later renamed Applecross [305]
President of the Western Australian Cricketing Association 1897-1899, 1906-1915 and 1917-1924 [305]
Resigned as manager of Gordon & Gotch in 1900 and established his own business as a Real Estate Agent and Auctioneer [189] [305]
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Albany 1901-1904, and was Colonial Treasurer of the WA Government 1902-1904 [189] [305]
From his business he drafted a scheme for land sales for the Midland Railway Company in July 1905 [305]
Land Agent for the Midland Railway Company and managed the Company's real estate interests 1906-1918 [148]
     The Midland Railway Company had been allocated 12,000 acres of land for every line of railway they had built [305]
     As the Company's Land Agent he oversaw and managed the subdividing and selling of the Company's enormous tracts of land [305]
     During his time as agent for the Midland Railway Company he sold nearly half a million acres of land in the Midlands of WA [148]
     Spent considerable time in Moora in 1906 surveying and classifying virgin lands on horseback and camping in a canvas tent [305]
     The first subdivision of the Company's land occurred at Moora on 22 June 1906 and resulted in record sales [305]
     Within four years subdivisions had been made at Moora, Mingenew, Walebing, Coomberdale, Three Springs and Mogumber [305]
     Travelled to the subdivisions to show prospective buyers over land, most of which was virgin land suitable for farming pursuits [305]
     In 1909 the Midland Railway Company paid him an honorarium of £1,050 for his services to their Lands Department [34]
     In the last week of October 1910 he paid a visit to Three Springs to inspect the Company's Three Springs subdivision [31: 4-Nov-1910]
Served on the Midland Railway Company's Railway Committee, which managed the Company's railway line, from 1907 to 1911 [305]
Purchaser of some of the first subdivided blocks in Moora with Gardiner Street in the Moora townsite being named in his honour [305]
     Purchased Lot 22 of Melbourne Location 929 in the Moora townsite from the Midland Railway Company on 21 July 1908 [27]
Auctioneer at the Midland Railway Company's 9th Subdivision at the Builders and Contractors Exchange in Perth on 18 June 1909 [39]
     The sale was of agricultural land and townsite blocks in Three Springs and was "a splendid success" [39: 19-Jun-1909]
     28 agricultural lots totalling 28,231 acres were sold for £17,478/8/10, while 69 townsite blocks were sold for a total of £1,978 [39]
     He purchased one of the townsite blocks in Three Springs at the auction - the one acre Lot 105 of Victoria Location 2022 [27]
     Paid £20 over 18 months for the one acre block, and remained its owner until at least 1924 [27] [44]
He was one of numerous Vice Presidents of the Kadathinni Cricket Club in Three Springs upon its formation in 1909 [9: 20-Aug-1909]
Travelled to London, England in May 1910 to discuss land issues with the directors of the Midland Railway Company [34]
     He and the Company's directors devised the "New Land Scheme" which was later renamed the "Improved Farms Scheme" [34]
     The Scheme involved the Company surveying some of their virgin land into smaller holdings and transforming these into farms [34]
     Once partially cleared, fenced and with a jarrah house, water supply, stable and shed the land was then sold at a higher price [305]
     The purpose of the farms, which were advertised as "Ready Made Farms," was to attract immigrants with small capital [34]
     Ready Made Farms were created and accompanying townsites declared in Carnamah, Winchester and Coorow [34]
     On his recommendation the Company imported a steam traction engine tractor from England to assist with creating the farms [34]
     The tractor was a Garrett 8-horsepower Compound General Purpose Traction Engine made by Richard Garrett & Sons [39: 10-Aug-1918]
Arrived back in WA in late September 1910, shortly after which he visited his recently purchased farm in Moora [9: 7-Oct-1910]
     Between 1907 and 1909 he had purchased 3,744 acres of farmland at Berkshire Valley in Moora [27] [61]
     The 3,744 acres consisted of Lots M249, M251, M252, M253 and M259 of Melbourne Locations 909, 910, 911 and 916 [27]
     The land was part of the Moora subdivision he had surveyed for the Midland Railway Company [305]
     By 1915 his sons Robert Keith GARDINER and Geoffrey Leighton GARDINER had settled on his Blantyre Farm in Moora [50]
     He travelled to Moora by train on Saturday 19 June 1915 where he spent a few days with his son and visiting his farm [10: 22-Jun-1915]
     The telephone was connected to the farmhouse on his Blantyre Farm and was number Moora-25 [60]
In 1910, in addition to his other interests, he was appointed Attorney for the New Zealand and Australian Land Company [9: 7-Oct-1910]
He visited Three Springs around April of 1913 and sold the farm of Robert MITCHELL to Maley Bros of Three Springs [9: 16-May-1913]
On behalf of the Midland Railway Company conducted an auction in Moora at 2:30 p.m. on Friday 20 February 1914 [10: 10-Feb-1914]
     The auction was to sell townsite lots in Mogumber, Coorow and Carnamah, and a further subdivision of townsite lots in Moora [10]
     In addition to conducting the auction he also purchased Lots 240 and 241 of Melbourne Location 908 in the Moora townsite [27]
     Lot 240 was five acres in size and cost £52/10/- while Lot 241 was four acres in size and cost £45, both payable over 18 months [27]
Attended a meeting in Three Springs on 19 June 1914, when a District Council of the Farmers & Settlers Association was formed [10]
      He addressed those at the meeting on the rules, regulations and defining powers of branches of the Association [10: 23-Jun-1914]
Wrote to the Education Department on 11 September 1914 advising of a house that was available for the Coorow State School [215]
     The house was owned by one of the Company's settlers, however it wasn't needed as the school closed due to lack of numbers [215]
Later in 1914 he was involved in a scheme to help struggling drought stricken farmers with sustenance and seed wheat [10: 22-Sep-1914]
     The scheme was initiated by the Country Party and had as its objective to keep struggling farmers on their holdings [10: 9-Oct-1914]
In 1914 he ran as the Country Party candidate for the Legislative Assembly seat for the Electorate of Irwin [10: 22 & 25-Sep-1914]
     On 3 October 1914 addressed electors at the Arrino railway station at 3 p.m. and at the Three Springs Hall at 8 p.m. [10]
     Addressed electors at railway stations in Carnamah at 3 p.m. and in Coorow at 8 p.m. on Monday 5 October 1914 [10: 25-Sep-1914]
     There was a very good attendance at his address in Carnamah, in which he outlined the principals of the Country Party [10: 9-Oct-1914]
     Following his address in Carnamah a vote of confidence was moved for his candidature and he was given three hearty cheers [10]
He won the election, receiving 720 out of 1,220 votes (beating his opponent, who received 492 votes, by a majority of 228 votes) [10]
      Received 36 out of 51 votes from Arrino, 58 out of 83 votes from Three Springs, 34 out of 51 votes from Carnamah, [10]
      14 out of 16 votes from Winchester, 15 out of 28 votes from Coorow, and 13 out of 15 votes from Gunyidi [10: 27-Oct-1914]
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Irwin from 21 October 1914 to 12 March 1921 [189]
    The Legislative Assembly district of Irwin included the districts of Three Springs, Carnamah and Coorow [10: 25-Sep-1914]
    His Three Springs constituents believed they were well represented as he was "equal to any two men in parliament" [10: 30-Oct-1914]
    He was the first parliamentary leader of the Country Party in WA and led the party from November 1914 to March 1915 [189]
    In 1917 he was re-elected unopposed as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Irwin [10: 21-Sep-1917]
    Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1 March 1917 until resigning due to suffering from deafness on 28 June 1917 [304]
    Filled the position of Colonial Treasurer of the Western Australia Government from June 1917 to April 1919 [305]
Speaker at the Official Luncheon of the Moora Agricultural Society's Annual Show in Moora on Friday 9 October 1908 [9: 16-Oct-1908]
In November 1908 he sold twelve stud merino rams to J. A. GAME of Burrabidgy Farm in Moora [9: 27-Nov-1908]
Patron of the Moora Race Club 1909-1911 [9: 18-Dec-1908, 16-Dec-1910, 31-Mar-1911]
     His horse Desperado won the District Handicap and came 2nd in the Trial Stakes at the Moora Races on 29 March 1911 [9]
     In 1918 he was one of the Vice Presidents of the Moora Race Club [9: 15-Feb-1918]
Exhibited in the Horses in Action and Sheep sections of the Moora Agricultural Society's Annual Show in Moora in 1910 [9]
     In the Horses in Action section won 1st prize for a Pair of Lorry Horses and for his horse Desperado's display in the Hunter [9]
     In Sheep won 1st prizes for 2-tooth WA bred Merino ram, 2-tooth Shropshire ewe, and a over 2-tooth WA bred Shropshire ram; [9]
     and 2nd prizes for an over 2-tooth Shropshire ram, Oxford Downs ram and an Oxford Downs ewe [9: 28-Oct-1910]
Inaugural Patron of the Three Springs Race Club in 1910 and 1911 [9: 23-Dec-1910]
     Himself and his wife attended the Three Springs Race Club's Inaugural Races held in Three Springs on Thursday 9 March 1911 [9]
     They also entered horses, his horse Jack winning the Hack Race, and Desperado coming 2nd in the Ladies Bracelet [9]
     That night he gave a lecture to a large audience on his travels from Fremantle to Colombo, France and England [9: 17-Mar-1911]
Inaugural Vice President of the Upper Irwin District Race Club in 1911 [9: 5-May-1911]
     Steward at the Upper Irwin District Race Club's Inaugural Race Meeting held in Mingenew on Friday 28 April 1911 [9: 5-May-1911]
At his offices he held an auction to sell Samuel C. EMERY's Marchagee Estate Farm in Marchagee on 28 June 1912 [39: 17-Jun-1912]
He actively managed the Midland Railway Company's Ready Made Farm Scheme from its inception until 1915 [305]
     From 1915 onwards he only acted in an advisory capacity, and Robert L. GILBERT was employed to oversee the farms [305]
He was invited but at the last moment unable to attend the "Three Springs Day" at Three Springs on Monday 16 September 1915 [10]
      He was well liked and respected in the Three Springs district, where he was known locally as Sunny Jim [10: 24-Sep-1915]
Attended the Moora Agricultural Show held in Moora on Friday 1 October 1915 [10: 5-Oct-1915]
Inaugural Vice President of the Three Springs Rifle Club in 1915 [10: 29-Oct-1915]
Travelled through the Midland districts as far north as Mingenew on business in early August 1916 [10: 8-Aug-1916]
     After the trip he reported that the crops throughout were looking exceedingly good and that harvest prospects were up [10]
     The best crops he saw were in Three Springs, while in Carnamah there was 4,000 acres more crop than the previous season [10]
In 1916 he was intending on retiring from politics, however changed his mind and offered himself for re-election for the Irwin seat [10]
     He changed his mind after being strongly urged to do so by delegates present at a Farmers & Settlers conference [10: 18 & 25-Aug-1916]
     The delegates from the Irwin electorate unanimously requested that he contest the Irwin seat if another candidate nominated [10]
Pallbearer at the funeral of Three Springs farmer George R. WATSON at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth in 1916 [10: 19-Sep-1916]
Sent £1 to be spent on the children at the Three Springs Day at Casuarina Park in Three Springs on 27 September 1916 [10: 6-Oct-1916]
Speaker in support of conscription at a meeting held in Three Springs on the issue of conscription on 17 October 1916 [10: 24-Oct-1916]
Patron of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee's Sports Meeting held in Three Springs on 17 March 1917 [124]
He received a letter from the Upper Irwin Road Board at Mingenew in January 1918[9: 1-Feb-1918]
     As they'd been unsuccessful the Board requested he obtain for them a copy of a report into the Mingenew-Mullewa stock route [9]
He left the employment of the Midland Railway Company altogether in July 1918 although still sold land for them until 1926 [305]
Vice President of Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee's Sports Meetings in 1918 and 1919 and Picnic Races in 1920 [124]
Attended the Official Opening of the Moora Agricultural Society's Annual Show in Moora on Friday 4 October 1918 [10: 11-Oct-1918]
Patron of the Carnamah Race Club and their annual race meetings in 1919 and 1920[9: 21-Feb-1919] [10: 13-Feb-1920]
Unveiled the Three Springs Honour Board and gave a speech in Three Springs on Tuesday 3 June 1919 [9: 6-Jun-1919] [10: 6 & 13-Jun-1919]
In 1920 advertised his Real Estate business in The Midlands Advertiser and The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate [9] [10]
     At the time his business was based at Harper's Building on Howard Street in Perth [9: 26-Mar-1920] [10: 19-Mar-1920]
     He was interested in selling property and farms in the Midlands, some of which he advertised in the Eastern States [9] [10]
Visited Moora for a few days in late January 1921, at which time he was the "retiring member for Irwin" [10: 28-Jan-1921]
"James Gardiner Ltd" effected the sale of the 16,080 acre Inering Farm in Carnamah to the Government for £26,130 in 1922 [39]
     In conjunction with Dalgety & Co Ltd conducted a clearing sale on the property on 26 January 1923 [39: 4-Oct-1922, 30-Dec-1922, 9-Feb-1923]
Served as a Director of the Commercial Union Assurance Group and of the South Perth Ferry Company [305]
Member of the Perth Chamber of Commerce [305]
Founding Member of the Perth Club - served as President 1921-1926 [305]
Resided in the Perth suburb of Applecross until his death in 1928 [2]
Father of Robert Keith, Geoffrey Leighton, Marjorie Strong, Mary Shelley and Annie Hartwell [15] [54]
Died 27 October 1928; buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Anglican, GC, 87) [2]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Gardiner' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2019 from  [ sources ]

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