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 Jochim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs



Born 1878 in Walthamstow, Essex, England [20] [21]
Son of gardener Amos UNDERWOOD and Mary WALDOCK [20] [21]
In 1881 was living with his parents and siblings Charles, Esther, Martha and Joseph in Marsh Street, Walthamstow, Essex, England [20]
Ten years later he was the only child at home with his parents, by which time they were living in Norwood, Middlesex, England [20]
Married (1) Elizabeth Gilbert LOWE in 1900 in Middlesex, England [21]
In 1901 he was working as a Saddler and Harness Maker and was living with his wife at 3 The Cedars in Harlington, Middlesex [20]
His wife Elizabeth passed away at the age of 31 years in Middlesex, England in 1907 [21]
He was living with his children and sister Esther in the ten-roomed Dower House in Harlington, Middlesex, England in 1911 [20]
     In 1911 he employed a gardener, who lived with them in addition to three boarders [20]
     On the night of the 1911 census also staying with them was a visitor, Kate TAYSON, who would later be his second wife [20]
Leaving his children in England, he departed from Liverpool on the steamship Persic on 4 May 1912 [203]
     After a voyage of just over a month he arrived on the Persic in Albany, Western Australia on 11 June 1912 [372: 15-Jun-1912]
     Soon after arriving he established a saddlery and blacksmithing business in Mount Barker [P333]
     His children departed London with Kate TAYSOM on the steamship Australind on 19 July 1913 to join him in Western Australia [203]
Married (2) Kate Louisa TAYSOM in 1913 [66]
Exhibited his trade at the Mount Barker Rural Association's 11th Annual Show in Mount Barker on Thursday 13 November 1913 [372]
     He won 1st prize for Collection of Saddlery & Harness made in the Great Southern District [372: 15-Nov-1913]
Saddler in Latham, Western Australia in 1921 and 1922 [19]
Farmer of Hill Crest Farm in Coorow, Western Australia 1923-1944 [6] [19] [44]
     He and Percy H. RICHARDS purchased James L. LAWSON and Thomas P. HANNAFORD's 1,231 acre farm in Coorow [44]
     The 1,231 acres consisted of Lots M964, M966, M1234 and M1235 of Victoria Location 2023 [44]
     Farmed in Coorow in 1923 in partnership with Percy Heaton RICHARDS as "Underwood & Richards" [44]
     Following his partner's departure from the district he appears to have become the sole owner of the 1,231 acres in Coorow [3] [19]
     On 8 February 1924 he purchased a further 577 acres of farmland in Coorow from the Midland Railway Company for £656/19/8 [27]
     The 577 acres consisted of Lots M967 and M1237 of Victoria Location 2023 on the north side of the Coorow-Latham Road [27]
     Undertook clearing on the farm with the assistance of his sons Gilbert and Eric [P333]
Despite his farm being in Coorow his postal address in 1924 was Winchester [44]
6UX was his registered horse and cattle firebrand in 1924, at which time his farm name was spelt Hillcrest (one word) [80: 28-Oct-1925]
In 1926 his "fine property" was classified as being in Waddy Forest [81: 24-Oct-1926]
Extended his farm to an approximate total of 2,800 acres with a further two purchases of land from the Midland Railway Company [27]
     On 21 October 1925 purchased the 595 acre Lot M1440 of Victoria Location 2023 for £327/13/7 (11/- per acre) [27]
     On 1 July 1926 purchased the 393 acre Lot M1650 of Victoria Location 2023 for £197/5/11 (10/- per acre) [27]
Purchased in the name of his son Gilbert the farm of J. Norman LEACH before Norman returned to England in 1927 [3] [39: 6-Sep-1927]
     The property was 1,175 acres in size and consisted of Lots M970, M1055 and M1333 of Victoria Location 2023 [3] [27]
Had tough times on the farm and during some of the early years they lived off rabbits and boiled wheat [P333]
His son Eric later studied at the University of Cambridge in England and sent home money from his scholarship [P333]
     Eric later worked for the Department of Agriculture and was Professor of Agriculture at the University of Western Australia [200]
From 1927 until at least 1932 had an Oakland car licensed with the Carnamah District Road Board with plate CA-110 [4: 12-Nov-1932] [325]
He met with Joseph J. POYNTON, Manager of Midland Railway Company, at Coorow on 20 November 1928 [39: 30-Nov-1928]
     He and fellow local farmer Charles C. BOTHE motored Mr POYNTON on a tour throughout the district in the morning [39]
     At noon he chaired the meeting with farmers at which a number of requests were made from the Midland Railway Company [39]
     Local farmers wanted better facilities for handling wheat and stock, a goods shed and a crane [39]
A fire, probably caused by a spark from a tractor, burnt a small bit of his crop and several bags of wheat in January 1930 [39: 17-Jan-1930]
Master of Ceremonies at the Show Ball following the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show on Thursday 7 September 1933 [5: 15-Sep-1933]
Sold twelve bales of wool at 17¾d. per pound in Perth at the fourth wool sale of the season in December 1933 [5: 8-Dec-1933]
Travelled to Perth on the morning of Friday 22 June 1934 to attend the wedding of his son Eric UNDERWOOD [5: 29-Jun-1934]
Member of the Waddy Forest Group of the Adult Education Scheme - hosted some of their meetings in 1935 [5: 12-Jul-1935]
Sold 75 wethers and hoggets on 13 May 1936 - received 19/8 per head for the wethers and 18/3 per head for the hoggets [5: 15-May-1936]
Sold 65 hoggets at 16/- per head through Westralian Farmers Ltd at the Midland Market on Wednesday 27 May 1936 [5: 29-May-1936]
Attended the Surprise Linen Tea for Miss Mary E. GREENWOOD at Maryland Farm in Waddy Forest on 22 July 1937 [5: 23-Jul-1937]
Said to have been the last farmer in the district to give away farming with horses when his son purchased a tractor [P333]
Father of Gilbert, Marjorie and Eric [P333]
Died 29 August 1944; ashes scattered over the Rose Garden at the Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth WA [2]
Following his death his son Gilbert became the owner of his 2,800 acre farm in Coorow [3]
His younger son, Professor Eric UNDERWOOD, visited Coorow and was highly regarded by local farmers [P8]
His wife Kate, late of the Perth suburb of Bentley, passed away at the age of 107 years on 28 August 1994 [2]

From The West Australian newspaper, Wednesday 30 August 1944:
"UNDERWOOD. – On August 29, 1944, at Perth, James Underwood, of Coorow, loved husband of Katie, and loved father of Gilbert, Marjorie (Mrs H. Edwards), and Eric (of 2 Wattle Avenue, Dalkeith)."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Underwood' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 6 December 2019 from  [ sources ]

Use the below form or email

Comment, memory or story about this person
Suggested correction or additional information
Question or general feedback
Please enter this code into the box to confirm your request.