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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


John Francis HEARN

Born C.1864 [2]
Left Victoria, Australia and shifted to Western Australia C.1895 [9: 15-Jul-1910]
Manager of Frank WITTENOON's Norkawarre Station in the Murchison district and then worked as a sheep dealer [9: 15-Jul-1910]
Married Elizabeth Jane FREEMAN in Geraldton in 1902 [15]
Grazier and half owner of Murgoo Station in Murgoo on the Murchison in partnership with H. M. MALONEY [9: 15-Jul-1910]
Grazier and sole owner of Gabyon Station also on the Murchison until selling it and embarking on a holiday to England [9: 15-Jul-1910]
On returning from England he purchased and took up residence on Woopenatty Station in Arrino [9: 15-Jul-1910]
Purchased Woopenatty Station from Michael BROWN who'd acquired it from its original owner Charles CAMPBELL [120: 27-Dec-1928]
Further to the station leased additional land in Arrino from the Midland Railway Company from 1908 until 1910 [34]
     In 1908 and 1909 leased 1,500 acres (Pastoral Lease 449) and from 1909 leased 2,000 acres (Pastoral Lease 480 [34]
Attended the Midland Railway Company's 9th Subdivision Sale at the Builders & Contractors' Exchange in Perth on 18 June 1909 [39]
     The sale was the Company's first of agricultural blocks of virgin bush and townsite blocks in Three Springs [39: 19-Jun-1909]
     Purchased 420 acres of land Three Springs in Lot M752 and M753 of Victoria Location 2022 for £1114/8/6 [27]
     In bidding against Senator Patrick J. LYNCH he paid the highest price at the auction - paying £3/12/- an acre for Lot M752 [27]
     About six months later, on 30 November 1909, he sold the 420 acres to George R. WATSON of Three Springs [27]
It was reported in August 1909 that he was going to have a large shop built in Three Springs by William BRENNAN [9: 6-Aug-1909]
He was one of numerous Vice Presidents of the Kadathinni Cricket Club in Three Springs upon its formation in 1909 [9: 20-Aug-1909]
His application to take up the 1,000 acre Victoria Location 4633 in Arrino was approved at 5/3 per acre in early 1910 [32: 23-Feb-1910]
Represented Arrino and served as a member on the Upper Irwin Road Board in 1910 [9: 22-Jul-1910]
Foundation President of the Three Springs Football Club in 1910 [9: 22-Jul-1910]
Father of Kathleen Monica [15]
Died 12 July 1910; buried at Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Roman Catholic, AA, 79A) [2]
As a token of esteem the Three Springs Football Club wore black bands on their arms at the inaugural match in July 1910 [9: 22-Jul-1910]
In remembrance and esteem the Upper Irwin Road Board adjourned for two weeks their usual monthly meeting in July [9: 5-Aug-1910]

From The West Australian newspaper, Wednesday 13 July 1910:
Shocking Lift Accident - Pastoralist Crushed to Death - Victim Mr John Hearn
"The numerous friends of Mr John Hearn, of Woodphenatty Station, Arrino, on the Midland Railway, were painfully shocked on Tuesday, when they heard that mr Hearn had lost his life early that morning as the result of a lift accident at His Majesty's Hotel, Hay-street, where he had been stopping since Saturday. The deceased left Arrino on Friday with a train load of sheep and took up his residence in the city at His Majesty's Hotel. The sheep were disposed of on Saturday, and Mr Hearn decided to spend Sunday and Monday in the city, and to return to his station by the early train on Tuesday morning. He accordingly was early astir, and having told the hotel porter to place his travelling bags in the lift went in for breakfast. Having breakfast Mr Hearn hurried down to the first floor to secure his baggage and met liftboy, Jos. Billings, standing near the lift door. The boy courteously offered to carry the baggage from the lift to the cab, but Mr Hearn good naturedly waved him aside and said he would get it himself. Billings then opened the lift door and stood nearby while Mr Hearn entered to secure his baggage. In doing so he must have accidentally moved the lever with which the electric mechanism is operated, for as he was stepping out with his baggage the lift started to descend. Billings noticed the occurrence and tried unsuccessfully to stop the lift. He cut his hand in his endeavour to prevent the accident, which occurred almost instantaneously with the moving of the lift. The door of the descending lift caught Mr Hearn on the shoulders carrying him off his feat and crushing his head fearfully against the floor. The obstruction caused the safety wire attached to the mechanism to fuse and this arrested the downward progress of the lift, too late, unfortunately to save Mr Hearn's life. Though not killed outright, Mr Hearn only lived a few minutes, for Dr Seed, who was hurriedly summoned, could only upon arrival pronounce life to be extinct. Detective Demsey, who subsequently investigated the case, found that the lift was apparently in good working order when the unfortunate accident occurred, for it had been examined and passed only a few days previously by a Government inspector. Mr M. Daly, the proprietor of the hotel, was a personal friend of the deceased, and was considerably unnerved by the tragic occurrence. He, however, lost no time in telegraphing Mr McPherson, of Arrino, asking him to break the sad news to Mrs Hearn. The late Mr Hearn was 45 years of age, and had been about 15 years in Western Australia. His parents, who were parents in the Mansfield district (Victoria), both died after his arrival in this State. Mr Hearn managed Norkawarra station on the Murchison for Mr Frank Wittenoon for some years. He then engaged in stock dealing, and his efforts were attended with such success that he was enabled in a short time to secure a half-interest in a Murgoo station with the late Mr H M. Maloney. Upon the death of Mr Maloney the station was sold to Mr Chas. Atkins for a substantial sum. Mr Hearn subsequently purchased Gabyon station, on the Murchison, but indifferent health caused him to sell the property Mr W. F. Walkeley (of Fremantle), and with his wife went for a trip to England. On returning to Western Australia he secured Woodphenatty station where he has since resided with his wife and only child - a daughter. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Hearn in her bereavement. An inquiry was formally opened before Mr H. J. Holland, J.P., and a jury, a adjourned to the 19th inst., at 2.30."

From The Midlands Advertiser newspaper, Friday 22 July 1910:
News and Notes
"At the adjourned inquest concerning the death of Mr John Hearn of Woodphenatty Station, Arrino, who died as the result of injuries sustained in a lift at His Majesty's Hotel, Perth, on the morning of 12th July, the jury returned a verdict that deceased came to his death through suffocation caused by a lift. They added ta rider to the effect that the starting gear on the lift was not safe, and that the authorities should ensure that all lifts should be made safe for the public."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'John Francis Hearn' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 15 April 2024 from [reference list]

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