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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Joe" Joseph Edgbert BROWN

Born 1871 in Wehla, Victoria, Australia [15]
Son of John BROWN and Jessie SIMMONS [15]
Married (1) "Josephine" Johanna Catherine KEYS on 3 June 1895 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [258: 7-Dec-1899]
Shortly after marrying, he and his first wife shifted to Western Australia, living in Cue and then Mount Magnet [225: 27-Nov-1899]
      He worked variously as a dry-blower, shaft-sinker, auctioneer and an undertaker (making coffins from milk cases) [310: 17-Sep-1932]
His first wife left for a month's holiday in Perth during January 1898 and after not hearing from her for ten days he set out for Perth [225]
     On arriving as far as Geraldton he recognised some of his wife's luggage on the railway platform and made inquiries [225]
     He discovered that his wife was staying at the Geraldton Hotel with their friend "Tom" Thomas J. BERRIGAN [225]
     After talking with them, he and his wife parted ways as his wife expressed her determination to live with Tom [225]
     He petitioned for a dissolution of their marriage in November 1899, at which time he was working as a Miner [225: 27-Nov-1899]
Married (2) Annie PRICE on 12 January 1901 in Cue, Western Australia [310: 17-Sep-1932]
They ran wayside hotels in Munara Gully, Minderoo and Abbotts in the Murchison [81: 14-Jul-1946] [312: 5-Sep-1905]
     In 1899 and again in 1901 he attempted to break the cycle record from Peak Hill to Cue in 14 hours [507: 3-Aug-1901]
     His wayside hotel in Abbotts, which he ran until April 1903, was conducted from premises leased from Lee Steere & Company [507]
     The hotel was made of wood and iron with nine bedrooms, billiard room, bar, two parlous, dining room and kitchen [507: 23-May-1903]
Proprietor of the Oxford Hotel and Railway Refreshment Rooms in Chidlow's Well in 1904 [507: 16-Apr-1904]
     The hotel provided first-class accommodation, good meals, and provided horses and traps for visitors [507]
     He marketed the hotel as only 20 miles from Perth with "drives through orchards and vineyards" and "good kangaroo shooting" [507]
Miner in Bulong in 1905 [6]
Proprietor of the Burlington Hotel in Bunbury in 1905 and 1906 [225: 17-Oct-1905] [312: 5-Sep-1905] [318: 2-Apr-1906]
Licensee of the Brunswick Hotel in Brunswick 1906-1911 [39: 31-Aug-1907] [50] [312: 9-Mar-1911]
     They held a social evening  at the hotel on 3 March 1911 to say goodbye as they were relinquishing hotel life for farming [312]
Farmer in Perenjori in 1911 [310: 17-Sep-1932]
Grocer and Storekeeper in Carnamah in 1912 [6] [81: 22-Sep-1912]
     It was reported that he was a newcomer to Carnamah in February 1912 [9: 16-Feb-1912]
     He "started a general store, with a large and varied assortment of merchandise" [31: 1-May-1912]
     By May it was "astonishing to see the amount of good that go out of his store each week" and he was erecting larger premises [31]
     Many people left their mail with him an extra penny for it to be posted, as the local post office was a mile out of town [31]
     In less than three weeks people left 118 letters for him to post, which he then to the office at Macpherson's Carnamah House [31]
     He was described as an identify from Brunswick Junction who was "a live man, a sport, and a hustler" [31: 1-May-1912]
     His sons Joseph and Gilbert and a daughter of his attended the Carnamah State School in 1912 [97]
     In February 1912 he went before the Three Springs Police Court for "supplying liqour to natives" and sly grog selling [9: 16-Feb-1912]
     The court leniently fined him £25 and £6 costs as he pleaded guilty and had entailed expenses by bringing a solicitor from Perth [9]
     He went before the Police Court in Three Springs again in September 1912 accused of supplying liquor to an Aboriginal man [81]
     The court found him guilty on three charges and fined him £62 or six months imprisonment in default of payment [81: 22-Sep-1912]
In June 1912, while still in Carnamah, he advertised for sale an eight-roomed house on Town Lot 6 in Chidlow's Well [39]
     The block had a "splendid position" with a frontage of 99 feet to two street and was opposite the Chidlow's Well railway station [39]
     He called for tenders for the purchase of the block, which had to be accompanied by a 5 per cent deposit [39: 12-Jun-1912]
He appears to have still had the farm in Perenjori while based in Carnamah [9: 16-Feb-1912] [39: 3-Sep-1912]
     Advertised in September 1912 that a Chestnut Filly and a Dark Brown Gelding, both with bells on, had strayed from Perenjori [39]
Copper Miner in Whim Creek until losing all of their possessions in a fire, and then worked as a Drover and Shearer [310: 17-Sep-1932]
He could be the Joseph E. BROWN who was residing in James Street, Perth in 1914 [6]
Miner of Jasper Street in Watsonia in 1916 and in 1917 they were living at 3 Golden Street in West Perth [50]
He installed the first electric lighting plant in Kendenup and they then shifted to Pemberton in about 1921 [310: 17-Sep-1932, 16-Jun-1934]
Initially he worked hooking timber at a mill in Pemberton [310: 17-Sep-1932]
Later purchased 15 acres in Pemberton, where he grew and sold vegetables, fruit and pigs [310: 17-Sep-1932]
Father of 29 children with his second wife, although not all of them survived infancy [310: 17-Sep-1932]
Father of Joseph, Gilbert, David, Ann, William, Edward, Jack, Jessie, Ethel, George, Florrie, Arthur, Robert and Hazel [15] [39: 13-Jul-1946]
Died 31 May 1934 in Pemberton; buried at Pemberton Cemetery in Pemberton, Western Australia [31: 9-Jun-1934] [511: 9-Jun-1934]

From The Manjimup Mail and Jardee-Pemberton-Northcliffee Press newspaper, Friday 8 June 1934:
Obituary - The Late Mr Joseph Brown
"The death occurred at Pemberton on May 30th of Mr Joseph E. Brown, for many years a resident of the district. The deceased was the sixth son of the late John and Jessie Brown, old and respected residents of Whela, Victoria. Mr Brown came to this state thirty eight years ago and for time tried his luck at mining at Day Dawn, Cue and other places on the Murchison. Finally he became acquainted with Miss Annie Price on the Murchison and they married on January 12th, 1901. After marriage they engaged in the licensed Victualler's business at Munara Gully, Abbotts, Minderoo, Childow's Well, Brunswick Junction and the Burlington Hotel, Bunbury. Later they tried farming at Carnamah on the Midland line and finding this a failure, they entrained for Pemberton with their nine children and have resided there for the last thirteen years. Mr Brown cleared some land and planted a very nice orchard in Pemberton. He took a keen interested in the production of first class apples and all kinds of graded produce. He we will be greatly missed in the district. To his wife, who has been the sharer of all his ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and his twelve living children we extend our sincere sympathy. Mr Brown had been in ill health for about two years. His remains were interred in the Church of England portion of the Pemberton Cemetery, Bro. Reynolds performing the last rites. Some beautiful floral tributes were received.
 'Rest for his toiling hand
     Rest for the anxious brow
  Rest for the weary way worn feat
     Rest from all labour now'."

From The Mirror newspaper, Saturday 16 June 1934:
Father of 29 - Dies By His Own Hand - Sad End of Joe E. Brown of Pemberton
    "Joseph Edgbert Brown, of Pemberton, father of 29 children, has died by his own hand. The fact was revealed at the inquest held at Pemberton on Monday, an inquest that followed the finding of his body, on the floor of his room in his home at the mill town, with a bullet through the heart and a rifle beside him. For some time now this lean, wiry, whiskered man had been in failing health. With sickness, depressed had seized on him, and a doctor had been attending him for some months prior to his death.
     Joe Brown was about 63 at the time of his death - and his wife - the mother of his 29 children - is about 52. They were married in Cue in 1901. Brown's first wife having left because their union had been childless. The last of their 29 children was born in 1929. Naturally Pemberton district and the numerous travellers were looking forward to the arrival of No. 30 but, to the keen disappointment of Joe Brown and his wife, it never came. Te husband was seriously injured in an accident in a pig pen and has been more or less ailing since.
     Joe Brown had a varied career. At different times he conducted wayside hotels on the Murchison and at Chidlows and Brunswick., and later he was farming at Perenjori. A storekeeping venture at Carnamah was no more successful, and then at various time he was coppermining at Whim Creek, shearing and droving in the back country, farming at Kendenup, 'hooking' in the mill at Pemberton, and in more recent years living on a small estate in the mill town.
     For most of the time, Mrs Brown accompanied her husband in his arduous wanderings, and whether she was in a country hotel or a shearers' kitchen, the stork still came with regularity to the home.
     Joe Brown, dryblower, miner, shaft sinker, well sinker, publican, undertaker, auctioneer, farmer, gardener, bottle merchant, odd jobber timber worker, carrier, drover, shearer, storekeeper - and father of 29 children - is no more. His end was sad. A long, strenuous and hard life, in which Fate gave him many nasty knocks, ended when a bullet entered his heart. And with the rifle on the floor beside him, Joe Brown was found dead."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Joseph Edgbert Brown' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 February 2024 from [reference list]

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