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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

Mary OLIVER / LATHAM

Born C.1872 in Gullewa, Western Australia [24]
Daughter of "Ned" Edward OLIVER and his Aboriginal wife Melbin [265]
She grew up at King Solomon's Gold Mine in Gullewa, which was owned by her father [265]
Later resided on Warriedar Station west of Payne's Find which was taken up by her father and his brothers [265]
In Payne's Find she met "Frank" Francis Arthur LATHAM who was prospecting for gold [265]
     In 1908 she said they lived together for eight years before they married, which would be from about 1898 [9: 27-Mar-1908]
     Their first child Richard was born in Arrino and died at the age of five years in 1905 [15] after drowning in a well [9: 27-Mar-1908]
     Their son Richard was buried on 8 September 1905 in plot 235A of the Anglican section at the Mingenew Cemetery [176]
Married "Frank" Francis Arthur LATHAM in Coorow [265] on 5 November 1906 [332]
     One day she and Frank were loading kangaroo skins onto a train at Coorow and getting supplies off [265]
     There was a parson on the train and he married them on the platform of the railway station in Coorow [265]
It was remarked that "she'd cook, drove, prospect - do most things, in short, so long as it was in the bush" [310: 15-Sep-1951]
They resided in Marchagee 1906-1911 and in Coorow 1911-1914 [19] [44] [50]
In 1916 they were on Tungaloo Station in Payne's Find [50]
They later returned to Coorow and resided there until her husband's half-share in a farm was sold in 1919 [265]
After the farm in Coorow was sold they moved briefly to Moora and then to Banna Station south of Payne's Find [265]
They resided on Banna Station south of Payne's Find 1919-1922 and then on a small farm in Eden Hill 1922-1924 [265]
After separating from her husband in June 1924 she shifted with their children to Coorow [265]
Not long after shifting to Coorow she took ill with rheumatic fever and was taken to Perth by train [265]
Some of her children were taken away to a convent, although her son George continually hid from the police and wasn't found [265]
Following her recovery and return to Coorow in 1925 her son Arthur and daughter Molly left the convent and also returned [265]
Around Coorow she was friendly to everyone and in her later years was respectfully known to one and all as "Granny Latham" [P8]
Purchased the five acre Suburban Lot 77 on the edge of the Coorow townsite for £30 on 12 October 1927 [86: 13-Oct-1927]
     She purchased an additional block at Coorow, Lot 73, for £20 on 12 June 1929 [81: 7-Jun-1929]
Chopped firewood for local baker's wife Mrs Lorna R. BLACKWELL in Coorow [266]
Paid a £2 in Vermin Bonuses by the Carnamah District Road Board in 1934 for helping to control vermin by killing four foxes [300]
She was a skilled tracker and helped farmers in Coorow locate missing stock and also to identify poisonous plants [P8]
     Found missing youngster Marion D. JOHNS at night asleep on the railway line in Coorow a few hours before a train was due [P361]
     Helped Milton J. TILLY find stock missing in scrub and told him which bushes were poisonous when sheep started dying [P8]
She was the owner of the 160 acre Victoria Location 8932 south west of the Coorow townsite [3]
Her son George reminisced that she was a very good rifle shot [265]
She is listed with an address of Coorow on Legislative Assembly Electoral Rolls until 1947 [19]
Her husband's petition for a divorce was granted on the grounds of desertion in 1951 [310: 15-Sep-1951]
     Their divorce was sensationalised in a report in Perth newspaper The Daily News as "A Mother of Nine Went Walkabout" [310]
Following an absence she again resided in Coorow from as early as 1955 until her death in 1959 [19] [24]
Passed away at the age of 77 years at the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs [24]
Mother of Richard, May, Frank, Violet, Fred, Ted, George, Mick, Mollie and Dorothy [265]
Died 28 April 1959; buried at the Three Springs General Cemetery in Three Springs, Western Australia (Anglican, Row 6, Plot 163) [24]


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Mary Oliver / Latham' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 24 July 2021 from www.carnamah.com.au/bio/mary-oliver [sources]




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