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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Richard Fiddes FULLERTON

Married Kate Winifred TERRELL in England in 1904 [21]
Farmer at Baker's Hill between Mundaring and Northam before shifting to Perenjori in 1911 [152]
The Land Board approved his application to take up the 1,000 acre Victoria Location 4742 in Perenjori on 13 July 1911 [39: 15-Jul-1911]
He was the first farmer to settle at Perenjori and when he arrived the entire district was virgin bush [120: 7-Feb-1929]
Farmer of Quandongs Farm in Perenjori 1911-1942 [6] [19] [152]
     Began with 2,000 acres of land but within a few years took up another 3,808 acres, of which 3,000 was forest country [152]
     Initially the nearest railway siding was at Carnamah and his postal address was Carnamah until 1914 [6]
     Began with about £3,000 of his own money and further money borrowed from the Agricultural Bank and the W.A. Bank [152]
     Took no Industries Assistance Board help as he preferred to deal with the bank who let him sell his produce to whom he chose [152]
     For his first season he grew 30 acres of wheat crop, however it didn't come to very much on account of it being a bad season [152]
     In 1912 he had to cart all his materials the 40 miles from Carnamah to his farm [152]
     He and HESFORD Bros were the two biggest farmers in Perenjori in 1913 with about 300 acres of crop each [31: 4-Jul-1913]
     Grew 820 acres of wheat crop in 1915 which on yielded 16 bushels per acre, with 100 acre crop yielding 27 bushels per acre [152]
     By 1916 he had cleared 1,000 acres of his farm and had ring-fenced three sides of it [152]
     His water supply was from a dam and two wells, one of which gave good water and the other water only suitable for stock [152]
     The dam, which he made himself, was 800 cubic yards in size and was held water about seven feet deep [152]
     By 1916 their house on the farm had an iron roof, external iron walls, and lined walls throughout on the inside [152]
     He also had an open 40 by 22 foot machinery shed by 1916, but didn't have a machinery shed [152]
     In 1916 he had a Rumley tractor and 16 working horses, three cows, two calves and only five of his sheep left [152]
     Grew 740 acres of wheat crop in 1916 and in late November expected an average yield of 15 bushels per acre [152]
     He estimated that it cost him 25/- per acre to put in and take off his crop using his tractor in 1916 [152]
     Compared to horses his tractor was cheaper per acre, allowed a longer working day and could do more acres per day [152]
     Initially carted his wheat in bags to the railway siding on a wagon, which would cut six inches into the ground with the weight [152]
     In 1916 he carted his wheat to the railway siding in Perenjori with his tractor which didn't sink into the ground at all [152]
     Kept poultry, pigs and sheep for their own use, and in 1916 paid between £2/10/- and £2/5/- per week in wages to workmen [152]
     He said "...the men that I have are good men and I know them. Some days they work from daylight till dark as work presses" [152]
Gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the Agricultural Industries of Western Australia in Perenjori on 25 November 1916 [152]
     He believed farming machinery was too expensive because it was imported and then had duties imposed on it [152]
     His suggestion was that the duty be removed and that ultimately farming machinery should be manufactured in Australia [152]
     It was his opinion that a farmer should have at least 3,000 acres of land [152]
     He stated that "If I had known what I know now I certainly would not have come out to Australia to farm" [152]
     Nevertheless he believed he could make a success of farming, especially if farmers could get cash for their produce [152]
     Practically and ethically he strongly disagreed with wheat being pooled and the farmers not getting paid until much later [152]
     His main problem was he had to practically pay cash for everything yet he had to wait to get paid for his wheat [152]
     He also stated that it would be beneficial if farmers could get breeding ewes on extended terms, to make a start with sheep [152]
Member of the Perenjori Agricultural Society - was President in 1918 [86: 5-Oct-1918]
His horse Beauty was a beauty and won 1st for Two Year Old at the 2nd Annual Agricultural Show in Perenjori in 1918 [86: 5-Oct-1918]
He had the telephone connected to his farmhouse by 1926 - was telephone number Perenjori-3 [60]
In 1926 he was still using the Rumley oil tractor he owned ten years earlier in 1916 [81: 26-Sep-1926]
     His testimony about the tractor, including small repair bills and economical fuel consumption, was used in newspaper adverts [81]
He had 840 acres of his farm cropped in Merredin and Nabawa wheats in 1929, 640 acres of which was on fallowed land [39: 17-Jun-1929]
     His land was "quite clean" and his crops weren't troubled by any types of wheat diseases [39: 17-Jun-1929]
     In 1929 he was building up a nice herd of pure Jersey cattle in addition to running sheep [39: 17-Jun-1929]
Celebrated his daughter "Mabe" Mabel's 21st birthday with about 50 guests at their home in Perenjori on 5 August 1932 [5: 12-Aug-1932]
     It was reported as "a most enjoyable evening" of games, singing and dancing which went on until 3 a.m. [5: 12-Aug-1932]
Patron of the Perenjori Football Club in 1933 and 1934 [39: 19-Apr-1933, 4-Apr-1934]
Became a member of the Carnamah Masonic Lodge No.150 W.A.C. on 8 June 1934 [96]
Member of the Perenjori Golf Club - was President in 1934 [39: 24-Apr-1934]
He was a Justice of the Peace for Perenjori [5: 14-Aug-1936]
His wife Kate passed away at the age of 57 years on 20 September 1935 [29]
Acting Coroner of the inquest into the death of Perenjori farmer Raymond J. F. FENNELL in Perenjori on 10 August 1936 [5: 14-Aug-1936]
Father of Bryant, Stuart and Mabel [39: 24-Sep-1935]
Died 26 October 1942 [29]

From The Western Mail newspaper, Thursday 7 February 1929:
The Beginning of Perenjori - Pioneers Still Farming
"Faith in the district is shown by the first pioneer, Mr. R. F. Fullerton, remaining there to this day. He arrived there in 1911, when it was all bush, and there was no settler within many miles. For a few month he eked out a lonely existence, until he was followed by Messrs. T. and M. Farrell, W. Forrest, W. Beatty, Hesford Bros., T. Keogh, W. Payne, and D. Smith. Mr. Fullerton took up a selection timbered with York and salmon gum, and a sprinkling of sandplain. His first crop was 12 acres, which did not justify harvesting. His stock consisted of a pair of horses, which he had brought at Carnamah, and a few sheep which he bought at Mullewa - a flock he increased later to 3,000. Eventually he increased his holding to 2,000 acres, clearing at the rate of 200 acres a year. He had compensation for his unsatisfactory results in [the drought of] 1914 by securing an average in the following year of 27 bushels from a 200-acre paddock, with an all-round average of 23 bushels for the farm. His latest crop turned out about 15 bushels, through his Nabawa [wheat] went 22 bushels. He is carrying a few hundred merino sheep, and his clip averages 8lb. per head. A feature of the farm is the substantial shed and yard accommodation."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Richard Fiddes Fullerton' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 August 2019 from  [ sources ]

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