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 Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Bill" William PAYNE

Born 8 October 1872 in Learmonth, Victoria, Australia [P256]
Son of Mugleston PAYNE and Mary GARLICK [P256]
Grew up around Learmonth and Shepparton in Victoria, Australia [P256]
He is believed to have been apprenticed to an orchardist in Victoria [P387]
Married (1) Harriet LACEY on 24 May 1889 in Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia[P256]
Left Victoria and shifted to the South West of Western Australia with his wife and two children in about 1902 [P256]
He shifted to the South West to plant an orchard but was advised the land wasn't suitable so planted vegetables instead [P387]
Gardener of Boranup Garden in Karridale 1903-1907 [6] [50]
Farmer and Dairyman in Busselton [50]
Farmer of Woodlands Farm on the banks of the Wilyabrup River in Yallingup 1909-1911 [P14]
     The farm was initially all virgin bush and belonged to Busselton chemist Percy S. BIFGNELL [P14]
     Himself and his eldest son Wilfred went out to the block and after building a hut and beginning work moved his family out [P14]
     He fenced the property, cleared up to 100 acres of it, grew a garden along the river, planted a crop and had horses [P14]
     Most of the clearing he undertook was by boring holes into the trees, filling them with gelignite and then blowing them up [P14]
     In 1911 himself and his family left Woodlands Farm and shifted to Quindalup where they lived in the old Quindalup school [P14]
While they were living in Quindalup he left and went up to Perenjori, where he had taken up prospective farming land [P14]
     He had successfully applied for and taken up the 1,000 acre Victoria Location 4747 in Perenjori in July 1911 [39: 4-Aug-1911]
     He went with a pushbike, catching the train from Perth to Carnamah and then proceeding out to Perenjori [P14]
     When he arrived he set up a bit of camp and got a job with a Government boring party who were sinking a well near his block [P14]
     After the boring party finished in Perenjori he began to clear part of his farm and worked sinking wells [P14] 
     He bored to find water and put down wells for people around Perenjori, Carnamah, Coorow, Marchagee and Latham [P14]
     His eldest son was taken out of school to help in Perenjori with fencing and sinking wells [P387]
Farmer of Coliban Park Farm in Perenjori 1913-1946 [6] [19] [152]
     The farm was named after Coliban Park Station in Kyneton, Victoria, Australia where his wife was born [P387]
     Began with 1,000 acres and later took up a further 1,000 acres, his farm then consisting of Victoria Locations 4741 and 4747 [61] [152]
     His wife and children, along with their furniture and possessions, caught the train to Three Springs to join him in 1913 [P14]
     While developing his own farm he worked sinking wells and clearing land for other farmers in Carnamah and Perenjori [P14]
     Offered a £1 reward in November 1913 for his Bay Mare horse branded 3 x P which had strayed from Perenjori [81: 30-Nov-1913]
     Planted his first wheat crop of 200 acres in 1914, however the year turned out to be a disastrous drought and the crop died [P14]
In 1914 he was the contractor to collect the mail, bread and supplies from Carnamah and cart them out to Perenjori [P14]
     As the railway through Perenjori hadn't yet opened all mail, bread and supplies for Perenjori were railed to Carnamah [P14]
     He would leave Perenjori one day, camp overnight at the Ten Mile Well, and then proceed on to Carnamah in the morning [P14]
     After loading the goods he'd leave Carnamah for the Ten Mile Well, camp overnight again and leave for home the next day [P14]
     He wouldn't get home to Perenjori until about sundown as his horse could only walk all the way to Perenjori pulling the cart [P14]
With a dead crop he got despondent and extremely worried but around late August 1914 got on a horse and rode into Carnamah [P14]
     That same day he obtained a contract with Arthur G. DARLING to clear 300 acres of Inering Farm in Carnamah [P14]
     To do the clearing he got the blacksmith in Three Springs, which would have been David TODD, to make him a scrub roller [P14]
     He borrowed horses from Perenjori farmer Frederick A. AKHURST who had no feed and in return he fed and kept the horses [P14]
     Shifted to Carnamah with his wife, children and all their furniture and possessions where they camped in tents [P14]
     Rolled the 300 acres with the scrub roller, burnt it, cleared it and when he finished DARLING offered him share-cropping [P14]
     He selected a 300 acre strip of the Inering Estate to share-crop that was some light land and some heavy land [P14]
     In 1915 cropped 300 acres on the Inering Estate in Carnamah and about 200 acres on his own Coliban Park Farm in Perenjori[P14]
     After seeding the crop on his own farm in Perenjori he returned to Carnamah to work sinking wells [P14]
     Sunk a well for Arthur G. DARLING on the highest point of the 16,080 acre Inering Farm in Carnamah [P14]
     The well, known as Paynes Well, was sunk to a depth of 150 feet and was apparently the deepest in the Carnamah district [P14]
In 1915 purchased a Sunshine harvester which arrived in Carnamah by train with a representative to show him how to use it [P14]
     Harvested his 300 acres of crop on the Inering Estate in Carnamah, and fed his horses with chaff from Herbert C. MARKHAM [P14]
     MARKHAM was also share-cropping on the Inering Estate and in exchange for the chaff he harvested 100 acres of his crop [P14]
     Got within the last ten acres of MARKHAM's crop and it rained all night and all the next day and everything got bogged [P14]
     Shifted back to Perenjori, where it fortunately hadn't rained, and took off his 200 acres of crop there [P14]
He also cut, carted and sold sandalwood that was growing around Perenjori for extra income and did contract road work [P14]
Gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the Agricultural Industries of Western Australia in Perenjori on 25 November 1916 [152]
Advertised in The West Australian newspaper on 11 October 1918 that he was wanting to buy an 8-foot stripper [39: 11-Oct-1922]
In 1923 he grew 500 acres of crop on his farm in Perenjori [86: 7-Jun-1923]
His wife Harriet passed away at the age of 67 years on 14 December 1943 and was buried at the Perenjori Cemetery [233]
Married (2) Annie Claire LYNCH in 1945 [66]
Farmer of Coliban Park Farm in Perenjori until after the Second World War when it was taken over by his youngest son Roy [P256]
Resided of late in the Perth suburb of Mount Lawley [2]
Father of Bill, Ciss, Flo, Jack, Grace, Tot, Nell and Roy [P256]
Died 21 January 1963; buried at Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Anglican, YC, 584D) [2]

From the Progress Report of the Royal Commission on the
               Agricultural Industries of Western Australia on the Wheat-Growing Portion of the South-West Division of the State
Saturday 25 November 1916 at Perenjori
"WILLIAM PAYNE, Farmer, Perenjori, sworn and examined:
     I have been here for four years, and I had been farming all my life previously in Victoria, New South Wales, and in this State. I have also lived in the Busselton district. I took up 1,000 acres at first, and since then I have taken up another 1,000. Four hundred acres are scrub country. I paid 11s. 6d. for one block, and 11s. for the other. The property is situated five miles north from the railway. I have cleared 300 acres; one block of 1,000 acres is ring fenced. The water supply is a well which gives 70 gallons per hour. It is good stock water. I am a married man with six children, and all except one are of school age. I have not erected a house. My home is made of super bags with an iron roof on top. The reason my home is such a poor one is for want of funds.
     Would it not have paid you to put up a descent house at the start? No; because I did not know where I would get the water, and it would not do to build too far away from water, and, as a matter of fact, it is only within the last few months that I have got the water. I have a bush shed for my horses, but no covering for my machinery. I have a full working plant, but I have not got a plough yet, and I need one very badly. I have 10 working horses and some pigs. When I arrived with my wife and family I had £2 to my credit, and I have been financed by the Agricultural bank since to the extent of £300. I also owe money to the I.A.B. [Industries Assistance Board]. It is impossible to tell you exactly, but I think about £150 to £200 would cover all my liability to the board.
     I am working on shares, and have 300 acres in as well as 250 acres at my own place. For the other half-share my partner finds the seed, the super, the land, the bags, and the carting, while I do the rest. I have no fallow, and have had no experience of fallow in this district. Last year I fallowed 50 acres on the share system and got as high as 10 bags to the acre. The average on shares was 18 bushels on 330 acres. The 250 acres averaged 10 bushels. This year I think those 250 acres will go 12 bushels, and the paddock alongside of this building where we are sitting will go about nine bushels. It is Gluyas. Elsewhere I have another 130 acres adjoining Mr. Simpson's place at Bowgada that will go from 18 to 20 bushels. I use 50 lbs. of seed to the ace and 35 to 80 lbs. of super according to the quality of the land. Nothing less than 10 bushels per acre would pay expenses. I am not quite sure, but I think that bulk handling ought to reduce costs, particularly if the Government had a hand in it. I consider that the tariff on farmers' machinery should be reduced, if not abolished.
     I have had no disease in my crops. I pickle but do not grade my wheat, and I had had no artificial grasses or fodder crops except a little plot of lucerne, which is doing well. I have started pig raising with 14 pigs, and I shall feed them with grain. No man in this district should have less than 1,000 acres, and of course proportionately more than that if he is going in for sheep. He ought to be able to deal with close upon 500 acres himself. I am no believer in co-operation amongst farmers because they would be certain to be in opposition to each other. The price on out land is reasonable, but the conditions are the reverse. For the first five years of the occupancy no man should be asked to pay any rents at all. Nor, indeed, so long as his land is producing nothing, because during the whole of that time he is money out of pocket. To remit his rent for five years is to give him a chance to make good.
     Later on I intend to go in for sheep when my land is fit to carry them, and that will be a long time yet unless I can get an advance to clear more land. But it must be remembered that we cannot get land cleared for £1 an acre, because labour is too scarce. When it is improved it will be good grazing country. I do not doubt that it will easily carry a sheep to the acre. That is the majority of the land here. I do not keep cows. I have been growing potatoes and I have some samples of my produce here. Next year if we have anything like a season I shall do even better with them. I planted 14 cwt. of seed, and up to now have taken off three tons of potatoes. I have yet rather more than a ton to bag.
     I have planted these potatoes in a moist piece of land four feet apart in the rows and two feet between the rows. It is ordinary York gum forest country. I certainly think it would be profitable to have a few acres in every year. I use about eight bags of super and a light dressing of stable manure, but not on all the land. Strangely enough where I had no manure I got just as good a return. Actually where I put in plenty of manure they did not do quite so well, because I take it the manure was too heating. I have produced both Bismarcks and Delaware. I ploughed the land for them eight or nine inches deep and touched it once with the cultivator after I had planted them. I run them in the plough furrows in virgin land. Some of the tubers are better than others. For instance, some Beauty of Hebron were diseased, but I have Vermont and Early Rose looking best of all. The Bismarck, I think, were a bit late. This year I am planting 40 acres for the Government. If you get the seed at the right time, that is about the end of July, potato growing would be a certain thing. My seed cost me 17s. per cwt. at Harris Bros. I am perfectly satisfied with this district, and I was glad to leave the South-West, and I would not go back there again, not if there were a team of bullocks here ready to drag me down there. No doubt some men are doing well down in the South-West, but those who have been there longest have the pick of the country, and there is nothing left for the rest. I myself could not find any land nearly as good as this in the whole of the South-West."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'William Payne' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 13 June 2024 from [reference list]

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