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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Bill" William Watson EASTON

Born 15 March 1890 in Wemyss, Fife, Scotland [28]
Son of coal miner William EASTON and "Maggie" Margaret WATSON [21] [28]
     He was named after his maternal grandfather, whose name was William WATSON [28]
     In 1891 he was living with his parents and elder brother John at Methil Mill in Methil, Fife, Scotland [21]
     He was with his parents and siblings John, Bella, Nellie, Maggie and Jessie at 24 Jordan Terrace in Wemyss in 1901 [21]
     His eldest sister Isabella Melville EASTON settled with the BOWMAN family in Carnamah, Western Australia in 1915 [P1]
He discovered an area of land near the village of Largoward in Fife, Scotland which he had surveyed as a potential coal mine [P381]
     The survey proved good and his brothers John and George joined him to secure the mineral rights and excavate a mining shaft [P381]
     He put forward most of the capital for the survey and mineral rights, both of which ended up costing more than he'd expected [P381]
     They began excavating a shaft but found the coal seam to be deeper and with no capital left they had to walk away [P381]
     Immediately after the failed venture he was despondent and decided to leave Scotland for Australia [P381]
Departed London, England on the steamship Demosthenes on 27 May 1922 bound for Albany, Western Australia [203]
     Labourer for his sister's employer John BOWMAN on The Home Farm in Carnamah 1923-1925 [19]
     Signed the petition in February 1923 for the Irwin Licensing Court to grant a hotel license for Carnamah [10: 9-Mar-1923]
Later resided in Geraldton, Western Australia [P75]
     Married Annie Young BROWN in Geraldton in 1933 [66]
     The Commonwealth Electoral Roll lists him as a Gardener on Eastern Road in Geraldton from 1931 to 1958 [50]
     Their cow Betty gave milk for over 19 years, which was believed to be a world record when Betty died in 1954 [39: 19-Aug-1954]
Father of Melville [P381]
Died 15 July 1958; buried at Utakarra Cemetery in Geraldton, Western Australia [26]
His wife Annie resided on Fourth Avenue in the Geraldton suburb of Wonthella in the late 1960s and 1970s [50]
Annie passed away at the age of 89 years on 7 March 1983 and was also buried at Utakarra Cemetery [138]

From The West Australian newspaper, Thursday 19 August 1954:
Betty Set A Record With Last Drop
"GERALDTON, Wed.- When she died recently a Jersey cross Dexter Kerry cow named Betty, belonging to Mr. W. Easton of Utakarra, had been milking continuously for over 19 years - probably a world record. She gave her last quart of milk on the day she died. The cow was bred by the late Mr. Roland Flavel, of Ogilive. She calved at an early age at the farm of his son, M. R. S. Flavel, of Yuna. The cow was sold through Mr Walter Pass, of Geraldton, to Mr Easton in April 1935, with a calf at foot. Mr Easton said today that he bought Betty on April 10, 1935, and the cow had continued to milk without a break until she was destroyed recently. As the calf was several weeks old when he purchased Betty the length of her lactation period was approximately 19½ years. She had not had the opportunity of breeding since having the first calf.
Mrs Easton had milked Betty twice daily during this time and claims she did not miss milking her once. The cow's production until the last few months had been six pints in the summer and nine during the winter. Of late this had declined but she gave a quart on the morning of the day she was destroyed. Officers of the Department of Agriculture had Betty under observation for many years, her achievement being of considerable scientific interest. At the request of the department's animal nutrition officer (Dr L. C. Snook) certain of the cow's reproductive organs and her jaws were secured by the regional agricultural adviser (Mr G. L. Throssell) and forwarded to the animal health laboratory for examination and preservation."

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

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