Names from the 1900 Electoral Roll

Many of Sam’s articles were concerned with making mention of names in the 1900s Electoral Roll and the following ore comments he made on some of these families.

John BOCK: Farmer lived in the Farms Road Area

Joseph Henry CRAGG: Wool Scourer of Essex Farms which is now Farms Road …..would have worked at the Woolwash on South Creek near the Crouch Dairy.

Matthew Henry CRAGG (Labourer) of Riverstone is also mentioned

DAVIS BROS: ….The Davis Bros. came to Riverstone as young men and set up as General Storekeepers (the building presently occupied by A P. Motor Spares) in the 1890s, and became highly respected members of the community.

Eventually Charles DAVIS became sole proprietor of the business, and a leading personality in the town. Among his many duties, it was his honour and privilege to welcome home the soldiers returning from the First World War, and I well remember Charles Davis calling for 3 cheers for each returning hero as they alighted from the 7 p.m. train.

In later years the business was run by his daughter and son-in-law, Rene and Charlie Knight, and eventually was disposed of to the Woods family.

Henry Samuel EAST and William Joseph EAST, both Butchers. William East later became the owner of the Riverstone Hotel and a large Property holder.

There are two John Stephen EDWARDS: “Jackie” Edwards was the boss of the Beefhouse, and lived in a house near the location of the present Bowling Club.

The name of FLOWERS is mentioned, and I would think they would be related to Mrs Flowers who owned an orchard (later abandoned) bounded by what is now Regent, Piccadilly, Elizabeth and McCulloch Streets.

There are none of the FYALL family living locally. They were a Scottish family who resided in Kensington Street. Their only son Jack later became President of Blacktown Shire Council, and I had the privilege of sitting on Council with him.

George FREEMAN, one of the Beef Butchers, a big man with a large moustache who even in his later years carried his tall frame with great dignity.

Alexander and James GRIEG of Grange Farm and James GRIEG of Riverstone who I recall was a labourer in the hides section of the Meat Works. It was in his home, which still stands in Garfield Rd, that the first Presbyterian Church Service was held in Riverstone.

Robert GUNTON, Stockman. Bob was stockman to Ben Richards and descendants of his still live in the town.

Noble HANNAH of Essex Farm, Riverstone. The Hannan (sic) family are still with us and living in that early area of settlement on the banks of Eastern Creek. In the 1900s the waters of the creek were drinkable being crystal clear and inhabited by perch, sprats and mullet. Maidenhair ferns grew on the banks and red-head finches abounded in the trees.

There were a number of HANSELLS living and working in Riverstone in 1901.

William HARRISON was an engine driver. He lived in Mill St near the Bowling Club (the cottage still stands), and was responsible for running the Meatworks’ electric light plant. At that time all killing was done at night and the meat train left Riverstone in time for fresh meat to be delivered and sold in Sydney next morning.

George IZZARD: George made a hobby of hand made wooden toys, ornaments and so on.

Archie JARRETT was a tailor and had a shop in Garfield Road; there was also John JARRETT; altogether there were quite a number of Jarretts who were pioneers of the Racing Dogs and were famous in this sport in the early 1900s.

The roll discloses several JOHNSONS, Charles; John Robert; Peter; William (a Railway Porter) and William Thomas. Peter JOHNSON lived in a small slab cottage in George Street, Riverstone which is still standing.

Alexander JOHNSTON worked as a carter for Bambridge the Grocer.

Emanuel JOSEPH, Hotel Keeper. He was the Owner of the hotel right opposite Riverstone Railway Station, on about an acre of land on the area now occupied by Marketown.

I find the name KIRWAN, there are quite a few mentioned but the one Henry Argyle KIRWAN, Postmaster is the one I recall as being a most important man in Riverstone both before and after the First World War in the days of 1d postage. The Post Office was housed in the original Riverstone Railway Station which is now used as the Parcels Office. I feel sure Mr Kirwan would be most unhappy if he saw his old office as it stands today with the frontage defaced with business premises.

Among the L’s we see George LANE my father, who was one of the first men in the district to own a bicycle, it was called a “Red Bird” and was imported from Canada. The use of bicycles was resented by the owners of horse drawn carts who objected to them being used on the roads.

The Daisy, like the Red Bird, was a brand of bike available for sale in Riverstone. This advertisement appeared in the Windsor 8 Richmond Gazette of 15 May 1897

William LOBB was a Fruiterer and owned an Orchard Property bounded by Regent, Piccadilly and McCulloch Streets and Riverstone Road -a 40 acre farm that was wiped out in the drought of 1902/10 -a great water well on his property supplied Riverstone with pure water during this period.

Paul LORGER was a sail maker and would have worked on ocean sailboats.

Henry LUDEKE, Elect. Engineer lived in a cottage in Park Street where Mrs Chalker now lives. (38). Mr Ludeke as I knew him was engaged as an Elect. Engineer at the Meat Works and invented the first Electrical Circular Saw for cutting beef carcasses in half. Before this all carcasses were cut by the old fashioned crosscut saw, This invention was patented by him, and became a regular part of slaughtering procedures.

William McCARTHY, Blacksmith was one of the real pioneers of 1900 and it is a great shame that the venerable old lady, his wife, did not have her life story written into the history of Riverstone. Mrs McCarthy was a Miss Miller. Perhaps one of her daughters will write something about the McCarthys and the Millers -Mrs McCarthy’s grandchildren have adult children of their own now.

Ted McCUTCHEON will be remembered by a lot of the “oldies”. He lived in a cottage which still stands on the corner of George and Park Streets.

John McKENZIE was a grocer and worked in Darling’s Store with my brother Harry Lane.

Unfortunately Sammy’s Roll Call ended with these last entries from The Riverstone Press 22 January 1981.