Home' Hunter Its People : June 2010 Contents 42 THE HERALD Thursday, June 24, 2010
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MUSWELLBROOK'S Ruth White was born in the
town in 1883, and her passing 80 years later at
her home Dunroamin in Brentwood St, closed
an era of service to the town and district by the Edinglassie
In 1954 she was awarded an MBE for
distinguished public service in patriotic,
nd public health spheres
norary capacity over many
in particular her donations
rentwood Hospital, of which
e had been chairman since
White was known as an
woman, and recipients
of her generosity
included the Red Cross,
Muswellbrook Hospital (to
which she gave colonial
cottage Biralee in 1928
as a nurses' home), the
Girl Guide Association, St.
Albans Anglican Church,
ambulance station, Royal
lying Doctor Service, Spastic
ntre of NSW, Country
men's Association and senior
f the three major recipients
uth White estate -- whose
major asset was coal in Bayswater No. 2
Colliery and adjoining coal areas -- was the Spastic
Centre of NSW, which received $3,156,254 from the estate
over several years with the last cheque of $624,879 in 1996,
more than 30 years after her death.
A 1997 issue of The Spastic Centre of NSW newsletter
carried a quote from the chief executive officer describing
White: ''Ruth White was a generous lady and we are grateful
for her forethought and planning, but if only we had known
her intentions how much nicer it would have been to have
thanked her in her lifetime.''
White was a life member of Muswellbrook Hospital Board
and Womens Auxiliary, patron of Muswellbrook Girl Guide
Association, president of Muswellbrook Red Cross for 30
years and an early member of the RSL Ladies Auxiliary.
Nowland, the son of convicts who met on Norfolk Island, is
the 1827 discoverer of Nowland's Gap, the gateway to the
Liverpool Plains and the first road into the Hunter Valley.
In the 1820s he took up family grants in the Camberwell
area and established his property Rosedale, then known as
Falbrook, and established the Queen Victoria Inn.
He found Nowland's Gap when he took up land over the
Liverpool Ranges and had to find a way to get to his Warrah
William Nowland's brother, Henry Nowland was given
land grants near Singleton but sold them for land around
Muswellbrook and Merriwa, as well as on the Liverpool
He owned the Callatoota and Overton properties and
was Muswellbrook's first resident, by the 1850s owning
two-thirds of the land in the town, where he built the Royal
Hotel. He also built a blacksmiths and coach-building
business and the Chain of Ponds Inn at Liddell.
He died in 1863.
Merton was the name given by Ogilvie to his original grant
of 809 hectares near Denman that he received on his arrival
in NSW in 1825.
Merton was named after the family home in Surrey,
Merton grew to be self-sufficient an
Ogilvie became a magistrate in 1825 i
became the centre of justice of the
district, before the job was handed on
In 1826 Merton was besieged by
about 200 Aboriginals demanding
the release of two of their friends,
apparently wrongly arrested for
a murder. Because Aboriginals
were treated well at Merton and
Ogilvie respected them, the
attackers were able to be calmed
Born in 1790, Wentworth was a
giant in 19th century Australian
politics, fighting for the rights of
convicts, starting a newspaper and
helping establish an elected parliame
in the colony and trial by jury.
Despite all that he is probably best
known as being one of the first explo
cross the Blue Mountains in 1813.
Wentworth had a number of properties in the Hunter,
including Belltrees around 1834, although he never lived
there and in the 1840s the estate was leased by James
White Jnr and later acquired by the White family.
Wentworth also purchased Windermere and Luskintyre
estates in 1836 and lived at Windermere for several months
Professor Horne was born in Sydney but raised in
Muswellbrook, which he wrote of in The Education of Young
Donald, published in 1967.
The author of The Lucky Country, his most famous work,
he was a journalist, writer, social critic and academic.
He became one of Australia's best known public
intellectuals and published three novels and more than
20 volumes of history, memoirs and analysis. He also
edited The Bulletin, The Observer and Quadrant. He was a
professor of political science at the University of NSW
and Chancellor of the University of Canberra, worked on
writing, arts and citizenship boards and was an executive
member of the Australian Constitutional Commission.
He was named one of Australia's living national treasures
by the National Trust a few years before he died in 2005.
Born in England in 1796, Dangar arrived in Australia
in 1821 and was appointed assistant in the Survey
Department, the next year moving to Newcastle to make a
survey of the Hunter Valley.
He planned Newcastle and marked out land to Patricks
Plains, in 1824 reaching the Upper Hunter and exploring
the present sites of Muswellbrook, Aberdeen and Scone,
naming Kingdom Ponds and Dartbrook. His reports
caused a rush for land.
I 1827 h was found guilty of using his
or personal profit and was sacked.
t to England to fight the decision
as unsuccessful, returning to
tralia as a surveyor with the
ustralian Agricultural Co at Port
In 1833 he retired to Neotsfield
in the Upper Hunter and by
1850 had more than 122,000
hectares in the area. He built
inns and stores along the Great
North Road and had businesses
in Newcastle and New Zealand.
A magistrate and member of his
district council, he pushed for
the advancement of the Hunter,
sponsored immigrants and was
lected to the NSW Legislative
ouncil from 1845 to 1851.
He died in 1861.
he government laid out
di in 1840, landowner Thomas
Haydon decided to create a nearby private
village called Haydonton to service local estates,
government officers and travellers.
The two villages, separated by Halls Creek, merged in
1913 to create Murrurundi.
Haydon established the Murrurundi Race Club and
racecourse in 1841, the same year he provided land and
money to build the town's first (Catholic) church.
THE HUNTER ...
''Wentworth was a giant in Australian
politics, fighting for the rights of
convicts, starting a newspaper
and helping establish an elected
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