History of Harvey

History of Harvey and District

By EG Davis, 1955 – 56


The following ‘History of Harvey And District’ was published in the Harvey-Waroona Mail over a number of weeks in 1955-56 and was co-ordinated by Eric George Davis. Thanks are due to the efforts of EG Davis and others who contributed to the series, which is a valuable record of the district’s history. The articles stimulated quite a deal of interest amongst locals, grateful that the memories of the early days had been preserved before the passing of those who could still recall the events of past years. At the time Mr Davis’s efforts were praised by AC Staples, who was also interested in Harvey’s history, and later went on to publish what was to become the definitive history of the district.[1]

Eric George Davis came to Harvey in 1916, a year after his arrival from England. He worked as a farm labourer before becoming manager of the Co-operative Packing Shed in 1918. The following year he was appointed Secretary-Manager of the Harvey Co-operative Store. From 1928 he was one of those who pioneered the sending of chilled milk to Perth, as well as serving as a Director of the Potato Distribution Ltd, the forerunner of the Potato Marketing Board. In the 1930s he took over as manager of Alfred Snell’s stores, later buying this business which then operated as Eric Davis and Son.

In 1952 Mr Davis was elected a member of the Harvey Road Board, and was also involved in many local community organisations such as the Agricultural Society and the War Memorial Library. His realisation that the Harvey area had a rich history dating from the earliest days of WA settlement led to him interviewing many of the descendants of local families, and delving into the early records of local organisations. Following his death in 1969, an obituary published in a Bunbury paper praised Eric Davis’s community spirit, and mentions that in 1946 he wrote a book on Harvey’s early days.[2]

[Note: Various photocopied versions of EG Davis’s ‘Story of Harvey and District’ are in existence. After visiting Battye Library and viewing the original newspapers where they were published in serial form in 1955, our editorial team decided to make some minor changes to the text, such as standardising dates, use of italics for names of ships, etc. However the layout of the articles as published in its weekly format remains the same. Eds.]

Published 24 June 1955

The first instalment of the Story of Harvey and District will commence in our next issue, Friday, July 1. This story will be a special feature of the paper for some weeks and will feature the early history of the district.

The main features will be:

  • Pioneering at Australind and Brunswick as reported by Algernon Clifton.
  • Bundinup or Bundidup from Thomas Hayward’s diary.
  • Arrival of early pioneers of Harvey in W.A.
  • Coaching days, etc., by Mrs. G. Meredith and Mrs. F. Sutton.
  • Discovery of coal in Collie River by A. Perren, of Brunswick.
  • Roy Hayward’s recording of the birth of the growth of the Harvey Estate and the Korejekup fruit settlement.
  • Gervase Clifton’s account of the Harvey Agricultural Alliance and the Farmers’ club.
  • William Reading – The first Chairman of the Brunswick District Road Board, followed by extracts of the board minutes and the important events recorded by the Cookernup Farmers’ Progress Association and the Cookernup hall committee.
  • W. E. Ash’s and George Charman’s records of Korejekup from 1893 to the early 1900’s.
  • Story of irrigation from a pump to Stirling Dam by Jack Lowe, O.B.E., and continued by Roy Eckersley.
  • Early days of the schools and churches.
  • Harvey as it was 40 years ago and the years between.
  • Harvey as it is today.
  • General story of Harvey in four sections.

Because this story of Harvey and District will not be printed as a booklet, those desirous of keeping the story should make sure of getting their copies by ordering a paper from the local newsagents.


Published 1 July 1955

History of Harvey and District commences this week with an introductory message by the author, Mr. E. G. Davis. He then recalls the names of some of the earliest pioneers who literally carved a settlement for their families from the coastal land.

Further instalments of Mr. Davis’ history will be published in future issues of the Harvey- Waroona Mail.


In talking to old residents of Harvey about the early days, I thought it was a pity that there was no record of many of the important things that happened before there was any local Press to record them. I also thought that as far as it was possible to do so, the names of the pioneers of a wonderful district should be handed on for future generations.

At the time I was not aware that Mr. Charles Staples had completed a thesis embracing many matters of historical interest. I wish to acknowledge gratefully the lead given by Mr. Staples, as it has helped quite a lot in piecing together many things unknown to me, and extracts from his thesis, together with those in Dr. Battye’s “History of Western Australia,” have made the story much more complete than it would have been without their research.

Thanks are due to Mr. Gervase Clifton, Mr. Roy Hayward and many others who have helped to piece the story together. It is hoped that many others with stories and information of the early days of Harvey will come forward and add their quota, not to a history, but rather to a human story.

The main reason for writing this story is a deep respect for those who risked much for little reward to make an oasis in a forest.

The people of the present

Raise their hats to the pioneers;

Who toiled in their day, to pre-pave the way

For the children in future years.


Through forest and bogs they laboured,

To bridge all the rivers and streams;

They worked with the axe and the mattock

To build up the land of their dreams.


They are gone, but not forgotten

By those to whom they showed the way;

The foundation they laid in the years long ago

Made the District that we see today


Eric Davis, 1955

The Story

This is the story of Harvey, Western Australia, as told by descendants of the early pioneers and others who have lived in the district for many years.

Harvey is in the South West of the State, about 87 miles south of Perth and 30 miles north of Bunbury.

The present Government Road is still shown on maps as Harvey Road, and it is evident that this road from Wokalup River through the Uduc Agricultural area, meant either the road to the Harvey River or to the Harvey Agricultural Area, and certainly not to Harvey as it is now known. In old road board minutes it is referred to as Harvey Lane.

What is now known as Harvey was at first the Harvey River Settlement. When the central portion was developed, it was called Korijekup, and later it all became known as Harvey.

The Harvey district is first recorded in Dr. Battye’s “History of WA.” (That in 1829, Captain Stirling, later to become the first Governor of the State, selected 12,800 acres known as Wellington Location 50A and called it the Harvey River Settlement.) Most of the early settlements were named after rivers – eg. Preston and Blackwood – and old settlers for many years referred to these districts as The Preston, etc., instead of naming the town. Some Road Boards still retain the early names which is sometimes confusing.

Shaped With Axe

Governor Stirling’s only improvement, as far as is known, was the erection of a hunting lodge on the banks of the Harvey River, about a mile east of the present townsite. The floor was of jarrah blocks, beautifully fitted. They were cut across the grain and evidently shaped with an axe. Some of the old jarrah slabs are still preserved and perfect, although over 100 years old.

Old settlers knew this building as “the hut.” It is mentioned in Mr. A. C. Staples’ thesis on Harvey that a Mr. Chapman, a shepherd, lived there in the very early days. It is also recorded by the late Dr. Battye “That in 1831, Stirling was near Port Leschenault (Bunbury) and that in this year there was a track open between Perth and the Augusta settlement.” The Track mentioned was evidently the Coast Road. John Bussell, of the Vasse, was the leader in the finding of this track.

In 1841 the SS Parkfield landed near Australind. This ship brought Mr. Marshall Waller Clifton, his family and many other early settlers. The Clifton family has been known throughout the State since those early days, and direct descendants are still at Australind, Brunswick and Harvey.

Ben Piggott, snr, came to West Australia on the Trusty in 1844, and later took up land at Springhill where he is buried in a small cemetery close to the old house there. It is still standing and his descendants are still in the district. [James Piggott, Ben’s brother also came on the Trusty in 1844. His direct descendants live in Australind, Brunswick and Harvey. James’s sons, John and William farmed at Brunswick, and Joseph settled at ‘The Long Swamp’ Myalup – Ed]. Upton House at Australind, and Springhill are very much alike and it is probable that they were built by the same builder and carpenter who landed near Australind.

“Cast Iron Smith”

In 1844 the first actual settler in what is now known as Harvey took up a 160 acre block on Lake Preston, north-west of Harvey. He was Mr. Maurice B. Smith, grandfather of Mr. John Giblett. This section was called Gigginup. Mr. Smith later took up a small block at Uduc, now owned by Mr. Albert Taylor. Later he took up a much larger area at Uduc, where he built the old Uduc homestead. In those days there were no fences, except split slabs, near the early homestead, to keep the pigs in or to protect the vegetable plots. Mr. Smith brought a lot of very heavy gauge wire to the country and erected post and rail fences with two wires around his property. This earned for him the nickname of “Cast-Iron Smith.”

Other early settlers knew, when they saw these fences, that it was Mr. Smith’s land. He and his family were also known for many years as the Uduc Smiths, although there were no other Smiths in the district until the late 1890s. Mr. Smith came from Dublin as tutor to Marshall Waller Clifton’s sons.

Among the pioneers of the coastal side of Harvey from 1844 to 1860 was William Crampton, who took up land at Myalup and Uduc. He had three sons, Charles, George and Alfred who came from England as children on the SS Diadem in 1842. This family built two of the oldest homesteads in the Harvey district – Myalup House, which is still standing, and the original house behind the present Roselea Farm, near Uduc. Charles Crampton’s grandson, Mr. Alex Esmond, is still farming the same land. Alfred Crampton’s sons, Archie and Reg, and daughter, Miss Enid Crampton, were well known in the district for many years.

In 1840, Mr. E. Clarke took up land on the Coast Road and in 1870 bought land at Jardup, where he built the brick house which is still standing. He also owned Nickelup [sic, Nicklup], which he sold to Mr. James Taylor in 1894.


Published 8 July 1955[3]

The story of Harvey and district, as prepared by Mr. E. G. Davis, deals with reminiscences of Australind. The reminiscences were given by Algernon F. Clifton at centenary celebrations in the Brunswick Memorial Hall in September 1929. All of the facts related by Mr. Clifton were either from first hand knowledge or from the diaries of the late M. W. Clifton, of Australind.

There are few who realise the conditions which existed in the early days of the colony. My parents and grand-parents landed at Australind on 18 March, 1841, in the sailing ship Parkfield, my grandfather, the late Marshall Waller Clifton, being Chief Commissioner for the Western Australian Company that had been formed in England to settle the land in this district. The land held by this company consisted of Wellington Location No. 1 of 100,000 acres extending from the Collie River almost to the Harvey River and from Leschenault Estuary to about 12 miles up into the Darling Ranges and a block of about 25,000 acres adjoining its eastern boundary.

The Parkfield brought 125 men, women and children, some with the intention of taking up land, others as tradesmen, farm labourers, etc. A large staff of the company’s surveyors had arrived in the Island Queen a few weeks previously and were busily engaged in setting out the townsite of Australind. A little later the Diadem and Trusty arrived, both bringing more migrants for the settlement.

No Bridges

When these early pioneers arrived there was not a bridge over any of the rivers between Fremantle and Busselton. It was not until March 2, 1845, that a bridge was built over the Brunswick River at Australind, the late M. W. Clifton being the first person to ride over it. The bridges over the Preston and Collie Rivers, between Bunbury and Australind were built by the late W. Pearce Clifton (who was later resident magistrate for Bunbury).

The bridge over the Preston near Leschenault, was completed on April 8, 1846, and the Collie Bridge on November 28, 1848. They were paid for partly by the Government and partly by subscriptions from the settlers. Previous to this the Collie was forded by going out into the estuary and around the mouth of the river, where in summer time the water was not very deep, but in winter it was sometimes up to the horses’ backs and with big waves it was sometimes impossible to cross. The Preston was crossed near Picton, in the vicinity of the present bridge, which was called Fording Bridge, after the old ford. The Preston was a rapid and dangerous river to cross in the winter and of course was often impassable. The deviation caused by the want of bridges increased the distance between Australind and Bunbury from seven to nearly 12 miles.

The natives in the district were very useful to the settlers. There was always a number of men and women employed in reaping, haymaking, etc., as in those times all crops were cut by scythe or sickle. They were most useful as stockmen in the days when the country was unfenced, many being bold and fearless riders and all most wonderful trackers.

Sad Commentary

It is a sad commentary on our civilisation that our taking possession of their country has been the cause of the whole race gradually dying out, the last native of the district having died some years ago.

The hopes of the Western Australian Company and those associated with it, to found a town and convert their great holdings into thriving farms, failed from causes which would take far too long to enter into here. It was not the fault of the people who came out, many of whom, after the closing down of the company, took a prominent part in the development of the country and have left descendants who are carrying on the work today in every portion of the State. I would specially like to mention the late Mr. W. Forrest, who after building a bridge over the Brunswick at Australind, settled at Picton and constructed a flour mill which ground all the wheat that was grown at Dardanup, Preston, Collie, Brunswick and Harvey for many years. The late Lord Forrest was one of his sons, and several other brothers have played a prominent part in the State’s development. Sir James Mitchell was also a descendant of one of the Australind pioneers. Others are Sir Newton Moore (Premier); L. S. Elliott (Under Treasurer); H. F. Johnson (Surveyor General); R. Cecil Clifton, L. S. O. (Under Secretary for Lands).

When I was a small boy at Australind, the mails were carried from Perth to Busselton on horseback, having in the much earlier days been carried by a native between Australind and Perth. I remember it was quite exciting when another contractor got the job and put on a one- horse spring cart and offered to take passengers from Bunbury to Perth for £2 per head, both ways. The passengers, of course, had to pay for any refreshments they were fortunate enough to procure from private houses between Pinjarra and Bunbury; also their hotel expenses there for the night and at the Old Narrogin Inn, where they lunched next day. This soon developed into a buggy and pair service and eventually a coach and four was giving fair service twice a week, taking possibly on the average, three or four passengers each way. Just compare that with our present train service that we complain of sometimes. These travellers by mail coach had varied experiences.

Other interesting events were the driving of the last pile into the Brunswick Railway Bridge on September 19, 1892; and a lunch to Mr. Venn in the garden at Frogmore, after he had given a political address in the school opposite. The school had been built many years before, entirely by settlers, and served as school and church. Occasional services were held there by the Church of England and Congregational ministers. Quite a number of weddings were celebrated there.

Railway Arrives

The official opening of the South West railway was held on September 9, 1893; and the opening of the Brunswick Agricultural Hall with afternoon tea and a ball in the evening, was on March 7, 1894.

At the time the railway was opened there were no people living in what is now the townsite and very few in the district. Among those most widely known were Mr. Thomas Marriott, snr, of Rivervale; Mr. David Eedle, of Frogmore (the first president of the Farmers’ Association); Mr. R. W. Clifton, of Upton House, Australind; Mr. James Perren (living where the State Farm was carried on at a much later date); and Mr. John Crampton, on what is now Mr. A. Wright’s property. This place was well known, being the first stage on the journey from Bunbury to Perth. The mail coach horses were changed there and fresh ones put in for the next stage at Logue’s Brook. Mr. Crampton was postmaster without an office, the few letters he received being kept in a box in the bedroom. All of those mentioned belonged to a band of pioneers who came from England to Australind under the Western Australian Company in 1841 and have long since gone to their rest.

Up till 1894, very little progress had been made in this portion of the State. The timber milling industry that arose later was almost non-existent. Coal had not been discovered and what is now the flourishing town of Collie, with the mines putting out hundreds of tons of coal daily was “waste land of the Crown,” supporting a few kangaroos and dingoes and occasionally during dry summers, grazed over by a few cattle and sheep. The never failing supply of fresh water in the large pools of this river was the main attraction.

The now thriving settlement of Harvey was then supporting one settler, Mr. J. T. Logue, who was renting 13,000 acres of the fertile lands on the Harvey River at a nominal rental and making a scanty living by running a few head of cattle and horses. The goldmines of Kalgoorlie and Boulder were then in their infancy. The wonderful Mundaring Weir and Goldfields Water Scheme and the Fremantle harbour works, for which we have to thank the late Lord Forrest and the late C. Y. O’Connor, were then unthought of and the eastern wheatbelt, which owing chiefly to the foresight of Sir James Mitchell, is now producing many millions of bushels annually, was then a waterless desert.


Published 15 July 1955 – Early Settlers

Mr. J. T. Logue went to live at Moojelup, near Cookernup, where he owned land on Summerbrook Road. He built a small shed there, which was for many years known as Honeymoon Cottage.

It is not known if Mr. Logue actually spent his honeymoon there, but it has been said that if he wanted to get away from the cares of the home farm, he would retire to this quiet spot on the hill side.

Mr. Logue was a very active man and worked long hours. On one occasion he was working in a well from about 8 a.m. until evening without food. Mrs. Logue was getting rather worried and was thinking of searching for him when he arrived home, saying, “I feel a bit weak I think I will have a glass of wine.”

William Forrest built the first bridge in the district. John Forrest received his early education from a Harvey man, Fred Jones, snr, at the Picton School. This Fred Jones was the father of Mrs. Elizabeth Wright, of Australind and Fred Jones of Myalup. After retiring from teaching, as recorded by Mrs. Cecilia Meredith, he went farming at the coast and lost an arm in an accident. He is the ancestor of a large number of Harvey people.

M. W. Clifton, a grandson of the original Clifton, took up 500 acres at Wokalup where he built Wokalup House, which is still standing. Mr. Waller Clifton and his family were closely associated with the early days of Harvey in many ways. He was a Road Board member and vice-president of the Harvey Alliance. Mr. G. Clifton gives us some information of early days and others mention picnics and cricket matches near the old house.

In 1890 there were more families on the Coast Road than in the rest of Harvey, until after the Korijekup settlement was established. Names of many pioneer families closely connected with the coast settlement are still remembered by older residents of today, and are mentioned in various memoirs and recorded in Road Board minutes.

These include several branches of the Clifton family at Australind, Rosamel and Alverstoke; Sam Rose of Parkfield; William Clarke of Hampden; Ben Piggott of Springhill; Joseph Piggott; Joseph Colton; William Reading of Runnymede; George Jones, the Perren brothers; Lewis Birch; and Ephraim Clarke and his son, also Ephraim. Ephraim Clarke, who came out from England on the Parkfield, worked for M. W. Clifton for some time. They had a dispute and Clarke was dismissed for insubordination. From then on there was a feud between the two families for a long period.

Lewis Birch and his son Lewis were very active in Road Board matters. The Milligans, Rodgers, Hutchinsons and Wrights were early settlers at Australind, with the Dunns and Travers families.

About 1890, James Taylor came to Harvey from Victoria, with his wife and elder children, including Richard, Harry and Sidney, who was then the baby. He bought Nicklup in 1894 from Mr. E. Clarke. Mr. Taylor carted supplies from Bunbury for the railway construction gang and was the butcher, baker and grocer. He also farmed for many years at Nicklup and was famous for his vines which produced good wine. The business he established is probably the oldest in Harvey and is still carried on by his sons and their sons.

In 1891 Mr. Thomas Offer took up land at Benger, then known as Mornington. His family have farmed there ever since. He was the first to grow potatoes in Benger Swamp and was a member of the Harvey Road Board for many years.

Before 1894, the Harvey district was controlled by the old Wellington Road Board. The Brunswick Board was gazetted in 1894 and the first election was held on February 11, 1895. Many extracts from board meetings over the years are included later in this story.

For many years Mr. James Clarke farmed at Myrtle Hill, on the Perth Road. He was chairman of the Cookernup Health Board, which it is believed, was formed by him after a severe epidemic of measles was responsible for the death of many children.

In the early 1890s the population of Cookernup was much greater than Harvey. It had a telegraph office and school several years before Harvey.

When the settlers of Korijekup wanted to get a school, Mr. James Clarke is supposed to have said, “What is the good of building a school at Korijekup? There will never be any children to go to it.” Time has proved that he was wrong.

In 1890, John Knowles, of Cheddar, Somerset, England, came to Harvey from Wakefield, South Australia, with his wife and family. He bought land from the Harvey Estate between the Bunbury Road and the railway and built the house which is still standing near the main road, and named it Fairlawn. He also bought land in Herbert Road. Mr. Knowles had a small shop and collected the mail from the coach and the railway. One of his daughters had a private school in one of the rooms and another became postmistress for a short time after training at Bunbury.

The first Wesleyan services were held in the front of Fairlawn by Rev. Plain, and Congregational services were held there by Rev. Buchanan.

In 1895, Messrs. Knowles, James Clarke, James Taylor and W. J. Sutton, constructed the first public building in Harvey, the Mission room and hall. It was opened as a Wesleyan Church in September 1895, by Rev. Plain, of Bunbury. This building was on the northend of a block in Uduc Road near W. J. Sutton’s house, Kilrea. Part of the old Uduc Brook ran through the middle of the block. There was a post with an oil lamp on it to guide people on the path over the brook. This was the first public light in Harvey. All public bodies held their meetings in this small hall, including the Brunswick Road Board, which paid 5/- rent for each meeting. In 1895 Mr. Knowles sold his land in Herbert Road to the Palmer brothers, Harry and Seymour. In 1898 he also sold Fairlawn to Harry Palmer who re-named it Meridin. Mr. Knowles then built a house and shop, which is still standing, on the corner of Uduc and Hackett Roads. He called the shop, “The Busy Bee,” and had a sign on it reading, “We lead and others follow.” In the original plan of the Korijekup Settlement, Fairlawn or Meridin was the centre of Harvey, but with the advent of the railway the original plan was altered. Following the lead given by Mr. Knowles, as his sign advertised, others did follow.

In 1874, Harry G. Palmer, has been well known in Harvey for over 60 years. He was born in the heart of England at Meredin [sic], Warwick. “The Major,” as he is affectionately known, came to Harvey with his brother Seymour in 1895 and they bought the farm in Herbert Road, now owned by Mr. Godfrey Rigg. Their sister, now Mrs. Wickham, joined the brothers in 1896. In 1898 H. G. Palmer bought his present home, having married a Miss Clifton from Wokalup House. He served with his brother-in-law, Reg Clifton, in the Boer War. Mr. Dougal Leitch was another Harvey man who served with the contingent in 1899. The day they left for South Africa, Mr. Palmer was working in a drain and left his mattock there. Years after when he returned, the mattock was still there as an indication of the honesty of the Harvey people.

Mr. Tom Myatt, another well known Harvey man, was a member of the Natal Mounted Rifles during the Boer War. He came to Harvey soon after the war was over.

Mr. Palmer says that Rev. Julian was the second Wesleyan minister in Harvey. He married Mr. Knowles’ daughter, Dora. About 1899, Rev. George Devlin, Church of England minister, came to Harvey and until he married, he lived in an outside room on Mr. Palmer’s property. Rev. Devlin married Miss Mitchell, one of three sisters living in Harvey at that time. The other two were the first school mistress and postmistress when the post office was built opposite the railway platform. At that time there was no building on the railway platform. An early photograph taken from near “The Busy Bee” shows an empty railway yard with the post office on the east side and a small galvanised iron cottage on the west side in Hayward Street. This house is still standing between the hostel and Mr. Len Taylor’s house.


Published 22 July 1955

History of Harvey comprises extracts from the diary of Mr. Thomas Hayward, who arrived in Western Australia in 1853. His diary was written in 1910.

September 7, 1853 – Arrived in Fremantle accompanied by Mrs. Rose, Basil and Charlie. We came out in the barque, Devonshire, and had a long and rough passage.

I hired Parkfield with R. H. Rose, cleared some land; did fairly well dairying and tobacco growing. Mr. Rose married and Mrs. Rose, snr, Charles and myself took Wedderburn and started dairying. In October, 1857, the cows commenced to die. After leaving Wedderburn, I took Bindinup [sic, Bundidup] and in December I married.

When I took Bindinup [sic, Bundidup] in March, I had a fine team of six bullocks and sent them to Bunbury for supplies. On their return, I turned them out and nearly a fortnight later found four of them dead. At the start of the winter we commenced dairying, my wife having some very fine cows. About the end of October they commenced to die and we lost about half of them. We moved the rest to the coast and the following year the same thing happened.

I was completely disheartened and was inclined to throw up the whole thing. My wife having gone through similar losses previously had more courage and we struggled on. The next year we had two fields which had been cropped and manured and then we had paddocks ready in which to turn the cows at night and were able to carry on. The first winter I was detained at the coast for a week and on returning found that the chimney of the house had been washed down. The next season the place was burned down. Nothing was saved and some men who slept at one end of the building lost their clothes and money. By the aid of contracts for supplying road parties we struggled on.

(Note: At this period the Perth – Bunbury road was being constructed by convict labour).

I was elected chairman of the first road board (Wellington), and before going to England in 1873, I resigned but found on my return some time later that I had been re-elected as chairman. I held the position until increasing business interests compelled me to resign. I estimated then that I had ridden over 4,000 miles on horseback on board business.

In April, 1901, I was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for Bunbury, and at the next election I was returned as member for Wellington and retained the seat up till the present time (1910).

When I started at Bundidup there were neither roads nor bridges. About July, I started for Bunbury with my team to get some flour and other supplies. I reached the Brunswick River and found it running a banker. I left my team and crossed over on a log, borrowed a team from Mr. Eedle on the other side and returned with my supplies. With Mr. Eedle I succeeded in getting one bag of flour across the river on a log. I took the flour home and returned after the river had lowered for the remainder.

Several years after this, Mr. W. B. Mitchell in attempting to cross the river the same way, fell and nearly lost his life. At the same time there was a lot of convict labour on the road. Once when I was returning from the road board meeting late at night near Benger, I saw a man on horseback turn off the track. There was no made road and he stopped in a clump of trees. Although it was a moonlight night I did not notice that the horse had blinkers on instead of a bridle. I spoke to the man. Later, I was awakened by Joseph Logue, of Harvey, who told me the man I had seen earlier was an escaped convict who had stolen a Government horse and saddle.

I got up and started in pursuit on horseback, striking matches to look for tracks wherever there was a turn-off from the road. I eventually found the man at the men’s house at Mr. Eedle’s and he was taken in custody. As I had ridden over 60 miles it was decided that Mr. Logue would ride to Bunbury for a policeman. I took Mr. Logue’s revolver and walked about for the rest of the night. I was afraid I might go to sleep if I sat down. About 9 a.m. the policeman arrived and took charge of the convict, whose name was Norval. He had a life sentence and had been in the chain gang. He was sent to Fremantle and the horse was returned to camp.

In those days whale oil was the chief illuminant – a very dirty and disagreeable one too. About 1856, I saw 14 American whalers in the bay (at Bunbury) calling for supplies.

About 1870, with Joseph Manning, I went up the Sandalwood Road with a view to getting it cleared and re-opened. This was done and for several years large quantities of sandalwood was brought to Bunbury for shipment.

W. B. Mitchell went to India with a shipment of horses, all of which were sold to the Government at a good price. Perth and Fremantle were supplied with butter from southern districts in kegs and casks and even beer hogsheads. Flour ground by William Forrest from wheat grown in the district was sent there.

I employed ticket-of-leave men for many years. One man whom I took when he came out on ticket-of-leave, stayed with me for 14 years. He had been in the slums of Glasgow, and I taught him to do every kind of farm work. This was more than 40 years ago – about 1873. He is now (in 1911) receiving the old age pension in New South Wales.

G. W. Logue’s Shipping Notes Extracts

Copied from a statement made by G. W. Logue in 1925. Extracts from Perth Gazette of August 26, 1837 (Shipping Notes).

Arrived on the 22nd inst., the brig Hero, via the Cape, after a long voyage (9 months).

Passengers – Mrs. Irwin and family; Captain Bannister; Mr. Harrison; Mr. Creigh; Mr. and Mrs. Logue and nine children.

Mr. Logue (Joseph Keys Logue M. A., T.C.D.) settled at Northam, where another son was born. The family then consisted of seven sons and three daughters.

The sons were Robert, Joseph, Major, Henry, William, Thomson and George. The daughters were Elisabeth, Catherine and Matilda.

After some years at Northam, Mr. Logue moved to Chittering. Some years later, Mr. Logue and family moved to Harvey, George settling with his father at Ivy Cottage, Middle Swan, where J. Keys Logue died April 25, 1884. George Washington Logue was born at Northam, November 3, 1839.

Joseph Logue, born October, 1825, and Sarah Davies, born September, 1824, were married on February 27, 1856. Joseph Logue was chief inspector of stock, Geraldton to the South West, and was killed in 1888.

The Logues

(Collected by E. Davis from Mesdames Blight, R. Hester and others.)

William Logue, son of Joseph Keys Logue, was a boy of 16 when he landed with his parents at Garden Island from SS Hero, and came from Ireland. He came to ‘Sunnyvale’, Harvey, about 1860 and married a Miss Clarke, of Jardup, daughter of Ephraim Clarke and sister of E. M. Clarke, one time Member for the district. Children still living in Harvey are Robert Logue, who has lived in Harvey continuously since his birth 84 years ago; Matilda (Mrs. R. Hester, snr), Kate (Mrs. W. J. Blight) and Mrs. Butler.

J. Thomson Logue, son of Joseph Keys Logue, married Miss Mitchell (sister of Graves Mitchell). He leased Harvey River Estate from 1870 to 1884 and built the Old Homestead, where he lived until the estate was sold to Harvey, Young and Gibb, when he moved to Moojelup, Cookernup. Charles Courthope of South Perth and Charles Nicholson of Cookernup, are nephews of Mrs. Thomson Logue.

Catharine Logue married Thomas Hayward, of Bundidup and Bunbury. Their son, Thomas Hayward, lived at Bundidup and was a member and chairman of the Harvey Road Board.

About the same time his brother, William Logue, came to Sunnyvale, Joseph Henry Logue, snr took up land at north Harvey (known as Leylands). His house was called Convolulus [sic, Convolvulus] Villa. The brook running through the property is still known as Logue’s Brook. Mrs. G. Hayward Clifton is the nearest descendant of this branch of the Logue family, being the daughter of Joseph Henry Logue, jnr, who was very prominent in the early days of Cookernup.

Mail Coaches

In the early 1860s the mail coach stopped at Logue’s and later a shingle-roofed building was erected on the opposite side of the Perth-Bunbury Road south of Logue’s farm. The local police officer was in charge of this building, which was pulled down a few years ago.

Mrs. Hayward Clifton relates a story of early days when escaped convicts called at the farm demanding food and money. They held up Mrs. Logue and the elder children, but one of the youngest, a boy, quietly slipped out the back door and brought back Mr. Logue and those working with him, and they arrested the convicts.

Mr. Logue had another property further north on another brook, known as “Up The Spout.”

He was at the “spout” when his son went to bring him home to arrest the convicts.

At the back of the shingle-roofed building there was a cottage where the policeman, Constable Pollard, lived. When this building was demolished the bricks were used to build chimneys at Leylands’ farm.

Another coaching station was built at the corner of the main road and the Weir Road. This was a slab cottage, occupied by Mrs. William Adams, grandmother of Mrs. W. J. Martin of Harvey.

In addition to receiving the mail, Mrs. Adams sold stamps and stores and acted as midwife in the district 75 years ago. This is referred to later by Messrs. Gervase Clifton and Roy Hayward. Mrs. Adams’ son, William who lived on the Coast Road, said that in the early days a policeman was stationed on the bridge over the Harvey River, west of Waroona, and questioned all travellers, “Are you bond or free?” Many convicts were given a ticket-of-leave for good conduct after being in the State for a few years.


Published 29 July 1955 – Mrs. Cecilia Meredith, daughter of Thomas Marriott, Brunswick.

Marriott was born at Baston (probably Baston-in-the-Clay), Bedfordshire, England, in 1817. He came to W.A. in the Diadem. Mary Lyons, aged 17, single, came out on the same ship. They were the first couple married in the old Picton Church. Mrs. Mary Marriott was the first white woman in Brunswick. She was Mrs. Meredith’s mother.

Fred Jones was the first school teacher at the old Picton School (previously mentioned by F. A. B. Jones). After he left the school to go farming he lost an arm in an accident.

Mrs. Meredith’s brothers, William and David, were members of the first Brunswick District Road Board. David was board chairman after William Reading retired. Her husband, George William Meredith, was born at Toodyay on August 3, 1863. They came to live at Cookernup in 1895. Later, Mr. Meredith was elected a Board member and served for about 10 years. Thomas Marriott, who lived at Spring Hill, was a great friend of William Reading of Runnymede and had great respect for his ability as a farmer and chairman of the Board, when there was much to be done and little money for the construction and clearing of roads.

The Marriott brothers were active members and with others were responsible for all the engineering activities in the district. They also supervised the work in an honorary capacity.

The first Justice of the Peace known was a Mr. David Eadle [sic, Eedle]. His eldest daughter was the first teacher at the old school at Brunswick on the Australind Road about 1870. This was in a different site to the present school.

Miss Mitchell was the first teacher at Cookernup about 1896. She married a Mr. Courthope and is still living in South Perth.

Mrs. Meredith’s elder son was unable to go to school until he was 11 as there was no school.

On one occasion this son worked for one day for J. Thompson Logue, with two horses, near Summer Brook, in the hills. He had helped Mr. Logue as a great favour, but had a hard time. When asked what pay he wanted he said 9/- for the day, and got it. His mother was very upset when she heard he had demanded and received 9/-. He told her he had had a very hard time and had nearly been killed by one of the horses. Later that evening he gave Mr. Logue 3/- back and was commended for his honesty. He told his mother that if she had to put up with what he had she would also have asked for 9/-. Mr. Logue told him he was glad he had come back because he had told Mrs. Logue about it, and had been very upset.

Mr. Logue was always inventing something. On one occasion he dug a well on the hillside, took a horse into it, but had not made the cut big enough and could not turn the horse around. He had to get the horse out tail first.

The first postmistress at Cookernup was Mrs. Sutcliffe.

Some of the Harvey children who went to Cookernup School were Robert and William Murray, John and Mary Ryan, Harry Taylor, Percy and George Payne and James Lowe.

The tramway to Williams’ Mill had timber rails and joined the railway at Weekes’ (now Tester’s) south of Cookernup. The trucks were pulled by horses into the hills and returned loaded to the railway. There was another tramline to Ferguson’s Mill near the present Hoffman Road.

Both lines crossed the main road and notices had to be erected “Look out for the train.” The lines were rated by the Road Board.

The Cookernup Farmers’ Association started in May, 1897, and the Cookernup Hall was built a bit earlier. (September 24, 1896, first record.)

When Mr. Meredith took up land at Cookernup, the only settlers were J. Logue (Upper Harvey); Jas. Clarke (Myrtle Hill); William Adams, Thompson Logue and Weekes. Mr. Cook probably went there about this time.

Yarloop did not exist then but the opening up of the timber industry with several mills in the district made Cookernup a big centre.

Mrs. M. B. Smith, Uduc, was possibly the first white woman to live at Harvey, but there was a Mrs. Chapman, wife of the hut keeper in the very early days. (Mentioned in Staples’ thesis). Harry Taylor states that old settlers always referred to the building erected by Governor Stirling as “The Hut.”

Mrs. Meredith thinks Mrs. Ogden was the woman who brought the first mail from Perth to Bunbury on horseback before the government coach was run. Mr. Ogden was the first mail contractor and later employed a man to deliver mail to Brunswick in a spring cart. Mrs. Meredith remembers that one day this man had too much to drink and capsized the cart near Riverdale, Brunswick. Her father brought him home to clean up and gave him hot drinks to sober him up. This was on a special trip to bring a woman from Perth, who had just arrived from England to see her dying brother in Bunbury. He died before she arrived.

Horses were changed at Marriott’s Riverdale (now Marsden’s); Logue’s North Harvey and Fouracres, near Waroona.

There was a big cricket match between the North and South at Cookernup in January 1897. Her three boys sat on top of a black boy all day to see the match. Some of the McLarty’s [sic] played for the North. In later years the Marriotts and Merediths made a cricket team on their own.

Mrs. Meredith remembers concerts in the old Mission Hall, Harvey, and Dorothy Myatt (nee Clifton), and her sister singing.

Church of England – Rev. Withers was the first minister to come to Brunswick. He lived in Brunswick. Rev. Devlin was the first Rector in Harvey and Rev. Scott Clarke visited Yarloop.

Rev. Jackson built the present church at Yarloop single handed. At the church’s consecration, Rev. Jackson collapsed and died in the arms of Mr. John Pollard.

[This is incorrect. West Australian, 30 November 1909, p. 3 – ‘On the 14th inst. the new church was dedicated, and the new rectory blessed, at Yarloop, by the Bishop of Bunbury. Both works have been carried out by Mr. Thomas Jackson, stipendiary reader in charge, with the willing and valuable help of members of the committee and congregation.’

Rev. Jackson died of heart failure on 20 November 1910.

West Australian, 22 November 1910, p. 5 – ‘The Bishop of Bunbury (the Right Rev. F. Goldsmith) was taking the morning service in All Saints’ Church of England at Yarloop, and the Rev. Thomas Jackson, the minister in charge of the parish, carried the Bishop’s staff into the church. After depositing the staff in its place he moved to his seat and dropped down. When examined life was found to be extinct. The service was immediately abandoned.’ Ed.]


The first mail from Perth to Bunbury was carried by a woman on horseback (see Mrs. Meredith), then by Government coach. One of the very early drivers was Johnny McKernon. Then the mail contract was taken over by Edward McLarty, the father of Sir Ross McLarty. The mail came from Perth to Pinjarra at “Blythewood” then it divided just south of Pinjarra.

The mail came from Bunbury on the top road on Monday and back to Bunbury by the old Coast Road on Tuesday and the same on Thursday and Friday. A change of horse was kept at the house of Joseph Logue, North Harvey. The horses were in charge of a young man, Dick Wells, who used to take them to the road and bring the tired horses back.

In 1890, Henry Sutton, of Mandurah prop, paid a deposit of 600 acres, known as Jardup, to E. M. Clarke, who went to live at Bunbury. W. J. Sutton bought and farmed the property until 1913, increasing the area to 1527 acres.

Governor Stirling owned the Harvey Estate and Thompson Logue leased it for some years until it was bought by Dr. Harvey and Messrs. Young and Gibbs in 1893. Mr. Buckby was their first manager. He died at the Old Homestead about June, 1894. Mr. Buckby and young nephew, Richie Palmer, then moved to Dardanup. I believe the Palmer family is still there.

Early burials were held at Australind and Pinjarra.


Published 5 August 1955 – Coal

Arthur Perren, one of the original members of the Brunswick Road Board is credited with being the first man to discover coal near Collie. Evidence presented to a Government Select Committee, and from letters written by the late A. F. Clifton, the following is gathered.

Perren found two pieces of coal in the bank of the Collie River about 1880. Not owning the land on which he was running sheep, he hid the coal. This was later found by his shepherd, George Marsh. When Marsh reported this to Perren he was sworn to secrecy, but later Arthur Perren was very ill and thought he was going to die. He sent for his brother, Jesse, who lived at Long Swamp, Harvey, and told him that he had found coal on the Collie River, but he must not tell anyone unless Arthur died.

In September, 1889, Jesse Perren saw some bags of coal on the Bunbury wharf and said, “I know where there is plenty of that stuff.” Hearing this remark later from a friend, D. A. Hay, of Bunbury, thought that Jesse had coal on his farm at Long Swamp and drove out to see him. All he got from him was that his brother, Arthur, had found coal on his sheep run on the Collie River and tried to make Arthur believe that Jesse had told him all about the find. Arthur refused to give Hay much information until he had made an arrangement under which he would share any profits equally after Hay had developed the find.

In 1887 the Government had offered a reward of £1,000 to the person discovering a payable coalfield. A. Perren and D. A. Hay both claimed the reward. Perren’s claim was supported by Messrs. Reading, C. Rose, E. M. Clarke, T. Hayward, and others.

The Government paid Arthur Perren and D. A. Hay £100 each and later a committee recommended that Perren should be paid a further £600 and Hay £200. This recommendation was not acted on. A Select Committee was then appointed and after hearing lengthy evidence reported on November 20, 1900, that it was convinced that Perren was the actual discoverer. It recommended that £400 be paid to him and £400 be paid to Hay’s representatives. Finally, the Government paid Perren £400 and paid £400 to Mrs. Kate Hay, widow of D. A. Hay.

After coal had been found in big quantities in Collie, the Government had one ton carted to Bunbury. Sir John Forrest then decided to have 1,000 tons raised and taken to Roelands to be railed to Perth. Atkins and Law carted the coal under contract in two trips a week.

To make sure the Government would pass a Bill for a railway to Collie it was arranged for most of the members of both Houses of Parliament to go to Collie by road to inspect the mine. The party went to Bunbury by train and on the following morning, March 30, 1895, a special train took them to Roelands. There a breakfast was prepared under the supervision of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Rose. It consisted of turkeys, fowls and joints. In 25 buggies and other vehicles the party set off before dawn, reaching the coalfield safely after a rough ride over bad roads.

The mine was inspected and all sat down to a sumptuous repast under big bough shelters. This was followed by speeches from Sir John Forrest, Hon. H. W. Venn, and others. Algy Clifton drove one of the vehicles which carried George Leake, M.L.A., and Charles Harper M.L.A.

The Bill for the Collie line was passed and the line was constructed by Atkins and Law. It was opened on July 1, 1898.

Benger Swamp

Benger Swamp is probably the most fertile of any land in the State and was originally part of 100,000 acres granted to Col. Latour, about 1829. Several years later this land was bought by the West Australian Land Company and the swamp was part of the land owned by the company when the Australind settlement was started in 1840-41.

It was held for several years by Leake and Harper, a firm of solicitors, and then sold to Dr. Hope. J. P. Wellard settled on land adjoining the swamp and a few years later he bought it for about 2/6 an acre. J. P. Wellard and A. R. Richardson sub-divided about two thirds of the swamp at its southern end as the Condarina Estate and sold blocks at an average of about £10 an acre. Richardson was an executor of Wellard’s estate, and was also his brother-in-law.

What was known as Mitchell’s, north of the road that intersects the swamp from east to west, was sub-divided by James Mitchell (later Sir James), at a later date. There was a big iron shed on the north-west corner that was always known as Mitchell’s shed.

A. F. Clifton has said that the swamp was on the market for 40 or 50 years at 2/- an acre, and was eventually sold for 1/6 or 1/9 an acre. Before 1944 it had produced about £40 worth of potatoes per acre for nearly 30 years. Since 1944, the money return from this wonderful piece of land has been much greater.

Mr. Tom Offer recalls that there were only three families in Benger when he was born there about 1875. All were living on high land near the swamp. They were Tom Marriott, snr, and his brother-in-law, John Lyons, who both came to West Australia in the Diadem in 1842; and Tom Offer’s father, Henry Offer. Before Wellard bought the swamp it was offered to Henry Offer who refused even an offer of 6d an acre, because he said he had enough land.

About 1910, Wellard asked Tom Offer to see if it was possible to grow potatoes in the swamp. He tried successfully and his family have grown potatoes in the swamp since then. Wellard was so pleased with Tom Offer’s help in developing the swamp that he offered him a chance of buying a large portion at a reasonable price.

Before the railway was opened in Harvey, the nearest farm west of the line was the old Uduc Homestead, Tom Offer cleared and formed the first road from Uduc into Harvey. The large red gums were cut off at ground level and the road formed over them. Jack Delaney cleared the Uduc Road from the main road to the east side of the railway about the same time.

Some years ago, A. F. Clifton inquired about the origin of the name Benger. Tom Offer says that long before that there was a railway siding there, known as Mornington, and named after the Mornington Creek. The native name was Ben Gar. Different natives had their own way of pronouncing the name, but the present spelling is as near as possible to the original native name. (Note: After Tom Offer had formed the Uduc Road, evidently for the old Wellington Road Board, the Brunswick Road Board took over the district in 1895, and Joseph Perren’s tender for gravelling part of Uduc Road for £1/8/6 per chain was accepted).

In those early days, the soil in Benger Swamp was so good that the only manure used was Florida superphosphate which then cost about £5 a ton. In later years potato manure was used at the rate of one ton to the acre in place of the original dressing of one bag of manure to one bag of seed – about 10 or 12 cwt. to the acre.

Before Delaware potatoes were brought to the district by a local storekeeper (Fiskin), many varieties were tried with varying success. They included Factor, King Edward, Mannister, Manhattan and a very large ugly potato called the Elephant. Yellow-tails, sometimes grown in the Benger Swamp in the early days, were nice to eat. There was one exception when Alf Stanford had one of the best crops grown in the swamp from Yellow-tail seed. The seed was supposed to have “run out” and were not satisfactory.

It has been said that today’s popular potato, the Delaware, is not a Delaware because the importer got the seed labels mixed.


Published 12 August 1955

The History of Harvey shows how the area prospered in the early days from its beginnings in 1829 until 1896. Progress was slow but unchecked during the period. It was not until 1898, and again in the period 1912 – 1916 that the district suffered really serious set backs, but details of these and the manner in which they were overcome will be published later.

In 1829 Governor Stirling selected this area of 12,800 acres, hills and flats combined. He built a slab hut on the property, as a hunting lodge, alongside the Harvey River, and this was the full extent of his improvements.

Later on, from 1870 until 1884, the property was leased to J. Thompson Logue, one of the very early settlers, who built the brick cellar, from sun baked bricks made on the property and planted the old trees now to be seen there. The homestead was destroyed by fire years ago.

In 1878 on board the SS Oaklands, Dr. W. T. Hayward landed in South Australia and commenced practice at Riverton.

In 1881 on board the SS Hesperus a party of four people joined up on the voyage to Australia. They were Dr. H. F. Harvey bound for W.A.; Mr. H. Gibbs and Mr. John Richard Young, bound for South Australia.

The Gibbs Bros. took up land at Franklin Harbour and Mr. Young, who was wealthy, also took up land.

Dr. Harvey, who was on his way to W.A., was delayed in Adelaide on account of a serious illness to Mrs. Harvey. She was not allowed to travel for six months so Dr. Harvey looked around for work. At this time Dr. Hayward was anxious to visit England, but could find no one to carry on his practice and as doctors were few and far between in those days, he had to leave matters in his agent’s hands.

As Dr. Harvey was looking for a job he was quickly snapped up and so he went to Riverton, not knowing the man whose practice he was taking over. On arrival at Riverton, looking over some old albums of Dr. Hayward’s, he came across photos of many people he knew in England and discovered that the man whose business he was conducting was a fellow graduate of his in England, and thus was an acquaintance renewed and ripened for 50 years. On Dr. Hayward’s return, Dr. Harvey started practice in Auburn close by.

A Failure

Meanwhile the Gibbs Brothers and Young’s land venture had proved a failure and they came to Auburn and decided to form a partnership of Harvey, Young and Gibbs, with HYG as their brand and start trading in W.A. This partnership started on July 3, 1883. The Gibbs brothers went to W.A., bought the Harvey River Station of 12,800 acres from Governor Stirling’s agents and 20,000 acres of grazing lease at Collie from Marshall Waller Clifton.

The Harvey River Station was bought for 10/- per acre, a mortgage being taken over from Major Alfrey in England. The property was being leased at the time by Mr. Thompson Logue and the firm had to pay him very heavily for his improvements; house and sheds, etc. Too heavily, in fact, under the circumstances.

Early in 1885 the Gibbs brothers took up residence at Harvey at the Old Homestead. Herbert Gibbs was already married and his wife and children, May and Ivan, remained temporarily in South Australia. Herbert Gibbs, with native help, and being a very proficient bush carpenter, set about building a house for George Gibbs, who had gone to Adelaide to marry Miss Holden.

This homestead, so long the residence of Harvey Estate managers, was built. All the timber for the house was cut on the property by “pit sawing,” a very fine performance for amateurs.

The Gibbs Brothers managed the property until 1887 when they went to Fremantle. Mr. Len Gibbs, of Wokalup (now deceased), was born in this house, now the property of Mr. Colin and Len Knight, grandchildren of the original Mr. George Gibbs.

Dr. Harvey then came from South Australia about 1890 and took over the management of the estate. In the meantime, Mr. Young sold his interest in the estate to Dr. Hayward and in July, 1886, the firm became known as Harvey, Hayward and Gibbs.

Dr. Hayward paid £1,750 for Mr. Young’s share.

No Fences

Mr. Herbert Gibbs had been shepherding the sheep in Collie in 1884 and writing to Dr. Hayward from there says how disgusted they were that their Christmas goods had not arrived and being 35 miles away from the Perth–Bunbury Road, they could not go to Brunswick to get them as they could not leave the sheep, having no fences and the niggers[4] likely to clear out if he left. He says, “Soon we will be in Harvey with a post office on the estate.”

The post office was situated on the corner of Mr. London’s property opposite the sawmill. The old acacia trees mark the spot. This old slab and shingle roofed building was also the stable for change of horses for the Perth-Bunbury mail coach. Old residents will remember guard Mick White, of the Bunbury train, who was one of the coach drivers.

In 1886, Mr. Herbert Gibbs writes, “You will be pleased to hear that the survey for the South- West railway has begun at the Bunbury end.” The line was not constructed until 1893.

Dr. Harvey managed the estate until 1892, when he secured the services of Mr. Buckby who had been managing a property at Dardanup for the Hon. Frank Venn. He managed the estate until 1896.


Published 19 August 1955

This instalment of the history of the Harvey district continues the theme of the steady expansion over the years. However, in this instalment the author refers to two serious setbacks – in 1898 and again in the 1912 – 1916 period, which were only overcome by a commendable civic pride.

In 1895, Mr. William Bede Christie, a surveyor and organiser and lecturer from Mildura, on the Murray River, came to Harvey and saw big possibilities of cutting up land for a fruit settlement on lines similar to Mildura. He set about doing this for the firm and was appointed general manager of the Korijekup Fruit Settlement in 1896. In 1896, Mr. Buckby died and Mr. W. E. Ash, a lecturer on agriculture from Ontario, Canada, who had been lecturing for the Government, took over the management of the station. Mr. Ash was manager from 1896 – 1901.

During this period Mr. Bede Christie had been selling land to settlers from Victoria and elsewhere, some of whom he knew of in Mildura. Among these was Mr. Isaac Lowe, who came over in December, 1897, and took on cultivating land for absentee settlers before selecting land himself.

Mr. Christie, who was a relative by marriage to Mr. Murray, selected Lot 1, between First and Second Streets (now Hayward and Young Street), and Mr. Murray built a house there known for some years as “Riverton,” which was later bought by Mr. R. O. Hayward, and is now owned by Mrs. B. Italiano.

During 1897 to 1899 it was found by Mr. Ash that Mr. Christie’s sales were not giving settlers confidence and they thought they would not get their titles. Disagreement between the firm Christie and Ash took place resulting in the retirement of Christie and the instalment of Mr. Ash as general manager of both the estate and the station. Mr. Christie sued Harvey and Hayward for £27,000, loss of commission and expected commission, and after a very protracted court case was awarded £1,050.

In Low Water

The firm then being in very low water, Dr. Harvey sold the estate to the W.A. Land Co., who did not complete, but Dr. Harvey, who was no business man, then started to sell land again and was promptly sued by the land company for breach of contract, which he had not thought to have cancelled. This cost another £1,000.

The Gibbs Brothers could not stand any more and so Dr. Hayward had to find this money and take over their share, so in 1900 the firm became known as Harvey and Hayward and started afresh with Mr. Ash as general manager, but not a very satisfactory one, and he resigned in 1901. Mr. McClure, of Felton, Grimwade and Bickford, was made attorney for Dr. Hayward and the firm, and from then on confidence returned and sales of fruit land increased rapidly.

In 1902 Mr. R. Christison from Clare, South Australia, who had proposed leasing the station, was made manager of the whole estate and carried on until 1907, when he resigned and took over property from the Harvey and Hayward estate of 300 acres (now owned by Mr. A. L. Johnson), in partnership with Mr. Jack Newell. This property was later bought by Mr. Teasdale Smith and sold to Mr. Johnson. Mr. Christison went farming at Tammin and died in 1951, at South Perth.

In 1907 the management passed to Mr. R. O. Hayward, a son of Dr. Hayward, who also took over Christie’s property, Korijekup No 1. Hayward managed the estate until it was sold to the Government, and it was taken over by them in 1913. From 1907, the management of absentee owners’ land was looked after by Mr. F. J. Becher on behalf of the firm of Harvey and Hayward. Mr. Becher later took over the management himself and later sold out to Mr. Jack Lowe.


From 1910 onwards it was obvious that as the orange trees came into full bearing they must need irrigation, and many meetings with the Government took place urging them to erect a weir on the Harvey River and provide water. Although sympathetic, the Government never came up with anything definite.

Messrs. Becher and Hayward, in discussing the reason why, came to the conclusion that until the Government owned the balance of the irrigable land they would not see any private firm reap the benefit, and it was resolved to try and persuade the firm to sell to the Government. This, although appearing simple, was extremely difficult and for three years negotiations went on. The terms offered by the Government meant a very heavy financial loss to Harvey and Hayward, who at that time, were in a very low and struggling state. However, it was at last agreed to and a great deal of credit must be given to a firm which put the interest of the district before themselves and lost heavily by doing so. Even after the sale had been agreed to, at the eleventh hour, a Government proposal from the Solicitor General, that the firm forego the sale and sue for breach of contract, was only met by foregoing 18 months’ interest. Because of elections and uneasy feelings in Europe, the future looked uncertain. However, things were finalised and a start made on the weir in 1914. There are very few alive now who took part in these negotiations, who know how perilous a time was met with, before Harvey received the benefit of irrigation, and few know how much Harvey owes to the civic spirit shown by Harvey and Hayward, fatal to one.

The building of the weir proceeded spasmodically and a first watering, a courtesy one, was given in November, 1916. The distributing channels at that time were unlined and so seepage was a very big item.

The actual official opening of the Harvey irrigation works took place on June 21, 1916, and was performed by the then Governor, Sir Henry Barron.

Citrus Planting

During Mr. Christison’s years of management and when citrus planting was again in full swing, with much land being cleared and planted before it was drained, a comprehensive Government drainage scheme was started and the big Harvey drain started from Government Road was built. It collected all the water from the Harvey River, which practically stopped at Government Road, and overflowed thousands of acres. This water was collected and diverted into the Mandurah estuary. It was where the river practically ended at Tenth Street that the crossing known as Stirling’s Ford was located. The big drain, when completed at Government Road, was easily crossed in a sulky, but would take some doing now.

The drainage system at Harvey made it possible to proceed with irrigation, as the two go together.

Early Trade

The clearing in Harvey was immense and prices for clearing ranged from £15 to £28 with the wages at 7/- and 8/- per day. No explosives were used and it was all hand and horsepower and very hard work.

The first milkman to deliver was Mr. W. R. Clifton.

The first store was “The Busy Bee,” owned by Mr. John Knowles.

The first butcher was Mr. Henry. (Incidentally, the first sausage was made in Harvey on May 8, 1903 by Mr. Henry and delivered to the hotel to Mr. Alec Smith, licensee, brother of well- known Mr. Aubrey Smith).

Practically all produce sent to Perth was carted to the station on sledges or wheelbarrows. Meat was delivered by sledges or horseback. Mr. Bill Firkin [sic Fiskin], of HRV Store, was the first baker. Mr. Brown, Hayward Street, was the first blacksmith.


Published 26 August 1955

When the South West railway was constructed it brought a new influx of settlers to Harvey. Some of them first met on the banks of the Swan River near Perth, where they camped after coming to this State from the Eastern States. Several of them worked for many years on contract clearing or road building after the completion of the railway.

Some of them took up land on the south-west side of the Harvey Estate. What was then the Harvey Road or Lane, was the connecting link with Harvey for many of them. It is now known as Government Road, probably because the land west of it was the nearest Crown land to Harvey. Settlers in the area included N. B. Murray and his sons, James and Thomas; W. Snudden and family; the Sheehans, Livingstones, Chapmans, Pidgeon (noted for his brumby catching) and Don Rudd. Later they were joined by the Rees brothers and Edward Sharp.

In 1894, Monty Wickham took up land near Cookernup, which is still farmed by his son, Charles Wickham. Monty Wickham was a member of the Road Board and one of the leaders in public life at Cookernup. His son is also a member of the Road Board.

John E. Knowles, jnr, who was working in a Perth office first visited his parents at Harvey by riding a bicycle from the city in 1893. This was no mean feat on the roads of 60 years ago. As there was no room at his parents’ home, Fairlawn, he spent the night at the Old Homestead. Three years later he took up 90 acres of land between Sixth and Eighth Streets and planted cherries, apricots and oranges. He grew summer potatoes between the rows of trees and irrigated with water pumped from the Harvey River with a large oil engine. This method of irrigation was adopted by other settlers on the riverbanks. For some time he lived with his parents at “The Busy Bee,” and remembers seeing brumbies being rounded up south of where Uduc Road is today.

John Knowles, jnr, has a family Bible with the names of his male ancestors in a continual line all with the christian name of John, from 1777.

Arthur Logue was an expert at catching horses and would take them to the ship to be sent overseas. The horses were loaded at the old wharf near the Fremantle fishmarkets jetty. Two other expert horse catchers were Charlie Adams and Pidgeon. Many of the early settlers caught the brumbies for their own use.

The year 1895 was probably the most significant in the history of Harvey, because it was then that Drs. Hayward and Harvey sub-divided 5,000 acres of their land and put Harvey, nee Korijekup, on the map. In this year Joseph Manning was at Myalup, which is still owned by his grandson. W. J. Sutton was elected to the Brunswick Road Board that year and later Ernest J. Manning, a son of Joseph Manning, was a Board member for about 36 years.

Another well-known man in Harvey at that time was George Burrows, who was shepherd to the Harvey Estate for many years. Later he farmed on the Wokalup River banks and when he retired, lived with his wife in a cottage on the property of R. A. Johnson, near Harvey.

Settlers who came to Harvey at this period were:

O. C. Rath, who took up land in Fifth Street in February, 1896; A Mr. Docton, who took up No. 10 block on the corner of Young Street and the Avenue; G. P. Charman, who bought block Nos. 11 and 13 in Third Street; a Mr. Halor, who took a block on the Harvey River near Fourth Street (he sold this to Isaac Lowe in 1898); Harry Legg, who took up a block opposite Charman in Third Street, which was later sold to J. Handley; Arch Jenkins, Fourth Street, was later joined by his brother, Arthur and Albert Fentiman.

A Mr. Murray (father of Alex Murray, of Perth, well-known by all potato growers) lived on block No. 1, where “Riverton” was built. Bede Christie made this his headquarters. When R. O. Hayward took charge of the Harvey Estate, he came to Riverton and was there for many years.

Drs. Hayward and Harvey and many other medicos down the years have done much for the district. Dr. Hayward gave everything that he had to make his dream for prosperous settlement come true. He put a lot of money into Harvey, but did not live long enough to reap the rewards which should have been his. In a smaller degree this applies to others who pioneered the district, but they have left a monument to their memory in a wonderful district.

The Korijekup fruit growers, many of whom had experience of deciduous fruit in other States and England, had a very hard time. Isaac Lowe and his family, (including Jack Lowe) and Frank Becher, came from Mildura. Lowe budded a large number of apricot trees he had brought with him and planted them in Fourth Street. For many years they were cultivated and pruned at great expense, but refused to bear a payable crop. He decided that for some unknown reason they were unsuited to Harvey conditions, and he considered pulling them out to make room for something more profitable. To save expense he did not prune them, and was surprised when they produced a bumper crop. Since then these trees have continued to bear until the present time.

It was found that when the orange trees reached a certain age they needed water in the summer to make them profitable. The few orchardists on the Harvey River were the first to discover this and for some years pumped water from the river. Statements made by experts earlier were proved wrong and it was also found to be a fallacy that oranges would grow on poor land.

Frank Becher and Jack Lowe took a leading part in getting irrigation for Harvey, and were ably assisted by Roy Hayward, Roy Eckersley, Ken Gibsone and others.

Jacob Hawter, who had nurseries in other parts of the State, established one at Harvey. A large number of orchards were planted by resident owners and they also contracted to clear land and plant trees for doctors and professional men who were keenly interested in the new settlement These included Dr. D. Williams, at that time practising at Bunbury, with a Mr. Hughes as his first manager. He was followed by Drs. Dermer and Kennedy. E. W. Dermer, a dentist from Melbourne, took up land at Harvey when he was in practice at Bunbury, and Harry Pimlott managed his orchard for many years. Dr. Harvey, one of the partners in the estate, is believed to have had the biggest orchard in Harvey. It was 70 acres, between Government Road and Ninth Street. His nephew managed the place for some years until L. Pearson (now farming at Benger) took over.

Other old identities were F. Myatt with his sons and daughter, with Guy and Iris Gibney. The First World War took a heavy toll from this well-known family circle. Tom Myatt remained in Harvey for many years and was a leading figure in a number of public bodies.

Charles Stanford is probably the veteran of the early orange growers, and his orchard is still being managed by a son.

Fred Byrd, another early orchardist, has been in Harvey for nearly 50 years. He came from the Evesham Valley, a famous English fruit growing district. Soon after he arrived in this State in 1906, he was passing through Harvey on his way to Donnybrook by train. He was so impressed with orange trees he saw growing near the Harvey River that he got off the train, and has been in Harvey ever since. He has realised his ambition and now owns an orange orchard on the banks of the Harvey River.

Teasdale Smith was partner in the construction firm of Smith and Timms in the early days. He was also associated with Millar Brothers, in the timber industry. His orchard between the river and the railway has always been a good advertisement for Harvey oranges. His manager was R. A. Johnson, and later he took over the orchard, which is now owned by his son, A. L. Johnson. Other orchards planted on the riverbanks and some on what was known as the Brook, are still flourishing. Most of the trees planted in shallow soil became unprofitable and were grubbed out when Harvey turned to dairying shortly after the establishment of irrigation. About 40 years ago oranges grew from near the bowling green, along Young Street, and up the Avenue to Government Road, and were a wonderful sight.

Some of the orchardists on this three miles of road were T. Pinner, G. Gibbs, Miss B. Lambert, J. Handley, B. Woodward, D. Campbell, G. Horrocks, A. Upham, G. Clayton, F. J. Becher, Miss Main, Mrs. R. Forrest and Dr. Williams. G. Charman had an orchard of plums, apricots and other soft fruits. The only orange trees left there today are on the corner of Fourth Street, on what was originally Dr. Williams’ property, and a few near the end of the Avenue.

Many different fruits have been grown in Harvey during its existence. Those first known were oranges at the Old Homestead. In 1896, G. Charman planted oranges on a block now owned by J. Bacich, where young trees were recently planted. Charman imported strawberry plants and cherry trees from Nobelious’ nursery in Victoria. Cherries were grown by J. Knowles and A. Upham, but did not thrive because the climate was not cold enough.

Charman records in his diary of having sent strawberries to Perth and of planting loquat trees in 1900, in Third Street. These trees are still bearing. Banana plants were brought from John Dunn, of Australind, and many different varieties of oranges have been grown by orchardists during the years. They include jaffas, joppas, Parramatta and marmasassa sweet, a special marmalade orange. The latter were grown by G. Horrocks, who always took prizes with them. Other citrus varieties grown were poor man oranges, sevilles, pomelo, grapefruit and Mediterranean sweets. Most have disappeared, leaving Washington navals and late Valencias as the favourites.

Australian navels were a failure and Thompson’s improved was never very popular. Mandarins were grown with varying success. Emperor, Beauty of Glen Retreat and Futrill, yielded the best, but O. C. Rath’s “thornies” were the nicest in flavour to Spanish tangerines which were so popular in England years ago.


Published 2 September 1955

In this instalment of the history of the Harvey district, contributed by George Clarke, of Bunbury, the writer recalls the ill-fated Australind scheme. He recalls the activities of an early pioneer, William Reading, who although not greatly successful as a farmer played a major role in local affairs.

Born at Rugby, England, where he was educated, William Reading arrived in the colony in the early seventies. He decided to be a farmer and became interested in a large acreage farmed by one James Cundle. This holding was on the north of Wellington Location 1, the area taken over by the Australind settlement scheme in 1841. The rich peaty swamps and large extent of moist flats on the holding convinced Reading that there he could dairy, grow root crops and graze, and although the market for such commodities was limited, the variety of soils and the temperate climate would enable him to grow practically all his needs.

A great deal has been written about the Australind scheme, its setbacks, the soils on its holding and its early abandonment. While condemnation was mainly responsible for the company’s troubles, the fact that today the area is one of the richest and most productive in the State confirms the promoters’ optimism. The major blame for the failure can be attributed to those who condemned the soil and influenced settlers to demand a return of their money or the cancellation of the migration arrangements. Those who retained their faith were only a percentage of the original shareholders, but they determined to carry on with the diminished capital of the company and the half-hearted support of the directors. With the two latter handicaps it is small wonder that within three years of its launching, the company went into liquidation leaving the settlers to fend for themselves.

Claim Jumping

With the brief introduction of the scheme it can be explained how large areas of the company’s land became the property of many early settlers. Cundle, like many others, occupied an area, which when surveyed, was much larger than he thought. For the capital subscribed by each shareholder and dependent on that amount, he was entitled to one or more of the 100 acre allotments into which the location had been subdivided. As a result of the liquidation these shareholders held documentary proof of areas of land in an unknown colony, which they had never seen, and of its agricultural worth they knew nothing. Naturally, they considered the document valueless, the unfenced land as being a liability rather than an asset.

To further depreciate the value, the liquidators decided to sell all the unalienated allotments at 2/- per acre. Many of the allotments so offered adjoined land owned by the English shareholders and many of the latter separated the other holdings when sold. The survey pegs were difficult to find and it was cheaper to build one fence around a whole area, including an unbought block, particularly as there was no-one to represent the English absentee owner. As no protests were made, within a few years the acreage so “jumped” would be considered by the community as the property of the fencer. To legalise the ownership, the settlers after 12 years’ occupation could, after correct survey, apply for a registered Title of the land.

One example quoted is that of an original settler who left his two sons equal shares in a property known as “the 500 acre block.” One son later had half of the block surveyed and secured his title. Later he bought his brother’s block, a further 250 acres as he thought. When the necessary survey was made it was found that there were 682 acres to deal with. It might be added that there was no difficulty in obtaining the registered Title for the larger area.

With an intimate knowledge of Wellington Location 1, the writer knew of many similar cases and often assisted the early settlers’ dependants in getting their needs. Now, practically the whole area has been accurately surveyed and the descendants are registered owners with indisputable claim to their lands.

Sound Advice

For more than half a century, William Reading occupied his northern holding, “Runnymede.” He married the daughter of Benjamin Piggott, a neighbour farming “Springhill.” At Runnymede, Reading reared a family and took a ‘keen interest in public affairs.’ By his death the South West lost one of its strongest advocates for coastal development. In 1892, when the Perth–Bunbury railway was under consideration, Reading strongly supported the mid-way route, which would have brought the railway between the present highway and the coast. He pointed out that this route would serve both areas and remove the isolation from which the coastal farmers suffered. When group settlements played an important part in the State’s development, he again advocated the coastal areas north of Bunbury as being suitable for group farms. A change of Government and a shortage of loan funds were responsible for a rejection of this sound advice.

In his many public activities, possibly the assistance given by William Reading to the Harvey Road Board was most appreciated. His many years as a member and chairman proved what the ratepayers of the district thought of him. He rarely missed a meeting despite the 20 mile ride from Runnymede and back, and his intimate knowledge of the district, combined with a practical knowledge of road board work, made his association of special value. To the local agricultural societies and kindred organisations, he gave strong support and was not afraid to express his views in the local and metropolitan Press. As a young man he tutored the children of the late Robert H. Rose at Parkfield, which meant a 12 mile ride daily, and as the neighbours began to take advantage of the education available, a school room was built, which also served as a community church.

As a farming venture the owner of Runnymede had to contend with isolation, lack of transport and low prices. Frosts, flooding and scab were the enemies of the potato grower and most promising crops would be affected just before harvesting. When the seasons were favourable and the enemies mentioned were not operating, the 16 miles of transport and a maximum of 7 pound per ton left only a minor profit. It was only to be expected that with the handicaps enumerated, Reading allowed his cultivated fields to revert to pasture. Here again, nature, as if determined to kill the owner’s faith, multiplied the wattle growth to a thicket-like denseness and once green pastures became an impenetrable forest.

Envious Eyes

Today envious eyes are turned to the coastal lands for with modern machinery the wattle and bulrush can be eradicated and clovers’ luscious growth take their place. For transport there is the motor vehicle and better roads; breaking down the isolation there is a tri-weekly mail, and the wireless; prices are regulated and adequate returns made certain, while many amenities in the house make living conditions easier and more enjoyable.

The present generation is asked not to measure the past by today’s yardstick, for the early settlers had to contend with innumerable hardships, frustrations and disappointments. They lived in a period when experiments were essential, for there was no common farming practice and when over-production could be reached in a good season. It has been said that a genteel poverty existed among the landholders of the early days. This may be true, but they all had an unbounded faith in the colony’s ultimate prosperity. It was that faith and the settlers’ determination that enables the younger generation to develop the South West as their forefathers visualised.

William Reading played his part in that great pioneering era, and therefore merits admiration and respect.


Published 9 September 1955

This instalment of the history of Harvey deals with the establishment and growth of Harvey’s business area. Mr. Aubrey Smith, who had a long association with Harvey, was one of the town’s early storekeepers.

In October, 1898, Alexander Thomas Smith opened Harvey’s first hotel, which he had built behind the site of the present hotel. It was a single storey wooden building. He also built a store for his brother, Aubrey H. Smith, who was well known in Harvey for many years. He was a Harvey Road Board member and a vice-chairman of the board for a number of years and a leading figure in many public organisations.

Before Aubrey Smith went to the 1914 – 18 war, he sold his business to Alex Gloster, and Alex Smith retired to his orchard on the Harvey River. On his return from the war, Aubrey Smith developed the orchard further.

Buildings Destroyed

The hotel was taken over by a Mr. Newnham, and later a Mrs. Hurley and her family occupied the hotel. Gloster’s store was later sold to Murray Wilson, prominent in the local business world for some years. The original store and a large brick store which replaced it were destroyed by fire.

Harvey’s first blacksmith was Fred Brown, who had his smithy on the bank of the river in Third Street. He also owned an orchard which was sold to W. E. Harper. Brown moved his smithy into Hayward Street, under a big red gum tree close to the site of the present fire station. A Mr. Foley was the next blacksmith, and was followed by Arthur Roesner and William Mincham.

The first baker’s shop, on the corner of Hayward and Gibbs Street, was owned by a Mr. Fiskin. He also did saddlery work and he annoyed a neighbour, Hugh Robinson, with his hammering late at night. Robinson got his revenge by whistling early in the morning. He was an early riser and his whistling annoyed Fiskin greatly.

Butchers and Bakers

The first butcher’s shop was on the opposite side of Gibbs Street, where Bob Alexander later had a saddlery shop on the front verandah. The rest of the house was Harvey’s first Rectory. The second butcher’s shop was near W. J. Sutton’s house in Uduc Road. W. R. Clifton traded there for a time before Jack Grieves built his butcher’s shop on its present site in Uduc Road. Sutton built a baker’s shop on the corner of Uduc Road and Harper Street, where William Davis was a baker for some time. Thomas Pinner, jnr, took over this shop from Davis, and later George Dow conducted his business there for some years. For many years the shop was the headquarters of the Harvey Soccer Club, a strong body in the 1920’s. A brick bakery was built on the present site of the dry cleaning business, by Thomas Graham and later V. Feazey built a bakehouse, also in Uduc Road, followed by B. Sturmer’s bakehouse in Newell Street.

Bob Alexander built his own saddler’s shop on the corner of Gibbs and Becher Streets, later selling out to Edward Jellings. Later, Jellings sold out to Frank Ashton, who now conducts the business in Uduc Road where he built a shop and drapery store, now S. P. and W. F. Palm’s.

Alfred Snell, jnr, and Alfred Paull first started doing motor repairs in Harvey about the same time. Paull’s first shop was in Young Street, and he built a garage in Uduc Road later (now C. Harrison’s). It is uncertain whether Paull or Roy Charman was the first taxi owner in Harvey.

Packing Shed

Shortly before the First World War, Associated Fruitgrowers’ Ltd. built a big fruit packing shed in the railway yards, with a siding at the shed. Frank Becher and a Mr. Ramage, an expert fruit packer, were in charge. Thousands of cases of oranges went through the shed.

About 1918, the Harvey Producers’ Co-op Ltd. was formed, and took over the shed. A few years later the Co-op purchased Harris and Moore’s grocery shop in Uduc Road on land owned by E. G. Roesner. They also bought a block from Roesner and moved the shed on whim wheels to its present site. The work was done by George Granger. In 1925, the Co-op built a larger store next to the original shop. Both shops were burned down in the early 1930’s, when the present brick building was erected.

Hayward’s Ltd., of Bunbury, had an iron produce store about 60 feet back from Uduc Road, before the First World War. Jack Lowe was their manager for some years and when he went to the war, Thomas Myatt and George Horrocks carried on the business. Jack Lowe again managed the store on his return and later bought it from Haywards and built the present store, later selling to Freecorns’ Ltd. He retained the agency business now carried on as Lowe and Pritchard.

Boarding House

When the first Harvey Weir was being built, Harvey had two boarding houses. The first was an old iron house occupied by Hugh Robinson. This was bought by James Shanahan, who built a large house next to it (now Len Taylor’s). The other was the original “The Busy Bee,” which John Knowles, snr, let to Mrs. L Knapp.

Another well-known store was conducted by Frank Driscoll, which he enlarged when he took it over from Fiskin, who went to Cookernup and traded for many years.

E. G. Roesner was a well-known figure 40 years ago. In addition to being a builder he could tune a piano, grow wonderful vegetables and give good advice to his friends. He was affectionately known as “Dad” Roesner. Among the buildings he erected was one run as a cycle and grocery shop on the corner of Uduc and Becher Street, by Ernest Charman (now Squire and Co.).

Joseph J. Johnston was closely associated with Roesner and his sons for years as a coachbuilder. Later, Johnston went into the building trade and sold out to Ken Stanford.

Prominent Resident

Robert Fryer was another well-known figure in the town. He came to Harvey nearly 50 years ago from High Wycombe, noted for its chairs. He brought his own chairs, made of cherry wood and though they only cost 5/- each, they are still good. He worked at Hawter’s Nursery, which was literally the nursery of many Harvey settlers, including Charles and Alfred Stanford, John Hepton, Tom Latch and Charlie Fielder. Robert Fryer was the town’s milkman for a number of years and his sons Douglas and Sidney, had a grocery business for several years where W. J. Martin now trades.

Harvey House in Hayward Street was the first block of brick shops built in the town. They were erected for O. C. Rath, and included a billiard saloon. George Gibbs also had two shops built in Hayward Street, now Jones’ Store and A. Marzo’s tailor’s shop.

Withdrawals Limited

Phillip Ward came to Harvey over 50 years ago from Tasmania. While working for Millar’s he built the original part of R. A. Johnson’s house “Esperanza.” He wanted to buy a building block in Harvey and asked Alex Smith at the hotel if he had a plan of the town site. He wanted Wilson’s corner block but Smith had bought it himself to build a store. Ward selected a block on the other side of Uduc Road, where the Bank of New South Wales now stands, for £35. Because he could not get the necessary £10 deposit from the savings bank, which limited withdrawals to £2, Ward borrowed the money from Smith. He built a four-roomed cottage on the north side of the block, which was burned down when the bank was destroyed by fire in 1937. The bank bought half Ward’s block for £140.

Big Jarrah

Ward built the town’s first store west of the railway line for Alex Smith. Ward also built St. Paul’s Church of England in 1905. He met Dougal Leitch for the first time when Leitch and Jack Grieves were falling the largest jarrah tree in Harvey. The tree yielded 180 fence posts.


Published 16 September 1955

This instalment of our History of Harvey quotes extracts from a diary kept by John Partridge, J.P. The extracts have been made available by permission of W. S. Partridge, of White Rocks. Some interesting facts are recalled by the diary including the occasion when a native speared a white man to death.

John Partridge, was born at King’s Lynn, Norfolk, in 1856. He went to New Zealand, and with 24 horses went to the Kimberley gold rush, where all his horses died. He came to the South West of Western Australia in 1887 and for a time stayed with Waller Clifton at Wokalup. He took up land at White Rocks, near Brunswick Junction, and land for his sister, Mrs. Fry, snr, mother of Stephen Fry of Benger, who came from England to take over the property.

In his diary in 1887, John Partridge records:

Trip in SS Perth to Gascoyne. Called at Geraldton, got stuck on sand between Dirk Hartog Island and mainland. Visited several stations in the north. One of party speared by native, who I arrested for murder. Arrived back in Perth, went to W.A. Bank and saw gold specimens. Saw Pearson and Alex Forrest. Went to Land’s office and Forrests’ office.

April 25 – 1887 – Came down by Bunbury coach to Pinjarra.

April 26 – On Bunbury coach to Hayward’s and had tea with him.

April 28 – By coach to Wokalup. Mrs. at home, Mr. Clifton came back on 29th.

May 15 – Walked to Harvey and drove with Mr. and Mrs. Clifton to Alverstoke.

(Note in pencil under date April 23 evidently written some years later: “Got affidavit of Livingstone’s death and swore it.” This refers to the death of Mervyn Livingstone’s father, who was killed in an accident when the South West Railway was being constructed in the early 1890’s).

John Partridge also relates having driven to Bunbury to dance until 3 a.m.; ploughing with a bullock team before recording on July 22, 1887 that he settled to buy White Rocks paying £200 down. He also records the difficulties associated with travelling by bullock wagon to shop in Bunbury and taking two or three days for the round trip. He built a house of galvanised iron with slabbed ends and bought posts and slabs at 14/- per thousand each. He paid a man £2/10/- and keep per month to work for him. A horse cost him £6. He hunted horses and after rounding them up roped and hobbled a chestnut and a black colt.

He records sowing 10-week potatoes in August, planting four bags and using two bags of guano. Only a moderate crop was dug at the beginning of December because the ground was too hard. When he broke a ploughshare he had to ride into Bunbury to get a new one.

Gervase Clifton

Gervase Clifton recalls that Harvey’s first post office was on the north east corner of Uduc Road and the South Western Highway. It was a slab cottage with a shingle roof and stone chimney. The mailbag for the local settlers was left there in charge of Mrs. William Adams. Stamps could be bought and letters posted. A comparison with a photograph of this old building and a sketch of the proposed new post office now being built shows the progress made in 75 years.

After the railway was built and officially opened on September 8, 1893, the old post office was closed and the mailbag came by train. The train guard left the bag in a small room at the station and the first person to open it would throw the letters in a box and others would sort their own mail. Later, the Postal Department appointed John Knowles as caretaker and he sorted the mail at his home, Fairlawn.

The first official post office, built by the State Government on railway land near the station, was opened by the Bunbury Postmaster, Mr. Woodrow, in 1896. When the present post office was built this building was dismantled and re-erected as a residence at Brunswick Junction.

The original slab building was later used as a store for chaff by a Mr. Thomas. It was destroyed by fire, only the stone chimney being left.

William E. Ash

William E. Ash came to Harvey in October, 1893, from Canada. [Ash came to Australia in 1881 and worked in South Australia before coming to WA – Cyclopedia of Western Australia, p. 419, Ed.] He was instrumental in forming the Harvey Farmers’ Alliance and was connected with a number of developments in early days of the town’s history.

He managed the Harvey–Hayward Estate for a number of years and in his reminiscences recalls growing oats, which grew to a tremendous size near the Old Homestead. There were practically no houses where Harvey now stands. There was an old humpy near where Gibbs Street is now, that was occupied by a nephew of W. Bede Christie, who surveyed the Korijekup Estate. Dr. Harvey, who lived in Harvey until about 1891, did not intend to follow his profession, but was called on to do a lot.

Ash recounts that between the South-Western Highway and Harvey there were only bush tracks, and the present township was part of a big post and rail paddock where cattle were run. One track left the homestead, crossed the railway line at the corner of Roy Hayward’s property and the Harvey River at Austin’s Ford, now Young Street. This track continued north to Cookernup. Another track left Harvey near where the hostel now stands. One branch went to Eckersley’s and another to Miss Robson’s farm. Another branch went to I. Lowe’s and ended at Knowle’s property at Seventh Street. In one part of the track corduroy was laid down and this was often afloat in wet weather.

In October, 1894, Ash put salmon trout and perch into the Harvey River. The river used to dry out in those days because there was no clearing in the hills. In the same year, shearers were delayed in their work because of heavy rain, and filled in time by planting 100 citrus trees which Dr. Harvey had sent from Perth. These were the first trees planted by modern methods and some are still growing. General planting of citrus trees began in earnest in 1896. Apricots were planted the same year.

One unusual incident Ash related was the starting of the flow of the Harvey River on April 19, 1896. Ordinarily the river began to run in May and dried up in January.

Recognition of W. E. Ash’s service to the district was made in 1936 when he was tendered a complimentary dinner in Harvey on his 80th birthday.

Old Homestead

Since the appearance of this “Story of Harvey,” descendants of old pioneers have added to the story of the Old Homestead.

Part of the original building is still standing, but it is not as well preserved as it could be. Some of the wooden blocks laid down as a floor 100 years ago are still there, and a portion of the wattle and daub walls is still standing. The trees which completely shaded the house when it was occupied by George Burrows and his wife over 50 years ago, shown in old photographs, are still standing. The old slab kitchen, a few yards from the north-west side of the house under the weeping willows, has gone.

When Thompson Logue built the second part of the Homestead, he made a large brick cellar underneath. All that remains of this since the main building was burned, is a small hole in the ground.

An old bell, which for many years hung in a big tree in front of the house, is now at the Harvey Junior High School, where it is used daily. The bell was put there by Governor Stirling and for years was used to summon help in the case of fire, accident or illness, and special occasions. It was rung for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, the Relief of Mafeking and the end of the Boer War. It was presented to the school in 1948 by Roy Hayward.


Published 23 September 1955

George Patrick Charman was born in New Zealand in 1864 and as a young man went to Emerald, Victoria, where he worked in Nobelious’ Nursery. Conditions were very bad in Victoria in 1893, so Charman left his wife and son, Roy, and went to Coolgardie, where he nearly died of typhoid fever.

In 1895, Mrs. Charman and her son came by ship to Bunbury and lived in an old house at Leschenault. The family came to Harvey in 1896 and stayed with Sheehan’s on Harvey Road. Charman joined Ark Jenkins, Harry Legg and Arthur Fentiman in contract clearing and orchard planting. He took up land in Third Street and planted oranges on block No 10 on the corner of The Avenue for a Mr. Docton.


According to his diary, he and his partners started a big clearing contract for J. P. Wellard at Benger (then known as Mornington) in August, 1896. He records planting potatoes with his wife at Docton’s and meeting O. C. Rath, George Burrows, George Guppy and Bede Christie. One wet day it was too wet to work so they played cricket instead. The partners also cleared some of Rath’s land.

About this time there was some trouble over the land in the Korijekup Estate, so Charman and Jenkins went to Cookernup to inspect some land. They also interviewed Dr. Harvey and Mr. Leake, who reassured them about Korijekup.

Charman also records helping Sheehan sink a well 34 feet in depth for which they cut slabs. They tried to get waste timber from Yarloop, but could not do so.


From his diary it was evident that Charman had been living in a tent or a bark shack, because he records that “Harry and I started my building. We got blocks from a jarrah tree near the station in April, 1897.” The following week he helped Harry Legg unload timber for his house on the opposite side of Third Street. This was carted with some bricks by Halor. In May, 1897, with Jenkins, Charman carried 200 ft [feet] of flooring boards from the station. The house was finished at the end of May and Charman brought his wife and children to live there. To celebrate the occasion he records that he made another gate, but does not say what the gate was for. He also records unloading timber and bricks at the station for which he paid 10/- per day.

Charman’s diary records everyday happenings of life in those days, such as his wife and children going to a fete in Bunbury (probably Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebration); making a wheelbarrow to cart goods from the station; attending a land sale in Bunbury where he bought Lots 51 and 60 near Cookernup. He also records the death of a young son of Alexander Murray, the doctor arriving from Bunbury too late to save the lad; and helping with the funeral by carrying the coffin to the station. Other items include the buying of pigs and offering to send Jenkins’ vegetables to market on a half-share basis, as he was going to Pinjarra to live.

He records that Sheehan took his children to Mrs. Charlie Crampton’s because his wife had died. (Mrs. Grace Higgins, of Harvey was one of the children).

In those days he bought a plow [sic] for £3/10/-, and recorded a train accident at Harvey. He made many trips to Clarke’s and Colton’s and to other farms where vegetables were grown at Hampden and Long Swamp at the coast. He sold these with his own vegetables to construction workers on the Brunswick Collie railway line, which was then being built.


In 1898, Charman records: “A fire came up towards Jenkins”. Harry and I managed to stop it… Messrs. Lowe, Rath and myself firing to save ourselves.” (Jack Lowe remembers this as a boy. His mother and brother filled every available utensil with water from the river to prevent the fire from burning the house. Luckily, the fire stopped before it reached the house, but it was an experience he will never forget).

One extract in his diary reads: “March 8, 1898 – Got Gimmy the horse from Mr. Lowe. Went to coast. March 9 – Took cart home also Gimmy, paid for him, 3/-.” (Jack Lowe also remembers this big horse that his father bought from Halor).

Names of settlers mentioned in Charman’s diary at the time included Mrs. Smith (Uduc); Birch, Jack Chapman; J. Colton, snr, Joe Colton, Pidgeon (the horse catcher); Fred Perrin [sic Perren], Mrs. and Miss Lowe; Mrs. Livingstone (a Burcham, of Bunbury); J. E. Knowles and Beetson’s [sic].

Among other things he walked on several occasions to the coast to dig potatoes and sent potatoes to Kau and Dohnt at Yarloop. (Dohnt sold fruit on the Yarloop railway station for many years). Charman bought a horse and dray from McLean for £24 and carted Kerrington’s things to the Two-mile Camp. The railway line to Mornington Mills was being built at the time and men were camped along the line. He also took other people’s goods to the mill site.

In September, 1898, Jenkins took his horse to Yarloop to be shod because apparently Fred Brown, the blacksmith, had not then arrived at Harvey.

Active Life

It is also recorded that Charman attended meetings of the Harvey Alliance and other bodies, attended church at homes and the Wesley Hall, hearing the Member, Mr. Venn, speak at a meeting in the hall, and attending a meeting on school matters and going to concerts.

In August, 1899, he recorded collecting £3/14/6 to pay expenses for a deputation to Perth to get a school for Harvey. The deputation consisted of Clifton, Brown, Rath, Ash and Charman. He mentions a ploughing match at Harvey (the second), and going as a member of the Farmers’ Club to see the experimental garden at Hamel. A Mr. Berthold was in charge of Hamel, which was later taken over by the Forests Department.

One entry, November 26, 1899, reads: “I went to hear Bishop Riley” (this would be the first organised Church of England in Harvey. In old records it is shown that services were previously held in private homes).

Records are also made of several families going to the coast for their holidays. In those days they usually took all the family on a dray and the family cow walked behind.

The first Sunday School is recorded in Charman’s diary as being held at Uduc School on April 1, 1900, when there were eight children and three teachers present. Federation Day, July 31, 1900, is also recorded.

“Coming home from the coast I got bogged,” he says. In those days Crampton Road was used to go to the coast and Long Swamp. It was heavy going in the summer in sand and parts were very bad in the winter. Joseph Piggott usually brought two horses to pull his load of vegetables.


Births, deaths, marriages and sicknesses are recorded in the diary, as were houses being burned down and collections being made for those in need.

Strikes are also recorded as July 5, 1901 – “Took turnips to station, but could not sent them as railway men struck work.”

In addition to vegetable growing, the mulching of strawberry plants with blackboy, clearing at £10 an acre, cutting crops going about two tons to the acre and the use of “resin and whale oil” for plant spraying, are mentioned.

In November, 1902, there was great activity in Harvey and it is recorded that Jenkins went to Perth to get labour for clearing. A sports day was held that month which was attended by 300 people. Repairs to a mowing machine by A. Venables is also mentioned and Charman also bought a bicycle for 5/-. He also attended the first citrus show on August 19, 1904.

Blocks cleared and planted by Charman and his partners included those of Drs. Williams, Kennedy and Hassell; R. Christison, B. H. Woodward, C. Leitch, G. Horrocks, A. Falkiner, McClure, E. W. Dermer, R. Drummond, G. Atkins, A. T. Smith, Irvine, F. J. Becher, A. E. Stanford, A. J. Markham and Miss Donnelly.

Between Seasons

Between a football match on October 3 and a cricket match at Mornington on November 28, Charman says on November 27: “Roy and I planting paspalum dilatalum.” He also records Fiskin and Gloster trading in Harvey and paying Alexander (saddler) 4/9; also planting two persimmons (which are still growing) in September, 1905. Another entry says: “Geoff Hayward brought Mr. Goss to look at the horse” and another “Roy, I, Ark and Geoff Hayward went after horses, 3 year olds. Got them very easy.”

George Charman was a very lovable character and a staunch member of the Church of Christ. After selling his original house and land on The Avenue to W. R. Eckersley, he had a second house built in Third Street, which is now occupied by J. Hindmarsh. This was sold and he built another house on the other side of Third Street, which is now occupied by his daughter Mrs. Len Roesner.

He was an active supporter of the Harvey Citrus and Harvey Agricultural Society, a member of the Harvey Road Board, from which he resigned in 1923, and a director of the Harvey Producers’ Co-op.


Published 30 September 1955

One of the earliest industries in the district was lime burning near Lake Preston, where the burning was done by a man named Buswell. The kilns are still in existence. Lime was carted from the kilns to Brunswick and Bunbury by bullock wagon. Little early information of this industry is available.

A short-lived industry in the early days was the manufacture of olive oil by Albert Driscoll at the old Uduc homestead. The trees from which the oil was extracted were planted by M. B. Smith when he first arrived at Uduc.

Edward Sharp, who came to Harvey in 1897, still lives in Harvey. He travelled the district with a portable chaffcutter and engine. He incurred the wrath of some settlers, who claimed his chaffcutter damaged the roads, and reported him to the Road Board, in March, 1897. A wordy warfare ensued between Sharp and the Board, but years later he retrieved his character by loaning horses and drays to the board, free of charge, except for men’s wages. Sharp cut many crops with a binder.

Jim Lowe and company travelled the district at a later period with a chaffcutter. He was killed in the First World War. His namesake, a nephew he never saw, was also lost in the Second World War.

Another link with the past was a portable spraying plant run by a private company in the hey-day of Korijekup. “Dadda” Snell and Jack Handley were members of the company.

Trees were at first fumigated with cyanide under large tents, but later this was changed to spraying, a cheaper method. Fumigation was dangerous work and anyone inhaling the gas became very sick.

English Settlers

English settlers who came to Harvey 40 or 50 years ago and were well known in the district were Mr. and Mrs. Frank New and her brother, a Mr. Main. In addition to being an orchardist, New was a market gardener and took many prizes at the local show.

Robert Hanks from Gloucestershire, took up land in Eighth Street, where he farmed successfully for many years. His son, C. Jack Hanks, still farms the property with additional land. His other son, Robert, farms on Government Road. Hanks was a very fine horseman and when over 70 years old still rode like a young man.

Frank Morris, who came from Shropshire, was another west of England settler. He farmed at “Glentarra” [sic, Glentana] in the hills before going to the First World War in 1914. Later, he took up land on Yambellup Avenue and developed it. The land is now farmed by his son and daughter. Morris was a prominent member of the R S L.

David Robertson came to Harvey before 1914 and after going to the First World War, farmed a property in Ninth Street for a number of years. He also was an active member of the R. S. L. Another Scotsman, Peter MacNeill and his family farmed near Government Road and Uduc for many years. One grand-daughter, Mrs. V. Kealy, still lives in Harvey.

Another Englishman, J. Hindmarsh, farmed in the district for years and was followed by his sons. He vied with George Atkins for the honour of having the largest family in Harvey. For years Atkins conducted a nursery in Ninth Street, later selling out to go to the wheatbelt. Several of his family still live in the district.

Links With History

Charles Rees, born in King’s Cross, London, was a pioneer beekeeper in the district. He worked in Cobb & Co.’s office in Queensland. This company was the pioneer of coaching in the early days of Australia.

Fred Brown, Harvey’s first blacksmith, told his friends that he made the armour which Ned Kelly wore as a protection from police bullets. He probably did not know at the time that he was helping an outlaw.

Tree Planting

The earliest record of tree planting in the district is in May, 1900, when a public meeting was held in Harvey to celebrate the relief of Mafeking during the Boer War. Mrs. Fry, snr, mother of Stephen Fry, of Benger, planted a sugar gum in front of the Harvey railway station. This tree stood for 50 years, but was grubbed out when it started to decay. The trees near the railway house were planted at the same time, but it is not known who planted them. It is not known who planted the tall poplar tree near the Harvey Post Office.

A lot of pine trees were planted around the district about 1910. They were planted on roadsides for breakwind to protect the young orchards. Only a few of these trees are left in 1955. A long row of sugar gums in Fourth Street, opposite Jack Woodier’s farm, were planted by George Charman about 1916. The karri tree near the corner of Third Street was also planted by Charman. The tree was brought from Big Brook, Pemberton, by John Woods as a present for Charman, who was a great tree lover. In 1918 the Road Board supplied trees for planting on roadsides.


The first recorded libraries in the district were at Ferguson’s Mill and Yarloop in the 1890’s. In February, 1904, £2 /2 /6 was collected for a bookcase at Cookernup. Fifty-seven books were bought from the Yarloop Library for £2 and in July, 1904, 77 books were bought from the Ferguson Mill library for £2/10/-.

At this period the Cookernup Library was very active. The subscription was 2/- a quarter with 1/- initiation fee paid in advance. Any member keeping a book for more than 14 days was fined 3d. per week.

In March, 1906, the Korijekup Literary Institute held its first committee meeting in Harvey. Messrs. W. Ash, C. Rees and J. Knowles were original committee members. The library was housed for years in the Drill Hall, where the Road Board held its meetings until the present boardroom and offices were built. The present War Memorial Library opened in 1920. W. Ash was president for some years and the meetings were usually long affairs, with plenty of arguments.


The trading banks have played their part in the progress of the district.

The West Australian Bank opened an agency in Harvey in August, 1909. Wallace Dunn was sent from Perth with a bag of change, which was deposited in a bed for safe keeping on the first night. He slept on top of the bag.

The bank’s first manager was Charles Shenton. Until the bank erected its first building on the present site, business was conducted in a small wooden shop on the opposite side of Uduc Road. The bank amalgamated with the Bank of New South Wales in 1927. The original bank on the corner of Hayward Street and Uduc Road was burned down in November, 1937, when Buckhold’s store next door was also burned. The heat of the fire was so great that the strongroom remained hot for several days. The bank carried on business in Markham’s Buildings until the present building was erected in 1938. Messrs. S. Woolley and C. F. Robinson were managers for long periods.

The National Bank in Harvey was opened in 1929, with George Bartley as manager and Geoff Brotherson as his assistant. (Brotherson was killed several years later in an accident at Katanning). When Bartley left Harvey, Lou Tierney was appointed manager.

Without exception, bank managers and their assistants have done much for the civic life of the district and in all churches and associations in Harvey.


Published 7 October 1955 – Silver Anniversary of Irrigation (By Jack Lowe)

On June 21, 1916, the then Governor of West Australia (Sir Harry Barron) officially opened the first irrigation undertaking in this State. The ceremony was performed at what was then known as the intercepting weir on the Harvey River, which is now known locally as the little weir.

The span of years from that time until today does not seem a very lengthy one. Time has that little habit of slipping away, each day contributing something, until suddenly we blink our eyes to find that a structure has been built and that history has been made.


In this article it is my pleasure and privilege to comply with the wishes of my board that I should undertake the outlining of that development. What I am able to put down here of the things that happened 25 years ago, aided by my own knowledge of these days and by the memories of many others still living, will, in 25 years time, when most of us may have passed on, perhaps have a flavour of antiquity that will be more fully appreciated then than now.

From my own personal knowledge of the subject, and from all research I have made, I cannot escape the conclusion that the establishment of our irrigation schemes – in this State have been the direct result of the much bigger irrigation project initiated by the brothers George and W. B. Chaffey at Mildura, Victoria, and Renmark, South Australia.

Water Into Gold

In 1884 these two remarkable men were literally turning water into gold by irrigating apparently hopeless desert acres in America. Their work then was destined to become an inspiration to the great Victorian statesman, Alfred Deakin, who in 1880, commenced to preach irrigation of the mallee to the Parliament of which he was a youthful member. In 1884, as a Cabinet Minister, Solicitor General and Commissioner for Public Works, he visited America on behalf of his Government to investigate irrigation, and there met the Chaffey brothers. That meeting caused splendid cities to rise from desert sands of his own State, and to cause the gospel of irrigation eventually to percolate to our own State.

From where once wandered a few dying sheep along the banks of the Murray River; there rose the beautiful and prosperous city of Mildura; and there commenced the history of the industry, which through trials and tribulations, grew till it provides a very large portion of the wealth of two States. In her most commendable book, “Water Into Gold,” Ernestine Hill has lately told the fascinating story of Mildura’s rise from poverty and ugliness to riches and beauty, and the story is of particular interest to us for the reason that many men who lived in Mildura in its early days afterwards came to Harvey, and became the apostles of similar irrigation and closer settlement here.

Christie’s Work

Indeed, Harvey itself (which was then called the “Korijekup Estate”) was actually laid out on the same lines as Mildura by W. Bede Christie, surveyor and journalist. Coming from Mildura, Christie was engaged by the Western Australian Bureau of Agriculture to lecture at the various agricultural centres of this State on the methods of fruit culture obtaining at the irrigation colonies of Mildura and Renmark. After listening to one of Christie’s lectures, Dr. Harvey approached him, and an arrangement was made for Christie to survey the Korijekup Estate of 12,800 acres (then owned by Drs. Hayward and Harvey), and to sell the blocks on a commission basis for citrus growing. Although Christie did not interest himself at all in the irrigation of the estate, at least he planned it on the same lines as the first irrigation district to be established.

From Mildura

In 1892, a young man called Frank Becher took up a block in Mildura and was later put in charge of a big fruit-packing shed for J. F. Levien, who had provided a fair share of the finance for Chaffey’s undertaking. During his residence in Mildura, Becher was a friendly but keen football rival of Hugh Oldham, who had surveyed Renmark for the Chaffeys, and who was afterwards appointed engineer for agricultural areas by the West Australian Government, in which capacity he had charge of the first irrigation undertaking in this State.

Becher left Mildura and drifted to the Western Australian goldfields. In 1904 he accepted the management of the Korijekup Estate for Drs. Harvey and Hayward. Then it was that the seeds of the irrigation idea began definitely to germinate in Western Australia.

“Blue Book”

In the meantime other Mildura men had settled on Korijekup. Christie had issued a “blue book” concerning the estate, on the cover of which it was described as having “magnificent soil,” “Thirty seven inches rainfall,” – “permanently flowing river” – “unequalled climate” – “no irrigation” – “picturesque scenery”, etc. Whether the “no irrigation” was intended to be a candid confession of the only disadvantage, or whether he considered it to be a good selling feature, it is not known. Certainly Chaffey brothers and the settlers of Renmark and Mildura had gone through many trials and troubles inevitable in the building up of a big structure, and Christie may have taken advantage of some acute period of trouble to extol the virtues of a “no irrigation” venture.

He circulated his booklet widely and other Mildura men followed him to Harvey. The late Mr. Oscar Rath, and the late Mr. John Newell, both of whom had been nurserymen in Mildura, came to Korijekup in 1895–6. My own father, who had been a contractor for Chaffey Brothers there, arrived here in 1897.

Citrus Growers

Korijekup had been planned and the blocks sold purely as a citrus growing venture. Christie had said that irrigation would be entirely unnecessary, but after orange trees had been planted for 10 years they showed signs of being unable to stand up to summer dryness and irrigation was talked of freely by the settlers. Out of a conversation in the hotel in 1908 between such men as Dr. Williams, Dr. Harvey, Mr. A. J. Smith and Mr. R. O. Hayward, Dr. Williams wrote long letters to the press on the subject and the late Mr. W. Catton Grasby, a leading horticultural journalist from South Australia, then settled in Perth, gave encouragement to the proposal.


Published 14 October 1955 – Silver Anniversary of Irrigation, continued (By Jack Lowe)

Last week’s instalment of the history of Harvey commenced an article by Jack Lowe, chairman of the Harvey Road Board and member of the Irrigation Committee, who referred to the Silver Anniversary of Irrigation. He continues this week with the period from the early 1900’s.

The community affairs of the estate were all handled by the local citrus society of which Mr. Frank Becher was chairman from 1904 to 1911; Mr. K. Gibsone for 1912; Mr. R. O. Hayward for four years, up to 1916; and the late Mr. Jack Grieves from March, 1916, covering the opening of the first weir in June of that year, until he died. As the secretary of the society from its inception until 1915, Mr. Ken Gibsone worked zealously for the fruition of the scheme to be followed by Mr. Tom Myatt, who also acted as secretary of the society during the years that irrigation was in its earliest stages in the State. Other members who interested themselves particularly in the irrigation project were Messrs. A. Jenkins, Dr. Williams, L. Prince, G. P. Charman and G. Horrocks.

In 1910 the president of the society, Mr. Becher, was delegated to attend a conference of citrus growers in Melbourne and on the voyage found himself a fellow passenger with Sir James Mitchell, then Minister for Lands. In these days of express trains and aeroplanes, a traveller is lucky to find time more than to say “Good day,” to his fellow passengers, but in those days slower travel meant greater opportunities for profitable conversation as well as perhaps other things. Becher, the enthusiastic agriculturist, and Mitchell, the aspiring politician, restless with ambition to hasten the development of his native State, together found ample time and opportunity to discuss the subject nearest to Becher’s heart – irrigation. He literally pumped it into his listener’s not unattentive ear, and backed up his claim to speak with experience in Mildura. As a result he was given a formal commission by Sir James to visit Mildura before returning to the West, there to see how the place had progressed since he had left and to bring back a full report for the Minister’s benefit.


Becher’s report was comprehensive and stressed the fact particularly that where from the Murray they had lifted water up to 90 feet, here it would be used for irrigation by gravitation only. The result of the report was that in 1911 the Government undertook a survey of the rivers of the South-West to find catchment sites suitable for constructing weirs. That was the first definite step taken by the Government to investigate the possibilities of irrigation in Western Australia. A young man of 21 years, Walter Roland Eckersley, was the engineer commissioned to do the work and he selected three possible sites which became known departmentally as Eckersley Sites 1, 2 and 3. Eckersley Site No. 1 is now the present Harvey Weir; Site No. 2 was “drowned” by the enlargement of No. 1, and No. 3 is where Stirling Dam, the second largest in the State, is now being constructed.

Thus irrigation began to seem a possibility. Christie had said in his booklet that it would be “entirely necessary,” but he had been proved wrong by one of the earliest settlers whom the booklet had attracted.[5] This was rather an eccentric character named Halor, said to be the son of an Italian count, whose block was subsequently bought by my father. Halor had rigged up an ingenious if somewhat laborious device for drawing water from the river for his trees by means of a liquid manure pump motivated by “horseworks.” It was a type of pump used in certain European countries to lift liquid wastes from domestic wells and a horse following a circular route around the pump supplied the necessary lifting power. The remains of the outfit are on the property to this day and as it only ultimately delivered for Halor one fifth of the water it first lifted, it is possibly of more value today as an antique that it was to him then. He must have required water for irrigation badly, especially as it is said that being without the services of a horse he resorted to bicycle with the back tyre removed, to which a rope chain was secured. The bicycle was jacked upright and by very vigorous peddling the back wheel operated the pump. The idea is humorous; it certainly was crude and primitive, but it at least had the merit of being a sincere attempt to perform a required service. My father afterwards tried to use it.

Before leaving Mildura in 1897, my father had known Charles Trevatt who had travelled 300 miles overland from the Wimmera wheatlands with his family on a bullock dray to become the first settler at Mildura under Chaffey brothers’ scheme. Trevatt had four apricot trees of exceptional quality, named “Blenheim” from which my father budded his own trees before leaving Mildura and brought them to Korijekup with him. He planted them in nursery rows on the block where they now grow, watered them for a time with Halor’s contraption, and they are now yielding about 70 tons of fruit a year.

Dam Project

The Government’s investigations were now completed and one night in the summer of 1913, 40 to 50 settlers gathered in the local schoolroom to meet the then Minister for Works (Mr. W. D. Johnston), to receive from him the Government’s proposal for constructing a dam to conserve water irrigation at the Eckersley No. 1 site. Plans were submitted for a weir to cost £34,000. The proposition was accepted by the settlers without opposition. Thus was initiated the first irrigation scheme in Western Australia.

I should state here that by this time Sir James Mitchell’s party had passed from power and it was the Government of John Scadden, in which Mr. Phillip Collier was Minister for Water Supplies that finally authorised commencement of the work. The first Rights in Water and Irrigation Bill had been submitted to Parliament in 1912 but had been defeated in the Upper House on the very vexed question of riparian rights – a question which still bristles with difficulties and jealous guardianship by the holders. The Bill was reintroduced in 1914 and passed. A year later, in November, 1915, the actual work in connection with the laying of concrete in the main weir commenced and the last batch was placed in position on June 22, 1916. The water first overflowed the crest on July 16, 1916, 24 days after the official opening. The storage capacity of this first weir was 520,000,000 gallons, later increased by the raising of the wall to its present capacity of 2,270,000,000 gallons. Water was first allowed to flow down the channels to the settlement early in December 1915, with the main object of consolidating the banks. The settlers then made a request for the privilege of using the water which otherwise would have had to be diverted into the drains and run to waste. The result was that about 500 acres were irrigated from the normal summer flow of the river.

In submitting his report on these matters to the Under-Secretary for Water Supplies, Sewerage and Drainage at the end of 1916, the engineer for agricultural areas (Mr. Hugh Oldham), our old friend from Mildura, said:

“With the advent of the coming irrigation season at Harvey, the era of irrigation may be claimed to have commenced and it is expected that the results at the centre will justify an extension of the practice of irrigation to many other localities in the South West, where the local conditions are favourable.”

Looking around us today we see how prophetic were these words.


Published 21 October 1955

This week’s instalment of the “History of the Harvey District” tells of the various public Societies formed. Inevitably the earliest organisation existed mainly for the farming community, but as the district developed Progress Associations were formed and carried out much useful work.

The first known association formed in the district was the Brunswick Farmers’ Association in 1893. It was instrumental in getting the district’s first Agricultural Hall built by the Government in 1894.

Over the years Harvey has had many organisations.

The Harvey Agricultural Alliance held its first committee meeting in July, 1894. The idea of the alliance was brought to the district by W. E. Ash and he was the first president and acting secretary. One aim of the alliance was to get Government experts to lecture and in the same year A. Despeissis, M.R.A.C., Government viticulturist, gave a lecture in Harvey.

The first officers when their rules were printed were – Thomas Hayward, jnr, president; W. J. Sutton, vice-president; G. Clifton, treasurer; J. Knowles, jnr, secretary. The committee was M. W. Clifton, J. Knowles, snr, O. C. Rath, A. Sheehan and G. Guppy.

A Split

A split was caused by an alteration of the constitution, which allowed other than farmers to become members and, it was said, by the election of a new president. In October, 1898, Ash formed another association, the Farmers’ Club, which held its first meeting in February, 1899, with James Butler chairman and G. Clifton secretary.

Sometimes the two associations held their meetings in the Hall on the same night, the alliance using the Lesser Hall and the club using the dressing room.

The Alliance rules were strict, members being proposed and seconded at one meeting and balloted for at the next, with one black ball in five to exclude. Annual meetings were held in February. On one occasion the meeting was held on March 1, and to put things in order a special leap year was introduced, out of the usual order, so the meeting could be officially held on February 29.

In 1904, the Alliance and the Farmers’ Club combined when the Harvey Citrus Society was formed. This society held its first show on August 19, 1904, when the official luncheon was served on the verandah of George Horrocks’ home opposite the Hall. A photo of this function hangs in the Harvey Road Board’s boardroom.

Others who were active in the affairs of these three organisations included Isaac Lowe, Frank Becher, Roy Hayward, Jack Grieves, Jack Lowe and William Johnston as presidents. Secretaries included Seymour Palmer, Ken Gibsone and Tom Myatt. Their names are recorded here because, unfortunately, the old minute books were destroyed by fire many years ago.

Wooden Hall

From these three organisations, the Harvey Agricultural Society was formed at a meeting in the old wooden hall in November, 1919. With L. Prince as chairman, the meeting was attended by about 50 people.

The first officers were Jack Lowe, president; R. M. Wilson and A. E. Stanford, vice-president; T. A. G. Myatt, secretary; G. B. Clayton, treasurer.

Councillors elected were T. Stack, J. M. Johnson, R. A. Johnson, C. Stanford, L Prince, E. T. Sharp, W. Clifton, C. Gibbs, J. A. Stewart and R. Hanks, with W. E. Harper as auditor.

Most of the important matters affecting the welfare of the district were sponsored by the society. Some of these were the provision of a commonage, reductions in irrigation rates, a better telephone service and the building of an Anzac Memorial in the form of a public library.

Power Scheme

At the Society’s first annual meeting in 1921, Roy Eckersley outlined a scheme for providing the town with electricity from the Harvey Weir. Because the scheme would only provide power for eight months of the year it was considered impracticable and the Society decided to support the Collie Power Scheme. The need of an agricultural college in Harvey was also urged by the Society. They were also instrumental in getting improvements to the Harvey railway station, and helped in the campaign to increase the capacity of the weir and extensions to irrigation areas.

The foundation President, Jack Lowe, held office from 1919 to 1924. He was followed by Roy Hayward, 1924–26; William Johnston, 1926–28; Fred Gardner, 1928–30. Early Vice-Presidents included A. H. Smith, R. M. Wilson, A. E. Stanford, C. H. Spurge, J. A. Stewart, G. B. Clayton, C. Shenton and J. M. Johnston. Secretaries included T. A. G. Myatt, H. Ridley, K. Gibsone, A. Hawkins, R. Ibbotson, H. Perrin, R. M. Smith, W. Eyres, R. Weight and J. Thew, while Treasurers were G. B. Clayton, C. Shenton, A. H. Smith, A. D. Hill, J. Lowe, H. Perrin and S. Woolley.

The Cookernup Farmers’ Progress Association was formed in 1895, with Edward Cook as the first member enrolled. The Government built their Agricultural Hall in 1896. Pruning matches were held in 1903 and in 1906 the Association opposed the closing of the Cookernup Post Office. The Association was active for some years, its activities including a Mutual Improvement Association, Board of Health, Cemetery Board and Library.

Beach Syndicate

Formed in 1919 the Uduc Progress Association built its own tennis courts. Mrs. Mark Harrison was the first secretary and held office for many years and was recently reappointed. The Association was responsible for forming the Binningup Beach syndicate which has now been formed into a Progress Association.

The Harvey Progress Association, of which Tom Pinner, jnr, was an active member, was the first public body in the district to urge the building of a road from the Great Southern districts to connect Narrogin and Williams, via Boddington, through Harvey to the sea. They helped get the White Road made from Uduc to the westward, laying the foundation of a road that was built when large camps for men building the Harvey River diversion during the depression were established at Myalup and Stonehouse. Its dream of a road from the Great Southern did not materialise until years after the Association ceased to exist.

When the project was revived as a defence road one of the Association’s original members was in the road party that blazed the track of the present Quindanning Road. The party also included Jack Lowe, Aubrey Smith (Road Board), and Brian Bednall (Forests Department). Wokalup’s Progress Association built its own hall. The Benger Progress Association did a lot of work when Benger Swamp was being developed and when a drainage committee was formed.

Several Friendly Societies have existed in Harvey over the years, but only one has been mentioned in old records, the Independent Order of Oddfellows. In 1909 this body was given permission by the Harvey Road Board to hold its meetings in the old brick building in Uduc Road, which was then the Board’s office. One of Harvey’s earliest station masters, Mr. Wiltshire, who lived in Fourth Street with his family, was one of the early members. Dick Jones was for many years one of the organisation’s leading members.

In 1914 the Harvey Masonic Lodge was formed by R. Murray Wilson, Alec Gloster, James Stewart, Charles Shenton, Ken Gibsone and Harry Palmer. The latter gave the Lodge a block of land in Kidson Street where the Lodge was built. Palmer was initiated into the Lodge’s No. 1846, E.C. A wooden lodge was built and consecrated by Bishop Riley, G. M., in October, 1914. The present brick building was opened by Grand Master McMullen in May, 1934. A large number of prominent Harvey citizens have been members of the Lodge in the last 40 years.


(No article was published in 28 October 1955 edition.)

Published 4 November 1955 – Irrigation (By Jack Lowe)

This week’s instalment of the history of the Harvey district concludes the articles prepared by Mr. Jack Lowe on irrigation. Mr. Lowe, the chairman of the Harvey Road Board and a member of the Irrigation Commission, has an exacting knowledge of this subject.

In previous instalments Mr. Lowe referred to the silver anniversary of irrigation. This week he continues with more extracts from a report prepared by the engineer for agricultural areas, Mr. Hugh Oldham, at the end of 1916.

Mr. Lowe writes: “Mr. Oldham undoubtedly had his eye on the possibilities of the Waroona-Hamel district for increased production from irrigation, for in his report he said:

Good Returns  ‘A considerable number of settlers along the different drains radiating from the railway culverts near Hamel use the summer flow of the drain for irrigation purposes. In one case near Hamel, a settler claims to have netted £400 from two acres of potatoes last season. The land in the Waroona and Hamel districts appears to be especially suitable for the cultivation of root crops and summer fodder, and the district is likely to become a dairying centre.’

“That was a quarter of a century ago and now the irrigation districts from Waroona to Dardanup supply a major part of the whole milk requirements of the metropolitan area.”

“A moment’s thought on what has been achieved in this last 25 years in the irrigation history of the State cannot fail to impress. The first Harvey Weir, at its original estimated cost of £34,000 contained storage capacity for 520,000,000 gallons. Its capacity has since been increased fourfold. Wellington Dam on the Collie River with a capacity of 7,500,000,000 gallons has been constructed at an approximate cost of £320,000. Sampson Dam with a capacity of 800,000,000 gallons has just been completed and now the biggest of them all, Stirling Dam, the second largest in the State, with a storage capacity of 12,000,000,000 gallons and estimated to cost £700,000 is under construction.”

Long Channels

The length of channels constructed in the original No. 1 Harvey area was 41 miles. At present, including the area to be served by Stirling Dam, the total length of irrigation channels in the Harvey, Waroona and Collie areas is 212 miles or five times the original length.

“From an original storage capacity of the first Harvey weir of 520,000,000 gallons there will be stored in all areas, when Stirling Dam is completed, approximately 25,000 million gallons or nearly 50 times the original storage. This will water 25,000 acres embracing the area from Waroona to Dardanup. In that area there have been built two condensed milk factories, one butter factory and one butter and cheese factory. The total expenditure by the Government on all the schemes approaches in round figures 1½ million pounds.”


“I mention these facts to record the expansion of irrigation in the 25 years that have elapsed since the first small weir in the State was opened and also as an indication of what is likely to occur in the future. Of course, besides the irrigation history of Victoria and New South Wales, ours pales into insignificance. In Victoria, since Deakin first preached irrigation to his Parliament, that State has spent the colossal amount of £27,000,000 on irrigation works, and they are planning still further huge schemes. Burrinjuck Dam, N.S.W., cost the government £8,000,000. It has a capacity of 33½ billion cubic feet and opened up 300,000 acres for settlement within 100 miles of it. Hume Weir at Albury cost the Victorian and N.S.W. Governments £5,500,000. Its water surface covering 70 square miles is three times that of Sydney Harbour. It completely submerged two townsites, impounded 1¼ million acre feet of water and ranks now as the third largest reservoir in the world.”

No Magic

“To us in Western Australia these figures are astounding but they are balanced by many considerations all of which I need not set out here. From our irrigation schemes to date we could not and did not expect the magical results that have been achieved in the East where water has been supplied to fertile lands which, through lack of rainfall, were previously desert wastes. No wonder wealthy towns and cities arose there. In those places the water was indeed ‘a subtle alchemist that in a trice transmuted leaden metal into gold,’ but from the comparatively tiny expenditure of £1,500,00 and in consideration of the improved type of country in which it was spent, we did not expect such wonders to have happened.”

Steady Progress

“We are doing what we set out to do – to consolidate and improve that which we already had; to make a good thing certain-safe; to walk before we ran; to build up gradually our best resources first, and all within the limits imposed by our limited population and consequent taxable capacity. Although we have not been as spectacular in the last 25 years as our Eastern States neighbours, we are satisfied that we have done our best in that time according to our means.”

“But the ‘vision splendid’ of what might yet be achieved in Western Australia through irrigation, not necessarily in the South-West, can remain with us to inspire our future efforts.”


Published 11 November 1955 – Irrigation by Mr. W. R. Eckersley

The articles prepared by Mr. Jack Lowe on the subject of irrigation have aroused considerable interest throughout the district. Mr. W. R. Eckersley has prepared two short articles to elaborate on some points raised by Mr. Lowe, and also to give an intimate picture of the characters of some of the early pioneers.

“Mr. R. O. Hayward was a worthy citizen of Harvey and the president of practically every society in existence,” Mr. Eckersley writes. “He was also meticulous in keeping records. A very handsome young man when I first met him in 1911, he was a great tennis enthusiast and played other sports. A charming host, many musical evenings were held at his home, ‘Riverton’ as well as tennis parties, and at George Gibbs’ in Young Street.”

“I was fortunate in being the friend of both families and through them had the honour to meet Drs. Hayward and Harvey on many occasions. They were outstanding men and a separate book could be written on their outstanding humanitarianism in all matters. A glance at their photos in the public library in Harvey clearly shows the great character of each. I chiefly remember them driving around in a very neat buggy and pair of flash horses. Dr. Harvey possessed a fighting spirit. He clashed with the Minister for Works, Mr. W. J. George, known as “Scrap Iron George,” a Member of Parliament for over 30 years and also a great personality. The interview was at the Old Barracks in Perth and ended by Dr. Harvey picking up the inkpot from the Minister’s desk and hurling it at Mr. George’s head. The Minister told me himself, so I know the story is authentic. The discussion was on the Harvey irrigation scheme.”

Weir Sites

“To go back to 1911. I was engaged in surveying all the rivers from Serpentine to Collie to see what possibility there was of irrigation. Weir sites were pegged out on each river, three sites being selected on the Harvey River.”

“In 1912, I was put in charge of construction of the main channel and had a mile completed when work was suspended because the Irrigation Act failed to pass through the Upper House. I left the Public Works Department in 1913 and went home to England. On returning in 1915, I was again sent to Harvey as the Irrigation Act had become law and work was proceeding. Mr. Hugh Oldham was chief engineer and Mr. A. E. Arney was hydraulic engineer. They were two highly qualified men, great gentlemen and valuable servants of the State.”

“The work was completed in 1916 and was opened by the then Governor, Sir Harry Barron. There are photos of the opening in the Harvey Road Board’s office. Included in the party was the Minister for Water supplies, Mr. Phil Collier, one of the State’s leading statesmen: and Lord Forrest, then Sir John. We broke the news to him that his brother, Robert, an old bachelor and well-known South-West identity, had succumbed to Cupid and was marrying a Harvey lady of great intellect and personality, twice widowed. Sir John’s only remark was, ‘Poor Bob.’ And so the first irrigation scheme in West Australia was born and water flowed down the channels, and great activity took place.”

“That great stalwart of the P.W.D., hard worker with a keen eye for levels and with unerring judgement in dealing out water, Dave Byers, was chief waterman. The pioneers of those days were outstanding individuals and fought with determination for their rights. Most of the land was under citrus and was impossible to grade. Consequently, one had to be diplomatic in dealing with them in the way of the various routes for channels.”

“Large indignation meetings were held every time rate notices were sent out. Royal Commissions were appointed to level out disputes and grievances and at times it appeared to be a hopeless proposition to ever get the scheme running smoothly. Seepage, lack of efficient drainage, breakaways, appeared in their turn and were gradually dealt with.”

“In spite of all the troubles, I never had a doubt regarding the future of irrigation in the South- West. I was later to lecture, broadcast and write articles on the subject of irrigation and drainage control from the South-West rivers. It is very gratifying to see the number of reservoirs now in existence, the success of the scheme and the prosperous settlements, of which Harvey was the pioneer.”


Published 18 November 1955 – The Conclusion of Mr. W. R. Eckersley’s Notes

This week’s instalment concludes the notes prepared by Mr. W. R. Eckersley on irrigation. He recalls the difficulties that arose with the outbreak of war in 1914 and also gives details of a little known chopping contest between Sir James Mitchell and Mr. McLarty, then manager of the Agricultural Bank.

Mr. Eckersley writes: “When World War 1 broke out there were considerable enlistments and many orchards were neglected through their owners’ absence. There were no made roads to speak of in those days and in winter travel was pretty impossible and drays were bogged repeatedly. Drays were used to cart material from drain banks to build up channel banks and I remember the bank in Young Street was being built in front of George Gibbs’ house when Mr. Arney drove up in his buggy and informed us that the great Lord Kitchener had been drowned on his way to Russia. The Germans had torpedoed his warship. Kitchener of Khartoum was such a tradition that we thought we had lost the war and general gloom prevailed.”

Soldier Settlement

However, the war ended and the Government paid, I think, £25,000 for the balance of Harvey and Hayward’s estate and embarked on a soldiers’ settlement scheme. The Government paddock was drained and later irrigated. Then the Uduc estate was purchased by the Government, drained, and later irrigated and settled with returned soldiers.

I remember driving Sir James Mitchell and the manager of the Agricultural Bank, Mr. McLarty. They had a challenge chopping match and I was the only witness. The timber was blue gum and Sir James won.

Mr. W. J. George, M.L.A., one of the most intelligent men I have ever met, had to stand the brunt of many trials and tribulations of the early settlement. He was Member for the district in power and was a capable Minister for Works. He had to attend the indignation meetings and smooth matters over. His stock defence was that when in opposition he could only help, as he was Minister for Works. When he attended the meetings as Minister, he pointed out that as a responsible Minister he could not help them, but if he was a private Member, he could do much more.

Irrigation Rates

The first irrigation rate struck was £1 per acre for each watering. Very few paid and arrears accumulated. Finally a formula was worked out and a large meeting was held. The Minister and the Under Secretary of the P.W.D., Mr. C. A. Munt, attended to explain the great concession made by the department.

Mr. Munt said the settlers would have to accept. He wanted a final showdown and would refuse to give way one iota. He was very confident but I was not. Dr. Harvey stole the show and the meeting ended in bedlam. Finally the Government asked the engineer-in-chief to report on the whole scheme and we spend days together studying facts and figures and interviewing farmers. Mr. Thompson said he was so confused by the contradictory evidence that he was unable to make up his mind and asked me to draft a report in his office and to include my own views of the scheme.

 Trouble Overcome

This suited me as I had studied every phase keenly and was just as confident of the future. The main complaints were that farmers could not make irrigation pay, that seepage was killing the fruit trees, and many other complaints. The crux of my request was that a rate of 7/6 per acre was struck, allowing one watering and 2/6 per acre for each subsequent watering. This was adopted by the department and the Harvey people, and there were no more troubles as far as rates were concerned. This rate continued for about 25 years.

I left the department in 1925 and joined the Harvey Road Board as secretary-engineer, but continued to run the irrigation and drainage schemes for the department until about 1930, when the department resumed administration because of large extensions.

The expansion of the irrigation since has been spectacular and has led to the present prosperity. G. P. Charman, R. Hanks and Oscar Rath, three of nature’s gentlemen were excellent farmers, quiet, but impressive.

Jack Handley, another fighter to the last ditch, was defiant of all authority.

W. E. Ash, a highly educated man, generally opposed everything that came up and was always ready to go to law.

Men of Note

Among the many great characters who took part in the various upheavals in the early days there was Jack Grieves, a shrewd and humorous person who was a great practical joker. He also more than held his own in serious discussions.

Others were Frank Becher, who probably accomplished more for the district than any other man. He was a born fighter and a hard hitter.

The many other names that crop up are T. A. G. Myatt, a booming speaker; the Jenkins brothers, and the Stanford brothers; Mrs. Bettsworth, later Mrs. Mayne and later Mrs. Bob Forrest; Miss Bessie Lambert; L. Prince; D. M. Campbell, George Atkins; W. Harper; Captain Markham and Dr. Williams. Most of these have passed on, but they played a very important part in the development of the district.


Published 25 November – History of the Church in Harvey

Religion was soon to play an important part in Harvey’s community affairs and this week’s instalment review tells of the church’s early establishment in the district.

The history of the Church in the Harvey District dates from the arrival of Rev. J. R. Wollaston from Fremantle on the Venus near Point Casuarina, on May 13, 1841. He bought some huts and 115 acres of land on the Preston River from Captain Coffin, whose American whaler, Samuel Wright, had been wrecked near Leschenault in 1840. Wollaston, with the help of his sons and others, built the original thatched church at Picton, which was opened by him on September 18, 1842, in the presence of about 100 people, including Marshall Waller Clifton and his family, from Australind.

On March 20, 1842, Rev. Wollaston records the first known service conducted by him in the Harvey District, at Australind. This was the burial of Dr. Carpenter in the Australind cemetery. Wollaston says in his “Picton Journal” – “After the funeral, at Mr. Clifton’s request, I performed Divine service to most of the Australindians and several strangers.”

Thomas Little and his wife, who had been in charge of “Belvedere[6] Station” since 1838, had nursed Dr. Carpenter at Belvedere, where he died.

Since then most of the denominations have established their churches throughout the district. Although there have been many ministers in charge of these churches, there is record of only one woman missioner, Miss Alice Rutherford, who was in charge of the Harvey Wesley Church during World War 1.

The first Church of England wedding conducted in the Harvey District by Rev. Wollaston was that of Marshall Waller Clifton’s eldest daughter to George Eliot, who was Government Resident at Leschenault [sic Bunbury]. He came to this State with Governor Stirling on the Parmelia in 1829. This wedding was performed in a special chapel arranged in Clifton’s house, on June 1, 1842. The first wedding he performed in the newly-built church at Picton was that of Thomas Marriott and Mary Lyons, of Brunswick.

In his “Picton Journal,” Rev. Wollaston records that Marshall Waller Clifton’s wife was a Quakeress.

He also records, January 5, 1843, that: “Mr. Millard, surgeon on the Diadem, is one of the Plymouth Brethren. He has opened a meeting house, (at Australind). He perhaps would not have done this had a church, or a substitute for a church, been erected at the beginning of the settlement.”

Convict Ship

A Rev. Withers, who came to this State as the chaplain on the convict ship in 1863, was the first minister to hold a service at Brunswick Junction.

About 1886, Rev. Purnell held services at the Old Homestead at Harvey. Before any church buildings were erected at Harvey, services were held in private homes, as recorded in the diaries of a number of the early residents.

Joseph H. Logue, of North Harvey was a lay reader in the Diocese of Perth, through the Parish of Pinjarra. A Perth “Church of England Magazine” dated January, 1873, containing a table of lessons for the year, is preserved by his daughter, Mrs. G. H. Clifton.

Rev. Scott Clark held services at Yarloop before the church was built there by Rev. Jackson. The Cookernup Hall committee was asked for the use of the Hall for a service in July, 1898, by Mr. J. H. Logue, jnr. It is also recorded that in 1900, Rev. George Devlin held services at Cookernup, Mornington and Harvey.

Drs. Harvey and Hayward gave the church a site for its building, near the South Western Highway, but when the town developed near the railway they resumed the original site, and gave 2½ acres on the corner of Young and Gibb Streets. In 1905, the church committee employed Phil Ward to build a church hall on this site. As the hall was used for church and social functions, folding doors were installed to close the chancel when dances were held. Latter, the doors were removed and the building was consecrated. Although very fragile, the altar cross which was carved by Seymour Palmer 60 years ago, is still on the altar of St Paul’s Church. He also carved the altar table in 1905, after the church was built. Later, a pulpit was carved by Mrs. M. Wickham, and donated by the daughter of H. A. Moss, in his memory for his work as verger, and in the Sunday school which he carried out until he was nearly 90 years of age. Other church furniture, including the lectern, was carved by Mrs. Wickham.

The many ministers in charge at Harvey included Revs. Bowke [sic Boake], Thomas Hurst, J. Owens, W. Moorhouse (son of Bishop Moorhouse), J. Stansfield, Kerr, Webb, G. Limbert and E. A. Codd, with the Revs. Whent, A. H. Tassell, and Paisley as locum tenens. The Rev. A. Fryer was at Brunswick for many years.


Published 2 December 1955

Last week our history gave a general introduction to the early religion in the district with particular reference to the growth of the Church of England. This week we deal with the other religions that have played an important part in Harvey’s development.


Thomas Little, the head of the first Catholic family to come to the Harvey District, was born in Co. Galway, Ireland, on January 15, 1800, and died at Dardanup on November 5, 1878. [should be 1877 – Ed.] He was Director of Public Works in India under the East India Company. Failing in health, he was sent by the company to the Swan River Colony on the ship Gaillardon, which reached Fremantle on February 4, 1838. Little, with his wife and sons, Thomas and William, settled in 1838 at Belvedere as agent for C. R. Prinsep, who bought the station from the East India Company. Later, Thomas Little bought the station from Prinsep.[7]

Bishop Salvado, of New Norcia, visited Australind on horseback in March, 1845. Father Peter Aragon was the first resident Roman Catholic parish priest from December, 1855, to April, 1857. He lived at Little’s stations (Bunbury, Belvedere, Augusta and Busselton). Other priests were Father V. Garrido (April, 1857 to July, 1858) and Father A. Lecaille (1858 to 1865).

At Belvedere

On his arrival at Belvedere, Little writes on July 18, 1858: “Father Lecaille arrived safely here on Saturday evening at 6 o’clock, having made a three day journey of it, and halting the second day at Clarke’s (Hampden). Diamond, as we must now call the pony, brought him safe to the door without guide.”

The first Roman Catholic Church built in the district was a wooden one near the head of the Leschenault Estuary at Australind. It is believed that the building was first used as a school and was bought by the church when a new school was built further down the estuary.

Original Families

The original Catholic families at Australind came from Ireland in the very early days, mainly through the efforts of a Mr. Little, who was well-known at Dardanup as the founder of the church there. Among them was the first Mr. Rodgers, grandfather of Mrs. Walter Smith and Mrs. T. L. Taylor, of Harvey. Patrick Rodgers, a son of this early settler, still lives in the old wattle and daub house at Australind. Others included the Milligans, Travers and Dunns. Descendants of the Wright family still live at Australind.

There was no Roman Catholic Church in Harvey 50 years ago, but Catholics living in the district included the Sands, Odgers, Riggs, Byers, Rogers, Kinsellas and Dwyers. Harvey was included in the Pinjarra Parish and was served by Fathers Fahey, McCabe and Doddy.

In 1927 the church bought a block of land on the corner of Young and Gibbs Streets and in November, 1932, the foundation stone of the present church was laid under the guidance of Father Lynch. He was succeeded by Father Lenihan. A convent school was opened in 1934, and enlarged in 1954.

A Roman Catholic Church was built at Mornington about 50 years ago, and was served by outside parish priests.


In 1848, John Allnutt held services at his home at Australind. Attendances increased so rapidly that an adjacent cottage was bought and converted into a church. Rev. Andrew Buchanan was the pastor in 1866. He was well-known in the district in the 1890’s and travelled from Parkfield to Harvey on horseback to hold services at “Fairlawn,” the Harvey Mission Hall and the Uduc School. The Mission Hall at the time was the only public building in Harvey and was used by several denominations for services.

Church of Christ

The first Church of Christ Sunday School was held in the Uduc School in April, 1900, when there were three teachers and eight children present. In 1896, G. P. Charman records in his diary that he attended a Church of Christ meeting at Sheehan’s home on Harvey Road and that two years later in August, 1898, that members formed themselves into a church. For many years their services were held at Sheehan’s and Charman’s. In 1917, under Joseph Johnston, a number of voluntary workers built the first church in Uduc Road. Mr. Johnston conducted the service for some years and also carried on his trade as coach builder and carpenter. Church of Christ services were also held at Cookernup, when Mr. J. McEwin was preacher.

Wesley Church

Soon after John Knowles arrived in Harvey in 1890, Rev. Plain, of Bunbury, held Wesleyan services in front of “Fairlawn.”

In 1895, John Knowles, James Clarke, James Taylor and William Sutton built the Mission Hall in Uduc Road. This was opened by Rev. Plain as a church in September, 1895. The second minister was Rev. Julian, who married Miss Dora Knowles. In 1899, Rev. J. Lea was minister at Cookernup.

The second church was built in Harvey by Joseph Johnston in 1923. The original church and Mission Hall was demolished and sold to Bob Alexander, the saddler. He re-erected it as a small cottage and shop, in which Mrs. H. Mason conducted the first school tuck shop.

Wesleyan ministers remembered 20 or more years ago in Harvey include Revs. Holland, Cramp, Jackson, Limb and Nicholls.

Seventh Day Adventist

The Harvey Seventh Day Adventist Church was built in Young Street about 1911. The church is still an active one in the district.


Over the years, especially in the early days, the unity of the churches was very real. One minister conducted services for at least three denominations in the 1890’s.

In the 1930’s the Ministers’ Fraternal held a “Back to Church Week,” with combined services in four different churches.


Published 9 December 1955 – Early Transport Systems

This week’s instalment of the History of Harvey mentions the early transport systems and how improvements were gradually brought about. The latter half of the article is in a more humorous vein and repeats little known anecdotes about the early churchgoers.

The last wagon drawn by bullocks used in Harvey brought in potatoes grown by Fred Jones and his partner Moyle, in coastal swamps about 30 years ago. When the Harvey Road Board’s new offices were opened in 1935, William Reading, the chairman of the Brunswick Road Board 50 years earlier, rode to the ceremony in his bullock wagon. Joseph Piggott, who grew vegetables near Long Swamp, brought them to Harvey every week with two horses to pull him over the heavy sand track of Crampton Road. William Adams, a son of a very early settler also came in from the coast every week.

In 1915 the train service to Harvey was very good with two passenger trains each way daily. The Perth train, leaving Harvey at 9.40 a.m. and returning about 9 p.m., allowed a full afternoon to transact business in Perth. After the service was curtailed, Harvey business people were forced to travel by road. This was a nightmare in the winter months. Before the Main Road Board took over the South Western Highway it was hard to get past Coolup and Gosnells. It was common for six cars to be bogged in a row at Coolup and on some sections of the road, farmers supplemented their income by pulling cars out of boggy places with horses.

In Harvey the worst patch of road was in The Avenue, between Young and Third Streets, where several large holes were so bad that two draught horses could not get through with a ton of potatoes on a steel-wheeled lorry. Usually half had to be unloaded and carried singly to the other side. After F. J. Becher became chairman of the Road Board there was a great improvement because loans were raised for road construction. The greatest step forward was the board’s 10-year plan in 1935 for sealing major roads with bitumen. This did more to consolidate and extend the roads of the district than any other part of the board’s policy. When the Main Road Board took over the South Western Highway, it brought great relief to the district finances.


The railways cannot be mentioned without remembering jovial Jock Mercer and Mr. Phillips as stationmasters, with the ever faithful and friendly Bill McQuade. He joined the railways at Harvey as a junior before 1914. Except for the period he served overseas in the First World War, he was stationed at Harvey until his untimely death in a shunting accident in 1954. He was a keen footballer and first-aid man and was probably the best liked man in Harvey.

During the years many stationmasters were grateful for the assistance given by a competent man in Bill McQuade, who did his job well. After his death he was referred to as “one of the world’s great little men.” No better tribute could be paid to anyone.

Humour in the Churches

Church going was not always as serious as it might have been as the following anecdotes show.

One of Harvey’s early rectors had a large cat, which on at least one occasion, calmly sat in the chancel and watched the service being conducted.

On another occasion a popular lay reader had collected eggs in his hat before conducting an evening service and a hen’s feather got caught in his curly hair. When he walked into the church the sight of the feather was too much for one young lady in the choir and she laughed so much that she fainted and had to be carried out of the church.

After a Sunday evening service, a combined choir under Brian Bednall met for practice of an oratorio. Four Welsh singers from another church attended and before starting, one asked another choir member, “Have you got the tonic?” Not knowing the methods of Welsh choirs to help good singing, the one questioned thought the “tonic” referred to was a glass of sherry, the tonic used by footballers at half-time. After asking what sort of liquid refreshment was required, he was relieved to learn that it was the tonic sol-fa and not tonic from a bottle.

One hot night when there was a large congregation, with Brian Bednall as organist, it was suggested that it would be better to hold an open-air service. This was agreed upon, the organ was carried outside and the service held in the headlights of several cars. Before the days of motor cars, people brought hurricane lamps to light the way and usually left them in the church porch, but one member always placed his lamp under his seat with the wick turned down. This evidently helped to keep his legs warm in the unlined building which at times was rather draughty.

One lay reader came to church on a wet Sunday night to take the service, but no one turned up. His entry in the service book was, “Too wet. Nobody came.” This is the only remembered occasion when there was no congregation but at one service the congregation was a man and a woman. Apparently noticing the small attendance, the lay reader’s dog entered the church and sat down for the service.

After one lay reader George Horrocks had grubbed out most of his fruit trees which had not been very profitable, he preached a sermon in which he said, “If we have any sins we should grub them out.” He spoke with much feeling.


Published 16 December 1955 – Schools

This week’s instalment of our history refers to one of the most important developments of all – the establishment of schools. Education did not develop to any great extent until the 1890’s and its progress is still clear in the memory of many present residents.

In earlier chapters it has been said that Maurice B. Smith was originally tutor to Marshall Waller Clifton’s sons at Australind, and that William Reading was tutor to the Rose family at Parkfield, but the first that is known about education in the district is about 1870.[8] It was in that year that Brunswick settlers built their first school with Miss Eedle as its teacher. Miss Kate Logue (now Mrs. Blight), in addition to many other duties she carried out, taught Maurice B. Smith’s children at Uduc. She was a teacher by profession and after several years’ absence from the district, taught at Cookernup School in 1898.

In 1887, a school was opened at Parkfield , where Miss Marianne Rose taught until December, 1892, when the school was closed.[9] It was re-opened in October, 1893, by Miss Marion Buchanan. From about 1893 to 1895, Miss Dora Knowles had a small private school in a small room at Fairlawn, the home of her father, John Knowles.

The Cookernup School was opened in August, 1895 with Miss Susan Mitchell as head teacher.

Picton is not in the Harvey District, but it is certain that a Harvey man, Frederick Jones, snr, was the first head teacher in the first stone school built there. John Forrest, later to become the State’s first Premier, was one of his pupils.

The Uduc School, built by Chapman Bros. & Ryan, was opened in July, 1899. Miss Ellen Neilson was head teacher. Later teachers were Messrs. R. Murdock, O’Mara and D. D’Evelynes.

The Coast School, about 12 miles west of Harvey on Long Swamp, was completed in February, 1908, and opened in April with Miss Beatrice Smith as teacher, and with an attendance of 10 children.

Because of low attendance the school was closed in September, 1915. Harvey’s first veterinary surgeon, R. H. Esmond, was head teacher at the Uduc School for some time.

Harvey School

Early in 1898, three Harvey bachelors, John Handley, Don Rudd and Edward Sharp, advocated the building of a school in Harvey. They raised the matter at a Harvey Agricultural Alliance meeting and Jack Knowles as the secretary and as another bachelor, made an approach to the Education Department for a school in Korejikup. A meeting was held in December, 1898, when James Clarke, of Myrtle Hill, near Cookernup, where there was a school, is believed to have said, “There will never be enough children in Harvey to keep a school going.” Another farmer, two miles away from Korejikup, also strongly opposed a school.

Before a school could be opened a petition from parents of a certain number of children had to be obtained. It is recorded in Isaac Lowe’s diary that a committee was appointed in December, 1898, to get signatures on a petition guaranteeing the school rent for six months. The committee was Messrs. Murray, Ryan, Brown, Charman and Lowe. His diary records the getting of 28 signatures, a delegation to see the department in Perth and making desks, followed by the opening of the school in the Agricultural Hall with a picnic and sports in April, 1899. Miss Edith Mitchell was the first head teacher.

Jack Lowe, who was one of the pupils, has said that education was not free at that period. He remembers each pupil taking a weekly contribution every Monday.

The wooden portion of the present school was built in Gibbs Street in 1902. There was a petition to the Government for a brick school in 1908. This was built later and the school has continued to grow.

St. Anne’s Convent School was opened in 1934, with three teaching sisters, and has also grown with the progress of the district.

Until recent years accommodation for increasing numbers of children at the Harvey School has been a problem. A Mr. Vincent was headmaster at Harvey when the Parents, Teachers and Citizens’ Association was formed. H. J. Blowfield was the secretary and E. G. Davis was the secretary of the School Board. In old records a School Board was mentioned in 1913, but no details have been given. The Association and the Board had been trying to get additions to the school, which was greatly overcrowded, but without result. When Mr. A. D. Hill was appointed headmaster he said the only way to get extra accommodation was to keep worrying the Education Department and not to take “No” for an answer. His advice was taken and the new school was built after the climax of a pre-election meeting in the Harvey Hall.


Published 23 December 1955 – Sports in the District

During the lifetime of the district, practically every known sport has flourished at some time or another. Some have enjoyed popularity for a period before going out of existence, never to be heard of again, while others have continued to hold their own in the life of the community.


In his diary, Gervase Clifton tells of the formation of a cricket club in 1895, when games were played in a field near the Harvey River Bridge, and later moved to a field east of Wokalup House. Many an exciting game was played against Brunswick and Cookernup clubs. Those who figured prominently in the club in its early days were Arthur Logue, H. G. Palmer, Alf Crampton, snr (wicket keeper), Alf Crampton, jnr (probably Reg Clifton), H. Richardson and Gervase Clifton (captain). Lunches were always supplied by the women when matches were played.

In 1915, there were two clubs in Harvey, one whose home ground was the recreation ground, and a P.W.D. team, made up from men building the Harvey weir, which had its ground near the main road.

There was the Cornavale Cricket Club in Cookernup in 1896-97, which played an important game, North v South, early in 1897. A number of McLartys were included in the North team.

Mornington Mill had a team in the early 1900’s.


In the early days of Mornington, the mill town had a flourishing soccer club. Its team was usually taken to matches in a brake drawn by six horses.

A few years later, prominent players in the Harvey club included Alec Pollock, Peter Davidson and Tom James.

During the First World War, the Harvey recreation ground was overgrown with scrub and there was no other ground fit for play. Finally the soccer club organised working bees and cleared the ground so that all kinds of sports flourished.


It was about this time that the Harvey Football Club was reformed and spent about £40 on improving the ground. Soon after this Harvey had one of the best teams in the South West.

The only record of any early game is in October, 1908, but no mention is made of the ground on which it was played.

Rifle Shooting

The first move to form a rifle club in Harvey was made in 1900 and there was also a club in Cookernup in 1905. The Harvey range used to be on the corner of the main road and the old Mornington Road, but a better range was built on its present site near the main road.


With some of her friends, Mrs. O. C. Rath started a croquet club about 1929. At first the game was played on private courts before a court was put down on the recreation ground. After existing for 29 years the club was wound up in 1954.


It is probable that tennis has the longest local history of any game in the district as it was played at many of the early homesteads. It is recorded by John Partridge and others as early as 1887. In the early years of the Church of England there was a court near the church for many years and the Methodist Church and Church of Christ had their own courts, which have been in use for years. For some years a Railway Tennis Club enjoyed a large membership.


An active body for some years, the Harvey Bowling Club has greens on the recreation ground that have been gradually extended. A women’s club started in the early 1930’s by Mrs. L. K. Clayton is still active.


Starting soon after World War 1, the Harvey Trotting Club has continued to grow into one of the strongest of the country clubs. A race club was formed many years ago but did not last very long.

Other clubs that have come and gone include a motor cycle club, a cycle club and men’s and women’s hockey club.


Published 13 January 1956 – Early Entertainment & Services

Although our history has mainly been confined to the more serious aspect of Harvey’s development, the welfare of its population and their entertainment has not been overlooked. This week’s article mentions the early entertainments and some of the amenities essential to a growing community.

For some years there were two picture shows in Harvey. After Tom Pinner failed to get the lease of the Hall, he conducted a picture garden on the corner of Uduc Road and Young Street.

In the early days many fine local entertainments were held in the Mission Hall and later in the Harvey Hall. In the early days the talent was supplied by Bede Christie, the Clifton sisters and others. Later the Harvey Dramatic Club, organised by a Mr. Cuthbertson, with Roy Hayward as one of the actors, staged “Dearest Mama.” He also acted in the Harvey Rustics, a very popular local show with Mrs. Hayward at the piano. Their masterpiece was the “The Cuckoo in the Nest,” adapted from the book of the same name by Mrs. W. R. Eckersley, with Roy Eckersley as the parson, with his motor cycle spitting and popping; Mrs. Eckersley, Mrs. Moss, the Jim Smiths, the George Smiths, the Mercers, Frank Ashton and Cyril Beauclarke, all in the show.

Fine entertainment has also been seen at school concerts, by full houses and from the Harvey Choral Society, under John Newby, and the Harvey Repertory Club.


The War Memorial Library was opened by the then Governor, Sir Francis Newdegate, in 1920. Roy Hayward was one of the prime movers in getting the building erected and at a public meeting in the Agricultural Hall a large sum was raised towards the cost.


Dr. W. A. Kennedy was the first resident doctor in Harvey. Before his house was built in Young Street in 1916, he lived in Mrs. C. Grieves’ house, now occupied by her son L. R. Grieves. After he moved, Nurse Miles opened Harvey’s first private hospital in Uduc Road and after her return from World War 1, when she served as an army nurse.

Nurse F. Larsen opened a nursing home in King Street, formerly occupied by Colin Leitch, and moved from the river to King Street.

Dr. Morgan, of Yarloop, later had a surgery in Harvey and he was followed by Dr. A. N. Jacobs, who practised in Harvey for a number of years. He was one of the prime movers in getting a public hospital in the town. There was some division of opinion over the site. Many considered it should have been built on the hillside facing the weir road, but those favouring the present site in Hayward Street won the day and the hospital was built there. It has been added to on several occasions. The operating theatre was built from a legacy left by Mrs. George Burrows.

Dr. Jacobs was also the originator of the St. John Ambulance Centre in Harvey in 1935. The first ambulance was brought into use in December, 1935, and Miss Charlotte Adams, of Cookernup was the first patient taken to hospital in it.


Before 1915 there was no policeman stationed in Harvey and Constable Nevin of Yarloop represented the law in the district. It is believed that Constable McGrath was the first policeman in Harvey. He lived in Hayward Street and the “cooler” for drunks was not much larger than the cooler in the local butcher’s shop. This gaol is still in use, as a storeroom, at the Harvey Hostel.

Post Office

Over the years the Post Office has been represented by Mr. Daddo in 1915, and later by Messrs. Armstrong, Barker and Massingham. In addition to doing their job they all helped to advance Harvey. Mr. and Mrs. Massingham were stalwarts of the Church of England Sunday School and treasurer and organist of the church. Mrs. K. Hanks presided at the church organ for over 20 years and made a record for long and faithful service.


 Published 20 January 1956 – Harvey 40 years ago

This week the author of our history recalls the Harvey townsite of forty years ago. Younger readers will be surprised at the changes that have occurred over such a short period. Further reference is also made to the dairying industry.

Forty years ago, Harvey’s main street, Uduc Road, was rather different to what it is today. On the south side, starting from the railway crossing, were Murray Wilson’s brick store, with the West Australian Bank in a wooden building next door; Jack Grieves’ butcher shop and house, then almost the same as they are now; the brick building, then the Harvey Road Board office; Hayward’s bulk store which was back from the road where Miss Mincham’s shop stands today. Then there was vacant land to George Horrock’s house on the corner of Uduc Road and Young Street, where Murray Wilson lived. On the north side of Uduc Road, near the corner of Young Street, was the newly built Agricultural Hall, with the original wooden hall, then known as the Lesser Hall, next door. The rest of the north side was bush to “Dad” Roesner’s timber yard and house. The timber yard site is now occupied by the Harvey Co-operative store, but the house next door is still as it was 40 years ago.

There was one house on the south side of Gibbs Street and the school and headmaster’s house on the other side. In Hayward Street was Shanahan’s boarding house, which included the second building (still standing) erected in the town and made of galvanised corrugation iron; F Driscoll’s grocery store; Bob Alexander’s saddlers’ shop; Bert Driscoll’s drapery shop; Arthur Roesner’s blacksmith shop; a small shop, now the bootmaker’s and barber’s; ‘Harvey House’ next door and then Phil Ward’s wooden house back from the Uduc Road corner, where Wal’s shop is today.

In 1918, Hugh Tullock surveyed Long Swamp, near Herbert Road, and the Wokalup River which became the Harvey River Diversion. He also took levels of the Harvey River between Government Road and Riverdale Road, Cookernup. Through silting up, the bed of the river was above the surrounding country. Steve Mitchell had a contract to make levels with the silt and did the work with bullock team and scoop.


The first orchardist to change to dairying was Duncan Campbell. He grubbed out his orange trees and planted grass. James McFarlane opened Harvey’s first cream factory at Campbell’s and later built a cream depot on the corner of Herbert Road and Newell Street.

The Soldier Settlement Scheme started at this period and a great number of cows were brought into the district when most of the returned soldiers started dairying. William Johnston was the Agricultural Bank’s first local inspector, under a Mr. St. Barbe Moore, stationed at Bunbury. The 800-acre paddock between Herbert and Uduc Roads, Greenpools and Plain Paddock, came into the scheme of settlement.

The new farmers started producing butterfat which was railed to Bunbury to the Bunbury Butter Factory or to McFarlane’s in Perth. The farmers found that table cream was more profitable than butterfat, and the Returned Servicemen’s League formed a co-operative company with C. H. Spurge as manager. As dairying grew the idea of supplying whole milk to Perth was discussed and a Mr. Pye met some of the local business people and dairymen. Efforts to start a whole milk depot were made, but nothing until 1925, when George Birkbeck, a Swanbourne milk retailer, held a meeting in the R.S.L. Co-op Company’s shop in Hayward Street. He told the meeting that dairy farmers could get 1/- a gallon for all the milk they could produce.

Local Company

It was decided to form a local company and erect a cooling plant and a co-operative was formed with Mr. Birkbeck as manager and Eric Davis as secretary. R. A. Johnson and E. McKean were two of the first directors and Lionel Clifton was share salesman. A block of land was bought in Uduc Road, a cooling plant was erected and the first whole milk was received on December 1, 1925, and railed to Perth. Another cooling depot was built by a Mr. McKenzie, of Fremantle, in Hayward Street, and was later taken over by the Pascomi Company. The Harvey Co-operative Dairy Company carried on for some time and with the other company operating, sent large quantities of whole milk to the metropolitan area. After Mr. Birkbeck broke away from the Harvey company he built a depot at Yarloop. Finally, the company sold out to Pascomi.

By this time most of the orange trees had been pulled out and orchards converted to pastures. In 1930, J. Franklin and A. H. Jefferies started a condensed milk factory in Herbert Road. This was later taken over by the South West Co-op Dairy Farmers Ltd., originally the Bunbury Butter Company. They built a large factory in Roy Street, which was opened in October, 1929, and finally all the various sections, milk depot, butter factory and condensory were combined in Harvey under the one roof.

With the growth of dairying in the district it became obvious that the original Harvey Weir was not large enough. At the end of summer the use of water was restricted because there was not enough to go round. The Premier, Mr. Phillip Collier, was invited to a public dinner in Harvey. After the dinner, Jack Lowe put the case for a larger weir, which convinced everyone present, especially the Premier. Jack Lowe said “that money spent on the larger scheme would be a good investment and that by greater production the whole State would benefit.”

It was obvious from the Premier’s reply that Jack Lowe’s excellent reasoning had been completely successful and a short time later the Collier Government agreed to construct the new weir. Before it was possible to carry out their promise, there was a change of Government, and Sir James Mitchell, the new Premier, turned the first sod at a ceremony held at the southern end of the new wall.

Harvey got its weir with a large increase in the irrigation area. The area was further extended with the completion of Stirling Dam in 1947.


Published 27 January 1956 – People of Harvey

Throughout this history, well-known local names have constantly occurred. However, there are many other interesting personalities also worthy of mention. Some of the more interesting are listed in this week’s instalment:

Fred A. B. Jones, of Harvey, was born at the old shingle roof house at Myalup (Mannings), in 1897. He is a grandson of Fred Jones, who was a school teacher at the old Picton School, and a teacher of Lord Forrest before he went to school in Perth at Bishop’s School (probably the present Hale School).

Fred Jones, jnr’s mother was a Miss Gardiner, of Donnybrook, and his uncle, Arthur Jones, lived and died at Stonehouse on the Myalup Beach Road. When he died at 46 he left a widow, Nellie (nee Nettleton), and nine daughters. After his death, his family lived for many years at what became known as Aunt Nellie’s Swamp, a part of Long Swamp, near the Coast Road.

Originally Stonehouse belonged to Miss Polly Piggott, a daughter of the original Ben Piggott, of Springhill. The first Fred Jones family included Elisabeth (Mrs. Wright); Kezzia (Mrs. William Green of Pinjarra, a mother of Ernest and Herbert Green); Frederick (who had four sons, Fred A. B., C. Walter, Ernest W. and Percy, and six daughters, one of whom married W. Moyle).

Fred Jones, snr and George Crampton leased Myalup Swamp for some years before Joseph Manning bought it. W. Reading, of Runnymede, and William Clarke of Hampden, married two Piggott sisters, of Springhill. The first Ben Piggott was always known as “Dad,” and his son, Ben was a cousin of Joseph and William Piggott.

The Cliftons

William R. Clifton, a descendant of Marshall Waller Clifton, came to Harvey in 1901 and married a Miss Meredith, of Cookernup, in 1909. With Gervase Clifton, he delivered milk in Harvey on horseback. Later, William took over the milk round and in 1907, with Christenson, he had a butcher’s shop in Uduc Road near W. J. Sutton’s house.

His wife remembers coming to church in Harvey with Thompson Logue in a buggy. They forded the Harvey River and evidently came by the old track through Austin’s ford at the end of Young Street. This was the only ford close to Harvey.

Clifton was a great-grandson of M. W. Clifton, of Australind, and was born at Rosamel in 1871. When Australind born Sir Robert Symons Clifton died in England in 1941 at the age of 89, William Clifton made an unsuccessful claim on a baronetcy going back to 1281.

The Clifton family had over a century of service, unofficial and official with the Postal Department. When Marshall Waller Clifton arrived at Australind in 1841, he started an unofficial postal service and a native, known as Governor Peter, was the first mailman there. The Colonial Government took over the service in 1851, and Elinor Clifton, a daughter of Marshall Waller Clifton, was appointed postmistress. In 1863 she relinquished the position and a cousin, Christina Clifton, was appointed. She held office for 55 years until 1918, when Laura Clifton was given the position as postmistress and occupied it until 1946, when she resigned. The service of the family was recognised by the Postmaster General, who said that the service must have been a record in postal service.

Maitland Clifton is the oldest local member of the Clifton family which made history at Australind over 100 years ago. This family, the Jones family and the Piggotts of early days are well represented in the district. Robert Logue, son of the original William Logue, who with his large family were so well known 90 years ago at “Sunnyvale,” Harvey, and Maurice Logue, son of William Logue, jnr, still represent the family name. Mesdames M. Hester, Blight and Butler are other descendants of this well-known family, which at one time comprised nearly half the Harvey population. With Mrs. M. Wickham, Mrs. G. Meredith, Mrs. F. Sutton, Mrs. S. Woodier, Dougall Leitch, Phil Ward, Ted Hughes and H. G. Palmer (all except Maurice Logue of the following generation) are pioneers in their own right. Many of the original names in the district have gone, but the work they did remains.

In the second period of Harvey’s history, which started in 1895, the name of Aubrey Smith will never be forgotten. Like his brother, Alec, he was big in all ways and will be recalled as a real pioneer and leader. He was in everything that was going on and when it did not go, Aubrey’s part made it go. When he retired and left Harvey, Alec Ball, one of the latter day pioneers, aptly named him “Corner Stone Smith,” a well-earned name. It would take up too much space to record all his activities. His orange orchard was one of the town’s show places in Harvey.

Alec Ball was one of the principal movers in establishing the Junior Farmers’ movement and a leader in Toc H in the early 1930’s. For years he was a lay reader in the Church of England and held other public offices.

Thomas Pinner, snr, was a Harvey Road Board contractor for years and was also board foreman for some time. He had a large family who did a lot of hard work in Harvey on the roads. Albert Pinner went to Benger where he was prominent in the potato industry for years.

Thomas Pinner, jnr, was very active in the district’s public affairs, and pioneered moving pictures in Harvey. He was a Harvey Road Board member and a leader in the old Harvey Progress Association. He also served as road board foreman and as a contractor.

Richard Jones, a son-in-law of T. Pinner, jnr, was a tile drain expert in Harvey 40 years ago. Later he had a store in Hayward Street, and was a prominent member of the Oddfellows’ Lodge.

A. J. Markham was always known to his intimate friends as Captain or Cappie. For years he had an orchard in Third Street where he grew the best pears in the district. He was a staunch supporter of the citrus and agricultural societies. When he retired he built a house next to the War Memorial Library in Young Street, which was sold to the Roman Catholic Church, when he went to live in Bunbury. Mrs. Markham was an active member of the Church of England. The first two storey building in Hayward Street was built for Mrs. Markham. It housed Harvey’s first chemist shop, and a woman’s hairdressing salon.

Kenneth Gibsone was a prominent figure in Harvey for many years. He came to Harvey early in this century and had an orchard between Tenth Street and Government Road. He was secretary of the Harvey Citrus Society for some years and later secretary of the Harvey Agricultural Society. At one time he was Harvey ratepayers’ auditor and assistant secretary of the Harvey Bowling Club. With other prominent citizens he helped to get irrigation established in the district.

Before his death, John Grieves was a prominent and popular citizen of Harvey for many years. He was interested in everything of a public nature. He left a widow, with a large family, who carried on his business as farmer and butcher, until the sons could take over. The business is still carried on by his son, Laurie, and his two sons.

James Stewart was secretary engineer of the Harvey Road Board for 17 years until May 1925. Jim and his pipe were well known in the district.

Walter Harper, who had an orchard in Third Street, was the first chairman of directors of the Harvey Co-operative Company. He was also the honorary auditor for a number of local societies.

Published 3 February 1956 – The Conclusion of the History of Harvey and Districts

All good things come to an end and this week we conclude the History of Harvey, written by Mr. Eric Davis. The enthusiasm with which Mr. Davis prepared these historical notes has been apparent to all readers and the “Harvey-Waroona Mail” has been proud to publish them and thus preserve for all time important information about the district years ago.

Although the articles are now complete, more will be heard about the history in future weeks. Words of praise have been received from readers throughout the State and one reader, Mr. A. C. Staples, of South Perth, has contributed a further article to add detail to certain of Mr. Davis’ notes.

To conclude his history, Mr. Davis mentions some of the other neighbouring towns whose growth has been closely paralleled with that of Harvey.

He writes:

In the period of the district’s growth, Brunswick has developed very rapidly as a big dairying centre. The State Farm helped greatly at first, but Browne’s factory and the whole milk supply to the metropolitan area and the erection of Wellington Dam with the great increase in production brought about by irrigation has been a big factor in the town’s progress. The railway to Collie, with the marshalling yards at Brunswick, the hotel taking the place of one at Roelands, the brick hall and recreation ground, have all helped Brunswick forward. Anyone seeing the town today after an absence of 40 years would hardly recognise it.


Yarloop is another centre that has altered a lot. From timber as its main source of revenue early in the century, it has developed into a rich agricultural area, with miles of good bitumen roads. Unlike Cookernup, an earlier timber centre and busy siding when Yarloop was first established, Yarloop is still a busy timber centre. It had the earliest hospital in the district. This has been greatly improved in recent years.

Cookernup, although it is not now a timber centre, has grown rapidly as a dairying centre and its few farms of the early days are many today. ‘Homebush’, once owned by J. McCallum Smith, was the birth place of much good stock which helped the district a lot in the past.

Wokalup was a busy centre when Millars’ yard was there under William Berry as foreman, Andy Pollock, Bill Warwick and many others stacking and loading timber. The timber from Mornington and Treesville is still railed through Wokalup but today’s population is mainly a farming one. ‘Bundidup’ Farm, once the home of Thomas Hayward and his son, under the control of the Ugly Men’s Association for some time, is now a Government Research Station.


A busy place when a quarry was being worked there for rock for the Bunbury Harbour, Roelands is now a neat, little townsite with its hall and church, both built by voluntary labour. Dairying, fat stock raising and potato growing are now its main industries. The Native Mission School, started by Albany Bell many years ago, is a wonderful institution of which the residents are proud.

Australind, once the dream city of pioneers was a quiet and peaceful place in the days when many people went there in sulkies for a few days by the sea. With plenty of King George whiting and tailer in the estuary, good roads in both directions, it is becoming more popular every year. There is every indication that it will soon become a town for tourists instead of a city for settlers.

It has not been possible to recall all the important events and those who took part in them, but it is known that all who have passed this way and helped in their day, had a vision of the greater Harvey district which we are beginning to see today.

(signed) ERIC DAVIS


Published 10 February 1956 – The Harvey District (By A. C. Staples)

The “History of the Harvey District,” which has been published by weekly instalments in this newspaper, has received much favourable comment from throughout the State. One reader, Mr. A. C. Staples, of South Perth, praises the author (Mr. E. G. Davis), for his valuable work in compiling the history.

 Mr. Staples submits the opinion that the present time would be suitable for obtaining information about some periods in history about which little is known at present. He suggests three periods for further examination. They are:

  • From 1839 to 1884 in respect of the area known as Wellington Location 50A
  • From 1880 to 1900 in respect of the Long Swamp and Cookernup settlement.
  • From 1890 in respect of the general history of Harvey.To better indicate the periods about which information is lacking, Mr. Staples has prepared the following notes:

The early history of Harvey is closely connected with the original settlement of the Bunbury district. The story of Bunbury commences with the establishment of three large estates, the Stirling estate, the Prinsep estate and the Australind estate of the Western Australian Company.

The first Governor, Sir James Stirling, caused the first settlement to be made in Bunbury, but it was the beautiful country on the Harvey River which persuaded him to select his land grant in the southern district.

In April of 1837, Stirling, returned to Perth from Kojonup, camped on the banks of the Coraijecup River after spending the travelling north from Brunswick River. The site of this camp is in the present Harvey townsite and is commemorated by the Stirling Memorial.

The Surveyor-General, J. S. Roe, correctly charted the Coraijecup River as the upper reaches of the Harvey River, the mouth of which had been discovered in 1829. As there was never a military officer named Harvey in the colony at this early date, it is not known after whom the river was named. Soon after returning to Perth, Stirling decided to select 84,000 acres of land in the Bunbury area, including about 60,000 acres in the Harvey-Brunswick locality.

He directed that the boundary of the latter block of land should “date from a point one mile .. by E ½ E from the place my party struck the Coraijecup on April 27, near the base of the hills.” Within a few months Stirling had persuaded John Scott to take charge of his Eelup block at Bunbury. So we could say that the good land at Harvey helped to cause the first settlement on Port Leschenault.

The next to settle there was Thomas Little who was in charge of the Prinsep Estate activities in Western Australia. Only a few weeks after Stirling had settled John Scott at Eelup, Thomas Little arrived from Calcutta in search of a site for the Prinsep investment. It is easy to imagine Stirling’s persuading him to choose the Port Leschenault district. The Prinsep establishment was soon set up at Belvedere on the western shore of Leschenault Inlet.

The Western Australian Company brought the next settlers to Port Leschenault where the Australind Settlement was formed. The Company had purchased 103,000 acres from Colonel Lautour, a grantee who had never developed his selection, and from Stirling, his grants on the Collie, Brunswick and Harvey (or Korejikup) Rivers.

From 1839 until 1852 the Harvey block was a part of the Australind property, but at the latter date it was transferred back to the Stirling trustees to be known thereafter as Wellington Location 50A.

Location 50A

No satisfactory account has yet been given of the early history of the 12,800 acre Location 50A. The first occupier was T. G. Chapman, who was there in 1852 and in 1854, but we do not know whether he was acting as hut keeper for M. W. Clifton during the late Forties when the area was owned by the Western Australian Company; nor do we know when Chapman left. There is a story that the next occupier was John Giblett, who left Harvey for Manjimup about 1862. Thompson Logue was the last to lease the property from the Stirlings, but we do not know whether he took over after Giblett in 1862.

There is no record of Stirling’s re-visiting the Harvey after the journey in 1837. He left the Colony shortly afterwards in 1839. Some early settlers insist that Stirling’s son, accompanied by Lady Stirling, visited the Harvey Homestead in the late Sixties, but no reference has yet been found in the newspapers of the period.

It is hoped that the people will be found who can fill in these blank spaces in the story of Location 50A.

Three Stages

There were three stages in the settlement of the Harvey district. First we have the story of the original settlers along the Coast Road and along the foothills of the Darling Ranges. Then when these families had established themselves, other adventurers took up land round Cookernup and beside the Long Swamp. The third stage was the development of the Harvey Estate after its purchase by Harvey, Young and Gibbs.

Stage One

The story of the earliest settlement in fairly well known, though it is certain that much has yet to be told. Smith, Clarke and Crampton settled first along the Coast Road. Then, after the Logue brothers came to North Harvey in 1852, each of the Coast settlers selected additional land either on the clay flats nearer the hills, or further eastwards up the valley of the Harvey. During the next 30 years these families established themselves and took up land for their sons. In the Sixties they were joined by the Cliftons and Haywards, of Wokalup and Bundidup.

Stage Two

In the early Eighties revised land regulations made it easier for people to take up land. New settlers selected land round Cookernup and north of the Harvey Estate. When Cookernup obtained the first school in the area, it looked as though the future centre for the district might develop in the north. At the same time settlers were taking up land on either side of the Long Swamp and a number of homesteads were built along its banks.

Now that attempts are being made to develop the coastal lands west of Harvey, the old settlers of the Long Swamp might be able to render valuable service by recounting their experiences of 60 to 70 years ago. The history of Cookernup has not yet been recorded in sufficient detail.

Stage Three

The settlement of the Harvey Estate falls into several periods. First there must be an account of the attempt of the partners to conduct large-scale operations on the Estate as a whole. Then, about 1890 came the first sub-division when the land south of Uduc Road was thrown open. This attracted the first batch of settlers, the Palmers, the Sandersons, Knowles, snr, and others. Thirdly, following Christie’s sub-division of “The Paddock” in 1895, there came the fruit settlers for the “Korijekup Settlement.” There were, undoubtedly, further clearly defined stages in the development of intensive cultivation at Harvey. Some of these stages will be related to drainage, potato growing, irrigation, soldier settlement and dairying.

It is necessary that the stories should be collected of the development of Harvey since 1890. Many of the original settlers are still living in Harvey, so the opportunity should not be missed to finish a task so well begun.


Publication date unknown

In compiling the history of the Harvey district, instalments of which appear weekly in this newspaper, Mr. E. G. Davis came across many interesting items which, although not strictly worthy of a place in history, are none the less worthy of note. Some of the more amusing incidents recalled were as follows:

A blackfellow was bitten by a snake about 1898 and as there was no doctor nearer than Bunbury, two Harvey residents took him to the Harvey station and gave him whisky and marched him up and down the platform. He kept asking to be allowed to sit down but they kept him marching. Finally, he was given so much whisky that by the time the train arrived he was completely drunk.

Because there was no carrier in Harvey in the early days one settler is said to have carried galvanised iron for his first house from the railway station on his head as far as Fifth Street. Before he bought a horse the same man is said to have carted the timber for his house on his shoulders.

The nearest cows to the Harvey settlement in the old days were at Wokalup House. Mr. Gervase Clifton took milk in a large billy on horseback from Wokalup to the Korijekup settlers.

A story of a well-known Harvey man and a former Agricultural Bank inspector still brings recollections to a number of younger Harvey folk. In the early 1920’s there was a picket fence in Uduc Road near the Hall to which picture goers tied their horses. The inspector in those days drove a horse and sulky and one night some of the young bloods unharnessed his horse, poked the shafts of the sulky through the fence and then harnessed the horse on the other side of the fence. Then they all stood and laughed as the inspector tried to drive off after the pictures.

Bill Burgess, who did a bit of carting in the early days of Harvey, was one day carting a load of potatoes. He was asked what he was going to do with them, and promptly replied, “Bury them,” Not being very smart, his questioner did not understand why, until he was told that they were seed potatoes.

Colin Leitch, one of Harvey’s early contractors, rode a dark bay horse and always wore immaculate white riding breeches. One evening he tied his horse outside Wilson’s store and while he was inside someone put Stockholm tar on the saddle, which rather spoiled the gleaming whiteness of his pants. The incident created a great commotion, but no one ever found out who the culprit was.

Years ago one young man in the district courted one of the local belles for some years, but never made any mention of a wedding day. To help him make up his mind, some of the lady’s friends introduced him to the nearest horse trough. Every time they dipped him; they asked him to name the day. After a number of duckings, he finally named a day, and the couple lived happily ever after.

[1] AC Staples, They Made Their Destiny: History of settlement of the Shire of Harvey, 1829–1929, Shire of Harvey, 1979.

[2] South Western Times, 10 April 1969

[3] Originally published under the title of ‘Pioneers of Australind’, Sunday Times, 9 March 1930.

[4] Usage of such terms was once common practice, but do not reflect current attitudes or those of HHO.

Erratum. W. Bede Christie wrote the following – “The average annual rainfall is about 37 inches, thus irrigation, which is the source of great and continual expense at the fruit centres of the Murray River, in the Eastern Colonies, is here entirely unnecessary.” (W. Bede Christie, Korijekup : the fruit settlement of West Australia : Harvey River, South-Western Railway…, JB Cant, 1895, p. 14)

[6] The spelling varies – Belvedere or Belvidere; the latter spelling is used in 2016.

[7] See the Potted History on this website, ‘Leschenault Peninsula’ – Thomas Little purchased the land he named Belvedere/Belvidere on behalf of Charles Robert Prinsep, who lived in Calcutta, India. The East India Company never owned Belvidere and Thomas Little did not purchase it from Prinsep. [Ed.]

[8] According to AC Staples, They Made Their Destiny – History of Settlement of the Shire of Harvey, Shire of Harvey, WA, 1979, p. 164) William Reading arrived in 1871 and was tutor to his Piggott family cousins.

[9] Marianne Rose was said to have taught at the Parkfield School from 1885-1892. (See ‘Parkfield School’ history on this website)