Local Identities

James and Margaret Rodgers – Obituaries

James Rodgers (1824 – 1895) – Obituary

Another of the old settlers has joined the great majority. Mr. James Rodgers, of Cookspark [Cook’s Park], Australind, who has been ailing for some time was attacked by congestion of the lungs, Dr. Flynn being called in. The doctor, however, arrived too late to be of any assistance and Mr. Rodgers passed away about 11 o’clock on Thursday night. The deceased, who had attained the age of 71 years, had been in the district for many years, and had by dint of great industry and perseverance acquired a valuable property at Australind where he carried on the business of a potato farmer, annually sending a large quantity to Perth. He leaves a widow and a large family of sons. The funeral which was largely attended took place this afternoon in the Roman Catholic Cemetery [Bunbury], the Rev. H. Brady officiating.

(Southern Times, 15 June 1895)

Mrs Margaret Rodgers née Keenan (1839 – 1922) – Obituary

Every year death takes its toll of the pioneers of the South-West, and it is with deep regret that we chronicle the passing of a very old and respected resident in the person of Mrs. Margaret Rodgers, of Australind. Although the deceased lady lived practically the whole of her life in the Australind district, nine of her sons remain to carry on the pioneering work which Mr. Rodgers, senior, started. The husband of the deceased, who died in 1895, was one of the earliest of the Australind settlers. Mrs. Rodgers, who was born in Ireland 83 years ago, landed in Fremantle from the sailing ship “Escort,” at the age of 21 years. As trains in the South-West were then unknown, the long journey to Australind had to be accomplished by coach.

On arrival at her destination, she met Mr. Rodgers, who was then working for the father of Mr. Ben Piggott, and a little while later was married at Parkfield, and during the remainder of her life lived in the Australind locality. Ten boys were the outcome of the union, nine of whom are now alive and paid homage to their mother by attending the last rites yesterday. The deceased lady has 43 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren to also mourn her loss. Death took place at the deceased’s residence on the 16th, and the body was conveyed by road yesterday, being interred in the afternoon in the Roman Catholic portion of the old cemetery [Bunbury], alongside the remains of her husband.

A large number of Australind settlers paid their last respects to the elderly pioneer, a great number of conveyances following the hearse from Australind, while en route the cortege was considerably added to by mourning friends. The rites at the graveside were performed by Dean Smyth. The chief mourners were Mr. and Mrs. Michael Rodgers, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Rodgers, Mr. and Mrs. James Rodgers, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rodgers, Mr. and Mrs. Denis Rodgers, Messrs. William, Frank, Patrick, George and Misses Dora and Alma Rodgers (grand-daughters). The pall-bearers were Messrs. M. Clifton, J. Milligan, T. Piggott, J. Shine, B. Cargeeg, and B. Slattery. The remains were enclosed in a polished casket with symbolic emblems. Among the wreaths laid on the grave were those from Frank and Addie, George and Alma, Mrs. L. Illingworth, Mr. and Mrs. L. Cargeeg, Mr. and Mrs. J. Fletcher, A. D. Gardiner, Mrs. Roy Keddie, Mr. and Mrs. H. Hislop and family, Mr. and Mrs. Lewin, Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont Taylor. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Messrs. W. Brittain & Son.

(South Western Times, 18 February 1922)