Local Identities

Mrs Maria Sands (c1834 – 1916) – Obituary

It is with sincere regret we have to chronicle the death of the late Mrs Sands, which took place at the residence of her son, Mr. R. W. Sands, on Friday evening last. The deceased had been a sufferer for many years past with rheumatism and dropsy, the latter becoming so chronic that it eventually became the cause of death. The late Mrs Sands had however, despite adverse health conditions, reached the ripe old age of just on 82 years at the time of her death, 63 years of which she had spent in Australia.

She arrived in the State of South Australia in the year 1853 by sailing ship called the Aleiva where she married her first husband Mr. Wm. Jackson, in the year 1854. Mr and Mrs Jackson had just settled down to home life when glowing accounts of the gold discoveries in Victoria at that time attracted the attention of Mr Jackson who decided to go and try his luck. His young wife prevailed upon him to allow her to accompany him, and so they set out together in the only means of locomotion available in those days—a dray, their destination being fixed as the Fiery Creek diggings in Victoria, now for many years known as Beaufort. So far as is known the late Mrs Sands (the Mrs Jackson that was then) was the first white woman to venture upon such an overland journey, being unfortunately deprived, through death, of her husband a few years later.

She married again in the year 1868 the late Mr William Sands, who predeceased her many years ago. As some members of her family had come to the West, Mrs Sands, with the remaining members of her family, decided to follow, and came to this State 23 years ago. She shortly after decided to take up her home in Bunbury, where she successfully conducted a business of her own, until about seven years ago. Feeling the weight of years upon her she decided to relinquish business, and came to Harvey where she has since, up to the time of her death, shared the home of her son Robert, who, with the patient care and unremitting attention of her grand-daughter had done as much as possible to relieve or lessen the weight of her declining years. Mrs Sands and her family were well known on the Goldfields and South-Western portions of this State, particularly in the latter where there are at present residing Mrs A. Dungey, of Burekupp [sic]; John Robert William and Albert Edward, of Harvey, besides which she left 17 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

The funeral took place in the Anglican portion of the Harvey cemetery on Saturday afternoon, when a large number of the residents of the district attended to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of deceased. Of the relatives of deceased at the graveside were noticed: Mrs Dungey, daughter; Mrs A. E. Sands and Alf, daughter-in-law and grandson; Mrs Dungey, granddaughter; Messrs Robert and Albert, sons; W. R. Jackson, grandson; H. Jarvis, grandson-in-law and Masters Syd and Ross Jarvis, great grandsons. The pallbearers were Messrs Geo. Horrocks, W. E. Ash, J. Billings, J. Shanahan. The Rev. T. O. Hurst was the officiating clergyman. A large number of wreaths and other floral tributes were sent. The funeral arrangements were in the capable hands of Mr P. J. Ward, of Harvey.

(Southern Times, 18 April 1916)