Local Identities

Eastcott Family Obituaries

Profound regret was expressed on all sides when it became known on Friday last that Mr William Eastcott had passed away at the residence of his daughter, Mrs W. H. Eastcott, “Willowdale” farm, Wagerup. The deceased, who was 79 years of age, was born in Devonshire, England, and came to Australia in 1856, settling on the Canning and following the occupation of a farmer. He married in 1860, after which he settled in the South-West, where he remained until his death. His wife predeceased him three and a half years ago. He left six children (three girls and three boys), 32 grandchildren and five great-grand-children.

On Saturday morning a Requiem Mass was offered for the repose of the soul of the deceased in the Catholic Church, Yarloop, the Rev. Father McCabe officiating. The funeral, which immediately after Mass took place at the Cookernup Cemetery, was one of the largest that has ever taken place in the district, testifying to the high esteem in which this old and respected family is held by the farmers and citizens in and around the South-West.

(W.A. Record, 10 April 1915.)

Headstone of Ann and William Eastcott, Cookernup. Photo courtesy of Kerry Davis.

Mrs Ann Eastcott née O’Neil, (c1841 – 1911) – Funeral

The funeral of the late Mrs. William Eastcott, Red House, Wagerup, took place on the 10th inst., and was largely attended by relatives and friends. The cortege made a halt on the way at the Roman Catholic Church, Yarloop, where a service was conducted by Father Fahey, who afterwards followed the funeral to the Cookernup Cemetery, where the body was interred.

The deceased came to Western Australia in the emigrant ship West Australian in 1859. She had been married 51 years. The deceased leaves her husband, three sons and four daughters, 26 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Numerous wreaths and floral tributes were placed on the coffin and grave, and messages of sympathy were received by the bereaved family from sympathetic friends.

(West Australian, 14 July 1911.)

William Joseph Eastcott (c1861 – 1953) – Obituary

William Joseph Eastcott, aged 92, died in Bunbury on Monday last, thus severing a marriage partnership of 69 years. When Mr. and Mrs. Eastcott celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary on August 18, it was believed to be a State record for a marriage partnership. Deceased was born of an early migrant family in the area now known as Queen’s Park and spent his life in the South-West district, being for many years a farmer at Wagerup. Shortly after he and his wife were married they took up virgin land in the Wagerup district and Mr. Eastcott cleared the land himself, aided only by such implements as a rake, a shovel and a hoe. He sowed the seed by hand and first cropped in 1889.

The late Mr. Eastcott had a remarkably retentive memory, and could well recall most happenings which helped to make history in W.A. during the early days. Mr. Eastcott left a wife (aged 91), two sons and two daughters, 24 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren. The funeral was in the Roman Catholic portion of the Cookernup cemetery at 2.45 yesterday.

(Harvey Murray Times, 9 October 1953.)

William Joseph Eastcott (c1861 – 1953) – Obituary

Early last week the death occurred in Bunbury of William Joseph Eastcott, 92-year-old pioneer of the Wagerup district. The late Mr. Eastcott is survived by 91-year-old Mrs. Eastcott, who had been his partner in marriage for over 69 years.

Besides his widow he leaves 2 daughters, 2 sons, 24 grand-children and 46 great-grand-children to mourn his passing. A third daughter is deceased.

This grand old man who, together, with his wife, was so well known and so well respected throughout the Drakesbrook and Yarloop districts, first came to Wagerup about 1886. The couple made their way from Perth by horse and dray. The journey took them 3 days. At the time Mrs. Eastcott was nursing a 6-months-old baby.

No plough was available for Mr. Eastcott when he started work at Wagerup. Using only a spade and hoe, it was some years before the land was cleared and the first crop taken off.

At that time their nearest neighbors were the Fouracre family, 7 miles to the north, and the Logue family, 4 miles to the south. The coming of a timber mill to Yarloop in 1895 made a big difference in the lives of these hardy settlers. A market was now available to them. Their farm produce was much in demand, especially butter churned by Mrs. Eastcott. Mr. Eastcott brought the first Jersey cows into the district.

Throughout the many years they lived a full and happy life, raising their family and farming the land. Their property included the farm which is now occupied by their son Joe (who was the first white baby born in the district) and grandson Alf and his wife. It is only a few years since they left the scene of their labors and went to live at Bunbury with their daughter, Mrs. Usher.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Eastcott were natives of W.A., pioneers born of pioneers. Mrs. Eastcott was formerly Mary Angela Bancells. Her father came to Australia with the Benedictine monks who later founded New Norcia. However, he left the order, married and settled down to grow vegetables at Rivervale. The late Mr. Eastcott spent his boyhood in the area which is now known as Queen’s Park. The couple were married in 1884 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Perth.

After prayers in the Roman Catholic Church at Yarloop the funeral took place at the Cookernup cemetery at 2.45 on Wednesday afternoon of last week.

(South Western Advertiser, 15 October 1953.)