Local Identities

Isaac and Marion Lowe of Waingroves, Harvey

Isaac Lowe (c1847 – 1932) Obituary

The death occurred in Harvey on Thursday, December 29, of Mr. Isaac Lowe, a very old resident of the Harvey district. The late Mr. Lowe arrived in Melbourne from England 45 years ago, when he was 40 years of age. He went to Mildura and was the third settler to take up land in Mildura for a fruit orchard. While in Mildura he was employed by Chaffey Bros, as foreman in charge of clearing operations and at one time had fourteen traction engines and 200 men under him. He spent several years in Mildura, and did not leave there until Chaffeys went bankrupt.

Then he came to Western Australia in search of a home. That was in 1896. At Serpentine he undertook draining contract for Mr. A. K. Richardson, the then Minister for Lands. He returned to Mildura within six months and brought the rest of the family across. In 1898 he purchased land in Harvey, and lived in the district ever since. He brought apricot trees from Mildura which he raised in his own nursery, and planted them in Harvey 33 years ago. Today the property is considered the finest apricot orchard in Australia. The late Mr. Lowe took a keen interest in public movement and was one of the chief movers in obtaining a school for Harvey. He was interested in the Farmers’ Club and the Citrus Society (forerunner of the Agricultural Society) and took first prize for Washington Navels at the first citrus show. For years before the war he was in charge of about 200 acres of orchards belonging to absentee owners. Mr. Lowe would have celebrated his 86th birthday in a few weeks. The late Mrs. Lowe died about 12 years ago.

Mr. Lowe’s death is mourned by Mrs. Leitch, of Boyanup, his daughter, and his two sons, Jack and Layton, of Harvey. Another son, James, was killed on Gallipoli. He was a sergeant in the 11th battalion. A great deal of sympathy was expressed among the residents of Harvey. The funeral took place on Friday afternoon in the Harvey cemetery, and was largely attended, the older residents of Harvey being particularly well represented. The pall bearers were Messrs. J. Handley, E. W. Dermer, O. C. Rath, R. O. Hayward, G. Charman, and E. Sharp, and wreaths were received from the following:—Children and grandchildren; Grandchildren at Boyanup; Daughter Mary and son-in-law Colin; the Staff of Lowe’s Stores; Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Green; Mr. and Mrs. W. Johnson, and the Snell family. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. Giblett, Messrs. E. G. Davis, A. Snell, W. A. Brown, F. B. Ashton, J. Hanks, R. Hanks, T. Sharp, White, R. O. Hayward, J. H. Hayward, G. Hayward, R. Gould, K. Gibsone, W. R. Eckersley, G. Bartley, R. M. Wilson, W. Berry, W. E. Eyres, F. Byrd, G. Clayton, T. W. D. Smith, Stanford, F. Gardner, D. L. Breen, W. Johnson, R. A. Johnson, A. S. Richardson, Ross Jarvis, G. Gamble, G. Winning, W. R. Jackson, L. Wilson, W. J. Sutton, Laurie Grieves, A. Upham, R. Crampton, H. Rigg, A. C. Rigg, W. Martin, Drs. Kennedy and Jacobs, Captain Hewitt, and Sergt. Herricks. (Harvey Murray Times, 6 January 1933.)

Mrs Marion Lowe (1853 – 1921) Obituary

The death took place on Sunday at St. Clair’s Hospital, of Mrs. Marian Lowe, wife of Mr. Isaac Lowe of Harvey. Mrs. Lowe, who was in her 69th year, was widely known and respected in the Harvey district, where she had resided for many years. She leaves a husband and 2 grown up sons to mourn their loss. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon. The body was conveyed per road to Harvey, and the remains were interred in the cemetery at that centre. Rev. W. J. Owens officiating at the graveside. The chief mourners were Messrs. I Lowe (husband) J Lowe and Layton Lowe (sons). The pallbearers were Messrs Horrocks, Knowles, Ash, Rath, Ward and Hayward. Amongst the Harvey people present were Capts. Markham and Palmer, Messrs. J. Stewart (Harvey Road Board), D. Green (Agricultural Department), Larsen, R. Alexander, A. Upham, R. A. Johnson. Geo. Burrows, Phillips, and Miss Crampton. The funeral arrangements were conducted by Messrs. W. Brittain and Son. (South Western Times, 13 January 1921.)

Waingroves Irrigation Scheme, Harvey. Photo Harvey History Online Collection.

Homes of Harvey. (From our Correspondent.)

When I called on Mr. I. Lowe he was in company with two of his boys bagging potatoes, from a patch in close proximity to his passion vine covered residence which he has called ‘Waingroves’ and which is situated on the Eastern side of the railway line about two miles from the station. Although ‘Waingroves’ literally boasts of a river at the back door with clustering evergreens whose kindly shade may be likened to the ‘Shadow of a great rock in a weary land’, the sturdy yeoman owner informs you that on it one must not rely the whole year through and so has tapped a permanent supply at deeper depths than the river bed.

During a short conversation Mr. Lowe informed me that he had been a resident of Harvey for six years to the day; and that he had come from Mildura to W.A. and so far felt that in making the change, he had done wisely. The property consists in all of eighty acres cut up into convenient blocks, some of which are utilised for stock purposes whenever it is found necessary or deemed prudent to keep the said stock at home.

Of the total acres mentioned Mr. Lowe has eighteen absolutely cleared on which he has five acres planted under apricots and three of mixed fruits. It is to be regretted that the former have not done anything better than give promise of a return for the money, time and attention they have cost. In appearance the majority of the trees present a thoroughly healthy appearance, but when it is mentioned that the youngest scion of the house of Lowe has not so far achieved a solitary stomach ache from the fruit grown hereon their fruitlessness will be understood by those who have been boys. Mr. Lowe has not, however, lost all hope of yet getting a return commensurate with the labor bestowed upon them.

This year the owner of ‘Waingroves’ harvested six acres of wheat and ten acres of self-sown oats, which make quite a tidy stack awaiting the coming of the chaff cutter.

To those who know the district the difficulty in subduing the heavily timbered lands is at once apparent. Mr. Lowe finds it compulsory to hasten slowly as his services are constantly in demand away from home, and the season’s returns so far do not justify an endeavour to do all at once. Something, however, has been done on all the property. First of all the black boy trees have been grubbed and on half of the property burned, stink weed has been eradicated, the smaller trees grubbed and so on. After the fires go through this year ring barking will be completed. There are only about eight acres remaining to be done, and attention paid to where attention is most of all required.

Your correspondent felt that eighty acres under such giant eucalyptus, black boy, stink weed, banksia, etc., required more than a theoretical knowledge of farming at £10 per acre to get and keep and make your own.

Mr Lowe’s farming experience is a blend of English and Colonial, in-as-much as he first became acquainted with the methods of the farmer in Derbyshire, which County he left about seventeen years ago for Victoria in which State he ultimately settled in Mildura and saw its good and bad times for eight years when as already mentioned or indicated ‘He heard the West a-calling.’

Mrs. Lowe presides over the affairs domestic with Miss Lowe as chief of staff and when one thinks of harvesters (who require about twice as many meals as a miner in a day) to attend to, cows to milk, butter to be made, pigs to feed, eggs to gather, fowls to get a profit out of and then finds himself suddenly on a flower garden where flowers like perfumed lights delight the eye, he thanks his host and hostess for the happiness of a day condensed to an hour of actual time explains to the youngest why he (your correspondent) hopes that he (the youngest) may soon suffer from abundance of apricots; ascertain the time by Jack’s newly arrived Sydney timepiece, requests you to point the gun the other way so as not to endanger the life of something he does not see, and then goes away with a clearer understanding of ‘Life’s endless toil and endeavour.’ (Southern Times, 23 January 1904)

We can wonder if the postcard, above, published by AB Gloster and printed in Great Britain is part of the series described in the South Western Advertiser on 23 February 1911.

The promoters, the Harvey Citrus Society, and the publisher, Mr. A. B. Gloster, are to be congratulated upon their far-seeing and enterprise, evinced by the production of the beautiful series of five different pictorial postcards, illustrating the orchards and fruit industry of Harvey. To anyone wishing to send a suitable and local memento of Harvey to relations and friends in all parts of the world, we cannot too highly recommend them. What pleases the “old folk at Home” (and others) better than pictures of the place and district where their dear ones reside.