Unit 3: Early Days at Jindalee
Early Days at Jindalee
Excerpt from a biography “Memorial to Joan Gates”
To begin, Mary Dawson came to Australia with her father and sister on the sailing ship, the Canton, and settled at Camden, NSW.
Mary was born at Wellsley, England, 12th August, 1815, died 13th April, 1892, at Jindalee.
She married William Coker.
They had a farm near Camden, and had two children, Henry and Francis.
Unfortunately, William died when he was only 36, so Mary ran the farm.
The next farm to her was owned by Thomas Hobbs, who was a widower with three children.
Mary and Thomas married, making 5 children, and then they had 5 more children.
The other children from that marriage were Eva, Florence, Mary, Oliver, and Ted.
Thomas died and soon after, Mary decided to go further afield to take up more land.
So Mrs Hobbs with her family of 10 children plus their belongings, set off in covered wagons, with the chickens and ducks slung underneath in canvas sheets, all with them.
The shafts of the wagon were hollowed down the centre, so that the sovereigns could be placed there and be safe from bushrangers.
After many days they arrived at a lovely green valley.
They camped there, and Henry Coker, who would have been 21 years of age, rode by horseback as far as what is now known as Gundagai but could not find country better than that of the Jindalee valley.
So they settled there, building a home and opening a shop to serve the men building the railway line from Goulburn to Junee.
Mrs. Hobbs , was my great Grandma Hobbs
Being a staunch Methodist, she held services in her home, and about every 6 weeks the Methodist minister from Young would ride over and stay a few days, visiting the settlers round about.
When they settled, Grandma planted fruit trees, and there are still a few pears and a mulberry alive.
A brick home was built up on the hill behind them.
The bricks were made and baked on the property.
That home still stands and my father, inherited it.
Incidentally, I was born there.
It was decided to build a church as the services grew to large for the home.
My great Grandma Hobbs gave the land for the Jindalee Methodist Church, built in 1875.
She also gave land, just next door, for a School which we all attended until we went to High School, in Cootamundra.
The Wards knew the Hobbs in Camden, but did not like them.
However, Samuel Ward wanted some willow pieces to plant around their dam, so sent his son, Arthur Nash, to ask grandma for some pieces.
Whilst there, he met Florence Hobbs and fell in love with her.
Arthur sought permission to court her.
Florence was blessed with golden, curly hair, so when they went out riding, he would say, "let your hair down, Flo".
Arthur and Florence were married and built a pisé home at Gilgal.