HISTORY OF HARVEY AND DISTRICT



BY: E G DAVIS - 1955



The fourth instalment of the History of Harvey comprises extracts from the diary of Mr Thomas Hayward, who arrived in Western Australia in 1853. His diary was written in 1910.


September 7, 1853 - Arrived in Fremantle accompanied by Mrs Rose, Basil and Charlie. We came out in the barque, Devonshire, and had a long and rough passage.


I hired Parkfield with R H Rose, cleared some land; did fairly well dairying and tobacco growing. Mr Rose married and Mrs Rose, snr., Charles and myself took Wedderburn and started dairying. In October, 1857, the cows commenced to die. After leaving Wedderburn, I took Bindinup and in December I married.


When I took Bindinup in March, I had a fine team of six bullocks and sent them to Bunbury for supplies. On their return, I turned them out and nearly a fortnight later found four of them dead. At the start of the winter we commenced dairying, my wife having some very fine cows. About the end of October they commenced to die and we lost about half of them. We moved the rest to the coast and the following year the same thing happened.


I was completely disheartened and was inclined to throw up the whole thing. My wife having gone through similar losses previously had more courage and we struggled on. The next year we had two fields which had been cropped and manured and then we had paddocks ready in which to turn the cows at night and were able to carry on. The first winter I was detained at the coast for a week and on returning found that the chimney of the house had been washed down. The next season the place was burned down. Nothing was saved and some men who slept at one end of the building lost their clothes and money. By the aid of contracts for supplying road parties we struggled on.


(Note: At this period the Perth - Bunbury road was being constructed by convict labour).


I was elected chairman of the first road board (Wellington), and before going to England in 1873, I resigned but found on my return some time later that I had been re-elected as chairman. I held the position until increasing business interests compelled me to resign. I estimated then that I had ridden over 4,000 miles on horseback on board business.


In April, 1901, I was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for Bunbury, and at the next election I was returned as member for Wellington and retained the seat up till the present time (1910).


When I started at Bundidup there were neither roads nor bridges. About July, I started for Bunbury with my team to get some flour and other supplies. I reached the Brunswick River and found it running a banker. I left my team and crossed over on a log, borrowed a team from Mr Eedle on the other side and returned with my supplies. With Mr Eedle I succeeded in getting one bag of flour across the river on a log. I took the flour home and returned after the river had lowered for the remainder.


Several years after this, Mr W B Mitchell in attempting to cross the river the same way, fell and nearly lost his life. At the same time there was a lot of convict labour on the road. Once when I was returning from the road board meeting late at night near Benger, I saw a man on horseback turn off the track. There was no made road and he stopped in a clump of trees. Although it was a moonlight night I did not notice that the horse had blinkers on instead of a bridle. I spoke to the man. Later, I was awakened by Joseph Logue, of Harvey, who told me the man I had seen earlier was an escaped convict who had stolen a Government horse and saddle.


I got up and started in pursuit on horseback, striking matches to look for tracks wherever there was a turn off from the road. I eventually found the man at the men's house at Mr Eedle's and he was taken in custody. As I had ridden over 60 miles it was decided that Mr Logue would ride to Bunbury for a policeman. I took Mr Logue's revolver and walked about for the rest of the night. I was afraid I might go to sleep if I sat down. About 9 a.m. the policeman arrived and took charge of the convict, whose name was Norval. He had a life sentence and had been in the chain gang. He was sent to Fremantle and the horse was returned to camp.


In those days whale oil was the chief illuminant - a very dirty and disagreeable one too. About 1856 I saw 14 American whalers in the bay (at Bunbury) calling for supplies.


About 1870, with Joseph Manning, I went up the Sandalwood Road with a view to getting it cleared and re-opened. This was done and for several years large quantities of sandalwood was brought to Bunbury for shipment.


W B Mitchell went to India with a shipment of horses, all of which were sold to the Government at a good price. Perth and Fremantle were supplied with butter from southern districts in kegs and casks and even beer hogsheads. Flour ground by William Forrest from wheat grown in the district was sent there.


I employed ticket-of-leave men for many years. One man whom I took when he came out on ticket-of-leave, stayed with me for 14 years. He had been in the slums of Glasgow, and I taught him to do every kind of farm work. This was more than 40 years ago - about 1873. He is now (in 1911) receiving the old age pension in New South Wales.


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