Wilson Coulter

From eurekapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The death of Mr. Wilson Coulter on Saturday removed one of the old est pioneers of the northern portion of tne State, and one who had had an extensive experience in colonising work. The deceased gentleman was at the time of his death in his 93rd year, and for one so old was remarkably vigorous right up till his death. He was born in Armagh, Ireland, in 1823, and at the age of 28 set sail for Australia in the good ship Mooltan, arriving in Geelong in 1852. Those were stirring times in the State, and Mr. Coulter's experiences were almost romantic. He remembered with remarkable vivid ness that shortly after his arrival at Geelong "Eureka Jack," the murderer, was incarcerated in the Geelong Gaol awaiting his trial. The Government of the day decided to reprieve the criminal, and in the ab sence of modern facilities a messenger was despatched from Melbourne on horseback with the re-prive from the Governor. Riding hard and long and continuously day and night, changing horses en route, this messenger of mercy reached Geelong almost at the very moment "Eureka Jack" was to meet his doom. Mr. Coulter witnessed the messenger's horse drop dead under his rider in one of the main streets of Geelong. The messenger, with a supreme effort, ran towards the gaol waving the reprieve in his hand and calling out to attract the notice of the gaol officials. He reached the gaol as "Eureka Jack" stood on the gallows, and prevented the execution by a brief half-minute! The criminal was released, and came to the northern district, where Mr. Coulter met him in after years working on a blacksmith's forge. Leaving Geelong. Mr. Coulter took up land at Ballan in 1856. That was the year of the great scourge of pleura in cattle, rust in wheat, and blight in potatoes. Those three causes cost young Coulter a moderate for tune. However, he had the fighting spirit of the race strong within him and undaunted, he battled on. He came to Northern Victoria in 1865, and finally settled in Dingee in 1872, remaining there and rearing a family of five sons and two daughters, all of whom are living to-day. The late Mr. Coulter retired from his strenuous labors about four years ago when the Government took over his fine property for closer settlement purposes. His sojourn in the north was crowded with incident, for he saw the north develop with amazing rapidity and was himself responsible in no small measure for that de velopment. His five sons are : Richard, who now owns a splendid property at Finley (N.S.W.) ; William, now a big landholder in Western Australia; David W., formerly for many years a councillor and a past presi dent of the East Loddon Shire, and now a member of the firm of Coul ter and McCullagh. stock and station agents, of Bull Street; John H., who succeeded his brother as shire coun cillor at. East Loddon, and is to-day a progressive settler in East Lod-cfou; and Tom, who has retired from the land, is now residing at Russell Street, Quarry Hill, where his father resided for four years prior to his death. The Coulter brothers were famous in earlier days for their record overlanding feats, especially Mr. R. Coulter, who in 1885 started from Deniliquin in charge of 466 Tandarna rams for the Tandarra Estate, his destination being Afton Downs station. Hughenden, North Queensland. The season was one of the worst ever known, and the dis tance was 1700 miles. In many places there was not a blade of grass to be seen, and for 300 miles the sheep lived in scrub cut down for them. By the exhibition of rare skill and judgment, Mr. Coulter managed to deliver every ram at the Queensland station, and throughout their long journey the sheep averaged nine miles per day. That was a remarkable performance, and is the record overland trip yet performed. All the brothers had practical experience of the hardships of pioneering life, but are to-day all firmly established. The death of Mr. Wilson Coulter, however, severs an interesting link with the past, and leaves very few people alive to-day who had such an eventful career. The funeral will take place to-day, leaving his son's residence, at 38 Russell Street, Quarry Hill, for the Raywood Cemetery.[1]
  1. Bendigo Independent, 25 July 1916.
  2. Retrieved from "http://www.eurekapedia.org/index.php?title=Wilson_Coulter&oldid=19160"