Alma Dillon notes ex Jenny Mitchell

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Source: Alma Dillon 10 Fitzgerald St, Essendon                            Nov 1974, Aug 1975
     In about early fifties, William (Burton) and his brother James came to Australia and went mining at Ballarat. They made money and returned to England. James then had a grocery shop and William a Butcher shop in Stokeclimsland (border of Cornwall and Devon)). William and Margaret had two more children, Brad and Dinah (see tree). After two or three years William returned to Australia alone and went to Osmonds/ Butchers Flat (Yackandandah?). His wife and children plus two of her brothers - Sam and Bob - followed. They sailed from Plymouth Sound on 11 September 1861.   
    William met them at Port Melbourne and with two drays they walked to Osmonds Flat. Selina's assessment was "Grandmother drove, i.e., we walked." (Grandmother was Margaret; Selina was talking to Alma, Margaret's grand-daughter). William and Margaret had two more children in Australia; Fred and Minnie. The house at Osmonds Flat had "a dirt floor with bags on it." William had a butcher's shop for 8 or 9 years - the mines were no longer working at Osmonds Flat. Jane died the year the family came out, aged 15. She was buried in Yackandandah Cemetery. William (son) used to tend her grave till he died (1889). One day he found some red roses growing by it. He took cuttings which were planted at Climsland (see later). The plant finally died a few years ago in Essendon (Home of Minnie and Jack Flentji - see later).
    From Osmonds Flat the Mitchells moved to Hillsborough where the mines were operative. William built a house ("in those days people shifted with mining booms"). Bethanga had opened up between c. 1868 to early 1870s (Minnie was only a little girl). William built a hut in Bethanga and the men used to camp up there and work. Sometimes Margaret would stop up there and do the cooking. William (son) found a mine that they called "Welcome," which was situated at the top of the hill near the old Methodist Church. The mine was said to have "more copper than gold in it." William (son) was interested in buying land and in (1879?) he and Brad rode on horseback as far north as Queensland, checking out the country (see diaries). On the trip they stayed with Bob Hawton (Margaret's brother) who had gone mining at Hill End - top of New South Wales. But in 1879, after his return, William's diary revealed interest in land outside of Bethanga. Extracts from his diary:
    5th December 1879 left Hillsborough 6am "went to Bethanga to peg out the river bend that I applied for last year. I put the first peg by the river at one o'clock pm. ... I crossed over to the fence to put in the other peg and saw a peg on the other side of the fence. ... had a look, that of Archibald Lobban."
    On 9th December 1879, William (son) records that he went to Beechworth and applied for the river bend of 200 acres. On 12th December he was at Finley's sale: "Father bought 418 acres between the three of us at 92/6 per acre. I bought 325 for myself at 86/- per acre."
  To finance the land-buying, the mine "Welcome" was sold. William (son) got half the money and his father William and brother Brad who also had shares in it each got one quarter of the money. William called his land "Whiteford" after a place in Cornwall where his mother's ancestors lived for hundreds of years. The land taken on by William (father) and Brad was called "Woodlands." This was later changed to "Climsland" by Brad's wife. Also Brad later bought William's share in the Woodlands property.
    William initially built two rooms at Whiteford, then later added rooms to total eight and at one stage nine. He had "beautiful embossed wall-papering - gold and roses" and dado boards extending three feet up the wall (i.e., flash, I think). William was "dying to get married." He went to Melbourne where he met Ellen Cubitt. He told them at home that "she was smart ... carry as many plates!" Ellen and her sister worked at a coffee palace (?). Ellen's sister became engaged to Fred and he gave her a ring but she jilted him and went to Sydney. She sent the ring back and it was given to Minnie.
    On Selina's wedding day she was sitting on the front verandah at Hillsborough. It was pouring rain. Minnie said "You going to get ready?". "Thinking about it"' she did. The man she wanted had "married his cousin at the end of a shotgun." William (son) used to take the collection. He got really sick of threepences and he wouldn't put them in the church funds but took them home and locked them up. When Selina got married William told Art "I've got five pounds worth of threepences. You can have them to pay the minister if you want to." So he did. William gave Minnie three pounds worth of threepences to buy herself a locket; she bought "a nice pearl one."
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