F is for Florence and for Finch Hatton.
Florence Elizabeth Walker, my 1st cousin 3 times removed, was the first child and eldest of three daughters of Alex & Mary Jane Walker. Florence (I wonder if she was called Flo) was born on the 25th September 1893 in Walkerston. Florence is the mother of Daisy Louisa who was the subject of my D blog, you can read it here.
Florence married James Harvison on the 17th October 1894 in Walkerston. The couple had four children, two boys, and two girls. Their first son, Thomas Alexander, was born and died in 1896, aged just ten days. Florence was widowed in November 1898. She remarried Powell (Paul) Poulson on the 17th June 1904 in Mackay. The couple had seven children, three boys, and four girls. One one, Alexander Vivian, died aged about two years. The other children all lived reasonably long lives.
Paul Poulson had the Marian Bakery and the family also ran the Marian Store. As noted in the Daily Mercury1 in 1914 the store had the latest in an American Soft Drink Fountain. It must have been of great interest in Marian.
Florence was active in the local community, organising Sales of Work, Country Dances, and other community fundraising activities. She was again widowed in 1925 and continued her life in and around Marian. I think Florence’s connection to the community and her family would have been a great treasure to her in her widowhood.
Florence died on the 1st August 1851 and was buried in the Walkerston Cemetery the next day as noted in the Daily Mercury2.
Now for Finch Hatton …
Finch Hatton, a rural town 60 km west of Mackay, is toward the western end of the Pioneer River/Cattle Creek valley.
The locality was known as Hatton, named after Harold and Henry Finch-Hatton, local land owners and gold miners in the hills to the south-west. Harold Finch-Hatton was also the author of a popular travel book, Advance Australia (1885), with several pages on his mining and pastoral adventures. Because of the confusion with Hatton Vale, south Queensland, the full Finch Hatton surname was adopted in 1906 for the small township and railway station3.
In 1903 the Pioneer Shire Council built a railway extension from just beyond Mirani to Upper Cattle Creek, prompting the Racecourse Central sugar mill (Mackay) to develop the Finch Hatton Valley for cane farming. By 1904, a complete railway was running to Finch Hatton3.
The Finch Hatton Gorge and Cattle Creek are quite lovely and if you are very quiet you may be lucky enough to spot a platypus. I have been fortunate enough to do so. My ex-husband’s family grow cane on the banks of Cattle Creek so I have visited the area quite often.
Why do I mention Finch Hatton, well again my grandmother talked about Finch Hatton, they would take a buggy ride there to visit an Antoney uncle and family and a nephew of Florence (Rupert John Higham) farmed there. Perhaps Florence visited him? With the railway in place, it would have been much easier to Florence to get about the district.
- 1914 'MARIAN.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 29 December, p. 3. , viewed 06 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article190870464
- 1951 'Family Notices', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 2 August, p. 2. , viewed 06 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article172245731
- http://queenslandplaces.com.au/finch-hatton accessed on 7 Apr 2016.