John Payne
Name John Payne (male), aka Jack
Birth Details Date & Place 25 September 1877, Alexandra, Victoria (1)
Baptism Unknown
Father George (Red) Payne, 1850, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset
Mother Mary Jane (Polly) Payne, 1854, Preston, Victoria
Death Details Date & Place 21 September 1940, "Epwroth" Private Hospital, Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria (2)
Burial Cremated, Springvale Crematorium (2)
Cause of Death Uraemia 5 days, Vesical Calculus 6 years, Hypertension 4 years, Cystostomy 2 months certified by Dr. L. Kiraner, 21 September 1940
Age at Death 67 years
Marriage Details Date & Place 14 June 1899, St. John's Church of England, Alexandra, Victoria. Marriage was by Licence issued on 13 June 1899 by Field Flowers Bishop of Melbourne..
Spouse Ellen Whitehouse, 1878, Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria
  1. Ellen Myrtle Phyllis, 1903, Alexandra, Victoria (called Phyllis)
  2. Alexandra John Keith, 1907, Alexandra, Victoria (no first name is not mis-spelling)
Occupation Agricultural Labourer, Carter/Carrier, Driver of own hire car and at time of death carpenter
Residence Alexandra Victoria, 10 years Meandarra, Queensland, Alexandra Victoria, latterly 4 Pleasant Road,Hawthorn, Melbourne Victoria
Religion Church of England

Jack appears to have inherited his father's stern ways because his sister Maud describes him as coming after her with a whip when she'd been very naughty. My father-in-law, also describes his father as a stern disciplinarian.

Jack went to Queensland as a pioneer in the early part of the 20th Century, probably about 1912. They settled near the "town" of Meandarra close to Roma. There were other members of the Payne family in the area as well as some of Jack's wife's family the Creightons.

To call Meandarra a town at this point is misleading. Allotments and commercial area had been surveyed but few buildings had actually been constructed.

The family arrived on an uncleared block of land and set up their farm from scratch. The children Phyllis & Keith were closely supervised, Keith in particular being kept in a sided wagon because of the fear of snakes. As Jack cleared some bush, he took the trees into a town about 40 miles away so they could be sawn into planks etc for the new home. The family lived in tents for a considerable period. I wonder if they were fighting the prickly pear too??

There was no school. As Jack had 2 children at this point, he became the prime mover for the construction of a school and wrote to the Queensland Department of Education on 23 March 1913. The Dept. built the school, it cost $197 pounds, and it opened in September of 1913. Two of the first pupils were Jack's two children Keith and Phyllis. Click here for more information on Meandarra State School

After remaining in Queensland for 10 years, Jack and his family returned to Alexandra in Victoria. I was told 2 stories about why they returned to Victoria. The first, from my father-in-law, Keith, was that there was a terrible drought and the property was no longer viable. The 2nd, from Phyllis was that her mother needed medical treatment for "women's troubles" and could no longer cope in Queensland. Maybe both stories are true and it was the combination of events which forced the return to Victoria.

Whatever happened, Ellen Whitehouse Payne and her daughter Phyllis returned to Victoria by ship, Jack and son Keith travelling overland. Keith would have been about 12 at this time. Keith told the tale of how terrible that journey was; they were the ubiquitous "Sundowners", that is travellers with driving stock along the New South Wales stock routes who came into the farmsteads at sundown to beg food and water for themselves and their stock. Keith said that it was very difficult to get water for the stock because of the shortage and they were often charged large amounts of money for it.

The family spent some considerable time in Alexandra, with both Keith and Phyllis completing their education there before the family moved to Melbourne where Jack ran his own hire car business prior to dying in 1940.

  1. Victorian Birth Entry, 1878/11
  2. Victorian Death Entry 1940/9652