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Rowe, John Henry

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1841
Place of birth Cornwall
Date of arrival 1849


Date of death 1873
Place of decease Willunga

John Henry Rowe was the youngest child and only son of Edmund and Elizabeth Rowe. As an eight-year old, he came to SA in 1849 from Cornwall with his parents and sisters on the ship William Money.

He possibly attended a school in the Willunga area for a few years although no record has been found of this. He then helped his father on their property Waybrook Farm on the corner of Edwards Rd. and Strout Rd. (closed section), Willunga. Their next-door neighbours included the Jackson family at The Grange farm on Jackson’s Hill Rd. This area was then known as McLaren Vale.

John Henry was involved in the sporting life of the community. He competed in the Southern Rifle League whose matches were keenly contested affairs where weather conditions often influenced the results of the individual or team competition. As many as 40-50 men from the South participated, and during one of the earliest matches in 1861 the ground was visited by from 150 to 200 visitors, of whom a considerable proportion were ladies. At this match John H Rowe scored a total of 7 points compared to 14 points by the winner Mr St John Mudge of the Noarlunga Company. In 1866 when competitors were tested over 400, 500 and 600 yards John Henry Rowe scored a respectable cumulative total of 46 points. He also played for the McLaren Flat Union Cricket Club in 1869 with team-mates from the neighbouring Jackson, Strout, Manning, Elliot and Vickery families.

John Henry Rowe married Jane Anne Jackson (the girl next door) on 8th December 1864, at The Grange home of her mother Mrs Jane Jackson, with Rev. E. K. Miller officiating. John Henry was 23 years old and Jane was 24 years old, She was the eldest daughter of Jane (nee Philipson) and William Jackson. Her father had died in 1859, five years before his daughter’s wedding. The young couple lived on Waybrook Farm after their marriage.

John Henry and Jane Rowe had 4 children:

Martha Jane Rowe, born 5 November 1865, died 26 August 1947, married Joe Leaker.

Edmund Rowe, born 3 May 1867, moved to Queensland.

William Jackson Rowe, born October 1868, died 27 June 1887.

John Philipson Rowe, born 2 August 1870, died 25 February 1893.

In 1868 John Henry Rowe was executor of the Yankalilla estate of his brother-in-law John Polkinghorne after his early death aged 38. John’s sister Mary Rowe had married Polkinghorne in 1856 and had five young children when she was widowed.

From 1869 John Henry Rowe expanded his farming activities with a lease on nearby section 505 comprising 146 acres with a stone house. In 1871 until his death he also paid rates on section 769 of 101 acres, as well as his father’s Waybrook Farm holdings on sections 704 (72 acres) and 705 (80 acres).

Then in January 1873, only nine years after his marriage, John Henry Rowe died, aged 32 years. He was survived by his pregnant widow Jane and three young children. He pre-deceased his father Edmund and, like his mother before him, was buried at the Strout Road cemetery. It is interesting that he died at a relatively young age, as did his brother-in-law John Polkinghorne and two of his sons who died in their twenties.

After John Henry’s death his wife Jane managed the farm, with help from three of her children - daughter Martha and sons John and William. The sons, however, both died quite young, in 1883 and 1887 respectively. Daughter Martha Rowe married Joseph (Joe) Leaker in 1893 and they had four children, Harry (1894-1969), Bruce (1895-1960), Walter (1898-1976) and Effie Isabel, later Hyde (1908-?). Martha Leaker was photographed at the opening of St Stephen's Church Parish Hall in 1924.

Jane Rowe died at ‘McLaren Flats’, in March 1896, aged 56 years. At this time is not known where she was buried. There seems to be no record of her burial at Strout Cemetery, McLaren Flat or Willunga.

The Waybrook property then passed to daughter Martha and her husband Joe Leaker.

Sources

  • Willunga Courthouse Family history folders
  • G Manning Hope Farm Chronicle pages 143-5 169
  • SAGHS Births Marriages Deaths
  • South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail Sat 13 March 1869 Page 1
Jane Rowe, nee Jackson (1840-1896). Wife of John Henry Rowe. From Ruth Baxendale
Jane Rowe, nee Jackson (1840-1896). Wife of John Henry Rowe. From Ruth Baxendale
St Stephens Church of England Parish Hall. Laying the foundation stone, 1924.
St Stephens Church of England Parish Hall. Laying the foundation stone, 1924.


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