The Brookton and Districts Historical Society

Samuel Williams

Born 1850, Died 1921. Second son of George Henty Williams and Selina Bradley. He left School at 12 or 13 to assist his Stepfather working on a farm at Gwambygine, at 18 he leased and worked a farm, Seaton Ross in the Beverley District. At 21 he selected 100 acres on a tillage lease 20 miles from Beverley and began forming the nucleus of ‘Woodbine’, now in the Brookton District. In 1879 he married Agnes Martin, they had 9 children. He was a founding member of the Brookton Road Board (founded 1906). Samuel built the present homestead on Woodbine in 1920, only living there for 9 months before his death. He was a well respected and valued member of the Community.

Stan Wall

Born 1909, died 1977 Stan was a Constable with the Police Force in charge of the Brookton District from 1949-1969. A policeman with a common touch, Stan carried out his duties with firmness and understanding of people which earned him respect and cooperation from citizens in all walks of life. Stan was an original founder of the Subiaco Police and Citizens Youth Club and the driving force behind the formation of the Police Boys Club in Brookton where they played Football, Basketball, and did Boxing and Athletics. He had an unfailing belief in the youth of Australia and he once said, ‘give the lads something to do and we won’t have to worry about putting so many behind bars.’ After his death a memorial was erected at the entrance to the current Main Sporting Facility in Brookton, the funds raised from community donations.

Henry Samuel Whittington (Harry)

Born 1921, Died 1999 Son of Samuel Whittington and Evelyn Mitchell. Henry married Alice Dean in 1945 and had 5 children. Harry was training to be a pilot at Cunderdin when his father died so was sent home to farm as he was the only child. He farmed at ‘Springhill’ until retirement into Brookton in 1987. He began contouring “Springhill” 1952 to control water erosion. In 1954 he installed true contour banks beginning the interceptor bank system which inspired 275 farmers to form the Whittington Interceptor Salt Affected Land Treatment Society in 1978. He was at the forefront of the Land Care Movement and was Awarded an OAM in 1992 in recognition of early work in soil conservation. He also received the Brookton Inaugural Landcare Award 1996 and Brookton Citizen of the Year in 1997. He sat on many Committees – WA Farmers Federation, Local Government, Grain Pool, Brookton, Pingelly, Wandering Pasture Improvement Group, Brookton Historical Society, Brookton Anglican Church, Masonic Lodge, Brookton P & C, Patriotic Fund.

Robert Nigel Goss Meecham

Born 1911, Died 2003 Educated at Woodbridge and Guilford Grammar, loved cricket, football, swimming, playing a few games of football for Claremont. 1937 joined AMF Reserves 10th Light Horse, then May 15th, 1940 he enlisted as WX2650 AIF 2/16 Cameron Highlanders. He married Enid Merle Walder one month after enlisting, they had 62 years together. He was discharged from the Army as medically unfit, he then took up ‘Jalna’ farm in the Brookton District, it was reported he moved there to a mud brick house, only owned a bicycle and a wheelbarrow and ‘bugger all else’. He contributed to various sporting organisations in the Brookton Community as well as the RSL. He received the Citizen of the Year for the Brookton area in 1994.

Vicenzo Andretta (Vince)

Born 1912, Died 2002 Vincenzo migrated from Naples after having been a prisoner of war in Victoria in 1945. Vince was Mussolini’s bodyguard, machine gunner in the elite Blackshirts and served twice in the Italian Army in Abbysinia (Ethiopia), where he was a guard to King Emmanuel as well as Benito Mussolini. In the last stand of Italians on top of Auberchern Hill is where he became a prisoner of war being sent to India and then Australia. Vince, wife and family lived in Brookton and Vince was the Porter at the Brookton Railway Station for many years. Vince was also the local Barber who worked from home. His descendants still own their home in White St, Brookton.

Amelia Seabrook (known as Min)

Born in 1848 Died 1918 Daughter of John Seabrook and John’s second wife, Margaret Maria Ford. Amelia was only a few months old when she was brought to Brookton in a bullock dray, where she lived at Brookton House. Amelia was confirmed in May 1865 at St Peters Church, Gilgering, by Rev Frederick Lynch, she never married.

Jack Hansen

Born 1880 Died 1961 Arrived as a Danish seaman working as a shipwright, he jumped ship and was shot at in Albany but survived and made his way to the Goldfields. He took up ‘Rock Hill’ farm in 1907, for the next 54 years, until his death at 81 in 1961 he only left the district for a one-day trip to Narrogin. As an illegal immigrant he didn’t apply for any assistance as he feared the police. 2 years before his death the local policeman persuaded him to claim a pension. His home and farm complex at Nine Acre Rock still has remnants and is now a picnic site. He was also known as an Animal Doctor to local farmers. His grave has a piece of Nine Acre Rock on it which his caring neighbours did for him.

William Benjamin Harris White

Born 1857 Died 1967 William was the second son of John and Selena White (nee Bradley). Selena arrived in WA as a nursemaid to Captain Stirling’s Family. William married Elizabeth Mary Ann Newman in 1899 at Beverley. In 1897 they purchased Merkine Valley Farm in Brookton, where the descendants still farm today. William was a carrier for sandalwood with his stepbrother George Henty Williams of Kulyalling, younger brother of Samuel Williams.

Herbert Michael Eva

Born 1875 Died 1964 Herbert was from Cornwall and came to WA in the early 1900’s after serving in the Boer War. He headed to Kalgoorlie to work on the Goldmines. He was appointed Assayer and Chemist at Wodgina, 90km South of Port Hedland and then went to White Feather Main Reef at Kanowa on the Goldfields. In 1912 he purchased 1250 acres East of the Brookton Townsite, ‘Fairbank Farm’, continuing to purchase adjoining properties in 1920 and 1928. In 1918 he joined the Brookton Road Board, serving for 26 years. Herbert was the first Chairman of the Brookton Farmers Co-op and held this position until his retirement in 1955 (37 years). 1952 he retired from active farming, he purchased 63 acres adjoining the Brookton townsite.

Alfred Wake King

Born 1862 Died 1954 Father John William King, Mother Mary Ann Clark. In 1884 he married Fanny Higginbottom at Auburn South Australia and had 5 children together, Alfred adopted Fanny’s son, Ernest William on their marriage. The family moved to Brookton in 1904, Alfred joining the Brookton Road Board in 1906-1907 until 1936. He was a vermin and road traffic inspector and continued this part time after his retirement.


Suzanne Turner