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Bardwell, George (1826–1912)

George Bardwell, n.d.

George Bardwell, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 15 October 1912

At Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, last month, one of the oldest and best of the Riverina pioneers passed away. Mr. George Bardwell, of Woodlands Station, was born in County Essex, England, in 1826, and was only seven years old when the family emigrated to Sydney and settled near Tempe, Cook's River. Thus the Bardwell family were among the early settlers of New South Wales.

Early in the forties Mr. Bardwell became associated with his brother Charles, who owned Oberne Station, forty miles from Wagga, and who at the age of ninety is still residing on Oberne — the last of the family who arrived in 1833. In 1848 the gold fever broke out in California, and Mr. George Bardwell joined a party of Australian miners, and for two years was engaged in "placer-mining." Returning to New South Wales in 1850, he shortly afterwards went to the mines at Gympie, Queensland. Then, again, the spirit of the pioneers took him to New Zealand with the first flight of miners who settled on the Clutha diggings. Not being successful, he quickly returned, and settled down to a pastoral career on his brother's Riverina station, Oberne. This was very early in the fifties, before gold was discovered in Australia, and at this period fat cattle and sheep were selling in Sydney at 20s. and 2s. 6d. per head; in fact, a mob of bullocks, driven by the late Mr. Bardwell from Oberne across country to Sydney, sold at 10s. per head.

He was a fearless horseman, and only six years ago, at the age of eighty, he broke in a young colt on his own station, Woodlands, and stuck to him as well as ever he could have done in those early pioneering days of sixty years ago. Within the last few months, though eighty-six years old, he would drive his buggy and pair unattended the thirty miles from Woodlands to Wagga, and open six gates en route, arriving in town sitting as straight as any young man of twenty-five.

With the discovery of the rich alluvial gold in Victoria, such expedients as boiling down fat stock, because of poor markets, were done away with, and fat bullocks in 1856 were selling in Melbourne at £15 per head and sheep up to £3 per head. This was the squatters' harvest, and the late Mr. Bardwell's former experiences in mining and his shrewdness, made him see that in the end the squatter would be the gainer, so he gave his undivided attention to pastoral pursuits.

Mr. Bardwell's first wife was Miss Eliza Jane Nixon, who owned part of Carabost Station, near Wagga, and who was also largely interested in the old Wagga Bridge Company under the toll system, whereby everyone who crossed the Murrumbidgee at Wagga had to pay two pence per head to the private company who had built the bridge.

The late Mr. Bardwell and his first wife went to Woodlands in 1876, where she died in 1893.

He afterwards married Miss Martha Isabel Johnstone, daughter of the late Mr. Henry Johnstone, of Wagga, and leaves a family of four daughters.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Bardwell, George (1826–1912)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bardwell-george-57/text57, accessed 21 November 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

George Bardwell, n.d.

George Bardwell, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 15 October 1912