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Connelly, Thomas Jefferson (1858–1892)

from Bendigo Advertiser (Vic)

The news of the death of Mr. Thomas Jefferson Connelly was received in Bendigo yesterday afternoon with universal and genuine expressions of regret, that gentleman's demise having occurred shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon at Kerang, where, during his last illness, he was staying. Although Mr. Connelly's health had of late been far from good, he had transacted business connected with his firm, Messrs. Connelly and Tatchell, without complaining of any severe indisposition. On Wednesday last he attended the National Show in this city, and again on Thursday afternoon he spent an hour or two in the Show yards. The same evening he proceeded to Kerang by the 5.50 p.m. train to conduct the defence in an important case in which the Marine Board were prosecuting. Mr. Connelly attended the court on Friday morning and had a successful day there, winning all the cases in which he was engaged. In the afternoon, at the termination of his business there, he left the courthouse to walk to the office of his firm, but when within 20 or 30 yards of the office he was seized with an epileptic fit. He was conveyed to his lodgings at Cullen's Hotel, and his partner, Mr. Tatchell, was acquainted with the fact of his illness. Dr. Hinchcliff at once left for Kerang, accompanied by Mrs. Connelly. The doctor returned to this city on Saturday, and Mr. Connelly was then getting on fairly well. On Monday morning last he had improved a good deal, but in the afternoon a telegram was received by Mr. Tatchell that Mr. Connelly was dangerously ill. The same evening, Drs Hinchcliff and Macgillivray proceeded to Kerang to attend him. Yesterday morning intelligence was received that Mr Connelly was even worse, and could not be expected to live very many hours. His mother and other relatives, who reside in Melbourne, and who had been telegraphed for, arrived in Bendigo, but as the medical gentlemen who were in attendance were of the opinion that the patient could not live until the arrival of the train at Kerang they did not complete the journey. Mr. Connelly died as already stated, at about two o'clock in the afternoon.

The deceased gentleman was a son of the late T. J. Connelly, who for many years was one of the leading business men of the city. Fifteen or sixteen years ago he was articled to Mr. John Ellison, of the firm of Brown, Ellison and Co. After passing his examination about eleven years ago he commenced business in partnership with Messrs. Bennett, Attenborough, and Wilks, the practice being carried on under the name and style of Bennett, Attenborough, Wilks and Connelly. Two years later Mr. Connelly purchased the interest of his partners and commenced the practice of his profession on his own account. His offices were then at the Albion Chambers, View-street. Five years ago the firm of Connelly and Tatchell was started, and three years ago the firm removed from the Albion Chambers to handsome offices in Williamson-street. Mr. Connelly during the years that he practised the profession of the law in this city earned the respect and confidence, both of his brother members of the profession and the public, and he was accounted justly one of the ablest lawyers in this city. Mr. Connelly ever evinced a warm interest in the affairs of this municipality, and had held the office of not only of a city councillor, but mayor of the city. He was elected to represent Darling Ward in the City Council on 8th January, 1885, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late Cr. W. G. Jackson. At that time he was opposed by the present mayor, the hon. J. H. Abbott, M.L.C. Mr. Connelly was elected mayor of the city on the 16th August, 1887, and had the distinction of being the first Bendigo native and the youngest man who had ever held the office. During the same year he was elected president of the Australian Natives' Association of the colony. His practice increased, and Mr. Connelly overworked himself broke up his constitution, and then contracted a very severe attack of typhoid fever, from the effects of which he never properly recovered. Mr. Connelly had been a member of the committees of Bendigo Hospital, the Mechanics' Institute, and other institutions of this city, and had always taken the liveliest interest in their welfare and progress. He held the rank of captain in A Company of the local Militia forces, but two months ago owing to ill health he was compelled to apply to be placed on the reserve of officers. It was in a considerable measure owing to his efforts that the efficiency of the regiment was raised to its present high standard, and in Mr. Connelly the regiment has lost an energetic officer, and the members of the regiment an esteemed personal friend. The deceased gentleman was a native of Bendigo, and was 34 or 35 years of age. He married a daughter of Mr. Reynolds, of North Melbourne, and leaves a widow and three young children, two boys and a girl. Yesterday flags were living at half-mast at the Town Hall and the principal business places, and the A.N.A. flag at the Temperance Hall was also half-mast. The remains will be brought down to Bendigo today, and will be interred in the Bendigo Cemetery on Thursday afternoon, the funeral leaving his late residence in Langston-street at four o'clock.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Thomas Jefferson Connelly

Additional Resources

  • birth notice, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), 19 May 1858, p 2
  • death notice, Leader (Melbourne), 22 October 1892, p 45
  • funeral, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), 21 October 1892, p 2

Citation details

'Connelly, Thomas Jefferson (1858–1892)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/connelly-thomas-jefferson-19972/text31144, accessed 14 October 2019.

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