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Connor, Francis (Frank) (1857–1916)

from Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA)

Frank Connor, n.d.

Frank Connor, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 September 1916

The late Mr. Frank Connor, whose tragic death in a shooting accident, was reported in yesterday's issue, was well and favourably known throughout the whole state. He was an Irishman, born at Newry, Ireland in 1857, so at the time of his death he was 59 years of age. His father was an auctioneer and salesman. After receiving a good commercial education, he joined his father's business, in which he received a thorough knowledge of stock, which was of vast assistance to him in Australia.

When 28 years of age Mr. Connor left Ireland, having decided to seek his fortune under the Southern Cross. He came to West Australia and settled in the northern part of the colony with one of his subsequent partners, Mr. D. J. Doherty. At Wyndham they established a store, from which they used to supply the miners of Hall's Creek. For months Mr. Conner carried his life in his hands going to and fro between the port and Hall’s Creek.

The partners took up a large area of land on the Ord River, and turned their attention to cattle breeding, with great success. Subsequently, they joined forces with the Messrs. Durack, and the firm became known as Connor, Doherty and Durack, and with other large pastoralists, largely supplied the meat requirements of the southern part of the State. Owing to the rush to the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie goldfields, the firm opened offices at Kalgoorlie, as well as Fremantle and Perth. They had a number of retail butcher’s shops, but the venture did not prove remunerative, and was soon abandoned.

Some years ago Mr. Connor opened up an export trade in cattle from Wyndham to the Philippine Islands. In pursuance of this object he was a frequent visitor to Manilla, and on several occasions his stay there was of considerable duration. Mr. Connor always spoke well of his reception there, and much admired the energy of the American residents.

The deceased gentleman had been for some years in poor health and he lately retired from the firm of Connor, Doherty and Durack. Subsequently he purchased an estate at Benger near Harvey, and since then lived there with his wife and the younger members of his family.

Mr. Connor, who at the time of his death was a member of the Legislative Council, was in Parliament for more than 20 years. On the introduction of responsible Government, he was in April, 1893, returned to the Legislative Assembly as member for East Kimberley. He was re-elected in April 1894, in May 1897, and in April 1901. When the two Kimberley electorates were amalgamated he was elected for the joint constituency of Kimberley, in June, 1904. In the election the following year, he was defeated by Mr. Arthur Male, the present sitting member. The next year, however, he stood for the North Province, in the Legislative Council, and was returned. When his term as a member expired in 1912, he was re-elected unopposed, although at the time he was absent in Manilla. During the session, prior to the election, he was unable, owing to his absence, to attend a single sitting, and it was a remarkable mark of appreciation for the electors, in such circumstance, to return him without even a contest.

At the time of Mr. Conner's death, there was no member of either House of the State Parliament who was so lengthy a period a member of that legislature. He was intimately acquainted with all the men who have been prominent in politics in the State for the past 23 years, and was universally well liked.

When in the Legislative Assembly he was, during the regime of the Daglish Ministry, a member of what was known as the Fourth Party. Its personnel included Mr. C. J. Moran, Mr. A. E. Thomas, Mr. Butcher, and Mr. Frank Connor. At the subsequent elections the only one of the four who escaped defeat was Mr. Butcher. In politics Mr. Conner was never a strong party man. As member for the North Province, and also as representative of the pastoral industry, he was for years a persistent advocate of Government freezing works at Wyndham.

Throughout his life Mr. Connor was a man of varied interests. In addition to being a pastoralist and a politician, he was, at various times in his life, an investor in the mining industry. A couple of years ago he was responsible for the erection of a battery near Southern Cross. He was also a patron of the turf, and was a frequent visitor to goldfields race meetings. Mr. Connor was, furthermore, a staunch advocate of Home Rule for Ireland, and was always ready to do anything in his power to further the cause.

Mr. Connor leaves a widow and a number of children. The eldest son occupies a good position at Manilla, and another is serving with the Australian military forces.

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Citation details

'Connor, Francis (Frank) (1857–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/connor-francis-frank-240/text1658, accessed 25 November 2017.

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Frank Connor, n.d.

Frank Connor, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 September 1916