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de Boos, John (1819–1898)

John de Boos, n.d.

John de Boos, n.d.

from Euroa Advertiser (Vic), 11 March 1898, p 2

Now the laborer's task is o'er
Now the day of battle past,
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last.

After a life of 70 years' duration, 48 of which had been spent in the colony, and 45 at Euroa, Mr. John de Boos, senr., paid the last debt to nature on Wednesday, when, after some weeks of suffering, the old gentleman quietly "crossed the bar." The event, which was not unexpected, severs the principal link between the present and the past history of Euroa, deceased being, with one exception, the earliest resident pioneer. He was born at Spitalfields, near London, and came to Victoria in January, 1850. He became a member of the Argus staff, and was sent as a special correspondent to report on the first gold discovery at Anderson's Creek in 1851. On the breaking out of the gold fever he went with a party to the Forest Creek rush, but although they got on good gold they could not continue mining on account of bad water and the prevalence of sickness among the party. They all returned to Melbourne, where deceased obtained the position of coroner's constable, the then coroner being Dr. Wilmott, afterwards entering into business in Melbourne. He came to Euroa in January, 1853, and opened the first store in a large tent on the site of the present Seven Creeks Hotel. This was at the time of the rush to the Ovens diggings, and the Sydney road was alive with traffic and passengers. The creek was a favorite camping place for the teamsters, and the new store did a thriving business. The whole of Euroa was then bush land. There was, of course, no railway, and all goods were conveyed by road by bullock teams. The freight charged on goods at that time would make a modern store keeper's hair turn grey, the fare from Melbourne to Euroa being £75 per ton and a compliment to get it delivered at that —while on to Spring Creek (Beechworth) the freight was £150 per ton. These figures seem now to be wild romance, and indicate the extent of the chances and changes since that period. The mails were brought from Melbourne twice a week by pack-horse, Mr. DeBoos being postmaster for over 20 years. He was also electoral registrar, an office which he filled continuously to the day of his death. At Violet Town last week, Mr. J. Fivey, a very old resident of that place, showed us the electoral records for 1864, where deceased's signature appears as electoral registrar for the "Murray District, Seven Creeks Division." He did brave and enduring work in those pioneering days. He opened the first school, with the object of teaching his own and neighbors' children. The school was held in a bark hut, and to this small beginning was due the establishment of the first public school. In those free and easy days, religion was a matter of very slight importance to many, while the absence of ministers and churches helped to further weaken any hold it may have had on the rising generation. In this emergency deceased stepped into the breach, and to his honor be it recorded — added spiritual teaching to his scholastic labors. The decent disposal of the dead also claimed his attention. He laid out the present cemetery grounds, and acted as manager and secretary up to the present time. He always took a great interest in the Church of England, being a lay reader and guardian for many years. He was "one of the old school," ever kind and considerate of others, particular and conscientious to a remarkable degree. His daily life and acts were regulated by system, nothing forgotten, nothing over looked. On Saturday last deceased realised that life's taper was drawing to a close, and asked his son the question "Medicine of no more avail?" and on receiving a reply in the negative, said "Very well, I am willing. Let me be buried quietly — 'old Tom' (the sexton) knows the spot where I'm to go; we've often talked it over. If it's a very hot day when I'm to be buried, keep the funeral till late in the afternoon, so that the folks will not have to endure the heat." This last act of thoughtfulness was indicative of his whole life. Deceased leaves a wife, daughter (Mrs. Stewart) and son (Mr. C. L. DeBoos), and a numerous family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren to mourn his loss.

The funeral will leave the Church of England at 2.30 p.m. to-day (Friday). The Church Guardians will act as pall bearers.

Original publication

Citation details

'de Boos, John (1819–1898)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/de-boos-john-14500/text25601, accessed 18 June 2019.

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