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Jenkins, Maria (1822–1924)

from Gundagai Times (NSW)

Maria Jenkins, n.d.

Maria Jenkins, n.d.

photo supplied by Bob Stevens

On Tuesday morning at 5 o'clock Gundagai's grand old pioneer, Mrs. John [Maria] Jenkins, passed peacefully away to her long home, at the age of 101 years and 11 months, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs Steel Beveridge, at 'Balgowrie', Epping, where she had been tenderly cared for for about a quarter of a century. The deceased old lady was a remarkable woman in many respects, and her life leaves a bright example for younger generations to copy. In her early days she persevered through great hardships but entered into them with grit and perseverance and overcame them all.

Deceased was born at Bonnington, near Campbelltown, on May 15, 1822, her father being Mr. John Ray, who was one of the first settlers in Campbelltown. When 18 years of age deceased married the late Mr. John Jenkins and lived with her husband many years at Narandera, and in her day was a noted horsewoman of the fearless and resourceful type, in the days when the saddle or the waggon consisted of the only means of transport, and on one occasion she travelled on horseback a distance of 306 miles from Campbelltown in order to reach her destination. Later the late Mr. and. Mrs. Jenkins settled at Nangus, at which place they became better known to the old residents of this district, and remained there for close on 50 years, rearing a large family of four sons and seven daughters.

The late Mrs. Jenkins was indeed an Australian of Australians, her mother before her being born in Australia, a remarkable woman who died at the age of 98 years. Therefore, deceased came of stock that peopled Australia throughout two centuries.

Deceased's husband died in 1899, at the age of 85, and in his time owned more than 20,000 cattle before 1850 and later made Nangus famous among cattle men.

Deceased was a most interesting woman, and an encyclopaedia of early day events, and her chats about blacks and bushrangers were most interesting and her lively recollections of the stirring old days and of the exploits of the bushrangers that made life far from quiet in country districts were realistic. Ben Hall and the Moonlight gang entered into deceased's existence and her memory was keen when she spoke of them, in fact one of Moonlight's gang (Bennett) worked at Nangus.

The clouds rolled back when deceased thought of her husband and the blacks. How the natives speared cattle, and how her husband cured them of the habit, and how the mobs of cattle were taken overland to Adelaide.

Our grand old woman has gone to meet her Maker, and she leaves behind her a host of friends, grand-children and great grand-children to mourn the loss of one of the most interesting personalities that ever lived in our grand district, and whose memory will be ever cherished.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Maria Jenkins

Additional Resources

  • turns 100, Tumut Advocate (NSW), 9 October 1923, p 2

Citation details

'Jenkins, Maria (1822–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/jenkins-maria-25832/text34015, accessed 14 December 2018.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2018

Maria Jenkins, n.d.

Maria Jenkins, n.d.

photo supplied by Bob Stevens