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Lipscomb, William Griffin (1839–1913)

It is with the deepest, regret, we have to chronicle the death of Mr. William Griffin Lipscomb, who parsed peacefully away at his late residence, 'Sherborne,' Church street, at 5.30 last evening. The immediate cause of death was a slight congestion of the lungs. The deceased gentleman had been in ill-health for the past three years, but he was able to get about fairly well, and transact business up till a few days ago, when he was in town for the last time. He knew his end was approaching, for in chatting with a number of friends on Christmas Eve, and us late us Tuesday, he remarked that in all probability that would be the last occasion on which they should meet in this world. On Tuesday he complained of not feeling as well as usual, but on Wednesday morning he was somewhat better, and was about the house as usual. Later in the day he took a bad turn, and his medical attendant ordered him to bed, where he remained until the end came. He was quite conscious up till midday yesterday. Despite the weakness occasioned by his long illness, he was always very cheerful, and his mind was clear and alert as to everything going on around him. Three years ago he suffered from a paralytic seizure, and on the advice of his medical attendant, he retired from active business pursuits, which he had followed with great success the greater part of his life, and retired to his private home, 'Sherborne,' in Church-street. The business of chemist, druggist, bookseller, and seeds man, which he carried on for the past 50 years, was established by his father over 75 years ago. It was one of the largest and most prosperous business concerns in the town, having a large country connection, which extends throughout a great portion of New South Wales and Queensland. In fact, it is one of the oldest business concerns in New South Wales. On his retirement from business, the book-selling and fancy goods department was purchased  by Mr. E. L Bradley, and carried on in new premises, but the older established chemist and druggist branch is still going in the old place, having been recently taken over by Mr. H. W. Stainer.

Born in West Maitland in the year 1840, the late Mr. Lipscomb was educated at the Church of England Grammar School, so successfully conducted by the late Rev. W. K. Colyer, and where many other prominent public and professional men received their scholastic training. Finishing his school course, he entered his fathers business, where he studied the profession of chemist and druggist, and continued there until his father's death, in 1873, when he took over the business on his own account. He married a daughter of the late Mr. T. W. Tucker, senior proprietor of the 'Maitland Mercury,' and 0n the death of the latter acted as trustee in connection with the business of the paper on behalf of the family—a responsible position, in which his well-known financial ability assisted materially in guiding the paper through the stormiest period of its long existence, and which position ho relinquished after his illness was known to be of a serious nature. He was always prominent in public and political matters, and in everything that made for the advancement of his native town he never failed to lend a willing hand, and assisted every laudable movement either by his voice, his influence, or his purse. His charity was unbounded, bis hand being ever in his pocket to assist in cases of sickness or distress. His life up to the time he was taken seriously ill was a very busy one, but he was over an ardent devotee of cricket and football, and a great lover of all manly sport. Very few cricket or football matches, of any importance were played locally but he was present as a spectator, to give encouragement to the game. In conjunction with Messrs. E. J Capper, John Rourke, and a few other gentlemen, he was instrumental in establishing the Albion Ground. This was the first home of cricket and football and other athletic sports in Maitland, and after conducting it success fully as a sports ground for some years, and effecting great improvements, it eventually became the property of the Hunter River Agricultural and Horticultural Association. The late Mr. Lipscomb was an alderman of the Municipality of West Maitland for some years, and for a period of many years a director of the Maitland Gaslight Company, holding the latter office until he resigned some few months ago. He was keenly interested in religious matters, both at St. Paul's and St. Mary's churches, and was a generous contributor to church funds. Te private and in public life lie was highly esteemed for his warm-hearted, benevolent nature, his value and usefulness as a citizen, and for his many excellent qualities. His death will leave a void in the ranks of our more prominent townsmen that will be very hard to fill. He is survived by a widow, two sons and one daughter (Miss Emily Linscomb). His sons are Mr. W. H. Lipscomb, manager of the Commercial Bank at Harden, and Dr. Thos. W. Lipscomb, of Leichhardt. There are four surviving brothers—Messrs. Benjamin Lipscomb, solicitor; Sydney; Watt Lipscomb, licensed surveyor, Sydney; John Lipscomb, manager of the Bank of Australasia at Napier, New Zealand; and George Lipscomb, chemist, West Maitlnnd. The surviving sisters are Misses Grace and Lucy Lipscomb, of West Maitland. Widespread sympathy has been expressed with the bereaved family and relatives, and numerous wreaths and messages of sympathy have been received.

The funeral took place this afternoon, the mournful cortege leaving 'Sherborne' at 4 o'clock for the Church of England cemetery at Campbell's Hill. The funeral was largely attended. The Rev. A. Killworth, M.A., LL.B., officiated at the graveside. The chief mourners' were — Dr. T. W. Lipscomb and Mr. W. H. Lipscomb (sons), and Mr. George Lipscomb (brother).

Original publication

Citation details

'Lipscomb, William Griffin (1839–1913)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/lipscomb-william-griffin-22400/text32131, accessed 14 October 2019.

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