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MacPhillamy, Charles Smith (1858–1935)

When the breath of life has gone
Death marks another mile stone.

Yes, death has marked another mile-stone in the pioneering history of the Lachlan— a mile-stone whose prominence must long exist.

Picturesque in every sense of the word— tall, well-built, impressive, jovial, enterprising — Charles Smith MacPhillamy, the 'Squire of Warroo,' was a figure of prominence characteristic of the best of our pioneering type, if not the 'noblest Roman of them all,' at least among the noblest. Who of the many thousands who have shared of his hospitality and genial company could challenge these statements. Few, if any. Who of the hundreds who ate at his table, walked through the beautiful orchard and gardens, viewed his wonderful stock (sheep, cattle and horses) on that great Warroo Station, but must have vividly realised the man's master mind, magnificent conception of all things and pleasing nobility of character. No one— surely no one.

Born at Carlton, near Rockleigh (Bathurst district) 76 years ago, the late C. S. MacPhillamy inherited the best pioneering blood in his veins, thus fortified with all the essentials for successful battle in life. He was the eldest son of the late Charles Marsden MacPhillamy. Three other brothers, Walter (now of Orton Park), Norman and Harold were also born at Carlton but Walter is now the only survivor. Harold dying in 1924 and Norman some ten years earlier.

After leaving Kings School, Parramatta, at the age of 16 the young man drove to Warroo in a buggy, his father having acquired that station from a Mr. Robert Smith. In 1883 he married Miss Halloran, of Ashfield, so that it is only a little more than a year since the grand old couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

To write a fair history of his public activities during his sixty years of residence at Warroo would be to write a booklet, and even then much already known to our readers would be traced. Admittedly, in the "Sport of Kings" he was a king of sport. He bred and raced many of the best, and many were the tumultuous cheers given spontaneously when his colors would pass the winning post. Temptation winner of the £1500 Adelaide in 1930, was bred at Warroo & the sire Warroo was among the best of his stud, siring numerous winners and himself ran second to Marvel Lock in a Caulfield Cup and Maniapoto in an A. J. C Metropolitan Handicap. But it is said that Mr. MacPhillamy always considered Air Motor the greatest mare he ever raced. She was not one of his breeding, but a purchased mare for about £90. She won for him an Epsom Handicap, an A. J. C. Carnival Handicap, Grandstand Stakes, Villiers & Rawson Stakes. When finished with her turf career, he sold her to Sol Green for breeding purposes. Among others she threw the great Biplane to Comedy King. The Squire of Warroo retired from racing some twenty years ago, but a book published by him entitled "The Thoroughbred, His Breeding and Bearing" is valued by those who possess it especially studmasters right throughout the Commonwealth. He was one time President of the Western District Racing Association and for many years a strong supporter of the Forbes Jockey Club, of which he was patron at the time of his death. He also played a useful part in the Forbes Picnic Race Club and the Bedgerabong Picnic Race Club, He was also a cattle and sheep breeder of some note and a frequent prize winner at shows for many years.

As a landowner he was in a very big way running at times over 50,000 sheep on Warroo and Corinella. One year his wool clip reached the total of 1000 bales, and there were twenty shearing stands in the shed. He was also interested in some big mining ventures. We all remember how he developed the Iodide Mine at Mineral Hill and eventually sold it for £50, 000, but the purchasing company did not do much good with it, though the mineral wealth is is still there. He was one of the largest shareholders in the Nil Desperandum mine at Calarie.

Though not in good health for several years past, no one suspected the end was near. On the 10th January he was motored to Orange by his son Angus, with the intention of remaining there till the end of the summer. But Fate decreed otherwise. Taking very ill on Sunday, January 20, he gradually sank & passed away as stated at the outset.

The body was taken on to Bathurst and interred in the family vault in the Presbyterian portion of the cemetery. The funeral was very largely attended.

A widow and four sons and two daughters are left to mourn their loss. The family are Messrs M. C. (Manly), Neil (Warroo), A. O. (Condobolin), George (Warroo), Mrs. Single and Mrs. C. Edols. To all the bereaved ones we extend our sympathy.

Original publication

  • Lachlander and Condobolin Recorder (NSW), 6 February 1935, p 2 (view original)

Citation details

'MacPhillamy, Charles Smith (1858–1935)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/macphillamy-charles-smith-25600/text33914, accessed 18 August 2019.

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