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Minchin, Edward Stapleton (1842–1887)

Stapleton Minchin, 1881

Stapleton Minchin, 1881

Another old and well respected resident has been called to his long home. After a most painful illness of long standing, which culminating during the last fortnight induced a general breaking-up of the system, Mr. Stapleton Minchin died at his residence early on Saturday morning last. Beyond all doubt it is the most difficult of all tasks to steadily enumerate the many virtues of a lost friend, and such becomes the more difficult when one has to look beyond his own personal reminiscences and strive to echo the sad feelings of many others who equally grieve and grieve together over the loss of one respected by all. Such an one was Mr. Minchin. In the early days of this township he was ever alive to any good work which would benefit the progress of the town or add to the welfare of its inhabitants. Socially he always held his head well up among the leading residents, while publicly he was among those who strove to build up for Wagga that name which her position demanded. He was ever foremost in all Associations. He took a keen interest in the grounding and well being of the M.T.C. and for very many years was among the most enthusiastic of the Club's committeemen. The Hospital Committee was not complete without his name for a very long term of years. The Mechanics Institute found in him, in his younger days, an enthusiastic supporter. His energy was always lent to the Pastoral Association and in every good thing done for this district he had a hand. He was in later years a most indefatigable member and Secretary of the Progress Committee and ever was most attendant to the duties of his position. In business none was so well known. He was quick to grasp the chances of a good bargain for his constituents and during his many years in connection with Commission Agencies and as an Auctioneer he ever gave the most unqualified satisfaction to those who entrusted their business affairs into his hands. He was a most excellent judge of stock and his manipulation of the hammer never failed to bring forth the last shilling from the most reluctant. Hence it is that, now he is gone, it becomes a painful duty to chronicle his career — one with which there are hardly any who have not more or less been brought into contact. "Men's evil manners live in brass. Their virtues we write in water" but let us for once sink this aphorism and consider the virtues which were his and blind ourselves to the former if there were any. Mr. Minchin was born in the year 1842, in Dublin, on the banks of the Liffey which it was ever his pride to remember. He was educated at Manchester and having finished his studies, he emigrated to these colonies whither other of his friends had preceded him. He arrived in Wagga in the year 1862, and upon the day which saw the opening of the Company's Bridge which still spans the waters of the Murrumbidgee. He at first took a position in his brother-in-law's office. That relation was Mr. William Williams who was then an Attorney practising in this town. To him he was articled as it was his intention to study for the law. He, however, retired from this position and went with and under Mr. George Elliott in charge of travelling stock for the purpose of gaining experience. After two of three trips he launched out for himself and ever since, his business had brought him into more or less closer relationship with all kinds of stock and their owners. Relinquishing this line of business, he, in the year 1870, opened as stock, station, and commission agent in the office now occupied by Mr. A. T. Bolton. In 1872 he was married and then determined upon making Wagga his home. This fact is here stated, for it was owing to that determination that he frequently refused highly remunerative offers to join some of the leading firms in Sydney. He also steadily refused many excellent offers from other sources. In 1872, Mr. A. G. Jones, having a quick eye for business tact, induced Mr. Minchin to take upon himself the management of the Wagga Wagga Advertiser and this position he maintained for two years and a half, when his own business as an agent demanding his whole attention, he had to resign it. Subsequently he made one of what was commonly known as the "long firm," that of Messrs. Wilkinson, Hann, Minchin, and Lavender. Later on, when Mr. Hann retired from the firm, it was reconstituted as Messrs. Wilkinson, Graves, Minchin, and Lavender. From this firm Mr. Minchin, however, retired, and then he entered into partnership with Mr. Rebello, the firm being Minchin and Rebello. This partnership having come to an end, Mr. Minchin opened an office and started once again by himself, and carried on his business up to the last, although latterly, owing to ill health, he was not able to attend to it. "We know him now—all narrow jealousies are silent." As a friend he was honest, staunch, and true; as a business man he was ever prompt and diligent in his efforts to please; as a townsman he devoted many hours of his time to the advancement and welfare of the town and people; and as an ever ready, open handed, generous man in all his dealings, he must long be remembered with the greatest of esteem in the minds of those who knew him best. All will sympathise with Mrs. Minchin and her three sons in this their sad time of sorrowing and it will be a solace to them to know that in their affliction they have the sympathy of every person in this town and district. The funeral, which took place on Sunday morning, was, owing to a last wish of the deceased, of a private character, the members of the Masonic body, of which the deceased had been one, according him a funeral with Masonic rites.

Original publication

Citation details

'Minchin, Edward Stapleton (1842–1887)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/minchin-edward-stapleton-31150/text38538, accessed 26 November 2020.

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