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Mitchell, Elizabeth Broughton (1797–1880)

I have to record the death of a lady who was not only the oldest resident of this district, but probably also the oldest native of the colony. Mrs Elizabeth Mitchell who died a few days ago at the residence of Mr. A. Heriot, her son in-law, was born at Parramatta in the year 1795, and about the year 1840, being then a widow, removed to Albury and took up the Mungabreena station. This run then included the present site of the town of Albury and the surrounding stations of Thurgoona, Tabletop, Bungowannah, and Dight's Forest—an enormous extent of country. At that time I need hardly say the township was but a name, consisting indeed mainly of the orthodox public-house and butcher's shop which are usually held to constitute a village. The native blacks were numerous, and the district, in short, was beyond the limits civilization had then attained. The changes witnessed by the deceased lady were indeed marvellous. Hard by the site occupied by her original stockyard now stand banks, public offices, churches, which would not disgrace the metropolis in point of magnitude or beauty or design. On one run alone of the several into which her station was divided are now settled several thousands of persons; and in the entire area which she alone occupied 40 years ago, it would be a hard matter indeed to pick out enough Crown land for a moderate-sized farm. As a striking instance of the alterations effected, I may mention that in the old days, when all goods had to be transported by bullock-drays, it is recorded that a border settler had occasion to send to Melbourne for stores. At the same time that the dray left the station the squatter started on a short trip to the old country. In due course he returned, and on the same day that he reached the station the bullock-team also got back with the supplies. Heavy weather, bad roads, and occasional straying on the part of the bullocks had spun out the journey to and from Melbourne to the length of a voyage round the world. Now we can run down to Melbourne in seven hours, and to Sydney in 15. The deceased, who passed away peacefully whilst asleep, was suffering from no particular ailment other than a general breakup of the system. She leaves a large family of children and grandchildren, many of whom are holders of station property in the district. The funeral was conducted by the vicar of Albury in the town cemetery.

Original publication

Citation details

'Mitchell, Elizabeth Broughton (1797–1880)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mitchell-elizabeth-broughton-18128/text34529, accessed 15 September 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Huon, Elizabeth Broughton
Birth

6 June 1797
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Death

5 September 1880
Albury, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

Cultural Heritage