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Pile, William (1841–1916)

A noted pastoralist and sportsman in the person of Mr. William Pile died in his sleep at his residence, Somerton, near Glenelg, on Friday night. He was a member of a well-known family, and was a brother of Mrs. McKinley, widow of the explorer. The late Mr. Pile, who was 75 years of age, was a son of the late Mr. James Pile, of Gawler. The latter came out to South Australia about 67 years ago, and shortly afterwards took up land on the Darling, in partnership with McKinley, the explorer. He obtained Cuthero and Polia Stations, where he had charge until the time of his death. Mr. John Pile (eldest brother of Mr. William Pile), who lives at Glenelg, and his brother Charles (deceased), and William, established a partnership, and assumed charge of the stations upon the demise of their father. This arrangement continued until about 11 years ago. Deceased was for about 36 years a resident of Glenelg, and also had a small farm at Plympton, where he found a pleasant occupation until a year or so ago, since when his health had been indifferent. The two stations mentioned were among the best known on the Darling, and at Cuthero in a good year as many as 120,000 sheep have been shorn. A sister, Miss Pile, of Glenelg, and the brother John survive the deceased gentleman. Mrs. Pile, who predeceased her husband a couple of years ago, was a daughter of Mr. McLean, the original owner of Polia. Deceased's daughters are Miss Pile, Mrs. John Tennant Love, and Mrs. Dan Cudmore, of Queensland. There are three sons—Lieut. W. Pile, who is at the front, Charles, and Allen, of Somerton.

In the seventies and eighties Mr. W. Pile ranked as one of the most liberal patrons of sport in this State, and oldtimers will readily call to mind the elaborate clothing and gear he used for his many horses. He raced among others First Water, The Assyrian, Spectre, and Country Girl, and with the first-named he landed both Adelaide and Australian Cups, while The Assyrian carried his colours to victory in the South Australian Derby, and afterwards captured a Melbourne Cup. But for a chance remark, to which Mr. Pile took exception, the probabilities are that the horse would have run in the big event at Flemington in his name. However, so annoyed was he at the time over the incident that he sold up the whole lot of his racing interests— horses, stables, clothing, and tackling, and never again sported silk. He, however, did not lose his love for the sport, and until quite recently assisted with the control of turf affairs in this State. He was a member of the committee of the original South Australian Jockey Club, which was disbanded in 1885, and was also a member of the first committee of the present S.A.J.C, and continued to act until a few years ago. He was then elected a life member of the club.

Original publication

Citation details

'Pile, William (1841–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/pile-william-14303/text25369, accessed 25 April 2019.

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