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William Henry Beaglehole (1834–1917)

Mr. W. H. [William Henry] Beaglehole, who for many years has been intimately associated with the brewing industry in South Australia, died on Friday in his eighty-fourth year. He was born at Helston, Cornwall, and came to this State when 15 years of age. He began life in the building trade, and was associated with many important contracts, including the older portion of the Children's Hospital, the Stockade at Dry Creek, and business establishments in Hindley-street. When the Victorian diggings broke out, he went to Castlemaine, and did fairly well at alluvial gold mining. He was subsequently associated in partnership with the late Mr. Hazlegrove, and his firm practically built the peninsula mining towns of Kadina, Wallaroo, and Moonta. Mr. Beaglehole next turned his attention to hotel keeping, and for eight years was landlord of the Royal Hotel at Moonta. He afterwards purchased the Lion Brewery, and later again joined Mr. Johnston at Oakbank, the firm being known as Beaglehole & Johnston until 1884, when the Lion Brewing and Malting Company was formed, with Mr. Beaglehole as Chairman of Directors. This position he held for many years. In 1881 Mr. Beaglehole entered Parliament as representative of Yorke's Peninsula, with the late Sir R. D. Ross and the late Mr. L. L. Furner as his colleagues. After three years the district was divided, and Mr. Beaglehole was returned for Wallaroo. It was he who introduced to the Government of the day the deputation which secured the National Park at Belair for the citizens. He was one of the directors of the Broken Hill Junction Mine for several years.

He started the Waverley Brewery at Broken Hill in conjunction with Mr. George Simpson, the firm being known as Simpson, Beaglehole, & Co. It has since been acquired by the South Australian Brewing Company. Mr. Beaglehole was the founder of the first Masonic Lodge at Moonta, and during his stay in that town was a member of the town council and took great interest in municipal affairs. He was a member of the first board of directors of the Metropolitan Brickworks, and started the distillery at Thebarton, which was subsequently acquired by Messrs. Milne & Co. He was also one of the first members of the South Australian Licensed Victuallers' Association. Mr. Beaglehole was among those who started the Grand Hotel in Melbourne, the South Australians appearing on its provisional committee having been Mr. W. H. Beaglehole, Dr. Cawley, Mr. John Frew, Dr. Gorger, Hon. A. B. Murray, Hon. W. H. Simms, Hon. J. B. Spence. All these are now deceased. Mr. Beaglehole was the first to obtain fresh water by boring on the Virginia plains, and he devoted much of his spare time to looking after a beautiful farm and orchard, 1,500 acres in extent, at Virginia. He had eight bores on the property, and his success in water finding led to a great extension of the business of "topping up" lambs for market on the area indicated.

Original publication

Citation details

'Beaglehole, William Henry (1834–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


6 May, 1834
Helston, Cornwall, England


2 June, 1917 (aged 83)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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