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Butcher, William James (1858–1944)

William Butcher, n.d.

William Butcher, n.d.

The news of the death of Mr. W. J. [William James] Butcher, of Nangetty Station, which occurred at his home at Nedlands on Wednesday last, was received with great regret by residents of Mingenew and district, with which he had been associated for many years. Born at Richmond (Tasmania) in 1858, he came to Western Australia in 1877, and from then had been closely associated with the pastoral industry in the Northwest and on the Murchison. In 1901 he entered the Legislative Assembly as member for the Gascoyne, holding the seat until 1911. Later from 1915 he represented Roebourne for a short period. He was president of the Pastoralists' Association in 1910-11, and was then also associated with several important financial institutions in Perth. He resided at Nangetty Station for about eighteen years, and during that period was for a time a member of the Mingenew Road Board. He is survived by his widow and four daughters. The remains were cremated at Karrakatta on Thursday, following a Church of England service in the crematorium chapel.

The deceased gentleman had lived a full and eventful life, and took a prominent part in the pioneering of the northern pastoral areas. With his father and late brother he came from Victoria to this State in 1877, when he was only nineteen years of age. They brought three thousand ewes in two sailing vessels to establish themselves at Berringarra Station on the Murchison. They drove the sheep from Geraldton, and owing to drought conditions the trek to Berringarra occupied three years. The sheep lambed and had to be shorn on the way. Some years later they engaged in sandalwood and pearling enterprises in the Shark Bay district. The deceased about the late eighties or early nineties was interested in mining at Marble Bar, and subsequently he acquired a half interest in Boolathana Station, and later with his brother he was associated with the development of the neighboring station of Cooralya. The brothers, who traded as J. & C. Butcher, secured Meeberrie Station on the Murchison, and this is still in the possession of the family. He was also the owner of Yarraquin Station, and the Nangetty property, which was, acquired in 1916, was the object of his special regard, its progressive development being the result of carefully planned management.

During his long and full life of 85 years the late Mr. W. J. Butcher had many interesting experiences, and he possessed a fund of reminiscences in connection with the early and strenuous days of the pastoral industry. In 1910, following the presentation of a plane to the British Government by the well known sheep-breeding family of Falkiner in New South Wales, the Butcher brothers also gave a plane to the British Government, naming it "Boolathana."

Original publication

Citation details

'Butcher, William James (1858–1944)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/butcher-william-james-32695/text40628, accessed 3 February 2023.

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