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John Eaton (1811–1904)

The duty has at last fallen upon us to record with deep regret the death of that splendid old pioneer settler of the Wide Bay district, Mr. John Eaton, the squire of Teebar Station, at the grand old age of 94 years. The venerable gentleman had only been ailing for a short time and died quietly and peacefully at Westwood, the residence of his son-in-law Mr. R. Maitland, on Sunday night, June 19th. Mr. Eaton was in every sense of the word a splendid colonist, and one that not merely the district, but all Australia, might well be proud of. Born at Richmond Bottoms, in the Maitland district, it is questionable whether any older born Australian colonists were alive at his death. As a boy he worked in Sydney, and afterwards had a hard life up country, farming and cattle breeding. About 44 years ago he took up Teebar run, and arrived there overland, with his wife and family from N.S. Wales. He had resided on Teebar ever since, with the exception of some time spent in Maryborough in the early sixtys. During his long occupation of Teebar, Mr. Eaton carried on grazing pursuits most successfully. He also invested largely in Maryborough property, and was one of the founders of the once famous Eatonvale sugar plantation and factory. In the earlier days Mr. Eaton took a most active interest in the public affairs of Maryborough. He was one of our first aldermen, and was the second Mayor of the town, succeeding Mr Henry Palmer, our first Mayor, who is still happily with us, in 1861, and holding office to the end of the term 1862. Our esteemed old citizen, Mr. O. E. S. Booker, was also a member of that famous first Council, and now that Mr. Eaton has gone, he and Mr. Palmer alone remain of the original body of aldermen who laid the municipal foundations of the town. The present Council induced Mr. Eaton a year or so ago to have his photograph taken, and his portrait now adorns the gallery of past Mayors in the Municipal Chamber. Mr. Eaton was a man of fine physique in his prime, and enjoyed an iron constitution, hardened by a very tough bush life in his early days. For many years past he had been famed for his wonderfully sustained vitality and energy. At 90 he could go out on his horse all day and muster stock with the best of them; and even up to two years ago it was his habit to ride about and look after his affairs very keenly. His was a green and vigorous old age almost to the last. He had a family of one son and eight daughters, and at the time of his death he was the head of several hundred descendants down to great-great-grand children. Of his family, Mrs. Eaton died about 11 years ago, and the only son, William, at the same time. Two daughters, Mrs. George Walker and Mrs. Hayes, also predeceased their father by some years. The surviving daughters are Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. G. Thomas (Clifton), Mrs. Gordon, Mrs. R. G. Gilbert, Mrs. Maitland, and Mrs. Ezzy, most of whom reside in the district and in the neighbourhood of Teebar, with their children and their children's children to the fifth generation, an excellent group of settlers on the land, and primary wealth producers. We have lost from our midst a grand old man, most upright in all his dealings, and generous to a fault. His honoured name which, strangely enough, is not borne by his host of descendants, who are the children of his daughters, will ever be indelibly impressed upon the history of the early pioneering days, and development of Maryborough and the Wide Bay district.

It has been arranged that the funeral shall take place at Teebar on Wednesday afternoon, when the remains of the deceased will be laid beside those of his wife. Mr. Ammenhauser, undertaker, is proceeding by train to Teebar to-morrow morning, taking the hearse and horses with him.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld), 25 June 1904, p 2

Citation details

'Eaton, John (1811–1904)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

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