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Jane Evers (1834–1909)

With the close of the year there has passed to the Great Beyond, the oldest resident of Molong, in the person of Mrs. Jane Evers, who breathed her last at her residence in Watson Street at 10.30 on Wednesday night, surrounded by the immediate members of her family. There are few in the West who do not cherish the kindliest feeling towards the grand old dame whose voice is now stilled, and whose ministrations they will know no more. The subject of this notice was one of those who thought of everyone but herself, and wherever an unfortunate was in trouble there would she be found ministering to their wants and soothing them with comforting words and kindly actions. Trouble was nothing to her when youth rested lightly on her shoulders, and many there are who have good reason to remember her good offices when the Molong of today was a run for marsupials—the days when doctors in the West were practically an unknown quantity. A grateful tribute to some of the noble work she did as far back as 60 years ago, was the presence at her bedside of Mr. William Job, of Wellington, and late of Yeoval, who made the journey from Wellington to see the last of one whom, to use his own words, he "has every reason to remember with grateful feelings for her neighbourly and kindly acts in the early days of Molong."

The late Mrs. Evers was a daughter of the late Samuel Johnston, Pay sergeant of the 17th Middlesex Regiment, and came to Australia with the Regiment escorting a gang of convicts, and who was subsequently stationed at Wellington. His superior officers were Colonel Wilson and Captain Finch—the latter being a relative of the Finch family of Molong. Born in the Military Barracks in Sydney 76 years ago (it was a privilege permitted to certain officers in those days to be allowed to have their wives and families with them when in barracks), the late Mrs. Evers went to Wellington with her parents, and afterwards to Blackman's Swamp, the Orange of today. There were only three or four houses on Blackman's Swamp in those days, and wild blacks were numerous and troublesome. After a short residence at the latter place the Johnston family removed to Molong, our subject being then a girl of some 10 or 11 summers. She entered the employ of the late Hon. John Smith, M.L.C., at Gamboola, when Major Smith was a mere toddler, and kept watch over him and subsequent members of the Smith family in the capacity of nurse-girl. At this time there were no houses where Molong is situate to-day, and only two houses outside the home-stead of Gamboola. As years rolled on she was wooed and won by Mr. Titus Evers, by whom she had six sons and four daughters— two of the latter (Mrs W. H. Kellick and Mrs. W. Hillan) and her husband predeceasing her, Mr. Evers on the 9th May, 1889. Mrs A. Ryan, of Copper Hill, Miss Maude Evers (daughters), Mrs. J. Woolbank (sister), Messrs William, Edward, Samuel, Robert, John and Frank (sons), together with many other close relatives, were present during the last few days of the old lady's illness, and during their long vigil they received many expressions of sympathy from enquiring friends. The cause of death was senile decay.

In addition to those enumerated above, the deceased lady leaves 58 grand children and 25 great grandchildren.

The deceased lady could recount numerous incidents in the rise and progress of Molong, when Martell, Cobden, Captain Clymo, and others were making history, and some of whom, together with her father, lie buried in the old cemetery on Vale Head Estate. In those days friendships were formed that only death could efface, when neighbours had the milk of human kindness in their compositions to a marked degree—when they would brave all elements at any hour of the day or night and cross swollen streams to render help where it was needed. Those were days when philanthropy permeated the sparse population, and when the weary wayfarer could reckon on a welcome from the inmates of every hut that he happened upon in his perambulations. No person was ever allowed to pass the cabin of the good old pioneer of whom we now write without being invited to share in the frugal meal, and it is pleasing to note that these meritorious traits are perpetuated by the members of her esteemed family. The deceased lady some 14 years ago conducted the Commercial Hotel, in Watson-street, but failing health compelled her to go back to private life once again. Since that time she has been in indifferent health, but her declining years were made comfortable by the unwearying attentions of her daughters (Mrs. Ryan and Miss Maude Evers) and other members of her family circle. Her home was the rendezvous of the family when they came to Molong, and her death will create a void that will take long to bridge. The general public will miss her from her accustomed seat on the verandah of her late residence, from which she would greet her friends passing along with cheery words and kindly enquiries for those at home. Volumes could be written of incidents in early Molong history in which the late Mrs Evers figured so prominently, but space does not permit of a more extended notice. If ever a name should be enscrolled on the roll of fame it is that of Mrs Evers, for it is certain that no woman in the Commonwealth ever did more for suffering humanity in the pioneering days, and in fact up to the time that old age began to weigh heavily, than she.

The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon, when a large concourse of residents followed the remains to the Molong Cemetery. The casket, containing all that was mortal of a faithful wife, a devoted mother, and a true friend, was deposited alongside the grave of the late Mr. Evers. Included in the cortege were all prominent business and public men of the town and prominent men of the district around Molong. Despite the short notice, and the fact that many relatives could not be communicated with in time to allow of their attending the funeral, there were over 90 vehicles and 20 horsemen present.

The casket was a beautiful cedar one with massive silver mountings. Six of the deceased lady's grandsons—Messrs Arthur and Allan (sons of Mr W. Evers), John and Albert (sons of Mr Edward Evers), and John and Fred Bevan—acted as pall-bearers.

The coffin was taken to St. John's Church of England, where the first portion of the beautiful service for the dead was recited by Canon Alldis, who also delivered a brief address on the good qualities of the departed. Canon Alldis also recited the service at the graveside.

Mrs. Kingsland conducted the funeral arrangements, which were carried out in first-class style.

The Argus tenders sincere sympathy with the bereaved family in the great affliction that that has befallen them. The unostentatious affection displayed towards the dear old lady by every member of her large family circle at all times demonstrates that they have been deprived of a family queen.

Following is a list of the names of those who sent wreaths :
Mr. S. Hillan and sisters, Mr. and Mrs. Lawson and family, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Williams, Doris and Arthur Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Crook and family, Mrs. Wallace Smith and family, Mr. and Mrs. P. Dunn and family, Mr. and J. Owens and family, Mr. and Mrs. E. Farnsworth and family, Mrs. W. U. Bennett and family, Mr. and Mrs. P. Larven and family, Canon and Mrs. Alldis, Mr. and Mrs. C.. Charters, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Windred and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. Alexander and family, Mr. and Mrs. W. Alexander, Miss Lena Neville, Mrs. O'Brien and family, Mr. J. W. McDonnell, telegram of sympathy. Mrs. W. Daly and Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Corbyn cards of sympathy.

Cards of sympathy were received from the following:—Miss Ruby Lauer, Wellington; Mr. and Mrs. J. Denny, Cumnock; Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Brook, Molong; Mr. and Mrs. T. Press and family, Mo-long; Mr. and Mrs. G. Neville, West Molong.

Original publication

Citation details

'Evers, Jane (1834–1909)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/evers-jane-33614/text42048, accessed 20 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Johnson, Janes
Birth

1 November, 1834
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Death

29 December, 1909 (aged 75)
Molong, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

gastritis

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Occupation