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Hill, Thomas Joseph (1835–1914)

We regret to have to record the death on Monday last (7th inst.) of Mr Thos. [Thomas] Hill, an old and respected resident of Penrith, the sad event taking place at the residence of deceased's daughter, Mrs L. Priddle, High Street. Mr Hill, who had reached his 79th year, had been in failing health for some weeks, and had recently suffered from kidney trouble which developed into an acute form of cerebral hemorrhage, from which seizure at deceased's advanced age there was no hope of recovery. The late Mr Hill was a native of Somersetshire, England, and came to Australia in his 24th year, having married just previous to his leaving England. He was born on the 7th August, 1835, so his span of life had embraced perhaps the most prolific period of practical and industrial progress ever known in history. He had many varied and stirring experiences in Australia, and had been by turns, carpenter (to which ancient trade he had been apprenticed in youth) contractor, draper, etc; and during the sixties and seventies was associated with the building of the railways. He was in fact engaged under Mr Cowdroy (engineer) in the famous deviation at Clarence—Zig-zag— in '68 and 69, and pegged out much of the preliminary 'trail' of that famous work. Mr Hill was later on the original linelaying operations at Scone, Muswellbrook, and other sections of the Main Northern Railway, and also took part in the Great Southern extension. He had, moreover, some exciting and interesting experiences in coachdriving, and was probably, the first 'Jehu' to drive a mail coach over the Bulli Pass in the early sixties. During his connection with coaching work he had one or two adventures in the 'bushranging country,' and was within a few miles of the spot (on the Marulan-Goulburn Road), the night the Ben Hall gang stuck up the Sydney bound coach, which held a bride hastening to her wedding next day; and which contained the wedding cake and other provender and gifts that had been intended for the wedding. The bushrangers were ungallant enough to commandeer the wedding cake and other comestibles, and their detention of the bride and rest of the passengers for several hours had the effect of postponing the wedding another day. It is said however, they gave the bride a £5 note, which she turned over to a charitable institution.

Mr Hill was twice married, his first wife having predeceased him by some 36 years, and his second wife by about 24 years. Four children are living, viz: Mr Frank Hill, Mrs Louisa Priddle, Mrs Winnie Springall, and Mrs R. Benaud.

Dr Higgins assiduously attended deceased, but medical skill was unavailing.

The interment was at the Church of England portion, Kingswood General Cemetery, on Tuesday afternoon, and the Rev M. G. Hinsby officiated at the graveside. Mrs John Price and Son supervised the funeral arrangements.

Original publication

Citation details

'Hill, Thomas Joseph (1835–1914)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/hill-thomas-joseph-19943/text31125, accessed 13 April 2021.

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