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Hiram John Kirwan (1819–1904)

The death of Mr Hiram John Kirwan, which took place at Clarendon on Wednesday morning of last week, came suddenly, and as a shock, although the old gentleman had attained a ripe old age, for he was in his 86th year. His wife pre-deceased him by three years, and she reached the age of 80 years. The deceased gentleman, though he had grown somewhat feeble, remarked only a few days before his death that he felt in splendid health, and frequently said that he believed he would have lived to see a century of years only for an accident which befel him some five years ago. As is well known, the old gentleman had been inflicted with total blindness for seven or eight years, and about five years ago whilst crossing the road at Clarendon was knocked down by a passing sulky; the shaft of which struck him in the region of the heart, and from which he never thoroughly recovered. He must have passed away peacefully, for he was found dead in his bed on the morning of the 6th inst. The late Mr Kirwan was one of the sturdy Hawkesbury natives, and did more than most men in the pioneer work of this district. He was born at 'Tizzana,' Sackville, where Dr Fiaschi's famous vineyards and wine cellars now are, this estate having been the property of the deceased's father. He married young, and just after getting out of his 'teens,' then a married man, he was seized with the gold fever, and joined in the 'rush' to the Turon. But, like many another of our early colonists who were allured to the 'fields,' he found that all is not gold that glitters, and left the field in disgust, poorer in pocket, but having acquired some colonial experience and a fund of information. He was only nine months away from the Hawkesbury, and that was the only time he spent outside the place of his nativity. When he returned he settled again at Sackville, and in 1867 removed to Freeman's Reach, where for some years he worked the farm once owned by Mr W. I. Baldwin, and subsequently by Mr Brinsley Hall. From there he went to Wilberforce, and later on to Clarendon, carrying on farming pursuit all the time till he lost his sight. No man was better known, or more respected by those among whom he lived, than the late John Hiram Kirwan, and scions of the family are plentiful here, and are also scattered over the continent. It is a name that is revered by all, and the grand disposition, and manly, upright character of the old man who has just passed 'beyond the veil ' was admired by all classes of the community. Honest as the sun, open-hearted and generous, with a sunny temperament that drew people to him, were his distinguishing characteristics. He was honored, not only by people generally, but by his family, and they were all deeply attached to him — and for this they are the more honored by the community. He was permitted to live to see the third generation of his off-spring grow up, for some of his great grand children (daughters of Mrs Hiram Rowthorn), are budding into womanhood. The family who are left to cherish the memory of him that will never die are: Mrs J. T. Rowthorn (Windsor), Mr Hiram Kirwan and Mr Roberts (St George, Queensland), Miss Emily Kirwan (who lived with him at Clarendon), Mr G. C. Kirwan (assistant Post and Telegraph Master, Windsor), Mr B. C. Kirwan (Clarendon), Mr H. A. Kirwan (Post aud Telegraph Master, Riverstone), and Mr E. A. Kirwan (Warren). Three sisters of the deceased survived him, viz: Mrs Millington, of Inverell, who is 74 years of age, Mrs Weldon (Sydney), and Miss Harriet Kirwan. The mother of the late Mr Kirwan was one of the Turnbulls, whose progenitors came out as free settlers with the first fleet. The funeral took place on Thursday of last week, and was very largely attended. The cortege proceeded to St Matthew's C. of E. cemetery, where the Rev P. W. Dowe, B.A., conducted the burial. Mr T. Primrose was the undertaker, and the coffin was of polished cedar, silver-mounted. The pall-bearers were Messrs J. J. Paine, J.P., A. J. Berckelman, J.P., S. F. Dunston, J.P., and James Holmes. Among the many wreaths was a beautiful one from the Telegraph Association, sent as a tribute of respect to the members of deceased's family -who are employed in that Department.

Original publication

Citation details

'Kirwan, Hiram John (1819–1904)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 April, 1819
Sackville, New South Wales, Australia


6 July, 1904 (aged 85)
Windsor, New South Wales, Australia

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