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Wrenford John Ogilvie Mathews (1874–1954)

One of the most widely known sheep and wool experts in Australia, Mr. Wrenford John Ogilvie Henry Mathews—always known as J. Wrenford Mathews—died recently in a private hospital at Killara, N.S.W., at the age of 79. The late Mr. Mathews was a son of the late Wrenford John Mathews, a grazier, of Morrisons, in the Western District of Victoria. He spent his early years on his father's property, and later took a course in sheep and wool at the Technical Institute, Melbourne. After gaining the diploma then awarded for wool sorting and classing, he was engaged for several years as sheep and wool classer on various stations in New South Wales and Victoria. About this time he joined the firm of Messrs. Joseph Gill and Co., and later Messrs. William Haughton and Co., wool buyers acting for foreign manufacturers.

In 1905 Mr. Mathews was appointed wool instructor at the School of Mines and Industries, Adelaide, S.A., and while in South Australia also held the position of lecturer in sheep breeding and wool growing at the Roseworthy Agricultural College. In 1909 the N.S.W. Government invited him to accept the position of Government sheep and wool expert in New South Wales, which he held for 11 years, and during which time he lectured at Hawkesbury Agricultural College and at various farm schools throughout N.S.W.

Mr. Mathews then joined Bundemar Merino Stud, Trangie, N.S.W., as chief classer, a position which he retained for 20 years up until the time of his death. He also classed leading flocks for the stud throughout New South Wales and Queensland, and on several occasions judged at most of the leading sheep shows. He founded his own stud at Wahroonga, Nevertire, N.S.W., in 1920, and recently converted the assets into a company known as J. Wrenford Mathews and Sons Pty. Ltd., with his three sons as directors, the eldest, Mr. Wrenford John Mathews, being managing director. Apart from his life-long interest in Merinos, Mr. Mathews was also an excellent judge of other breeds, and played a large part in developing the Werribee Romney Marsh stud of F. C. Rowlands and Sons, Waugoola, near Cowra, N.S.W.

He is survived by his three sons and two daughters. His wife, formerly Miss Isobel Catherine Zevenboom, of Melbourne, predeceased him in 1941.

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Citation details

'Mathews, Wrenford John Ogilvie (1874–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


30 June, 1874
Dolly's Creek, Victoria, Australia


11 October, 1954 (aged 80)
Killara, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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