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Margaret Ann McPherson (1833–1932)

Up to Saturday last there was no doubt as to who was the oldest resident of the Hay district; since then there may be. On Saturday night, between 9 and 10, Mrs. Margaret Ann McPherson passed away in the Hay Hospital. At the time of her death, the deceased lady was the oldest resident of the district, not only in years, but in length of residence.

Mrs. McPherson was a native of Campbelltown, where she was born on the 9th June, 1834. She was thus ninety-eight years of age two months ago. Her maiden name was Herrick. She married Christopher Ledwidge, at Campbelltown, on the 1st April, 1852, and went to live at Uardry Station upon her marriage. After living at Uardry for some years the Ledwidges came into Hay, and for a time kept the Caledonian Hotel. They then went to Carrathool, and opened the Carrathool Hotel, on the main road from Hay to Wagga, almost due south from where the town of Carrathool now stands. The hotel was at a 'change' in the old coaching days, and Mrs. Ledwidge was well known to the travelling public as a genial and capable hostess. Her husband, Christopher Ledwidge, died in the Carrathool Hotel on the 8th August, 1869. Mrs. Ledwidge continued the hotel business on her own account, and in 1874 married again, her second husband being Ewan Cluny McPherson. After the railway opened to Carrathool in March, 1882, it brought into being the present town of Carrathool, and coaching to Carrathool ceased. With the withdrawal of the mail coaches there was no scope for an hotel on the river road, and Mrs. McPherson moved up to the new town, where she kept the Railway Hotel for some years. After selling out of that business she came to Hay and spent nine years as a resident of this town. She then went to Port Albert, where she resided four years with her daughter, Mrs. Russell. She then returned to Carrathool, where she resided up to the time of her death. By her first husband she had eleven children, of whom seven survive. By her second husband, Mr McPherson, she had one, who predeceased her. All her children were born at Carrathool. We have been unable to get the exact number of her descendants, but they include: 12 children, 62 grandchildren, over one hundred and forty great grand-children, and several great great grand-children. Her relatives put the number of her surviving descendants at over 260. Fifteen of her grandsons went to the war, of whom five were killed in action.

The old lady retained her mental faculties right up to the last. Her hearing was passable and she was able to read with the aid of glasses. About ten years ago, she had the misfortune to break her leg, owing to an accident, and she had to use sticks to assist her when walking. She came to the district seventy-nine years ago, and with the exception of the four years she spent at Port Albert (Vic.), she resided in it for the remainder of her life. She was of a very genial disposition, was very highly respected by all who knew her, and was held in loving esteem by all her descendants, who were very proud of the matriarch of the family, and took every opportunity of showing their affection. Thus the evening of her days were made as pleasant as possible for her.

Of her family, the seven who survive are John (Swan Hill), Alfred (Uardry), Adolphus (Sydney), Mrs. Dodd (Carrathool), Mrs. Russell (Melbourne), Mrs. Richardson (Melbourne), and Mrs Williams (Sydney).

The funeral was held yesterday, the interment taking place in the Catholic burial ground of the Hay Cemetery.

The photograph which we reprint was published in the 'Grazier' about six years ago. It shows, the deceased lady sitting on the left. The other lady sitting is Mrs. M. J. Dodd (daughter). The three standing are, from left to right, Mrs. Cecil Howard, of Hay (great grand-daughter), Miss Kathleen Howard (great-great grand daughter), and Mrs. Richard Moore, of Hay (granddaughter) — five generations.

Original publication

Citation details

'McPherson, Margaret Ann (1833–1932)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Ledwidge, Margaret Ann
  • Herrick, Margaret Ann

25 September, 1833
Campbelltown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


6 August, 1932 (aged 98)
Hay, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.