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Arthur Francis (Frank) O'Connor (1855–1933)

Mr. Arthur Francis A. O'Connor, lately of "Benham," Avoca, died at his Launceston residence on Wednesday in his 79th year. He was the second son of Arthur O'Connor, of "Connorville," Lake River, where he was born and brought up.

On his marriage Mr. O'Connor went to reside at "Benham," which, together with "Connorville," have been in the O'Connor family for upwards of 100 years. Mr. O'Connor continued to reside at "Benham" until a few years ago, when, on account of failing health, he took up his residence in Launceston.

He was one of the most prominent breeders of Merino sheep in the island, and his wool clip, which is sold under the brand of ROC, is known to wool buyers as being one of the best Merino clips in the world, Mr. O'Connor was also interested in racing, and at one time owned or leased a number of very fine horses, amongst which were Desire, winner of the Newmarket and Bourke Handicaps, in Victoria, and the Launceston Cup and other races in Tasmania. Hugli also won the Launceston Cup for him. Silver Lake and her progeny, including Silver Sol, who is still racing, were others of his successful horses.

Of a quiet disposition, Mr. O'Connor did not take any part in public affairs, but was a man of great personal charm and a model employer. He was held in high regard by a large circle of friends, and will be greatly missed by them and by the employees of the Benham and Connorville estates, many of whom have been born on the properties and worked for the O'Connor family all their lives.

Mr. O'Connor was linked with makers of history in many corners of the world. One uncle of the original O'Connor to settle here was Arthur O'Connor, who was a marshal in Napoleon's army, and another uncle was Fergus O'Connor, the famous Sinn Feiner. Yet a third uncle of the original Tasmanian O'Connor was Mani William O'Connor, who was at one time commander-in-chief of the Mexican army.

Mr. O'Connor married Miss Jessie Robertson, a daughter of the late James Robertson, of Struan House, Launceston, who predeceased him, dying about three years ago. There were two children of the marriage, the late Mr. Arthur O'Connor, of "Benham," and Mr. Rodric G. O'Connor, of "Connorville."

Citation details

'O'Connor, Arthur Francis (Frank) (1855–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

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