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Katherine Cecilia (Kate) Simson (1847–1935)

A link with the early pastoral days of Victoria was severed when Mrs Katherine Simson died at Armadale last week at the age of 88 years. She was the widow of J. C. Simson, whose family once owned the whole of the countryside between Maryborough and Castlemaine and south to Clunes. Before 1854 the Maryborough district was known as Simson's Run. It was in 1839 that three young Scots – Donald, Hector, and John Simson entered Central Victoria when their sheep were being taken from New South Wales to Portland. Donald Simson selected country adjoining the Loddon River and the Deep Creek and in the following year he threw his mantle over a wide expanse of land. The homestead was established on the Deep Creek, at a spot a few miles from where Carisbrook now stands. In its day Simson House was one of the finest homes in Australia; there were 18 rooms and the solid stone walls were 21 in thick. High-class stock was bred on the property, and it is said that an early Melbourne Cup winner came from the run. With the sudden death of Donald Simson in 1851 at the early age of 35 years, a marked change took place in the life of the family. The widow (formerly Miss Charlotte Coghill, after whose father Coghill's Creek was named) decided to take her family to Europe to be educated. The outcome of this decision was that both Mrs Simson and her daughter married into titled families in Germany, and did not return to Australia. Another outcome was that the two sons, J. C. and D. D. Simson spent 12 years moving in the most select Continental circles, and J. C. Simson married the Baronne de Reibeld whom he had met in Bavaria. Within a few years, however, the baroness (then aged 34) was killed in an accident, and was buried in the Maryborough Cemetery. That was in February of 1874. A few years later J. C. Simson married Katherine Lynch, the daughter of a Melbourne accountant who had gone to reside in Maryborough in 1872. This wedding was the most imposing one that had ever or has ever been known in Maryborough. At that time both J. C. and D. D. Simson were amongst the leaders of social life in the colony and were as well known in Melbourne as they were in the country. Gradually, however, the station passed out of the hands of the family, after which D. D. Simson moved to Melbourne (where he died in 1907) and J. C. Simson entered business at Maryborough. J. C. Simson's fine presence and good nature made him very popular and there was a general regret when he went to Western Australia, where he died in 1916. His widow (the former Miss Lynch) who was a cultured and interesting woman, has since been living quietly with her daughters at Armadale. She was buried last week in the family grave at Maryborough. There is at present a movement on foot in Maryborough to rescue portion of the remains of the district’s first homestead (Simson House) and build from the material a memorial cairn to the Simson family.

Original publication

Citation details

'Simson, Katherine Cecilia (Kate) (1847–1935)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Lynch, Katherine Cecilia

4 November, 1847
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


2 December, 1935 (aged 88)
Armadale, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia