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Harriet Tucker

The Story of Harriet Tucker - 9th child of John Tucker and Eliza Kent

* Harriet was born at Upper Stratton, Melbourne in Wiltshire, England. She met Robert in INman Valley where both their fathers had taken up land. They remained in Inman Valley after they were married until their first son Adam was born, when they moved to Glenburn (present day Delamere). It has not been possible to ascertain what type of work Robert did there - Council records were lost in a fire - however during the period 1862 - 1872, large silver/lead mines were operating at nearby Tallisker, and Robert may have worked there. Their second son John was born here in 1868. Around 1870 Robert and Harriet, with their two young sons, travelled north in search of land suitable for farming. According to a newspaper cutting, Robert settled for a period at Salisbury, where their first daughter, Eliza was born. Apparently not satisfied with the conditions, they travelled further north, to Grace Plains - about 24 kilometers south of Balaklava. It has not been possible to ascertain how long the family remained there, but it must be assumed that it was for a period of severl months as Harriet's obituary stated that the family 'settled at Grace Plains, implying more than a brief stopover. On the journey northwards from Adelaide, using bullock carts as transport, these carts had become bogged in the area of Grac Plains, necessitating a stay there. Apparently, according to family memories, Robert was not impressed with the heavy nature of the soil in that area, and soon travelled north to seek 'more suitable land for farming. Settled at Watchman, I kilometers north of Balaklava, returning only on weekends to his family at Grace Plains. After some time had elapsed, Robert took his family to Watchman, where a home was built on Section 120 in the Hundred of Stow. The first home of the Veitch family in the Watchman area was built of "pug and pine" about 100 metres west of what was to become the site of the Watchman Plains Methodist Church. Sections 120 and 121 were Robert's first acquisitions in the Watchman district (initially the land was leased but late he purchased it, paying a total of 235 pounds). In 1878 he added Section 170 and later Sections 117, 118, 295 and 296, the latter two being in the Hundred of Hall. During August 1874, a ploughing competition was held in Balaklava, in conjunction with an exhibition of draught horses and blood stock. In a time period of 5 hours, the contestants had to plough an area 5 chains long by 1 chain wide (half and acre), using a single furrow plough. Robert had apparently entered many such completions in his youth and had gained a considerable expertise. His prize for winning this completion was plough, which is now owned by his great-grandson. early in 1875 Robert donated part of Section 120 to be used for the establishment of a church, the foundation stone of which was laid on March 18th 187t. Robert helped cart stone and build the church, for which he was a Trustee. The church also housed the first school in the area, until Cavanaghville School was opened in 1885. It has not been established when, but Robert built another home for his family on Section 117, the remains of which are evident today. It was here that Harriet planted a series of trees (which still grow today), one for each child born. Water for these trees had to be carted a considerable distance. Robert, as well as working the land with his sons Adam and John, found time for community and church work. He was a Sunday School teacher and a lay preacher at the Watchman Plains Church and represented the Watchman Ward in the Balaklava District Council from 1884 - 1889, and again from 1901 - 1905. Robert was the main instigator of a bridge being built over the River Wakefield on the Watchman Road. This Bridge, known for many years as Veitch's Bridge, was opened on July 12th 1907. Robert and Harriet celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1916 with their many family members and friends Harriet died in Adelaide after a long illness and was buried at Balaklava with three of he children who died as babies In 1921, Robert sold his property to Sydney Barr and moved with his daughter Eliza to a home at Kirkaldy (present day Grange). He became almost blind in his later years, and passed away in 82sn year, he was buried with Harriet in Balaklava. (The Tucker Family in Australia, 1992)

Owner/SourceThe Tucker Family in Australia
DatePublished 1992
Linked toHarriet Tucker

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