The Glen Wills Cemetery lies between Glen Valley and Glen Wills on the Omeo Highway 172Km north of Bainsdale, the Omeo highway runs between Bainsdale on the South Eastern Coast of Victoria and Tallangatta in North East Victoria on Lake Hume. For more information about the area checkout the Glen Wills Mountain Retreat.
What follows is a transcript of a notice placed at the site by Betty Fitzgerald a long time resident of Shannon Vale, a farm not far from Glen Valley, she is now a resident of Omeo and member of the Omeo Historical Society. She can be contacted at:Omeo Historical Society
Between August 1894 and August 1920 97 burials took place at the Glen Wills Cemetery, on the Omeo Highway, North of Omeo and South of the Mitta Mitta township. This Cemetery is now cared for by the people of the near by Glen Valley.
During those 26 years this Cemetery served the mining areas of Sunnyside and Glen Wills. To stand on the site of the long gone township of Sunnyside is an eerie feeling. "Sunnyside is situated on the Sunny side of nearby Mt Wills and is approximately 4000 feet above sea level. Today there is little more than blackberry bushes and a few very ancient fruit trees to mark the place where once was a thriving township. A Hotel, Stores, Catholic Church, School and Mechanics Institute and a population of around 600 people.
Sunnyside was reached by a rough bush track from Omeo known as the Knocker Track. Mail was delivered by coach and heavy goods by Bullock Wagon. Farmers from Benambra would make trips to the township with fresh meat, vegetables, butter and other produce, which was much in demand. Mr George Fitzgerald of "Shannon Vale" supplied oats to feed the horses. By 1924 the ore had become difficult to treat financially and water was also causing a problem, and not long afterwards the town was abandoned.
The Cemetery records illustrate the hardships experienced during these years - isolation, the severe weather conditions in winter, primitive housing and no doctors. Of the 97 persons buried, 40 were infants - sometime twins, sometimes a mother had died and soon after her baby. No baby formulas to feed a motherless baby, whooping cough and other illnesses would account for young children dying. Several young men were buried "by order of the Police In Charge" - I wonder what the story behind that would reveal? These truly were the Pioneers of this land.
Some years ago, due to the efforts of Mr Cecil Cooper, a sign was erected denoting Glen Wills Cemetery and a fence along the roadside. By this time only two graves were marked - one unknown and another marked by a fence in which a tree denoting the grave of Mrs Phillis Emmer Bittner, aged 43, who was buried in 1916.
In recent years (1985) a firm of bridge builders were constructing a new bridge over the Mitta Mitta river at Glen Valley. The mother of the bridge builders (of Croatian descent), was visiting her sons and was amased that there were no crosses in the Cemetery. Before leaving the area, they built a large cross on a square slab and promised that one day they would come back and erect crosses to commemorate the grave sites. This they did in the summer of 1991. As there is no plan of the actual sites of the graves, they were placed in a double row consistent with the two graves visible.
It is hoped that a dedication service of this hallowed ground will take place in the Autumn of 1992. Many people in the area have relatives buried in the Glen Wills Cemetery.
Betty Fitzgerald (Shannon Vale)
This is a transcript of the names on the Notice at Glen Wills Cemetery on the Omeo Highway Glen Wills Victoria Australia Glen Wills Cemetery List - this is all known data about the people buried in the Cemetery there are no plans of the layout of the Cemetery. There are anomalies in the list e.g. 2 unrelated people in the same grave but this is how it is published on the notice on the site.
Grave No Date First Names Surname Age Comments 87 May 11 1911 John AMELINA Invalid Pensioner of Sunnyside 8 Feb 2 1896 Daisy Irene ASHBY 7 Months Child of James and Edith ASHBY 18 May 5 1897 Henry ASHBY 9 Years Child of James and Edith ASHBY 103 Aug 23 1920 Gaylor H. AUGUSTUS 48 Years Invalid Pensioner 101 Jul 17 1918 John BAKER 81 Years Aged Pensioner 9 Mar 17 1896 Florence Ruby BARTLETT Twins of William and Kathleen BARTLETT 10 Mar 21 1896 Reuben Alexander BARTLETT Twins of William and Kathleen BARTLETT 50 Jul 19 1902 Agnus BATTY 1 Month Child of William and Ellen BATTY 39 Aug 12 1899 Theodore BERKING 69 Years Storekeeper Husband of Bridget BERKING 70 Mar 15 1907 Bridget BERKING 65 Years Widow of Theodore BERKING 2 Sep 16 1894 Michael BERRY 45 Years Labourer - By Order of Police In Charge 72 Nov 13 1907 James BERRYLL 76 Years Miner 99 Jan 8 1916 Phillis Emma BITTNER 43 Years Married Woman 36 Jun 21 1899 Jane Elise BRIGGS 37 Years Wife of Thomas BRIGGS 13 Jul 14 1896 Percival Stanley BROOKFIELD 6 Months Son of Alfred and Sarah BROOKFIELD 11 Apr 17 1896 Thomas BUTLERY 75 Years Miner - By Order of Police In Charge 77 Henry CAMPBELL Carpenter - Died of old age 30 Frances CAWLEY 72 Years 40 Aug 29 1899 Maria Mary COLEMAN 13 Months Children of Francis and Caroline COLEMAN buried in same grave 40 Aug 29 1899 Francis Robert COLEMAN 3 Years Children of Francis and Caroline COLEMAN buried in same grave 56 Feb 12 1904 DEJARLAIS Stillborn Child of LC and Ellen DEJARLAIS 16 Feb 7 1897 Aileen DISTON 12 Months 43 DOWNING Infant Surname Only (see footnote 1) 20 Frederick EAMES Miner - Died of injuries of mining accident 64 Sep 9 1905 Richard FARRAGHER 79 Years Groom 67 FITTEN Infant Surname Only 53 Florence FORSYTH Daughter of Robert and Isabella FORSYTH 83 Apr 23 1909 Robert McMillan FORSYTH 48 Years Baker - Husband of Isobelle FORSYTH 84 Oct 17 1908 Rose FORSYTH Wife of George FORSYTH 45 James and Mary GALLAGHER Infants Children of Francis and Sarah GALLAGHER 76 May 1 1908 George GRADY 42 Years Miner - Accidently killed in United Mine 28 Apr 9 1898 Catherine Margaret HAYTON 4 Months 15 Sep 6 1896 Charlotte HITCHCOCK 15 Months Child of Henry and Charlotte HITCHCOCK 26 Feb 12 1898 Walter Vivian HOCKING 4 Months Child of James Hocking and Emma Chaplin (Hocking) of Sunnyside (see footnote 2) 59 Feb 20 1904 Agnus HOCKING 5 Minutes Child of James Hocking and Emma Chaplin (Hocking) of Sunnyside (see footnote 2) 35 May 28 1899 Cornelius S. HOPPER 65 Years Miner - Husband of Bridget HOOPER 34 Feb 8 1899 Charles Albert HOWELL 7 Months Child of Thomas James and Ann HOWELL 63 Aug 05 HUGHES Stillborn 22 Apr 13 1898 George JACKSON Agent 46 Jul 13 1901 Fanny JACKSON 87 Years Widow 65 Dec 23 1905 George James JUDGE 28 Years Died at Mitta Mitta 85 Sep 9 1909 James George JUDGE 77 Years Miner 41 Sep 28 1899 Leslie William KERR 10 Months Son of Arthur KERR 55 Nov 11 1902 Leonard L. LAWRENCE 30 Years Miner 31 Jul 15 1898 Ruth C. LEE 48 Years Wife of Henry LEE 48 Apr 8 1902 LERINGTON Infant Surname Only 21 Jan 31 1898 Margaret LUCAS 24 Years Wife of W. P. LUCAS 23 Mar 9 1898 Nellie Margaret LUCAS 7 Weeks Daughter of W. P. LUCAS 51 Aug 28 1902 Hilton Walter LUCAS 11 Months Child of John and Clyde LUCAS 7 Dec 12 1895 Patrick MAHER 46 Years Brick Maker - By Order of Police In Charge 33 Feb 4 1899 Ethel Jane MARTIN 4 Months Child of Richard and Susan MARTIN 71 Jul 26 1907 MAY 9 Years Child of Frederick MAY (Surname Only) 79 Mar 7 1908 Frederick MAY 49 Years Accidently killed in United Mine 61 Nov 11 1904 John James MCCARTHY 66 Years Died of self inflicted shotgun wounds 80 Apr 15 1908 Agnes MCGUIRE 10 Days 73 Jan 5 1908 Daniel MCINTOCH 50 Years Died of excessive drink 69 Dec 26 1906 Chistoffer MCRAE 76 Years Natural Causes Old Age 47 Feb 13 1902 Michael MEAGHER 17 Months Drowned - Child of William P. and Margaret MEAGHER 89 Frances MERLO 2 Days 49 May 02 Daphney Muriel MONKS 11 Months Child of James and Kay MONKS 32 Nov 11 1898 Michael John MURPHY 3 Months Child of Edward and Johanne MURPHY 14 Aug 8 1896 John NANCARROW 57 Years Miner - By Order of Police In Charge 75 O'CONNELL Child of Patrick O'CONNELL 4 Dec 14 1894 Edward PATERSON 22 Years Miner 81 Sep 21 1908 PETERSON Stillborn 87 Aug 18 1912 PETERSON Stillborn Son of Thomas PETERSON 38 Aug 31 1899 Permelia Ann RAWSON 25 Years Wife of James RAWSON 17 Feb 17 1897 Frederick William RAY 36 Years Miner 88 Jul 26 1911 Elisha REEVE 89 Years Old Age Pensioner 66 RICHES Infant Surname Only 6 Sep 19 1895 Not Named ROBERTS 7 Hours Child of Edward and Victoria ROBERTS 44 Apr 8 1901 Elva Clare ROOTSEY 6 Months Child of Edward ROOTSEY 74 Thomas Alexander ROOTSEY Infant Child of Edward ROOTSEY 60 May 26 1904 Leila Violet ROSS 3 Years Child of Alexander and Kate ROSS 62 Jan 19 1905 James ROSS 63 Years Miner - Husband of Elizabeth ROSS 68 Oct 2 1906 Elizabeth ROSS 57 Years Widow of James ROSS 86 May 8 1910 Kate ROSS 36 Years Buried in grave of Leila Violet ROSS 102 Sep 3 1919 Alexander ROSS 48 Years Miner 1 Aug 8 1894 Henry Hennessy SHEAN 6 Months Infant 3 Dec 12 1894 George SIMFIELD 42 Years Carpenter - By Order of Police In Charge 52 Eric Thomas and Leslie SMITH Infants Children of William J. SMITH 57 Feb 15 1904 Clinton James SMITH 5 Months Children of William and Ellen SMITH in same grave 78 Mar 5 1908 David Alexander SMITH 3 Months Children of William and Ellen SMITH in same grave 90 Jan 15 1915 William Thomas SMITH 52 Years Bricklayer 5 Feb 18 1895 Twins not named SPEERS 7 Hours Children of Wesley and Maria SPEERS 37 Jul 1899 THOMPSON Remains discovered at Lightning Creek. A Miner named Thompson was reported missing in 1891. 42 R THOMPSON Infant Child of Robert and Cordelia THOMPSON 54 Nov 02 Ethel TURNER 16 Years Daughter of Agnus TURNER 27 Mar 18 1898 Agnes Isobel WEBB 10 Months 29 Jun 2 1898 Ruby Victoria WELCH 14 Months Child of Thomas WELCH 100 Mar 22 1918 George WESTROVED 81 Years Old Age Pensioner 12 Jun 24 1896 Charles WHITE 31 Years Miner - By Order of Police In Charge 82 Sep 23 1908 Emma WILKINSON Wife of Thomas WILKINSON 19 Unknown No Record 24 Unknown No Record 25 Unknown No Record
Footnotes: (additional information provided by other Researchers)
1. The Downing infant on the Glen Wills cemetary list was named Lionel Downing (Grave 43). He was the child of John Alexander and Elizabeth (nee FOSTER) DOWNING. He was born and died in 1899. (provided by Monika (nee FOSTER))
2. Hocking children information provided by Peter Hocking
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