ANDERSON, Alexander (1813-1896)

Modified on Fri, 28 Sep 2018 18:33 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Associates and Friends

ANDERSON, Alexander (1813-1896)

Alexander Anderson of Skipton was among the founders of Geelong College, as a member of the Corresponding Committee which undertook to promote the College to prospective students in 1861.

The Australasian newspaper in 1939 recounted the stories of several early Victorian squatters including Alexander Anderson: 'In 1839 William Wright, James Montgomery, and Alexander Anderson occupied a run on Taylor's River - or Creek - later known as Mount Emu Creek, where now is Skipton. This run they called 'Bamgamie', also spelt 'Banjamie', meaning a burnt foot. Their first homestead was just where Skipton stands, the woolshed being on the site of the police station.

Some disagreement occurred In 1845, and Bamgamie was subdivided. The part lying westerly of the creek and running closely with Borriyallock was retained by Anderson, who christened his property 'Baangal', meaning a native dog boundary. His homestead was placed on its present site.'

He later moved to 'Mooramong'. 'Mooramong' was part of the 15,000 hectare squatting run originally taken up in 1838 by the Scottish immigrant Alexander Anderson and his two partners. By 1871, Anderson had sold off all but about a third of the run, which he called 'Mooramong', and had made sufficient money to commission the Geelong architects Davidson & Henderson, who had also designed the Geelong College buildings of 1871, to design a new house, which was built in 1873. Anderson sold the property in 1889 after he moved to Geelong due to ill-health.

Alexander married Julia, nee Smiddy (1820-1872), daughter of Richard Smiddy in Victoria in about 1841. After his first wife's death, he remarried to Ellen Shaw (1840-1879) in 1877. He died on 16 January 1896 aged 82 years and was interred at the Eastern Cemetery, Geelong.

The Ballarat Star newspaper reported his death:
'News was received on Friday of the death of Mr Alexander Anderson, of Geelong, and formerly of Mooramong He was the oldest resident of this district. He came to it in 1846 or 1847, and was on the Langi Willi Estate, with Messrs Wright and Montgomery. Afterwards he went to live at Bangaal, and from there to Mooramong. He was always foremost in any good work that was to be carried out in the district, and a great loss was sustained when he left for Geelong, owing to the decline of his health. Deep sympathy is felt throughout the district with the bereaved family.'

His sons, Harry Anderson (1848-1876), Philip Black Anderson (1849-1904), William Anderson (1851-1888), Albert Russell Anderson (1857-1949), and John James Oliphant Anderson (1859-1881), were all educated at Geelong College.

'Mooramong' was, much later in the 1920s, bought by lawyer and racing figure, L K S Mackinnon and presented to his 21 year old son, D J Scobie Mackinnon, who married the American silent screen star Claire Adams. After their deaths, they bequeathed 'Mooramong' to the National Trust.

Sources: Camperdown Chronicle 10 March 1888 p2; Ballarat Star 23 January 1896 p1; The Australasian (Melb) 7 August 1939 p39.