John HUGHES (1815-1902)
&
Margaret STOKES (1818-1904)

Stonemason of Wales; Melbourne, Vic.; Portland & Sandford, S-W Victoria, Australia

John HUGHES b. 1815, Merionethshire, North Wales, son of Edward (or David) HUGHES and Jane WILLIAMS was married in Wales to Margaret STOKES, b. 1818, Wales, daughter of William STOKES and Jane WILLIAMS.

John and Margaret HUGHES emigrated from Bristol, England on the "Ward Chipman" and arrived at the small settlemnet of Melbourne, Port Phillip in December 1841.

John HUGHES worked as a stonemason and bricklayer on a number of early construction projects before moving west to the seaside township of Portland, S-W Victoria where he also worked on a number of major construction projects. In about 1864 he moved north from Portland to the rural settlements of Sandford and Casterton where he continued construction work as well as trying his hand at farming.

John HUGHES died at Casterton in 1902 and his widow Margaret died there in 1904. They are both buried in the Sandford cemetery with their grave marked with a gravestone constructed by John prior to his death.

John HUGHES and Margaret STOKES had the following family...

  1. Marianne HUGHES b. c.1841...
  2. Jane HUGHES b. 1842, Melbourne, Vic, d. 1915, Casterton, S-W Vic., m. John SMITH 1824-1904, b. Warwickshire, England, stonemason & bricklayer, d. Casterton, S-W Victoria
  3. Susannah HUGHES b. c.1844, Portland, S-W Vic., .....
  4. Mary Ann HUGHES b. c.1846, Melbourne, Vic., ....
  5. Caroline HUGHES b. c.1848, Melbourne, Vic., d. 1898, Melbourne, Vic., m. Frederick CARMAN 1842-1915, d, NSW
  6. Susanna HUGHES b. c.1848, Melbourne, Vic., d. 1916, Melbourne, Vic., m. Richard Morton HAND c. 1851-1912
  7. John HUGHES b. 1850, Portland, S-W Vic., d. 1931, Melbourne, Vic., m. Jane WORTHY 1854-1935, b. Redruth (Wannon) S-W Vic., d. Melbourne, Vic. John & Jane moved to Brunswick, Melbourne where they died, and had the following family...
    1. Catherine Mary HUGHES b. 1876, Casterton, S-W Vic, ...?...
    2. Eliza May HUGHES b. 1877, Casterton, S-W Vic, ...?...
    3. Emily HUGHES b. 1879, Casterton, S-W Vic, ...?...
    4. Amelia HUGHES b. 1882, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1964, Melbourne, Vic., m. Arthur Henry COOK 1876-1964, b. SA., d. Melbourne, Vic.
    5. Arthur HUGHES b. 1884, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1923, Melbourne, Vic., result of car crash.
    6. Charles HUGHES b. 1886, Melbourne, Vic, ...?...
    7. Emma HUGHES b. 1888, Melbourne, Vic, d. 1949, Melbourne, Vic., m. Robert John LIDDLE ..?...
    8. Alice HUGHES b. 1890, d. 1891, Melbourne, Vic.
    9. Albert "Bertie" HUGHES b. 1892, Melbourne, Vic., WW1 service & wounded 7th & 59th Battalion, AIF., d. 1940, Melbourne, Vic., m. Ethel BRYANT 1894-1980. 3 children.
    10. John HUGHES b. 1893, Melbourne, Vic, d. 1923, Melbourne, Vic., result of car crash.
    11. Ruby HUGHES b. 1895, Bendigo, Vic, d. 1981, Melbourne, Vic., m. Samuel Hicks EDDINGTON c.1902-1983.
    12. James HUGHES b. 1897, d. 1897, Melbourne, Vic.

  8. Elizabeth HUGHES b. 1852, Portland, S-W Vic., d. 1927, Casterton, S-W Vic., m. John WHITE 1840-1894, b. Nottinghamshire, England, d. Casterton, S-W Vic.
  9. Edward (Edgar?) Harvey HUGHES b. 1856, Portland, S-W Vic, m. Bridget JONES ...
  10. James HUGHES b. 1858, Portland, S-W Vic., of Portland, Hotspur, Casterton, Melbourne & Frankston, d. 1950, Frankston, Vic., m. 1879, Hotspur, S-W Vic., Catherine KING 1857-1954, b. Hotspur, S-W Vic., d. Frankston, Vic. James & Catherine died and were buried at Frankston and had the following family...
    1. James HUGHES b. 1879, Casterton, S-W Vic, ...?... (said to have died in WW1) ...?...
    2. Adeline "Addie" HUGHES b. 1881, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1956, Frankston, Vic.
    3. Elsie Evelyn HUGHES b. 1882, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1965, Frankston, Vic.
    4. Alice Maud HUGHES b. 1885, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1971, Frankston, Vic., m. Hermann Arthur UHLHORN 1895-1975, b. Melbourne, Vic., d. Frankston, Vic.
    5. Harold HUGHES b. 1886, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1972, Wangaratta, Vic., teacher, m. Cecilia Adelaide BEAMISH 1888-1964, b. Werribee, Vic., d. Wangaratta, Vic.
    6. Ivy Margaret HUGHES b. 1891, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1972, Mount Eliza, Vic., m. Charles John BRAMMER 1893-1939, b. Casterton, Vic., d. Chiltern, Vic.
    7. Edith Kathleen HUGHES b. 1894, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1973, Frankston, Vic., m. William Donald ROBERTSON ...?...
    8. Charles "Vincent" (Peter) HUGHES b. 1896, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1957, Melbourne, Vic., m. Mary Louisa RYAN 1899-1979, b. Murtoa, Vic., d. Melbourne, Vic.
    9. John Gordon HUGHES b. 1900, Casterton, S-W Vic, d. 1970, Melbourne, Vic., m. Rebecca May LAMBERT 1907-1985, b. Melbourne, Vic., d. Melbourne, Vic.
    10. Charles William HUGHES b. 1862, Portland, S-W Vic., ....

    John & Margaret Hughes : Articles & Obituaries

    "The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Tuesday, 19th June 1877.
    A correspondent sends us the following :--"Another successful old colonist has gone to his long home. Mr. James Linacre arrived in Melbourne in 1844, having been brought up a builder. He soon started contracting and early in 1844, in partnership with Mr. Wm. Kennon and John Hughes, undertook the building of the gaol and court-house at Portland. Their next undertaking of any magnitude was the completion of Prince's bridge, from the key-stone upward, and also the Williamstown lighthouse and St. Paul's Church, Swanston-street. The partnership broke up in 1852, when the diggings were in full swing. Mr. Linacre then started contracting by himself, and was very successful in connexion with his brother, Mr. Abraham Linacre, he contracted the south wing of the Public Library, Melbourne Club, and several other large buildings. For the last few years Mr. Linacre has not been able to undertake any heavy contracts, on account of failing health, being troubled with chronic asthma, to which he finally succumbed on the 14th inst. Mr. Linacre was never inclined to public or political life, but as a private citizen he was much esteemed by all with whom he came in contact. He leaves a widow and a grown-up family, well provided for."

    "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Saturday, 3rd December 1892.
    THE CASTERTON SILVER FIELD. --- A large party of gentlemen went from Casterton on Wednesday to inspect the Roseneath gold and silver mining property. The property is 24 miles from Casterton, and the parties were accompanied by & Mr. T. G. Cue, formerly of Broken Hill, now owning a large interest in mining ventures in West Australia. All were well pleased with the prospects, and one firm represented on the party have today applied for 1,000 shares, others also taking freely. Some surprise has been expressed at the stone Mr. John Hughes, of Sandford, affirms be picked up in Noolan's Creek at this very locality three years ago. Experienced men in silver mining assert that this stone would go 1,000 ounces of silver to the ton. Mr. Hughes stoutly maintains that he picked it up himself, and though 77 years of age he rode all the way there and back (50 miles) in order to see the locality of the mine.

    "Casterton News", Monday, August 11th, 1902

    OBITUARY : "Early on Saturday morning last, the sad intelligence was made known throughout Casterton that Mr John Hughes, the well known contractor and one of the very earliest of Victoria's pioneers, had passed away during the previous night. He had been indisposed for some days, and on Wednesday came from his own home beyond Sandford, to the residence of his daughter, Mrs John Smith, at Casterton, in order to see the doctor and get nursing attention.

    "On Friday he was moving about as usual, and in the evening retired to bed indulging in the hope that he would have a good night's rest. Mrs Smith was very watchful of him through the night, and after midnight thought she could detect from her own bedroom that his breathing was getting preceptibly lower. She accordingly, went into his bedroom, and discovering that the crisis was close to hand, she remained by his bedside to the end. Mr Hughes remained conscious, but was not able to converse, his only remark being the one of "Goodbye to all", repeated several times. He succumbed to heart failure at about 4am.

    "There is quite a history attaching to the advancement of the district as far back as 1841, leaving England by the 'Wardshipman' - the second immigrant ship to sail from Bristol for Australian shores, and which took five months on the voyage. After spending two years in Melbourne, Mr Hughes was engaged by the NSW Government to build the gaol at Portland. The journey was made overland, there being no other means of communication with what has since been regarded as the 'Plymouth of the West'.

    "On completing this work he returned to Melbourne, where he was for some years, practically speaking, the only stonemason that could be got. Among some of the earliest undertakings that he worked at in what is now the great metropolis of the Southern Hemisphere may be mentioned Dight's Falls on the Yarra, also Raleigh's Wharf and Langlands Foundry - he likewise put in the stone foundry, all these works being carried out in the 'forties.

    "Returning again to Portland, he built the gaol wall and the watch tower, and it will be of interest here to add that the late Mr Samuel Ramsden, of Melbourne, was a mate of his on this job; in fact they repeatedly worked together. The building trade was very quiet around Melbourne, and Mr Hughes therefore found other employment in the getting of bark and gum for export.

    "He finally settled down in Portland in 1849, and was building 'Burswood' there, a mansion residence of the late Mr Edward Henry, when Mr Wm Rhodes, the widely respected president of the Glenelg Shire, came upon the scene, and to him the deceased (Hughes) was offered a job of quarrying. Many have been the changes since, but Mr Rhodes who, by dint in his industry and through integrity now occupies the leading public position here, never forgot this kindness, and to the last Mr Hughes had no more truer and practical friend.

    "The other prominent landmarks in Portland with which the deceased's name was prominently associated as a builder were the late Mr Frank Henty's residence at the top of Julia Street, the lighthouse that used to stand where is now the Portland Battery, the Union Bank, the Customs House, etc. He also worked on the large block of buildings known as Henty & Co's Stores (where there is now the 'Observer' office), Cruickshank's (now Mr PW Shevills' Offices) and Mr Must's store in Bentinck Street. He relinquished mason work after some years and went into contracting, and many important undertakings in this direction. He built the large bridge that spans the River Moyne at Warrnambool, also a smaller structure at a river near Heywood. He tried farmining in a small way, but it was not a success, so at length (in 1864) he determined on trying his fortune in the Casterton district, which was then opening up.

    "Among his first undertakings here were the building of our police barracks and Christ Church. In conjunction with Mr Diwell he erected the Presbyterian Church, and also the whole of the Shire Council chambers. He then took to working on the roads, and was for some years afterwards the Shire Council overseer. On his health failing him from advancing years he retired from active work and settled down at his home between Sandford and Henty.

    "He had left a grown-up family of six children (three sons and three daughters); also an aged widow, aged 87 years, for whom there are the widest expressions of sympathy. The deceased was married in Wales in 1840, and had reached the age of 87 years. In connection with the funeral, it may be remarked as a somewhat unusual circumstance that two great grandsons followed the remains.

    "There is much owed by this community. Mr Davidson conducted the service at the grave, Mr W. Peden attending to the mortuary arrangements."

    Les Hughes notes that...

    John Hughes made his own headstone. His wife Margaret died in 1904 and is buried in the same grave in the Sandford Cemetery.

    "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Saturday 16 August 1902.
    DEATH OF AN OLD CONTRACTOR.--Mr. John Hughes, a well-known contractor, who has been in Victoria for 61 years, has died in Casterton, at the age of 87 years, from heart failure. He landed at Melbourne in the Wardshipman [sic Ward Chipman]--the second emigrant ship to sail from Bristol for Australian shores. Among some of his earliest undertakings in Melbourne as a stonemason were the building of Dight's Mills on the Yarra and Raleigh's wharf. He settled in Portland in 1849, and built Burswood, the residence of the late Mr. E. Henty. He also built the residence there of the late Mr. F. Henty, the first lighthouse, the Union Bank, Custom house, the gaol, and many of the leading places of business. He entered later on into contracting, and built the large bridge that spans the River Moyne at Warrnambool, besides numerous other important structures.

    "The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Wednesday, 13th August 1902.
    DEATH OF AN OLD CONTRACTOR. --- CASTERTON, Tuesday.
    Mr. John Hughes, a well-known contractor, who had been in the colony for 61 years, has died at the age of 87 years, from heart failure. He landed at Melbourne in the Wardshipman [sic Ward Chipman]--the second emigrant ship to sail from Bristol for Australian shores. Among some of his earliest undertakings as a stonemason were the building of Dight's mills on the Yarra and Raleigh's Wharf. He settled in Portland in 1849, and built Burwood, the mansion residence of the late Mr. Edward Henty. He also built the residence there of the late Mr. Frank Henty, the first lighthouse, the Union Bank, Custom house, and many of the leading places of business. He entered later on into contracting, and built the large bridge that spans the River Moyne at Warrnambool, also a similar structure at Heywood. He came to Casterton in 1864. The first buildings erected by him here were the police barracks, Christ Church, and other important structures. He leaves three sons and three daughters, and a widow aged 84 years, who came with him from the old country.

    "The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Wednesday, 9th November 1904.
    CASTERTON. -- Mrs. John Hughes, relict of the late John Hughes, contractor, died on Saturday, at the age of 86 years, from senile decay and heart failure. The deceased arrived in Melbourne with her husband in 1841 by the Wardshipman [sic Ward Chipman], which was the second emigrant vessel to sail from Bristol for Australian waters. The voyage took five months. Some years were spent in Melbourne, and in 1849 Mr. and Mrs. Hughes settled in Portland. There is a grown-up family of three sons and three daughters. The remains were interred in the Sandford Cemetery, the Rev. J. W. Davison officiating at the grave.