The Story of Mary Coleman nee Enever 1865-1948 of Mitta Mitta, Australia

An extract from Mitta Mitta: the early pioneering days.

“There were many brave pioneer women who with their husbands helped to blaze the trail in this lovely district of ours. Of these there is one of whom I would like to make special mention, Mrs. Mary Coleman, of “Springvale” Mitta Mitta.

“In December 1865, Mrs. Coleman was born at Rocky Point near Stanley in Victoria. When about nine years of age her parents, Mr. And Mrs. Robert Enever, with their family moved to the goldfields at Granite flat in john Cardwell’s bullock dray. It was here that she received her schooling.

“At the age of 16 years she married Edwin Coleman and settled at the Mitta Mitta River. The spot is still known as Coleman’s Garden and many a picnic has been enjoyed under the shade of their old orchard trees. They later moved to “Springvale,” a property further down the river. Her husband was engaged in mining for a number of years.

“On December 30th, 1898, Mr. Coleman’s sister, Mrs. Robert Enever, rode side saddle with her baby, James Enever, on her knee to visit her brother and wife. Journeying in the heat of the day she became ill and died at their home of sunstroke, leaving a family of eight children, the baby being only ten months old. Mrs. Coleman reared this little child until he was old enough to be cared for by his eldest sister.

“On December 6th, 1901, Mrs. Coleman’s husband was killed by a fall of earth in the Callaghan Claim and his funeral took place from Robert Enever’s dwelling nearby – his late sister’s home. Mrs. Coleman was left with a family of nine children, the baby, Thomas Coleman, being about ten months old. She also reared a niece and a grandson.

“Mrs. Coleman was a good horsewoman and rode side saddle. No distance was too great in time of sickness and bereavement. On one occasion when her son-in-law, John Burley, met with an accident and was admitted to the Albury Hospital she rode to Tallangatta intending to make the balance of the journey by rail, but upon her arrival therefound she had just missed the train. Determined to fulfil her mission and having a good horse she again set off on a long ride to Albury.

“For a number of years Mrs. Coleman was engaged in dairying at “Springvale” and supplied cream to the Eskdale Butter Factory, delivering it with horse and gig to the main Mitta North road, a distance of seven miles. She later moved with her youngest son to another farm, “Sunnybank,” about two miles from the Mitta Mitta township.

“During her long life, Mrs. Coleman enjoyed good health until 1935 when she was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. The last few years she enjoyed travelling, visiting the homes of her family, and while spending a holiday with her daughter at Daylesford in 1946 she suffered a stroke. At the age of 82 years she passed away at the Tallangatta Hospital in January, 1948, beloved and respected by all who knew her.”

SOURCE: Mitta Mitta, from the early pioneer days, courtesy of Lee Enever

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