Patrick Stone

Patrick Stone

(14-3-1854 - 23-12-1926)
Patrick Stone was born at Buncranna, County Donegal, Ireland on 14 March 1854. The eldest child of James Stone and Ann Dorethy Docherty, Patrick arrived in Fremantle in 1856 at the age of two years. He was educated at the Roman Catholic School in Geraldton. On completion of his schooling, he worked on the farm owned by his late father in the Geraldton district where he continued until the age of 25.

He was married on the 8 February 1880 to Helen Emily Roe at St. Peter's Chapel, Bootenal, Greenough, WA by Rev. Fr. A. Lecaille. (Marriage Registration no. 4837/1880) They had the following children:

  • Patrick James b. 17-10-1880 d. 1-4-1972 m. Lillie Mills 25-10-1903. 6 children.
  • Agnes b. 25-11-1883 d. 22-8-1958 m. Joseph Melville Mitchell 25-11-1920 2 children.
  • Helen Louisa b. 7-10-1887 d. 14-7-1948 m. John James Brophy 25-9-1913. 3 children.
  • Catherine Josephine b. 15-3-1890 m. Thomas Arthur Fisher at Geraldton 17-2-1920 7 children. Catherine died 5-11-1989, aged 99 years 8 months.
  • Laurence John b. 10-6-1892 (unmarried) killed WW1 26-9-1917 in France.
  • Francis Bernard b. 14-11-1894 d. 2-6-1982 m. Winifred Brown, Victoria, 1927. 3 children, Patricia, Peter and Anita.
  • Edward Joseph b. 2-4-1899 d. 10-9-1978 m. Alice Miller at Geraldton 13-5-1920 2 children.

Patrick Stone's Shop Pat Stone then established himself in business in the town of Geraldton. He became well known as one of the pioneer commercial men of the place. He was a prominent supporter of the lead and copper mining industry around Northampton. He also owned the Commonwealth Hotel with adjacent block of buildings of which his general store formed a part.

While still a young man, he was elected to a seat on the Greenough Roads Board (Paul Fisher was Shire Engineer for the same municipality - now known as the Shire of Greenough - for 5 years from 1980) , and later elected as a member for the Geraldton Municipal Council which he served for fourteen years and retiring upon his election as a member for the Greenough district in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, an office he occupied for six years. His platform was that of an Independent Liberal, and while in Parliament he played an active part in breaking up the large estates for closer settlement. He was also successful in his persistent agitation for the construction of a railway line to the Chapman district and later to the Murchison district.

Patrick died in Geraldton on 23-12-1926.

An old newspaper cutting (undated) in an interview with Patrick James Stone (eldest son of Patrick Stone, stated that Patrick had purchased one of the earliest cars in the district, a Hupmobile made in the USA. He also owned stores in Peak Hill and Nanine.

Nola Atkinson of Geraldton has kindly sent my father some newspaper cuttings and I have reproduced some of them here.

From a work entitled “Time Gentlemen” by C. De Mori.

The Ship Inn, on Marine Terrace, was another early Geraldton hotel. A single storey, wattle and daub, shingle roofed building, it boasted an unelaborated veranda over a gravel footpath.

The hotel was managed by Henry Vile Eaton and his wife from 1900 to 1907. The Eton’s and their eight children lived behind the hotel and Mrs Eaton managed to raise a fine family of non-drinkers. It was not uncommon to see her, heavily pregnant, pushing a drunken patron off the premises.

The Inn belonged to Patrick Stone, one of the town’s earliest characters. Pat was always seen wearing a long silk coat and often walked the main street chatting to the town’s solicitor, Dr. du Boulay. Pat was a shrewd individual--never paid a cent for the legal advice he gleaned from those frequent strolls down the street.

It was at this time that another of the town’s legendary figures came to the fore. Bill James was the town barber and with some savings bought shares in the Great Fingal gold mine. Sometime later he tried to retrieve his money by selling the stagnant shares, but there were no takers.

Not long after this unsuccessful attempt to off load the shares, the mine struck it rich and overnight, James became a very wealthy man. He took over the Ship Inn and built an up-to-date hotel on the site and named it ‘James Hotel’ -but Pat Stone still owned the land. The arrangement was that James paid the land rent but retained ownership of the hotel for 20 years---after which it reverted to Pat.

In 1908, the hotel was bought by Geraldton’s Globe Brewery and the same year a new hotel was built on the site and called the Commonwealth, later renamed the Great Northern Hotel.

Also from Sr Albertus Bain, OP “Life of its Own” Page 128

The well patronised Ship Inn which was on Lot 247 to the west was bought in 1884 by Micah Downes a grocer. Downes borrowed heavily and as a result of unpaid rates, the Sheriff sold the site which included a cottage, a small grocery business and presumably the Inn in 1889. It was purchased by Pat Stone, who had been working in Downe’s shop. Pat paid the amount of the unpaid rates which amounted to 46 pounds 16 shillings and 10 pence. (in todays currency, $93.70) . However, he did take over the existing mortgages for 657 Pounds but this particular watering hole proved to be a paying proposition. Pat Stone paying off 400 pounds of his debt in two years.

From the early eighteen nineties, Pat acquired much arable land as it came on the market and by 1905, when he was borrowing more money, he was designated as a grazier--- (My late grandmother - who was Patrick’s daughter - remembered that Patrick used to buy sheep from up north in drought times, bring them to his properties out of Geraldton and fatten them for resale) No doubt his Inn at Nannine and a large shop at Cue assisted him. He was a man of vision and leased the local inn to a Mr and Mrs Eaton.

From Norris, C. Memories of Champion Bay & Old Geraldton
Another identity was Patrick Stone. Pat had not much education but for those days it served him well enough. He used to enter up the goods to his customers, and Mr Howes made up the accounts. When Mr. Howes came across the word ‘colt’ in most of the accounts, he could not work out that one, so at last he had to ask Pat what it was,”Oh, salt of course” said Pat. Pat and Mr Du Boulay were to be seen talking and walking, Pat with his tussore silk coat, and horsetail fly switch, or thumbs in his waistcoat armholes, Pat getting legal advice.

Patrick Stone, a politician in the early 1900’s was often the subject of newspaper publicity and the following extracts were obtained from different Geraldton papers at the Battye Library, Perth, by Thomas Patrick Fisher, his grandson.

Geraldton Advertiser Tuesday August 13--1901.
Pat Stone MP with his usual generous impetuous and keen Hibernian eye for a petticoat offered a “Swan” as a prize for the “best looking lady”. It is not at all to be wondered at that a decision upon such a momentous matter could not possibly be pronounced in a hurry. So for the time being, the prepossessing young farmer above alluded to, could congratulate himself on being not only the best looking “gent” but also the Belle of the Show.

Geraldton Advertiser Tuesday, July 30 1901
“Pat Stone the member for Greenough, “says the “Westralian Worker”, is a very decent old codger as is popular among other members, while in his own electorate he has a reputation for being kind hearted and generous.”.

Geraldton Advertiser Friday August 23 1901
Northern Cricket Association. Mr. P Stone MLA, elected Vice President.

Geraldton Advertiser (GA) June 1 1904.
“Try Stone’s Cash Store where class distinction is unknown, where the rich find it most satisfactory and the poor most economical. Where competition is invited, opposition defeated and imposition hated.”

GA June 20 1904
Capricious Carpings. Pat Stone besides having served a useful time already as Greenough Representative, has the advantage of comparative youth (50) and a Hibernian constitution, warranted to stand the wear and tear of politics without the necessity of recourse to Maori hot springs or even Yallingup Caves. His interest lie wholly and solely in the district.
(Looking at other pars in the same paper, it appears that the paper was denigrating the opposition member.)

Geraldton Advertiser October 9 1905
“Mr. P Stone informs us that he has received a wire from his solicitor in Perth in connection with the case of “Stone & Haseldon V Geraldton Municipality” which states the amount awarded must be paid over to them by tomorrow”.

(Research at the Battye Library in September 1997 could not locate any details of the case).

October 16-1905
The Greenough Elections-- False Rumour.

Mr. P Stone writes:-
I wish to contradict the rumour that has been sent around to the effect that I do not intend to nominate for the Greenough seat in the Legislative Assembly - I am at a loss to know how the rumour got about, or who spread it. I intend to contest the election, and would have commenced the campaign before this but for sickness in my family. I will publish my manifesto shortly and will address the electors at chief centres on dates that will be duly notified by advertisements. I hope that electors will think hard before promising their votes as to who would be most likely to serve their interests best.

GA October 18--1905
Mr. P Stone, one of the candidates for the Greenough Seat, speaks at Northampton on Friday night and Walkaway on Monday.

GA October 23 --1905
Mr. P Stone’s manifesto appears on page 4. It constitutes a well delivered policy which shows that Mr Stone is alive to the requirements of the district.

GA October 25---1905
On reference to the Greenough electorate. With Nanson out of the running --Pat Stone ought to score an easy victory. Harney (Opposition) (whose name rhymes with a Milesian word which expresses him exactly) is a Perth resident, which should block him at the very outset. Also, he is a lawyer- another objectionable feature.--If the capacity for making a brilliant speech, distinguished by a plethora of polysyllables and lofty flights of imagination--If this constituted a most desirable qualification for a successful legislator, then E A Harney BL is more than fitted.

GA October 25--1905
Stones merits and deserts are well known. He served the district well truly during his form of tenure of the seat, and “Hansard” shows how gallantly he strove for it, despite the fact that he is no orator, nor likely to have the degree of MA, BL, or LLD conferred upon him, even “Honori-causa”. Being fortunately, a man above the necessity of seeking a seat for the sake of payment, he can always be depended upon to be found in his place in Perth- Finally as a resident since boyhood of the district, and one who has done much to help along those in need of assistance, he thoroughly deserves the support of the electors == Friday ballot boxes should show that Greenough people know and appreciate this.

GA October 30 1905.
In the Greenough contest, Mr Stones was a splendid triumph in view of the circumstances under which it was achieved with two members of his family stricken with serious illness, precluded him from visiting more than two centres of the electorate. He won by 79 votes.

(From the same paper and date). We are glad to be able to state that Mr James Stone and Miss Helen Stone who have been for some weeks suffering from Typhoid Fever are now making satisfactory progress towards recovery.

GA. November 1 1905
Capricious Carpings by Le Grondeur
Its pleasant to find that the Greenough electors have made a wise choice in selecting Pat of that ilk from the three candidates nominated. Time will show this. Stone, in debate doesn’t coruscate, but he frequently gets there all the same. Also he is preternaturally stubborn in sticking out for the right, or what he thinks is right, being as hard to choke off as a Jap general, or an impecunious poor relation. One thing may be truly said in his favour, he is not hankering for any of the loaves and fishes for himself and this is more than can be said of some of the other candidates. He has, further, the advantage of previous parliamentary experience and isn’t likely to be troubled with Mauvais-honte.

GA November 8 1905
On some third class land, the property of Mr P Stone some 20 miles up the Mullewa line, there is a crop of about 150 acres of wheat which for luxuriant growth, could scarcely be surpassed in rich loam. About 45 pounds of artificial fertiliser was used to the acre.

GA November 14 1905
Mr P Stone MLA has just completed a flying trip to the Murchison as far as Nannine. Left Geraldton on Friday night and got back this morning (Tues) Mr Stone speaks well of the prospects of the Murchison as a whole and says there is a widespread and apparently justifiable feeling of confidence in the future of the field.

GA November 15 1905
Mr. P Stone MLA proposes at an early date to make vigorous efforts to demonstrate to the government the necessity of a loop railway from the Bowes through the Mt Erin Estate to the Cue line. He is preparing statistics with the object in view.

GA December 29 1905
Narra Tarra School to be re-opened.

Mr. P Stone, member for Greenough, has received the following letter from the Inspector General of Schools.

In reply to your representations, I am directed by my Hon. Minister to inform you that it is proposed to re-open the Narra Tarra School as a half time school after the Christmas vacation, if a teacher can be obtained .

From the Geraldton Guardian June 17 1908.
That Pat Stone will be opposed for the Greenough seat is something of a certainty. Although by the way, it will take a pretty good, as well as a popular man with preternaturally bucolic proclivities to oust him.
(He was not re-elected)

Geraldton Express June 8 1908
One of Pat Stone’s Store advertisements on the front page of the Express:

“Some may come, some may go, but Pat Stone goes on forever”.

From the book by Sister Albertus Bain, O.P. “Life of its Own”
Who owned the first car in Geraldton. Page 284

It is known that the versatile Pat Stone purchased a Hupmobile motor car in the early 1900’s. It was second hand and created a lasting item in the memories of the settlers of the day.

A letter from Patrick Stone to his son Francis Bernard Stone in New York in 1913 begging him to come home and assist in running the store.

P. STONE. General Merchant & Importer
Wine & Spirit Merchant
Telephone 56
14 Feby 1913

My Dear Son Frank Stone
I was pleased to hear from you and to hear you are well we are all well hear James little ons had the dipthearer but out of currenten (quarantine) today

We have a hot spell and bush fires a lot of our Finsen (fencing?) was burned in the Bay Padocks and at Billar and the six Mile Padock thare a lot of wheat ships loaded hear this year. I have E Compet Fandersen varee Snow in the store I am at a Great loss for some one who I could confide in as to keep the books and answer corespondens I dont like to let strangers in my buisness afares Mother ust to Help me when she was young She is Finished now she gets up evere morning prayes for an Hour then todles to earle Mass coms home by Jamses about 1/2 8 She reads a lot she cannot read out like she ust.

I dont aske hir to do any thing she is past work and entitle to a year or 2 spel before she dies she onle a year youger than myself. James seams to have no power of application he does some of the packing in the wharehouse and ralway an shipping matters he never got strong either Phisekele or mentle since he had the plage som years ago he leads a good life and have four children 2 girls and 2 boys nise little things. we must make the best of him as we find him

Lorance is still in perth at Fye and gibsens he is funi tempered I will never see him stuck I under stand Hellin is going to be marred in september to Jack Brofe he is in crucks and Buckers Iren Mangre buisnes

Josephin to Handey he is now Ralway Stashn M[aster]

Agness is likle to be an old maid

Eaddey is gon back to College after his Holardays he is growen a nise boy and a great Favrit with all boys

it is vere Sweatty Heat hear tonight I am all wet with swet Good is cut vere much hear now and the labour conditions is unbarabel the Labour Goverment set the pace and others have to followes the consiquinces is maney buisnes wont pay and numbers out of work

Your letter states you want Fifty Pounds More befor you start Home I wired 50 Pounds through union bank to new york Brown and Sons is the name of the Bankers in New york who the uB wired the money through thay Pasted a letter to you Frank Stone GPO Newyork the letter was returned through thee dead letter office to the Bank and thay cabled out to that efect. I could Realy spare no more at prisent but will wire 25 pounds to Sydney when you reach that cittey

We had a bad sinsin last last year and a good one this the farmers had to pay Rints Michinere Bill Miniwer and lef me vere short Not bean able to pay the store a ct or all Payments out of one crop I am vere short of money and feel the want vere much of some yung persin who who I could confide in to Help me thare is a thousand things I could explain if you were hear

What I want is to divide the estate between the Famley and let them take over a Mily of ?? Bank odraft I am ancuis to hold on to the proprety as it is increasing in valu vere quick

I would aske you to com back and help me to arange matter

I would like a little rest now in my old days before you risiave this I will be turned 69

I may cabele you to morrar

I am short of perticklers of the cable to see the Bank it cost 2/8 pr word from hear you are a vere long ways of and in a Foren country I think you are Fulish to go wandering round the worle wasting your youth and inerge.

My amdishin alwas to see my sons take thare place in the worald in Public and Privit Matters the same as I have don. Now is the time while you have youth energe and helh to com home and and make a hom and buisness you have ganed a lot experance in your travels and could put it to advantage in a countri like this. I have wool house out at Nabawas and 800 sheep in that Padick if I am wandering in my writting it ant my fault it is age and my mind is not so strong as when I was yunger

I cannot read muc at night. I dont know aney thing elce to wright about that would be litle interest to you

I remain your lovin Father

Whare ever you think kindle of your Parents and Relations and act Honourabil

A letter in the Geraldton Express Friday December 1917 from Mr P Stone.
Referendum. Meeting on on Wednesday night.
Mr P Stone replies to Mr Ferstat.

To the Editor
Sir-- May I crave space in your valuable paper to reply to Organiser Ferstat’s attack on me at the Referendum meeting in the Town Hall on Wednesday, the 5th.inst. He pointedly referred to me as having one son killed, a second wounded and the third in the army, and said that I was going to vote “No”.

This young Russian Jew requested me to go on the Conscription Committee, which I refused to do, giving my reasons. I asked him why he wasn’t at the front, as he seemed fit. He said that he had been there. From all that I can glean, he got into some soft job, to be filtered back, and like many of his kind, is now looking for soft jobs among the flag flappers and soolers. His late father often complained that he left Russia to get away from conscription.

Now Sir, as a loyal subject, I play second fiddle to no one. My father and uncle had been soldiers for over one hundred years back, and won medals and stars for bayonet charges before the days of trench fighting.

I object to being singled out for ridicule by Organiser Ferstat at a public meeting. This man claims to be Russian; comment on that point is unnecessary at at the present time.

My reason for voting “No” on the 20th. is, Australia has done more than her share in men and money sacrifices. Out of a population of five millions, we have sent nearly a tenth of the pride of our manhood; many thousands more who thought themselves fit, have been rejected. It is gall and wormwood to a young man to be called a reject by his lady friends.

I blame Mr. Hughes (Prime Minister of Ausralia at the time) for forcing Australia to do more than its share, in ships,men and money for his own glorification and anity.

Canada with eight millions, only a short distance from the front, and with more ships, has only four divisions fighting. she enlisted 424,510, but only 330,000 have been sent overseas.

The white population of the Allies, plus Japan (who was an ally in the 1914-1918 war) 328,000,000. The entire population of the Allied countries is 1,215,120,000. Germany and her allies total only 145,550,000. If our Empire and her allies did one twentieth of what Australia has done in proportion to her population, the war would have been over long before this. The number of single men now available, after three years sifting, could not possibly influence the issue of the war further than to give an excuse to call up married men and extend the age limit.


Geraldton Guardian Thursday January 3rd. 1926
Mr. Pat Stone, recently an inmate of the Victoria Hospital (Geraldton) now up and about again and looking very much better.

Geraldton Guardian Tuesday April 5 1927
In the Supreme Court of WA
Probate Jurisdiction: In the Will and Codicil of Patrick Stone, late of Geraldton, in the State of Western Australia- Retired merchant. Deceased.

The following letter was probably one of the last letters that Patrick Stone wrote on 8 November 1926 as he died on 23 December 1926. The letter was to his son Francis (Frank) in America. It is typed verbatim.

8 Nov 1926

Dear Frank
I was vere plesed to get your intresten litter and to lern your prospects are good, I think thare bitter than with Mr O’Gorman though he is doin a good buisnes

I just returned from pert I was thare a month under Dr Kenney he overhaled me for evere complant and say I am sound in evere part, but suffer from wind on the hart and nothing sirres he gave me metisen and dieted me, but I dont seam to get better, I have a noren panen in the pit of the sloick that I cannot shift, and know my brother John and my sister died of Cancer in the stumick and some times think it may be what is rong with me.

Josephens little babe died yesterday it was onle four months old, Josiphen Fisher and the two boys and the gearl ar well I saw Edde & Family in Perth they are all well and happe, Agnas and Famley are well

I stoped at Helens in Perth she always Keeps a nice room for me and good to me I always pay though they protest

I will wrigh longer next if fiell stronger
you afectinit Father P Stone

The poor old man died about six weeks later with cancer of the stomach and must have suffered during that period.

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