THE QUARTERMAINE FAMILY
Elijah Quartermaine was born 31 July, 1814 in Toot Baldon, Oxfordshire, England to Charles and Ann Sarah Quartermaine (born Newman) and died 14 August, 1888 in Katanning, Western Australia.
Elijah is considered the first settler in the district of Katanning.
He married Elizabeth Dickenson on 20 November, 1835 at Garsington, England and arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia, on 5 December, 1838 aboard the ship “Britomart”.
He started working for Dr. VIVEASH at “Yangadine” near Beverley.
In 1851 he was grazing 1,900 sheep and, finding abundant water and feed for his sheep in the area, Quartermaine permanently settled and was the first to secure land (1852).
His first lease was on Kojonup location 11, which was to become the homestead of Yowangup – a name derived from a spring on his property.
Descendants of Quartermaine still own and manage the property, which also has grave on it.
Elijah and Elizabeth had twelve children; Charles Elijah, Alfred William Charles, Elijah Nigel, Henry, Elizabeth Emily Alice Fleay (nee Quartermaine), Henry, Elizabeth Mary (Eliza) Caroline Smith (nee Quartermaine), Eli, John, Frederick, William Charles Alfred, and Richard Quartermaine.
One of Elijah’s sons, Henry took up a pastoral lease in 1873 around Woolkabunning Well, an Aboriginal water hole that was a prime source of water for those shepherding his sheep.
In addition, Henry had another lease ten kms to the south east (centered on Minackling Swamp) and one near Bokaring Water Hole.
Like his elder brother, Alfred, Henry was also interested in the exploitation of sandalwood and in late 1879 took out huge pastoral leases north east of Nippering – sandalwood still being plentiful in these parts.
An example of the difficulties facing those involved in land selection and recording thereof are letters Henry Quartermaine wrote to the Commissioner of Lands:
Yongup, May 1, 1874
“Last November I applied for a special occupation lease of 100 acres and being deceived by a native who took me to the water hole, gave a wrong name instead of Mimmacidling it ought to be Woolkabunning.
I should be very thankful if you will have the name altered on my application.”
Yongup, April 26 1875
“My 40 acres block is 6-7 miles from Mr Andrews, there is Haddleton between me and Andrews.
My place is about 6 miles to the west of north of Haddleton’s Coompatine as near as I can tell, I am not near Andrews.
I would be very thankful to you if the surveyor could run it out now as he is up this way as I would like to start my fencing this winter.”