THE WARREN FAMILY
WARREN , Lilian Irwin. 1883 – 1945. Wife of RWA – Died Dalwallinu WA
WARREN , Robert William Allison. 1873 – 1961 – Died Dalwallinu WA
Rockwell and Badgebup.
Farewell Social and Presentation to Mr. & Mrs. Robert William Allison Warren.
The Rockwell Hall on Saturday evening was the scene of bustling activity, when the residents of Badgebup and Rockwell met to say farewell to Mr. and Mrs. R. W. A. Warren and family prior to their departure from the district to Dalwallinu.
Mr. Warren having disposed of his property.
The hall had been prettily decorated with greenery for the occasion, the stage, particularly, presenting an artistic appearance.
Although at 8 o’clock the building stood lonely and forlorn in complete darkness, a few minutes later the twinkling lights of cars could be seen approaching from all directions until shortly after the hour the place was alive with the brightness and animation of a gay crowd.
As soon as the guests of the evening had arrived, Mr. F. J. Noonan, who acted In the capacity of master of ceremonies, started the young people dancing, the evening then being passed in a most enjoyable manner with dancing, and musical items contributed by Misses G. and M Longmire, pianoforte duet, Mr. W. Cobb; song, Mrs. W. Flugge, song, Mr. J. D. Holmes, song, Mr. J. Toms, song, Miss G. Longmire, pianoforte solo Mrs. P. Rands, song, Mr. R. Scott, song.
The musical programme was greatly appreciated, all the items receiving merited recalls.
Prior to supper, Mr. Noonan invited Mr. and Mrs. Warren to ascend the platform, when the serious part of the evening began.
Before introducing the various speakers, Mr. Noonan said the evening was organised as a result of the spontaneous wish of residents of Rockwell and Badgebup to say good bye to Mr. and Mrs. Warren and to convey to their their good wishes for future prosperity and happiness.
Messrs. O. A. Caldwell and J. Toms, for Badgebup, and Mr. Walter Longmire and himself, for Rockwell, had been appointed a committee to arrange the evening, and on behalf of the committee he desired to thank all those, particularly the ladies, who had assisted, in any manner.
The leader of the Country Party, Mr. A. Thomson, M.L.A., said he spoke that night with very mingled feelings.
In duty bound, he was compelled to congratulate Mr. Warren on having disposed of his property at a very handsome figure and to wish him every success for the future.
He did that with all genuineness, but with a deep personal regret that he was losing a valued friend with an equally deep regret that the district was losing one of its pioneers.
Mr. Warren had come to Katanning many years ago as young man, and with the optimism of youth had selected land far east of the furthermost eastern settlement, against the advice of the older settlers, who said no one could exist where he was going.
In these days of motor cars, 30 or 40 miles was no distance, but then it was a long day’s journey and it required courage to pioneer settlement east of the Great Southern, facing scarcity of water, lack of neighbours and no roads or means of communication.
Despite the pessimism he met with, Mr. Warren and his brothers journeyed into the unknown and proved the country, thanks being very largely due to the Warren family for the successful developments which had taken place since in these particular areas.
A fighter as a home-maker Mr. Warren was also a fighter for his district and for producers generally. As soon as he had made a home for himself, and other settlers had begun to develop the surrounding country, he joined the Katanning Road Board, and for years represented the district, fighting for its advancement and betterment.
When farmers began to Join together to protect their interests in a wider manner, Mr. Warren was in the forefront of the Farmers and Settlers movement, and right up to the present moment had been prominent in the affairs of the Primary Producers’ Association.
The district could ill-spare such a man, and the only consolation he could derive from the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Warren was that they would be going to some new district where Mr. Warren was sure to carry with him his enthusiasm regarding public matters and the welfare of the producer.
Very sincerely he wished Mr. and Warren the best of success in their new sphere and trusted they would attain the happiness and success they deserved.
Mr. Synnott. who represented the Katanning District Council, endorsed the remarks of the previous speaker.
He had known both Mr. and Mrs. Warren for many years and could appreciate what they had done, not only ‘for their particular district but for the whole State.
When Mr. Warren had come to Western Australia it was famous for its “sin, sand and sorrow” only, and their guest had done his share in making it the coming State of the Commonwealth.
Courage was required in those days to leave the settled areas of the Eastern States to tackle the unknown spaces of the West, but this Mr. Warren had done, and had pioneered not only wheat growing but sheep growing in this part of their State.
Anyone coming now to the district think that they had delve into the depths of history to reach the period when settlement at Katanning was comprised of a very small area immediately adjacent to the railway, and when wheat growing and sheep raising were untried problems.
Really it was comparatively few years ago, and Mr. Warren was still in the prime of life.
Thanks were due to such families as the Warrens, however, that the State had gone forward so rapidly, and that “Walyming” was now almost too far west to be considered in the wheat country, whereas 30 years ago it was too far east for safe settlement.
On behalf of the Katanning District Council and members of the Primary Producers Association he desired to convey to Mr. and Mrs. Warren the heartiest wishes for their continued success and happiness, and to express deep regret at their departure. Mr. F. H. Flugge, on behalf of Rockwell residents, conveyed to the guests of the evening the deep regret felt at their impending departure. Their absence would mean a break in the social circle hard to bridge, and the hospitality of “Walyming” would be missed by many.
He had followed Mr. Warren on the out-trail and had shared with him the early hardships, when water was scarce and wild dogs more numerous than sheep.
Such experiences welded men together and engendered feelings which words failed to express.
He trusted Mr. Warren would find happiness and prosperity wherever he made his home, and the last wish he could make was that his new property would be as good as the old one, and the district no worse.
On behalf of the Rockwell people it was his duty to present to Mrs. Warren an inscribed silver entree dish and to ask her to accept same as a mark of esteem and affection from her friends in the district.
Mr. Caldwell spoke on behalf of the the Badgebup people.
They all deeply regretted that Mr. and Mrs. Warren were leaving the district and assured them that their best wishes would follow their fortunes.
He personally had come to the district because Mr. Warren was already there, as many others bad done, and would never regret the steps he had taken.
Pioneering today with motor cars and trucks and Government assistance was not the task it was 30 years ago, but yet each had its difficulties and brave hearts were still needed.
In losing Mr. Warren, sporting bodies of the district would suffer greatly.
During the spare time of his pioneering days, Mr. Warren had started a rifle club, and had been its captain and one of its best shots.
Later he had been interested in polo and then cricket, and in the latter game had proved his worth as captain of the Rockwell eleven.
Lately he had taken up football, so the speaker had come to the conclusion that pioneering was good for one and I kept one young.
As member of the Road Board, Mr. Warren had done a great deal for the district in road improvement, and as a member of the Primary Producers’ Association had worked equally hard for producers generally.
For himself and for their many friends in the Badgebup district he expressed sincere regret at the impending departure of Mr. and Mrs. Warren and conveyed to them best wishes for their future prosperity.
Mr. Caldwell then presented Mr. Warren with a gold wristlet watch, suitably engraved, from Badgebup residents.
Mr. D’Arcy Evans, on behalf of the Rockwell Cricket Club, presented Mr. Warren with a gold-mounted leather wallet containing notes.
He said that Mr. Warren, by his enthusiasm in sport, had given a lead to the younger men and had been largely instrumental in the success of the club.
Sport generally would be the poorer by Mr. Warren’s departure and the presentation was offered to their guest as a sincere token of regard.
Following these presentations two little girls. Dawn Flugge, representing the Rockwell children, and Daphne Toms, representing the Badgebup children, each presented Mrs. Warren with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Amidst enthusiastic applause, Mr. R. W. A. Warren rose to respond to the previous speakers.
On behalf of his wife and family and himself he thanked the people of the district for what they had said and for the presentations.
It was hardly necessary to assure his friends that both would be treasured, in their minds and in their new home.
When he came to the district just on 30 years ago, in his wildest dreams he could not have imagined it would prosper so exceedingly that one day an assembly like that of the evening would be possible.
His first experiences of making a home were trying, through lack of water and roads and the loneliness, but nothing to daunt a man.
No young man could do better, in his opinion, than to go land-seeking in the fringes of settlement in this State, relying upon the past history of its development to obtain roads and railways and all other facilities long before he was too old to enjoy them.
Western Australia was the young man’s State, the land was good, the climate was good, and it required only a stout heart and confidence to win to success.
Reference had been made to his activities on the Road Board and with the Primary Producers.
These were the result of a spirit of self-preservation.
It was a case of going after what you wanted or going without.
Whilst serving on the Road Board he had made many friends, and in the hall that night was two at least who had served with him, Mr. Flugge and Mr. Alex. Prosser, and who still occupied positions on the Board.
Public service had its own compensations and rewards, and his connection with the Katanning District Council P.P.A. had brought him in close touch with men whose friendship he would always prize.
Mr. Jos. Ladyman, past president of the Council, was not present that evening, but he had received from him a letter conveying sentiments which he trusted were justified.
The time he had given to sport was well spent and he delighted in meeting younger men on equal terms on the playing field.
The presentation from the Rockwell Cricket Club touched him particularly, and would serve to remind him of the many happy hours he had passed with the young men and boys of his own and the surrounding districts.
Again, on behalf of Mrs. Warren and himself, he returned his most heartfelt thanks for the kindnesses and goodwill expressed that night.
The vociferous singing of “For they are jolly good fellows” and three times three brought this portion of the evening lo a close, supper and dancing concluding a very happy evening.
EARLY SETTLEMENT AT ‘DYLIABING’
Great Southern Herald – 8/12/1950
On November 25, 1950, the Katanning Branch of the W.A. Historical Society held a picnic outing at Badgebup and in the evening a number of papers were presented to members and friends attending.
One paper was prepared by Mr. R. W. A. Warren now of Evans Soak, Dalwallinu, and gave a brief account of the early development of lands east of Katanning and now known as Dyliabing. Walyamlng and Warramininup.
Mr. Warren paid tribute to the early settlers, most of whom had stayed through hard times and came out on top, although none earned the reward they merited and he often wondered why they did so much for so little.
Mr. R. W. A. Warren came over from South Australia to the goldfields in March 1895, after working on a cattle station at Coopers Creek until the rabbit plague ruined the station.
While working as a miner at Kanowna and later as an assayer’s hand at Kalgoorlie, he first heard of the good agricultural land in W.A. from Patrick McMahon, who afterwards helped pioneer the Lake Grace district.
Having several brothers still in South Australia, Mr. Warren wrote to his father concerning the land and arranged to meet him in Katanning; chosen because there was a flour mill there and it was on the same latitude as Burra in South Australia.
By settling further north Mr. Warren thought that he would get out of the best soil in the state and into a lees constant rainfall.
Mr. H. S. Ranford was the Government Land Agent at the time and, under the guidance of Peg Farmer, the native officer, the area was inspected.
The land chosen comprised 5.000 acres at 10/- per acre, payable over 20 years.
Included in the selection were three free homestead farms of 160 acres each.
These were in the selection before survey days and when the surveyor came a settler had the right to have the lines run as he pleased, provided they ran with the Meridian, or at right angles to it.
While waiting for the surveyor, the late Mr. W. B. Christie, Mr. Warren cleaned out soaks and went all over the area with a prismatic compass so as to be able to tell the surveyor just where he wanted the boundaries run.
As Mr. Warren knew little of West Australian soil at the time, he judged It on the grass growing and did his level best to have some rich uncrossed Salmon country left out but, fortunately, this could not be done.
He was wrong again in thinking the land running south via Gidjellharrup to Badgebup was of poor quality.
Hearing that Mr. Christie was at the “Cattle Station,” ten miles east of Wagin, Mr. Warren rode a bicycle there via Coomelberrup and across Dumbleyung Lake: the only person he saw on that journey was a deaf and dumb man tending some sheep, and the only sign of settlement was at Mr. George Keraley’s where there was a good spring.
Arriving at “Cattle Station” it was found that Mr. Christie’s delay was caused by his anticipating the motor car by being engaged in making big buggy into a man-propelled vehicle; the idea being that his men would propel it by pedalling cranks.
He, however, abandoned this idea and travelled in the conventional manner.
Mr. Christie made a most Interesting companion; he had the history and the design of the Pyramids at his fingertips and gave lectures on this subject.
In New South Wales, where he edited a newspaper he had been a most outspoken man and fought 14 libel actions winning all but one, for which failure he had to accept the hospitality of the Queen.
At this time there were no surveyed roads east of Katanning, but only twisting tracks made by sandalwood carters; one ran S.W. of where Dyliabing is now, past Mr. Simper’s property, and so to Katanning and the other ran over the ironstone ridges out to Glencove and thee moth to Katanning.
Mr. Warren’s brother, Mr. J C. Warren, came over early in 1898 with a number of horses and plant.
The wells that had been sunk were soon finished, so it was necessary to clear a track to Corackin, half-way to Katanning, where a quantity of well water was available.
The winter rains were very late that year, not till June, and luckily rain fell the day they hauled the last water from the well.
By using a boring plant and a dam sinking outfit, a dam 2,000 yards and 10 feet deep was scooped, thus bringing the water problem to an end.
In 1898 the two brothers cleared some land and had about 80 acres in crop.
Although no superphosphate was used, an average of 12 bushels was reaped, besides a quantity of hay.
having now a good water supply, ring-barking and fencing were the next two jobs.
As the dingoes were very troublesome they erected on the boundaries a dog proof fence, about eight miles of which was rabbit-proof wire, because although the rabbits were not about Mr. R. W. A. Warren considered such a condition would not last.
The netting, 36 inches by 1 ½ inch, 18 gauge, was made in Sydney and cost £21/10/- per mile f.o.b. there, and another£21/10/- per mile to erect.
Two mile of German netting was also obtained and was found to be of much better quality.
Besides the dingoes, the Warrens were faced with many other troubles: one year eagles killed half their lambs and for the first time in their lives they had blowflies striking the sheep.
Bush fires were another menace; they appeared to start from nowhere and gradually came down on them.
At first the Warren brothers had difficulty in droving sheep to and from Katanning, the whole area being covered with deadly poison bush, but later a track via Badgebup, across Coyrecup Lake, and past Ewlyamartup Lake was found comparatively free.
Even then there was a patch of York Road poison across which the sheep had to be hurried.
After obtaining permission from the Lands Department, a surveyor was sent to survey a road out from Katanning but when this gentleman arrived he Just set his theodolite at the start and went straight ahead, in some instances over the highest parts of the hillocks.
When the two brothers complained about this the surveyor said a crooked road would look bad on the map.
However, it was not many years before a spur railway was built from Katanning and they agreed with the engineers in their Idea of building a loop line Beverley, but business men in Katanning said that they did not want new towns springing up here and there, which reflected opinion of the time.
Mr. R. W. A. Warren now lives at the terminus of a loop line, where he gets three trains a week, and is convinced the Great Southern spur lines were a great mistake, and that someday they will he looped up on another connection to Albany.