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Mary Jane Piesse

mary jane piesse

Mrs. Mary Jane Piesse

(Katanning’s “First Lady”)

mary jane piesse

Born:  Mary Jane Elizabeth Chipper, Perth – 1854
Died: 5 April 1936 – Buried Karrakatta Cemetery

Married:    Frederick Henry PIESSE
                       18 Oct 1877 at Kojonup, by the Rev. W. Wardell Johnson

Children:  Frederick Thomas Roper PIESSE, 1878-1925 (in Randwick, NSW)
                      (Married 1905 – Mildred May Jackson)
                      Cecil Earnest Charles PIESSE, 1882 – 02/08/1915 (in Marvel Loch, WA)
                      (Married 1905 – Florence Wilson)
                      Harold Vivian PIESSE, 1884 – 15/09/1949 (in Katanning)
                      (Married 1911 – Elizabeth Martin Verney)
                      Melville Hubert PIESSE, 29/03/1890 – 1920 (Rabaul, New Guinea)
                      (Married 25/09/1912 – June Tarleton)
                      Florence Ethel PIESSE (Reid), 1893 – 05/12/1980 (in Katanning)
                      (Married 1923 – Robert H Reid)

Miss Mary Jane Chipper was in charge of the Kojonup Post Office and was the first woman telegraphist in Australia. Mary Jane became Mrs. F.H. Piesse on 18 Oct 1877 at Kojonup, not long after his arrival in Williams. She became his lifelong help mate, freely entering into his political work and assisting him in every possible way, both in the home and business. Their first place of residence was the first Post Office at Williams, now the Police Station. Their second residence was the old store in Williams. When they arrived in Katanning they lived in the old bungalow opposite the Church of England (which was considered to be one of the finest mansions in WA). 1902 saw them move to Kobeelya where FH resided until his death on 29 June 1912. Mary Jane lived the remaining years of her life at “Kulal” which was built by one of her sons (Frederick).

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