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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[Part Two] Ann Jones: New Beginnings and Same Old Endings [Sharon Hollingsworth]

At the end of part one of Ann Jones: New Beginnings and Same Old Endings found at I had this bit:

But let's rewind back to 1901, Ann had lost her (second) husband of nearly a decade (actually she had lost 2 husbands in a dozen years), but she still had her wine shop to tide her over financially until the probate of the will and then the UK legal wrangling was done. In November of 1901 she transferred her Colonial Wine License to Mrs. W.H. (Sarah) Hill. Mrs. Hill rented the wine shop from Mrs. Jones and tragedy struck for Ann yet again in just a few months. History seemed to be repeating itself.

That tragedy was yet another fire at Ann's place in Glenrowan.
From the Argus of  Saturday Jan.  18, 1902:


, Friday.

A fire broke out early this morning in a wine-shop (the site of the Kelly's fight), at present occupied by Mrs. W. H. Hill. So rapidly did the flames spread that a piano and a few small articles of furniture only were saved, Mrs. Hill's youngest daughter and a lodger (Mr. Loslar) having a very narrow escape. The alarm brought all the residents of Glenrowan to the scene, and at one time it appeared that the adjoining residence of Mr. W. J. Curry, contractor, owned by Miss J.Twamley, would be saved, but a fresh wind suddenly set in from the north-west, and it was soon seen that nothing could save it and the residence owned and occupied by Mr. A. M'Evoy, retired railway employee. Mrs. Hill will be a serious loser by the fire, as nearly the whole of her furniture was destroyed, and none was insured. The buildings were insured for £250 in the Commercial Union Company......

NE Ensign Friday, Jan. 24, 1902 had the following bits:

GREAT FIRE AT GLENROWAN. SEVERAL PLACES CONSUMED. A most disastrous fire occurred at Glenrowan about 1 a.m. on Friday last, whereby the " Cafe Royal," the property of Mrs Smith, was destroyed. After closing the house for the night, Mrs Hill, who recently became licensee of the premises, was aroused by her daughter, ill in bed at the time, who gave the alarm of "fire!" It was then realised that a bedroom was alight and in a few minutes afterwards the entire place was in flames...... In a little over an hour, the four houses were levelled to the ground, and what was a neat row of well built buildings, now only remains a heap of blackened ruins.


Our correspondent at Glenrowan sends us the following additional particulars: The licensee (Mrs W. H. Hill) was about to retire to rest and was aroused by her daughter's cries that smoke was coming into her room. Two or three young men who were on the point of leaving for their homes did all they could to arrest the flames, but their efforts were futile, and the buildings, containing 12 rooms, were soon reduced to cinders. Mrs. Hill lost nearly all her furniture; but managed to save a new piano. She also had the misfortune to lose 10 pounds in notes and some silver.....A police investigation has been made into the origin of the fire, but no other conclusion was arrived at than that it resulted from a pure accident. Mrs Hill has obtained a permit to conduct her business on premises at the rear of the building destroyed, pending the erection of a new edifice.


The second inn that burned down in 1902. From Cookson's The Kelly Gang From Within.

This is a photo of the third inn that was built sometime after the burning of the second one. From Cookson.
 On January 31, 1902 someone wrote a letter to the editor of the North Eastern Ensign appealing for help for Mrs. Smith:

"To the editor, sir, I desire to make an appeal to the public through your paper for Mrs. A. Smith, whose premises were burnt recently, everything being totally destroyed. There was an insurance on the property, but there was a mortgage also. Mrs. Smith has no means left her sole income being the rent of the property consumed. She has been struggling for the last 20 years - ever since her house - on the same site, was burnt during the taking of the Kellys. I shall therefore be pleased if you will publish this and accept contributions. Yours, etc. W. Acock"

Remember that Ann had not yet received any funds from her late husband's estate at this time.

The inn was rebuilt yet again, this time in brick.

Mrs. Jones ended up her days in a three room cottage attended to by a housekeeper.

 B.W. Cookson interviewed Ann Jones in 1910 (but it was not published until the following year) and noted that the cottage was "scarcely a stone's throw away was the site of the old inn where the unfortunate woman had seen her boy slain, and where her own life had been wrecked."  It is a hard interview to read, as Ann was often bitter, tearful and raging about what happened when the visit from the Kellys in 1880 changed her life forever. 
Ann died on October 7, 1910 (aged between 77 and 80, depending on what is her correct year of birth) and was buried in the Wangaratta Cemetery.

1 comment:

  1. I thought I knew a lot about Anne Jones. She is my favourite person in the story. Now I realise that I know very little about her. Congratulations on your write-up.


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