1821 Info 6a for Caleb Crompton
Caroline Louisa Cox and William Pearson

Caroline's birth and early life at Mount Jeffcott

BIRTHS in the District of                                     Miners Rest                                                        in the State
When and
Where Born
Name and whether
present or not
(1) Name and forename, Rank Profession of Father
(3) Age And (4) Birthplace
(1) When and Where married (2) Previous issue living and deceased (1)Name and Maiden Surname of Mother (2) Age And
(3) Birthplace
13 19th June
Dowling Forest
Shire of
County of Grenville

William Cox
14th April
Miners Rest
Charles Francis
Elizabeth Emily   7  years
John Arthur
6 years
Charles Francis
4 years
Thomas Frank

of Victoria                                                                                            Register by Charles James Little, Deputy Registrar
Signature, Description and
Residence of Informant
Accoucheur, Nurse by whom certified
And Name of Occupier or
Other Witness
When Regis-
tered and
Signature of Registrar
Elizabeth Milner
Not Any
Mrs Wilkins
Mrs Cox
Charley Little

Carrie Cox at school

Caroline COX lived at Mount Jeffcott until the age of 14 years, when she left for South Melbourne to begin teacher training.

Hoverbox Photo Gallery - Jeffcott North school site - Ina Stephens: February 2008
This feature does not function correctly on phones and tablets

1. Sign representing the location of Jeffcott North School   2. The site of Jeffcott North School
1   2  
The location of Jeffcott North School sign - 33kB jpg The location of Jeffcott North School sign - 33kB jpg Jeffcott North School site - 34kB jpg Jeffcott North School site - 34kB jpg
1821info6a, sheet 2
Caroine Cox school book page 1 - 145kB jpg
1821info6a, sheet 3
Mt. Jeffcott North
State School No.209
August 3rd 1888
Mrs. Currie
Dear Teacher

It is, with pleasure I again write you a letter for exercise as you wish us to do. The weather is keeping very fine and warm lately. It is so pleasant to come, to school now. These last few mornings there has been a very heavy frost which is injurious, to any young plants that are coming up above the ground. The annual show in Donald is drawing very near it (sic) is only about a month off from now. I think we are going to it & that will be very nice. Then after this one has passed the Charlton Show will be commencing. The Centennial Exhibition has begun it (sic) opened on the 1st of August. I think it would be a grand sight to see. We are competing for prizes this year I think it will be a tight race between us. Our brother John [Arthur 1870-1951] is coming home to see us as
Caroline Cox's school book - 2kB gif.pdf icon - 2kB jpg This is a transcript of page 1 a 6 page hand written school activity. Click on the .pdf icon to read the whole activity.
Donald Show Results: the display in the Miscellaneous Class was one of the greatest attractions of the show. The winners of the prizes were too numerous to particularise. For the special prize given by Mr PJ Hoban, there was considerable competition. Master Killen, of Jeffcott, won the boys' prize and Miss C Cox of Jeffcott, won the girls' prize. Special: Writing (for girls under 15) to be the copy books, exercise books and house lessons for girls attending school. First prize 10s[hillings], second prize 5s[hillings] Miss C Cox of Jeffcott 1st.
In 1899 a concert was held at Jeffcott North, when prizes were awarded for the year's work, but all pupils were given a book, as there were sufficient funds. Prize winners were: VI class: Iris Hamilton 1, Caroline Cox 2.

Source: Jeffcott History Research Committee, The View from the Mount

Title page of Carrie Cox's exercise book 1888 - kb gif
A map of Tasmania drawn by Carrie - 20Kb gif A page of maths Carrie - 20Kb gif
Examples from Carrie COX's school book dated 1888
1821info6a, sheet 4
Above: A map of Tasmania
Right top: A page of maths
Right: A page of composition about flax.
Clicking on the images will open the full A4 page image.
A page of composition by Carrie - 20Kb gif

Her teaching career

Caroline started teaching on 15 December 1890 at South Melbourne School (School number 1253) on Dorcas Street, Melbourne. She was aged 14 years, five months and 26 days old.

In 1877 the Education Department bought a one-acre site in Dorcas Street adjoining the railway station and near Ferrars Street for £4000. It was to accommodate a school for the children of South Melbourne’s large number of manufacturing workers who needed to live close to their works. By 1879 the number on roll had risen to 1,050 children with the children split between the Mechanics Institute and the Presbyterian School on Bank Street. The sixteen-room school was not opened until January 1881. It was a two storey brick building in pavilion form. Other than the removing of galleries from some classrooms in 1906 the original building was in use until the 1960s.

Right: South Melbourne School circa 1900
South Melbourne Scool circa 1900 - 41kB jpg

By 1960 enrolment had fallen to 400 with the children of Greek immigrants making 45% of that number. It closed in December 1996. Whilst the new South Melbourne Primary School opened in 2018, the original, now a Heritage Registered building, was still standing at 284 Dorcas Street in 2023.

Caroline completed most of her training at South Melbourne, obtaining her Third-class certificate five months later, on 8 April 1891, with the assessing Inspector Curlewis describing her as ‘Of very fair promise’. Eleven months later the same inspector awarded her Second-class certificate with the comment ‘of good physique and very fair promise.’ A year later, from 1 April 1893, Caroline was awarded her First-class certificate with Curlewis comments of ‘very fair’ and ‘steady diligent’ being used until her last assessment at South Melbourne on 6 December 1895, when she moved to Youanmite North in the Goulburn Region.

Right: South Melbourne School 1984
South Melbourne Scool 1984 - 42kB jpg

From 6 February 1896 to 19 December 1896 Caroline was the temporary head teacher at Youanmite North School (School number 2921). During her time there comments were recorded that she needed to obtain a qualification in Science, Music and Drg (Drawing?) and needed C.L.C. Detc. for her Certificate. During her time at Youanmite Inspector Gales assessed Caroline as ‘anxious to do well’ and ‘a steady careful worker … fair’, though other comments are illegible.

1821info6a, sheet 5

Shortly after the turn of the nineteenth century, Youanmite was a farming and dairying district. The Youanmite district was quite widespread, with schools at Youanmite (1881), Youanmite North (1888) and Youanmite South (1918). When the railway line was opened between Dookie and Katamatite in 1892, a Youanmite township developed around the railway station, and a fourth school was opened in the Anglican church hall. One of the schools had thirteen pupils in 1998 and closed in 2000. The 1911 census gave the settlement a population of 266. She resumed her position at South Melbourne on 20 December 1896.

At South Melbourne, Caroline, according to Inspector Gamble, ‘performs her duties more to the letter than to the spirit’ suggesting she was more dogmatic than creative and imaginative. However, she passed her necessary courses (out lined above) enabling her to become a Certified- teacher on 2 June 1898. On 7 December 1897, Inspector Gambles was ‘more favourably impressed with her work today’, though he hints that she taught mechanically. The following year he comments that Caroline was ‘steadily acquiring skills in the Art of Teaching’.

Caroline transferred on 22 June 1898 to Campbells Creek (School number 120) in the Central Highlands. Gold was discovered at Campbells Creek in 1851, being part of the Castlemaine-Mount Alexander gold field. A school was opened in 1854. Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist churches were opened in 1856 and the latter, along with the Presbyterians, ran schools until the 1870s. In 1891 the census gave a population of 822 and 980 ten years later.

Right: Campbells Creek School 2020
Campbells Creek School 2020 - 32kB jpg

Caroline left Campbell’s Creek on 13 September 1898 when appointed head teacher of Katyil West (School number 2766), in the Wimmera District of north-west Victoria, from 14 September 1898. Most of the settlers came from the German Lutheran tradition, which had split into the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Victoria and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia. They established their respective Trinity and St Martin's churches at Katyil in 1882. The latter opened a school in about 1891. In 1911 the census showed a population of 361.

During Caroline’s three years at Katyil West the assessment methods changed with inspectors giving a percentage score in addition to a comment. Over four six-monthly assessments, Inspector Carauagh, gave Caroline an average score of 70 and always commented that she kept good discipline. By June 1900 Caroline had developed from ‘a little lacking in experience’ to ‘continues to show improvement’, and ‘employs better methods.’ Her assessment score increased to 76 and ‘good’.

Caroline was appointed head teacher of Wonga Park (School number 2766), on 26 October 1901. The area was a mixture of orchards and grazing properties and timbered land. Most smaller properties had been started with income from firewood that came from clearing the land. The settlers succeeded in having a primary school opened in 1895, first called Warrandyte East, but renamed Wonga Park in 1898. The 1911 census shows a population of 164 with the State primary school having 314 on roll in 2014.

Right: Wonga Park School 1898
Wonga Park School 1898 - 23kB jpg

As Donald William, Caroline’s first child, was born on 19 January 1902, she was already pregnant before leaving Katyil, conceiving in April 1901. Despite having a child, Inspector Curlewis was very positive about Caroline’s teaching scoring her a 78 and 71. There are always positive comments about discipline and her interest in the state of the buildings and grounds. However, whilst ‘improving her form’ she had yet to assimilate ‘the newer methods’ because she had not ‘shaken off the influences’ of the traditional methods because she had not ‘received a thorough training’.

On 6 December 1904 Inspector Gamble gave a very positive comment on Caroline’s ability. He was ‘Very favourably impressed with the style & manner of this teacher [who was] quiet but firm & forceful [She] appears docile without subserviency [and] teaches intelligently.’ Caroline scored a ‘good’ 75.’ However, three months later on 24 March 1905, Gamble wrote that he was ‘not so favourably impressed on this occasion. Visited unexpectedly matters not as satisfactory as could be wished’ scoring Caroline only a fair 62.

1821info6a, sheet 6

Caroline married William John Thomas Pearson on 26 August 1905 at 448 Queen Street, Melbourne at Holt's New Matrimonial Agency. She resigned on 2 November 1905 being five months pregnant with her second child Hector also conceived out of wedlock.


At the age of 22, between September 1898 and October 1901 she taught at Katyil West Primary School, near Dimboola and 100km due west of Jeffcott. It is possible that Caroline met William John Thomas PEARSON (WJTP) whilst teaching at Katyil as WJPT's mother, now Sarah Barlow, was living in Nhill, Victoria, 50km west of Katyil. (WJTP's father went missing in 1886, shortly after the birth of Oliver Otto.) In 1889 Sarah, WJTP's mother gave birth to Edith by Robert Barlow, a painter. Later, in 1891, Sarah and Robert married at Horsham, Victoria. Horsham featured in the life of Maralena MacDonald née Crompton, Caroline's aunt)

In October 1901 Caroline moved across the State into what is now a suburb of Melbourne and started teaching at Wonga Park Primary School, some 30km north east of the centre of Melbourne. It is possible that Caroline travelled from home to Croydon and then by coach to Wonga Park. Through the week she stayed at 'Teachers Cottage'. As Donald William, her first child, was born in January 1902, Caroline was already pregnant before leaving Katyil. In 1905 the Inspectors gave a poor report of her teaching.

Caroline Cox's teaching posts - 28kB jpg
Above: Caroline Cox's teaching posts

1821info6a, sheet 7

Her marriage to William John Thomas PEARSON

FOURTH SCHEDULE - Acts Nos 1100 and 1593
MARRIAGES solemnized in the District of MELBOURNE
No. in
When and where Married Name and Surname of the Parties Condition of the Parties Birthplace
Bachelor or Spinster Children by former marriage
Living Dead
60 448 Queen St

26th August 1905
William John
Thomas Pearson

Caroline Louisa

- - Dalky
South Australia

Dowling Forest
I, ? Ferguson, being duly Authorized do hereby certify that I have, this day, at 448 Queen Street Melbourne
duly celebrated Marriage between William John Thomas Pearson, Labourer, Port Melbourne
and Carolina Louisa Cox, No occupation, Port Melbourne
after Notice and Declarations duly made and published by law required and with the written consent of
       Dated this Twenty sixth day of August 1905

FOURTH SCHEDULE - Acts Nos 1100 and 1593
in the State of Victoria.
Rank or Profession Age Residence Parents
Present Usual Name Father's Rank or Profession


Wonga Park

Wonga Park
35 Raglan St
Pt Melbourne

35 Raglan St
Pt Melbourne
Frederick Pearson
Sarah Chigwidden

William Henry Cox
Elizabeth Crompton

Marriage after Declaration, was solemnized by us  {          William JT Pearson
according to the Presbyterian Church Rites          {         Caroline Louisa Cox
                 { James Holt

Witnesses   {
                 { Annie Holt

Caroline was pregnant with her second child, Hector, when she married WJTP at Holt's New Matrimonial Chambers at 448 Queen Street, Melbourne. This seems to have been as close to a civil ceremony as the times would allow.

Queen Victoria Market was opened in 1878 on the site of an old cemetery. Holt's New Matrimonial Agency moved from rented premises in 345 Swanston Street to 442 Queen Street, hence the term 'new'. Before October 1901 442 was renumbered 448. It is recorded as being opposite the 'old cemetery': now opposite Queen Victoria Market.

Right: 448 Queens Street, Melbourne, as it was in November 2009
448 Queen Street Melbourne November 2015 - 40kBjpg
1821info6a, sheet 8

The advertisement in "The Age" of 25 October 1901 shows and gives details of licensed marriages at 448 Queen Street, Melbourne by Holt's Matrimonial Agency, which appears to have been a well-run organization, giving a complete service, from introductions to marriages. James Holt's appeared to be able to supply clergy of different denominations: he had a group of ministers of who were glad to make an extra income and appear to have been available "on call" though the "Free Christian Church", which does not seem to have had a church of its own in Melbourne. The address and possibly the witnesses are the only clue to Holt's Agency.

Marriages at 448 Queen Street are often 'married according to the rites of' many different churches. Banner The Age of Melbourne - 10Kb gif
James Holt and his wife Annie were usually the " witnesses provided". One wonders whether couples who eloped to Queen Street, desired privacy or had no particular
"Marriages celebrated by ordained clergymen, with due solemnity, in strictest privacy, at Holt's Matrimonial Agency, 448 Queen Street, Melbourne, opposite the old cemetery, or elsewhere, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Saturdays included. (no notice required)
    Fee ten shillings and sixpence; or marriage, with guaranteed gold wedding ring and necessary witnesses provided, £1 one shilling
    P.S. - No other charges whatsoever. All sizes, more costly wedding rings kept in stock if required."
allegiance to a religious denomination. And, as an advertisement the same day shows, that the well-run service extended to an agency where introductions could be arranged.

Source: Ada Ackerly (Accessed 31 August 2017)
"Ladies, gentlemen, every station in life, contemplating matrimony, immediately consult proprietors of Holt's New Matrimonial Chambers, 448 Queen Street Melbourne, opposite the Old Cemetery, specially erected by the proprietors for introductions, costing £4,000. (Established 1886).
    Introductions privately arranged between eligible partners, either sex, with view to matrimony. Only letter containing stamp for reply answered. All communications treated confidentially, and managed solely by the proprietors, thereby ensuring strictest privacy.
    Holt's "Matrimonial Gazette" containing particulars of a number of our available clients, modus operandi, etc., forwarded to any address, in plain envelope, upon receipt of a two penny stamp."

The birth of her husband

1880 District of Gilbert 402
When Born Name, if any Sex Name and Surname of Father Name and Maiden Surname
of  Mother
Rank or Profession of
Signature, Description and
Residence of Informant
Signature of Assistant
Name, if added after
Male William
? Barton  
Entered at the District Registry Office, the Twenty first day of February 1880
1821info6a, sheet 9
Map locating Dalkey South Australia - 108Kb jpg
Above: Map locating Dalkey South Australia, birth place of WJT PEARSON

Family life

By making reference to marriage and birth certificates, Electoral Rolls and to volumes of Sands and McDougall's Melbourne Directory, it is possible to trace William and Caroline's homes through Port Melbourne.

1905, their marriage: 35 Raglan Street
1906, Hector's birth: 190 Heath Street
1912, William Leslie's birth: 35 Raglan Street }
1913, Donald's registration: 35 Raglan Street }
1914, Myra's birth: Bayswater North, Melbourne
from 1901 to 1905 this was Caldwell's green grocers

from 1907 to 1914 the address was listed
as Wm Pearson, second hand books.
WJTP had bought land in Bayswater on two occasions
Right: The Pearson family home at 35 Raglan Street, Port Melbourne Author: November 2015 35 Raglan Street, Port Melbourne November 2015 - 47kB jpg

The Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 records them as continuing their married life at 35 Raglan Street, Port Melbourne. Caroline Louisa was involved in home duties, which she continued throughout her life. William John had various jobs and was sometimes absent from the Roll address given for Caroline.

1821info6a, sheet 10

In 1914 the couple moved to and lived together in Bayswater until 1915

Through 1917 to 1919 Caroline is alone, though a William John Pearson is recorded as a fireman in 1916. It is not known whether this is the same person.

From 1921 to 1937 the couple remain in their Bayswater home.

The maps below show the location of WJTP's market garden and is dated 1923. However this land, though in modern Borenia, is 3.2km from Woodmason Road, where they lived in 1942.

1821info4a, sheet 11
Plan of Thomas Caldwell's plot location - 122kB jpg
Above: An official plan showing locating WJT Pearson's plot at Boronia
Source: Heather Schoffelen from Oliver Otto Pearson's Certificate of Title
1821info4a, sheet 12
Sketch map locating Boronia - 73kB jpg
Above: Sketch map locating the Caldwell plot at Boronia along with the Pearson market gardens
1821info4a, sheet 13
... where they lived until they move to the market garden. In 1949 Caroline is recorded alone at the Woodmason Road address. The market garden has subsequently been developed for housing and the photographs reflect the November 2015 scene.

Right: 27 Woodmason Road, Author: November 2015
27 Woodmason Road, November 2015 - 50kB jpg

There are no obvious records after 1949. There are no obvious record of war service to account for the missing 1917-1919 years. Perhaps he was relocated for a 'reserved occupation' or this was one of his 'womanizer' periods, when he frequently lived away from home.

By contrast, Caroline the teacher, appears to be more cultured. She played the piano, a skill passed to her son William Leslie. She sent Myra to singing lessons. Caroline was also a member of the local Church of England church committee and, judging by later actions, she had a strong Anglican/ Episcopalian belief. However, despite her education she was frightened of lightening and would hide under the bed blowing a whistle for help. In her later life she was looked after by Sylvia May, her granddaughter and Hector's daughter.

Right: Caroline COX (left) and daughter Myra PEARSON (right)
Caroline Cox and Myra Pearson - 43Kb jpg
1821info6a, sheet 14
Note: Sands and McDougall's produced various Melbourne and Suburban Directory from 1856. They contain(ed) the "Street, Alphabetical, Trade and Professional Directories of Melbourne and Suburbs together with Government, Ecclesiastical, Legal, Official, Municipal, and other miscellaneous Information".

The recollections of Myrtle STEPHENS, née PEARSON, WJTP's eldest grandchild, suggest that Caroline's children had a difficult childhood: there appears to have been a marked contrast between parents. WJTP was a serious man and a strong disciplinarian, especially towards his eldest son Donald who he would 'whack'. When Donald refused to cry he whacked him again. He was also said to be a snappy dresser and rumoured to be a 'womanizer', who frequently lived away from home.

Caroline tried to teach WJTP to read and write. Though he was good at maths, she failed and he remained illiterate and continued to sign his name with an X.

William was a gardener who would grow flowers and sell them in Camberwell Market, in South Melbourne. He also had an apple orchard on the land he purchased in Bayswater North. Dorrie HEIB, sister of his daughter-in-law and Myrtle's aunt recorded that William's children had potato bags as bed covers.

Right: William John Thomas PEARSON in his garden
William John Thomas Pearson - 92Kb jpg
1821info6a, sheet 15

Caroline and William's death

DEATH in the District of FERNTREE GULLY                              in 26757
                      Victoria, Registered by        Ada M C Friburg
1 No 1998
Description -
2 (1) When and where died

   (2) Usual place of residence
16th November 1958 Shire of FERNTREE GULLY
Bayswater County of Mornington
as above
3 Name and Surname
Caroline Louisa Cox
4 Sex and age Female 81 years
5 (1) Cause of death
  (2) Duration of last illness
  (3) Legally qualified medical pract  itioner by whom certified  and
  (4) When he last saw deceased
Cerebral Haemorrhage, seconds
Senile Arteriosclerosis - 15 yrs
Wm Silcock

15th November 1958
6 Name and surname of Father and Mother (maiden name, if known), with Occupation William Henry Cox, Farmer
Elizabeth Milner Cox
Formerly Crompton
7 Signature, Description and Residence of Informant R ?
Authorised agent
? Road Ferntree Gully
8 (1) Signature of Registrar
   (2) Date and
   (3) Where registered
Ada M C Friburg
18th November 1958
If burial registered
9  When and where buried
Undertaker by whom certified
10 Name and Religion of Minister or  names of Witnesses of burial
18th November 1958 AWP Box Hill Cemetery [CE2312]
S W Padbury
R Harwood E Phillips
11 Where born and how long in the
    Australian States, stating which
Dowling Forest
in Victoria 82 years
If deceased was married -
12 (1) Where and
    (2) At what age and
    (3) To whom
    (4) Conjugal Condition at Date of Death

28 years
William John Thomas Pearson
13 Issue in Order of Birth, the Name and Ages Donald William 51
Hector 49
William Leslie 46
Myra Elizabeth 44
1821info6a sheet 16
Registered by Ian James BOWLER
1 No No 3960/71
Description -
2 (1) When and where died ..
   (2) Usual place of residence ..
3 Name and Surname
4 Sex and age
15th February, 1971,
102 Ascot Street South, Ballarat,
William John Thomas PEARSON,
Male, 89 Years
5 (1) Cause of death and duration of last illness
  (2) Legally qualified medical practitioner by whom certified and when he last saw deceased
Bronchopneumonia - 3 days

J. Ambrose, 12th February, 1971
6 Name and surname of father and mother (maiden name, if known), with occupation William Francis Pearson,
Sarah Ann Pearson,
maiden name Chidwidden,
7 Signature, description and residence of informer Certified by
A.D. McMillan,
102 Ascot Street South, Ballarat,
8 (1) Signature of Registration Officer
   (2) Date
   (3) Where registered
Ian Bowden

23rd February 1971,
If burial registered -
      (Adapt as required)
9  When and where buried
Undertaker by whom certified
10 Name and Religion of Minister or names of witnesses of burial

17th February 1971,
Ballarat Cemetery,

L. Lillington,
J. Morris,
J. Ritchie.
11 (1) Where born
    (2) Period of residence in Australia
Dalky, South Australia,

89 years in Victoria.
If deceased was married
12 (1) Where and
    (2) At what age and
    (3) To whom
    (4) Conjugal Condition at date of Death

Melbourne, Victoria,
25 years,
Caroline Louisa Cox,

13 Issue in order of birth, the name and ages Donald, 69 years,
Hector, 64 years,
William, 58 years,
Myra, 56 years
1821info16, sheet 17
Caroline lived in Bayswater North until her death. In her later years Myra cared for her, turning her every two hours to prevent bed sores.

Caroline was buried in Box Hill Cemetery, Victoria, with her mother.

Right: The headstone for Elizabeth Milner COX and Caroline Louisa COX
Headstone for Elizabeth milner Cox and Caroline louisa Cox - 107Kb jpg

After Caroline's death WJTP move to the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre, Ballarat to be near his sister. This is now Queen Elizabeth Centre (Steele Haughton Unit), still based at 102 Ascot Street South as part of the Ballarat Health Service for retirement and aged, geriatric and palliative care.

It was formerly the Queen Elizabeth Geriatric Centre, and before that The Queen Elizabeth Home, but from 1850 to as late as 1950 it was the Ballarat Benevolent Home originally described as a 'benevolent asylum: a 19th century model of Christian duty, civic duty and social reform' opened in 187. WJTP was buried in Ballarat Cemetery in Lawn, F,21,24.

Right: WJT Pearson's memorial, Ballarat, November 2015, Author
WJT Pearson's memorial, Ballarat, 2015 - 33kBjpg

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Updated 08 June 2023