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John McNeece was born 11 August 1860 (USA, possibly in NYC), died c. 1925 in Fremantle. He was the son of Enrolled Pensioner Guard John McNeece [Broomhall has McNiece] and Catherine, and arrived 15 February 1863 per Merchantman with his parents. He was married in St John's Fremantle 11 August 1885 with Mary Creamer Shemelds, daughter of Benjamin Shemelds, who was also an Enrolled Pensioner Guard. Their children were Percy John b. 1888, Violet b. 1893, Inez Maria Kate b. 1897, Gordon Preston b. 1900, John Darcey b. 1902, Marjorie Eileen b. 1903, Zoe Kathleen b. 1905 & two others. He was an architect and building contractor, responsible for many buildings in Perth and Fremantle. He had prospected in the Kimberley district. He died 16 September 1925 aged 65 at 78 Wray Avenue (a group of three cottages on a 'purple title' at the corner of Attfield Street).
He started as a carpenter, but was taken on by Frederick Burwell as a draftsman before setting up his own practice in 1901. His son Percy became a partner in the firm in 1911.
In Fremantle he designed: the Davies building at 85-87 High Steet, 1901, the Moores building at 42-46 Henry St; possibly the Union Stores Building, 41-47 High Street (according to Hutchison; J.J. Taylor has Herbert Davis as the architect - the latter is more likely to be right as Taylor is an architectural history specialist); Mason's Building (Commonwealth Bank), 66-70 High Street, 1908; the Commercial Hotel, 1908, 80 High Street; Atwell Buildings, 1895, High Street (Mall), part of the Ajax Building, 1908, High Street; Princess Theatre and shops, 1912, 29-33 Market Street; picture gardens in Bannister Street.
Broomhall, Frank H. 1989, The Veterans: A History of the Enrolled Pensioner Force in Western Australia 1850-1880, Hesperian Press: B200.
Erickson, Bicentennial Dictionary.
J.J. Taylor, Architects Institute biography.
Image from Battye's 1912 Cyclopedia.
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