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John Monger Snr

John Henry Monger Senior was born about 1801 in Faversham, Kent, arrived via Lotus 6 October 1829, and died on 12 November 1867 in Western Australia. He married Mary Taylor, who was born about 1803 in England, and died on 24 August 1864 in Perth. He then married Agnes Donegan 4 February 1866 in York, Western Australia. She died 4 March 1920. John Monger Snr was buried after 12 November 1867 in the East Perth Cemetery.

John Henry Monger's house corner of Mount Street and St George's Terrace. It was later the Mount Hospital. Photograph by Alfred Stone, courtesy of SLWA.

John Henry Monger Jr Obituary

West Australian, Saturday 17 July 1937, page 6
John Henry Monger [Junior]

FROM the first days of settlement in Western Australia members of the Monger family have been closely identified with its development and have contributed their full quota to its progress. John Henry Monger, senior, an immigrant from England, arrived here in 1830 within a year of the Colony's foundation. He seems to have temporarily made his home in what is now known as the Leederville Ward of Greater Perth. Two place names of our city perpetuate that of the Monger family - Lake Monger and Monger Street. It was near the lake that John Henry Monger, jun., the subject of this notice, was born 107 years ago. The family did not long remain domiciled so near the capital, but trekked eastward. Ensign Dale's explorations of the Avon Valley and reports concerning its agricultural possibilities led the founder of the Monger family to take up land in the York district, with which some of its representatives have ever since been closely connected. Here farming operations were carried on in a comparatively small way until John Henry Monger, jun., on his father's death, succeeded to the modest paternal estate which, under his masterful hands, was so greatly enlarged that when he died in 1892 it embraced an area of 30,000 acres of freehold and conditional purchase land, much of it among the richest in the country. The estate was soon highly developed. Monger's broad acres were cultivated - if not as scentifically as are the best farms of today - in strict accordance with the approved husbandry practices of the time. Grazing operations were conducted not less successfully. Both as farmer and pastoralist John Henry Monger set high standards for his district. He was not afraid of making experiments. One of which he was among the first to venture one in which sheep were concerned amounted almost to a managerial revolution. He abandoned the traditional practice of having his sheep shepherded. Convinced that this system was good neither for the sheep owner nor his flocks, he resolved on trying another. Reliable shepherds were not readily to be had, and of shepherds who were employed many neglected their charges or unnecessarily harassed them. The remedy, J. H. Monger was persuaded, lay in fencing and to fencing he had recourse. The result of his example and precept touching this matter was an ever widening adoption of fencing to which he substantially contributed by importing large quantities of fencing wire and supplying it to pastoralists on long and easy terms of credit. It was not to the cultivation of cereals and the raising of sheep that this progressive and boldly enterprising West Australian restricted his activities. He established a mercantile business with branches in Perth, York and elsewhere, a business which fully shared, with the two older firms, that of John Bateman, Fremantle, and that of George Shenton in Perth, in the wholesale and retail trading business of the country. Monger's wholesale warehouse in the city was situated in William-street, a property ultimately acquired by Dalgety and Co., who having demolished the old premises now occupy the site with their offices. The retail business was carried on in Hay-street and did not pass into other hands until after its founder's death in 1892. Nearly 30 years prior to this, J. H. Monger, following on the discovery that for West Australian sandalwood there was a market in China, proceeded vigorously to exploit it. For long he was the Colony's leading exporter of this aromatic wood. It is not easy for the present generation of West Australians to realise what the sandalwood trade meant for this country in the late sixties, the seventies and eighties of last century. Its value for a time ranked second among the Colony's exports, while it provided employment directly and indirectly for an army of workers who would otherwise have been idle. Hundreds of cutters were engaged in the bush felling the wood, while wheelrights and blacksmiths in Perth, Guildford and York found it difficult to keep pace with the demand for new drays and waggons and for repairs to old ones which together made up the endless streams of sandalwood teams on the roads between the city and the sandal wood camps throughout what ls now the eastern and north-eastern sections of the wheatbelt. Owing to the growth of motor traffic a farrier is now a curiosity, but in the sandalwooding days his forges were to be seen in every town and village, with horses often in long queues waiting to be shod. This sandalwood trade which J. H. Monger amazingly developed also provided a good deal of employment for men who trimmed the product clean of bark and outer sappy growth before shipping and for wharf labourers. It was John Henry Monger who opened up this export trade and was for some time the largest purchaser of the commodity. Among his many other activities must be mentioned that of shipowner. Jointly with George Shenton he owned the barque Helena Mena, named after the owners' respective eldest daughters. The Helena Mena, with a sister ship, the Charlotte Padbury, voyaged regularly between Perth and London, making annually one trip each way with an outward cargo mostly of wool and an inward cargo of general merchandise. For many years after the Colony was founded a currency problem was continually recurring. Even after the first bank was established coin or bank notes were not always readily obtainable. It was because of this state of things that John Henry Monger and other commercial houses issued cash orders, a practice which while it led occasionally to abuses seems generally to have served a public convenience.

J. H. Monger was a member of the old Legislative Council. One of his sons, the late F. C. Monger, long represented the York district in the Legislative Assembly. Another son, the only surviving member of a family of four sons and four daughters, is Alex Monger, who occupies the ancestral home, Faversham, York, and who, like his father, has large pastoral and agricultural interests and strives, like him, at being a model landed proprietor. It should be mentioned that John Henry Monger built and presented to the Methodist body the church it now occupies in the town of York.

MONGER, John Henry, b. 7.1800/2 (Eng), d. 12.11.1867 (Perth), arr. 6.10.1829 per Lotus with wife Mary b. 1801 d. 24.8.1864 (Perth). Chd. John Henry b. 1831, Ann Elizabeth b. 1833 d. 1833, Joseph Taylor b. 1834 d. 1891, Stephen b. 1836 d. 1907, Susannah b. 1839 d. 1876, Herbert b. 1840 d. 1920, George b. 1842 d. 1893. One of Latour's party who was to be foreman of Latour's sawmills. He contracted for sawn timber at Perth & had a licensed inn at Fremantle in 1832. Moved to Mt. Eliza Perth by 1833 having selected land at Mongers Lake where in 1852 he employed 2 T/L men. Moved to York c.1837 where he established himself as a publican &merchant, backing many pastoralists. He had a steam flour mill at York by 1855. Visited Eng & returned per Dolphin 1859. Gave land for a Town Hall at York in 1861. Opened stores in Perth by 1864. He established his sons in business in different centres because they did not get on together. Method. (Erickson)

Mary Cooke Dixon, who married Stephen Monger, the son of John Henry Monger. Photograph by Alfred Stone.

References and Links

Many thanks to Robert Ward for an invaluable, comprehensive genealogy of the family of John Monger.

West Australian, Saturday 17 July 1937, page 6.


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