James Mogg Everdell,
the son of William and Elizabeth (née Palmer) Everdell
was born at Cooper’s Plains on 18 April 1865. His mother
was assisted at the birth by a local woman, Mrs Wright.
Sadly, James died tragically at Paradise Gully, Oxley
Creek, on 24 April 1869, a week after his 4th
birthday. According to his death certificate, his
remains were interred ‘at Mr. Grenier’s burial place,
Cooper’s Plains, near Brisbane’ on 25 April 1869
(section 1, plot 35). Present at his funeral in an
official capacity were: Archibald Banks who certified
the burial and who himself lies buried in God’s Acre
(see above), George Dickinson, Edwin Cowall and James
A magisterial inquiry into the accident was conducted on
25 and 26 April 1869 by Hugh Hamon Massie, Esq., JP who
returned a verdict of accidental death.
Those called to give evidence under oath were James
Gordin (spelling?), ‘a bullock driver … residing lately
at Cooper’s Plains’, and William Everdell, the boy’s
father. Details drawn from William’s deposition are
The following accident report appeared in the
A little boy four years old, named James Mogg Erandell
[sic], met with an accidental death on Saturday last.
His father is a bullock-driver, lately residing at
Cooper’s Plains, and, on the day named, he was driving
his team, with his family on the dray, to the Townsvale
Cotton Plantation [near the present day Logan City],
where he had just obtained employment. When he arrived
at Paradise Gully he endeavoured to stop the team, for
the purpose of putting the brake on the dray while going
down a steep bank. The bullocks, however, would not
stop, and got a little out of the track, and one of the
wheels went into a deep rut. The poor little fellow was
jolted out of the dray, one of the wheels of which
passed over his chest, killing him immediately. A
magisterial inquiry will be held into the affair
William Everdell began his deposition by observing:
I am the father of the deceased James Mogg Everdell. He
was 4 years old last birthday. I was moving my family
from Cooper’s Plains to some land that had lately been
taken up by me on the Logan on Saturday the 24th
April instant. I have been a farmer at Cooper’s Plains
the last five years. I started for the Logan that
morning (24th) with a bullock team about
8.30. I drove them myself. They were all quiet steady
bullocks. And I have driven them the last 4 or 5 years.
I had about 20 cwt [approximately 740 kg] on my dray. My
wife and four children were sitting on beds that had
been placed over the stores. They were all in a row. My
wife was on the near side and my eldest girl Lucy was on
the off side. She was ten years old. The youngest was in
its mother’s arms and the other two were between her and
my daughter Lucy.
He goes on to mention the precautions he had taken to
ensure the comfort and safety of his wife and children
and he names a bullock driver and a timber-getter who
were following with another bullock team. He then
describes the rough terrain he had to negotiate and the
details of the accident. Both Lucy, who escaped without
serious injury, and James were thrown out with tragic
consequences for the little boy.
Because we are concerned in these pages not only with
those who are buried in God’s Acre but also with their
families, let us pass on to tell the Everdell story a
little more fully.
Sad to relate, Captain Biles, the son of Benjamin Biles,
died at the age of 38 in McAdam’s Sovereign Hotel,
Brisbane, on 3 November 1857, a few weeks after the
arrival of his ship. His remains were interred on the
following morning, presumably in the old Paddington
Cemetery. The funeral moved from the residence of Dr
Frederick James Barton, the devoted resident surgeon at
the Brisbane Hospital. When the Blenheim left for
Colombo on 6 November 1857, its master was Captain
William attended a land sale on 5 December 1860 and
purchased at £1 per acre a 46-acre property at Cooper’s
Plains. He and Elizabeth raised a large family: Lucy Ann
(b. 5 November 1858; d. 25 May 1947), Silas John (b.
Mundoolun 16 October 1860; d. 21 August 1935), Hilda
Hannah (b. 18 February 1863; d. 27 December 1941), James
Mogg (b. 18 April 1865; d. 24 April 1869), Alice (b. 26
April 1868; d. 8 January 1952, Ellen Sophia (b. 16
October 1870; d. 13 October 1964), William Jr (b. 2
September 1873; d. 2 July 1960), and Lillie or Lily (b.
10 November 1875).
Some of these names recall the family in which William
Sr himself grew up. At the time of the English census on
30 March 1841 in the Walton parish, Somerset, his
household comprised: John (born about 1796, agricultural
labourer), Hannah (1801), Fanny (1826), Lucy (1831),
Sophia (1833), Ann (1835) and William himself (1838).
The birth years are approximate.
William Everdell Sr established and was the licensee of
the Walton Hotel (named after his birthplace) in
Veresdale between 1879 and 1888. He died at the age of
‘65 years 4 months and 19 days’ on 26 December 1902 and
was buried in the Woodhill Cemetery.
The following obituary appeared in the local newspaper,
the Beaudesert Despatch:
At about 5 a.m. on the morning of Boxing Day Mr William
Everdell, a very old resident of this district dropped
dead on the verandah of his residence at Woodhill. Some
fifteen years ago deceased had a paralytic stroke and
since that time has been an invalid. A few years later
he had another attack, and a third one, which proved
fatal, took place at the time stated above.
Mr Everdell, who was a native of Somersetshire
(England), arrived in Queensland with his wife and
family [all of their children were born after their
arrival] in the ship
in the year 1857. He was employed at Mundoolun by the
firm of Messrs John Collins and Sons, until the year
1862 when he went to reside in the Oxley district.
He again returned to the district in 1869, taking up
land at Veresdale, where he has resided ever since.
Mr Everdell was one of the promoters of the Woodhill
Turf Club, which we believe was formed some twenty-six
years ago. He had always evinced the keenest interest in
the welfare of the club, and it is a somewhat singular
coincidence, that his death occurred early on the
morning of the day in which the Club’s Annual Race
Meeting was being held. Mr Everdell, who was 65 years of
age, leaves behind a widow, and a grown up family of two
sons and five daughters, with whom we sincerely
sympathise in their bereavement. The funeral took place
at the Woodhill cemetery the following day, and was very
largely attended. The Reverend T. W. [Teesdale William]
Cockell officiated at the graveside.
Mrs Everdell and family desire to sincerely thank all
those who attended the funeral, and especially the
committee of the Woodhill Turf Club, and those attending
the races, for their many kindly expressions of sympathy
with the family in their bereavement.
Elizabeth Everdell survived her husband by many years
and died on 27 July 1926. Contrary to what is stated in
the newspaper article below, she was born about 1835 in
Nynehead, Somersetshire. The following obituary appeared
in the Beaudesert Times after her death:
Mrs. Elizabeth Everdell, an old and respected resident
of Woodhill, passed away at her residence on Tuesday, 27th
inst., at the advanced age of 91 years. Deceased was
born in Devonshire, England, in the year, 1835. When she
was 22 she married William Everdell, who predeceased her
about 20 years ago. She leaves a family of seven to
mourn her loss, five daughters and two sons. She was
buried at the Woodhill Cemetery on Wednesday, the Rev T
C Flood officiating. The funeral was largely attended
and Mr F Fleming conducted the funeral arrangements. The
following sent wreaths … .
Everdell Park in Beaudesert is
named after this family.