Amos Booth &
Frances Edith Williamson
Amos Booth & Frances Edith Williamson
Amos was the only one of the six children of Robert and Sarah Booth to reach adulthood. (He was 83 years old when he died, and three of his children lived well into their 80's and one into her 90's).
Amos and Edie were married on a Friday at the Presbyterian Manse, Yarraville, by Rev John Chambers. Witnesses to their marriage were Elizabeth Johnson & Ann S. Chambers. It is not known why Amos and Edie chose to be married at Yarraville when they both showed their home address as Sandon.
When Amos married Frances Edith (Edie) Williamson he must have been working for some other farmer or orchardist at the time as there is no record of him owning land then.
Amos and Edie had three daughters, Sarah Frances Eva (known as Eva), Elsinora May (known as Elsie), and Alice Lillian Alfreda (known as Freda), and one son, Amos John Stanley.
Amos, with his wife and family, lived on an apple orchard in Newstead, called "Sunnyside". The orchard must have been successful because I have been told that Amos received a prize at the Crystal Palace, London, for his apples, however, as his father-in-law John also received a prize at the Palace (photo on file) I am not quite sure of the accuracy about Amos' prize.
Newspaper reports show that Amos sent very high quality fruit to the Melbourne markets and received top prices.
These articles below were originally published in the Newstead Echo -
12 September 1896
A firm of Melbourne auctioneers, Messrs. Pleasance & Graham inform us that Mr Booth's apples, of Sunnyside, Newstead reached the highest prices of the season. Shockley, were extra well packed, every apply being of the same size and colour realised 14s. Per case; Nickerjack 9s.9d.; Rome Beauty 9s.9d.; Annie Elizabeth 7s.6d.; Munro's Favourite 7s.6d.; Rhymer 7s.; Cleopatra 6s.9d.; Sturmer 6s.3d.; Majetin 6s.6d.; and Devonshire 5s.
We doubt not but that Mr Amos Booth, of Sunnyside orchard, Newstead could, if he wished, lay claim to growing the best apples in the colony, judging from the prizes he wrestles everywhere. Last spring he beat all comers for best collection of apples, and last week at Ballarat Horticultural Show, he again carried off first honors for 24 varieties of apples, a special prize for same, and first for collection of apples fit for export. We trust Mr Booth will live long to grow such fruit and that he may never be beaten.
In 1888 rates notices show that Amos rented, `42 acres of land and buildings, part of Section B, Parish of Tarrangower, from William Ibbotson'. The following year the notices show that Amos OWNED that area of land. In 1924 he owned 11 house allotments. I assume this is the land where his orchard grew. (The original home site and cool room sites are still visible.)
Amos and Edith grew up in a strict Methodist environment and continued these teachings with their children. The Booth home in Newstead was an open, and friendly house to all the young people in the area. The association with the Williamson's continued right into the 1950's. Dad and Auntie Eva used to talk about the Heritage girls; apparently they lived next door and were very close to the Booth children.
Edith died from breast cancer in 1903 when the children were young and her daughter, Freda, well remembered the day of the funeral when she and her siblings were left home in the care of two older cousins, and how they gathered white quartz stones and made a cross on the ground. Stan was only 2 years old when his mother died and Eva (with the help of her mother's sister, Annie Thompson), became the mother of the family - she was only 14.
After the death of Edie, Amos, with the help of his family, continued to get a living from the orchard until 1925, when it was sold. He then went to live with his daughter, Eva, in Castlemaine. We now have a distant relative, Dorothy Clark, living on part of the property.
Amos and Edie are buried in the Newstead Cemetery in Row No. 1076E, Grave No. 1237. There is a gravestone which reads:
In Memory of our Dear Parents
A & E Booth
This gravestone has been kept in good condition by Williamson family members.
The Booth Family Album
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