Blogging from A to Z

Blogging from A to Z challenge – B is for Baxter

Wilfred Palmer Marr
My grandfather, Wilfred Palmer Marr

This is my second post in the Blogging from A to Z challenge.

Baxter is where my grandparents Wilfred Palmer Marr and Edith Meriden Docwra were married, which is probably also where they met, as that was where they were both living.  My great aunt Annie Lade (nee Docwra) continued to live on the family farm until the early 1970s, and I remember spending holidays on the farm when I was young.  The farm house had a verandah running on two sides of the house.

I will first look at Wilfred’s family’s connection to Baxter.  Wilfred had been born at Myrtleford, and his family had later moved to North Melbourne.  It was in the early 1920s that his parents moved to Baxter for his father’s health, and Wilfred appears to have moved there with them.

The following are the entries I have found on the Electoral rolls for Wilfred’s family.  Wilfred’s parents were Henry Palmer Marr and Mary Reeves.

1921-1943 Marr Henry Palmer, Baxter, farmer
1921-1943 Marr Mary, Baxter, home duties
Henry and Mary appear to have travelled backwards and forwards between Baxter and North Melbourne, as they also appear in some years at North Melbourne

1922-1924 Marr Wilfred Palmer, Baxter, fitter
By 1927, Wilfred had moved to Kooweerup, and later returned to North Melbourne

Wilfred’s sister Martha and her husband also lived at Baxter
1936-1943 Hosking Harold John, Lernard Rd Baxter, mechanic
1936-1943 Hosking, Martha, Lernard Rd Baxter, home duties

Wilfred’s brother Alexander, and his wife Myrtle, spent a short time at Baxter
1926 Marr Alexander, Baxter, contractor
1926 Marr Myrtle Nellie Grace, Baxter, home duties

Now for Edith’s family.  Edith was born in 1904 at Prahran, but the family had moved to the Frankston area by 1906, when her brother George was born.  Her two other siblings, Annie and Ronald, were also born at Frankston.  The Electoral rolls show that the family were living at Baxter by 1909.

The family had therefore been living in the area for nearly 20 years when my grandparents were married in 1922.  Although Edith left the area in the late 1920s or 1930s, her family continued to live on the farm at Baxter.  Edith herself only appears on one Electoral roll in Baxter: In 1936 she was living at Warrandyte Road Baxter.  Her parents, Harry Docwra and Emily Alice Oliver, lived there until their deaths. Emily died in 1925, and Harry died in 1934.

The Electoral rolls show the following entries for the family

1909 Docwra Emily Alice, Baxter, home duties
1921-1925 Docwra Emily Alice, Baxter, home duties

1909 Docwra Harry, Baxter, carpenter
1921-1934 Docwra Harry, Baxter, carpenter
Although the Electoral roll just lists the place as Baxter, Harry’s death certificate shows he died at Warrandyte Road Baxter.

1931-1934 Docwra Annie Eileen, Baxter, home duties
1936-1952 Lade Annie Eileen, Baxter, home duties
1955-1973 Lade Annie Eileen, Warrandyte Road Baxter, home duties

1931-1939 Docwra George Henry, Baxter, labourer

1939-1951 Docwra Ronald James, Baxter, gardener
1955-1957 Docwra Ronald James, Warrandyte Road Baxter, gardener

So, George appears to have left Baxter after 1939, leaving Annie and Ronald to run the farm. Ronald then died in 1957.

From The Sun Friday Dec 27 1957
Docwra The funeral of the late Mr Ronald Joseph Docwra will leave John (Roy V) Allison’s Parlors 76 Playne-st Frankston TOMORROW (Saturday) at 9.45 am for the Frankston Cemetery.
John R Allison Frankston 23
Docwra On Dec 26 at the Alfred Hospital, Ronald James, of Baxter, dearly loved brother of Edith (Mrs Marr dec)
George and Annie (Mrs Lade) fond uncle of Rupert, Jean, Margaret and Aubrey.  At rest.

After Ronald’s death, Annie appears to have carried on running the farm on her own.  In the early 1970s she sold up the farm and moved to Frankston for a few years, before going to live with her son at Bairnsdale, which was where her mother, Emily had been born. Annie died in 1997 at Bairnsdale, and was buried with the rest of the family at the Frankston Cemetery.

The gravestone at the Frankston Cemetery (Emily, Harry and Ronald Docwra at Frankston Cemetery) reads:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
EMILY AND HARRY
DOCWRA
THEIR SON RON
SETTLED WARRANDYTE RD.
BAXTER YEAR 1900

There is a separate gravestone for George and Annie which reads:

IN LOVING MEMORY
OF
GEORGE HENRY DOCWRA
1906-1972
AND HIS SISTER
ANNIE EILEEN LADE
1909-1998

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