Blowering Road, East Blowering
"Riverdale" Blowering Road,
In 1853 - Napoleon was born in Beckenham, Kent, England.- His parents were: George Augustus Johnson,1st
He died in Adelong on the 24th Ocober, 1902, NSW
2.2.1876 - "Newark Vale" Tumut - as shown on his Marriage Certificate - to Miss Elizabeth Ann Quarmby (Parents property corner of Tumut Plains Road and Monaro Highway, Jones's Bridge).
After their marriage on the 2nd February, 1876, Napoleon and Elizabeth lived on a small farm just above Spicer's Flat, later changed to Brandy Mary's Flat, named "Wattle Vale" and (5) five of their children were born there.
1. 1876 George Richard was born at "Wattle Vale" as shown on son George Richard's Baptism Record and (Ref- NSW BDM 21179/1876) This property was just south of Brandy Mary's Flat on the Monaro Highway.
2. 1878 Walter William JOHNSON Occupation - Carrier - as stated on his son Walter William Johnson's "Baptism Record". - (Ref- NSW BDM 23106/1878).
3. 1880 - On the 2nd May, 1880 in Blowering Baby Johnson, their third child died at birth. He was unnamed and only lived five minutes, his birth/death was 2 May 1880 at Blowering. He was buried on the 3 May (his father being the undertaker) but as far as can be ascertained there was no formal burial ground in the Blowering Valley. With the advent of the Blowering Dam there would be no trace of the tiny grave. Napoleon's occupation at the time was a carrier. - (Ref- NSW BDM 25445/1880).
4. On the 14th July,1881 - Mervyn Edwin Johnson was born. His father was shown as living at Blowering, and shown as a - Carrier - as stated on his son Mervyn's "Baptism Record" - (Ref- NSW BDM 27601/1881).Mervyn died in 1924 on the banks of the Tumut River.
They then puchased a property known as "Riverdale". The property had a river frontage and is located at Jones' Bridge, Blowering, seven miles from Tumut on the Monaro Highway. They had another ten children at "Riverdale".
5. 1883 - Albert Edgar Johnson was born in Tumut. - (Ref- NSW BDM 31075/1883). Married in 1911 in Tumut to Miss Euphemia MORRIS who was born in 1888 in Tumut.
6. 1885 - Milton Victor (1st) Johnson was born. His fathers occupation was shown as - Farmer - as stated on his son Milton Victor's "Baptism Record". Who was to become a member of the NSW Police Force. - (Ref- NSW BDM 33564/1885).
7. 1887 - Lillian Maud Johnson Married in 1919 in Tumut to Mr William Frederick GRADY who was born in 1884 in Wagga Wagga.
8. 1889 - Ernest Johnson was born - his father was shown as a Farmer at Blowering - as stated on his son Ernest's "Baptism Record". - (Ref- NSW BDM 35100/1889). Ernest's life came to an end in 1941 at Jones' Bridge. He married in 1924 in Tumut to Miss Ruby M. CONNORS who was born in 1891 in Tumut.
9. 1891 - Herbert Leonard Johnson was born - his parents were living in Blowering - as shown on son Herbert Leonard's "Baptism Record". - (Ref- NSW BDM 34820/1891). He married in 1919 in Tumut to Miss Anna P. A. BROWN who was born in 1891 in Bega.
10. 1892 - Ivy May Johnson was born in Tumut - (Ref- NSW BDM 35435/1892). Married in 1917 in Tumut to Mr Stanley Gordon PROWSE who was born in 1891 in Adelong.
11. 2894 - On the 26th August, 1894, Frederick Harold JOHNSON was born "Riverdale", Jones Bridge
12. 1895 - Oliver Clarence Johnson, the thirteenth child Oliver Clarence lived three months. He died on 3 January 1896 at Jones' Bridge (Napoleon being the undertaker again) Oliver is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, Tumut. Napoleon's occupation at the time was a farmer. - (Ref- NSW BDM 37446/1895).
13. 1897 - Hector Vivian Johnson was born in Tumut - (Ref- NSW BDM 26654/1897). He married in 1926 in Tumut to Miss Alma MURRAY who was born in 1906 in Tumut.
14. 1900 - Ella Olive Johnson was born in Tumut. - (Ref- NSW BDM 17246/1900). Married .Edgar J NUTTALL
15. 1902 - Clare Edna E. JOHNSON born in 1902 in Tumut. And died in 1966 in Wagga Wagga. Clare Married in 1934 in Tumut to Mr Wallace Victor BANWELL L who was born in 1898 in Tumut. He died in 1965 in Wagga Wagga.
No doubt they worked very hard on the land and all the family had to help, young and old. They grew mostly corn and millet and the good soil produced the first of the early potatoes in the district.
Napoleon paid "Riverdale" off in a few years and then negotiated to buy another property across the river from "Riverdale" so they had two valuable river frontage properties. This second parcel of land is shown on the early Portion maps as .......
He was an expert with the broad axe and adzes and cut all his own timber. He built a dormatory for the boys as well as several other buildings. The farm also featured a large corn shed. They raised a few pigs, cows, chooks, ducks and geese and also had an orchard. Near the house was a large walnut tree from which was collected several sugar bags of walnuts each season. The house had a detached dining room and kitchen as was usual in those days as a safety measure against fire. If the kitchen caught fire the rest of the house could be saved. A brick lined well supplied crystal clear water and acted as a refrigerator in the summer with butter, milk etc lowered down in a bucket for coolness. He also invented a machine to sew corn bags and made several machines for other farmers.
During the years they were good and bad and Elizabeth had the added burden of Napoleon's health which deteriorated over the years. Although he was treated by the local doctor he never improved and his life ended on 24th October 1902 at the age of 49 (he is in an unmarked grave in the Pioneer Cemetery, Tumut). Even today there is a location on the Tumut River known as Nap's Rock, a section of the river where he was saved from drowning in the 1890's.
Elizabeth by this time was only 44 years old and had 13 children to support - the youngest Clare was christened two days after her father's death (at this time the eldest in the family was 26). She sought advice from a solicitor and decided to stay on the farm. The solicitor arranged for a loan for her to get things moving. With the help of her boys the debt was paid off and the property became prosperous again. She had a new room built, brought two new sulkies as well as other items and by all reports, raised a happy family. The farm attracted many people because of it's location. Visitors would buy eggs, homemade butter, fruit and so on.
Deceased Estate JOHNSON, N B in Tumut Death 24/10/1902 Duty paid 15/01/1903 [19/10215] Real 3028 (Ref- http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/indexsearch/searchhits.aspx?table=Deceased+Estates&ID=15&query=Johnson&frm=0)
Name - Napoleon Bonaparte Johnson
Abode - Blowering
Date of Death - 24th October, 1902
Date of Burial - 25th October, 1902
Interment - Tumut
Age - 50 Years
Profession - Farmer
Minister - T E Owens-Mell
(Ref Margaret B)
BIOGRAPHY: (Ref: "Gold n Grain - A History of the Quarmby Family in Australia - 1852 - 2002", by Joan and Ken Quarmby)
Property was sold to Mr Tim Quilty from Mr Thomas Bridle, Mr Quilty had married Miss Bourke of Blowering. They finished up living in Carey Street, Tumut. - (Ref Tumut Centenuary Celebrations, page 33).
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