WILLIAM BUCKINGHAM SEAMONS.
(1884 - 1964)
Born on 31 December, 1884 at Franklinford,
Married Mary Ann Arkley at Melbourne,
Australia, on 17 September, 1913.
Died 29 November 1964 at Ashburton,
William and Anne had 3
Frederick, born 18 July 1915 at
Kyabram, married Beryl Anna Toal at
Moonee Ponds on 22 February 1941, died 14 October
||Gladys Edna, born 24 July 1917 at
Kyabram, married Gerald William Sexton on 9
November 1940 at Ascot Vale; and|
||Winifred Jean, born 1919 at Kyabram,
married George Frederick
seventh of twelve children born to James and Elizabeth, was born in
a little mining township called Franklinford, about 8 miles from
Daylesford, in Victoria. At the age of eight years, he went to live
with his Aunt and Uncle in Kyabram, northern Victoria. His Uncle,
Frederick JUDKINS, was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire England,
on 5 January, 1847. Frederick was the son of Charles JUDKINS and
Margret DUKES. Charles was born on the 6 November 1822 in Aylesbury,
England, to Sarah Seamons (a sister of James' father, John), and
William Judkins. Margret Dukes was also born in Aylesbury on 5 July,
was the only child of Charles and Margret born in England. Charles,
Margret and Frederick migrated to Australia before the birth of Mary
Ann Elizabeth, on 2 October, 1851 at Franklinford, Victoria
Australia. Charles Henry (11 May 1856) and Emma Sarah (4 March 1859)
followed. (It is interesting to note that Mary Ann married Thomas
Thomas in 1871, and two of their daughters, Mary and Clara, married
James and Elizabeth's two eldest sons, John James and Joseph,
October, 1877, Frederick married Matilda ROBERTS (Born at Ballarat
on 23 June, 1854) at Yarrowalla Wesleyan Church, Victoria. Matilda
was the sister of Elizabeth Anne Roberts, wife of James Seamons, and
the mother of William. Hence, both Fred and Matilda had direct blood
relationship to James and Elizabeth's children. Because Fred and
Matilda had no children of their own, they "borrowed" William from
James and Elizabeth.
Fred Judkins and Matilda (Tilly) Judkins (nee
and Matilda owned a vineyard at Kyabram, the name of which was the
Aylesbury Vineyard, so named after Fred's home town in England.
William left his mother, father and nine siblings at Franklinford
and went to live in Kyabram from the age of eight. As well as the
Vineyard, they ran cows, chooks and bee hives. The Judkins
also owned draught horses and a gig-horse.
time that William arrived at Kyabram, he was milking the cows and
walking around the neighbourhood delivering the milk before school.
The family attended the Methodist Church in Kyabram, and William
started lay-preaching at the age of 20, and continued as a local
preacher until his death in 1964. He attended the Rehoboth College
in Eastern Australia, possibly at Sale. He was in training to be a
missionary to China, but he had difficulty at the time in learning
the Chinese language, as tutors were scarce. William spent some time
at Lakes Entrance as a Home Missionary.
about 6 years in Kyabram and under the leadership of Rev. James
Tratham, a Young Men's Evangelistic Band was formed with three
leaders, of which William was one for three years. The holding of
his first Church service happened on the third Sunday in December,
1900, through the sudden illness of the Minister, Rev. Trathan.
William was directed to take the afternoon service at the Tongala W.
H. Days Church and from that service on, he never looked back. Just
prior to his 16th birthday, he was placed On Trial, but never
appeared on any Preaching Plan.
December Quarterly Meeting of the Local Preachers, he was orally
examined on "Banks Theology" from the first to the last chapter,
answering questions for one hour and twenty
his 26 years in the Kyabram Methodist Circuit, he preached in almost
every Circuit in the Goulburn Valley. He travelled to all of his
Sunday services on a push bicycle, on which he had a cyclometer
which registered 88,600 miles. William would often take as many as
three services on a Sunday, travelling from Tongala, Merrigum, and
other townships around that area. The trips were made sometimes by
horse and gig or buggy, or by the bicycle.
William B. Seamons, at age 21
returned to Kyabram, possibly when his Uncle died, to look after the
vineyard and the farm. William and his Aunt Matilda were still
living there when William married Annie Arkley on 17 September,
William and Annie Seamons on their Wedding Day,
September 17, 1913.
went to Melbourne to live with one of her sisters, while William
continued at Kyabram with the vineyard, whilst also growing his
knowledge of dried fruits. At that time, the fruit was all dried on
racks in the sun, and William had a good market for his produce
because of the high standard.
Back standing (left): William
Seated (left) Matilda Judkins
(nee Roberts) & Frederick
Seated second from right:
Elizabeth Anne Seamons (nee Roberts), mother
of William Buckingham Seamons. (note that Matilda and Elizabeth
Anne were sisters).
It is not known who the others in the photo are,
however it is highly likely that some are more of James Seamons'
1920, William was offered a position in the State Department of
Agriculture in Melbourne, so he decided to sell the Aylesbury
vineyard, but before leaving, the Ardmona Preserving Company in
Mooroopna asked if he would manage the Company for twelve months.
The Manager's residence was on the Maroopna property, and the State
Department held his job for the twelve months.
Annie and their three young children, took up residence at 24
Grandison St., in Moonee Ponds in 1922.
William went to the Nyah West area of Victoria for a period of about
six months to supervise the dried fruit packing, as a lot of dried
fruit was now being exported from Australia, and the quality of the
fruit had to be first class. William was recognised as one of the
most knowledgable Victorian fruit inspectors at that
return from Nyah West he spent a lot of time on the wharves, opening
and inspecting cases of fruit, both dried and preserved. He spent
more time on supervising the loading of the fruit than anything
else, with most of his actual reports on the loadings then being
written up at night, when he had returned home. In 1926, William had
a Californian bungalow type house built on Mt. Alexander Rd, Moonee
Ponds. This was originally numbered as 597, but was later altered to
William and Annie Seamons, and their 3 children, Gladys (l),
Robert and Winnie.
This picture was taken at St Kilda on January 8,
Aunt Matilda moved in with William and his family, and remained with
them until her death in 1935.
as the result of an injury to his foot (that occurred at the Moonee
Ponds railway station), and in combination with a slight diabetic
condition he had a leg amputated, but even with this impediment, he
still continued travelling, preaching and attending
he and Annie moved to Ashburton to be nearer to their daughters.
William continued to go to work in Melbourne until he retired at the
age of 65 years. At Ashburton, William and Annie resided at 10 Vears
Road, next to their daughter, Gladys, and her family. William
continued to work in Melbourne until the end of 1949, when he
retired at age 65. The residence in Moonee Ponds was sold to
their son Robert, who with his family lived in it until they
subsequently moved to Pascoe Vale in 1968. The house in Mt.
Alexander Rd. no longer stands, but was opposite Queen's Park, and
near the Memorial Stone to Burke and Wills' first night stopover on
their fateful exploration.
shooting accident in the country had left William with lead in his
foot. Years after this accident, he suffered from lead
poisoning, and in 1960 had to have his remaining leg amputated.
Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he was still able to tend
his garden which was full of fruit trees and
never lost contact with his own large family of brothers and
sisters; some remained in the Tylden, Franklinford area, as well as
at Yandoit, while two brothers, Richard and Walter, moved to
Kyabram. Richard had a shoeing forge in the town. William's youngest
sister, Alice also lived in Kyabram after her marriage to Ben
Nichols. Older sister Annie Hall lived in Brunswick, while the two
older brothers, John and Joseph, moved to Melbourne and lived in the
Ivanhoe area. Brother Edmund went to Queensland where he joined the
the family continued with the Seamons longevity by living to ripe
old ages, and until William's death in 1964, he wrote letters to the
remaining members of his family, and continued to send them
ANN ARKLEY, wife of WILLIAM SEAMONS
Robert and Jane Arkley came to
Australia in 1888, on an un-assisted passage from England. With them
were their children Mary Ann, aged 12, William, aged 10, Thomas,
aged 7 and Robert aged 4-5. (Robert was one of twins, the other
having died in England).
bought 3 terrace houses in Athol St. Moonee Ponds, Victoria, and
from these dwellings he started a milk delivery round, as well as
selling dairy products from one of these houses. When Mary Ann was
in her mid-teens, Robert had a shop built in front of one his
houses, and from here, Annie started a mixed business, selling
groceries, laces, cottons, etc., while at the same time, continuing
to run the thriving milk business.
the period 1904/5, this Business and the terrace houses were sold
and a family home was bought in Elgar Rd., Burwood, with a dairy
farm being set up at that site. This farm was over a very large
area, with a creek running through the property. In 1988, most of
the area on the far side of the original site had been developed
into school buildings, however the family house was still in Elgar
Rd., and was still in good repair.
Annie Arkley, born 1876, died