John S Maley

John Stephen Maley

John Stephen Maley, the youngest son of Kennedy and Martha Mealey, was born in Albany on 5 April 1839. At the tender age of ten; Maley was apprenticed to the engineer, Solomon Cook. Maley stayed with Cook for 11 years, firstly as an apprentice and later as a junior partner, gaining valuable experience in design and construction of steam mills and bridges and the operation of steam engines and flour mills.

In November 1860, Maley came to Greenough to oversee the construction and management of a flourmill built on land owned by George Shenton Snr. The Victoria Steam Mill was financed by Shenton and Cook and was working by May 1861.

Maley then turned his thoughts to seeking a wife. Whilst a bachelor could happily camp, a wife requires a home. So in November 1861 he organised the building of a cottage near the mill. John married Elizabeth Waldeck on 27 August 1862 and the young couple moved into their new home.

In 1863 Maley opened a General Store adjacent to the flourmill and by 1867 built another flourmill at Dongara. Maley introduced modern farming equipment to the district and was the first person at Greenough to grow grapes commercially. He also planted a large orchard of fruit trees including olives, figs and almonds.

Maley assisted in establishing organizations such as the Victoria Agricultural Society, the Victoria Horticultural Society, the Greenough Agricultural Society, and the Greenough Board of Education. He was a founding member of the Greenough Roads Board, of which he was chairman for a number of years and a member for many more.

Maley also worked as an auctioneer, selling the property and possessions of farmers bankrupted after loosing successive wheat crops to red rust. He increased his land holdings in the district, buying farms on the Front and Back Flats. He built and owned the Golden Sheaf Hotel and a brewery in Geraldton. Quite the entrepreneur, he was known locally as the “King of the Flats.”

There were economic setbacks in the late 1880’s when the railway was built on the Back Flats and not via the Golden Sheaf Hotel and the Victoria Mill. In February 1888 the Greenough Flats was devastated by floodwaters and whilst neither Maley’s home nor his mill was damaged, water flowed through the Golden Sheaf Hotel. His biggest losses were the many debts owed him by the struggling farmers on the Greenough Flats.

By 1890 Maley was in serious financial difficulty with the bank pressing for recovery of debts. The store closed its doors, the Victoria Flour Mill ceased grinding in 1891 and the Golden Sheaf Hotel was sold.

A sick and broken man, Maley died in this house on 28 December 1910. He is buried in the Greenough Cemetery.

Elizabeth Kniest Maley

Elizabeth was the daughter of Frederick and Fredericka Waldeck, two German missionaries who migrated to the Swan River Colony in 1836. Elizabeth was born in Perth on 14 May 1841. She was the third of eleven Waldeck children, and has the distinction of being listed as Birth No. 1 in the Western Australia Birth Register that commenced that year.


Frederick later abandoned missionary work to take on the more profitable trade as a tailor in Perth. In their desire to settle their sons on farms, the Waldecks bought land at Central Greenough. Before the family moved permanently there in late 1859, Elizabeth would accompany her father on trips to their Greenough property. Mount Pleasant, the Waldeck farm, is located close to the sand hills directly west of the Central Greenough village.


Elizabeth soon caught the eye of an eligible young engineer, John Stephen Maley. The couple were married on 27 August 1862 and moved into Home Cottage. The couple’s first child, George was born on 3 June 1863. John and Elizabeth were to have another 13 children. The last, Grace Alma Kniest was born on 24 July 1883.


As well as raising her large family, Elizabeth also had to oversee the flourmill, general store and farm whilst John was in Perth or the Eastern States on business. These were often uneasy times for her. She was to write in her diary, “Anxious this day, looking so earnestly for one so dear… my weak heart overcame… I had a good cry.” However, whilst her husband was away, Elizabeth could always rely on the support of her brothers and sisters who had also married into local families. When John was at home, the couple had a busy social life. Elizabeth, who had a very fine singing voice, was often called upon to sing at church fund raising concerts.


Elizabeth was a keen gardener, growing cut flowers for the house and vegetables for the kitchen. She was also famous for her prize winning jams, preserves and pickles and the cellar was always kept fully stocked.


Tragedy struck in 1879, when her eldest son, George, succumbed to tuberculosis. Her later years were also filled with sadness. Her father and a son-in-law died in 1895. Her mother and her eldest daughter, Hannah died in 1905. A grand-daughter died in 1907, a grandson in 1908, John Maley in 1910, a daughter-in-law in 1912 and her son Roy in 1915.


Elizabeth died on 22 August 1917 in Geraldton at the home of her daughter Ada Whitfield. She is buried in the Greenough Cemetery.


George Stephen Maley

George Stephen Maley was born on 3 June 1863.  He was educated at the North Greenough School and in Fremantle. George was a keen cricket player. 

Obituary of George Maley, eldest son, 16 years, from pulmonary consumption. After a lingering illness, he succumbed on 29 July. He was interred in the Greenough Cemetery on Wednesday last week, being followed to his last resting place by his parents and relations and about 300 mourners, the cortage of carriages and equestrians extending nearly ½ mile in length. The pall bearers were Messrs E. Shenton, W. H. Gale, C. Crowther jun, and M. Hosken. The Rev T. C. Laurence conducted the service at the grave and delivered an oration over the body. George Maley was a promising young man, 6ft 2in in height, and a general favourite with all who knew him.

3 August 1879 Victorian Express 

 Hannah Maley

Hannah was born on 29 April 1865 and educated at the North Greenough School. In 1883 she boarded with her uncle, Robert Waldeck, a storekeeper in Fremantle, but by 1885 had returned home.

Hannah was skilled at singing and playing the piano, freely providing her skills at fund raising concerts on the Greenough.

Hannah married Joshua Mills, Inspector of Stock, on 9 May 1892 (Joshua Mills was born in 1859 at Narra Tarra).

The couple had two surviving children. John Stuart Mills was born in 1893 and Helen Yetna Mills was born in 1895.

Hannah died on 10 July 1905 from complications following childbirth. She is buried in the Narra Tarra Cemetery.

Joshua Mills was for many years the district inspector for the Agricultural Department. On his retirement he entered parliament and for six years was a member of the Legislative Council. Joshua died on 21 March 1943 and is buried next to Hannah.

Martha Mary Maley

Martha Mary Maley was born on 25 June 1866. Like her older brother and sister, Mary was educated at the North Greenough School and in Fremantle.

Despite her Methodist upbringing, in 1889 Mary married Alfred William Gresswell Farrelly, a Roman Catholic solicitor.

The marriage was unsuccessful and when Mary contracted a venereal disease from her husband, she separated from him and moved to Perth. She later claimed she regained her health through a self-chosen diet of wholemeal grains and fresh fruit and vegetables. In Perth Mary devoted herself wholeheartedly in welfare activities. She was an early member of the Women’s Service Guild; and helped to establish the State’s Kindergarten Union and the Girl Guide movement. From 1915 she was also a committed member of the Theosophical Society. She was a justice of the peace from 1921 and became a vice-president of the Western Australian Women Justices’ Association. Believing that alcoholism was the root of many evils, she headed the social purity department of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. In 1922, working in conjunction with her brother Henry, then the Minister for Agriculture, she helped set up the Rural Household Science Course, this scheme was the forerunner to the University of Western Australia’s Summer School. Mary was also one of the four prime movers in the founding of the Western Australian Historical Society.

Mary was most fondly remembered for her promotion of wheat as a health food. Her 34-page booklet, How to cook wheat, offering recipes for ‘Wholesome, Nutritious, Appetising and Economical Dishes’, was published in the Depression; at sixpence a copy it sold well, running to many editions. Its author was in great demand as a speaker in the country. Train travel meant loss of sleep and infrequent meals, but she fortified herself with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of puffed wheat, carried in her well-worn large handbag, along with pamphlets, recipe books and nomination forms. She munched, even while talking animatedly, and her listeners grew prepared to be wary of the shower which fell their way.

Towards the end of her life her work was recognized at a reception at Government House when friends presented her with a large new handbag and a purse filled with much-needed sovereigns. Mary died on 28 August 1943 and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery’s Methodist section in her brother’s grave.

Discover more about Mary Farrelly here.

You can try Mary Farelly’s wheat recipes here.

Frederick William Maley

The fourth child, Frederick William Maley was born in this house on 29 February 1868. He was educated at the North Greenough State School and then at Fremantle. On his return to the Greenough in 1885 his father took him into his store, milling and farming business.

Fred was a keen sportsman and played for the Greenough Cricket team through the 80s and early 90s. He was also involved with the local race club and enjoyed kangaroo hunting.             

In May 1890, Fred went into partnership with his father in running the Geraldton Brewery in Durlacher Street.

Frederick’s marriage, on 31 July 1890, to Edith Louisa Hale Hosken, the daughter of Mrs Hannah Hosken, proprietor of the Club Hotel in Geraldton, was one of the year’s social highlights.

The couple had three children, Edith Grace Kniest Maley (born 1891), Adele Maley (born about 1893) and Claude Edward Maley (born 1897).

In 1893 Fred became the licensee of the Club Hotel in Geraldton, a position he held for 2 years. About 1898, Edith left her husband and 3 young children and moved to Fremantle. The children were then raised by their grandmother, Hannah Hosken.

Fred joined the 28th Reinforcements of the 10th Light Horse on 28 April 1917. At that time, Fred was farming with his brothers at Three Springs.

In 1921, following the finalisation of his divorce, Fred married Lewese Neilson. Lewese was a schoolteacher at the South Greenough State School and also an author. Two years later Fred and Lewese moved into Home Cottage. They were the last Maley’s to live in this house.

Fred died on 7 October 1940 at Victoria Park and is buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery. Lewese died on 31 October 1943.

Amy Maley

By the time Amy was born in this house on 18 August 1869, John S. Maley was becoming a man of importance and the event was proudly announced in the newspaper: –


BIRTH Maley. On Wednesday, the 18 August, at Enterprize Cottage, Victoria Mill, Greenough Flats, the wife of Mr John Stephen Maley, of a daughter.

The Inquirer and Commercial News. 8 September 1869.


The museum collection contains a letter written on 18 July 1885 by Amy to her teacher at the North Greenough State School.

The next information about Amy comes from William Brasher’s diaries,

Amy Maley left home I hope she will be happy she is a good girl! 11 February 1886 Brasher’s Diary

Poor Amy was cut up at leaving when it came to the pinch. 12 February 1886 Brasher’s Diary.

Amy was back by 1892 when she won second prize for her French Beans at the Greenough Show.

Amy married Edward Goldsmith Whitfield at the Wesleyan Chapel on 4 April 1894, and the couple moved to a farm at Green Hills.

One of the most interesting events of the season took place at Greenough last Wednesday, when Miss Amy Maley, the third daughter of Mr J. S. Maley was married to Mr Edward Whitfield, the second son of the late Mr Thomas Whitfield of Yandanooka. The ceremony was performed by the Rev A. J. Barclay in the presence of numerous friends and well wishes. After the wedding the happy pair went to Yandanooka, and on Thursday left for their new home which is situated at the Green Hills near York.

Victorian Express 13 April 1894


The marriage produced a son and two daughters. Irwin Munro was born in 1895 (killed in Palestine in 1918), Claudia Kniest was born 1900 and Mary Guerin in 1902.

Edward Whitfield was a member of the Green Hills Road Board, the York Jockey Club and a founding member of the Country Party.

Edward died on 23 May 1935. Amy died at York on 14 April 1943 and is buried in the York Cemetery.

Ada Maley

The sixth child, Ada was born in this house on 8 June 1871.  Ada was also educated at the North Greenough State School.

On 7 May 1891, Ada married Claude Whitfield (oldest son of Thomas and Mary Whitfield) at the Wesleyan Chapel, Greenough.

Mr Claude Whitfield of Yandenooka married last Thursday at the Wesleyan Chapel, Greenough to Ada Maley. Rev. H. Favil officiating. After wedding refreshments at the residence of the bride’s parents, the couple drove to Dongara en route to their new home.

9 May 1891 Victorian Express

The couple had two daughters, Mary (Molly) Kniest born 1892 and Dorothy Guerin born 1894. Ada’s marriage was shattered by the sudden death of Claude.

The death of Claude Whitfield of Yandanooka occurred at Mr Kemp’s residence, Geraldton. The funeral cortege moved from the residence of J. S. Maley. Death was by heart disease.

8 March 1895 Geraldton Express


 Claude Whitfield is buried in the Greenough Cemetery.

 Ada moved with her infant daughters to a house in Fitzgerald Street, Geraldton. It was here that her mother, Elizabeth Maley, died in 1917. Ada took a deep and active interest in social work, and was for several years the honourary secretary of the Visiting Nurse Scheme in Geraldton, of which she was one of the original founders. She assisted in a movement which resulted in the provision of the first ambulance van in Geraldton and also helped establish a Maternity Home in the old Residency building, Marine Terrace, Geraldton.

 A Civic Send-off was held at the Geraldton Council Chambers on 1 February 1929 in appreciation of Ada’s services to the town. Ada moved to York to live with her married daughter, Molly Scott.

Ada died on 9 May 1937 and is buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery.

John Morrison Maley

John Morrison (Jack) Maley was born in this house on 20 March 1872. He was educated at Greenough and Fremantle.

Like his older brothers, Jack was a keen cricketer and prior to his marriage,

The Greenough cricketers met at St. Catherine’s Hall to present J. M. Maley (captain and secretary of the club) with a silver set of buggy harness and whip. Mr Morrell made the presentation, “Mr Maley had always shown great interest in cricket and worked hard for it. No match was complete without him.”

26 February 1897 Geraldton Express

Jack married Ethel Henrietta Jane Clinch (born 27 June 1870), the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Clinch.

The couple lived at “Smithville”, a property of approximately 480 acres located on the west bank of the Greenough River just north of “Mt Pleasant”, the Waldeck family home.

The couple were to have a family of nine children, Jean Morrison (1897), George Morrison (1899), Kenneth Morrison (1900), Cecil Morrison (1902), Beatrice Alma Morrison (1903), Muriel (1905), Kathleen Mary (b.1905, d.1908), Oscar Morrison (b.&d.1908) and Ethel Morrison (1910).

Jack Maley was a more prolific father than farmer, and ended up bankrupt and having to sell the property in 1910.

From “Smithville” the family moved to “Howatharra” for 2 years and then to Yuba (near Northampton) for another 2 years. Yuba was a newly formed farming area.

Ethel was only 42 when she died at Yuba on 9 May 1912, leaving a family of 7 children. Ethel is buried in the Northampton Cemetery.

Jack and his children then moved to “The Island Farm” at Walkaway where the oldest daughter Jean took charge of her younger brothers and sisters. Jack never remarried.

Jack was appointed Secretary to the Greenough Roads Board in 1922 and the family moved to Central Greenough to live in the former Ryan’s Store.

John Morrison Maley died on 8 March 1934 and is buried in the Greenough Cemetery, along with his infant son, Oscar Morrison.

Albert Edward Maley

Albert Edward (Bert) was born on 18 October 1874 and like his older brothers attended school at North Greenough and Fremantle.

By 1893 he was working for his father. Bert also served as Clerk of Course for the Greenough Race Club.

 In October 1899 he volunteered to fight as a private in the West Australian Contingent in South Africa.

…three men were selected including, ‘Bert Maley is the third son of a very old settler, to wit, Mr J S Maley of the Greenough. Maley is 24 years of age, is 6 feet 2 inches in height, and he joined the Geraldton corps on the 24th of February 1898. He is a popular young fellow and a keen sportsman.’ The 3 men left by train for Karrakatta on Monday.

20 October 1899 Geraldton Express

Promoted to sergeant, Bert returned to receive a triumphant reception at Geraldton and Greenough.

Social at the residence of J. S. Maley to welcome home Sergt. B. Maley and Pvt. Kidd. A very pleasant evening was spent and songs, games and various amusements filling up the evening. When assembled in the refreshment room several toasts were given…

8 February 1901 Geraldton Express

He later farmed at Three Springs.

Bert Maley married Mary Lucy Deely (born c.1879) at Boulder.

The marriage produced three children, John Lawrence (b.1909), Roy Henry Lawrence (b.1916) and Albert Lawrence (b.1918).

Bert and Mary later farmed at Mullewa.

Bert died on 7 July 1948 at South Perth. Mary died on 31 December 1967.

Charles Crowther Maley

The ninth child, Charles Crowther Maley was born on 28 August 1876. He was educated at North Greenough and then at Briggs’ School, Fremantle. On his return to Greenough he assisted his father in the running of the farm. He then worked for several years in the hotel keeping business on the eastern goldfields. Like his brothers, Charles was a top cricketer and played for the Murchison team.

With his brothers Henry and Sol he formed a partnership and was allocated land at Three Springs in 1906.

Charles married Sarah Teresa McKeefry (nee O’Toole) at St Lawrence’s Roman Catholic Church, Lawler on 19 January 1909.

He later became sole owner of the property at Three Springs and in 1911 had built a pleasant home at what he named Parakalia. Eventually the property included 30,000 acres of leasehold and 23,000 acres of freehold land.

Charles was a member of the Victoria District Agricultural Society, of the Royal Agricultural Society, the Farmers and Settler’s Association and the Upper Irwin Roads Board. He received his Commission of Justice of the Peace in 1912.

Charles and Sarah later separated and Sarah moved to Geraldton to manage the Commonwealth Hotel.  Charles went on to live in a de-facto relationship with Vera Davy, a barmaid at the Criterion Hotel.

Charles was elected to Parliament as the Member for Irwin in March 1921, a position he held until his death in Perth on 15 October 1929. When moving a motion in the Legislative Assembly, expressing regret at his death, the Premier the Honourable P. Collier said, “…He was friend and benefactor to all settlers in his district, and helped many farmers…”

Charles was buried in the Wesleyan section of Karrakatta Cemetery

Sarah died on 1 August 1952 and is buried in the Utakarra Cemetery, Geraldton. Vera died in 1962.

Henry Kennedy Maley

The tenth child, Henry Kennedy Maley was born at Greenough on 17 June 1878. He was educated at the North Greenough School, and at the age of 11 won a scholarship, and so was taught for a further five years at the Perth High School. Henry worked as a clerk with the Midland Railway Company for two years and then for a big mining syndicate at Kalgoorlie. At the age of 21, Henry went to South Africa with the second Western Australian contingent to fight in the Boer War, but was back at Greenough by mid March 1902. On his return he took over management of the farm from his father. In 1906 he was allocated land at Three Springs.

Henry was keen to become involved in politics and in 1905 unsuccessfully stood for the seat of Greenough. Undaunted, he served on the Greenough Roads Board until April 1910.

On 7 June 1911 at the Congregational Chapel, Fremantle, Henry married Mabel Louisa Bateman, daughter of Mary Bateman and the late John Wesley Bateman, a prominent Fremantle merchant. Their marriage produced three sons, Colin Kennedy b.1912, Alan Kennedy b.1914 and Herbert William b.1916.

Henry chose to employ labour on the farm and took up secretarial work for the Greenough Roads Board (from 1912 to 1916) and the Greenough Farmers Club, was director of the Victoria District Flourmill and chairman of the directors of the Geraldton District Co-op Butter and Bacon Co.

In October 1917, Henry stood as the Country Party Nationalist candidate for Greenough. At a public function held at the Walkaway Hall, Henry told those gathered there to congratulate him on his successful election, “There was nothing in the rumour that he and Mrs Maley were contemplating a change of residence. Greenough had been good enough for his parents and the district would always be good enough for him to live in, and he hoped his son after.” Henry and Mabel moved to Subiaco in 1921.

Henry served as a Country Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for Greenough from September 1917 to March 1924. He was also Minister for Agriculture from April 1921 to April 1924 and leader of the Country Party from August 1922 to November 1923. Henry unsuccessfully contested the seat at Greenough in 1924 and 1927, but won the seat of Irwin in 1929 in a by-election caused by his brother’s death.

Mabel was one of the founding members of the Royal WA Historical Society and Chairman of the Ladies Auxiliary.

Henry died on 26 February 1956 at Subiaco. He is buried in the Karrakatta cemetery. Mabel died 19 June 1975 and is also buried at Karrakatta.

Arthur Roy Maley

There is very little known about Arthur Roy. He was born on 26 February 1880.

From 1898-1902 he was working as a blacksmith at Grass Valley, where he was a keen cyclist.

He married Kate, surname unknown and possibly had at least one child. He was noted for having communistic tendencies.

A brief report appeared in the Eastern Districts Chronicle stating that Roy Maley had drowned on 18 January 1915 in the Philippines whilst superintending the erection of a large dredging plant for a gold mining syndicate.

Solomon Shenton Maley

Solomon (Sol) Shenton Maley was born on 28 August 1881 at Greenough and was baptised at the Wesleyan Chapel on 20 November 1881.

Sol played cricket for Bootenal in 1900 and was present at Greenough when his grandmother died in 1902.

Like many of the sons of Greenough Pioneers he sought land elsewhere. He was farewelled at a social held in Greenough in June 1906.

A social was tendered Mr Sol Maley a few days ago. Sol is leaving the Greenough and intends making a new home near Mingenew. He will be much missed. He was always ready and willing to help at any of the concerts that took place here. I hope he will have good luck in his new selection.

1 June 1906 Geraldton Express

 Sol first took up land at Three Springs in partnership with his brothers Charles and Henry and then took up farming at Chilimony, near Northampton.

Sol married Ruby Flynn. They had three children but only one daughter, Sophie Elizabeth Jane (b.1919) survived.

Sol died on 20 March 1952 at Carlisle, and his ashes were interned in the Karrakatta Cemetery. Ruby died on 2 August 1956 and is also buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery.

Septimus Frank Maley

Septimus Frank (Frank) Maley was born at Greenough on 16 August 1883.

He enlisted in the 10th Light Horse regiment on 8 December 1914. Frank served at Gallipoli and in Egypt and Palestine before returning to WA in 1919.

Frank married Fanny Hamersley in 1922. They had two children, Peter (b.1923) and Nancy (b.1932).

Frank farmed at Three Springs, but he never really recovered from his war experiences.

His son, Peter John Maley (aged 14), was killed on 25 June 1938 when a car ran into the bicycle he was riding. He is buried in the Utakarra Cemetery.

Frank died on 13 April 1940 at Three Springs. He is buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery.  Fanny died 31 October 1977 and her ashes were dispersed at Karrakatta Cemetery.

Grace Alma Kniest Maley

The last child Grace Alma Kniest Maley was born on 24 July 1885.


William Brasher’s Diary

Grace was educated at the Greenough Convent School and performed in the annual Convent Concerts that were held in St. Catherine’s Hall. She also competed in the local Flower Shows.

Her coming of age was celebrated with a party at Home Cottage.

On Tuesday evening (writes a correspondent) Mr & Mrs J. S. Maley entertained at their residence, “Home Cottage”, Greenough, about thirty friends, the occasion being the coming of age of their youngest child, Miss Grace Maley. Dancing and games were indulged in until about 2am when the party dispersed, after having spent a memorable and most happy evening. Refreshments were served on the verandah, which had been enclosed. The tables looked exceedingly pretty with their pink and white decorations, the beautiful flowers adding quite a charm. Among those present were several Geraldton friends.

30 June 1906 Geraldton Express 

Grace received training as a nurse in Kalgoorlie and then moved to New Zealand where she had extensive experience working in hospitals and as a private nurse. One of her patients was Lily Kendon, a mother of two daughters living in Gisborne. Following Lily’s death, Grace married Herbert Kendon in September 1922.

Grace died in Gisborne on 19 June 1949.