Fremantle Stuff > people > Tom Owen
Tom Owen had a pharmacy at Owen's Corner on the corner of Hubble Street and Canning Road (Highway) 1910-1943.
He was born in 1869 in London, and came to Australia at some point, because by 5 September 1893 he was working for Edmund Dean & Co., who had premises in High Street Fremantle (and at 415 Hay Street Perth). (Sunday Times, 2 December 1900, p. 1)
Before 1896 he had joined the gold rush in Coolgardie and Menzies – not as a prospector, however, but with the intention of setting up a chemist’s/druggist’s store.
It was in Menzies that he married his English sweetheart Ada Adelaide Strickland, who had arrived in the port of Albany six days before as a third-class passenger on RMS Austral from England. One imagines they had both been saving carefully from their respective earnings ever since Tom's arrival in WA in order to pay for her passage. On 27th August 1897, two became three when their son, Oswald Frank, was born in Menzies. However, in 1903, tragedy struck the family: Ada died -- then aged about 31.
Tom Owen's premises in Menzies >
When Tom next pops up, he is marrying Kezia Elspeth Golder, a tailoress, in Perth, some time in 1906. By then, the gold rush in Menzies was history - by 1905, most miners had apparently left to try their luck elsewhere. This is surely likely why Tom himself left Menzies. Tom and Kezia were blessed with the arrival of a baby daughter, Stella Adelaide Rose, in Perth, sometime in 1907.
By 1910, Tom had moved his family to East Fremantle - perhaps immediately to 55 Canning Road. A son, David McLean, was born to them in East Fremantle 26 April 1910. Another son, William Thomas, who arrived around 1912 in East Fremantle , completed the family.
In this c. 1904-10 photograph of Riverside Road and the Castlemaine Brewery, the sign on the side of Tom Owen's shop may be seen in the top right corner.
Tom continued to live (and trade) at 55 Canning Road until his death at around the age of 73 in 1942 or 1943. He was helped in the shop by his daughter, Stella, who seems to have continued the business, at least for a short time, after her father's death - living at 55 with her mother and her husband, John Hennessey.
Personal communications from descendant Anne Jamieson - to whom many thanks.
Garry Gillard | New: 21 June, 2019 | Now: 25 June, 2019