Fremantle Stuff > people > Horace George Stirling (1855-1927)

Horace Stirling

Horace Stirling was the son of Edmund Stirling.

Result of Heart Failure.
Mr. Horace Stirling, one of the best known of the older generation of Western Australians, died in Adelaide from heart failure last Friday night in his 72nd year.
The late Mr. Stirling was born in Perth on August 21, 1855, the son of one of the first journalists of the colony. At the age of 12 years, he delivered the first telegram in Perth, the telegraph system having been established by his father. At 14 years of age he became chief telegraph operator in Fremantle. He represented the State Government in the opening of telegraph stations between Perth and Eucla in the seventies, and on the completion of the linking-up of the east and west of the continent by telegraph, he was called to the bar of the Legislative Council and publicly thanked for his work.
About 1880 he took over the managing editorship of The Inquirer and Commercial News and in 1892 he brought out The Daily News, the first daily newspaper in the State. About 1896 he relinquished his interest in those papers. He then retired and lived at Claremont, where he applied his energy to the improvement of that suburb. He gave several years of service to the municipality, and later to the Claremont Road Board, of which he was chairman for a number of years. In 1899 he was appointed by the Government to a Penal Commission and advocated many reforms, one of which—the establishment of a farm for younger prisoners—was given effect to this year. He was also closely associated with mining, particularly at Mt. Stirling and Cole's Find. He was associated with the late Mr. C. Y. O'Connor in the formation of the Fremantle Hunt Club, and was one of the original life members of that body. He was always keenly interested in the history of the State and took an active part in assisting in the formation of the Western Australian Historical Society last year. At the first meeting of the society he was elected a vice-president and at the time of his death he had in preparation for the society a paper on the history of the telegraph system of this State. During late years he was endeavoring to collect material to write in anecdotal form a study of early Western Australia. It was regarding the details of this work that he was on a visit to Adelaide. His body will be brought to Perth for burial. Mr. Stirling's wife died in 1925. He has left two sons—Edmund and Athol of South Perth. Obit., The West Australian, Monday 27 June 1927, page 7.

Mr. Horace Stirling of Western Australia, who was on a visit to this city, died in the Adelaide Hospital last evening from a heart seizure which overtook him earlier in the day. It is understood that the intense cold brought on the attack which occurred while he was doing business in the city. Western Australians will regret in the passing of Mr. Horace Stirling, one of the first connecting links with the early days of this State.
Mr. Stirling, who was seventy-three years of age, was a familiar figure around Perth and was active right up to the time of his death. A son of the late Edmund Stirling he was interested from an early age in all matters appertaining to the welfare of the West. He was in control of the old Inquirer and Commercial News which was afterwards merged into the present Daily News and passed from his hands, and as a youth he entered the Postal service, and was associated with much of the earlier telegraphic development.
A keen observer, he forgot nothing of Western Australia's early days, and under the pen-names of "Hugh Kalyptus" and "Historoicus" he has been responsible for many graphic reminiscences of the early times. Indeed, he can be regarded as the real journalist-historian of the last fifty years in the West. He recently decided to visit the East in connection with his intended book on earlier Western Australia history and expected to make final arrangement for publication before his return. The late Mr. Stirling's wife predeceased him about a year ago, but two sons, Messrs. Athol and 'Ned' sur vive him.
(Arrangements have been made to bring back the remains for burial in Perth).
Mirror (Perth), Saturday 25 June 1927, p. 4.

References and Links


Stirling, Edmund 1894, A Brief History of Western Australia: from its earliest settlement, vol. 1, Sands & McDougall, Perth. [14 pages]

Stirling, Horace 1925, 'Recollections of Perth', Western Mail, Friday 25 December, p. 31.

Rod Read address about the Barnard, Read and Edmund Stirling families, given 5 June 2016 at East Perth Cemetery.

Obit., The West Australian, Monday 27 June 1927, page 7.

Obit., Mirror (Perth), Saturday 25 June 1927, p. 4.

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