Fremantle Stuff > people >

Edward Keane

Edward Keane MP was engineer/contractor for the railways.

Edward Vivian Harvey Keane (8 August 1844 – 9 July 1904) was an Australian engineer, businessman, and politician. Born in Birkenhead, England, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, and emigrated to Melbourne, Victoria, in 1876. Keane then moved to South Australia, where he worked as a railway engineer. He later moved to Western Australia, where he served in both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.
Keane was born on 8 August 1844 in Birkenhead, Cheshire. His father, also Edward Keane, was a captain in the Royal Navy, and was a relative of John Keane, 1st Baron Keane, who had been made a peer for his service in India.
In the mid-1870s, construction was begun on a railway line in the Kapunda area of South Australia, with Keane appointed as the engineer in charge of the project. The line was originally surveyed to run through Illawarra, a property owned by Abraham White, brother of James White MP, but Keane had a new survey carried out so that the line was moved away from the property. He married White's daughter, Lilla Rebecca Wharton White (1858–1934), at St Peter's College Chapel in Adelaide on 27 May 1879. They would later have five children.
In the early 1890s, Keane purchased 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land at Cottesloe (now Peppermint Grove) adjoining the Swan River, surrounding a point in the river called Butler's Hump (now known as Keane's Point). A large home, Cappoquin House (named after Cappoquin, the Keane family's original residence in County Waterford, Ireland), was built at the site, with the family taking up residence in 1894. Lilla Keane lived at the house until her death in 1934, when it was bequeathed to the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club for use as a clubhouse. The majority of the property surrounding the house was sold for development, with a small portion purchased by the Peppermint Grove Road District.
Keane was elected president of the Victorian Football Club, an Australian rules football club competing in the West Australian Football Association (WAFA), prior to the start of the 1886 season. The following season he relinquished his role as president to Hector Rason, and was made patron of the club, replacing Edward Scott. In May 1888, Keane was elected president of the league, necessitating him to relinquish his position at the Victorians.
In 1896, Keane, along with several local residents, agreed to form a sailing club based in Freshwater Bay, near his residence in Peppermint Grove. The Freshwater Bay Yacht Club first participated in races the following year, and later received a royal charter. Keane's old residence, Cappoquin House, is still used by the club as a clubhouse. Wikipedia.

KEANE, Edward Vivian Harvey. b. 8.8.1844 (England), d. 9.7.1909 (Perth). Arr. 21.3.1882 with father-in-law from Victoria having arr. there 1876, m. (S.A.) 1877 Lilla Rebecca Wharton WHITE b. 30.12.1859 d. 2.1934, dtr. of Abraham & Mary (nee Grant). Chd. John Vivian b. 1878 d. 1961, Montie b. 1881 (d. infancy), Edith Sarah b. 1882 d. 1953, Kathleen Frances b. 1884 (Bakers Hill?) d. 1942, Judith Beryl b. 1894.
Qualified civil engineer in Victoria and S.A. Contractor 1879. Successful tenderer for sections of Guildford-York railway in 1882, then extension to this line from Bunbury-Boyanup and from Geraldton-Walkaway by 1895. Company manager for Midland Railway Co. Employed 15 T/L men 1883-1886 among his railway workers. MU Geraldton 1886-1890. MLA Perth 1890-1. Mayor of Perth 1891-2. JP 1891. Mining interests. Owner of 16 acres at Keane's Pt. Erickson.

The Keane family were among the first to settle in the new suburb of Peppermint Grove. ... The new title in the names of the three members of the syndicate is dated 23 December 1891, and on the same day the first sales of these allotments were registered. One of these sales was the whole of Butler’s Hump to Mrs Lilla Rebecca Wharton Keane, wife of Edward, who bought the 8 1/2 acres comprising Lot IV for £1100. She and her husband contracted Jesse James to build their new house, one of the first in the new suburb, on this promontory. ... Cecil Henry Hammond bought the whole of what was later Manners Hill Park from the syndicate in 1892. It was used by Keane as his cow paddock and bought by the government before 1900 as a recreational area. ... With all this activity there were no doubt many tracks through the bush. The only one certainly known is one that ran from the Perth-Fremantle Road near Leake Street down to Keane’s Point. When Keane was having his house built the workmen disliked returning along the track after dark because of the abundance of snakes. (Pascoe 1983)

References, Links, Notes

James, Ruth Marchant 1977, Heritage of Pines: A History of Cottesloe, Town of Cottesloe Council, © Ruth Marchant James: 100-101.

James, Ruth Marchant 2007, Cottesloe: A Town of Distinction, Town of Cottesloe, © Ruth Marchant James 2007.

Pascoe, Robert 1983, Peppermint Grove: Western Australia's Capital Suburb, OUP.

Roberts, Kim 1974, ADB entry.


Wikipedia page.

Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth), 19 Jan 1887

Possum (Perth), 22 Oct 1887

Australian Advertiser, 2 July 1890

West Australian, 31 Jan 1891, 8, 11 July 1904

Morning Herald (Perth), 11 July 1904

Note: Cappoquin House was designed by Dean Smith of the firm Wilkinson & Smith.

Photo by R.W. Niven & Co. from Kimberly via Wikipedia.

Garry Gillard | New: 3 May, 2019 | Now: 2 September, 2020