Bow Hill, South Australia

Bow Hill

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Bow Hill General Store, 2009.

The Hundred of Bowhill, County Buccleuch, was proclaimed on 4 May 1893 and named by Governor Kintore after a town in Scotland. On 29 September 1898 the first combined show of the River Murray branch of the Agricultural Bureau was held. It comprised the Bowhill, Forster, Swan Reach, Lyrup, Pyap and Albert branches. A large number of visitors came on the steamer Tyro from Mannum while the Saddler brought a group from Murray Bridge.

Total attendance was between 700 and 800 people. There were numerous exhibits of excellent quality. Among the prize winners were F.H. Baker, J.C. Drogemuller, Augustus Dohnt, E. Weyland, George Weidenhofer, J. Weinert and J.G. Whitfield.

By 1910 Bowhill had become part of the District Council of Caurnamont. This derived its name from Caurnamont station, a pastoral lease taken up by Robert Thomson in the early 1860s. In 1910 Bowhill was basically a farming community made up from such settlers as J.D. Cockshell, Albert Dohnt, E. and E.F.W. Drogemuller, B. Otto, William Spry, G.H. Gogel and members of the Hoskin, Pilmore, Schenke, Semmler, Thomas, Weyland and Knight, families.

George Knight was born in Cornwall in 1839. He came to South Australia in September 1847 and first lived with his family in Littlehampton and Mount Barker. In January 1861 he married the eldest daughter of Stephen Jones and they had 11 children. He came to Bowhill in 1880 and worked as a bullock driver. In 1915, when he was 76 and had this picture taken, it was reported that he was still a picture of health.

There were still many problems to overcome. There was the matter of poor roads, no school as yet, much land needed to be cleared, better mail services were urgently required and most of all telephone communications with the city. However in 1910 there was a school and its teacher, Mr Knightley, was appreciated. In August Florrie Schenke and Agnes Johns, on behalf of the students presented him with a silver-mounted walking stick, suitably engraved, and an address on his birthday. It 1913 Miss Elliott was teaching at Bow Hill.

Slowly but surely matters were moving in the right direction. In September 1910 a saddler's shop was opened by Mr Oehlrich of Mannum. A Hall was completed by Mr Schenke and McLaren had opened a cabinet business in his new premises on the river. In September the Bow Hill Athletics Club held its first annual sport, which was followed by a successful social at night in the new Hall. Among the many prize winners were F. and G. Schenke, H. Standley, H. Goodenough, B. Drogemuller and A. Weyland.

Later that year an excellent sample of wheat, grown by the Seidel Brothers was sent to the Advertiser in Adelaide. It was part of a self-sown Gluyas Special Early crop standing more than a metre high and was ready for stripping. When harvested a few weeks later everyone was happy with the results.

In March 1911 it was reported that Bowhill was making rapid progress. Whereas they had suffered, in common with other River Murray settlements, a run of bad seasons, now with the advent of artificial manures and more scientific farming methods this land that was once desolate had yielded up its golden grain. The settlement had two blacksmith shops, a painterís shop, one store, a boarding house, a branch office of the Bank of Adelaide and a good wharf. Along the wharf J.T. Tregilgas was building a commodious shop and a club and smoke room for the chess and draught club he had organised.

In 1913 the Bowhill area had a population of 181. It had even a post office where M.M. Tregilgas, the storekeeper was also the post master.

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Bow Hill Football Club, 1935.

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Bow Hill Cemetery

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