Musical policeman found happiness in Windsor

Easterbrook’s love of music brought him in close contact with another musical family during his time in Windsor, the Clements family.

 

Nathaniel and Elizabeth Easterbrook c1903

One of the most popular policemen at Windsor police station in the early 1900s was Nathaniel Easterbrook, the son of baker Isaac Easterbrook and his wife, Ann. Nathaniel’s father operated one of the early mills in Kurrajong in the early 1860s, before opening a bakery business in Singleton where he died in 1864 leaving his wife to raise eleven children: Thomas, Isaac, Benjamin, Joseph, Abraham, Nathaniel, Elijah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Sarah and Mary Ann.

Nathaniel married Margaret Boag in Sydney in 1884 and by the time he joined the Police Force in 1890, the couple had two surviving children, Harold and Lila (Clarice had died in Queensland in the previous year). Another daughter, Gladys, was born in Hamilton, near Newcastle, in 1893.

In 1900, Constable Easterbrook transferred from Tumbarumba to Windsor because of his wife’s health but tragically, Margaret died in June 1901 aged 36, just six months after the death of baby Olga. During his time in Windsor, Nathaniel took an active interest in the community. It seems that he was something of a tradesman, as it was reported that ‘Constable Easterbrook has done some good work at the police quarters and gaol. The places have been painted throughout and the wall round the barrack-yard has been coloured. Constable Easterbrook is no novice with the paint brush’. He was also a member of a Masonic Lodge and was described as a ‘tip-top’ musician from ‘a musical family’ who took the opportunity to perform in town bands wherever he was stationed.

Easterbrook’s love of music brought him in close contact with another musical family during his time in Windsor, the Clements family. He was a cousin of Mary Ann Clements, who with her husband Herbert Australia Clements, opened a grocery shop in Windsor in 1892. The Clements family were greatly involved with the Salvation Army in Windsor and it was about this time that Mary Ann and Herbert took in Elizabeth (Lizzie) and John Whyte (aged about 13 and 11) to live with them and their five children. Because of the relationship between the two families, Lizzie would more than likely also have helped care for the three Easterbrook children after the death of their mother.

In 1903, Nathaniel Easterbrook married Lizzie Whyte, who then accompanied her husband on various transfers around the State until he retired in 1922 after more than 28 years’ service. Apart from Windsor, Sergeant Easterbrook served at Petersham, Wagga, Tumbarumba, Parramatta, Ingleburn, Penrith, Lawson, Thirroul and Hay, gaining ‘the esteem of all with whom he came in contact’. He died at his home in Mosman in 1937. Lizzie Easterbrook remained in close contact with her three step-children and after Nathaniel’s death her two step-daughters, Lila and Gladys, took Lizzie out to dinner every year on her wedding anniversary until her death in 1968.

copyrightCopyright Carol Roberts 2016

 

References:

‘News in Brief’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 15 December 1900, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 85853325, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 15 July 2016.

‘Death of Mrs Margaret Easterbrook’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 29 June 1901, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 85853651, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 15 July 2016.

‘Deaths’, Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 19 June 1901, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 14391971, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 15 July 2016.

‘News in Brief’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 16 February 1901, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 85852314, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 15 July 2016.

‘A Musical Family’, Nepean Times, Saturday, 30 June 1906, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 110473152, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 15 July 2016.

‘From Week to Week’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 12 September 1903, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 86217929, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 15 July 2016.

‘Sergeant Nathaniel Easterbrook’, Riverine Grazier, Friday, 20 January 1922, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 140130534, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 12 July 2016.

‘Deaths’, Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 18 June 1937, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper Article 17394645, http://trove.nla.gov.au/, accessed 12 July 2016.

New South Wales Police Gazettes, 22 October 1890 and 22 January 1896.

New South Wales Births, Deaths, Marriages, https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au, accessed 11 July 2016.

Clements family information and photograph of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Easterbrook from June Irving and Julie Sinfield, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Herbert Australia and Mary Ann Clements. Research by Carol Roberts.

 

 

One thought on “Musical policeman found happiness in Windsor

  1. Fascinating – and very accurate! Nataniel and Lizzie had no children of their own. His surviving children from his marriage to Margaret had between them only two children who reached adulthood and only one of those two (my mother, daughter of Lila) had children – thus, very few descendants. I would be very interested to know where your information came from. Regards, Reg Barrett

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