HerStory

Jane Sophia WEBB

Also known as: née White

Died: 1933

Special Achievements:

Newly married Jane Webb travelled by train to Oodnadatta and then by horse and dray with her husband Benjamin and brother-in-law Joe, to a new life at remote Arltunga.
Her wedding ring was made from Arltunga gold studded with three Arltunga garnets.
Jane, a Methodist deaconess, tended the sick and injured miners on the Arltunga Goldfields.  Her husband, a prospector and later a teamster carting stores and wood between the goldfields and Stuart, would have been away much of the time.  They later took up pastoral leases at Ramberana and then Mount Riddock Station.

Jane Webb and her husband Ben lived at Mount Riddock Station in a native pine log
cabin, built by Ben in 1925. It still stands as a heritage-listed building. Here Jane brought
up her five children. She went to Oodnadatta to have her eldest son but the others were
born at the station, assisted by Ben and Stella, Jane’s Aboriginal friend.
The children were tutored by correspondence. Jane rarely saw another European
woman, and died at the station in 1933 after a long illness.
Whilst in Central Australia the pioneering woman journalist Ernestine Hill wrote an
article about Jane following her death, entitled ‘The Little Mother of Mount Riddock Station’.

Additional Information:

Pioneer of Central Australia and of Mt Riddock Station
Grandmother of NPWHF foundation member, Marilyn WEBB.


Resources

  • Document - The Little Mother of Mount Riddock

    Ernestine HILL wrote this article in the 1930s when the journalist was in Central Australia.

    Ernestine HILL; from NPWHF Jane WEBB file

    View File


  • References

    Petrick, Jose.  (2010, November).  The History of Alice Springs through Landmarks & Street Names.  St Marys, South Australia:  Openbook Howden Design and Print.  pp. 188-9.
    WEBB ROAD
    Benjamin (Ben) Mark Webb and his sons, Quinton, Kilmot and Bennett jnr --- Pioneer pastoralists.
         …
         In 1908 he with his bride Jane, and brother Joe, travelled to the Winnecke and Arltunga Goldfields after the rush.  From the Oodnadatta railhead they went by horse and dray to the remote mining area.
         Jane, a Methodist deaconess, tended the men in illness and injury; she was one of the few women among the many prospectors on the gold field.
         Ben had a wedding ring made for his bride from Arltunga gold studded with three Arltunga garnets, originally thought to be rubies.  The ring became a treasured family possession.
         …
         Jane had five children, Quinton, Kilmot, Elva (Mrs Joe Webb), Bennett snr and Joy (Mrs Anderson).  She went to Oodnadatta for the birth of Quinton but for her other children, was tended only by her husband and a loyal Aboriginal woman.  Pioneer women accepted this way of life.
         …
         Jane, who devoted her life to her family, rarely saw another European women.
         Following a long illness, suffered at the station, she died in 1933.  She was survived by Ben, who died two years later, and their five children.
         …
         Under shade trees in the Mount Riddock cemetery, lie the graves of Jane, Ben, Quinton, Bennett snr, Bennett jnr, Natalie (Mrs Kilmot Webb) and prospector Jack Saxby, from New Zealand.


  • Image - Jane Sophia Webb

    photo in the museum: Women at the Heart - "Jane Sophia Webb"

    Photo courtesy the late Marilyn Webb, Jane Webb’s granddaughter