HerStory

Edith Ellen DEMPSTER

Also known as: née McLellan, E. E.

Born: 31 January 1884

Died: 28 May 1967

Additional Information:

Pioneer on cattle stations in South Australia and Northern Territory.
Top End pioneers and South Australian pioneers.
Pioneer pastoralist on Victoria River Downs.


Resources

  • References

    "Exploits of grandmother MRS E E are well documented in No Roads Go By and Kidman:  The Forgotten King - The true story of the greatest Pastoral Landholder in Modern History."


  • References

    Bowen, Jill.  (1987).  Kidman, the Forgotten King:  The True story of the Greatest Pastoral Landholder in Modern History.  Sydney:  Angus & Robertson, pp. 367-369.
    "... Things didn't always go his way and the one place he really wanted in western New South Wales was denied him.  And all because of a woman, Mrs Edith Dempster.  Recalling the rebuff in 1984, Bob Napier, 89, of Broken Hill, who had been a horse breaker on several Kidman stations in western New South Wales, said, 'Kidman wanted Tindara [Mrs Dempster's place] right or wrong.  But Mrs Dempster was too much for him.  She went to the lawyers.  It was a real dog fight.
    'Kidman had wanted Tindara for years and kept urging his Quinyambie manager, Mick Mitselburg, to see what he could do about it.  It was 34,000 acres freehold with full grazing rights to S. K.'s unfenced surrounding country.  He wanted it because it was the crossroads between Lake Elder, The Selection, Quinyambie and Corona and because of its permanent water, including Sturt's Yellow waterhole.  Getting Tindara would enable Mitselburg to go from Quinyambie to Corona without moving off Kidman country.  But Mrs Dempster refused and she didn't take it lying down either; she took the matter to the state Parliament and Jack Lang.  S. K. didn't get the place.  It's probably the only time in his life he lost out on a property deal because of a woman.'
    Despite the "dog fight" tag, one suspects Kidman had a grudging admiration for Mrs Dempster.  He and his party called on her whenever an inspection was taking place in the area.  She always had a splendid meal on the table for the travelling party --- and the same old answer for Sid if he raised the matter of her selling Tindara.  She was also an excellent horsewoman, not only on the show circuit but in any sphere of station life, and Sid thrilled at one stage to hear of her account of running down a wild dog single-handed.  Her story had a nice punch line, which pleased Sid even further.  The feat was achieved on a Passing By mare --- and Sid just happened to own the mare Passing By.'"


  • Document - E. Dempster

    letter from Rob Dempster; from NPWHF E. E. DEMPSTER file

    Rob Dempster

    View File


  • References

    Camilleri, Jenny. (2002).  Edith Ellen Dempster (nee McLennan).  Some Outstanding Women of Broken Hill & District (69)Jenny Camilleri.


  • Image - E. E. Dempster sidesaddle

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - E. E. Dempster with Myheerah

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - Edith Lillian jumping

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - E. E. Dempster presentation

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - Edith Dempster funeral notice

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - McLellan

    Mrs. McLellan, Edith's mother

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - Edith Dempster's daughter

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.


  • Image - Joulnie family and others

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, Rob DEMPSTER.