Joseph and Mary Curtin

Joseph Curtin was my great, great grandmother’s brother and Mary Curtin was his wife.

The following are some newspaper articles relating to them.

South Australian Register – Thursday 16 September 1897

A Widow Missing.— The Port police had exercised concern for the whereabouts of Mrs. Mary Curtin, a widow, who left her home in Cannon-street, Port Adelaide, on Monday   evening. On that day she came out of the Adelaide Hospital, where she had been treated for a leg trouble. In the evening she left a lamp burning in her home and went out hatless to visit a neighbour, but has not been seen since. The police and her neighbours fear that she has fallen into the river.

South Australian Register – Monday 20 September 1897



A the Port Admiral Hotel on Saturday morning the City Coroner, Dr. H. T. Whittell,         enquired into the death of Mrs. Mary Curtin, widow, of Cannon-street Port Adelaide, who was found drowned in a creek on the previous day.  Eugene Curtin identified the body in the Morgue as that of his mother Mary Curtin, who was about sixty years of age.  On returning to his home on Monday night after work he was informed that his mother, who lived by herself, was missing, and with others searched for her. On Friday, morning he found the body in a creek at the rear of the Globe timber mills, and Constable McKay took it out of the water. Had no idea of what brought her to the creek, for she usually retired early.  She had no pecuniary troubles, her family supporting her, but had been attending the Adelaide Hospital as an outdoor patient for an injury to her knee caused by a mangle falling on it. Had never known her to wander away before.

Thomas Curtin, son of the deceased, gave evidence regarding the cheerfulness of his mother, and added that the injury she was suffering did not depress her. He could not account for her going in the direction of the creek. His brother and himself had made arrangements for their mother, to live with them.

Mrs. Eliza Ann Lewis, of Cannon-street, said the deceased came to see her at about 7 o’clock, on Monday evening. Her manner was very peculiar she seemed dazed, and said that the doctors at the Hospital had twice injected morphia into her leg. She appeared to be drowsy, but, was quite rational in her talk although she repeated sentences over and over again – some as many as twenty times. On leaving she asked for her hat, but when witness told her she had come without one she remembered that such was the case. Had never seen her in a similar condition before. Elizabeth Augelenowich, of Dale-street, testified to having seen Mrs. Curtin pass at about 7 o’clock on the evening in question  talking to herself. She had on a long cloak. Mrs. Nora Walton and Water-constable J. McKay also gave evidence, and the latter expressed the opinion that the deceased must have wandered to the creek unconscious of where she was going, as there was no habitation in the neighbourhood. The Coroner did not attach much importance to the statement that morphia had been injected, and even if such was the case the deceased would not have been allowed to leave the Hospital until she was quite right. The Jury agreed that the deceased came to her death by drowning, there being no evidence to show how she got into the water.

South Australian Register – Saturday 18 September 1897

Drowning Case at Port Adelaide.- A report appeared in The Register of Thursday, stating that Mrs. Mary Curtin, widow, of Cannon street Port Adelaide, had been missing from her home since Monday. On Friday morning her dead body was found in a small creek which runs between the Block 14 Smelting Works and Stubbings timber yard. The deceased was treated at the Adelaide Hospital on Monday for leg trouble, and in the evening went out hatless to visit a neighbour, leaving a lamp burning in the house. It was thought that she had fallen into the Port Canal, which was thoroughly dragged by the police, but at half -past 10 on Friday. her son Eugene noticed the body in the creek and informed the police, who removed it to the Morgue.- A cloak was found in the water higher up in the creek.  The  deceased has left four sons, one of whom is T. Curtin, the well-known jockey, and one or two daughters. An inquest will be held at the Port Admiral Hotel at 11 o’clock this      morning.

South Australian Register – Monday 16 June 1884

Death from Exposure, The body of the man Joseph Curtin, who was lost in the scrub between Kangarilla and Echunga on Tuesday last, was found on Saturday. The deceased, who was a butcher in the employ of Mr. Webb, of Kangarilla, was going his rounds, when his horse got bogged in a creek. Curtin went to a house about two miles off for help, and was told to go back, and he would be overtaken by the person who was coming to assist him, In returning he must have got on the wrong track, and thus lost himself, as the man who was coming to help him met the horse, which had in the meantime got out of the bog, going towards Echunga.  A search was commenced for the deceased, but was unsuccessful until Saturday, when his dead body was discovered in the bush. The cause of death as believed to have been exposure to the wet weather. An inquest will be held to-day.

South Australian Register – Saturday 21 June 1884.



Sir, In reference to the man Joseph Curtin, butcher, of Kangarilla, who died in the bush from exposure, I would call your attention to the strange fact that no inquest was held over the body, but that it was taken to town and buried. On the Tuesday when Curtin got lost the latter was under the influence of liquor, and was, on the same night, heard ‘cooeing’ repeatedly by a settler who, however, did not seem to trouble him self about it. The body was found on Saturday, but not the bag in which the money collected by Curtin was usually kept. All this, Sir, seems to me so strange, as to require a strict enquiry, which may elucidate, perhaps, a little more than there is at present known.

I am, Sir, &c., CLARENDON.


About BeesKnees2013

Interested in family history research.
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