Obituary - Mr. William Hassett

4 October 1949 The Tumut and Adelong Times

There passed away at his home, 'Little Plain,' Grahamstown, at 11 a.m. on Thursday last Mr. William Hassett, one of the most prominent personalities of the Tumut and Adelong districts.

He had been a patient in the Tumut and District Hospital for a short time, suffering from a slight attack of pneumonia and had returned only a few days previous to his demise.

He was his usual self early on Thursday morning, but suffered a bad turn about 8 o'clock and finally passed away three hours later without regaining consciousness. 

The late Mr. Hassett was an authority on wool growing, which was his main industry in conjunction with dairying, pursuits.

He was a director of the Gundagai Pastures Protection Board for many years. 

At the time of his death he had been Chairman of Directors of the Tumut Co-operative Dairy Co. for the past 25 years. 

The subject of this obituary was born 84 years ago at Mt. Adrah and was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ned Hassett, who followed grazing pursuits in that part of the district. 

In early manhood he had a carrying business with bullock teams, transporting goods, between Cootamundra (or the head of the advancing railway line) and Adelong.

Later he became licensee of the Cosmopolitan Hotel at Grahamstown, which was subsequently destroyed by fire, and then moved to Canbelego, near Nyngan, where he also conducted an hotel.

About forty years ago he returned to the Adelong district, purchasing his first property, 'Little Plain,' where he remained ever since. 

His principal industry was sheep, and wool growing, and from time to time he purchased some of the best rams and ewes available to improve his flocks.

Eventually his annual wool return was considerable.

He was a capable and thrifty husbandman and died a wealthy man.

By frugal and cautious husbandry he gradually acquired competency and from time to time acquired other properties, which brought him considerable affluence. 

He finally took one of his sons, William, into partnership, another son, Ted, conducting his own property, also at Grahamstown.   

Deceased became a director of the Tumut Co-operative Dairy Co. in 1919 and has occupied the chairmanship of the Board for the past 25 years.

He had expressed the wish to retire on several occasions, but his fellow directors requested him to remain until he had celebrated his 25th year in that position.

During his term of office the factory and business of the Dairy Co. passed through many vicissitudes.

He was one of the large shareholders of the company which came to the rescue during lean years with the factory when the directors were faced with financial difficulties.

From a small beginning he has seen the factory brought to its present potential size and expansion, drawing its cream supplies from farms up to 40 miles distant.

He was also a director of the Gundagai P.P. Board for many years, retiring from the Board last year. 

He was enthusiastic in the negotiations, for the acquirement by the Tumut Dairy Co. of the Post Office Store from the late Mr. Fred. L. Baker, the leading general merchantís business of the district, which was effected six years ago, an investment that has not only proved a solid financial undertaking but a decided benefit to shareholders. 

At the time of his death as well as 'Little Plain' he owned another property, 'Rosevale,' Tumblong. 

The late Mr. Hassett took a keen interest in horse racing and owned and raced a number of horses from time to time.

Among the horses he owned were Deltroit and Earl Olive, the latter winning a handsome gold cup at a Cootamundra race meeting. 

He also owned a fine hurdler, which won one of the principal hurdle races in Sydney.

He was one time on the committee of the Adelong Jockey Club and was a regular attendant at both the Adelong and Tumut race meetings.

He also had a number of show horses which competed at the district shows in years gone by. 

He was a life member of the M.U. I.O.O.F., being a member of the Adelong Golden Age Lodge for over 60 years.

He was also an honorary life member of the Gundagai District Hospital, an honour conferred on him many years ago for his financial assistance to that institution. 

Deceased was calculating and practical in all his methods and an astute negotiator. 

He married Mass Agnes Murphy, of Adelong, who survives together with three sons, Ted and William (Grahamstown) and Kenneth, and  three daughters, Leila (Mrs. J. Riley, Tumut), Emy (Mrs. E. Jamieson, Grahamstown) and Rita (Mrs. Chandler, Tumblong).

One son, Henry, died in infancy.

There are 23 grandchildren and 12 great grand children also surviving, as well as one brother, Fred, of Wagga.

Four brothers and two sisters predeceased him.

Among the large number of  mourners at the graveside was a representative from Winchcombe Carson Ltd., Sydney, which firm had handled the wool clip of deceased for many years.

The funeral took place on Friday afternoon last, the lengthy cortege leaving from the residence for the C. of E. portion of the Adelong Cemetery, where Rev. S. Broadfoot carried out the last sad rites at the graveside in the absence of Rev. N. R. Edwards.

Messrs. Boston Bros, had charge of the mortuary arrangements, whilst pall-bearers were Messrs. William and Ken Hassett (sons), A. Chandler (son-in-law), W. Treweek, G. Murphy and D. Jamieson.

The Oddfellows, service was read by Bro. F. Davis.