Obituary - The Late Mr Martin Brennan

6 July 1926 The Tumut and Adelong Times

There passed away at his home, Gerren, near Narandera, in the person of the late Martin Brennan, one of the few remaining links that connect the present with the old pioneering days, at the venerable age of 88 years.

Besides the obituary notice published by us at the time of his death the following additional information respecting his early career will be read with interest by all who had the pleasure of knowing the deceased.

Born in Ireland in 1838, he arrived in Sydney with his parents and one sister (who was fated to be drowned in the Gundagai flood of 1851).

His father, on arrival, entered into engagement with Messrs De Salis and Leitch, the then owners of Darbalara, where, for a period of years, he occupied the positions of overseer.

Later on, he was engaged in farming pursuits at old Grace Town, Gocup, until the 1861 Land Act enabled him to acquire the nucleus of what is now the fine property of "Eurobin," on the Tumut River.

The late Martin Brennan was educated at private schools in Gundagai and Tumut.

It was during his school days in Gundagai that the flood of 1852 occurred.

He had vivid memories of this disaster, in which about eighty people were drowned, and often told of his own narrow escape and how he and another boy were the last to be taken off the flooded flats by the punt.

On leaving school at an early age, he assisted his father in farming at Grace Town, until the family acquired ''Eurobin.''

Farming proving unprofitable, he turned his attention to pastoral pursuits, and laid the foundation of the "Eurobin" Shorthorn herd, which, at the present time, and has for many years, occupies a prominent position at local Shows.

He was recognised as a keen judge of cattle and horses.

But it was in the early struggles for land settlement that he did his most valuable work.

Possessed of an ardent and energetic temperament, coupled with abilities of no mean order, he was well equipped by Nature to take the leading part in the strenuous fight then going on to throw Crown lands open for settlement.

He continued to occupy a prominent position in the agitation for settlement until the passing of Sir John Robertson's Land Bill of 1861, which, for the first time, gave the poor man an opportunity to acquire land on the deferred payment system.

Men of his stamp may be thanked for the liberal land laws of the present time.

In 1876, he was the leading member of the family in taking up the land on Yanko Creek, now known as Gerren, which, under his management, became one of the finest properties in that district.

In his new home he continued to take a leading part in all public matters, until advancing age compelled him to gradually withdraw from public affairs.

He, however, continued to write up his diary which (begun in January, 1860, and written up continuously to within three days of his death) is a mine of information concerning events comprised within that long period.

He was married to the late Elizabeth Quilter in 1866, who was a daughter of Mr. Quilter, of Gobaralong Station.

His wife predeceased him by eight years.

He had a family of four daughters and three sons, all living.

The elder daughters, Frances, Blanche and Margaret, resided with their father at Gerren and the youngest daughter, Mrs. Donelly, at Goolagong, where her husband is manager of the local branch of the Bank of N.S.W.

The elder sons, James and Edward, are settled on their land on the Macquarie - James at "Nangheri;" Warren, Edward at "Talwong," Trangie.

The youngest, Thomas, manages "Gerren" - all well provided for.

All of his sons and daughters, his brother Laurence and surviving sisters, and several grand-children were present when he was laid to rest by the side of his late wife, in the family plot in Narandera Cemetery.

A man of remarkable force of character has gone from amongst us.

Honorable and upright, his word was his bond.

He never forgot a favor and granted many.

He lived for 85 years on the Murrumbidgee and leaves behind a name, a character and a reputation of which this district (fruitful in fine characters) may well be proud, and his memory will long endure .