Jean Stocks secures our history

MOST people go through life without much fuss and bother and when they die they are soon forgotten.

This is no doubt inevitable but none-the-less sad as many played their part well and perhaps left behind small though important memorials.

Such a person was Jean Breckenridge Stocks, the eldest child of James William Breckenridge Stocks and his wife Olive Jessie (nee McIlveen).

Jean Breckenridge Stocks.
Jean Breckenridge Stocks.

Jean was the product of two of the oldest established families in our area, Breckenridge and Stocks.

Her great-grandfather James Breckenridge established one of the first sawmills, at Wyrallah, and also built ships to carry timber out from the Richmond River.

The famous sailing ship "Alpha" was one of these.

His wife, Agnes (nee Stevenson) was well educated and became schoolteacher to the children of the mill workers before an official school was established.

Jean's other famous great-grandfather was James Stocks, the first Mayor of Lismore.

James Stocks was a qualified pharmacist and before coming to Lismore he opened the first chemist shop in Casino.

He later incorporated a general store there and became a very successful businessman.

His store enabled him to become involved with the profitable cedar trade and he invested in real estate, later becoming a stock and station agent.

He purchased several properties including a grazing and dairy farm at what is now Caniaba. Here he built a lavish home in the early 1870s.

Jean Breckenridge Stocks, the great-granddaughter of James Breckenridge and James Stocks never married.

She trained as a nursing sister and for 30 years worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children at Camperdown, Sydney.

Here she was remembered as a very caring person, devoted to the children and helpful to their parents.

She retired to look after her mother who eventually died in 1973 at Sydney. Jean decided to return to the North Coast and became a very active member of the Richmond River Historical Society.

She was vitally interested in preserving the history of our region and, as a beginning, set about investigating her own family background.

The centenary of local government in Lismore was to be celebrated in 1979 and Jean believed that some recognition should be made of James Stocks, its first Mayor.

She was concerned about one thing in particular. James Stocks had been married three times, firstly to Elizabeth Tate (Jean's great-grandmother) who died in 1874, secondly to Ann Yabsley who died in childbirth in 1878, and thirdly to Anne E. Bourne.

James Stocks had died in 1906 and had been buried at North Lismore, but no one seemed to know what had happened to his third wife.

However, Elizabeth Tate and Ann Yabsley, together with Ann's infant son James R. Stocks, had been buried on the family property at Caniaba. She went in search of the graves.

She discovered from local residents that the graves had long disappeared and been ploughed over.

The approximate site, however, was identified by Jack Cooper.

It was alongside the Caniaba Road and it was agreed that a memorial should be placed on the roadside nearby.

This was done by Lismore Council with the assistance of the Historical Society. It can still be seen today as a reminder of an earlier part of our local history. Jean Breckenridge Stocks had made her mark. She died in Sydney in 2006.

Topics:  history

Sneaky $1 parking hike takes motorists by surprise

The cost to park at the Lismore Rowing Club car park is now $1 more. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw

It now costs $1 more to park at the rowing club.

Flu cases jump by 259% in Northern NSW

Community members are urged to access the 2017 flu vaccine.

Is there a flu crisis on the Northern Rivers?

Ten things to do in Ballina, Byron Bay and Lismore this week

The 1975 perform to a huge crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2014. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Spending a week in the Northern Rivers? Check this list out

Local Partners

Channing Tatum’s cheeky $2400 sex toy prank

ALWAYS the prankster, Channing Tatum decided he would go all out after wrapping his latest movie.

Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter

You mean to tell me HBO want to protect one of the world’s most popular shows?

HBO title holds record as most illegally downloaded show

Sam Newman's Footy Show performance baffles panel

Sam Newman on the Footy Show

“Cat got your tongue tonight has it?”

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

WHAT A STEAK: Sarah Atkins was amazed to see the Pinnacle Pub crumbed steak was bigger than one of her four-month-old twin daughters, Jorja.

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price

New era for stunning historic Rocky venue

St Aubins Village, West Rockhampton.

St Aubins Village reopens to the public after years of closure.

Cashed-up investors driving Ipswich's luxury housing market

SOLD: Elia Youssef bought a home on Hilton Drive Camira for $830,000.

New wave of interstate investors and young super savers in town

Boom or bust? '5.5 million moving into retirement'

National Seniors said that the inequalities with the retirement sector are "a big problem and it's a growing problem".

"It's a big problem and it's a growing problem."