Mrs Hester wishes to retain two half-caste girls

State Records Archive
Consignment: 255
Item: 1907/0188
Title: Reverend A Burton, Middle Swan. Mrs A Hester of Bullsbrook has 2 half-caste girls in her care – wishes to retain them

Keywords: Matilda Hester, Rev A Burton, Yintheebung (Minnie), Yandirrthyango (Lizzie)

[File cover]
188/07
Recd: A Burton, Middle Swan
Subject: Two h.c. children in charge of Mrs M A Hester, Bullsbrook – security required that she may retain these children
Letter to Revd A Burton – 10/523
Assent to Mrs Hester – 10/521
11.03.07

[Letter]
5th March 1907
From: A Burton, Swan Native and Half-Caste Mission, Middle Swan
To: The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
Dear Sir,
Mrs Matilda Anne Hester, widow, of Bull’s Brook has in her care two half-caste children who were formally indentured to her on 30th April 1903 under the names of Yintheebung (alias Minnie) and Yandirrthyango (alias Lizzie). Previous to this date Mrs Hester says that she had the care of the children for at least 5 years, i.e. from the time that the elder one was about 6 and the younger one about 2 years old.
They have been taught the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmatic and attend the Govt School at Bullsbrook.
I desire to recommend that if possible some security be given to Mrs Hester to enable her to retain these children under her control as a danger lies ahead if other persons can entice them away with impunity. I am quite satisfied that they are in good hands.
Yours very truly,
A Burton

[File cover]
824/06
From: Mrs M A Hester, Bull’s Brook
Subject: Care of 2 h.c. girls who have been under indenture (Minnie & Lizzie)
Mr Peshell [secretary]
Please copy and hand to Mrs Logue (her sister) my reply to Mrs Hester
HCP [Henry Prinsep]
13.10.06
done 10/147

[Letter: there appears to have been a first page to this letter that is now missing]
…her at first, but she is quite strong now. She is very little use yet being too young to do anything. She is attending the State School. The elder girl was about six when I took her, she is now between 13 & 14 years, her mother gave her to me, she had a black father and when they left the station, to go on to the tin fields they left her with me. So I though it was my duty to bring her away as all young girls got the bad on the fields.
It would be very hard for me to part with them now as I have had them so long and I am very fond of the children and I have had a lot of expense with them.
They are both attending the State School and are getting on well.
I would like to adopt them so that I can look after them the same as my own children. If you would allow me to, my sister will be able to give you any thing you wish to know.
Yours Faithfully,
M. A. Hester

[Extract from Minnie’s school book]

Katitjin Notes:
Matilda Hester (1865-1956), nee Logue, was married to Frederick Henry Valentine Hester in 1895 and lived at Mallina Station until it was destroyed by cyclone in 1898, at which time it is likely that the couple moved to Abydos Station,  which was owned and managed by her brother Joseph Ephraim Hester, where she remained even after her husband’s death in 1901. It was during this time that Matilda took Lizzie and Millie into her care. In 1903, when Lizzie and Millie were formally indentured to her, she was living at Abydos Station. In 1906, Matilda moved to Bullsbrook and took the two girls with her; she then moved back to the Logue family home “The Camp” in Mornington Mills.

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