A sawmill at East Kangaloon began operation in 1889. The mill's co-owners were Thomas Seery and John Hayter, who both contributed greatly to the district's development. In 1894 they moved their mill to a forest at Mt Murray, near Robertson, where it operated until burnt down in a bushfire in 1905.
As noted in the previous article, Thomas Seery died in 1905, aged 76. He had served on several of the district's show societies, including at Robertson, and his death was felt with profound regret.
John Thomas Hayter was nine years younger than Seery, being born in 1839 at Camden. In 1860 he married Emma Garner and they would have 12 children. In the mid-1860s Hayter took up dairying at Burrawang and joined numerous local industry associations. In 1914, he decided to move to Bangalow in northern NSW.
On November 18, 1914 the Scrutineer reported that a large gathering of the friends of John and Emma Hayter and Miss Hayter assembled in the Robertson School of Arts to witness a presentation prior to their departure. The paper stated that "another link in the chain of old identities disappears, that gentleman having been a resident of the district for the past 52 years. It was due to him, along with many of the first early settlers, that the district...had been raised to its present high standard."
"Hayter was a committee man of the Robertson Agricultural Society upwards of 40 years (being one of the oldest members) and had filled a similar position on the Moss Vale Society and the regret of both was that they were losing a good worker. On the former he held the position of treasurer and that of vice-president. He had been connected with many butter factories, and for several years past was on the board of directors of the Berrima District Company. He possessed great energy and determination. He could not speak too highly of Mrs Hayter; although not appearing much before the public, her ready help was always given in providing for all socials."
"He was voicing the feelings of all by saying the family's departure created a blank which would be hard to fill. He then presented Mr Hayter with a gold watch, to Mrs Hayter a silver cake basket and to Miss Hayter a silver entree dish.
"Mr Hayter, on rising to reply, was greeted with applause. He made reference to the hardships the district's early settlers had to contend with. There were neither roads nor fences; many times he had to walk from Wilde's Meadow to Kelly's Creek, on the Moss Vale road, for his horses. He had always tried to do his best for the place in which he lived that was every man's duty and to make the place better.
"He was 40 years a churchwarden; 21 years a road trustee; and was one of the first to start the Robertson Show Society. He wished the people and all institutions every success. The proceedings ended with three cheers for Mr Hayter and family and the chairman."
John Thomas Hayter died at Bangalow on August 5, 1927, aged 88 years. An obituary in the Scrutineer stated that "he carried on dairying on a large scale in the Burrawang and Robertson districts. He was a good judge of cattle, and had been a successful exhibitor at local shows in the early days. He was also interested in the oatmeal mill at Burrawang in the early days."
It also noted that later he was a partner in the Seery, Hayter and Co's sawmilling business, and also a partner in the auctioneering firm of Hayter, Graham and Moses, which subsequently became Hayter and Graham, and finally JT Hayter. He was a justice of the peace and a pillar of the Burrawang Church of England. He was a director from their inception of both the Beehive and Wildes Meadow dairy companies and served on the local show societies, as noted above. The obituary concluded that "Sam Hayter, of Burrawang, is a brother, and Miss Hayter, of Moss Vale, is a sister. Carl Hayter, of Mittagong, is a son, and John Hayter, the other son, is a resident of Lismore. The deceased's wife (Emma) predeceased him a year or so ago."
As thriving business owners, Seery and Hayter enriched the livelihoods of numerous local residents and, as committee men, they aided the district's development. The Robertson Show they helped initiate remains a popular annual event.
- Berrima District Historical & Family History Society - compiled by PD Morton. Part 4 of a 4-part series.