G4 6 Edwin John Sullivan

This article is about Edwin John Sullivan, Timothy Sullivan's grandson through his son John, and twin brother to Albert Wearne Sullivan. 

G4     TS/JS/ EDWIN JOHN SULLIVAN (1885 - 1890)

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Edwin John Sullivan, the twin of Albert Wearne, was born at Dunbulbalane in 1985. They were the youngest children of John Sullivan and wife Mary (nee Phillipps.)

What is known of his childhood, family, farm and community life in the earlier years is captured by the 13 year old Edwin in a letter to the children’s editor of the Numurkah LEADER of 6th January 1899:

I saw in the Numurkah LEADER that there is a children’s column. There are a lot of children writing to you, and I thought I would write. I would like to be one of your nephews. We have three cats, and a dog whose name is Jane. I have been home from school all week. I am in the sixth class, and so is my brother and sister. I have two sisters and four brothers. I am one of the twins. I went to the Numurkah Show and enjoyed myself very much. I saw the Professor and all the poisonous snakes he had. I knew I wouldn’t let the snakes crawl around my neck, because I would have been frightened they would bite me. We have a little foal and its name is “Duke”. It is very quiet. I went to Ballarat once, and I saw the Juvenile Exhibition. There were such a lot of things to look at and admire in it. I have a mother but no father , as he died when I was just five years old. I saw his grave in the NewCemetery in Ballarat. I go to the Wesleyan Sunday School at Dunbulbalane, and I got a prize from there. I will conclude with love to all. I remain yours truly,

EDWIN SULLIVAN Age 13 years” 

Edwin and twin brother Albert appeared to have shared the farming at Dunbulbalane from their teenage years through to around 1924 when the farm was sold.

Edwin aged 29  married Mary Jane Sanders aged 26 in 1914 (V1157). Her parents were Robert Sanders and Elizabeth (nee Low). There was a Robert Sanders farming at Marungi at the time. Edwin and Mary Jane had three children:

Renie May Sullivan, born 1915 Numurkah, (V15423) who died in infancy that same year. )V6464)

Ernest Albert Sulllivan, (V6255)  born 1917 Numurkah, who died in 1925 at age 8 in Carlton, probably shortly after the family had left Dunbulbalane and moved to Melbourne.

Winifred Mary Sullivan, born 1919 Numurkah(V13864)

When the farm was sold off in 1924 according to his mother Mary's Will, Edwin then aged 39 left the farming life and with Mary Jane and the two surviving children moved to Melbourne.

In 1931 in the midst of the depression Electoral Rolls show the family was residing in a modest house at 25 Imperial Avenue Caulfield (running south from Glenhuntly Rd between Kooyong and Hawthorn Rds, and about a kilometre from 272 Glenhuntly Rd Elsternwick where older brother Horace may have been living). Edwin was unemployed.

By 1936 Edwin now aged 51 and Mary Jane were living separately. Mary Jane, now aged almost 50 was at 28 Royal Parade Caulfield and was still there in 1942 (with daughter Winifred Mary aged 23, dressmaker, listed with her). Edwin was at a Mail Box Address.

The reasons for the separation are unclear. Older brother Horace sided with Edwin and left part of his estate to Winifred, but nothing to Mary Jane.

By 1949 Mary Jane had shifted to 9 Rusden St Elsternwick, living alone,  and she was employed as a cleaner. Edwin by now was probably in the Melbourne Home and Hospital for the Aged along with his oldest brother Horace, a victim of the Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. A Winifred Mary Sullivan was residing at 140 Canterbury Rd, Albert Park, employed as a machinist.

Edwin died in on 09/12/1949 aged 64 at the Home in Cheltenham Vic (V4851). He had been suffering from Paraplegia for 3 years. He was buried in the Brighton cemetery.

Mary Jane was still at Rusden St in 1954, still employed as a cleaner. By 1959 aged 71 she had returned to Imperial Avenue, now living at No 15, on home duties, but had left by 1960. She died in 1964 in Malvern aged 76 (V19027) putting her birth year as 1888