George and Maria Butt were amongst the earliest settlers in Montville, Their story is told elsewhere on this website. They had ten children, though only six survived infancy. Here is what we know of the Butt Children.
George John was born in Edington, Warwickshire 29/12/1876 and died on the 17/09/1948
He came from England with his family, lived in Montville and farmed in the district. George’s son Albert Edward who was born in 1896, probably named after his dead uncle who died in 1886 aged four months, served in World War One and is listed on the 1914-1918 Montville Honour Board. Albert who was single and worked as a farmer was lucky. He enlisted on the 13th May, 1918 at aged 18 years 6 months. His parents George and Annie were required to sign a consent form. He Completed his training, was assigned to the 7th Rifle Division and on the 14th October, 1918 he boarded the troopship SS Wyreema but when at sea the troopship was recalled and Albert disembarked in Australia on 21 December, 1918. The signing of the Armistice on the 11th November, 1918 had intervened and the war was over. He was discharged from the A.I.F. on 6th January, 1919.
George John followed his father George senior as Master of the Montville Masonic Lodge and then his son Harry was Master in 1933-34 and again in 1944-5. His Grandson Harry Butt died in April 1987 after 60 years of service to the Lodge. A School Bursary was approved in his name in 1987, however he did not live to present it. Until her death in 1991, his wife Edna made the presentation at the end of each school year. Harry and his wife had no children, but a nephew, Graham George Butt, the son of George the younger son of George Jnr. became a member and served as Master in 1990-91, making it four generations of Butts who have been active in the Lodge. The Bursary to the school in the name of Butt was very appropriate because George Snr. had been one of the original men who had fought to ensure that the school became a reality.
Below is an edited transcript from the Sunshine Coast Libraries Oral History section. Date of interview 13 February, 1985 with Annie Montville Mitchell (nee Butt) who was 84 years at time of interview. Annie Mitchell (nee Butt) was born on 14 August 1901 to George John and Annie Butt (nee Muirhead). The Muirhead family were also pioneers of Montville. Annie was one of six children and married David Marshall Mitchell at Nambour in 1923. The couple had two children – Allan and Ray. Annie describes her life as a child and young adult on the parent’s Montville farm.
‘I lived on a big acreage at Montville with my Uncle’s farms on both sides. The family grew mostly pineapples and citrus. I attended Montville State School and then taught in an assistant teacher’s role at the school after I turned fourteen. At sixteen I went to work on the farm because my father wanted me to as all the boys had gone. My two elder brothers were working elsewhere. Me and my sister used an iron plough with a horse and sprayed the crops.
I never enjoyed any of the work on the farm. We had to get up at five o’clock in the morning and get the two or three cows milked and half the time they used to kick us and we’d have big bruises all over our legs. We walked about three miles to school and when we got out of school at 3.30pm we’d had to run all the way home to be there by 4.00pm. There were a lot of gooseberries and we used to had to go straight over into the gooseberry patch and pick gooseberries until dark and then have tea and then sit up until twelve or one in the morning and shell the gooseberries ready to go away the next morning. All I did was work on the farm.
Dave, my future husband, more or less rescued me from all that work when we married.
On a Sunday, we nearly always went out with friends and to Kondalilla Falls. We could go down to the Falls from the Western Road near Montville and go down through the paddocks and down, different roads, it was all through scrub and everything. It wasn’t laid out like it is now and we had to walk around a narrow ledge and there was a big bottomless pool down there. We also went up on top of the falls.
We had a piano and my father let us learn a bit but not enough to make anything out of it. My father ruled with a rod of iron. When it came to ordering clothes for us he’d buy a dozen yards of stuff and I used to have to sit up with him at night and make out the order. He never got Mum to do it. Everything was bought in Brisbane and the worst part was having to make up the clothes. Because I didn’t sew Mum used to sneak in and help me. When working in the rain we would get wet though. Is it any wonder I got arthritis.
Annie was asked if other children have the same sort of lives? I don’t think so because lots of the people were really annoyed at the way Dad treated us. But it was just his nature. Mum was really quiet. Dad died twenty or twenty-five years before her. Mum lived to be ninety-two. Dad was only seventy-one. After I was married I went off to Nambour and didn’t go back. I joined the Presbyterian Guild and a croquet club. I won a few trophies.
When I lived at Montville Mum thought I had mumps but couldn’t get in touch with Nambour as there was no phone then. But they managed to get medicine up to me. My grandmother, Maria Butt lived down the road and she got appendicitis up there and Doctor Penny was the doctor in Nambour then. They only had the horse and buggy and they’d send for him at night-time and he’d come. He had bells on his horse and you’d hear the bells ringing when he’d be coming. All the women took it in turns and nursed my grandmother and she got over it.
During war time Dad bought a place at Maroochydore and the family used to take a lot of the soldiers at Christmas time down and give them a holiday in the house. To get to Maroochydore we only had the horse and wagon and we’d break up at school on Friday and Dad used to put a hood over the top of the wagon at the back and pack it all up and away the family went. It took days to get to Maroochydore. Then we’d stop there for six weeks and then Dad would have to take everyone back home again in the wagon and horses.
There was nothing hardly there at Maroochydore. My grandfather, George John Butt, opened the first shop at Maroochydore and then Cliff’s father (William Butt) – took over from his father. I was send down to work for Grandad and Grandma in the shop.
After Dad bought a piece of ground next to the family home he built a house. When the new Nambour School was built, that’s many years ago, he bought the old school and moved it down to Maroochydore and he built it down there. Bought it for twenty-five pounds.
My mother’s family, the Muirheads came from England by sailing boat and then by boat and landed first at Maroochydore where the hotel is now at Maroochydore. Then Dad’s people, they’d never met them before or anything then, they were just strangers. Well, they (the Butt family) were wrecked on the bar and got everything wet when they came to Maroochydore. When they landed the Muirheads had their washing lying all over the grass. My father walked all over it and my mother went for him. “You keep off my mother’s clothes,’ she said. They were both kids. Mum was about seven and Dad was about seven,” and afterwards they married.
Hannah was born in Wilton, Warwickshire on the 14/12/1879 and died on 1/08/1946
Hannah married Victor James Dunning on 19th August, 1903. Victor was born on 24/08/1880 in Queensland. He was a farmer and the couple lived at Woodford, Queensland.
William Joseph was born in Edington, Warwickshire, England, 12/03/1881 and died on 31/07/1940
William immigrated with his family to Australia in 1884. He married Miss L. Unwin of Bald Hills, Brisbane and engaged in fruit growing and other interests in Montville. George Senior had started a general store at Maroochydore under his house by the river. Following his father’s retirement In 1922 W.J. ‘Billy’ Butt opened a general store in a new building near the Victory hotel and ably assisted by members of his family, he built up a successful business connexion.
The business was later moved to Duporth Avenue. It was also the location of the post office from 1922 to 1948. In the early 1920’s visitors arriving at Maroochydore from Nambour by tram and connecting boat service were met by Billy Butt. He would meet the tram at Bli Bli and take holiday makers to Maroochydore by boat. In 1922 the Maroochy Shire Council commenced building a road suitable for motor traffic to connect Nambour with the coast at Maroochydore.
For the last three years of his life he had suffered ill health until he passed away aged 59 years, just three years after his father’s death. He was an esteemed and prominent businessman of Maroochydore. His son, G.S.C. (Cliff) Butt took over the business. At his time of death he was survived by his wife, Mrs Butt, a son Cliff and daughter, Mrs N. Fielding and three grandchildren. William Joseph is buried in the Woombye Cemetery.
The following is a tribute included in his obituary. ‘Mr. Butt was one of those unassuming and esteemed characters who was animated with a deep public spirit. He was one of whom it could be said that the spirit of charity permeated his being. He earned the respect and esteem of all who knew him. From him visitors in the course of their business requirements and while staying at the resort, sought information respecting the best fishing spots on the river, the tides, and other helpful information, and the ‘fishing prophet’ as he was sometimes titled, was usually not very far out. His nature was that of benevolence and kindliness of disposition. The late Mr. Butt will be missed from amongst his large circle of friends. No one has ever been heard to speak unkindly or disparagingly of him. He adhered to the highest principles of life, and his trying illness was born with great fortitude. To him, Maroochydore owes quite a lot. But the memory of such a man as William Butt will be cherished by all those who had the pleasure of knowing something of his personality which was an influence for good in the community and in his family circle.’
Maud Ellen born and died on the same day 24/02/1885 at Buderim.
Albert Edward born 19/07/1886, died 24/11/1886 at Montville (four months old)
May born 30/07/1887 died 19/07/1888 at Montville (12 months old)
Henry died 27/01/1890 at Montville
Annetta May born 27/09/1889 at Montville and died 18/08/1968.
Annetta married William Dudley Eggleton, born 1889, Fullham, London and died 21/07/1929. William had left England on 15/04/1911 and married Annetta on 4 July, 1914. The couple lived at Montville and were fruit growers. William enlisted in the Armed Forces in WW1 at aged 28 years. He is described as 165cm tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He had defective vision and wore glasses but passed the medical and dental examinations. He was a Private in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force and trained in the Technical Department as a wireless operator stationed in Rabaul, New Guinea. He returned from Rabaul on 06/08/1919. Before arriving in Australia he had been a member of the English 9th Middlesex D.O.O. Regiment for 4½ years. His name is on the Montville Memorial Board for WW1. The couple produced 4 children including Albert William 1917-1977 who served in WW2. Annetta is buried at St Matthew Anglican Cemetery, Sherwood, Brisbane.
Annie Maria Butt born 14/12/1891 at Montville. Died 17/04/1975.
Annie married Edward Ernest Bowser on 9th December 1914. He was born on the 2/08/1890 and died on 02/03/1956. Annie and Edward are buried at Woombye Cemetery. In 1937 they resided at Diddillibah, Qld. Two of their children – Ashley Benjamin born 19/03/1918 and Ruben Ernest born 12/04/1920 were farmers and both served in WW2.
Eveline Mabel Butt born 30/05/1896 at Montville. Died 07/05/1960. Eveline was appointed an Assistant Teacher at Montville State school and later married Walter Smith of Hunchy. Walter was born on 1/02/1898 and died 27/07/1968. Both are buried in the Witta Cemetery, Qld. The headstone for Eveline is spelt Evelyne and date of birth listed as unknown. The couple farmed at Conondale.
Trove – Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser
Sunshine Coast Council
Transcript of the June 27, 1966 text from the photo above the door of the Montville Hall