George Sampson 1867-1920 & Sarah Hannah Leaver 1871-1922
George & Sarah Sampson with children
Photo: George Sampson and family

Back: William Clem Sampson Middle: Edith Sampson, George Sampson, Silby Sampson, Sarah Sampson, George Jnr Sampson Front: Allen Sampson

George Sampson

  Fifth child of William and Elizabeth Sampson

  Born: 21 Dec 1867 Bridge Street, Kooringa, Burra

  Died: 6 Jul 1920 in tragic accident at Mingary, South Australia

  Buried: Burra Cemetery


Sarah Hannah Leaver (also Lever)

   Second daughter of William & Amelia Leaver

   Born: 4 Apr 1871 Penshurst, Victoria

   Died: 17 Oct 1922 Kooringa, Burra from cancer

   Buried: Burra Cemetery

This photo was taken towards the end of 1904  as George  is only a baby in this photo. The persons in this photo from left to right are: William Clem Sampson 1893-1986, Edith Lilian Olive Sampson  1901-1952, George Grenfell Sampson 1904-1936 and Sarah Hannah Sampson  1871-1922. It is assumed to be their home in Thames Street before the verandah was added.  

George and Sarah Sampson’s home on the left side of the Masonic Hall in Thames Street, Kooringa, Burra. This house since demolished. In front from left to right: Sarah, George and daughter Edith.

Burra did not have a public school until 1878. Thus George learned to read and write by courtesy of a fellow employee. These skills were learnt at night after work by the aid of a slush lamp. A slush light was made by using the wick and fat.

In the latter half of the 1880s employment in Burra was hard to find. George moved with his parents and siblings to live in Mica Street, Broken Hill. It was in Broken Hill that George and Sarah married in 1890. Sarah was a daughter of William and Amelia Cullen whom married 31 July 1867 at Hampton in Burra. William died of a heart attack about 1874. He was found sitting against a post as though asleep. This was after he had eaten his lunch. The Leavers lived in Penshurst Victoria, Broken Hill in NSW and again at Burra. Amelia Cullen was born 16 Aug 1848 Fordwich, Canterbury, UK and died 1929 Burra. Amelia was a daughter of William and Sarah (nee Twyman) Cullen who had four other children: Ann Elizabeth (Mrs Fred Turner), Tom, James and William Jnr.

George and Sarah lived in Broken Hill for a short time. They returned to Burra and lived first at Redruth, then in Aberdeen until 1900 when they moved to a house in Thames Street, Kooringa, on the left side of the Masonic Hall. Sadly, since their passing their stone colonial home was pulled down to make way for a very plain looking bank residence.

Burra Record Wed 20 Oct 1908 p.2

Burra Record Wed 15 Dec 1909 p.2

Burra Record Wed 13 Jul 1910 p.4

George Sampson was a member of the Burra Town Council representing the East Ward from December 1918 until his accidental death in July of 1920. His death was reported in the local town paper of the Burra Record as follows:

Death of Cr. George Sampson

Profound regret was expressed in Burra on Tuesday last, 6th inst., when it became known that Mr George Sampson had meet with a fatal accident that day at Mingary. The shock was the greater as Mr Sampson was in Kooringa on the previous day and had attended the meeting of the Burra Town Council as one of the representatives for East Ward the same evening. At the close of the meeting he,  in company with his youngest son Allen, left by the Broken Hill express for Mingary, where he had a large tank-sinking plant, it seems that Mr Sampson, who was an accomplished horseman, at midday had been schooling some horses over hurdles and had just finished his task when the saddle slipped on the horse he was riding, startling it. To keep his seat he kneed the animal and accidentally flanked it; causing the animal to bolt. The saddle gradually slipping around Mr Sampson was obliged to let go and fell to the ground in a sitting position, the sudden impact causing him to slip along the ground a few feet. Unfortunately his foot struck a post, the force of the collision throwing the head forward with terrific force against the post, death being instantaneous. His two youngest sons, George and Allen, witnessed the accident, the eldest, Mr Clem Sampson, being at the time in charge of another plant at Thompson’s Siding, out from Broken Hill. The employees did everything possible for their late employer. Owing to the present train arrangements, the body was not brought to Burra until Thursday morning. Mr Sampson was born in Bridge Street, Kooringa, in 1867 and was the third son of the late Mr and Mrs William Sampson, at one time well-known residents, the family some years ago leaving for West Australia. In 1890 he married Miss Leaver, of Hampton, who survives, and there are five children: — Messrs Clement W., George and Alan, and Misses Edith and Silby, for whom the deepest sympathy is felt in their great sorrow. The deceased gentleman has been spoken of as one of ‘God’s white men’ and fully earned the remark. He was a good townsman, broadminded and generous to a fault. A thorough sportsman, he took a keen interest in every branch and only recently put down at his own expense, an asphalt court for the Kooringa Tennis Club, a game he was exceedingly fond of. As an employer he was unequalled, and an instant of the respect in which he was held was shown at Mingary on Thurs day morning. His body had been placed on the mortuary car to await the Broken Hill express, and when it arrived his employees, fourteen in number, asked permission, which was granted, to push the car on to the main line to be attached to the train adding, ‘it will be the last thing we shall be able to do for him,’ and were visibly affected as the train left that station. Mr Sampson was also a prominent member of the Freemason and I.O. Oddfellows lodges, and at one time had a seat on the Hospital Board. The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon in the Kooringa cemetery and despite the wet weather was attended, by a large and representative gathering of residents of Burra and district. The bearers were Messrs P. Treloar, E. J. Harris. F. M. Pearce, J. G. Sara, Geo. Lawn (Freemasons), and Cr S. Kellaway (his colleague in the Council). Many beautiful floral emblems and wreaths were sent, amongst them from the members of the Burra Town Council, Freemason Lodge, Kooringa Football Club, employees of James town and Thompson’s Siding, employees at Mingary and friends of the North East. The service was conducted by the Rev. G. K. Haslam and the funeral arrangements by C. J. Pearce & Son.

Burra Record Wed Jul 14 1920 p. 3

An “In Memoriam” service for the Late Mr. George Sampson was conducted by the Rev, G, K. Haslam in Kooringa Methodist Church on Sunday evening. Mr Haslam preached from the text — 1 John, 3rd chapter 2nd verse. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” He referred to the assurance we may have of the certainty and joy of the future life not only from the actual words of Scripture, but from the nature of God the Father as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ. Mr Haslam then made feeling reference to his friendship with the late Mr Sampson and paid a tribute to his worth in public and private life. As a townsman he cheerfully accepted responsibility and carried out all his public duties in an able manner. His sympathies with every good cause were expressed in practical and generous ways. As a man one could not but respect and love him. His frank genial manner disarmed criticism and made friends for him wherever he went. In the home he was one of the most considerate and wise of men— a loving and faithful counsellor. He loved and was loved in his home. During the service the choir sang the anthem, ‘Cast thy burden on the Lord.’ The church was gracefully draped with violet ribbon and violet and white flowers were placed on the table.

Burra Record Wed 28 Jul 1920 p.2

Burra Record Wed 21 Jul 1920 p.2