John Lawn Sampson 1856-1920 & Jane Whellum 1857-1939
Married on 18 May 1878 Moonta, South Australia.


John “Jack” Lawn Sampson

Second child of James and Eliza Sampson

Born: 11 Feb 1856 Burra, South Australia

Died: 28 Mar 1920 Broken Hill, New South Wales

Buried: Broken Hill Cemetery

Occupation: Shift Boss Miner then draper

Jane Whellum

Daughter of Samuel Whellum (1835-1918) & Elizabeth Ann Penny (1839-1900)

Born: 5 Jun 1857 Black Springs, South Australia.

Died: 10 Sep 1939, Broken Hill, New South Wales

Buried: Broken Hill Cemetery

A descendant of Jack supplied an almost complete copy of a newspaper article about Jack that was orginally thought to have been published around the time of his death. So far it has not been found in Trove.  However, I  believe this was written some years earlier when Jack was in the drapery business. The third sentence indicates this when it states “During the last year or two,…”. The electoral roll of 1913 indicates that by that time Jack was a draper, but we do not know at this stage when he started out in that occupation. In any case this indicates that the article would most probably have been written at the latest around 1915. The article reads:

“Old Jack”! Few there are who don’t know “Old Jack” Sampson, both along the line-o’-lode and the business quarter of the city. For twenty odd years “Jack” gouged sulphides in mines, all and sundry, along the line. During the last year or two, however, he has joined hands with sons , “Pete”, “Tom”, and “Jack”, in pushing the sale of boots and shoes, dollseyes, and men’s toggery g…? any; as they say in the classics: “He’s in the rag trade”. However, to get to the genesis of “Jack’s” career (which, by the way, is pure Australian) we go back to ’57, and the town of Burra, S.A. At seven years of age  he went to Moonta, and graft, in the mines at that famous hamlet, and “put in” until he touched 23 years of age. He then journeyed to Lithgow, N.S.W., and coal, where he hacked out the fuel for a decade. Towards the end of the eighties, John arrived  locally, took root, and hence forward flourished considerably. “Jack” has worked under nearly all the mine managers of local fame, and worked mates with Mr Joe Collicott (as far back as the sinking of the old Block 5 shaft) and Bob Sangster, and other well-known miners. Mr Sampson was chosen assistant check inspector (in the honorary …? A.M.A., and has put in u…? ing a qualified man, a practical …? versed in subterranean delving a better man could not have been selected. In Jack’s younger days, he played cricket (once against England), but Jack has only a hazy recollection of the score he put up on that occasion, used to sprint a bit, and was a veritable demon at Cornish wrestling.

From this article and those that follow from TROVE we can assemble the following stages of Jack’s life:

1856 Born and raised in Burra up to the age of 7. No doubt would have been a regular visitor to his grandparents home.
1863 Moved to Moonta to complete his childhood and began his mining career.
1879 Moved to Lithgow to pursue coal mining
1889 Move to Broken Hill this time lead mining
1900 Active in the Picton Literary and Debating Society. Debated the topic : The Federal Tarriff – free trade or protection
1902 Was shift boss at the Block 10 mine
1903 Walked his cousin Lily Sampson down the aisle at her marriage to Thomas Virgo
1910 Joined in the formation of the Cornish Association by being a foundation committee member
1912 AMA – elected unopposed to Assistant Check Inspector
1913 Electoral roll indicates he had left mining and taken up the drapery business with sons
1919 Was selling chocolate pomeranian pups! His address given as 369 Bromide Street
1920 His painful death from lead posioning was used by the Union which sought to raise the issue with mine management in the unsafe working conditions of the miners.

Barrier Miner Thu 15 Nov 1900 p.2 TROVE
Barrier Miner Thu 13 Oct 1910 p.5 TROVE
Barrier Miner Thu 30 Oct 1919 p.2 TROVE
Barrier Miner Mon 29 Mar 1920 p.2 TROVE
Barrier Miner Wed 26 Feb 1902 p. 3 TROVE
Barrier Miner Fri 8 Apr 1910 p. 2 TROVE
Barrier Miner  Wed 11 Dec 1912 p.5 TROVE
Labour Call  Thu 22 Apr 1920 p. 9 TROVE
The Register Wed 14 Apr 1920 p. 9 TROVE
Barrier Miner Sat 26 Mar 1921 p.2 TROVE
Barrier Miner Tue 28 Mar 1922 p.2 TROVE

SAMPSON.-In loving memory of our dear husband, father, and grand-father,
John Lawn, who passed away on March 28, 1920.
Dear father, since you were called
To break our family chain
Our dear old home to us
Has never been the same.
Tears may wipe out many things,
But this they wipe out never,
The memory of those happy days
When we were all together.
Inserted by his loving wife and family.
Barrier Miner Sat 28 Mar 1925 p.4 TROVE

Australia Electoral Roll 1913 TROVE
Photo of grave site for John Lawn Sampson at Broken Hill Cemetery. Buried some months before the death of Jack was his son-in-law Cecil Arthur. Photo courtesy of Simon Jarrett