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Death of Mr. Edward J. Pitts.
We regret to record the death of Mr. Edward W. Pitts, the well-known Proprietor of The Levels sheepbreeding establishment, which took place on Wednesday, Dec.
30, at Glenelg. Mr. Pitts, who was over 54 years of age at the time of his death, was an old colonist, having arrived in South Australia at the end of 1852. He was born on October 1, 1832, in the North- West Pro- vinces of India. His father was a colonel in the Indian Army, and the deceased, who was descended from a military family, was edu- cated for the army, receiving instruction at Edinburgh until he was about 12 years of age, and subsequently in France. It was intended that he should obtain a commission in the English Army during the peaceful times just preceding the Crimean War, but despite the good offices of Lord Fitzroy Somerset, afterwards Lord Raglan, a friend of his father, Mr. Pitts would not wait. While still a young man he went to London, but with an enterprise that marked his whole career he found the opportunities of advancement too limited, and he deter- mined to try the — at that time — somewhat youthful colony of South Australia. His first occupation in Adelaide was assumed on February 19, 1853, when he was appointed assistant to the Colonial Architect. On July 1 of the same year he was promoted to the position of second assistant in the Land Office, and next year was promoted. He retained his position in the Government for some years, being one of the best draftsmen in the colony and a clever artist. He designed some of the handsome medals the Royal Agricultural Society have at various times given as prizes. Mr. Pitts was an artist of great skill, and many a sketch of animals which have taken his fancy has the deceased gentleman drawn— in fact, The Levels con- tains numerous illustrations of his powers as an artist. After leaving the Govern- ment service he went to Mr. C. B. Fisher's Thurk Station, on the River Murray. He remained a comparatively short time there, and went to Melbourne, where he joined the well-known stock and station agents, Powers, Rutherford, & Co., as salesman. After serving some years in that position he went on to a Queensland station as manager for Mr. Fisher, who next made him general manager of his South Australian stations. It was under his superintendence that the Bun- daleer and Hill River estates were brought to such excellent condition in every department. Not alone was the stock he raised of the best quality, but the wool and sheep were famous all over the colonies. He retained this posi- tion until 1876, when, through Mr. Fisher's property having been sold, he retired. The next year he determined to start sheep- breeding himself. He chose for his farm The Levels, a place at Dry Creek, the character of the country being declared very poor, and many who consi- dered themselves no mean judges of stock country freely expressed the belief that Mr. Pitt's attempt would result in failure. Such, however, was not the case. With charac- teristic energy, and an intelligent application of the experience in sheepbreeding he had gained throughout Australia, he brought The Levels to be one of the richest and best regulated sheepbreeding establishments in Australia. His wool was well known all over the world, and always commanded the highest prices, while the pedigree and character of The Levels sheep were acknowledged to be second to none on the Continent. This fact was amply testified to by the phenomenal prices obtained for some of his stock at a sale he held three or four years ago, some time after returning from a trip to England. His trotting horses were for many years unequalled in the colony. Mr. Pitts never married, and has no relatives in the colony, but his mother is still alive in England, and only recently wrote him a most cheery letter, in which she made special reference to his birth. He leaves two sisters, one of whom is married to General Ray, of Woolwich, and the other to Major Bannister, a distinguished cavalry officer. Mr. Pitts never took any prominent part in political or public matters, but for about twenty years he has been an active and prominent member of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia, and his judgment as to the quality of sheep and wool was considered remarkably sound. In 1880 he went to Europe, and while travel- ling on the Continent he was for some time in the company of Mr. J. H. Symon, Q.C., M.P. Mr. Pitts had been absent from France about twenty-eight years, but despite the long interval he was able to converse fluently in both French and German. Mr. Pitts took the highest prize for wool at the first competition at Messrs. Goldsbroughs' warehouses in Melbourne. He was also awarded a gold medal for fleeces at the London Exhibition, while at Paris and
Vienna he was equally successful in receiving medals for his wool. Mr. Pitts was buried at the North-road Cemetery on December 31. Sudden Death of Captain Sweet.— Our Riverton correspondent .informed us by telegram that Captain Sweet, the well-known photographer, was seized with an apoplectic fit on Sunday evening at Halldale, near Riverton, and died on Monday morning, twelve hours after. The deceased was originally in the Royal Navy, and came out here in the schooner Gulnare, after which he joined the Government service and went to the Northern Territory where he did good work in planning the harbour and selecting sites for Government offices, of which he took views, being then an amateur photographer. The Gulnare was lost at the Northern Terri tory about 10 ot 12 years ago while com manded by Captain Sweet, who lost his cer tificate, and then set up a photographic esta blishment, speedily making himself known by the excellence of his work in that direc tion of art. He opened his first studio in Adelaide over Mr. Molton's premises in Flinders-street, the rooms being built after his own design. Subsequently he removed to Rundle street, and when the Adelaide Arcade was opened he started a photographic establishment there. While engaged in surveying in the Northern Territory in the early times he took some fine views of the river and other scenery there which, being sent to Adelaide, contributed much to arouse an interest in our tropical possession. The deceased gentleman, who was of a pecu liarly energetic character and of a kindly disposition, was very popular in the position in which he moved. He was very hopeful of the future of the Northern Territory, and always ready to advocate its cause, but he took little or no part in public affairs. A great lover of art, he devoted all his time and skill to the development of landscape photography, and his views were always singularly accurate, artistic, and clear. He leaves a widow and family. The Late Mr. George Simpson. — We have to record the death and burial of Mr. George Parsons Simpson, of Alberton, brother of the late Captain Henry Simpson, of Ridge Park. The deceased was a very old colonist, and was greatly esteemed by all who knew him. The interment took place at the Alberton Cemetery on Friday afternoon. Around the grave were to be seen the follow ing:— Mr. Alfred Simpson (son of deceased) essrs. James L. and W. A. Simpson (nephews), also Mr. J. S. Anthony, Captain J. BickerB, Messrs. H. Weman, W. Urquhart J. H. Brooker, J. S. Webb, . White, W. Gilliard, J. Dryden, and a good many other friends. The Rev. M. Lloyd officiated at the