OBITUARY. MRS JAMES RICHARDSON. It is with much sorrow that we have to record the death of Mrs Fanny Mer- cer Richardson, relict of the late James Richardson, one of Ararat's earliest pioneers. The deceased lady, who was in her eighty-first year, had, by reason of her great age, been in declining health for some time, but was able to come into Ararat until quite recently, and she passed away quietly at Gor- rinn, Dobie, yesterday afternoon, at three o'clock. Mrs Richardson ranked as the oldest resident of this district, and having lived in Victoria for 79 years, is, we think, the oldest lady col- onist of the State. She shared this distinction with Mrs Pearmnan and Mrs Creswick, but both ladies passed away some little time ago, and Mrs Richard- son's death breaks a link which con- nects the early history of the State with to-day. She was the daugher of the late David Fisher, a gentleman who played a prominent part in the ear- ly settlement 'of Victoria, and was born in Tasmania. She came over to Victoria with her parents when two years of age, in the year 1834, landing at Geelong. Her father was manager for the Derwent Pastoral Company, and his run extended from the Heads at Queenscliffe to Geelong. He built the first house at Geelong, and Mrs Richardson spent her early childhhood there, until her father, with Major Mercer, went further back towards Bal- larat, and took up a considerable area there, at a place still known as Mount Mercer. This house was refer- red to in a report to his Excellency Governor La Trobe, in 1853, as being "rather an ornament to what is now called Barwon Terrace." The de- reased lady was married in 1850 to Mr James Richardson, who came to this district in I840, and shared with him many stirring ????- dents in early pioneering life, when the country was inhabited by the ab- originals before the discovery of gold brought a host of white folk to the country. On more than one occasion she had to stand armed to defend their home against threatened attack, and her life's career were presented the striking contrasts of 79 years' progress of the ' State of Victoria, from a practically untrodden wild to a land of settled civilisation. The de- ceased lady possessed those amiable qualities which go to make up a kind- ly womanhood. Endowed with spiri- tual gifts, she adorned her home with a quiet and unobtrusive piety, winning the unrestricted love of all who knew her, and much sympathy will be ex- pressed for those who have suffered bereavement. She leaves two sons, Mr James Richardson, of Elsternwick, and Mr A. H. Richardson, of Gorrinn, and four daughters, Mrs H. E. Webb (Ararat), Miss Richardson (Gorrinn), Mrs Pincott and Mrs Harold Webb (Queensland). The remains of the deceased lady will bo interred in the Ararat Cemetery this afternoon, the funeral service being conducted in Holy Trinity Church at half-past two.