Renton & Reynolds




John Henry Michael RENTON

Frances Emma REYNOLDS  


Born:  26 August 1883 Wandiligong, VIC

Born: 03 September 1889 Broken Hill, NSW

Died: 29 December 1939 Boulder City, WA

Died: 08 February 1950 Kalgoorlie, WA

Father: George Renton

Father: James Henry Reynolds

Mother: Jane Luke

Mother: Mary Shaw Harvey

  John Henry Renton was born in Growlers Creek now known as Wandiligong, Victoria, 1883. He was only 3 years old when his mother died in childbirth with her 16th child, Michael.  What a terrible ordeal it must have been for a child of this age to lose his mother.  John Henry's older sister Esther took over the role of mother, whilst their father George went out to work. After the death of his wife, George who would of been in complete disarray at his loss started drinking heavily and would come home in this state quite often.  One particular time, George came home in his usual drunken condition, claiming he had spent all the pay.  Esther was most upset, as she had to buy food to feed the family.  George & Esther got into an argument, with George hitting Esther to the floor.  Esther being a spirited girl picked up a billet of wood and knocked her father to the ground.  A week after this incident, George never returned home again, leaving young 18 year old Esther the responsibility of caring for her young siblings.  As this would prove to much and without any money, she had no choice but to foster the young ones out.  Margaret went to a family in Port Fairy who owned a Mechanics Hall, and John Henry & Michael were made wards of state. They were put before the committing bench at Wahalla, Victoria on the 17th October 1887. John Henry was 4yrs old & Michael was 19 months old.  At the time they were committed there was a warrant out for the arrest of George Renton for deserting his children.  Even in 1889 the police stated nothing is known of their fathers where abouts at present.  Esthers address given at this time was Immanuel House, Albion street, Brunswick, Victoria.  On the 3 November 1887 the boys were fostered to their older sister Mary Jane Mills nee: Renton.  They resided at Fryerstown in Victoria. 

 On the 8 February 1898, 15yr old John Henry got into trouble with the law.  His statistics were as follows:  HEIGHT:  4' 91/2"   COMPLEXION:  Sallow   HAIR:  Dk Brown  EYES:  Brown  NOSE:  Small  MOUTH:  Small  CHIN: Short  EYEBROWS: Brown  VISAGE:  Round  FOREHEAD: Medium  WEIGHT: 7st 10lb  BUILD: Small  AGE: 15 NATIVE PLACE: Melbourne  TRADE: Youth  RELIGION: Church of England READ AND WRITE: Both  WHERE TRIED: Bendigo Sup. Court  BEFORE WHOM: Mr Justice Hood  SENTENCE: Pentridge 6 months hard labour, with 10 whippings of the lash in first month  OFFENCE:  Unacceptable behaviour.  (And kid's think they have it hard these day's)

 After he was released, he was placed back in the care of the state, a place called Excelsion. On the 18 July 1900 he was discharged on probation to his brother Daniel at Wahalla. Then he was released to another brother Robert Renton on the 19 January 1901 at Harrietville & then to his sister  Margaret Hadden at Glen Wills on the 20 April 1901.  Still only 16yrs old due to turn 17 in the August, John set about making a life for himself.  John left his siblings to discover the world for himself, a few years went by where his brothers and sisters had no contact with him.  He was spotted working down on the Murray river with his brother George by a family friend, who informed the older siblings. The two older Renton boys Robert & Daniel headed off in search, and this is where they found them and took them back home to the comforts of family.  

 When John Henry was 19yrs old, he headed over the Nullabor to the West. His brother George made this journey with him. He arrived in the Goldfields in 1905.  He settled in well finding work in the many mines that were around.  It was here he met and married Francis Emma Reynolds on the 3rd April 1907 at Boulder.  And so his happiness had finally begun with a family of his own.  They resided with Francis's parents in Brown Hill in which her parents owned and ran a piggery.  John Henry helped out with the piggery for a few years. Their first child was born on the 5th July 1907, a girl they named Mary Jane, no doubt after his sister Mary Jane who took him into her care when he was a child. By 1912  three more children were born and it was around this time that John Henry worked on the Transline Railway where East meets West. Francis Emma and the children went with him, living in tents along the tracks.  When this work was over they took a trip over to Victoria to visit John Henry's siblings and two more of there children were born while over there. They stayed there for some 3yrs before returning to the Goldfields of Western Australia between 1917-1918. John took up work back in the Mining Industry but this ceased due to bad health he contracted from working underground. The family took up residence in Forrest Street in Boulder and John then began working at the Broken Hill Hotel up the road as Barman.  He worked there until his death in 1939 from a Heart Attack. My Grand-dad is remembered by my Aunts as a very caring loving man. He was very quiet and loved his family.  My Nana, Francis Emma stayed in their home in Forrest Street until her death in 1950.

During his life John Henry Michael Renton was involved with the RAOB Lodge, A life member of the Boulder Ex Servicemen's club, Boulder Football Club and many of the lodges.

Francis Emma Renton nee: Reynolds was involved in the CWA for a number of years and a committed Boulder Football supporter. Nana loved to play darts and won many a trophy in her time. When the war was on 4 of her sons went into service. Nana used to have a flag hanging in her lounge room and candles burning for all the men at war.

They are both buried together in the Boulder Cemetery along with 2 of there children. God Bless Them.



Mary Jane  Renton   05 July 1907 Kalgoorlie                       Donald Leslie Renton 25 September 1918 Kalgoorlie
James Henry George Renton 09 Aug 1908 Kalgoorlie Thomas Daniel Renton 01 December 1920 Kalgoorlie
Frances Edith Renton 16 Sep 1910 Kalgoorlie

William Harvey Renton 31 October 1923 Kalgoorlie

John William Renton 04 August 1912 Kalgoorlie Thelma Jean Renton 1926 Kalgoorlie
Robert Cecil Renton 30 July 1914 Powlett River, Victoria Nellie Renton 1930 Kalgoorlie
Margaret Emma Renton 16 July 1916 Wonthaggi, Victoria
 Myrtle Renton 1930 Kalgoorlie

SUBMITTED BY Their loving Grand-daughter Julie Clift