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Writer, Jean Schmaal

Ruth Zweck, Jean Schmaal, Joyce Telfer, Sylvia Telfer.jpg
Tales of the Troopers - Stories from the Wild Colonial Days by Jean Schmaal.jpg

Above: National Trust Members viewing Large Prints at Leasingham Wines, Clare, in August 1987
Left to right — Ruth Zweck, Jean Schmaal, Joyce Telfer, Sylvia Telfer
Print donated by L. Stevenson

 

Jean Schmaal was born in Glenelg, South Australia, and educated in Adelaide and Port Pirie.

Jean spent many years in Clare and spent many hours on research for the Clare National Trust branch.

 

She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the community in 1993 and was a foundation member and the first Life Member of the South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.

 

Although Jean saw much of her work published in various police journals, she was denied the pleasure of seeing Tales of the Troopers published in book form in 1999. She died in 1998 following a long illness.

The Mail (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 7 Jun 1947  Page 5 

 Miss Elvera Johns, only daughter of the Commissioner of Police (Mr. W. F. Johns) and Mrs. Johns, was married at Bethlehem Church, City, this afternoon to Mr. Hedley Schmaal, of Steelton.

From left — The bridegroom, the bride, Mr. Les Schmaal (best man), and Miss Eilleen Keast (bridesmaid)

Extract from The Northern Argus 1987:

"Clare resident and writer, Jean Schmaal, has been surrounded by police.

No, she is not an incorrigible criminal but her close relatives and even her husband, Hedley, were "in the force".

 

"Early in January, Jean will receive a certificate of achievement award from the Australian Branch of the Police Historical Society.

She is being heralded for her literacy contributions to such Australia-wide publications as Police History Book as well as South Australian Police Journal and Australian Police Journal.

 

"The Australian representative and editor of Police History Book, Ray Bedford, had invited Jean to contribute stories of pioneering police history and legends of crime in the country.

Jean has submitted five stories including 

  • The Thin Blue Line about pioneer police of the Mid North including Clare, and 

  • Mooloo about a Corporal George Mason who was stationed at Wellington, South Australia, a busy crossing place for overlanders transporting their stock from the eastern states to Adelaide.
    Jean said, "It's fascinating to get the threads of information and put stories together". She finds interviewing aged policemen a great source of stories.

 

 

Kelly Schmaal great grandfather is WF Johns.jpg
Thu 19 Jun 1975 Return of Schmaals.png
Wed 5 Jun 1974 Snr Constable transferred to Clare.png
Wed 4 Jun 1980 Thanks for Condolences.png

"Boolga," not "Mulga." 

 News (Adelaide, SA)  Fri 30 Jun 1944 

 Page 2  PASSING BY

 

FOR years the new Police Commissioner (Mr. Johns) has been affectionately known to members of the force as "Mulga Bill."'

But apparently that nickname is not quite right, for Mr. Johns smilingly told members of the Justices' Association this week that his native name is "Boolga," not "Mulga."

 

Incidentally, Mr. Johns has had a warm spot for the Australian aboriginal ever since he was saved from drowning in the Roper River in his young days as a police trooper by a native whom he was bringing in to face a theft charge.

"I would sooner have an Australian native at my side in an emergency than any other in the world." is his generous tribute. 

Tregeagle Thoroughbred Horse_edited.jpg

The interest probably stems from Jean's notable father, "Mulga Bill" Johns, who was Commissioner of Police in Adelaide 1944-50 (tallest male, centre right)

"He was a history enthusiast and wrote anecdotes himself", said Jean.

"I interviewed him in his old age and wrote up his experiences which were all printed".

  • Husband Hedley was a senior constable and son John now works in the traffic branch of the Police Department in Adelaide.

  • Even Jean's uncle, John Johns, was a metropolitan superintendent in Adelaide.

  • Jean has been writing police anecdotes for 18 years and was made the first honorary life member of the SA Police Historical Society in 1979.

 

"I've made no money out of all my writing but some of this history is too good to let go", Jean said.

"Hearing a story, checking it out and following it through - that's fascinating!"

Jean said she had kept the Clare Post Office going sending away for information for her stories.

 

She also wrote for the Clare Branch of the National Trust of which she is a member, and recently had an article printed in "Trust News" on the Nadjuri aborigines.

This Clare supersleuth, whose ears are finely tuned for anecdotes, is a wonderful town asset and must be congratulated heartily."
 

 

Clare National Trust Museum 1987

To mark the 10th anniversary of Clare's National Trust Museum and the 25th anniversary of the National Trust in South Australia, Jean collaborated with John Haynes to produce 'Clare - A Backward Glance' an excerpt of which is printed below:—

 

'Tregeagle'

'Among South Australia's early settlers were some well enough endowed financially to set up breeding studs for fine horses.

Such a man was William Gerrard, who, in the early 1860s, established the well-known Yo-Ho Station near Rapid Bay. He imported valuable blood stock from England. (Rapid Bay for the rapid bays was his motto.)

Talk of the Hill and Tregeagle were destined to become known throughout Australia.
Gerrard, in 1880, disposed of the whole of his stud at which time Tregeagle went to Martindale, the property of Edmund Bowman, near Mintaro.

 

'In that same year, Tregeagle was awarded first prize for the best thoroughbred entire in the Clare Stallion Show.

A splendid trophy for this award was the work of Henry Steiner, one of the best-known of South Australia's silversmiths. He had a shop at 106 Rundle Street, Adelaide, in the 1880s.

Tregeagle was a marvellous animal and his progeny was spread far and wide throughout the north.' (John Haynes' illustration of the Steiner trophy follows the article.)

Read more:

"Boolga," not "Mulga." 
'Tregeagle'
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Jubilee Tribute to Jean Schmaal
54 Publications by Jean Schmaal
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Clare_â___A_Backward_Glance_by_Jean_Schm.jpeg
54 Publications by Jean Schmaal

Holdings in the State Library of SA

1. Footprints on the sands of time

by Schmaal, Jean 1961

Brief history of the Murray Bridge and District Historical Society, and brief descriptions of some of their activities. Also includes short history of the old...

Book

2. Footprints on the sands of time: scenes from the past in Murray Bridge and surrounding districts

by Schmaal, Jean 1970

Book Australiana Pamphlets

3. Tales of the troopers: stories from the wild colonial days

by Schmaal, Jean; Wakefield Press 1999

Book (Small books), General Reference

 

4. Pioneers travelling

by Schmaal, Jean; 

Murray Bridge and District Historical Society 1970

Book Australiana Pamphlets

5. The Round House at the Murray Bridge

by Schmaal, Jean; 

Murray Bridge and District Historical Society 1970

Book  SA Ready Ref Pamphlets

6. Mobilong: the story of our town

by Schmaal, Jean; 

Murray Bridge and District Historical Society 1968, 1st ed.

Brief history of Mobilong and Murray Bridge for school children.

Book S Australiana Pamphlets

7. A quaint courthouse

by Schmaal, Jean; 

National Trust of South Australia; Clare and District Branch 1987

Book  S Australiana Pamphlets

8. The Inchiquin story

by Schmaal, Jean; 

National Trust of South Australia; Clare and District Branch 1986

Book, S Australiana Pamphlets

9. The family of Jaensch

by Schmaal, Jean; Australia; 

Workskil Inc ; 1996

Book  S Australiana Pamphlets

10  Mobilong: the story of our town and River Boat Bob

by Schmaal, Jean; 

Murray Bridge and District Historical Society 1970, 2nd ed.

Book, S Australiana Pamphlets

11. The Round House at Murray Bridge

by Schmaal, Jean; 

Murray Bridge and District Historical Society; 

Workskil Inc ; 1996, Revised ed.

Book , S Australiana Pamphlets

12. Clare, a backward glance: stories of early Clare and district

by Schmaal, Jean; Haynes, John; 

National Trust of South Australia ; More...1980

Book, SA Ready Ref Books

 

13. E. Jean Schmaal : SUMMARY RECORD

by Schmaal, Jean 1970

Papers of E. Jean Schmaal comprising historical notes on Murray Bridge, Wellington and the Police Force, George Ezekiel Mason, Wommamukurta, police troopers and Mount Barker, Clare and its constabulary, Adelaide...

Private Record Group

14 Dr William Deveraux [sic] Bain

by Schmaal, Jean 1985

Pioneer of Clare.Journal Article

ASK AT DESK, View:, Citation from published or archival item

15 "Murder!" it says

by Schmaal, Jean 1984

John Smith, a sailor, was murdered at Kooringa by a German miner, Gottlieb Kiernall. He was buried at Burra Cemetery.

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

16 The church among the vines

by Schmaal, Jean 1980

History of Jesuits at Sevenhill with details concerning the

church, crypt and winery.

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

17 Frontier days

by Schmaal, Jean 1980

Account of W. Morgan's involvement in a murder case and his later disappearance.

Journal Article  Citation from published or archival item

18 The legends of the lakes

by Schmaal, Jean 1979

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

19 What's in a name?
(web page)

by Schmaal, Jean 1979

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

20 The legends of the lakes

by Schmaal, Jean 1979

Journal Article  Citation from published or archival item

21 Ashton's Hotel : being a brief history of H.M. Gaol, Adelaide

by Schmaal, Jean 1979

Article about Adelaide's first gaol and governor, William Ashton.

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

22 "Murder!" it says : being the story behind the well known 'Murder' headstone at Burra

by Schmaal, Jean 1978

John Smith was murdered by a German miner named Gottlieb Kiernall.

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

23 Rambling around the headstones

by Schmaal, Jean 1977

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

24 Recollections of early royal visits

by Schmaal, Jean 1977

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

25 The way it was at Yardea

by Schmaal, Jean 1977

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

26 But for a camel

by Schmaal, Jean 1976

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

27 Extracts from a letter book once used at the former Palmer Police Station

by Schmaal, Jean 1976

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

28  The constable, the horse-thief and the hangman

by Schmaal, Jean 1976

Trooper Harry Edmond Pearce was attacked by 'horse thief' Robert Johnson (alias William Nugent) and died as a result of the wounds inflicted. Robert Johnson...

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

29 Dead men do tell tales

by Schmaal, Jean 1976

Bryan Besley arrived in South Australia in 1851. Inspector of Police at Port Augusta. Citation from published or archival item

30 The Rainbird story

by Schmaal, Jean 1975

On 11 March 1861, Mrs Mary Rainbird and her two children, Emma and Robert, were found murdered.

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

31 Aboriginal Queen Monarto, and the naming of Monarto

by Schmaal, Jean 1975

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

32 Of their bones is coral made

by Schmaal, Jean 1974

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

33 Why McGrath Flat?

by Schmaal, Jean 1974

Also called M'Grath and Magrath Flat (See Mannings, G. From Aaron Creek to Zion Hill. ). George McGrath was murdered by natives in 1842 during an overland trek...

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

34 Lanky "Canna"

by Schmaal, Jean 1974

Lankey, police tracker. 

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

35 There's gold in them thar hills

by Schmaal, Jean 1974

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

36 In the days of the stage-coach: the story of William Rounsevell

by Schmaal, Jean 1973

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

37 The story of George Ezekiel and the 'Lady Augusta'

by Schmaal, Jean 1973

G.E. Mason was a mounted policeman at Wellington, Sub-Protector of Aborigines. He piloted the first iron steamboat, the 'Lady Augusta', to navigate the Murray...

Journal Article

38 Time's up

by Schmaal, Jean 1973

Journal Article

39 The place of the woman's tragedy: being the story of police settlement at Normanville/Yankalilla

by Schmaal,Jean 1972

Journal Article

40 The trail blazers

by Schmaal, Jean 1972

Journal Article

41 Payment deferred

by Schmaal, Jean 1972

Martin Malachi was tried and convicted of the murder of Jane Macmenimen and was hanged 24 December 1862. William Wilsen (to whom Jane was engaged at the time)... on page Colonial Christmases

Journal Article

42 The trail blazers

by Schmaal, Jean 1972

George Hamilton: Police Commissioner, 1867-1882.

Journal Article

43 'Wommanukurta' - the story of the troopers of Mount Barker

by Schmaal, Jean 1972

Journal Article

44 An eye for an eye

by Schmaal, Jean 1971

Richard Palmer Pettinger died 4th February 1862 aged 32 years. Ex-police constable John Seaver was tried for his murder and was hanged 11 March 1862 and his...

Journal Article

45 When big one Queen's piccaninny went walkabout

by Schmaal, Jean 1970

Members of various South Australian Aboriginal tribes greet Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1867.

Journal Article

46 The old order changeth

by Schmaal, Jean 1970

First woman to be hanged in South Australia, Elizabeth Woolcock was executed 30 December 1873 for willful murder of husband Thomas Woolcock by poison.

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

47 The constabulary at Callington 1867-1886

by Schmaal, Jean 1970

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

48 Pioneer Home, Callington

by Schmaal, Jean 1969

Old Paech Home (pug, stone and pine). Kitchen at distance from home.

Photograph ONLINE, B 18855, Pictorial Collection

49 Flour Mill, Callington

by Schmaal, Jean 1969

Old Flour Mill.

Photograph ONLINE, B 18856, Pictorial Collection

50 Methodist Church, Callington

by Schmaal, Jean 1969

Methodist Church (built 1862).

Photograph ONLINE, B 18857, Pictorial Collection

51 Pioneer Home, Callington

by Schmaal, Jean 1969

Old Paech Home (pug stone & pine) rear view - portion added later.

Photograph ONLINE, B 18854, Pictorial Collection

52 The policing of Wellington

by Schmaal, Jean  1969

History of the police station at Wellington built in 1863. Article includes excerpts from "The South Australian" newspaper.

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

53 Who would be a policeman?

by Schmaal, Jean 1968

Article regarding five generations of the Ewens family who were policemen. The first member of the family to join the S.A. Mounted Police was William Robert...

Journal Article, Citation from published or archival item

54 First Electric Tram at Unley

by Schmaal, Jean 1909

First Electric Tram at Unley.

Photograph ONLINE, B 18807, Pictorial Collection

55 Thanks, Jean 1980

Jean Schmaal, author of Police Journal articles from 1966, was accorded life membership of the S.A. Police Historical Society. She was the daughter of W.F. Johns, late Police Commissioner and wife of the late Hedley Schmaal.

Journal Article Citation from published or archival item

Magazine article, Includes photograph

Additional family members are named in this article.

Chapter contents:

Part 1 - Crimes and Trials

Ashton's hotel

His Honour, the Judge

The Day They Hanged Magee

Rough Justice

Payment Deferred

Eating from a Tin Bowl at Cox's Creek

The Camel of Death

The Black Springs Murder

Part 2 - Wild Colonial Days

The Camels are Coming

Wommamukurta

The Roaring Fifties

When Big One Queen's Piccanninny went Walkabout

 Likfe in the Seventies

The Whipering Wires

The Overlanders

In the Days of the Stage-Coach

Gone to the Diggings

The Story of George Ezekiel Mason and the Lady Augusta

Time's Up

It was Wild, Mighty Wild

Part 3 - A Policeman's Life

'Blacksheep' SA's Policeman-Poet

A Police Station at Moorowie

Trooper Ayliffe

The Eyes Had it

Echunga Diggings

Turbulent Times

The Thin Blue Line

The Policing of Wellington

My Kingdom for a Horse

An Eye for an Eye

The Gallant Constable

To Beard or not to Beard?

Virtue Restored

Law and Disappointment

Clare -- A Backward Glance
Drawings by John Haynes

Text by Jean Schmaal

Table of Contents:

"Paddy" Gleeson, Father of Clare

The Immigrants

There was a Tavern in the Town

From an old Recipe Book in the Clare National Trust Museum

The Church Among the Vines

Pot-pourri

Hill River Stone Wall

First Royal Visit

The Constables of Clare

Rock-a-bye Baby

The Northern Argus: Letters to the Editor as Mirrors of the Times

A True Romance

One Man's Family (Victorsen's)

The Three R's

Did Your Mother Come from Ireland?

The Bridal Trousseau

When They Called "Copper"

Martindale Hall

'Tregeagle'

Farming on the Grand Scale

Lovely as a Tree

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The shadow of Mulga Bill
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Thanks, Jean June 1980
Summary of Jean Schmaal's life

Born: JOHNS Given Names: Elvera Jean
Date: 1917-05-05 Sex: F
Father: William Francis JOHNS

Mother: Henriette Eugene ARMSTRONG
Birth Place/Residence: Glenelg

 

Married: Elvera Jean Johns married Hedley Schmaal 7 June 1947.

1947 'Bride Piped from Altar at Scots Church', The Mail, 7 June, p. 5

They had two sons John Francis b. 1948 and Geoffrey Gordon 1954-1957.

Writing:

She was a regular contributor to the Victor Harbor times in the 1970s.

They moved to Clare in around 1974.

The Police Journal published a brief article about Jean in June 1980 (see right)

Hedley Gordon Schmaal died 16 May 1980

OAM

Jean received a Medal of the Order of Australia 26 January 1993.
The SA Government Gazette listed her address at the time as 22 Coleridge Crescent, Clearview SA 5085

Jean Schmaal passed away on 21 July 1998.
A death and funeral notice for her (published 22 July 1998) are attached.

Summary of Jean Schmaal's life
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Schmaal Funeral notice 22 July 1998_edited.jpg
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