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Lost Over Time- The Pegler Family

Lost over time. The Pegler family of Warialda and Bingara carved out a future in Australia. Locally theres was corner known as Pegler's Corner
What was known as Pegler's Corner

Lost Over time

The Pegler family of Warialda and Bingara

The Pegler family is another example of pioneers who carved out a future for Australia.


But like so many others, memories of their efforts have been lost over time.

Not only has the family name being lost from the Bingara and Warialda areas, details of their pioneering days are difficult to find.

For example, who was the “Mrs” Pelger of Bingara?

Evidence of people staying at a “Mrs Pegler’s boarding house” is found, but her first name is never mentioned.

Also, vague details suggest that the boarding house was in the vicinity of Maitland and Finch Streets, but where exactly?

Answers to these questions obviously exist, but the challenge was to find them.

However, thanks to the efforts of a Bingara historian, a starting point was found.

Mrs. Pegler

A collection of Historical Stories published by the late Bruce Batterham provided the break-through.

Bruce had quoted remarks of Mrs. L.E. Reece regarding her time as a child in Bingara.

Her memories of Maitland Street about 1910 are very important as they throw some light on the Pegler family.

 Starting at the river end, she said:

(Note: No.1 Maitland Street in those days was on the other side of the Gwydir River.)

‘The brick cottage at No. 14 Maitland Street (Corner of Maitland and Keera Streets) was occupied by Mr. &  Mrs. Armstrong Snr. 16 and 18 were occupied by the Tom Schroder family. This building is now the Bingara and District Historical Society Museum.

Next were the Salvation Army Hall, and then a small shop owned by Mr. Nabob Ali.

Mrs. Jennings lived in the next house.’

Mrs Reece then provided information very helpful to researching the Pegler history.

Coachman’s Arms Hotel/ Boarding house

Mrs Reece then described the corner building ((Maitland and Finch Streets).

‘A long building with a sloping roof and a verandah built about two feet (60cm) below the footpath level. It was occupied by Mrs. Bob Pegler, her son Colin and daughter Thelma.

It functioned as a boarding house but was formerly a hotel, the Coachman’s Arms, or so I was told. The timber in it was very strong and unpainted, similar to the present Museum.

In later years Colin Pegler drove the mail and service car daily to Warialda.

Mrs. Pegler was my school friend.’

With this information the best prospects of discovering the name of “Mrs” Pegler, was through her husband “Bob”.

But, there were two possible Bob Peglers.  (Robert Pegler and Robert John Pegler). Thus, it was a matter of researching both family trees. However, this was easier said than done. It took considerable time to realise that two “Roberts” existed, father and son. Until then, conflicting information brought the investigation to a halt.

Robert Pegler (1797-1881)

Robert Pegler was born Kingswood, Gloucester, England and deported to Australia for stealing wheat. He was 34 years.

An online source submitted by a D. Wong, described his pathway to the Warialda district.

‘On 30/5/1815 he married “Lucy” Dash (who could have been Elizabeth Dash.)  They had 11 children but only 3 survived into adulthood – David, Elizabeth and George.

Robert was 5’8” tall, fair complexion, sandy brown hair, grey eyes.

On arrival in Sydney Robert was assigned to Archibald Bell (Jnr) at Corinda Station in the Upper Hunter. 

After gaining his Certificate of Freedom on 7/8/1839 he kept working for Bell. 

Robert was made superintendent of “Burgaria” Station (which he eventually bought) in Northern NSW, now known as Warialda.

Married Mary Jane Nelson, born 1826 Sydney, and had two children, Mary Anne Pegler 1857 and Isabella Jane Pegler 1858.

Two of Robert’s children joined him in NSW, Elizabeth and David and the family arrived per “Caribou” in 1859.  George stayed in England.

Robert died 27/7/1881 aged 87 years at “Burgaria” Warialda and is buried at the Old Cemetery at Warialda.’

The tricky bit was locating, and then wading through details of Robert’s three marriages. However, information that had been lost over time slowly reappeared. This was made easier with the assistance of the Warialda Historical Society.

The break-through was the family tree of David Pegler.

David Pegler (1830-1884)

Approximately 1859 Robert Pegler sponsored his son David, his wife Sarah (Freeman) and their three daughters, to Australia.

The family joined Robert at Burgaria. Later they moved to Bingara and were buried in the Bingara Cemetery.

David and Sara’s son Robert John Pegler was born at Warialda, and his family tree solved all the confusion.

Robert John Pegler and Clara Pegler

Robert John Pegler married Clara (Clay) of Warialda and they had four children.

There were:

Colin, born Maitland 1900.

Thelma, born Bingara 1904.

Edna, born Bingara 1907.

Vida, born Bingara 1909.

Thus, the riddle of who was the “Mrs” Pegler of Bingara was solved. She was no longer lost over time.

She was Clara, and her family tree is a snug fit with the information provided by Mrs. Reece.

For example, Clara and David’s son Colin confirms the link.

As will be shown, his experience as a car service provider developed into a very important service for the travelling public.

Colin Pegler (1900-1978)

Colin Pegler married Miss Aggie Meredith in May 1926 at Maitland, with their future home to be at Glen Innes.

Prior to this Colin had operated a service car between Bingara and Warialda and obviously, transportation was his passion.

For example, the Glen Innes Examiner on 16th April 1929 reported:

‘Mr. Col. Pegler arrived in Glen Innes on Sunday Night with his fine Studebaker Sedan, with which he made his first run this morning in connection with his Glen Innes-Inverell passenger service.’

The Inverell Times described it as a ‘fifteen passenger Sedan Studebaker motor bus.’

The venture was a success and Colin expanded the service.

Black and White Motor Service

The service was expanded in October and the Glen Innes Examiner reported:

‘Travellers between Glen Innes and Inverell will note with great satisfaction that Mr. Col. Pegler has decided to run a through car leaving Glen Innes for Inverell at 8.30 am.’

The car would leave Inverell on the return journey to link with the Brisbane mail train service.

This service was an additional car service to the one that left Glen Innes at 6 am for Inverell and returned at 2 pm.

Another article in the Glen Innes Examiner provided significant details that had been lost over time. It said,

‘Mr. Col Pegler of the Black and White Motor Service’

Long-term residents of the area will recall the “Black and White” bus services had then operated for decades.

Special events

Much like bus operators of more modern times, Colin saw the value of providing transportation to and from special events.

For example, references were found that prior to the Inverell/Glen Innes route; he carried the Warialda footballers to away games.

Another example is an article in the Inverell Times 7 July 1930 which said:

‘For the Grafton Cup meeting on 16th July, Mr. Col. Pegler is issuing special excursion fares by his ‘Black and White’ sedan cars for the journey.’

Tickets were available at Warialda, Inverell and Glen Innes.

Four years later in 1934 Colin was still operating the services. However, in January 1936 the Black and White buses had a new owner. This raises the question, what happened to Colin Pegler?

What next for Colin Pegler?

The Inverell Times on10 January 1936 said:

 ‘Mr. Jack Walsh, proprietor of Black and White Bus service between Inverell and Glen Innes, has recently placed a new unit on the road.’

Obviously, Colin had departed the scene and no further information was found, except a brief mention in 1938 that he was in the Newcastle area.

Sadly, traces of what Colin achieved next, remain lost over time.

Colin passed away in 1978.

Final Words

The most annoying thing about our past is the place of women in society.

What this means for research is that often women’s names were deliberately not published. Even in their obituaries, a lady was often referred to “Mrs” Smith, “Mrs” Brown or whatever the case was.

Finally, Mrs Carla Pegler the unknown” Mrs” Pegler, has been resolved.  And with thanks to Mrs. L. Reece, we have a little understanding her place as a Bingara/Warialda pioneer.

She is no longer lost over time.

SOURCERodney King
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