Australian Dictionary of Biography

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John Burrows (1829–1904)

by J. Ann Hone

This article was published:

John Burrows (1829-1904), miller, was born on 25 January 1829 at Kingsley, Cheshire, England, son of Charles Burrows, miller, and his wife Ann, née Dutton. In 1855 he arrived in Melbourne in the Blanche Moore. He mined for some months, and then managed two mills in Tasmania and later the Bay Mills for Dalgety Ibbotson & Co. at Geelong. In 1860 Burrows and Richard Tomlins built a mill at North Wangaratta, sawing their own timber when they encountered local opposition. The partnership was dissolved in 1865 and in 1867 Burrows bought the Indigo Flour Mills at Barnawartha. From this base he extended his business to include the Hume Mills, Albury, in 1870, the Beechworth Mills in 1879 and the Chiltern Mills about 1880. He built grain depots at Rutherglen and in New South Wales at Jindera. The Murray River served as his main highway and many of the goods he needed were shipped from Echuca.

Burrows was a member of the Wangaratta Borough Council for three years, and for nine years of the Yackandandah Shire Council of which he was president for a term. In 1892 he moved to Albury but retained his Victorian interests, including valuable properties at Beechworth and Barnawartha. His son-in-law, Angus Stewart, managed the Rutherglen grain stores but Burrows remained in control of the mills, earning wide repute as a shrewd and scrupulous businessman. His eagerness to return to work after an influenza attack proved fatal and he died at his home, Kingsley, Dean Street, Albury, on 19 October 1904, survived by his wife Eliza Augusta, née Fry, whom he had married at Geelong about 1860, and by five daughters and four sons of their twelve children. A Methodist, Burrows left an estate of some £100,000.

Select Bibliography

  • A. Sutherland et al, Victoria and its Metropolis, vol 2 (Melb, 1888)
  • D. M. Whittaker, Wangaratta (Melb, 1963)
  • Albury Daily News, 19, 20 Oct 1904
  • Argus (Melbourne), 21, 22 Oct 1904
  • Wangaratta Chronicle, 22 Oct 1904.

Citation details

J. Ann Hone, 'Burrows, John (1829–1904)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1969, accessed online 25 February 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, (Melbourne University Press), 1969

View the front pages for Volume 3

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


25 January, 1829
Kingsley, Cheshire, England


19 October, 1904 (aged 75)
Albury, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.