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Ernest Hayler Hannaford (1879–1955)

by Robert F. G. Swinbourne

This article was published:

This is a shared entry with George Hannaford

George Hannaford (1852-1927), and Ernest Hayler Hannaford (1879-1955), farmers, were father and son. George was born on 4 January 1852 at Hartley Vale, South Australia, third son of George Williams Hannaford, farmer, who had migrated in 1840 from England, and his wife Ann, née Cornish. He helped his parents grow fruit and as a youth farmed with his three brothers at Riverton, Yorke Peninsula. He founded the peninsula's agricultural society, and was a member of Riverton's first school board and of the main roads board, before becoming overseer of the Government Experimental Farm at Mannahill. On 3 February 1876 he married a widow, Bertha Hayler Whibley, née Linfield.

Hannaford later moved to Cudlee Creek in the Adelaide Hills where he grew apples and pears, which, in 1896, he was the first South Australian to export to England and Germany, and engaged in forestry and wattle and hop-growing. He also developed the Gipsy apiary, several hundred hives to house the queen bees which he imported from Italy. Hannaford was well read and was a public speaker, contributor to the press and lay preacher in the Baptist Church. In 1907 he moved to Kent Town. He died there from cancer on 7 November 1927. After a funeral at Cudlee Creek he was buried in the family vault at the local cemetery.

Ernest Hayler, eldest surviving son of George and Bertha's three sons and three daughters, was born on 21 June 1879 at Manna Hill and, after private tuition, ran his father's large bee-farm at Bonney Flat near Mount Crawford. He then bought The Briars at Millbrook where he built up an orchard of fifty acres (20 ha) of plums, pears and apples, exporting Cleopatra, Jonathan, Dunn's Seedling, Rome Beauty and Stone Pippin apples. He also maintained 360 colonies of bees, yielding ten tons of honey annually, and wattle groves for bark tanning. Responsible for the planting of pine forests surrounding the Millbrook reservoir, he accompanied the surveyor who created the siting for the beautiful Gorge Road through the River Torrens valley. He served terms as secretary of his district branch of the South Australian Farmers and Producers' Association and as president of the Beekeepers' Association. On 20 April 1904 Hannaford married Florence Elizabeth Pool at Cudlee Creek. They had two daughters and two sons.

Hannaford was a member, and chairman for seven years, of the Talunga District Council, then spent over ten years on the St Peters Town Council, for two periods of which, in 1926-28 and 1937-42, he was mayor. In 1927-30 he was a conservative member of the House of Assembly for Murray. His approach to the Depression and unemployment was to increase production via reduced costs and to strive for peace in industry; Hannaford believed that 'strikes had done incalculable harm to Australia and the Arbitration Courts seemed to have caused more harm than good'. He was defeated in a bid to re-enter the House for Torrens in 1938.

Like his father, Hannaford was a Baptist preacher; he also supported the Methodist Church after his marriage. Survived by his wife, two daughters, and two sons, he died on 21 December 1955, following surgery, and was cremated. His estate was sworn for probate at £51,185. St Peters Council has named a reserve, the land for which he had donated, after him.

Select Bibliography

  • H. T. Burgess (ed), Cyclopedia of South Australia, vol 2 (Adel, 1909)
  • Universal Publicity Co, The Official Civic Record of South Australia (Adel, 1936)
  • Advertiser (Adelaide), 8 Nov 1927, 2 Apr 1930, 22 Dec 1955
  • Observer (Adelaide), 12 Nov 1927.

Citation details

Robert F. G. Swinbourne, 'Hannaford, Ernest Hayler (1879–1955)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 13 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (Melbourne University Press), 1983

View the front pages for Volume 9

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


21 June, 1879
Manna Hill, South Australia, Australia


21 December, 1955 (aged 76)

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