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HUTTON, George Frederick (1837-1908)

HUTTON, George Frederick (1837-1908)

George Hutton was, with Adolph B Herbst, one of the two original masters at Knowle House in Skene St and is believed to have taught English and Commerce at the School from 1861 to 1869. He was responsible for the selection of the School motto and the 'Pegasus' as the School’s symbol. He is listed as the English Master in 1863 and the Commercial Master from 1864 to 1869. In 1866, he took the Drawing Class.

Brownbill described Hutton as follows: ‘George F Hutton of St Paul’s School, Chilwell and other State Schools, and finally his own Commercial College, which he opened at Villamanta St in 1895. Hutton was from Edinburgh, and his earlier teaching service in Geelong was at the Geelong College, where his particular subjects were English, Latin, Writing and Drawing, although it was said of him that he was 'a cultured, experienced and versatile teacher, capable of taking his pupils in all subjects of their education.'

George Hutton married Jane Farrell (1850-1928), the eldest child of the nine children born to Samuel Smith Farrell and Marianne nee Ince on 23 August, 1870 in Geelong. He had ten children including: Dorothy Constance Hutton; Evangeline Hutton; Estelle Hutton; Hilda Hutton; Samuel Farrell Hutton (1878-1952); George Frederick Hutton (1879-1957), Irene Ince Hutton, Elsie Hutton, Enid Hutton and Robert Clarke Hutton (?-1887). Both Samuel Hutton and George Frederick Hutton attended the College.

Several of Jane Farrell's brothers including Henry Ince Farrell (1858-1918); Samuel Farrell (1856-1937); Ince Farrell (1860-1937) and Haughton Farrell (1866-1946) were also educated at the Geelong College. Farrell Family History records that George Hutton was born on 19 August, 1837 at Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, one of eight children of parents Robert Hutton, born in about 1796 in Edinburgh and Eliza nee Warwick, born in about 1806 in England. They married on 23 October, 1828 at Clerkenwell, London. George Hutton was, at one time, President of the Mechanics Institute and of the Shakespearian Society, and a trustee of the Presbyterian Alliance Friendly Society. He was also a Freemason, a member of the Grand Lodge of St Andrew. He died on 24 July, 1908 aged 70 years.

The Geelong Advertiser in 1908 reported his death:
'Death of Mr G. F. Hutton.
It came with a painful shock to many people in town last evening to hear of vile death of Mr. George Hutton, which occurred at his residence in Villamanta Street yesterday afternoon. Heart failure was the immediate cause of death. Deceased had been moving about his home as usual during the day, and late in the afternoon it was noticed that he was unusually pale. He complained of feeling unwell, and said he intended to take a rest. Some little time later he was dead. His medical adviser, Dr. Small, was called in, but his patient was beyond medical skill when he arrived. The deceased, who had attained his 71st year, was a very useful townsman, and Geelong is all the poorer by his death. He was deservedly held in great respect by a large circle of acquaintances, and everybody who came in contact with him liked him for liis courtly manners and genial disposition. He was a man of considerable attainments, and a ripe Shakspearian scholar, and the local Shakspearian Society 'will lose one of its most cultured and enthusiastic' members.

He was a teacher at the Geelong College during the headmastership of the late Dr. George Morrison, 'father of Mr. C. N. Morrison, the present headmaster of the school. Deceased was subsequently headmaster of one of the local State schools, and in later years conducted a commercial school for boys. He was well qualified with his large experience and knowledge of business, pursuits to impart a commercial training to youths, and many boys who passed through his hands are 'now filling important positions. Deceased had a keen interest in the local literary societies, and frequently acted as judge at their elocutionary competitions. His decisions always gave entire satisfaction. His summing up of the position at the close of the contests was most clear and convincing, and his addresses were not only models of diction, but were studded with hints and valuable suggestions. His presence at the meetings of tlie literary societies was always heartily appreciated, and many young men derived much profit and benefit from his kindly counsel.

He always took an interest in the young folk, to whom he was ever ready to give any assistance in his power. He was a citizen in the best sense of the term. His scholarship was of great assistance to the Geelong Shakspearian Society, of which he was a past president, and filled thr office of vice-president at the time of his death. At the opening banquet of the Geelong branch of the St George's Society, the deceased attended as tbe representative of the Shakspearian Society, and his oration was admittedly the finest oratorical effort of the evening. The deceased took an active interest in the Geelong Mechanics' Institute, and was a member of the committee for several years. He was president of the institute, an office which he was well fitted to fill by his educational gifts and extensive reading. For many years the late Mr. Hutton was a prominent member of the St. Andrew's Benefit Society, which was afterwards merged into the Protestant Alliance, of which the deceased was a trustee. Deceased had been
connected with the Geelong Dispensary since its inception, and took a prominent part in its management. During his year of office as president the institution made marked progress. He had a keen grip of the dispensary business, and was a most valuable member of the committee. His versatility was shown by the fact that he designed a certificate for past presidents of the dispensary, which was thankfully accepted by the committee. It is his design that is now used in connection with the past presidents' certificates, and its artistic merits and appropriateness have been the subject of warm encomiums from time to time. Deceased leaves a widow and grown-up family. The funeral of the deceased is appointed for to-morrow afternoon, at 2.30, the place of interment being the New General Cemetery. By advertisement in this issue tbe members of the P.A.F.S. and the officers and members of the G.TJ.F.S. Dispensary are requested to attend the funeral.'

Sources: Geelong Advertiser 25 July 1908 p4; W H Brownbill, 'The History of Geelong and Corio Bay'. p 202; The Farrell Family: Genealogical description of Eileen Farrell, her siblings, antecedents and offspring iniated and based on investigations by James Malcolm Thompson (grandson) and Hugh Malcolm Thompson (son) with major assistance and input from Helen MacDonald (grandniece).
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