These are some of our pioneers. 

Niel Black.  John Thomson.  Daniel Mackinnon.  Thomas Wheatley.  Elizabeth King.  John Horne.  William Overend.

For further information about these people contact the Society.

Niel Black purchased the Glenormiston property of 43,530 acres in 1840 on behalf of Messrs. Finlay, Gladstone and himself. In 1868 this partnership was dissolved and Niel Black moved to Mount Noorat where the Black family have resided since.

He was very civic minded and became a member of the Legislative Assembly in 1859. He was a Hampden Shire councillor and a leader of the Presbyterian church. His widow and family built the beautiful stone church in Noorat in his memory.

Under his guidance a shorthorn herd was established in 1841 and for many years it consisted of over 1000 breeding cows. He also bred Lincoln sheep with great success.

He died in May 1880.

Niel Black

John Thomson

John Thomson conducted a school in Hobart with his brother before coming to Victorian in 1839. He leased the property at Keilambete in 1840 and made his home on the bank of the lake. He ran sheep on his 25,000 acre property for the first year or so then turned his attention to cattle. His Shorthorn cattle were well known and brought him a rich return.

He took an active interest in the growth of Terang and district and especially in the Terang Presbyterian Church. He was accidentally killed in a buggy accident at Noorat in April 1890. His wife arranged for the current Presbyterian Church to be built in his memory, in accordance with his plans.


Daniel Mackinnon reached Australia in 1839 and took up land at Cobden in 1840 along with his uncle, Dr. James Curdie.

In 1850 he purchased Marida Yallock from Stephen Ewing. This property was at that time heavily timbered light country, but by clearing and extensive drainage it was steadily improved until it became one of the best fattening properties in Victoria.

Daniel Mackinnon undertook many public duties as a magistrate and Hampden Shire Councillor but was best known for his work within the Presbyterian Church of which he was an elder. He died in 1889.

Daniel Mackinnon

 Thomas Wheatley


Thomas Wheatley first walked into Terang on Christmas eve, 1854, with a swag on his back. He camped at Lake Terang before moving on to Yallock station at Garvoc where he was given employment. It was here he met his future wife, Ellen McLaughlin. After their marriage they came to Terang where Thomas was employed by surveyor Ainsworth who was surveying Terang. Thomas Wheatley acted as his ‘chain man’. The Wheatley’s lived in a tent pitched at the corner of Baynes & Lyons Street. Their first home was a two-roomed house in Baynes street with no glass in the windows which were covered by kangaroo skins. Thomas carted cheese and other goods by bullock wagon to Geelong. He died in 1917 aged 90 years.

Elizabeth King was born Elizabeth Wheatley and has the honour of being the first white child to be born in Terang. She was the eldest child of Thomas and Ellen Wheatley. She married John King in 1888 at her parent’s home by the Bible Christian minister, the Rev. Treloar. She had three children – William who was killed in an accident at the railway station in 1902, Ernest and May. Her husband was killed in an accident in Tasmania in July 1899. He met his death when he fell from the King River railway bridge at Teepookana. Elizabeth King was affectionately known as “Granny King” and lived to be 104 years of age and often related stories about the early days of Terang.

Granny King

John Horne

John Horne was a native of Caithness, Scotland and came to Victoria in 1852. He arrived in Terang in 1857. He built premises in High Street and followed the calling of a bootmaker for many years. He was a staunch Presbyterian and was a member of the Board of Management of the Thomson Memorial Church from 1866 till 1902 and also a Sunday School teacher. He was a member of the State School Board of advice, secretary of the Terang Cemetery Trust and a trustee of the Mechanics’ Institute and Temperance Hall. He signed the first charter for the Terang Branch of the Sons of Temperance and assisted in establishing the Society in Terang. He was also a trustee of the Public Park for a long period. Married in Warrnambool, he and his wife raised a family of 4 daughters and three sons. He died in April 1914 aged 89 years.

William Overend was transported to Van Diemen's Land for life imprisonment for robbing a man in the street of a bridle. He was tried at Middlesex in December 1823 and transported on the ship "Lady East" to Hobart.  Here he worked for Mr. Bonney. In September 1841 he was given a free pardon. He remained in Van Diemen's Land for a few more years before coming to the mainland of Australia.

He arrived in the area in 1852 and worked as a bootmaker in Terang. He married Jane Crawford and they had a son, Isaac, and a daughter, Mary Ann.

On 7th December 1857 William was granted Allotments 19, 20 and 21 in the township of Terang, approximately 19 acres of land referred to as "Overend's Paddock". In 1903 his son Isaac petitioned the Melbourne Practice Court to Sell Overend's paddock which was then valued at £6,700.  In 1905 the land was subdivided and every lot sold.

William Overend died on 12th October 1877 and his wife Jane died on the 31st December 1898. Both are buried in Terang Cemetery.