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14 January 1919 Captain Henry Hancock

 14 January 1919      Captain Henry Hancock

Captain Henry Richard Hancock, superintendent of the Moonta Mining Company for over thirty years, died at his home, 'Ivymeade' in Burnside, on 14 January 1919.

Hancock arrived in South Australia in 1859 to manage the Wheal Ellen silver/lead mine at Strathalbyn. In 1861 he became assayer at Moonta Mines soon after they began operation. He was appointed superintendent of the mines in 1864 and was in charge of installing machinery and a pumping station. He established tramways on the mine sites and was able to use the railway to send ore to Wallaroo when the smelters opened there in 1866. By 1876 the output of the mines had trebled. Hancock designed a percussion vanning jig as well as making other improvements. He also established a medical fund, to which employees had to contribute, but this enabled them to have free medicine and sick pay when necessary. When the Wallaroo and Moonta Mining and Smelting Company amalgamated in 1889 Hancock was appointed manager.

A public-spirited man he was a well known figure to the Cornishmen of the mining towns. He helped to establish the Moonta School of Mines, was a member of the Institute, and Chairman of the Moonta Agricultural Society for 16 years. He also helped to establish the Point Pearce Mission for Aborigines. When the retired in 1898 he was succeeded as manager by his eldest son, Henry Lipson Hancock who managed the company until its closure in 1923.

Douglas Pike (ed), Australian Dictionary of Biography , Volume 4, 1972.

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