HerStory Archive

KERR, Lottie

Also known as: née Hill

Born: 13/8/1885

Died: 16/11/1957

Special Achievements:

Established Delny Station in Central Australia, with her husband Alexander Kerr.

Additional Information:

Lottie Hill grew up in a family of 12 children and a 13th adopted child.  After the death of her husband, Lottie's mother turned the family home into a boarding house in order to provide an income for the family.  Lottie's future husband, Alex Kerr, boarded with the family for three years.  After Lottie and Alex were married in 1910, they emigrated to South Africa and, six months later, to Australia.  They lived briefly in Adelaide in 1911 before moving to Broken Hill for Alex to work at the South Mine at Broken Hill.  They stayed at Broken Hill for ten years.  When their son was only two years old, he and a friend were playing near a brick wall in a derelict building and, with no warning, it crashed down and killed both small boys instantly.  Lottie was the first to reach the scene and realise what had happened.

Alex was friends with the Chalmers family and he and Lottie decided to try for land in the Northern Territory.  They took up land known as Delny Station, which was approximately 200 kilometres north of Alice Springs.

Lottie's daughter Ann was born at Alice Springs, in the town's first hospital, run by the Australian Inland Mission.  She was the second baby to be born there.  However, when she was eighteen months old, little Ann became ill.  Alex Kerr was away so Lottie was on her own.  She sent word to Macdonald Downs Station and Cora Chalmers came straight over.  Four days after the onset of the attack, Ann died.

Some time later, Lottie took a holiday to Sydney with the first trained schoolteacher to Alice Springs, Ida Standley.  Lottie went on to Vancouver, Canada, and to America where she had siblings living, and returned to Central Australia eight years later.  

She passed away in Alice Springs. There had always been a closeness to the Chalmers family and when Jessie Chalmers married Geoff Holt, Alex Kerr cut off a portion of Delny station and gave it to her and Geoff Holt as a wedding present.


Resources

  • Document - Lottie Kerr nee Hill

    Written by Lottie's grandniece, Andrea (Tidmarsh) Burrows, 2002

    Information from NPWHF file

    View File


  • Image - Lottie Kerr's gravestone

    Lottie Kerr is buried at the Alice Springs Memorial Cemetery

    Image from NPWHF file


  • References

    True Australian Tales: Two Books in One -- Douglas Lockwood, Fair Dinkum and Margaret Ford, Beyond the Furthest Fences