John Tom (1820-1895)

John Tom
Eldest son of Parson Tom's family, born in Cornwall before the family emigrated, John Tom married Ann Elder at Parramatta in 1845.

Some suggest that John Tom may have been Ophir's first butcher, supplying the diggers with beef at threepence per pound and mutton at three and a half pence per pound.

What is known is that he was an excellent bushman, "the best I ever met or heard of," said his son Jim. Though placid and friendly by nature, he was a master with his fists.

It seems probable that after his father, "Parson" Tom, built the new stone "Springfield" homestead, John and his family lived in the five-room wattle-and-daub "Old Springfield House". That, in any case, is where his son Jim was born.

John prospected the valleys and hills of Ophir (he is shown as a "miner" on his death certificate) and died there after suffering a heart attack while ascending the steep Old Church Hill to "The Young Australia" reef. He seems to have had mining interests in that area. A Coroner's inquiry was held in Orange regarding his death.

John Tom was the author's great-great-grandfather.