Lambing Flat Folk Museum (Young, NSW)

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Murder in Young

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 7:15 AM

From the Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Tuesday 14 May 1901.


How Jasprizza Was Killed


The same night, Wednesday, that the second-hand goods dealer met his death at Goulburn, a farmer named Jasprizza met his at Young, and by the same means - murder. He was the well known cherry gardener and vigneron of that place, and on Wednesday night had retired to bed with his wife, when a noise was heard on the verandah. The blind was partially drawn aside, and Mrs. Jasprizza glanced through the window and saw a man bring a gun to his shoulder. Immediately she cried “someone has fired at me”, something having struck her knee, and this was followed by a report, and her husband fell mortally wounded.


The bullet which caused his injuries struck him on the side, and as he clasped his hand to it he was heard to say, “Oh, who could have done this to me.” At the same time he fell to the ground, a dying man.


Deceased was over 70 years of age, and was an Austrian. He had, however, lived in Young for nearly 40 years, and was looked on as one of its oldest and respected residents. He had a wonderful vineyard - the pride of not only the district, but of N.S. Wales.


The arrest of Horace Watt on suspicion of being implicated in the tragedy has added to the local excitement, and all sorts of forecasts are forthcoming as to what will be the verdict of the jury. The coroner’s inquest stands adjourned till Monday.


From the Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 26 October 1901.


In respect of the murder of Nicholas Jasprizza, 75 years of age, at Three Mile, near Young, on May 8 last - at whom two shots were fired through the window of his bedroom - a notification appears in the “Government Gazette” to the effect that a reward of £100 will be paid by Government (in addition of a reward of £200 offered by the relatives of the deceased) for such information as will lead to the apprehension and conviction of the guilty person or persons.


In addition to the above reward, his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor will be advised to extend a free pardon to any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the said murder, who shall first give such required information.



Nicholas Jasprizza.


Nicholas Jasprizza was born in Dalmatia, Austria in 1835, arrived in Australia in 1864 and tried his luck as a gold miner on the Lambing Flat diggings at various places including the Three Mile diggings. Deciding to plant vegetables instead of searching for gold he obtained a quarter acre block on McHenry’s creek and established a market garden. Due to both flood and drought he had a difficult time but managed to grow enough produce to hawk around the diggings and make a small profit. He purchased a four acre (1.6 ha) block on which he planted grape vines and fruit trees.


By 1876 he had established a cherry orchard and is credited with introducing cherry growing to the Young district. In 1893 he had accumulated 900 acres (364 ha) and had 100 acres (40ha) under cherries with 7000 fully grown trees and 300 young trees under cultivation. He also had 60 acres under vines.


Jasprizza married Bridget Bowles, nee Tunney, at the Sixteen Mile rush in 1886 and had a family of four sons and two daughters. Bridget died in 1884 and he then married Rosetta Johnstone in 1886. At the time of his death it was said that his cherry orchard was the largest in the world.


As to who established cherry growing in the Young district one such story is as follows. John Bowles had married Bridget Tunney at Orange in 1860. The Bowles family were wealthy orchardists in England and John had been sent to Australia in the hope that it would cure his tuberculosis. John planted an orchard and Nicholas Jasprizza worked for him and developed an interest in cherry growing. John’s hoped-for cure was not realised and he died in 1862.


Another version is that Harry Kline came to Young from the Hunter river area where he had been a wine grower. On a visit to Nicholas he noticed some Kentish cherry suckers growing and suggested that Jasprizza should graft some good cherries on to them. Grafting wood was obtained from a cherry tree in the garden of the Gold Commissioner, all the grafts “took” and the trees were planted out and a cherry orchard established.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.



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