Thursday 8 December 2022

One of the three - Jonathan Boon

 Nathaniel Boon and his wife Sarah were the proprietors of the Three Brothers Inn (later known as Holly Lea) with licenses ranging from 1832 to 1835. Their Inn was named for their triplets, Nicholas, Jonathan and James whose birth was announced in the Sydney Gazette in November 1830. 

Jonathan Boon, (one of the triplets and possibly the most well-known), was a publican, very handy with his fists, and a good horseman. It was reported that he was a good prize fighter, and also an excellent race rider. He acted as Clerk of the Course at Picton races during 1856. He established the first hotel in Wagga – The Commercial, and held the licences to several pubs in both Wagga Wagga and Albury from the 1850s through to the 1870s. He married his wife Sarah, a publican’s daughter, in 1854 in Picton.

He had several racehorses in the 1850s including Lady Basquine, Lorimer and Whalebone, and was keen to match race them for large prize money. Lady Basquine and Whalebone were later stolen from Jonathan.

For a very short period of time during 1860 Jonathan tried his luck at the Snowy River gold diggings but seemed to spend more of his time fighting in several boxing matches. He then moved to Albury where he became a publican again, and a member of the Albury Jockey Club.

Around 1865 Jonathan moved back to Wagga where he unfortunately had to declare insolvency. It was at this time he was described as a horse trainer. By 1868 Jonathan held a publican’s licence again. 1870 saw Jonathan insolvent again, but bounced back by 1872 to open his hotel named The Retreat. 1877 saw Jonathan insolvent yet again, being unwell, and losses in business due to drought.

The All Nations Hotel, previously known as the Builders Arms, 
one of the Wagga Hotels that Jonathan was proprietor of. (fb)

When Jonathan retired from the hotel business he turned his hand to being a veterinarian.

Jonathan was often seen in court, either as a witness or defendant, often had up on charges of drunkenness, use of profane language, assault, or other such charges, including being the plaintiff in a case where he had been stabbed by another man during a scuffle. The last twenty odd years of Jonathan’s life seem to have had an increase in court appearances. After taking ill at home, in his old hotel The Retreat, in Peter St Wagga, he was taken to hospital where he expired on the 15th May and was buried in Wagga.

Written by Claire Lynch

Sources - Trove, facebook page lostwaggawagga

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