Frank Evans Venn – 1875 – 1947

Updated: 6 April 2022

Taken from: South Western Times, Thursday 6 November 1947


“The death occurred in a private hospital in Bunbury on Sunday last of one of this State’s most colourful personalities in Mr Frank Venn, of Dardanup Park and Minara Station, Murrin Murrin. A member of one of the South West’s best known families, the late Mr. Venn passed away at the age of 73 years after a long illness.

He was born in Kingston, South Australia, in 1873 (sic), was educated in that town, and joined the Union Bank in Robe as a young man.

When 21 years of age he was transferred to Western Australia and was a member of the Union Bank staff in Perth for about 12 months before joining his uncle, the Hon. Henry Whittall Venn at Dardanup Park.

At that time the late Mr H W Venn was operating on a holding of over 28,000 acres, most of which is now considered to be among the most productive land in the State.

After a short period on the farm deceased joined Smith and Timms Railway Company and was contracting on the construction of the line between Kalgooriie and Menzies. During a stay of about three years in this area he was acting station master at both Goongarrie and Menzies before he rejoined his uncle at Dardanup Park.

When the Hon W H Venn died early in the century (1908) the greater portion of his holding was sold up and the late Mr Frank Venn took over about 2,200 acres.

For some time he farmed in this area and was renowned for the outstanding Jersey stud he conducted. It is said that many of the big South West herds of Jerseys, famous at the present time, spring from the Dardanup Park stud.

In 1909 the late Mr Venn married Miss Jean Knox Inglis, of Boyup Brook, and returned to Dardanup Park after a short stay on Prinsep Park, which was part of the original Dardanup Estate. Just prior to and during the first World War he was in partnership with Mr L McDaniel, and the two became known as the biggest potato producers in the South West.

After the war the late Mr Venn’s Dardanup Park property was purchased by the government and sub-divided for soldier settlement. Only 232 acres were retained by the family and Mr Venn went to the North West, where he purchased Balmoral Station. During that time also he held a half share in Minara Station. He later sold Balmoral and bought the other share in Minara, where he settled and spent the rest of his active life.

The late Mr Venn retired about three years ago and returned to his old homestead at Dardanup Park.

The Venn Children, L to R: Johnnie, Jamie, Jessica, Kate, Frank Jun. Jenny, Helen, Robert

Publicly and socially the late Mr. Venn was extremely active and he won a legion of friends throughout this State and in other parts of the Commonwealth.

After World War I, he was a member of the Land Purchase Board and was also a member of the Royal Commission which enquired into the settlement of marginal areas in the wheat belt. He was a member of the WA Club and the WA Turf Club.

In Bunbury the late Mr. Venn was particularly well and popularly known. He was a member of both the South Western and Commercial Clubs.

For many years during his stay at Dardanup, before settling on Minara, he was a member of the Dardanup Road Board and held office as chairman during part of that time.

The late Mr Venn is survived by his widow, three sons and four daughters. Another son, John, was reported missing when flying with the RAAF over Ambon during the last war. The funeral took place on Monday after a service in St Paul’s Cathedral, Bunbury, and the remains were interred in the Anglican portion of the Bunbury cemetery, Rev F J Boxall officiating,

The pall-bearers were Messrs L McDaniel, R H Rose, Richard Palmer, H Cullen, C E Jenour, C Reynolds. Jasper Brett and Hon. L Craig.”


  • South Western Times (Bunbury, WA : 1932 – 1954), Thursday 6 November 1947, page 20


  • Photos of Frank Venn, Jean Venn (nee Inglis) and the Venn children from Jenny Spokes