Family Photo Friday – I Growed On This
They say that every picture tells a thousand stories. This wonderful photo of Richard STANDING (1856-1923) with his (at least) three kegs certainly tells a few stories about a real character. It also raises a few questions at the same time.
First and foremost – Richard Standing was a BIG man. Just what was in those kegs that made him “growed on” so successfully? Whisky? Rum? Home brew? Also:
- Where is Richard sitting ? Is he on the verandah of his home about to have a drink from this magical keg? Is he at the general store after proudly purchasing another three kegs? Is he at the Singleton railway station after having taken delivery of the kegs?
- How long did this supply last him??
- Who wrote ‘I Growed On This’ on the Keg?
- Why did they write it?
If you have any answers to these questions please put them into the comments box below. Let’s solve the mystery of Richard’s kegs.
Richard Standing was born on 27 May 1856 at Singleton, New South Wales. His father was Henry Standen, a convict who had been found guilty of “House-breaking” and sentenced to death at the Sussex Summer Assizes in 1832. That sentence was commuted to transportation for the term of Henry’s natural life.
Richards mother was Susan TRUNLEY. The six year old Susan arrived in the colony from Dublin in 1832 as an immigrant with her family. Richard’s oldest brother was my 2 x great grandfather George Standing.
Richard married Anna Babette Burgmann in 1876. The couple lived in the Singleton area. Richard Standing died at his home at Jerrys Plains near Singleton on 25 August 1923.
FOUND DEAD. Richard Standing, of Jerry’s Plains, was found dead at his residence. Deceased was 68 years of age, and of large physique, weighing over 20 stone. He had recently been a victim to influenza. He leaves a wife and ten children. An inquest was held, and a finding returned that death was due to heart failure.Northern Star, Saturday 1 September 1923, page 4
Quite the read!
I have no way of knowing with certainty the story behind the photo but using some of the clues I’d like to venture a guess. Richard Standing was large for his era, 20 stone is about 280 pounds and, using other reference points in the photo, I’d say he was over 6 feet tall. With that in mind, he may have been frequently asked: “How did you get to be so big?” So, here he had an opportunity to answer that question, notice his index finger seems to point at his reply. Lastly, looking at the shoe on his right foot it appears to have a rough repair. I would think these are the sort of work shoes you would wear at home and not when going to town, so I vote that Richard is sitting on his own verandah. Perhaps someone, a tavernkeeper, for example, buys Richard’s homebrew and came to the homestead to collect the kegs. Although, why there was a camera handy I cannot fit to my version of the story. Any idea what year this was? Richard appears to be over 50. Fantastic photo, thanks for sharing!
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