Notable South Australians/W. W. R. Whitridge
W. W. R. Whitridge,
WHO was a native of Oswestry, England, was born December 26, 1824, and died at Enfield, South Australia, May 26, 1861, aged 36 years. In early life he went to London, and was connected with some of the leading periodicals of the day. In 1847 he returned to his native town, and established a magazine called Oswald's Well, which realized a tolerable sale for fifteen months, and in which he wrote the principal articles. In January, 1849, Mr. Whitridge issued the first number of the Oswestry Advertiser, a newspaper which has a large circulation at the present day. This he edited for about eighteen months, and then, long before the tide of immigration had set in, he sailed for Adelaide. Soon after his arrival, in conjunction with Mr. Garran (a student from Spring Hill College, Birmingham), Mr. Whitridge started a paper under the title of The Austral Examiner, but a sudden depression in trade ruined the speculation, and Mr. Garran got an appointment on the staff of the S. A. Register, and the subject of this sketch abandoned literature for a time and commenced farming. He had, however, made for himself a name amongst the literati of Adelaide, and after the lapse of a few months was offered the appointment on the Register held by Mr. Garran, that gentleman having accepted the position of editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. In a very few months Mr. Whitridge was appointed one of the editors, which position he held to the day of his death. He took a warm and practical interest in the public institutions of the colony, and was for some time one of the two Presidents of the Society of Arts. He was one of the committee of the "Adelaide Philosophical Society," and frequently lectured in the public halls of the colony; his last lecture, on "Wordsworth," being delivered shortly before his death before the members of the South Australian Institute, His Excellency the Governor being in the chair. His spare hours, however, were not altogether devoted to pursuits of this nature. He was a moderate sportsman, and a successful shot in the "South Australian Free Rifles." Although he was necessarily fully occupied by his duties as editor of a daily journal, he found time for farming, of which he was passionately fond, and to the last managed a plot of land of ninety-two acres about five miles from Adelaide, where he resided, and chiefly worked between the hours of Ave and nine in the mornings. Mr. Whitridge died of pleurisy after only a fortnight's illness, and South Australia mourned for one of her most useful colonists.