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Emily Morris (1856-1904)

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Emily Morris
Sex: Female
Birth: 7/1/1856 Adelaide, South Australia
Death: 24/8/1904 Adelaide, South Australia
Father: Richard Morris
Mother: Mary Ann Rundle
Spouse/Partner: Albert William Bonier Hawken
Marriage: 9/8/1882, Willunga, South Australia
2nd Spouse: Arthur Frederick Mills
2nd Marriage: 1/2/1886 Adelaide, South Australia

Emily Morris was born in 1856 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, the 3rd child of Richard and Mary Ann Morris (nee Rundle). Her siblings were Eliza, Richard, Harriet, Mary Ann, George, William and Albert. It is beleived that Emily was refered to as 'Amy'. Her father was a labourer and a shoe maker.

First and Second MarriageEdit

Nothing is currently known of Emily's childhood and early years. At age 26 in 1882, she married an Albert William Bonier Hawken in Willunga, south of Adelaide. He came from a big family that lived in the Willunga area at the time. There are no known children from the marriage.

The marriage did not last long, and Emily married a second time on the 1st February 1886 to Arthur Frederick Mills, at the Bible Christian House in Adelaide. The minister and his wife served as witnesses. It should be noted that Emily recorded her status on the second marriage certificate as widow, but this was untrue. Records indicate that her first husband was still alive, married again in Victoria, and had a son with this other wife in 1902.

A search of the records realting to divorce and petitions for dissolution of marriage has found no divorce record for Emily and Albert in South Australia. It is therefore possible that Emily and Arthur's marriage was bigamist, unless Albert had deserted Emily for sucha a considerable period that she could legally be classed as a widow.

DaughterEdit

Emily and Arthur had a daughter, Cissy Cornelia, who was born in August of that year in Sydney, New South Wales. What the couple were doing in the state of New South Wales is currently unknown, but it appears that some of Arthur's siblings may have moved to the state and they could have been visiting them. Cissy would be their only child.

InsolvencyEdit

It is not known when Emily and Arthur came back to South Australia, but when they did, it appears they settled in the Port Pirie area. Arthur was employed in the area as a clerk. Emily appeared before the local court of Insolvency on September 22nd, 1892 for a final hearing, as reported in The Advertiser newspaper, 23rd September 1892. Mr J Duncan appeared as her representative, and a first class certificate was awarded. What she had spent money on is not known at this stage.

Emily mills insolvency

Emily Mills' insolvency

QuackeryEdit

By 1901, Emily's husband Arthur was calling himself "Professor" Mills and had become a well-known "quack" in the city of Adelaide. According to Wikipedia, Quackery is a derogatory term used to describe unproven or fraudulent medical practices. Random House Dictionary describes a "quack" as a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan."

Professor mills ad1

One of Arthur's adverts in the newspaper

There is no evidence of Arthur having attended any educational institution at this point, so the title "Professor" is likely to have been chosen by Arthur in attempt to give himself some credibility. In reality, it appears that people may have known that the title was not real, and used the term 'Professor' in a derogatory manner when speaking about Arthur, to describe a 'know-it-all'. This is weighed out by family stories passed down the generations about daughter Cissy chastising people who used the term 'Professor' to describe others incorrectly.

Arthur advertised his services in The Advertiser newspaper, almost on a weekly basis between 1901 and 1908. He called his office the Snoyah Medical Institute, and it was located on the corner of Grote Street and Victoria Square. He later moved to 19 Flinders Street, and would consult between the hours of 10am to 9pm. An advert from July 1903 reads as follows:-



Why the thousands of MEN and WOMEN in the Australian States have consulted PROFESSOR A. MILLS is because they have been recommended to do so by their friends. I have made an original and exhaustive study of Nervous Diseases, and will GUARANTEE a CURE in each case I undertake. IT IS DIFFICULT TO REALISE. But it is true. If you suffer from Nervous Debility, Exhausted Vitality, Loss of Memory, Spots Before the Eyes, Dizziness, Sleeplessness, Tired Feeling in the Morning, with a Bad Taste in the Mouth, Kidney, Bladder, or Stomach Troubles. LET ME CONVINCE YOU that I CAN Cure You. You can do so by calling, or, if convenient, by letter enclosing stamps for reply. Consultation is FREE. I guarentee to restore health to the most ragged and weak constitution. ON ALL COMPLAINTS, MALE OR FEMALE, consult me at once. Why continue to suffer? You can be treated equally as well at your own home as at my rooms. Delay no longer. Hours, 10 to 9 daily. PROFESSOR A. MILLS, 19 Flinders-street, near G.P.O, Adelaide


It appears Arthur may have been doing good business in 1903 as he had enough resources to request the services of several people to assit with his business, mostly to deliver hand bills. It is also possible that he may have used the business as a cover for other for other activities, as he advertises frequently in the lost-and-found section of The Advertiser, describing objects of considerable wealth including a single stone diamond ring, a gold pin and a bank book.

It is unknown exactly when Arthur came back to Adelaide to start his business, but records from the Adelaide City Archives have traced his premises in the city of Adelaide. They are as follows:-

1 grote st

One of Arthur's shopfront locations at 1 Grote Street. The Hilton Hotel now stands here.

  • 1894 - 16 Sturt Street
  • 1895 - 21 Carrington Street
  • 1896 - 1 Grote Street
  • 1897 - 1899 - 23 Flinders Street
  • 1900 - 1903 - 1 Grote Street
  • 1904 - 1905 - 19 Flinders Street
  • 1906 - 1908 - 27 Carrington Street

Death and BurialEdit

Emily died on the 24th August 1904 from the effects of alcoholism and was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide. The headstone was erected by her mother, sister and brother, and memorium notices were placed in the newspaper over several years by her daughter Cissy. By the 4th November, her husband Arthur had married again to Adelaide Ellen Starr, a 23 year old, at Miss Hand's Private Hospital in Adelaide. He would die in 1908.

ChildrenEdit

Name Birth Death
Children of Arthur and Emily Mills


Cissy Cornelia 18/08/1886
Sydney, New South Wales
3/2/1961
Fullarton, South Australia


ReferencesEdit

  • South Australian Births, Deaths and Marriage registrations
  • The Advertiser newspaper, 23/9/1892
  • Wikipedia article on Quackery
  • The Adelaide City Archives
  • The Advertiser newspaper, advertising section 1901-1908

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