On 12 November 1913, Hannah, daughter of Mr and Mrs John Wallis, was married at her father’s homestead “Ellerslie”, Bulga. The bridegroom was Benjamin Webster, a timber worker many years her senior.1
Hannah and Benjamin settled into life on the Plateau. However, over the years relations between them soured and, notwithstanding their large family, they separated in 1931.2
By 1933 Hannah had formed a relationship with Joseph Todd, a married man who had deserted his wife two years earlier.3 Hannah wished for a divorce and for Benjamin to transfer their Bulga property to Todd.
In June 1933 Benjamin, who remained on the Bulga, was violently ill after eating his evening meal. He was admitted to the Manning River District Hospital in Taree where he was treated for strychnine poisoning. His life was saved and Hannah was charged with the crime. She was committed for trial, but found not guilty.4
Returning to her property on the Bulga, relations between Hannah and Benjamin continued to fester and in 1938 a Hannah Webster was stated to be living in Isabella Street, Wingham.5
With her Bulga property forfeited to the Government in 1939 because of arrears,6 she appears to have left the district.
Author: Penny Teerman
1 Manning River Times,Saturday 22 November 1913 Pg 6
2 Manning River Times,Wednesday 26 July 1933 Pg 4
3 Manning River Times,Saturday 29 July 1933 Pg 5
4 The Sun,(Sydney) Thursday 2 November 1933 Pg 19
5 Wingham Chronicle,Friday 28 January 1938 Pg 4
6 NSW Government Gazette Friday 29 December 1939 (Issue 202)