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Biographical entry West, John (1856 - 1926)

23 August 1856
Mount Ararat, Victoria, Australia
22 February 1926
Toolern Vale, Victoria, Australia
Journalist and Horticulturalist


John West bought 22 acres (8.9 ha) of land (Milvina) in 1886 in the first irrigation settlement in Victoria. He worked on his land until 1903, supplying vine cuttings for Chaffey Bros; propagating peach, pear and apricot stock for the orchards of Ardmona; and training future horticulturalists till 1903. He also worked at various times as a journalist and was active in public affairs. West was prominent in Victoria's pre-Federation politics, founded the Triple Reform League in 1894 and was a founding member of the Kyabram reform movement c.1902.


At age 13 John West worked as a garden and stablehand, before joining Brunnings Nursery and attending night-school to qualify as a state schoolteacher. After graduation he taught at Tatura and Murungi in Victoria then worked as the farming editor for the "Shepparton News" for some years. West founded the "Euroa Advertiser" in 1885 and then bought his Milvina property in 1886. In 1890 he studied irrigation in California for the Australian government. In 1903 he 'retired' from Milvina he joined the Argus and worked on a farm at Toolern Vale.

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Steven, Margaret, 'West, John (1856-1926), Journalist, Horticulturist and Irrigation Pioneer', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 445-446. Also available at Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker