KERR, John (1832-1927)

John Kerr was born in the north of Ireland. He arrived in Victoria in 1857 and went to the goldfields and then to the Western district where he worked on John Finlay's station for a few months. He travelled through New South Wales and Queensland with Robert Black, a childhood friend who had accompanied him from Ireland.  Kerr and Black purchased 500 acres about two miles north of Lilydale. Ten years later Black took over the 500 acres and Kerr purchased 1500 on the river flats at Yering which he drained and cleared, naming it Olinda Yarra. He established a large dairy herd of up to 500 cattle and adopted new technologies for cooling and preserving milk.  He married Elizabeth MacIntyre at Coleraine in 1870.

Sources: Val Sheehan, As it happened: the history of Coldstream, Gruyere, Yering and Killara, Lilydale & District Historical Society, n.d., p. 31; Victoria and its metropolis: past and present, Melbourne, 1888, vol. 2, p. 410-11