In the 1860’s George Critchell and his family were living in the old cottage which was the head station of the Murtho Run.
Tragedy struck the family when, in 1869, a son, George John, age 2½, drowned, and then again in 1871, then the two daughters Sarah, aged 14 and Thursa, 16, also drowned together. Their graves, along with that of their father George (who also drowned) are found here. There are conflicting stories about how George died however the official line is that he drowned after falling off the back of a paddle steamer.
From the early 1900s until 1949 the two properties now known as Wilkadene and Murtho Park respectively formed one large station run by the Wilkinson family.
Arthur and Caroline lived in the old cottage where they raised six children until 1914, when they moved into the newly completed homestead now known as Wilkadene. Here four more children were born, including a daughter, Muriel, who died in infancy and is also buried in the cemetery with the Critchell family.
When Arthur died in 1949 the property was split up between his two sons, Bill and Jim, (Arthur and Caroline had nine children altogether two boys and seven girls). Bill took the half which included their grandfather’s house, and retained the name “Murtho Park” while Jim inherited Arthur’s house and named his property “Wilkadene”.
Under the management of Jim Wilkinson, Wilkadene was a thriving wheat and sheep farm. Jim tragically died in a car accident in 1965.