Cover image for Jane Emmely  Mcelroy
Jane Emmely Mcelroy
Agency Number:
Start Date:
07 Sep 1872
End Date:
07 Jul 1944
Jane Emmely McElroy (aka Jeannie) was a Tasmanian teacher, historian, author, and co-founder of Franklin House School.
The papers of J E McElroy came to the Archives via two prominent Tasmanian collectors and historical researchers - Pretyman and Crowther. A third collection was donated by Linda Monks (NG179).
She was the daughter of William Watchorn Perkins (NG231) and Jane Eliza (nee Winter) of Mawhere, Lower Sandy Bay. Born in 1872, at Greymouth New Zealand, she arrived with her parents in Tasmania in 1884.
Jane taught private pupils before teaching at the Girls High School, Barrack Square, and undertaking a short period as the head teacher at Hutton Park School, Spring Hill.
After resigning from her teaching post, Jane married Irish migrant James Alexander McElroy (1866-1946) on 31/12/1900 at St Stephens Church, Lower Sandy Bay. Jane and James had one child, John Denis McElroy, born in 1902. J D McElroy was an industrial chemist based in Launceston.
In 1906 the McElroys established the Franklin House School at 12 Molle Street, Hobart, with James as Headmaster. The school was advertised in the Mercury (20/12/1905) as 'A high class preparatory school for day boys and boarders'. Jane took on the role of caring for the boarders. Shortly after its establishment, the school expanded, taking ownership of a sports ground in Quayle Street. In mid-1917, after Jane's health deteriorated, James retired, and difficulties in replacing one of the main teachers L F Giblin (enlisted in the war effort), the School was taken over by Hutchins School, to be known as the 'Hutchins Junior School'.
James had begun his career at Tedworth State School (Greenponds) and Swansea State School (commencing April 1900). Once their son was born James taught at Bridgewater State School before taking on Franklin House. 
Both Jane and James were heavily involved in the Church of England. James was President of the Church of England League and Jane was a church warden. They were members of St Georges Church, Battery Point. Jane's commitment to the principles of her religion are seen in her Will which states that her burial should be "of the simplest and plainest character" (AD960/1/70 26983/1945)
Jane resided in the later part of her life with James at 4 Stoke Street, New Town.
Most of Jane's manuscripts appear unpublished. Those that were published are usually attributed to 'Mrs J A McElroy'. Her largest work appears to be 'Rachel Standish' a historical novel set in the early days of settlement on the Derwent River. Jane presented three papers to the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1932, 1936, and 1938. Her death, in Hobart on July 7 1944, was noted in the 1944 annual report of the Society.
Information Sources:
Mercury (19/1/1901 p.5; 26/6/1946, p.14; 8/7/1944, p.12; 21/3/1900, p.2; 10/4/1936, p.3; 20/12/1905, p.3; 14/6/1917, p.4); ED2/1/1178; ED2/1/1632.
Functions Performed:
Arts and culture
William Watchorn Perkins and Family (NG231)01 Jan 1867
Series Created By Agency:
NS6205 Scrapbook of J E Mcelroy01 Jan 189007 Jul 1944

NS243 Manuscripts and Correspondence01 Jan 190316 Jan 1944

CRO35 Papers of Jane Emmely Mcelroy (J E Mcelroy)01 Jan 191206 Feb 1943