William John Rout, born in 1843, was the son of Basil Rout of Colac, Victoria. The Rout ironmongery business was established in Hobart in 1824. W J Rout opened new premises in Charles Street, Launceston and Gilbert Street, Latrobe. He married Katherine Frances McKay on 27 March 1875 and had three daughters, Ettie, Nellie and Lilian. The family moved to New Zealand where William died in 1932 aged 89.