Historical information

John Box 1841 - 1913 the 4th son of George and Mary Box, was born in Withyham, Sussex England and came to Australia in 1856 with his parents. He lived and worked on his fathers market garden in East Brighton ( now Bentleigh) for several years and then rented a property in Tucker Road in 1862. John married Martha Sheldrake and they had 10children who were all born in East Brighton ( now Ormond ). After Martha died 1895 John Box married Eleanor Rushall c1900

Eleanor (Nellie) Rushall b 1866 in Fitzroy daughter of George Rushall b 1823 in London and Mary Ann Jones b 1823 in Battersea, who arrived in Portland 1849 and later settled in Fitzroy. George was an Auctioneer and was elected to Council 1874 becoming Mayor of Fitzroy 1875 and the family enjoyed the benefits of their prosperity. She had singing lessons with Dame Nellie Melba. His business foundered during the 1892/93 Bank Crash.
However Nellie is recorded as the owner of the 10 roomed Terminus Hotel in Williamstown a favoured watering hole for the sailors from the many ships that came to the port. Nellie had a daughter Lavilla who sadly died aged 1 year in 1898.
Nellie is then recorded as a housekeeper to a medical doctor in Cockatoo and later working for John Box, in Brighton. She married John Box in 1900 and they had 3 children Nellie, Jack and Alexander. After John Box died 1913, Nellie rented a house on the family estate in Oakleigh. She raised 2 other children Ray and Thelma and received some income by caring for several welfare children. In her later years Nellie lived with each of her children who had inherited from the John Box Estate when they turned 21 years.


John Box is the brother of William Box who, with his wife Elizabeth Box, lived in Box Cottage . John Box was a pioneer market gardener in East Brighton now Bentleigh. He married Martha Sheldrake and they had 10 children. The eldest daughter Rebecca was a Methodist Missionary in China and Alonzo, their 9th child, served in the Army WW1 at Gallipoli, France and Flanders. Rebecca sent the hand embroidered Chinese silk material for the Wedding Dress worn by Mary Closter at her marriage to Alonzo Box 1918. After Martha died he married Eleanor Rushall and they had 3 children. John was well respected by the community and also a Methodist lay preacher.
Box Cottage Museum, a reconstruction of an early settler hut, is named after the Box family who resided there 1865 -1913 . William Box who, with his wife Elizabeth Avis Box and 13 children, lived and farmed on the block of land in Jasper Road, East Brighton ( now McKinnon / Ormond) that was part of the Henry Dendy Special Survey 1841.

Physical description

Three black and white photographs of Eleanor Rushall the 2nd wife of John Box

Inscriptions & markings

A Nellie Rushall; B Mum ( Nana) C possibly 'Eleanor'