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Hutton, James Carruthers (c. 1845–1886)

by Chris Cunneen

James Carruthers Hutton (c.1845-1886) produce merchant

Birth: about 1845 at Lochgilphead, Argyleshire, Scotland, son of James Hutton (1824-1897), warehouseman, and Ann Agnes, née Ferguson (1811-1902). Marriage: 7 November 1868 with Bible Christian rites in South Preston, Victoria, to native-born Sarah Ann White (1850-1904), a housekeeper. They had five daughters and four sons. Death: 24 October 1886 in Wymouth’s Temperance Hotel, High Street, Echuca, Victoria. Religion: Wesleyan. 

  • Arrived in Melbourne, Victoria, as an assisted immigrant with his parents and siblings aboard the Chowringhee on 3 July 1852.
  • Was employed at the Pioneer bacon factory of William Paterson and William Watson.
  • In 1873 set up, on his own account, a small-goods and curing manufacturing company in Preston, Melbourne. Company grew and expanded to Queensland in 1882 and New Zealand in 1883.
  • Interested in local politics, he was councillor and sometime president of Coburg Shire Council. From 1883 to his death he was councillor on the Jika [later Preston] Shire Council, representing Preston riding. Supported Robert Harper, the conservative member of the Legislative Assembly.
  • Cause of death: phthisis.
  • After his death J. C. Hutton Pty Ltd was run by his widow, brother William, and other trustees and continued to prosper. By 1903 it was reputedly the largest in Australia, famous for its Pineapple brand bacon and hams. It had expanded to all Australian States by 1908, when it opened its factory at Canterbury, Sydney.
  • Like other iconic Australian companies, it folded in the 1980s. The company’s "Don’t Argue"  trademark, dating from about 1911, was one of Australia’s most enduring images.

Brian Carroll and Ian Rule, Preston: an illustrated history (Preston, 1985).

Additional Resources

  • death notice, Illustrated Australian News, 13 November 1886, p 191
  • will, Melbourne Punch, 18 November 1886, p 9

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Hutton, James Carruthers (c. 1845–1886)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 1 April 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012