Andrew Gordon Jessen

Male 1920 - 2006  (86 years)


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  • Name Andrew Gordon Jessen 
    Nickname Sam 
    Born 17 Aug 1920  Kingaroy District, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Queensland Electoral Roll 1943 - 1954  Wooroolin near Kingaroy Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Queensland Electoral Roll 1943
    Division, Maranoa - Subdivision, Nanango
    2968: Jessen, Andrew Gordon, Wooroolin, farmer

    Queensland Electoral Roll 1954
    Division, Fisher - Subdivision, Nanango
    Jessen, Andrew Gordon, Wooroolin, farmer
    Jessen, Vera Grace, Wooroolin, home duties
     
    Died 16 Dec 2006  Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Obituary 20 Dec 2006  Kingaroy, Queensland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gordon 'Sam' Jessen
    December 20, 2006
    East Wooroolin peanut grower Gordon "Sam" Jessen, a stalwart of the industry and PCA's longest delivering farmer, passed away this week aged 86.
    Gordon is survived by his sons Dennis, Joe, Blue and Noel and daughter Arlene and grandchildren.
    Back in 2004, we interviewed Gordon after he had just delivered his 70th consecutive peanut crop to PCA, a record that is never likely to be broken.
    A Funeral Service was held at St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, Kingaroy, on Wednesday, December 20, followed by a Committal Service at Memerambi Cemetery
    (Peanut Company of Australia) 
    Buried 20 Dec 2006  Memerambi Cemetery, Queensland, Austalia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Funeral Service at All Angels Anglican Church, Kingaroy.
      He was aged 86 years
      Buried in Section 1, Plot No 189.
    Notes 
    • Agricultural News

      70 Years Without A Break

      Gordon Jessen
      September 28, 2004

      The 2004 peanut harvest marked two special milestones for East Wooroolin grower Gordon Jessen, (right), it was his "best ever" season and marked the 70th year he has been delivering peanuts to PCA.

      That's right ... 70 years without missing one season!

      Gordon is 84 years young and entered the peanut business after leaving school at the tender age of 14. His father Peter, a pioneer peanut grower in the Wooroolin area, offered to pay him "25 bob" a week (25 shillings or $2.50) to work on the farm or give him 5 acres (2ha) of peanuts. Gordon chose the peanuts and earned 2 1/2d a pound for his first crop.

      Of course in those days Gordon was delivering to the Peanut Marketing Board, the forerunner of today's PCA. But one thing hasn't changed ... his loyalty to Virginia-style peanuts.

      Jessen-built thresher
      Back in 1934 he was growing VBs, then for at least 15 years it was "Selection 5", another Virginia variety. Now he grows VB97s exclusively and this year delivered 46 tonnes off 16ha.

      Gordon has about 160ha at East Wooroolin and Corndale and runs cattle as well as growing peanuts, sorghum, corn and wheat. But peanuts are his favourite - "the best moneyspinner of them all!"

      In his heyday he had about 60ha planted with peanuts and the crop provided Gordon and his wife Vera with a good livelihood over the years.

      Gordon bought out his father and he and Vera, (pictured driving the tractor), raised four boys including Melville - better known as "Joe" - who now half-shares the property and looks after the cattle side of the business, and one daughter.

      The family boasts of a number of peanut industry "firsts" ... father Peter built a peanut thresher from the ground up ignoring the converted wheat threshers then doing the rounds of the district.

      Peter was also one of the original instigators of the Peanut Marketing Board and Gordon can remember his father delivering peanuts to the Board's first shed, on Billy Muir's property at Crawford.

      In 1937, the family put in the first contours in East Wooroolin.
      Grandfather A.F. "Fred" Jessen stands on top of the thresher with young Gordon. Father Peter is standing next to the machine. Peter built this thresher from the ground up at a time when other threshers were being converted from wheat threshers
      lifting stooks onto tabletop truck
      The Jessen family carts peanut stooks to their thresher. Gordon is standing next to the cart and his wife Vera is driving the tractor. Two men lifted each stook on a long stick.

      "Pop set up a spirit level on a drum and then put it on a little tilt. I walked around and made the mark where we would make the contour. That contour is still around," Gordon said.

      Vera passed away nine years ago leaving Gordon on his own with his favourite dog. When his dog died last year Gordon swore he was too old to get another but then "Mate" turned up (with a bit help from Joe) ... and they can't be separated.

      Gordon's other great love - apart from Virginia peanuts, his family and his dog - is fishing. For many years he regularly camped at Sandy Cape on Fraser Island, netting fish from the beach. He had a shack, complete with refrigerator, and it was the perfect life until the State Government changed and declared the shacks illegal.

      "I defied the ALP for a couple of years but then one day they came and pulled the whole lot down and carted it away," he said. Gordon promptly gave up his fishing trips.

      Gordon Jessen was also one of the biggest dozing contractors in the region, operating four big Allis Chalmers tractors, pushing scrub and pulling timber for farmers and the State Forestry.

      2003-2004 was Gordon's best-ever season.

      1952 Picker Thresher"We had never planted that late before, well into December. I planted VB97 Enhanced No 1s as I could not get the VB97 2s. It was one of the worst plants I've had (big seed) but then we ended up with one of the best seasons!"

      His secrets of success?

      Cultivating the ground, keeping the crop clean and a rum every night before tea!

      ABOVE RIGHT: This pickup thresher, pictured on 'Bellgrove' at Gordonbrook, was built in 1952 by Peter Jessen (driving) and Gordon (standing). Gordon says it was the first pickup peanut thresher built in Australia.
      (The Peanut Company of Australia)
    Person ID I7755  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 11 Aug 2014 

    Father Andrew Peter Jessen,   b. 30 Mar 1895, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Mar 1971, Gympie or Kingaroy District, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Emma Martha Klee,   b. 23 Apr 1893, Lowood, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Mar 1948, Kingaroy Hospital, Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Married 05 Mar 1918  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Marriage Registration
      Surname: KLEE; Given Names: EMMA MARTHA: Marriage: 05.03.1918: Spouse: JESSEN, ANDREW PETER; Reg No 1918/B21292 [Source: Queensland Marriage Register]
    Family ID F1442  Group Sheet

    Family Vera Grace McLennan,   d. 16 Aug 1995, Kingaroy District, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 11 Aug 2014 
    Family ID F4843  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Gordon Jessen
(Andrew Gordon Jessen
    Gordon Jessen (Andrew Gordon Jessen
    Andrew Gordon "Sam" Jessen
    17 Aug 1920, Kingaroy District, Queensland, Australia - 16 Dec 2006, Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia
    Buried in Memerambi Cemetery, Queensland




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