Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

Richard Papworth Kefford



Richard Kefford was the eldest child of a fishmonger in London’s East End. From these humble beginnings the family migrated to Australia where his father became a successful farmer in Nunawading and Richard junior’s entrepreneurial spirit brought him success and led to the founding of a transport empire.

By the 1850s he was living in Collingwood and married Mary Read in 1855. Working as a carrier, he also acquired a number of timber houses in Oxford Street, Little Oxford Street and Cambridge Street; his father owned two brick shops in Smith Street. He gradually replaced some of his wooden houses with two pairs of bi-chrome brick houses, still standing at 57-63 Oxford Street and forming a notable contribution to the nineteenth-century streetscape of the Collingwood Slope. His own house ran through to Little Oxford Street where there was a pitched entry for the horse and cart to access the stables. After Richard’s death his wife and two unmarried children continued to live at 65 Oxford Street, a double fronted timber house with a separate kitchen.

Unfortunately, Richard had a falling-out with his parents; his father’s will left him only £5: ‘the smallness of the said sum … is owing to the unkindness with which (he) has treated his mother and myself’. He may have been estranged from his many siblings as well.

His sons Alfred and Frederick joined him in the business and continued to expand it in the 20th century. They eventually moved from horse-drawn lorries into trucks and the company evolved into the large Kefford Corporation. In 1976 the Corporation switched to operating buses, but has since sold its holdings to other bus operators

Work Photo 1

Alfred and Frederick c. 1890

Work Photo 2

Kefford lorries

Life Summary

Birth DateBirth Place
1832 (baptised 11 March in Whitechapel St MaryTower Hamlets, England
Spouse NameDate of MarriageChildren
Mary Read28 April 1855 St Kilda7 children born; Richard, Alfred, Jessie and Frederick survived
Home Addresses
Home StreetHome CityStatus of Building
65 Oxford StreetCollingwoodDemolished
Work Addresses
Work StreetWork CityStatus of Building
65 Oxford StreetCollingwoodDemolished
Death DateDeath PlaceCemetery
13 November 1901Collingwood

Wikipedia; City of Collingwood rate books; MMBW Detail Plan 1206

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