John Egge was born in Shanghai China in 1830. As a young man he worked a sampan on the Yangtze River. At 16 he sailed to Australia as cabin boy with Captain Francis Cadell.
Egge was the cook on Cadell’s PS Lady Augusta which raced with Captain Randall’s vessel, PS Mary Ann in 1853, to be the first to navigate the river between Goolwa, South Australia and the Junction.
At the Junction, the silt laden Darling River reminded Egge of China’s Yellow River. In 1859, he settled in Wentworth with his English wife Mary Perring and they raised eight children.
In 1866 he chartered his first river boat PS Treviot. By 1870, Egge was established as one of the biggest traders on the Murray Darling and his on-shore business interests had expanded at the same rate as his river trade. He also owned property in several towns on the Murray and Darling Rivers.
At various times he owned or captained the Moira, Endeavour, Prince Alfred and the floating emporium Murrumbidgee.
He operated a general store as well as a depot on this wharf, which supplied station properties and towns along both rivers.
Captain Egge died in Wentworth in 1901, and is buried in Wentworth Cemetery.
A bronze statue of Captain John Egge was unveiled at the Wentworth Wharf on 12 June 2009 during the 150th Anniversary of Wentworth. The statue was commissioned by the Wentworth Branch of the National Trust and sculpted by Lynne Edey.
Wentworth Visitor Information Centre
Address: Wentworth Wharf, Wharf Street, Wentworth
Telephone: (03) 5027 5080