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In the Baptist section of the Paddington cemetery is William Grimes, who died on October 30, 1870, aged 60. The stone tells us that he “was the father of Messrs.Grimes of this city.” It also records the death of Ernest Henry Grimes, a grandson, who died on May 12, 1875, aged 6. The Grimes family are prominent in Brisbane history over a considerable period.
Samuel and George Grimes were members of the Assembly as representatives of Oxley and Bulimba. In 1874, S. and G. Grimes, grocers of Queen Street, had a sugar and arrowroot mill at Oxley, adjoining the Pearlwell Estate, owned by Dr. Waugh, one of whose daughters was drowned in the Quetta.
Sam and George Grimes were men of undoubted honesty, but not orators or statesmen. On one occasion when Sam rose to speak, Morehead got up and walked out, remarking: “I can’t stand the hum of that arrowroot mill!” This sarcastic observation referred to the arrowroot making at the Coongoon mills.
Grimes and Petty, and S. and G. Grimes were once familiar firms. One Miss Grimes married J. B. Hall, Accountant in Insolvency. One daughter and one son, Ernest Henry Grimes, remained unmarried.
Jane Bulgin, who died in 1872, was the wife of auctioneer Bulgin, of Brisbane’s early days, and mother of Henry Bulgin, generally known as “Lord Bulgin,” who died recently, leaving a family, of whom one was for a time nurse in the General Hospital.
One of “Lord Bulgin’s” sisters was a girl whose beauty captivated Sam Griffith, Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, and Sam did his best to induce her to become Mrs. Griffith, but Sam was not her ideal, or she had no idea that he would one day have a salary of £3,500, and so she rejected him and married C. C. Carrington, one of the still living men who have been longest in the Civil Service in Queensland.
Clara Reinhard who died on November 27, 1867, was a year old child whose sister was one of the cleverest pupils in the early days of All Hallows Convent School. Can anyone tell us what became of Lillian Reinhard?
William Hickey, who died on August 7, 1871, is under a stone erected by his brother, Matthew Hickey, who was 30 years with D. L. Brown and Co., and is now with Alexander Stewart and Sons. Hickey’s brothers were well known perambulating salesmen in the days when Mallens and Ziemans and other old time peripatetic merchants were out in search of spare cash from the pioneer settlers.
The oldest recorded grave in the cemetery is that of “Margaret Brown, of Ipswich,” native of Kildare, Ireland, who died on August 30, 1845, aged 35. Being Irish, she was evidently no relation of the Ipswich Brown family, which included Peter Brown, once mayor of Ipswich, and a leading architect, as they were all decidedly Scottish, and wore kilts and called themselves “Broon.” So far we have failed to trace the Maggie Brown who was taken out to the Paddington cemetery over sixty five and a half years ago, or three years after Brisbane was thrown open to free settlement, in 1842.
Conspicuous among the graves of the white race is the solitary last resting place of “Sing Cong Long,” in the Presbyterian ground. How came this one lonely disciple of Confucius and Mencius, and Budda, among the adherents of the stern merciless uncompromising John Knox, who bearded the Scottish, Queen Mary, in her den?
Sing Cong Long was a Chinese merchant and fruiterer, who had shops in Albert Street, and was a general favourite with all classes. And yet Sing Cong Long had unscrupulous enemies – with whom he wanted to get even – and he studied the various religions to ascertain which one gave most promise of a conclusive settlement.
He decided in favour of Presbyterianism after reading a translation of a sermon by Calvin, who held that the chief joy of the Blessed was in sitting on the battlements of Heaven and joyfully contemplating the gymnastic performances of lost souls basting in the sulphur ocean of fire underneath! Hence the appearance of Sing Cong Long in the Presbyterian cemetery!
Caroline Jane Blakeney, buried on March 23, 1866, was a little girl, six years and 20 days of age, daughter of William and Eliza Blakeney. Blakeney was the once well known Registrar-General, and son of Judge Blakeney. One of his daughter s married T. H. B. Barron, and another married S. B. Leishman, the squatter.
Both were fine looking women. One of Mrs. Barron’s daughters is the wife of one of Sir Arthur Palmer’s sons. C. J. Blakeney, a once well known lawyer of Brisbane, Cairns, and Cooktown, was another son of the Judge.
Thomas William Hutton, a young man who died in May 1874, was the son of an old gaol warder, whose name is borne by Hutton Lane, between Adelaide and Ann Street. One of his daughters married a son of Stuart Russell, author of the “Genesis of Queensland.”
Maria Passmore, who died on April 11, 1872, aged 27, was the wife of Hugh Passmore, one of a family well known in the early days of Toowoomba, where they were prominent citizens.
Edmund Morris Lockyer, who died on June 28, 1872, aged 62, was a son of Major Lockyer, who came up the Brisbane River in a whaleboat in 1825, and wrote a full description of all he saw. Among the men with him were two red-haired soldiers, at whose fiery ringlets the blacks were much astonished.
Lockyer and his party camped one night at the mouth of Oxley Creek, and in his diary he says, “Emus were running about all night, making an intolerable noise.” As emus do not move at night, and make very little noise at any time, Lockyer evidently referred to the stone plover, usually known as the curlew. Lockyer’s name is handed down to us by Lockyer’s Creek at Gatton, one of the tributaries of the Brisbane River.
Peter and Magdalena Betz buried a year old child on February 20, 1870, Betz kept the West Riding Hotel, at the foot of Queen Street. The only child of William and Ellen Scarr, was buried on October 23, 1874. Scarr was a draughtsman in the Survey Office, and still resides in Brisbane. Very melancholy are these children’s graves.
Edward Hackway, who died on August 18, 1871, aged 41, left a widow, a handsome woman, who married John Killeen Handy, member for the Mitchell in 1863. Bramston petitioned against his return, but the Committee decided that he was legally entitled to hold the seat. The petition was based on the ground that Handy was a priest of the Roman Catholic faith, and as such could not bea member of Parliament.
The chief evidence was that of Dr. Cain, who said that with the Church of Rome, a priest is always a priest, and that he cannot give up, nor can the church take from him, the priestly character conferred by ordination. He might dress like a layman, but he is always a priest.
Even if under major excommunication, he still remains a priest, though cut off from positive and active communion with the faithful. Under minor ex-communication he can still say Mass, and even under major excommunication he can administer baptism in emergencies. Handy said he joined the Church of England in 1863, and next month was married by a Church of England clergyman.
In 1865 he started practice as a barrister in Brisbane, where he had arrived in the previous year. Evidently Mrs. Hackway was Handy’s second wife. Handy’s vote on one occasion saved the Palmer Ministry from defeat, a friendly act not forgotten by Palmer.
An old time publican named Woods kept a hotel in Queen Street, on the site of Todd’s auction mart. He was the man who introduced the first cab to Brisbane, one of the old “jingles” which have long since disappeared, though in a majority over the hansoms for many years. The two seats were back to back, the same as in an Irish jaunting car, but faced to and from the driver, whereas in the Irish car the seats were back to back facing over the wheels. The first “jingle” was received with great applause and much mirth, and as at that time the streets bore no resemblance to a billiard table, it was necessary to hold on securely to avoid being fired out into space.
No citizen of that date was recognised in “society” unless he had been on Woods’ jingle. The driver on one occasion, after taking too much rum on board, drove his astonished steed into the waterhole at the corner of Albert and Adelaide Streets (site of City Hall) and went to sleep on the front seat. Sarcastic bushmen woke him up, and asked if he was fishing. One of them waded in and led the horse out.
A young man of 22 named Martin Collins died on May 2, 1871. His father was a butcher in Queen Street, and one of the family is still in the same trade in Warwick. Mary Jewell, who died in December 1874, aged 41, was the wife of Jewell, whose name is born by Jewell’s Buildings, near the Grand Hotel.
A child’s grave bears the name of Irwin Maling, who was a military captain connected with a detachment of the 50th Regiment, which bore the name of the “Dirty Half-hundred,” a name said to have been acquired by their severe economies in personal expenditure, especially where ladies were concerned. Irwin Maling, was the Captain Maling who was private secretary to Lord Normanby. He was brother-in-law of General English, of the 53rd Regiment, the “Shropshire Dashers.” English married Maling’s sister.
(text missing) Fahey was adopted by the New England blacks, who took him to the triennial festival at the Bunya Mountains. Fahey evidently was quite at home with the blacks, and he remained with the bunya tribes, who ornamented him with raised “Moolgarre” scars on the breast and shoulders, and gave him the native name of “Gilburrie.” He had been 12 years with the blacks, whose language he spoke fluently, when found and brought in by Lieutenant Bligh and the native police in 1854.
He was taken to Sydney, identified by the Superintendent of Convicts, and actually sentenced to 12 months hard labour for absconding 12 years before. Fahey escaped and joined the blacks in 1842, the year in which Davis and Bracefell were brought in by Andrew Petrie. Fahey had a brother, a free man, who came out in 1852, and was in Sydney when his brother was brought in.
After “Gilburrie” Fahey had served his time, the two brothers came to Brisbane, and went to work on Jimbour station under the name of Bryant, but “Gilburrie” was at once recognised by the blacks. Burke, the manager of Jimbour had been killed by the blacks in 1852, not far from the station. The Bells told Fahey that they cared nothing about his previous career; but he only stayed there over one shearing season, and went away to New South Wales where he died.
The other brother, Denis Fahey, came to Brisbane, and worked for William Pettigrew. He was a tall, dark, powerful man, with restless eyes, and an uncontrollable temper. In a row one night at McAdam’s public house, some one struck him with an axe handle from behind, and he died two days after. He is buried in the northwest corner of the Catholic cemetery at Paddington. Some woman who loved him went out every Sunday and placed a bouquet of flowers on his grave for 12 months.
Then she married and went away south, and never more did flowers adorn the grave of Fahey, the wild Hiberian, brother of the still wilder “Gilburrie,” who lies in some unknown grave in the sister State.
Among the dead is one name well known in the Queensland State and Federal service today. On November 12, 1871, Richard Bliss, aged 44, was buried in the Paddington cemetery, and beside him lies his two little girls, Mary Sophia Bertha, and Maud Ethel, who had died in 1865 and 1869, aged six years and one year.
Richard Bliss and family came to Queensland in 1864, in the Flying Cloud, commanded by Captain Jones, who was in after years drowned in the China Seas. The Bliss family, on arrival in Brisbane, went to stay with the Rev. John Bliss, at St. John’s parsonage, in William Street. John and Richard Bliss were brothers, but the clerical Bliss had been out some years before the other, and had ceased to be a new chum when his brother arrived.
Richard Bliss became an officer in the Audit Office, and also the father of six sons, of whom one is today in the Treasury, one in the Lands Office, and two in the Customs, in Brisbane and Townsville. One son, the eldest brother, was a captain in the militia, and was present with Colonel Prendergast at the storming of King Theebaw’s palace. One of the daughters of Richard Bliss married the well known and deservedly respected Dr. Ryan, of Gympie.
Mary Ann Hamilton, who died as a girl, at the age of 13 years, was a daughter of the once well known J. A. Hamilton, who was in charge of Dunwich for over twenty years. One of her brothers is a responsible officer in the Port Office today.
Hamilton, who died some years ago, married a second time, and the second wife is still alive, and at present on a visit to a daughter in North Queensland. By each wife he had a family of six children. There was no better known man in Moreton Bay, and Dunwich has never had a more considerate or sympathetic superintendent.
Among those in the Presbyterian cemetery is Margaret Stewart, who died on August 31, 1858. She was the wife of Hugh Stuart, who died on June 28, 1871, aged 73. Hugh was a popular blacksmith, whose smiddy was at the back of Menzies boarding house, opposite Jerry Scanlan’s hotel in Edward Street. Jerry’s hotel was then kept by a man named Fishley, the predecessor of Jerry. Stewart was an enthusiastic Highlander, and a great patron of the Caledonian sports. Likewise he was a general favourite, and a real good old Scot.
James Paish, who died at the age of 26, on November 16, 1866, was a member of the “Queen’s Own” the 50th regiment, then stationed at Brisbane, in the Petrie Terrace barracks. This regiment left an unpleasant record. They were in frequent conflict with the police, and a source of many troubles. The men had an unsavoury reputation. They were charged with various robberies, and never paid any bills except compelled.
Frequently the police sent at night for the officers to come and take charge of their men, who had been arrested. Three of them assaulted Constable Colahan in Albert Street, which even then had an evil reputation, and had him apparently killed when the police arrived and handled the soldiers roughly, in fact the three of them were knocked out by a present day retired Inspector of Police, renowned for his size as a son of Anak.
In South Brisbane, the redoubtable citizen, Paddy Fox, is the only surviving link that binds us to that Queen’s Own squad of 1868. When the regiment departed, Paddy was left behind. He was either too virtuous or abstemious to continue longer with such a reckless crew, or he was asleep at the hour of despatch.
Henry Watson, who died on December 17, 1861, at the age of 38, was a young man of independent means, whose old country parents were comfortably situated. Watson married a daughter from the Grenier family of South Brisbane. He was the first man who traded in oysters from Moreton Bay to Brisbane. This was a hobby with Watson more than a source of revenue.
He bought a cutter and engaged a man to bring oysters to Brisbane and sell them. The oysters in those days were sold at 10s per bag, or a shilling for a bucketful, and were a much better quality than we get today. Watson’s career was unfortunately cut off at the early age of 38, and the oyster trade languished for two years afterwards.
Two children of Robert D. Henry died at Goodna in 1873 and 1875. Henry was then a warder at Woogaroo, but he was a man who held a sailing master’s certificate, and in after years we find him as captain of the schooner Tom Fisher, which was built on the Clarence, and named after Tom Fisher, the leading storekeeper of Grafton in those days.
The schooner traded for many years between Brisbane and Thursday Island, and is still “going strong.” Captain Henry is at present residing in Ernest Street, South Brisbane. His wife is a sister of David Graham, retired Inspector of Police, well known in Brisbane, Charleville, Rockhampton, Townsville, and Burketown. He is now a resident of Edmonstone Street, South Brisbane.
The first vessel Captain Henry had in Queensland, was the Governor Cairns, which was built in England purposely to be used by the Queensland Government as a pilot schooner. Her construction was supervised by Captain Daniel Boult, and she was brought over by Captain Cairncross, nephew of the Captain Cairncross who resided at Wattlebrae, near Bulimba.
Captain Henry had charge of the Governor Cairns, for some years in Moreton Bay, where she was the pilot schooner. In the first days of the annexation of New Guinea, she was chartered as a yacht for the use of the Government. Then she had a term of service at Cooktown and Thursday Island. About two years ago, Captain Henry bought her as a speculation, and sold her in Sydney at a profit. This vessel had a varied and successful career at least so far as escaping accidents or wreck was concerned.
Mary Baird was the wife of the Rev. John Wilson, a Presbyterian parson, who lived near the Christian Brothers, on Gregory Terrace. She died on January 17, 1866, aged only 29. Wilson preached in the old Wharf Street church, and is remembered as a good preacher, and all round real fine fellow. He is the subject of a very comical reminiscence.
Two immigrant ships had arrived, and on board were many girls, some of whom were of a somewhat frivolous disposition, girls for whom Mrs. Grundy had no terrors. When one loose onshore these festive ladies atoned for the restraint of the sea voyage. Their conduct was giddy in the extreme. Three of the choicest and their gentlemen friends took possession of Wilson’s hay loft under the impression that it was some peculiar sort of Australian bedroom.
Wilson heard the voices and advanced towards the loft in the form of a hollow square, or some other military figure, and overheard remarks which turned half his hair grey. He turned and fled to the police station, muttering a prayer as he ran. At the station he found the giant O’Driscoll, the genial Inspector Andrew of today, and told him a dreadful tale. O’Driscoll asked him if he would like them all hanged or merely admonished and discharged.
Wilson wanted them all arrested before they set fire to his hay loft. O’Driscoll’s office was then in Adelaide Street, next to the old Wesleyan church. He took two policemen with him, and Wilson, in a cab, and the four started for the scene of operations. The night was dark and heavy rain was falling. O’Driscoll got a ladder, and climbed up to the loft, followed by Wilson. Both stepped inside, and O’Driscoll lit a candle. The scene that presented itself turned the balance of Wilson’s hair grey.
Lying on the hay were three very scantily dressed ladies, and three gentlemen wearing nothing, all sound asleep. One of the three “gentlemen” was an American black, whose dark skin contrasted conspicuously with the snow white limbs of his “lady,” who was said to be a splendid specimen of a woman.
The scene in which she figured was one that could only be described in a language that no reader of “Truth” could understand. And all this in a clergyman’s hay loft! It was blasphemy, sacrilege, atheism, and – most unbecoming! The stern O’Driscoll was so shocked that he held on to a rafter to keep himself from falling out of the loft. Wilson clasped his hands and muttered, “Merciful God, what sons and daughters of Bekal are these?”
Then duty called, and the warlike voice of the representative of O’Driscoll’s warrior race, woke the three brides and bridegrooms up in a hurry. Seeing the colossal form of O’Driscoll standing over them, they at first took him for Beelzebub, and gave a yell that was heard at Sandgate! The ladies completed their toilet in record time, and the sad procession of six were marched down to the cells and locked up.
They were brought up next day, and, after a severe reprimand, discharged. One of them was a humorist. He said they all went to the clergyman to get married, and as it was a wet night and rather late when they arrived, they did not like to disturb him before morning! There was necessarily a great future before that man, in fact he became in after years a Brisbane alderman, and what giddier height could any man attain?
The bride of the dark gentleman settled in Albert Street, where she had a home for years, renowned for its hospitality to paying guests! Finally she captivated a well off gentleman from the bush, and he married her and took her home, and she became the mother of some very fine children, and was an exemplary wife.
She had proved the truth of the adage that virtue is its own reward! To mention her descendants would be to heave a bombshell into a circle of some of Brisbane’s most select society, so we merely shed a tear and pass on to the next. It may be as well to mention, however, that Wilson’s yardman was responsible for the party in the hay loft.
Wilson always said a short prayer when he thought of the horrors of that awful night. A well known son of that dear old clergyman married the widow of squatter Clapperton. She was originally a Miss Kendall, a very accomplished, fine girl, who was educated at the Brisbane Convent School.
Graham Lloyd Hart was the three year old son of his well known father of that name, founder of the legal firm of Roberts and Hart, merged into Hart, Mein and Flower, then Hart and Flower, then Hart, Flower and Drury, and finally Flower and Hart. Hart was one of the directors in the troubled times of the Queensland National Bank. The child died on April 10, 1874.
Among the un-recorded dead is a half caste named “Macinnon,” who died in 1869. He was the son of an old pioneer “Paddy Macinnon,” who was out in 1847 with McPherson, on Mount Abundance station, which he had taken up on Sir Thomas Mitchells’ description in 1846. Paddy was stockman for Macpherson, and is described as a wild character, who lived for years with the blacks.
When the blacks finally drove Macpherson off the station, he gave Paddy all the stock that was left. In years afterwards, Paddy made periodical trips to Dalby or Drayton, with a small mob of fat cattle, and had a wild spree while the proceeds lasted.
There was no Roma before 1862, in fact a sketch of it in 1864 shows a primitive settlement of half a dozen houses and the post office. Paddy had the usual platonic affection with an aboriginal lady, whose name was “Concern,” who bore him a son, the usual result of platonic affections that are prolonged beyond a reasonable limit, and when Paddy died at Forester’s public house on the Condamine in 1861, the boy, whose native name was “Wyreela,” passed into other hands, and finally reached Brisbane, where he died in 1869, aged 21 years, the cause of death being inflammation of the lungs. He is buried in the lowest part of the Church of England ground at Paddington.
Buried near him, in the same month, was an old ex-convict named Tom Davis, who came out with the convict ship, Eudora, in 1838. After the vessel left Liverpool, someone confessed to committing the crime for which Davis was sentenced, and a pardon for him came out on the next ship. Davis worked on Captain Cadell’s steamer, the “Lady Auguste,” the first vessel that ever ascended the Murray.
The Governor of South Australia, Sir Henry Young, was on board that pioneer ship. Davis also worked, in 1846, for the Tyson brothers, the afterwards well known Jimmy Tyson, and his brother, on some country they took up at the junction of the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee.
Davis came to Brisbane in 1858, and went up to the disastrous Canoona gold rush, on the Fitzroy. He returned to Ben and was engaged by Murray Prior for Maroon station, where he remained for twelve months, and thence went to Toolburra, until October 1867, when Nash discovered gold. Davis went to Gympie, did well there for two years, prospected in the Bopple scrub, got fever there, came to Brisbane, and died in a friend’s home in Turbot Street. He had a brother lost in the “Fiery Star,” burned at sea, on Good Friday, 1865.
Ella Lavinia, wife of Daniel Skyring, was the ancestress of all the Skyrings of the present day. Daniel owned all the land where All Hallows Convent stands, and used it chiefly as a pineapple garden, where he grew some of the best pines in the market. Likewise he owned, known as “Skyring’s quarries,” to the present time.
While Skyring grew fine pineapples and grapes, his wife and two daughters had charge of a drapery establishment, the “Beehive” at the corner of Queen and Edward Streets, where Hunter’s boot shop is today. Dan Skyring, jun., had a dairy farm out at Kedron, and brought fresh milk to town. It was pure milk, as there were no poisonous “preservatives” in those days.
Daniel junior and his brother Zachariah, went afterwards to reside at Gympie. Old Mrs. Skyring died on July 27, 1863, aged 59, and the coffin was exhumed on March 26, 1882, and removed to the Toowong cemetery.
Mrs. Skyring is now buried in the Toowong cemetery, near Governor Blackall, and over her is a handsome monument. Her son, George, in after years, was owner of Baffle Creek Station, where his first wife died. She was a Miss Waldron of Fortitude Valley. George died at Gympie, where he was at the time Inspector of Slaughter Houses.
Miss Waldron was a sister of Mrs. Steele, now widow of the late chemist Steele. She survived Steele, and at present resides at South Brisbane. Zechariah Skyring and his wife died within a week or two at Gympie. Daniel, who had the dairy at Kedron, married a Miss Payne, daughter of Thomas Payne, a once well known and much respected farmer at Oxley.
He had four daughters, all handsome, fine specimens of women. One married William Dart, now orchardist on the Blackall, but at that time owner of Dart’s sugar mill, where the St. Lucia Estate is, on the Brisbane River. Another is the present Mrs. Reeves, of Toowong, and the fourth became Mrs. Elferson, of Gympie, now a resident of Gympie. Daniel Skyring is still alive, and residing retired on the North Coast. The Skyrings were one of the oldest Brisbane families.
George Dudley Webb, who died on September 11, 1870, aged 70, was secretary and general manager of the A.U.S.N. Company. He and W. J. Costin, the chemist, were two men chosen by the shareholders of the Brisbane Permanent Building Society, in 1863, to audit the books. Alfred Slaughter was the manager of the company, and old Robert Cribb was one of the principal shareholders.
Cribb bossed Slaughter and had a free and easy way of taking deeds away to his own office, and some were not returned. This gave the shareholders an idea that there was something wrong, and hence the audit by Webb and Costin. No one doubted old Bobbie Cribb’s honesty, but he had a loose style of doing business, and the auditors found it necessary to enter a protest.
This made the old fellow very wild, and he assailed the auditors in great style, but they all survived. One of Webb’s daughters, a girl named Alice, aged 19, died on November 14, 1864. His son, Ernest Webb, was a well known man as Resident Secretary of the A.M.P. Society. He married a daughter of L. A. Bernays. Ernest was an enthusiast in boating, and was an active member of the rowing club.
It is quite certain that Webb’s early death was attributable to chiefly to an unlucky speculation in Mount Morgan shares. He was one of the victims of Billy Pattison’s foolish bet of £10,000 that shares would reach £20. Webb bought heavily and found himself involved when shares were falling. The prospect of failure broke his heart in a few days after the receipt of the bad news. His brother, Harry Webb, went in for pastoral pursuits, on the Logan.
Daniel Petersen, who died on January 21, 1855, aged 46, was a grocer and storekeeper, next McCabe’s wharf, South Brisbane. The business was continued by Petersen and Younger, the son and son-in-law.
One of the sons was the afterwards well known Seth Petersen, who distinguished himself while in the position of Registrar in Brisbane, and in after years left for the south. One of his brothers was presiding at the recent Valley election.
William and Ellen Scarr buried their only child at that time, on October 23, 1874. Scarr is now retired on pension, and resides at “Alsatia” on Dornoch Terrace, South Brisbane. He was father of Scarr, the footballer, who died recently from blood poisoning.
Scarr senior had a brother prominent in racing, and as handicapper in New South Wales. Another brother, Frank Scarr, was a surveyor and land commissioner. A township was once surveyed on Bowen Downs, near Muttaburra, and called “Scarrbury,” in honor of Scarr, but the town never got beyond the name.
A year old child named Moreton Bradley Lytton Hitchins died on February 25, 1876, his father being a clerk in the Post Office in the days of Salisbury, R. T. Scott, Crosby, and Lawry.
A young fellow named William Ker Atchison, died in November 1868, aged only 27. He was a Customs agent, and a general favourite, but consumption ended his career in the morning of his days.
In the north west corner of the Church of England portion, is an old timber getter, who was a cedar cutter on the Maroochy River, at the time of a remarkable tragedy in that locality. The timber getters were all in camp on Sunday, and there was a wild unholy revel on over proof rum. This began on Saturday, and continued over Sunday.
One man, a big, powerful fellow, took rather too much rum, divesting himself of all his clothes, and started to chase the wife of one of the other men. She ran into the hut, got the husband’s gun, and ran to another hut, the rum maddened man in pursuit. She met him at the corner of the hut face to face and fired, the charge of No 2 shot striking him in the stomach. In three minutes he was dead.
It was a dramatic and tragic scene! At the same camp, some of the blacks who were working for the cedar cutters were also given an excessive share of rum, and three of them went to sleep on the beach at low tide. The rum had paralysed them to such an extent that even the rising tide failed to rouse them, so they were all drowned, and their three dead bodies were found close together on the beach next morning.
The other blacks took them away and probably ate them, as they would not regard rum as a poison. In after years it was said that beach was haunted, and there were men who declared they saw the mad cedar getter racing round among the trees, and the drowned blacks walking on the sand.
Others said they saw the ghost of Stevens, the botanist, who was murdered by the blacks in 1866, at the “Dead Man’s Waterhole,” near Mooloolah. The rum in those days was good, and men saw nothing worse than ghosts.
With the rum of today men see nothing but devils, especially ferocious class of devils with iron teeth, arms like those of an octopus, and the green and yellow eyes of a crocodile.
Gilbert Elliott Gore was a child buried on May 30, 1875. This child was evidently named from Gilbert Elliott, the first Speaker in the first Queensland Parliament. He was proposed by St. George R. Gore, seconded by Macalister, and chosen unanimously. The original Gores took up Yandilla and Tummaville stations on the Downs in the early forties.
One of these, Robert Gore, and his wife, Mary and child were drowned in the wreck of the steamer, Sovereign, outside the South Passage, at Moreton Island, on the 11th of March, 1847. The Gore best known in Brisbane was Ralph Gore, who was for years Immigration Agent, and Visiting Justice at St. Helena and Dunwich. He married a daughter of E. I. C. Browne M.L.C., of the legal firm of Little and Browne.
One of Morehead’s jokes referred to this firm which he called the “Snipe lawyers,” as “the snipe is little and brown, with an absurdly long bill.” They had done some work for Morehead and the bill made him gasp for breath. When Gore died, his widow resided for some time in their old home at New Farm.
During a voyage to the old country with Captain Withers, of the Quetta, she and that giddy mariner, contracted a platonic friendship of the kind common among sea captains, and he deserted his wife to fly with his new found love, forgetting his wife. Old Browne, M.L.C., was a wealthy man, and chief owner of the “Courier.”
His share went to Mrs. Gore, who is today chief owner of that journal. Of course, Captain Withers was aware of Mrs. Gore’s financial position, but captains are never influenced by considerations of wealth. They invariably marry for pure love, and live the simple life – when there is no chance of any other variety.
Ralph Gore inherited a title, and was Sir Ralph at the time of his death. This title is now borne by his eldest son, who is an officer in the army. There were two other children who are said to be still alive, and the infant “Gilbert Elliott” in the Paddington cemetery.
William Holbrook, who died on January 15, 1870, aged 36, was a young man employed as jeweller by Flavelle Brothers and Roberts, of that date, and the neat headstone was erected “as a token of respect by the employees” of that firm.
Harry Dobbin Shepperson was the two year old son of Harry and Mary Shepperson, and died on September 11, 1870. There is also a son who lived only for one day. This is the Harry Shepperson, a stationer, who has been previously mentioned as the gay Lothario who fled with the giddy actress, though some old colonists fiercely affirm that Buxton was the faithless man who deserted his wife to browse on fresh theatrical fields and pastures new. However, but for these “Bygone” reminiscences, the loves and hates of all parties concerned would be as a tale that was told by some unrecorded narrator in a long forgotten age.
On July 1, 1873, a Scottish visitor, travelling for his health, died in Brisbane. His name was John Howie, and he died at the age of 50. The stone over his grave was placed there by his nephew James Isles, whose mother was a Miss Howie. James Isles came to Queensland in 1862, and in 1866 he and Tom Finney bought out the drapery business of T. F. Merry in Fortitude Valley.
They continued that business there until 1870, when they removed to the corner of Queen and Edward Streets, where the original title of the firm is retained by the widely known Finney, Isles and Co., of today, now fronting Edward and Adelaide Streets, and withdrawn from their old Queen Street corner. James Isles was a true type of old Caledonia’s sons, and the physical vigour of his race was transmitted to his own five sons, all of whom were champion athletes, whose performances are recorded in Perry and Carmichael’s “Athletic Queensland.”
The well known J. T. Isles, of Isles, Love and Co., among other performances, won the 440 yards Footballers’ Handicap in 1888. In 1887 he won the 150 yards handicap and the 440 yards handicap. Very sad was the untimely death of Willy Isles, one of the brothers, at an early age, the cause being peritonitis.
..(text missing) ."Fisherman’s Island was a dreary place, a patch of earth, a desert of mud, a sea of water. The quantity of driftwood was surprising, and the multitudes of centipedes truly alarming. At first we had some quantity of green grass, but A. C. Gregory’s exploring party landed and cut it all for their horses on board ship.
We had to pull several miles to the muddy waterhole for every drop of brackish water we had. James strained mine through all sorts of things, but it never lost its muddy look and flavour. Influenza, fever, and ague were bad amongst us, and were only indifferently combated by quinine and strong brandy and water.”
The James mentioned by Grundy was a James Morton, afterwards killed by the blacks at Manumbah station. In 1847 he had two mates killed beside him by the blacks, on the Clarence. His own turn came afterwards. Grundy said Morton had a mortal fear of blacks. His brother, Charley Morton, was either a first or second mate on the Boomerang, and he died suddenly one night at Mercer’s Hotel at Kangaroo Point, and was buried at Paddington.
John Cook was a chemist in the Valley, the only chemist there 55 years ago, and his business was afterwards purchased by W. T. Costin, the present veteran Valley chemist, the oldest now in Queensland. Cook, the old time pill pounder, sleeps in the Paddington cemetery. Perhaps his soul is proscribing a teaspoonful of Celestial nectar, some ambrosial nepenthe, to angels with a “tired feeling” in the Elysian fields. And we may be sure it is “a tablespoon three times a day.”
John Pound, who died on July 14, 1875, aged 55, was father of Jonathan Pound, whose son is the present chairman of the Southport Shire Council. Jonathan is still in robust health, andowns a lot of property on the shores of the south end of Moreton Bay.
On August 8, 1868, a German named F. M. Raaaba, was buried, aged 57. In the year 1856, a German family of that name came to Brisbane in the ship Helena. One of the sons, a boy aged 13, named Charles, became, in after years, a prominent resident of Maryborough, where he finally settled in 1875, after years of teamster work to and from the stations on the Burnett.
From team driving he went to hotel business, and kept the Royal Exchange Hotel, in Adelaide Street. In 1894, he became an alderman, and has been a good and useful citizen. Will some Maryborough man kindly write and say what became of him.
George Hall, who died on October 18, 1855, aged 31, was a clerk in the firm of Christopher Newton Brothers of Sydney. He came to Brisbane for the benefit of his health, and added one more to the victims of consumption. It was usual in those early days for consumptive people to come north in the hope of recovering in the climate of Moreton Bay, but they were usually in too advanced a stage.
Among the old time shepherds buried at Paddington, was Harry Brown, who was shepherding on Burrandowan station, in 1855, when it was owned by Phillip Friell and Gordon Sandeman, who bought it from the first owner, Henry Stewart Russell, who took itup in 1843, the first station on the Burnett.
Several shepherds and hotel-keepers were killed on Burrandowan, and Harry Brown was speared through the side. Shepherding was a dangerous occupation for the first twenty years on the Burnett and Mary. Brown finally died at Brisbane in 1861, while in the service of the first “Brisbane Club,” which had only started the previous year, the first meeting to organize having been held in the office of D. F. Roberts.
The first ballot for member was held on March 1, 1860, and the first club room was on the premises of W. A. Brown, the sheriff, in Mary Street. The first committee included Sheppard Smith, of the Bank of New South Wales, E. S. Elsworth of the A. J. S. Bank, and Nehemiah Bartley. They drafted the rules and engaged the first servants, among whom was Harry Brown, who never quite recovered from that Burrandowan spear wound. Since Brown’s time, the modest pioneer club, in the one room in Mary Street, has grown into the Queensland Club, housed today in the palatial building facing the Gardens and Parliament House.
A girl named Sarah Ann Pratten died in 1859 aged 23, the age – from 23 to 26 – fatal to so many young women in the early days. Miss Pratten was an aunt of F. L. Pratten, present Deputy Registrar of Titles in Brisbane. Her father, the granddad of the present Prattens, came to Brisbane in the forties, and was farming at Cowper’s Plains, today erroneously called “Cooper’s Plains,” though named after Dr. Cowper, the first medical officer in the convict settlement at Moreton Bay.
Pratten senior died at the Plains and was buried there. His son was one of the pioneer surveyors of what is now Queensland, and did much useful work on the Darling Downs, Maranoa, and elsewhere. He married a sister of R. S. Warry, once a prominent Brisbane merchant, and she became the mother of six sons and three daughters.
One of the girls married a son of the late Rev. J. H. Hassall; one married Leslie Tooth, grandson of W. B. Tooth, who was one of the pioneers of Wide Bay, the present Maryborough district. He was a brother of Atticus Tooth, who came from Kent in 1839, as a cousin of the famous brewing Tooths of Sydney. He and W. B. Tooth took up Wide Bay stations from which John Bales had been driven by the blacks.
In 1856, Atticus Tooth held a station on the Mary River, including the present site of Gympie, and had ten thousand sheep there, but a wet season, extending over several months, drove him elsewhere, and he married, in 1869, a daughter of D. R. Emmerson, of Bowen, and became one of the first squatters in the Port Denison district.
Four of G. L. Pratten’s sons are alive today, and the three daughters still survive, two married and one single. Harry Pratten is in the Bank of New South Wales, at Rockhampton, George in the Railway Department, Paul in the General Post Office, and F. L. Pratten is Deputy Registrar of Titles.
The well known Tom Pratten, late secretary in the railway head office, died recently, and Arthur was killed in Bundaberg by falling over a balcony when walking in his sleep. The present Mrs. Pratten, mother of these sons, was a sister of Dr. Hugh Bell’s wife.
Their brother, R. S. Warry, started business in Queen Street about the year 1853, and in the year, 1862, erected what was then the best building in Queensland, a large brick store next the Royal Hotel afterwards the first office of the Queensland National Bank. He had two brothers, Tom and Charles, both chemists, one in Brisbane, and one in Ipswich, and both died at an early age.
Tom was a practical joker of an unusual type, and a gruesome tale describes the most remarkable of his performances. He invited the principal citizens to a special dinner, presumably in honour of his birthday, or his grandmother’s death, or his best girl coming of age, or an imaginary legacy left to him by his uncle in Spitzbergen.
In the centre of the table was a large, round dish under a cover. “I think,” said this peculiar joker, “that we better start on the principal dish,” and he raised the cover to reveal the fresh head of an aboriginal, who had been hanged that morning! It was garnished like a ham, with frilled pink paper, and the thick mass of black hair had a dozen rosebuds inserted here and there.
The company first gasped for breath, and then some of them fell over the backs of their chairs. Others fell over the doorstep rushing outside, and two fainted. A bombshell could not have scattered that dinner party more effectually. It was Tom Warry’s champion joke. He had induced the authorities to give him the head for scientific purposes, and he explained afterwards that this was in order to settle the great physiological problem of how fright affects various types of men!
But Brisbane citizens were clean “off” Tom’s dinner parties forevermore. Warry senior, father of all the Warrys, died at the age of 78, as the final result of a fall between a steamer and the wharf. One of his daughters married a Dr. Barton, and when he died, she married Dr. Hugh Bell. One of her daughters, by Dr. Barton, is the wife of the Hon. Albert Norton, M.L.C., and the other, who is still single, resides with her sister.
One final anecdote of Tom Warry’s frivolity. He got about a dozen boys into his shop one day and painted all their faces in about twelve different colours, then sent them home looking like the broken tail of a rainbow. The sky blue, and the bright red, and the rich bronze boys, are well known citizens of Brisbane today.
An interesting historical character is James Charles Burnett, who died on July 18, 1854, aged 39. He was the oldest surviving son of William Burnett, of “Burnettland,” on the Hunter River, and he entered the service of the Survey Department in Sydney in 1834, when only 15 years of age. In 1842 he was deemed capable of conducting a general examination of the Great Dividing Range, which he followed to the 30th parallel and then came on to Brisbane.
He was afterwards engaged on surveys on the Clarence and Richmond, and returned to Moreton Bay and did so much useful and excellent work that he was held in the highest esteem by his department, and by Governor Sir Charles Fitzroy, who requested that his name be given to the Burnett River, and that was done.
Burnett had named the Fitzroy River in honour of Sir Charles, who repaid the compliment by requesting that Burnett’s name be given to the famous Burnett River, on which Bundaberg and Gayndah stand today. Burnett, like most men in those pioneer days, died at an early age, and was buried in the Church of England cemetery at Paddington, there being a large funeral at which the Rev. Robert Creyke officiated.
Shortly after his death, his horses were sold by auctioneer Bulgin, father of the late somewhat eccentric “Lord Bulgin,” well known to Brisbaneites. The sale will show the value of horses at that time. A bay colt sold for £14, a bay horse for £17, a grey colt for £36, a brown draught mare for £43, and grey draught for £35, and a solitary mule for £11.
There was much talk about a tablet to his memory, but so far we have not seen it, unless it is among the fallen and broken stones. The erection of a tablet or small monument to the memory of Burnett would come gracefully from a subscription among the people on the Burnett River. He was one of the men who made Queensland history in the old, wild, rough, days, when life was very different from that of the present.
Arthur Henry Garbutt, of Stockton-on-Tees, and Jane his wife, recall an old time Garbutt family who lived at Coorpooroo, where Thomas C. Garbutt owned a large area of land. He was the man who named Coorpooroo, a word which is sadly mispronounced, being always called “Coorparoo,” whereas “Coorpooroo Jaggin” was the name of the South Brisbane tribe of aboriginals, who pronounced the word Coor-poo-roo with accent on the second syllable.
Garbutt’s widow married a Dr. Temple, who practiced in Brisbane and died here. After old Garbutt’s death, his horse and buggy were bought by P. R. Gardon, the genial old Caledonian, ex-Inspector of Stock. The horse was a dark chestnut, afterwards owned by Robert Gray, the once well known Under Colonial Secretary, and finally Railway Commissioner, whose first wife was a daughter of Dr. Dorsey, of Ipswich, and sister of the wife of the late Sir Joshua Peter Bell.
One of Garbutt’s sons, and brother of the one who died at Cleveland, was squatting for a time on the Logan. This was the F. O. Garbutt, who in after years held a station property in the Herberton district, where he finally kept a hotel at the Coolgarra Hot Springs. He was a big, powerful, specimen of a man. About 25 years ago, he and the present writer entered what is now the York Hotel.
Garbutt had a misunderstanding with some aggressive person who had several friends present and while he was engaged in a go-as-you-please combat with the man in front, he was assailed by two of the man’s friends in the rear. This made it necessary for us to take prompt action, and Garbutt and “we” cleared that private bar in one of the shortest times on record.
One victim wrote to the “Telegraph,” to ask whether a Queensland magistrate who had broken two of his ribs in a bar room was a suitable man to hold a Commission of the Peace? No name was mentioned, but he referred to “we,” and there was no more about the little episode. When Garbutt left the Logan to go north, he was accompanied by Robertson, an old Logan squatter, who afterwards took up Wyroona station on the Wild River, a tributary of the Mitchell. Garbutt is now hotel keeper at Mount Molloy.
Paulus Bront was a German seaman on board the steamer Shamrock, an old time steamer that ran to Sydney from Brisbane in the days when the small steamers Hawk, Swallow, and Bremer, built by Taylor Winship, ran from Brisbane to Ipswich.
The first was the Experiment, built by James Canning Pearce. Winship, in those days, had a fine garden and orangery, from where the present Palace Hotel is along the river west to the baths and the North Quay Ferry at South Brisbane.
Paulus Bront, on June 26, 1854, was walking ashore from the steamer on a plank, fell off, and was drowned, as scores of men have been since then to the present time, at the Brisbane wharves. The Swallow, of Winship, and the Experiment, of Pearce, sank at the wharves in the river, the Swallow drowning her steward as previously mentioned.
Charles Thomas Clay and his wife Elizabeth, buried a five years’ old child on July 31, 1872. Clay was a clerk in the Lands Office in Brisbane, but he got an appointment in the Agent General’s Office in London and left Queensland.
The second daughter of Montague Stanley, R.S.A., died on June 24, 1864, aged 22. Stanley, as the R.S.A., indicates, was a member of the Royal Society of Artists, and practised his profession in Edinburgh.
He was, perhaps, the first professional artist whose family came to Brisbane, and two of his sons became well known men in Queensland. One was F. D. G. Stanley, the Government Architect, who designed a great number of our public buildings, including Parliament House and the Supreme Court.
The other was for many years Engineer for Railways, connected with the department from the time the first section of a Queensland railway was made in 1864, from Ipswich to the Little Liverpool Range, a distance of 21 miles, by Peto, Brassey and Betts, whose tender was for £86,900, or £4,000 a mile.
The first Victorian railway cost £38,000 per mile, South Australia £28,000, and New South Wales £40,000. The Queensland line from Ipswich to Dalby, crossing the Liverpool and main ranges, cost £10,600. Engineer Stanley, son of artist Stanley, was a capable man, whose integrity was never questioned.
The first Queensland railways were by far the cheapest and most substantial of all the first Australian tracks, and all constructed since under Stanley or Ballard have held a deservedly high reputation. Montague Stanley, the artist, never came to Queensland! He died at Rothsay, in Scotland, but his sons came to Queensland, and the mother and the rest of the family followed.
H. C. Stanley, the engineer, has four sons and four daughters one of whom, Pearlie Stanley, married Victor Drury, the solicitor, now practicing at Dalby. Architect F. D. G. Stanley had three sons and four daughters. His son, M. T. Stanley married Mary McIlwraith, daughter of Sir Thomas, and her sister Jessie married a Mr. Gostling, now residing at Sherwood. M. T. Stanley is an architect, his brother Ronald is in the Commissioner for Railways Office.
One of H. C. Stanley’s sons, also H. C., is now in Townsville, and another son, Talbot, is in charge of the Gayndah extension. A son of F. D. G. Stanley, who died some years ago, is an Inspector in the Works Office. H. C. Stanley, senior, was recently on a visit to Brisbane, which he left last Tuesday. He has an office in Sydney and a branch in Brisbane.
A man named George Perrin, said to be a descendant of that Perrin who fought the heavy weight, bare handed battle with Johnson, back in the eighteenth century, is buried in the Church of England cemetery. Perrin was one of the stockmen on Burrandowan, when that station was held by Philip Friell, and Gordon Sandeman, who bought it from Stuart Russell, author of the “Genesis of Queensland.”
Friell was a man with a remarkable history, which would make interesting reading, but would require at least a chapter for itself. It is enough here to say that he died of heart disease on board the steamer Argo, off Cape Horn, on September 17, 1853, aged 48. He was a son of Captain Friell, who was killed in India, while a captain in the Duke of Wellington’s Own Regiment.
Friell’s life was saved on Burrandowan by George Perrin. Friell was asleep under a tree, holding the reins of his bridle, and Perrin was lying face downwards about 20 yards away with his gun beside him. Hearing a slight noise, he raised his head in time to see a tall black close to Friell, and just poising a brigalow hand spear to drive through him. Perrin acted promptly, and the black fell dead with his head within three yards of Friell, who awoke with great celerity.
Perrin was one of the typical Bushmen at the dinner given to the Duke of Edinburgh, in Brisbane, in 1868. The ball to the Duke was given in Christopher Newton and Co.’s store, in Eagle Street. At the dinner the Duke proposed the toast of “The Ladies.”
Perrin, just for fun, dined as he would have dined in a shepherd’s hut. He cut his bread in his hand, and used his knife as a fork, drank his tea out of the saucer, with a noise like a cow drinking the last water out of a puddle, and asked a horrified swell opposite to “Chuck us over the mustard mate!” Another joker, one of the Coomera River Brinsteads, saw the humour of the situation, and posed as the wild timber getter. He and Perrin caused a lot of amusement, and even the Duke had to smile.
Perrin died in 1869, and was buried during heavy rain. Even the grave was half filled with water running down from the side of the ridge. Some grimly humorous bushman remarked “If some rum were mixed with that water it would agree better with old George!” Perrin had married an immigrant girl, a most cantankerous person, who gave him an awful time, but one day she was bitten by a black snake and died within an hour. George afterwards said that the snake died first!
Henry George Morris, who died in1865, was a son of the wife of Judge Lutwyche, by her first husband, whose name was Morris. Harry was a young man of only 25 when he died from the effects of some gastric trouble, contracted when on a visit to Kedron Brook. A fall over a stump aggravated the trouble, in fact was supposed to be the fatal agent, and he died on the following day.
His sister, Miss Morris, step-daughter of Judge Lutwyche, is now the wife of A. G. Vaughan, the well known Government Printer. Judge Lutwyche after whom the Brisbane suburb was named, invariably treated Miss Morris with all the consideration he could have given his own daughter and recognised her as such in his will.
Paul Lyons Burke, who died on August 26, 1868, aged 35, was secretary of the Brisbane Hospital and a prominent member of the Masonic body, who gave him a Masonic funeral.
In the Paddington cemetery is an old pioneer, who came out in the early days on a free passage, and went to the “Government boarding house” at Port Macquarie in the time when old Colonel Gray was boss of that reformatory, the same Colonel who was father of Robert Gray, who died as Queensland Commissioner for Railways, and who, as Under Secretary in the Home Office, is still kindly remembered by the old officers of that department.
We shall call the free passage pioneer John Brown. He takes us back to the days when old Panton built George Thorn’s house at Ipswich, and kept a store there; when William Hendren returned as member for Bulimba, in 1878, had a draper’s shop opposite where Cribb and Foote are today, and William Vowles had the Horse and Jockey Hotel, kept in after years by Thompson. Vowles was grandfather of Solicitor Vowles, who contested Dalby at the last election with Joey Bell, and was for many years an alderman of Ipswich.
He was a Devonshire man, who annually imported a cask of cider, and invited his friends to “come and join.” Present writer drank that cider for three years. John Brown was groom at Vowles’ Hotel, and Vowles sent him to Brisbane on horseback on a special message. At the One Mile Swamp, now called Woolloongabba, Brown’s horse threw him against a tree, and killed him, and he was buried at Paddington.
A young man named Robert Mauley died on February 14, 1855, aged 23. This rather rare name was once famous among the warriors of a past age. In Scott’s “Lord of the Isles,” is the following passage, giving some of the English knights who fought under Edward at Bannockburn. It may be that the youth in the Paddington cemetery had some of the blood of those old warrior ancestors
A man named George Arthur Smith died on March 24, 1868. Smith came to Victoria in 1861, in a ship called the Donald Mackay, which on the same trip brought out the late Bishop Quinn, and Dr. Cani, who afterwards became Bishop of Central Queensland.
Also the well known surveyor P O 'Kelly, of Maryborough, a fine old Irish gentleman, a boy of the olden time, who arrived there on January 1, 1863, the year in which no rain fell for ten months, followed by a wet season of four months. George Smith was a ganger on the railway, when the tunnel was being cut through the Little Liverpool Range, and afterwards a sub-contractor under John Gibbons, a contractor who gave his name to “Gibbon’s camp,” known as such for many years on the Toowoomba railway line.
Gibbons was once partner with Randall in railway and building contracts in New South Wales and the well known “Randall’s Terrace” of nine houses in Newtown, in Sydney, bears Randall’s name as the builder and first owner. House no 9 had the credit of being haunted. Smith was injured in a premature blast on the railway, and was brought to the Brisbane hospital, where he died, aged 47.
John Gibbons had a stone erected over his grave, but it is amongst those that are smashed. Gibbon’s widow in after years married Detective Sergeant McGlone, who came from Sydney to Queensland, and arrested Frank Gardiner, the bushranger, at Apia Creek, on the road to Clermont where he was living under the name of Christie, and had a small store and butcher’s shop.
An old time honoured Queensland pioneer family are recalled by the graves of John Edmund and William Alexander, two children of John and Margaret Hardgrave. The first was the third son, who died on October 30, 1860, aged a year and a half, and the other died 11 days afterwards at the age of five and a half. He was the first son.
The late John Hardgrave was born in Louth, and educated in Dublin. His wife, who survives him, was a Miss Blair, a very handsome woman, who was born at Ballymeena, in Ireland, within 50 yards of the house in which General White was born, and after the death of her parents came to Queensland with her uncle Reed (afterwards engineer of the steamer Hawk), in 1849, and was married six months afterwards to John Hardgrave.
The young couple at first resided in one of three brick cottages built up in the convict days as residences for the officials, and situated where Ned Sheridan’s shop is today, near the Longreach Hotel, where the convict workshop and lumber yard stood in those old wild days. The soldier’s barracks were on the corner now occupied by the Geological Museum.
One of the brick cottages was afterwards fixed up as the first Church of England in what is now Queensland. Mrs. Hardgrave saw that church opening by the Bishop of Newcastle, she attended there for fifty years and then saw it pulled down. How many people go to church for 50 years?
She had five sons and three daughters, including the two boys who died 47 years ago, and one daughter, Mrs. Campbell, who died recently. John Hardgrave, who died last year, was one of Brisbane’s best known men, and one of the most respected. At death he was chairman of the Board of Waterworks, a position he held for many years.
Among the graves is a son of the Rev. Thomas Jones, a schoolboy, who was a great favourite. On the day of the funeral the scholars of St. John’s school would not allow the coffin to be placed on the hearse. They formed relay parties and carried it all the way to the cemetery.
There too, is the son of John Scott, who was once Chairman of Committees, and lived for many years in the house at Milton, close to the railway cutting on the north side of the station.
Near him, in the old house on the hill, in what was “Walsh’s Paddock”, lived the redoubtable Henry Walsh, father of the beauteous “Coojee,” and once Speaker of the House. Beyond Scott, at Auchenflower, lived Sir Thomas McIlwraith, and within 50 yards of the brewery was “Papa” Pinnock, P.M. When the famous “Steel Rail” discussion was raging, a railway guard was promptly sacked for calling to the driver to call at “Steel Rails!”
Ann Eliza Young, a girl of 16, died in 1874. Her father was a Chinese settler who was once a clerk in the old firm of J. and G. Harris, and afterwards ferryman between North and South Brisbane from the present Queen’s Wharf at the foot of Russell Street. He married a woman of good family, her brother having an interest in the firm of R. Towns and Co. Young was a cook on her father’s station.
One of Young’s sons, Ernest, was for a time teacher in the South Brisbane school, and another kept a fish shop for some time in Melbourne Street, near Gray Street. A daughter, Katie Young, a good looking girl, was for years with a firm of storekeepers in Boundary Street, then married a son of Benjamin Babbidge, once Mayor of Brisbane, had two children, and died of typhoid fever. Old Young and his wife still reside in South Brisbane.
Jane Orr, who died on March 15, 1863, aged 58, was wife of a Constable Orr of that period, and mother of three daughters and a son. The daughter Maggie became the wife of Peter Phillips, the present day tailor, and her sister Jane, who remained single, still resides in Boundary Street, near Vulture Street.
Her sister Phoebe and the brother died long ago. Constable Orr on one occasion was escorting some prisoners to Sydney. The steamers in those days called at Newcastle, and while there it appears that Orr’s vigilance was relaxed long enough to allow the prisoners to escape, and as a result of that he left the police force.
Very sad was the drowning of a handsome young fellow who was a nephew of Dr. Simpson, who had charge of the Government stock at Redbank. The nephew was an only son of Dr. Simpson’s sister, who was a widow in the old country. The doctor sent for this nephew to come out and stay with him, intending to make him a present of “Wolston” of which Dr. Simpson was the first owner.
The nephew, who was only 27 years of age, was crossing the river from Wolston to the coal pits, the boat capsized, and he was drowned. This was a cruel blow to Dr. Simpson, who soon afterwards sold Wolston to the late Matthew Goggs, and went to England.
A sister of Goggs married Captain Coley, who was once Sergeant-at-Arms, and died by his own hand in the small cottage still standing in George Street, near Harris Terrace. One of his daughters was married to C. B. Dutton, once Minister for Lands.
James Fleming, who died on March 7, 1872, aged 55, is said tohave been the squatter who once held Burenda station, on the Warrego.
Jane Campbell, who died on May 22, 1866, aged 29, was the wife of Constable Alexander Campbell, who at the time was stationed with a detachment of Native Police at Humpybong. Governor Bowen was there on a visit on the day Mrs. Campbell died.
Rosina Cox, who died on April 17, 1873, aged 29, was the youngest daughter of Sarah and William Cox. Cox was a warder in the gaol, and died within the last two years.
Joseph William Saville, who died on March 5, 1869, aged 36, was a groom employed in Duncan McLennan’s livery stables, and he was thrown from his horse and killed in George Street.
Richard H. Watson, who died on May 5, 1868, aged 61, was the builder of the Commercial Hotel, in Edward Street, and kept a boarding house near there. One of his sons was afterwards the well-known Watson, the plumber, who became one of the mayors of Brisbane.
Thomas Palmer, who died on July 12, 1867, aged 60, was one of the two brothers who started a ginger beer and cordial factory beside the present police court. From the Palmers the business passed into the hands of one who was then in their service, the
James Fleming, who died on March 7, 1872, aged 55, is said to well-known Marchant of the present day.
Isabella Thomasena Deacon Ferguson was a child of a year and 10 months, and died on September 18, 1865, the mother being a sister of John Petrie, and aunt of the present Toombul Petrie. She was the wife of the late Inspector of Works, Ferguson, one of the biggest men in Queensland, and with a heart to match.
Among his numerous works he superintended the erection of the lighthouse on Sandy Cape in 1872, when the blacks carried all the material and rations from the beach to the top of the sand hill, 315 feet in height, exactly the same height as the hill on which the Double Island lighthouse stands. Bob was a giant with a giant’s strength.
One night in Mrs. McGregor’s Hotel in Rockhampton, the same grand old Highland woman who afterwards kept the Great Northern Hotel in Cooktown, an aggressive Hibernian gentleman, named Barry, whose brother married Miss McGregor, made himself unpleasant, and finally sparred up to Ferguson, as a bantam rooster might spar at a cassowary.
Bob rose, quietly grabbed Barry by the neck of the coat and the northwest cape of his pants, and heaved him head first, not at the door, but against a thin partition. Barry went through this partition, took half of it with him, and disappeared! Then Ferguson sat down and ordered drinks for the company as if nothing had happened.
A man named Harry Burrows died on March 9, 1862, aged 45. He was working for Crown Lands Commissioner and Surveyor J.C. Bidwell, when that official was running a marked tree line from Maryborough to Brisbane.
That line went through the present site of Gympie, and it is certain that Bidwell found gold there 15 years before any was found by Nash. That was clearly proved in after years by G. W. Dart, who was one of Bidwell’s party, and who wrote an account of the gold find to one of the Maryborough papers.
Dart saw the gold, and said Bidwell showed it to many of his friends. Bidwell never finished his track, as severe privations in the scrubs in wet weather, with poor food, laid the foundations of an illness that killed him, and he died and was buried at the mouth of Tinana Creek, where can be seen today, the huge mango trees which Bidwell planted, the first ever grown on Queensland soil.
He was the man who sent specimens of the bunya trees to Kew Gardens, and today that tree bears Bidwell’s name, “Araucaria Bidwelli,” though the honor should have gone to old Andrew Petrie, who was certainly the first discoverer, in fact the bunya for a time was actually called “Pinus Petriana.” Harry Burrows was out with Bidwell in the worst part of his trip, and had one or two narrow escapes from the blacks.
He afterwards worked for Atticus Tooth, and also for J. D. Mactaggart, an old Wide Bay pioneer who died at Kilkivan, on January 16, 1871, an uncle of the well known stock and station Mactaggart brothers of Brisbane today. Burrows was away south in 1854, on the Hunter River, and in a letter written by him in 1861, to an old Brisbane resident, he said he was in Newcastle when an aboriginal named Harry Brown was burned to death while intoxicated.
This was the “Brown” who was one of the two blacks with Leichhardt in his second expedition of 1847, when no one ever returned.
An old resident says that in the cemetery is a man named George Smith, who died in 1863. He tells us that this man was once tried for his life on a charge of murder, somewhere on the Downs. Evidently he means a George Smith, who was one of two men, the other being John Morris, tried in 1854, for the murder of James Tucker, on Gowrie Station.
Both men were acquitted, as the evidence showed Tucker’s death to be the result of a drunken row. Two doctors were witnesses, Dr. Buchanan and Dr. Labatt, and they gave two totally different versions. One swore he saw no wounds to Tucker’s head, and the other swore he was dreadfully knocked about! There being nobody to decide when doctors disagree, the evidence went for nothing.
Morris had a brother who was killed at Oxley, on the day Sir Charles Fitzroy, the Governor of New South Wales, in which Queensland was then included, was on his way to Ipswich, accompanied by Captain Wickham, the Brisbane P.M., whose name is borne by Wickham Terrace, the private secretary, Captain Gennys, and police escort.
They had lunch with Dr. Simpson, at Woogaroo, and were met by a big escort from Ipswich, where the party had supper at Colonel Gray’s house, and there was a swell ball the next day, and an address was read by R. J. Smith, who was then M.L.C. in the Sydney Council, representing Wide Bay, Burnett, and the Maranoa.
Picture a man representing those three electorates today! Morris was riding after horses, about a mile beyond the Rocky Water Holes (Rocklea) at the spot where old Billy Coote had his mulberry farm in 1876, and his horse ran him against a tree and killed him, about the time the Governor was passing. His body was brought to Brisbane in a two horse dray, and buried at Paddington.
November 1, 2002
Courier Mail, Brisbane: The ground beneath the old Lang Park is giving up its secrets of early life in Brisbane, writes Craig Johnstone.
She had bright red hair, was tall and well-built. At some stage in her short life, she had badly broken her left leg. Most likely her family had plenty of money. No one yet knows how or when she died, although it was at least 127 years ago, but where she was buried is no mystery at all. The woman with the red hair was one of about 5000 buried at the site of Queensland's largest public works project- the $280 million Suncorp Stadium.
Her fully preserved skeleton and coffin (complete with some of her hair and scented wood shaving) have been exhumed by a team of University of Queensland archeologists who worked at the site between August 2001 and May 2002. Her remains were among the 397 the team excavated and removed from the stadium site, used as a burial ground between 1843 and 1875. It was Brisbane's first major cemetery after free settlement.
Convicts who died in Brisbane's earliest days as a penal colony were buried near where the William Jolly Bridge now stands. The archeologists, working for the Public Works Department and operating under rules set by the Environmental Protection Agency, have dug up priceless details of early Brisbane.
Along with remains of the dead, belt buckles, coffin handles and religious medals, all more than a century old, were found. But it is the human remains they found and took from the site that are bound to generate the most interest.
The exhumations involved remains from the Anglican, Catholic, and Presbyterian sections of the cemetery, as well as 16 sets of remains from an Aboriginal cemetery. More than half the coffins the team discovered were less than 150 cm long, suggesting that most of those buried in the cemetery were children.
The team recently submitted the first of a series of reports to the Government, detailing the results of the salvage and how they went about their excavations in a place that most people now regard as a sporting venue. The painstaking work of analysing what they found is still going on in University laboratories. By February, 2003, the team should have compiled a report detailing discoveries about the remains.
This salvage has attracted much less controversy than the excavation of graves that occurred in 1990 at the time of the Hale Street redevelopment. The row over moving the remains of the dead grew so heated back then that an Anglican priest accused then Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson of grave-robbing. This time, however, the Beattie Government did everything it could to avoid being accused of desecration.
In August last year, an ecumenical service was held in the stadium's western stand to recognise the site's former use as a cemetery. Only those graves that would be damaged by the stadium redevelopment were salvaged by the archaeologists. That is, where excavations for the redevelopment would cut below the level of the burials, those graves were salvaged.
But the remains of thousands will stay where they were interred. How the team undertook their work is as fascinating as what they found. First, they needed to excavate and remove the fill that had been dumped in the area since it ceased being used as a cemetery in 1914. That unearthed "grave stains," or patches where the trained eye can tell a coffin had been buried.
"Once a grave site had been identified, a 20 tonne excavator was used to scrape the surface away, centimetre by centimetre with a batter bucket, until wood or bone was detected," the archeologists report said. "As the salvage was of a cemetery area, it was considered inappropriate to open large areas of the site, therefore the heavy machinery was used to target the grave sites."
Talks are going on between the university and the Brisbane City Council as to where to re-inter the remains. It is likely they will end up at Toowong Cemetery. All the material from the Aboriginal cemetery was moved to a secret sacred storage area at the University's anthropology museum. The Aboriginal remains are not being examined. They will stay in the museum until negotiations between the Council and representatives of the Turrbal people come up with a suitable location for their re-interment.
The team was lead by Dr. Jon Prangnell, of the University's archeological services unit. Prangnell said DNA tests were now being carried out to discover what diseases those buried at the site might have suffered. Tests will screen for up to 2000 diseases, including influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis, even leprosy. The team also is performing a population study to try to differentiate the remains into ethnic backgrounds.
What the team already has discovered is fascinating enough. "People weren't buried with much at all," Prangnell said "With the Catholics, we found a few crucifixes, rosary beads and medallions. But I don't think we found one wedding ring." As he says in his report, "All other graves were devoid of personal items (except a ceramic plate in the Presbyterian cemetery)." "This is somewhat surprising. There is no archeological evidence to suggest that once coffins were placed in the ground they were dug up at any later time.
"Either people did not intend to be buried with their possessions or their possessions did not make it into the ground with them." One other interesting discovery was that none of the graves was the accepted six feet deep. The gravediggers went only 1 metre down before striking hard bedrock, and many of the coffins were just below the surface. The team found that many of the coffins were pressed flat, with the lid resting on the base- probably the result of the weight of the fill dumped in the area when it ceased to be used as a cemetery.
Of the woman whose remains were intact, Prangnell said: "My guess is she was a big, red-headed Catholic woman, but probably of some wealth." The break in her left leg meant that it was about 5 cm shorter than her right. But the archeologists have found no sign of grinding in the pelvic area, suggesting that she died soon after her femur bone had healed. Her body lay under what is now the stadium's playing surface, just near the north-east corner of the field.
The slope from Petrie Terrace down to the Stadium originally ended at a swamp, near where Castlemaine Street now runs. Prangnell speculates that water flowing down the slope to the swamp helped preserve the woman's remains.
And her identity? "Other than DNA screening all of Brisbane, we won't know her relatives," he said. The Queensland State Archives holds some records of the old cemetery, but these are mostly related to the bodies exhumed in 1913 and re-interred at Toowong Cemetery. Finding out who she was is going to take some prolific detective work.