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Chinchilla 1893--94

More floods. MIZPAR; uses of prickly pear

the photo is of Anzac day 1919

Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1948), Saturday 4 November 1893, page 2

. We learn on very good authority that the first Co-operative Community, under the Act passed during the last session of Parliament, is to be established at Chinchilla. The land has been officially reserved, and is now under inspection by officials of the movement, which is under the auspices of the Salvation Army, Brisbane. The site is adjacent to the township of Chinchilla and alongside the railway line, the scope of country ample and watered by Charley's creek and the Condamine river. It is understood that the settlement will consist of 41 members at present enrolled, each being allotted 80 acres.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Wednesday 8 November 1893, page 6











It is a current belief that to take advantage of the provisions of an Act of Parliament immediately after its passage is "as easy as rolling off a log." To the inexperienced all that seems necessary is to lodge a simple application, which will be rushed through at lightning speed by the State employees, and the thing is done. Cases are on record, in a true, where such expeditious work has been accomplished ; but the experience of the majority of those who have sought to avail themselves of the benefits of recent legislation, points in quite another direction. The Co-operative Communities Land Settlement Act of 1899 is a case in point. Many persons regarded this Act as the panacea for all evils of a community with a surplus of labour ; and they fondly anticipated the immediate depopulation of our street corners and soup kitchens, and the transforming of barren wastes into productive areas. Just as many are now perplexed at finding no promise of a speedy realisation of their dreams. For months past there have been vague reports as to the formation of co-operative groups under the earlier Land Acts, and later of action taken to give effect to the more recent legislation. A determination to learn what really is being done in this direction suggested an interview with the several secretaries of those organisations, and with other gentlemen interested, either officially or philanthropically, in the proposed settlement.

After hearing the story of the difficulties and trials of the different promoters one is naturally struck with the smallness of the progress apparently made. It is not however, an easy matter to discover to whom should attach the blame for this state of things, though it is asserted in many places that the administration of the Act so far has been burdened with an altogether unnecessary measure of red tape. It is plain, though, that the unsettled condition of the men, the lack of organisation, the want of a little capital and their own hazy notions concerning the requirements of the new legislation are causes which operate in a detrimental manner. Being for the most part unacquainted with the intricacies of departmental matters, applicants fail to comprehend the necessity for delay, and believe that all that should be required from them is an expressed willingness to go on to the land. The Communities Act to them furnished an opening between charity, and starvation, and they naturally think that those who had taken the trouble to plan this means of escape should not now place obstacles in the way of its realisation. Of course where an army of unemployed men are involved exaggeration becomes one of the most natural things possible. Thus, when the administrators of the new Act are accused of throwing needless difficulties in the way of intending co-operative settlers, the conclusion arrived at is that precautionary and necessary measures may have been mistaken for unsurmountable and purposely erected obstructions. It is nevertheless impossible, from the facts so brought before me, to escape the belief that alteration in some ways is desirable. The forms and papers which an applicant has to do with are certainly sufficient to perplex many of the men who desire to avail themselves of the Act ; but when long and tedious delay is added to the other troubles perplexity gives way to exasperation. I met men who were so thoroughly tired of going to the office day after day that they spoke of waiting upon the Minister in person. Whether this would really do any good is questionable ; but it might be an advantage to the officer whose duty it is to answer their questions, and who at present finds his time fully occupied. The statement that forms are unnecessarily multiplied may not be correct, and it must be conceded that those who have to administer the Act know more of the requirements than an outsider. It does seem, however, tolerably plain that a system might easily be devised which would expedite the work of the applicant.

Form A is apparently one of those which require amending. This form is an application for enrolment, and embodies a declaration that the answers to certain questions attached are correct. One of these forms is handed to each applicant, who is required to answer all the queries set forth. When he has done this, the form is handed in to the department, which makes inquiries and, if those are satis-factory returns it to the applicant, who has then to search for a justice fortunately they are plentiful before whom he certifies that the replies to the questions (which an officer of the department has himself found to be correct) are true. What puzzles the men is why the applicant cannot make the declaration that his replies are correct before they go before the department in the first instance, and thus save valuable time.

Conversation with the men plainly demonstrates to me that some of them are becoming desperate for it must be remembered they are unable to earn a crust, and are compelled to obtain what they do eat from the Government Relief Board. Now and again three or four of those forming a group drift away, and those who remain are then compelled to cast about for new recruits in order to make up the number required by the Act. Another grievance is that no information can be got as to the amount of assistance the Government will give or where land is to be proclaimed. Mr. Barlow is, apparently, most careful to say nothing that is likely to throw light on these all-important points. To use his own words, he has provided an office for applicants and plenty of forms for them to fill, and he does not see what else can be expected of him. Probably, if they could meet him, the applicants could easily enlighten him on that matter ; but whether they could convince him is quite another thing. At any rate, Mr. Barlow admits that he keeps as clear as possible of them ; and perhaps, he is wise. But, in the absence of this information, and, in order to comply with the requirements of the Act, some of the groups have fixed a maximum amount which each man may claim in the shape of rations. It it should turn out that the Government aid has been estimated on a too liberal basis, the rules will have to be amended and the tedious process commenced de novo perhaps.


The hundreds of inquiries made at the office opened for the purpose of affording information to applicants indicate that the interest taken in the Act is very large, and the number of claims actually lodged shows that the applicants are thoroughly in earnest. Up to the present advantage has only been taken of that part of the Act providing for the establishment of self-governing communities. As far as I could gather little notice has been taken of the second part, which deals with the formation of labour colonies. Indeed no land has yet been a proclaimed ; but a site of 2000 acres near Buccan, which is between Waterford and Logan Village, on the South Coast line, has been selected for approval by the Colonial Secretary. Mr. Tozer intends sending down experts to view the land, and if it is thought to be suitable it will be proclaimed a labour colony. It is promised that no time shall be lost, and it is understood that when the site is selected the settlement will be placed under the control of Professor Shelton. It is perhaps necessary to state that the administration of the new Act is extended over two departments, Mr. Tozer taking the labour colonies, and Mr. Barlow the co-operative communities.


Up to the present the number of applications lodged total something like 350, and comprise ten groups. In addition to these there are others, I understand, which are in a less advanced state, but who hope within a very short time to have their claims sent in. Among the latter is a German organisation whose membership roll is said to be from eighty to 100. The names of the groups are :— The Mizpah, Resolute, Nil Desperandum, Model, Woolloongabba, Exemplars, Excel Pioneers, Industrial, Byrnestown, Barlowstown, and one hailing from Toowong whose name I could not learn. The groups are alike in the fact that they possess no capital. It is expected that all the assistance necessary to give them a start will be forthcoming out of the Government vote. In one or two cases, however, members have a few head of cattle or horses which they are prepared to lend to the community. One man, who admits that he is "a little beyond middle age," has offered to make up for any resulting deficiency by donating twelve head of dairy cattle and six horses. It is needless to say that the offer has been accepted. In a few cases the details of management have been arranged, and from these others seem to be drawing their ideas. All are agreed that they must work on a system which will afford mutual help ; but from the diversity of opinions expressed as to internal management, it would not surprise me to find a split in the camp directly they begin to put their theories into practice.


By far the most forward group is the "Mizpah," which numbers thirty-five men, of whom only three are single. Twenty-one are soldiers of the Salvation Army, the others being drawn from different Churches. They are all known to each other, and represent the following trades :— Carpenters, farmers, bush labourers, sawyers, dairymen, and a blacksmith. They belong almost solely to the Paddington district, and are certainly a fine body of men. Their average age is about 30 years. The principle on which they intend working is thus given by their secretary :— "We mean to govern the community on the co-operative principle, and each man will have an equal voice in the management. There will be a foreman of works and a committee of six to superintend operations. These will be elected annually, and by a majority of votes. We shall have a co-operative store on the settlement. Houses will be erected for every family, one acre of land being allowed for the private use of each. The remainder will be cultivated and worked jointly. We do not propose to allow the produce of the acre which we allot each family to be sold. It must be used by the person growing or handed over to the community. Such money or rations as the Government may give us will be 'lumped,' each member bearing his proportion of the debt. No one's religious principles will be interfered with but we strictly prohibit the use of alcohol except as a "medicine." It transpires that their committee have visited a site offered them, and are greatly pleased with it. The settlement, which is situated about two and a-half miles from Chinchilla, is abundantly and permanently watered by Charley's Creek and waterholes, the soil being a rich sandy loam, and the land lightly timbered with box and gum. It abuts the railway line, and access to the centres of population thus made is easy. While for the most part members of the Salvation Army, they are not by any means influenced or controlled by the officials of that organisation, and act quite independently of them. It should also be mentioned that the members of the "Mizpah" Group are exceedingly pleased with the assistance lent them by the Government, and do not make a complaint of any kind.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Monday 23 January 1893, page 6

RABBIT Districts. - The following is declared as the rabbit district of Darling Downs : - Commencing on the southern boundary, of the colony at the watershed separating the waters of the Condamine River from those of the Macintyre River, and bounded thence on the west by that watershed north-westerly to the southeast corner of Daandine lease, portion A by the eastern boundaries of that lease and resumption, the north-eastern boundaries of portions SA, 26, SA, P.P. 2, P.P. 1, the north-western boundary of P.P. 1, part of the eastern and the northern boundary of Daandine lease, portion B, the northern boundary of Braemar Forest Resumption, the north-eastern boundary of Kogan Creek lease and the eastern boundary of Chinchilla consolidated run northerly to the Great Dividing Range on the north and east by the Great Dividing Range easterly and south-easterly to the southern boundary of the colony; and thence on the south by that boundary westerly to the point of commencement.

The following is the description of the rabbit district of Maranoa, hereby amended Commencing on the southern boundary of the colony at the eastern boundary of the pastoral district of Warrego (the south-east corner of Cogoo block), and bounded thence on the south by the southern boundary of the colony easterly to the watershed separating the waters of the Condamine River from those of the Macintyre River; on the east by that watershed northwesterly to the south-east corner of Daandine lease, portion A by the eastern boundaries of that lease and resumption, the north-eastern boundaries of portions SA, 26, SA, P.P. 2, P.P. 1, the north-western boundary of P.P. 1, part of the eastern and the northern boundary of Daandine lease, portion B, the northern boundary of Braemar Forest resumption, the north-eastern boundary of Kogan Creek lease and the eastern boundary of Chinchilla resumption northerly to the Western Railway ; off the north by the Western Railway westerly to the eastern boundary of the pastoral district of Warrego and on the west by that boundary southerly to the point of commencement.


Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1902), Thursday 16 February 1893, page 2

On Sunday, February 5th, Clans H. Bruhn, brother of Mr. F. Bruhn, of Toowoomba, was drowned in a billabong at Chinchilla. He was not missed until the following Wednesday, and a soarch was immediately made - to see what had become of the unfortunate man. Mr. Bruhn was in the Chinchilla township on the Saturday previous and left for his borne about 10 o'clock that evening, and fears were entertained that he had fallen off the bridge, as the water was running very high. Mrs. Ford, however, who lives near Mr. Bruhn' s, saw him near his hut on the Sunday morning, and her little boy stated positively that he saw him about noon the same day. At about 6 o'clock on Sunday evening Mrs. Ford was looking at the flood waters, and her attention was drawn to a dog barking at the other side of the water. She saw the dog jump four or five times into the water and swim about in a certain place, and keep continually howling through the night. Where the dog was seen swimming was a flooded billabong, and this gave the search party an idea how to work. They followed the billabong down and found the body of Mr. Bruhn caught in a fence. It is surmised that he went out to look for his horses and got drowned. When the body was discovered there was £9 odd In the trousers pocket.


Warwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 - 1919), Saturday 18 February 1893, page 2

Drowning AT CHINCHILLA.-Henry Brahn, a man in the employ of Mr. F. Hogg, of Chinchilla, was reported missing on the morning of the fifth January, and was supposed to have been drowned whilst crossing the railway bridge at Charles Creek. Brahn's body was found two days afterwards in Mr. Hogg's paddock, near Charles Creek. The body was very much decomposed, and was only recognisable by the clothes.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Friday 17 February 1893, page 6

Darling Downs.

Condamine Rising. Over the Rails at Chinchilla. Toowoomba, February 16.

To-day the Condamine was 3 foot over the rails at Chinchilla, and 4 feet over the pumping station at Warra, both on the western line.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Wednesday 22 February 1893, page 2


Warwick in Danger. Dalby and Chinchilla. Sending to Brisbane for Boats.

A telegram has been received by the Colonial ' Secretary, announcing that on the19th instant (Sunday), half Warwick was under water, and the river was rising fast. A big flood was expected. Tho Commissioner of Police has received telegrams from Chinchilla. Warwick, and Dalby, stating that severe floods were being experienced there, and requests were made in the Dalby and Chinchilla telegrams for boats to be sent there from Brisbane. Instructions were at once given for inquiries to be made as to whether boats could be sent from here, and, if possible the requests will be complied with. Another message states that the Condamine at Dalby was yesterday nearly up to the 1890 floodmark. At Chinchilla the flood there is declared to be the highest yet known in that district.


Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1948), Saturday 8 April 1893, page 2

Our correspondent at Miles writes:— That enterprising postmaster and store keeper, Mr. J. Kocho, Condamine, got a strong serviceable boat from Brisbane this week for the use of himself and customers -during flood times at the Condamine town ship. A large centreboard boat has been lately supplied to Myall Grove station. There is also a heavy iron boat belonging to the Divisional Board at Condamine, so that locality is well supplied. A boat at Chinchilla would be very serviceable, that township being close to the Condamine river, and on the banks of Charley's creek'. During the 1890 and also the late flood, the skow " Dogwood Rover" from Miles rendered good services at Chinchilla.


Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1948), Saturday 17 June 1893, page 3

Weather and Flood Items.

The police at Chinchilla wired to Toowoomba on Monday for boats as the township was surrounded by water.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Friday 10 March 1893, page 3

It was with feelings of satisfaction that news was received in town on Friday that the now notorious aboriginal Jacob was in safe custody. He was brought into town under strong escort. Jacob was being conveyed from Rockhampton to Taroom under remand to be tried for larceny and assault committed some time ago in this district, when he made his escape from a railway carriage, about five miles from Chinchilla, while the train was in motion. The police got on his tracks and followed him over sixty miles, and came up with him at a place called Sandy Creek. As soon as he found he was discovered he ran away, and Senior-constable M'Calkin gave chase, and he fired several shots from his revolver to see if he would surrender, but he kept on, and fully a quarter of a mile was covered before he was overtaken by his active captor. Jacob was brought up this morning, and was sentenced to eight months in Roma Gaol, the heaviest sentence that could be imposed under the circumstances.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Tuesday 14 March 1893, page 3

Railway Passes.

! Alleged False Pretences.

An old man named John Smith was brought up at the South Brisbane Police Court, charged with having obtained a pass by rail from Brisbane to . Chinchilla, by moans of - false verbal representations. It appeared that a man giving .the name of John Smith on Friday last went to the .Labour Bureau and obtained a requisition for -a railway pass from Brisbane to Chinchilla.- The following day he met an officer of the bureau at the Melbourne street station .-and handed the document to him. - The officer asked, him his name, and. he replied, "John Smith." He then requested him to sign his name on it, 'which he immediately .did, writing the name "T.- Cormack." Above; on the same sheet, there had been signed the name " John Smith.' ' The officer told him to go upstairs to the platform and he would - get his ticket for him. When the officer arrived on the platform the man was in a second-class carriage. He again asked the man his name, and again the man said, " John Smith." "When the officer pointed out that he had signed " T. Cormack " on the requisition, he said that also was- his name. The officer gave him in charge-to a constable. The bench inspected the signatures on the document, and also the signature of the man written before them, and seeing that the officers of the Labour Bureau could not prove that he was not the man who obtained the requisition they dismissed the case.


Warwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 - 1919), Saturday 18 March 1893, page 5

Prickly Pear as food for Cattle and Pigs.

The Hon. J. D. Macansh, Canning Downs, has furnished the Queensland Acclimatisation Society with the following communication on the prickly pear as food for cattle and pigs :


" 30th September, 1892. " MY DEAR SIR,

'. In reply to your letter of the 27th instant asking for information as to the utilisation of ' prickly pear' as food for stock, I can say from my own experience that it is good food for cattle, and also for pigs.

" Some years ago Mr. John Robertson, who was then general station manager of the Scottish Australian Investment Company, told me he had a number of pigs at Bungeworgorai in a season of drought, and that they began to die from starvation. The Company had another station where there was prickly pear, and he sent the pigs there and had them fed on boiled prickly pear; they got nothing else; in fact, Mr. Robertson said there was nothing else to give them; they stopped dying, and a good many months afterwards, when there was feed for them at Bungeworgorai, they were brought back in good store condition.

'' After hearing what Mr. Robertson said I had a few pigs shut up and fed solely on boiled prickly pear for some weeks, till we could get no more of that food, as it is not plentiful on Canning Downs, and they held their condition.

"I have a cattle station named Canning Creek, near Inglewood, where there is a great quantity of prickly pear. The cattle eat it, and, in a severe drought some years ago, it kept numbers alive that otherwise should have perished from want of food.

"My son, who owns Chinchilla station, where there are scrubs of prickly pear, has also noticed that cattle eat it at all times, more or less, and live upon it in times where there is no grass. A Dalby butcher who had a paddock, one end of which was all prickly pear, told my son that when he bought a lot of fat cattle from Chinchilla or any station where prickly pear grew, they held their condition when there was little or no grass in the paddock till they were all slaughtered, but when a lot came from a station where no prickly pear grew they fell off so much in condition that the last of them were very inferior beef.

"The plant is undoubtedly a terrible nuisance in many places, but it is a loss to the country simply destroying it as a noxious weed when it might be made a profitable use of.

"I believe it would pay men of small means well, who understand dairy farming, to select prickly pear land; clear and cultivate for grasses of different sorts and for maize part of their holdings, and feed pigs on the skimmed milk and boiled prickly pear, fattening them off on maize; If the prickly pear is of no value as a milk producing fodder (possibly it may be) it would, in bad season , keep the cows in fair condition, feeding them upon it with the prickles singed off, and it would at all times enable the farmer to keep a large stock of pigs.

" Yours faithfully,


L. A. BERNAYS, Esq., " Brisbane.

"P.S.-Boiling softens and destroys the prickles and they are easily singed off by holding the plant on a pitchfork over a blaze for a few seconds."

There is no doubt, I think, that the prickly pear has its value at times and under conditions; but it certainly has its drawbacks. Besides those already mentioned is the fact that sheep will often take to the fruit when ripe, but it ends by killing them; this, Mr, Gore writes me, is, he thinks, entirely owing to the mass of small spine which becomes attached to the tongue and throat, and possibly the stomach. The plant spreads with startling rapidity ; this is caused by the well-known habit of the plant to reproduce itself by every small fragment which becomes detached and lies upon the surface of the soil; and by the spread of the seed by fruit-eating birds. Floods in the creeks carry thousands of plants to find a home at the first subsidence of the waters; and there are many Queensland colonists who regard the plant as a noxious weed of the worst type. My hope from these notes is to elicit further experiences, and to decide, if possible, which way the balance lies.

In discussing the paper, Dr. Bancroft said that he thought a good gum might be got by evaporating the juice. If some competent chemist took the matter in hand and experimented in the direction of making the gum soluble, he was sure that good results would follow. The experiment was well worth trying.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Monday 27 March 1893, page 3

Nuptials. — A very quiet wedding took place on Wednesday (says Saturday's Dalby Herald), at St. John's Church, Dalby,- the Rev. Walter Phillips officiating. The contracting parties were Mr. G. Hawkes (of the Police Force) Toowoomba, and Miss 'Nancy' Phillips, of Chinchilla. Only those intimately concerned were present at the ceremony. After a brief space of nuptial bliss at the Queen's Hotel the happy pair left by train for Toowoomba, where they will reside.


Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Saturday 10 June 1893, page 1103


Before Commissioner Warner, on the 2nd instant. SELECTIONS.—

Adjourned for bailiff's inspection: J. S. Jessop, 2506a., Chinchilla; M. K. C, Jessop, 2010 a., Chinchilla.


Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Saturday 12 August 1893, page 293


Before Commissioner Warner, on the 4th instant. SELECTIONS- Conditionally app roved: E. W. Quirk, 150a Chinchilla ; P. Henry,, 160a, Chinchilla;


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Thursday 19 October 1893, page 5

The Land Board sat yesterday and to-day to determine the rent for the second period of the Pelican, Coorangee, Cameby, Logie Plains, Hawkwood, Jinghi Jinghi, Chinchilla, Western Creek, and Dunmore runs. Evidence was taken in each case, and the decision reserved.


Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1902), Saturday 21 October 1893, page 6


A long article with descriptions of the stations Pelican, Coorangee, Cameby, Logie Plains, Hawkwood, Jinghi Jinghi, Chinchilla, Western Creek, and Dunmore runs.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Saturday 28 October 1893, page 5

The Land Board Court.

Roma, October 27.

The reserved decisions in the determination of the rents for the second period of lease of runs, evidence as to which was heard at the Toowoomba Land Board Court, were given at the conclusion of the sittings of the Land Board here at 8 o'clock to-night. They are as herewith : — Bottle Tree Ranges, 26s. ; Cameby, 25s. ; Hawkswood, 20s. ; Chinchilla, 30s. ; Western Creek, 25s. ; Pelican station, 27s. ; Jingi Jingi, 32s. ; Cooranga, 35s. ; Logie Plains, 30s. — per square mile of available country in each case.

[The following figure's give respectively the previous rents and the rents recommended by Mr. Assessing Commissioner Warde, with the rents determined in brackets, for comparison— Bottle Tree Ranges, 20s., (26s.), 30s., ; Cameby 20s. (25s.) 30s. ; Hookswood 20s. (20s.) 20s.; Chinchilla 25s. (30s.) 35s. 9d.; Western Creek 25s. (25s.) 25s.; Pelican Station, 25s. (27s.) 40s. ; Jinghi. Jinghi, 25s. (32s.) 37s 6d. : Cooranga 25s. (35s.) 37s. 6d. ; Logie Plains 26s. (303.) 39s.]



Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934), Friday 20 January 1893, page 8

New Magistrates.

Annual Revision J.P. List.

The list of magistrates on the commission of the peace having been revised by the Executtive, was gazetted on Friday. The following are the NEW NAMES on the list:—

Bassingthwaighte, Sydney "William, Riversdale, Chinchilla

Baasingthwaighte, George, Rose vale, Macalister


Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934), Friday 10 March 1893, page 23


Chinchilla races are fixed for St. Patrick's Day; but we have seen neither programme nor entries ; the latter closed; we believe, on March 1.

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