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CHINCHILLA IN 1878 Part 2.

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Fatal Accidents on the Railway, and ongoing descriptions of the town.

Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868 - 1919), Saturday 16 February 1878, page 2


(from our own correspondent.)

February 15. In part

Dalby, February 12. A man named Halloran was run over by four ballast trucks on Bashford's Section of the railway extension on Saturday. He was brought to the hospital here, but died immediately.


Dalby Herald 16 Feb


From our own correspondent

There have been two or three serious accidents on the line since my last. In the first it seems that several men wore shunting trucks at the quarry or thereabouts, and one man was knocked off his truck and full between the bumpers, receiving frightful injuries, bones being broken and flesh and .muscle lacerated in n frightful manner ; he was forwarded to Dalby and I believe died shortly after his arrival there ; on the following Monday morning a trolly was running down from the Baking Board to Rocky Creek, when a stick having been placed across the line, one of the men in endeavouring to remove the obstruction was thrown violently out, and in front of the trolly which struck him, causing serious injuries to the left leg; the third case was of minor import, although sufficiently unpleasant to the sufferer: it seems the unfortunate man got his hand jammed between some iron rails on a truck in - motion, although he escaped with a partial crushing of one finger, it might have been much more serious. The genius of misfortune seems hovering about that section, as upon the first 10 miles there have been more accidents than upon the other two sections that have been completed. .

We have had some good heavy rain and threatening more ; everything looks beautifully green, and it really seems as though the vernal maiden, Spring, were about to enter the lists once more to run a course against golden Autumn. There is nothing of interest doing at present; as soon _as there is I shall not fail to .acquaint you therewith.

……….. .

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908), Thursday 4 April 1878, page 3


[FROM A Correspondent.]

Having just come down from Roma, I think that a few notes about Chinchilla will be of interest to your numerous readers. .

This place, as you are aware, is the present terminus of the Southern and Western Railway, and contains several hotels, butchers, bakers, and a shoe shop.. It also boasts of a lemonade manufactery and a barber's shop, besides several good stores. Amongst the hotels Mr. Morrisey's has deservedly gained the reputation of being the leading one. For an out-of-the-way bush place like this, the accommodation and attendance are excellent. Mr. Morrisey also keeps a general store, and seems to be doing a good business. He has shown his enterprise by building a large hotel and store at Dogwood Creek, where he is to remove some of his men in a few weeks. I heard also that it is his intention to erect another store on Fountain's section.

On my way down I noticed several of the men on Bashford and Co's section again laid up with the fever. They are progressing favourably, through the kindness of your townsman Mr. Bashford, who is ever ready to assist them. :

The grass here, as in all other places, has grown with wonderful rapidity since we were favoured with those fine showers which broke up the drought. The cattle all along the line are literally rolling fat, and consequently it is to be hoped that the butchers will see fit to reduce the price of meat. At any rate, we can now be supplied with meat , which is a wonderful change after the long turn we had at leather.

The line has been laid on Bashford's section for a distance of twenty miles from Chinchilla, and it will not be long before this section will be ready for traffic.

I heard that the Commissioner for Railways paid a visit to this part of the world last week. It has struck me, whilst writing this, what a wonderful change of disposition seems to have come over all the railway people since the Queensland ."Brough Smyth" took his departure from their midst, and they found themselves controlled by a gentleman. They seem to have imitated Mr. Lowe in manner whilst he was over them, which is not saying much; but civility and attention --which were sadly needed in by-gone times-are now the order of the day.


Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), Thursday 25 April 1878, page 3


(Courier's Correspondent.)

The extension from Dalby to Chinchilla is in complete working order, but as yet the Government have only taken over the first section, extending up to Warra, twenty eight miles. The next section is being maintained by the contractors, Messsrs. Overend & Co., and extends up to the fifty-two mile peg a little beyond Chinchilla. The contractors have to maintain this section about three months longer in accordance with the usual terms of contract that the contractors maintain the permanent way for a period of six months after completion. Messrs. Bashford and Co, have the next section, No. 3, which extends up to seventy-nine miles, where the township of Miles is about to establish itself, and where a station is now being constructed. All the earthworks and bridgeworks are completed to the end of this section, while the rails are laid as far as seventy-two mi is, and it is estimated they will be laid to Miles by the middle of June. The ballast train takes passengers from Chinchilla to Columbula (which is 5 miles on the Dalby side of the 72-mile peg), meeting the coach there, which then connects with Roma.


Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1902), Tuesday 30 April 1878, page 4


The Late Railway Accident

To the editor of the chronicle.

Sir,— It is my painful duty to have to record a sad and fatal accident which happened on Easter Monday at our very door at Cullumboola, but which might have been tor worse than it was. On Saturday my family and father and mother came to spend the Easter with us, and on Monday they were returning back home to catch the 10 a.m. train for Ipswich, which we did all safe. We took with us Mrs. Gardener and child, Mrs. Bashford's sister, and the timekeeper's wife and child. On our return we arrived at the ballast quarry, and took on nine (9) waggons of ballast and one (1) truck of fishplates, which made n train of ten (10) waggons, and one (1) carriage in which was two ladies, two children, and three men. I myself was on the engine beside the driver and fireman, and about ten (10) or fifteen (15) men were on the waggons. We left the ballast quarry, and got on to where we started from in the morning, namely, Cullumboola 68 miles 40 chains from Dalbv.

At this place we have put in a siding to run goods, and the spare waggons in, and the only thing which was on the line was the brake van standing in the siding at the time. During the time that we were away, the points got shifted, which heretofore had always kept right to run up the straight line, and as we were going for the head of the line we kept up steam, and when we got within a short distance of the line, where the points were, the engine driver saw that the points were wrong, and at once turned off steam and gave orders by two (2) whistles for breaks to be put on which was done in a moment ;

but before I saw anything more, I found myself on the ground. I saw nothing but dust for a short time, and then found Mrs. Gardener standing with her face towards the engine, without any hat or bonnet on, and the part of the carriage where she stood was broken to pieces. Mrs. Corr, the timekeeper's wife and child were taken from the same place, without being anymore than a little bruised and frightened. I then sent a telegram for a doctor to Dalby which is a distance of 68 1/2 miles from here, and eighteen (18) miles from the nearest telegraph station. The doctor received the telegram, and came that night, and set Mrs Gardener's broken leg. After taking her into her own cottage, I found that one (1) man who had jumped from a truck had been killed. He was known by the name of " Sam,'' and was a Madras Indian. He was well known at Murphy's Creek, by working there.

I then examined the broken trucks; the carriage and van were broken to pieces. Anybody who saw them would be puzzled to know how the ladies and two children and three men came out without being completely smashed to pieces. On examination I found the engine, truck, carriage, and brake van off the rails. I at once sent for men, and at about six o'clock got the engine on the line, and took passengers and mails to Chinchilla. Where the engine ran off it was not 3 or 4 feet deep of a bank, as I saw in the Courier, nor was she turned over. Where she ran off it was a dead level.

Sir,— In conclusion I may say this was my dream on Sunday night, when I saw everything the same as it really happened, but little did I think it was coming at my very door. Nor did I ever believe in dreams, but I may in future. Mrs. Gardener, the lady, that got her leg broken and severely injured, is progressing favorably.

Yours. etc.

George Bashfoud.

Contractors' Office, Cullumboolah, April 25th, 1878. .


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Wednesday 22 May 1878, page 3


To the Editor.— Sir, — Permit me to call your attention to the style of conveyance provided for passengers on the extension of. the Western line beyond Chinchilla. Arriving from Roma — a coach full of passengers — we took tickets to Chinchilla for which we. had to pay first-class railway fare. Our conveyance was an empty coal truck, no seats except the floor of the truck, no shelter from the weather. The contractor receives the benefit of the passenger fares, and in return carries the mails free of charge, thereby saving the Government considerable expense. There is no reason why the railway department should not allow him the use of a passenger carriage, which could be done without difficulty, and would save future travellers from exposure to all weathers, and possible injury to health, which is perfectly unnecessary.

Hoping that you will consider the welfare of passengers of sufficient moment to justify me in occupying so much of your valuable space.

—I am, &c, INVALID.


Dalby Herald and Western Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1866 - 1879), Saturday 15 June 1878, page 2



Times are becoming very dull hereabouts, so I thought I would have a ramble up the Western Extension to " spy out the nakedness of the land."

Imprimis , after a beastly cold ride in open ballast trucks to the Town of Miles, I found that place springing fast into life and bidding fair to become one of our mushroom towns. There are seven "publics" at that place, two butchers, a billiard-room, &., and the. never-failing couple of policemen, who I understand have had a lively time of it lately, as some robberies are reported to have taken place, which has led to some brisk work for the guardians of the peace, and for some others also.

As the plates are laid right up to the bridge, passengers and goods can run into the town without any further inconvenience than a good freezing, at 6 o'clock in the morning.

{This was the last report from the Chinchilla correspondent to the Dalby Herald. I wonder where he went next?????}


Dalby Herald and Western Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1866 - 1879), Saturday 28 September 1878, page 2


TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 24. Before the Police Magistrate and Jas. Skelton. ;

. Sophia Bateman .v. Thomas Bateman.— Sureties of the Peace

Sophia Bateman deposed; I am the wife of Thos. Bateman of Charley's Creek ; on the 18th of September he made use of violent language to me, and threatened me , he said he would kill me and get me out of the way; on that evening Bateman came home very angry about the sheep being lost , he turned me and the children out of doors to look for the sheep ; after he turned me out , I went and sat in the fowl house till the break of day; I then went to look for the three boys and the sheep; I found the sheep first and started them on the road; I then went to the Chinchilla township and found the three little boys there; I borrowed 10s. from Mrs. O'Donnell to come down to Dalby to get a summons ; 1 am afraid that the defendant will do me some bodily harm, unless I am protected by the Court ; after the language made use of to me, the defendant struck me with a tin dish on the head, which bled profusely at the time.

Defendant was ordered to find sureties, himself in £50, and two sureties of £25 each, to keep the peace toward Sophia Bateman and the rest of Her Majesty's subjects for 12 months.'

Defendant failed to find the requisite sureties and was sent to Brisbane gaol on Wednesday. On the way he met with a Good Samaritan, Mr. S. Benjamin, at Toowoomba, who went bail for him.


Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1902), Saturday 21 September 1878, page 3



The arrival of our new station master, Mr. Tate from Chinchilla, appears to give very general satisfaction and 1 am quite certain, that his civil, unassuming manner will be duly appreciated by the public in general. Mr. Beattie the late station master has been removed to Chinchilla— the land of sandy blight, mosquitoes, and sand flies.


Dalby Herald and Western Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1866 - 1879), Saturday 2 November 1878, page 2


Accident.— We-are-sorry to have to record a serious Accident that has happened to Mr. Charles Beatty, of Chinchilla station. One day last week as Mr. Beatty was removing the bridle from a usually quiet horse, the animal suddenly reared and struck him violently on the chest with both feet. Although much hurt, Mr. Beatty did not think the injury likely to be serious, but on his getting alarmingly worse, Dr. Crosby was telegraphed for on Wednesday. On the doctor's arrival he found his patient in a very precarious state. He prescribed such remedies as were necessary and returned to town on the following day. The doctor left Dalby for Chinchilla yesterday evening on a visit to Mr. Beatty in the earnest hope and-expectation of-finding his patient much improved, and in this hope we most cordially join.

[this is the Chinchilla Railway station. Beatty arrived in Chinchilla in September, and resigned in the following February]


Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), Monday 30 December 1878, page 2



IN accordance with arrangements for some time past planned by the Government, and for which a vote was taken during the last session of Parliament, a number of new meteorological stations are about to be established in this colony, while some of those already in existence are to be carried on in a more elaborate manner than hitherto, and with improved appliances.

The places to which these new arrangements apply are twenty- eight in all; -four being made first-class stations ; eight, second-class ; and sixteen third-class.

The new first-class stations will be Rockhampton, Townsville, Cooktown, and Thursday Island. The second-class - Blackall, Bowen Downs, Bundaberg, Cairns, Charters Towers, Curriwillinghi, Palmerville, and Rutherford.

The third-class - Aramac, Chinchilla, Cunnamulla, Durah, Fassifern, Hawkwood, Inglewood, Jondaryan, Mitchell Downs, Nanango, St. George, Surat, Tate, Teningering, Tewantin, and Walsh.

At the first-class stations, the instruments used will be barometer, maximum self-registering shade thermometer, minimum self-registering shade thermometer, hygrometer, solar radiation thermometer in vacuo, solar radiation thermometer with ex-posed hull, minimum on grass thermometer, rain guage, and wind vane.

The instruments for the second-class stations will be maximum self-registering shade thermometer, minimum self-registering shade thermometer, rain guage, and wind vane.

The third class will only be supplied with rain gauge . and wind vane.

It is our present purpose to deal chiefly with the first-class stations. The only stations of this order now in existence are Brisbane, Cape Moreton, Toowoomba, and Warwick. The number is therefore to be doubled. The observations at these stations arc recorded three times a day,-viz., at 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.,-and are transmitted at those periods by telegraph to the meteorological observer, Brisbane, and also to the Government astronomer, Sydney.

The records are tolerably complete, those of the thermometers showing the maxi-mum and minimum temperature, both in shade and in sun, as also the minimum on grass ; and the mean averages per month of the readings of the several instruments are struck, and published in tabular form.


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