top of page

Chinchilla in 1905 -- Settlers from the Southern States

photo of a home at Kogan 1908

Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Saturday 14 January 1905, page 39



In his report on the proposed railway between Dalby and Chinchilla, and which was presented to Parliament before the close of last session, Mr. George Philips, C.E., states that he examined the country to the north of the Western Railway comprising Chinchilla, Logic Plains, Barncluith, Pelican, Seven Oaks, Nudley, fairyland, Jingi-jingi, Jingi-jingi East, Rosevale. Cooranga, Jandowae, Wyobie, and Jimbour.

The total distance of the route travelled was 317 miles, starting from Chinchilla, and following up Charley's and Branch Creeks to Barncluith, then to the parish of Colamba, comprising an area of 11,000 acres. From Barncluith he went in the direction to Jimpin and Noolah Plains. From Noola he went through Seven Oaks, Pelican, and Nudley, to Fairyland (Mr. Turner's station). The country generally is sandy, and of a quality, perhaps, better adapted to fruit-growing than grazing. He saw nothing to justify a tramway in that direction at present.

From Fairyland he turned south-easterly for Jingi-Jingi—traversing, poor and badly-grassed country, but carrying a good deal of useful ironbark and spotted gum— as far as Caranga or Five-mile Creek. On the southern side of Caranga Creek the country improves, and throughout the remainder of the journey he saw very little country of inferior quality. From Jingi-Jingi, Mr. A. Bassingthwaighte's house, he travelled easterly to Jandowae Creek, through good grazing country, carrying useful hardwood, chiefly ironbark : thence up Jandowae Creek to Rosevale', Mr. George Bassingtihwaighte's station.

From Rosevale he followed Jandowae Creek down to the township of that name—chiefly level box flats and sandy loam, well adapted for wheat-growing. There is a fair amount of settlement in the six miles immediately above the township. The principal farmer is Mr. Ambery, who cultivated fifty-five acres of wheat and barley last year, and is quite satisfied with his prospects, although he has not by any means the best land in the district. Whilst at Jandowae, he visited most of the farmers, all of whom speak well of the district, but complain of the want of better access to the railway, either at Warra or at Dalby ; the blacksoil plains are practically impassable in wet weather, and there can be no question that until this difficulty be overcome the utilisation of the fertile lands and the development of the timber industry in this district must be indefinitely postponed, to the detriment, not merely of the district, but also of the State.

From Jandowae he travelled to Marnhull (Mr. Pollock Thomson's sheep farm) and thence through the centre of Wyobie to Warra. From Warra he returned to Jandowae, via the direct road, which, for about eight miles, skirts the north-western boundary of Wyobie Estate, and on the other side is bounded almost entirely by brigalow, myall, and belar scrub, extending in one unbroken line westerly almost as far as Chinchilla, and northerly to Caranga Creek.

The direct road from Warra to Jandowae is singularly even and favourable for tramway construction ; there is only Cooranga Creek to cross ; it is already bridged on the road ; this bridge might answer for horse tramway purposes. With the exception of the last three or four miles near Jandowae the road traverses black soil of a particularly troublesome and tenacious nature in wet weather ; nor is there any material suitable for road making nearer than Marnhull, where there is an extensive outcrop of blue metal.

TO LOGIE PLAINS. From Jandowae he made an excursion into the Logie Plains Scrub, via Mesus Higgins' farm—portion 1603—through Kate’s and Crinoline Plains to the great Tuckerang, which is the largest of these singular plains embedded in scrubs. He estimated Tuckerang Plain to be fully five miles in length, extending from south-west by west to north east by east. This plain is now carrying an extremely heavy crop of fine grass, but there is not a hoof on it. All these plains are first-class grazing country, and should well respond to the plough for almost any fodder or cereal crop. Water has been made by means of wells and tanks on nearly all these plains. From Tuckerang he returned to Jondowae, traversing a lot of useful country on Jingi Jingi Creek with much ironbark, but, unfortunately, a good deal has been destroyed by ringbarkmg. He made a brief incursion into the scrub in the vicinity of Jandowae on the divide between Jandowae and Downfall Creeks. Some of this scrub is good, but on the whole he regards the scrub to the west of Jandowae as of superior and of more uniform quality. Having completed the inspection of country around Jandowae and thence to Warra, he travelled from Jandowae via Marnhull and Jimbour to Dalby—traversing Wyobie, Jimbour, and Bon Accord estates.


Mr. Phillips then says :—Before answering the questions submitted to me in the Under Secretary's letter dated 3rd November, I will briefly state the conclusions I have come to as the result of personal observations or from inquiries I have made from persons having competent local knowledge.

(A.) The available land on Chinchilla, south of the Condamine River, is too small and too isolated to justify the construction of a tramway in that direction.

(B.) The available land on Barncluith and Pelican is not of sufficient value to. justify a tramway from Chindhilla for the present, but the question of tapping the extensive hardwood forests to the north of Chinchilla may yet present itself for special inquiry—this, however, I regard as outside the scope of my instructions.

(C.) The available land on Canaga and Wee Wee k said to be of poor quality, and I have no reason to doubt the statement.

(D.) The available land on the northern aide of the railway between Chinchilla and Warra is generally of good quality ; it in, however, more or less infested with pear, but not, I think, to any great distance from the railway. The greater portion of this land is already served by the existing railway, and should be regarded as tributary thereto.

(E.) With the exception of the strip of land contiguous to the railway between Warra and Chinchilla and circle of, say, two miles radius from Mr. J. Y. Hack's house on Charley Creek, I did not see any land which could be called badly infested with prickly-pear. Nevertheless, pear is widely scattered in small quantities here and there, in a sporadic manner, and unless remedial measures are adopted it is only a question of time when pear will spread over the entire district. I shall have something to say further on this subject later on.

(F.) I regard Jandowae as the centre of a variable and extensive district, and the best objective point for a tramway either from Warra or from Dalby.

Continuing he says:—l estimate the available area, after making due allowance for roads, etc as 468,800 acres, of which about 242,000 acres is Crown land, chiefly on Logie Plains, Jingi-Jingi, Jingi-Jingi East. Rosevale, and Cooranga.

I believe that the box country around Jandowae, but more especially above Jandowae, would prove excellent wheat land, and no doubt will be availed of when improved access is afforded. ... I would advise that an area of from 200 to 300 acres is sufficiently large to keep a family in reasonable camort where a fair pro portion of the farm—say one-fifth to one third—is properly tilled. . . .

I estimate the enhanced value of land due to the contraction of a tramway from Warra to Jandowae at a total of £68.368, of which £19,343 would accrue to freehold land, and £49,025 on Crown land. . .

I estimate the enhanced value of land due to the construction of a tramway from Dalby to Jandowae at a total cost of £61942, of which £16,601 would accrue to freehold land, and £45,341 on Crown land.

The comparative distances are as follows :—

Dalby to Jandowae. 30and1/4 miles;

Warra to Jandowae, 16and 1/4 miles ; difference in favour of Warra, 14 miles.

As regards the distance between Jandowae and Dalby the comparison stands thus :—Jandowae to Dalby, via Warra, 43and 1/4 miles, Jandowae to Dalby direct 30and 1/4, difference in favour of direct route to Dalby, 13 miles.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION. Warra to Jandowae, gauge 3ft. 6in., steam traction, including necessary equipment and 30 1b. rails, £21,841.

Dalby to Jandowae, gauge 3ft. 6in., steam traction- &c, £37,747.

Warra to Jandowae, gauge 2ft., horse traction including necessary equipment and 18 lb rails £14,172.

Dalby to Jandowae, gauge 2ft., horse traction including necessary equipment and 18 lb rails £24,490.

Mr Phillips adds that ne considers the country between Dalby and the Great Dividing Range as peculiarly favourable for adoption of horse in preference to steam traction for development purposes.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Thursday 19 January 1905, page 2


Successful Candidates

The annual examination for State scholarships and bursaries took place on the 20th and 21st December last, when 179 boys and 92 girls presented themselves. The candidates eligible for these examinations are children who did not attain the age of 14 years till after the 31st day of December in the year of the examination and who have been receiving their education in the State for eighteen months, or such shorter period as may in special cases, be approved by the Minister. The examination was held at the various local centres, under the super-vision of responsible officers of the depart-ment or other persons specially appointed. The arrangements for this year provide that the scholarships shall not exceed thirty-six, and the bursaries eight, three fourths being, open to boys and one-fourth to girls in each case. The scholarships entitle the holders to free education at a Grammar school established under the Grammar Schools Act 1800 or other Act of the Legislature, or at any other school approved by the Governor in-Council. The bursaries entitle the holders to free education at a grammar school established under The Grammar Schools Act 1800 or other Act of the Legislature or it any other school approved by the Governer-In- Council together with an allowance not exceeding £30 per annum. Both scholarships and bursaries are tenable during good behaviour and the pleasure of Parliament, for a period of three years. Scholarships have been awarded to twenty seven boys and nine girls and bursaries to six boys and two girls. The following is a list of the names of the successful candidates :-


Males - …; Henry S. McMahon, Chinchilla; ………………………………………. Morning Post (Cairns, Qld. : 1897 - 1907), Saturday 11 February 1905, page 4

Reminiscences of the "Never Never" Country.

(By "Bunya.")

I have gathered these stories afar

In the wind and the rain ;

In the place where the, cattle camps are-

On the edge of the plain.

'The Banjo."

I hie me back to the old days -- the old days ! Once again the scent of the wattle blossom from the western bush. Once again the crack of the stockwhip and the bound of a good horse under me; the muster on the old station; and before all, 'her' face, the sweetest memory of all. No wonder the longing comes ; the longing to go back to the bushland. Perhaps some day I will go back old friends of the bush, for I know you for "hearts of gold." and a tear falls for those who have journeyed 'beyond the sunset. I do not forget.

The years have flown since I left the "Never-never" country ; but old faces and old places are fadeless' pictures. I am once more in fancy on the Western downs. Jimbour plains stretch before me to the horizon, covered with wild blue bells and daisies, flocks of sheep grazing and away in the distance the residence of the Bells. The Hon. J. T. Bell, now Minister for Lands, is one of the family. The father was a politician : so also is the son. _The time I knew Joey Bell, the telescope of his ambition didn't even bring Ministerial honors into view. To-day, maybe, he as-pires to even higher things. In those days he wasn't a bad fellow. He still has the eyeglass, the 'varsity drawl, and let us hope the good qualities of those times.

Many and many a time I have ridden across Jimbour from Dalby to Warra. Dalby, on the eastern edge of the plains, is a dreary looking place : the city of black mud. Here is the consumptives' sanitorium. . It is a good climate for them. Healthy people don't seek to go to Dalby. I shall never forget coming into Dalby on the western Mail one morning at break of day. The half light made the place look even more dreary and desolate than usual.

Some distance from Dalby are the Bunya-Bunya mountains, so called from the Bunya pine which grows thickly there. Years ago the blacks assembled there for the triennial Bunya feast. "There were sounds of revelry by night" in the shades of the mountains. Weird spectacles must those feasts have been. To-day the remnant that is left assemble there still, but the ceremonial splendour of old days is absent. Old warriors are still left who remember "long time back" --the last of their tribe.

.Warra-Warra is another station on the south-western railway. Warra-Warra is native for “far away.” Far away it was when they named it. Another sleepy place is Warra. Existence there is "sleep diversified with rum." One of the village settlements was established at Brigalow, near Warra. It never seemed to prosper though. At Warra and the adjacent town Chinchilla, Broadbent and Bailey, naturalists, botanists, etc., collected many valuable specimens. In the bed of the Condamine river many fine fossils were unearthed, many of which went to the Brisbane museum. Many stuffed birds from that district are also there.

Good days I spent on the cattle and sheep stations around Dalby, Warra, and Chinchilla. Jondowaie, Jimbour, Logie Plains, and Daandine were lively places, in those days when I was there. Amongst the shearers and station hands were many line fellows---natures that rung true in all life's weathers. It was at Daandine station that the career of an old friend of mine as an itinerant photographer was cut short. He left home and joined the business, but all unwillingly was brought back to the fold, by a limb of the law.

There were some smart fellows amongst the stockmen and station hands out there. On Logie station were men who could "tail" a bullock on horseback at full speed, and jumping off, secure him before he rose. I've seen it done time and again. Once I saw a blackboy at Logie do a thing which for daring I've never seen equalled. He crawled into a yard amongst some un-broken horses and "heeled" one of them with his mouth. The horse kicked, but missed the darkie, who had instantly fallen flat. There were white stockmen who could shoot from a horse at full gallop, and seldom or never miss. The Kenniff brothers were of such. I remember Lawton whose name cropped up in their case. He was a fearless horseman and a dead shot.

[nb Kennifs were the bushrangers of the Carnarvon Ranges in the 1890s]

One met some truer characters out there---men who came from nowhere, and were going nowhere. There was an old Irishman --Tim the Doctor--who used to wander up and down the line humping bluey, always looking for work and never finding it. He subsisted on the hospitality of the railway navvies, most of whom were Celts like himself. One day he sat on his swag on the middle of the railway line, half drunk; and face in hands, went to sleep. He was rudely awakened by the cowcatcher of the western mail lifting him clear of the way. He never got a scratch.

"T'was the providence of God saved me," he said, "and maybe the cowcatcher had a hand in it too." I have met men around there --derelicts of life's ocean--who never spoke of their past, and perhaps it was well. As Ogilvie says,

“They bury the black sheep out in the bush."

And for the selectors of the west a word: Yes! a word for the brave hearts, true as steel, that fought drought and flood undaunted "through seed-times of sweat,

and sorrow ; through harvests of hunger and tears." 'I have lived

amongst them, aye seen behind the curtain. Steel Rudd, in his "On our Selection," pictures the humorous side of the selector's lite, and in search of humor often invades the realms of exaggeration.

On 'my' selection, at least the one of my fancy; I have seen Dad's face weary and lined ; his hands scarred and worn ; and the humor of Steel Rudd scarcely appeals. I remember the mother face in the dark days on my selection, and the humor of Steele Rudd seems profane.

There is humor in the life of the selector--a pathetic humor--not of the Steele Rudd brand.

Old friends of the bush I'll ever think of old days and old ways.

“And often in the sleepless night I'll listen as I lie,

To the hobble chains clink-clinking; and the horse-bells rippling by,

I shall hear the brave hoofs beating, I shall see the moving steers

And the red glow of the campfires , as they frame across the years.

And my heart will fill with longing, just to ride for once again,

In the forefront of the battle, where the men who fight are men." [sic Wil Ogilvie] ……………………………………….

Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Thursday 4 May 1905, page 4


The minister tor LANDS referred yesterday to the efforts being made to encourage farmers to come to Queensland. He said that on Logie Plains arrangements had been made to set aside 37,000 acres for the Victorian farmers who are coming;

and this will leave for other selectors 19,000 acres on this holding, besides 15,000 acres nearer the railway which was not taken up by the Darriman Group. Just beyond Chinchilla, in the parish of Colamba, immediately to the south of the Western Railway, there is an area of thousands of acres available, and one of the Victorians has undertaken to select 1000 acres. His machinery is at Chinchilla and the land is being made available to him at once. The rainfall at Miles, which is west of these areas, and getting towards the dry belt, is 27and a half inches. The Victorians who have just left had an opportunity of seeing these Chinchilla lands and spoke very favourably of them. No limit could be placed on the lands available. There was also a large area of country to the north of Chinchilla-- very fine open country-- on Jinghi Jinghi and Rosevale. The Government also had Degilbo and Wetheron, and country around Gayndah equal to any in Australia as far as soil is concerned. Besides this we have the very fertile tract south from the Daintree River in North Queensland. These were mere indications of what the State could offer selectors


Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Saturday 6 May 1905, page 39



Speaking of his tour from Gladstone to Roma, via Banana and Taroom, the Minister for Lands (Hon. J.T. Bell) said that he saw a lot of very good country on the trip, and he was glad he had made the tour. It added very considerably to his knowledge of the country, and he was convinced that whenever the country is able to extend railway communication into the Dawson Valley and to some of the country on Calliope Creek, rear Prairie run, close settlement will be the result.

Questioned as to whether the railway construction needed would not be considerable. Mr. Hell said that if the country goes on the right way he sees no reason why such lines should not be built, even if they are built only by degrees. "The point i wish to make is this : that it is country fit for close settlement. It is not like the Western country, where settlement can only take place on large areas. The Dawson Valley and the country lying between the Dawson and the coast, or a great deal of it, it is for close settlement. It has soil, and it has rainfall, generally speaking." On the Dawson Mr. Bell said he did not see much prickly pear. There was a little in the vicinity of Banana : then there was none until the party was close to Taroom ; and then after leaving Taroom there was none until close up to Roma. On the whole he saw less prickly pear than he expected to sec. On the other hand it is always ominous when prickly pear is seen on country at all, for it means that unless steps are taken to eradicate it, it will cover that area within a brief period of time.

Mr. Psell said, on the question of railway communication, that when the finances allowed of its construction a line from Gladstone to Calliope would bring into existence a large dairying centre. As to opening up the district generally, a line from Boollburra (where the Central line crosses the Dawson) to the south, and a line from Chinchilla towards Taroom would, unlike some other lines built in Queensland, unquestionably make available land fit for close settlement—and close settlement would promptly follow the construction of such railways. It was satisfactory to know that when such works were possible—when the finances made such a policy possible—there were localities to which railway communication can be given with close settlement as the certain result. Altogether the trip represented a journey across country of about 400 miles.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Monday 8 May 1905, page 2


Herbert Rose, a youth about 18 years of age, met with a nasty accident 12 miles from Chinchilla on Thursday last. He was engaged in cutting sleepers.

for the Dalby Railway when a tree which he was cutting down fell on him. He received severe inquiries to his back and side, and unfortunately it was some time before he was discovered. Rose was conveyed to Toowoomba by the Western train on Saturday afternoon. The Ambulance bearers attended at the station and conveyed him to the Hospital.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Tuesday 27 June 1905, page 6

DALBY Saturday

There is an increasing demand for Crown lands in Dalby and the adjoining districts and the throwing open of the Logie and other lands is anxiously awaited.

A vote of the settlers in the Monmouth (Chinchilla) district with reference to the levying of a special late for the purpose of assisting to defray the cost of a bridge over Charley s Creek was taken last week and was unanimously in favour of the rate


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Thursday 20 July 1905, page 6

DALBY Wednesday

The hydraulic engineer passed through today to inspect the Baking Board Lands near Chinchilla and report on the advisability of putting down bores or tanks.

He will also inspect the tank now nearing completion on the Logie Plaine lease-hold before returning to Brisbane


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Saturday 22 July 1905, page 7

Coming from the South;Inspection of New Country.

Flocks of Victorian Settlers Expected

There are indications that a large number of Victorians are likely to come to Queensland to settle. At least, this is the testimony of those who have come from that State to make their homes at Logie Plains . In order to provide for them, new areas of country are being inspected. Mr.A. Murphy, who organised the group who have had land allotted them, has been engaged to do this, and it is understood that he will shortly return to Victoria to give his opinion as to the merits of the land available. In one patch at Jinghi, and near Jandowie township, west of Dalby, there are 92,000 acres, and in another at Chinchilla there are 28,000 acres.

The Victorians have expressed a very high opinion of the Logie Plains land for the purpose of lamb-raising and wheat-farming, and it is stated that the other areas named are equally good. Although the rainfall is not high, it is explained that the soil retains the moisture remarkably well.


Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908), Tuesday 25 July 1905, page 12


Mr. A. Murphy left Brisbane on Friday for the Chinchilla district. He will inspect 40,000 acres on Jinghi Jinghi, round the township of Jondowaie, to the north-west of Dalby. On this run, there is an area of 92,000 acres. Mr. Murphy will also inspect 28,000 acres at Chichilla. He said on Sunday that there was no doubt that the Victorians who took up the Logie Plains land would make a success of it. The land was better in every way; the soil, rainfall, and general conditions were better than in the case of the land the farmers were leaving in Victoria.


Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), Friday 28 July 1905, page 6

Thc Minister for Lands (thc Hon. J. T. Hell) opened the Dalby show to-day. Re-ferring to the railway construction policy of the Government, he said the Cattle Creek Railway would be continued to its terminus. Other railways would be made to open up the Crown lands in the vicinity of Chinchilla and the Bunya Mountains, and to the settlements already formed. Officers of the Lands Department had only that day reported the discovery of splendid scrub lands fit for closer settlement, more than 40,000 acres in extent, and it would be the duty of the Ministry to open it up.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Monday 31 July 1905, page 2


Mr. Steele, accompanied by Messers Murphy, White, and another gentleman, travelled to Chinchilla by Friday night's train to inspect about 45,000 acres adjoining Baking Board Siding (about five miles westerly of Chinchilla) with the view of settling some more desirable Victorians in our State. We learn on good authority that the water recently struck on Logic Plains north of Haystack Plain is good. ...''Dalby Herald.'


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Saturday 5 August 1905, page 12


About 11.30 p.m. on Tuesday night a fire took place at the residence of Mr F.Gaske, which_ burnt down his kitchen containing a quantify of provisions, clothing, and various articles of more or less value, and only for the timely assistance and vigorous efforts of some of the townspeople Mr. Gaske would have, lost every thing (says the Chinchilla correspondent of the "Dalby Herald" on 2nd August). As it is he is a heavy loser, not having his home insured.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Saturday 5 August 1905, page 12


We learn that the Minister for Lands has arranged with the Treasurer that a sum of £100 shall be contributed towards the erection of a bridge across Charley's Creek. Near to the site of the old Monmouth Group (says the Dalby "Herald" 2nd August.). The local residents who will be convenienced by the construction of the bridge, are finding £40 of the necessary out-lay, and the Wambo Shire Council are also expending £80, This Bridge is a very necessary undertaking, not only to those who are already settled on the north side of the creek, but also as a medium for bringing about the selection of the vacant Crown lands in the neighbourhood. When in Chinchilla some two or three months ago, Mr Bell was interviewed by several of the selectors upon the subject, and he agreed to endeavour to obtain Treasury assistance


Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908), Thursday 10 August 1905, page 9

The " Dalby Leader" of Saturday says':-The friends of Mr. B. F. Wood, Government stock inspector at Chinchilla, will be extremely sorry to learn that he has received notice of his transfer to Peak Crossing, Ipswich, where he will take over the duties of Mr. Inspector Dansey. Mr. Wood, during the five years he has been stationed at Chinchilla, proved himself at all times courteous and obliging, and was greatly esteemed by his many friends. His coming departure from this district will be regretted by all who have had occasion to meet him. There are few men in the department possessing a more thorough knowledge, of stock matters; and the manner in which Mr. Wood supervised the erection of the new cattle-dip at Chinchilla, and has conducted the dipping operations there, has given great satisfaction. We learn the transfer means promotion for Mr. Wood, and tender him our congratulations and best wishes for success in his new sphere of work.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Tuesday 15 August 1905, page 2


Inspector Geraghty has received word that a man named Philp was found dead at his camp about 1 miles from Chinchilla on Saturday morning. It is understood the deceased had been drinking very heavily lately.


Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1948), Saturday 26 August 1905, page 3

Land Selection.

The following extracts are taken -from the report of Mr, J. B. O. Evans, Land Commissioner for the Roma, Charleville, Cunnamulla, Surat, and Taroom districts, published with the annual report of the Department of Public Lands for the year

1904:— a good year for pastoral and agricultural pursuits, although the rainfall was not above the average. The number of sheep increased very largely, lambing being very satisfactory, and the fleeces cut were exceptionally heavy. The wheat crop was a very good one, and farmers were fortunate in getting fine weather daring harvest time, so that the grain was harvested without any damage from wet weather. The good harvest during the previous year had attracted a large number of new settlers, and 161 applications for land were received during the year, principally for agricultural homesteads.


Noxious weeds have increased considerably during 1904, by far the worst weed being the Noogoora Burr, which is distributed far and wide by travelling stock and by floods. It has also the reputation of being poisonous when eaten by stock in a time of drought. It is confined in the West at present, to the Roma, ;Surat, and Taroom districts, being principally in evidence on the Maranoa and Balonne rivers, and the creeks which run into them ; also along the stock routes and on the country between Miles and Taroom. A few years ago it was unknown in the West .

Prickly pear does not spread so rapidly, but already vast tracks of country are hopelessly ruined, especially on the frontage to the Condamine and Balonne rivers,' the creeks near the railway line between Chinchilla and Roma, the country between Miles and Taroom, the creeks north of the railway line between Roma and Mitchell, and some of the country about Morven.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Monday 28 August 1905, page 4


Hon. J,. K. Groom is in receipt of the following communications: — CHINCHILLA POST OFFICE.

Postmaster-General’s Department. Melbourne.' 21st August, 1905.

Dear Mr. Groom, — I am in receipt of the letter, dated the 12th instant, recently forwarded by you from the Hon. J. T. Bell. M.L. A., Minister for Lands, Queensland, regarding the desirableness of erecting a Post Office at Chinchilla, apart from the Railway Station. I am having enquiry made in the matter and will further advise you in due course. — Yours faithfully, AUSTIN CHAPMAN.


Queensland Figaro (Brisbane, Qld. : 1901 - 1936), Thursday 31 August 1905, page 13

The wedding of Mr. B. F. Wood, Stock Inspector recently transferred from Chinchilla to Boonah, to Miss E. Pilkington, of Chinchilla, took place at St. John's Church, Dalby, on, the 23rd instant. The bride wore white bishops lawn, trimmed with maltese lace, orange blossom wreath and bridal veil.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Wednesday 6 September 1905, page 9


Mr. Johnson, Father of Mr. H. H. Johnson, Grassdale, Chinchilla-, met with a most serious accident on Tuesday last (says the Dalby "Herald" of 2nd September). He was riding a mare to water, bareback, and it is presumed she was made more than ordinary flighty through her foul being weaned from her. Anyway, something caused her to bolt, and the old gentleman, to save himself, grasped the mane. The animal then gave a buck or two, throwing her rider on to her wither, and occasioning very serious injuries. As soon as possible first aid was given him, and on Wednesday he was brought to the Dalby Hospital, where he now lies in a precarious condition.


Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1948), Wednesday 27 September 1905, page 3

A very well attended meeting of famers was held at Chinchilla on Saturday last for the purpose of forming a branch of the Farmers’ Association of Queensland, which was initiated at Oakey (says a correspondent of the Toowoomba “Chronicle.") Mr. G. Hando, who was voted to the chair, briefly explained the object of the meeting, and pointed out the necessity for the farmers and producers to form into line and thus be in a better position to obtain legislation and other matters suitable for the man on the land. All present were unanimous in forming a branch, and subscribed their names freely. It is to be hoped that the farmers in every district in the State will do likewise, and then and not till then, will they receive the consideration from any Government that they deserve. The Farmers and Settlers’ Association in New South Wales is quite a power is the land, and it rests with the producers themselves to make it the same in Queensland.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Monday 2 October 1905, page 2

Laud Inquiries.

A former resident of the Forbes district has decided to settle in the Chinchilla district, where he will take up 640 acres, and similar areas for his wife and daughter. He says that bis decision will probably influence a large number of other residents of the southern district to migrate north and do likewise.


Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908), Saturday 14 October 1905, page 5


Mr. Jas. Grimmett, who, it will be remembered, was introduced to the Minister for Lands by the Rev. T. Northcote as a practical farmer in search of land, called into the " Leader" office on Tuesday, and was good enough to give us some information regarding his intentions with reference to farming operations in this district. Mr. Grimmett is a resident of Parkes, New South Wales. He has already applied for and has been granted an agricultural farm of 960 acres and an agricultural homestead of 320 acres about six miles from the township of Chinchilla. He intends to take up an agricultural homestead of 320 acres, and an agricultural farm of 490 acres for each of his three sons. He is also applying for an agricultural farm of 640 acres in Mrs. Grimmett's name. The country he had selected was dense brigalow and belar scrub, with a little pear; ? 2s 6d per acre was being paid for the agricultural homesteads, and 15s per acre for the agricultural farms, the payment of the former purchase money being spread over a period of 10 years, and of the latter over a period of 20 years. Mr. Grimmett is going in for dairying, wheat, wool, and Shropshire lamb-raising. In his opinion the country is excellently adapted for wheat. It would be necessary to make tanks and wells, as there was no surface water on the land. He stated he hoped to be in occupation of the land by February. In reply to a question as to what induced him to come to Queensland in search of land, Mr. Grimmett stated that he was contemplating trying Canada, hut decided, on the representations of Mr.Hando, of Chichilla, who was an old neighbour of his at Parkes, to come to Queensland and look at the land. He was quite satisfied with what he had seen, and reckoned that about 15 of his neighbours and their families would come up and settle here when they had heard his report on the country. Queensland, Mr. Grimmett stated, is now the centre of attraction in the eyes of New South Wales farmers who are looking for land. Mr. Grimmett particularly wished to mention that the Minister for Lands had treated him with every courtesy, and had assisted him in his inspection of land with free railway passes and in other ways.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Tuesday 17 October 1905, page 6




Of the party of New South .Wales farmers who visited Queensland in company with Mr. F. E. Pulsford, representative in Sydney of the Queensland Lands Department, seventeen returned to Brisbane last night after inspecting lands at Degilbo, Gayndah, and Mondure. It will be remembered that the party originally consisted of twenty-eight farmers, of whom five went to the Dalby district to see the prospects for wheat growing. Of the remainder, three have remained at places on the way back, and others had to return home. The party which arrived last night will probably hare an interview with the Minister to-day, and afterwards leave for the Dalby and Chinchilla districts. They were disinclined to speak of their experiences last night, preferring to reserve their judgment until the whole tour as mapped out has been completed and all the lands inspected. It was evident, however, that the question of providing water was a difficulty. Except for the last couple of days, the weather was fine. The settlers were all pleased with the arrangements made for them by the Lands Department, which were satisfactory everywhere except at Degilbo, where the size of the party created a difficulty In regard to vehicular accommodation.

Of the five visitors to the Dalby and Chinchilla district, only one has visited the department; but from what can be gathered they were very pleased with what they Baw.

Mr. F. Pulsford, Government agent in New South Wales, who also returned to Brisbane last night, stated that the party had seen a lot of excellent country, and some members were prepared to settle with their friends if the terms were satisfactory. Many of the visitors, however, wish to go out West and see the country at Jandowaie and Chinchilla before coming to any decision, and, in consequence of this desire, Mr. Pulsford will accompany fifteen of the party on a visit of Inspection. He said that they had greatly appreciated the interest taken in their movements by the Minister, and the great assistance given at all points by the Government officials. They had inspected the Degilbo subdivision, and two or three members had lodged applications for blocks there. The party had also seen Tawah Creek, Binjour Plateau, Woodmiller Scrub, Ideraway, and Mondure. Mr. Pukford and the visitors will leave Brisbane for the West to-day. On their visit it was noticed that when the rain came the country recovered very quickly from the effects of the dry weather.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Wednesday 18 October 1905, page 5


Several of the fawners from the Southern States who are now in Queensland had an interview with the Minister for Lands yesterday, but nothing of a very definite nature transpired The visitors were impressed with land in the Gayndah district and have mide inquiries as to the terms for selection there. On Thursday they will visit the Jondowaie and Chinchilla districts.


Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Saturday 21 October 1905, page 29


DALBY, Oct. 7.—.

Several applications from Victorians were dealt with, and the whole area set apart on the Logie leasehold has now been selected. A New South Wales selector, James Rennett, selected 1280 acres at Chinchilla. Several portions at Logie and Chinchilla were selected by local residents. A party of four or five New South Wales men are now inspecting the Chinchilla lands. On Monday they will be shown over the Jinghi lands by Mr. Murphy, jun. A larger party will inspect about 19th instant. Mr. Murphy says he is afraid they cannot be admitted into the Victorian group, as the blocks are nearly all applied for, and he presumes they will form a group for themselves if the locality suits them.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Tuesday 31 October 1905, page 2

Opening up Land.

Surveyors Busy at Work.

The various officers of the survey branch of the Lands Department are very busy just now. Surveyor Burbank is working at the country recently reported as being suitable for settlement at Munbinar, near Nerang. Surveyor Jopp is now at work at Belli Creek. Staff-surveyor Warwicker has just finished designing the Mergan (?) lands, and is now going to Gomboorian and Tinana Creek lands, east of Gympie. Staff-surveyors Hill and Steele are now designing the country between Jondowaie and the Main Range, and as soon as one of them is available he will be despatched for the purpose of laying out a large quantity of country comprised in the Pelican leasehold, east of Chinchilla, which is now available. The department has a number of applications in hand for permission to form groups. These are being attended to as rapidly as possible


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Thursday 2 November 1905, page 4


Mr Frank E Pulsford writes -From certain questions asked in your Legislative Assembly on Thursday last and from the brief official answers given the next day the impression may get abroad that the party of farmers brought here by me have paid nothing for horse and vehicle accommodation. Lest any should suggest that the trip has been merely a picnic at Government expense I ask space for a word or two in explanation. At Degilbo 5s per head was paid for horses and £2 2s 6d for two coaches. For the trip to Gayndah we paid 18s per head and 10s each to be driven to Murray’s Plateau , while on our second day at Gayndah except that the Mayor and two citizens kindly mounted four of us free the rest paid for horses. Owing to our difficulty in obtaining sufficient horses at Degilbo, the Minister very kindly sent six horses to Wondai. This was most valuable assistance and enabled us all to get over the country. We were not asked to pay for these six horses but for the rest of the mounts obtained locally we paid 5s and 7s 6d per day each. At Chinchilla no charge was made us for horses. At Warra the first party (of about seven) paid 5s per day each for horses; the second party (of about six) being mounted as I understand at the Government expense. I think I am safe in saying that apart from the cost of getting to Queensland the party has spent £300 in your State . I desire on behalf of the entire party to state that the welcome extended to us, and the great assistance rendered by the Minister for Lands and his officers have been most thoroughly appreciated and I make this explanation only lest it should be thought that the party had been relieved of expense to an extent scarcely fair to Queensland and Queenslanders.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Wednesday 15 November 1905, page 2

Demand for Land.

Areas under Survey. Another Group Application.

Staff-surveyor Bedford, of the Lands Department, is at present engaged laying out a large area of country, known as Dulacca North and Noonga, close to Miles, on the western line, for settlement purposes.

The area will amount to between 80,000 and 100,000 acres. It is scrub and forest land, and suitable for lamb-raising, agriculture, and pastoral purposes. There is reason to believe that when the land is made available there will be a healthy demand for it.

Designs have been received from the staff-surveyors carrying out the work of planning the country available in the Jondowie district. Provision will be made for a water supply before the land is thrown open. The Minister has no doubt that the competition will be keen for this land when opened.

This week the department received an intimation from a Victorian group of a dozen that they were prepared to settle in the Chinchilla district on land inspected by a couple of representatives, some little time since.

The Minister has decided that in future personal residence must be a condition of the group system.

Of late the Minister has been leasing areas under the provisions of section 15 of the 1902 Act, and negotiations for further areas under the same section are now taking place. This section provides for long terms of lease. Mr. Bell interprets this activity to mean that there will be an increasing demand for un-occupied areas. The main reason for their idleness has been the shortage of stock in the State, but with a good season or two, he is confident that these tracts will all be taken up by bona-fide settlers and profitably occupied.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Thursday 16 November 1905, page 5


In addition to the areas already mentioned as being prepared for selection, Staff surveyor Bedford is going to lay out an area of between 80,000 acres and 100,000 acres on Dulacca North and Noonga near Jackson Railway Station, which is beyond Miles on the Western Railway. The land is scrub and forest country and there is reason to believe that when it is designed and made available there will be some selection on it.

Designs are being received from time to time from Staff-surveyors Hill and Steele, now walking on the Jondowaie lands but it will be necessary to cut tracks and make provision for water conservation before the land is thrown open to selection.

On the Mondure lands similar provision will have to be made either by way of wells or shallow bores.

The Minister believes that when the lands now in hand are available there will be numerous inquiries. A considerable number of persons are still applying for land. On Tuesday information was received that a group of ten or twelve men in Victoria had decided to select land at Baking Board near Chinchilla. Mr Bell had several interviews with the two representatives of the group and arranged to have the land pointed out to them. They have since telegraphed and also written of their intention to form a group.

A number of applications for permission to form groups have been received from time to time The Minister has decided that in future members of groups must personally reside on their selections.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Wednesday 22 November 1905, page 3

Chinchilla Settlement.

Demand for Scrub Country. Large Areas Available,

Tho Minister for Lands visited Chinchilla on Saturday, when he met the members of the newly-formed Farmers' Association, composed principally of selectors who have recently settled in that district from the southern States. Subsequently

Mr. Bell rode due north from Chinchilla for seven or eight miles, and regretted to notice the great increase in prickly pear since his last visit to that locality three years ago. He was informed that when the harvest was over in New South Wales a number of others would come to Queensland to settle, owing to the good reports that had been sent them by friends here as to the character of the country available and the price and terms upon which it could be obtained. The Minister understood that some of the prinkly pear country, which can be obtained free of charge, would be taken up.

Mr. Bell visited the Baking Board countrv, which comprises, several thousand acres of land. He thinks that as soon as water is procured it will be settled. He was surprised to learn that there was such a large area of Crown land available for settlement in Chinchilla and thereabouts. Newcomers are setting up a demand for scrub lands, which hitherto were passed by on the part of Queenslanders. This fact opened up new possibilities . Such country as Pelican, Burncluith, and Speculation, not hitherto looked at, was considered by the arrivals from the south as land eminently adapted for wheat and lucerne. 'Mr. Bell poits out that there is a large area of this brigalow and belar country on the south side of the Condamine, 10 miles from Chinchilla. The Minister thinks the future of the Chinchilla district very promising, and the township has prospects as bright as any centre between Dalby and Roma. Houses are already springing up there, as well as at Warra.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Wednesday 29 November 1905, page 2

Getting Land Ready. farmers from Southern States.

The Minister for Lands states that a surveyor has been despatched, to prepare the Pclican land, near Chinchilla, ready for a group of settlers from thee south. It is understood that after the Victorian group are provided with areas from the Jondowaie land, there will be a considerable area to offer to the general public. Designs are now coming in from Staff-surveyors Hill and Steele, respecting this tract.

Reports from New South Wales show that a very large number of farmers would come to Queensland if they were certain that suitable land would be available. Evory farmer who comes north has had promises extracted from him from friends to send back word as to the chances for settlement and if those accounts are favourable the stream setting in this way will swell greatly.

The Minister explains that the surveying stall is working at high pressure, and very soon considerable areas of dairying and other lands will be ready for occupation.


Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), Thursday 30 November 1905, page 3



The Minister For Lands states that a surveyor has just arrived on the Pelican country, near Chinchilla, to lay out the land for a New South Wales group. Designs are coming in from Staff-surveyors Hill and Steele, who are engaged in mapping out the country between Jandowaie and the Bunya Mountains. The Minister is continually receiving letters from persons in the South and having in-views (sic) with settlers from the other States who require land.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Thursday 14 December 1905, page 2

Looking for Land.

Men from the South. Representatives of Scores of Others.

Queensland's land agent in Sydney, Mr. Pulsford, is apparently doing good work. In addition to the batches of men he has induced to come this way on the hunt for land, another lot of 16 arrived by mail train last night, and had an interview with Mr. Bell this morning. Some are3 dairymen and others are sheep and cattlemen.

They come from Maitland, Singleton, Armidale, Werris Creek, and other districts of Now South Wales, and represent large numbers of friends. "I represent 40," said a man from Werris Creek. The Minister's eye twinkled gleefully at this, and enquired of others how many they each represented. According to the replies they are being watched by hundreds, and if their reports are encouraging it will be It good thing for Queensland.

Two districts they have specially in view to visit. These are Gayndah and Chinchilla, and Mr. Bell has recommended some country at the head of the Albert and Logan Rivers.

Several inquiries were made as to the terms upon which land can be secured, and the Minister gave explanations. He went on to point out that they had scrub lands in various parts of southern Queensland, but not in any great quantity close to a railway. They had any amount of land at the back of Cairns with which the Don Dorrigo in Now South Wales, could not be compared. Most people thought this land was too far away, but he thought there were great possibilities ahead of settlement there. He would be prepared to pay the steamer fares of a couple of rcpresentative men to inspect. Some day there would, he felt sure, be a great boom in that country, because of its great rich soils and its splendid climate. A surveyor was now designing some of it to make it available for settlement. He mentioned this to give them the chance He thought it advisable that the party should break up into two lots, and inspect the land now being surveyed in certain districts in the south. The reserves in the Logan and Albert districts could be seen, as well as that at Gayndah. They would also see some good open country around Miles and at Chinchilla. He suggested that one party might go to Woodmiller's Scrub at Gayndah, which was lightly timbered, and he believed would carry artificial grasses. Any land which contained prickly pear could be had on very liberal terms. Those who could form it group would have land set aside for them — the number could be as low as six — but if this was not done any intending settler would have to take his chance for a single block with the general public. One visitor said he was the head of a family of four, and asked if personal residence was necessary in a group, as he had business to take him away for some time. Mr. Bell replied in the affirmative. Personal residence was essential under the new Act in cases of groups.

The visitors have arranged to divide into two parties, and one will go to Chinohilla and te other to Gayndah.


Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Saturday 16 December 1905, page 15

DALBY, Dec. 9.—Harvesting is now pretty general throughout the district. It isbelieved that the Chinchilla growers will obtain the best averages—about three bags to the acre. In the Maida Hill, Bun ya Mountain, and Mocatta's Corner districts a number of farmers will not harvest any grain, while in isolated cases up to three bags will be harvested. The average return in the Irvingdale and Moolla districts, it is estimated, will not exceed two bags. Mr. George Ford, of Greenbank, was the first grower to send in a consignment of the new season's wheat. His crop will average three bags of fairly good grain from fifty-four acres.


Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Saturday 23 December 1905, page 2

New Settlers.

New Group to be Formed. Pleased with Pelican Country.

A number of the New South Wales visitors, who went to the Chinchilla country to look at the land available have decided to form a group and settlee there. They are highly pleased with the character of the country, which to them appeared to be eminently suitable for grazing, dairying, and agriculture. The land consists of open apple tree flats. A characteristic feature of it is that it retains the moisture for a very lengthened period. One visitor was surprised to see maize flourishing luxuriantly, although there had been up to that time very little rain. These farmers propose to establish the dairying industry, and will work cooperatively in the carriage by van of cream to Chinchilla, some 18 or 20 miles away. They have been given to understand, however, that the Government are favourable to the extension of the railway in that part, and they are prepared to put up with a little carriage inconvenience lor a couple of years.

Another batch of these visitors who went to Gayndah to look at scrub lands there are inclined to settle, and at least 10 of them will join a group now being formed to take up part of the recently resumed Ideraway Estate.

A number of those visitors represent many others, and the Lands Department was busy to-day attending to them.


Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), Monday 25 December 1905, page 4

Recently fourteen farmers, from New South Wales came to Queensland to inspect land. One half of the party visited the Gayndah district and the other half the Chinchilla district. Both parties were pleased with the district seen, especially those who inspected the Chinchilla lands.

A group of twenty-five farmers will be formed to take up land on Pelican, about twenty miles from Chinchilla, another group of ten farmers will be formed to take up land in the Ideraway-Gayndah district.


Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Wednesday 27 December 1905, page 8

A group of Southern settlers passed through by Thursday evenings train from Chinchilla, where they had been inspecting Crown lands They expressed themselves as well pleased with the country, and the Minister for Lands who was travelling by the same train arranged to meet them at his office on the following day. It is stated locally that another group of seventeen Southerners have sent in applications for holdings on the Burncleuth country in the Chinchilla district.


94 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page