Brisbane General Cemetery ca 1889 courtesy SLQ

The Brisbane General Cemetery’s picturesque setting maintains the visual allusion of the Victorian concept of a mortuary park on the outskirts of the city. After a sizable portion of land was set aside for cemetery purposes at Toowong in 1861, the appropriateness of the site at Toowong for the purpose of a General Cemetery was an issue contested for the next two decades. It’s isolation and doubts about the suitability of its site, with a lack of access and public transport, fuelled dissent and debate while the public continued to use the cheaper, more accessible familial grounds at Paddington.

The State government passed the Cemetery Act in 1866 providing the means to establish general cemeteries under the control of government appointed trustees. In 1868, a further portion of Crown land, 53 acres in area, north of the cemetery reserve was added to fulfil of the Trustee’s requirement for the entire cemetery to be surrounded with public roads. The reserve was gazetted and the Cemetery Trust established in October 1870. The grounds at the Cemetery were laid out by the prominent surveyor, George Phillips and the Cemetery was officially opened on 5 July 1875.

The first burial here was that of Colonel Samuel Wensley Blackall (1 May 1809-2 January 1871), an Irish soldier and politician who served as Queensland’s second Governor. He served from 14 August 1868 until he died while in office. As his health was declining, in 1870, he selected the highest burial site at the new Toowong Cemetery. Shortly after, he died in office on 2 January 1871. His memorial is the largest and most prominent in the cemetery with commanding views of the city and surrounds.

Between Governor Blackall’s burial and the official opening of the Cemetery, there were six burials. The next interment was Ann Hill, wife of Walter Hill, superintendent of the Botanical Gardens on 2 November 1871. Thomas and Martha McCulloch were buried in November 1873, Teresa Maria Love on 16 March 1875 and Florence and Ethel Gordon on 4 July 1875.

The distinctive Cemetery gates are an example of the Victorian concept of a mortuary park and were designed by F.D.G. Stanley, who later resided in Church (now Jephson) Street, Toowong. The gates were erected in 1873-74.

Just inside the gates is the Temple of Peace. This memorial was erected by Richard Ramos as a memorial to his four sons, three of whom had died in WW1. Victor Ramos died at Messines, his brother Henry died of wounds in Belgium, and the youngest son, Gordon was killed at Gallipoli. An adopted son, named Fred, was killed in an accident in 1923. Ramos’s grief was so profound he designed and built the temple for his sons in 1924, and also for the family dog which was poisoned.

 

Raymond Dart

Researched and written by Peter McNally

Raymond Dart (1893- 1988) was an anthropologist and palaeontologist who realized that a fossilized skull he was examining in 1924 was the earliest example of primordial bipedal man ever found to date, thus proving beyond doubt that human ancestors evolved out of Africa. Dart named the species Australopithecus africanus, the ‘southern ape from Africa’.

Robert Broom (a Scottish doctor who became a professional palaeontologist in 1933 at 67, and who was a long-time supporter of Dart) paid this tribute to Dart:

Raymond A. Dart’s discovery and analysis in 1924 was one of the most important in world history.

Early Years

Raymond Dart was born in Queensland, Australia in the inner western suburb of Brisbane on 4 February 1893. He almost didn’t make it as he, his mother, and her midwife had to be rowed to safety after he was born from the family grocery store in Sylvan Road, Toowong during one the Brisbane River floods of that year. He was the fifth born of nine children of Samuel Dart, a Queensland-born storekeeper, and his wife Eliza Ann, née Brimblecombe, who was born in New South Wales. He had seven brothers and a sister.

Despite being born in Toowong, Dart was raised mainly on a dairy farm near Laidley. His early education was at Toowong State School, which was then located in Aston Street, Toowong. He also attended Blenheim State and Ipswich Grammar schools. He later attended newly established The University of Queensland where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science on 17 April 1914 and a Master of Science, First Class Honours (in Biology), 10 May 1916. He later spent four years at the University of Sydney, studying medicine. All these qualifications were achieved before his 25th birthday.

After graduating, Dart left Australia and served in the medical corps as a captain and medic in the Australian Army in England and France during the last year of World War I. In 1920 Dart was appointed as a senior demonstrator at the University College, London at the direction of Grafton Elliot Smith. A famed anatomist and anthropologist, Smith was regarded as THE eminent anatomist in Britain. Interestingly, Grafton Elliot Smith, who was also a fellow Australian, had moved from Grafton (as in his name), New South Wales, to take up a position in London.

Dart then travelled to Washington University, St Louis, Missouri on a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and then returned to his position at the University College, London,

In 1922, Dart left Britain to take up the position of Chair of Anatomy at South Africa’s newly established University of Witwatersrand’s fledgling Faculty of Medicine (sometimes called ‘Wit’s’ University). He was reluctant to do so, but agreed after encouragement from Elliot Smith and Scottish anatomist and anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith FRS, who was professor of physiology at the Royal Institution of Great Britain from 1918 to 1923 at the time. Dart was just 31 years of age.

Raymond Dart

Archival photograph of Raymond Dart holding the Taung skull [Courtesy of WITS University Archives]

Taung Child

In 1924, one of Raymond’s students brought him some quarry rubble containing a skull. After Dart painstakingly cleared away non-essential debris around the skull, he declared : In my opinion it is not a young chimpanzee, as many scientists have suggested. I believe it is a crossover between an ape, and a human, possibly a human ancestor.

Raymond named his skull the ‘Taung Child’ after where it was discovered. Dart then presented his findings to the scientific journal Nature, who published his report on 7 February 1925.

Eventually, the skull turned out to be the earliest example of primordial, bipedal man ever found. It also proved beyond doubt that human ancestors evolved out of Africa.

Back in 1925 Raymond claimed that this genus of hominid would have had a posture and teeth similar to modern humans. It also had a small ape-sized brain. Most importantly, Dart, being an anatomist, knew that the position where the vertebrae entered the skull meant it was bipedal.

Dart’s conclusions were met with hostility from other many anthropologists. It must have been disappointing for Raymond to be challenged by Grafton Elliot Smith, his own professor and mentor, who stated, ‘The Taung skull was more likely to have been a chimpanzee, not a human ancestor’. After a number of years, a disenchanted Raymond gave up searching for fossils, and went back to teaching.

Piltdown Man

Dart had accepted the science of the time, that the earliest human ancestor was indicated by the discovery of Piltdown Man’s skull. It was found in 1912 by amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson in Pleistocene gravel beds near the town of Piltdown in Sussex, Britain, and was regarded as the earliest known record of a pre-human fossil. This proved that human ancestors evolved out of Europe. Grafton Elliot Smith, one of the anthropologists that Dart had observed and admired while working in London, was later called to the town of Piltdown to help reconstruct pieces of the skull that had been found there.

The Piltdown Man was later exposed to have been a hoax, one of the biggest frauds in anthropological science history. The general public were horrified to find out that the hoax had taken place, and even more concerning, that it took 31 years for the deception to be discovered. Today, after much investigation, the fraudster has not been named.

After witnessing the Dart experience following the discovery of the ‘Taung Child’, Robert Broom, a doctor and anthropologist, became interested in the search for human ancestors. He explored dolomite caves in South Africa, particularly Sterkfontein Cave (now part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site). Twelve years later, while continuing his exploratory digs, Robert Broom, found an adult female skull of the ‘Taung Child’s’ genus among other fossils in 1936.

Robert Broom’s discoveries of further Australopithecines (as well as Wilfrid Le Gros Clark’s support) eventually vindicated Dart, so much so that in 1947, Sir Arthur Keith, who had publicly disputed Raymond’s claims, in 1947 made the statement: ‘…I was wrong and Raymond Dart was right!’

Dart, who recalled that back in 1871 Charles Darwin had stated, ‘It was more probable than not, human ancestors evolved out of the African continent’, had the historical sense to remind the world of Darwin’s words. Thus Raymond Dart’s second distinction after realising the significance of the ‘Taung Child’, was that he had turned Darwin’s ‘Probable’ into a ‘Definite!’

Another major contribution by Dart was that he established Witwatersrand University as the epicentre of human evolution science, research and achievement. The Institute for the Study of Mankind in Africa was founded in his honour.

Others who have followed in his footsteps have been Professor Phillip V. Tobias, Dart’s long-time collaborator, successor and biographer. Tobias died in 2012 aged 86. Currently, Professor Lee Berger is a major contributor to ‘Wit’s’ research. In 2013, he and his large team discovered the biggest primitive hominin assemblage in history. Another is Professor Ron Clark, the man who found an almost complete skeleton of a 3.67 million year old human ancestor. It was named ‘Littlefoot’. Berger and Clark, as well as many others, are continuing the tradition of Raymond A. Dart’s work.

Raymond A. Dart died in South Africa on 22 November 1988, aged 95. This year 2018 commemorates 30 years since his passing.


Peter McNally, the author of this article, was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1940. In 1975, Peter, his wife Judy, and their three sons moved to Queensland and over the past 25 years have lived in Brisbane, within 15 kilometres of where Raymond was born.

In recent years Peter has become very interested in researching the evolution of the Earth, and in particular, the evolutionary history of Australia, and human evolution within Australia. Peter further explains: ‘Australian’s evolutionary history goes back approximately 3.4 billion years ago to the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It’s one of the earliest places on earth where microscopic, biological, organism evidence has been discovered, making it one of the earliest places on earth, where life began.’

Thank you to Peter for sharing his research with the Toowong and District Historical Society Inc., and for giving permission for his article to be published.


References:

Encyclopaedia Britannica Volume 2, 1985, p. 436hNational Geographic, Volume 168, No. 5 November 1985.
Also the following webpages:
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dart-raymond-arthur-12402
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_Link
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Dart
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Dart#cite_note-6
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taung_Child
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Raymond-A-Dart
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/rdart.html
South African History online at http://www.sahistory.za   

 

History of Cricket in Toowong

When interviewed in 2003 Warwick Torrens had been researching the history of Queensland cricket for 30-odd years. He is particularly interested in the statistical and historical side of cricket and began collecting information after World War II about the first class game played in Australia, especially in Queensland. In 1974, he became a member of the newly formed English-based Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians. Warwick has written many books about the history of cricket in Queensland and was a major contributor to the publications ‘History of the Sheffield Shield’ and the ‘Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket’.


Explaining that ‘cricket was the main game played in Queensland at the time of separation; there was also horse racing and a little bit of athletics, but not much else’, Warwick sidetracked to tell us where the first football club was formed:

I have it here in my notes from 1865-1870. [After consulting his archives, Warwick continues:] It was formed at a meeting held at Brayshers’ Metropolitan Hotel on 22 May 1866. They decided to play in accordance with the Melbourne Rules. There was no football club whatsoever in Queensland until the first football club, called Brisbane Football Club, was formed.

There are some quite well-known names elected onto the committee: S. Hart; W.G. Macnish, who was a cricketer; W.H. Ryder, who married McNish’s sister; C.E. Wallen; George Cowlishaw, who came up from Sydney where his father operated a fruit farm at Surrey Hills; and T.A. Board, who was elected Honorary Secretary. (Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 23 May 1866.)

The Metropolitan Hotel, owned by Mr Amos Brayshers, was located in Edward Street, Brisbane. This hotel became the Brisbane Football Club’s meeting place. The Tattersalls Club also met here, as it did on 29 May 1866, a week after the Brisbane Football Club’s inaugral meeting, for the purpose of the settling-up of the Brisbane Turf Club’s previous race meeting and presentation of trophies. (The Brisbane-Courier, 30 May 1866, p.2.) Mr Braysher was the proprietor of Tattersall’s Subscription Room.

Moving on now from football to cricket, Warwick explains how Electorate Cricket originated:

In 1897 the Queensland Cricket Association decided to move away from a system of administration based upon a club system, such as that of the Graziers or the Alberts—these sorts of clubs—to that of Electorate Cricket which had already started in Sydney and Melbourne. In Electorate Cricket, cricket districts coincided with the electorates of the State Parliament. Consequently, there were a number of clubs formed, such as North Brisbane and South Brisbane. But the one we are particularly interested in here is Toowong and the western suburbs. The Toowong state electorate—or colonial electorate it was initially called—stretched from the Taringa area right across to Paddington and Kelvin Grove and bordered on the city of Brisbane.

The Toowong Electorate Cricket Club was quite competitive. There were quite a number of well-known players. In particular for a time, Jack Hutcheon, who, for a long time was president of the Queensland Cricket Association, played for Toowong; so too did his brother Ernie. There were the brothers Armstrong. They lived at ‘Fernberg’, Milton, the sons of George Joseph Armstrong who was born in Brisbane shortly after the arrival of his parents in 1853. Three Armstrong brothers played for Queensland and one of them, William Anthony, continued to play until he was well into his fifty years. He finished up playing for Western Suburbs.

The Toowong Electorate Cricket Club in 1921 held a joint meeting with the Oxley Electorate Cricket Club and they decided that they would amalgamate to become the Western Suburbs Electorate Cricket Club. Electorate cricket clubs existed until the very early 1930s when they all became district cricket clubs. Toowong really disappeared in 1921, but Western Suburbs is still with us today. It is now called the Western Suburbs District Cricket Club.

Oxley commenced their playing in the Brisbane competition in 1903. We find some clubs with very short existences. There were Ipswich clubs that came in and played for one season or, in the case of one of them—I can’t remember the name of it now—for about three seasons. We had Enoggera play one season. Bulimba played two matches in 1897 and then folded up because they could only get about five players along to their first match and eight to their second, so they didn’t keep going.

Warwick provided the following biographies of people associated with the Toowong area:

George Murray Colledge:

George Colledge was born at Stewarton in Ayrshire on 11 May 1873. He arrived in Australia at quite a young age. He was educated at the Toowong State School and the Brisbane Normal School. He played cricket for the Toowong Electorate Cricket Club and probably also there was a Toowong club playing in the junior division prior to the establishment of electorate clubs. He was the secretary of the Queensland Cricket Association from 1897 to 1908. He was also a member of the QCA Executive for a short time. He was an Australian Cricket Board delegate for Queensland from 1905 to 1907 and he was granted life membership of the Queensland Cricket Association on 17 August 1909. George died at the Beerwah Private Hospital at Gregory Terrace, Fortitude Valley on 18 June 1951. That’s on the corner of Brunswick Street and Gregory Terrace.

George’s parents were Matilda Ann (nèe Broomfield) and George Murray Colledge, Stationmaster and I understand George Jnr also worked in the railways.

At least one of his sons played quite good cricket but moved around the State quite a bit and played in country areas. I think Warwick is one where I’ve come across him playing.

James William Adams:

As a Queensland cricketer I suppose you could say of not great note, but he did play one game for Queensland. James William Adams was born at Toowong on 22 February 1904. Adams was educated at the Brisbane Grammar School, but didn’t play cricket seriously for a number of years until he was getting up towards his mid-20s because he was quite involved in the Citizens Military Forces.

Adams was the son of Herbert James William Huxtable Adams and Lillian Kate (nèe Frost). His father was a tailor in Toowong. Jim Adams worked for a time for Finney Isles & Co. and, just prior to the Second World War, moved to Melbourne, and later to Sydney where he died on 9 January 1988.

He was 12th man for Queensland in the game when Eddie Gilbert dismissed Bradman, caught by Len Waterman, without scoring. That game was in February 1931, and was the first Sheffield Shield match played at the Brisbane Cricket Ground.

He had played for Queensland against the West Indies in the previous season. That was his game. He missed a game after that West Indies game when the match between Queensland and Victoria was completely washed out by continuous rain. That game was to be played at the Brisbane Cricket Ground and should have been the first Sheffield Shield match at the Brisbane Cricket Ground. The next game was in November 1931.

Adams, at one stage, lived at Victoria Crescent, Toowong.[i] I believe he attended Toowong State School.

Bill Abell:

Bill Abell was born in Leeds in England and came out here, quite obviously, at a fairly young age. I do find him on the electoral rolls being aged 22 on 23 March 1897. Bill’s mother was listed as Mrs Lonsdale Abell living at Stanley Terrace, Taringa. There was a Lonsdale Abell who died on 20 May 1884 and so I can only assume that this is the husband of Mrs Abell. There was a Henry Lonsdale Abell who died on 10 August 1912 and who is shown in the Queensland death indexes as the son of Lonsdale Abell and Mary Slater. So that would be Bill’s brother and his parents.

Mrs Mary Abell is shown as the proprietor of a private school in Toowong.

I haven’t really gone very much further than that except that we know Bill enlisted in the Boer War as a private in Unit 6 of the Queensland Imperial Bushmen Contingent. And he also went off to the First World War. I’m not quite sure if he was the one who joined the 11th Light Horse or the 14th Battalion, presumably the first. It does seem that he altered his birth year by a couple of years because records do show that he was born in 1876, but the correct year would appear to be 1874. Bill died in 1960 at the War Veterans Home at Caboolture. I just haven’t got a date here for that at the moment.

Dixon family:

Joseph Black Dixon moved to Brisbane in 1860 as the accountant of the newly opened Brisbane branch of the Bank of Australasia. He was the son of a banker, Joseph Dixon in Hobart, and he came up here and virtually stayed here except in 1869 he moved for a short period to accountant at Sydney, and within 12 months was transferred back to Brisbane as the manager of the Brisbane branch. In 1869 he married Louise Jane Sloan[ii], who came from Maitland and there were six children. Now Joseph had a health problem and he died in 1881, the youngest of his family was just over 15 months old at the time of his death. Mrs Dixon had to find an income to look after her six children and so she took on a boarding house at Toowong. This was apparently a place that was quite well known. She did quite well with the family. Four of the boys attended Brisbane Grammar School and did quite well. One became a doctor, one became a banker and the one who became a banker was Joseph Eric. His son, Patrick Leslie Dixon (‘Les’), played cricket for Queensland and also rugby and, in fact, was in line for an Australian Rugby cap when he was injured and decided that cricket was more to his liking than the injuries of Rugby. Les was a prisoner of war of the Germans in the Second World War. He joined the RAAF and was shot down over Germany.

Two of Joseph’s brothers came to Brisbane, Laurison and Grahame Dixon, who worked for the Bank of New South Wales. Then there was Russel (with one ‘l’ in Russel); at least, I believe that is correct. He worked in the Queensland Civil Service as it was called back in those years, and lived in Brisbane until his death in 1922. Laurison died in 1932. Both actually played cricket for Queensland in the pre first-class days, Russel actually appearing against the first ever English team that visited Queensland. I don’t know where Russel lived. I haven’t located that at this time, but Laurison lived at Auchenflower and that was where he died.

The four sons of Joseph attended the Brisbane Grammar School and this is probably where they obtained a lot of their sporting prowess but, quite obviously, it was also a natural talent. Two of them were quite good rugby players as well as being cricketers. One of Laurison’s sons was quite a good cricketer and played grade cricket for Woolloongabba Electorate Cricket Club, and his life was lost in the First World War. William Stewart Dixon was the one who lost his life in the First World War. I don’t know anything about the family of Russel except that I have some names, but no other information about them.

Les Dixon—all of his children were quite good at sports, the girls included. They played hockey. His son was the captain of the University of New South Wales cricket team in the Sydney grade competition. He represented New South Wales Colts and was at one time a member of the New South Wales squad. He was also a very good rugby player so that the sporting ability continued down. I haven’t heard anything about it continuing to a next generation as yet.


Thank you to Warwick Torrens who was interviewed by Leigh Chamberlain on 28 January 2003

[i] Victoria Crescent runs between Milton Road and Morley Street.

[ii] Mrs Dixon’s death entry gives her name as Louisa Jane Dixon. She died in 1939, and her parents were David Sloan and Isabella Augusta Phillips. Extracted on 4 August 2014 from https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au

Toowong A Tram Ride from the past - books about Toowong by TDHS

Shirley Lahey’s grandparents leased ‘Sidney House’ in 1905 for a short period of time before moving to Indooroopilly. ‘Sidney House’, which boasted a prime riverfront position, was located on River Road (now renamed Coronation Drive) and has since been demolished. In common with many descendants of Toowong’s early families, Shirley has returned to the area and now lives in Taringa.

Shirley’s reminiscences include these family memories:

My paternal grandparents were David Lahey and Jane Jemima (née Walmsley). David was born in 1858 in County Westmeath, Ireland, and Jane was born in Maldon, Victoria, in 1860. They were married in Brisbane in 1881 and had twelve children. One boy died, aged one month. Another son died of wounds in France in 1917, during World War I. Of the remaining ten children, the best known ones are the eldest child, Vida (a noted Australian artist, art advocate and educator) and Romeo, who was known for his lifelong interest in national parks. This included his work towards the reservation of Lamington National Park and the Windsor Tableland and Upper Daintree area of the Daintree National Park as well as being the founder of the National Parks Association of Queensland, the first of its kind in Australia.

David Lahey’s parents and ten siblings migrated from Ireland in 1862. His father Francis was a farmer, first at Coopers Plains, and then at Pimpama, where he was a successful arrowroot farmer. His five sons became interested in sawmilling at Waterford and then, in 1884, David and three of his brothers built a sawmill in Canungra, which developed into the largest softwood mill in Queensland. Later mills were built in other parts of south-east Queensland. Initially, the partnership was called Lahey Brothers, the name later changing several times, but when the company went into voluntary liquidation in 1921, it was named Laheys Limited. Earlier, in 1910, David had set up a sawmill in Corinda, Brisbane, so that his sons would have business opportunities. This company was called Brisbane Timbers Limited.

When David and his wife came to Brisbane to live in 1899, they leased ‘Yeronglea’, the home of the late premier of Queensland, T.J. Byrnes, at Yeronga in Brisbane, where they lived until 1905, when they moved to Toowong and leased ‘Sidney House’, which had been built for Thomas Finney. I believe Finney was the partner in Finney Isles, the store that is now David Jones in Queen Street. The architect of the house (which was named for Finney’s wife, Sidney) was F.D.G. Stanley and its extensive grounds went down to the river.

When the David Laheys lived at ‘Sidney House’, there was a total of about twenty-five people under its roof. Apart from the immediate family, Jane’s mother, unmarried brother and at least one half-sister lived with them. Also there were some of David’s nephews (whose mother had died) and staff (who included a Kanaka who had worked for the Laheys at Pimpama and who stayed with them for the rest of his life, declining to return to his island home). From ‘Sidney House,’ they moved to ‘Greylands’ at Indooroopilly, which they leased for about three years, before building their own home at Corinda, which was called ‘Wonga Wallen’, near the sawmill.

An article featuring more of Shirley Lahey’s memories titled Sojourn in Toowong–the Lahey Story is published in Toowong: A Tram Ride from the Past, Memories of the Toowong Community Vol. 4, ed. Leigh Chamberlain and Lindy Salter, Toowong and District Historical Society, 2008, p.1.

To order a copy of Toowong: A Tram Ride from the Past, please see details on the Publications page.

Elizabeth Harpur Toowong Historical Society

When widowed with three small children, Elizabeth Bailey set out to earn a living and to provide for her family’s financial security. During her lifetime she displayed drive and a willingness to work hard; showed resourcefulness and initiative and was ambitious for her children.

Elizabeth Harpur Bailey (née Tabb) was the daughter of William Whitford Tabb, a Cornish mining engineer, and his first wife, Joanna Trevanna. Various records spell the name as ‘Harpur’ also as ‘Harper’ and ‘Harpeur’. Friends and relations of her generation gave her a pet name and to them she was known as ‘Birdie’. William had migrated to Australia from Cornwall where he managed a number of mines in Cobar. Prior to her marriage to William, Joanna had managed a guest house in Cobar where William had stayed.

Joanna having died, William Tabb re-married, to Mary Ann Johnson and, upon his retirement, bought a property on the northern bank of the Logan River which he called ‘Cornubia Park’, no doubt named after his family home in Cornwall. ‘Cornubia’ is Celtic for ‘Cornwall’ and the Tabb family, a prominent Cornish family from Wennap, Cornwall, held property in Cornwall called ‘Cornubia Park’. Today the suburb of Cornubia is part of the subdivision of the original property.

Elizabeth_Bailey

Elizabeth Bailey

Elizabeth married George Livingstone Bailey, one of ten sons of Southport pioneers Alfred George and Sarah Bailey (their only daughter not surviving childhood). He was a plumber by trade.

Little is known of Elizabeth’s childhood and life as a single woman. She lived and worked in Mitchell or on a property just outside. This is how she met George.

After their marriage, Elizabeth and George Bailey lived at Mitchell where their eldest son, William Whitford Tabb Bailey, was born here on 22 July 1913. George worked as a plumber for a few years there before the family moved to Brisbane in 1915. They had two other children, George Lenova Bailey (b. 25 November, 1915) and Edris Adelaide Bailey (b. 6 May 1918). Only sketchy details about this period are available to the family from this time.

Elizabeth and George settled for a time at Dutton Park and then re-located to Toowong where they lived at 109 Sherwood Road, not far from the then Salvation Army Hall. Sadly, George died of tuberculosis in 1921. Because he died while so young, not much is known by his children about his early life. He seems to have had difficulty finding congenial employment (no doubt exacerbated by the health problems he faced) but he was employed at one stage as a debt collector.

Her son-in-law Ron Archer points out that:

…Life wasn’t very easy for Elizabeth Bailey after she was widowed, as she was left to raise three very small children, aged eight, five and three. She had to battle on, mainly without help. Her eldest son William (known as ‘Bill’) assisted where possible and he had this weight on his shoulders from a very early age. There was no Widow’s Pension in those days, and Elizabeth had to become the breadwinner. While her husband had taken out a life insurance policy, it wasn’t enough to live on, so Mrs Bailey decided to open her own business. She successfully ran a real estate business in Toowong for many years which, as well as bringing up her family, was no mean feat.

Mrs Bailey initially entered into a real estate partnership. The business was located in premises in an arcade situated in the front of the Jubilee Picture Theatre which fronted Jephson Street, Toowong. Later this site became the BP service station in Sherwood Road, Toowong but this has now been demolished. Elizabeth moved her family from the house near the Salvation Army in Sherwood Road to 109 Sherwood Road. This was a large, grand old Queenslander converted into five mainly self-contained flats (with two toilets downstairs). She herself lived in one of the flats. Although it was only a relatively small flat, she took in Ada, her older widowed sister who had lived in Vera Street. The other sister Nell lived next door in a house fronting Warrawee Street. At one time, after she had married, her daughter Edris (along with husband Ron Archer) also lived in one of the flats.

When her real estate partnership broke up, she decided to shift her business office out of the arcade and she transferred her business operations to her residence at 109 Sherwood Road, where she turned the front room into an office, and ran her business from here. In addition to sales, Mrs Bailey’s business offered a property management service which included collecting rent. She traded under her own name, ‘E. H. Bailey’, and she was the first local real estate agent in Toowong. It was not until some time after World War II that suburban real estate agencies started to become established.

Elizabeth Bailey set about securing her family’s long-term financial security by developing an investment property portfolio, and in the process showed great shrewdness and business acumen. By the time she retired, the Bailey family owned a significant investment property portfolio in Toowong, with at least six properties identified (including the house at 109 Sherwood Road). All of the titles were bought as joint-tenants, as she placed her children’s names on the title deeds. Two of her children Bill and Edris, with their respective spouses, bought their family homes from properties which were part of this portfolio.

All of Elizabeth Bailey’s children are now deceased, and of her children’s spouses, only her daughter Edris’s husband Ron Archer is still alive. Her daughter-in-law Pat Bailey died just recently. She is survived by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Both Pat and Ron referred to their mother-in-law as ‘Mrs Bailey’, a reflection of a time of more formality in inter-personal relationships than at present when people are more likely to be on a more informal first-name basis with their in-laws. Ron and his sister-in-law Pat were interviewed in 2003 and their memories about Elizabeth not only reveal interesting facets of her personality but also the depth of the respect and fondness that her children’s spouses have for their mother-in-law.

Ron (who was also in real estate) recalls:

Mrs Bailey was very ambitious for all of her children and she did all she could to assist them. My wife used to learn music from a music teacher who lived near Toowong State School in St Osyth Street.…She also learned Art of Speech.

My mother-in-law had shares in Blocksidge and Ferguson…Because of these shares she had a close association with the company. Her family had some shares too…and I attended a few of their Annual General Meetings on behalf of the family.

Mrs Bailey persuaded Bill to stand (I think Bill was reluctant) as an Independent candidate for the Ward of Toowong in the Brisbane City Council election. Although he did not win the ward, he had the highest vote of any independent in that election, so he was well supported and therefore did not forfeit his deposit! The Bailey family was well-known and it was felt generally that Bill would have made a good alderman and would do a good job if he was elected.

With a view to retiring, Mrs Bailey bought a block of vacant land on the corner of Dean and Elizabeth Streets. She built two two-bedroom maisonettes on it and lived in one and let the other. Later she bought the very old colonial cottage next door, the total land (including what had been a tennis court at the back) fronting Dean Street.

Pat Bailey (who married Bill) during WWII adds these memories:

When I first knew her, she operated her office in her house in Sherwood Road…My sister-in-law Edris, who later became Mrs Archer, used to do quite a lot of the work for her.

I had been training as a nurse in the General Hospital but, in those days, if you got married, you had to leave. I wasn’t very happy as a nurse so I wasn’t at all sorry to leave. Some months after I left, a law was brought in that, if you married a soldier, you simply had to go on with your training — but I didn’t finish my training! However, my mother-in-law, who was really very clever at this sort of thing, got me a job in the Taxation Department, so I worked there for the rest of the war. Bill’s mother was very resourceful!

[She] was indeed a very resourceful lady — she would let nothing beat her! She was very, very keen on politics. She belonged to the Queensland Women’s Electoral League (QWEL) and whenever there was an election, she used to go and help, and so on. She was, in fact, the first female member of the REIQ.

She was very good at managing. She could manage anybody’s life — and she did! I found that a little bit difficult to get on with but many years later, I became very fond of her. As a matter of fact, in 1953, Bill stood for the council election as an independent. His mother, of course, supported him in that and quite a lot of the people who had previously supported the Liberal party, came over and supported him. I did a trek all around Toowong knocking on people’s doors…I was a bit scared about the door knocking but I did it anyway. We apparently got quite a lot of votes. Bill didn’t get in…Anyway, we did well enough and Bill didn’t lose his deposit. That was when my mother-in-law and I became real friends — I realised what a fine woman she was.

Elizabeth Bailey passed away in March, 1956.

Plaque honouring Elizabeth Bailey

Plaque honouring Elizabeth Bailey

On 14 March 2012 the Toowong and District Historical Society placed a plaque honouring Mrs Bailey’s achievements at 109 Sherwood Road, Toowong, and Mrs Bailey’s descendants were invited to attend.

Afterwards, Mrs Bailey’s son-in-law, the late Mr Ronald Archer hosted TDHS members and guests to morning tea at the Toowong Uniting Church, the church attended by Mrs Bailey when she was alive.

Bennet_Archer

Ron Archer, Elizabeth Bailey’s son-in-law and Pamela Bennett, Chair REIQ

Charles Patterson

You can read more about Charles Patterson and his family and some of the history of Patterson’s Sawmills in the TDHS publication Charles Patterson: Toowong resident, sawmiller, contributor.

[Note: In many of the Scottish documents, the name is spelt as Paterson. To ensure consistency, the family’s spelling of the surname is used. Click on each image for a larger version.]

Charles_Patterson

Charles Patterson

Charles Patterson was one of the many early emigrants to Brisbane who contributed much to their new homeland. He established businesses, committed himself to his Church and became deeply involved in municipal affairs, becoming the first Mayor of Toowong.

Charles Patterson was a Scottish emigrant who was born in Newhills, Aberdeenshire, in the north-east of Scotland. He was the fourth of eight children born to William Patterson and Ann McKenzie. William Patterson was born about 1802 and he married Ann McKenzie, born about 1813, on the 03 August 1836 in the parish of Old Machar, Aberdeenshire.

At the time of his marriage, William was a farmer at Maidencraig, in the parish of Newhills, while Ann lived in Forbes Street, in the parish of Old Machar. Ann’s father was William McKenzie, a linen weaver and her mother was Margaret (maiden name was possibly Reith or Ruth).

 

 

There were 8 children born to William and Ann:

  • William born about 1837 at Newhills
  • James born 1839 at Newhills
  • Alexander born about 1840 or 1841 at Newhills
  • Charles born about 1843 at Newhills
  • Margaret born about 1845 at Old Machar
  • Hugh born about 1849 at Kinellar
  • John born about 1852 at Kinellar
  • Ann born on the 20 December 1854 at Kinellar.

By the 1851 census, the Patterson family was living at Kinellar, Muir of Glasgowego, where William had 28 acres.  James was not at home as he was visiting his grandmother, Margaret McKenzie, who lived in Donald’s Close (Schoolhill) while William was away working as a labourer.

In the 1861 census of Scotland, we find the family still at Kinellar. William is aged 59, born in Towie and living with him is his wife Ann aged 47, born Old Machar and the following children:

  • William aged 23 and a coachbuilder (carpenter), born Newhills
  • Charles aged 18 and a farmer’s son, born Newhills,
  • Margaret aged 16, a teacher of sewing, born Old Machar
  • Hugh aged 12 and a scholar, born Kinellar
  • John aged 9 and a scholar, born Kinellar
  • Ann aged 6 and a scholar, born Kinellar Towie.

James and Alexander are not at home in this census.  Alexander may well have died (no death record can be located for him) and James was living at 38 Frederick Street, in the parish of St Nicholas, and working as a tailor.

Sadly, the following year, in 1862, William junior died on the 30 December, 1862 at only 25 years of age. His death notice lists him as a railway coachbuilder. Eight years later, Ann died on the 28 February 1870 with the family now living at Rose Cottage.

In the 1871 census, taken on the night of 7/8 April, only two weeks prior to Charles and James leaving Scotland to come to Australia, living at Rose Cottage are:

  • Charles aged 28 a farmer’s son
  • William a farmer of 28 acres, aged 69
  • James aged 34, a tailor
  • Margaret aged 26
  • Ann aged 16.

Patterson_familyThe shipping records show that at the age of 28, Charles Patterson and his brother James, aged 32, travelled together from London as steerage passengers (third class) on the barque Indus and arrived in Brisbane on 21 July 1871.

The following year Hugh, aged 25, his father William aged 70, Margaret aged 24 and Ann aged 18 left London, again on the Indus, on the 10 April, 1872. Hugh and William travelled in steerage while the girls came as free passengers. The ship arrived in Brisbane on the 1st July 1872, almost 12 months after the arrival of Charles and James.

Charles initially worked as a gardener in the Botanic Gardens with Walter Taylor who later was the builder of the Walter Taylor Bridge at Indooroopilly. The Botanic Gardens, at this time, was a 32-acre reserve on a bend of the Brisbane River near Queensland Parliament House. He applied for land in 1871 but this application was rejected for ‘informality’.  The following year, his application was successful and he received 40 acres at Yeerongpilly as an immigration selection.

Logs_hauled_Bon_Accord

Horse team pulling a log jinker in High Street, Toowong, ca. 1920
John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Negative number: 15863

By 1873, Charles had started his sawmilling business.

On the 5th July, 1876 at 33 years of age, Charles Patterson of Bon Accord, Indooroopilly married Janet Mitchell at his father’s house in George Street, Brisbane. The bride was the daughter of John Mitchell and the former Isabella Leslie.

The Brisbane Courier Thursday 6 July 1876
PATTERSON—MITCHELL.—On the 5th July, at George-street, by the Rev. J. F. McSwain, Charles Patterson, of Bon-Accord Sawmills, Indooroopilly, to Jessie, daughter of the late John Mitchell, of Largie Insch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Alex Christie was best man and the bridesmaid was Maggie de Louis Patterson. Charles and Janet had seven children:

  • Leslie Charles, who never married, and lived at Charles Patterson’s residence in Sherwood Road, Toowong (known as Kinellar) all his life. He was a great reader and loved all sport.
  • William, who married Jessie (née Donaldson) and lived at 167 Sherwood Road. He and his wife had no children.
  • Raymond, who lived at Moore and Linville, married Ethel (née Latter). Raymond and Ethel had a daughter.
  • Charles, who never married, loved antiques and lived at Redcliffe.
  • There were twins: John, who died at eight months, and Allan, who lived in Dunmore Terrace, Auchenflower. Allan, who married Elsie (née Davis), worked at Moore and Toowong. He and Elsie had four children who all worked at Toowong at some stage.
  • Jessie did not marry. She lived at Kinellar and looked after the family.

In 1883, William Patterson died and was buried in the Toowong Cemetery.

The Brisbane Courier Monday 26 February 1883
The Friends of Mr. WILLIAM PATTERSON are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral to move from his late Residence, Sherwood-road, Toowong, THIS (Monday) AFTERNOON, at 3.30 p.m., for Toowong General Cemetery.

By 1880, Charles was a member of the Toowong Divisional Board.

Janet (spelt as Jennet in the records) Patterson, Charles’s first wife died on the 25 June, 1889 and was buried in the Toowong Cemetery. She left a family of six young children.

The Queenslander Saturday 13 July 1889
PATTERSON.—On the 25th June, at Merivale-street, Toowong, Janet Mitchell, wife of Charles Patterson, aged 43 years.

Six years later, Charles married for a second time. His new wife was the former Barbara Paterson who brought the Scottish name of Skene into the family, harking back to the Scottish lands of Skene and Loch Skene which bordered the original family estate in Aberdeenshire.

The Brisbane Courier Monday 30 April 1894
PATTERSON – PATERSON. On the 25th April, by the Rev. James Crookston, Toowoomba, at the residence of the bride’s father, Prospect Hill, Well Camp, Charles Patterson, of Toowong, to Barbara, eldest daughter of William Paterson, of Prospect Hill, Well Camp, Toowoomba.

Barbara Patterson

Barbara Patterson

Charles had travelled halfway around the world to find not one but two brides who had lived almost next door in Scotland!

Charles and Barbara had six children from this marriage:

  • Jeannie, who married Heinrich Gessner, had four daughters, one of whom died as a young child. The Gessners lived in Curlew Street, Toowong
  • Twins, Alexander, who was killed in the First World War, and James, who married late in life
  • Gordon, who married Millicent Woodhead and had one daughter, lived in Macquarie Street, St Lucia, and worked all his life in the Toowong mill
  • Wallace, who married Phyllis Worley and had two sons, was killed on the Kokoda Trail, New Guinea, during WWII; and
  • Margaret, who married Malcolm Finlayson jnr, was the youngest of Charles Patterson’s children.
Kinellar

Kinellar

The Patterson residence, Kinellar, was built at the corner of Little Maryvale Street and Sherwood Road, Toowong. Kinellar was at first a single-storeyed dwelling, with a gabled roof and an attic, and featured timber decorations befitting a leading member of the industry. The name Kinellar was chosen in memory of the parish in which their farm was located in Scotland.

As well as his business pursuits, Charles had a number of other interests, He was the founding member and president of the Toowong Horticultural Society. He was committed to his church and on Sunday mornings, could be found arranging the flowers in the Toowong Presbyterian Church in Sherwood Road. He had an unbroken period of 38 years of service to this church, had been session clerk since 1905, and had occupied the highest office open to a layman.

He was very active in local government, serving as a divisional councillor on both the Indooroopilly and Taringa Shire Councils, the Toowong Shire Council and later as Mayor of Toowong for three terms. As well as his political interests, Charles Patterson was chairman of the first Toowong State School committee and was always a great supporter of the school.

Charles Patterson died on 4th January, 1926, aged 81. He was survived by his widow, eight sons and three daughters. A fitting tribute was paid to this esteemed emigrant by the Mayor, Alderman Jolly, who said of Charles:

He was indeed a worthy citizen and leaves behind him a splendid family of sons and daughters, which, after all is said and done, represents the best type of citizenship.