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.
Ed Faux has provided the following memories about the Faux family residence, which was located at 57 Dunmore Terrace, Auchenflower.
My father, Eric Faux, purchased the home from a friend of his by the name of Arthur Biggs, (which would have been about 1950-51), who ran a printing company located in the city of Brisbane.
Arthur Biggs had two children, Bruce and Nerada. Bruce was to become Dr Bruce Biggs, who partnered two other doctors in a medical practice at the ‘Fiveways’, Gailey Road, Taringa. This would have been in the mid-1950s. In later years (in the 1970s) they expanded their business to include a small medical practice at the shopping centre in Hawken Drive, St Lucia.
Bruce was also at some time president of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Medical Association.
When the eldest three of Eric’s family of five children had left home, he divided the house into two individual areas and rented the southern side of the house to Mrs Negus and her son George, who later became a well-known journalist and TV commentator.
When the house was divided into two sections, my father had the external walls of the house covered in “Faux Brick”
At that time you could sit on the veranda and watch the sailing or rowing races on the Brisbane River below and looking to the northwest you could see the Milton Tennis Courts. There were no high-rise buildings in the area.
Thank you to Ed Faux for providing these memories of his childhood home, and to his sister Shirley for providing the photo. Shirley’s husband Howard Foley assisted by preparing the print for publication.
http://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.png00TDHShttp://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.pngTDHS2016-09-08 14:56:292018-03-25 07:52:08Fond Memories of our family home
William and Margaret Winterford | Regatta Hotel, Toowong (1882–1897)
William Winterford (1834-1919) was the second son of James and Elizabeth (nèe Gillet) Winterford, Publicans of Shepreth, Cambridgeshire, England. William was christened “Levi” in All Saints Church, Shepreth, on 1st June 1834.
William came to Australia in 1855 on the ship Ballarat arriving at Port Phillip Bay. Records indicate that William paid £18/2/6 as the fare. It would appear that at that time he had no particular trade or calling as he was listed simply as a Gentleman.
William followed his brother John and sister Eliza Gillet Edds who came to Australia as assisted immigrant’s on the Thetis in 1849. William and John are believed to have had a Bullock dray business along the east coast of Australia and we know they were both in Rockhampton in 1863. It may be that John and William were attracted to the area by the Canoona Gold Rush of 1858.
William married Margaret Hannah in Rockhampton in 1863. Margaret was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 11/01/1844. William’s profession was listed on his marriage certificate as ‘Bushman’. The newly married couple headed south to the Logan River area which had been opened up for settlement in 1824 and where cotton was now being grown.
It is apparent that John Winterford went his own way prospecting and was to drown alone in a flooded creek near Nockatunga Station in 1882.
William and Margaret Winterford lived and worked in the Logan River area until 1870, when they moved onto their own selection at Pimpama. During their years at Logan River, they started a considerable family.
Arthur James was born on The Albion Cotton Company’s Plantation, Logan River on 8th May 1865
Elizabeth Wilhelmina was born on 14th March 1867 at Logan River
Mary Ann was born at Gympie on 13th December 1868 and
Walter John was born at Logan River 11th August 1870.
The family of six took up residence on Block 173 at Pimpama, where in June 1870 William had also selected the adjoining block No.256. The Homestead block, No.173, was 80 acres of first class agricultural land, while the adjoining block 256, consisted of 188 acres overall and made up of 80 acres of agricultural land and 108 acres of second class pastoral land. Record has it that William improved his Homestead block 173 with the construction of a 4 roomed bark house with a bark roof, also a large slab building containing a barn, a cart house and a store, with a roof of bark. There was also a bark hut for workmen. Eleven acres were cleared and fenced with a sapling fence. The crops planted were sugarcane and maize. He also had a few cattle on the property.
On the second block, 15 acres was cleared with10 acres under cotton and the other 5 acres planted with sugarcane. On this block he constructed 30 chains of sapling fencing.
During this period in Pimpama the Winterford’s managed to increase their family with another four children being born. On 25 May 1872, a son, William Henry was born, and on 19 October 1873, another son, Alfred Edwin, arrived. The next arrival was a girl, Alice Louisa, who was born at Pimpama on 12 April 1875.
Another daughter, Beatrice Selina was born 8th December 1876 and in 1878, yet another daughter, Florence Emily, was born on 23 August at ‘The Valley’. It is assumed that the reference is to Fortitude Valley in Brisbane.
William Winterford obtained a Retail Spirit Dealers License in December 1879 for the Beenleigh area and operated his first liquor license at the Ferry Hotel (built in 1871) at Yatala on the Albert River.
William also acquired the Wharf Street Brisbane premises in 1879 which accommodated the family and operated as Public House.
Another addition to the family, Maggie Hannah was born at Yatala on 5 October 1882.
During this period William purchased the original Regatta Hotel on the Brisbane River at Sylvan Road in Toowong.
In 1886 William had great plans for his old wooden hotel. It was removed from the site to make way for a completely new development. He commissioned the architect Richard Gailey to design a much larger building to blend with its position on the bank of the Brisbane River. George Gazzard carried out the construction at a cost of £4,800. The finished product was outstanding in every respect. The new Regatta Hotel was officially opened in 1887 and enjoyed good trading for 10 years in spite of the big flood of 1893 when the Brisbane River broke its banks.
Proposed new Regatta Hotel, drawn 1887
Another daughter, Clara Isabella was born in Brisbane on 29 May 1884. Unfortunately Clara died three months later on 28 August.
1892, the year before the big flood, was a big occasion for William and Margaret. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Wilhelmina, was the first of their children to be married. The wedding was celebrated on 11 March 1892 when she married Thomas Henry Haynes, a pilot at Bulwer Island.
Another wedding was to take place the following year when the eldest son, Arthur James, married Lizzie Elmes on 4 January 1893.
(Photograph taken in the Regatta Hotel, Toowong in 1891 or 1892) Standing from left to right: Mary Ann, William Henry, Elizabeth Wilhelmina, Alfred Edwin, Walter John and Alice Louise. Seated from left to right: Florence Emily, Arthur James, their mother Margaret, and father William with Beatrice Selina on the extreme right.The youngest daughter Maggie Hannah is seated in front of her father.
The date and place of birth of each of the above children is as follows:
Arthur James: 8.05.1865 at Albion Cotton Company Plantation, Logan River.
Elizabeth Wilhelmina: 14.03.1867 at Logan River.
Mary Ann: 13.12.1868 at Gympie.
Walter John: 11.8.1870 at Logan River.
William Henry: 25.05.1872 at Pimpama.
Alfred Edwin: 19.10.1873 at Pimpama.
Alice Louise: 12.04.1875 at Pimpama.
Beatrice Selina: 08.10.1876 at Pimpama.
Florence Emily: 23.08.1878 at Valley. (Possibly ‘The Valley’, Brisbane)
Maggie Hannah: 05.10.1882 at Yatala
Two other children William and Clara Isabella did not survive.
Ten years after the official opening of the Regatta Hotel, there was a downturn in trading, which resulted in the hotel being forfeited to the Mortgagees. Following the loss of the Regatta, the family moved to the Clarence Hotel in South Brisbane. The move took place in 1897. It was from here that two sons, Alfred Edwin and William Henry, enlisted in 1899 in the Queensland Mounted Infantry, for service in South Africa during the Boer War.
The turn of the century in 1900 was not a good year for the family. Alfred Edwin and William Henry were in South Africa fighting a war, and while they were away, the family lost their mother, and William, his wife of 37 years, when Margaret died on the 3rd of August.
Sergeant A.E. Winterford arrived back in Brisbane with his contingent from South Africa on 3 May 1901, and on the 10th of May, the unit was disbanded, leaving him free to resume civilian life. He returned to the Public Service as a Crown Land Ranger. On 30 October 1901, there was another wedding being celebrated, when he married Margaret Brereton Robinson in St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane.
The next family wedding was to be celebrated in 1904 when Walter John married Clara Jane Arthur, (nèe Cowl) in Broken Hill. Walter John was active as a miner in Broken Hill for some 35 years and was President of the Barrier Workers Association during a period of turbulent workers disputes.
Alfred Edwin resumed military duties during World War I, attended Duntroon and was promoted to Lieutenant. He was killed in action in France on 10 June 1918.
The interesting life of the family’s foundation member came to a close in the following year when William Winterford died in the Diamantina Hospital on 6 April 1919, and was buried in the Toowong Cemetery the day after. He was 84 years old.
William and Margaret’s descendants are now spread throughout Australia and number in the hundreds. The Regatta Hotel is now heritage-listed and is one of the iconic hotels of Brisbane.
Some have suggested that Mary Ann and Elizabeth Wilhelmina have been incorrectly positioned in the above caption. I suspect that they are probably right, but leave it to others to decide and comment. I have enclosed some additional pictures below to assist such decision.
Hopefully there are some better pictures to help us.
Mary Anne as Bridesmaid; Elizabeth Wilhelmina as Bride (standing ?)
Thank you to Bruce Winterford for giving permission for publishing this history of the Winterford family.
https://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/William-and-Margaret-Winterford-Regatta-Hotel-Toowong.jpg7771088TDHShttp://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.pngTDHS2016-05-06 17:50:552021-11-20 20:58:08WILLIAM and MARGARET WINTERFORD
It was rather dark for 6 o’clock on a summers evening. Clouds circled above with the promise of rain which did not eventuate. The BrizWest Community Ensemble (about 15 in all) had unpacked their brass & percussion to strike out at Carols for a bit of a sing-a-long.
A film screen had been pitched for the scheduled 7pm showing of “Home Alone”. Lying beyond the screen picnic blankets paraded across the grounds with a few wise old chairs for the older sitters behind. Amid all of this, with the children chasing about, the sausage sizzle began. The crowd had swelled just short of 200 and the queues came to quite a length. All remained very well behaved as free Sausages, Coffee & Hot Chocolate were sought. Free Face Painting was also available.
Early in the evening I was introduced to Rick Hedges, who is the current administrator of Little Athletics and the Toowong Harriers. I took this as a good opportunity to present one of my Dad’s old club badges (pictured right) back to the Harriers as a visual icon of their history. My dad was Harold Cook, youngest brother to Jack. The other person of interest I met was my cousin Denis Cook who was in attendance with his wife Helen. Denis was Jack Cook’s son.
What is now known as Jack Cook Memorial Park was originally land that was established as part of Robert Cribb’s Farm (1852). After WW1 it became known as Heroes Park and transferred to the council as a trust to operate as a park.
Currently the park is often used for sports clubs and by personal fitness instructors. One club meets Thursday nights to play cricket and the grounds are frequented by an older citizens walking group (mainly from the retirement village next door). The Little Athletics and the Toowong Harriers both meet in the park and make use of the clubhouse.
An application for it to be gazetted as parkland was made successfully on 1 May 1984 and it was named as Jack Cook Memorial Park. The submission was made by both the Toowong Harriers and the Toowong RSL Sub-branch. Soon after a clubhouse was erected for the Toowong Harriers after which a dedication was given and Denver Beanland MLA officiated its opening.
The reopening of this park was effected by a speech from the Councillor for the Walter Taylor Ward, Julian Simmons, who outlined extensive work done to remove the hazardous rubbish from the topsoil, seal the base clay pan & backfill with fresh topsoil while also providing an inbuilt irrigation system certain to help save time. The remediation was also important, given the 2011 flood damage to the area.
It was noted that completion of the topsoil had not yet been finalized, with the expectation that all would be well over the next three weeks. The ceremony was finalized with a few words from Denis Cook about his father Jack and his long involvement with the club (since 1923 to his passing in 1984) and his desire that there be a home for the Harriers.
Thank you to Jack Cook’s niece Genean Wildesen for writing this report of the event
http://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.png00TDHShttp://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.pngTDHS2016-01-15 09:05:412018-03-25 07:57:13The 11 December 2015 Re-Opening of Jack Cook Park
I have attempted to recall aspects of Toowong Hardware store owned and operated by my father, Alan Maguire, in the 1950s and early 1960s. After 50 years, my memory is far from clear. Apart from providing a snapshot of a Toowong business of yesteryear, I have presented an analysis of three important innovations during this time which have revolutionised the industry until this present time. I hope to prompt the memories of some of those who may have had dealings with or recollections of the store at that time. Those who remember ‘the way that it was’. With their input our understanding of the underpinnings of the present Toowong business precinct may be better understood.
My father was a metallurgist who worked in the steelworks in Port Kembla in NSW during the war years. After the war ended in 1945, he moved back to Brisbane with his new wife, Jean, and two young sons (Adrian and Martin). He took residence in the family home at Highgate Hill. There he worked in the air-conditioning industry, and then for the company which was the distributor of Kelvinator refrigerators. Within a year or two of shifting to Tarragindi in 1951, he made the decision to go into partnership with my mother in his own business. By now three other children had joined the family (David, Helen and Judith).
From memory, my mother never took part in the actual hands on running of the business, so my (natural) understanding was that it was my father’s business. Only now while researching this account, did I notice that the photo of the sign outside of the Sherwood Road store was styled ‘AE & JE Maguire’s Toowong Hardware’. Forgive me then for using ‘he’ and ‘my father’ as the proprietor in the following account.
Toowong Hardware: Toowong Hardware was an existing business which came all stocked up and ready to run. It was operated by my father in three locations in Sherwood Road and Jephson Street, Toowong in the 1950s and early ’60s. Dad commuted each day to Toowong via Rocklea and Sherwood Road across the Walter Taylor Bridge. First of all he did this in his 1940s Wolseley 6 motor car and then later by his three-wheel Lambretta motor scooter, with a tray in the front to carry goods.
The Lambretta motor scooter with passengers
The original and largest store was located on the south-eastern corner of Sherwood Road and Jephson Street, hemmed in by a Shell Garage. The site was leased to him by the Shell Oil Company. When the lease expired and Shell took over the whole corner site, the business relocated to the opposite side of Sherwood Road to premises owned by a Mr Gittoes. Finally, as business declined further, Toowong Hardware moved to quite small leased premises in Jephson Street within the Jubilee Theatre building.
http://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.png00TDHShttp://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.pngTDHS2014-11-20 09:16:272021-11-20 22:21:45Recollections of Toowong Hardware in the 1950s and 60s
Eris Jolly’s aunt, Miss Dorothy Neal, came to Toowong in the 1930s to work for the Caldwell family who operated a hat factory.
Eris provided the following information about her aunt’s time of employment at the hat factory.
Dorothy Eastaway (nee Neal) in 1938
My aunt, Dorothy Neal was born in 1904, and came to Brisbane with her parents and siblings from Blackbutt in 1920. They settled at Rode Road, Nundah. Dorothy was apprenticed as a milliner with the firm of Pettits in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
Dorothy later moved to Overells Department Store which was also in the Valley — though it may have been known as Whincups Department Store, as I know the family were friends of Mr and Mrs Whincup.
Dorothy’s father was appointed as the caretaker of the Orient Line building and as a comfortable residence on the top floor was provided for him and his family, in 1930 her parents, along with their two daughters, Dorothy and Joan, moved from Nundah to a flat on the seventh floor of the Orient Line building in Eagle Street, City. Dorothy sought to change her employment to a closer position and she moved to Toowong to work for Caldwell Millinery, where she stayed until she married Wiliam Eastaway in September, 1938.
Dorothy was the ‘Head Girl’ and was in charge of the factory. She travelled by train from Central Station every day to her place of work. Her husband, William Eastway, worked as a porter at Central Station.
J. Caldwell Hat Factory was located just outside the Toowong Railway Station in River Road, Toowong. The Caldwell’s residence was situated in Coronation Drive, between Booth Street and Paradise Avenue, next door to the Brisbane City Council sheds. It was on high stumps and looked over the river. Mr and Mrs Jas. Caldwell had two children, a girl named Elsie and a boy whose name I don’t recall, and who both died of lead poisoning in the early 1930s. I know that Elsie died in 1931.
Eris thought that this was why Mr and Mrs Caldwell grew so fond of her aunt and she said:
The death of the couple’s children from lead poisoning was very sad. They were young adults when they died, aged in their early twenties. They kind of adopted my aunt, who became very close to Mr and Mrs Caldwell, and they came to regard my aunt’s family as a substitute family. They were very good to my aunt.
I have a signet ring, with an ‘E’ on it, which my aunt gave it to me when I was a child. It belonged to Elsie and Mr and Mrs Caldwell gave it to my aunt when their daughter died. Because my name starts with an ‘E’, my aunt gave it to me.
Eris shared this special memory of Mr and Mrs Caldwell from when she was a child:
Mr Caldwell drove a car and on the occasional Sunday would drive Dorothy to visit my mother (who was her sister) and father and our family at Eagle Junction. My mother’s name was Rene and my father’s name was George Bond. My father worked for the Queensland railways. My mother was the eldest in her family of five girls and one boy. Cars were a novelty to us children as we certainly did not own one and sitting on the running board to have our photograph taken would have been the nearest we ever got to travelling in one.
The accompanying photograph was taken in 1935 or early 1936; my Aunt Dorothy sitting in the driver’s seat; my mother, Rene in the passenger seat; her brother-in-law, George Bond (who was my father), leaning on the bonnet and Mr Caldwell (or ‘Jimmy’ as he was called) being the photographer. There were seven children in my family, one being born after this photograph was taken. My eldest brother must have scampered off to visit a mate the Sunday morning this was taken. I am the girl in the middle, sitting on the running board. The original of this photograph has been donated to the John Oxley Library.
Recently, while she was visiting the John Oxley Library, Eris had a half hour to spare, so she decided to consult the Post Office Directories to research the entries for Caldwell Millinery and for the Caldwell’s residence.
These are her findings:
In the Post Office Directory for 1934, commencing at the Regatta Hotel and going towards Toowong, the entries read (with the original spelling and punctuation as is): ‘Regatta Hotel; Robinson A. Mtr. garage & ser. Station; Paradise Ave.; Barr Alex.; Caldwell Jas.; City Council sheds; Dunn Ben J.; Henderson Mr. M.; Booth Street; Toowong Swimming Baths.; Railway Station.’
Then Eris checked the entry for the hat factory in the 1936 Post Office Directory for Sherwood Road, and it read: ‘Right from Railway Station: Toowong Post Office; Cmth Bank; Amor Hat Co., Hat mfrs.’
To Eris, this 1936 entry came as a complete surprise, so now she ponders several possible explanations. Did the death of their children cause the Caldwells to sell out to the Amor Hat Company, and continuing on as managers? Or did they decide to limit the liability of their business in the event of possible failure in these times of depression by restructuring the firm to create a company? If so, were they the only shareholders?
Whatever the circumstances were, Eris is definite that her aunt worked at a hat factory which was located next to the Railway Station and also that her aunt worked there at the factory for the Caldwell family until she married in 1938.
Consequently, Eris feels that further research is needed, whether in the trade directories, the phone books of the time and in the Post Office Directories, to answer these questions. She concluded her covering letter by saying, Maybe at some future time, when time permits, I will complete the research, for my own satisfaction.
Then the whole history of the Caldwell family and their millinery factory will be known!
Thank you to Eris Jolly for providing this contribution, written on 17 May 2008 and published in 2008 by the Toowong and District Historical Society in ‘Toowong: A Tram Ride from the Past’, p.24. To order see details on the Publications page.
Mrs Dorothy Beavis and her husband Kevin Beavis were interviewed by Leigh Chamberlain in November, 2000. Adopted as a child, Dorothy recalls the circumstances which led to her adoption. At that time it was legal for adoption to be privately arranged.
Dorothy Beavis (née Harper) was born in 1931 and is the only child of Mr Ben and Mrs Alice Harper. Mr Harper, who was a returned serviceman from both the Boer War and WWI, worked for the Queensland Railways at Ipswich as a foreman coppersmith.
Dorothy lived with her family at 15 Sandford Street, which at that time was in Toowong. Dorothy recalls:
I have lived in the house for 69 years, and my dear beloved, [indicating Kevin], for 52 years. I was brought here as a baby, adopted by my parents who brought me here. I was only 2½ lbs when born and was ten weeks ‘premmie’ when my mother brought me down from Townsville on the train.
My real mum died when I was only five days old. Her name was Violet Ethel Drewett (née Harper). She was unconscious when she had me and didn’t even know that I had arrived. This is what I was told. My parents had me wrapped up in cotton wool and had newspapers around the bottom of a washing basket — you know, the old cane washing baskets. That’s how I came down from Townsville.
And I believe — it was really funny — there was one old busybody on the train, and she came up to Mum, and she said, ‘I had heard that Ben Harper had had a child but I didn’t believe it.’ No way I could have been Ben Harper’s child — he was the father who adopted me — but there was no way that I could have been his blood because we are altogether different. He was tall and as broad as anything, while I was a skinny little runt. My real father was a tall man too. His name was Edwin George Drewitt. As a matter of fact, I’ve got a brother who was over six feet tall.
Poster advertising the Glen Olive Garden Estate
In 1924–25, Mr and Mrs Ben Harper had purchased a double allotment in a new development called ‘The Glen Olive Garden Estate’. They had a house built which they then rented out. After the Harpers returned from Townsville with their new ‘bundle of joy’, they were not able to live in their Sandford Street property because it was still tenanted. Therefore, they rented a house in Aston Street until their tenants were able to vacate. The Aston Street house was the one later purchased by Sir Arthur Fadden. So Dorothy was about six months old when the family finally moved into their Sandford Street house.
Dorothy wasn’t initially told that she was adopted, or that she had brothers and sisters. This important piece of information was disclosed to her much later, and contact with her real father was restored. There was a history of adoption in the family as Dorothy’s biological mother was herself adopted. Violet was adopted by Ben Harper’s parents, Mr and Mrs Ben and Elizabeth Harper, a stone mason who lived in Townsville.
Residence of Dorothy and Kevin Beavis in Sandford Street, Toowong. The tree at the back of the house is the last remaining olive tree from a grove which was planted in the area. (Photographer not known.)
According to the story handed down through the family, Violet’s mother was a servant girl who worked for the Harper family and when she became pregnant, the father abandoned her and her unborn child. Desperate for assistance, she turned to her employer, Mrs Harper, as she didn’t know what else to do. Although they already had two children of their own, Benjamin John and Louis Arthur Milton, they offered Violet’s mother a lifeline by deciding to adopt the baby. (The ‘Milton’ in Louis’ name was a family surname in the Harper family). When Violet died, her brother, Benjamin John, and his wife, Alice, decided to adopt Dorothy.
By adopting Dorothy when her mother died, the adoption was kept within the family. Alice Harper had a history of stillborn births, so the new-born baby gave Ben and Alice Harper a chance to enjoy parenthood that would have been denied them otherwise and she was their ‘only child’.
Dorothy had lots of extended family, both biological and adopted. Holiday time was a time for the extended family and Dorothy explains that when the family went to Scarborough:
…other children came with the family too. There were four kids, and Mum and Dad. Now, these other children that I’m talking about, who lived with me for years (I was thirteen at the time), were my brothers and sisters. I didn’t realise this at the time, as we were all brought up as cousins. This was only because my mother died while giving birth to me.
Thank you to Dorothy Beavis for the above reminiscences.
You can read more of Dorothy’s reminiscences in the Toowong and District Historical Society’s publication, Toowong: A Tram Ride from the Past, 2008, p.41. To order see details on the Publications page.
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Stuart Roden’s family came to settle in Toowong in about 1919 or 1920 when his father Olof Clarence (‘Clarrie’) Roden purchased land at 8 Augustus Street, three doors up from Bennett Street, and had the family residence built on this land.
Starting with memories of his childhood home, Stuart recalls nearby local streets and the people who lived here, and concludes at Toowong Memorial Park, the source of many wonderful childhood memories for Stuart.
According to McNaughts, our topside neighbours, the 1893 flood just reached the bottom side fence. Extensions were later added to the house. It was the place of birth for all three of us — Clarence James, who was known as ‘Jim’, born in 1921 Stuart (me), born in 1925 and my sister Eleanor Vera, born in 1926. Dr Wheeler, of Sherwood Road, delivered all three.
Originally, there was an ‘out-house’ dunny in the backyard. Augustus Street was one of the earlier streets in Brisbane to be connected to the main sewer to Pinkenba. The street was bituminised during the Great Depression by ‘Relief’ workers. The milkman, whose name was Mr Shields, delivered milk in big quart metal pots and pint pot. He had a utility truck covered at the back, with two big milk cans with taps on them and he’d fill our containers.
Delungra Street, off the north side of Augustus Street, was an easement which was lined with huge old gum trees on its eastern side and belonged to the Swain family who lived in a large old house down the easement. There was a white picket fence with double gates on Augustus Street. The hearse with the body of the grandfather of my friend, Wally Swain (full name: Walter Edward Swain) came out those gates, probably around 1937.
In Golding Street, that part of the street east of Earle Street was opened up in the mid-1930s with five look-a-like houses built on the north side. The area covered by the five houses and the extension of Golding Street was previously a big paddock which belonged to the Swain Senior family.
My friend Wally lived in a house on the eastern end of the old Golding Street, on the topside, with their northern fence on what was then a paddock. Cowboys and Indians and building cubby houses out of small trees in the paddock were what sometimes occupied my friend Wally and me. My mother took me to school (at the Toowong State School) on my first day and I was expected to find my way home. But Wally’s mother brought me home on the first day of school (along with Wally) from Toowong State School through their yard, the Swain Senior’s yard, the easement and the double gates on Augustus Street. Wally was a life-long friend until the day he died! He was my best friend at school and later I was his Best Man.
Next door, on the top side of Wally’s place, were the Fardons. Then there was a pedestrian lane here between Golding Street and Augustus Street. The lane is now closed. Then there were the Cribbs (he was a dentist); the Steers (and this house was later bought by the McGregor Lowndes) and then Charles Elliott, who was on the corner of Golding and Jephson Street. The latter was a stockbroker. On the right-hand side was the fire station, which I will discuss later. There was an easement from the lower end of the new part of Golding Street to Standring Street, which ran eastward to Bennett Street.
Church Street, now Jephson Street
Earle Street ran from Golding Street to Sylvan Road. Sylvan Road met Croydon Street at the corner with Church Street (now Jephson) and ran westwards to Milton Road. Just near the corner of Croydon Street on Milton Road was the Elite Picture Theatre where I used to go to the pictures with the family on Saturday nights. My father used to ring up and book our seats and we used to walk down and home again. Your eyes became accustomed to the dark and you didn’t really need a torch. You could see the Milky Way clearly in those days and it was beautiful to see!
Lands’ Wholesale/Retail Butcher Shop and Ice Works was on the corner of Earle Street and Sylvan Road. Augustus Street and Golding Street joined Jephson Street, formerly Church Street, as did Sylvan Road, which continued westward to Milton Road near the Brisbane General Cemetery (or Toowong Cemetery).
The Walker and Roberts families lived next door to each other in Sylvan Road, Toowong. Cecily Walker moved to here with her parents in 1929,while her cousin Erl Roberts and his family, didn’t come to live there until the 1940s. Erl was born about 15 years after Cecily.
When Erl and Cecily were interviewed in 2003, Erl provided the following memories of how his family celebrated Christmas during his childhood (from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s). Erl remembers:
I can remember the ice cream—people considered it a treat to obtain ice cream but there was no way of keeping it without freezers. We eventually bought a big flash refrigerator called a ‘Silent Night’. It had a freezer and then, of course, Mum could make ice cream. You could buy a cardboard cup of ice cream like Peters from the shop next door and take it home. You couldn’t buy chicken commercially like it is now. It was something you had at Christmas and Easter.
We used to go to Maroochydore. My grandparents on Mum’s side, the Smiths, had a little house they owned at Maroochydore and so Mum and Dad had the old Chev ‘ute’ (which we covered in at the back for holidays) and we’d take most of the baggage up there. We used to stop at Burpengary on the way up to have a cup of tea and a break.
We used to go up there every Christmas and every Easter with a couple of chickens on the running board—that was Christmas dinner! At the time, chicken was a luxury and you only had it at Christmas and Easter. [Cecily says: We all looked forward to that chicken twice a year.] The same with ice-cream — you only had it at Christmas and Easter. Mum used to make ice-cream, but prior to that, we used to buy it from the shop.
Elaine Roberts and the backyard chook pen
Dad used to kill the chooks, then we would pluck them, clean them—and those sort of things! Dad used to get young chicks and fatten them up for Christmas and Easter. Of course, I used to give them all names and got to love them all—nurse them and everything. And then the time would come! ‘You can’t kill Susie!’; ‘You can’t kill Betty’ and ‘You can’t kill Sebastian’. And he’d have to go and buy a chook! He spent all those months fattening them up and then he had to go and buy one! Uncle Dick used to buy the chickens from the Chinese market gardener down at Sylvan Road. You could buy ducklings from him and day-old-chicks.
An article featuringErl Roberts and Cecily Walker’s memories of Toowong titled Cousins Share Memories of Toowong 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.14.
http://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.png00TDHShttp://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.pngTDHS2014-03-28 08:31:422021-11-20 22:22:22Christmas at the Walker and Roberts households
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 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
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.
Ron Archer, Elizabeth Bailey’s son-in-law and Pamela Bennett, Chair REIQ
https://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Elizabeth_Bailey.jpg11921017TDHShttp://toowonghistory.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Toowong-and-District-Historical-Society-Inc.pngTDHS2013-08-31 07:18:532021-11-20 21:19:41Elizabeth Harpur (Tabb) Bailey: Toowong’s first lady of real estate (1885-1965)
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Researching, collecting and recording the history of Toowong, Milton, Auchenflower and also parts of Mt Coot-tha.
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