Who has an association with “Mt Morris”? Be prepared to be amazed of a glimpse into Historic Mt Morris’s Heros, Politicians, everyday Australians – WOW!

I have compiled a little over view of some of the people whom have had either a direct, or indirect association with “Mt Morris” – or “Morrie” as “she” is affectionately known 🙂

There are many people and sources that I have spoken to and found on the internet to compile this information – so while the below is how I have assembled this information, by no means is all this gathering of information of my doing, and I duly acknowledge this, and thank those people for their work in sharing historic records, and for placing them on the internet to help research in general.

One thing has become evident, and that is as the facts change, so should the history facts – and there have been a few that have cropped up during this research on “Mt Morris”.

We hope that you enjoy this little “snippet” into some of the more recognizable people who have helped to carve Australia into the land it is today – and they were here, at “Mt Morris” 🙂

“Mount Morris” Station, Charleville Qld ~ another significant part of Australian history.

From being surveyed off as a significant parcel of land holdings in 1866 – research suggests between 680,000 to 1,000,000 acres,.

One may ask “Why should ‘Mt Morris’ be celebrated, what sets it apart from the rest?” It will now be our pleasure to share with you “Why should it not, ‘Mt Morris’ has it all- Australians should know about another hidden treasure to be proud of, and embrace it!

  • I shall now start at the very beginning, with William Loane & Co, where “Mt Morris’s” story begins from Melbourne, reaching to the tip of Cape York, “Mt Morris” has history of a magnitude of gigantic proportions.

http://www.emelbourne.net.au/biogs/EM01122b.htm

Wool played a pivotal role in the growth of Melbourne as a commercial centre in the second half of the 19th century. As sheep numbers multiplied in south-eastern Australia after the 1860s, many firms sprang up to feast on the riches flowing from the golden fleece, providing services at every step along the route from the shearing shed to the woollen mills, and acting as stock and station agents. These pastoral finance houses, a generic term that encompassed a good deal of variety in the services on offer, came to congregate in the western end of the city, where their massive bluestone warehouses, long since used for other purposes, abutted the railway terminus and the wharves.

The industry evolved through a number of stages. The earliest firms in Melbourne, including Andrew Russell & Co. (1841), James Turner & Son (1841), Dalgety, Blackwood & Co. (1846), Richard Goldsbrough (1848) and William Sloane & Co. (1855), began as partnerships whose limited resources checked the scale and scope of their activities. However, they could not meet the demands placed on them by the expansion of the pastoral industry after the 1860s. The push into the interior raised demands for capital for fencing and water supply, and larger flocks greatly magnified the size of the clip to be financed, transported, stored and sold. New incorporated firms entered the industry from the 1860s, increasing dramatically in the 1880s, when the largest built up national operations. The dominance of larger firms was reinforced towards the end of the century by the rise of local wool sales requiring heavy investment in wool stores.

By the end of the 1870s, Melbourne was becoming the centre of the nation’s wool trade, with the three most dominant firms – the British owned Dalgety, New Zealand Loan & Mercantile Agency Co. (NZL&MA) and the locally based Goldsbrough Mort – located there by the late 1880s. Other local houses, such as Australian Mortgage & Agency Co. Ltd (AMA), Union Mortgage & Agency Co. (UMA) and Younghusband & Co., reinforced the importance of Melbourne as a wool centre. However, the pastoral industry came under severe pressure in the 1890s as wool prices fell, drought decimated stock numbers and station values collapsed. Goldsbrough Mort wrote down its capital in 1893; the UMA was reconstructed as Australian Estates & Mortgage in 1894, and AMA sold its wool-selling business to British-domiciled Australian Mortgage Land & Finance Co. Ltd (AML&F) in 1904 before going into liquidation in 1912. Dalgety transferred its principal office to Sydney, leaving Goldsbrough Mort and NZL&MA as the only Melbourne-based firms of national prominence in the 20th century. Geelong-based firms Strachan & Co. Ltd and Dennys, Lascelles Ltd, whose origins lay in the 1830s and 1850s respectively, were important rivals. The influence of Melbourne firms was reduced after 1962, as a South Australian rival, Elder Smith, acquired Goldsbrough Mort and Younghusband in 1971. Both the Geelong firms, Strachan and Dennys, were acquired by AML&F in 1978. The tables were turned in spectacular fashion in 1981, when the aggressively expansionist Melbourne company Henry Jones (IXL) acquired both Elders and AML&F, establishing Elders as the country’s premier pastoral company.”

http://www.gabr.net.au/biogs/ABE0194b.htm

“In 1884 the business William Sloan & Co (est. in Melb. 1858) became the Union Mortgage & Agency Co of Australia Ltd. The company’s domicile was transferred in 1886 to the United Kingdom, where a new company under the same name was formed and the old company liquidated. Originally wool and produce selling brokers and stock and station it moved into the sugar industry with the acquisition of The Palms, Kalamia, Seaforth and Pleystowe Estates in Queensland. In 1894 a subsidiary Australian Estates & Mortgage Co Ltd was established. The Union Mortgage & Agency amalgamated with Australian Estates & Mortgage in 1899 with the former going into liquidation. The Australian Estates & Mortgage sugar business expanded in 1924 when the Amalgamated Sugar Mill Ltd was formed. This company was gradually taken over by Australian Estates. In 1927 the NSW Pastoral Co Ltd was formed in London to acquire properties in New South Wales. In 1936 the Australian Estates & Mortgage changed its name to Australian Estates Co Ltd. After the Second World War it underwent extensive growth and expansion. For a full list of acquisitions and subsidiaries consult with NBAC. Australian Estates (London) Ltd (first called Australian Estates Co (Southern) Ltd) was formed in 1957 in London to take over all business in the United Kingdom. Australian Estates was taken over by CSR Ltd in 1975, the London end of the business wound up and a new board set up in Australia.”

So now you have an overview of the European settlers / owners as it is important for this to be acknowledged, indeed foreign ownership – but what of “Mt Morris” Station, what happened during those years, and who contributed to “her” longevity?

  • “Mount Morris Station was taken up in 1866 and is located on the Langlo River about 120kms NW of Charleville. It had a large community of aborigines from the beginning of its formation, and its King then was Sambo. . A brass, crescentric breastplate without chain, obverse engraved ‘SAMBO [crossed out] / KING OF / MOUNT MORRIS / W.M. Hill’, with an emu on the left and a kangaroo on the right, including two holes to fit a neck chain.

This plate was made by Mr Hill who was a well known blacksmith in Charleville in the 1870’s. After Sambo’s death the plate was passed onto Charley, hence name of Sambo was scratched off.  H.E, Parry-Okeden was the manager of “Mt Morris” Station, photos c.1901 included.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, government authorities and settlers gave breastplates to Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. They were used as a way of selecting and identifying local elders to act as intermediaries between settlers and local Indigenous people. They were also given out in recognition of service and/or assistance (for example to Aboriginal stockmen or for saving people from ship wrecks). As such, they are significant cross-cultural objects that document early interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in different regions of Australia. They often record the names of Indigenous people, and the station or region with which they are associated; people who are not otherwise represented in historical records. The collection is also significant in expanding the geographical scope of the National Museum’s existing breastplate collection, where this breastplate is housed today.” http://www.nma.gov.au/collections-search/display?irn=74295  The museum has been notified of inaccuracies regarding dates of settlement, and who the manager was, with help from our station diaries which date back to 1902.

  • 21st of July 1881 – Sloane and Bucknell, owners of “Mt Morris” put the station to auction. The actual advertisement reads below;

FIRST CLASS CATTLE STATION

In

QUEENSLAND.

In tho Warrego District,

70 Miles from Charleville

JOHN G DOUOHARTY, instructed lry tho owners,

Messrs Bucknall [ will SELL byAUCTION, to the highest

bidder, at Mention’ Hotel, Mchourno, on FrI dav, tho

22nd July, at halt past two,

MOUNT MORRIS,

Comprising

l6 blocks, about 800 square miles, of fine open

downs, with mulga back, watered by a frontago of 50 milos

on ire east, 40 rrnlos on tho west sido of tho langlo River,

and numerous crooks, never dry in any season during 14

ycara* hold ing , abundantly watered alwals, and beautiful

sheep country

It la next to the liorr Wiiliam M’Culloch’s rccent pr.rchase,

I-anglo Downs, Joffig also Lansdowne, Bold lately at

f250,000, and 70 miles from Messrs Cud moro’s new

proporty, Tintlrchilh,

5300 cattlo, highly bred and quiot, from Loo

Archer and ” Shield ” bulls

40 horses

Can be inspected in l0 days  from Mohoumo-day’s

Rido from Charleville

Terms-Ono third cash one, two. tlhree, four years,

6 jier cent

21 Jul 1881 – Advertising

For further Information apply to

Mess< D B MOREHEAD and Co , BrlBbano.or,

JOHN O DOUOHARTY,20 Markot-bulldhgs

  • 1896 , Henry Lawson published “While the Billy Boils”. http://www.webcore.com.au/clancy/08_ch8.html                  * “Clancy” is a term that was used for all drovers, not specific – therefore, well known “Clancy of the Overflow” for example, was the “Clancy” from the “Overflow” region.

The “Clancy’s” whom he writes about on this particular story are on an epic drove and it is believed to actually be a family with the surname “Clancy”.

  • The Clancy family  references  Mr Frauenfelder & also Mr Aeschiman-  whom at that time (1882-1883 – became the Union Mortgage & Agency Co of Australia Ltd in 1884) were part owners of “Mt Morris” Station, Charleville, and droving the sheep from the southern state of NSW to “Mt Morris”. The “Clancy’s” family, have taken considerable time to research part of their history, and its links to “Mt Morris” and Henry Lawson’s “While the Billy Boils” work.

This particular droving trip did find mention in the Town and Country Journal:”

“Booligal – passed at Mossgiel 8th, 12,000 ewes from Brookong for Mt Morris, Queensland. Clancy in charge.”

A second reference to about 12,000 sheep from Brookong to Mt Morris mentions “Pearce in charge”, obviously referring to the section he was taking. Later, there was another reference the same droving trip:

“Wilcannia – 12,000 maiden ewes (Frauenfelder and Co’s) from Tubbo and Cowl Cowl for Mt Morris, Q, passed on 29th October. T.G. Clancy in charge.”

  • “Mt Morris” Station has been recording rainfall for the bureau of meteorology in Qld since October 1885 (documented) no doubt the records from settlement in 1866 in station diaries would have the droughts and rainfall documented as well.
  • The diaries from 1866 to 1900 are allegedly held in the Charleville Historical Muesum – We have the diaries that are available, from 1902 onwards – fascinating to read – these are personal possessions of ours.
  • “Mt Morris” Station, along with other stations donated to the building of the Charleville Hosital, this was the only way to ensure that services were brought to the bush – on 17th October 1885 newspaper articles shows that the hospital is almost finished, and Mount Morris donated another 14 pound.
  • Charleville Township, was surveyed off in 1868, 2 years after Mt Morris station was surveyed off. It is duly noted that Charleville had formed on private station, and so was yet to become an entity in its own right “officially”. Charleville has been here since 1847 (“unofficially”).

November 1886 records loads of wool sent from Mt Morris Station, and other stations heading through Charleville to be sent to Brisbane and /or Melbourne.

  • Also in 1886, November a “warning was issued – police had received a telegram statint that a Chinaman had been arrested at Hungerford who is supposed to be suffering from leprosy. He has been isolated in a tent at a distance from town. None of the other Chinese will go near him”
  • “September 24th 1887 – 1,200 store cattle were brought from the Gulf to Mount Morris Station”a massive undertaking in that era!
  • 19th Jan 1889 – 300 fat Bullocks were sold off Mt Morris Station – excellent season
  • 17th July 1891 – “There passed this week, 9,500 sheep travelling across the river to Merriwa. They have come from Mount Morris, near Charleville, in charge of Mt W Clowes (Clancy) who during some parts of his journey was much put out by the frenco of the Western unionists. Those sheep are the property of Messrs Hooper and Barnett

So now we have the beginnings, of Mt Morris Station, how foreign ownership – England, came into play due to the economy crashing.

However, we can now see, the drovers – “Clancy’s” and what they did, – the country is accessible due to them moving livestock, and their knowledge of the stock routes back and forth to Mt Morris.

Clearly, we can see Mt Morris was substantial, due to travelling to the Gulf to purchase store cattle to bring them to Mt Morris to fatten and on sell.

Mt Morris Station, always had a sense of community – not only to larger centres such as Charleville, as a glimpse is shown with the financial contribution to the hospital, but to the very people on the Station whom made Mt Morris what it is today.

To come forward on January 30th 1892It is understood that there is likely to be an appeal against the decision given in the case of the Mount Morris shearers, which was heard in the November last year of 1891. Also, the police have been actively engaged in endeavouring to suppress the sale of opium to blacks, four convictions having been already obtained by Sergeant Qeraghty against the Chinese.”

The Chinese played a not insignificant role in the supply of vegetables, and as household help in the pioneering days in the entire district. On Mt Morris, photographic evidence most certainly shows the ingenuity of the Chinese in the construction of a were late 1800’s from rock and gidgyea posts – this is still able to be seen clearly today. Also the construction of watering “irrigation” of the vast vegetable and orchards that was prosperous here on Mt Morris – photos back to 1901. The Chinese were very hard workers of course, however cases of opium sales that were not for medicinal purposes brought some disrepute upon them. In addition, the shearers took umbrage that the Chinese should not be permitted in the shearing sheds, as this was their area of work. From this, a wage “war” erupted, and lasted decades.

It is documented that as wool from Mt Morris and other stations was taken to Charleville, the shearers – 200 odd men, waited for the drays fully laden with wool bales, 12 mile from Charleville. The shearers in a rage, slit the horse’s throats, and burnt the drays to the ground. The situation was escalating.

The question would now arise how to address the Unionists that were Melbourne based.

At this time a well known and documented family was also in the area, one being Uvedale Parry- Okden. 1902 who was the manager at Mt Morris until December 31st 1904, as documented in his own handwriting in the dairies we have in our possession here on the station. This family is indeed something to be celebrated in their achievements – their contribution to not only Mt Morris, but all the pastoral industries.

William Edward Parry-Okeden, Uvedale’s father made his mark too – all connections with Mt Morris and the Charleville district http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/parry-okeden-william-edward-7965

  • “The Charleville Times later wrote of the time ‘when Parry-Okeden was king’. He was not above delivering judgments in verse—but none was ever reversed.”
  • In 1886 “At the request of (Sir) Samuel Griffith he drew up plans for a labour bureau to register the needs of employers and employees. In 1887 Parry-Okeden was on a board of inquiry investigating penal establishments, which recommended reforms to avoid both the ‘harsh and cruel treatment’ of early times and the ‘feeble and nerveless’ condition into which gaols had fallen; the Prisons Act of 1890 followed. Another member of the board W. K. Rose described ‘Parry’ as ‘a regular specimen of the cornstalk … spare of flesh, but hard as nails, as active as a kangaroo, and the best horseman and whip I have ever met … his companionship was a never failing delight’.”
  • On 23 July 1889 Parry-Okeden was appointed to the chief public service post—under colonial secretary (renamed principal under secretary): Premier (Sir) Hugh Nelson told him, ‘We want you to be the eyes and brains of the Government’. Heart and sinews were needed, too, in the crises: the floods in Brisbane in 1893, and the shearers’ strikes of 1891 and 1894. The Peace Preservation Act of 1894 gave special powers of arrest and examination to district magistrates of ‘proclaimed districts’. Parry-Okeden was appointed district magistrate of Flinders, and fifty special constables, in two companies of mounted infantry, were sworn in. In three months peace was restored. The shearers accepted discipline from one who knew the west, who visited their camps alone, who understood their grievances, and who could take his place beside them in the sheds.”
  • “Parry-Okeden’s knowledge of Aboriginal languages was an asset in a strenuous tour which resulted in a reasoned defence of the force and moderate but wide-ranging recommendations. His Report on the North Queensland Aborigines and the Native Police (1897) became the basis of the Aboriginals’ protection and the restriction of the sale of opium Act 1897, which set up the first government-controlled Aboriginal reserves. As commissioner of police, Parry-Okeden became protector of Aborigines.”
  • “More congenial were social, ceremonial, and patriotic duties: the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, the dispatch of Queensland Bushmen to the South African War, the inauguration of the Commonwealth and the presence in Brisbane of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York were occasions that displayed the commissioner’s fine presence. In June 1903 he was appointed I.S.O. He retired from the public service on 1 April 1905, but in 1906-07 served on the Commonwealth royal commission investigating conditions and methods of government in British New Guinea, which recommended an Australian administrator and European settlement; the travel involved had been strenuous.”
  • “Their eldest son Captain Uvedale Edward (1874-1961 manager at Mt Morris 1091 – 1904), after lively years in Alaska and the American wild west, won a Military Cross at Gallipoli as an Anzac and returned to pastoral life; he captained the Queensland cricket XI in 1896 and the A.I.F. XI in Egypt in 1916 and was a noted amateur steeplechase rider.”

http://indicatorloops.com/toorbul_radar.htm http://indicatorloops.com/toorbul_po.htm

“WW1 serviceman Capt. Uvedale Edward Parry-Okeden MC, MID, a Gallipoli veteran who greatly enjoyed the ‘intrusion’. Servicemen, both Australian and later American, would be invited to the Parry-Okeden house for afternoon tea and sometimes dinner. He would keep the men enthralled – particularly the Americans – with his tales of working in the Wild West in the late 1800s, befriending lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson in Kansas.”

Uvedale was characterised as “a veritable son of the Western Plains”. Uvedale Edward P-O (born on 27 July 1874)

“In 1891 members of the Shearers’ Union called strike over a disagreement with the pastoralists but sufficient labour was recruited by the pastoralists to break the strike. The enraged shearers set up camps at Clermont, Barcaldine, Blackall and Charleville in order to encourage, cajole and intimidate the strikebreakers from their work. The Peace Preservation Act of 1894 gave special powers of arrest and examination to district magistrates of ‘proclaimed districts’. William Parry-Okeden, as under secretary had much to do with administering the Act and a party of 60 Mounted Infantry with a Gatling Gun and a nine-pounder left for Clermont to quell the disturbance – which they did. It was haoever only a truce and the problems flared again in 1894. This time, William was gazetted Special Magistrate for the disturbed district, able to take arms for whomever he pleased and able to arrest troublemakers for up to two months. Fifty special constables were sworn in; one company from the Downs was placed under the command of Captain Chauvel (afterwards Lt Gen Sir Harry G. Chauvel GCMG, KCB) who took his men to the centre of trouble at Longreach. The other company was placed under the District Magistrate’s son Lt. Uvedale P-O) who went to Winton where his father had already established his headquarters. In three months peace was restored. The shearers recognised that the District Magistrate was one of great courage, one who knew the west, who visited their camps alone, played cricket with them, who understood their grievances, and who could take his place beside them in the sheds. This made a great difference and the shearers came to respect his authority who would make allowances for their difficulties so long as they didn’t break the law. It would seem from the records that William’s trust and pride in the work of his son Uvedale was not misplaced.

About this time Uvedale moved overseas. He spent 10 years in North America as an adventurer visiting Canada (theYukon the Calgary Stampede) and competing in dog-sledding in Alaska. He then travelled south to the Wild West where he spent a few lively years often in the company of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson

01st of May 1891Inspector Stuart wires from Charleville that it is reported that 300 unionists are camped at the Adavale road, fifty miles from there. At Langlo Crossing they have called out and intimidated all the men, and are now making for “Mt Morris”

*Langlo crossing is known as “Langlo / Mt Morris Road” it is located 40kms south of “Mt Morris” Station. The shearers once again, had “Mt Morris” in their sights – burn the shearing shed to the ground, intimidate the Chinese and the shearers who would not join them on their quest. If “Mt Morris” succumbed to the shearers strike, then the other stations would – this was a key strategy for the unionists at that time.

The Parry-Okeden father and son made such contributions to the rural areas of Qld, indeed Charleville and Mt Morris had a special place in their hearts. Also of note, at the time that Captain Chauvel, was brought out to the district, the shearers were burning down shearing sheds, and creating havoc as quoted from the links above. There is little doubt that Parry-Okeden – father and son, with Chauvel walked the floorboards of the original homestead here, at “Mt Morris” Station at that time, due to “Mt Morris” continually being under threat from rebel shearers – our family live in the original homestead to this day built circa 1870’s. Uvedale Parry-Okeden following his father’s guidance, and indeed by his adventure overseas with Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp, lawmen, brought home this knowledge, and once again, when the shearers conflicts stirred, was able to use the knowledge he had gained from a number of people. The shearers did respect Uvedale as noted, he would work alongside them in the shearing sheds, he would give “an order” and he was not above doing “an order” himself that he had given – this, indeed, is what Mt Morris is built on – and no one knows about it! To hold the diary he wrote in at this time is humbling indeed, touching his signature and walking where he walked in my home, his home amazing.

With Coal Seam gas exploration and wells being sunk in the Roma area in the early 1900’s another significant event happened, though not entirely recognized how significant till today, 2012!

12th November 1910 – “The boring plant which was engaged at the Roma Gas Bore has been deployed to “Mt Morris”, where a bore for water will be sunk. Another fall artesian plant has been taken over from the contractors and will be employed at the “Weengallon landAt “Mt Morris” the bore will come under the provisions of the new Water and Conservation Act”.

Here is a point of interest,  with “Mt Morris”. We actually owned at the same time, “Mt Morris” land, and a small property at Weengallon (Located between St George and Goondiwindi Qld) that this article makes reference to. – both drilling rigs, from Roma, one here to “Mt Morris” the other to Weengallon in 1910. To the best of our knowledge, this has not happened before in the history of “Mt Morris” another point to be placed in the history of “Mt Morris”.

As written before, with the King Sambo breastplate “King of Mt Morris” in the National Museum Australia, in Canberra, there is also another important letter. This letter was written on the 26th of April, 1919 by Joe Bribbo on behalf of him and his sister asking for employment on “Mt Morris” Station.

This letter is located at the Longreach Hall of Fame, Joe Bribbo was an aboriginal man who lived at Charleville with his sister. Joe applied for a position here at “Mt Morris” Station as a Stockman, though could turn his hand to anything!

The letter was written in 1919 April 26th on behalf of himself, and his sister. A terrific letter!

In part Joe wrote;

Could yer give me a start I ham a

good hat evrythink wothever yer

likes ter put me hat from cooken

ter boss mustoror hor i kan do a

bit hof hoffice work if u has stuk

hor i ken drive a wengin hor a

motur hor i ken brake in orses

and i ken play the peahano…

dont fregit ter write hat once has

me an me sister is stuck.”

The letter was donated by PS and JB Smith, Seymour, Victoria to the Hall of Fame.

The letter Joe wrote was to Mr. O’Sullivan the Station manager of the day here at “Mt Morris”.

John O’Sullivan as the manager of the day, was also the representative for the Company  “The Australian Estates Co Ltd”– one of his many duties aside from being the manager of “Mt Morris” was also to represent the company with any business dealings. Another significant parcel of land, “Mt Margaret” Station also full under John O’Sullivan’s duties.

On 21st of July 1925 the notice reads,

The Australian Estates Co..Ltd have sold the well known Mount Margaret Station comprising of 775j4 miles of country to the Peel River Co Ltd. The station is situated about ninety miles from Thargomindah. John O’Sullivan manger of “Mt Morris” Station will give delivery of Mount Margaret on the 29th of June on the behalf of the Australian Estates, There are excellent prospects for Mount Margaret, as the proposed Great Transcontinent Raliway from Port Darwin to the Eastern States is expected to go right through the property.”

When “Mt Margaret” Station was sold off, it was John O’Sullivan who completed the transaction for the Company. It was sold due to a myriad of reasons, and also said to be a magnificent Station in its own right, with the controversial “transcontinental railway – connecting north to South” to be rumoured to pass through it. To bring it into perspective, for today, here is a link which shows the magnitude of “Mt Margaret” Station, yet, it was sold, and “Mt Morris” Station retained due to it being more productive!

http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/state/property/general/mt-margaret-back-in-play/1556352.aspx

20th May 1927 – The Grip of Drought in the Charleville district..yet,  “Mt Morris” was able unlike many other stations to retain some of its herd. Article reads; “Mount Morris has sent mob of its sheep away, only 6,000 being retained, and the permanent station hands have been paid off. Special trains will take the sheep via Cunnamulla to the grassing property known as Randwick, in New South Wales.”

In 1925, a baby was born near Dalby on 23rd of November – his father died when he was but 13 months old. This childs name was, Jim Killen – later to be known as Sir James Killen. Senator Killen ran away from school (Brisbane Grammar) when he was 13 years of age! He then went out to Portland Downs Station, between Ilfracombe and Isisford in Central Western Qld where he worked as a Jackaroo – from there he came to “Mt Morris” Station and learned the ways of the shearing shed, a shearer’s life along with his experiences at Portland Downs a significant sheep station as well, and began his journey of his political thoughts, where he saw the life on the land leading too. After here, Jim went to Surat on a family property, employing all the knowledge he had learned from his time in Western Qld and “Mt Morris”. Jim Joined the Airforce in 1943. Aged 18 years – he had lived a full life for one so young – with an education in the bush to hold him in good stead. Jim helped start the Young Liberal movement in Qld (still in his 20’s), and became its foundation President.

Mt Morris made lasting impressions on the young Jim Killen, as he did recount his time fondly at the station in the 1950’s. Jim passed away in http://whitlamdismissal.com/2007/01/19/whitlam-eulogy-for-jim-killen.html

There are so many real people stories, life experiences and connections with Mt Morris’s history, yet still remains unknown, and an untapped reserve of knowledge – far too many to list on here.

From Leichardt’s leather bullocky shoes being found on “Mt Morris” in 1902, to the township that was “Mt Morris” – supplying fruit, vegetables, delivering mail with 32 buildings on the Station. The original store remains to this day. Unfortunately, foreign ownership saw numerous historical buildings and artefacts pushed up and destroyed.

So much cultural history, fantastic Aboriginal, Chinese, European knowledge and history – so many peoples lives and family members connected directly or indirectly with this station and her people.  Now, a smaller Station, with a massive variation of history – how did it “hide” for so long?

Here, on this map below, one can see, the head of the Murray Darling Basin – it is here, that “Mt Morris” begins.

Murray-Darling Basin boundary

The Murray–Darling Basin is defined by the catchment areas of the Murray and Darling rivers and their many tributaries, together comprising 23 major river valleys. The Basin covers one-seventh of the Australian mainland, extending over 1 million km2 of south-eastern Australia, and including three-quarters of New South Wales, more than half of Victoria, significant portions of Queensland and South Australia, and all of the Australian Capital Territory. To the east and south, the highlands of the Great Dividing Range form the limits of the Basin, while in the north, west and south-west, the boundaries are much less distinct. The Murray–Darling Basin contains a wide range of climates and environments, including rainforests in the cool eastern uplands, temperate country in the south-east, sub-tropical areas in the north, and the hot, dry lands of the western plains. Most of the Basin is extensive plains and low undulating areas, generally lower than 200 metres above sea level.

http://www.mdba.gov.au/explore-the-basin/maps

The Qld State Government department “DERM” had a demolition order over this historic weir on the Langlo River (*We have two historic weirs, the other being the Chinese Weir mentioned earlier, though it is not on the Langlo River – but an anabranch). My husband and I disputed this, and successfully reversed this order – to protect the very thing that “Mt Morris” has protected – her bio-diversity, her people, her river system for nearly 150 years, the river has thrived, adjusted and prospered – why would anyone wish to destroy the very thing that makes “Mt Morris” stand the test of time brilliantly?

  1. After the Australian Estates company split up – “Mt Morris” was drawn in a Ballot lot by Dougal and Kim Davidson in 1967. They held the station for 13 years.
  2. Davidsons sold to Allan and Dorothy Warner in 1981, the Warners held the property for 13 years as well, until 1993.
  3. The Chinese then had an interest in the Station, and bought it in 1993 holding it for 12 years.
  4. In 2005  / 2006 the Bredhauer family bought the station, “Mt Morris”, and subsequently sold it on 30th June 2008.
  5.  Mark and Cate Stuart bought “Mt Morris” 2008, and are the present owners of the land. We have a strong vision for the station,  it needs to be celebrated and enhanced into the future.  The past achievements and the future ones to come. Forevermore, those that are associated will go down in the Pastoral history, which is uniquely “Mt Morris”, in such esteemed company, indeed humbling. Since our ownership we have spent years of research and compling of history of the station, diversified the station enterprize as no previous owner has ever undertaken, and taken Mt Morris to a new level of recognition and productivity, that previous owners left untapped with all her resources. Bio diversity – flora fauna and reptilian – the vast array of endangered and vulnerable species , Aborignial Heritage Assessments undertaken, historical figures of significance, all left hidden – until now! The station has been managed in such a way as to enhance and protect all of the natural elements, whilst primary production if carefully balanced. No longer is “Mt Morris” Station “just another grazing property“..it is more, much much more as those whom personally have been to the Station know, and those whom return time and time again are fascinated by the hidden treasures now being exposed. One cannot read about the station and think they know all there is, this is only the surface – one must see, breathe and touch “Mt Morris” – only then will an individual truly understand what is, “Mt Morris”.

We have tried to put in all links to all sources, if any have been accidently ommitted, we apologize and they will be inserted of course if we are aware of them, it will be our pleasure to do so. E & OE

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