Beryl Johnston, The Queensland Times history columnist, is photographed in front of a portrait of her late grandfather, John Livingston Auld, who was a mine owner in the late 1800's in Ipswich.
Beryl Johnston, The Queensland Times history columnist, is photographed in front of a portrait of her late grandfather, John Livingston Auld, who was a mine owner in the late 1800's in Ipswich. Claudia Baxter

Deacon made history in Ipswich

IPSWICH Queensland was proclaimed a municipality on March 3, 1860. This was the first town in Queensland, after separation, that was constituted as such by the then-newly appointed Governor Sir George Ferguson Bowen.

The first nominations for Alderman took place in the court house on the April 12, 1860. Mr Henry Buckley being the returning officer. At that time Mr John Murphy headed the polls with 191 votes and he was elected for the position of Mayor. It wasn't until 1896 that the first native born Ipswichian, Colonel WT Deacon, was elected as the Ipswich Mayor, all former mayors had been born in Great Britain.

Col Deacon was the son of William Deacon, who came to Moreton Bay in Dr Lang's immigrant ship "Fortitude". After his father's death Col Deacon was taken in charge by his uncles the Rev Thomas Deacon of the Congregational church and Mr Samuel Shenton. He was educated at Mr Goffops Private School and later entered the employ of the post and telegraph office. He was also an accomplished horseman and an excellent shot.

Col deacon entered the Ipswich Council in 1891 and became Mayor in 1896 and served two terms. In 1900 he resigned and went to serve in the Boer War, returning to Ipswich in 1902, when he was again elected to council and became Mayor.

Col W T Deacon died at his residence "Bellemont" East Ipswich on May 3, 1916.


In December 1905 the sale of the Woodlands Estate, Rosewood Scrub, Marburg was advertised in the Queensland Times. It was to be sold by auction at the School of Arts Marburg and the first day's sale was set for January 29, 1906 at 2.30pm.

The first part of the advertisement listed Large Sugar Mill and 29 improved scrub farms then, further down, the Woodland Homestead was mentioned.

The Woodland Estate - known for many years as the property of Mr Thos L Smith - was situated at Marburg, 35 miles from Brisbane, 11 miles from Ipswich, five miles from the Walloon Railway Station, nearly midway between Rosewood and Lowood and in the centre of the famous Rosewood scrub, the richest farming centre in south Queensland.

Sugar Mill; this was described as an extensive and valuable establishment consisting of five large boilers, electric light plant, engineers fitting ships, laboratory complete machine tools, and three-tonne weighbridge and there were two large dams for water supply.

Homestead; a palatial two-storey mansion with tower was to be sold with about eight acres of orchard planted with choicest fruit trees and olives.

On January 30, 1906 reports show that all the farms were sold and the total sum realised was 6343 pounds 9 shillings and sixpence or an average of six pounds 15 shillings and ten pence per acre. The homestead comprised 8 acres on which the house was erected, was sold for 525 pounds to Mrs N Smith.

There were no bids for the sugar mill, but this was purchased in March 1906 by Messrs Gibson Bros of Bingera. By October that year the name of the mill was changed to the Marburg sugar company and about 80 farmers were supplying cane to the company and were receiving 13 pounds a ton for the cane.

There were 32 hands employed at the Sugar Company while two bullock teams and three horse teams were required for carting the unrefined sugar to the Walloon railway Station.


Born in Cornwall England, Josiah Francis came to the colonies in 1847 and landed in Adelaide. In the following years he worked at the Burra Burra copper mines and gold diggings at Ballarat, Bendigo and other fields. In 1859 Josiah Francis arrived in Ipswich and resided in a house in Bremer St which was situated next to the customs House. He became a hawker (a peddler, one who solicits business by calling private houses), a position he occupied for many years until he opened a draper store in Brisbane St and later had his business in Nicholas St. So successful was he that he opened branches of the firm in Brisbane, Roma, Dalby, Esk and Murphy's Creek.

In 1879 he was elected as one of the members of Ipswich and sat with the Liberal Party.

Mr Francis entered the Ipswich Municipal council in 1876 and represented the West Ward until 1888. He occupied the Mayoral chair no fewer than five times, the last three being in succession 1884, 1885 and 1886. He was also superintendent of the Ipswich Fire brigade. Mr Joseph Francis, father of 14 children, died on the 11th May 1891 at his residence, Burnett St, Ipswich.


The 10th annual meeting of the Ipswich Amateur Photographic society was held on January 31, 1911.

A competition on the pictures taken at field days during the year was won by T H Parker.

Officers elected at the meeting were: president Mr R H Anderson Johnston, Secretary/treasurer P W Cameron, Vic Presidents J H Barkell and Mrs H J Foote; Librarian T H Parker, Press correspondent Miss Lydia Bottomley and auditors Messrs T H Parker and A E Roberts Jun.


A move was made in the House of Parliament in October 1882 to grant the trustees of the Ipswich Public Park a sum of 400 pounds to enable them to erect a park keeper's residence.

The Ipswich Park contained an area of 207 acres and had been placed in the hands of trustees in 1862. In 1882 the park keeper was living in a house of old slabs and boxes which he had erected himself. The trustee considered the building "A Disgrace to the district"

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