A QUEENSLAND PIONEER.
THE LATE MR. JOHN COLLINS.
On Sunday morning, 14th instant, the long life of Mr. John Collins, of Mundoolun, Logan River, came to an end. The follow- ing account of his life and work will have an interest for the many true friends who are left to mourn his death:-
He was born in Ireland, in County Cork, on the 10th September, 1812, and lived there till 1839, when he married Anne Martin, eldest daughter of Mr. Robert Martin, a revenue officer of Queenstown, then called " Cove of Cork." Leaving Ireland a few weeks atterwards, they arrived in Sydney about September, fifty-nine years ago, after a tedious voyage of ninety-nine days. The first few months in Australia were spent with friends and relutives on the Hunter River and Liverpool Plains districts. One of these Mr. William Humphreys, a cousin of Mrs. Collins, afterwards came to Mun- doolun, which he took up, he being one of the first band of pioneers to the new district of Moreton Bay. The country life had a great charm for Mr. Collins, and "building castles in the air," he determined that if possible he would make a home for himself in the bush. This was, however, beyond his means at the time, so he re- turned to Sydney, and turning his business knowledge to account he joined the mer- cantile firm of Hughes and Hoskings. He continued in this occupation for nearly four years ; then coming to Moreton Bay, he arrived at Mundoolun in June, 1844, joining Mr. Humphreys, who had become his part- ner. Mr. Humphreys left the Logan for the Burnett in 1847, and Mr. Collins then became sole owner of the station. For up-, wards of fifty years he lived to enjoy the object of his early life - a home in the bush. Investing his modest means in sheep, he succeeded in making headway against all the difficulties, and in spite of all the hard- ships and privations which beset the early
The unfitness of the coast country for sheep soon began to show itself. In con- sequence of this Mr. Collins took all his sheep which remained out to the Dawson. His sons, two of whom left school at the end of 1861, began to materially assist at this time. Some country was secured in 1862, at the head of the Dawson, and the sheep were taken there in the beginning of 1863, and Westgrove station was formed ; the adjoining station, Box Vale, was added to it in 1872. The Dawson country proving unfit for sheep in its turn, another move westward was made in 1875. Morney Plains and Whitula stations, in the South Gregory district, were formed, Mr. Collins's sons being the pioneers in that part of the country, and the first to take sheep west of Cooper's Creek. Mount Leonard on the Lower Diamantina was taken up and stocked in the same year. In the following year Morney Plains and Mount Leonard were sold, and in 1877 Whitula was also sold. In this year Warenda, in the North Gregory, was pur- chased, and Mount Merlin taken up. The latter was stocked in 1878, and is still held by the firm. Warenda was sold in 1881.
The friendship of Sir Thomas M'Ilwraith and the Hon. William Forrest had been secured during the sixties, they being occu- piers and owners of Merivale and Mount Hutton stations, adjoining Westgrove. The Messrs. M'Ilwraith, Collins, and Forrest took up a large area of country in the North-
ern Territory of South Australia in 1877, and purchased the Inkermann and Wood- stock stations, between Bowen and Towns- ville, with a view to establishing large cattle stations in the Territory. At first the enterprise looked very promising, but, although it has not ended in failure, the many causes which have brought about ruin in so many cases in the far West and North, during the last ten or twelve years, have prevented this one from being a pronounced success so far. A large herd of cattle has, however, been maintained in the Territory for many years, and the original project of fully developing its resources has never been
The sheep country in the Flinders now comprised in the Eulolo run was purchased by the Messrs. Collins in 1883, and the station was formed and stocked by them the same year. In 1888 it was incorporated with Beaudesert and Strathfield stations, the whole property being from that time owned by Messrs. Collins, White, and Co. Many minor enterprises might be men- tioned, but sufficient has been noted to show the part that Mr. Collins took in developing the pastoral resources of Western Queens-
Returning to the East, it may be mentioned that, on the resumption of the country by Go- vernment and Mundoolun being thrown open to selection, Mr. Collins secured his old homestead and a proportion of the adjoin- ing lands, so that the old home has been well preserved, whilst the most friendly and cordial relations have ever been maintained with all the neighbours who came in with the new order of things. Tamrookum was purchased by the firm in 1878, and Rath- downy in 1884.
Amongst the companies which Mr. Collins assisted to start and maintain may be men- tioned the following :-The Queensland Steam Navigation Company, the Ca- boolture Cotton Company, and almost all the meat export companies. Mr. Collins had five children - two daughters and three sons. Two of them were born in Sydney prior to 1844, and the other three at Mundoolun. They are all living, and three of them continued to dwell with their father till the time of this death. Respected and honoured by all who knew him, he well earned the long happy life which he enjoyed to the last. One, and only one, great affliction he had to bear in his family: that was the long and pain- ful illness of his wife, terminating in her
death seven and a-half years ago. Despite his years, his mental vigour remained un- impaired to the last, and although- he suf-
fered but little, he knew from the weak action of his heart that his end was ap-
proaching, and he looked forward to it with the calm fortitude with which he faced all the trials and perplexities of life. Dur- ing many years, while his physical strength continued sufficient for it, and up to within the last two years, he occupied him- self burning off dead timber and clearing the ground around and within sight of the house. The beautiful views from the house and from many point round it, including the mountains in the distance, and the smooth, rounded hills near at hand, are thus very largely due to his own labour.
On the top of one of these hills, a spot commanding an extensive view over the homestead, and its surroundings, and away to the pine mountains in the distance, was chosen many years ago to be the family burial ground, and there the beloved partner of his life was buried in January, 1891, and there on Monday evening, at- tended by a large number of friends from all parts of the district, as well as from Brisbane, he was laid to rest beside her.
It is a cherished hope of the family that, before long, a country church will mark the spot rendered more sacred than ever to them, now that it has become the last resting-place of both their parents.
A meeting of members and-intending members of the Wyampa (Bald Hills) C.C.
was held in Mr. Young's shop, at Bald Hills, on Tue,sd?y night. There was a very good attendance. Mr. K. M'Pherson was elected chairman, and the business was proceeded with at once. It was decided that the name of the club bo altered from the Bald Hills Cricket Club to the Wyampa Cricket Club. The election'of new office 'bearers for the ensuing season resulted aB follows :-Patron, Mr. Thos. Bridges ; president, Mr. Thos. Fielding ; vice-presi- dents, Rev. W. D. Meiklejohn, 'Rev. W. Wright, Mr. Geo. Phillips, Mr. A. M'Pher Bon, Mr. W. Young, Mr. James Wilson, Mr. Jas. Buchanan ; captain,, K. M'Pherson ; vice-captain, Jas. M'Conacbie ; treasurer, F. J. Miles ; secretary, J. G. Spode» selec- tion committee, J. RUlj>y, W. Hawkins, J.
G. Spode. The meeting closed with a vote j
of thanks to the chairman, '