DEATH OF MR. C. B. FISHER
A large number of people in every State of Australiawill regret to learn of the death of Mr. C. B. Fisher, which took place at his residence, Seafield Towers, Albert Terrace, Glenelg, on Wednesday morning. The de- ceased gentleman had reached the age of 90. The name of Charles Brown Fisher will always remain indis- solubly linked with the history of South Australia, although Mr. Fisher made
his home in Victoria for upwards of 40 years. Born in England, he came to -this State with his father, the late Sir James Hurtle Fisher, in the Buffalo, in 1836. Sir James received direct from the Crown the appointment of Resident Commissioner for Crown Lands, and possessed virtually con- current powers with Governor Hindmarsh in respect to administrative action. The pair quarrelled over the selection of a site for the capital and a deadlock ensued, which was only broken by the interference of the Home Government. Sir James Fisher then threw in his lot with the infant colony as a private citizen. He became first Mayor of Adelaide in 1840, and in 1863 he was nominated to the Legislative Council, and held a seat till 1855. At the first election under the Constitution Act in 1857 Sir James was returned to the Legislative Coun- cil, and chosen Speaker of that year, a posi- tion which he held until he retired from the Council in 1865. Sir James, who was an active patron of the turf, was created Knight Bachelor in 1860, in which year he successfully practised his profession, and was for some time leader of the South Aus- tralian bar. He died in Adelaide on January 28, 1875. Hurtle-square in Adelaide was named after him. The subject of the present memoir was born in London on September 25, 1817. He spent two years on a farm at Little Bowden, Northamptonshire, with an uncle, before leaving for South Australia. The late Mr. C. B.Fisher followed in his father's foot- steps, and besides maintaing the honor and reputation of the family he managed to carve out for himself a remarkably success- ful career as a business man, for although beginning with a very limited capital his stock and station transactions were so large at one time that ha was reputedly a mil lionaire. However, lie lost heavily through bad seasons and other causes, and it is understood was not a wealthy man at the time of his death. Mr. Fisher began by dealing in cattle, and as he started in 1851, just before the gold diggings broke out in Victoria, it proved to be the most lucrative business he could have turned his hand to. He purchased drafts of cattle wherever he could buy them up, and drove them across to Victoria, where the diggers bought them up at high prices. That, according to old pioneers who remember the deceased gentleman's career was his real start in life. Having put his hand to the plough he never once looked back, but extended his operations, and, in addi- tion to supplying the Adelaide market he continued to travel mobs of cattle and sheep into Victoria, and is said to have conducted the most colossal droving opera- tions ever known in the history of either of the States. His love for and interest in sheep began thus early, and continued until his death. In a letter to England in 1837, after describing his life and pros- pects he said: -'But the most profitable investment after all is sheep, and James (his brother) and I intend to purchase a flock as soon as it lies in our power, which will, I trust, not be long. First I shall go and squat in the interior, and he will manage in town. There is nothing in this world I delight more in than an agricul- tural or pastoral life, which will be far more interesting here in an unexplored country than in England.' Early in 1838 they bought sheep and he 'squatted' in the interior-the Little Para (this being then 'out back'). Ten of tbe first lambs bred he drove on foot to Adelaide, and de- livered to Mr. Crispe. But this was of course, previous to his stock-dealing trans- actions. He was an excellent horseman, and spent most of his time in the saddle at this period, being obliged to make many long and rapid journeys to keep up the supply of stock. In 1854 Mr. Fisher bought Bundaleer station from Mr J. B. Hughes and next year acquired Hill River station from Mr R. Roberteon, 'Encounter Bay Bob' as he was euphemistically termed in those days. Afterwards some 10 or 12 South Aus- tralian estates passed through his hands, in cluding Wirrabara, Mount Schanck, and Moorak, Port Gawler. In the Mount Schanck station he was in partnership with Mr Rochford, who, with Mr. Hurtle Fisher, a brother of the deceased, survived the wreck of the Admella. In that disaster, however, another brother, Mr. George Fisher, lost his life. At one time Mr. C. B. Fisher was the largest pastoralist in Australia. In 1865 he went to Melbourne, and the owner ship of some fine properties in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland attest his continued belief in, and liking for, pas- toral affairs. Among others were the Yanga and Neds Corner, in New South Wales and in Queensland the Darling Downs pro- perties. Thurulgoona (now owned bv the Squatting Investment Company), and the group now owned by the Australian Pas' SiST'5'1 ln *h« aoutb; Fort Constan tine and Warrnambool Downs in the north and many smaller properties, as well as some in the western district of Victoria. In the Northern Territory he took up large areas, including Victoria Downs, now said to be the best cattle station in Australia. He sent 30,000 cattle to these properties in the early eighties. In the early nineties he fell on evil times, in company with so many station-holders throughout Australia; in fact, it is doubt- ful it many original individual holders sur- vived that period. In Merino sheep Mr. Fisher's name must ever rank among the first for the type of large-framed, plain-bodied, heavily-covered sheep still known in many parts of Aus- tralia as the Fisher Merino. Quantity, rather than fineness, was his ideal, and price per sheep against price per lb. of wool. As regards Longwool sheep, he im- ported many, and attained prominence as a breeder of Lincolns, to which he gave pre- ference, though for fattening he held that the English Leicester was, perhaps, supe- rior. In fact, as an importer of the best class of stock, Australia has much to thank Mr. Fisher for. He introduced some splen- did blood and draught horses. In Short- horn cattle, of which he was a great lover and a splendid judge, he imported some grand animals, and bred a magnificent herd, the disposal of which realised at Maribyr- nong very high prices. He would only buy of the best, either of stock or country, and Australia has gained much from his unre mitting labors. Mr. Fisher, who never visited England after his arrival here, was of a kindly, genial nature, strong, self-reliant, and large- hearted. He was always courageous and hopeful, even optimistic. To see him was to love and esteem him, and many in the old days had reason to gratefully remember
his generous helpfulness. He only returned to Adelaide seven or eight months ago. Mr Fisher, in his earlier life, was one of the most prominent sportsmen in Australia, and with his brother, Mr. Hurtle Fisher, introduced some of the best blood stock ever brought to Australia, including the celebrated stallion Fisherman.