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Forgotten History of Brisbane Suburbs

Mowbraytown O'Connelltown Thorroldtown Deighton Estate

BOGGO DISTRICT

The suburban district of Boggo, (a corruption of Bolgo) was situated in that area of land bounded by the South Brisbane Cemetery, the Brisbane River, Long Pocket Reach and up along the river to the area east of the Salvation Army Girls' Home. The eastern Boundary, by present day landmarks, would be the railway line from the Boggo Junction (now called Dutton Park) Station and the Fairfield and Yeronga Railway Stations.

Venner Road and Hyde Road in present times, run right through the centre of the area east to west. From the early 1860's until comparatively recently, Boggo was a rich farming centre of approximately 700 acres divided into twenty farming blocks.

Boggo Road led to this settlement and ran from the Clarence Hotel or corner when the One Mile Swamp was on the left hand side opposite the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. The corruption of the name from Bolgo to Boggo was no tax on the imagination owing to the boggy state of the track which lay in the low lying area between the hills on both sides.

The name of Boggo Road was changed to Annerley Road in honour of Hon. D. F. Denham, the Premier of Queensland at that time. It was his birthplace in England. Boggo Road Gaol still bears the original name.

MOWBRAYTOWN

The suburb of Mowbraytown situated in the eastern part of Brisbane was named after the Rev. Thos. Mowbray, M.A. He was a native of Hamilton, Scotland, born in 1812 and educated at the University of Glasgow where he began his studies in 1829. The degree of M.A. was conferred on him in 1834, and he entered the ministry soon afterwards.

During the year 1841, he came to Australia and settled at Campbelfield, Port Phillip district now known as the State of Victoria. He engaged in Church duties at this place and remained there until the end of 1847 when he went to Sydney on similar work for another three years. However, owing to failing health and acting on medical advice, he came to Brisbane in the Moreton Bay Settlement.

His health considerably improved and he established a school in the grounds of his home “Riversdale" situated in an area of 11 acres which is now known as Mowbray Park. The residence of Thomas Mowbray was built on the site of the present bandstand in the Park.

In the period of time he resided in the suburb which was named after him, he purchased a considerable area of land consisting of eight blocks aggregating 83 acres. This land was (exclusive of the land now known as Mowbray Park) bounded by Lytton Road, Geelong, Latrobe, Stafford, Northcote Streets and Mowbray Terrace and extended through Vulture, Lisburn, Lucinda and Mountjoy Streets to Logan Road.

The subdivision of this area ie. between Lytton Road and Mowbray Terrace is unique in the fact that the blocks of residential sites extend for about 22 chains, which is more than twice the distance nowadays for an intersecting street to provide facilities for easy communication to the adjacent streets.

He did not, owing to his state of health, engage in the active duties of the ministry but occasionally conducted sermons in various churches. His genial manner, charitable activities and his sterling character drew towards him a wide circle of friends.

On 23rd December 1867 at the age of 55 years, the Rev. Thomas Mowbray passed to his rest and joined the Great Majority. His widow and family survived him and resided at the original home for some years.

As in so many instances of early day Brisbane, district names like that of Mowbraytown have been absorbed in the comprehensive one of East Brisbane, itself a misnomer much of that area so called is further south than is South Brisbane. An altered destination sign on an omnibus or tram, the absence of a post office so named or police station i.e. Mowbraytown, all tend, in the effluxion of time as old residents once familiar with the name quietly pass onto slowly but surely discard the localised name.

Thomas Mowbray, however, has had his name perpetuated in the names of Mowbray Park, and Mowbray Terrace while several businesses have prefixed the words Mowbray Park to their business titles. The word Mowbraytown does, however, in lone instance, appear in the naming of the Mowbraytown Presbyterian Church.

O'CONNELLTOWN

The suburb of O'Connelltown was named after Sir Maurice O'Connell (Bio) .

It comprised the area bounded by the present day names of Swan Hill, Bowen Bridge, Windsor Railway Station, and the land between the railway line with the upper reach of Breakfast Creek forming the eastern boundary along to Lutwyche Road.

The Eildon Post Office could be regarded as the centre of this suburb.

Rosemount" was the residence of Sir Maurice and Lady O'Connell. This house was, for many years later the property of the late Alfred Jones one of the partners of Gordon and Gotch, Brisbane, and was handed over to the military authorities after the 1914 - 1918 World War as a military hospital.

Several additions have been made to the original buildings and the official name now then became the Rosemount Orthopedic Department.

As in the case of the names of so many earlier and similarly small suburbs which have no definite feature, apart from the usage thereof by old residents, to perpetuate the name, O'Connelltown shared a like fate.

The last general use of this name was when it appeared on the side destination signs of the horse drawn omnibuses until these were superseded by the advent of electric traction and the subsequent tramway extensions firstly to Bowen Bridge and secondly in 1914 to Windsor. The name O'Connelltown has been absorbed into that of Windsor the larger adjoining Suburb.

Maurice O'Connell was the eldest son of Sir Maurice O'Connell and his wife Mary, who was the daughter of Admiral Bligh, that remarkable man who had the adventure and suffering by the mutiny of the Bounty and being deposed as the Governor of New South Wales.

Maurice O'Connell was descended on his paternal side from the family of which Daniel O'Connell the eminent Irish political figure was a member. He was born in January 1812 and his birthplace was in the officers quarters in the Military Barracks which were on the site now known as Wynyard Square Sydney. Barrack Street leading from the Sydney General Post Office is the historical link of this locality.

In his early childhood, Maurice O'Connell accompanied his family to Ceylon where his father was appointed to a military post. Young Maurice left there in 1819 to journey to England where he began his educational studies at Dr. Pinkney's Academy and later at Edinburgh High School.

Further studies were taken in Dublin and Paris, also at the College of Charlemagne until 1828. Maurice O'Connell became an ensign at the age of 16 years and joined the 78th Regiment at Gibraltar and other Mediterranean stations especially at Malta where he, and Samuel W. Blackall first met while both were but young subalterns. (Samuel W. Blackall in later life became Governor of Queensland).

Maurice O'Connell went to Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1835 and on 23rd July of that year he married Eliza Emeline, the daughter of Colonel Le Geyt of the 63rd Regiment.

The name of Le Geyt Street which runs off Lutwyche Road was on the northern boundary of the property of Sir Maurice O'Connell, “Rosemount." and thus perpetuates his wife's maiden name.

Under the orders of the Council of William IV permitting British subjects to raise an army for a foreign power, O'Connell raised a regiment in County Cork of the British Legion. He was gazetted Lieutenant Colonel and the force was called the 10th Munster Light Infantry.

Maurice O'Connell became Colonel and later Adjutant General. The regiment was formed for service under Isabella of Spain. It was disbanded in 1837 and O'Connell returned to England where he was appointed to the 51st Regiment and subsequently became Captain of the 28th Regiment well known in Sydney.

On his father's return to New South Wales in command of troops in Australia, he accompanied him as a member of his staff. When Captain Maurice O'Connell's regiment was recalled from colonial service he retired from military activities and devoted himself to the more peaceful pursuits of

becoming a pastoral tenant and enthusiastically entered into squatting and bred horses for the Indian market. He also took an active part in social and political movements in New South Wales for ten years and was elected as representative of Port Phillip which was, at that time, a portion of New South Wales. He was appointed in 1848 as Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Burnett, the northern extremity of Australian Colonisations.

In the year 1853, he was requested to undertake the settlement of Port Curtis and after defining the boundaries of Wide Bay, the Burnett, Port Curtis was established. He remained in that district at Gladstone as Government Resident from 1854 until Queensland became a separate Colony in 1859 and, of course, Port Curtis was consequently included in the new Colony.

While stationed at Port Curtis Captain O'Connell, in the face of much discouragement and at considerable cost from his private means, carried on the settlement of that district from the commencement until his office was abolished in 1859. He had found, on his arrival, in 1854 that the district was almost a deserted and underdeveloped tract of country but, when he left in 1860 it was on the way to becoming a prosperous community.

Much assistance was given by him in the search for gold at Canoona, firstly, by forming the plan of the search, and then by financial assistance. However, the search was not very successful, but it stimulated the impetus to continue the search in other possible goldfields.

On the constitution of the Colony of Queensland, no provision was made in the Civil List on the abandonment of his position. He was nominated by Governor Sir George Bowen as a Member of the first Legislative Council in 1860. (The members of the Legislative Council of the young Colony of Queensland were first appointed for five years only, and upon the expiration of that period they were appointed for life).

In May 1865 Captain O'Connell's Commission was renewed. After the departure of Governor Bowen, he took over the administration and acted as Governor until the arrival of the incoming Governor Blackall. He similarly, acted on three other occasions.

Sir Maurice O'Connell devoted himself to many activities such as the Acclimatisation Society at Bowen Park, Brisbane a Society formed in 1863 to introduce, propagate and distribute useful plants from overseas countries to this State. The Queensland Turf Club was another interest.

In his early military career, by special license of Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria, he was permitted to receive the order Knight Commander of Isabella the Catholic of Spain, Knight Commander, Second Class of San Fernando, Cross of Honour Extraordinary of Charles III of Spain.

He was created a K.C.M.G. in the year 1868.

On the 23rd of March 1879 he passed to his rest. During his life he was respected for his charm of grace, deportment, his innate kindness, benevolence, and earned the admiration of a multitude of early colonists.

Life, the Great Enigma, together with the long arm of coincidence and the whirling of fortune, can produce quaint quirks and novel situations which no striving author could effectuate.

Few will deny that this is not so in the respective lives of the two young subalterns once stationed in Malta, who, after the vicissitudes of half a century of life, peacefully sleep their last long sleep in Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, in opposite graves only five yards from each other Governor Colonel Samuel Wensley Blackall, and Sir Maurice Charles O'Connell of O'Connelltown.

THORROLDTOWN

Thorroldtown, an early Brisbane suburb was named after Robert L. Thorrold who was connected with the Supreme Court since before Separation. His first official appointment was early in 1859 when he was made tipstaff to the late Judge Lutwyche who at that time was the second resident Judge of the Moreton Bay Settlement.

In the year 1863, when the Supreme Court Library was established, Robert Thorrold became Librarian and from 1872 was associate to Judge Lutwyche until the death of that notable personality. Thorrold then was engaged on a full time basis as Supreme Court Librarian.

The area of land owned by Robert L. Thorrold comprised 48 acres, the boundaries of which in present day identification would be the northern end of Bonney Avenue, the streets named Stafford and Inwood (which are immediately north of Wooloowin Railway Station) Kedron Park Road to Rose Street, Eagle Junction. The railway line to Sandgate via Eagle Junction runs almost exactly through the centre of Robert Thorrold's early estate.

 Robert Thorrold returned to England, the land of his birth, early in the year 1892, to spend his retirement.

The only historical link remaining nowadays to perpetuate the memory of this early day suburb is Thorrold Street which runs through the middle from east to west of the land once owned by him. Once the railway line to Sandgate when completed in 1882, the railway station named Thorroldtown was situated about 500 yards on the northern side of the present Wooloowin Railway Station while the station called Lutwyche stood near the corner of Chalk St. The position of Eagle Junction Station, then called Eagle Farm Junction, was on a triangular site instead of the present lay‑out.

The proximity of these three railway stations viz., Lutwyche, Thorroldtown and Eagle Junction was such that they were built in a total distance of only 1300 yards. In the year 1888 the respective railway passengers using these stations as expressed on a percentage basis, revealed that Lutwyche booked 64 per cent, Thorroldtown 2 per cent and Eagle Junction 34 per cent. It was inevitable from the economic standpoint that the Thorroldtown Railway Station would have to be closed and by 1890 this was done, the Lutwyche station removed 300 yards northwards from Chalk Street to its present position and renamed Wooloowin.

The Windsor Town Council, the then existing local authority in which area the railway station of Lutwyche was situated, suggested that the name was a misnomer as it was over half a mile from the suburb of Lutwyche. Proposals were offered for the renaming of the newly built station to be called Maida Hill after the Maida Hill Estate on the eastern side of the present station.

An alternative proposal was to call the new (Wooloowin) station ALFRED in honour of Judge Alfred James Peter Lutwyche. However, the name Wooloowin was given to the new station and as in so many instances of aboriginal native names controversy existed due to the contention that the name should be written as Kuluwin for a species of pigeon.

As happened in many similarly small and early day suburbs of Brisbane, the elimination of the Thorroldtown Station, the cessation of the Thorroldtown horse drawn omnibus service which ran from Tom Withecombe's Butcher Shop at Thorrold Street to North Quay via the alternate routes of Chalk Street and McLennan Street, and the absence of any visual reminders, all tended to cause the name of Thorroldtown to drift into the limbo of forgotten things. The name of the area is now absorbed into that of Wooloowin otherwise Kuluwin.

DEIGHTON ESTATE

Deighton Road is situated between the South Brisbane suburbs of Highgate Hill and Dutton Park. It was named after Edward Deighton who in November 1860 and June 1861 purchased eight portions of land in that area totaling 83 acres.

The area was bounded by the thoroughfares now known as Annerley (originally Boggo Road) from the corner of Gladstone Road to the comer of Gloucester Street along that street to the Gloucester Street Railway Station, up Deighton Road to where Park Road West joins and continues along to a line running from the corner of Louisa Street and the foot of West Street to Gladstone Road and back to the corner of Annerley Road and Gladstone Road.

Deighton owned all this area, excepting a rectangularly shaped block of 10 acres belonging to Charles Fitzsimmons. This was bounded by the eastern side of Deighton Road, part of Park Road West and Linden Street to a line joining, up with Gladstone Road.

Edward Deighton, a native of Cambridge England, was born in 1833. His father Joseph Nathan Deighton was a partner in J. & J. J. Deighton who, for some years, were publishers to the University of Cambridge. He attended the Cavendish Grammar School in Suffolk and later studied under a private tutor to prepare him for the University. However, owing to the death of his father his plans were changed and young Deighton came to Australia in 1852.

He spent some time with Mr. Piddington and later was in the office of Mr. Dillon a Sydney solicitor but the practice of law was not attractive and Deighton secured an appointment in 1855 with the Colonial Architect's office in Sydney.

After four years service, Edward Deighton was chosen to organize the Department of the Colonial Architect under Charles Tiffin who held that position in the new Colony of Queensland. This department was amalgamated in 1871 with the Public Works Office and Deighton continued as Chief Clerk of the new department.

In 1877 he was appointed Under Secretary of the Dept. of Public Works after Mr. A. 0. Herbert the then previous Under Secretary took up the position of Commissioner for Railways. The Mines Department in 1881 was also added to the Works Department and Deighton was appointed Under Secretary for Mines and Works in which position he continued until his retirement on pension in 1888.

The original survey of the area of land once owned by Deighton was completed by G. Pratten on 20 January 1858 and subsequent sub-divisional surveys by G. T. McDonald on 25 April 1887 and Hamilton and Raff on 18 April 1898. In the early 1880's, the eastern portion of the estate from the corner of Gladstone and Annerley Roads towards Gloucester Street (near Burkes Hotel) and as far back as Lochaber (originally James Street) was sold and became a populated area soon afterwards.

Another area of 7 acres was also owned by Deighton. It was bounded by part of Dornoch Terrace, Gladstone Road down to Blakeney Street corner. On the higher part of this area now stands “Torbreck" the first multi storey Home Unit building.

On 20 July 1894, after a short illness Edward Deighton aged 61 years passed from this world. His grave in South Brisbane Cemetery marked by a small freestone cross is situated on the knoll known as Oven's Head about fifty yards from a peaceful bank of the Brisbane River and five hundred yards distant in a line to the Gladstone Road Boundary of the area which perpetuates his surname in Deighton Road, Deighton Estate.

Mrs. A. A. Deighton died at the age of 71 on 1 December 1910. Most of the streets in the area once owned by Edward Deighton bear the Christian names of his family.

- Unknown