Looking out over our lush and busy Auchenflower neighbourhood it’s hard to imagine it as a barren grazing land, the rolling hills interspersed with shrubs, tree stumps, creeks and cattle. But photos of colonial Brisbane prove that this was indeed the case, well into the twentieth century in some areas. Government lands were initially raided for useful timber, then cleared, grazed, sold, subdivided and built on in a pattern radiating from Brisbane Town. The river was the first highway and it spawned some of the early villages along its path, but in between these proto-suburbs the lands laid dormant, waiting for roads and railways to pave the way for for residential construction.
In my research of house histories and past inhabitants I eventually end up with the original Deeds of Grant, documenting the passing of the crown lands into private hands. For most of the inner Western suburbs these documents date from the mid 1800’s. Written in florid and formal style and signed by the earliest governors of the colony - Bowen, Blackall etc. - they reveal the name and place of residence of the first owners. And in many cases these owners were leading citizens of their time - people of wealth, political and industrial power playing important roles in Queensland’s journey from a penal outpost to independent state.
In this series I will look closer at some of these land owners and attempt to put together short biographies based on a variety of sources. As always I favor the real-time reporting of contemporary newspapers as the most illuminating (and entertaining) source of information. And I will start at-home, with the first owner of the land that I’m sitting on right now. So please allow me to introduce Mr Arnold Wienholt, the original owner of the rather substantial area of Auchenflower land located between Birdwood Tce, Milton Rd, Bangalla St to the East and Gregory St to the West.
(1) The History of Queensland, Its People and Industries; States Publishing Company, 1919-1922
(2) The early history of the Warwick District and Pioneers of the Darling Downs, T. Hall, 1925
(3) The Daily News, 8 November 1888
(4) Yes, I have this ref somewhere in my database and I will find it
(5) Department of Natural Resources and Mines; Deed of Grant of Land no 775; 16th July 1860
(6) Land sales notices in the Brisbane Courier; 24 Sept 1888, 3 Oct 1893, 14 Dec 1897, 14 Sept 1912; 13 Nov 1912
(5) McKellar's Map of Brisbane and Suburbs; Surveyor General's Office; 1895
(6) Brisbane Courier; 15 February 1862
(7) The North Australia, Ipswich and General Advertiser; 24 Aug 1858
(8) The Eccentric Mr Wienholt; Rosamund Siemon; University of Queensland Press; 2005
If you have any additional information or corrections to this particular subject please let me know.