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Deuchar, John (1822–1872)

It is with sincere regret that we have to announce the death of another old colonist, viz., Mr. John Deuchar, of Mile End, and for many years of Glengallan station. Mr. Deuchar, as is well known, has been in a delicate state of health for some months, but had recently recovered so much as to be able to get about, and was present at the Royal Agricultural Society's show on the 7th August last—an association, by the way, which he took a great interest in, and of which he was a member for many years. During the last week or two, however, he has been considerably worse, and he died on Wednesday evening last, of inflammation of the lungs. He has left a widow and young family to mourn their loss, and the news of his death has also cast a profound melancholy amongst the many numerous friends and acquaintances he had in this district. Mr. Deuchar was one of the few who had witnessed the rise and progress of this district, and a few incidents of his long experience in the colonies, which we have gathered from a reliable authority, will not we hope, be deemed out of place. He was amongst the very first pioneers who came over from the New England district and forced their way through the then unknown bush as far as the banks of the Condamine. In those days no white men (excepting the explorer Cunningham and one or two others) had ventured so far north from the squattages of New South Wales. The land which Warwick now stands upon, we have heard him say, was thickly timbered country, and bounded on one side by a rather thick scrub, and was numerously populated by the blacks, who came over the river from what is now Killarney and Canning Downs. Mr. Deuchar was the first white man who camped on what is now the town of Warwick. He first came on the Downs (in 1840) in company with Mr. Leslie, who travelled this way in order to secure some of the fine open plains which had been so highly spoken of by the early explorers. Mr. Leslie took charge of the sheep and Mr. Deuchar the cattle. The latter arrived here first, and camped on the banks of the Condamine, on what is now known as the old police paddock. Mr. Arthur Hodgson was following them, in order also to take up the country, and we have heard Mr. Hodgson on two occasions at the dinners of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland, tell of a characteristic incident which occurred when he first met Mr. Deuchar on the Downs, and which proves that although some of our large squatters now enjoy every luxury, their colonial experience has not always been a bed of roses, but before reaping the profits of their enterprise they had many discomforts and privations to undergo. Mr. Hodgson after a long overland journey through the wild bush came upon Mr. Deuchar's camp shortly after it was pitched, and found Mr. Deuchar frying a steak and boiling his own "billy" of tea over a log fire, and only just after the act of washing his own shirt at the river. Mr. Hodgson asked Mr. Leslie if there was any good country up the river, and the latter being desirous of securing it himself told him that there was plenty of magnificent plains down the river, which afterwards turned out to be correct, as Yandilla, Cecil Plains, &c., proved. —Shortly after this Mr. Deuchar was appointed to take charge of Goomburra station for the North British Australasian Company, then known as the Aberdeen Company. The station was afterwards sold to Mr. George Leslie, and Mr. Deuchar was transferred to the charge of Rosenthal Station. After he had been in this position a short time Canal Creek station was in the market for sale without stock, and Mr. Deuchar made arrangements with Mr. Walter Grey, of Ipswich, another old colonist, and purchased it. He resided there a short time, and then sold the station to Mr. Thomas Gillespie, and went into partnership with Mr. C. H. Marshall, at Glengallan, which station he managed until a year or two ago, when he retired from the partnership, and went to live at Mile End, where he has resided up to the time of his death. Mr. Deuchar was a liberal subscriber to every charitable institution in the district, and his liberality to all, rich or poor, who called at the station, was well-known. He was a kind parent, and a good husband, and his many excellent qualities gained him the good feeling of every one with whom he came in contact. His funeral took place yesterday morning, and was very numerously attended. The corpse was removed from Mile End to St. Mark's Church, where the service was conducted by the Rev. James Love. Most of the places of business were closed during the early part of the day, and a large number of the townspeople, as well as many others from a distance, followed all that was mortal of John Deuchar to its last resting place, in the Warwick Cemetery.—Warwick Examiner, September 14.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Deuchar, John (1822–1872)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/deuchar-john-3404/text25550, accessed 12 December 2018.

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