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McConnel, Arthur John (1876–1937)

Mr. Arthur John McConnel, aged 80, a well-known pastoralist, and a member of one of the first families to breed cattle in this State, died in Brisbane at the weekend.

Writing in 1932, Mr. McConnel traced the story of the coming of the McConnels to Queensland. It is a story of exceptional historic interest because the period dates back to the thirties of last century, when Brisbane, was a penal settlement, and when those seeking to gain access to the Darling Downs had to come from Sydney by way of New England. Nor was settlement permitted close to Brisbane in those days for fear, presumably, that the settlers would contaminate the, convicts.

Mr. David McConnel, uncle of Mr. A. J. McConnel, arrived in Sydney in 1839 bought stock and followed Leslie’s tracks to the Darling Downs. He took up land at the Junction of the Brisbane River, and what has since become known as Cressbrook Creek, and he called his holding Cressbrook. Here he was joined in 1842 by his two brothers, John and Frederick, and the station flourished. The brothers subscribed liberally in 1844 towards outfitting Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt's expedition to Port Essington. Frederick was to have accompanied Leichhardt, but news of the illness of their mother took him to England, where he married.

Messrs. David and John McConnel entered into a partnership which existed until the 60's, when John took over Durundur in the Upper Brisbane district. The late Mr. A. J. McConnel was a son of Mr. John McConnel, and was a breeder and student of Hereford cattle. He wrote many articles on pioneering families and the histories of Queensland stations.

Original publication

Citation details

'McConnel, Arthur John (1876–1937)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mcconnel-arthur-john-1232/text1222, accessed 23 January 2018.

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