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Nantes, Richard Hutton (1869–1955)

Richard Nantes, n.d.

Richard Nantes, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 February 1955

A noted grazier and outstanding authority on sheep in south-west Queensland, Mr. Richard Hutton Nantes, of Kynnersley, Murweh Siding, died in Charleville Hospital on the 15th January at the age of 85. The late Mr. Nantes was born at Little River, Victoria, in 1869, but when his father died eight years later his mother took him and other members of the family to New Zealand. After receiving his education at the Dunedin High School, he gained his first experience with sheep at Mt. Pisa, on the Molyneux River, in the Otago Province. Later he moved to the North Island and worked on Erewhon Station, in the Hawke's Bay district. He knew the mountain country of the South Island of New Zealand well, and as a young man accompanied his brother-in-law, afterwards Sir Thomas Mackenzie, a Prime Minister of N.Z., when the track was blazed from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound.

In 1891 Mr. Nantes returned to Australia, first working on Rainworth, Springsure, Q., which was owned by another brother-in-law, Mr. F. H. B. Turner. While at this station shearing machines were used for the first time. After three years at Rainworth he moved to Central Queensland, and was at Wellshot Station during the renowned shearers' strike of the '90's. He recalled that mounted police were called in after revolver shots were fired, and that it took 18 weeks to shear 350,000 sheep.

During the 1900 drought he was travelling overseer for Saltern Creek, the sheep being on agistment from the coast to Lake Eyre. Travel to the lake in those days was by camel and in 1902 the proprietors of Saltern Creek purchased some desert country known as the Champion blocks. Here Mr. Nantes supervised the sinking of bores and water was struck at 400 feet, giving a daily flow of 20,000 gallons, and at 900 feet, giving 50,000 gallons a day. When the drought broke in 1904 40,000 sheep were sent back to Saltern Creek. He then returned to Rainworth, which had been sold to Dalgety and Co. Ltd., remaining there until 1911 when the property again changed hands. Subsequently he managed Beechal, in south-west Queensland, for Messrs. Bishop and Tyrell, of New South Wales, and when this station was sold became a valuer and inspector for Dalgety and Company Limited.

In 1915 he drew Kynnersley in a land ballot, and there built up a Merino stud from stock purchased from the late Mr. R. P. Lord, of Victoria Downs, Morven, Q. His sheep won many show awards in Queensland, including championship and reserve championship for Merino rams and ewes at Charleville, Mitchell, and Roma. Fleeces from his stud also took many championships at various times, and were exhibited at the Brisbane Exhibition.

The late Mr. Nantes was a foundation member of the Queensland Merino Stud Breeders' Association, and assumed the presidency of that body on the death of Mr. R. P. Lord. Later he was elected to life membership. He was also for a long term president of the South Western Graziers' Association, and a member of the executive council of the United Graziers' Association of Queensland. He took a keen and active interest in horse-racing, and a fine collection of cups and trophies bear testimony to his many successes at various picnic race meetings in Queensland. He was a member of the committee of the South Western District Association, and was also keenly interested in local ambulance and Flying Doctor services.

On retiring from active station life, Mr. Nantes passed the last decade of his long life quietly at Kynnersley, but his wide knowledge of sheep and station matters was always at the disposal of others engaged in the industry. He was married twice, his surviving widow being a sister of his first wife. He also leaves two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Original publication

  • Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 February 1955, p 159 (view original)

Citation details

'Nantes, Richard Hutton (1869–1955)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/nantes-richard-hutton-763/text764, accessed 12 December 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Richard Nantes, n.d.

Richard Nantes, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 February 1955