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Stevenson, John (1843–1912)

from Brisbane Courier

John Stevenson, n.d.

John Stevenson, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 16 September 1912

Few people who saw the simple announcement in yesterday's Courier inviting friends of the late Mr John Stevenson to attend his funeral realised that it signified the departure from our midst of a figure once conspicuous in pastoral, political, and mercantile circles in Queensland. The late Mr. John Stevenson was born at Gask, Perthshire, Scotland, in 1843, and arrived in Queensland in 1864 to take charge of Ravensbourne station, situated on the Barcoo. In 1870 he purchased the station from Lord Macclesfield, and in 1883 sold it, along with the adjoining station. In 1874 Mr. Stevenson formed Ruthven station, on the lower Barcoo, and disposed of it five years later. For many years he owned Conobie and other stations in the Gulf country, in partnership with the late Mr. Edward Palmer, his brother in law. In 1883 he joined the firm of Messrs. B. D. Morehead and Co (now Moreheads Ltd ), in the management of which he took an active part until he retired from it in 1896, to form the business of John Stevenson and Co. stock and station agents. In 1875 Mr Stevenson was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Clermont. He sat continuously in the House until the general election of 1893, when he was defeated for Clermont. During a portion of the 18 years he was a member of Parliament he represented the electorate of Normanby. He took a prominent part in legislation in connection with the alienation of Crown Lands, the establishment of divisional boards, the initiation of the mail contract with the British India Company and other progressive measures. In his early pastoral days he explored a great deal of country on the Lower Barcoo, and underwent the hardships of the 1886 drought, when he had to take his sheep down as far as Cooper's Creek. In conjunction with Sir Thomas McIlwraith and a few other enterprising pastoralists, he formed the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Co., Ltd. The deceased was a life member of the Queensland National Association. He had always evinced a very keen interest in horse breeding and horse racing, and was a life member of the Queensland Turf Club, of which he was president in 1887 -8. He was also a major of the Queensland Scottish Rifles. On August 18, 1872, he married Miss Jane Palmer, of Rockhampton, who, with his son and daughter survive him. The late Mr Stevenson built the mansion at Rosalie known as Fernberg, recently purchased by the Government as a residence for the State Governor. Since he disposed of the property Mr. Stevenson had lived quietly at Sandgate, but a few months ago he removed to Ravensbourne, Hoogley Terrace, West End, where his death took place. The funeral yesterday was not very largely attended, but a number of Mr Stevenson's old personal friends who had kept in touch with him assembled at the graveside. Among them were Mr. John Cameron, Captain Makay, the Hon Holmes A'Court and Messrs. J. A. Macartney, Leo Morgan, De Burgh Persse, J. Hughes, W. E., A. D., and C. Graham, and T McIlwraith Taylor. Magnificent floral wreaths covered the coffin. For a considerable time before his death Mr Stevenson had retired from the busy world in which he was so prominent in the days of his prime, consequently many of his old friends — and they were legion — having lost sight of him were unable to pay their last tribute of respect to an old comrade.

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'Stevenson, John (1843–1912)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/stevenson-john-934/text26754, accessed 15 November 2018.

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