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Obituaries Australia

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Walsh, William Henry (1823–1888)

The Hon William Henry Walsh, M.L.C., met with an accident on Wednesday night, which his many friends in Brisbane will regret to learn has since terminated fatally. At about half-past 8 o'clock Mr. Walsh, who resides near Bulimba, was walking into town along the Shason-road, having refused to take the buggy, which was required by other members of the family. When near the Rope Works he was met by one of Bryce and Battersby's parcel delivery vans, driven by a man named Stehlfert Moller. Moller, it seems, noticed a man coming towards him, and says that he appeared to stumble against the front wheel of the van. He stopped his horse, and on getting down from the vehicle found a man lying in the road on his back, and bleeding from a cut over each eye. After getting assistance the van-driver lifted the injured man into the van, and drove as far as the police quarters. Here the sufferer was recognised as Mr. Walsh, and he was at once taken into the house of Mrs. Barker, who is a friend of his, and who lives close by. Dr. Marks and Dr. Thomson were summoned as speedily as possible, but the unfortunate gentleman was past medical aid. He was quite unconscious when picked up, and remained so through the night and up till the time of his death, which took place about 7 o'clock next morning.

The wheel of the vehicle must have passed over the unfortunate gentleman's head, for besides a fracture of the skull there were two severe cuts across the eyes and bruises at the back of the head. The funeral took place in the afternoon.

The Hon. William Henry Walsh, M.L.C., was a very old and well-known colonist, whose name has for many years been connected with public affairs. He was born in Oxfordshire in 1825, and migrated from England in 1844. After he arrived at Sydney he went to Mr. David Perrier's sheep station near Bathurst, and for three years occupied himself in gaining experience in connection with sheep farming. In 1847 he took up a station for Mr. Perrier on the McIntyre River, and then another on the Burnett. Degilbo, where he lived for many years during the prime of his life, fell into the hands of Messrs. Griffith, Fanning, and Co., of Sydney, and Mr. Walsh was admitted as partner in the concern. They also held the Monduran station on the Colanne River, and Milton on the Boyne, near Gladstone. When these properties were sold to wind up the partnership, Mr. Walsh in conjunction with Mr. Edward Mullett purchased Monduran, and they have held it ever since. Mr. Walsh always occupied a prominent position in the Burnett and Wide Bay districts. In 1850 he was returned to the Parliament of New South Wales, and in 1865 was sent by the electors of Maryborough to represent them in the Queensland Legislature. In 1870 he accepted office as Minister for Works in the Palmer Government, but in consequence of differences with his colleagues he retired in 1873. In 1874 he was returned for the Warrego and became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, but abandoned that position before the life of that Parliament had closed. In 1878 he was defeated for the Logan, and was summoned to the Legislative Council in the following year. Like many of the old colonists, Mr. Walsh had successes and disappointments in political life and otherwise, and during the later years of his life had passed out of the circle of active politicians, where he once exercised much influence. He was well read on the subject of Constitutional Government, on which he was regarded as an authority.

When the preparations were being made for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, Mr. Walsh took a trip home with his wife and daughters. He was appointed one of the Executive Commissioners for the Exhibition, and spent a couple of years amongst his old friends in the mother-country and on the Continent. About the year 1857 he married Miss Eliza Brown, a daughter of a very well-known and highly-respected resident in the Paterson district of New South Wales. He has four sons and three daughters, and has lately resided with his family on the Brisbane River a little above Bulimba. There are few amongst the leading families here to whom Mr. Walsh was not personally known, and his sudden death has naturally been a great shook to his numerous friends.

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'Walsh, William Henry (1823–1888)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 September 2020.

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