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E. A. Anning (1851–1935)

Mrs Frank Anning, senior, who died at Pomeroy, Potts Point, Sydney, yesterday morning in her 85th year, was one of the great women of North Queensland. When 18 years old she went as a bride with her husband, and his brother (Mr. John Anning) and his bride, to take up Reedy Springs station, in the Gulf country. They travelled the 200 miles from Townsville by bullock dray. When they arrived they found that the man who was to have built their slab house had become ill, and they had to camp in tents.

The little old house, built later of logs and adzed slabs, still stands, in the Reedy Springs home paddock, where the Flinders River rises. The perils from blacks were so great that for seven years after her arrival Mrs. Anning did not dare to venture alone beyond the verandah of the homestead. Often she was left alone there while her husband went away with cattle, and once, unawares, she entertained old Redfern, the bushranger (the father of Dan and Jim in Boldrewood's Robbery Under Arms). Redfern's visit was linked with his theft of the cattle from Mount Cornish, which he 'lifted' and drove to Adelaide.

Mrs. Anning lived at Reedy Springs for 26 years, and her 13 children were born there. Her husband was one of the great pioneers of the Northern cattle country. He owned Compton Downs, Savannah, and Wollogorang stations. Her brother, Mr. Thomas Mulhall King, was Queensland Auditor General, and later Commissioner for Railways. His son, Mr. Reginald Macdonnell King, was Minister for Works and Education in the Moore Government.

The 13 children included Mrs. Robert Jackson, of Apsley station, near Winton; Mrs. Boyd, of Sydney; and Messrs. Harry Anning (of Weatherby station). Frank Anning, jun. (of Cargoon), Stephen Anning (of Cornelian and Longford stations), and Richard Anning (who has the old home station, Reedy Springs).

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • 'Longreach', Brisbane Courier, 24 August 1925, p 18
  • interview, Longreach Leader, 18 September 1925, p 12 + photograph

Citation details

'Anning, E. A. (1851–1935)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • King, E. A.



17 July, 1935 (aged ~ 84)
Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia