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William Crombie (1839–1898)

On the 15th April there passed away in the person of Mr. William Crombie, of "Greenhills" station, near Muttaburra, one of the pioneers of Western Queensland.

The deceased gentleman, who was a brother of Mr. James Crombie, M.L.A. for the Warrego, was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1836, and received his education at Madras College, St. Andrews, Edinburgh. He came out to Australia with his brother in 1856, and for some years was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Victoria. A few years later the Crombies went out to Queensland, taking up Home Creek and Barcaldine country with Mr. D. C. Cameron and his son, Mr. John Cameron, now President of the United Pastoralists' Association of Queensland. They established "Barcaldine Downs'" station, which was disposed of to Messrs. Fairbairn in 1878, subsequently securing an interest in the well-known squatting firm of Allen and partners. On the dissolution of that firm the old partners purchased "Kensington Downs," now the property of Mr. John Cameron, and "Greenhills," the latter property subsequently falling to the share of the Messrs. Crombie. The brothers Crombie had been forty years in partnership, and for the last eleven years Mr. William Crombie has managed the "Greenhills" property. The brothers married daughters of their old partner, Mr. D. C. Cameron. Mrs. Wm. Crombie died some years ago, and is buried at the station cemetery, where the remains of her husband were also interred.

The deceased gentleman, who never took much part in public affairs, was known throughout Australia for his sterling good qualities, and the news of his sudden death—due to acute bronchitis—was received with keen regret in the four capitals.

Our Central Queensland correspondent writes as follows:—

Mr. William Crombie, of Green Hills Station, Longreach, died unexpectedly on the 14th inst. at Green Hills. The sad news was received in town just after the show was concluded, and cast a gloom over the remaining days of the carnival week. The immediate cause of death was failure of the heart's action, but Mr. Crombie had been suffering from dengue fever and bronchitis. He was in his sixtieth year. The deceased gentleman was one of the best known of Central Queensland pioneers. Coming from Victoria thirty-five years ago, Mr. Crombie, together with his brother and the late Mr. D. C. Cameron, took up Home Creek and Barcaldine runs. In 1878 they disposed of these to the Messrs. Fairbairn, and Mr. Crombie acquired Green Hills, which he has held ever since.

William Crombie's death leaves a gap not easily filled. His long unblemished career was governed by the strictest codes of honour and integrity, which gained for him the admiration and respect of all classes of the community. His word was his bond, and his genial, kindly, sympathetic nature endeared him to the hearts of all with whom he ever came in contact. No one was more universally beloved and respected; no one died more deeply regretted; and he left no better men behind him.

Original publication

Citation details

'Crombie, William (1839–1898)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


30 March, 1839
Kilminning, Fife, Scotland


15 April, 1898 (aged 59)
Muttaburra, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.