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Austin Mack (1840–1918)

Austin Mack, n.d.

Austin Mack, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 July 1918

The late Austin Mack, of Pallal, N.S.W., reference to whose death was made in the June issue of the Review, was born in 1840. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. J. G. Mack, of Berry Bank, Vic., and was born at Colac, in that State. He began his career in the pastoral industry at the age of twenty-two, when his father purchased the Prairie Station, near Rochester (Vic.) for him, and later on added Terrick Terrick, which adjoined The Prairie. However, losing most of the country through "selection," he sold out, and in conjunction with the late Edward Grieves purchased Temora Station, N.S.W., which promised well, but after a couple of years' occupancy, the famous Temora diggings broke out in the centre of the run, with the result that in a few months about 20,000 diggers virtually took possession. They cut fences at will, took forcible charge of all the tanks, helped themselves to mutton, and so on. Consequently the station was, it may be said, abandoned soon afterwards.

Locating his family in Riverina, Mr. Mack then joined a syndicate of about a dozen, and purchased a large sheep and cattle ranch near Las Vegas, New Mexico. The land was sold on a freehold basis at about equal to 5s. per acre. Mr. Mack was elected as managing director, and took with him sufficient staff to carry on the major operations out there, depending on the local-bred "cowboys" for other work. However, on arrival he found that things were not altogether as they were painted, although the country was all that could be desired, splendidly grassed, naturally watered and fenced. On the other hand, the sheep were very inferior, scab was rampant, the native population were arrogant to a degree, would allow no yards to be erected, everything down to a fowl had to be lassooed, "labour" put themselves on—or off —Mr. Mack had no say in the matter! In the "fall" if the number of calves reared was not satisfactory, the ranch cowboy 's duty and pleasure was to disappear for a time, and return from "somewhere" with the requisite number! On top of other troubles a dispute arose as to the validity of the titles, though duly attested by the Government. The advice given was not to fight, but ''distribute a little'' amongst the objectors. This suggestion did not appeal to the syndicate, who eventually abandoned the project and retired from the field—wiser, if not richer men.

On his return to New South Wales, Mr. Mack, in partnership with his brothers-in-law, Messrs. Austin and Millear, purchased about thirty years ago, Pallal Station, near Bingara, but later on bought out his partners, and resided on the station till the time of his death.

His wife, who predeceased him about eight years ago, was the daughter of the late William Boyce, P.M., of Brisbane. He leaves six daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom, and a grandson, are now at the front.

Original publication

Citation details

'Mack, Austin (1840–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Austin Mack, n.d.

Austin Mack, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 July 1918