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James Rutherford (1827–1911)

On the 13th of last month, after a very short illness, Mr. James Rutherford died at Mackay, Q., from bronchitis, A remarkable figure in the history of New South Wales and Queensland, Mr. Rutherford had passed through very many years of hard and rough life during the days when roads were not and routes unknown, and although he had reached the good old age of eighty-four, he was still considered to be as hale and hearty as ever. Accordingly the news of his sudden death came as' a great shock to those intimately acquainted with him. Born in New York State, U.S.A., in 1827, he came to Australia in 1852, and with Messrs. A. W. Robertson, W. F. Whitney, Walter Hall, and Walter Bradley acquired the business of Cobb and Co., mail contractors and coach proprietors. Before long the name of the firm became a household word throughout Eastern Australia. In 1862 he settled in Bathurst, N.S.W. and he and his partners became large station owners, from the Macquarie River in N.S.W, to the far west of Queensland. In 1873, in company with others, he established the first Lithgow ironworks. After the loss of the first £100,000 capital, and a similar sum having been again subscribed, he himself assumed the management, and turned the works into a profit-bearing concern. Mr. Rutherford owned Buckiinguy Station and Murrumbidgee, which a few years ago he cut up and sold; Wyagdon, near Peel, and his beautiful home at Hereford, near Bathurst, all in N.S.W. In Queensland his properties were Burrenbilla near Cunnamulla, Connemara, and Warkon on the Condamine, Ambathala, near Charleville, and Davenport Downs and Ingledoon, two large adjoining cattle runs on the Diamantina.

Original publication

Citation details

'Rutherford, James (1827–1911)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

James Rutherford, c1920

James Rutherford, c1920

State Library of Queensland, citrix08--2006-10-25-11-12

Life Summary [details]


24 October, 1827
Amherst, New York, United States of America


11 September, 1911 (aged 83)
Mackay, 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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.