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Alfred Scells (1839–1924)

Alfred Scells, n.d.

Alfred Scells, n.d.

photo supplied by Donald Kirkham

In the passing of Mr. Alfred Scells, late of Thorrold-street, Wooloowin, Brisbane and formerly of Ipswich, Fassifern, and Harrisville districts, one more most interesting link with pioneering days is severed. Mr. Scells was born in Herefordshire, England, on July 9, 1839, came to Australia when he was 10 years of age, and had lived in Queensland for over 74 years. He arrived in "Cooksland" in 1849, coming by the Chaseley, and holding one of Dr. Lang's land orders, which still is carefully preserved. For two years he went to Welsby's School, and at 12 years of age he was employed by H. M. Cockburn, commission agent (H. Nelson, afterwards the Premier, Sir Hugh Nelson, being head clerk). He was promoted to service with Mr. H. Kilner (chemist), and later was with Mr. W. Henderson and Mr. J. Pettigrew (draper). At 16 he went to Sydney, witnessed the wreck of the Dunbar, and helped to collect the wreckage. Next year saw him in Geelong, where he temporarily managed Craig and Whitefield's store at Queenscliff. After residence in New South Wales at Bathurst and Singleton, he returned to Ipswich, and for 40 years followed grazing and farming near Harrisville. In 1891 when the drought brought to cattle to 2/6 a head he moved to Silkstone, where he lived for four years. Later he resided in Sandgate, and in 1904 took up his residence at Wooloowin. He enjoyed excellent health all his life until a few months ago. Mr. Scells was well known in Methodist Church circles; he held various official positions, for 40 years he travelled over 400 miles a quarter as local preacher. His commission as Justice of the Peace dates from 1887, and for seven years he was regularly associated in an honorary capacity with Messrs. Ranking, P.M., and Armstrong, P.M., in the Metropolitan courts of petty sessions. His family include 13 children by his first wife, Melinda Langsford, of Singleton, ten of whom survive, including Mr. Eric T. Scells (of Wilson's Plains), Mr. Walter M. Scells (Brisbane) Messrs. Percy W. Scells and Edgar Scells (Nanango), Messrs. Reginald A. Scells and Maurice V. Scells (Albion), Misses L. E. and Elsie Scells (Brisbane), and Mrs. H. Jenys (Tanbourne). There are three children living of the second marriage, his widow surviving him. His grandchildren number 30, and there are six great-grandchildren. The funeral was impressively conducted yesterday at the Ipswich Cemetery by the Revs. H. Weller and A. H. Stokoe, there being a large number of relatives and friends present, including Messrs. T. Glassey, E. W. H. Fowles, Mr. and Mrs. Morris, and others. Wreaths were sent from the Wooloowin State School staff, New Farm State School teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Fowles, Mr. and Mrs. Littledike, and Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Watson. During Mr. Scells' long residence in this State he has earned, by his many sterling qualities, the deep respect of a very wide circle of friends. In church work he was distinguished by devotion and a conscientious performance of official duty, and as a pioneer and citizen he held an excellent record for neighborliness and strict integrity.

Original publication

Citation details

'Scells, Alfred (1839–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Alfred Scells, n.d.

Alfred Scells, n.d.

photo supplied by Donald Kirkham

Life Summary [details]


9 July, 1839
Toddington, Bedfordshire, England


18 February, 1924 (aged 84)
Sandgate, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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