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Thomas Waddell (1854–1940)

Mr. Thomas Waddell, a former Premier of New South Wales, and for many years a member of the Legislative Council, died yesterday at his home in Milton Street, Ashfield, aged 86.

Born in Ireland in 1854, Mr Waddell was brought to Australia by his parents when he was seven months old, and his father settled as a pioneer in the southern district of New South Wales.

At an early age the future Premier began dealing in cattle and horses; but he started life as a shop assistant, and later became a Clerk of Petty Sessions. Later, he bought and sold station property in the far west in partnership with his brother, the late Colonel Waddell, and in succession they owned Mileela Downs, Wjuna Downs and Wangamana.

Mr Waddell managed the properties and spent five years of rough life in the bush. Often he was without vegetables for months and often he slept in the open, with his saddle for a pillow. From 1905, he was associated with the late Sir Samuel McCaughey in the ownership of Fort Bourke and Nulty stations.

In January, 1887, he was elected as a member for Bourke, in a by-election but on the day the poll was declared Parliament was dissolved, and he had to start his election campaign afresh. A month later he was returned again at the top of the poll. For many years in the Legislative Assembly he represented in turn Bourke, Cobar, Cowra, Belubula and Lyndhurst.

In March, 1901, he became Colonial Treasurer in the late Sir John See's Government, and served in that capacity till June 15, 1904, when, on the resignation of Sir John, he formed a new Government. His Ministry, defeated by the loss of two seats at the ensuing election, ended in August 1904. In May, 1907, he joined the Carruthers Ministry as Chief Secretary, and in the Wade Ministry formed in the October following, he was Colonial Treasurer. He held this post until October 1910. He retired from politics in 1934.

At the time of his death, Mr. Waddell was a member of the old City Bank Board. He was the first chairman of the McGarvie Smith Institute, and for years he was chairman of the Commonwealth Wool and Produce Company, a member of the board of the Queensland Insurance Coy, and a member of the Australian Club.

He is survived by Mrs Waddell, three sons and three daughters. After a service at the Presbyterian Church, Ashfield, at 10.30 am today, the funeral will leave for the Crematorium, Rookwood.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Waddell, Thomas (1854–1940)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Thomas Waddell, 1908

Thomas Waddell, 1908

State Library of New South Wales, d1_11337

Life Summary [details]


Monaghan, Ireland


25 October, 1940 (aged ~ 86)
Ashfield, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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