SLHG Research Two – Lang Farm and Glenolive, Thomas Lodge Murray Prior, James Henderson and Charles Robert Haly

Over the last fifteen years members of the St Lucia History Group have researched many aspects of the European development of St Lucia. This individual and collaborative effort is recorded in a series of papers and research notes reflecting the particular interests of each of the authors. Most are considered ‘work in progress’.

Over the coming weeks they will be progressively uploaded as an on-line resource. Comments, corrections and contributions are welcome.

Three prominent Brisbane citizens were associated with the first portion of freehold land offered for sale in what would become St Lucia. Lang Farm and Glenolive tracks the seventy years from when it was it was first purchased by Robert Cribb in 1852. His initiative Lang Farm was set up as a model farm to experiment with ‘tropical’ crops. In the 1870s Architect and developer Richard Gailey purchased Cribb’s extended local land holdings, sub-dividing the farm land for residential purposes. He built a large timber mansion Glenolive overlooking the river. As with Cribb he over extended himself financially and in the 1890s his debts were called in. The house and its extensive gardens were purchased from the bank in 1901 by Dr Ernest Sandford Jackson, one time Medical Superintendent of the Brisbane Hospital.

Much of the local land as it was released in the 1850s was purchased by investors such as Thomas Lodge Murray Prior and James Henderson. Murray Prior’s purchases were speculative in a period in his life when he was between pastoral ventures. A Fair Slice of St Lucia includes information on his ancestry, his family, extracts from his diaries including contemporary events, and tracks his progress through Queensland from the early 1840s to his death in 1890. In addition to his pastoral pursuits he was our first salaried Post Master General, long serving member of the Legislative Council and one of the founding members of the Queensland Club. The notes on Charles Robert Haly of Taabinga, Murray Prior’s contemporary and brother in law are included for general interest. Haly purchased 25 acres in St Lucia in the 1870s.

‘Finding’ James Henderson, the purchaser of around 400 acres in what would become Toowong, Taringa, St Lucia and Indooroopilly was a little harder. These notes trace the steps taken to identify the initial purchaser of the 53 acre Portion 31 Parish of Indooroopilly. A shortlist of three candidates was drawn up and through an iterative process the identity of the relevant James Henderson confirmed. His 1865 sub-division of a parcel of land he purchased in 1853, the ‘Village of Nona’, current day Toowong, and Queensland Railway files provided the final clues.

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