Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Nobby: A Great Little Historical Town; by Marina Jetnikoff

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Nobby: A Great Little Historical Town; by Marina Jetnikoff

Article excerpt


Nobby is a small village 30 kilometres south of Toowoomba with a population of 391.

It is sited on a ridge near the southern boundary of the Gaibal peoples.

It is thought that it acquired this name after the two rocky outcrops that stand on the cleared chocolate soil plains in the area.

Both these outcrops, one being Mount Molar, can be seen from Toowoomba and Clifton and were used as markers.

King and Sibley took up 36,500 acres along King's Creek in 1840 and named it Clifton Station.

In 1852 when it passed to WB Tooth the holding carried 10,000 head of cattle and 150,000 sheep.

The railway surveyed in 1866 effectively divided Clifton Station in two.

The Government resumed 36,000 acres and divided it into smaller portions for settlement.

Intended population increases to the area were circumvented by Fisher and Davenport who acquired 36,077 acres through a process called dummying. This involved selections being bought by would-be selectors on behalf of pastoralists.

In 1868 it became the freehold estate known as Headington Hill where Davenport and Fisher pioneered large scale crop farming on the Downs.

Over the next decade many hectares of lucerne, wheat and maize grew to fatten sheep for market. Though the foundations of extensive cultivating practices were established, the estate collapsed due to over capitalisation.

In the mid 1870s the Government resumed both Clifton and Headington Hill and offered 40 to 80 acres lots at two shillings and sixpence an acre. The area around the siding was surveyed into 10 acre lots in 1891 and the township of Nobby came into being.

It was gazetted as Davenport but due to complete non acceptance from its inhabitants remained known as Nobby.

By the turn of the century Nobby had two hotels, a blacksmith, a school and two stores and the seventy half acre township lots were auctioned.

Michael Comerford bought allotments in the main street and built the township's first building, a hotel, named Davenport in 1890.

Renamed Rudd's Pub in the 1980s to honour Steele Rudd it is now home to a large collection of memorabilia.

For such a tiny place Nobby has some interesting history and can claim to two eminent Australians.

In 1909 Arthur Hoey Davis, aka Steele Rudd purchased a 160 acre block named aThe Firsa just outside the township. An iconic Australian, he wrote about life on the selection, some of which were penned in Nobby.

A prominent citizen, he was secretary chairman of the Nobby School, secretary of the Nobby Farmers Union and chairman of the neighbouring Cambooya Shire in 1914.

Elizabeth Kenny, a far sighted and intelligent woman began her revolutionary treatment of polio in the district. She experienced great success setting up clinics around the world. …

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