Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Coal Production Steams Ahead

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Coal Production Steams Ahead

Article excerpt

FLOUR MILL AND MINES

IN 1876 there was a report in The Queensland Times about the fact that Mr James Foote had determined to erect a flour mill in Ipswich.

That good that could be grown in West Moreton had been demonstrated by the knowledge that the first wheat grown here was grown at Little Plain (later the Ipswich Racecourse).

This was done to provide food for convicts in Ipswich and Brisbane before the area was thrown open for free settlement in 1843.

It was not, however, until 1853 that the cultivation of this important crop was undertaken by the early settlers.

Mr Joseph Fleming of the Bremer Mills, Mr George Verrall and other settlers had large areas under production.

Unfortunately not enough grain was grown here to keep the mill profitably employed.

Under a mistaken idea that a reciprocal trade could be established with South Australia, timber and coal were shipped to that colony and wheat brought back in return. However it was found that the trade in Adelaide was governed by a "ring" that successfully "rigged" the market and dictated their own terms.

The produce of this colony was put up to auction and under the influence of this "ring" disposed of without competition. This "trade" was simply disastrous.

It was then that the growing of wheat was all but suspended and instead cotton became the money earner for growers.

THE FRANCIS COLLIERY

There was a tunnel just below the old Mihi Colliery, which was situated just above Mihi Creek at a distance of between 200 and 300 yards from the old route of the first railway line laid between Ipswich and Toowoomba in the 1880s.

Mr Paul Francis was the proprietor of this newly opened colliery and the seam being worked was stated to be 100ft below that of the old Mihi (or Eastwood) seam.

The coal was of a superior quality for steam and only two men were employed. …

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