Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Liberty Hall a City Icon

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Liberty Hall a City Icon

Article excerpt


IN THE year 1842 Donald Campbell, wheelwright and blacksmith from Tobermory, Scotland, arrived in Moreton Bay by the steamer Nancy, then travelled by bullock wagon from Brisbane to Ipswich.

He brought with him his two young sons and their elder sister, Sarah.

They set up a smithy at One Mile where the explorer Leichhardt had repairs to harness and drays before setting out for his last journey to the interior in 1849.

One of Donald's sons, Hugh, became apprenticed as a blacksmith and opened by his own smithy on the corner of Limestone and East Sts.

After Hugh's marriage to Christiana McLean and their children began to arrive, he looked around for a good family home in which to raise his family which had enough land to accommodate his special interest -- horses. He chose a sturdy white house in Limestone St.

Deep foundations and cellars in Liberty Hall, as the house became known, was because of the hospitality bestowed on all by the Campbell family (a family of 12 children).

In the huge cellars were kitchen, laundry, workshop and storeroom while the two upper storeys held 12 rooms for family living.

Large stables at the back of the house housed thoroughbreds, one of which Dexter, a champion, won races at Ascot and Loch Flaves. Hugh Campbell was made a life member of the Queensland Turf Club.

Cricket was a favourite sport among the sons of Hugh Campbell and they and Aboriginal youths joined in the game together.

In fact, one of the Aboriginal boys, Alec Henry, went on to play for Queensland.

It was said of Alec "he was one of the fastest bowlers around".

Hugh's sons Jack, Jim, Hugh, Billy, Tom, Malcolm and Lex, all went out and made their mark in business and the sporting world. Young Malcolm played for Queensland whilst still a school boy at the Ipswich Grammar School.

Mr Hugh Campbell died in 1917 but Liberty Hall stayed in the Campbell family until 1942 when it was acquired by the Country Women's Association and became a hostel for young women.


Pauline Kerwick, a former librarian at the Ipswich Library died in August 1989.

Pauline of Roderick St, commenced work at the library in 1946 when it was housed in the RSL Memorial Hall, Nicholas St. …

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