Life on a Selection

Part 2 of 2.

Ann and Anthony Healy
Ann and Anthony Healy

Original author Anthony Healy. From Museum records.

Compiled by Barry Kenny.

A few years later the family numbered five, they were in possession of a plough, harrow and scuffler, and things were becoming a little easier.  

Three weeks rain caused another flood which washed the Hut away again.  

Friends came to help and they built further up the slope from the creek, there was enough money for iron for the roof, while the floor was made of ant bed broken up and packed down hard and deep.  

There was a large open fireplace at one end with chains and wires hanging down for cooking pots; ham, bacon, sausages and black pudding hung there to cure.  

Michael made a seat or hob round the fire for seating and there was a small stove on which Ann made bread.  The family now had a wooden cask and slide to carry water.

Michael Healy was born in Wexford Ireland in 1862 and immigrated to Queensland on the ship Nagpore in 1885.  

Michael was a jovial man with a flair for singing Gaelic ditties and preforming the Irish Jig, and obviously not afraid of hard work.  

The family had up to 300 pigs which, in the main, looked after themselves, and with the cream sent to the Beaudesert factory were the main means of support.  

Michael’s method of buying pigs was to ride to Boonah buying at various properties and on his way back he would pick them up and drive them along the road home.  Michael added 800 acres that adjoined them.

The family acquired a wagon and two additional horses and a cream run in the Maroon, Cotswold and Bigriggen areas to Rathdowney, putting the cream on the train and bringing back items for farmers.  

The cultivation increased to 40 acres with a disc plough.  

Up until 1920 the family was in a good financial position and living comfortably.  

In 1921 the area experienced a devastating drought, all stored hay was used up by 1922 and buying hay put the family in debt with only eight head of cattle left.  

The family approached the bank they had dealt with for 48 years for a loan to begin again, the Bank refused.  

The property was eventually sold at mortgage value and the family left the Rathdowney district in 1923.

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