A history of Loudoun and how it came to be
IN THE early days the pioneering town of Dalby was surrounded by a number of early settled stations. Among them were Jimbour, Cumkillembar, O K, St Ruth, Greenbank and Loudoun. Over the years changes took place as some were cut up and divided.
It seems Loudoun, with an area of 30,000 acres, was cut out of St Ruth with its homestead situated just across the Condamine River on the Moonie Highway. It was bought by Hugh Nelson and his brother-in-law, Watts when it became available. He was later to become Sir Hugh Nelson and was Premier of the state for almost four and a half years.
He installed managers to run the property and one of these was Hugh Begbie who remained on Loudoun for many years.
It was on the station that Ted Geisel, a later business man of Dalby, obtained his first job. He had to run up the horses at daylight, milk the cows and do odd jobs around the place all for 5/- (50c) per week payable quarterly.
About the year 1900, Loudoun changed hands. It was purchased by H C White from New South Wales who took his brother-in-law, Paul Hunt, into partnership. Hunt became manager and lived on the station. Unusual for that time, he was known to the men employed as “Paul.”
Their sheep were of a dense wool type with medium long staple which gave them a higher status in the industry as the Loudoun flocks of sheep had an infusion of the Halivar strain They were considered wool growers of high quality but the old shearers, if asked their candid opinion, would reply in pure Australian bush language. However Loudoun stock soon became famous and rams were sold to nearly all western stations.
The tree lined waters of Lake Broadwater was connected to nearby Loudoun Station. It had been a water reserve for travelling stock, but there was an attempt to sell the rights to the lake. Many tried to stop it but failed and it went ahead. At the sale Paul Hunt secured four blocks of land containing the lake which soon reverted to Loudoun Station
After a time the partnership broke up and Paul Hunt retired and received thirty thousand pounds for his share. White became the sole owner and appointed A McLeod as manager.
After some years the station was sold to Campbell Brothers pastoralists from New South Wales.
After the death of H C White, his widow went to live in England. She married again and this time it was to a Count and she became a Countess. She must have had an attraction for the old station as some years later she returned and spent a few weeks at Loudoun. It was rather historic as the place had connections with a Countess and a Premier.
Although Lake Broadwater was under the control of Loudoun Station, the management did allow certain public activities to take place there.
Eventually Loudoun Station was subdivided and was soon the centre of much activity. Now, cropping and stock grazing have replaced the flocks of sheep.