The old Drayton Street bridge that was across Myall Creek. The excellent water in the creek encouraged building the town of Dalby.at this site
The old Drayton Street bridge that was across Myall Creek. The excellent water in the creek encouraged building the town of Dalby.at this site

The history of the Dalby Bridge

AS SETTLEMENT slowly extended into the west, the township of Dalby steadily grew.

Businessmen came and went and among those was the colourful John Sidney.

In about 1859, he built a rather large store on lower Myall Street near the creek.

About that time a young doctor came to Australia from Germany and rode out to Dalby where he started a practice. Dr Ernest Wuth wrote that he serviced an area up to a hundred miles around Dalby.

He was only in his late twenties at that time.

A tender for a school house was moved in 1854 but the provisional school didn’t get started until five years later and became a public school in 1861.

During the 1860s, Dalby became a destination.

It became a municipality with a mayor and council in 1863 and five years later the railway extended to the town.

This replaced the numerous teamsters coming from Ipswich or other eastern towns

Fred Roche the successful business man was elected the first mayor, with Josiah Milstead just one vote behind.

Milstead had purchased the Travellers Home from the Welland family and on the opposite corner built the imposing two-storey Plough Inn.

It was considered the top hotel in town where even the Governor dined.

It was eventually purchased by the Catholic Church and for many years used as a convent.

Mass had been held in the early times at Stewart home and inn. Roach laid the foundation stone of the first Church of England in 1866.

Although there had been horse racing in the town it was in 1863 that a race called the Plough Inn Cup was commenced. It has survived until the present time.

An unusual business operated just east of the town in the 1860s.

Edwin Blaxland arrived from Sydney and built a large enclosed shed.

There he established a boiling down works where low value sheep and cattle were boiled down for their skins and tallow.

By 1876, the railway moved on leaving the town with a business decline

There was concern through the 1860s that Dalby had no General hospital.

However when William Robertson sold his large home on Edward Streets it was bought and became the first hospital in 1877.

The building later became a home again when the second hospital in Condamine Street was opened.

In 1898, a different type of hospital was built on the outside of the town It was the Jubilee.

It was to be for consumptives and had a large area of land surrounding it.

As the 20th century opened, change was very much in the air.

It was just 50 years since Henry Dennis crossed the Myall and ventured over the striking Jimbour Plain.

He paved the way for the pastoralists to take up large tracts of land.

All too soon the large holdings would be gone to be replaced by farming settlers who would feed Dalby and make it a prosperous town.


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