WAY BACK WHEN: The Geisel home in Edward St. Dalby. It had been the first hospital in Dalby and had previously been a private residence.
WAY BACK WHEN: The Geisel home in Edward St. Dalby. It had been the first hospital in Dalby and had previously been a private residence. Contributed by Ray Humphrys

The moves of the Geisel family

MANY of the early pioneers to the Dalby district arrived as young men in their prime of life.

There was one who arrived in 1855 as a mere boy of eight years of age.

He had arrived here with his family from the other side of the world and lived the rest of his 80 years in this area.

Henry Charles Geisel had left the Fatherland and life on the Rhine to come to Australia with his parents and two siblings.

His father was a tailor but the lure of gold being found in Australia persuaded him bring his family with him in his search for riches.

Myall Creek, as Dalby was then called, was then just a collection of a few hotels and other buildings and a number of bark huts.

The family arrived on a bullock wagon and finding the gold was beyond their reach so they moved to Halliford Station.

They were only there six weeks when his father took ill and died at the age of 44.

This left his mother, with a family of three, in a precarious state.

They had no money and couldn’t speak the language and they were in a strange land far from home.

She and the children found work on Halliford shepherding sheep.

Even in those days life was tough for the family as they lived in a hut in the bush with only the roughest of food to eat.

Wandering Aborigines hunted through the area and at night the howling of dingoes crested fear in their hearts.

They stuck it out for ten years and were able to save a little bit of money on the side.

Then land became available on Branch Creek at one pound per acre.

So the Geisel’s bought some along with some dairy cows and commenced a dairy.

Dalby families bought their produce and Henry used to take milk and butter into the newly established hospital.

In 1867, Henry fell in love with a country woman of his who had just arrived in Queensland.

As she could speak no English and they had to send to Toowoomba for a clergyman of their own nationality to perform their wedding ceremony at their dwelling out at Branch Creek.

They raised a family of seven children four girls and three boys and some of their descendants live in Dalby today.

The hospital building became vacant and Henry Geisel bought it.

It had only been used as a hospital for eight years and before that it had been a private home.

Henry Geisel lived in their home “White Rose” until his death in 1927.


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