Early Pioneer – Mrs S. A. Murray

Kindly contributed by Vicki Rogers

Early Pioneer

MRS. S. A. MURRAY

Identity of Inverell District

The lady mentioned in the extract below was the mother of Mr. George Murray, of Oakwood and Mr. Robert Murray, of Wallangra:—

Mrs. Sarah Anne Murray, who was born at Moredun Station, New England, in 1843, and who died recently, was a pioneer on the land in every sense of the word. In 1862, with her husband, the late Andrew Murray, and his partner, the late Adam Park, and Mrs. Park, she started out from Haning, Bendemeer, for the North Kennedy district, Queensland, to establish a sheep station. We imagine the departure of the little party, in horse and bullock drays, leaving all friends for the unknown. On the Queensland side, in some parts, roads had to be cut, flooded rivers crossed in greenhide boats, and attacks by the blacks guarded against. At Police Creek they settled and took up adjoining properties with an area of 100 square miles. The Murrays called theirs Glen Lee, and the Parks Rosetta Creek.

All the men but one were obliged to look after the sheep some distance from the home in the wild bush. This man was to work nearer the home, but he contracted fever, and had to be nursed without the aid of any doctor. As a signal that the family was not being molested by the blacks, Mrs. Murray used to fire a gun at arranged intervals. She always kept her muzzle loading guns charged in readiness for any attack by the blacks. Mrs. Murray, who was a good revolver shot, once shot the bottom bill off a crow. It had worried her for a time by darting down and picking up chops that were cooking in the open.

The venture with the sheep was not quite successful, as the grass seed, the blacks, and the dingoes caused endless trouble and loss, so the party returned to New South Wales. Mr. Murray then went to the Inverell district, where in 1867 he selected a property which he called Hillside. Later he added to it by buying Bannockburn Station, where the family resided until 1901 (?) when they sold and resided at Manly.

We of this generation cannot visualise the many hardships endured by these intrepid pioneers, whose grit and determination carried the day, and their heroic actions made possible the gigantic strides towards the comforts we enjoy in Australia to-day.

Source: Early Pioneer (1935, December 16). The Inverell Times (NSW : 1899 – 1907, 1909 – 1942, 1952 – 1954), p. 4.

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