History with Brian James: Wholesale cattle stealing

James Riley, born 1850. Photo: contributed

James Riley, born 1850. Photo: contributed

The 'Forbes Times' states that James Riley (a half-caste), George Taylor, alias Waggy (a coloured man), and John Wilson were severally charged before the Police Magistrate (Mr Dalton) with cattle stealing and receiving.

From the evidence it appears that Mr John Kerr, a grazier, residing at Uabba, on the Lachlan, in December last, lost from his paddock 200 cows, 200 calves, three bullocks, and one bull. The paddock was securely fenced, but three panels of the dog-leg fence had been taken down. He tracked the calves for 150 miles, and found forty-four of them between the Weddin and the Bland. They had on them a brand that was not his. James Taylor, a grazier on Humbug Creek, about the middle of December saw Riley between the Bland and Humbug Creek with from seventy to a hundred calves, and since his arrest Riley admitted that he had stolen them. He stated that Waggy told him there was a good lot of calves in Kerr's paddock.

Riley also admitted to police-sergeant Webb that a man named Umpleby and Waggy had made it up to go and steal a lot of unbranded calves from Kerr's paddock, and Umpleby was to give one pound a head for them. After they were stolen the calves were branded. There was some row about the money, and it was never paid. Riley, having been committed for trial, gave evidence against Waggy and Umpleby, the former being committed for stealing, and Umpleby for receiving, knowing the calves to have been stolen.

With regard to Wilson, to whose place, at Wheogo, the calves had been driven, it was proved that after Mr Kerr had searched his run in vain for them Wilson's son bought six of them, which he said had been found there.

When Mr Kerr told Wilson that he was going to offer a reward for the recovery of the calves Wilson said "Do nothing of the kind and you will get them all back again," adding that if he offered a reward they would be all shot or destroyed, whereas if he went home he would get a letter telling him where to go and get the calves. Wilson paid Waggy with a 15 pound cheque and a 5 pound note. This prisoner was also committed for trial at the next court of Quarter Sessions at Forbes.

Mark Hughes, the first shepherd

Mark Hughes, the first shepherd on Burrangong was born in Edinburgh in 1795 and died in 1878. He was a shepherd of the late James White, the original pioneer. Hughes was the first white man to shepherd sheep on Burrangong Station. The yards on "Lambing Flat" were near the site of Sum Kum Hang's store in later years. The sheep came from Emu Plains and had to be destroyed owing to an outbreak of scab. Mark Hughes fought in the battle of Waterloo. He remained with Mr Regan until his death. He was blind for five years before his passing. He was greatly respected and a trustworthy servant.

Oldest business at Young

The oldest business in Young and one that has been closely associated with the gradual development of the town is that of the extensive business of WS Millard and Sons, Ltd, founded in 1871 by the late WS Millard It carried on under his supervision until May,1912, since when it has been under the management of his two sons WJ and F Millard. This business has grown from a small concern to one of the best in the state and has many departments consisting of ironmongery, grocery, furniture and furnishings, crockery and glassware, fancy goods, building materials, builders, brick making and plumbing. The main store, a large three storey building, situated in Boorowa street is supplemented by a furniture store in the same street. The cabinet making and joinery factory, plumbing works and timber yards are at the lower end of Boorowa street. The brickyard is off Temora road. The cabinet making and joinery works was burnt down in March 1926.This has been replaced by a modern building and up to date plant.

In the late 1970's Millards closed their large store opposite the Town Hall and the Timber Yard about the same time. A local syndicate buying the store and Woolworths the Timber yard.

  • Brian James produces his column each Tuesday for publication in Young Witness on behalf of Young Historical Society Inc.