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F.H. Bauer Archive

Francis Henry (Slim) Bauer MA Calif, PhD ANU, joined the staff of the University College of Townsville as lecturer in geography in 1962. The materials in this collection relate to work done in the 1950s for CSIRO on aspects of the general topic of the history of white settlement in northern and central Australia. Much of this work was done during a long field season in the winter of 1956. A map of the area covered in that field trip is attached.

Archive Location: 405, 406L


Series Listing

Series 1 Dagworth Station Annual Reports

Series 2 Run Cards

Series 3 Notebooks relating to Croydon Goldfields

Series 4 Typescripts

Series 5 Invoices, Lucknow Station

Series 6 Kynuna Station Accounts


Detailed Listing

Series 1 Dagworth Station Annual Reports

[Notes to Accompany Dagworth Annual Reports]

In October 1957 permission was granted by the head office of Australian Estates Ltd in Melbourne to the Australian National University for the microfilming of certain records pertaining to pastoral properties. These consisted of Annual Reports for properties in Queensland: Dagworth, Mt Morris and Terrick Terrick, and in New South Wales: Tyrie and Buckiinguy.

At the time I was engaged in research under the auspices of C.S.I.R.O. into the history of European settlement in Northern and Central Australia. Through the University I obtained a set of prints of the Dagworth reports which I found useful; these are those reports.

On many of the Reports there are marginal numerals (eg 23.7). these refer to my personal filing system and they were not a part of the original Reports.

The microfilms of all of the Reports are held in the Noel Butlin Archives at the Australian National University, Canberra.

F H Bauer
August 1997

FB/1/1 Annual Reports 1890 � 1903

FB/1/2 Annual Reports 1904 � 1919

FB/1/3 Annual Reports 1920 � 1930

FB/1/4 Annual Reports 1931 � 1938


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Series 2 Run Cards

[Background of the Run Cards: Explanation of Data on Run Cards]

During my period at the University College of Townsville (1962-65) I took up a research project begun in the 1950�s under the auspices of C.S.I.R.O. which dealt with the history of European settlement in Northern and Central Australia, but now with special attention to how, when and by whom the western pastoral districts of Queensland were occupied.

Central to this research was information held in the State Archives in Brisbane, but residence in Townsville made frequent access to it difficult. I devised a system whereby the relevant data could be extracted on 8" by 5" cards, the College had them printed and my wife and I spent many weeks in the Archives extracting the data. Some financial assistance, from the College as I recall, enabled me to employ casual help for the last part of the process.

The research was planned to cover the northern and western portions of the State and cards were made for all runs in the Pastoral Districts of Cook, Burke and North and South Gregory. In the event, lack of time prevented extraction of data for the South Gregory runs and while those run cards are included (approx. 800), no data are entered on them. Cards for the Districts completed are apportioned as follows:

Pastoral District of Cook   550
Pastoral District of Burke 1660
Pastoral District of North Gregory 1220
Estimated total 3370

Some explanation of the term run is in order, for it is not to be confused with the common use of the term to refer to a pastoral station or property, although many stations took their name from one of the runs included within their boundaries.

Until well after 1900 the smallest unit of land tenure in pastoral Queensland was the run, a parcel of land varying in size from 10 to 100 square miles (259-2590 This system, which provided a reasonably simple device for subdividing and identifying land before survey, had been adopted much earlier by New South Wales and prior to the separation of Queensland (1859) some land in what was to become the new colony had been alienated under it. Queensland�s first Land Acts provided for a continuance of the system.

A person wishing to take up land selected the desired area, laid out its boundaries according to regulations and described it in an application for license to occupy. I believe that at this time it was also given a name, probably by the applicant. I was then designated a run and became known by that name. Upon payment of a fee the run was secured for one year, during which time it was to be stocked to one fourth its assumed carrying capacity, whereupon after further application a lease would be granted. All details relating to each run were entered in a ledger under the run name; it is upon these entries that the run cards are based.

The run registers held in the State Archives contain indices of runs and from these the run names were typed on blank cards before any data were extracted. Since these indices were made as runs were applied for and before survey, when surveys were finally made it was commonly found that there was insufficient land for all the runs for which applications had been accepted and licenses issued. Some runs disappeared entirely; for example, this was the case for about 10% of the runs in the Gregory North Pastoral District. This accounts for run cards bearing no data for that District as well as Burke and Cook. By 1900 survey of these more remote Districts was substantially complete and maps were drawn on which the runs could be shown in their proper relationships together with their names.

Users of the cards are likely to find inconsistencies and probably some errors, although care was taken to ensure reasonable accuracy in the data extracted.

F H Bauer
August 1997

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Explanation of data on run cards

While the nature of most of the information on the run cards is obvious from the brief headings some explanations are in order, for as with much such data, all is not necessarily what it seems. To this end numbers have been placed in the blanks of a facsimile card which correspond to the numbered explanations on the following pages.

It should be noted that the original ledger entries often carry information that has not been extracted to cards.


  1. Name of the run (eg Snow)
  2. Pastoral District in which located (eg Burke)
  3. Registration number, which tells the ledger number and page on which data relating to the run are to be found (eg LAN/N30/15A).
  4. The number of the application for licence.
  5. This can usually be taken as the date on which the first application for a run was made. However, some areas in the far western part of the colony were taken up early and were abandoned without having been recorded; very little is known about these early alienations.
  6. Name(s) and (sometimes) addresses of applicant(s). In many cases applications were made for a number of runs at the same time and this data would be identical. In order to save time during the extracting process something like "See ��" ; referring to the first run in the series would be used. This also often applied to the transfers on the reverse side.
  7. Runs were designated as �watered� or �unwatered� depending on the existence of natural water supplies. Early applicants picked the eyes out of the country by selecting land with stream or river frontages and were thus able to use back country runs without leasing them, a practice greatly assisted by the regulations which set the size of runs at 100 sq.mi. or less.
  8. This was the same as the date of application and signified that the run had actually been alienated. It was usually noted by a tick. On the cards it is often followed by the licence number.
  9. For a variety of reasons an applicant would sometimes let the application lapse. A new application could then be made, either by the original applicant or someone else.
  10. This date signified the next stage in the leasing process. It sometimes, but not always, coincided with the date stocking was declared.
  11. An application for lease had to be accompanied by a statement as to when the run was stocked according to regulations. This date cannot be taken as absolute proof of stocking, for a number of �dodges� were used to satisfy authorities that compliance with the regulations had been satisfied. For example, an applicant might borrow stock from a neighbour to put on the run until an official had made an inspection. Furthermore, there were few inspectors available in the more remote districts and the mere statement that a run was stocked was often taken at face value.
  12. The date on which a lease was approved simply meant that there had been compliance with all regulations and a lease was to be granted. It was not coincidental with the actual beginning of the lease.
  13. Often a date appears in this position. This is the date on which the lease actually commenced. Leases became effective on the 1st January or the 1st July of the year of approval.
  14. This is the term of the first lease issued over a run, sometimes expressed as the date of expiry. Since regulations changed from time to time terms were not constant from one period to another. This information was not always available or recorded on the cards.
  15. Rental was expressed in pounds, shillings and pence for the first lease or part thereof. Not always entered on the cards.
  16. Cancellation occurred for a variety of reasons, such as issuance of a new lease with different terms or discovery after survey that there was less or even no land available for the run (See 20, below).
  17. Leases were sometimes surrendered, usually with the approval of the lessee, for the purpose of altering the conditions of the lease. It could be to the advantage of either party.
  18. Leases were rarely forfeited, usually for non-payment of rent over a substantial period; the government was remarkably forbearing in such cases.
  19. Causes for cancellation, surrender and forfeiture, when available, appear here.
  20. At the time when applications were first made for much of the northern and western runs there were few maps and none of real accuracy. Runs were roughly laid out by an applicant or his agent using a compass (if one was available) while riding a steady gaited horse or by pacing. An estimate of the area was made as well as the amount which was 'available' (suitable for pastoral purposes) or �unavailable� (rough, stony or forested). These areas were accepted by the authorities although it was recognised that they were but estimates; usually any error would be to the advantage of the applicant.

    Eventually the runs were properly surveyed and it was commonly found that there was not sufficient land to satisfy the estimated areas, whereupon the surveyors made adjustments as best they could. Some runs disappeared entirely, others were reduced in area and a minority were increased.
  21. This space was designed for later registration numbers but was rarely used.
  22. A �spare� space. The year of survey sometimes appears.
  23. By the early 1880�s there was demand for land for closer settlement and the Land Acts of 1884 and 1886 provided a mechanism whereby lessees of large areas containing a number of runs could surrender a portion of their lease in return for a consolidated lease over the remainder, usually with enhanced tenure. When this was done a name, usually the established station name (often itself derived from a run name) was given to the lease. Many lessees delayed this process until after 1900.

Other spaces on the front of the cards are self-explanatory.

Transfers are noted on the reverse side. Many runs had no transfers noted in the registers.

A card containing abbreviations used is included.

F H Bauer
August 1997

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FB/2/1 Burke District A � K

FB/2/2 Burke District L � Z

FB/2/3 Burke District Cards without data

FB/2/4 Cook District A � D

FB/2/5 Cook District E � O

FB/2/6 Cook District P � Z

FB/2/7 Cook District Cards without data

FB/2/8 Gregory South A � M (no data extracted)

FB/2/9 Gregory South N � Z (no data extracted)

FB/2/10 Gregory North A � C

FB/2/11 Gregory North D � I

B/2/12 Gregory North J � O

FB/2/13 Gregory North P � V

FB/2/14 Gregory North W � Z

FB/2/15 Gregory North Cards without data


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Series 3 Notebooks relating to Croydon Goldfields

[Note to Accompany Two Exercise books referring to the Croydon Goldfield]

These exercise books comprise:

A minute book of Campbell�s Glengarry Syndicate, Croydon, 1909. In June 1909, 16 men formed a syndicate to take up a previously worked claim on the glengarry line of reef with a view to bailing out one of the shafts and engaging in gold mining. By 30 October the syndicate had been wound up.

An exercise book containing records of crushings by the Golden Gate Crushing Coy., Croydon, of ore from a number of mines and tailings dumps on the Croydon field. Dated 1938-39.

Between 21 August and 7 September 1956 mechanical problems with my Land Rover forced me to spend some time in Croydon. I used a good deal of it working in a room at the back of the Court House where stacks of mining and court records were stored. Once mobile again, I packed up in something of a hurry and these two booklets were mixed in with my gear; I did not discover them until months afterward and am guilty of not returning them. I doubt they were missed.

I have often wondered what became of the large quantity and variety of papers, ledgers and the like in that back room. No care was taken of them and cockroaches and silverfish were having a field day. A fair history of the Croydon field could have been written from them.

F H Bauer
August 1997

FB/3/1 Minute book, Campbell�s Glengary Syndicate

FB/3/2 Crushing records, Golden Gate Crushing Company


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Series 4 Typescripts

FB/4/1 "Development of the Queensland Land Tenure System" by Vivien Creighton

[Note to Accompany "Development of the Queensland Land Tenure System"]

Vivien Creighton was a senior Queensland public servant who in the early 1950�s was Secretary of the Land Commission and Chairman of the Land Administration Board. At that time there would have been few in or out of government who had a more extensive knowledge of the history and operations of the Queensland land tenure system.

I interviewed him in late April 1956 and again in May 1957. On one of these occasions, probably the former, he lent me a copy of these essays. From internal evidence they may have been produced for a review of the land laws by the Lands Commission, but I do not know when they were written. I took (or sent) them to Canberra, where they were retyped in the Department of Geography of the Australian National University.

F H Bauer
August 1997

FB/4/2 "Life on a Cattle Station in the Cloncurry District: by J. Macdonald (Donor has no information about this manuscript.)

FB/4/3 "Journal of the Cape York Expedition" R. Bradford

FB/4/4 "Notes on the geology and water supply of Glenormiston Station" by F.W. Whitehouse


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Series 5 Invoices, Lucknow Station

FB/5/1 Invoices 4 � 15, Feb 1923

FB/5/2 Invoices 13 Nov � 27 Dec 1922

FB/5/3 Invoices 22 Nov 1923

Series 6 Kynuna Station Accounts

Accounts incompletely covering the period 17, Sep 1941 - 31, July, 1951 - 39 pages.


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