James Wilson (1832 – 1907), farmer and land owner, was born in West Lothian, Scotland. He married Agnes Hunter in Scotland in 1851. They arrived in Queensland in 1858 with two children (one having died in Scotland). They went on to have ten children in all. James and Agnes first lived in Ipswich, than worked on Clifton Station for six years before purchasing property in the Darling Downs region of Allora. James died 3 May 1907 and is buried in the Allora cemetery.
James Wilson was born in Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland on 22 February 1832 to parents Alexander and Christina Wilson. Little is known of his movements early in his life but on 19 September 1851 he married Agnes Hunter in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. At that period in its history, Alloa was a major producer of coal. Maybe it was work in the mines that first attracted James to the area.
The couple had three daughters born to them in Alloa; the first of whom, Mary Ann Able born in 1852, died in infancy. The next two, Christina born in 1855 and Mary Ann born 1857, accompanied their parents on board the Alfred to Moreton Bay on 19 September 1858.
A James Wilson is listed in the State Electoral Roll for Ipswich in 1860 as “Householder, Brisbane Street, Ipswich”. It is not known how long he stayed in Ipswich but he sought employment on Clifton Station where he remained for some six years before moving to the Allora district where he lived and farmed for the rest of his life.
James and Agnes Wilson had a Land Order and made their first land purchase in partnership with Courtney Spry. Together, they leased Portion 772, County of Merivale, Parish of Gladfield. The 134-acre lease is dated 1873. Later, in 1879, the couple selected land in Allora Parish (Lots 55 and 59) and made a further 200-acre selection in 1884 in the same parish, all known as Allora Exchange Land, part of Goomburra.
The Wilson’s farmed this land all their lives and James died on the property on 2 May 1907. He was survived by his wife Agnes, five married daughters, Christina, Mrs. Henry Gwynne; Mary Ann, Mrs Albert Gartner; Agnes, Mrs Samuel Holmes; Janet, Mrs Allan McLeod and Adelaine, Mrs Edwin Smyth also four sons, David, James, Richard and William. One daughter and two sons predeceased him.
James died of bowel cancer and was buried on 3 May 1907 in grave no. 394 in the Presbyterian Section of the Allora Cemetery. Sadly, in 1996 the grave was found to be unmarked. The present day location is Row 8, Plot 37, Presbyterian Section, Allora cemetery.
Son Richard was at the Boer War and returned. In later years, during the Great War of 1814-1918, ten grandsons and two great grandsons saw active service, one of whom received the D.C. for gallantry in the field.
Information for this biography was provided by the Allora Historical Society and submitted by a Wilson family member.
Lee Butterworth and Lisa Ford, ‘James Wilson (ńee Hunter) (1832 – 1907)’, Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Griffith University, 2020 (updated 2023), https://harrygentle.griffith.edu.au/life-stories/james-wilson/.