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1889, Dubbo Courthouse - Unfit For Publication
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Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 28 May 1887 1


Mr RJJ Ryan, Mayor of Dubbo.

    Mr Richard James Joseph Ryan was born in Bathurst in 1852, and educated in St Michael’s school and St Stanislaus’s College. Mr Ryan was articled to Mr WTA Shorter, solicitor, and in 1878 was admitted a solicitor of the Supreme Court. He proceeded to Dubbo immediately afterward, and began the practice of his profession, in which he has been highly successful. In 1880 he was elected an alderman, heading the poll among seven candidates; and in February last was unanimously elected Mayor. He is connected with all the local institutions, and has identified himself with everything having for its object the progress of the district.

    Macquarie River, 278 miles from Sydney, on the Great Western railway line, and is about equi [sic] distant from Sydney to the Queensland border. This flourishing town has during the last few years made such giant strides that it bids fair, with the assistance of a few favorable seasons, to tread close in the footsteps of her older and more advanced neighbor, “the City of the Plains.” Dubbo was incorporated in February, 1872,; Mr James Samuels, jun, being elected the first chief magistrate of the little town, which at that time was little better than a diminutive hamlet, and the population of which numbered but 550 inhabitants. This baby municipality’s first yearly assessment was duly taken, and its rate for 1872-73 amounted to £273 15s 3d. The population of Dubbo in 1886-87 was 3500; its annual assessable value was £28,639, and the rates for that year amounted to £1723 0s 1d, showing in 15 years an increase of £2950 in population, and £1449 4s 10d in rates.

Dubbo courthouse, opened 8 Apr 1889. Photo ID: SRNSW 4346_ a020_a020000325.jpg
Dubbo courthouse, opened 8 Apr 1889.
Photo ID: SRNSW 4346_ a020_a020000325.jpg

    The town of Dubbo is well laid out. Eight broad streets, each a mile in length, and one chain and a half wide, running from east to west, go from the town common to the Macquarie River. Crossings these at right angles and at regular intervals are seven other streets of the same width, and ninety-two chains in length; making in all fifteen streets, and twenty miles of formed thoroughfare. Of these, about five miles are permanently kerbed and guttered; Macquarie-street being finished from one end to the other with blue stone brought from Orange at great expense. The remainder of those streets are well formed, covered with gravel, and in one or two instances metal, and are good, dry, thoroughfares in any seasonable weather. During the past eighteen months the sum of £1217 18s 9d has been expended in kerbing and guttering alone. Almost in the centre of the town, and facing the railway station, is the park, or public recreation ground. Within the last twelve months the council has expended large sums in beautifying this spot for the enjoyment of the public. Dubbo is justly proud of the large space which has been reserved for this purpose; and its value as a breathing place can scarcely be over-estimated. The part measures 40 acres. Of this, at one corner, about six acres are fenced off, forming an oval, devoted to cricket, football, and other games. The whole of this area is fenced, has several turnstiles and gates, at equal distances, and 816 young trees planted in it. The sanitary arrangements of the town are superior to those of many older municipalities; and the earth-closet system has already replaced the dangerous cesspits. The principal buildings are the Town Hall, Masonic Hall, Mechanics’ Institute, courthouse, post and telegraph offices, public school, Catholic school under the Christian Brothers, Catholic chapel and Convent with 300 or 400 scholars, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan churches, two banks, and a number of large hotels and other buildings, which make up a very different town from that which existed ten or twenty years ago.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 4 Sep 1888 2

(By Telegraph.)
(From Our Correspondent.)

Dubbo, Monday.

    The new courthouse is now quite completed, and stands out a grand ornament to the town. The total cost of erecting the building was nearly £15,000. At a meeting of magistrates and solicitors it was decided to invite the Chief Justice to open the court in October next at the usual circuit court. His reply consenting has been received. At a further meeting to-day arrangements for his reception and the presentation of an address were made. It was also decided to entertain the Chief Justice at a private dinner, to be given by the bench, solicitors, and other officers of the court. A public banquet is also talked of.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 12 Mar 1889 3

(By Telegraph.)
(From our Correspondents.)

Berry, Monday.

    Thirty-six points of rain have fallen since Saturday. The moisture was greatly needed.

Camden, Monday.

    The Camden AH and I Society’s show opens on Wednesday the 13th. The ground arrangements are now complete, and the show promises to be a great success. Special trains leave Sydney at 7.55 am daily.

Dubbo courthouse, opened 8 Apr 1889. Photo: Peter de Waal
Dubbo courthouse, opened 8 Apr 1889. Photo: Peter de Waal

Dubbo, Monday.

    The Chief Justice will preside at the Circuit Court in April next, and open the new courthouse.
    The health of the town is very unsatisfactory. The matter is receiving the attention of the authorities.
    A thunderstorm passed over the town to-day. Only a slight shower fell. The weather is very close now, but all signs of a storm have gone. The river is low.

Grafton, Monday.

    A good shower fell in parts of the town yesterday. It was very heavy at Alumny Creek and around Swan Creek.

Hillston, Monday.

    At the first meeting of aldermen, Mr James McBeth Fullarton, JP, was elected Mayor.

Lithgow, Monday.

    Mr HH Lusk addressed a fair audience in the School of Arts on Saturday night in favour of a protective policy. Mr HP Corbett occupied the chair. Mr Lusk was accorded a good hearing, and received a vote of thanks at the conclusion of his address.

Moree, Monday.

    The Quarter Sessions were commenced to-day. Judge Murray presided, Mr RB Browning being Crown Prosecutor. Thomas Swindells, charged with horse-stealing, was sentenced to five years’ penal servitude. Rowland George Watts, for wilfully setting fire to the grass on Welbundringah run was also sentenced to five years’ penal servitude. The Court adjourned till half-past 6 tomorrow morning, on account of the intense heat prevailing during the day.
    The Jockey Club has decided to abandon the annual ball on account of the bad season.
    One more case of typhoid has occurred in the town.

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Evening News, Thu 28 Mar 1889 4

Dubbo Mayor, Richard James Joseph Ryan.  Image: Australian Town and Country  Journal, Sat 28 May 1887, p. 1123.  Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Dubbo Mayor, Richard James Joseph Ryan.
Image: Australian Town and Country
Journal, Sat 28 May 1887, p. 1123.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal


    DUBBO, Wednesday.—A public meeting was held on Tuesday night in the town hall, Dubbo, the Mayor in the chair, to consider the best means to celebrate the opening of the new courthouse next month, when his Honor the Chief Justice will visit Dubbo. Several resolutions were carried. An influential committee was appointed to carry out the arrangements, which will consist chiefly of an address to be presented and a banquet to be given to his Honor. A motion was negatived to the effect that the municipal council be requested to pay the cost of the same. The meeting came to an unsatisfactory termination, the Mayor leaving the chair. It is believed that the matter will be carried out by public subscription, as it should have been done at first, as it is illegal to use the ratepayer’s funds for such a purpose.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 9 Apr 1889 5

The Sydney Morning Herald

    THE remains of the Marquis of Ely are to be cremated.

    MRS STANLEY, of Grantham Hall, Queensland, while on her passage to England by the RMS Rome, committed suicide by jumping overboard.

    AN ex-Chinese Ambassador at Washington advocates that the Americans in the service of the Chinese Government should be expelled, as a reprisal for the exclusion of Chinese from the United States.

    CAPTAIN THOMAS, ex-Naval Commandant of Victoria, has been appointed president of the special service in connection with the Australian auxiliary cruisers.

    THE Khalifa Abdullah is reported to be marching from Khartoum against El Senoussi, the rival Mahdi.

    THE German squadron which has been ordered to Samoa is composed of three ships, having 30 guns with 600 men.

    THE Rev Prof Sir Frederick A Gore Ouseley, Bart, is dead.

    In the chess tournament now being played at New York Mr Gossip, the Sydney player, has been defeated by Mr McLeod, of Quebec.

    THE French Premier is reported to have demanded the expulsion of General Boulanger from Brussels. The General anticipates that 70 departments will return Boulangist nominees at the forthcoming general election.

    A MOVEMENT has been initiated for raising a sum of money which is to be presented to Bishop Barry for appropriation as he may think best as a memorial of his episcopate.

    THE 14th Parliament of Victoria will be opened to-day.

    AT the annual meeting of the Christian Evidence Society the Primate delivered an address of “Some thoughts on the nature of the recent relations between faith and unbelief.”

Dubbo courthouse holding cells. Photo: Peter de Waal
Dubbo courthouse holding cells.
Photo: Peter de Waal

    THE Chief Justice yesterday opened a new courthouse at Dubbo. His Honor was presented with two addresses, in reply to which he said he was not aware of any country where the law was more respected, or order more strictly followed than in this colony.

Dubbo courthouse side view. Photo: Peter de Waal
Dubbo courthouse side view. Photo: Peter de Waal

    THE resignation of Mr Fisher as a member of the New Zealand Cabinet has been accepted.

    AMPLE supplies were sent from New Zealand to Samoa last week, and another consignment will, it is expected, be despatched thence to-day.

    THE Japanese Commissioner who is now visiting Australia with the object of collecting information in regard to the agricultural interests and the system of Government in these colonies, has induced the Premier of Victoria to direct that all publications or statistics bearing on the constitution and progress of that colony, or the condition of its industries, are to be placed at the disposal of the Commissioner.

    THE slaking of lime caused by the fall of rain originated four fires in Melbourne yesterday.

    CARDINAL MORAN last night lectured in the Bible Hall, William-street, on the growth and development of Christian charity. He specially alluded to sisters of charity, who now number 20,000, and were to be found on the battle-field, in the regions of plague and fever, in the hospitals, or in the haunts of sorrow or affliction.

    MR F ABIGAIL, MLA, was last night entertained at a complimentary banquet in the Town Hall; Sir John Robertson presided. Sir Henry Parkes, writing of Mr Abigail, said that his proved ability and courage in the expression of opinion, and his powers of application, make him one of the most considerable of our public men.

    VERY little business was reported in the Stock and Share market yesterday, but in the Import markets a steady business was done.

    FAVOURABLE news continues to be received of the London wool sales, prices having advanced another halfpenny since the opening day.

    THE Customs revenue yesterday amounted to £7,316 7s 3d.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 16 Apr 1889 6

(By Telegraph.)
(From our Correspondents.)

Dubbo, Monday.

    The clerk of petty sessions and police are busy moving into the new courthouse from the old building after an occupancy of over 20 years. It is anticipated the old courthouse will be used as land survey offices.

    Over 3,000 acres were taken up at the last land office day.

     The pastoral show is to be held on the 12th and 13th June next.


1   Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 28 May 1887, p. 1102. Emphasis added.

2   The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 4 Sep 1888, p. 8.

3   The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 12 Mar 1889, p. 8. Emphasis added.

4   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Thu 28 Mar 1889, p. 6.

5   The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 9 Apr 1889, p. 6. Emphasis added.

6   The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 16 Apr 1889, p. 8.