Henry James Wallace
|First name||Henry James|
|Country of Origin||Ireland|
|Date of Birth||8/2/1847|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1866|
|Submitted by||Ross Wallace|
Henry (Harry) James Wallace was born at Ballycourcy, Co Wexford, Ireland, on 2 August 1847, and was baptised at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, Enniscorthy on 22 October. He was the tenth child of William James Wallace and his wife Anne (nee Hawkins) who lived at Ballycourcy House near Enniscorthy.
His father died in 1859, when Harry was only 11 years old, and Harry moved with his mother and siblings to Bath in England. He sadly missed his Irish homeland and desperately wanted to follow his older brother, John Thornhill (known as Thornhill) to Australia. Thornhill had advised his mother that Harry should be sent to a “large place in Australia”, no doubt meaning a station.
At the age of 18, Harry left London on the sailing ship “Legion of Honour” which reached Moreton Bay, Queensland, on 27 February 1866. The “large place” where Harry was sent was “Waverley Station” near St. Lawrence owned by Arthur Macartney. Here he worked as a sawyer during the time when Thornhill was publican of the “Waverley Hotel” on Connors Range. When Thornhill moved to his own property, “Killarney Station”, no doubt Harry went with him. It was a very different life for the brothers from the one they had led in Ireland, but obviously one in which Harry delighted.
After moving from “Killarney”, Harry managed “Lake Elphinstone” Station in the Nebo district. The station then ran sheep and cattle, and at the time a small village existed at Lake Elphinstone comprising two hotels, a blacksmith, a saddler and general store.
On 9 September 1875, at the age of 28, Harry married Christina Myddledton, who was then 18, in the Holy Trinity Church, Mackay. Christina was born on 13 May 1857, the fourth and youngest child of Henry Myddleton and Christina (nee Fraser), at “Dueran Station” near Mansfield in Victoria. Her parents died when she was young and she moved to Queensland to be near other relatives. Henry and Christina had six children: William Arthur (Arthur) (born 1876), Alfred Henry (Fred) (born 1878), Allan Francis (born 1879 and died of diphtheria in 1885), Linda Elizabeth (born 1881), Laurence Richard (Dick or Larry) (born 1883) and John Thornhill (Jack) (born 1884). All were born in Mackay with the exception of Fred who was born at Lake Elphinstone.
The family moved to Mackay in 1879 where Harry became an auctioneer and commission agent. He traded under the name of “H.J. Wallace” and “Mackay Horse Bazaar” and the auctions mainly consisted of horses and cattle. In 1881, he ran coaches to the gold diggings at Mt. Lansborough and Nebo. In August 1881, he was joined by his brother-in-law, Frank Myddleton, and the firm became known as “Wallace and Myddleton”. In 1882 the firm was operating a daily passenger and mail coach to Walkerston. In March 1883, Frank Myddleton was replaced by Henry L. Black, another brother-in-law, and the business was then known as “Wallace & Black”. They began a coach service to St. Lawrence. By July 1885, Harry Wallace had left the firm and it became known as H.L. Black.
Harry Wallace belonged to the Caledonian Masonic Lodge in Mackay. In 1886/7, he had shares in several gold mines in the Lotus Creek area, but they all seem to be have been unsuccessful and were abandoned. A photo of Christina survives in which she used lard to flatten her hair which had a very strong wave.
At the beginning of 1887, Harry was found to have consumption (TB) and was given only a few months to live. On 3 February 1887, Harry and Christina set forth for St. Lawrence in a buggy drawn by two horses. It is believed that the regular coach driver was ill and unable to make the trip. Christina accompanied Harry as he was in bad health and she didn’t like the idea of his travelling on his own. They camped on the banks of the flooded Marion Creek at Ilbilbie for several hours, and when they thought the waters had sufficiently subsided, they attempted a crossing, but the horses lost their footing and the buggy was swept away uncontrollably. Harry and Christina were drowned, but their passenger, Archibland McInnes, survived. Their gravestone is on a farm at Ilbilbie near Marion Creek and was restored by their descendants in 1987.
After their death, their two older children, Arthur and Fred, stayed in Mackay where they were brought up by relatives, while the youngest three, Linda, Laurence and Jack, were sent to England and reared by aunts. They were all brought up in different families and some never saw each other again.