1845, (Lough Crew, Meath, Ireland.)
Died: 20 August 1919, (Glenrowan Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland,
aged 74 years.
Buried: 21 August 1919,
Brisbane, Port. 2A, Sect. 18,
Grave No. 25)
Parents: James NEILL and Maria HOBSON
Marriage: 17 June 1872 (at the
residence of Mr Donald Ross, Calrossie, Nebo Road,
Mackay.) to Rebecca McMULLEN
Neill was born in Lough Crew, Meath, Ireland to James Neill and Maria nee
Richard Neill came to Australia
about 1862 with his older brother John. They spent about 12 months in W.A.
before moving to Melbourne, Victoria where they purchased cattle and horses
which they drove to Brisbane.
John settled in Brisbane where he
built a blacksmith's shop and livery stable at Annerley and had a sandstone
quarry at Moorooka. He later built the Junction Hotel at Annerley at where
he was the publican for many years.
Headstone in Toowong Cemetery, December 2007.
(Glen Hall Collection)
Richard travelled on droving his
stock to the Mackay district. He obtained 300 acres of 1st class
(agricultural) land and 332 acres of 2d class (pastoral) land in the parish of
Hampden about 15 miles north of the Mackay township. The land was
boundered in the north by the sea and a lovely sandy beach still known as
"Neill's" beach. he named the holdings "Greenvale".
Richard married Rebecca McMullen
in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Ross at "Calrossie" on the Nebo
Road on 17h June 1872.
When they went to live on
"Greenvale" in 1874, Richard established a dairy herd which he built
up top 250 milking cows. He was the first in the district to install
milking machines. The property grew to 2400 acres. Richard was involved in the establishment
of the Mackay Butter Factory.
Richard Neill also planted 200
acres of cane and was one of the first plantations started in the area. He
ceased cane production when the abolition of Islander Labour meant that he could
not employ cheap labour. Greenvale reverted to being only a dairy and
He bought the Imperial Hotel in
Mackay and served as the licensee from about 1889 to 1904. Close attention to
the business turned the hotel into a first class establishment. He later
built the Grand Hotel on the corner of Victoria and Brisbane Streets in 1907.
This hotel was sold and Richard bought 10 acres on Beach Road (now Evan Street)
where he built a house near the corner.
Kerr, John. (1980). Pioneer
Pageant. Mackay, QLD: Pioneer Shire Council.
Morrison, Janet, (n.d.)
unpublished history of the Neill family from 1863.
If you can supply any further information
or photographs on the above please contact us by EMAIL.
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page created 24 May 2004.
last updated 09 March 2008
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