Mary Street, Gympie, c1868

News of the day

The Brisbane Courier, Friday 9 October 1868


 Between Thursday night and Friday morning, at a shanty some distance from the One-mile main street, occupied by persons of the name of Boyle, a most disgraceful outrage took place, by which a miner named Michael Dalton was severely wounded and knocked about. From particulars given me by some men who were present when the row began, it appears they had all had some glasses of grog, and one James Smith and another got into hot words, and were about to settle their dispute with a fight, when Dalton tried to separate them, whereupon, Boyle and his wife set to work throwing bottles, full and empty, at the parties in the room, as if to cause them to clear out. To avoid the missiles, all except Dalton and Smith beat a retreat, and immediately the latter joined in with the Boyles, and commenced to batter Dalton. This done, Boyle, dagger in hand, pursued those who had gone outside, Smith followed with a heavy wooden door-bar and an individual who could not get away fast enough received several cuts and blows. Dalton was afterwards found lying outside, perfectly senseless, with four great gashes across the face and head.  A more savage assault as seldom been perpetrated, and the guilty parties may have to expiate their brutality on the gallows, as the doctors called in have not expressed any certainty as to the result not proving fatal. 

A foolish freak and its melancholy consequences, has to be recorded. Last Sunday, a man named Goodman, mounted a nag in Walker's Pocket, intending to take a short ride, when a jovial fellow came up, and imagining the quadruped might have no objection to carry two, attempted to jump on. Not being able to do so, however, he had seized the bridle to detain the horse until he could make anothe spring, when by the tugging of the bit the animal became restless. Goodman then slipped the headpiece off, and the bystanders, amused at the discomfiture of the second party, roared with laughter, and the animal started off affrighted, soon increasing his pace into a mad gallop. When very near a large tree the rider was observed to throw out his arms, presumably with the intention of grasping it as he went by and releasing himself from the saddle, so as to escape injury. But, it would appear, he overbalanced himself, for before coming up he was thrown heavily against the tree and rendered insensible by the heavy fall. On surgical examination it was found that, besides suffering concussion of the brain, the collar bone, right arm, and three ribs were broken. Up to this morning he has been insensible and delirious, and very slight hopes are entertained of his recovery.


Gympie's name derives from the Kabi (the language of a tribe of Indigenous Australians that historically lived in the region) word gimpi-gimpi (which means "stinging tree"), which referred to Dendrocnide moroides. The tree has large, round leaves that have similar properties to stinging nettles. The town was previously named Nashville, after James Nash, who discovered gold in the area in 1867.

The name was later changed to Gympie in 1868.


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