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Durundur Divisional Board, Esk Divisional Board and Esk Shire Council 1879-2008

The "Divisional Boards Act of 1879" established Divisional Boards for the purpose of providing local government for portions of the colony outside the boundaries of municipalities. The Durundur Divisional Board was one of the first 74 Divisional Boards in Queensland proclaimed on 11 November 1879, but the name was changed on 5 June 1880 to Esk Divisional Board.

Durundur Division incorporated the whole of the Brisbane and Stanley River Valleys. The Division encompassed Perseverance Creek, Crow’s Nest, Cooyar, Blackbutt and the area right up to the outskirts of Nanango town; in the east, it took in Durundur but not Fernvale, Wivenhoe, Lowood area, Tarampa or Clarendon. The Coominya area was on the boundary.

With the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, Esk became a Shire on 31 March 1903. The Council consisted of an elected mayor and ten councillors, and was not subdivided.

In 1980, the Council of the Shire of Esk adopted the head of the red deer as its logo, honouring a gift from Queen Victoria in September 1873 to the district.

On 15 March 2008, under the Local Government (Reform Implementation) Act 2007 passed by the Parliament of Queensland on 10 August 2007, the Shire of Esk merged with the Shire of Kilcoy to form the Somerset Region. 

Chairmen and Mayors

Frederick Lord

1879 – 1885
1888 – 1889
1891 – 1893

He was born 8 November 1841 at Avoca, Tasmania, and when 10 years of age went to England, where he was educated at the Blackheath Proprietary School and King's School, London. On returning to Australia, he first went to Tasmania, then to Sydney, and a few months later to Brisbane, and in 1867 with his father and brothers selected land on the Darling Downs. Six years later the late Mr. Lord went out to the Crow's Nest district and prospected for tin, while in the meantime the family selected land at Eskdale. Mr. Lord was elected to the Legislative Assembly, as representative of the Stanley electorate, at the general elections in 1893, 1896, and 1899. Mr Frederick Lord died on 5 December 1914.

James Henry McConnel

1886 –1888

1896 –1899
1913 –1914

J.H. McConnel was the oldest son of D.C. and Mary McConnel. He was born at Bulimba House and raised from an early age in England and Edinburgh. James Henry McConnel died in 1914.

Thomas Pryde

1889 - 1891

Thomas married Eliza/Elizabeth Clark and they had seven children. Thomas was Mayor of Ipswich 1873 – 1874 and an alderman 1868 -1873, 1875 – 1877. ‘He took an active part in the formation of the Queensland Woollen Manufacturing Company and showed a keen interest in the shows of the Ipswich and West Moreton Society’. He was also a prominent member of the St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church. He died in Esk, at his Glenmaurie property, where he had at one time been a member of the Esk Divisional Board. (Information from The Queenslander, Saturday, 10 July 1897). He is buried in Ipswich General Cemetery 


No Photo Available

George Charles Taylor

1893 - 1894

George Taylor was born in Taromeo Queensland 22 January 1857 and Died 12 May 1926 in Biarra Queensland. Place of Burial is Esk Cemetery.

Patrick Clifford

1894 - 1896

Died on 29 July 1910


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Walter Francis

1899 - 1901
1902 - 1905

No Information 

Henry Plantagenet Somerset 

1901 - 1902

(19 May 1852 – 11 April 1936) – is the politician after whom the Somerset Region in South East Queensland is named. Somerset was a liberal politician who represented the State district of Stanley in South East Queensland in the Legislative Assembly from 1904 to 1920, and canvassed successfully for the extension of the railway through the Brisbane River Valley to the rich timber reserves in the Blackbutt Range and beyond. Both the Somerset Dam and the local government region of Somerset are named in his honour.

Henry Somerset died on 11 April 1936, all of his siblings, his wife and eldest son having predeceased him. He is buried in the cemetery of the Caboonbah Undenominational Church that he helped to establish and had served his community in local and State Government for thirty years. He chose as his own epitaph, “Write me as one who loves his fellow man.”

Alexander Smith 

1905 - 1906
1909 - 1910
1911 - 1912
1914 - 1914
1916 - 1917
1921 - 1930

Alex Smith farewelled from Esk after 60 years. - 14 years on Esk Shire Council - Good horseman. - Confidential friend of Lars Andersen. – Remembered seeing 40 aborigines approximately on creek bank in Esk 60 years ago – Some fine men. - Bridle track to Lowood. - Close friend of Mr Peters – Remembered Esk when the Old Glenrock Hotel was there - Large Presbyterian contingent present at Farewell.

No Photo Available

Charles Stuart Lord 

1906 - 1907

Charles Stuart Lord lived at Eskdale. Born in 1876 and died in 1925.

Mr. Charles Stuart Lord, a well-known grazier, who was interested in Eskdale Station, passed away at Tenterfield on March 3. For some years prior, to his death he was carrying on an auctioneer's business at Toowoomba. Deceased was a second son, of the late Mr. Frederick Lord, formerly M.L.A. for Stanley, and a director of the Q.N. Bank.

The body is being brought to Brisbane by to-day's mail train, and the interment of the remains will take place in the Toowong Cemetery to-morrow morning." 

Frederick Seib 

1907 - 1908

Death of F.W. Seib - born on immigrant ship in 1855 - first child christened in first Presbyterian Church, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane - father was carpenter who erected Church of England in Ipswich and the initial portion of Ipswich Grammar School. Family went to Lowood - cotton growing in area - F. Seib first worked on Tarampa and Rosewood Stations and employed by Patrick Brothers droving to Tambo - at 21 years he married Bertha Schiefelbein and settled in Lowood district - 1882 moved to "Monomeet" in Biarra district (Glorious View) - on part of resumed Cressbrook Station - selections between Monomeet and Toogoolawah. Member of Esk Shire Council for 33 years - retired 2 years ago - buried in Toogoolawah Cemetery from English Church. (E.R. 26/3/1932)

John MacDonald

1908 - 1909

No Information Available 

Charles G Handley

1910 - 1911

Mr C.G. Handley died 12 November, aged 59 years, at his residence "Sunnyside". Esk. Born Warwickshire, England, 1862 - married Miss Newton - lived in the district ca. 39 years - bought land at Glenmaurie, Coominya and Drayton. Member of Esk Divisional Board and later Esk Shire Council, and held office of Chairman of the latter - was Rector's churchwarden at St Agnes' Anglican Church, Esk. An enthusiastic rifleman, he held office of Vice-President of Esk Gordon Rifle Club. (QT 18/11/1921 p.6)

Herbert Prescott Gardner

1914 - 1915

Herbert Prescott Gardner - Date of Death 07 December 1938.


Eric Walter McConnel

1915 - 1916

Eric W McConnel (1863 – 1926) – Date of Death 31 December 1926.

On finishing his education at the age of 20, Eric McConnel joined his brother, the late James Henry McConnel, at Cressbrook. This was in 1883. On the death of their father in 1885 the then existing firm of D. C. McConnel and Sons was carried on, Eric being included in the partnership. The firm in those days also owned Glen Haughton, Apis Creek, Clifton, Moura, and Banana Stations.

George Bishop

1917 - 1919

George Bishop - Date of Death 1923



William Roy Butler

1919 - 1920

William Butler (Winya to the Blacks) born at Royston, Cambridgeshire 11 November 1831 - Arrived in Sydney in February 1854 on Castle Eden – Appoint manager of Cressbrook Station in 1861 by McConnels - Went to Albinia near Comet for Honorary Louis Hope in 1867, then to Durundur from 1871 for McConnels - He purchased Durundur homestead after QN Bank crash in 1893 when run was opened for selection - Lived their till his death on 6 June 1917 - Called "Hellfire Billy" because he habitually burnt off dry grass. 

M Frederick Thompson

1920 - 1921

No Information Available 



William Lewis

1930 - 1940

Entry in Esk Shire Council Minutes:- Sudden death of Chairman W Lewis tributes and condolence motion. (ESKM 28/8/1940 p 214)


James Jnr Barbour

1940 - 1952

Cr James Barbour Junior's canditure for Executive Committee of Local Authorities Association of Queensland - grazier and connected with timber industry - Councillor for 15 years, Chairman of Finance Committee for nine years, Acting Chairman of Council for past 6 months - Foundation member of Stanley District Memorial Hospital, Director of Esk Co-operative Dairy Co., Organiser of West Moreton District Exhibits at Sydney Royal Show and Brisbane Exhibition - Appeal to Kilkivan Shire for support of his candidature 1935. (A/21043, QSA) 

No Photo Available

William Wells

1952 - 1961

William Wells came to Linville as the school teacher and never left. He opened a profitable store in Linville and became a successful investor, Councillor from 1936 and Shire Chairman from 1952 to 1961. He never married and had a unique pride in the Valley demonstrated by his willingness to invest in speculative local schemes. 


N J McInnes

1961 - 1967

No Information Available 



Kenneth Edgar Haslingden

1967 - 1983 

Testimonial Dinner in honour of Cr K.E. Haslingden to be held on Friday 2/7/1982 at 7.00 p.m. at Staging Post Inn, Ipswich Street, Esk - $15 per head.  (ESKM 24/6/1982 p. 2460)
Cr Kenneth Edgar Haslingden resigned from office of Chairman of Council of Shire of Esk at 3.30 p.m. on 22/9/1983 - due to failing eyesight - Cr L.J. Williams elected Chairman. (ESKM SPECIAL MEETING 4/10/1983 p. 3205)
Congratulations to K.E. Haslingden, Past Chairman, on award of Order of Australia Medal. (ESKM 26, 31/1/1984 p. 3387) 

Lester Joseph Williams

1983 - 1988

No Information Available 



Neil Zabel

1988 - 1991

Zabel, Neil Leslie - Division 5 Councillor - Lived all his life in Division 5 (20 years in Minden and 20 years at Mt Tarampa) - Married with 6 children - Operates dairy and small crops farm - President of Lowood High School P&C since its inception - Director of Jacaranda Dairy for 9 years - Strong advocate for Lowood ambulance and better roads in area. (ESD VOL 1 NO 1 JULY 1985 p5)


Jean Bray

1991 - 2004

Bray, Jean - Division 5 Councillor - Married with 2 daughters - Taught for many years at Lowood Kindergarten - Foundation member and Director of Folk Art - Was Secretary of Swimming Pool Fund Raising Committee - President of Lowood Branch of Bush Children’s Association - Representative of council on Greater Brisbane Regional Tourist Association. (ESD VOL 1 NO 1 JULY 1985 p 5)


Graeme Lehmann

2004 - 2008 (See also Somerset Regional Council)

Graeme was born and raised in the Somerset region and has always called this his home. He lives with his wife Judy at Tarampa and together they have three daughters.

Graeme is passionate about representing the interests of the community and first became a Councillor in 1994. A decade after being in local government, Graeme was elected Mayor of the region. He has proudly served in local government for almost two decades.