Woodhill

Location

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History

Woodhill and Veresdale evolved from the Townsvale plantation established by Robert Towns in 1862. William Tutin Walker was the manager at Townsvale. He remained on the property until his death in 1920. Walker had an adventurous life, and worked as a gold buyer for the Victorian government on the gold fields in the Ballarat region. Having run the gauntlet of bushrangers too many times, he turned to sheep grazing near Ballarat. In 1865, he moved to Queensland to work for Captain Towns on his cotton plantation. He later turned to timber getting and dairying, with his dairy at Townsvale being one of the largest in the district. His four children remained living in the district after his death.

Early settler William Everdell worked on John and Anne Collin's Mundoolun station before moving to Oxley in 1862. He returned to Veresdale in 1869 and donated land for the school. Townsvale State School opened in 1873, was renamed Veresdale in 1874 and changed to Woodhill State School in 1899. Verdon and Matthew Hinchcliffe, whose family were the first settlers in Waterford, had a store in Logan Village, and another on the Townsvale plantation in the early 1870s. It is possible that Veresdale was named after Verdon. Woodhill was the property name of the Ferguson Family.

A Wesleyan Church was built near to the school on the adjoining property owned by Joseph Binstead. Despite the fact that the church was built in Woodhill, Verdon Hinchcliffe donated a substantial amount to its building fund and insisted that it be named Veresdale.

David and Jane Ferguson donated land for the cemetery, when their 11-year-old son George died after falling from a horse on 13 March 1873. The first police headquarters in the upper Logan district was established at the home of William Everdell. The first constable was Martin Quinlan, who was transferred from Beenleigh in 1876. A courthouse opened down the road at Veresdale in 1879, which operated until 1880 when a new courthouse was founded in Beaudesert.

The Walton Hotel (now the Veresdale Hotel – the original pub is now part of the shed next door) was built by William Everdell in 1875. The substantial timber building was built from local cedar and hardwood. It was the changing station for coaches of the Logan Reserve and Telemon mail runs. When the railway came through in 1888, the local station was called Walton.

The Woodhill Cemetery was gazetted on 26 April 1879, although it was called the Veresdale Cemetery at the time. Trustees included William Tuton Walker, Verdon Hinchcliffe, John Hopkins, Archibald Auld, John Waters, David Ferguson and George Smith.

David Ferguson had a store at Woodhill from mid-1870. It was located to the north of the school, on a one-acre lot with a four-roomed cottage. In 1878, he offered it for sale at auction. The store remained in business until 1956 and was a hub for the local community. Local farmers used it as cream depot.

In 1894, the former Veresdale courthouse was relocated by bullock dray to Woodhill for use as a community hall. Committee members included David Day, Richard Day, Verdon Hinchcliffe, William Hiscock, David Ferguson, George Plunkett, John Hopkins and G Wilson.

The Cavell Family came to live at Woodhill in 1879 from Coopers Plains. Edwin Cavell named his property Rose Hill, which comprised a number of properties bounded by Hiscock, Hall and Undullah Roads. He had earlier worked on the construction of Mundoolun homestead for John Collins and later purchased his own bullock team. He worked in the timber industry around Jimboomba before taking up the Woodhill land. He was treasurer of the school committee and trustee for the church committee. His youngest son Joseph then managed the property

The Hopkins family came to the area in the 1870s, when John Hopkins selected land. His property was known as Woodlands. His son Joseph left school early to help his father to take care of the large family. Joseph was initially employed by William Walker at Townsvale, working on the sawmill. When Walker subdivided, Joseph was helped to buy his own property. He married neighbour Lillie Everdell in 1899 at her family home Walton. Joseph Hopkins was chairman of Beaudesert Shire Council for 27 years and a councillor for 32 years. He was secretary of the Woodhill school of the Arts Committee from when he was young, was trustee of the hall when he died in 1948. He was also a director of the Logan and Albert Co-operative Dairy Association and the first president of the Beaudesert Bowls Club. Joseph Hopkins was the first Queensland councillor to cross the border into New South Wales at Urbenville, with Main Roads Commissioner Kemp and Chief Engineer Crawford. In 1954, the New England Highway was re-routed through Warwick and re-named the Mount Lindesay Highway.

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