Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Clarence and Cassada Sugar Mill #AtoZChallenge2016

C is for Clarence Walker Higham firstly and later the Cassada Sugar Mill.

Clarence Walker Higham is the second son of William James Higham and Frances Helena Margaret Walker and my second cousin twice removed. He is a grandson to Alex and Mary Jane Walker. Clarence was born on the 7th February 1905 I believe in Mirani where his father was listed on the 1903 Queensland Electoral Roll as a baker at the Mirani Bakery.

I next come across Clarence in the 1917 High School Entrance Examination where he was one of 70 students who passed the exam, he was about half way down the list of successful candidates.

1917 'HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAMINATION.',Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 13 December, p. 2. , viewed 02 Apr 2016,
Clarence (Clary) then appears in the Daily Mercury on the 8th March 1932 as the successful buyer of a farm with his brother Rupert John (John) at Mt Pelion. The Higham family appears on the 1934 Queensland Electoral Roll at Mt Pelion.

1932 'MT. PELION', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 8 March, p. 10. , viewed 02 Apr 2016,
The next entry in the Daily Mercury is on the 1st October 1935 and is an engagement notice.

1935 'ENGAGEMENT. NOTICE.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 1 October, p. 4. , viewed 02 Apr 2016,
As you can see from the notice Clary became engaged to Miss Constance Cutherbert Shepherd known as Connie. They married the following year in 1936. I imagine that as Clary had bought a farm and established himself he was able to marry and settle down. The C. Higham family appear on 12 January 1953 as spending Christmas with Mrs. H. Watt. It would appear from this note that Clary and Connie had a family - more research needed.

1953 'Range lands require rain ', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 12 January, p. 5. , viewed 03 Apr 2016,
In 1948, there was keen interest in lots at Seaforth (a beachside area) and Clary was successful in purchasing Lots 14 & 17. His brothers Rupert and Lester were also successful.

1948 'KEEN DEMAND FOR SEAFORTH ALLOTMENTS', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 4 March, p. 2. , viewed 03 Apr 2016,
Both Clary and Connie last appear on the 1959 Queensland Electoral Roll as a farmer and home duties at Mt Pelion.

Clarence Walker Higham died on the 26th November 1964 in Queensland, Constance Cutherbert Higham died on the 29th November in Mackay, Queensland. Further research is needed to determine burial sites.

Now, continuing early Mackay history - the Cassada Sugar Mill.

Parish Map of Greenmount showing the
location of the Cassada pla

Robert Edward Donaldson selected portion 101 in the parish of Greenmount, over 100 acres of land on the southern side of Baker's Creek on 5 November 1868 and began clearing scrub, planting cane and commenced the erection of buildings to house the district's fourth sugar mill.  He ordered a mill from Smellie's Co. in Brisbane and commenced crushing in the first week of October in 1870. The mill was driven by two horses straining at a whim providing the power to crush the cane and included wooden rollers.  The first seasons output was 14 tons of sugar from about 7 acres of cane.  Cassada was closed in 1886 after the bank withdrew support. All that survives today is an old boiler lying in the creek bed of Bakers Creek. 

Cassada Sugar Mill c.1870's
(Source: John Oxley Library)
So you may ask, why do I mention Cassada Sugar Mill? The Cassada Plantation (portion 101) was across Baker's Creek from Walkerston and Alex Walker and his family was farming in the district - I am almost sure that they would have known the Donaldsons as the Donaldson family was often mentioned by my grandmother. And, after all, the district in the 1860s and 70s was quite small.

Kerr, John. (1988). A Century of Sugar. Mackay, QLD Mackay Sugar Co-operative Association Limited. p. 35, 61.


  1. C you had no trouble with C after B 🤗

    1. Thanks Chris - I found your suggestions made me think clearer :)

  2. Lovely post Helen. I discovered many parts of family stories through newspapers.

    1. Yes Dianne - I can spend hours and hours on TROVE!

  3. Good collecting deeds of your near and dear.
    My visit marathon is going on. As they wrote commenting on every blog is difficult. But visit and know what they are doing first.
    My Post for C Today Communicating About Your Blog on Twitter
    Good to visit your site as a part of my A to Z visits. My theme Blog Promotion
    Getting Traffic to Blog - Essential Activity of Bloggers Along with Writing.
    Welcome to A to Z April Blogging Challenge 2016 - Co-Participant - Nrao - NRao Blogs
    NRao Blogs - 2016 A to Z Challenge Blog Posts
    Management Theory Review

  4. You packed a lot of C's in this one post. HA HA The connection between the mill and the Walker family makes it a perfect combination too.
    Visiting from AtoZ
    Jollett Etc.

    1. Thanks Wendy - I'm finding the challenge is making me use by "little grey cells" as Poirot says.

  5. Oh, I love reading about family histories. Enough about kings and queens, lets get to the regular people :)

    @ShonnaSlayton from
    Author Shonna Slayton

    1. Yes Shonna I agree - stories of ordinary people I find are more interesting as you can relate to them