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Taken in 1900, Merrydale


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H. T. Coggan ran a mail service
which operated daily from Inverell to
Texas and return.


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Local aboriginal artist David Allen with his artworks commissioned for display at the Sydney Olympics 2000.

Pre 1820

The Ashford area was originally populated by the Kwiambal people and they were descended from the Murri people who first came to live in the area now known as North West NSW a very long time ago.


The Kwiambal occupied an area that extended from Nucoorima (Pindari), to just north of Nullamana and Bukkulla, east of the Macintyre River near Graman, north to the line of hills marked by Bowman's Sugarloaf and Paddy's Sugarloaf.



Allan Cunningham crosses the Severn River, which he named as Anderson's Brook.

He crosses about 1 kilometre upstream from the Severn River and Frazer's Creek junction.

After crossing Frazer's Creek he camped for the night at a spot about 2 kilometres to the west of what is today Arthur's Seat homestead. Cunningham notes,

"at the close of the day we rested on a well watered patch of good grass."



First European settlement.



George Wyndham secured 'Bukkulla' and 'Nullamanna' which totalled 51,180 ha.
Bukkulla's boundary came to within three miles of the spot where Ashford village arose.


The Kwiambal people attended a great meeting of many Aboriginal language groups on the Dumaresq River, regarding white settlement in the North West.


A Watchhouse had been established at Ashford by George James MacDonald, Commissioner of Crown Lands for the New England District. The Commissioners were expected to visit each run in their district twice a year.


Surveyor J. J. Galloway visits the area marking locations for reserves to be used as village sites,

stock reserves or small farms.


John Prefrement was granted a licence for his public house, the Squatters' Home Inn,

which was already in operation.


Surveyor J. J. Galloway marks a village reserve at Edgerton which was to become Ashford village.

A second inn, Steel's Accomodation, had been opened. A reserve is set aside at Noocoorilma.



Jan 1 
The Ashford Post Office was established under the name of Frazer's Creek. John Prefrement was the first postmaster and he received an annual salary of 10 pounds.

Jul 5
James Leslie was appointed postmaster on a salary of 15 pounds per annum. Leslie conducted the post office at his store which was owned by John Sullivan, the publican of the Squatters' Home Inn. It is uncertain whether Leslie had purchased the Squatters' Home Inn at this time

(see sale reference in 1861)



First survey of the site of the town.

Ashford, which was previously referred to as 'Ashford, Frazer's Creek', was officially dedicated as a village.

First sale of Ashford town land was held in Glen Innes. 15 of the 32 lots offered were sold.


The Squatters' Home Inn was advertised as for sale by the then publican James Leslie.

It consisted of a bar and tap room, parlour, two dining rooms, four bedrooms,

a detached kitchen and servants room, a wash house and a six stall stable on 1.6 ha of land.

It is reported to the Ashford police that Thunderbolt had robbed the shepherds' hut at Pindari.

The first of what was to become an annual horse race meeting was held.


Oct 21

Robert Arnott was appointed postmaster.



A clerk of petty sessions begins regular visits to Ashford.


The name of the post office was officially changed from 'Ashford, Frazer's Creek' to 'Ashford'.



First Police Station was opened in Ashford manned by one mounted senior constable.

Jan 1

John Sullivan, who was described as an innkeeper and storekeeper, became postmaster.
At this stage 3 mails were handled weekly, one to Sydney, one to Tenterfield, and one to Seyburn.



The Ashford Hotel, popularly known as 'Carroll's', was opened. There were now three hotels in Ashford.
Both Squatters' Home Inn and Steel's Accommodation had stores attached.


Joseph Slack had opened another store. The well educated and articulate Slack

became Ashford's most prominent citizen and spokesman for many years.

A court house and lock-up were built.




Joseph Slack, a storekeeper, succeeded John Sullivan as post master.



Apr 8

Mr William Cornwalle Eliott started a private school in Ashford. Mr Elliot was a storekeeper at the time.

He taught 10 students in a bark hut.

May 8

Thunderbolt robs the store and hotel at Bonshaw.

Jun 18

Meeting in the court house to gauge public opinion on whether Mr Elliot's

school should be turned into a public school.

Jun 25

An outcome of the meeting on June 18 was that Mr Elliot wrote a letter to council asking

for assistance in starting a public school.



Nov 30

Mr Elliot received his certification and his private school was upgraded to a public school.

Dec 21

The public school reported an enrolment of 20 and an average attendance of 15.


Ashford's population and importance begins to decline. Soon only Carroll's Inn is licensed and one store remained.


Jan 6
Mr Jones, the School Inspector, wrote a letter to the council about the school teacher, Mr. Elliot's,

removal to Warialda.


Jun 21 
Letter confirming the appointment of William Lees as teacher of the school.


Sep 19
Letter from Mr Lees reports an enrolment of 24 pupils at the school.


Feb 13
A meeting of local committee dismissed Mr Lees from the office of teacher to the school for being drunk and disorderly. Notice of the appointment of Samuel Horan was given at the same time.


School numbers drop below 20 and its status as a public school is removed.

Nov 6
Robert Bevan Jones was appointed teacher of the school.



Ashford experiences its worst flood to date in documented history. Most of the village was submerged.
Losses of crops and fencing were severe.

First headstone in the Ashford Cemetery, belonging to John Ezzy,

who died after being kicked by a horse outside Carroll's Hotel.

Dec 1 
John Callinan, having purchased the store which housed the post office, was appointed postmaster.


May 1
Joseph Slack was reappointed as postmaster.

Dec 1 
William Slack became postmaster.




Money Order facilities extended to Ashford.

Aug 1
John Desmond appointed post master.



The school was closed due to low attendance.



School re-opens with an attendance of 10.



N. D. Bourke arrived to take up his appointment as teacher.

Upon his arrival he refused to take up the position due to the poor state of repair the school was in.

The school was once again closed.


Records show there were fewer than 10,000 sheep in the Ashford district.
The economy of the area is still dominated by the big cattle stations.

The school was re-opened with Mr Gillis appointed as teacher.



Aug 1
John T. Carroll appointed postmaster.

School closes.



School re-opens with J. H. Cook appointed as teacher.



Mar 17
Mrs. Catherine Slack appointed as postmaster.

Mar 31
The post office money order office closed. At the time it was mentioned that mail arrived twice weekly,
on Wednesday and Sundays about 8pm.

Aug 16
G. W. Dean appointed as postmaster.



Feb 2
William Slack was appointed as postmaster.

Oct 13
Mrs. Catherine Slack was appointed as postmaster.



Rebekah Elliot appointed as teacher.

Feb 1

Mrs Blanche B. Kimmorley was appointed as postmaster.


Apr 24
Mrs S. J. Tubman took over the post office and store.



Mar 21
Edward Naughten was appointed postmaster. It is widely accepted one day

Mr Naughten found himself short of the red tape used at that time to identify registered letters, so he used a red pencil line as an alternative. This practice later became universally accepted and Ashford people proudly claim it as a notable first in their history.

Aug 30
Mr J. Begley appointed as teacher.

Dec 2

A petition was received by the Department of Public Instruction from the parents of the school children requesting a new building. As a result a small school building was erected on a new site in Duff Street.



Gunyan Station was founded. This property commenced in the northern boundary of

Frazers Creek Station and took in the Bonshaw area.




School closes




School re-opens.


The manager of Frazer's Creek Station, John Swan, and William Nicholls of Dinton Vale, take an interest in the Ashford coalfield and limited mining took place.

May 23
students enrolled at school with an average attendance of 20.

The school was converted to a public school. Marion Fox is appointed as teacher.



Ashford township has a population of 67 people housed in 16 dwellings.



Miss Fox resigns as school teacher. Harold Denshire is appointed in her place.



An application was sent to enlarge the school but was refused. Repairs and additions to the existing building were carried out instead.



Howard's sawmill opened, situated in the paddock on the western side of the intersection of Fraser Street and Inverell Street. Cypress pine was the primary mill source.


A request for the reintroduction of Money Order facilities was refused, but the sale of Postal Notes was approved.


A petition was submitted concerning the reintroduction of Money Order facilities. Signatures included: A. Kimmorley, butcher; P. Halloran, Farmer; John T. Carroll, Publican; J. G. Smith, Grazier; G. H. Moore, Blacksmith; J. Elroy, Constable; James Henderson, Builder; E. New, Carrier; F. Halloran; H. D. Denshire, Teacher; J. Stevens, Storekeeper; Joseph and W. H. Moore, Farmers; W. H. Howard, Sawmill; C. O'Brien, Carrier; A. Watts, Farmer.