1878 to 1992 in the Conargo District, 114 years of residency by 5 generations of the Millear’s.
Thomas Millear [1834-1895], arrived in Australia on the clipper ship “Redjacket” in 1857. He married Nancy Mack, [Albert Austin’s cousin, being the daughter of Anna Mack; nee Austin.] in 1862, in a joint wedding between Albert Austin & Catherine Mack, Nancy’s sister.
Albert & Catherine were given control of “Eilyer”, Lake Bolac & Thomas & Nancy leased, “Greenvale”, Wickliffe, from Nancy’s uncle James Austin.
In 1876 Thomas Millear, secured control of 60000 acres of “Greenvale”, upon its sale, with the balance purchased by Josiah Austin. Thomas called his new property “Edgarley”, after his family’s home farm in Somerset, England, he then built his magnificent homestead & outbuildings on the property in the same year.
In 1878 the property Wanganella was purchased by Messrs Albert Austin & Thomas Millear, along with the entire Double Stud & half of the General Stud. The two brothers in law carried on the partnership, with Millear being responsible for the day to day management of the property and stud and Austin living down on “Eilyer”, in the Lake Bolac district in the Western District of Victoria. It was Millear that was the main contributor to the rapid rise and improvement of the Wanganella Stud between the years of 1878 and the dissolvement of the family partnership in 1894.
This partnership continued until 1894, when the owners decided to divide the property & stud. As they were brothers in law, as well as lifelong friends, they devised an equable process for the division.
This was implemented along the following lines: the two partners both were to draw straws, with the winner taking the half of the property which he selected & the other had the first selection of the stud sheep. Hence history shows that Albert drew the long straw, which meant that the western half [31500 acres], with its entire infrastructure stayed in the hands of the Austin family & the eastern half [26500 acres] was retained by the Millear family.
This meaning that Thos Millear had to build complete station infrastructure, homestead, shearing & ram sheds, as well as yards & other out buildings, he then left “Edgarley”, to his son Thos Millear II & moved into his new homestead which had been built at Wanganella Estate [was destroyed in a fire in 1937] by the esteemed Melbourne architect Walter Butler, who also designed such homes as “Blackwood”, Penshurst, “Newminster Park”, Camperdown, “Warrawee”, “Kamillaroi” & “Edzell” in Toorak, “Billilla”, Brighton, “Thanes”, Kooyong & Dame Nellie Melba’s, “Coombe” at Coldstream.
History also shows us that the real prize was the stud sheep & Millear then had the opportunity to take control of all the top stud sheep, Millear having been the main controller of the Wanganella Stud knew exactly which sheep were the best, so the famous Peppin Double Stud and other top sheep went to Wanganella Estate, with these sheep now being run on the eastern portion of the property, which was renamed “Wanganella Estate”. Thomas Millear died in 1895 & his wife Nancy survived him until 1907, both are buried in the Deniliquin cemetery.
DENILIQUIN STUD PARK
In 1888, Thomas Millear selected a draft of Wanganella stud ewes for his Victorian property “Edgarley” at Willaura, in the Western District of that state & a second draft of 2298 was transferred in 1891. These ewes then formed the nucleus of the “Edgarley” stud & flock.
In 1889 the 20,000 acre property “Willow Park”, which was situated on the southern boundary of both Wanganella & Wanganella Estate, was purchased & renamed “Deniliquin Stud Park”, for by now the demand for Millear rams by the Pastoralists, was so great that “Edgarley” wasn’t able to breed enough, so a second stud was formed & run at the Deniliquin property. [It appears that D.S.P was reduced in size sometime after its purchase, either before the WW1, or after Thomas III took control in 1920, for in 1958 the property was subdivided into 13 Returned Soldiers farms of approx 1000 acres each, with the Lowing family retaining 5 farms totalling approx 6000 acres]. In 1895, Thomas Millear transferred to his son Thomas Millear II [1866-1940], the “Edgarley” stud, which was then, taken to Wanganella Estate. After the death of his father in 1895, Thos II transferred the “Wanganella Estate” special stud ewes to “Deniliquin Stud Park”, in order build up the quality of the “D.S.P” stud. Between the years of 1895 and 1910, when Millear II controlled Wanganella Estate, he transferred a great percentage of the stud, to his property DSP and moved the DSP sheep onto Wanganella Estate.
This decision proved to be very advantageous, for in the ensuing years “D.S.P” created some of the highest price sales of stud rams in the history of the Australian Merino industry, with the world record price in 1906 of 1200 gns [for “Donald Dinnie” who was a five year old ram] & in today’s dollar terms would represent several million, plus many sales of 1000 gns to 1500 gns and in 1924 the Ram “Sir William” was sold for another world record price of 1550 gns [again in today’s dollar terms, over the one million mark[readers please remember these sales took place from the period of the early 1900’s until the 1920’s].
Donald Dinnie in 1906 after his sale to Canowie Estates in South Australia:
Thos Millear II, never lived on the Deniliquin property, but always remained at “Edgarley” at Willaura; he had married Rosa Fellows [1865-1951] in 1894. He died in 1940 & was survived by his wife Rosa until she died in 1951. They were both buried in the Willaura cemetery.
Thomas Millear III hadn’t come directly home from the first war but chose to further his education in the wool industry, by spending a several years working with the woollen industry in Yorkshire, especially in and around the Bradford area. His claim was, that any wool producer, if they wanted to really learn about the product they produced, should go to the end source of their product and learn what the trade required of them in the production of wool. He also felt as he was close to the mills etc at that period  that purchased Australian wool; he should make the effort to learn more about his industry.
Upon arriving back in Australia in 1920, he took up residence at D.S.P, where he took over control of that sheep stud. In 1923 Thos III married Ruth Sanger [1900-1983], a daughter of the well known Sanger family from “Wangamong” [the stud was formed in 1857 one of the earliest merino studs] in the Corowa district. They moved into Deniliquin Stud Park in the same year and Thomas III commenced the general management of both D.S.P and D.S.P.Nth. He carried on with the same breeding ideals as his father and carried on that role until he retired in 1958.
In 1956, Thos Millear IIII [1929-2005], was taken into the D.S.P. Nth stud and 20000 Acres [Walla] was divided off and given over to Thos IV, this property he renamed “Delta” and he formed his own stud of the same name. Thos IV retired in 1984 and the property was sold to the Pye family.
The present D.S.P homestead was designed by the renowned architect, Sandy McKnight [father of John McKnight of River St, Deniliquin] in 1930 and was completed two years later, this then became the headquarters of two of the most famous medium wool Merino studs of the 20th century.
Another interesting building that Thos III erected was the first prefabricated shearing shed. Built in 1926, its construction was made up of prefabricated corrugated iron sections & angle iron fence panels; these were manufactured in Melbourne and transported to the property, where they were assembled in sections. They were mounted on Murray Pine posts and the battens were made of the same wood; this shed was white ant proof! Both the interior pens and outside yards were manufactured the same way and similarly erected. The overhead gear was run by a 1924 five h.p Lister engine [which I believe still runs today].
Fast forward to 1957, when Thomas Millear, built a house and moved into Deniliquin, where he lived until his death in 1963, leaving “Deniliquin Stud Park” to his grandsons, David A Lowing and Antony T Lowing [both underage], but to be controlled by his eldest daughter and son in law David B Lowing, this arrangement continued until 1992, when the property was sold to the Haines family, after 114 years of family ownership.
As this area had been designated as an irrigation area, designed to produce rice and many other irrigated enterprises, so in 1957 the bulk of the stud was transferred to D.S.P. Nth and upon the death of Thos Millear III in 1963, was sold to the Bull family from “Gala Vale”.
It wasn’t until 1983, some 20 years later that the D.S.P stud was rejuvenated, as a Poll Merino Stud by Thos Millear III’s eldest grandson, David A Lowing, [see below]. Upon the sale of Deniliquin Stud Park to the Haynes family in 1992, the stud was purchased by the Overall family at Weethalle N.S.W and is still breeding on strongly in that district and is still classed by David Lowing the founder.
HISTORY OF THE “DENILIQUIN STUD PARK” POLL MERINO STUD
The formation of the “Deniliquin Stud Park Poll” stud was in 1984, when David A Lowing, grandson of Thomas Millear III, took control of “Deniliquin Stud Park” and decided to create a Poll Merino stud. He couldn’t understand why a Merino ram should have to carry a heavy set of horns and due to long experience, he found poll sheep had better lambing percentages and were quieter by nature, with the added benefit of not getting caught in wire fences, a big boon for the pastoral areas] with the purchase of 100 Poll Merino ewes and two rams from “Kamala Partnership” of Lake Bolac, [this stud was formed in the 1940’s by the McIntyre Bros, who purchased “Kamala”, from the Estate of Harold Moffatt], and 30 ewes from “Lone Pine” [pure “Wonga”], these were added to some of the original “Deniliquin Stud Park” ewes that were retained and the stud traded as “The Estate of Thomas Millear”.
Upon the sale of “Deniliquin Stud Park” property, the entire stud was transferred to the present owners, Daryl and Kim Overall of “Emmaville” at Weethalle, where it still continues today, with the original owner, David Lowing as the stud classer and advisor.
At the dispersal of the “Kamala Merino/Poll Studs” in 2002, “Deniliquin Stud Park Poll”, purchased all of the Special Stud ewes and all the top poll sires, which gave the stud a huge lift in quality, the sires included poll genes from “Rockbank” [“Merryville”], “Glen Donald” [Peppin], “Lowanna Poll” [“Wonga”] and “Banavie” and [“Collinsville”] bloodlines.
Over the years from 1992 until present days the stud has introduced blood lines from “Terrick West” and in recent years from “Charinga Poll” [“Collinsville”].
The “Deniliquin Stud Park Polls” have been bred for the dry lower rainfall pastoral areas and are very hardy by nature, but with their background genetics from “Kamala”, they are very adaptable in higher rainfall districts, as several clients have purchased rams in the higher rainfall areas of southern Victoria and found them very adaptable.
The poll factor in the stud is very high, as their original background of “Kamala”, was formed by Mr Alex McIntyre of “Pretty Tower”, Beaufort [father of the McIntyre Bros of “Kamala”], who was experimenting with Poll Merinos in the 1930’s.