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: