Willowbank Farm, Don River

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1890 [unknown]
Location: Bowen, Queensland, Australiamap
Surnames/tags: Kyle Bowen_Queensland Farm
Profile manager: Maree Evans private message [send private message]
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Willowbank Farm was originally the Kyle family farm. The farm was started by John Kyle (1829-1902) and his wife Rebecca (Foster) Kyle (1842-1924) in about 1890.

The farm was sold out of the Kyle family for a number of years but is currently owned by a descendant of John & Rebecca.


John Kyle (1829-1902)
Rebecca (Foster) Kyle (1842-1924)
William Kyle (1874-1922)
John Kyle Jr (abt.1873-1940)
Hazel Helen (Kyle) Howie (1916-2006)


Photo from The North Queensland Register, Mon 4 August 1902, Page 29

AMONG THE FARMS - WILLOWBANK - "Bowen Independent" [1]

On the south-eastern bank of the Don opposite the Sportsman's Arms Hotel, lies the home of the Kyles, Willowbank. The near approach to the pretty residence has been cut off by the fencing in of the Police Reserve (in the early days known as the Police Camp) necessitating a long round. The orchard, which contains 400 trees, mostly mandarines, lies snugly ensconced on the slope of the river bank, and cannot be seen until the residence is reached. The late Mr John Kyle and family first resided on the opposite side of the river, where he cultivated a small orchard, but the trouble of floods, which were more plentiful in past years caused him to shift the home across the river, which was done some 14 years ago. The farm's now worked by the sons, Messrs John and William Kyle, Mr Kyle, senior, having succumbed to the cold on his arrival in Ireland, where he and his good wife had proceeded on a well-earned holiday. Dairying was at one time carried on extensively here, as many as 150 cows being milked, but of late years the price of butter has been too low to allow of sufficient profit, the seasons also being unfavourable. The trees in the orchard give evidence of a very heavy crop, some being very heavily laden, one in particular looking as if it would yield from 30 to 40 cases. The fruit tasted was delicious and well up to the standard of the far-famed Bowen oranges. Irrigation is carried on extensively by means of a 4-horse power steam engine, which works a pump with a capacity of 6000 gallons per hour. The well is inlaid with bricks and gives an inexhaustible supply of water, the river current being struck. Mr William Kyle, who has settled down in life, has a neat residence erected on the top end of the farm, where ordinary crops such as maize, potatoes, etc., are grown, but this year being such a dry one very little has been done in that line. Besides the farming, the Messrs Kyle have a fairly large herd of cattle, the increase from which adds considerable grief to the mill.


  1. 1904 'AMONG THE FARMS.', The North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), 22 August, p. 27. , viewed 27 Sep 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85567783

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