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The Gladfield Hotel - A History. by Paul Munson

The Temperance Movement in Australia was a powerful lobbyist and by the 1890’s each Colony had introduced Sunday closings of hotels and in some form or another Local Option Polls. Local option polls in Queensland allowed residents to veto all licenses in their district. A local option poll was taken on Saturday 25th November, 1911 in portions of the Glengallan and Clifton Shires to determine if the proposed hotel at Gladfield, which had been granted a provisional certificate to Mr Francis Brown by the Warwick Bench of the Licensing Court went ahead. The resolution voted on was that no new licenses be granted. Fortunately for the Gladfield people this resolution was defeated by a majority of 38, which enabled the hotel to be built. Peter Hagenbach, regarding his application for a hotel at Freestone was not so fortunate. The Poll in the Freestone area saw the resolution carried by 34 to 6.


In April 1912, Patrick McEniery was granted the license for his new Gladfield Hotel. An application by P.J. Ryan for a license for a hotel at Gladfield was refused. This, no doubt was cause of jubilation for Patrick not having to contend with opposition. On the 5th April, 1912 he had inserted the following in the Warwick Examiner and Times:


Mr and Mrs P. McEniery, who have secured a license for their hotel at Gladfield, will be pleased to meet neighbours and friends at the Gladfield Public Hall on Easter Monday evening at a social evening.


Five months later his license was transferred to Edward Thomas Phelan. Thomas Phelan, on the 26th August 1913 was charged in the Police Court for a breach of the Liquor Act, in that his licensed house was kept open on Sunday 3rd August. The license was transferred back to Patrick McEniery in February 1914. One year later Patrick McEniery had the license transferred to Francis Brown who also purchased the freehold from Patrick for £1,800.


Francis had applied for and was granted a provisional license in October 1911 and tenders to build the hotel were called in December of that year by him. I would surmise that Francis had sold the freehold to Patrick at the time of him being granted a license.

Francis was licensee from 1915 to 1919 and retained ownership of his hotel until it was destroyed by fire. He was a publican down south for many years before coming to Queensland.


Francis sold a ten-year lease of the Hotel to Mrs Amelia Rigney who ran the hotel until October 1924 when the license was transferred to Morris William Harrigan, a publican from Gympie. Morris, in January 1926 transferred the license to Septimus Raphael Doolan. He was the hotel manager for the Hotel Victoria in South Brisbane and had not held a license before. August 1926, an application to transfer the license to Clarice Eleanor Murphy of Gladfield did not eventuate. Septimus had better luck two months later when the license was transferred to Annie Reaney. Annie was licensee of the Royal Post Office Hotel in Marburg. She was a widow with two children. It was in December 1928 that the license was transferred to Estelle Jackson, formerly of Brisbane but now of Gladfield. She was not married and had not held a license before. Estelle seems to have been a thespian as on March 23, she presented the “Gladfield Panto Stars”, twenty talented kiddies who put on a show at the Gladfield Hall with a dance following to benefit the Hall.


The lease expired on the 29th January 1929. She had run the hotel with the help of her brother.



[Francis and Ada Brown, three daughters Augustiana, Elizabeth and Mary who worked in the hotel and son George who worked the farm and other family members on the verandah of the hotel]

Francis Brown, then sold a ten-year lease to Mrs I.H. Will for £725 and a rental of £3 per week, reduced in January 1932 to £2.6.6 per week.


Ivy Hinton Will of Gladfield, married to David Will had not held a license before. In June 1930 at the Annual value of assessments, reduced Mrs Will’s license fee from £40 to £30. Ivy did not have a good time of it. Her husband David was bankrupted in August 1930 and at this time, he was in very poor health. Ivy, when purchasing the lease had paid £375 of her own money and for the remaining £450 had procured a mortgage from Miss Emma Mead. Ivy Will defaulted on her mortgage to Miss Mead who then entered into possession around February 1932 and sold the mortgage to Leonard Brooks. On the 4th June 1932, Leonard Brooks sold his lease to Robert Gray, who vacated and the property was repossessed by Miss Mead. The Licensing Court granted Leonard Brooks leave of absence from the Gladfield Hotel from 9th July to 2nd September and leaving Irene Vidler to act as manageress. On the 4th January 1933, the Licensing Court granted the transfer of the license from Leonard Brooks to Irene Vidler. She was licensee until August 1933 when Mrs Mary Ellen Matthews bought a six-year, three-month lease from Miss Mead for £330 on £100 deposit with the balance over six years. Mary lived in Mackay, and was a widow with three children and had not held a license before. In April 1936 Mrs Mathews went for a holiday and left Mr R.P.B. Bourke as manager. Mrs Matthews wrote to Miss Mead and said she was not coming back. Leave of absence was granted to Mrs Matthews by the Licensing Court on 15th May 1936. Mr McCarthy managed the hotel for Miss Mead from early in June until near the end of that month when a three and half year’s lease was sold by Miss Mead to Mr Cross for £175 on a £25 deposit. The Gladfield Hotel was destroyed by fire on Sunday 26th July 1936.

Next day the Warwick Daily News reported:


GLADFIELD HOTEL

DESTROYED BY FIRE

EARLY MORNING BLAZE


Erected 24 years ago, the Gladfield Hotel, a single storey ten-roomed weather-board structure at Gladfield, was totally destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. It was owned by Mr. F. Brown, of Gladfield.

There were three inmates of the hotel—the licensee (Mr. Cross), who, with Mr. Kemp, had taken over the lease about three weeks ago, and Mr. R. Bourke, of Gladfield. Awakening about 4 .30 a.m. to find his room thick with smoke, Mr. Cross aroused Mr. Kemp, who occupied the same room, and the boarder, who slept in a room a few yards away. They barely, had time to snatch up a few clothes and make their escape, to the street before the whole of the building was ablaze. One of the men reached safety clad only in his pyjamas.

In a short space of time the building had been totally destroyed, only the wooden, stables, which are about four chains away, remaining intact.

The building was insured with, the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company for £800.


Needless to say, Mr Cross deserted his lease. Gladfield township at this time consisted of the Railway Station, Post Office, Telephone Exchange, General Store, School, Blacksmith’s Shop and Public Hall. There had been a decline in the business in the hotel in recent years, due to mismanagement, general depression and bad seasons. Francis Brown, as owner acquired the license under Sec. 30 of the Liquor Acts, on 22nd October 1936. He received £150 compensation as the value of his license when in June 1937, it was transferred to the Mooloolah Hotel, Mooloolah.


Francis sold the land to Mick and Brenda Ryan who moved a house onto the block. Later on, they shifted the house to Allora to live in when they retired.


Francis Joseph Brown



Licensees’

June 1912 Patrick McEniery

1912 – 1913 E.T. Phelan

Feb 1914 Patrick McEniery

1915 – 1919 Francis Brown

1919 – 1924 Mrs Amelia Rigney

1924 – 1926 Morris Harrigan

1926 Septimus Doolan

1926 - 1928 Mrs Annie Reaney

1928 – 1929 Miss Estelle Jackson

1929 - 1932 Mrs Ivy H. Will

Feb 1932 Leonard Brooks

June 1932 Robert Gray (vacated premises)

1932 – 1933 Irene Vidler

1933 - 1936 Mrs Mary Ellen Matthews

1936 Mr Cross

26th July 1936 Hotel destroyed by fire

1937 Francis Brown

30-04- 1937 Licence Surrendered



Provided to People N Places Magazine - Published February 2021 on behalf of Paul Munson, Warwick.

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