Mr. John Sydney Davis

Mr. John Sydney Davis arrived in Western Australia with his family from Ireland in 1851, and took up a large tract of land in the Geraldton district in partnership with Mr. Major Logue and Mr. Walcott.

Later this land was divided into three; Mr. Walcott took Moonyoonooka, Mr. Logue took Ellendale and Mr. Davis took Tibradden, which consisted of 25,000 acres of leasehold country. At this stage the property stretched from Nangetty via Mingenew in the south to Cockateer via Mullewa in the north, with shepherds camped on shallow creek wells tending the sheep.

Owing to the Midland Railway being laid through from the south, much good country was taken over by the Company and decreased the size of Tibradden somewhat.

Mr. Davis’ daughter married Mr. J.B. Percy, an Englishman, a manager of the then Union Bank, he and one of John Sydney Davis’ sons Lionel Sydney Davis purchased Tibradden.

Split of partnership came in 1910 with J.B. Percy taking Tibradden and L.S. Davis taking area known as Koogereena. The Percy family remained at Tibradden till it was bought by Major Rubens of De Grey Station, 1955 and at a later date he re-sold to Mr. Eric Fitzgerald, who sub-divided it into five blocks of which there are various owners now. Mr. R. G. Percy, son of J.B Percy managed the property from 1922 till his mother’s death. At this time the property was 16,000 areas reduced after selling 5,000 acres to other farmers and 4,000 acres to the Geraldton Water Supply (Witcherina). Sand Springs, Monyoonoka, Yanget, Koogereena and several smaller places bound Tibradden. The station was named Tibradden after the original family property outside Dublin.

The homestead was built in 1850 out of pug, which was made by pressing straw and mud together. About 10 years later a further building was put up with bricks, and this stood till Atkins Brothers bulldozed it down. Because it was unsafe, Eric Fitzgerald rebuilt and modernised the house when he purchased the property.

There are still some of the old buildings standing, namely a dairy, kitchen and cooks quarters, also the gristing mill. The latter has two-foot thick stonewalls in good preservation, being obvious. Many stonewall which formed other buildings and also stockyards are still in use.

Merinos were the main stock on the property with share farming carried out over many years, crops being mainly wheat and some of this being gristed on the place in the old mill.

A large garden helped to serve family needs and also some fruits were marketed. Flocks of turkeys were often seen roaming in the wild state and there were rounded up and sold to the market.

A small family graveyard gives a history of the past people of the area, and also the remains of a suspension bridge for crossing the creek below the homestead when the rains made the creek flood. The present owners of the property are the Collins’ family.

M. Cobley

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