Lismore becomes centre of police presence

Lismore Police Barracks, c.1880s
Lismore Police Barracks, c.1880s

UNTIL the 1850s there were no policemen in this area. Initially the policeman was elected by his fellow citizens but later they were appointed from Sydney and received some training.

Often they had previously been soldiers.

Although our police were not part of the dreaded Mounted Police Force stationed in what is now Queensland, they all had to be able to ride a horse and row a boat, the only methods of transport throughout the district at that time.

Chief Constable Daniel Hogan was born in 1835 in Ireland, probably at Cork.

He was appointed a policeman on April 7, 1863 and rose to be in charge of the Woodburn/Lismore area.

At this time Woodburn was a much more important place than Lismore, so he was stationed there. In 1868 he married Catherine McGrath and they had six children, the last, also called Daniel, being born in Lismore.

The family had moved to Lismore about the time Daniel Junior was born, in 1881, and probably moved into the new police barracks.

Lismore had by then become the centre of the police presence in the district.

After Constable Hogan died in 1900 his wife moved to Moree where another son, Thomas Rodgers Hogan had established a legal practice.

Thomas was very involved in community activities which included being on the committee of the Moree Race Club.

It is said that he was also very musical and liked choral singing. He was a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church.

In 1907 he married Elizabeth Mary (Bessie) Moloney.

She appears to have been the daughter of Thomas and Catherine Moloney (or Maloney) who had a sheep property near Moree.

Thomas was interested in politics and contested the NSW seat of Gwydir in 1910.

He was unsuccessful, but later was elected to the Moree Municipal Council. He was Mayor in 1915, 1920 and 1921, the year he died.

He was also a justice of the peace, deputy coroner, vice president of the Local Government Association, and returning officer for Moree Division of the House of Representatives.

And of course he had a thriving legal practice.

Thomas Hogan died in 1921 and the circumstances surrounding his death are somewhat unusual.

He was shot dead by John Curran one Sunday morning while walking down Gwydir St, Moree. Mr Curran was later found not guilty on the grounds of insanity and he was sent to an asylum at the governor's pleasure.

Apparently he had been charged with attempting to shoot Alfred Zlotkowski.

Mr Curran had stated at the time that he would not have missed if he had fired the shot.

However, like Mr Hogan, Mr Zlotkowski was a Moree Alderman. Mr Curran served two years jail and then returned to Moree. No doubt the two shootings were connected.

Mr Curran had had a long- running battle with Moree Council concerning a boxing stadium which he had built.

The council would not give him approval to run matches but while he was in jail the council had used the stadium for a special tournament in aid of the war effort. Mr Curran was furious when he returned and the council still would not approve his application.

He blamed Mr Hogan most of all as he was the Mayor and so decided to shoot him.

Mr Hogan was buried in Lismore, but the Moree people erected a fountain as a memorial.

It can still be seen at Fairview Aged Home.

Topics:  history lismore policing woodburn

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