Proud family began with theft of a coat and a gun

THOMAS Nicholson Hollingworth, the founder of the Hollingworth family in our area, was a convict sentenced in 1836 to life imprisonment for stealing a gun and a coat.

When he arrived in New South Wales he was assigned to the Busby Brothers as a labourer and came with them to the Richmond River about 1844.

He obtained his Ticket of Leave soon afterwards in 1845 and remained in the area when the Busby Brothers left. He received his conditional pardon in 1853.

In 1847 he married Ann King at Grafton.

Ann was a daughter of William Parrott King and his wife Hannah (nee Barrett) who had arrived as immigrants. William King had obtained work first as a shepherd and then as a bullock driver.

For some years he hauled cedar logs to the river at Tucki where they were loaded onto sailing ships or rafted downstream. Later he worked for William Yabsley at Coraki as a sawyer.


Joseph Nicholson Hollingworth
Joseph Nicholson Hollingworth

Thomas and Ann Hollingworth moved to Lismore possibly to be closer to her family.

Thomas obtained a 92-acre conditional purchase property just west of the Richmond River and on the southern side of a creek leading into the Richmond.

This property is now part of South Lismore and the creek is called Hollingworth Creek, after Thomas.

The Bruxner Highway crosses Hollingworth Creek and for many years the bridge was labelled "Hollingsworth Creek" (with an "s"), much to the disgust of family members.

A campaign, led by descendant Nicholson (Nick) Hollingworth, had the "s" removed in recent years.

Thomas and Ann's second son, Joseph Nicholson Hollingworth, initially worked for his uncle, Thomas King, at Woodburn.

Thomas King had been apprenticed as a shipwright to William Yabsley. Yabsley had provided a tutor to educate his apprentices as well as giving them a sound knowledge of their craft.

Much of this knowledge was passed on by Thomas King to Joseph Hollingworth who some time later took up an apprenticeship with sawmill owner, J.E. Glasgow, at Lismore.

He eventually became a millwright and master sawmiller with a vast knowledge of local timbers from throughout the whole region.

Joseph married Annie McAndrew Ross in 1892 and in 1902 he purchased Glasgow's sawmill at Mullumbimby.

He moved his growing family there and began what was to become a major role in the timber industry of the North Coast.

He obtained timber licences for large areas of forest land and later other mills were built so that the timber could be processed closer to its source.

For a time he was in partnership with a cousin, Robert Raymond Mallett, who had worked in the timber industry for many years and had a fine knowledge of marketing as well as species of timber.

Joseph and Annie had only one son, David John Hollingworth, and he was to follow his father into the business.

He began work there in 1916 at the age of 14 years. Unfortunately, Joseph contracted influenza in 1919 during the epidemic abd died. At 17, David was considered too young to hold the reins.

The business became a company and a manager was employed. David, however, continued in the business until it was sold to Standard Sawmill Co. of Murwillumbah in 1964, and his son, Nicholson (Nick) Hollingworth, was also employed there.

Standard Mills had made the purchase solely to obtain the lucrative timber licences held by the mill, and so they closed down the Mullumbimby operation, putting many men out of work.

Topics:  history

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