William Alexander drove his bullock team into the west while his wife operated the Kogan Hotel.
William Alexander drove his bullock team into the west while his wife operated the Kogan Hotel. Contributed

Members of one local family suffered grim and sudden deaths

THE Kogan Hotel is still operating and has been for a long time. It was in 1877 that William Alexander decided to apply to take over the licence of the business. He replaced the former licensee Grant McKay and settled in at Kogan.

William and his wife, Jane, arrived at Moreton Bay in 1858. With them was their baby daughter, Jane, who was born during the voyage.

They found work at Taabinga Station, not far from the pioneer settlement of Nanango.

It was there their second child, William, was born two years after their arrival.

Their third child, Robert, did not survive and died in Brisbane.

After a time the family, which had increased by several more children, moved to Jimbour where William Alexander became an overseer. Later still they moved to Dalby.

After that, the family moved to Kogan.

Though still retaining the hotel, William and his sons became teamsters.

They travelled into the west and south bringing in produce that was railed away.

It was more than four years since they had settled at Kogan and William was driving his bullock team at Myall Creek, not far from Condamine.

For some reason, he accidentally fell and the wagon wheels ran over him.

He lived for four hours after the accident.

He was 51 years old and had been in Australia for 23 years.

He was buried in the Condamine cemetery.

His widow and family of eight were left on their own.

His youngest daughter, Elizabeth, was only five.

Jane carried on with the hotel and she and later her descendants maintained an association with it for many years.

Jane passed away in 1902 at the age of 64 and was buried at Warra.

Their daughter, Mary, also died in a tragic accident in 1896.

She was watching some men fall a tree as it had a bee hive in it. She was holding a child in her arms when the tree began to fall.

She was right in its path and, though she tried to run, some of the limbs struck her and smashed her to the ground.

She was killed instantly though the child survived. Mary Williams was only 33 and was the mother of eight children.

She was buried at Logie Plains station.

The pioneering families had their share of tragedies in the early days.