My connections to Rosewood

After I chose Rosewood as my new hometown, I bought an old Queenslander in Albert Street. It wasn’t long before I began tracing its history and I discovered that it had operated as a boarding house for almost 30 years until 1946. It was called “Argyle House”. During the process I became engrossed in the history of the town, so I kept on researching.

My sister, Annette Tanks, was a teacher at Rosewood High School 1990-1994.

On my Father’s side of the family.

My Scottish great grandfather James Campbell Thomson (1864-1937) was a Carpenter, Builder, Sawmill Proprietor and Alderman for Sandgate. 

James was known as  the “Colony Contractor”. He was employed on countless government contracts all over Queensland and once owned a sawmill in Wondai in the South Burnett. 

In 1892, his tender of £93 11s (time two months), was accepted by the Works Department for a new court-room at Rosewood. By 1907, more room was needed to accomodate its activities so it was sold and removed to a farm to make way for the larger building you see today.

A few of his other building projects were the police station and court house at Caboolture, the Ironpot Creek State School and the sea wall at Sandgate.


On my Mother’s side of the family.

My great grandparents John Reilly (1860-1905) and Mary née Lawrance (1866-1937) lived on the corner of Clifton Street and Station Road, Booval. (railway station side)

John Reilly was of German descent, the name being originally Reule. He was a Carpenter, Builder and a Licensed Victualler. He built the original Rosewood Hotel.

My family’s knowledge of that history was reinforced by the writing of Arthur Pocock (1860-1936) who was one of John’s apprentices and became his leading hand working on many of his projects. Arthur and his brother James worked on the construction of the Rosewood Hotel in 1879. Many houses at Blackstone, Silkstone and surrounding districts are monuments to John Reilly’s handiwork.

Some of his other building projects were George Philpott’s Cordial Factory in Childers, Oddfellows Hall at Bundamba and the Railway Hotel at Goodna, which stood on the site where the RSL club stands today. He also rebuilt the Oddfellows Hall (Goodna), the Royal Mail Hotel and the Prince Alfred Hotel at Booval.

John had the license for the Prince Alfred Hotel at Booval 1891-1898 and the Royal Mail Hotel at Goodna from April 1902 until his death in 1905, after which his wife, Mary Reilly, took the license until 1913.


My great great great grandparents Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Müller  (1842-1934) and Justine Friedericke Wilhelmine Sprenger (1840-1915) arrived in Queensland in 1871. They travelled to the Rosewood Scrub where they settled and farmed. Their children attended Tallegalla State School. On the children’s birth certificates it gives their places of birth as Rosewood Scrub and Minden. Iris Gill née Müller once told me of her memories of visiting them at Marburg.

Some of the surnames connected to the family are Ballin, Gnech, Arndt, Embrey, Reinke, Schmidt, Sprenger and Newlands. One Müller family lived in John Street, Rosewood from about 1926-1952 and one daughter married a Boughen.


My grandmother’s cousin Hilda Auguste Adeline Boge (1902-2008) married John Andonara (1895-1964). 

John and Hilda had the Capitol Cafe in John Street, Rosewood in the 1930’s. They sold confectionery, chocolates and sundries. John and Hilda opened a cafe in Boonah in 1943. Their daughter Phyllis Andonara, who worked in the cafe, married Edward Charles Hawkins.

Hilda lived until she was 106 years old.