Crypt holds secrets of first Queensland representative

Joseph Fleming.
Joseph Fleming. Contributed

CONTAINED in the newly-discovered crypt is a man with a life story littered with difficulty.

Joseph Fleming was born in New South Wales in 1811 before moving to Queensland in 1848.

In September 1850 at Ipswich he bought town lots on which he established a boiling-down works, sawmill and flour mill.

Mr Fleming was also a partner in the steamer Bremer trading to Brisbane.

He had nine children with his wife, who died in 1851.

In 1860 Mr Fleming was elected for West Moreton to the Legislative Assembly, but never said a word in parliament.

An earlier civil lawsuit, flood damage and falling wheat prices put him in financial difficulties.

He took up 400-square miles of new country on the Warrego in August 1861.

After not being able to afford the licence fees, he was declared bankrupt in November, 1862, forcing him to resign his seat in the assembly.

When his friend Arthur Macalister became premier in August 1866, he again won West Moreton.

He was later defeated after another session of silence.

After, Mr Fleming became a store-keeper at Roma and Ipswich.

He died in Ipswich in 1891.

Topics:  ipswich politics

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