James Craig, whose father William was one of Warwick’s first councillors.
James Craig, whose father William was one of Warwick’s first councillors.

Family joins in 150th festivities

DESCENDANTS from one of Warwick’s first councillors will carry on the family legacy at the Warwick 150th celebrations.

Great great-grandchildren of William Craig, Dorothy Jeffrey and Laurie Moran, will join with thousands of revellers in marking the 150th year of the Warwick municipality.

William Craig was one of the first councillors to be elected to the newly-formed municipal town council in 1861, receiving 78 votes (the third highest figure).

William arrived in Warwick in 1845 and got a job on Rosenthal Station, where he was a wheelwright and blacksmith for manager Fred Bracker.

Years later, William established his own blacksmith shop on Hudsons Hill in East Warwick, before moving to the corner of Victoria and Albion Sts – now the site of Peter Stewart Ford.

William later relinquished his blacksmith shop to two of his sons, Thomas and Robert. It then became known as Craig Brothers.

William’s second son James – great-grandfather to Dorothy Jeffries and Laurie Moran – became a pit sawyer and helped his father build some of the early buildings, including the police station in 1848.

James, along with a Mr Kniblock and a Mr Thompson, went on to build the St Mark’s Anglican Church, which remains to this day on the corner of Fitzroy and Albion Sts. They finished construction in 1857.

One of the Craig family descendents, Dorothy Jeffries, said her great-great grandfather was “a very well respected gentleman” who had had a large impact on Warwick.

“He was the first banker for the townspeople,” she said.

“Two of his sons, James and Robert, used to take the money down to Limestone (now Ipswich) on horseback before the first bank opened in Warwick.”

Mrs Jeffrey said she enjoyed finding more about her family tree.

“I just love history and I have been looking up our family history for 29 years,” she said.

“When I found Warwick was celebrating 150 years I thought I have to be there too and here I am.”

Mrs Jeffrey, with Laurie and Judith Moran, travelled up to Warwick yesterday to take part in the 10 days of celebrations.

Mr Moran’s great-grandfather Robert John Lee Craig was a brother of James Craig.

His wife, Judith, said it was an exciting thing to take part in the historic event.

“Laurie’s starting to get into researching family history now he’s retired,” she said.

“We think coming here is just a nice thing to do – Laurie takes photos so we’re combining it as a photography trip too.”

By coincidence, Mrs Moran and Mrs Jeffrey were friends for two years before realising their great-grandfather and great-grandfather-in-law were brothers.

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