First Council Election 1860

The  Ipswich City Council election is due to be held in March this year,

160 years since the first election.


Re-print from Bremer Echoes March 1996


By Sandra Miller

The Municipality of Ipswich was declared on March 2nd 1860 and published in the Queensland Government Gazette March 3rd 1860. The boundaries of the Municipality were proclaimed on March 16th.

A notice dated March 17th 1860, in the Gazette – “the Corporation shall consist of a Mayor and Alderman”. It nominated Henry Buckley as the ‘First Running Officer” and that the first meeting of electors shall be held at noon at the Court House at Ipswich on Thursday, the twelfth day of April, in the year, one thousand eight hundred and sixty”.

A large group of people gathered at the Court House on the day and with Henry Buckley presiding, the election was held by a show of hands. Shortly after the returning officer began to declare the winners, a group of people demanded a poll which Buckley declared would be held on April 19th.

There were 25 candidates and those elected were: John Murphy, John Johnston, Charles Watkins, Donald Bethune, Christopher Gorry, John Thompson, John Pettigrew, Francis North and Thomas Stanley. 

The first meeting of the Council was held in the Old Court House on April 12th 1860, with the newly elected Alderman present. At this meeting John Murphy was appointed the first Mayor of Ipswich.