John Jeffries arrived from Somersetshire, England to Australia in 1849 as an 18 year old.   He settled at Hotspur, claiming land and began farming. Clearing some bush he began his farming life in the new land.  John married Ellen Slattery in 1858. Ellen had arrived from Ireland on the “Utopia” in 1854 at age 20.  She worked as a storekeeper at Emu Creek (Digby) prior to their marriage. Their first child, Robert, was born 1859. Robert was followed by six more siblings.

Hotspur and the surrounding districts were a well known source of high quality logs since the beginning of settlement in the area. Third generation farmer, Robert Jeffries, a bachelor, living in a tin hut, was known throughout the district for his care of the stringy bark trees on the Hotspur property.  He would wander through the bush with a sharp axe, trimming trees and culling others to grow the best logs possible.

Jeffries have farmed continually at Hotspur since the 1850s with current land owners Ian and Barb Jeffries being the fifth generation to farm the Hotspur farm. Lamb, Beef and Timber Plantation farming have been the dominant activities on the farm over this time. We hope to continue this tradition with milling and high quality timber supplies.

Hotspur State School class of 1910, taken on 10th February. Ted Jeffries is on the back row, third from right. Ada Jeffries can be seen third from right in the front row. Jack, Bob and Rueben Jeffries also attended the school. John Francis Rowland (not pictured) was the teacher.


The county of Normanby included a wide range of Parishes amongst which was Hotspur.