William Hann

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William Hann

William Hann (1837 - 1889) was a pastoralist and explorer in northern Queensland, Australia. His expedition in 1872 found the first indications of the Palmer River goldfield.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Wiltshire, England, on 26 February 1837. Fellow explorer Frank Hann was his younger brother.


The first gold was found by Frederick Warner the expedition's surveyor on 6 August and further deposits were located on following days. However Hann thought they were not in commercial quantity; as a result James Venture Mulligan who in 1873 followed up Hann's report and announced richer deposits is credited with the discovery.

Later life[edit]

A death notice from The Queenslander, Brisbane, dated 11 May 1889 said:[1]

"HANN--On the 5th April, William HANN, of Maryvale, North Queensland, accidentally drowned whilst bathing in the sea at Townsville, leaving a wife and two daughters to mourn the loss of an affectionate husband and loving father, aged 52."

In addition to the above death notice, the following article appeared in the Brisbane Courier, dated 6 April 1889, suggesting that the drowning was not accidental and took place at night.[2]

"A Townsville telegram dated 5 April states that William Hann of Maryvale Station, one of the oldest of the northern pioneers, committed suicide by drowning, in the bay in front of the Queen's Hotel during Thursday night."


Memorial to William Hann, Lissner Park, 2016

A memorial to William Hann was erected in 1959 in Lissner Park in Charters Towers. The stone used in the memorial was taken from Basalt River near the Bluff Downs homestead where William Hann first settled.[3]


  1. ^ "Family Notices". The Queenslander. XXXV, (710). Queensland, Australia. 11 May 1889. p. 873. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. ^ "In brief: Queensland". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 April 1889. p. 11. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Hann Memorial". Monument Australia. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to William Hann at Wikimedia Commons