Australian Dictionary of Biography

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Jones, Auber George (1832–1887)

by K. J. Swan

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

Auber George Jones (1832-1887), pastoralist and newspaper owner, was born in Van Diemen's Land, the third son of Robert Jones of Pleasant Place, Jericho, and his wife Harriet. He spent his early years in Tasmania and at Richmond on 6 May 1854 married Hannah Maria (d.1874), daughter of John Joseph Moore, owner of the Guardian. In 1855 he took out an auctioneer's licence for his 'Midland Sale Yards' and seems to have been connected with the Mercury in the 1850s. He moved to Melbourne and studied for the Anglican priesthood under Bishop Charles Perry, but 'discovered … that other pursuits were more congenial to his tastes and suited to his natural abilities'.

About 1860 he went to New South Wales to manage Gobbagombalin station near Wagga Wagga and by 1866 had acquired Marrar. He soon established himself as a successful pastoral speculator, buying and selling stations and stock. In the 1860s and 1870s he held Barmedman, Buddigower, Kockibitoo, Woolongough, Glenariff and Wangagong and other runs in the Lachlan district and on the Bogan. He lived in Wagga Wagga and regularly visited his stations. In 1868 with Thomas Darlow he established the town's second newspaper, the Wagga Wagga Advertiser (later Daily Advertiser). Jones also owned valuable business premises in the main street, served on the Hospital and Pastoral Association Committees, donated a cup for intertown cricket competition and generously supported the public school, heading the subscription list with £100 for a new building.

In the 1870s Jones refused to stand for the Legislative Assembly because of his business commitments. Defeated in 1880, he represented the Murrumbidgee in 1882-85. He considered the Land Act 'the greatest abortion ever cast forth', and opposed any amendment of the 1880 Public Instruction Act and further Chinese immigration. Robustly independent, he claimed that 'in my representative capacity I would be neither Protestant nor Catholic, neither squatter nor selector, neither am I a ministerialist nor an oppositionist. I am perfectly unfettered and shall take my seat as your true representative'.

In 1883 Jones moved to Grenfell. Aged 55 he died at Young from apoplexy on 30 December 1887 and was buried in the Anglican section of the Wagga Wagga cemetery. To his obituarist in the Wagga Wagga Advertiser he had long 'occupied the foremost position among men of note in the district'. He was survived by two sons and four daughters of his first wife. His will expressly excluded his second wife Mary Milford, daughter of Judge Thomas Callaghan, whom he had married on 21 January 1878, from 'any direct or indirect benefit' from his estate of £162,418 and from 'the slightest control or authority' over any of his children.

Select Bibliography

  • K. Swan, A History of Wagga Wagga (Wagga Wagga, 1970)
  • Hobart Town Courier, 8 May 1854
  • Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston), 14 July 1855
  • Wagga Wagga Advertiser, 12 Oct 1868, 6 Mar, 21 Apr, 15 May, 2 June 1869, 27 May 1874, 27 Feb 1878, 20 July 1880, 31 Dec 1887
  • Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga), 10 Oct 1928.

Citation details

K. J. Swan, 'Jones, Auber George (1832–1887)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/jones-auber-george-3867/text6155, published in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 3 September 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2014