Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Gus" / "Gustav" Friederich Wilhelm Gustav LIEBE

Born 18 January 1862 in Wittenberg, Saxony, Prussia [30: item 747020]
Son of "Eduard" Christian Eduard LIEBE and "Louise" Friederike Louise MATTHIEHS [30: item 747020] [33: Film 1190823]
     His parents had married in Wittenberg, where he was born, on 9 July 1860 [33: Film 1190823]
     He had an elder brother Christian Eduard LIEBE, born on 21 January 1861, who died when a few weeks old [33: Film 1190823]
When he was nine Prussia and a number of other German speaking states unified to become the German Empire (Germany) [P1]
At the age of 14 years he decided to become a builder and served a three year apprenticeship [39: 6 & 18-Mar-1950]
     After completing his apprenticeship he left his home and worked in Germany, Switzerland and Austria to gain experience [39]
     He never returned to Germany after leaving in 1878 to escape its military laws [30: item 747020]
     He became a student and obtained a building related diploma from a technical school in Vienna, Austria [39]
     Assisted in the building of the Budapest Opera House in Hungary and the National Assembly Building in Bulgaria [39]
     Entered into partnership with Joseph KLEIN and together they worked as building contractors across Europe [39]
     They built military barracks, colleges, a bridge and several significant buildings in various parts of Europe [39]
Along with his building partner Joseph KLEIN shifted to Australia in 1885 and worked in Adelaide, Melbourne and then Perth [39]
     Among the buildings he built in Melbourne were the markets at Newmarket and a hotel at Lilydale [39]
     Aside from working as a contractor in Melbourne he purchased a large area of land, built houses on it, and then sold the houses [39]
     He shifted to Perth, Western Australia in 1891, where he continued working as a building contractor [39: 6-Mar-1950]
Builder and Contractor in Perth, initially in partnership with Joseph KLEIN as "Klein & Liebe" [39: 13-Feb-1893] [16: 17-Aug-1892]
     In 1892 and 1893 they were based on Murray Street, Perth near the City Hotel [39: 10-Oct-1892, 13-Feb-1893]
     They advertised a new five-roomed house for let on Murray Street and near Brisbane Street for £1 per week in 1892 [160: 6-Aug-1892]
     In August 1892 they sold a house on Mary Street for £450 and purchased a portion of 29 Murray Street [120: 20-Aug-1892] [160:17-Aug-1892]
     During the same month they also sold Block 4 of the 2nd Subdivision of the Leeder Estate [120: 27-Aug-1892]
     In late 1892 they advertised for sale two adjacent blocks that fronted onto Brisbane and Army streets for £160 [39: 9-Dec-1892]
     They advertised a large quantity of window sashes and frames for sale at "very cheap" prices in February 1893 [39: 4-Feb-1893]
     In mid 1893 they had the one acre Lot 55 in the 2nd Subdivision of the Leeder Estate for sale for £50 [39:23-Jun-1893]
During the 1890s he was contracted to build railway stations and sheds along the Midland Railway [39: 6-Mar-1950]
With "his thoroughness, honest workmanship and personal supervision" he built many buildings in Perth [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     He was contracted to erect Newcastle Chambers on Murray Street next to the Grand Hotel in 1897 [225: 3-Mar-1897]
     Newcastle Chambers was a three storey building with basement built out of Meckering granite, pressed bricks, jarrah and steel [39]
     Contractor of the large brick Oreol's Building on Murray Street near Cremorne Theatre during 1897 [225: 20-Oct-1897] [39: 3-Nov-1897]
     In April 1899 he completed the construction of Queen's Hall on Murray Street in Perth for the Wesley Church [120: 21-Apr-1899]
     Completed building a new residence on Brooking Street in Perth in 1900 for the Member for North Murchison [120: 3-Mar-1900]
     During 1900 he also built the Fire Station on the corner of Murray and Irwin streets in Perth for £4,593 [39: 16-Mar-1900]
     In just six weeks he built a new warehouse on central Hay Street in Perth for E. J. BICKFORD in 1900 [35: 27-Apr-1900]
     He was co-contractor for the woodwork of the Oblate Fathers’ new church in Fremantle in 1900 [225: 2-Jun-1900]
     Sold a brick villa, which he'd presumably built, on Outram Street in Perth for £1,300 in June 1900 [39: 9-Jun-1900]
     In 1900 and 1901 he was working on the new Commercial Bank on Saint George's Terrace in Perth [120: 2-Feb-1901] [334: 27-Jul-1900]
     He imported a 48 foot long compound girder (support beam) for the Commercial Bank, which weighed 12 tons [120: 2-Feb-1901]
     The girder was said to have been the longest and heaviest ever brought to Australia, coming on the deck of a steamship [120]
     Contractor for alterations and improvements designed by architect J. C. CAVANAGH to the Perth Town Hall in 1902 [120: 8-Mar-1902]
     In 1902 was contracted by Thomas G. MOLLOY to build His Majesty's Theatre on Hay Street in Perth for £35,000 [39: 13-Nov-1902]
     Built a warehouse for furniture dealer William ZIMPEL on Hay Street in Perth during 1903 [225: 27-Aug-1903]
     The brick villa Ramor built by him at 929 Wellington Street West for Richard PURSER was auctioned in 1904 [81: 1-May-1904]
     Residence Scrivelsby built by him for William T. LOTON M.L.C. on Claisebrook Road was also auctioned in 1904 [39: 30-Aug-1904]
     "Gustav Liebe was the contractor for the house, and this is a guarantee that it is well and faithfully built" [39: 30-Aug-1904]
     He built a new warehouse and offices for Saunders & Stuart on Melbourne Road in Perth during 1904 [39: 10-Sep-1904]
     Established a quarry for stone at Kellerberrin and employed quarrymen and masons there in 1907 [120: 30-Mar-1907]
     In early he 1908 built large business premises on Barrack Street in Perth for the Connor Estate [39: 18-Jan-1908]
     Built extensive additions to the Art Gallery of Western Australia on Beaufort Street in Perth in 1908 [39: 18-Jan-1908]
     Carried out alterations and additions to the Economic Buildings on the corner of Hay and William streets in 1908 [39: 18-Jan-1908]
     Built the Commercial Hotel in Moora for George H. HOLMES for £4,600 in late 1908 and early 1909 [9: 13-Nov-1908] [39: 9-Mar-1909]
     Extended the Ministering Children's League Convalescent Home in the Perth suburb of Cottesloe for £2,629 in 1909 [39: 27-Mar-1909]
     He won the contract to do extensive additions to Christian Brothers' College on Saint George's Terrace in 1910 [120: 19-Nov-1910]
     Built a new warehouse for G. & R. Wills & Co from Hay Street through to Saint George's Terrace for £22,000 in 1911 [120: 29-Jul-1911]
     The "handsome city residence" he built for John CABLE on Outram Street in West Perth was auctioned in 1912 [81: 22-Sep-1912]
     Just before the First World War he left "the trowel for the plough" and left Perth to work and live on his farm at Wubin [81: 8-Jul-1928]
His large degree of building work across Perth wasn't without fines, infringements and accidents [39: 27-Aug-1896] [225: 20-Oct-1897]
     Fined 10 shillings in August 1896 for proceeding to erect a building without submitting the plans to the City Council [39: 27-Aug-1896]
     Fined 20 shillings for having deposited material within the city boundary, contrary to by-laws, in November 1896 [160:13-Nov-1896]
     An accident resulted in the collapse of scaffolding at Oreol's Building on Murray Street in Perth on 20 October 1897 [225: 20-Oct-1897]
     Four men were injured and one, Elijah SEELEY, died as a result of his injuries but an inquest ruled it was an accident [39: 3-Nov-1897]
     He had long-running disputes with Thomas G. MOLLOY over payments for His Majesty's Theatre in Perth [39: 11-Nov-1904, 8-May-1907]
     The theatre was finished in 1904 with legal disputes continuing until 1910 but ultimately being ruled in his favour [39: 12-May-1910]
     His legal battle with MOLLOY and MOLLOY's appeals went through the Supreme Court, Full Court, High Court and Privy Council [39]
     Fined one shilling and costs for obstructing the thoroughfare on Wellington Street by placing bricks on the road in 1906 [39:7-Dec-1906]
     He was sued by the City Council for depositing materials on William Street and fined 12/6 and costs in May 1907 [39: 30-May-1907]
     Fined £3 in February 1908 for using water on a building for which he had not submitted a plan to Waterworks Board [39:12-Feb-1908]
     Fined £4 for having failed to make Commonwealth land tax returns on two properties in 1912 [225: 27-Feb-1913]
     Charged for depositing building material on Saint George's Terrace in front of a new building without a licence [225: 3-Apr-1914]
In 1911 he was quoted as saying "there has been and still is a great scarcity of men in the building trade" [39: 25-Aug-1911]
     He gave similar remarks at the Royal Commission into Artisan Labour in 1911, emphasising the lack of bricklayers [39: 26-Sep-1911]
     The situation mostly reversed as in 1913 he reported an oversupply of labour in all building trades, except plumbers [39: 3-Sep-1913]
President of the The German Club Verein Germania 1896-1901 and in 1903 [39: 15-Mar-1900] [225: 6-Aug-1896; 17-Feb-1899] [160: 11-Feb-1898]
     The club secured a Liqour License after he explained the inner workings of the club in December 1896 [160:11-Dec-1896]
     Hosted the banquet on 12 May 1897 to celebrate their new temporary club rooms near the river on William Street [39:14-May-1897]
     Attended the German Club's Christmas Celebrations at their premises on William Street in 1897 [120: 31-Dec-1897]
     Presided over 100 members at their annual meeting on lawn in front of their premises on 10 February 1898 [160: 11-Feb-1898]
     During 1898 the club usually held a concert every alternate Sunday at their premises on William Street [39: 1-Aug-1898]
     As one of their concerts was about to begin he received news that the first German chancellor Otto von BISMARCK had died [39]
     He relayed the news of BISMARCK's death to those present and suggested the concert be cancelled, which was agreed to [39]
     He delivered an address at a memorial for the Empress of Austria at the German Club on 21 September 1898 [39: 21-Sep-1898]
     The club's decline and decadence was attributed to him as its President in article in The Sunday Times in 1903 [81: 27-Sep-1903]
     It was alleged he ran the club almost alone, that subscriptions were too low and funds were raised in less favourable ways [81]
Became a naturalised British subject on 27 July 1900 and was on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll from its inception [30: item 747020]
Built for himself the Peninsula Hotel on corner of Railway Parade and 7th Avenue in the Perth suburb of Maylands [39: 25-Aug-1905]
     Obtained a provisional liquor licence in 1905 and the Local Board of Health inspected the hotel in 1906 [39: 8-Sep-1905, 6-Aug-1906]
     He leased his Peninsular Hotel to Gerald Blaney MURPHY from 1906 until at least 1910 [39: 17-Nov-1906, 28-May-1910]
He was appointed to a committee to plan for sewage disposal in Perth to replace the septic tank scheme in 1906 [39:13-Jul-1906]
Along with Henry C. ARMSTRONG he was the co-proprietor of Perth Town Lots Q1 and Q1½ in Perth from 1906 [39: 12-Dec-1906]
     The lots were on the corner of Wellington and Barrack streets and later contained a large block of two-storey business premises [39]
     Henry was a chemist in Perth and also took up prospective farmland at Waddy Forest and Marchagee [39: 29-Oct-1909] [81: 24-Jul-1927]
     Following Henry's death he attended his funeral at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth on 17 November 1909 [39: 18-Nov-1909]
     In early 1910 he and Henry's executor put the block of two storey business premises, which were all let, up for sale [39: 22-Feb-1910]
Farmer in Wubin 1908-1950 [39: 18-Mar-1940] [50]
     In 1908 purchased 16,000 acres of land in Wubin and began farming while continuing to work as a building contractor [39: 18-Mar-1940]
     Paid rates to the Upper Irwin Road Board for Lots 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 64 and 65 of the Nugadong Agricultural Area [44]
     The land was taken up Conditional Purchase in the names of numerous people as in one name you could only get 1,000 acres [44]
     30 miles of road was built from the Midland Railway east to the Nugadong Agricultural Area in January 1908 [9: 10-Jan-1908]
     The land was "flat to gently undulating country... with patches of forest, consisting of gimlet, salmon, Morall, and York gums" [9]
     Unsuccessfully requested with the Upper Irwin Road Board for six months to pay his land rates in June 1910 [9: 10-Jun-1910]
     He was part of deputations in 1910 and 1911 urging the government extend the Wongan Hills railway line [120: 21-May-1910, 8-Jul-1911]
     At the deputation he stated that the "extension of the line to the Murchison would open up the best wheat growing land in State" [120]
     He also remarked "settlers at present have to cart to and from the Midland [Railway] line over a long, waterless sand track" [120]
     Just before the First World War he left "the trowel for the plough" and left Perth to work and live on his farm at Wubin [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     During the war he is said to have not left his property for a day, worked harder and produced more wheat than most [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     He farmed for a period with Albert and Wilhelm KLEIN, sons of his former building partner Joseph KLEIN [86:13-Oct-1923]
     A vet from Goomalling was summoned when 20 of their horses died in a week from unknown causes in January 1922 [81: 15-Jan-1922]
     WA's Premier Sir James MITCHELL said "I have not seen anything better in my life" about a sample of his 1921 wheat [39: 21-Nov-1921]
     He donated ten bags of wheat to the relief fund for the Bowgada settlers affected by a hail storm in January 1922 [225: 7-Jan-1922]
     His was one of two farms visited by Charles C. MALEY, the Minister for Agriculture, on a tour of the district in mid 1922 [39: 23-Jun-1922]
     In 1924, when he had 5,000 acres of crop, he decided he would become the biggest grain grower in Western Australia [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     He was one of the largest wheat producers in Western Australia from his Wubin farm before taking up land at Waddy [81: 24-Oct-1926]
     F. W. G. Liebe & Company had four Case tractors at work in Wubin in 1925 [39: 21-Apr-1925]
     In 1927-28 he was the owner of a Ford car licensed with the Dalwallinu Road Board with number plate DL•41 [325]
Farmer of Waddi Farm in Waddy Forest 1925-1950 [39: 6-Mar-1950] [81: 24-Oct-1926]
     He had purchased 11,906 acres of virgin land in Waddy Forest from the Midland Railway Company on 28 October 1924 [27]
     The 11,906 acres was Lot M1511 of Victoria Location 2023 and cost 15/- per acre, or a total of £8,929/10/- [27]
     He paid a £900 cash deposit for Lot M1511 and paid off the remainder to the Company with 15 annual instalments of £535/6/- [27]
     "At the age of 63... [he] proceeded to turn this vast area of virgin forest into a prolific wheat-producing property" [39: 6-Mar-1950]
     He made further purchases over a period of years until he had 53,357 acres in Waddi and Shannon Farms [4: 22-Apr-1950] [39:8-Jul-1950]
     His massive property was situated across parts of Waddy Forest, Winchester, East Carnamah, Bunjil and Latham [3] [6] [88]
     Purchased McCANN Bros' farm of 960 acres (Lot M1507 of Victoria Location 2023) on 23 October 1925 [27]
     With three separate purchases in January, April and November of 1925 he acquired another 16,471 acres of virgin land [27]
     The 16,471 acres of virgin land consisted of Lots M1274, M1524, M1525, M1526, M1550, M1602 of Victoria Location 2023 [27]
     The 16,471 acres was purchased on 15 year terms from the Midland Railway Company for £5451/10/5 (6/- to 7/- per acre) [27]
     Purchased the 1,320 acre farm of Gilbert A. R. GABRIELSON (Lot M1721 of Victoria Location 2023) on 22 September 1928 [27]
     Purchased the 4,078 acre farm of Henry C. DAVIES east of Carnamah (Lot M1627 of Victoria Location 2023) on 8 March 1929 [27]
     Purchased the 13,745 farm of Frank E. ROBERTS (Lot M1647 of Victoria Location 2023) on 10 May 1935  [27]
     His approximately 54,000 acres consisted "mostly of first-class grazing and wheat country" [5: 14-Nov-1941]
Initially his primary residence remained his farm in Wubin but it later changed to his Waddi Farm in Waddy Forest [19] [39:22-Apr-1950]
     In the early years travelled from Perth to his Waddi property once a fortnight with his accountant Mr MERRYWEATHER [P66]
While bringing the Waddi Farm into production he employed 101 land clearers and 40 farmhands [39: 19-Nov-1947, 6-Mar-1950] [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     A photograph "of turning the first sod" on his new acreage appeared in The Western Mail newspaper on 22 April 1926 [120: 22Apr-1926]
     He was the largest wheat grower in Australia in 1926 and at that time was aiming to become the largest in the world [120: 22Apr-1926]
     Four camps of Italian men were engaged in clearing his property in 1926 [120: 22Apr-1926]
     In 1926 had 1,800 acres of wheat crop on Waddi, and had plans to seed 4,000 or 5,000 acres in 1927 [81: 24-Oct-1926]
     It was said that he and KLEIN Bros were "imbued with an unceasing desire to break records as agriculturists" [81: 24-Oct-1926]
     Initially his Waddi Farm was devoted almost exclusively to wheat production [5: 14-Nov-1941]
     He had 10,000 acres of Waddi cropped in wheat and was aiming for a harvest of 50,000 bags of wheat in 1928 [120: 20-Dec-1928]
     In 1928 he was on his way "to becoming the biggest wheat producer in the whole of Australia" [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     With an average of at least four bags an acre his 1928 crop was expected to fill 64,000 bags and return £48,000 [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     His "grit and enterprise in developing... virgin lands... adding to the national wealth... cannot be too highly commended" [81: 8-Jul-1928]
     The next year, in 1929, he cropped 21,000 acres of crop - 15,000 acres at Waddi and 6,000 in Wubin [39: 6-Mar-1950]
     In 1929, with his 21,000 acres of crop, he succeeded in his endeavour to produce 100,000 bags of wheat [39: 6-Mar-1950]
     He was said to have been the first individual farmer in the world to grow 100,000 bags of wheat in one season [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     His petrol bill in 1929 was £11,000 as he used 32 tractors and 12 large trucks to seed, harvest and cart his crop [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     He used his own trucks and employees to cart his massive crop in a time when most hired cartage contractors [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     His enormous 1929 crop coincided with the Great Depression and he made a loss of about £52,000 [39: 19-Nov-1947]
He made a private road through his farm to deliver bags of grain to the railway siding at Bunjil [7: pages 139, 140]
     As the trucks went through private property to get to the siding at Bunjil he felt he had no reason to have them licensed [7]
     The Road Board secretary alerted him that when the trucks crossed the road to the siding they were then on public roads [7]
     From then onwards he licensed just one large truck which collected the bags of wheat from other trucks at his farm's boundary [7]
Established seven large camps on his Waddi Farm and named them Number 1 through to 7 in the order they were built [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     Using trees on the farm for uprights he built large sheds at the camps - the largest at Camp Number 3 measured 102 by 120 feet [39] 
     "all of the sheds were built by Mr Liebe himself, and stand as monuments to his excellent and thorough workmanship" [39]
     At one end of each shed was living quarters for those working from that camp, except for Number 1 which had a cement cottage [39]
     Each camp was equipped with the telephone and farmhands were provided with meals, bedding, cutlery and so on [39]
     If the number of farmhands at the camp was sufficient the camp also had a cook, and Camp Number 1 had electric lighting [39]
     The main part of each shed was used to store his large quantity of machinery, parts, fuel drums and bags [39]
     "At each camp... there is an air of neatness and order... every item and article seems to have its own individual place" [39]
     In 1937 Camp Number 7 had been closed down, and he was living on Camp Number 2, which was in Latham [88]
To tackle the financial loss from his 1929 crop he acquired a hefty bank loan and sold property he owned in Perth [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     He sold his Peninsula Hotel in the Perth suburb of Maylands for £40,000 and a number of houses on Milligan Street in Perth [39]
     In 1930 Tootra Station in Walebing and his Waddi were the two biggest wheat producing properties in Australia [81: 23-Nov-1930]
     He continued with wheat growing but in 1931 realised prices were going to remain low and it wasn't worthwhile [39: 19-Nov-1947]
With the changes in prices it became uneconomical to grow wheat on such a large scale so he turned his attention to sheep [39: 1-May-1934]
     There was poison growing but he wasn't sure where or how much so he cheaply purchased 3,500 sheep to begin with [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     From 1932 to 1934 he improved his property to carry sheep and by 1934 had a flock of 12,000 sheep before lambing [39: 1-May-1934]
     He was "still a wheat grower in a very big way" but had moved towards sheep with the fall in wheat prices [39: 1-May-1934, 6-Mar-1950]
     On the transcontinental railway imported 440 ewes and three rams from the Collinsville Stud in South Australia in 1933 [5: 15-Dec-1933]
     In 1934 it was reported "he will soon be one of the biggest individual wool-growers in the agricultural areas" [39: 1-May-1934]
     Each year he imported rams purchased from John Collins & Sons of the Collinsville Stud in Mount Bryan, South Australia [39]
     In 1937 his consignment of Collinsville Stud rams consisted of 30 yearling rams, and in 1939 he imported 31 [39: 15-Dec-1937, 6-Sep-1939]
     It took eight shearers about four weeks to shear his 20,000 sheep in 1939 and 1940 [P109]
     His Collinsville sheep flock was "subjected to heavy culling, with a result that it... reached a high standard of quality" [5: 14-Nov-1941]
     His flock in 1941 consisted of 12,000 Collinsville sheep plus 4,000 lambs, and which produced 348 bales of wool [5: 14-Nov-1941]
     By 1944 had a flock of 23,000 sheep which produced his largest wool clip of approximately 465 bales of wool [39: 19-Nov-1947, 6-Mar-1950]
     For many years his lambing percentage was below 50 percent but by 1947 it had risen to 75 percent [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     Suffered a financial loss with his sheep in 1946, but in 1947 had 16,000 sheep which he hoped to increase to 25,000 [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     His large wool clips were carted to the railway siding at Bunjil and then railed to Fremantle [5: 14-Nov-1941]
     His property contained a plentiful supply of water which was disbursed by 26 windmills, pumps and tanks [39: 19-Nov-1947]
In 1947 he grew 4,500 acres of crop on his property in addition to another 9,000 acres grown by sharecroppers [39: 19-Nov-1947]
     He had six trucks and nine tractors in 1947, as well as nine cultivators, ploughs, harvesters, drills and other implements [39]
     His annual bill for petrol, kerosene, diesel and oil was £2,000 in 1947, and he employed approximately 20 farmhands [39]
     His homestead was in the middle of his property and was exactly halfway between the Midland and Wongan Hills railway lines [39]
     By 1947 his Waddi Farm had grown to 50,412 acres in size [39]
On 19 May 1926 attended the Midland Railway Company's public auction in Carnamah to sell townsite blocks [9: 21-May-1926]
     He purchased Lots 87 & 88 of the Coorow townsite, and for one paid the highest price of £25 for a Coorow block [9: 21-May-1926]
     Also purchased Lots 5, 6, 29 & 30 of the Winchester townsite, also paying the highest price of £25 [9: 21-May-1926]
     Lots 5 and 6 were on Choral Street facing the railway yard while Lots 29 and 30 were on the west side of Cooleran Street [382]
     In total he paid £82 for the two Coorow and four Winchester townsite lots, which were all portions of Victoria Location 2023 [27]
     He retained ownership until his death of the four Winchester and two Coorow vacant townsite lots he had purchased in 1926 [3] [27]
He wrote to the Carnamah Road Board in 1927 informing them the new road north of the Waddy School was impassable [9: 19-Aug-1927]
Among the 50 settlers who attended the meeting with the Minister for Public Works in Waddy Forest on 13 March 1929 [39: 20-Mar-1929]
     At the meeting he spoke in favour of the railway extension from Miling to Waddy Forest [39: 20-Mar-1929]
His 70th birthday in 1932 was celebrated at the new home of Hedwig and Sidney G. COLLINS in Wubin [39: 28-Jan-1932]
In 1936 sold 798 sheep and 22 pigs through Elder Smith & Co Ltd with five consignments to the Midland Market [5: 17-Jan-1936]
     The sheep comprised 518 wethers (67 at 22/4, 36 at 21/10, 26 at 20/1, 32 at 17/7, 48 at 15/7, 48 at 15/4, 63 at 14/4, 7 at 12/1, [5]
     92 at 11/10, 48 at 10/10, 51 at 10/7) and 280 shorn wethers (55 at 15/1, 225 at 14/10); while the 22 pigs consisted of [5]
     8 porkers (2 at 41/6, 1 at 36/6, 4 at 33/6, 1 at 25/-), 2 choppers (1 at 86/-, 1 at 70/-), 11 baconers (8 at 55/-, 2 at 58/6, 1 at 50/-)[5]
     and 1 sow at 50/- per head [5: 22-May-1936, 9 & 23-Oct-1936, 6-Nov-1936]
Sold 70 bales of wool through Elder Smith & Co Ltd at the Sale at the Wool Exchange in Perth on 10 February 1936 [5: 14-Feb-1936]
     The bales consisted of 9 at 18¼d., 4 at 18d., 4 at 17½d., 27 at 17¼d., 11 at 17d., 8 at 16¾d., 4 at 16¼d., 3 at 16d. per pound [5]
Applied for permission in April 1936 to erect a fence and gate at the end of a surveyed but uncleared road adjoining his property [5]
     The unused road was between the southern boundary of GALLEHAWK Bros' Lot M1469 and his Lot M1602 [5: 24-Apr-1936]
     He wanted to erect a vermin proof fence with 12 foot wide netted gate across the western end of the surveyed road [5]
     The Carnamah District Road Board withheld a decision pending information to be obtained from GALLEHAWK Bros [5]
     By October 1936 permission for the gate on the south east corner of his property had been granted by the Road Board [5: 6-Nov-1936]
Won 1st prize for Merino Ewe in the Sheep section of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show on 3 September 1936 [5: 11-Sep-1936]
In 1937 he had four "All Steel Horse" crude oil tractors at work on his property in Waddy Forest [5: 8-Jan-1937]
     He spoke enthusiastically about the tractors especially in regard to their fuel and oil consumption, speed and reserve power [5]
     His four of the tractors were used to pull heavy implements that had been specially constructed for him [5]
Sold 340 ewes through Elder Smith & Co Ltd through two consignments to the Midland Market in January and February 1937 [5]
     The ewes consisted of 38 at 14/1, 44 at 12/10, 154 at 12/4, 48 at 12/1, 25 at 10/4, and 31 at 9/10 per head [5: 22-Jan-1937, 26-Feb-1937]
A team made up of his employees played against the Billeroo Cricket Club in Billeroo, East Winchester on 7 March 1937 [5: 12-Mar-1937]
Sold 52 sheep through Elder Smith & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on 21 April 1937 - 27 at 24/4 and 25 at 20/1 per head [5: 23-Apr-1937]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1941 [13]
Applied to the Workers' Homes Board (state housing) to build living accommodation on his property in Waddy Forest in mid 1946 [5]
    The cost was estimated at £1,500 and his application carried the support of the Carnamah District Road Board [5: 28-Jun-1946]
Donated £10 to Farmers' Union Appeal Fund in 1949 [5: 1-Sep-1949]
He had an International utility and an International wagon stolen from part of his Waddi Farm in Winchester on 15 January 1950 [22]
     The two stolen vehicles contained license plates CA-300 and PJ-200 however were recovered and the man responsible charged [22]
Died 4 March 1950 in the Perth suburb of Subiaco; buried at Dalwallinu, Western Australia [39: 6-Mar-1950]
His estate was valued for probate at £194,768/2/4 and in his will he left bequests of £100 to £7,000 to a number of people [39: 22-Apr-1950]
     The large residue of his estate was inherited equally by Albert C. KLEIN of Belmont and Mrs Amelia H. COLLINS of Wubin [39]
     He was speculated to have been the biological father of Albert and Amelia, children of his late building partner Joseph KLEIN [256]
     In a death notice he was referred to as the "dearly loved uncle" of the KLEIN children [39: 6-Mar-1950]
     His two major beneficiaries "inherited a fortune" from his estate - with the residue being £298,000 [81: 19-Aug-1951]
     "wealthy retired bachelor farmer" Albert C. KLEIN collapsed and died in 1951 leaving almost all of his estate to his sister [81]
     Mrs Amelia H. COLLINS, who then inherited both estates, was speculated to have become the richest woman in WA [293: 5-Dec-1951]
In April 1950 his huge properties Waddi and Shannon were sold to the War Service Land Settlement Board for £225,000 [4: 22-Apr-1950]
     In addition to the 53,357 acres of land the sale included all machinery and 13,000 sheep of Collinsville blood [4: 22-Apr-1950] [39:8-Jul-1950]
     The 53,357 acres was divided into 17 smaller farms which were allocated to ex-serviceman from the Second World War [7: page 141]
     These 17 farms collectively were known officially as the Waddi Estate but it was also unofficially called the Liebe Estate [7: page 141]

From The Western Mail newspaper, Friday 21 April 1899:
The Queen's Hall
    "The opening of the fine block of buildings built for the trustees of Wesley Church upon their land fronting William and Murray streets took  place on Wednesday afternoon. The Premier, Sir John Forrest performed the ceremony. The building is not only one of the best in William street, but compares favourably with any in the city, and the large hall, which may be called the central feature of the whole building, presents so many points of excellence as to go far to justify the claim put forward that the Queen’s Hall, as it is called, is unsurpassed by any in the colony...
     The General style of the building is Romanesque and the architects, Messrs Wilkinson and Smith, to whom every credit is due for the excellence of their design, speak in terms of high praise concerning the manner in which the contractor, Mr. G. Liebe, has carried out his work. The total cost of the building is £15,000, of which the Queen’s Hall and other portions absorbed £10,000. The contract was signed on the 2nd of June 1898, and the foundation stones were laid by His Excellency the Governor and Sir George Shenton on the 5th of September. 1898. The contract time for the completion of the building does not expire till the end of next June, and it will this be seen that Mr. Liebe has shown great expedition in carrying out his work."

From The Western Mail newspaper, Sunday 25 December 1904:
His Majesty's Theatre
 - Designed and Carried Out by William Wolf, Esq., F.G.I.I.A.
 - Proprietor, T.G. Molloy, Esq., J.P.
 - Contractor, Gustav Liebe, Esq.
 - Foreman, Mr. H. Schmidt
     "...The contractor, Mr. Gustav Liebe, has most faithfully and satisfactorily carried out his portion of the work, and both proprietor and architect have reason to be pleased with him, and he must necessarily come in for a modicum of congratulations. Indeed, the beautifully finished structure is sufficient testimony to his ability to successfully undertake a work of this description. Mr Liebe has built in Perth the Queen’s Hall, the Fire Station, South British Chambers, Commercial bank, Newcastle Chambers, Commonwealth Hotel, and many other large buildings.
     It would take more than an ordinary glance at the building, both inside and out, to enable one to form a true estimate of the magnitude of the undertaking, and when it is said that the whole of the work has been carried out with marvellous faithfulness to detail, it will be acknowledged that the task set Mr. Liebe was no small one, and that he acquitted himself in a manner which left nothing to be desired, and which testifies to his skill as a contractor. Mr. Liebe has been contracting in Australia for the last 20 years, some of the largest works in the East having been carried out by him. The duties of his general foreman and right-hand man were entrusted to Mr. Harry Schmidt, who has carried out his portion of the work with entire satisfaction...."

From The West Australian newspaper, Monday 21 November 1921:
A Fine Wheat Crop
"I have never seen anything better in my life". The comment was made by the Premier (Sir James Mitchell) on Friday afternoon when the Managing Trustee of the Agricultural Bank (Mr. E.A. McLarty) showed him a sample of wheat in the ear, grown by Mr. F.W.G. Liebe, of Wubin, in the Dalwallinu district. The Premier proceeded to winnow on of the heads in his palms, and it yielded 77 fine fat grains. The variety commented upon was “Sailor’s Fortune”. Otherwise known as “Walker’s”, which forms the bulk of Mr. Liebe’s 3,800 acre crop this year; but his “Grenley” and “Purple Straw” are also excellent samples; while a few heads of improved “Algerian” oats also look well. After having cut sufficient of his crop to meet hay requirements, Mr. Liebe exp3ects to harvest 22,000 bags of wheat off the remainder, and as he has already stripped 1,000 acres, he should be in a position to judge. It is stated that the splendid samples under notice were not specially selected, and if so it is easy to understand that the grower may have an average in the vicinity of 20 bushels. The samples will most probably be on view in the exhibition of agricultural products, Barrack Street. This successful farmer may be remembered by many as once a well known city contractor."

From The Western Mail newspaper, Sunday 25 December 1924:
Productive Wubin Farm
    "Two miles from Wubin Siding is a 15,000 acre farm owned by Messrs Klein Bros and Liebe, a stretch of country which was selected in 1908, and was at that time well on the fringe of outside settlement. Wubin has developed since...
The history of this property... is interesting, and is one of those many instances where indomitable pluck, endurance and sound judgement in the selection of land, is building this State to the position which it should occupy in the productivity of the Commonwealth. In 1908 the partners were only able to get 24 acres under crop, and this was extended the following year to 120 acres. In 1911 the area was increased to 500 acres, and a bad season did not hinder these big hearted men from continuing their work of development, as during this season they had 4,300 acres under crop, mostly with Nabawa wheat, and the whole plantation is returning an average yield of 20 bushels to the acre. From 1914, which was one of the worst drought years ever experienced in the Commonwealth to the present season, this farm has returned an average production over the whole of its cultivated area of 14 bushels, and during the coming season of 1924-25 it is the intention to place 5,000 acres under crop.
     But the work has not ended here. Altogether 8,000 acres has been cleared and 2,000 acres of new land has been broken up by the plough. Forty miles of fencing marks the present boundaries and sub-divisions of the paddocks and 20 dams have been sunk in suitable positions with a varying capacity from 3,000 to 12,000 yards. There are ninety working horses on the farm, ten 10-furrow ploughs are used in preparation for the seeding, and 75 tons of super was used this year in drilling a bushel to the acre. In the harvesting ten Massey Harris reaper-threshers, each with 8 foot combs, takes off the crop.
     The buildings are also solid and capacious. A shed 84ft. x 74ft. accommodates all the machinery and implements, and the hay cut is stacked in another building measuring 84ft. x 64ft. The men’s quarters are associated with a well built brick kitchen and dining hall, with pantries, bathrooms and lavatory accommodation. Apart from the old homestead another handsome brick house of 10 rooms has been erected for Mr. W. Klein, a nephew of the original partner. This carries a tiled roof and is surrounded by a 10ft. verandah and cemented floors. The water for domestic purposes is supplied from a 5,000 yard dam with reinforced concrete bottom and sides. All this has been done in a few years adjacent to Wubin Siding, and it is questionable whether 10 per cent of the people living in the State know where Wubin Siding really is."

From The Sunday Times newspaper, Sunday 5 February 1928:
Country Wubin
"Mr F. W. Liebe, of Wubin, had 11,000 acres of land under wheat last year. He has not yet finished stripping, but estimates that the final clean up will give him 60,000 bags of the golden grain. From his newer land at Waddy Forest he has got as high as 14 bags to the acre over a small portion, and about 2,000 acres of it will average about 10 bags."

From The Western Mail newspaper, Friday 20 December 1928:
Country Towns and Districts - Carnamah-Coorow - Rapid Development - Mr Liebe's Farm
"Mr F. W. G. Liebe's farm, Waddi, of 42,000 acres, is said to be the largest wheat farm in the commonwealth owned by one man. He has 10,000 acres under crop, of which 5,000 are Nabawa, 2,500 Merredin, 1,500 Ford, and 1,000 Yandilla, King, Florence, and Gluyas Early. He aims at a 50,000 bag crop. One patch stripped 36 bushels, and other patches went as low as twelve bushels. The property is of comparatively recent settlement, for this is only the second harvest. Nevertheless it shows how rapidly Mr Liebe is getting his land under the plough and into productivity. This is possible because of his policy of relying on tractors, of which he has 13 in use, and three more about to be introduced. The boundary of the property is eleven miles by road from Coorow, and the farm extends almost to Bunjil. The latter siding is used for sending wheat away. A feature of the equipment of the farm is a group of enormous galvanised iron sheds. Two are completed and in use; the third is under erection, and the main roof supports of the fourth are standing. One end of the first contains the manager's quarters and the dining-room and kitchen for the hands; and the other end is for the men's quarters. The second shed houses plant, and £2,000 worth of superphosphate was stacked in it until it was used up."

From The West Australian newspaper, Wednesday 19 November 1947:
Farmer Who Made Wheat History - When F. W. G. Liebe Grew 100,000 Bags (By a Special Correspondent)
    "To build cathedrals, banks and theatres, to travel extensively through Europe and finally to become the first individual in the world to grow 100,000 bags of wheat in a sparsely-settled State like Western Australia could provide a lifetime occupation for three normal men. This is the story of Mr. F. W. G. Liebe's 50,000-acre farm at Waddy Forest from which, in the 1929-30 season, he produced his record crop. Mr. Liebe, now 86, is still going strong and growing more wheat
     In 1925, having taken up 50,000 acres of land at Waddy Forest from the Midland Railway Company, Mr. Liebe, at the age of 63 years, proceeded to turn this vast area of virgin forest into a prolific wheat producing proposition. By the 1929-30 season he had 21,000 acres under crop, comprising 15,000 acres at Waddy Forest and 6,000 acres on his Wubin property. It was this year that he reached his objective of producing 100,000 bags of wheat.
     When interviewed this month Mr. Liebe was emphatic in his claim that this was the biggest yield of any one man in Australia. He was advised by various wheat merchants that it was the biggest yield of any one man in the world, his nearest competitor being Messrs. Campbell and Co., of America, who were reputed to have   later been engaged by the Russians, to instruct them in the improved methods of wheat farming.
     It was in this year of his record production that the "slump" came and he estimated his loss at £52,500. He was forced to go to his bankers and ask them to stand the amount of his loss, in addition to making available a further £15,000 with which to carry on. He also sold the Peninsula Hotel at Maylands for £40,000 and all his residences in Milligan-street, Perth, and put the whole of this money into the farm. In 1931, realising that wheat prices would remain very low and that wheatgrowing was not a payable proposition, Mr. Liebe turned his attention to sheep.
     Knowing that poison was growing on his property, but not being sure just where and in what quantities it existed, he purchased approximately 3,500 sheep at a very cheap figure. By 1944-45 his flock had increased to 23,000 sheep. In 1944, when he secured approximately 465 bales of wool, which in weight equalled normal bales, he obtained his largest wool clip. For many years his lamb ing percentage was below 50 per cent, but this year it had reached 75 per cent
      Mr. Liebe also lost very heavily in 1946, when sheep losses totalled some 20,000,000 spread over the whole of Australia. This year he had 16,000 sheep, but it was his intention to increase this number to 25,000 as soon as possible.
      The area cropped by Mr. Liebe this year was 4,500 acres, in addition to which he has three sharefarmers who were cropping an additional 9,000 acres. He said he must have more tractors. Today he has eight tractors, and a new one is on its way from Sydney. For each tractor there is a complete set of farm implements, such as cultivator, plough, harvester, drill, etc. He also had six motor trucks working on the place.
     In 1929-30 he had his largest number of tractors and plant working, namely, 32 tractors, each with its attendant farm machinery, and approximately 12 large motor trucks, with which he did all his own wheat carting.
     Mr. Liebe's annual average fuel account, covering petrol, kerosene, diesel oil, lubricating oils, etc., totals £2,000, but in his record year his fuel account was £11,000. He employs approximately 20 men all the time, but in the early days when he was carrying, clearing and improving his property he had 101 men employed on clearing alone, plus 40 farm workers.
A 50,000-ACRE FARM.
     Today Mr. Liebe owns 50,412 acres at Waddy Forest, the centre or homestead block being exactly halfway between the Midland and Wongan Hills railway lines. His extreme eastern boundary is eight miles from the Wongan Hills line, and his western boundary is nine miles from the Midland Railway line. There are seven large camps on the property, all numbered in order in which they were established, No. 3 camp being the largest.
     This is an enormous shed of 102ft. x 120ft., solidly constructed of wood and iron. All the uprights and heavy timber in the sheds were grown on the property , and all of the sheds were built by Mr. Liebe himself, and stand as monuments to his excellent and thorough workmanship. At one end of the shed are the living quarters of the men attached to that particular camp.
     This shed, except for dimensions, is a replica of all the camps on the property, with the exception of No. 1 camp, which is fitted with electric light, and where a cement brick cottage is provided for the men's living quarters. All camps are equipped with the telephone. Employees are provided with meals, bedding, cutlery, etc., and where the numbers at each camp warrant it, a cook is supplied. Approximately 20 extra men are accommodated at shearing time.
     At each camp on the Waddy Forest property there is an air of neatness and order. Despite the large amount of machinery, parts, fuel-drums and bags which are in evidence, every item and article seems to have its own individual place in the scheme of things. There is not a scrap of paper, a piece of cotton waste or an old bag to be seen lying about Even the usual straw and litter which is invariably seen about a farm is missing, and the huge machinery sheds have a "swept" look about them. Even at the "dumps" in the fields where the machines were stopped for the week end, everything is in neat tool-boxes, kerosene cases, and the drums and fuel fillers are all in neat arrangement or in boxes.
     Those who would expect these men to exist in a rough-and-ready fashion in these outback camps, as they are termed, would find the opposite. Each man seen, and there seemed to be many, engaged in the usual Sunday jobs of washing, etc. looked as if he had been scrubbed and polished ready for the coming week's toil. The men's wearing apparel was clean and well washed.
     At each camp one end of the massive machinery shed is converted into enclosed living quarters. Large windows look out on a neat verandah, round which a dado runs. As the visitor came suddenly upon this end of the building, the impression created was "what a pretty little cottage." The woodwork was well kept and painted and the windows appeared shining and clean. Bright, small curtains flapped at the windows, and there was no sign of a faded or tattered curtain.
     At No. 1 camp, where Mr. Liebe himself resides, the living accommodation is large, roomy, well kept, scrupulously clean and attractive. From the outside the appearance is much the same as the men's quarters. except for a large window which extends for the greater portion of the end wall of Mr. Liebe's office and living room. From this room his large airy bedroom opens on one side, and on the other a door gives access to the court which divides the kitchen and dining room from Mr. Liebe's quarters. The windows are  severely treated, having deep cream   roller blinds, and devoid of hangings of any kind, except for a neat folded valance, in bright pink linen, which is just enough to save the room from hard emptiness. A massive table occupies the centre of the room. Around it are several heavy leather covered office chairs.
     At the extreme end from the large windows is a heavily built-in cupboard on either side of the entrance door from the machinery shed. A large leather-covered armchair waits in readiness, before a red brick fireplace, for a weary master. Another long, massive table occupies the space under the windows, and two smaller cupboards for filing papers and documents constitute the furnishing of this practical, though warm and welcoming, room. An electric reading lamp stands on the table beside Mr. Liebe's office chair. The floor, devoid of covering, is dark stained jarrah.
     The large kitchen and long, roomy dining room are marked by an absence of useless utensils or implements of any sort. Long scrubbed tables and benches, massive built-in cupboards, an extensive range, and a large modern refrigerator are the sole furnishings of the kitchen.
     The dining room, which opens off the kitchen, is another scrupulously clean, well-kept room, with a long, narrow table running two-thirds of Its length, r little towards one side of the centre of the room. The walls boast several old sporting prints, and some old-fashioned prints of flower studies, hung just above the jarrah dado. The wall above the jarrah dado is white plaster board. In one corner, like a faithful sentinel watching over the interests of its master, stands an old oak grandfather clock, ticking the hours away, and keeping excellent time. The dining room and kitchen floors are covered with linoleum.
     With so many to cater for, it would not have caused surprise to find heavy, rough china and cutlery. This is not so. The china is useful, large and devoid of cracks or chips. The cups would not be deemed too clumsy or thick for a social leader's afternoon tea, but her guests would not require a second cup. The cutlery is polished, and of a good type for hard wear. Cleanness, utility, solidity, durability, all tempered with a redeeming touch of comfort and attractiveness, are the keynotes of the organisation throughout this truly wonderful rural enterprise.
     A well-equipped blacksmith and repair shop is always in readiness, and there is always one man on the place who thoroughly understands repair work; but when anything intricate in this line arises an expert is sent for.
     To distribute the plentiful supply of water, which exists all over the property, there are 26 fully-equipped mills, pumps and tanks. Except for a small portion, the whole of the property is surrounded by 6ft. rabbit-proof netting, 2ft. 6in. dog-netting and plain and barbed wire.
     Mr. Liebe told the writer that he considered that taxation in 1947 was unreasonable. He contended that it was doing more towards retarding progress than anything else. He paid 14/6 in the pound. Although he managed and controlled the whole of his estate himself, and had to pay some of his men up to 30/- per day and keep, he was only allowed by the Taxation Department £325 per year for his personal use. "Who owns the place?" asked Mr. Liebe.
     When labour was cheap and more plentiful, he said he was able to produce wheat for 3/9 per bushel, but with the advent of high wages and high cost of living he did not consider that the net price to farmers quite covered the cost of production. In the post-war period he was put to the expense of replacing the machinery as quickly as he could, and be estimated that the cost was £9,000. "I have not got the money," said Mr. Liebe. "The Taxation Department has been so hard on me that I have not been able to make provision for the replacement of machinery. This replacement must now be financed through my bank." Mr. Liebe spoke in the highest terms of the bank's treatment of him. He had always made it a practice of putting the money back into the farm, in the form of improvements, with the result that he had always worked on a bank overdraft.
     According to Mr. Liebe, 3,000 acres was a minimum for a settler to start on, but 6,000 acres was preferable and more economical. His idea was that improvements in the nature of sheds, house, water supplies, etc., would cost as much for farming 3,000 acres as for farming 6,000 acres. Therefore, with 6,000 acres production could be doubled for the same cost of improvements as applied to the 3,000 acres.
     "It is very essential," concluded Mr. Liebe, "that when a man intends taking up farming, he must make quite sure that his first steps are the right steps. One thing he must be quite certain of, is his average rain. Being assured of an adequate rainfall. working the land well, and understanding what he is doing, a farmer cannot help but be successful.
     Mr. Liebe's employees were unanimous in their praises of him as a "boss," and paid tribute to his out standing organising ability and thorough knowledge of farming."

From The West Australian newspaper, Monday 17 April 1950:
Liebe Property Purchased
"The 54,000 acre property owned by the late Mr F.W.G. Liebe, east of Coorow, and known as Waddi has been purchased for war service land settlement on a walk-in-walk-out basis for approximately £225,000, the Minister for Lands (Mr Thorn) announced on Saturday. A preliminary survey showed that it might be subdivided into 19 farms."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Friederich Wilhelm Gustav Liebe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 14 April 2024 from [reference list]

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