A city is born

The beginning of the City of Townsville occurred on 15 February 1866, when the township was declared a Municipality and the Council was incorporated under the Municipalities Act of 1858.

The actual date on which the name of Townsville was adopted for the city is not recorded, but the earliest know use of the name is recorded in an executive minute dated 9 May 1866. This executive minute covered the granting to city fathers – Robert Towns and Melton Black, the allotments on which their houses and stores had been erected.

The area of the municipality at that time was only six square miles. The first 20 years showed signs of intense development of the city. In 1876, the harbour breakwaters were commended, in 1880 the railway from Townsville to the west was started, and the first railway workshops were built.

This was followed in 1892 by the erection of the Ross River meatworks by the Queensland Meat Export Company on the site of Black’s original boiling down works, and three years later, in 1895, the Alligator Creek meatworks were established by TC Cordingly.

By 1902, the town had grown to such a size that when a new Local Government Act was brought in, in that year, the Townsville area was proclaimed a city under the Act. Only three cities were proclaimed by that Act – Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane.