Key People

Albert Molineux

Albert Molineux

Albert Molineux, 1890
State Library of South Australia B 16260

Albert Molineux, the son of a farmer and a shoemaker, had arrived in South Australia as a small boy in 1839. A largely self-educated printer, compositor and journalist, he exercised a significant influence over the development of agricultural organisations in South Australia through his access to the print media. In 1875 the Farm and Garden magazine was revived under the new name Garden and Field. Shortly after taking up the editorship of Garden and Field, Molineux also became the agricultural editor of the South Australian Register. In the May 1877 issue of Garden and Field he advocated the formation of ‘farmer’s clubs’. These clubs, similar to those in California and England, were to help foster co-operative action, the discussion of vital topics and secure parliamentary support for issues of interest to farmers. During the early 1880s independent Farmers’ Clubs (or Unions) began springing up throughout the Colony. The Garden and Field reported extensively on their activities which often paralleled those of the later branches of the Ag Bureau.

In November 1887 a Legislative Council Select Committee investigating the best way to improve the Colony’s agriculture endorsed Molineux’s proposed system of a central bureau of salaried officers with clerical support and district boards of agriculture. (as was used by the United States Department of Agriculture). The Central Bureau of Agriculture of South Australia that first met in April 1888 comprised the Professor of Agriculture (the principal of the Roseworthy Agricultural College), the Conservator of Forests, two parliamentarians, two prominent farmers and Molineux: in 1888 and 1889 the Council was enlarged with the Chief Inspector of Stock, several more practising farmers and another parliamentarian being added. Molineux was appointed the part-time, salaried Secretary of the Council.

The first Journal of the Bureau of Agriculture, edited by Molineux, was published in 1888 as a supplement to Garden and Field. Molineux remained with the Central Bureau until 1902. In that year he and the Bureau’s founding chairman (F.E. Krichauff) were offered ‘life membership’ of the Bureau’s successor, the Council of Agriculture, with which Molineux maintained an association.

He died in 1909.


Ministers and Department Heads

1881–1884

Minister: Alfred Catt
Dates of Portfolio: 24/06/1881–16/06/1884
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

Head of Department: John Daniel Custance Professor of Agriculture, 1881–1887

1884–1885

Minister: Jenkin Coles
Dates of Portfolio: 16/06/1884–4/02/1885
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1885

Minister: Thomas Playford
Dates of Portfolio: 4/02/1885–16/06/1885
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1885–1887

Minister: James Henderson Howe
Dates of Portfolio: 16/06/1885–16/06/1887
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

Head of Department: William Lowrie 1887-1901, H.H. McMinnies (appointed but retired) 1887

1887–1889

Minister: Jenkin Coles
Dates of Portfolio: 16/06/1887–27/06/1889
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1889–1890

Minister: Thomas Burgoyne
Dates of Portfolio: 27/06/1889–2/05/1890
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1890

Minister: James Henderson Howe
Dates of Portfolio: 2/05/1890–8/07/1890
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1890

Minister: John James Osman
Dates of Portfolio: 8/07/1890–19/08/1890
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1890–1892

Minister: William Copley
Dates of Portfolio: 19/08/1890–6/01/1892
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1892

Minister: William Copley
Dates of Portfolio: 6/01/1892–21/06/1892
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1892

Minister: Peter Paul Gillen
Dates of Portfolio: 21/06/1892–15/10/1892
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

1892–1893

Minister: William Copley
Dates of Portfolio: 15/10/1892–12/05/1893
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1893

Minister: John William Castine
Dates of Portfolio: 12/05/1893–16/06/1893
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1893–1898

Minister: John Alexander Cockburn
Dates of Portfolio: 16/06/1893–13/04/1898
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1898–1899

Minister: Richard Butler
Dates of Portfolio: 13/04/1898–1/12/1899
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1899

Minister: Thomas Burgoyne
Dates of Portfolio: 1/12/1899–8/12/1899
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1899–1901

Minister: Egerton Lee Batchelor
Dates of Portfolio: 8/12/1899–15/05/1901
Ministerial title: Minister of Agriculture and Education

1901–1902

Minister: Laurence O'Loughlin
Dates of Portfolio: 15/05/1901–31/03/1902
Ministerial title: Commissioner of Crown Lands

Head of Department: Arthur James Perkins Secretary of Agriculture, 1902–1904

1902–1905

Minister: Richard Butler
Dates of Portfolio: 1/04/1902–1/03/1905
Ministerial title: Treasurer Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration

Head of Department: William Angus Director of Agriculture, 1904–1910