Wilson Township


The town of Wilson was proclaimed on 6 January 1881 and named by Governor Jervois after General Sir Charles Wilson. When established, its main purpose was to serve the new farming districts and their communities. With an average rainfall of 30 centimetres a year, and hopes of more, farmers flocked to Wilson and its surrounds to buy properties of 500 or 1,000 acres, at one pound per acre. In their haste to join the land rush many did not realise, or if they did, ignored the fact that most of the land had no natural water supply.

The railway from Port Augusta was pushed north through Quorn to reach Marree by 1883. Along the railway several new towns were surveyed, including Wilson in 1880, on land which had previously been part of the Kanyaka pastoral run. It did not impress the local reporter who wrote in October, 'The government have begun surveying another township about three miles north of this place in about as waterless a spot as they could have picked'. The town was to consist of 174 blocks with the railway through the middle. There would also be three railway cottages on the northern site of the town

From 1879, when the first selections for farming land were made, to 1900, Cudlamudla was steadily taken up by farming families who worked with enthusiasm and confidence to build homes, usually two rooms to which were added extra rooms as families grew. They sank wells, cleared the ground, ploughed and sowed wheat crops. At first many were successful in 1880 and 1881.

The Methodist Church was established in Wilson in 1882 although a Wesleyan congregation had met at Palmer's Creek a few kilometres north of the town by 1881. In that year, however, J.B.Wylie, a local farmer, was appointed the first steward of the Wilson church. In 1882, trustees were appointed - Rev.R.S.Casely, in Adelaide, F.W.Haeusler, D.McNeil, J.B.Wylie and H.Becker, all local farmers, R.Hunter, blacksmith and C.Price, agent. The contract to build a weatherboard church with an iron roof, 24' x 16' (8 x 5 metres) was let to a Mr.Massey and this was completed by April 1882.

This Church played a crucial part in every aspect in the life of the Wilson - Cudlamudla community, especially in the first thirty years. The commercial life of Wilson was also steadily established, the most essential sections being the local general stores for it was too far for individual families to travel to Quorn or Port Augusta for regular supplies or even to the newly established stores in Cradock, Gordon, Hawker or Willochra. The Wilson stores were able to get supplies sent by rail and then sell them over the counter or deliver them by horse and cart to the homes of the farmers.

Recommended reading on Wilson "On the line" "The history of Wilson and the Hundred of Cudlamudla" by Tony Bott. This book is available at Hawker Motors.

When in the Flinders Ranges and you need information call and see us.

Phone 08 86484 014

Email: info@hawkermotors.com.au

Images of Wilson.

Wilson School

Wilson School

Wilson School ruins


Station Masters Residence

1938 Wilson Railway station house and Post Office.

Caretakers Residence Mr Bert Curyer Cartaker and Mrs Gert Curyer Post Mistress.

  Wilson Railway station house and Post Office ruins.

Wheat Stacks.

Wheat stack nearing completion, prior to loading on to rail trucks.

The curyer children Joan, Kathleen and Bill, 1939. Bill and his sisters played at the wheat stacks while thier parents worked on the wheat stacks.


Wheat loaded for transit.

  Wilson 1939. Wheat stack. Bert Curyer on top of wheat stack, 33,000 bags of wheat was weighed and tallied by Mrs Gert Curyer. Wheat lumped into stack and out again when rail trucks were available by Bert and his brother Jim Curyer.

Bill and Joan in the back of the ute.The ute maybe a Willys Overlander.




Leyland truck owned by H.E. Ding Yunta, with a load of wool at Wilson 1938.

Loading wool at Wilson 1938, Bert Curyer standing on the load.