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Charles Gibson Millar

1839 – 1900

Charles Gibson Millar (1839–1900), entrepreneur, was engaged in a number of industrial and agricultural enterprises in Australia during the 1870s, 80s and 90s. With his brother, he owned the Great Southern Railway Company, and according to the issue of Vanity Fair in which his portrait appeared was thus responsible for ‘many of the chief railways and public works of the Australian mainland’. ‘He owns railways, tramways, gold mines, sheep runs, timber forests, vineyards and other properties’, the article continued. Pastoral Possessions of New South Wales (1889), for example, lists him as the joint owner of Conoble, a 150,000-acre holding near Hillston; and Millar was among the investors who founded Gold Estates Australia Ltd following the discovery of gold in Western Australia. Around the same time, he established Karri and Jarrah Forests Ltd, a company with vast holdings in the south of Western Australia. A member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Millar skippered his yacht Saide on many adventures, making him someone who ‘knows most seas, [and] is as much at home among the cannibals of the Southern Pacific as he is as the chief guest at a big dinner’. ‘Scotch by descent, Irish by birth, English by education, and Australian by choice’, Millar died in the Canary Islands in February 1900, having left England three months earlier ‘on a southern cruise for the benefit of his health’. He was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery and left an estate valued at £99,000.

Updated 2018