In October 1939, William Lees, historical writer and proprietor and editor of the Queensland Pastoral Gazette, died at his home in Yeerongpilly, ironically whilst reading a newspaper. Lees had a keen interest in history, was a member of the Queensland Historical Society, and had travelled extensively throughout the state.
During his career he wrote a number of books focusing on the history and development of Queensland. In 1917, he produced Coaching in Australia : a history of the coaching firm of Cobb & Co. with guide to the present coaching routes in Queensland. The Courier-Mail offered the following review –
“The subject takes the author over a wide field, through periods which live in the recollections of comparatively few people connecting the present railway era with the time when Cobb’s coaches represented the one regular and relatively speedy means of communication between one part of Australia and another. Mr Lees has collected together a great deal of information, and he tells his story plainly and directly; as one who has been over much of the country himself, and has had practical experience of coaching over long distances, and through country far from the iron horse.”
Towards the end of the book, Lees included information and maps on then present day routes taken by Cobb and Co.
Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland