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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Groom, William Henry

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Groom, William Henry, M.L.A., was born on March 9th, 1833, at Plymouth, and received his education at St. Andrew's schools. In 1857 he emigrated to Queensland, and settled at Toowoomba, where he became a storekeeper in 1858, and in 1860 first mayor of the newly made municipality, an office he held for three consecutive years. Mr. Groom was elected to represent Toowoomba in the Assembly in 1862, being re-elected the following year. In 1866, in consequence of the Bank of Queensland failure, he assigned his estate and retired from the Assembly, but was re-elected without opposition, banquetted, and presented with a purse of sovereigns, and has ever since continued to represent the constituency, being what is popularly known as "Father of the House." On Nov. 7th, 1883, Mr. Groom, who had previously refused the chairmanship of committees offered him by Sir T. McIlwraith, was elected Speaker of the Assembly, and held the position till the dissolution on April 4th, 1888.