The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Tyson, James
Tyson, James, is the son of the late William Tyson, who came of a respectable Cumberland stock, but having offended his family by a marriage of which they disapproved, was driven into enlisting in the army. His discharge was purchased about 1818, and he went out to Sydney with Mr. Commissioner Bigge, who had been entrusted with the task of inquiring into certain allegations made against Governor Macquarie. He remained in Mr. Bigge's service for some time, and then took a farm at Cowpasture, where he acted as district constable. Here his son James was born on April 11th, 1823. Starting in life as a working overseer, at a salary of £30 per annum, he joined his brother William in a run at the junction of the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers, which they took up in 1846. In 1851, when gold was discovered in Victoria, James Tyson commenced cattle droving to Sandhurst, and opened a wholesale and retail butchering business at Sandhurst, which he carried on with great success till 1855, when he purchased a number of stations in New South Wales as well as the famous Heyfield estate in Gippsland, Victoria. The former included immense tracts of country on the Darling Downs and the Warrego River, in what is now Queensland; and such was the wealth which he acquired by his pastoral ventures that he was able many years ago to offer the Government of Queensland a loan of half a million towards the construction of a proposed transcontinental railway. Mr. Tyson, who is regarded as the richest man in Australia, has been a liberal subscriber to local objects, and a great friend and protector of the on his various stations. He has refused all parliamentary honours and distinctions. He is a bachelor, most economical in his personal expenditure, and a total abstainer from wine, spirits and tobacco. In 1892, in a time of great financial strain for the colony, he took up £250,000 of Treasury bills in order to assist the Government.