Sidney Kidman

Sidney Kidman ran away from home when he was thirteen to escape his step-father and created the largest pastoral holdings in the world spanning the Australian continent.
KidmanSidney, the fifth of six sons was born in Adelaide on 9 May 1857 at Athelstone to George and Elizabeth Mary nee NUNN. His father was dead within the year and his mother remarried. The boy left home with five shillings in his pocket and riding Cyclops, a one-eyed horse and made his way to Poolamacca station in NSW where his brother George found him a job with George Raines, a bushman, squatting on the unfenced runs wherever he found good feed for his cattle. In this job Sidney shared a dug-out in the bank of a dry creek with an Aboriginal called Billy who taught him bush skills.
When this job came to an end Sidney Kidman worked as a roustabout on Mount Gipps station, the site of the fabulous silver-lead-zinc discovery at Broken Hill a decade later. When he saved enough money he purchased a bullock-team and from then on he worked for himself and was soon an employer of others.
In 1886 Kidman bought his first station, Owen Springs south-west of Alice Springs. He developed the idea of buying a chain of stations from the well-watered tropical country, south into South Australia within easy droving distance of Adelaide. By the time of World War I he controlled station country considerably greater in area than England.
In 1921 he gave his country home at Kapunda, the scene of his annual horse-sales, to the South Australian government for a high school.
On 30 June 1885 at Kapunda, Kidman married Isabel Brown Wright, a schoolteacher; they had three daughters and a son. Sir Sidney died 2 September 1935 in Adelaide and he was buried in Mitcham general cemetery.
S Kidman & Co Ltd is still one of Australia's largest beef producers with a herd of 200,000 cattle. The company has pastoral leases covering 120,000 square kilometres in three states and the Northern Territory. Kidman cattle stations produce grass-fed beef for export to Japan, the USA and South East Asia. One station the company owns is Anna Creek station in South Australia, the world's largest cattle station covering some 30,000 square kilometres or roughly the same size as Belgium.

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