The population of Glen Innes in 1878 was 343 people. By this time it had three churches: the Church of England, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian Churches; together with a Public School, Court House, Post and Telegraph Office, Police Station, a branch of the Bank of New South Wales and a School of Arts. Two local newspapers were being circulated: The New England Times and the Glen Innes Guardian and there were three hotels: “The Telegraph”, “Glen Innes” and “Mount Pleasant”.
From the Government Directory of the time the following memorabilia was extracted: “165 households were listed and these included, 27 farmers, 4 boot makers, 1 road contractor, 25 selectors, 5 builders, 2 millers, 6 squatters, 5 carriers, 2 solicitors, 11 innkeepers, 3 butchers, 2 carpenters, 9 storekeepers, 3 auctioneers, 3 clergymen, 5 blacksmiths, 2 bakers, 2 wheelwrights, 4 saddlers, 2 tailors, 2 bank managers, 1 teller, 1 surgeon, 1 nurse, 1 midwife, 1 chemist, 1 chemist/dentist, 1 sheep inspector, Cobb & Co., 1 postmaster, 1 telegraph operator, 1 mail contractor, 1 mason, 1 watchmaker, 1 tinsmith, 1 cabinet maker, 1 well sinker, 1 gunsmith, 1 gaoler, 1 School master (George Hill), 1 farrier, 1 Clerk of Petty Sessions, 1 stationer, 5 Boarding House proprietors and last but not least – Police Sergeant B. Walker who had the final encounter with ‘Thunderbolt’ near Uralla in 1870 and was also involved with the shooting of Black Tommy.(Two well-known bushrangers).
By 1881 the population had grown to 1 327 residents due largely to the discovery of tin at Vegetable Creek (Emmaville). By then Rev. W.H. Cooper and the Rev. William Eglenton had succeeded the Rev. J. H. Johnson. Both stayed for only two years.
In 1882 a notable priest, Rev. H. Lubeck, who obtained a doctorate, came to Holy Trinity. He remained the Vicar for only one year, after which he travelled to the U.S.A. There he had a long and distinguished career in the academic life of the Episcopalian Church (the U.S.A. branch of the Anglican Communion.)
After Dr. Lubeck the Rev. J. Campbell, an expert on minerals and whose book “Simpler Tests for Minerals” went through several editions, was appointed and became the Vicar from 1883 to 1889. One story connected to the time of the Rev. J. Campbell tells of a Danish migrant who had arrived in Staniffer, near Tingha because of the tin found there. There he met Anna Rosalie Pohl. Her mother had died and she lived with her father who was a violent man. Hans and Anna decided to elope and rode by horseback to Glen Innes. Hans was 32 years old and Anna only 16 years old. They were married at the Holy Trinity Church, on 18th October 1883. Special permission had to given by George Martin because of Anna being underage. Hans obtained work on the railway line that was being constructed to Tenterfield. Anna gave birth to baby Christina on the 30th November 1884 in a tent at Deepwater. Christina was Colin Lute’s mother. The story continues that the couple decided to go to the Tenterfield Races on Boxing Day. Both rode their horses while the nurse carried the baby. This story epitomises the times, conditions, and the spirit of people in the 1880’s.
The Rev. J. Campbell was followed by the Rev. A.W. King who became the first Vicar of Glen Innes to be made a Canon of St. Peter’s Cathedral Armidale, holding office from 1889 until 1898. After the Rev. A W. King, the Rev. F. T. Reynolds served the Parish until 1903. During his time as Vicar of Glen Innes the Rt. Rev. Arthur Vincent Green, Bishop of Armidale, founded St. John’s College, Armidale for the training of the clergy while the Bishop’s sister founded the New England Girl’s School, Armidale. The Diocese of Grafton and Armidale then embraced the north coast from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie and as far to the west as Walgett and Mungindi to Tenterfield.
Glen Innes in 1903 welcomed yet another Johnson the Rev. A. W. Johnson. He served the Parish until 1910. Later he became the Archdeacon of Armidale and also the Vicar General of the Diocese. During his years of ministry he saw Glen Innes grow to a town of 3,500 people. He organised more constant services throughout the Parish because the population was now large enough to attend regular services. Dundee, Linwood, Matheson, Glencoe, Graham’s Valley, Yarrow Creek and Red Range were part of the Parish.
He was followed in 1910 by Canon W. H. Kemmis. During his ministry a building fund was established and the Church was greatly enlarged by adding the present east portion. Until 1915 the church building had remained in its original state. The new work blended beautifully with the old.
The design for the extension of Holy Trinity was prepared by F. J. Madigan(Architect) and the tender price was £3 500. It was to be built in the shape of the Cross. On completion, the extension the Church was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Cooper, Bishop of Grafton and Armidale.
The year 1914 was the first year of World War 1. It was also the year when Armidale became a Diocese in its own right being separated from Grafton. The four years 1914 –1918 were devastating for all of Australia with so much loss of young lives. The Roll of Honour situated on the northern wall of the Church identifies over 200 names.
A dramatic tale has emerged of a Church of England minister who had Glen Innes connections. The Rev. Henry Jobson, the founder minister of Deepwater /Emmaville, in his later ministry took up the Parish of Warialda. His children and grand children all attended Holy Trinity as do his descendants in 2008. Neil Shannon’s great grandfather was the Rev. Henry Jobson.
He was a highly respected clergyman. Whilst in charge of the Warialda Parish severe flooding occurred in 1917. At night the Rev. H. Jobson’s parishioners living along the creek found themselves in great danger and had to evacuate their homes. He was the first to offer assistance hurrying to help the needy to cross the flooded creek. Unfortunately he sacrificed his life performing this heroic deed