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He then decided to settle in South Australia, and soon made his way to the far north where he found work on Flinders Ranges properties belonging to the surgeon-explorer-pastoralist Dr John Harris Browne. Subsequently he started out on his own account and, either as the leaseholder or the owner, he was closely associated with Yednalue and Oraparinna, two substantial sheep runs out from Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.
In April 1859, at a Hackett private residence in Port Augusta, Joseph G Sims married Mary Ann Soward Hackett, who was 29 and had been born at Stepney in London. Their first child Mary Edith was born on Yednalue Station near Rawnsley’s Bluff in February 1860, but she died at the age of 3 in Norwood, where there appears to have been a family town base. Their other children were Charles (Port Augusta 1861), George (Norwood 1863) and Kate (Port Augusta 1868).
The serious droughts of the late 1860s compelled Joseph to leave the Flinders Ranges, and he moved to Queensland to try for better luck. There he progressed favourably for a time, but misfortune overtook him once again, and he his career as a sheep-farmer continued to be a chequered one.
His self-reliant persistence in the face of adversity was admirable however, and in 1897 he started to build a large malthouse at Warwick in southern Queensland, but it was never completed. When he felt quite unwell early in May, he was taken into Toowoomba where he was cared for in Sterne’s Hotel for a few days, before being admitted to the hospital in a weak state. Within a day or so, Joseph died there of heart disease and kidney infection at the age of 74. He was survived by his widow, two sons and his daughter.