The death of former Mayor John Fogarty on September 9, 1904, was viewed with great sadness by Toowoomba residents. Hundreds of people lined Ruthven Street in what was then described as the largest funeral procession ever seen in Toowoomba.
John Fogarty was 41 years of age when elected Mayor of Toowoomba in 1887.
Born at Tipperary, Ireland, in 1848, he was two years old when he came to Australia with his family on the sailing ship “Emigrant”.
The future Mayor went to school in Brisbane and Warwick and started work at an early age as an assistant at a Drayton store.
He first took up work as a carrier and subsequently became a licensed victualler, operating from a store in Ruthven Street south. He operated this store until his retirement in the late 1890’s.
In 1893, Alderman Fogarty was elected Toowoomba’s first Labor Member of the Legislative Assembly. He held the position until 1901.