Kingsthorpe, a rural town of about 1500 people, is midway between Toowoomba and Oakey. It is situated in an area settled as the Gowrie pastoral run (1841), which was acquired by George King in 1857. In 1867 the western railway line was extended from Toowoomba through Gowrie, and some of the area was set aside for closer-settlement.
During the early 1900s the Gowrie estate was substantially reduced by farm subdivisions, although the Gowrie station stayed in the hands of the King family for a few more decades. George King and Sons also had coal-mining interests west of the railway town of Gowrie. The possible confusion of the name with Gowrie Junction and the prominence of the King family (George King had been an upper house parliamentarian, 1882-90) probably brought about the change of name from Gowrie to Kingsthorpe. A primary school was opened in 1911, the year after a branch railway line was run from Kingsthorpe to Haden.
The local farm population peaked in numbers in the mid 1920s. According to the post office directory there were also the Gowrie and Kingsthorpe Hotels, two stores and the Glencoe cheese factory.
Kingsthorpe was denied the potential for growth from a highway location, and the limited rail-freight activity ended when the Haden line was closed in 1964. Its concealed location instead recommended it for rural/residential living, within 18 km commuting distance of Toowoomba. There are local shops, the Gowrie Hotel and rural businesses.
Kingsthorpe's census populations have been:
Diana Beal, The making of Rosalie: a history of the development of the modern landscape of the Darling Downs portion of Rosalie Shire from the 1840s, Toowoomba, Land Use Study Centre, University of Southern Queensland, 1993
Diana Beal, Rosalie Shire Council: the first one hundred years, 1879-1979, the Council, 1979