Nobby, a small rural town, is 30 km south of Toowoomba. The origin of the name is obscure: when the railway from Toowoomba to Hendon was being constructed in 1868, the locality was known as the McDonald Camp: later the locality was known as the Nobbys and despite a temporary official renaming as Davenport, the previous name prevailed.
In 1900, with a hotel, a school and two stores, Nobby's township lots were auctioned. Within ten years the town's population was about 400, serviced by two hotels, three stores, a butcher, a baker and a fruiterer, and two banks. At about that time two notable Australians became associated with Nobby. Arthur Hoey Davis, 'Steele Rudd', returned to the land after his successful Rudd family novels, buying a farm five km east of Nobby in 1909. He was secretary of the Nobby Farmers Union and chairman of the neighbouring Cambooya Shire (1914). The second notable person was Sister Elizabeth Kenny, who lived in Nobby, and pioneered a method for treating polio. Her treatment captured world attention in the 1930s-40s. Buried with her family in the Nobby Cemetery, Kenny is commemorated by a local memorial park and a museum (1998). Nobby was a centre for wheat and dairying, with a substantial grain shed (1922-98) at the railway and a small cheese factory. There were also a Presbyterian church (1910) and a school of arts (rebuilt 1930 after loss of the previous one by fire). A substantial Lutheran church was built in 1941.
Nobby's population declined after World War II, probably affected by the proximity of Toowoomba and Clifton. It has been kept in the public's mind by claiming Elizabeth Kenny and Steele Rudd, the latter when the Davenport Hotel (1893) was renamed Rudd's Pub and decked out accordingly.
Nobby's census populations have been:
In addition to the facilities already mentioned Nobby has a primary school (1897) and a general store.