Jandowae, a town of 780 people, is 200 km north-west of Brisbane and 45 km north-west of Dalby. Situated in the western Darling Downs, Jandowae was the principal town of the former Wambo Shire. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a camp, waterhole or place on the Jandowae Creek. During the early 1900s it was spelled Jandowaie and Jondowaie.
The Jandowae provisional school was opened in 1887. Most inhabitants were graziers or station owners, and the post office directory of 1897-98 recorded a school enrolment of 11, one store in the village and the Commercial Hotel. The opening up of farm selections in the early 1900s brought an influx of population, and the post office directory of 1911 recorded the Jondowie Butter Factory, the Exchange and the Commercial Hotels, two stores and 94 selectors, over four times the number six years before.
A railway from Dalby to Jandowae had been proposed in 1905 and it was completed in 1914. During that decade additional services were added to the town: two banks, a cordial manufacturer, a hairdresser, stock and station agents, a third store and a third hotel.
During the early postwar years Jandowae's population rose to about 1000 people. There were dairying and other grazing in about equal amounts, with a local show society, a hospital, the Roxy picture theatre, two motor garages and Anglican (1917), Catholic (1909) and Presbyterian (1921) churches.
Dairying declined but agriculture was diversified among meat cattle, piggeries, sheep and lambs, cereals, oilseeds and legumes. A decline in population was arrested during the early 2000s by the sale of low-cost house blocks in the town.
Jandowae has a memorial hall, community and cultural centre (signifying a move of the former shire's focus out of Dalby), a supermarket and local shops, three hotels, a caravan park and a hospital. Outdoor recreation facilities comprise golf, bowls, a swimming pool, a racecourse and a showground. There are also a sawmill and an annual timber festival. Jandowae's census populations have been:
Jack Haselwood, Jandowae town and district history 1847-1988, Jandowae, the author, 1989