1870 to 1879

January, 1870

• Constable John Wright finds neglected children, Anne, Jane, Mary and Sarah Dawson, at Axedale. The childrens' father was apparently a shepherd at Degrave's Station. He had spoken with Constable Wright about taking his children with him in a wheelbarrow and had not been seen since. Their mother had previously left them and they had been placed in the care of Mrs. Cleary after the departure of their mother and father. She, unable to maintain them, had turned them into the street and informed Constable Wright. As it appeared that they had been baptised in the Roman Catholic Church, they were sent to the Abbottsford Industrial School.

February, 1870

• The Government Gazette advises that William Holmes, John David Bywater, Patrick Stephen Drake, Steven Burke, Alfred Whitlock, Adolphus Frederick Wittscheibe, Donald Munro Matheson and David Renton, are appointed to the Local Committee of the Common School Axedale, No. 1008.

• John McArthur, of Axedale, is remanded on a charge of insanity to the Yarra Bend Asylum.

March, 1870

• The Plough and Harrow Hotel, Axedale, valued at £250, is consumed by fire on February 7. Inquiry evidence shows it is unoccupied at the time and is maliciously burnt. The inquiry is adjourned so that Police can find material witnesses.

April, 1870

• The Argus reports, "Bridget Collins, a decent-looking woman, was charged with having willfully and maliciously set fire to the Plough and Harrow Hotel, Axe Creek, the property of Messrs. Heine and Grieffenhagen, in February last. Mr. Martley defended the prisoner, and Mr. Wyatt conducted the prosecution. The facts of this case were of a rather remarkable nature. On Sunday, the 6th February, the Plough and Harrow was burned down, and some considerable time elapsed before anything transpired as to the origin of the fire. At length, owing to information given by an old convict called Humphreys, otherwise Jack tho Bricklayer, Collins and his wife, persons who kept a beer house opposite the Plough and Harrow, were arrested on the charge of burning the hotel down, and after being tried at the Police Court, Collins was discharged, and his wife committed for trial. Humphreys, who could not attend, and whose depositions were read, stated that he had been awoke on the night by Collins, who came to him where he was in the stable, and called him, but he (witness) pretended not to hear, as he had been smoking and was afraid he would be reprimanded. Collins then shut the stable door and went and called his wife, saying, "Madam, are you asleep?" Mrs. Collins then got up, and Humphreys followed her and saw her set fire to the Plough and Harrow Hotel. Humphreys had been engaged to point a chimney for the Collinses, and had not received as much money as he wanted for tho job. The reason he gave for his having watched the prisoner was that he heard her say to her husband that if he would not prevent Holmes (a person who was about to take the Plough and Harrow to use it as an hotel, which it had not been used for two years) from setting up an opposition, she would.

Mr. Martley addressed the jury for the defence in a speech strongly condemning Humphreys, and dwelling upon his known bad character, his withholding giving information for three months after the fire, the extraordinary motives for his conduct, all these in contradiction to the good character of the prisoner and her apparently open conduct,

His Honour summed up favourably ; and after the jury had been absent for a few minutes, they returned into court and gave in a verdict of "Not Guilty." The prisoner was then discharged." [Note: There is a 'beer house' opposite the Plough and Harrow Hotel.]

May, 1870

• The Government Gazette advises that the contract to supply forage at Axedale, is awarded to Thomas O'Rourke and Fleming Orr.

• William Holmes, of the Raglan Hotel, advises that a farewell Pigeon Shooting Match will take place at Axedale, with over 200 strong pigeons secured. Unfortunately, 'unpropitious' weather causes it to be postponed until the Queen's Birthday.

• A land application of 25 acres for Thomas Minard, and 20 acres for Patrick South, are recommended for approval by the Local Land Board of the Bendigo Survey District.

• Patrick Drake and Patrick Truth give evidence in an arson case. Patrick O'Donaghue is charged by Simon Howe, with willfully setting fire to his shed and property.

Howe is awoken by someone at his window. The person, O'Donaghue, is ordered off but then asks for a drink. Howe had not been on good terms with him and he is ordered off again. O'Donaghue growls and walks off. Howe returns to sleep and later wakes to the sound of barking dogs and finds his shed on fire. Neighbours are summoned to help quench the flames which consume 135 bags of 13 bags of barley and a large quantity of straw.

O'Donaghue had not been seen since being turned away, but he turns up next day, enquiring into what had happened. is committed to trial. Howe tells him that he knows very well what the matter is and turns him away, at the same time running for a shovel to 'hunt' him. O'Donaghue turns and says, "I defy you." Howe decides on the safer course of giving information to the Police.

Patrick Drake says that O'Donaghue had been at his place [Hotel] and had purchased a bottle of whisky and some matches before he left. Conversation between the two had covered many things, including Howe. Drake could not recall exactly what had been said about Howe but O'Donaghue had said, I'll be revenged on him." It is about 3 miles to Howe's place.

As there is insufficient evidence to convict, a dismissal is request. The remarks made by O'Donaghue to Drake, prevent a dismissal. He is committed to trial, although it is expected that the jury will acquit him.

• A notice about the 'Campaspe Road' appears: "Unless the conservators of the road between Sandhurst and the Campaspe are waiting until their attention is directed to the villainous state it is in, by a rider of a coroner's jury to a verdict of accidental death, we would recommend that they look at it at once. Some of the bridges, more especially that near the Travellers Rest and that at the Axe Creek, are in a perfectly unsafe state to be crossed by vehicles. The condition of the road is altogether dangerous in some portions, that some of the persons whom business compels them to use it, are seriously speaking of repairing it at their own cost. Is the Strathfieldsaye Council reduced to a state of impecuniosity, or is their Surveyor in a state of obliviousness?"

• Applications are invited for the position of Herdsman to the Axedale and Eppalock United Town and Farmers' Common. A salary of £100 per annum is offered. Mr. Patrick Hennessy is appointed from among six applicants.

• The Shire Engineer reports that a new road has been surveyed from the Travellers' Rest Hotel to Potter's corner, McIvor Road.

• Thomas Minard, farmer, applies for 25a at Axedale. Listed for Axedale and Wellsford, in applications for land on both sides of a road, Patrick South, labourer, 20a; recommended for 10a on west side of [unspecified] road.

June, 1870

• Mr. J.M. Brady, Architect, invites tenders for the erection of a bluestone schoolhouse at Axedale.

• William Holmes, Blacksmith and licence holder for the Raglan Hotel, Axedale, gives notice that he intends to transfer the licence to Thomas Steer, also an Axedale Blacksmith. The licence is officially transferred.

July, 1870

• Patrick Tierney applies for 23½ acres of land at Axedale. It is opposed by John O'Neill who had marked the land out first. The recommendation is for O'Neill.

• The Spring Creek and Sandhurst mail coach becomes hopelessly bogged near Bayne's diggings. The Driver forwards the mail to Heathcote to be sent on to Axedale by horseback. Mr. Field is compelled to use two powerful horses to drag through from Heathcote to Spring Creek, and even then he finds it difficult to keep anything like time.

• Our friend, Mr. Michael Costelloe, has not appeared for some time. This is because he is no longer in the district, having moved to Melbourne where he now operates another hotel. John Callaghan, formerly of Sandhurst, is brought up on a charge of fraudulent insolvency and Costello and Michael Meagher, wine and spirit merchant, are called upon to give character evidence.

• Mr. J.M. Brady, Architect, calls tenders for the making of 80,000 bricks at Axedale. No reason is given..

• An inquest is held into the sudden death of, Charles Molloy, at his Axedale residence. He was, prior to his death, in good health. Dr. Atkinson said that a lad came to him for some medicine, saying that his father was very bad. Dr. Atkinson found Molloy dead when he later visited. The cause was given as pneumonia of the lungs.

• Land near the junction of the Axe Creek and Campaspe, Allotment 7A, Section 9, is offered for sale with an upset price of £2/10 per acre.

August, 1870

• Mounted Constable, John Wright, gives evidence in the case of J. Harpen, charged with willful destruction of property by felling a tree across the telegraph wire on the Heathcote and Sandhurst line. His defence says it was done accidentally and Harpen had reported it as such to Constable Wright. A Mr. Ellis, line repairer, stated that he repaired the break in the line, which was caused by the felling of the tree by defendant. He had to hire a buggy and a man to drive it, costing 30s. per day, and he was two days away. Harpen cannot pay the fine of repair expenses and is to be sent to gaol for 14 days.

• Mounted Constable, John Wright of Axedale, among others, is appointed Crown Lands Bailiff.

• The Crown Lands Department advises the Axedale and Eppalock United Town and Farmers' Common that an extension of area had been Gazetted on March 7. This is refuted by the Secretary and more information is sought.

September, 1870

• The Axedale Fair is inaugurated. Horses, cattle, pigs, grain, poultry, farm and dairy produce, agricultural equipment, etc., will be offered for sale. The Bendigo Market is low, believed to be due to Campaspe farmers keeping their stock for the upcoming Axedale Fair. The fair was well attended by buyers and sellers. Arrangements are being made to make it a regular two-monthly fair. [Just like the current day market (2014), without the livestock.].

• An inquest on the body of an unknown Chinese found drowned in the Campaspe, is held at Drake's Hotel. Richard Russell, an Axedale farmer, says he was going home when his attention was drawn to a body lying on the bank of the river. He advised Mr. O'Dwyer, a nearby farmer, and he advised the Axedale Police. Constable John Wright visited the location and saw the body dressed in only trousers and a belt. The body was obviously Chinese and it appeared that the head had recently been shaved. He says that he has always known Chinamen, as a rule, to sleep with their trousers on. The jury, in the absence of any marks of violence, returned a verdict of drowning.

October, 1870

• The Government Gazette advises that David Mill Strachan, Robert O'Brien and Benjamin Code, after the expiration of one month, will be appointed members of the local Committee for Common School Axedale No.1008. They are appointed in November.

• Residents are notified via the Government Gazette, that objections to the Axedale and Eppalock United Town and Farmers' Common proposed area extension will be heard at the Land Office, Melbourne.

• The Government Gazette advises that one acre of land, being Allotment 1 and 2 of Section 6, Axedale, is set aside for the site of a Common School.

November, 1870

• A large number of cattle have died on the Axedale Common in the last week or two from pleura-pneumonia.

December, 1870

• Arrangements are made with Mr. Steer, of the Raglan Hotel, to hold periodical stock sales in the Raglan Hotel Yards. The first sale is to be held January 9th.

• The Timber Supply Committee meets to determine the basis for a follow-up interview. The basis, firstly, is that all land within a radius of six miles of Sandhurst be proclaimed a reserve to which the cutting of all timber under 6" diameter, secondly, that it is thought advisable to have forest reserves in the parishes of Ellesmere, Wellsford, Axedale, Eppalock, Strathfieldsaye, and a few others in other districts, which would be under the supervision of rangers.

• Among others, Mr. M. Burns, of Axedale, applies for a slaughtering licence. The applications are granted.

January, 1871

• Mounted Constable D.S. Clark, is awarded the contract for the supply of prisoners' rations at Axedale. [This indicates that there has been a change of appointment at the Axedale Police Station.]

• Herman Fus, Axedale, applies for a slaughtering licence which is granted. Michael McGrath directs attention to the necessity for a bridge over Sweenies Creek.

• A man named William Ryan is committed for trial for stealing some wearing apparel and a horse from Mr. Code, the Poundkeeper at Axedale [Axe Creek]. There is barely justice done to the Constable who made the arrest. It appears that Mounted Constable Clark, stationed at Axedale, on being informed of the robbery, followed the suspect into Sandhurst after midnight, accompanied by Mr. Code. On arriving in Sandhurst they succeeded, by making enquiries, in ascertaining that he had taken up his quarters at the boarding house in Mundy Street, in which he was arrested at 3pm.

February, 1871

• The Raglan Hotel advertises for a stout, active young man, knowledgeable in sausage making, for a butcher's position.

• Mr. J.T. Strong, McIvor Shire Engineer, reports "I have had some small improvements effected on the Heathcote and Sandhurst Road, namely, a crossing on the small gully near the Black Swan [Hotel], and another near Mr. Matheson's, so that now there is no interruption to the traffic going right through the cleared road. I have also had Campaspe Hill at Axedale repaired, and our half of the bridge painted and tarred."

• A Council election meeting is to be held at the Campaspe Hotel, Axedale.

March, 1871

• Some 96 acres of capitally grassed land, enclosed by substantial log fence, being Allotment 7, Section 5, Axedale, is advertised for sale. It is "situated near the junction of the Axe Creek and the Campaspe, and affords splendid natural advantages for the conservation of water at very little expense, and is a fine opportunity for securing a desirable block of land in a locality that is daily improving in value. Price low."

• A pigeon shoot and races are to be held at Axedale.

April, 1871

• Constable Clark, Axedale, gives evidence in the court case of T. Smith v. H. Gherardine, an action to recover £10 for false imprisonment. Mr. Martley, instructed by Mr. McCormick, for plaintiff, and Mr. Strickland, instructed by Mr. Motteram, for defendant:

In this case it appeared that a summons had been served on defendant, but owing to some informality in the summons, a second and correct one was served within the proper time. Mr. Motteram contended that the first summons having failed, and no return of it being made, that amounted to discontinuance of the action. Mr. Martley contended that the second summons being served within time and returned, the service was good. His Honor took a note of the objection.

Thomas Smith, miner, Kimbolton, deposed that the defendant was a store and shanty keeper. He had known him for twelve months, and had been in the habit of going in and out of his house. Defendant had several daughters, children. About 21st February, witness heard something from his son, and witness went to defendant, asked what he had got to say about him. Defendant then charged him with criminally assaulting his youngest daughter. Witness repudiated the charge and defendant replied, "You're guilty, I'll lock you up tomorrow." Witness went and told his mates, and next day went to Sandhurst, and on the Friday went back and saw defendant, and told him that he did not intend to run away, and would be on the diggings when wanted. Defendant said that would be in a few hours.

Constable Clark came to witness, and asked what this was between him and defendant, and witness replied that he was charged with a wrongful thing. They went to defendant's, and defendant gave witness in charge, and said he would stand all consequences. The constable took him to the lockup and locked him up until Monday morning when he was brought before the Sandhurst Bench and was discharged, and went back again with the Constable.

Cross examined by Mr. Strickland: He did not see defendant in the court or the child. It was about four o'clock on Saturday he was taken to the lock up. He did not tell his mates he would have to take to the roads. It was more than twenty years ago since he had been in a lock up. He had then received a sentence of seven years for highway robbery, but had never been in the lock up since. Witness owed defendant £5 odd for board, and had been sued for it.

Mounted Constable Clark, stationed at Axedale, deposed that on Wednesday, 22nd February, it was reported that a rape had been committed by plaintiff, and he went to defendant who informed him a rape had been committed on his youngest girl, seven years old, by Smith. Witness searched for defendant but did not find him until Saturday, when he got him at Black's Store, Kimbolton. Smith said he had been to Sandhurst to see a lawyer. Witness took him to defendant's, and defendant gave him in charge for the offence stated. Smith was locked up until Monday morning and was then brought before Mr. McLachlan. From instructions received from Mr. Chomley and Mr. McLachlan, witness applied for the discharge of Smith, and he was discharged.

Cross-examined by Mr. Strickland: On the Saturday, before arresting Smith, witness had a conversation with the child in a private room, and from what the child said, witness believed the charge. He told defendant this, and Smith was then given in charge. Witness told defendant ho would apply for a remand, and let him know when he had to appear at court. Smith was discharged, and there was no necessity for defendant's appearance. This concluded the case for plaintiff.

Mr. Strickland contended that the case for plaintiff had not been proved.

J. H. Gherardine deposed that he was a storekeeper, and had a child called Elizabeth. On the 20th February he noticed the child dull, and asked what was the matter, and from what she said, he saw Smith and told him he had great suspicion that he had been acting wrongly to his daughter. Smith protested his innocence. Witness had previously seen Smith and the child in the stable, while she was playing there. Witness took the child away, and she told him Smith had acted indecently towards her.

Cross-examined by Mr. Martley: Mr. McLachlan did not refuse a warrant, for he was not asked for one, as the child was not brought in. It was his youngest, and not his second, daughter that Dr. Stuart examined.

Lizzie Gherardine, under seven years of age, after repeating a declaration to speak the truth, said that Smith had behaved indecently to her three times. The child was cross examined by Mr. Martley, but her evidence was unshaken, and was given very dourly against Smith.

To Mr. Strickland: Smith said if she told her mother, it was the worst thing she could do. Mr. Martley said he would go into a rebutting case, and called Dr. Stuart who deposed that on 24th February he examined the girl, and there was no appearance of violence.

Defendant was recalled by Mr. Martley. He made a complaint to Mr. McLachlan that Smith had committed improprieties with his two daughters; he did not remember if he used the word rape. Mr. McLachlan very likely told him to send in his two daughters to be examined by a medical man. He sent in the one who was in court. L. McLachlan, P.M., deposed that defendant came to his house, and told him his two daughters had been violated by Smith on the night before, and that Smith had bolted. Witness told him to bring the children to town to have them examined, and he promised to do so. He saw no more of defendant until he had seen him that day in court. About four or five days after this conversation, Mrs. Gherardine brought the child to the Police Court. He asked where the other child was, and she said there was nothing the matter with her. He told her what her husband had said, and she said he knew nothing about it. The child and mother were taken into his private room, and he, Dr. Stuart, and Detective Alexander, for an hour, tried to get the child to speak, but she maintained an obstinate silence. Her mother threatened her, and wished her sent to the lock up, but witness said he would not allow threats to be used.

Cross examined by Mr. Strickland: He charged defendant, when he came to the house, with being drunk, and in consequence refused to issue a warrant for Smith's apprehension. As they could get nothing out of the girl, and the examination of Dr. Stuart showed that no marks of violence existed, Smith was discharged when brought before the court.

Detective Alexander was called, and corroborated Mr. McLachlan's evidence. This concluded the evidence for the defence.

Mr. Strickland contended that defendant had justified the action against Smith, the evidence of the child was most conclusive of an assault having been committed. Mr. Martley addressed the court, and submitted that everything in the first instance had been done to get a foundation laid for the charge against Smith, and as the child would not speak, and there was nothing to show the child had been tampered with, there was no course left but to discharge Smith. The evidence of the child that day had been manufactured for the occasion. His Honor said that the charge of attempted rape had not been sustained, and therefore some damages should be awarded for the false imprisonment, but there was enough to show that Smith had taken improper liberties with the girl, and the verdict would therefore be for plaintiff, 1/- damages, and no costs.

• A daughter is born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Strachan.

• The McIvor Shire Council advises the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council that they deemed the repairs they effected to the bridge over the Campaspe at Axedale, sufficient on their part. On the motion of Cr. Brennan, it was resolved to proceed with repairs of the bridge and sue the McIvor Shire Council for their proportion, as they had declined to treat on the subject.

• Messrs. O'Brien and Harris, Axedale residents, complain to the Minister of Lands that the local racecourse land is marked out for sale and wish it to remain as a racecourse reserve.

• The Axedale Post Office Store, including all the stock in trade, groceries, oilmen's stores, drapery, clothing, etc., and effects are advertised for sale by auction.

May, 1871

• The results of an Axedale land sale are listed. The purchase of allotments by Backhaus (Allotments 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, Section 11), Doak (Allotments 1, 2 and 3, Section 13) and Whitlock (Allotment 7, Section 15) are shown. There were no offers for lots 9 to 31, 33 to 35, 38 to 41, 47, 48 and 52. Lots 42 to 46 and 49 to 51 were withdrawn. [Were the withdrawn lots initially part of the racecourse reserve?].

• The Shire of Strathfieldsaye calls for tenders for a number of works including Campaspe River bridge repairs and repairs to the approaches to the Blind Gully bridge on McIvor Road. The tender for the Campaspe Bridge is awarded to S. Drake for an amount of £48/8/4, while that for the Blind Gully approach repairs is awarded to J. McNamara for an amount of £28/10/0.

• Martin Burns posts a reward of 10/- per head for nine lost cattle, on restoration to either the Municipal Yards or his own property.

June, 1871

• Horse races are held at the Axedale racecourse. However, only horse names are given, not their owners or riders. The races are 'numerously' attended, with a great number of sporting people from Sandhurst.

• The Axedale and Eppalock United Town and Farmers' Commons are officially extended by about 300 acres.

• The Government Gazette advises that approximately 87 acres of land is reserved as a site for racing and General Recreative purposes. The start of an official Axedale Racecourse.

July, 1871

• Mr. J. E. Lupton, Bailiff, provides notice from the Sheriff of Sandhurst and Castlemaine Circuit will auction the goods, cattle, chattels and property of John Burke, on the premises at Axedale, unless the claim is satisfied sooner.

• Men are wanted for grubbing - Apply D. Mackay, Royal Oak Hotel or Mr. Peter Tierney, Axedale, Campaspe.

• Fourteen ratepayers request repairs to the road between Axedale and Doak's Mill. On the motion of Cr. O'Rourke, tenders are to be called for.

August, 1871

• William Murphy notifies his intention to apply for probate on the estate of his son, Michael Murphy, who has died intestate.

September, 1871

• Local land applications are made: H. Filgate, 72a 1r 9p, near Sugar Loaf Hill; P. Gleeson, 147a 1r, West of Axedale Township Reserve; J. McNamara, 20a, East of his 42nd holding; M. Hawkins, 80a, next to his 42nd holding, and J. McGrath, 60a, next to his 42nd holding.

• The possessions of the now insolvent, Thomas Steer, are to be sold by Public Auction. The advertised possessions consist of one buggy and harness, one reaping machine, two casks of beer and one water cask. [Only fifteen months after the Raglan Hotel licence was transferred to him.].

• Mr. A. Acott, of Axedale, makes a lease inquiry for a 12a 1r 2p property.

• Land applications are considered for: D. Mills, 1a 3r, on Native Creek; M. Crowe, 31a 1r 12p, on Native Creek near D. Mills; P. Donnellan,60a, one mile west of the Axe Creek/Campaspe River junction; T. Donnellan, 200a, two miles north west of same junction; and F.J. Mill, 100a, south of Axedale Township Reserve.

October, 1871

• Andrew Carson presents a new £1 note and, due to word having not got around, is arrested for passing a false note at Andrew Andrew's public house in the 'remote agricultural village of Axedale'. The note was hawked about the village and unanimously pronounced a forgery, and the unlucky fellow who had essayed to change it was handed over to the local trooper on a charge of smashing.

• Patrick Hennessy, Herdsman, is summoned by Colin Campbell Finlayson, of Glenormiston, Terang, for illegally impounding complainant's cattle. Mr. Martley appeared for the complainant, Mr. Wrixon for the defendant. The case is reported:

A case of some importance to the owners of stock traveling through the country was heard at the City Police Court yesterday before Mr. Cogdon, P.M. The Herdsman of the Axedale and Eppalock Farmers' Common was summoned by Mr. Grattan, the agent of Messrs. Ettershank and Co., acting on behalf of Messrs. Finlayson of Terang, for illegally impounding a mob of cattle.

From the evidence adduced it appeared that the stock was traveling towards Sandhurst on the 8th September last, and when in the Axedale district they were seized by the Herdsman of the Axedale and Eppalock Farmers' Common. According to the evidence of the men in charge of the mob of cattle, the Herdsman came to where they were camped, the cattle being on the main track or road at the time, and after the Herdsman had used some "bounceable" language, and because they refused to be bounced, he drove the cattle off to the pound, to release them from, which Mr. Grattan had to pay £46/13/9. The defendant Hennessy, on the other hand, gave evidence, which was also corroborated, that the men in charge of the cattle had neglected, in the first instance, to give the requisite notice to him that the cattle would be driven over the common, and that at the time he impounded them they were on the common.

The police magistrate had to decide on the value of the evidence on either side, and adjudged the impounding to have been illegal, and ordered the Herdsman to refund the poundage fees, with the addition of £10/10/0 costs. The evil arising in these cases, (which appear to be very general with the owners of traveling stock), is that the limits and boundaries of the commons are so vaguely defined, and are altogether so totally unknown to the drovers in charge of the stock, that they are liable to be pounced on at any moment by the Herdsman, the cattle driven to the pound, and a large sum to he paid before they are released, besides the damage sustained by the delay in the stock reaching the market. In fact that the commons are more like traps, into which the unwary drovers are liable to fall at any time, and without warning, their employers being the heavy sufferers. The proper remedy for this great evil would appear to offer itself by making an alteration in the present system of levying the poundage fees in similar cases.

The new Impounding Bill provides that instead of the fees being given to the Herdsman, he should be made a salaried officer, and the fees be paid to the Shire Council. According to the prevailing system, the Herdsman, is in much the same position as the sly-grog informer, who is paid a premium, to procure the commission of the offence, and the conviction of the offender.

• Andrew Andrews posts a £1 reward for three pair of blankets, two valises, two coats and one canvas sheet that were lost between the Perseverance Hotel and Acott's Store on McIvor Road.

• Matthew Moran makes an application to register the Back Creek Quartz Mining Company. There are 12,000 shares, each of 10/-. There are several Axedale residents in the Shareholders list: John McNamara, Daniel McNamara, Michael O'Lachland, John O'Lachland, John Frawley and Michael O'Connor.

• A death notice for Robert Ross appears: On the 10th inst., at the residence of A. Macarthur, Esq., North Junee, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Mr. Robert Ross, late of Axedale, and son of late Colonel Ross, Melbourne. [Ross was the owner/lessee of Axedale Estate in the 1850s and the instigator of the first bridge across the Campaspe River at Axedale.]

• An amended scale of charges for the Axedale Cemetery is advised via the Government Gazette.

November, 1871

• A young lad by the name of Donellan, living at Axedale, is injured when his horse runs off with him and collides with a tree. Three toes are wrenched out of their sockets and he may lose them.

• Andrew Andrews gives notice that he intends to apply for a Publican's Licence for premises at Axedale. The house consists of ten rooms, exclusive of those required for the use of the family. This may be the Perseverance Hotel].

December, 1871

• A 'To Let' notice appears: "To Let, immediately, excellent Family Residence, with splendid garden and orchard in full bearing, ten miles from Sandhurst, on the main road to Axedale, and formerly known as Costelloe's Hotel. The property is watered by the Axedale Creek. Rent low. Apply L. Macpherson and Co., Auctioneers, Sandhurst."

• David Mill and Thomas Strachan are proposed as members of the Local Committee for the Common School, Axedale No. 1008.

January, 1872

• A Certificate teacher is required for the Axedale Common School No. 1008. Apply Thomas Strachan, Axedale.

• A report of bushranger activity in the Axedale districts appears:

Shortly before day broke yesterday morning, a cool and most audacious robbery was perpetrated at a farmhouse on the River Campaspe. The robbers were two young boys named James Kelly, alias Doolan, and William Jones, alias Healey, and the scene of the exploit which has won them notoriety and led them into trouble was Mr. Patrick Hallinan's homestead, situated on the banks of the Campaspe, four miles below the township of Axedale. The circumstances of the case show that the young bushrangers were no strangers to crime and criminals.

At about between four and five o'clock in the morning, a labourer named Patrick Donohue, who was sleeping in one of the outhouses, was awoke from his slumbers by a noise in the harness room adjoining the stable. He got out of bed, and proceeding to the place whence the sound emanated, he encountered two boys who were dressed up like men, and whom he took to be men at the time. He asked them what they were doing, and what they wanted there. In reply, one of the young ruffians advanced to him with a pistol, loaded and capped, with which he threatened to blow his brains out if he did not keep quiet. The boy held Donohue under cover for some time, who, being unarmed, and without anything to protect himself, had the discretion to say nothing. If he had attempted to create an alarm it might have cost him his life, for the boy with the firearm flourished it about with something like an air of bravado, and he might have deemed it a glory to give the contents of the weapon to Donohue, who had disturbed them in their nocturnal expedition.

Whilst Donohue was thus kept at bay by one boy, the other busied himself with removing the harness from the room to a cart close by to which a horse was attached. When this was done a saddle and bridle were taken from the same room and placed into the cart, which done, the boys jumped into the cart and drove rapidly down the road. Of course Donohue immediately ran and aroused the household and told Mr. Hallinan what had occurred. He was still under the impression that the robbers were men rather than boys, and that it would have been dangerous to molest them unarmed.

As soon as possible, Mr. Hallinan got on horseback, and started off in pursuit of the bushrangers. He soon got sight of them, it being daybreak, and he followed them at full gallop until he reached Mr. Andrew O'Keefe's farm (Adelaide Vale). There, his horse being run down, he procured a fresh one, and again started after them, riding through the bush and keeping them in view as they took the road for Huntly.

When at a distance of four miles from Huntly, seeing that they were making for Sandhurst, he rode across the country to the Huntly Police Station, which he reached at six o'clock. He roused up Constable Davidson who in a few minutes was out, saddled, mounted, and riding up the Murray Road leading to Sandhurst. By this time the young robbers had emerged from the bush country and were on the same road. At a quarter to seven, Davidson reached the White Hills Hamlet, where he espied them a half mile ahead, driving at a tremendous rate. He spurred after them and overtook them opposite the Robin Hood Hotel, and bailed them up, arrested them, and took possession of the cart.

They seemed very much frightened at the sudden and unexpected manner in which their glorious career was brought to a close, and perhaps the fear of what was to come made the more uncomfortable than the reflection of what they had lost. The property found with them, excepting the horse, was all stolen from the farm yard. The horse they brought with them, but it is supposed to have been stolen. On one of them was found the pistol which had so terrified Donohue. It was still charged, capped, and ready for action, and it is only surprising that they did not try to intimidate Davidson in a similar manner. Mr. Davidson however, who has seen more formidable foes in the Crimean fields than juvenile bushrangers, was fully prepared for such an emergency, having two trusty friends in the shape of two doubled barrel revolvers. The boys did not attempt to resist, but cowered down before the trooper, and quietly allowed themselves to be handcuffed. They were taken to Sandhurst and lodged in the watchhouse.

The same morning, they were brought before the Mayor and remanded for a week, to allow of the case for the prosecution being got up. Both boys are known to the police as having been formerly sent to the training ship, whence they either "escaped" or were set at liberty. Doolan is one of an unfortunate family. Seven years ago, his elder brother was convicted of stabbing another boy, and on Monday last his other brother was drowned in the dam in the Camp Reserve. Doolan, when informed yesterday morning by the Police that his younger brother was drowned on the previous evening, appeared to be much affected, and wept bitterly as he was being taken to the gaol.

The double calamity must be very hard on the poor parents whom, we understand, are respectable, industrious people. Nothing could cause feelings of anguish more than the thought that whilst the Coroner was holding an inquest on the dead body of one son, the other was standing in the felon's dock charged with one of the most serious crimes against the law, and against society.

The two boys have their day in court:

Kelly alias Doolan, and Jones, alias Healey, were charged with stealing a spring cart and harness, the property of Patrick Hallinan, farmer on the Campaspe. The prosecution was conducted by Detective Alexander, who elicited in evidence the main facts of the case, as already fully reported. On this charge, the prisoners were committed to take their trial at the next Circuit Court to be held on 18th February.

The same prisoners were charged with horse stealing, John Steer, Wheelwright and Blacksmith, Axedale, deposed that on the 26th December last, he had a chestnut horse, the same day he lost it, and it was subsequently found in the possession of the prisoners. Emmeline Steer, daughter of the last witness, proved the identity of the horse, which had been turned out on the Axedale Common in the latter part of December, and which was stolen and afterwards found with the prisoner.

Mounted Constable Davidson stated that on the morning of the 9tb January last, he arrested the prisoners at the White Hills, and they had then a chestnut horse in their possession, being attached to a spring cart which they had stolen from Mr. Hallinan, of the Campaspe. On this charge the prisoners were also committed. They were then charged with robbery under arms. Bridget Foley, widow, residing at Axedale, deposed that on the evening of the 21st December last, the prisoners came to her house, and ordered her to let them in. She was compelled to let them enter, and then they commenced to knock the things about, and they remained there half an hour, searching the house. The prisoner Jones was cursing and swearing all the time, and they threatened to criminally assault her. After the search had been completed they got a canister which contained tea, and this, with a pair of fowls and other articles, they took away. She was afraid to raise an alarm, thinking they would kill her, having firearms in their possession. They presented arms and said, "If you don't deliver up what money you have got, we will take your life." She gave them all the money she had, amounting to a few shillings.

To the prisoner Jones: You had either a revolver or a pistol with you when you entered the house. The prisoners were then committed to take their trial. They were also committed to a charge of stealing a suit of clothes, the property of Patrick Habir, miner, at Huntly.

• William Wells and William Smith are both charged with stealing a bottle of ale and one pocket handkerchief from James Cannon of Axedale. After hearing the evidence of the prosecutor, the Bench, without hesitation, discharged the prisoners, nothing like a robbery being committed.

February, 1872

• John McGrath, Axedale, asks to have his unsuccessful land application reconsidered. It is not entertained, the Board having no reason for altering their former decision.

• A labourer named John McDonald, of Axedale, is admitted to hospital, suffering with severe wounds on his chest which he had sustained in a very singular manner. He was standing on top of a load of hay when he suddenly missed his balance and fell over. On falling to the ground, he came in contact with a pitchfork. One of the prongs entered his side, causing a deep gash, and another striking him on the shin. The injuries he received, although not severe, were very painful.

• The Government Gazette advises that a site for the Axedale Police Paddocks of 99a 3r, Allotments 12, 13 and 14, Section 7, Parish of Axedale, is temporarily reserved. Details are as follows:

Commencing at the point on the left bank of the Campaspe River where the North side of the road which forms the South boundary of the town of Axedale and the North boundary of allotment aforesaid abuts thereon, bounded thence by that road bearing West 14 chains 21 links, thence by a road bearing South 21° 41'E 32 chains 62 links, thence by a road bearing East 34 chains 20 links, thence by Allotment 11 bearing North 24 chains 46 links to the Campaspe River aforesaid, and thence by that river downwards to the commencing point.

• Mail coaches are running from Rushworth to Sandhurst. Slocum and Blake's new timetable advises that a coach will leave the Criterion Hotel, Rushworth, at 7.30am, for Sandhurst, passing through Whroo, Graytown, Redcastle, Costerfield, Heathcote and Axedale, arriving in Sandhurst at 7pm. Passengers and parcels are booked at reduced rates.

• James Kelly, alias Doolan, pleads not guilty to stealing a cart, saddle, bridle, from Patrick Halloran, Axedale, in January last. He is convicted of the offence and of another for stealing a horse belonging to Mr. Steer, Blacksmith, Axedale, also for robbery under arms and stealing a quantity of goods from Mrs. Foley. He is remanded for sentence. William Jones, alias Healey, pleads guilty to horse stealing and larceny, in connection with Kelly, and is found guilty of robbery under arms. He is also remanded for sentence.

March, 1872

• The Axedale and Eppalock Commons Secretary advertises the position of Herdsman, to be paid by salary or a percentage of fees received.

• The Heathcote Cricket Club plays the Sandhurst Press Eleven at Axedale. The advertisement stated that play will commence at 10 o'clock, and that players should make an early start, say, 6 o'clock. A very detailed account of the match was published:

The time agreed on for commencing play was half-past ten, and the Heathcote team was on the ground shortly after nine o'clock. Fishing was tried as a pastime, but it was a failure. The time for commencing play came and, as a matter of course, went, but still no sign of the Sandhurst cricketers. At eleven, someone suggested that they had broken down on the road, others were of opinion that they had made an unfortunate choice of horses and were stuck up on the road in rickety cabs with half starved and consequently weak and not over willing horses, another suggested that, as the gentlemen had to assist in getting their papers out that morning, they might have taken a nap and overslept themselves;, but whatever the cause, the patience of the Heathcote men was nearly exhausted, an they were about to choose sides for a scratch match among themselves, when their opponents were seen coming over the hill. After exchanging compliments, offering suitable apologies for the delay and explaining the cause, the two captains, Mr. Glen and Mr. Morrow, tossed for choice of innings. Mr. Glen won the toss and sent his opponents in, and the game immediately:commenced.

Churchward and Sinclair were the first to go in and play to the bowling of Glen and V. Byrne. At first it appeared that the fielding of the Sandhurst men was weak at certain points. Two byes were secured in the first over, and the next two overs added two more byes to the score. Churchward scored 5 only, when he was bowled out by Glen. Sinclair had the misfortune to be caught by V. Byrne after getting 4 runs. Chas. Robinson went in and hit out and made two very pretty hits, one for 2 and the other for 3, when a ball from V. Byrne sent the stumps into disorder. Walter Robinson was the next to go in, and he appeared to be the only one of the team who could do anything with the bowling. He made some capital hits and scored 18, and took his bat out with him, after seeing his companions disposed of in a most provoking manner by some remarkably seductive slow bowling by Glen. Willie Parker stepped up to the first ball, but he missed it, and it went dead on to the middle stump. The fielding of the Sandhurst men greatly improved as the game went on, and the bowling was as perplexing as ever. Kemp was bowled out without scoring a run, and things looked remarkably blue as far as the chances of the Heathcote team were concerned, nor did they improve when Cunningham, after getting 3, was caught by Kennedy. Robinson Cocks only scored 2, and Henry Robinson 0. The game was now looked on as lost, and when the captain, Mr. Morrow, was howled out after getting 2, and the last man, J. Cooks only getting 1 run, it was decided that the reputation of the club was done for entirely, and that Costerfield would laugh at them. The innings closed for 46 runs, the worst score ever made by any eleven belonging to the club.

The Sandhurst men went to the wickets at once, and the captain, (Glen), only scored 2, when be was neatly caught by Robinson Cocks. Collier was given out for having his leg before the wicket before he had a chance to score. McDonald also added 0 to the score, when he was bowled out by Robinson Cocks. Kennedy scored 1, when he succumbed to the bowling of Sinclair. V. Byrne scored 1 also, and he was bowled out by Robinson Cocks. L. Byrne was disposed of by the same bowler without troubling the scorers. Carter got 1 run and was bowled out by Sinclair. Andrews, who carried his bat out, did not make any other use of it beside defending his wickets. Bailey was bowled out by R. Cocks after getting 1 run. Quinn made the top score of the innings, 3 runs. Mayhew was caught by Churchward without adding one to the score, which, with one bye, amounted to 10.

It had been arranged that if the match could not be played out, the result of the first innings was to decide it, but it was decided to play till a quarter to seven o'clock so as. to get through if possible. Everybody was getting hungry, and one of the party declared that his stomach was under the impression that his throat was cut, another declared that he could eat a missionary, Mrs. Drake had provided a capital cold spread in a bower erected for the purpose., It consisted of turkeys, ham, tongues, chickens, &c., &c.,. which were disposed of in manner that must have been highly flattering to Mrs. Drake, for no words could more elegantly proclaim the appreciation of the good things by the company than did the hearty manner in which the eatables were disposed of. One of the carvers was under the impression that this part of the performance was considered part of the match, and both clubs seemed to enter into it with great spirit.

After lunch, the Heathcote men went in again, and, as will be seen by the subjoined scores, made a better stand than they did in the first innings. The Sandhurst team went in after disposing of their opponents, and played till dusk, when 8 wickets were down for 71 runs.

The weather was extremely fine throughout the day, a fine, clear, bracing southerly wind tempered the warmth of the sun, and made things remarkably pleasant. After the match the usual exchange of compliments and expression of pleasure experienced in meeting with each other, both sides repaired to Drake's and drank each other's health. It is possible, perhaps, to get twenty two better cricketers in Surrey, Rent, and Middlesex, but a jollier lot do not often meet together in any part of the world. Glen's gloves and his slow bowling excited a great deal of curiosity. Some of our men were puzzled in trying to decide how he gets the gloves on, while others were more perplexed in deciding in their own mind how he keeps them on after getting them there. They are ten years old and have been used every day exclusive of Sunday. The return match will be for a glass case to put them in. Both sides will look forward with pleasure to the day when it is to come off.

• The Government Gazette advises that Thomas Donnellan, Thomas O'Rourke, Jonathan Harris, William Joachim, and Robert O'Brien are appointed trustees of the land set apart on June 28, 1871, for Racing and General Recreation purposes at Axedale.

• Daniel McCarthy applies to have his unsuccessful land application reconsidered. It is subsequently approved.

• A number of Axedale allotments are for sale. They are Allotment 9 of Section 5, Allotment 1, 3 and 4 of Section 7A. Also Allotments 4 and 5a, Parish of Weston, and Allotment 35 of Section 1, Muskerry, about 200 acres are under cultivation and the whole is securely fenced. There is also erected thereon, a four roomed brick cottage, with spacious hall, and surrounded by good garden and vineyard.

• Thomas Horwood, a 'miserable, almost-naked creature', is charged by Mounted Constable Clarke, with begging in a public place at Axedale. He is promised temporary relief by the Bench and discharged.

April, 1872

• A Mortgagee sale is advertised: "All that excellent farm, now in the occupation of Mr. P. Truth, situated on the Axe Creek, described as Allotment 13 of Section 2, Parish of Axedale, containing 64a 19p of choice cultivation land, all cleared and well fenced. with farm houses, stabling, stock, goods, etc."

June, 1872

• David Kelly gives notice that he intends to make application for the £10 Publican's Licence for the Raglan Hotel, containing eight exclusive rooms.

July, 1872

• As the Axedale Racecourse is flooded, the planned races are canceled.

• David Stuart Clark is appointed Deputy Registrar of Births and Deaths for Axedale.

• A daughter is born to Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Cahill.

• The annual ploughing match, in connection with the Bendigo Agricultural and Horticultural Society, is held at Annadown Park, Axedale. The Bendigo Advertiser provides a very detailed account which includes an insight into the countryside:

The weather was beautifully fine, and a concourse of town and country folk, consisting of about 1,000 persons, assembled to witness the friendly struggle. The prizes for the several classes were both numerous and sufficiently valuable. The chief one was a Champion Cup, the joint gift of Mr. D.R. Morrison and the Agricultural Society for the best ploughing in classes A and B. This cup must be won twice, but not necessarily consecutively, before becoming the property of the winner. It is a very chaste piece of work, and was manufactured by Messrs. Joseph and Co., of Pall Mall. Its estimated value is £21. The other prizes offered by the society in this competition will be found, with the awards, below.

There is no prettier drive out of Sandhurst than the road to Axedale, which lies some thirteen miles from the city, and all along the route there are indications of progress, both in building, and in the reclamation of waste land. The sound of the axe laid at the root of the tree, the whistle of the ploughman, and the din of the carpenter's hammer take the place, in this direction, of the hum of the quartz crushing machine, and scarcely do we leave Sandhurst a few miles behind, than we are impressed with the fact that agriculture, and not the obtaining of gold, is the industry here.

In the vicinity of Axe Creek, and along its banks, a large extent of as good land as any in the country is to be seen, some of it cultivated, and a great proportion of it untilled. Settlement, however, is proceeding very rapidly in the district, and year by year a huge extent of ground is cleared and ploughed. In summer the want of water is much felt, and were it not for this, a large tract of good country at the back of the Sugarloaf ranges would, ere this, be under cultivation, and returning good crops of wheat. The expense of clearing is heavy, amounting on the average to about £2/10/0, per acre. Nevertheless, industrious and steady settlers, men who are acquainted with the pursuit and pursue it diligently, make farming pay tolerably well in this locality, and the settlers are, nearly all of them, in comfortable circumstances.

One man who, two years since, took up about 60 acres beyond Axedale, is now a thriving farmer. Mr. Gordon, two years ago, planted 4,000 vine cuttings on the banks of the Axe, and last year took 48 lbs. of fruit from each of a large number of the trees, and is quite satisfied even now with the results of his industry. There are numerous other instances of recent successful settlements in the neighborhood. Vines appear to thrive amazingly in the district, which is also a good wheat producing one.

The land selected for the ploughmen to turn over, was a portion of maiden soil, 22 acres in extent, and just cleared. It was of the "chocolate" description of land (as all the soil hereabouts is) and was as level from end to end as a bowling green. A better spot could not possibly have been chosen. It is a portion of Mr. Thomas O'Rourke's splendid farm on the banks of the Axe Greek, and was in capital order.

The following were the entries in the various classes:

Class A. Single furrow ploughs, (Open to all comers): Alexander McKindley, Redesdale. Hutchinson and Walkers; ploughman, self. Thos. Lyons, Marong, McVey's, self; Peter Tierney, Axedale, Hornsby's, Jas. Cahill. W. Winsar, Marong. McVey's, H. Windsar. W. Winsar, Marong, McVey's, Samual Wlnsar. Thos. Oliver, Melbourne, Lennon's, self. Wm. Alford, Laanecoorie, Lennon's, self; B. Lazarus, Axedale, Lennon's, J. Ridgeway. A. 0'Keefe, Campaspe, Lennon's, P. Hennessey. David Millar, Woodstock, McVey's, W. Robertson. Richard Bone, Lockwood, McVey's, self. Francis Prenty, Marong, G. Grant's, self. Thos. O'Rourke, Axedale, McVey's, Patrick Halloran.

Class B. Double furrow ploughs. Hugh Lennon, Melbourne, Lennon's, Ploughman, J.B. Garde. J. Robertson and Co., Melbourne, J. Robinson and Co.'s, Richard Field. E. Grylls, Laanecoorie, Lennon's, N. Grylls.

Class C. Single furrow ploughs, (for ploughmen who have never won an advertised prize}. John Quinn, Axe Creek, McVey's; ploughman, W. Quinn. Thos. Craike, Strathfieldsaye, McVey's, M. Lucas. David Mill, Axedale, McVeys, Alex. Mill. P. Slattery, Leichardt, McVey's, self. Alex. Ritchie, Axedale, Lennon's, self. J. Wells, Clare Inn, Hutchinson and Walker's, P. O'Connor. S. O'Brien, Axedale, Lennon's, T. Conroy.

Class D. (For boys not exceeding sixteen years of age). J. Hayes, Eppalock, McVey's; ploughman, T. Hayes jun. J. Wallis, Marong, McVey's, 0. Wallis.

Precisely at ten o'clock, the signal for a start was given, and a very pretty sight was presented when the twenty two teams appeared in motion. The horses as a rule were splendid animals of their kind, in first class condition, and the men were stalwart fellows who went into their work with great steadiness. Everything was in their favour, the ground was in capital order, and there was not a root or a stone in it, from end to end. It was as mellow as could be desired, and the ploughs turned it as readily as if it had been in cultivation for twenty years. The ploughs used were manufactured mostly by Messrs. Hutchinson and Walker, McVey of this city, and Lennon, of Melbourne. Work went on merrily until two o'clock, and about that hour an adjournment of the members of the society, stewards, and other gentlemen took place, to an improvised tent, where an excellent luncheon was prepared. The President of the Association occupied the head of the table. There were no toasts proposed, or speeches made, although there was nothing wanting in the way of suitable beverages.

The time allowed to each ploughman in which to accomplish his task was four hours, and the quantity of land to be ploughed in that time was for Classes A, C, and D, one-third of an acre, and for Class B, half an acre. At two o'clock, nearly all the men had turned over their several allotments, but there were two or three who had not quite finished when "time was up", and were thus disqualified. The judges were Mr. W. Morley, of Sandridge, Mr. W. Campbell, of Kyneton, and Mr. J. Steel, of Newbridge, and thus there was not a local man amongst them.

A very long time was occupied by these gentlemen in arriving at a decision, as the work was very evenly performed, and during this interval, a trial of a strange looking plough, invented and made by Lennon, took place. The mould board of this implement is quite circular, and revolves while turning the sod, thus pulverising it to some extent, and doing away with the necessity of a good deal of harrowing. The trial was made under disadvantageous circumstances, but was pronounced satisfactory. While this was going on, a buggy was seen coming up the sward that had not been turned, at a tremendous pace, and everybody thought the horse had bolted, when suddenly the animal slipped out of the shafts, and the driver was observed to be very complacently sitting in the buggy as it moved along rapidly with its previously acquired velocity. It turned out that this was not a case of "run away," but another invention - that of Messrs. Pickles and Emmett, of Sandhurst, who have the "tackling" so arranged that should control over a refractory or bolting horse be lost, the driver can, by pulling a strap attached to the swingletree on which the traces are hooked, let the horse "slide" altogether, while he remains perfectly safe in the vehicle. This novel and simple invention, which can quite easily be adapted to any set of harness, is termed the "Patent Skedaddle."

At about half past four o'clock, Mr. Joshua P. Gray, the Secretary of the Agricultural Society, announced, amid great cheering, the decision of the judges as follows:

Champion Cup: David Millar, Woodstock, ploughman, William Robertson, plough made by McVey.

Class A: First prize £10, David Millar, Woodstock, ploughman, William Robertson, plough made by McVey. Second prize £5, Wm. Alford, Laanecoorie, ploughman, self, plough made by Lennon. Third prize £2, Thomas Lyons, Marong, ploughman, self, plough made by McVey. Fourth prize £1, Francis Prenty, Marong, ploughman, self, plough made by G. Grant.

Class B: First prize £10, Hugh Lennon, Melbourne, ploughman, J.B. Garde, plough made by Lennon. Second prize £5, M. Grylls, Laanecoorie, ploughman, N. Grylls, plough made by Lennon. Third prize £2, J. Robinson and Co., ploughman, R. Field, plough made by Rohinson and Co.

Class C: First prize £6, Alexander Ritchie, Axedale, ploughman, self, plough made by Lennon. Second prize £4, Patrick Slattery, Leichardt, ploughman, self, plough made by McVey. Third prize £3, David Mill, Axedale, ploughman, Alexander Mill, plough made by McVey.

Class D: First prize £4, James Hayes, plough boy, J. Hayes, jun., plough made by McVey. Second prize £2, John Wallis, Marong, ploughboy, Chas. Wallis, plough made by McVey.

It was a remarkable circumstance that all the three judges having separated, and agreed to meet at a certain place after going over the ground, when they came to compare notes, had arrived at exactly the same conclusion as to the disposal of the first prizes in all the classes, and the second in two. There was some diversity of opinion as to the quality of the work performed in general. Mr. Morley said that none of it was first class, and none of it entitled to a champion cup except that performed in Class B. On the other hand, local men were unanimous in the opinion that the ploughing, as a whole, was very creditable, and as good as any ever done at a match in the district. After the awards had been made, the President of the Agricultural Society ordered the Champion Cup to be filled with wine, and proposed the health of the winner in a suitable speech. The Strathfieldsaye Shire Brass Band were on the ground all day and played a number of selections, in which they acquitted themselves very creditably. It will be observed that by far the greatest number of the prizes taken were won with ploughs made by Mr. McVey of High Street, Sandhurst. Mr. Oliver, the champion ploughman was "nowhere" on this occasion.

• John Winzar, a gardener residing at Axedale, Campaspe, is reaching for a chain from a cross piece in the chimney of his hut when his foot slips and he falls on his right side into the fire, severely burning the whole of that side, arm and his head. He is conveyed to Bendigo Hospital by Mr. Drake.

August, 1872

• An anniversary ball, celebrating the opening of the Axedale Foresters' Court, is advertised to be held at Drake's Campaspe Hotel.

• At an election held at the Axedale Common School, Axe Creek, John Burke is elected over Thomas Craike for the position of Councillor for the North Riding, Shire of Strathfieldsaye, by 84 votes to 63.

• Land applications are recorded for: John O'Connell, 59a 2r 20p, adjoining his 42nd holding in Axedale; Conrad Wittschiebe - 100a, Axedale between Kangaroo and Axe Creeks; F.A. Wittschiebe - 100a, north of Colin Stewart's holding; Patrick Hickey - 100a, Axedale, north of Gleeson and Burke's 42nd holding; Dennis Cullman - 109a 2r 4p, Axedale, south-west of McGrath and Conroy's 42nd holding; John McGrath - 158a 3r 10p, adjoining his present holdings under 19th and 42nd sections; Denis McNamara - 80a 0r 19p, west of James O'Brien's 42nd holdings, and Michael O'Connor - 95a 3r 39p, west of James O'Brien's 42nd holdings.

December, 1872

• The Government Gazette advises that the land previously temporarily set aside for Riding and Recreation in the town of Axedale, with the new title of Racecourse and General Recreation, is reduced slightly, permanently reserved, and now consists of:

86 acres more or less, County of Bendigo, Town of Axedale, being the land comprised within the boundaries hereinafter described, excepting the portions thereof included in the road, 1 chain 50 links wide, from Axedale to Eppalock, and the site for watering purposes lying between the Western side of that road and the left bank of Native Gully Creek, commencing at the point where the North side of the road which forms the South boundary of the town abuts on the left bank of the Campaspe River, thence by that road bearing West 29 chains 50 links to the South-East angle of suburban Allotment 15, thence by that Allotment and Allotment 9 bearing North 25 chains 60 links, thence by a road bearing East 13 chains 50 links more or less to Native Gully Creek, and thence by that Creek and the Campaspe river aforesaid downwards and upwards respectively, to the commencing point.

January, 1873

• The Government Gazette advises that an area of land, being part of Allotment 11, Section 8, is reserved for watering purposes. Another area of 11 acres, more or less, is reserved near the Native Gully Creek and the Axedale Racecourse Reserve, and yet another, of 6 acres, near P. Hennesy's and D, Cullinane's land and McIvor Road.

February, 1873

• Henry Acott, Axedale, notifies that if a horse, having been left in his paddock for about 6 months, is not claimed by February 8, it will be sold to pay expenses.

• A small lot at Allotment 3, Section 6, High Street, Axedale is advertised for sale with an upset price of £8 per acre.

March, 1873

• The Axedale races are held again:

Stewards: Mr. T. O'Rourke, Mr. T. Donellan, Mr. R. O'Brien, Mr. P. Tierney, Mr. J. Burke, Mr. J, O'Dwyer, Mr. T. Craike, Mr. D.W. Kelly, Mr. T.H. Brain, Mr. J. McLean, Mr. W.S. Cahill. Judges: Mr. J. Martin. Starter: Mr. M. Boyle. Clerk of the Course: Mr. Martin Burns. Handicapper: Mr. W.P. Neal.

The annual race meeting came off yesterday on the Axedale Racecourse, and was equally as successful as any preceding one. There was a large muster of country folks, as well as a number of visitors from Sandhurst, and all present seemed to be satisfied with the efforts of the club to provide sport. There were about 400 persons in attendance, including a goodly company of ladies, many of whom were mounted upon active nags, and they dashed about the course, their graceful movements forming quite a feature of the proceedings.

The course is somewhat of an oval shape, running around a little slope, from which a capital view can be obtained of the horses. It is certainly capable of considerable improvement, as in one part the horses have to cross a steep hill, which is very objectionable. There is, however, every probability of some substantial improvements being carried out in connection with the course before the next meeting takes place. When not required, the reserve is let by the trustees to Mr. W. Heffernan, who pays £20 per year for the privilege of using it as a grazing paddock, it being near his Estate on the Campaspe River. Since using it for that purpose, he has fenced it in with a splendid three railed fence, at a cost of £100, and he has promised to level a portion of the hill referred to, and that at no distant date.

The stewards did their best to make yesterday's meet worthy of favourable comment, and although the arrangements were defective in some respects, it was not owing to the want of a desire on their parts to consult the convenience and accommodation of their patrons. Mr. Stephen Burke, the Secretary of the club, was on the ground from an early hour in the morning till late at night, and did his best to have everything carried out in a systematic, business-like order. There were to be seen the usual sights and associations of a racecourse, such as gentlemen of the betting fraternity and cardsharpers, but they did not appear to do much business. People evidently did not come there for the purpose of "profit or loss," or to enter into doubtful speculations. The inevitable merry-go-round was on the scene, and kept grinding all day, affording merriment and amusement to flocks of young children. In the interval between the Maiden Race and the Handicap, the stewards partook of luncheon in a marquee erected on the hill. It was provided by Mr. Kelly, of the Raglan Hotel, Campaspe, who gave general satisfaction. The Maiden Race was won by Juliet, the Axedale Handicap by Surge, whose running was the subject of much admiration, the Hurdle Race by Bachelor, and the Handicap District Plate by Leucocrotta.

A hack race and consolation handicap concluded the day's sports.

• A number of land application grievances are considered by the Hon. J.J. Casey, Minister of Lands, at the District Survey Office

The first case heard was that of John Doyle, who had applied for 100 acres of land at Axedale, adjoining Mathieson's land, and his grievance was that when he applied for the land, the Surveyor did not make him aware that there was a surveyed road between Mathieson's and the land Doyle applied for. Doyle had cultivated this road under the impression that it was part of the land applied for, and when his case was heard by the Local Land Board his application was recommended to be granted. Subsequently it was disclosed that the road existed, and the license had not been issued to Doyle. Mr. Casey asked why the road was not pointed out to the Local land Board. Mr. Taylor replied that the Surveyor, Martin, should have shown the road on his plan. The road was on an old plan in the office, and existed when Mathieson purchased his land 17 years ago. Mr. Casey pointed out to the applicant that, as the licence was not yet issued, there was still time for the department to rectify the mistake, and lease the road interest, for it would be an act of injustice to take away a road which existed at the time Mathieson purchased. The applicant asked that a portion of land equal to the road should be given him, and this request was acceded to by him getting a strip along the creek, and he retired, thanking the Minister for the attention paid to his case.

The same applicant stated that he wished to get 200 acres of Mr. Taylor's run, but that gentleman objected to him getting the ground unless he paid £200 for certain improvements which were not worth £5. The improvements consisted of an erection for washing sheep, and he (the applicant) was willing to have 10 or 20 acres on which the improvements stood, excised. Mr. Casey stated that the pastoral tenants had to be protected as well as the rest, and the applicant must see that they were entitled to reasonable protection. The applicant said he did not want the improvements. Mr. Casey asked for a plan, in order to see what was wanted. The District Surveyor said there was no plan in the Office, and that Mr. Hargreaves, the Surveyor, must have the plan. Mr. Casey directed that the land applicant wanted should be surveyed, and then the application could be heard by the Local Land Board, on the 25th April, when Mr. Doyle and Mr. Taylor could he present.

• A cricket match between B.U.C.C and Heathcote is played on the Axedale racecourse reserve.

April, 1873

• An article, extolling the virtues of Axedale bluestone, appears in the Bendigo Advertiser. [Note: It appears to be the result of an interview with Napthali Ingham.]

"Axedale, a little town situated on the banks of the river Campaspe, and about fourteen miles from Sandhurst, is destined to become celebrated for its bluestone, which abounds in the neighborhood. It is perhaps not generally known that we have, within such a abort distance from this city, extensive quarries of the most magnificent bluestone in the colony, and of a quality the general average of which will bear favourable comparison with that of any other part of the world. In quantity it is almost inexhaustible, at any rate, there is enough to build a pyramid or a city of the most, palatial structure. It seems strange that the fact of the existence of such quarries within this district has not received greater attention, seeing that there is an impression that good stone is scarce, and that stone of an inferior quality has, to a great extent, been used for very important purposes. It is a matter of certainty that were it better known, Axedale bluestone would be called into more extensive use, and it would take the place of a material of a far less durable quality.

It may not be uninteresting to mention that the river Campaspe takes a considerable part of its course through a basalt country, which extends from the Keilor Plains northward to the Clare Inn. In several places the banks of the Campaspe are composed of immense formations of this bluestone, which varies in width, averaging in some parts about a mile. On reaching the Clare Inn, traces of it begin to disappear, and are gradually lost sight of altogether. The stream of lava which emanated from the ancient volcano was evidently here interrupted in its course. It is not a primary formation as its depth has been measured, and below it is generally found alluvial. It was bottomed at Redesdale, and also at Axedale, at a depth of 20 feet, but no gold was found. At Axedale, it is to be considered to be in a better and purer form than nearer to its source. We have the assurance of many experienced men who are beginning to use it in Sandhurst, that it is the best bluestone in the colony, capable of being split, sawn, or polished, and that it can be put through any operation necessary to prepare it to use. It is harder than the Malmsbury stone, better to work, of a superior quality, and can be supplied at a cheaper price. In fact, it is as good as the Brunswick bluestone, of which some of the most splendid commercial establishments and private residences in Melbourne have been built. Malmsbury stone is of a greyish colour. The Axedale stone is of a pure blue, and its feature is that it can be quarried with very little difficulty, as it is generally met with in huge blocks, which lay one upon another in the form of layers, and they can be split with an ordinary amount of wedging. Another feature of it is that most of the blocks are quite solid, and are not disfigured, or rendered useless by honeycomb formations, which are the characteristic of a large number of such quarries.

The City Council of Sandhurst has recognised the superiority of Axedale bluestone to the common ironstone and sandstone that have been in use so long, and several private citizens, including Mr. W. Heffernan, have done so likewise. Some very large and magnificent blocks of this stone may be seen on the site intended for the new theatre, many of them weighing upwards of two tons, and the staircases, landings, and approaches to St. James's Hall are also composed of the same material. The immense blocks covering the landings at the latter room are worth inspection. There seems a good prospect of this splendid stone, so long neglected, with its advantages so long unappreciated, receiving a fair trial. The Council has recently let some contracts for laying down pitched bluestone crossings in various parts of the town. A contract was let for kerbing and channelling a footpath with the same material at Back Creek. On Friday last, one was let for kerbing and channeling the footpath on the north-eastern side of the Town Hall. It will be surprising if we do not have more of these bluestone footpaths, as they can be constructed at the same price as that which a wooden footpath costs. In all of these cases the contractor was Mr. Ingham, a gentleman of great enterprise and energy, who lately came from Melbourne, and who took an active part in the development of the Brunswick quarries.

Mr. Ingham has every confidence in the Axedale bluestone, and is astonished to find that such valuable stone has so long remained unutilized. The only obstacle that prevents the introduction of the stone to Sandhurst at an exceedingly cheap rate, in fact, as cheap as bricks, is the frightful state of the McIvor road. Even in the summertime it costs 18/- per load to bring it in, and one team can only do five trips a week. Mr. Ingham employs horses and bullocks to cart the stone, and has a large number of teams on the road. He is so convinced that it will become a permanent industry that he considers it would pay a company to lay down a wooden tramway to Axedale. Apart from this, it runs through extensive farming localities, and a small army of woodcarters constantly using the road in bringing wood to Sandhurst, and the traffic is therefore immense, and it would be doubled were the facilities increased. Either a cheap tramway should be constructed, or a main road be made. The City Council is sufficiently interested in the matter to offer some encouragement or inducement for the promotion of such an industry, calculated as it is to supply a want long felt, and in some cases painfully apparent in this city. A better road metal is not to be found in any part of the country than this bluestone, which, even with the present difficulties to contend against, Mr. Ingham could supply to the Council nearly as cheaply as it purchased an inferior article from the railway department last year. It can be delivered in quantities as small or great as purchasers may want, and in blocks as little or as massive as necessity may require. Blocks and slabs, suitable for engine or stamper beds, can be obtained at a price as reasonable as that paid for the trunks of trees now used by companies, and for foundations of houses, bluestone could be obtained as cheap as granite. Under these circumstances it is not hazardous to predict that the raising, preparation, and utilization of Axedale bluestone will soon become one of our staple industries, and the material itself may be classed among the permanent resources of the district."

The above article indicates that Ingham has been at Axedale long enough to get his quarrying interests firmly established.

• Mr. Ingham's suggestion of a tramway to Axedale and enhanced supply of its bluestone, captures the public imagination as evidenced by another article:

"Nothing, perhaps, will tend more greatly to the improvement of Sandhurst, both as to appearance and comfort, than the free use of bluestone in its public works. The Council is doing a good deal at present in the way of kerbings and street crossings in this valuable and enduring stone, and it is to be hoped it will be enabled to do a great deal more. The main approaches to the city, generally, have for a long time been in a sad state of disrepair, and the description of metal generally used in patching and mending has been condemned over and over again as unfit for the purpose. There is not a piece of road in the district superior to that in High Street, between Charing Cross and the Yorkshire Hotel, and few, if any, equal to it. Bluestone metal was laid down in that locality between two and three years ago, and the road is as good as over. Past the Yorkshire Hotel, all the way to Kangaroo Flat, and beyond that place, we have a sample of what roads are made of after the old Sandhurst fashion. The contrast must strike everyone traveling in that direction, and can leave no shade of doubt as to the great desirability of abandoning all the old road making and mending material, and taking entirely to basalt. The first cost will be greater to the municipality, but the greater durability of the basaltic metal will compensate for this. There is an enormous traffic now on all our main lines of thoroughfare, and it is increasing every year. It becomes imperative, therefore, on the municipal authorities to make the streets and road approaches as good as possible, and though, of course, the question of expense must necessarily be considered to a great extent, it would be unwise to allow it to prevent the gradual but sure work of improvement.

Now that it has been ascertained beyond question that bluestone in vast quantities exists within a short distance of Sandhurst, some effort should be made to procure it at a cheaper rate than that at which it can at present be obtained. The Axedale stone has been pronounced to be of very superior quality, but there is the great drawback to its use of the price of cartage. The question, therefore, of the formation of a tramway is now occupying public attention, and it is one which demands a very close and careful consideration. How such a project may be proposed to be carried out we do not know, but undoubtedly it is one which ought speedily to be set on foot and vigorously pursued. No possible means should be neglected by which the city may be freed from the abomination of dust, with which it has been afflicted for years, or of adding to its adornment in such a manner as to put it out of the power of traveling cynics to write of it as if it were the habitation of some barbarous tribe, possessed of no sense of the elegant, and no eye for the beautiful. This reflection carries us beyond bluestone and tramways to the consideration of the numerous defects of our city."

• The City Surveyor recommends that steps should be taken with a view to obtaining basalt metal from Axedale for the future, particularly for principal roads.

May, 1873

• A tea meeting is held in support of St. Nicholas' School, Axedale.

• Mr. Steane, Town Surveyor for the City of Sandhurst, has been supporting the use of Axedale stone for some time. However, the cost of providing a tramway is prohibitive due to bridge requirements over the Campaspe River. Bridgewater bluestone may be a cheaper alternative when that rail line opens. [Note: Ingham's bluestone quarry was off the present day Ingham Road at the bend near his Quarry Hotel ruins, on the east side of the Campaspe River.]

July, 1873

• Annie Roper, wife of a Campaspe farmer, is thrown from a dray on the Axedale road. The horse runs away and she is later picked up and conveyed, by Police, to hospital in an insensible condition.

• Bridget Ryan posts a probate notice for the estate of her late sister, Margaret Ryan, late of Axedale, widow.

August, 1873

• Mr. Craike, Shire Council election candidate, addresses a meeting at the Perseverance Hotel, Axedale. Mr. Brennan announces that he will be doing the same.

• William Mason and Martha Cavanagh were charged with stealing some bed clothing from James Butler, at Tooborac. The male prisoner pleaded guilty, and the female prisoner not guilty. James Butler, sworn, said, "I recognise both prisoners. I remember the 13th inst., on which day I had occasion to leave my home at about 11 o'clock, to go to Pyalong. I did not secure,the door before leaving. I left a mattress, a double white blanket, counterpane, and sheets, in my place. I identify the counterpane and blanket now in Court as my property. I value them at about 25/- or 30/-. I saw the prisoners about a mile from my place on the 13th inst. The woman asked me for sixpence to buy tobacco with. They were coming from Pyalong to Tooborac, towards my place. I returned home on the 15th inst., and missed the articles named, now produced. I gave information to the police on the following day at Pyalong." To the male prisoner, "I saw you and the female prisoner together on the 13th inst."

Mounted Constable Clarke, stationed at Axedale, sworn, said, "On the 19th inst., from information I received, I went to an empty hut belonging to Thomas Donnelly, and saw the two prisoners there, and also another man, who is not present. I asked prisoner where he came from. He said he came from Cremorne, about 28 miles from Axedale. I know of no such place. In consequence of the contradictory statements made by the prisoner, I arrested him. I asked him to open his swag. In reply to a question, he said he bought the rug, sheet, and blanket from a hawker near Melbourne. The articles just named are the same as identified by the last witness. The male prisoner claimed all the property. I did not arrest the woman till the following night, when she came to the watchhouse to see prisoner. The prisoners were then charged with stealing an auger, valued at 4/- from James Egan. Prisoners pleaded not guilty. James Egan, sworn, said, "I am a farmer, living about two miles from Axedale. On the 18th inst., I saw both prisoners pass my place. I last saw the auger on the 15th inst. I cannot swear to the auger. I had an auger similar to the one now produced in my place on the 15th inst. I also missed a billycan with the auger. The billy produced is my property. I missed the auger and billy on the 19th inst. when I returned home to dinner. Finding the auger handle outside the door, I looked for the auger, but could not find it. My things were all tossed about. My hut is about three miles from Axedale, and about 300 yards from the McIvor Road. I saw the articles now produced at the police station. I never saw the prisoners before last Monday.

Constable Clarke, sworn, stated that the auger and billy mentioned by last witness the male prisoner claimed as his property. Senior Constable Sherson stated that there was another charge against the prisoners, but asked for a remand till Monday. Prisoners were then remanded till Monday.

William Mason and Martha Cavanagh, who where remanded from Friday last, were brought up on a third charge of larceny, this time with stealing property of John Brown, contractor. Both prisoners pleaded not guilty.

John Brown, sworn, stated: I saw both the prisoners on Saturday the 16th inst., near Watkins's Liverpool Arms, on the Bendigo road. I know the hut opposite Shandygaff farm, on the Sandhurst road, about two miles from Watkins's. I left the hut about 7 o'clock on the morning of the 16th inst. I left a pick, 2 hammers, a tin billy, a pewter pot, salt jar, 2 goat skins, and a frying-pan in the hut and tied the back door inside with a strong piece of twine and barred the front door with a slab, and I came out through the window. When I returned to the hut about 10 o'clock on the 18th inst., I found the back door broken open, and the window open. The front door had been broken open, but was shut again. Everything had been tossed about. The things I have mentioned I missed from the hut except the pick. I gave information to police the same day. The pewter pot and salt jar produced, are my property. The tin billy is not mine. The goat skins are like mine. I value the articles at about 5/- or 6/-. I never saw the prisoner before the 16th inst. I gave the prisoners no permission to go into the hut.

Frederick Pinniger, sworn, said: I am a labourer living at William's farm Shandygaff. I know Mr. Brown, the last witness. I know the hut on the Bendigo road. I saw the prisoners going to the hut on Saturday the 16th inst., about 1 o'clock in the afternoon. There was another man with them. One man threw down his swag and went round to the back of the hut. About 2 o'clock I saw smoke coming front the chimney, and the front door open. They were there on Sunday morning. They were gone on Sunday afternoon. I did not see them go away. I never saw the prisoners before.

Constable Clarke, sworn, said: On the morning of the 19th inst., I arrested the prisoners on another charge, in a hut within a mile of Axedale. On leaving the hut the billy, pewter pot, and salt jar were lying alongside the male prisoner's swag. I said "Are these things yours," and he said "Yes, but I will not take them with me." He left them there. From information I received I went to the hut and found the articles there corresponded with the description of those mentioned in the information. The prisoner Mason denied having claimed the articles, with the exception of the half pint pewter pot, which he said he picked up outside the hut.

The Bench sentenced the male prisoner to three months imprisonment on the first charge and 2 months each on the second and third charges. The female prisoner was sentenced to one month's imprisonment on each charge. Both prisoners to be sent to the Sandhurst Gaol.

• The application of Richard Jose to run a passenger conveyance between Heathcote and Sandhurst was granted.

October, 1873

• The Government Gazette advises that Andrew McGann is appointed Herdsman to the Axedale and Eppalock United Town and Farmers' Common.

• Jacob Schnider, labourer, is admitted to hospital with a fractured leg after being thrown from a dray at Axedale.

• A School Board of Advice meeting takes place:

"The monthly meeting of the Board of Advice for the North Riding of Strathfieldsaye Shire was held at the State School, Axedale, on Monday, 6th October at 3pm, when all the members were present. A communication from the Education Department was read, stating that the question of a teacher's residence at the State School, Axedale, had been referred to the District Inspector; that school requisites would be provided on application being made by the teacher; that the spouting would be repaired, and an iron tank provided for use by the school. Received. The Department also acknowledged receipt of communication recommending formation of a school near Homebush, on McIvor road, but did not state what action, if any, would be taken in the matter. Mr. Craike then moved that the Department be communicate with regarding the question of providing a school at the stone bridge over the Axe Creek on McIvor Road in the event of the non-vested school there not being handed over to the Department at the end of the year.

Several members of the Board expressed to the effect that they had been overlooked in the matter, and the correspondent was instructed to call a special meeting as soon as he received an answer to his communication, there being a common impression that the District Inspector had, without the knowledge of the Board, fixed upon a site both inconvenient and dangerous. The motion was seconded by Mr. Strachan and carried unanimously. After discussing the necessity for a school somewhere about Grassy Flat, resulting in the determination to make enquiries and attend to the subject without loss of time, the meeting terminated.

• An amusing story appears in the Bendigo Advertiser and the Maryborough Standard:

A short time ago, a little boy named Ryan, seven years of age, was tailing some cattle on the banks of the Campaspe about midway between Axedale and Clare Inn bridge. The beasts entered the river and the little fellow knew that, if they landed on the other side, the owner of the property would, if possible, impound them, and that he would receive a severe beating when he reached home, for allowing them to cross the river. The child followed them to the water's edge and was just in time to take hold of the tail of an old cow as she was entering the river. All the animals landed safely on the other side and the child did not relax his hold before he had been dragged a considerable distance up the bank. He lost no time in driving the cattle back to the river, and they all again took to the water, but the little boy was not able to take hold of the tail of a cow. He was, however, able to grasp the last extremity of a young heifer. The water in the river was 40 yards wide, and there was a strong current flowing at the time. The heifer and child were drifted down the river a considerable distance, but ultimately a firm footing was secured. Several of the neighbours witnessed the exciting scene, and the daring exploit of the child is now the chief theme of conversation throughout the district. The Clare Inn bridge, a distance of six miles from the spot, is the nearest crossing place.

November, 1873

• Ratepayers of the North-Western Riding of the McIvor Shire, lodge a request with the Shire, for repairs to a road running along the Campaspe towards Axedale, and also with reference to the reservation of the road near Heffernan's which is included in land applied for, that, if granted, would make traffic into a part quite impassable in consequences of rocks. The road is to be inspected with regard to repairs and reservation. [This road appears to be the old Axedale access road around Heffernan's and leading to the shallows crossing at the south end of Campaspe Reserve.]

• Mr. Craven's Allotment 7 of Section 2, Axedale, near the Perseverance Hotel, is advertised for sale by public auction. It is described as:

"His excellent farm at Axedale, being Allotment 7, Section 2, parish of Axedale, containing 95a 2r 5p more or less,all securely fenced, and subdivided into 4 paddocks, and having nearly a mile frontage to the Axe Creek, where it is widest and deepest. The improvements comprises four-roomed weather board cottage, capacious barn, four-stall stable, forge and convenient outbuildings, large orchard, vineyard, and garden. The fruit trees and vines have been carefully selected and are perfectly healthy, and a large portion of the land, which can be easily irrigated, is admirably adapted for a market garden; 56 acres have been under cultivation, and there is a small crop of wheat and oats which can be taken, or not, at the option of the purchaser."

• A farmer, John Pyle, residing at Axedale, dies suddenly after being brought home in great pain from working in the quarries. An inquest is held at Drake's Campaspe Hotel. He had been ailing for some time but, on the day, he went to work in the quarries after breakfast but was brought back after 20 minutes by Mr. Drake, in a buggy. He was suffering great pain in his stomach. Efforts were made to relieve the pain, but in a few minutes he lay back in bed and died. Dr. Stuart could not do anything for him. His examination found that he had ruptured an artery in the bowels.

December, 1873

• Catherine Mary Pyle, John Pyle's widow of Axedale, posts a probate notice.

• Three Axedale residents apply for land grants: James Doak - 61a, next to Mill's holding; David Mills- 92a 1r 32p, next to former holding; and Martin Hawkins - 92a 2r 32p, next McGrath's holding.

• Land previously set aside for the Axedale Racecourse and Recreation Reserve is to be permanently reserved.

• Approximately 9 acres, part of Allotment 11 of Section 8 is set aside for watering purposes. Also, approximately 11 acres near Native Gully Creek, and another of 6 acres are set aside for the same purpose.

January, 1874

• The Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Casey, inspects part of the district and Axedale gets a mention in a report in The Argus: "At Echuca a number of cases were investigated, and the following day the party traveled to Axedale through Rochester, Runnymede, and Goornong, at all of which towns complaints were heard regarding selections and public reserves. Rochester is a town of only a few years' standing, and is supported entirely by the agricultural lands surrounding it. Between the township and Runnymede, the land has been purchased in large blocks, and is still used for squatting, and the same is true to some extent of the country between Runnymede and Goornong. At Goornong, however, a change is noticeable, and from there to Axedale the land is held in forms of various areas. Around Axedale and between there and Sandhurst, the soil has been under cultivation for a number of years, and being naturally less fertile than that further north, it does not present so prosperous an appearance. One of the principal industries of this locality, and one for which the neighborhood is famous, is the production of wine, the vineyards for the most part being situated on the banks of the Axe and Emu Creeks."

A report on the same subject in the Bendigo Advertiser mentions that the inspection party was met at Runnymede [Elmore] by traps provided by Mr. Heffernan who conveyed the party, after the stop at Goornong, to his farm at Axedale, before the party continued to Sandhurst.

February, 1874

• Michael Francis Costelloe, shown as landlord, Norfolk Hotel, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, late publican, appears in a list of insolvents in the Government Gazette and his estate is sequestrated. General meetings of creditors are to be held at the Offices of the Court of Insolvency, Collins Street, Melbourne, on February 9. [Costelloe ran the Axedale Hotel on the Axe Creek, before leaving the district for Melbourne about 1867.]

May, 1874

• Three men are arrested after stealing jewelry from a woman named O'Keefe at Axedale. Out of compassion, she had permitted them, tramps, to stop at her place, and they took advantage of her kindness to commit the robbery. [Is she Mary O'Keefe, widow?].

• Eighteen Thousand acres or thereabouts in the County of Bendigo, parishes of Ellesmere, Axedale, Wellsford, and Bagshot are reserved for the Ellesmere and Axedale State Forest.

June, 1874

• George Brooks Senior and George Brooks Junior are charged with stealing a heifer. Mounted Constable Clarke gives evidence that a farmer named Powell, at Corop, had lost a heifer, branded the same as which the prisoners had killed, but the skin of which he failed to identify. The Bench thought there was not sufficient evidence to go to jury but there was enough to justify Clarke's actions.

• The Axedale races are to be held with six events.

• The Government Gazette advises that John Burke is appointed Trustee of the Axedale Racecourse on the resignation of William Joachim. S. Burke, R. O'Brien, D. Mill, and T. O'Rourke resign as trustees of the Cemetery.

• Carpenters are wanted for bridge work. Apply to J. Marwick, Myrtle Street before 9am, or afterwards at Lynch's Bridge, Axedale. [This is for the Axe Creek bridge on Sugarloaf Road, Axedale.]

August, 1874

• A sale of suburban lots adjoining the Axedale township is advertised: Allotments 6 and 7 of Section 11, 1 to 6 of Section 15, 1 to 7 of Section 14, and 4 to 9 of Section 13.

September, 1874

• The Government Gazette advises that a site of 4 acres, more or less, part of Allotment 5 of Section 6, is reserved for watering purposes.

• Mr. D.W. Kelly advises that the funeral of his wife, Anne Jane Kelly, will leave from the Raglan Hotel for the Axedale Cemetery.

• The Axedale School Board holds a meeting at the State School. A letter from the Department states that the question of admitting the public to such meetings, rests with the Boards themselves. The Department advises that a site at Homebush will receive immediate attention. A motion to extend the school site at Axedale from the current 1½ acres to 3 acres is carried.

• The Axedale Fair is advertised for the Axedale township sale yards with a quantity of sheep, lambs, pigs, horses, dairy produce and a Patent Revolving hay rake and sundries.

• The Council accepts an invitation from J. Marwick, contractor, for the opening of the bridge at Axedale on October 30th. The Engineer reports that the Axe Creek bridge should be sufficiently advanced to permit traffic over it in a week. [This is the Axe Creek bridge on Sugarloaf Road, Axedale.]

• A child, not named, is scalded to death at Axedale and an inquest is held on another scalded child named Marshall, who had died two days earlier from scalds. [The second child may not have been from Axedale.]

October, 1874

• James Conroy makes application for land that has been forfeited by H. Filgate. It is subsequently granted.

• The new Axe Creek bridge on Sugarloaf Road, Axedale is opened with a very detailed report:

"Yesterday afternoon, a ceremony of a somewhat interesting character took place in connection with the opening of the bridge across the Axedale [sic.]. Creek in the Eastern portion of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye. The occasion had been looked forward to amongst the inhabitants in the surrounding neighborhood for some days past, and the event will be quite an episode in the history of that division of the Shire.

Before entering on a description of the bridge itself, it will perhaps not be altogether out of place to make a passing remark upon the locality. By that portion of the readers who glance over the proceedings of the meetings of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council it will be remembered doubtless that a great deal of what is called 'fighting' had to he done in the Council before the bridge now spanning the Axe Creek at Lynch's was passed as a necessary work by that body. Indeed, even now it is a matter of opinion with a great many persons within the Shire whether the bridge, after all, is a very necessary work, and in point of fact whether there are not portions of the Shire upon which the sum expended upon the erection of this bridge might not have been spent with greater advantage to the ratepayers, in localities where traffic demanded the attention of the Shire Council, owing to the state of the main roads. However, this is only a comment by the way, and is now not likely to influence the deliberations of the representatives of the Shire.

To a visitor from Sandhurst the drive to the scene of the day's festivities was one of the pleasantest kind. Although the weather was somewhat warm, and the dust on the road heavy, the delight of the fresh, pure country air, together with the frequent views of bush settlements, farms, and cultivated land, more than counter balanced the disadvantages which had to be suffered on the road before reaching the end of the journey.

For the first five miles of the journey there are very few features of interest worth noticing. The scenery is entirely composed of gum trees, interspersed with an occasional plot of land upon which the long and pleasant grass grows in abundance. Further on the road, the farms adjoining it become more numerous, as do also, by the way, the public houses and the country, so far as it is perceptible to the eye, wears a more interesting aspect, and speaks silently of the labours of industry and perseverance. The early crops seen on the way out appear to be in excellent condition, as do also the fruit trees generally.

A very pleasing feature noticeable is the plentiful supply of water in the creeks as they are called, which are almost without number, all of which tell of a favourable season past, and a bright, future in store for the farmers, at least so far as the spring season is concerned. It may be pardonable if attention is also drawn here to the very rough state of the road beyond the Perseverance Hotel, a portion of which, however unfit it may be for the great amount of traffic which must pass along it in the spring season, will be absolutely impassable in the wet season. [The mention of the Perseverance Hotel here places it on the East side of the Axe Creek.]

After traveling about fourteen miles [Note: Horses don't have odometers and fourteen miles is more than a little optimistic] along a country not much diversified by either nature or art, the eye is rather pleased upon beholding the very pretty scenery in the neighborhood of the Axe Creek on the west side, of the Sugarloaf. A very large tract of land here is under cultivation, principally crops and vines, and they seem to be in a most nourishing state. The soil apparently is most favourable to agriculturists. Judging from the exceedingly healthy state of the various outgrowths on the cultivated land. Independent, however, of the very attractive nature of the improvements which have been made upon the soil, the scenery is more than what is ordinarily seen in the "bush." The land for some distance is somewhat flat, and even, the regularity of which is broken by the Axe Creek, the water in which ripples within the confines of its occasionally steep banks. The course of the creek is very irregular, and twists and turns in many ways, adding relief to the plain-like country before it. In the background rugged rocks rise upwards to the "sweet" hill called the Sugarloaf. Rustic buildings are dotted over the fair landscape, which is enlivened by the other "rural sights" which, the poets say, exhilarate the spirits. In the faint distance the bluish outlines of hills and mountains, many of which seem to be of some height, give the finishing touch to what, with a bright Australian sky overhead, would make a very charming picture of colonial country scenery.

To come, however, to the object which brought together the congregation of the many people who were on the ground, viz., the Axedale Bridge. The bridge is 175 feet in length, and 16 feet in width, and consists of seven bays or openings of 25 feet each, from the centre. It is built on piles of red and blue gum, which are 16 inches in diameter. The piles are tenoned into sills, and are screwed by ¾-inch jagged bolts. The caps to the piles are 15 inches in diameter, and are morticed to receive the tenons of piles. Each of the centre piers are framed by double diagonal braces and wailings countersunk 2 inches into the piles at intersections, and bolted at the abutment piers. Every pier, except the two end ones, have corbels 15 feet long, and a bearing on the caps of 14 inches. The beams of the bridge are four in number, and are flattened on the top, bottom, and outer sides. They are not less than 16 inches thick.

The flooring of the bridge is 4 inches thick of sawn red gum planking closely laid, and spiked at each beam with 7-inch spikes. The bridge has a substantial hand-rail painted white. All the timber except the hand-railings and wing-posts are tarred. The approaches and embankment are of excellent workmanship, as is in fact the whole of the structure. The work reflects the greatest credit on the contractor, Mr. John Marwick, and is of a most permanent and substantial character.

Soon after one o'clock, the time appointed for the formal opening of the bridge, about 150 persons, many of whom were visitors from Sandhurst, had assembled on it, when Cr. Brennan, in the absence of the President (Mr. Sawers) of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, made a few remarks. He said he was glad to see so many friends present, which showed the interest that was felt in the object for which they had met. He remembered that for the last twelve years the inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhood had agitated to have a bridge over the Axe Creek, and after a great deal of patience, they had succeeded, though not without some difficulty in getting their boon granted, and the bridge was now open for traffic. They had all no doubt thoroughly inspected the structure, and he had no hesitation in saying that it was of as substantial a character as any in the colony. (Hear, hear.) He hoped that the people would long continue to enjoy the use of the bridge. He thought the action which he had taken in getting the structure raised he would never regret. (Applause.)

Miss Lynch then, in accordance with the usual custom, dashed a bottle of sparkling champagne against the bridge, and declared it formally opened for traffic, amid the cheers of the bystanders. The company then sat down to a capital luncheon, provided by Mr. Marwick and some of the farmers living in the neighborhood. The tables were spread underneath the bridge, a portion of which was enclosed with evergreens. Mr. Brennan occupied the chair, and after full justice had been done to the eatables and wines, the toast and speech making commenced.

The first toast drunk was that of "The Queen and Royal Family," which was duly honored. The Chairman then said that he had the pleasure of proposing a toast which was, he might say, almost the chief one for which they had met there that day, viz., "Success to the bridge," and, he would add, that long may the people around live to use it and enjoy its benefits. (Hear, hear.) He expressed his pleasure at seeing such a large gathering of the inhabitants of the district, and, also, so many well-known faces from Sandhurst. He might remark with regard to the bridge, that its building was undoubtedly a great boon to the inhabitants, and was very much wanted, notwithstanding what some captious people might say to the contrary. In reply to those persons, he would say that if they lived in the neighborhood they would not say that the bridge was not wanted. (Hear, Hear.) He would like to couple the name of the contractor (Mr. Marwick) with the toast which he had proposed. (Cheers.) The toast was duly honored. Mr. J. Marwick responded by returning his sincere thanks for the manner in which the toast had been drunk. He was glad to see so many strange faces present, and hoped that the people in the neighborhood would live long to enjoy the bridge which bad been that day declared formally opened. (Hear, Hear.)

Mr. Stubber proposed the health of the Engineer, Mr. Moroney, and in doing so said the Shire was very fortunate, he thought, in securing the services of such a man, for whose better they would have to go a long way. (Hear, hear.) The toast was drunk with musical honors. Mr. Moroney responded briefly, and stated that like Mr. Marwick he thought brevity was the soul of wit, so he would not make many remarks. He thanked them for the kind way in which they had drunk his health. The bridge, he remarked, was altogether not quite completed yet, and would still take some time to finish off. He remembered the time when it was decided in the Council to erect this bridge, and it then was the wish of some that it should be a cheap structure, but he had counseled that the work should be done in a substantial manner, in such a way as would be of lasting service. (Hear, hear.) It was then considered whether the bridge should be built for low water or high water period. He had said then and it was his opinion still, that no work of this kind should be carried on except a first-class job was made of it. He believed that the bridge would be of great benefit to the community, and was built in such a manner as would withstand ordinary flood water. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Moroney then proposed the health of the Clerk of Works, Mr. J. White, who briefly responded after the toast had been drunk. The health of the Workmen was also drunk.

Mr. Maurice Moran proposed the toast of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, coupled with the name of its President. He remarked that the Shire was as well managed as any shire in the colony, and considering the immense tract of land which the shire covered there were sure to be some complaints as to the expenditure, but from his experience as Councillor he must say that the Shire was not behind any in the colony. He thought the bridge which had that day been opened was a mark of the foresight and thoughtfulness of the councilors. In the absence of Mr. Sawers, President, the Chairman responded to the toast, and remarked that he did not claim any extraordinary credit for the Council, but thought the councilors had done just as well as they could, that was as much as could be expected from human nature. (Hear, hear.) He might add, parenthetically, that, the Shire was not in such a bad position as some people wished to make out. It was not in a worse position now, financially, than it was two years ago. They were only some £200 behind their balance last year, and that was not so bad a position as half the merchants in the Colony were in. (Laughter.) However, as retrenchment was asked for he had no objection to it now. He had carried his point, and had got all he wanted.

After some further toasting the company broke up, and a visit was paid to Mr. Strachan's orchard by a great many of the guests, who expressed themselves highly delighted with what was shown them at the excellent state which Mr. Strachan's orchard and vineyard was in.

Before concluding, we might just state that the cost of the bridge will, when entirely completed, be within a trifle of £900, part of which sum is borne by the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, and the remainder is made up by a Government subsidy."

• Patrick Donohue, 20 acres, Allotment 4 of Section 9, Simon O'Brien, 60 acres near Thomas O'Dea's, Thomas O'Brien, 100 acres west of Allotment 1 of Section 12, and James White, 50 acres adjoining his existing property, all Axedale allotments. Their applications are granted.

• The District Coroner holds an inquest at the Raglan Hotel, Axedale, on the body of Anne Mulcare, a ten weeks old child, found dead in a cradle the day before. She had been left home in the charge of an elder sister, while her mother was in Sandhurst. The cause of death is recorded as congestion of the brain. Another inquest is held at drake's Campaspe Hotel, on the body of Bertie Gloster, a five month old child who had also died the previous day. The child's mother, Rosa Gloster, stated that the child took a cold, and finding that she was not getting better, she determined to go to Sandhurst for medical advice but she died on the road about two miles from her place. The recorded cause of death is acute pneumonia and pleurisy.

November, 1874

• A son is born to Mrs. Thomas Strachan.

• Michael Francis Costelloe gives notice by Government Gazette that he intends to apply to the Court of Insolvency for a Certificate of Discharge

December, 1874

• Benjamin Hensen falls off a roof in Axedale and is taken to hospital.

• Dr. Pounds held an inquest on Owen Burke, 18 months old, at Drake's Hotel. Dr. McGillivray's post mortem produces the cause as acute pleurisy. The child had been ill for some days but not thought seriously so until the day before the child died. In the morning of the day of death, the parents started for Sandhurst from Muskerry for the purpose of obtaining medical assistance. After proceeding about 13 miles, the child died in the arms of its mother.

• Mrs. A. Ingham is granted a Publican's Licence renewal.

• A land application for James Conroy, Axedale, is approved. No other details provided.

• Thomas Strachan offers a £2 reward if strayed, or a £5 reward if stolen, for his light draft bay mare.

January, 1875

• Mr. W. Heffernan arranges a sale at his farm. Listed items are: 1 powerful derrick. 70ft lift, (Forest and Bar, Glasgow), 1 horse rake (Page, Bedford), 1 winnowing machine, 1 cultivator, 2 sets of harrows, 5 ploughs, 1 reaping machine (Robertson), 1 Chambers clod crusher, 1 wagon, 2 hay drays, 6 sets of harness, roller, etc., 7 heavy draught horses, 2 colts by Governor, and a stack of first class wheaten and oaten hay. The reason for the sale is so that he can direct his attention to grazing and breeding stock.

• The Axedale School Board of Advice meets. They receive a letter from the Department stating that a site at the Axe Creek bridge and the extension of the site at Axedale has been Gazetted. The meeting carries a number of motions: 1. "That the Department be asked if the request for a site at Homebush has been favourably received." 2. "That this Board views with regret the action taken by the Department in instructing the District Inspector to seek information and aid in making inquiries of private individuals residing in the district as to the validity of the petition in favour of a school at Homebush, without the knowledge of the Board." 3. "That this Board views with regret, the unsatisfactory state in which the school question remains at Axe Creek." and 4. "That the Department be informed in reference to circulars received by the Board in the matter of enforcing the compulsory clause of the Education Act, that the Board are prepared upon compilation of the District Roll and school accommodation being provided to enter fully into the matter, but under current circumstances, cannot see how anything is to be done."

• Pat Donohue makes an application for land Allotment 4 of section 5, Axedale.

February, 1875

• The Axedale Board of Advice meets at the State School, Axedale. The Department of Education seeks the Board's concurrence in reducing the area of the Homebush site from 5 acres to 2 acres. The motion "That this Board consider that it is not advisable to lessen the area seeing that the Department recommends 5 acres for all country schools where obtainable, a recommendation this Board heartily agrees with and state a communication under date of 20th July, 1874, that it was decided to secure 5 acres for this particular site." is carried.

The correspondent was instructed to write to the Hon. Minister of Instruction explaining the above, showing how the site was recommended long before the land was selected, that the excision of 5 chains frontage to the main road could be no hardship to the selector, who will still retain frontages to the extent of nearly 1 mile, and that the means of cultivating a few acres might be of great assistance to a teacher with a small number of scholars.

The Department also stated that the District Inspector only followed the usual custom of making inquiries independently of the Board. The correspondent was instructed to write to the Minister of Instruction, stating that in the opinion of the Board, it would only be courtesy were the Inspector, when making inquiries, to place himself in communication with one member of the Board, and were his reports, or at least their results, made known to the board.

The Department of Education, also stated that District Rolls could not be provided, but that in flagrant cases, the Board should enforce the parent clauses of the Act. Also that as the building at present occupied at Axe Creek suits the reasonable requirements of the population, the Department will be obliged to defer building until provision shall have been made for places not so favourably circumstanced.

• Mr. Stephen Burke, Secretary of the Axedale Racing Club, arranges for the sale of the Publican's Booth. The successful purchaser will be entitled to collect fees at the gates of the race ground on vehicles entering the course at the rate of 2/- each. Horsemen will not be admitted into the enclosure, excepting those belonging to the running horses, Clerk of the Course, etc. The purchaser will also be entitled to sell (or sublet the sale of) all edibles, inclusive of fruit, oysters, pastry, lollies, etc. The purchaser will also be required to provide lunch for 15 at 4/- per head.

March, 1875

• Another meeting of the Axedale School Board of Advice is held in the State School, Axedale. The Minister of Instruction advises that he intends pressing for the reservation of the 5 acres at McIvor Road, recommended originally by the Board. The Head Teacher of State School 1008 sent in the half yearly return of children and there were no cases of neglect shown. Two cases of neglect coming under the notice of the Board outside of the roll, the Correspondent was asked to forward notice to the parties implicated.

• A picnic, in aid of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church picnic in Mr. Doak's paddock was advertised. Cabs were to leave the Shamrock Hotel, Sandhurst, from and after half past twelve. About 250 ladies and gentlemen attended. Every arrangement had been made for the amusement and comfort of the pleasure seekers, who entered heartily into the sports, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Luncheon was served in a spacious marquee erected on the ground and proved a very welcome adjunct to the day's outing. A band discoursed lively music, and dancing to its strains was eagerly indulged in. Altogether, the affair was a most enjoyable one, and those entrusted with the arrangements are to be congratulated on carrying them out so successfully.

• Daniel O'Dea has a day in court.

At the City Police Court, Daniel O'Dea was informed against for having feloniously set fire to a stack of hay on the property of B. Lazarus, at Axe Creek. Detective Alexander prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, and Mr. Wrixon appeared for the defence. The following evidence was taken:

Barnett Lazarus, residing at New Chum, stated that had a farm at Axe Creek, and knew the prisoner, who had been employed by him last year to truss hay. Witness discharged him for drunkenness. Had no angry words with him at any lime. Had bad a stack of about 50 tons at his farm, The value would be about £250.

On Sunday, he heard that the stack had been destroyed. In consequence of this, he drove out to the farm. Then he found there was not a straw of it left. It was all burnt down to the ground. His Manager's name was Jeremiah O'Connor. He had a man named Michael Lynch on his farm and knew a man named Patrick Sheehan by the name of Darcy. Saw him on the morning of the 17th at his place at New Chum. In consequence of what he told witness, he immediately communicated with the Police. He mentioned prisoner's name. A warrant was taken out for prisoner's arrest immediately. Had known prisoner three years.

Cross-examined by Mr. Wrixon: The only fault, he had with prisoner was for getting drunk. He lived about three quarters of a mile from Witness's place. Had known Darcy for twelve months. Had offered £50 reward for the information which would convict the thief. The advertisement appeared on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the fire, in the Bendigo Advertiser.

Patrick Sheehan said he was known by the name of Darcy, and was a labourer residing at the Axe Creek. Had known prisoner for the last eight or nine years, and remembered seeing him last Friday week at the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek. They had some drinks there, beer first and rum afterwards. They left the hotel to go to W. O'Keefe's, about four or five miles from the hotel. Remained about an hour there, but left prisoner there, and returned to Meehan's. Prisoner came in some time after and said he had been up to Jerry's (meaning Mr. Lazarus's foreman) to get the trussing of the hay from him, and he had been refused. He said that he and witness would truss it quick on Saturday night, next. "We will set fire to it." Witness said, "All right." They then finished the bottle of rum, but did not think they had any more drink till prisoner went away to bed. Never heard him make use of any more threats, and knew he was very well liked at Axedale. Witness remained at the Perseverance Hotel till Saturday night, then he went to bed in the hay house between the hours of nine and ten. After he went to bed, Meehan (the landlord) brought him a pint of beer, which he drank, and then went to sleep.

During the night, the prisoner woke him, and told him to get up. Witness did so. He knew what it was for. He put on his trousers, and prisoner said, "Don't mind putting any boots on." He did not, and they went out on the main McIvor road. The stack was nearly opposite the hotel. Prisoner told witness to go on one side of the stack, while he would go on the other, and they would meet, behind it. They did meet on the side next the grass paddock and the house, and away from the road. Prisoner asked if he had any matches, and he said he had not. Prisoner then took out a piece of old tarpaulin, and witness took one end of it, and placed it next the stack. He then pulled some matches from his pocket, and struck a light and went and lit the stack with it. He then went about two yards further, lit another match, and applied it to the stack. He struck no more matches, for the stack was in full blaze. They left, he going one way and the prisoner the other. No word was spoken between them when the stack was fired. Saw the prisoner about twelve o'clock noon on Sunday at Meehan's Hotel. Had no conversation, but they had a drink. Gave information to Mr. Lazarus, and afterwards to Detective Alexander. Heard Constable Clarke say that the marks near the stack were like Daniel O'Dea's boots. Had been mates with prisoner for a long time, but he had charged witness with stealing money from him. Had no ill feeling towards him.

Cross examined by Mr. Wrixon: Had no reason to change his name from Sheehan to Darcy. Had not deserted his wife and family. Had never stolen money from prisoner, but had money from him. Had returned a sum of £1 that he had been accused of stealing.

To Mr Cogdon: Did not fire the stack himself. He had no matches, if he had, he would.

Cross examination continued: He saw Mr. Lazarus's overseer on Sunday, but had no conversation with him. Smith did not tell him that the place was on fire, and he did not say "Let it burn to h...." Saw Mr. Lazarus on Sunday, but had no conversation with him. Saw the Advertiser on Monday, but did not give the information for the sake of getting the £50 reward. Had been mates with Daniel O'Dea for years.

Mr. Cogdon: But why did you lay the information?

Mr. Wrixon: That is what I want to know your worship. If it was not for the sake of the reward, what was it for?

In further cross examination, witness said that he had been mates with Daniel O'Dea for a long time, and had been in several transactions with him, which he seemed to wish it to appear were of a doubtful character, and he (witness) had always been blamed for them, and not the prisoner. He was not blamed about the fire. Saw the Advertiser on Tuesday, and saw the advertisement also. Thought nothing of the £50. Went to Mr. Lazarus's place on Tuesday night. He did not threaten to shoot Jerry if he did not let him in. Had been maintained by the Police since the 17th. Knew Mr. John, McNamara. Never got an order for him for 10/-.

Mr. Wrixon: Do you mean to say that you never got 10/- in his name from Mr. Meehan?

Witness: I don't mean to say anything.

Mr. Wrixon: You will have to answer my question, and you may as well do it at once. Detective Alexander objected that the witness was being pressed on a point which had nothing to do with the case.

Mr. Wrixon said that the witness's credibility had everything to do with the case, and he had a right to press the question.

Mr. Cogdon held with Mr. Wrixon, and the cross examination continued:

Witness acknowledged that he had forged the name of John McNamara to obtain 10s, from Mr. Meehan, and the forged document was put in and marked. The witness then proceeded to say that he knew Mr. Cole, and never told him or anyone else he would have it in for defendant.

Jeremiah O'Connor said he was employed by Mr. Lazarus as foreman at his farm, Axe Creek. Knew prisoner and Darcy. Prisoner had been employed by witness on the farm and discharged because of drink. Remembered Friday 12 instant, when prisoner came to the homestead about eight o'clock, they were having tea and he had some. He said he would not have come up at all only he thought it was Darcy who was there, who had "slithered off with half a bottle of rum." Witness asked prisoner if he would truss the hay for Mr. Lazarus, and prisoner said he would. After some further conversation prisoner went away, on the understanding that he was to come and truss it. He never said he would truss it quicker this year than he did the year before. Had spoken to the prisoner's friends since he had seen Detective Alexander. Had talked to McNamara but he said nothing about the case any more than saying if the prisoner had burnt the stack, it was right he should be transported.

Michael Lynch was employed on the farm, and about half past two on Sunday morning, he called witness's attention to the fire on the stack being in full blaze. It was impossible to save any of it. Saw no-one about when he went out. Did not think the hay could have heated, and caught fire of itself. Had no fire lit outside the house on Saturday. Had there been a strong wind blowing, the homestead would have stood a good chance of being destroyed. Had given information to the Police, and to Mr. Lazarus. Remembered the night of Tuesday 16th, when the witness Sheehan came to the window of his bedroom. Witness asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted to get into the kitchen, but witness would not admit him. He then muttered something like, "Now it will come out."

To Mr. Wrixon: Had known O'Dea for some time, who was a hard working man. Darcy was often about the public houses. When he came to the door, he said, either "If you don't let me in I'll shoot you," or, "Are you afraid if you let me in, I'll shoot you." Had no ground to suspect who set fire to the stack. He had his opinion, and his opinion was that Sheehan had burnt it down, because before the fire, he had been very surly in his manner towards him, and he had seen him on the farm near the stack a week before the fire, and be had not been there for twelve months.

Michael Lynch, a labourer in the employ of Mr. Lazarus, knew prisoner and Darcy. Remembered Friday 12th inst. when he was at Lazarus's farm. Prisoner came about half past seven, as they were finishing tea, and said he thought he heard Darcy's voice in the house. He had some tea, and Jerry asked him if he would truss the hay, and he did not say if he would or would not in his hearing. On Saturday, the 13th inst., witness went to bed about half past ten, and was awoken by a glare of light on the window of his bedroom. He immediately called O'Connor, and found that the stack was burning, and there was no chance of saving it.

At this stage, the case was adjourned to Thursday next, the prisoner being admitted to bail as before, in two sureties of £25. When the witness Darcy was being withdrawn from the court by the Police, he was greeted by a perfect torrent of groans by a crowded court, which tumult was instantly checked by the police.

April, 1875

• John Moore Highett was informed against at the City Police Court, yesterday, for having feloniously stolen, taken, and driven away one cow of the goods and chattels of Joshua .James Jewell, of the value of about £5, contrary to the statute in the case made and provided. Mr. McCausland, J. P. presided; Detective Alexander conducted the prosecution on behalf of the Crown, Mr. Brown appearing to watch the case for the prosecution, Mr. Crabbe was for the prisoner. The following evidence was taken: —

Joshua James Jewell said he was a farmer residing at Mitiamo, and had about fifty head of cattle running on his selection in March last. Amongst that number he had a blue and white cow. He missed the cow about Easter, missed three more besides that. Searched for them, and about the Monday after Easter Monday he saw the prisoner. He was going on the road towards Echuca, and Nicholas Pentreath was with witness. Witness followed him up, and overtook him. Said to him, "Mr. Highett, I want you to come back to look at those cattle that, are yarded in your yard." He went back to his yard, still accompanied by Pentreath. Witness said, when they got there, that there were three of his cattle that he was certain belonged lo him. Prisoner said, "There they are, if they are yours you can take them." There was another beast there that witness believed was his, but he could not swear to that. After the cattle were let out of the yard, witness said to prisoner, "From information I received, l believe you have taken a blue and white cow of mine to Sandhurst, and sold it. Prisoner said, "If you can prove it was your cow, I will give you the price of her." Witness remarked that would not satisfy him, as he had lost cattle to the amount of £20. Witness took the three cattle, and left the place with Pentreath. The one he was in doubt of, he left behind. About a week after this, he saw the blue and white cow in Burns's paddock at the Axedale. He then gave information to the police. The cow was identified about a week ago by a man named John Lowrie, who had owned it before him. Afterwards obtained a warrant for the prisoner's arrest. Never authorised anyone to take away the cow, or dispose of it in any way. Had a young man in his employ named Patrick Donahoo, who was in the habit of looking after the cattle. Had not known prisoner long, and his selection was about two miles from witness's. Witness produced a receipt for the purchase of the cow from Mr. Whittle, of Raywood.

Cross-examined by Mr. Crabbe: Did not know of his own knowledge that prisoner was a selector. Believed he was. Had seen the cow three weeks or a month before he saw it at Mr. Highett's place. "Witness's selection was not securely fenced, and his cattle were in the habit of straying off his land. Was not aware that they strayed to the prisoner's selection. Was aware that cattle had frequently been driven back on to his allotment. Could not say that prisoner did not say that he had a lot of cattle mixed with his. The blue and white cow was not earmarked, and he was not aware that it was branded till after he gave the information. Prisoner assisted witness in examining the cattle. Prisoner said the blue and white cow was his, or he thought she was, but he would give witness the full value of it, £6. Witness never said, "I'm ... if I'll take £6, but I'll take £20 to settle it." Would swear that positively. Witness did call prisoner aside and say he wished to have a private conversation with him. Did not know what he would have done had he been offered the £20. About four days or a week afterwards witness called on prisoner, and again asked for a private conversation. Prisoner did not say then, "When you asked for a private conversation before, you only insulted me by imputing a felony to me, and then offered to compound a felony for £20." He did go to prisoner and ask for a private conversation, but prisoner said he would give none, and all he had to say he must say publicly. If prisoner had compensated witness for all the cattle he had lost, he would not have prosecuted him. If he had satisfied witness he would not. Had had cattle he could not identify on his own selection.

Nicholas Frederick Pentreath, a farmer, residing at Mitiamo, said that on the 4th and 5th April, he went with prosecutor to prisoner's place. On the 5th they overtook the prisoner on the road to Echuca. Jewell said, "Come back to the yards, see those cattle that are there, and see if you can claim them." Mr.Highett then left the wagon he was driving and went back to the yards. He showed Jewell the cattle, and asked him which were his. He picked out three of them, with the prisoner's brand on, as his own property. Jewell asked prisoner if he was going to detain them, or what he was going to do with them. Prisoner said, if the cattle are yours you can take them, they must have been branded by mistake." Jewell said that there was also a blue cow he had lost, which had been sold in the Sandhurst yards, and he wished to know whether prisoner claimed the cow. He said that he thought all the cattle he bad taken in were his own. Jewell then said, "What am I to do about the blue cow? "Prisoner said, "If you can prove satisfactorily to me that the cow was yours, I will give you £6. Jewell said, "I have lost cattle to the amount of £20, and I'll make one pay for the lot." He then left with three cattle which had his brand, and one unbranded.

Cross-examined by Mr. Crabbe : Did not hear prosecutor say that he would be ... if he would take £6, and nothing but £20 would satisfy him. Never knew of one man selling another man's cow by mistake. Had been a cockatoo for a month.

Wm. Purcell Whittle, a farmer residing at Raywood, knew the cow said to have been stolen. He had owned her about eight months, and had sold her to prosecutor on the 30th June.

John Teague, a butcher residing at Raywood, knew Mr. Highett, whom he had seen on last Easter Monday at Raywood. Saw him driving a mob of cattle on that day. Witness said, "Have you any cattle for sale?" He said "No, these cattle are consigned to Messrs. Powers mid Rutherford. "Witness replied, "I see you have an old blue and white cow that used to belong to me, and she does belong to Jewell." Prisoner made no answer. Witness then said, "I bought the cow from Lowrie, and she is a first rate dairy cow. I sold her to Mr. Whittle, and Mr. Whittle sold her to Mr. Jewell." He then expressed surprise that Mr. Jewell should sell the cow in that condition. He made no reply.

To Mr. Crabbe: Had never seen the prisoner before he met him on the road. He was a stranger to witness. Would not have the cow if it was given to him.

Joseph Teague, son of the last witness, was in Raywood with his father on Easter Monday, and gave corroborative evidence. Was present when the cow was sold at the Bendigo cattle yards, but could not say if prisoner was there.

George Lowrie, a farmer, residing at Bullock Creek and Thunder Plains, gave evidence of the identity of the cow. John Lowrie, brother to the last witness, gave similar evidence.

A. M. Lloyd, Inspector of Cattle at Sandhurst, deposed that he had that day seen the cow, the subject of the prosecution. He received 50 head of cattle from the prisoner recently, but he could not say the cow was one of the 50. He delivered the cow to Mr. Burns, on the order of Messrs. Powers, Rutherford, and Co.

Timothy Putnam, salesman in the employ of Messrs. Powers, Rutherford, and Co., Stock and Station Agent, said he had seen the cow said to have been stolen, and he had no doubt about it being one he sold.

To Mr. Crabbe : There was nothing out of the common in settlers disposing of their neighbor's cattle by mistake.

To Mr. Brown : Had he been driving a mob of cattle to market, and a person told him that a cow he had in his mob belonged to somebody else, he would tell him he was guilty of a piece of impertinence. If he did not know him he would take no notice of him. If he did, of course, he would. Martin Burns deposed to the purchase of the cow from the sale yards.

Wm. Kavanagh. Mounted Constable, stationed Raywood, said that he arrested the prisoner on warrant on the 17th at Mitiamo. Prisoner said, "I fully expected this." To Mr. Crabbe: "It was common report that Jewell was going to have the prisoner arrested. This closed the case for the Crown.

Mr. Crabbe submitted that there was no case against the prisoner. The only evidence worth anything was that of the man who had met Mr. Highett on the side of the road, and had a disjointed conversation with him, in which it was stated that Mr. Highett had been told that the cow belonged to someone else. He thought in this matter the Bench should consider all the features of the case, and he would be able to show the prisoner had a cow exactly similar to the one he was said to have stolen on his run, and that he was told before he left home by the person who looked after his cattle in his absence those he was about to drive to Sandhurst, were all his own. It was not likely then that he was going to take any notice of what was said by a perfect stranger to him. There was no concealment in the case whatever. Indeed, it seemed as if the case had been a mistake altogether. Prisoner, he would ask the bench to remember, was a man of irreproachable character, and his family were of high standing in the community. With regard to Jewell, he thought his conduct was open to much comment. There would be no doubt, left on the mind of His Worship when the case was concluded that he offered to take £20 to square the matter. On the whole, the case was so clearly one of mistaken identity that he thought His Worship would see his way clear to discharge it.

John Robert Doyne Weekes, a selector living near Mr. Highett's, said he had known him twenty years. Lived about a mile and a half from him and had, at his request, looked after his farm and cattle. Remembered receiving delivery of 172 head of cattle in last May. Before that, he had sent up several other mobs, but in this mob there was a blue cow like the one said to have been stolen. He saw that cow up to the time of drafting. The cattle frequently mixed with the others, and that was a common thing in the neighborhood. Had no doubt when the mob was drafted that the blue cow belonged to Mr. Highett. Before he left he asked if the cattle he had in the mob were all his, and witness assured him that they were. Had seen Mr. Highett before the cattle were drafted, in Geelong, and he said he would not muster them till witness came up, as he would not know his own possibly. Remembered Jewell coming, after the cow had been sold, to Mr. Highett. In witness's presence, Jewell asked him what he would do about the cow. Mr. Highett said he would pay the value of the cow, and Jewell refused that, but said that he would take £20 to square the matter. Mr. Highett said he would do nothing of the sort, and walked away.

Cross-examined by Mr. Brown: Had he been told the cow was his, he would have still gone on and sold it. Mr. Highett was distinctly told by witness that the cattle were all his, and he presumed that he would take his word before that of a stranger.

Mr. Burns was recalled, and said that there was only one blue cow in the mob, from which he bought the one in question.

Luke Byrne said he knew the prisoner, and was in his employ, and was aware that he had a blue cow in his possession. Saw 51 head of cattle, which were drafted to be sent to market. Heard Mr. Highett ask before he left if he was sure the cattle were all his.

Mr. McCausland said he was very sorry for the prisoner's position, but he was compelled to commit him for trial at the Court of Assize, the same bail, one surety of £50 to be taken.

• The man O'Dea, charged with having set fire to a hayrick [sic.], the property of Barnett Lazarus, at Axedale in March last, was placed on his trial at the Court of Assize late yesterday evening, and the evidence for the prosecution was nearly concluded when the Court rose. Mr. Rainy, who appeared for the prisoner, instructed by Mr. Wrixon, stated before the adjournment of the Court that he had determined, on hearing the evidence on the other side, to call none for the defence. Thee case will thus be brought to an early termination this morning.

May, 1875

• Tenders are called by the McIvor Shire Engineer, for grubbing and clearing McIvor Road from Heffernan's corner to Forest Creek. [Heffernan's Corner is probably the intersection with Quarry Road.]

• Mr. P. Gleeson's Axedale land application is approved.

June, 1875

Diphtheria, in a most virulent form, breaks out in Axedale: "This little township has been hitherto free from attacks of the disease, but now it would appear that it has seized upon the township. Mr. J. Burke lost, two months since, a child two years of age, and a fortnight since he lost another 10 years of age, and now a third has succumbed to the malady, being 12 years of age."

• Mr. Napthali Ingham's application for a small area of land at Axedale, for the purposes of a rural inn, is approved. [This is the land on which the ruins of his inn stands today, adjacent to Ingham Road, on the East side of the Campaspe River.]

• A Boon Companion, Indeed - An execrable case of meanness and vindictiveness by which one "friend" of long standing charged another with theft without any apparent foundation whatever, was heard on Saturday last at the City Police Court before Mr. Cogdon, P.M. The circumstances are as follows: Bevan, a quarryman, and Cook, a mason, who had known each other for a period of sixteen years, met together over a "friendly" glass in a certain hotel at Axedale, and it would appear both became slightly top heavy. The day upon which this hobnobbing look place was Thursday last, and at night they slept in the same hotel. Bevan was the first to awake in the morning about six o'clock, when it was yet dark, and not being able to find his hat, he picked up his friend's and left. Shortly afterwards Cook got up and searched in vain for his hat. It was gone, the white, stiff-brimmed hat was nowhere to be seen, and the browned, tattered headpiece of his friend was the only thing of the kind left behind. It was now a matter of certainty that friend Bevan was the man who had taken the hat, and friend Cook thereupon waxed wroth. Bevan must be arrested, come what might, and accordingly Cook laid an information against him, charging him with theft, and insisted upon the trooper stationed there follow immediately in pursuit. Bevan. meanwhile, was quietly proceeding on his journey to Sandhurst, and had gone six miles when Constable Clark dashed up and arrested him. The valuable white hat sure enough rested on the unfortunate prisoner's head, and although he protested that he did not mean to take absolute possession of it, but had simply taken it because he could not find his own, and that he intended to return it, the trooper could not do otherwise than take him to the lock-up to answer the charge of theft which Cook had brought against him. At the court, Cook said he did not wish to press the charge, and His Worship concluded that he had taken this extreme proceeding against Bevan in order to recover his hat as soon as possible. He sarcastically remarked that he was indeed a "boon companion" to treat his friend thus. It was clear that Bevan had no intention of stealing the hat, and His Worship therefore thought that he had been hardly dealt by. He recommended him to be more careful of such "friends and drinking acquaintances" as Cook for the future, and dismissed the case.

July, 1875

• Both the Axedale East and Campaspe River Runs are declared forfeited.

• Two good men, fencers are wanted. Apply Quarry Hotel, Axedale.

• William Bryce and Fiona McLean are to be married in the St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Axedale.

August, 1875

• Code's Homebush Hotel, McIvor Road is nominated as a polling place for the Axedale Riding election. John Burke and James O'Loughlin are candidates. Axedale Schoolhouse at Axe Creek is also a polling place. Stephen Burke and Albert Bruhn are candidates for Auditor

• Mr. J. Taylor's stone cutting works, situated in Sandhurst and supplying finished stone products, uses granite obtained from Axedale.

• The Official Assignee of the estate of Robert Taylor, and Darnton Watson, Mortgagee, advises that his property, consisting of Allotment 4 of Section 7 and part of Allotments 3 and 7 of Section 11, will be offered for sale by auction.

• Mrs. Margaret Miesen, widow, of Axedale, posts the usual probate notice for probate in relation to the estate of her late husband, Heinrich Miesen, intestate.

September, 1875

• Mary Ingham, Innkeeper, Axedale, charges John Tilson with stealing a bottle of gin from her bar:

A male named John Tilson was proceeded against by one Mary Ingham, hotel keeper at Axedale, for stealing from her bar, a bottle of gin on Tuesday last. Prosecutrix's evidence was to the extent that Tilson came to her hotel on the day named, and got three drinks. He paid for the first two, but for the last he did not pay, alleging that he had no more money. After some words had passed between them, he left, and Mrs. Ingham went to her dinner in another room, leaving one of her children to watch the bar. Shortly thereafter, she was informed that the man had returned, and had just gone out again with a large bottle of gin in his coat pocket. She then went inside the bar, and found that a quart bottle was missing. The little fellow who had been left in charge meanwhile gave chase and recovered the gin, but Tilson, in his turn, ran after the boy and got back the bottle.

Mrs. Ingham maintained that he was sober at the time this happened. John Mason next deposed that he found prisoner lying in an adjoining paddock, with the bottle of gin in his possession. In reply to witness' questionings, he said that he had bought it at Drake's that morning. Witness could not say that he was drunk.

The arresting constable gave evidence that Tilson had been working on a road contract for some time, and was earning a very good wage. He had hitherto been well conducted, but was much given to drink. His Worship then passed sentence of one month's imprisonment, with hard labour.

• A farmer named Alexander Ridley, residing at Axe Creek, sought to obtain protection against a neighboring farmer named Alexander Ritchie who, he averred, had threatened to do violence to him. Mr. Rymer, jun., conducted the case for the complainant, and Mr. Motteram defended.

Complainant deposed that on the day after a trial at the County Court last Wednesday, concerning some land which defendant had disputed his (complainant's) right to, defendant came to his paddock and commenced taking down the rails. Witness told him to desist. Defendant then turned round and used very threatening language. He had a rail in his hand at the time, from nine to ten feet long, and threatened "lay him" with it. He could have been heard for a long distance off. Witness then went away by the advice of some neighbors. Defendant had several times threatened him, and he was afraid for the safety of his life.

To Mr. Rymer, junr.: Had had several suits at law with Ritchie. It was a sapling rail, and not heavy. Witness was not so strong as defendant, yet he could wield it in his hand. He said to witness, "You ... I will show you your bed, and where you will lie." Witness was about 30 yards distant from him when this occurred, and had not been abusive to him. There was a woman named Mrs. Devine standing by, and his wife was also present.

Mrs. Devine then gave corroborative evidence to that of last witness. In reply to the Bench, Ritchie maintained that he had not behaved in the manner slated, and would not do it. Mr. Cogdon bound him over to keep the peace for six months in his own surety for £50.

October, 1875

• Mr. P. Drake's tender for supply of prisoner's rations at Axedale, is accepted.

November, 1875

• Nineteen ratepayers, at the Native Creek, ask the Strathfieldsaye Shire, that the clearing begun on the road leading from the water reserve, near Shanahan's, to Axedale township, might be completed.

December, 1875

• The District Coroner holds an inquest at the Axedale Hotel, Campaspe, into the death of Bridget Harrington, a two day old infant who had died at Dr. Boyd's surgery. The child had been brought to the surgery by its father, but the doctor being busy for several minutes after she was brought there, could not attend her. When he finally looked at her, he found that she was dead.

The doctor examined the body and stated the cause of death was congestion of the lungs, brought on by cold and accelerated by the long journey to Sandhurst from Muskerry. A similar verdict was returned.

January, 1876

• Michael Brennan announces his resignation, after 13 years, as a representative for the Axedale Riding and, subsequently, announces that he will be a candidate for the Mandurang Riding.

• Napthali Ingham applies for sale of his 19th section holding in the Parish of Wellsford, 272a 3r 20p. [This property is at the corner of McIvor Road and Murphy Lane. The Longlea Post Office is part of that property today.]

February, 1876

• The wedding of Charles Morgan, farmer of Mosquito Creek, and Alice Milbourn, daughter of Isaiah Milbourn, farmer of Axedale, is announced to be held at Axedale, with Rev, William F. Fraser, M.A. performing the ceremony.

• The valuable stock of horses, cattle and farming implements of Peter Tierney are advertised for sale at the Raglan Hotel yards: 20 superior horses, heavy draught and light harness, 40 head of cattle of mixed sexes and ages, team of working bullocks, dray bows, yokes and chains, 2 capital wagons, hay dray, 2 double furrow ploughs, scarifier, 3 single furrow ploughs, 3 sets harrows, 3 reaping machines, 1 double moulding plough, 12 sets plough and dray harness, first rate buggy, with lamps, etc., buggy harness and sundries.

March, 1876

• As John Comber is returning from Sandhurst to Mosquito Creek, his horse shies in a most unusual manner. He dismounts and finds the dead body of a Chinaman lying on the road. A capsized cart, with one of the wheels broken, is found not far from the corpse. Comber returns to Sandhurst and returns with the Police. The body is then conveyed to an Axedale Hotel where an inquest is subsequently held. The deceased is supposed to be a gardener residing at the Coliban, and that he was returning home from the Sandhurst market. It is surmised that his horse bolted, and that the unfortunate man, in endeavouring to stop it, was knocked down, the wheels of the cart going over him and killing him on the spot.

• Peter Tierney, Axedale farmer, is listed as an insolvent. Liabilities are £2,684/2/6, Assets are £708, and the deficiency is £1,976/2/6.

• Napthali Ingham's licence application for land for his rural inn at Axedale, is approved.

• In the Police Court, Constable Clarke, of Axedale, makes a statement that ought to demand the close attention of the medical authorities. Mary O'Keefe is charged with petty larceny from the house of a labourer named John Smith, living on the Axe Creek. During the case, it transpired that some material evidence could be given by the 12 year old daughter of the prosecutor. When the Bench asks why the girl is not produced, Constable Clarke says it is because she is ill. Her father had told him that she was suffering from smallpox. If the father's report is true, it is surprising that Constable Clarke has not reported the matter to the proper authorities. [Is Mary O'Keefe the widow of Thomas O'Keefe, previously mentioned in 1868?]

Subsequently, Dr. Cruikshank states that he has not heard anything of the smallpox disease in the district, nor could he find any case of anyone having been treated for it. He has not visited the girl, who resides at Axedale, nor will he do so, because Axedale is in the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, which corporation is supposed to have its own Health Officer.

The smallpox scare is eventually reported as a mistake. The man, Smith, evidently did not know what he was saying, as if it had really been smallpox with which his daughter was afflicted, the fact would have been instantly flashed over the entire district and reported by the authorities to the Health Officers. The presumption is that Smith has made an "egregious mistake."

• An inquest is held at Drake's Hotel, Axedale, on the body of Charlotte Smith, the daughter of a splitter living at Toolleen. She was only two months and two days old and had been very sick. The nearest doctor was twenty one miles from her home. Dr, Boyle says that the cause of death was inflammation of the lungs, liver and bowels. From the child's state, he gave it as his opinion, that she could not have lived had medical attention been procured.

• The probate notice for William Murphy Snr., late of Axedale, is posted by his daughter, Mary Huet, of Axe Creek.

• The Axedale Races are held again:

"Stewards: Messrs. R. O'Brien, J. White, D. McCarthy, A. Taylor, T. Donnellan, J. D. Bywater, W. S. Cahill, D. McNamara, and J. Doak. Judge; Mr. Wm. Heffernan. Starter: Mr. M. Boyle. Clerk of Course: Mr. Martin Burns. Secretary: Mr. S. Burke. Handicapper: Mr. W. P. Neal.

The annual races of the Axedale Jockey- Club took place on Saturday on the pleasantly-situated racecourse at Axedale. The threatening appearance of the weather, and the day being an inconvenient one for people to attend, militated against the attendance, which was much smaller than usual. Directly after the Maiden Plate had been run for rain began to descend, and spoiled what would otherwise have proved a most enjoyable day's sport. The succeeding races had to be run during intervals between showers. Mr. Drake, the well-known publican of Axedale, occupied the refreshment booth, and also catered for the usual luncheon."

April, 1876

• Edward Holmes opens a business in Goornong and sells his Allotments 1 and 8 of Section 5, 4 miles from Axedale. The whole property is securely enclosed with a three-rail fence, subdivided, cleared, cultivated, and the land in good heart. One portion has a frontage to the Campaspe River, and on the other, there is a large dam of permanent water, from which four kilns of bricks have been made.

• An inquest is held on the body of Frederick Miller who died in hospital from a fractured skull. Michael Boyle of Axedale, gives evidence that the injury occurred in the stable while Miller was attending the horses. Michael's mother, Sarah, says that one of the horses rushed out of the stable quite suddenly. Her son called out to the deceased but did not receive an answer. They both went into the stable and found the boy, bleeding, lying down near the stall. He was carried to the house and then conveyed to hospital. The boy did not regain consciousness.

May, 1876

• The Axedale School Board of Advice holds a meeting. A letter from the District Inspector is received. He requests any information as to whether any building could be obtained at McIvor Road in place of Mr. Hogan's. He receives a negative reply. A site of 5 acres has been Gazetted for the McIvor Road State School. Tree planting around state schools is highly approved by the Board and they call for suitable fencing.

Moved by Mr. Craike, seconded by Mr. martin: "That this Board call the attention of the Department to the fact that the head teacher from Capitation School No. 865, left the school some weeks ago and since then, the school has been under the care of the work mistress. As this is not satisfactory to many parents of children attending school, the Board urge the necessity of proceeding with the erection of the State school at once."

Mr. Potter moved, and Mr. Craike seconded, "That as the room rented at McIvor Road has not been available for school purposes for some time back, owing to sickness in the family residing in the other portions of the building, as no other suitable building is obtainable for temporary use, and as it is doubtful whether the same room can be obtained for another year, this board would respectfully urge upon the Department the necessity for the immediate erection of a State school on the site reserved." [Note: The reserved site is at the corner of Atlas Road and McIvor Road, Junortoun.]

• A 50 year old shepherd named John Acres dies suddenly at Robert Burns' farm, Axedale, and is removed to Drake's Campaspe Hotel for an inquest. The cause of death is syncope during aneurysm in the aorta.

• The Argus reports: "I reported about a fortnight ago the disappearance of a man named George Barnett, a splitter from Axedale, where he resided, under very mysterious circumstances. Barnett came into Sandhurst on the 11th inst. for the purpose of transacting some business at the sub treasury, and when he had completed it, started for home, and arrived at the Strathfieldsaye Hotel at about 6 o'clock in the evening. He stopped at the hotel a short time, and had one drink, after which he again started for home, having at that time only a very short distance to go. He was not afterwards seen alive. The night was very dark and wet and it was concluded that Barnett had missed his way, and fallen into the creek, but although a careful search was made for some distance along it with drags, nothing could be found of the missing man, whose family naturally suffered great anxiety concerning him. On Saturday last however, Barnett's body was found in the creek, entangled in the branches of a tree. The water at this part of the creek was 14 feet in depth. An inquest has been held upon the body, and a verdict of accidental drowning returned. The deceased man was of very sober habits generally, but on the day he came into Sandhurst, he had more drink than he was accustomed to, and it is supposed that, mistaking a light in a neighbor's house for that in his own, and making for it, he got off the road and fell into the creek."

June, 1876

• The tender for the supply of prisoners' rations at Axedale is again awarded to Patrick Drake.

July, 1876

• A most peculiar case of child desertion is brought under the notice of the City Police Court. Constable Clark of Axedale, brought in a female child about two months old, and placed it before the Court, on a charge of it being a neglected child. It appears that a man at the Homebush Hotel, on the McIvor Road, went into the kitchen at that place, and there found the infant wrapped up very comfortably. The most singular part of the affair was the discovery of a piece of paper attached to the clothing on which was written the address - Michael Boyle. It was found that the mother was Susan Hammersley. She was ordered to pay 3/- per week for its support in the Industrial School. Subsequently she brought up Boyle for maintenance of the child, but the case broke down.

• Thomas Strachan's Maryhill Vineyard on the Axe Creek is for sale. It consists of about 6 acres of various sorts of fruit trees, about 5 acres of vines, a 35 acre paddock and a frontage of nearly half a mile to a never-failing water supply in the Axe Creek.

August, 1876

• Mr. W.S. Cahill, Axedale, is appointed Deputy Registrar of Births and Deaths for the District. Mr. D.S. Clark having resigned.

October, 1876

• Napthali Ingham's application for 24a, 0r, 10p in the Parish of Weston is refused as he has not complied with the regulations of the Land Act in regard to a previous application. [No further details given.]

November, 1876

• On November 27th, Mr. D.W. Kelly announces that he intends to apply for a Publican's Licence for a house situate at Knowsley, containing five rooms, exclusive of those required for the use of the family, to be known as the Moorabbee Hotel.

December, 1876

• A number of Axedale residents are granted Publican's Licence renewals: R. Eash - McIvor Road; A.J. Harrison - McIvor Road; J. Quealy - McIvor Road; M. Shanahan - McIvor Road; J. Baldwin - McIvor Road; B. Code - Axedale; H. Acott - McIvor Road, P. Meehan - Axe Creek; P. Drake - Axedale; W. Collins - Axe Creek; M. Naismith - McIvor Road. [Note the number of McIvor Road entries.]

January, 1877

• Henry Acott is granted a Grazing Permit renewal for 130a, 1r, 15p at Axedale.

• Among others, tenders are invited for the erection of a wooden school, at Axedale. Plans are available at School 1008, at Axedale, for the works at Axedale. [This appears to be another confusion of the Axedale locality and is for the erection of the Homebush School at the Atlas Road/McIvor Road intersection, with the plans available for inspection at the Axedale township school.]

• Michael Ryan, an Axedale farmer, is thrown from his horse and killed instantly. He is taken to the Ellesmere Hotel. Coronial Inquest evidence discloses that he was standing with his horse near a fence on the road between Axedale and the Ellesmere Hotel, when a buggy, owned by Mr. Andrew O'Keefe, driven by one of his farm servants, passed the deceased. Immediately after the buggy had passed him, an acquaintance of the deceased, Henry Smythe, riding on a horse, also went by him. The deceased then got on his horse and set off at full gallop after them and, passing Smythe, came against the rear wheel of the buggy. The collision capsized his horse and himself and his horse fell over him. He was immediately picked up and found insensible, with blood gushing from his mouth and left ear. He died about an hour and a half later from a fractured skull, at the Ellesmere Hotel. Ryan was an orphan working locally in the district.

February, 1877

• A Wanted Known advertisement appears: "1,000 adults and children have been cured in from one to three days by using Dorman's Eye Lotion for sandy blight and inflammation. Charles Gordon, Winemaker, Tayfield Vineyard, Axedale, testifies to its excellence by stating that one bottle of it has cured him and a number of his neighbours of severe sandy blight. Price is 6d and 2s 6d per bottle." [The advertisement ran for a long time in local print.]

• A fire at the Raglan Hotel:

The village of Axedale, situated on the Campaspe, about fifteen miles from Sandhurst, was on Monday evening the scene of a very serious disaster. The Raglan Hotel at that place will be well known to old as well as modern travelers on the McIvor road. It was built, we believe, somewhere about the year 1855, and was a substantial little structure, the main portion of which was formed of 14-inch walls of stone and brick. This portion of it contained six rooms, but a wooden addition at the rear, of considerable size, intended for the purposes of a dancing room on the occasion of the local races and other gala days, was divided into three apartments by means of shifting wooden and calico partitions. It was in this part of the hotel that a fire, which has reduced the whole fabric to ruins, broke out about six o'clock the night before last. No satisfactory explanation can be given of the origin of the conflagration. But we may here state that neither the house, which was the property of Mr. Drake, nor the furniture and stock belonging to the licensee, Mrs. Tierney, were insured. The fire, therefore, was the "work either of a malicious incendiary, or of some of those mysterious agencies which form the grand chapter of accidents."

From inquiries instituted yesterday on the ground, it appeared that the people of Axedale believe firmly that the fire occurred accidentally. Mrs. Tierney, with her son and daughter-in-law, had visited Sandhurst on Monday, leaving a man in charge, who was the only person on the premises, and as his duties confined him to the bar or front part of the building, he has no knowledge whatever of the cause of the unfortunate occurrence. There was not a fire in any room on the premises during the day. The fire was first discovered by a little girl, the daughter of Mr. Drake, of the Campaspe Hotel, which is situated immediately opposite to the old Raglan. She was crossing the street on some errand when she saw flames issuing from the back wooden building and she immediately gave the alarm.

Mr. Drake, with several persons who happened to be in his house, rushed across the road, and the whole population of Axedale quickly gathered on the spot. Every endeavour was made to save some of the property, but so rapidly did the flames extend that only some articles of small value, such as bedding and clothing, could be saved. Naturally, the first rush was made to the burning dancing room, but the fire had taken such a hold of it that all attempts in that direction had quickly to be abandoned, and attention was directed to the saving of property in the front part of the hotel. But the heat and smoke were so intense and suffocating that the people were driven back without effecting any great good. The spread of the fire was so rapid, we were assured by eye-witnesses, that from the time of its discovery, barely ten minutes had elapsed when all hope of extinguishing it or rescuing the stock and furniture was at an end. The main portion of the building was in the form of a half square, the dancing room forming a third part of the square. The flames from the latter were driven by a smart breeze which was blowing at the time through the somewhat narrow second side facing the Campaspe, and thence into the bar and parlor side fronting the main road. It is to be understood that although the chief portion of the house was composed of solid walls of brick and stone, yet at the end to which the dancing room adjoined the gable was formed of calico and wood through which the fire rushed with great fury. But it is a little extraordinary that, although it had immediately to encounter a stout brick partition, it swept over it, and another of the same description also, consuming the ceiling and roof. In these partitions there were no doors nor openings of any kind, but in a third one there was a door leading into the bar. It can be imagined with what force the devouring element swept through the narrow building and its partitions, when it is remembered that scarcely ten minutes had elapsed before every part of the house was one mass of flames. Within three-quarters of an hour the work of destruction was complete, the wooden dancing room leveled with the ground, the rest of the building completely gutted, the solid walls cracked and crumbling with the intense heat, the iron roof entirely collapsed, and the wooden part of the roof utterly consumed. There was a good dam of water close at hand, but it was found utterly impossible to make any effectual use of it.

The hotel had been erected in a hollow, and the floors were raised very high from the ground. Consequently the fire raged both above and below, and being confined within the solid walls of the somewhat narrow building, obtained tremendous force. How the accident could have been occasioned is a mystery which it is difficult to solve. The dancing room in which it originated was almost empty, there being only a tarpaulin lying on one part of the floor, and a bag or two of wheat on another. As we have said above, although every possible exertion was made by the people of the township, nothing whatever of value was saved. Mrs. Tierney had only been in possession of the house a few weeks, her license having been issued on the 1st January. By this calamity she and her son and daughter-in-law have been bereft of all their worldly goods, and the loss is all the greater since a full stock had only very recently been laid in. They are, therefore, placed in very distressed circumstances, and when we visited Axedale yesterday, an old out-house had been fitted up in order to afford them a temporary dwelling. This time last year they met with a misfortune which reduced them to utter poverty, and just as they were struggling hard to retrieve their fortunes, they have been met with this second and crushing disaster. A large fire, we were informed, was raging at some miles distance, in the direction of Emu Creek at the time the Raglan was burned down. [Another article says the premises was rented by Mr. P. Tierney.]

March, 1877

• The McIvor road seems to be in constant need of repair. The latest, which appears to be related to relatively recent works:

"Some parts of the road are in an abominable state of disrepair. We may especially mention that portion for two or three miles on the Campaspe side of the South Atlas Hotel. The road at that part, instead of having been formed on the hillside, has been carried down a watercourse, and the consequence is that whenever heavy rains occur, quite a flood flows down the road, cutting it up in a ruinous manner. Deep and wide channels have been washed away on the sides, sometimes encroaching on the road itself and rendering traveling in the dark somewhat dangerous. We believe that the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council has control of the road in question, and it would be well for that body to at once take steps to effect a deviation of the road or devise some other means of remedying the existing state of affairs. In its present position, the road is a positive disgrace to any local governing body, as it shows an engineering bungle which any man possessing a degree of common sense could have easily detected before the road was formed."

• Thomas Strachan's Maryhill Vineyard is advertised for sale by auction. "That choice allotment of land at Axedale, containing 45 acres, more or less, permanently watered by the Axe Creek, 12 acres of which are cultivated as an orchard and vineyard, well stocked with vines and fruit trees of the latest and best varieties in full bearing. There is, on the land, a six-roomed weather board house, stone cellar, men's and fruit rooms, workshop, stabling, etc. " [Note: The property is that which became the future Thomas Craike's "Bowmont" Vineyard.]

• A son is added to the W.S. Cahill family.

• The Axedale Races are held, once again with a low attendance:

"These races took place yesterday at the country township the title of which corresponds with that selected as the name under which the meeting should he held. The day being fine, but slightly warm, served in great measure to bring the country folk from the surrounding district and country. There was not as good an attendance of people present as generally characterises a suburban race meeting, only between 200 and 300 persons being present, but it must certainly be said that amongst those present there were many fair young ladies who added grace and vitality to the otherwise rural scene. The spot chosen is in every way naturally suited for the purposes of a racecourse, and with a little extra expenditure would be one of the most ornate of its kind, on account of the running ground being almost in full view of the spectators during the race, but yesterday, through bad arrangements being made as to the position booths, stalls, etc., should occupy, the reverse was almost the case, the spectators having to change from one side to another in order to get a glimpse at the horses, which caused great confusion. Some of the usual paraphernalia to be seen at race meetings was here apparent - one largo publican's booth, fruit stalls, gaming tables, etc. Better provision ought also to have been made with regard to the comfort of the lady patronisers, as not even a covered booth was provided for their accommodation. We will now touch upon the racing itself, which was passable, although if greater facilities had been offered for more numerous entries in the different races which took place, greater enjoyment would have been afforded to those present. Stewards: Messrs. G. D. Bywater, W, S. Cahill, T. O'Rourke, J. Burke, T. Donnellan, K. O'Brien, M. Boyle, and J. Harris. Judge: Mr. D. McCarthy. Starter: Mr. M. Boyle. Secretary: Mr. S. Burke. All the gentlemen named filled their respective offices with apparently entire satisfaction to all present, although, en passant, it may be remarked that the judge ought to have been provided with a better stand in which to discharge his judicial functions."

• The Axedale and Eppalock United Town and Farmers' Common is united with the Strathfieldsaye and Sedgwick Farmers' Common and, as such, is designated the Strathfieldsaye Common.

April, 1877

• A Section 81 Land Grant is made to G. O'Dea, Axedale, a Section 19 Licence to P. Gleeson, Knowsley West, and a Section 47 rural inn licence to B. Code, Axedale. Holdings amended under Section 20: J. O'Loughlin, G. O'Dea and J. O'Connell, Axedale.

• The Heathcote Town and District Coursing Club holds a successful meeting. Napthali Ingham has an entry. Many dogs are shown as Pedigree Unknown.

• Land on the Campaspe, Axedale, is offered for sale. It is the property of Mr. M. Kennedy, consisting of part of Allotment 19B, 56a 3r 34p with road and river frontage. Improvements consist of a four roomed weather board cottage and detached kitchen, stone dairy about 20 x 12, stock and milking yards. On the land is the finest bluestone quarry within miles of Sandhurst, if not in the colony. Mr. Kennedy is leaving Axedale.

June, 1877

• Messrs. Malcolm McKinnon, Moorabbee,Heathcote; W. Heffernan, Axedale; Francis Robertson, Mitchell's Creek, Graytown; David Sims, Heathcote; T.F. Groom, Spring Plains; John Orr, Glenhope; Peter Cooper, Tooborac; John Begg, Mt. Camel; G. and A. McRobert, Mt. Pleasant; and George Groves, Gobarup, post a £100 reward for furnishing sufficient information leading to the conviction of any person or persons guilty of stealing sheep or wool from any of their stations or runs, or setting fire to any of the fences thereon.

• Mr. James Doak, Axedale, applies to the McIvor Shire, to purchase a road near his property, leading to a river frontage reserve. The President opposes the request but then agrees to a motion that a meeting be called on the property to discuss the matter.

July, 1877

• Cr. Westblade and others approve Mr. Doak's road purchase application.

• An inquest is held at Axedale, into the death of Eyer Whitlock who died suddenly on Sunday at about 1 o'clock. The evidence of Alfred William Whitlock showed that the deceased was his son and was 9 months old. His mother had died about a fortnight previous, and on the doctor's recommendation, the child had been weaned a week before and appeared to thrive on its food. It had every care, but on Friday, appeared restless and ill, and as he thought, suffering from teething. On Saturday, he went to the township and procured some Steidman's powders, and administered one, but about one o'clock in the morning (Sunday), the child died. He had no medical aid as he did not think till the child got very bad, that a doctor would be required. The cause of death was given as pneumonia.

• The Strathfieldsaye Shire Council receives a letter from the Railways and Roads Department, asking to be supplied with a return showing the holdings exceeding 100 acres in extent within the Shire on the 1st instant. There is also a statement from W. B. Gittens and five others, stating that they had cleared and formed a road from the top of the Slaughter Yard Hill towards Grassy Flat at a cost of £7, and requesting the Council to spend a sum not exceeding £10 on the same, so as to render it fit for traffic. It is decided that if the engineer could do the work for £10 he should do it, if not, that he should submit a report at next meeting.

• A letter from P. Drake and seventeen others, draws attention to the wretched condition of the road between P. Murphy's and the town of Axedale, and asking that it might be repaired. The Engineer is instructed to submit a report at next meeting. [This is probably from Murphy Lane, near Axe Creek, to Axedale.]

• Cr. Craike moves that tenders be called for about 200 yards of metal on the McIvor Road, from the city boundary to the Travellers' Rest, and 100 yards of metal from the last named place to Axedale. The motion is seconded and carried.

• Cr. Craike moves that the Secretary be instructed to write to Mr. Minter, enquiring upon what terms he would part with a piece of land required for road purposes, in connection with the proposed deviation of the McIvor Road, and that steps be taken to have a piece of Crown land adjoining reserved.

• Cr. O'Rourke moved that tenders be called for clearing [unidentified] road at Axedale.

• Cr. O'Loughlin moves that the Engineer be instructed to have the crossings widened on the McIvor Road, cost not to exceed £10. Seconded and carried.

• Stephen Burke is elected unopposed for Strathfieldsaye Shire Council Auditor.

• The want of a State School, so long experienced in the Axedale district, has been supplied, the new school, No. 1921, having been opened. Mr. Alexander Rintoul has been appointed Head Teacher, a selection which will give the greatest satisfaction to the residents. Mr. Rintoul has had great experience in educational matters under Mr. J.T. Burston, Head Master of State School No. 614, Taradale, and holds the highest testimonials for his ability.

August, 1877

• Mary Patterson is charged with assaulting John Rance, a butcher employed by Axedale butcher, Martin Burns, Patterson is Burns's housekeeper. Rance is employed by Burns as a Butcher. The three persons are having dinner together. Patterson is reported to have said to Rance, "Hold up your head and tell the truth, was I drunk yesterday?" He says, "Yes you were." She says, "You liar" and threw a butcher's knife at him. It is supposed to have penetrated two waistcoats, a shirt and a flannel, inflicting a severe wound to his left shoulder. Rance is then reported to have thrown a cup of tea at Patterson. Burns holds Patterson's hands. Rance's bleeding is stopped by flour and plaster.

"Mary Patterson is brought up on remand charged with wounding John Rance, at Axedale on the 9th inst. Mr. Motteram appeared for the defence. The depositions of the prosecutor, taken on 19th inst. were read. In reply to Sergeant Webb, he further deposed that after hearing of the case at the Court on the 10th, he went to Dr. Cruikshank to show him the wound. He was unable to go to work until the previous day. To Mr. Motteram: He had not accused the prisoner [Patterson] of being drunk, or told Burns of her being so. He threw a cup at her but did not hit her, after she threw the knife and a cup of tea at him. She was carving the meet with the knife she threw at him. Martin Burns, a butcher at Axedale, deposed that the prisoner and the prosecutor were in his service, and then corroborated the evidence of the last witness [Rance] as to the assault. To Mr. Motteram: The prisoner was a woman of violent character, but had always borne a good character while in his employ. George Johnstone, a lad in the employ of last witness, gave corroborative evidence. Dr. Cruikshank deposed that Rance on 10th inst. to have his wound examined. It was about three quarters of an inch long, anterior to the shoulder joint on the left side and seemingly deep, but as so much time had elapsed since it was done, he did not probe it. The wound was not of a dangerous character. Mounted Constable Feeley, in charge of the Axedale Station, proved the arrest of the prisoner. Mr. Motteram reserved his defence and the prisoner was committed to take her trial at the Court of Assize, Sandhurst, on 23rd October next."

• Tenders are called for 220 chains of road between R. O'Brien's crossing to Stewart's corner, Axedale; for supplying, breaking, and stacking 200 cubic yards of maintenance metal between the city [Sandhurst] boundary and the Travellers' Rest, McIvor Road; and for supplying, breaking and stacking 400 cubic yards of maintenance metal between the Travellers' Rest and Axedale, McIvor road.

September, 1877

• Napthali Ingham advertises for a bullock driver at the rate of 25/- per day and found.

October, 1877

• Accidents are becoming very common on the road from Axedale to Sandhurst. While Mr. Thomas Craike was coming into market early on Saturday morning, walking along by the side of his cart, his horse suddenly took fright. He held on to the reins and was dragged down under the cart, but, strange to say, escaped with only a few bruises. This is the second or third time that the same horse has bolted. It is only a short time back since it bolted and threw Craike's son out of the cart.

• Mr. Martin, of Kangaroo Creek, is slowly improving. He is attended by Dr. Atkinson, and is suffering from concussion of the brain.

• Axedale wines and fruits are again to the fore. Mr. Thomas Craike, of Bowmont Vineyard, Axe Creek, succeeding in carrying off the two first prizes at the Echuca Show for red and white wine respectively. He was also very successful in his exhibition of fruits, taking first honors in everything.

November, 1877

• Thomas Conroy is admitted to hospital, suffering from a wound in his thigh. He had fallen from the top of a load of hay onto a spike on the corner of the frame at the back of the cart, inflicting wounds, two inches long, on the back of his right thigh.

December, 1877

• Two men, John Doigan and Thomas Stapleton, working for Mr. Lazarus, Axedale [near Axe Creek], appear in court in an assault case. Doigan uses some 'very opprobrious names' towards Stapleton, a sort of boss in the field. Stapleton got off the reaping machine and hit him. Mr. Cogdon, Police Magistrate, considered that great provocation had been given, and fines Stapleton 5/-.

• Tenders are called for painting and additions [not detailed] to the Axedale Police Station.

January, 1878

• Miss McMahon, residing at Axedale, is admitted to hospital, suffering the effects of snakebite. It appears that she is walking through a paddock near her residence, when she accidentally treads on the snake, which coils around her leg and bites her on the ankle.

April, 1878

• Mr. William Heffernan advises that he is laying poison in his paddocks on his Campaspe property. [There are no further details.]

• The Axedale Jockey Club Annual Races are held. The weather was delightful, neither the attendance nor the racing was good, each event being won with ease. A selling hack race and some foot races concluded the afternoon's sport. [No other details.]

• A detailed, general district agriculture report appears.

"The country on the road to Axedale, and along the banks of the Campaspe, is looking fresh and green as the far famed Emerald Isle, from which little island most of the settlers in that quarter hail. In the paddocks skirting the road, ploughing operations have been commenced, and the smell of the rich brown earth is exceedingly pleasant to the nostrils of townspeople. The vineyards are just on the turning point when the leaves of the vine commence to get brown, but the luscious fruit they bear affords ample evidence of the beneficial results from the recent rainfall. The fruit gardens, too, are laden with their golden spoils, more particularly in apples and pears, which have thrived wonderfully this season, and will be very plentiful. Along the banks of the Campaspe, where English grasses have been sown, a fresh growth has sprung up, which has covered the paddocks with a carpet of the greenest verdure which has ever been witnessed by the inhabitants, and provides splendid feeding ground for the droves of milch cows of the many dairy farms situated round about. At Mr. O'Keefe's dairy farm, where lucerne is cultivated all the year round, the crop is luxuriant to a degree, and the tall stalks of the green Indian corn plants on Mr. Heffernan's home farm wave in the wind to a mighty height, and afford a luscious fodder for his cattle.

In many places where the selections border the small creeks running into the Campaspe, the ground has suffered severely from the floods, as where ploughing had been commenced prior to them, the surface has been denuded of its covering, and subsoiling will have to be resorted to. The cattle are rolling fat, and in the very best condition, as feed is in abundance everywhere.

The prospects of this quarter for the sowing season give promise of being of the very best kind, and cannot fail to produce an abundant harvest in due season. Marks of the floods are abundant at all the bridges, crossings, and along the banks of the river, but, take it all round, more good has been done than harm. The weather being so favourable for tillage purposes, owing to the recent rains, farmers are everywhere busily getting on with the preparatory culture for seeding operations. In some of the new districts wheat sowing to a considerable extent has already taken place, and in others it is proceeding as rapidly as the weather will permit. It is stated that owing to the thorough soaking the soil has received, and taking into account the prospects of the coming season being a good one, that a considerable increase of new land will be broken up, and that the area sown with wheat will largely exceed that of any previous season. The potato crop does not promise to be a heavy one, although the late crops have been improved by the recent showers. The vintage on the Murray is turning out better than last year, while the strength of the must is reported to be considerably over the average.

The article continues with a timely comment on the squatter system and the impounding of stock:

"One of the most urgent measures calling for legislative amendment, is that relating to the impounding of stock. The complaints from farmers and stock owners are endless, and there does not seem to be any means of even obtaining a definite decision as to what really is the law on the subject. There are altogether three Acts dealing with this question, and, between the three, land occupiers are puzzled in the extreme how to act. For instance, there is first the Land Act, Section 30 of which states that a licence holder under that measure "shall have all the rights as against trespassers which at law belong to the owner in possession of any land except the right of impounding," which latter right it is expressly stipulated he shall not possess before he encloses his land with a "substantial fence," and with regard to what constitutes this no explanation is given.

In the Pounds Act again we have the phrase "substantial fence" without any further definition, and, upon searching the Fencing Act for the information, no allusion to a "substantial fence" whatever can be found, the phrase there adopted being a *sufficient fence," concerning what constitutes which kind of fence an elaborate explanation is given.

A study of these three measures - the Land Act, the Pounds Act, and the Fencing Act - also leaves the impression upon one that the aim of the framers has been too much to throw upon the land occupier the onus of protecting himself from the encroachment of his neighbor's stock. Now, in our opinion, the aim should be more in the opposite direction, viz., to throw upon the stock owner the responsibility of keeping his stock upon his own land, and off his neighbor's."

• An extract from a North-Western Canal Scheme article that appeared in The Argus, Saturday 13 April 1878, has a number of comments relative to the Axedale district and the Campaspe River:

"Believing that sufficient information had, for the present, been obtained in reference to the adaptability of the Goulburn Valley as far north as Nagambie, the next route taken was across Rodney, with view to the examination of the Goulburn, Campaspe, and Murray rivers.

Driven out of the field by the heavy rains of the 14th and 15th, work was not resumed until the 20th at Sandhurst. This town had just suffered from its plethora of water, and the results at View Point were left in eroded streets, and a singular destruction in the ladies' baths of the end wall (a massive brick structure), being broken across the centre, and the two portions moved bodily into the bath several feet, the wall having turned on its junction with the side walls as from a centre. The destruction is a singular example of ruin without any apparent visible cause, for after examination of the building there is no evidence of hydraulic action, but mere hydrostatic pressure, which latter agent, apart from the surroundings, may be reasonably supposed to be insufficient to produce the results.

During the day we drove out to the Epsom potteries, and obtained another surprise in the great extent and development of this industry. Every operation is in progress, from digging, grinding, and puddling the clay up to the final process of trimming the burnt articles. Large stoneware jars for holding acids and large earthenware pipes for drainage form one very large portion of the manufactures. The excellent character of the stoneware is only to be excelled by the Doulton stoneware of Staffordshire.

The desiderata for this class of ware has been felt by engineers when providing for water supply and drainage, because with previous piping the water was lost, and the sewage soaked through into the adjacent soils, to the great injury of health The earlier earthenware pipes had this defect of not being watertight to a large degree - (I am not now speaking of Epsom) - and led in one case to an entire abandonment of their use, cast iron pipes being substituted in their stead, causing a large loss of capital in addition to a disheartening prejudice against the colonial article, but this great objection is now obviated in the stoneware of the Epsom potteries.

From Sandhurst, the route lay over the poor hungry quartz hills to the east, showing a very dreary perspective of barren hills, stunted gums, and wretched heather, with occasional blades of grass to remind one of the existence of such a class of vegetation. The whole of this country, and the roads and hollows bear evidence of a plethora of rain, but there is also overwhelming evidence that rain falling on the hard, sun dried surfaces of the land runs off it as if it were granite or some other indurated rock instead of, by soaking into it, forming a reserve for future vegetation. I have very strong doubt if any of the rainfall on these hills penetrates to the roots of the plants through the soil, or that they can benefit from it except in so far as the rain may be taken up by the leaves and stems. Under such an impression, it becomes a conviction that a light scoring of all these hills by the pick or the plough, if only 3in. deep, in contour lines, so as to arrest the surface water and permit its soaking into the ground, would be of immense advantage to all kinds of vegetable growth, and that instead of the bare arid hills with their stunted growth of timber, we ought to have a luxuriant vegetation.

Shortly before reaching the Campaspe, the eye became relieved by the sight of farms of rich chocolate soil (being rich in comparison with the country previously passed over), until we obtained a birds eye view of the Campaspe Valley, from 150ft to 200ft deep, the opposite side being an outcrop of lava, the valley bottom being crossed by a timber bridge and embanked road.

The Campaspe at Axedale is a perennial stream, of no great volume in extreme droughts, but with two or three days of moderate rain, rising to floods of great violence and volume.

Although, at the period of our visit. the water did not exceed a breadth of 60ft, there remained ample evidence of its having been 30ft deep and 1,000ft of surface width a week before. For 12 hours the water ran with a full volume of area and velocity, and it took five days to run off the gathered mountain rains, after supplying the Malmsbury reservoirs and to reduce it to the modest little stream existent at the time of inspection.

After a careful measurement of the area of the sectional waterway of the bridge, without taking into account the overflow at the end of the earthen causeway, the lowest computation of the outflow of the body of water for the 12 hours of Saturday, when running full, and for the gradual diminution of the stream during the ensuing five days, would equal 1,255,082,400 cubit feet, and would fill a canal 660ft wide by 10ft deep for a length of 36 miles.

It is almost fabulous, the vast amount of liquid treasures which the Goulburn and the Campaspe bear away to the Murray to be dissipated in some, at present unknown, manner. Whether it may be by filtration through sand and gravel beds, or by the alleged underground limestone channels to the sea, is yet a question to be solved, but most certainly the great bulk of the streams do not pass as surface waters to the sea by the River Murray mouth.

From Axedale to Runnymede (Elmore) the country gradually varies from hills to plains, and amongst other water channels crossed, the Axe Creek shows unmistakable signs of a great flow of water after rainfall. At the Clare Hotel (Barnadown) the river Campaspe is crossed by a timber bridge 900ft long, and at Runnymede (Elmore) by a bridge 720ft long, both of which witness to the enormous volumes of water brought down the River Campaspe in the rainy season. From Runnymede (Elmore) a line due east brought us to Lake Cooper, a sheet of water occupying a depression in the land about three miles and a half by one mile and a half in area, which varies in depth from 5ft to 15ft, according to the season being wet or dry. It has been known to be dried up to little more than a swampy marsh or reed bed. The lands around it are rich chocolate loams.

Between Runnymede and Lake Cooper, rich pasture lands are crossed, and rolling hills, which rise in places from 300ft to 400ft high. The Cooper Lake is fed by waters from the south, and at times it overflows into some swamps to the north, but its main outlet is near the point of inlet, from whence it discharges in a north easterly direction towards the Goulburn, near Mr. Tracer's homestead

The township of Corop is at the north end of the lake, and its outlet eastwards is along a marshy piece of ground, with earth formed road, having a small rise on to the tablelands which extend to Stanhope, and the range of hills in which are situated Rushworth and Whroo. The land of the plains is good, and the roads consequently, as a rule, are execrable. Murchison, on the Goulburn, was not reached before midnight, with horse and travelers worn out with a long toilsome day of heat and travel.

• A daughter is born at the Royal Oak Hotel to Mrs. J.D. Bywater of Weston Park, Axedale.

May, 1878

• William Spence, aged 12 years, Axedale, is admitted to hospital, suffering from a contused wound, 4 inches long, on the shin of his left leg. It appears that, he is riding a horse and leading another, when the one he is leading, turns around and kicks him on the leg.

• Mr. R. O'Brien and 15 ratepayers write to the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, emphatically objecting to the proposed McIvor Road deviation. Subsequently, Robert O'Brien, Cornelius Morissey, Patrick Drake, and Peter Tierney, post a notice to the Council, asking for a meeting at Drake's Campaspe Hotel, Axedale, to consider the question of forming a road through Mr. Minter's private property, on the McIvor Road, as suggested by a member of Council. The notice is followed by one from the Shire, acknowledging the ratepayer petition, and agreeing to the meeting, to discuss the question of forming the road as proposed.

June, 1878

• There are several prize winner discontents resulting from the Bendigo Agricultural Society's Autumn Show and several Letters to the Editor appear. Two of the writers are Mr. Thomas Strachan, Axedale, and Mr. Fox, Emu Creek. There is disagreement over the awarding of prizes and the non-payment of prize money.

• Some 24 residents from Axedale are summoned by Mounted Constable Feeley, for breaches of the Education Act. They have neglected to send their children to school for the required number of days. The Bench patiently heard the cases, and in some instances, the parents got the benefit of the doubt, while in other cases, fines of 5/- were inflicted. Constable Maguire similarly summoned 16 parents from the Mandurang Riding, and their cases were dealt with in a similar manner.

• In the case of Gottlieb Frederick Henrich Schuler v. William Henry Rigby, Rigby's Allotments 1 and 2 of Section 4 and 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Section 11, Axedale, together with hotel and outbuildings erected thereon, or some part thereof, are to be sold by the Sheriff at the Albert Hotel, Sandhurst.

• Additional Land Tax Registers, published in accordance with Section 33 of the Land Tax Act of 1877, appear in the Government Gazette. Among 'The following valuations and sums payable for the half year on the undermentioned estates are given':

Andrew O'Keefe, County of Rodney, Parishes of Muskerry and Campaspe, County of Bendigo, Parish of Ellesmere, 3,415 acres, third class: £4,330 and £27/1/3. [for Adelaide Vale Estate]; Andrew O'Keefe, third-class, 2,241 acres, Parish of Kimbolton, County of Bendigo; Parish of Lyell, County of Bendigo; Parish of Eppalock, County of Bendigo; Parish of Laugnrorhor, County of Dalhousie. [for Kimbolton Estate]; James Doak, second-class, 1,133 acres, Parish of Axedale, County of Bendigo; Parish of Knowsley, County of Bendigo; and Andrew O'Keefe, third-class, 2,087 acres, Parish of Kimbolton, County of Bendigo; Parish of Eppalock, County of Bendigo; Parish of Lyell, County of Bendigo. [for Kimbolton Estate]

• A court case, Neal v. Flanagan, about the watering down of milk occurs:

"Malcolm McKinnon, stated that he delivered milk at Axedale for the defendant and had put water in it by his (defendant's) instructions to keep it good. Cross-examined: Witness was an uncertificated insolvent when the contract for the supply of milk was entered into; had used defendant's wagon, but had not agreed to pay the hire of it. At the conclusion of the plaintiff's case, Mr. Helm raised an objection to the effect that the plaintiff was suing as Trustee for the joint estate of McKinnon and Campbell, and could not recover a debt due to one partner after the insolvency had taken place. His Honor permitted an amendment in the plaint, so as to designate the plaintiff as Trustee for the separate estate of each partner, and took a note of Mr. Helm's objection.

W. H. Flanagan (defendant) deposed that before completing the agreement with McKinnon he saw Neal, and told him he was going to enter into a contract with McKinnon, to which Neal did not object. By the agreement, the milk was to be delivered at Axedale pure and fresh. In the previous accounts, deductions bad been made for sour milk. McKinnon agreed to all the items of witness's account excepting for the use of the wagon. He offered to pay £5 instead of £14 for the use of it. Had sold the wagon to McKinnon but, as he did not pay for it, had taken it back and charged for time. Tested the milk supplied by McKinnon, that went sour, with a lactometer, and found it to contain 25% of water. The witness proved the item of the set-off as amounting to £52/12/7.

Cross-examined: Sent McKinnon his account before he received an account from him. The milk was conveyed a distance of 14 miles from Axedale in a spring cart. Told McKinnon not to put water in the milk. Delivered some of the watery milk to customers, but had not been paid for it.

Malcolm McKinnon, recalled, stated that at a conversation about the account, nothing was said about water in the milk. There was only five parts of water in the milk.

William Campbell, a partner of McKinnon's, deposed that he brought the milk to Axedale himself. No one could have watered the milk but witness. Only put one quart of water in twenty quarts of milk. John Rankin and T. Strachan, employees of the defendant, gave evidence to the effect that the milk supplied by McKinnon was frequently unfit for use. His Honor said that owing to the conflict of testimony he was unable to decide the case, and would send it for trial by jury. The court then adjourned sine die.

• Michael O'Donohue, 60 years of age, of Sweeney's Creek, Axedale, is admitted to hospital in an insensible and dying state and dies at 1am. The Coroner (Mr. Strickland) holds an inquest at the Bendigo Hospital.

Michael O'Connell deposed that he was a farmer, residing at Sweeney's Creek, Axedale. He had known the deceased for many years, and about two months ago deceased went to work as a farm labourer for him. Deceased was always able to do his work, but about 7 o'clock on the morning of the 18th instant he complained of a pain in his head, and cramps in his legs, and was unable to stir off the bed. Witness's wife attended to him, but he did not get better and they sat up with him on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and on Friday witness brought deceased to the hospital, where he arrived about 3pm, and was delirious at the time. Witness was accompanied by Dennis McNamara, a brother-in-law and neighbor. Witness owed deceased £5/10/0, which he would hand over to the police, less £1 he had expended on account of the death.

Dennis McNamara deposed that he was a farmer residing at Sweeney's Creek, and that he had known the deceased between 15 and 16 years. He went to see deceased on the night of the 21st instant, but he did not know witness, and could only answer questions in a very incoherent manner. The witness then corroborated Mr. O'Connell'a evidence as to the removal of the deceased to the hospital.

Dr. Hinchcliff deposed to the admission of the deceased into the hospital about two o'clock on the 21st inst. He was then in a state of collapse, and semi-unconscious, and almost pulse less at the wrist. He could hear when spoken to, but did not appear to understand, his breathing was short and humid, and there were gurgling rales over both lungs. Deceased remained unconscious up to one a.m. on the 22nd inst. Witness had made a post mortem examination. The body was badly nourished, and covered with vermin. There were no external marks of violence on it. The cause of death was congestion of the brain. The symptoms described by the witnesses were quite compatible with congestion of the brain, but from the history of the case, he was not prepared to venture an opinion as to what might have induced such congestion.

The jury found that the deceased died from congestion of the brain, and added to their verdict, the following rider: "The jury consider deceased's employer, Michael O'Connor, quite free from blame."

• The 'Residents of Axedale' advertise an upcoming Axe Creek Ploughing Match about half a mile from the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek.

• The Shire of Strathfieldsaye calls for tenders for forming, pitching, and metalling sand hill, McIvor Road, near Axedale. [Probably near H. Acott's Hotel.]

August, 1878

• The "Axedale Correspondent" writes:

"From here there is not very much worth of note. The weather has been cold and boisterous for nearly a week, but now the days are warmer. The continued cold and wet weather has not had a very good effect upon the late crops. Those crops that were sown early are looking well, and there is every prospect of a good harvest.

The want of a Justice of the Peace, so long felt in this district, is at last to be supplied. The gentleman on whom the honor is to be conferred is Mr. Thomas O'Rourke, of Anna Down Park, Axe Creek. This gentleman is well known for his integrity and honesty, and is in every way fitted for the honorable position in which he is to be placed. He is now President of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, but his friends wish the J.Pship to remain with him, so they are petitioning the Government to create him a J.P.

In reference to our late election, I cannot pass over the fact that Councillor James O'Loughlin has again been re-elected, unopposed, for this Riding. This is the fourth time he has enjoyed a walk over, and it certainly speaks volumes for his attention to the wants of the district. Our Shire Councilors have one trait in their characters, that is, they are never unanimous, and are forever introducing party feelings into their council affairs.

• The Board of Advice and Mr. McCarthy, the Head Teacher of the Axedale school, are again at loggerheads. They charge him with various offences, dereliction of duty, etc. They had an investigation the other day, which did any thing but make either of them clean. Mr. McCarthy has been teaching in the district now for nearly twenty years however, the less said about this matter the better.

If rumor speaks true, Mr. Thomas O'Rourke is going to treat his electors to something good in the shape of a dinner, but when or where it is coming off, I cannot state.

We have one great eyesore in the district - that is the state in which the McIvor road is kept. It is simply execrable, but now that we have a President in our riding we ought to get more attention. That part of the road known as the 'Sand Hill' is very bad, and the people of Axedale have subscribed £25 to try to get the Council to supplement the money subscribed and thus repair this bad piece of road. The road is very much cut up by wood carts. The carts are driven by boys in many instances, and I fancy there are a great many of them unlicensed. They seem, however, to have a licence to insult any person passing them. It is a pity that our mounted troopers do not keep a sharper look out upon these drivers, very rarely you find one of them near the dray to which they belong, and their negligence may yet be the cause of some accident. To return to our subject, the roads, I trust that our Council will do something in the matter. This road has been notorious for accident, nine or ten persons have, during as many years, met with untimely ends, and only the other week a well known dairyman had the misfortune to run over a stump, narrowly escaping being killed. Things will go on in this deplorable state until some of the Shire funds will be taken from them in the shape of damages for injury received through the Council's negligence.

If the Shire Council did what was right, they would start a system of retrenchment, and make the Shire Secretary be the Shire Surveyor and Engineer likewise. This would effect a saving of £300 a year, which could be well spent in making the roads. Many shires far larger, and more prosperous, have only one officer, and the work is equally well done, if not better, than our's is.

September, 1878

• The "Axedale Correspondent" writes:

"The weather for the past few days has been splendid. On Wednesday, I took a drive out as far as McCormick's saw mill but found it had been removed two or three miles farther up the creek to where there is a better supply of timber. The timber cut is mostly for claims, though there is machinery for cutting all kinds of timber. Much difficulty is experienced in getting the timber to Sandhurst. The roads are heavy, in fact, almost impassable. In coming home, I encountered a terrific thunderstorm. The rain fell in torrents, and the lightning at times was very vivid. The weather is again splendid.

The church-going people of Axedale are determined not to keep their church door open. The gentleman who drew up the 'Code of Laws' respecting the management and conducting of the business - inviting the Minister, etc. - has only put in an appearance once since. The minister has been weeding out the sheep from the goats, and has so effectively done his work that very few remain to be converted. In consequence of this, he announced if no more penitents could be found, the doors would have to be closed.

The latest rumor re the election affairs is that our newly-elected President is going to resign his office in order that Mr. John Burke may get a seat in the Shire Council. I very much doubt the statement, but I give it for what it is worth.

There is to be a ploughing match at Axe Creek on the 18th instant. The paddock where it is to be held has not yet been fixed upon.

I am informed, on reliable authority, that the Axe Creek school and the one near the Farmers' Arms are to be made half-time schools, under the headmastership of Mr. Rentall [Rintoul]. If such be the case, I am afraid he will have a hard duty to perform to keep up the attendance at his own school, as many of his scholars come very long distances, who could not be expected to come if it were a half-time school. The Education Department made a fatal mistake closing the capitation school, near Mr. Rentall's school.

Mr. Drake's annual ball and supper took place about a fortnight ago, and was largely attended.

I observe that our Shire Council are going to purchase some property from Mr. Minter, who asks £15 per acre, whereas if the land were put up by auction, it would not bring £5 per acre. Mr. Minter has a right to ask what he deems proper, but tho council have no right to give more than a just price. Of course, Mr. Minter [unreadable] that the low road, as it is called, cannot be made passable till the council gets his land, but even that does not justify the extortionate price asked. It was over this same piece of road that our late President, Mr. M. Rundell, convened a meeting, to be held at Drake's Hotel, for the purpose of considering the question of buying this land, but when the night of the meeting came, Mr. Rundell was absent, and over twenty gentlemen disappointed. The meeting of course broke up.

I wonder that our councilors do not consider the question of raising a loan, for the paltry revenue of the shire is totally inadequate to meet the demands upon it. It is only about £3,200 a year, and fully one-fifth of this is taken for salaries, thus leaving but a very meagre sum to be expended on necessary public works. The Shire has also to pay £120 a year on its debt, which, deducted from the revenue, leaves something like £2,000 to be spent on public works. These statistics clearly show that the Shire is a very poor one. It costs the Shire Council more for small pieces of work than it should do, because they are given out by day labour, instead of coming before the Council, and being let by tender. I am certain that if a ballot of the electors were taken, that two-thirds of them would be in favour of a loan, sooner than see the Council pass another motion stopping public works for six months because there were no funds to go on with.

Considerable surprise has been expressed in political circles here in reference to the voting of the Hon. J.J. Casey in re the Constitution Reform Bill. Evidently his speech was a bitter one against the Ministry's Bill, and why he should vote for it is a question for quidnance. Perhaps he is going to have it out when the bill goes into committee.

There is to be another investigation at an early date in our State school, a charge having been laid against Mr. McCarthy, the Head Teacher, by one of the members of the Board of Advice. It appears that he closed the school on Assumption Day (15th inst.), without permission, in consequence of its being a church holiday."

• The "Axedale Correspondent" again writes:

"Last Monday was a red letter day in the history of the local Board of Advice. They visited all the schools in the district and, I believe, found everything as it ought to be. They held their usual meeting the same day.

The ploughing match is not likely to come off unless the subscription lists are more liberally patronised, but we can hardly expect farmers at this season of the year to respond so liberally as they could in the harvest season. The match, if it should come off, is to be held in Mr. Conroy's paddock, near the Perseverance Hotel.

The Presbyterians have at last thrown off their lethargic habits, and are now not only convinced of their wrongdoing, in keeping a nice little church closed, but on Sunday they actually had a minister officiating and, I believe, to officiate every Sunday."

• Alfred England applies for a rate reduction but his request is not entertained. Andrew O'Keefe, Barnadown, complains that he has been rated for more land than he occupies. His letter is received.

• A ploughing Match, a purely local affair, is held in Mr. Quinlan's paddock, close to the township of Axedale. There were 17 entries in all.

• Mr. Alexander Rintoul, Axedale State School teacher, writes to the Bendigo Advertiser, claiming that he has been charged with being their Axedale Correspondent. He denies the charge, and he is supported by the Advertiser.

October, 1878

• Thomas O'Rourke's name is added to the list of honorary magistrates for the Midland Bailiwick.

• David Beattie, aged 30, is felling a tree at the Clare Inn, Axedale, when the axe slips, cutting his ankle on the inside and severing one of the main arteries. He is taken to the Bendigo Hospital but the haemorrhage previous to his admission was so great that he was in a very weak state, and fainted several times while the wound was being dressed. He has lost so much blood that it will take some time getting him round.

November, 1878

• A 'To Let' advertisement appears for the Raglan Hotel, Axedale.

• Michael O'Shannassy's deceased estate, Allotment 6B, Section 14, Axedale, described as nine acres of permanently watered land, is advertised for sale. The property is watered by the Native Creek.

• A trial of reapers and binders is advertised to take place on the property of Mr. Nicholas near Axedale on December 4.

December, 1878

• If there was any doubt as to the proliferation of hotels in the district, the following should disperse them. A number of £10 Hotel Licences are listed as renewed. They include: Otto Pieper - Hotel, Strathfieldsaye; M. Freeman - Duke of Wellington Hotel, Strathfieldsaye; M. Rundell - Sheepwash Hotel, Sheepwash; A. J. Harrison - "Bull's Head" Hotel, McIvor road; Anne Tierney - Raglan Hotel, Axedale; P. Meehan - Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek; B. Code - Homebush Hotel, McIvor Road; J. Quealy - Parliament Arms Hotel [Farmers' Arms?], McIvor Road; W.P. Martin - Waterloo Hotel, Sheepwash; J. Welsh - Hotel, Axe Creek; Mary Hensley - Grassy Flat Hotel, Grassy Flat; E. Hillier - Fountain Inn, McIvor Road; J. Cashen - South Atlas Hotel, McIvor Road; and P. Drake - Campaspe Hotel, McIvor road.

• The Secretary, Shire of Strathfieldsaye, is instructed to at once take the necessary steps towards carrying out a previous resolution of the Council, authorising the taking of the land required for the purpose of widening the McIvor road.

• Mr. Craike moved, and Mr. Veitch seconded, that the Secretary should take the necessary steps to cause Mr. Peter Gleeson to at once open a public road near Native Creek, which he had closed up. Carried.

January, 1879

• Brothers, and farmers in the neighborhood of Axedale, Peter and Thomas Baron, have a buggy accident while descending Slaughteryard Hill on McIvor Road. The horses in the shafts bolted, upset the buggy, and precipitated its occupants into the road. Peter, who is 22 years of age, fractures one of his legs, and injures his wrist. Thomas, aged 25, is badly cut about the head, and injures his side. Both are taken to the Bendigo Hospital.

February, 1879

• A serious fire occurs on John McMahon's Axedale property. The men engaged on the farm discover a stack of straw on fire while they are having dinner. Despite their efforts, it spreads to an adjacent stack of wheat. Both are completely destroyed, along with 30 bags of oats. The most serious loss was sustained by Mr. Campbell who was employed with his threshing machine and engine on the ground. When threatened, the engine was moved to a safe place, but the flames took hold of the machine and reduced it to ruins. The machine, valued at £300, was not insured. It was the property of a Mr. Thomas and was hired for the harvest. Mr. McMahon's loss is £50 to £60, and some of the men who were engaged lost their swags and clothing. The cause is thought to have been a lighted match, carelessly thrown on the ground by one of the men.

March, 1879

• John Kilded of Axedale is declared insolvent, citing bad crops, pressure of creditors, and inability to work, in consequence of an accident, as the cause. Liabilities are £374/5/7, Assets are £15/10/0, and Deficiency is £359/5/7.

• Patrick Drake is granted a temporary hotel licence.

• The Axedale Races are still running with Stewards - Messrs. W.S. Cahill, T. O'Rourke, J. Burke, J.D. Bywater, T, Donnellan, R. O'Brien, M. Boyle, and J. Harris. Judge - Mr. McKinnon. Starter - Mr. M. Boyle. Clerk of Course - Thos. Drake. Clerk of Scales - Henry J. Dodd. Treasurer - W.S. Cahill. Handicapper - W.P. Neal, Esq. "The annual race meeting was held yesterday instead of today, as the opening of the Sandhurst Industrial Exhibition would have clashed with it. A little annoyance was caused by the unauthorised behavior of one of the stewards, who persisted in making a charge for admission at the gates for buggies, etc., but this was soon rectified."

May, 1879

• Thomas Strachan scores at the Bendigo Agricultural Show. The jurors recommended a gold medal for Collection of Dried fruits instead of the silver medal, plus £3/3/0, as they thought it would be more valued. He receives another for Jams and Jellies, and another for Bottled Fruits.

• The Licensing Court refuses the transfer of the licence for the Raglan Hotel, Axedale, from Ann Tierney to John Carey.

• The Axedale Board of Advice held a meeting at Axe Creek. There were present: Messrs. Craike (chairman), Martin, Mill, and Strachan. The board had previously visited the different schools in the district. The Department, in correspondence, stated that Mr. H. Sisely had been appointed Head Teacher for School 1921, and Miss A. Anguin for School 1634. The Department also requested quarterly returns to be forwarded to the head office after examination by the Board of Advice.

"The first school visited was No. 1008, at Axedale. After inspection, the board expressed themselves highly pleased; the style of teaching and the discipline maintained by the teacher (Mr. Ferber) were alike admirable, while every thing in connection with the school and out offices was clean and orderly. The board then visited No. 1634, at Homebush. This school was put on half-time some time last September, very much against the wishes of those most concerned; the result was that the attendance became only nominal. The Department was induced, after a good deal of pressure, to reconsider the matter, and the school was opened after the Christmas on full with Miss A. Anguin as teacher. The result is, in every respect, successful. The attendance was found to be 29, the scholars attentive, and everything satisfactory. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said with respect to the school next visited, No. 1921, still on half-time; as there is a Catholic school within a few yards upon full-time, there is little inducement to attend the half-time State school. When visited, the attendance was found to be only 9, which must be very disheartening to the teacher (Mr. H. Sisely). The correspondent was instructed to write to the Department, stating that while No. 1921 is kept as a half-time school there is no likelihood of any improvement in the attendance. To recommend that an assistant teacher be provided for school No. 1008, and stating that more forms are required at No. 1634."

• The Bishop of Melbourne, Dr. Moorhouse, on returning from Heathcote where he had been visiting, was present at a divine service in the Presbyterian Church at Axedale, the building being rented on certain occasions by the Episcopalian residents in the locality for church services of their own. The Venerable Archdeacon Crawford conducted the service and there was a large congregation present. The Bishop delivered a sermon from the 25th Chapter of St. Matthew, discoursing on the 14th to the 30th verses. The Revs. Canon McCullagh and May were present, having come to meet and accompany the Bishop back to Sandhurst. Several members of St. Paul's choir rendered appropriate music at the service.

• The Licensing Court grants the transfer of the Raglan Hotel Licence from Ann Tierney to Michael Fenton.

June, 1879

• Pat Rolfe and 15 Axedale ratepayers object to Mr. J. Quealy's application to have land thrown open for selection. No specific details are provided.

July, 1879

• At a meeting of the McIvor Shire, Cr. O'Grady moves that the bridge near McNutt's be repaired, a plank having been broken in it. Cr. Townsend said the drains in three places had been silted up near Axedale and 5/- or 10/- would clear them. Cr. Duncan said he had cleared one with his foot. No further action taken.

• The Axedale Ploughing Match is advertised and takes place in M. Boyle's paddock, half a mile from the Perseverance Hotel, at Axe Creek.

"The Axedale annual ploughing match was held yesterday at Mr. M. Boyle's paddock, about a mile and a half [?] from the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek, or thirteen miles from Sandhurst [20.8km]. The weather being exceedingly propitious for the day's outing, a fair proportion of visitors attended the match from Sandhurst, including Mr. D. C. Sterry, the Mayor of the City, but the general attendance was not very large, and chiefly consisted of the farmers and their families from the immediate neighborhood, who, however, appeared to take a lively interest in the match, and displayed great concern as to the result. The convincing ground, which is rather prettily situated on the banks of the Axe Creek, was, although perhaps not the best that might have been chosen, on account of the circumstance that when the paddock was ploughed last, the furrows were cut very deep and run crosswise, was fairly suitable for the purposes of the match. Notwithstanding the slight disadvantages mentioned however, the competitors appeared to be quite satisfied, and the work done was, as a general rule, of an excellent character. Tho committee, which consisted of Messrs. T. Donnellan, T. O'Rourke, D. Mills, J. Burke, A. Whitlock, J. White, W. S. Cahill, W. Cuthbert, R. O'Brien, J. W. Bywater, T. Craike, J. Martin, J, Harris, and J. O'Loughlan, deserve every credit for the interest they took in getting up the match, which it was at one period feared would have fallen through, and Mr. H. F. Dodd, the Secretary, who was untiring in his energies in collecting subscriptions, ably backed up the committee in their efforts, which proved an unqualified success, and must be highly gratifying to these gentlemen. The judges were Messrs. J. D. Bywater, J. Patten, and F. Poynting, who performed their duties admirably. The booth on the ground for the supply of comforts for the inner man was conducted by Mr. Drake, of the Campaspe Hotel, Axedale, who also catered for the committee, and served up a very good cold luncheon. As usual on such occasions some of the card sharping fraternity were in attendance, but business with them was apparently any thing but brisk. Of the ploughing, nothing but praise can be written, and on the whole, for its general excellence, the competitors in each class are to be highly complimented, the judges in some cases finding it exceedingly difficult to discriminate as to the merits of the work done by different competitors. In Class C. (boys) the work was considerably beyond mediocrity, and it compared in every favourable manner with the ploughing in the senior classes. The youngsters, however, had some advantage over the competitors in the adult classes, as the ground allotted to them was the pick of the field, that upon which the others operated, being of a crumbly nature which rendered it hard to show off a crown to advantage, and the want of some rain to bind it together better, militated considerably against the appearance of the work in the senior classes.

In Class A, the champion class, there were only four competitors, and the first prize was awarded to A. Mills, of Axedale, who used a plough of Lennon'a make, The chief points in Mills' work were the neatness of his furrows and the excellence of his crown and finish. The taker of the second prize, A. McKenley, of Redesdale, who used a Gardiner plough, did remarkably good work; his finish, however, was somewhat faulty, a point which greatly influenced the opinion of tho judges, but his crown was so well finished that he was awarded first prize for it as being the best of the whole. The third prize was awarded to T. Moffitt, of Axedale, who handled a plough of McVey's make. His crown also was very good and the furrows were very straight and well packed.

In Class B there were twelve competitors, the first prize being given to J. McGachey, of Bagshot, who used a Lennon plough. Tho furrows were exceedingly neat, although the ridges were perhaps a little narrow, but they were well packed, and the crown and finish being excellent the judges were fully warranted in giving him first prize. The second prize was given to J. Slattery, of Leichardt, with a Leslie plough, who did good work, and the third to A. Wallis, of Marong, also with a plough belonging to the same maker. The prize for the best finish in this class was given to J. McGachey.

In Class C, or tho boys' class, the work was of a really excellent character, and reflected great credit on the youthful competitors, among whom were several boys under fifteen years of age. Out of eight who competed, Wm. Wallis, of Marong, with a Leslie plough, secured the first prize, with W. Lyons, also of Marong, with the same make of plough, gaining second prize, and M. White, of Axedale, with a McVey plough, being awarded third honors, the work done by each of the competitors being of a first-class description."

The list of prizewinners, being quite long, has been omitted here.

"After the judges had given their decisions, the assemblage dispersed, although a good many left the ground before that time, as it was nearly dark before the results were made known, and some of the visitors had to travel long distances over bush roads. It was remarked that the committee would have acted wisely if they had appointed more judges, or allowed the competitors in the champion class to judge the work in Class C., which would have been the means of facilitating the judging.

In the evening, a ball was held at Drakes's Campaspe Hotel, Axedale, which concluded the annual contest. In a pecuniary sense the match was so successful that after all prizes and expenses are paid, a surplus will remain to go towards next year's match, at which it is proposed to offer a silver cup valued at £10/10/0, to be competed for in Class A."

September, 1879

• The sale of Allotment 8D, Section 11, William Campbell's paddock, 31a 3r 12p, is advertised for sale by public auction.

• The Shire of Strathfieldsaye receives a request from C. Stewart, Axedale, asking that 25 chains of drain near his premises might be cut. Patrick Drake requests that the drain in front of his premises be cleared. Both items are referred to the Engineer.

• Four acres, more or less, being part of original Allotment 5 of Section 6 is reserved as a site for watering purposes. It impacts on other allotments.

October, 1879

• A meeting of the Strathfieldsaye Farmers' Union, as part of their efforts to increase membership, decides to schedule a meeting at the Perseverance Hotel, Axedale, for the purpose of forming an Axedale branch.

• Mrs. Sarah Boyle instructs L. Macpherson and Co., Auctioneers, to sell Allotments 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 of Section 1, in the Parish of Axedale, containing 424a, 1r, 11p of first-class agricultural land, permanently watered by the Axe and Kangaroo Creeks. Also, by Order of Mortgagee, part of Allotment 1 of Section 1, comprising 40 acres, a corner block, well fenced on three sides, and bounded on the fourth side by the Axe Creek.

• Michael Kearney, son of an Axedale farmer, returning from school with other children, falls into the Mosquito Creek and drowns. Several days elapse before the body is recovered.

November, 1879

• Forty persons attend the Farmers' Union meeting at the Perseverance Hotel. Mr. Thomas Craike chaired the meeting and all who attended, enrolled. Further meetings are planned throughout the district.

• Tenders are called for cutting side drains on the hill near Gordon's. [No other details.]

December, 1879

• The well known milking herd, selected and bred by Heffernan and Crowley, is advertised for sale. The sale includes the whole of the well bred and carefully selected milking herd, comprising: 80 milch cows in profit, 50 two year old heifers, 20 yearling heifers, 12 two year old steers, 20 mixed sex calves, 5 bulls, 5 horses, 1,000 merino and crossbred ewes, 500 hoggetts, 500 lambs, and 7 rams. The herd has been 8 years in formation, and is said to be one of the finest herds in the colony.

• A little boy, the son of Mrs. Michael Cahill of Axe Creek, has a narrow escape. He had driven his mother to Sandhurst and, while she was making a house call in Baxter Street, Back Creek, left her son in the vehicle, an American wagon. The horse, normally tame, became startled, and bolted. It proceeded full gallop down McIvor Street, into Mundy Street, into Hargreaves Street and was brought to a standstill in Mitchell Street. The youngster sat in the trap for the whole distance without holding the reins. The escape of the vehicle from the accident, and the boy from serious injury, was extraordinary, considering the tortuous route the animal took, and the many corners it had to turn. When its career was stopped, the horse commenced kicking, and damaged the splashboard of the trap. [The article identified Mrs. W.S. Cahill and was later corrected to Mrs. Michael Cahill.]

• The Licensing Board issues a number of new licences: Michael Fenton - Raglan Hotel, Axedale; E. Marshal - Hotel, Axe Creek; M. Raes - Fountain Hotel, Grassy Flat.


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