Destructive Fire Near Axedale 1901

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Monday 11 Feb 1901, page 4

A fire, which was destined to work considerable havoc, broke out on the banks of the Campaspe, to the south of Daley’s Hill, on Thursday afternoon. The fire originated close to Russell and White’s crushing battery, the cause of the outbreak being at present a mystery.

Owing to the high wind which prevailed, the fire swept with terrible rapidity in a southerly direction, and the small band of firefighters that assembled, found themselves quite unable to stay its progress. The half-mile which intervened between the starting point and the homestead of Mr. Thomas Burke was covered in the space of a few minutes and in spite of the efforts of those who were attempting to beat the fire out, the straw and hay stacks in the stack yard were all soon ablaze.

With practically no water supply available, it was found impossible; to do anything further to save the stacks, and the firefighters, who by this time had been augmented by a considerable number of men from Axedale and its vicinity, directed their efforts to saving the house and other buildings connected with the homestead. As the house stands close to the banks of the river it had practically to be guarded only on two sides, and the work of saving it was comparatively easy.

Some of the sheds and outbuildings were, however, destroyed. Shortly after passing Mr. Burke’s place the fire was got under control. In addition to having lost the whole of his year’s produce and several outbuildings, Mr. Burke had a quantity of fencing and grass destroyed. His loss is thus rendered a very serious one.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE NEAR AXEDALE. (1901, February 11). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved





Axedale News 3 & 10 September 1878

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 3 September 1878, page 2

Monday evening

The weather for the past few days has been splendid. On Wednesday I took a drive as far as McCormick’s saw mill, but found that it had been removed two or three miles further 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 effectually done his work that very few remain to be converted. In consequence of this, he announced that if no more penitents could be found the doors would have to be closed.


From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 10 September 1878, page 3

Monday, 9th September.

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 on 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.

Mrs. O’Grady died very suddenly the other day, at the Wild Duck Creek. She was universally respected, and has left a widower, with six young children, to mourn their loss. The funeral was the largest that ever entered Heathcote.

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 he is, I believe, to officiate every Sunday.

I am glad to notice that Mr. M. Boyle’s Fairy carried off the Sapling Stakes at the late Northern Coursing Meeting. Mr. Boyle’s dogs are very well bred, but he has been singularly unlucky with them. Mr. Tierney’s Flora did not show up at all, as expected.

The splendid weather of late has made a marked improvement in the crops and orchards. There is a magnificent show of blossom, and should the frost not prove very severe there will be a fine fruit harvest.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

AXEDALE. (1878, September 3). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

AXEDALE. (1878, September 10). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,


©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Axedale Burial William Ryan 1914

Axedale Catholic Cemetery

 William RyanWilliam Ryan died in the Hustler’s Reef Goldmining disaster in Bendigo. On 02 May 1914 at about 10pm, an explosion occurred on the 13th level of the mine at 321m. All seven miners working at that level were killed. Five widows and ten children were left to mourn their loss. This was the worst mining accident on the Bendigo Goldfields.

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Monday 04 May 1914, page 6


On Saturday night at about 10 o’clock the most terrible accident ever recorded in the history of Bendigo mining occurred at the Great Extended Hustler’s mine, when seven miners were launched into eternity with appalling suddenness. Occurring at so late an hour, and its nature and extent being for some time wrapped in obscurity, the news of the fatality did not become generally known till yesterday morning had advanced, and the first intimation many persons received was when the intelligence was conveyed to hushed audiences in some of the churches.

As usual, vague rumors as to the extent and nature of the accident got abroad, but it soon became definitely known that seven miners had perished as the result of an explosion, not, as is usually the case, at the working face, but in a crosscut and level, by reason of the ignition of a large quantity of explosive material which was stored in the crosscut at a place set apart for it, in accordance with the regulations.

The force of an explosion of this character has often been exemplified. A well-known instance in the history of Bendigo mining is the dynamite explosion which occurred in 1881 at the enginehouse of the New Chum Consolidated mine. The building was wrecked, and seven men were injured, one of them—the enginedriver—succumbing a few days later. On Saturday night the explosion was confined to the crosscut and adjacent workings, and the position of the bodies of the men, and the nature of their injuries are sufficient to show that the men were killed instantaneously.

Four bodies were found in the crosscut and three in the level. The fumes descended into the lower levels, and for a time placed the lives of other miners in jeopardy. Owing to the injury to the shaft, and the necessity to proceed cautiously, some hours elapsed before these men were raised to the surface, after which efforts were made to recover the bodies of the seven miners who had met their death.

How the accident actually occurred will never be known, and explanations can only be surmised. The holes had been drilled in the workings, which are some distance from the crosscut, the machines had been removed, and preparations were apparently in progress for charging the holes. How far this operation had advanced may be explained at the inquest, but the actual cause of the explosion will remain a mystery. If it was through any blunder or carelessness, the man responsible has perished with his companions, and if it was brought about by any unexpected occurrence, its nature is not ascertainable. The explosion itself has removed every clue.

The one dreadful fact remains—that seven men who were looking forward to a respite from work during the day of rest, have been suddenly cut off, and many families have been plunged into mourning. The accident has cast quite a gloom over the city. The most poignant grief will naturally be felt by relatives and friends of the dead miners, but the public generally will be profoundly shocked by what is little short of a calamity, especially when it is borne in mind that practically everything has been done to prevent accidents in our mines that human ingenuity can suggest.

How much provision the deceased miners have made for those dependent on them may be shown in a day or two, but this dire event surely emphasises the necessity for every miner becoming a member of the Miners’ Association or some organisation which provides for him in sickness or in case of accident, and for his relatives in the event of death. We have always contended that this is one of the first duties of every miner, on account of the perils which beset his path from the time he leaves the surface till he returns.

Already movements have been started for the relief of those who may be plunged into distress by Saturday night’s explosion, and it is certain that the public of Bendigo will respond liberally to the appeals which are being made. We can only add that it is with profound sorrow we place the details of this terrible accident before our readers, and in doing so we desire to express our deep sympathy with all who have been called upon to suffer bereavement.

*please note: paragraphs have been added for ease and speed of reading.

 Link to further information about the Hustlers Reef Gold Mining Disaster

From: Bendigo Advertiser, 06 May 1914, page 7 
From: The Bendigo Independent, Monday 04 May 1914, page 6

The funeral of the late Mr. William Ryan, who was killed in the disaster, took place yesterday to the Axedale Cemetery, leaving the residence of his mother, Mrs. Ryan, McLaren Street. It was largely attended, and a choice collection of flowers was received from sympathising friends. Artificial wreaths came to hand from Mr. and Mrs. Palamountain and Bridge Street friends, and Mr. and Mrs. Bacher. The coffin-bearers were Messrs. W. Knight, J. M’Namara, D. Ferrari, M. Ferrari, A. Lindrea, and A. Jackson. The chief mourners were the widow (Mrs. W. Ryan), Mrs. Ryan (mother), Mrs. Bartlett, Miss M. Ryan (sister), Mr. and Miss McNamara, Mr. D. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. H. Fogarty, Mr. and Mrs. McDonald. The Rev. Father Ellis read the burial service. Messrs. Fizelle and Mulqueen were the undertakers.

in loving memory
william ryan
who was accidentally killed
at the great extended hustler’s mine
bendigo 2nd may 1914
aged 26
sadly missed

The Great Extended Hustlers Mine Disaster Memorial

September 2020), memorial page for William Ryan (1888–2 May 1914), Find a Grave Memorial no. 159241478, citing Axedale General Cemetery, Axedale, Greater Bendigo City, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by Tony (contributor 47889408) .
“THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER.” (1914, May 4). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 6. Retrieved September 21, 2020, from

WILLIAM RYAN. (1914, May 4). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), p. 6. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

AXEDALE CEMETERY. (1914, May 6). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 7. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

One Place Study Axedale

OPS Logo

 Axedale Then and Now is an official worldwide “One Place Study”. I’m sure most will be wondering what is a One Place Study.

A One Place Study is a designated study of a particular city, town, village or area.   Axedale is the only One Place Study being done in Victoria at the moment.  Most family historians, while researching their family history, do a little research on the place where their ancestors settled. A One Place Study doesn’t focus on any particular family. The focus is on the place and it’s people, regardless of any relationship to the person recording the information.

A One Place Study aims to report on everything that occurs or has occurred in a particular place, including geographical, the people living or who lived in a community, community activities, education, employment, business.  Anything that occurs or occurred in a particular area, at a particular time can be recorded on a One Place Study. Old newspaper articles and official records will also be a focus of this study.

Eventually this One Place Study will build a historical picture of Axedale and those who have lived there. It is my intention that this  One Place Study of Axedale will become a resource for anyone wishing to research their family history or find out more about Axedale and the surrounding area.

If you have information that you would like to have included in Axedale’s One Place Study, don’t hesitate to contact me either in the comments below or by email.

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Axedale Burial Molloy 1870

Axedale Catholic Cemetery



From: Bendigo Advertiser, Monday, 25 July 1870

The district coroner, Dr J. Pounds, also held an inquest on Saturday, at Axedale, on the body of a man named Charles Molloy, who came suddenly by his death,on the 22nd inst, at his residence there.

After the evidence of a few farmers was taken, which showed that deceased was apparently a healthy man. Dr H. L. Atkinson gave evidence that a lad came to him for some medicine which he gave him, the lad stating that his father was very bad. Witness went to visit deceased, but found him dead. The cause of death was pneumonia of the lungs. The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

ELLEN MOLLOY died 2 September 1900

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 4 September 1900

The Friends of Mr. Peter Molloy are respectfully invited to follow the remains of his late beloved mother, (Ellen) to the Axedale Cemetery. Funeral to move from his residence, Mount Pleasant, this day, the 4th inst., at ten o’clock.

From: The Elmore Standard, Friday, 07 September 1900, page 2

Our Barnedown correspondent writes I regret to chronicle the death of Mrs. Ellen Molloy, a very old and highly-respected resident of Mount Pleasant, the cause being general breaking-up of the system. The deceased, who was 46 years of age, leaves two sons and two daughters, grown-up. The funeral on Tuesday which moved from the residence of her son, Mr. Peter Molloy, to the Axedale cemetery was largely attended. The burial service was impressively read by the Rev. Father O’Carroll, and Messrs. Fizelle and Mulqueen carried out the funeral arrangements. -• one at die Stamdori News Agency, Is. cadi. Received, “Windsor Magazine”for August and ” Australian Journal” for September. 
FIZELLE and MULQUEEN, Undertakers, Bridge-street.

sacred to the memory
charles molloy
died july 23rd 1870, aged 46 years
native of cy kildare, ireland
ellen molloy
native of county clare ireland
died sept 2nd 1900 aged 74 years
rest in peace
and their son
peter molloY
died october 23rd 191-0

SUDDEN DEATH. (1870, July 25). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 12, 2020, from

Family Notices (1900, September 4). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved September 12, 2020, from

“No Title” The Elmore Standard (Vic. : 1882 – 1910) 7 September 1900: 2. Web. 12 Sep 2020 <;.

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Axedale 1869

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Friday 23 April, 1869, page 2

This church was opened on Sunday last, by the Rev. J. Nish of Sandhurst, who took his text from Malachi 3rd chapter 8th verse, “Will a man rob God,” from which he preached an excellent and impressive sermon, and was listened to with great attention by a full congregation of earnest worshipers, and no doubt will be long remembered in this district, where the Protestant population have not before had the privilege of worshiping God in a house set apart for his service.

On Tuesday evening, a tea meeting was held in connection with the opening services; after tea, which was served in the Foresters Hall, the people retired to the church, when the meeting was opened with praise and prayer. The Rev. D. Renton, (the pastor of the congregation), then took the chair, and reported the various steps that had been taken towards supplying a want long felt by a portion of the community, viz., that when he first came to the district, in July last, he called a meeting of those favorable towards providing Axedale with a Presbyterian church, at which a committee was formed and subscription lists opened, and after a little exertion they found they were warranted to call for tenders of the comparative cost of a building of blue stone, of brick, and of wood.

When the tenders came they chose blue stone with white brick facings of the windows and door, and they accepted contracts for labor only, the committee themselves undertaking to provide all the materials, which they promptly commenced about the beginning of September, and the foundation stone was laid by the Rev. J. Nish, of Sandhurst, on the 30th of the same month, and here the chairman remarked that but for the energy and zeal put forth by the various members of committee, the building would not now have been what it is, as they freely gave of their means, and spared neither time nor exertion in obtaining the needed funds to carry on and complete the church-a building which would be an ornament to any country district.

The amount at their disposal has been £258 4s. 6d., leaving a debt of £51 1s. 2d., which it was hoped would almost if not altogether be removed by the proceeds of the opening services. The total cost of the building being £309 5s. 8d. This of course does not complete all that is necessary, as a vestry, a stable, and fencing are still required, which no doubt will be had in due time.

Interesting addresses were then delivered by the Rev. J. M. Abernethy, of Eaglehawk, Rev. J. Westacott, (of the United Methodist Free Church) Heathcote, the Revs. G. Taylor, and J. Nish, of Sandhurst; and some sacred music was rendered by Messrs. Adamson, Alsop, and Foyster, of Heathcote.

We have not learned what was realized from the opening services, but from the large attendance on both occasions, it must be something considerable towards reducing the debt. We most heartily congratulate the Protestants of the Axedale district on their new church, which is very finely finished, and certainly one of the neatest country churches we have seen for some time.

Its dimensions are thirty-eight by twenty-one feet, and has seat accommodation for 110 people. It has four stained glass windows on each side and one in the end gable behind the pulpit, which are in beautiful harmony with the other parts of the structure, the pews are all stained and varnished, the pulpit and doors dark oak, the walls of stone color, the roof a delicate blue; the whole reflects great credit on the architect and workmen; and we have no doubt but it will prove a blessing morally, intellectually and spiritually to the district.



ST. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, AXEDALE. (1869, April 23). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Axedale Burial: Mathew McGrath 1933

Axedale Catholic Cemetery



From: The Advocate Melbourne, Thursday 09 March 1933, page 33

On Sunday, February 5, at his residence. Redesdale, the death took place, of Mr. Mathew McGrath. Mr. Mc-Grath, who had been in failing health for the last ten months, was the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Patrick McGrath, of Kimbolton where he was born 52 years ago. He carried on contracting work for the Mclvor and Strathfieldsaye shires for many years and was noted for his painstaking care and practical knowledge. For some time he was clerk of works for the Country Roads Board, and gave every satisfaction. He was also clerk of works for the Maryborough Shire at the time he became ill. During the last few years he partnered Mr. T. Long, of Knowsley, in many contracting works. The late Mr. McGrath was highly respected throughout the district, and made many firm friends wherever he went. He was attended during his illness by the Rev. Fr. O’Dee, of Heathcote, who administered the last rites of the Church, and also by Rev. Fr. Murphy. His remains were taken to the Church of St. Laurence, Redesdale, where Mass was offered up by the Rev. Fr. Murphy for the repose of his soul. The late Mr. McGrath was a very devout Catholic. He leaves a sorrowing wife, three sons, and four daughters, one son having predeceased him thirteen years ago, to mourn the sad loss of a loving and devoted husband and father. He also leaves two brothers and two sisters, a brother and sister having predeceased him many years ago. The funeral to Axedale Cemetery was largely attended, there being over sixty motors following the cortege. The polished cedar casket was carried to the grave by Cr. J. Long and Messrs. M. Sheedy, T. Long and B. Caelli. The pall-bearers were Messrs. J. Mangan, T. Mangan, J. Tranter. J. Madden, F. Madden, and M. McAuliffe. Rev. P. O’Sullivan, Bendigo, officiated at the graveside, and Messrs. Fizelle and Mulqueen had charge of the funeral arrangements. The following councillors were present: Cr. J. Long, McIvor Shire; S. Doak and F. Orr. Strathfieldsaye Shire; and J. O Sullivan and P.McNiff, of Metcalfe Shire.


MR. MATTHEW McGRATH. (1933, March 9). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 33. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

A New Church for Axedale 1868

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Friday 25 September 1868, page 2

September 22nd, 1868.
We are glad to see signs of progress, as every new bridge and road are the means of helping to develop the resources of the Colony, and we would wish that the construction of roads and bridges were much more rapid than they now are, as it would materially assist in opening up the country.

Another feature of progress, which we are always delighted to observe, where the people are settling, is that they have not forgotten the good old institutions of their Fatherland, such as the church and the school. Axedale has had for many years a Roman Catholic Church, and now the Presbyterians have begun, what promises to be a very nice church of bluestone, which will be an ornament to the township of Axedale.

We understand the ceremony of laying the foundation stone is to be performed by the Rev. J. Nish, of Sandhurst, to whom most of the people of that persuasion belong; but it has recently been connected with the Heathcote district, and the minister, the Rev. D. Renton, also the Rev. J. W. Inglis, of Sandridge, and J. M. L. Abernethy, of Eaglehawk, will take part in the proceedings.

There has also been an application to the Board of Education for a grant to a Common School, which will no doubt be complied with, and thereby supply a want much felt in that place; so that before long the township of Axedale will be able to boast of two substantial churches and a common school. The Foresters’ Hall has, for the present, been kindly placed at the disposal of the committee, and the school will be opened on Monday next, under the management of Mr. George McKay.


AXEDALE. (1868, September 25). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Axedale Burial: Banfield – Thomas, Margaret and Bridget

Axedale Catholic Cemetery


Thomas Banfield: 1859 – 14 November 1922

Banfield Margaret: About 1880 – 12 November 1900

from: The Bendigo Advertiser (Vic: 1855-1918) Tuesday, 13 November 1900, page 2

A fatal case of burning, which is surrounded by more than usually distressing features occurred yesterday morning. About a fortnight back, the wife of Mr. Thomas Banfield, a farmer, residing at Mosquito Creek, came into Bendigo, so as to receive professional attention during her accouchment. Mrs. Banfield left her daughter, Margaret, a child about two years old, in charge of her mother, Mrs. O’Donoghue, who lives at Emu Creek. Yesterday morning, while Mrs. O’Donoghue, was getting a bucket of water from a dam, some little distance from her house, she heard screams and on hurrying back, met her little grandaughter, enveloped in flames near the doorway. The child’s uncle, a young man who was engaged in the paddock, was also attracted by the screams, and he too hurried to the spot and succeeded in extinguishing the flames. The unfortunate child was badly burned from head to foot and young O’Donoghue drove in with the little patient, with all possible speed to Dr. Murphy’s surgery, but she expired while the doctor was examining her. The body was then removed to the Town Hall Hotel. The matter was reported to the police and a magisterial enquiry will be held this morning. A broom, the end of which ws burned, was subsequently found in the house and it is surmised that the child while playing with it, put it in the fireplace, and has ignited her clothes. Mrs. Banfield is in such a weak state that it is not deemed advisable to inform her of the tragic end that has befallen her daughter.

Bridget Banfield: 1861 – 7 August 1935

from: The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic 1868-1954) Thursday, 5 September, 1935, page 30


An old and highly respected resident of Axedale, Mrs. Bridget Banfield, passed away at her residence on August 7. after an illness of three days. The deceased lady was a native of Axe Creek, and was 74 years of age. She spent all her life in the district, the last 40 years at Mosquito Creek, where she carried on farming pursuits successfully. Sympathy is extended to her children, Mr. Frank and Misses Irene and Molly Banfield, in their loss of a devoted mother. Her husband, Thomas Banfield, predeceased her by 13 years. The funeral to the Axedale Cemetery was largely attended by town and country friends and relatives. The coffin was carried to the grave by her nephews, Messrs. J. O’Donoghue, M Browne, J. and B. Cummins. The pallbearers were Cr. S. Doak, Messrs. P. Shanahan, W. Carney, T. Godfrey, J. Godfrey, and T. Mangan. The Rev. Fr. P. O’Connor, assisted by the Rev. Fr. Vosti, officiated at the graveside.

DIED NOV. 14 1922
DIED AUG. 7 1935

Axedale Catholic Cemetery, Axedale, City of Greater Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

MRS. BRIDGET BANFIELD. (1935, September 5). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 30. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER (1900, November 13). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved