Campaspe Plains Station

The following article was published in the Axedale Antics, in 2011. The Axedale Antics is Axedale’s community newspaper.

Early Settlers: Campaspe Plains Station

Campaspe Plains Station – Charles Hutton

The township of Axedale was originally part of the Campaspe Plains Station. It is interesting to note that the original spelling is different to that used today.

Charles Hutton took up Campaspie Plains in July, 1838, having overlanded, probably from Sydney, with a large party including eight assigned convicts.

Hutton was born in London in 1808, and joined the East India Company, as a cadet in 1825. He was commissioned an ensign in 1826, when stationed in India. In 1937, Hutton took leave and travelled to New South Wales and participated in an exploratory party looking for suitable pastoral country. Hutton resigned from the East India Company in 1839, while still on leave.

Hutton and his party first settled on the upper reaches of the Wild Duck Creek, which he called Vincent Creek. They stayed here for a few months, then moved further down stream.

The original head station was on the west bank of the Wild Duck Creek, which later became known as Langworner.

In theory, the original Campaspie Plains Station was approximately 400,000 acres of grazing land which comprised of the country later taken up by the Axedale, Barnadown, Muskerry, Mt. Pleasant, Majors Line and Mitchells Creek Stations.

Campaspie Plains Massacre

Due to the drought at the time, the sheep had to be spread out over a vast area, in order to obtain enough feed. An outstation hut was established on the Campaspie, where the Barnadown bridge now stands. This was 18 miles from the main station on Wild Duck Creek. Hutton sent two flocks of sheep, two shepherds, and a hut keeper to the new outstation.

Hugh Bryan, a shepherd, and James Neill, a hut keeper were killed in May 1839, at the Barnadown outstation, by Aborigines, possibly as retribution for the earlier Aboriginal deaths.

Mounted police accompanied by Charles Hutton, killed at least five Aboriginals, in what was later described, after an official investigation, as a deliberately planned illegal reprisal.

The body of James Neill was not found in the initial search. However, in 1878, contractors digging a trench, unearthed the body of a European male, one and half miles from where the outstation was situated. Evidence including brass buttons and a buckle and the location of the body indicated to the authorities that it almost certainly was the body of James Neill.

By January 1840, Hutton sold the station to Daniel Jennings and George Playne, for 10,000 pounds, which included 7000 sheep. Hutton moved to Melbourne and married Margaret Smith in 1842. Their first daughter was born the following year. Hutton continued to be involved with pastoral interests, but never lived on any of those properties.

Pastoral Settlement in Northern Victoria, RANDALL J.O.
Axedale Antics, March 2011

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Happy New Year and Plans for 2022

Wishing for all are for a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year.
2022 is now here and it’s time to look at what’s ahead for this One Place Study for the coming year. 2021 was a difficult year for most, due to the pandemic, and I know I was very happy to wave it goodbye. Lets hope for better things in 2022

What is a One Place Study?

For those new to this site, you are probably asking the question. What on earth is a One Place Study?

A One Place Study is a designated study of a particular city, town, village or area. There are quite a few One Place Studies being done worldwide, and Axedale is one of them. It is also the first One Place Study to be done in Victoria. Most family historians do a little research on the place where their ancestors settled. But a One Place Study doesn’t focus on any particular family. The focus is on the place.

A One Place Study aims to report on everything that occurs, or has occurred in a place, including geographical, the people living or who lived, in a community, community activites, education, employment, business. Anything that occurs or occurred in a particular area at a particular time can be recorded on a One Place Study. There are many sources for the detailed study of an area. Archives, newspapers, court records, oral information and local knowledge are just a few.

This One Place Study started in 2014. There have been a few stops and starts along the way, mainly due to time constraints. However, it is now going strong, and I intend it to continue to do so for the long term. The Axedale One Place Study is archived in the National Library of Australia, which means that it will be available to researchers in the future when I’m no longer here to be it’s caretaker. It is hoped that this site will be an archive of resources for researchers in the future.

Looking Ahead to 2022

A continuing focus will be on headstones, as I attempt to add all headstones from both the Axedale General Cemetery and the Axedale Catholic Cemetery. Eventually, I would love this to be a place to come to, in order to find your ancestor’s headstone. The headstones are also a great way to learn more about the life of the people living in Axedale at a particular time. For example, headstones show that many people came to Axedale, from County Clare in Ireland, in the 1850s, for the gold rush that was happening in the area.

Birth, marriage and death notices, along with obituaries of locals which were printed in newspapers, will also be published here along with other general news found in the newspapers. Archive centres are a great resource for land records, inquests, wills and much more. You will find more information from these repositories published during 2022.

The Society for One-Place Studies provide blogging prompts during the year that help to give focus and variety to the types of posts published. Other than that, they are just good fun. My reply to the January prompt #OnePlaceBlackSheep will appear very soon.

If you have photos of Axedale and surrounding areas which you would like to have archived, please don’t hesistate to contact me. I am happy to publish them here so they are not lost in the future.

If you have photos of Axedale and surrounding areas which you would like to have archived, please don’t hesistate to contact me. I am happy to publish them here so they are not lost in the future.

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved

How Bushfires Are Caused 1893

Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), Friday 7 April 1893, page 3


An elderly man, giving the name of Charles Seward, was brought up at the City Police Court (Mr Leader, D.M., presiding), yesterday, on remand charged with wilfully and maliciously setting fire to a fence belonging to Mr. N. Ingham, of Axedale, on the 29th of March. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

.Sergeant Fahey, who conducted the prosecution, stated to the bench that the proceedings had been brought under the 196th section of the Crimes Act.

Napthalie Ingham, contractor quarryman, and licensed victualler, residing at Axedale, deposed that the prisoner called at his hotel on the 29th of last month, at about eight o’clock in the morning. Witness was behind the bar, and accused ordered a pint of beer, which was given him, and for which he paid. Accused said, “I have come from Melbourne. I am going to Toolleen to work for a man there for 8s per week and my keep.” Witness said, “You needn’t go any further, I’ll give you that.” Accused said, ” All right.” Witness wanted to put accused to work at once, and he said that he was not particular for that day.

Accused commenced to blow the bellows in the blacksmith’s shop, and witness said to him, “If you’re going to start work, you’d better get the axe and barrow, and go out for some firewood.” Accused replied, “The **** barrow is no good, and I can’t use it.”

Witness then told him that he had better “move on” along the road to the place he intended making for originally. Accused asked for a glass of beer, but witness refused to give him any. Accused then left the place.

That was about 10 o’clock in the morning. About four o’clock that afternoon, in consequence of something he heard, he visited his property, which is situated on the Toolleen road. He took two of his men with him. They found about half a mile of brush fencing burning. Witness and his men with the assistance of several other persons extinguished the fire. The damage to the fencing amounted to about £20, Witness was positive the accused was the man who was in the bar on the morning in question, and he did not give the man the slightest provocation.

Sergeant Fahey (to prisoner) : Have you any questions to ask the witness?
Prisoner : No. It is quite correct what he says.

.John Johnson, a laborer, working at Axedale, deposed that on the 29th of March, he was walking along the road from Axedale to Toolleen. When about four or five miles from Axedale, he saw that Mr. Ingham’s fence was on fire in two places. He got a green bough and tried to beat out the fire, but could not do so. He walked on for about 20 yards, when he came across the accused, who was just getting up after having set lire to the fence in another place. Prisoner : You did not.
Sergeant Fahey (to prisoner): You’ll have an opportunity of questioning the witness later on.

Witness continuing: The accused produced a card upon which the address of P. J. Cooney, Campaspe East, was written, and said ” Am I on the right track for that ?” Witness replied in the affirmative. Accused said to witness,” Did you see me drop my match?” and witness replied, ” Yes; you set fire to the fence.” Accused asked to whom the fence belonged, and witness replied that it was the property of Mr. Ingham. Accused said ” What? That Lancashire **** on the hill. If I had known it belonged to him I would have set fire to it in 40 **** places.” Witness and accused walked along the road for some distance until they reached the place where witness was cutting wood. Accused sat down on a log and told witness that he had been at Ingham’s, but left there as he did not like cutting wood for women, and besides, the wheel barrow was no good. He sat down on a log and afterwards went to sleep.

The P.M. : Did it not surprise you to see the man setting fire to the fence?
Witness : Yes. I couldn’t understand it unless he had a “down” on Mr. Ingham.
The P.M. : But in any case did it not surprise you?
Witness : Yes.
The P.M. Didn’t you try to put the fire out?
Witness: Yes. But I couldn’t do it, as the flames were over my head.
The P.M. Did the accused help you?
Witness : No. He walked on ahead.

To Sergeant Fahev : When I was returning home in the evening, I saw Mr. Ingham and some other men putting the fire out. I gave him a description of the man I had seen set fire to the place. A man named Collins was there, but he came after I had seen the accused set fire to the fence.

Prisoner: Was it not a mile away from the fire when you caught up to me ?
Witness : No, it, was not 200 yards.

The P.M. You said that you saw the prisoner getting off his knees after setting fire to the place? Witness : Yes.your worship, I was about 50 yards away when I saw him set fire to the fence. When he saw me he walked quickly away, so that it was about 200 yards from the fire before I caught up to him.

Prisoner: Did I.not sit down on a swag and wait for you?
Witness: No.

Sergeant Fahey: Have you any other question to ask?
Prisoner : It is no use asking him anything.
Sergeant Fahey : If you could shake his evidence, it would be of some use to you.

In reply to Sergeant Fahey, the witness stated that on the day following the occurrence, he gave a description of the man to Constable Haydon. He was positive that the accused was the man.

Prisoner: Did you see me set fire to the fence?
Witness : Yes I did.
Prisoner: You did not.

Sergeant Fahey : The witness is on his oath, and his statements must be accepted.

Mounted-constable Haydon deposed that the matter was reported to him on the evening of the 29th. He arrested the accused the same night, camped about a quarter of a mile from Toolleen. There was another swagman with him at the time. After looking at both men witness said to the prisoner, ” Where did you come from?”

Sergeant Fahey: Why did you address tho prisoner?
Witness : Because he tallied with the description given me by Mr. Ingham.
Sergeant Fahey : What did he say to your first question?

Witness stated that the accused said he came from Axedale. He produced a Labor Bureau ticket bearing the name of Chas. Seward and addressed to P. J. Cooney, Campaspe East. Witness told accused that he was charged with setting fire to Mr. Ingham’s fence, and he replied ” I never set fire to it, and anyone who says that I did would be telling a lie.” Accused was then taken into custody. On the following morning witness saw Johnson, who gave him a description of the man whom he had seen setting fire to the fence. The description tallied exactly with the accused.

This closed the case for the prosecution.

The P.M. (to the accused): You are at liberty now to make a statement if you choose, or you can be sworn and give evidence on your own behalf, but I tell you that on the evidence that has been adduced, you will be committed for trial. I would advise you to reserve your defence until the case comes on in the higher court.

The prisoner: I would like this court to deal with the case now.

The P.M: It cannot be dealt with here. It is a felony.

The accused was then committed to take his trial at the next sitting of the Supreme Court for the hearing of criminal charges, to be held on the 26th inst.

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

HOW BUSH FIRES ARE CAUSED. (1893, April 7). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Affiliation Case Axedale 1904

From:  Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday, 20 September 1904, page 4


Much time was taken up at the City Court yesterday in hearing a ease in which Bridget McGrath, a young unmarried woman, proceeded against James Hawkins, for the maintenance of his illegitimate child. The parties both reside in the Axedale district. Mr. Kirby appeared for complainant, and Mr. O’Halloran for defendant.

In answer to Mr. Kirby, complainant stated that on the 10th October Inst. Hawkins, who is the son of a neighbor, in company with a man named Frawley, came to her home. She gave them afternoon tea, and the two men then went outside to sharpen their axes. After doing this, Frawley departed, and witness went out to take in some clothes off the line.

She took them into her bedroom, and Hawkins followed her, and took advantage of her. About the first of May, she asked Hawkins to marry her, her sister Nellie, also asking him. Hawkins was promised a farm, and a sum of money, if he would marry her, but he refused. She had been put to a good deal of expense by her confinement. Ellen McGrath, sister of the previous witness, deposed, that when she found out her sister’s condition, she spoke to Hawkins. He denied the paternity, and said he had only put his hands on complainant’s shoulder.

James Hawkins, the defendant, denied on oath having anything to do with Miss McGrath on the day mentioned. He admitted, however, being at the house for some time on that day, but nothing unusual occurred. It was only about 10 minutes from the time Frawley left, till Nellie Hawkins arrived at the house. .

After taking farther evidence, the magistrates adjourned the court for 10 minutes, to consider their verdict. On returning, Mr. Moore P.M., said that they had decided that the complainant had proved her case.

An order was made for the payment of 7/6 per week, with £10 pre-maternity expenses, and £3/7 costs. The defendant was ordered to find one surety of £50, as a guarantee that he will comply with the order. On the application of Mr. O’Halloran, three days were allowed, to find the surety.

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

“AFFILIATION CASE.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 20 September 1904: 4. Web. 11 Sep 2020 <;.

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Children’s Day Axedale 1916

From: Bendigo Independant, Saturday 11 November 1916, page 2

Wednesday, November 15, has been set apart as Children’s Day, and the Sunday schools of the district will take advantage of the public holiday to hold their annual picnics. some schools thought that, considering the present war crisis, it was inadvisable to hold picnics, but the majority considered that it could serve no good purpose by depriving the children of the day they look for annually.

The following is a list of picnics to be held:
RAVENSWOOD. The Forest Street Methodist Sunday School will hold their annual picnic at Ravenswood, on Wednesday next, The train leaves Bendigo at 10.25. The fares are — Adults,. Is 6d; children under 16 Is. Hot water and milk will be provided free. At Ravenswood on Wednesday next the annual picnic of the Wilson Street Sunday School will take place. Fares are— Adults, tram and train, 2s, train only, is 6d; children under 16, is 3d. Hot water and milk will be provided free.
The St. Matthew’s Sunday School, Long Gully, will hold their annual picnic to Ravenswood on Wednesday next. Special trams will leave the Manchester loop Long Gully, at about 9.15 a.m., and a special train will convey picnickers to Ravenswood, leaving at 10 a.m. Hot water will be provided free. The fares are — Adults, 2s; children under 16, is 3d including tram and train.
The Golden Square Methodist Sunday School will also celebrate their annual picnic at Ravenswood on Wednesday next Fares are 1s 6d and 1s. The time table will appear in Monday’s issue.

The annual united picnic of the Forest street. Quarry Hill and Galvin street Congregational Sunday Schools will be held at Axedale on Wednesday next. The committee has made every arrangement possible to provide for the comfort and enjoyment of its patrons and with fine weather a most pleasant day should be spent. The train will leave Bendigo at 9.25 a.m., returning from Axedale at 7 pm., and the fares are, adults 2s, children 1s. Tickets are now obtainable at Bolton Bros., Mitchell street. A plentiful supply of hot water will be available free of charge.
St. John’s Presbyterian Sunday School Picnic will be held at Axedale on Wednesday next. A special train will leave Bendigo at 10.15 a.m., and Axedale on the r turn journey at 7.50 p.m. St. Paul’s Picnic to Axedale will be held on Wednesday next, Children’s Day. The outing promises to be very popular, as besides St. Paul’s, St. John Presb terian. Congregational, All Saints, Holy Trinity and Strickland Road have chosen Axedale for their picnic. Stalls will be conducted in aid of the Red Cross Fund. Tea, hot water and milk will be free. Tickets may be obtained from Mr. J. Leaney, Williamson street, or the Cambridge Press, Market Square. The fares for All Saints’ annual picnic to Axedale on Wednesday next are: — Adults, 2s; children 1s. The time of dparture has not yet been fixed.


CHILDREN’S DAY (1916, November 11). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from

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Axedale – General Report 1877

from The Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette, 18 March 1877, page 5

The hotels and business places here are doing a rather brisk trade at present, on account of the large number of extra stomachs – the owners of which are at work on the railway – that require to be filled and satisfied with liquids and solids, chiefly the former, I am sorry to say.

The railway is progressing here, but not so satisfactorily to the contractor, as he might expect, it being very difficult to obtain steady men. They have started driving the piles of the bridge of 99 arches, each 20 feet span, over the Campaspe, and are cutting through the hill on the Rodney side of the river adjoining Mr. Heffernan’s estate.

The hill is composed principally of bluestone, which has to be blasted, and it appears strange that, with an immense quantity of such material at hand, the bridge should rest upon wooden tiles. It is impossible to deny that at the end of twenty or twenty-five years, the bridge will have become unsafe, whereas the bluestone would have stood for generations. It certainly seems a “penny wise and pound foolish’ policy.

A new policeman is about to appear on the scene here, that office having been satisfactorily but temporarily filled by Mr. Myers. The newcomer, poor fellow – l beg your pardon, ladies -had to enter the bonds of wedlock before he could accept position, as the station can only be occupied by married men. The happy pair will spend their honeymoon here, so we wish them a pleasant one.

There is a  local industry being carried on here, which is capable of being largely developed, namely the bluestone quarry, the proprietor of which, Mr. J.Ingham, deserves credit for the perserving manner in which he has worked the quarry under discouraging circumstances.

He has raised some immense blocks of stone, one some time back measuring 16ft 6 in. by 12ft by 2ft. There is one at present lying in the quarry measuring 9 by 6 by 2 feet, which is without a flaw, and when struck, rings like a bell. There are many more of the same size and quality in sight.

Mr. Ingham, has purchased the engine and stone sawing machine which were used for cutting the stone at the new public buildlings at Sandhurst, and he, therefore, in future intends to supply stone in the finished state.

When the railway is completed he intends to have a tramway connected with the line above Mr. Heffernan’s estate, from the quarry, it having been surveyed and found possible. He will then be able to deliver the stone with expedition, in any quantity, and at a cheap rate, to any part of the colonies.

The stone is harder, and of better quality than that found, at Malmsbury, and there is an inexhaustible supply sufficient, as Mr. Ingham, tersely puts it, ‘to build a city’.

The rain which fell last Monday was very much required by the farmers, but hardly sufficient fell to enable them to carry on ploughing operations. The cry is still for more.

Axedale. (1887, March 18). Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 – 1889), p. 5. Retrieved September 9, 2020, from

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

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The Proposed Heathcote Railway

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 06 September 1881, page 3


A public meeting was held at Mr. P. Drake’s Hotel, Axedale, last evening, in connection with the proposed railway from Sandhurst to Seymour, via Axedale, Heathcote, and Costerfield. There were about thirty persons present the president of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, Mr A. Bruhn, occupying the chair.

Mr W, S. Cahill, by whom the meeting was convened, explained its objects. he said that the Sandhurst people had taken the matter up very warmly, and they should therefore co-operate with them in endeavoring to obtain a railway through the district. The advantages that would accrue to the district by the construction of a line would be very great.

The Chairman thought they should move heart and soul to have a railway constructed from Sandhurst to Heathcote. Sandhurst would be greatly benefited by the line, not alone on account of Heathcote being a mining district with which it was closely connected, but on account of the farmers situated between the Campaspe and the Goulburn, who would make Sandhurst a head centre. (Hear, hear.)

The railway would complete a link between the Murray line and the North-Eastern line, and passengers would have easier access to Sydney by that means, instead of going round by way of Melbourne. Axedale, as a grain producing district, and a district famed for its dairy produce, would reap considerable benefit from the railway, which would tend to its advancement in many ways. He, therefore, trusted that that they would give the matter favourable consideration.

Mr T. Craike thought the first step they should take should be to form themselves into a branch league. The leading citizens of Sandhurst had taken a very active part in the movement which had called them together that evening. They were all aware of the advantages which would accrue by the construction of the line, which would strike off near Sandhurst and pass on to Heathcote through Axedale.

Mr Ingham, a gentleman with whom they were all acquainted, but who was now in England, had told them that if a railway was constructed to Sandhurst, he could compete with the Melbourne trade, for the supply of bluestone, for building, channelling, and other purposes to all parts of the colony. In bluestone alone there would be an immense traffic on the line.

From Axedale to Heathcote there was a large tract of fertile country, and near Heathcote there were quarries of limestone and marble. These quarries had remained unworked, owing to the cost of carriage to Sandhurst. The marble quarries would form an extensive industry, which could only be developed by means of railway communication. The timber which could be supplied by means of a railway to Sandhurst for mining and building purposes could not be equalled in the colony. It had become a difficult matter in Sandhurst of late to procure suitable timber for mining, which had taken immense strides.

It was, therefore, necessary that good timber should be supplied at cheap rates, and the proposed railway would prove very useful in this respect. As Sandhurst progressed, the country districts progressed likewise, and a great deal of the success of the country people depended on the success of Sandhurst. (Applause.) He concluded by moving “That this meeting form themselves into a branch league, for the purpose of cooperating with the central league in Sandhurst, in their endeavor to further railway extension to Heathcote and Seymour.”

Mr. J. D. Bywater, member of the Mclvor Shire Council, seconded the motion. He referred to the resources of the district that would be opened up by the railway, and instanced the large amount of traffic that would take place in firewood, bluestone, sawn timber, grain, dairy produce, etc. He said the bluestone of the Campaspe exceeded anything that could be obtained in the colony. In connection with sawn timber there were two sawmills situated in the parish of Knowsley West, and one in the parish of Crosby. Each of these mills, when at work sent about 8,000 superficial feet of timber to the Sandhurst market for mining purposes.

The farm produce of the parishes of Axedale, Weston, Muskerry, Knowsley West, Knowsley East, and Crosby would all be sent to the Sandhurst market by means of the railway. From a calculation he had made, he found that in the parishes he had mentioned there were about 8,600 acres under cultivation.

As the proprietor of a threshing machine, he had had a good chance of knowing the acreage of grain producing land of the district. Milk was produced in large quantities in Axedale and forwarded to Sandhurst, much labor and expense being at present entailed in the carriage, which a railway would obviate. He was of opinion that the Government would be acting wisely by constructing the line, as there would not be a more payable line in the colony. (Applause.)

The motion was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously.

Mr Stephen Burke was appointed secretary to the league. .

The following committee was elected tor the purpose of acting in conjunction with the Sandhurst league: Messrs. J.D.. Bywater, T. Strachan, T. O’Rourke, T. Craike, W. S. Cahill, A. Bruhn, M. Burns, J. White, T. Donnellan, .J. Burke, S Burke, D. Mill, and J. Martin, with power to add to their number.

Mr Craike explained to the meeting the action taken by the Sandhurst league, and suggested that a delegate should be appointed to represent the Axedale branch league, on the occasion of the deputation from Sandhurst, waiting on the Minister of Railways.

Mr Bywater said it was the intention of the Mclvor Council to interview Mr Bent, on Wednesday week, provided he could make it convenient to receive them on that day. They proposed to ask for a railway to Heathcote, to be included in the next schedule, but they did not bind themselves to any of the proposed routes. He understood that deputations from Costerfield, Tooborac, and other places, intended interviewing the Minister of Railways on Friday next.

In answer to a question, Mr Bywater said the Mclvor Council were in favor of having a survey made from Lancefield to Heathcote, as promised by Mr Patterson when Minister of Railways.

Mr Cahill read a letter from Mr Crooke, secretary of the Heathcote and Broadford Railway League, in which it was stated that. a deputation was to wait on Mr Bent next Friday at 1.30, and advocate a line from Sandhurst via Heathcote and Costerfield to Seymour.

Mr Bywater was appointed to represent the Axedale league on the deputation from Sandhurst.

The meeting then closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman.

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

THE PROPOSED HEATHCOTE RAILWAY. (1881, September 6). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from


©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Derrinal Railway Station Accident Update – Inquest

A recent post about an Accident at Derrinal Railway stated that the injured person was an engine driver named Howe. This was soon found to be incorrect information. The person who died in this accident was Robert Storey. Below are details of the accident from the Magisterial Inquiry.from: The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 8 November 1900.

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 08 November 1900, page 2



Magisterial Inquiry
A magisterial inquiry touching the death of Robert Storey, whose lamentable death we referred to in our last issue, was held by Jas. Crowle, Esq, J.P., at the Black Swan Hotel, on Wednesday the 31st ult., when the following depositions were taken, Mr J. A. C. Firth being present on behalf of Mrs Storey, the widow of deceased:

Elizabeth Storey, sworn, deposed, I am the wife of the deceased Robert Storey. Last saw my husband alive on the 30th October at 11 a.m., when he left home on horseback to go to Ellesmere. He said he would be back home about 11 p.m. if he were coming. Identify the body as that of my husband. The horse he was riding is quiet and not given to bolting, the ohildren often riding it about the town. I reside in High Street, Heathcote .

John Duncan, sworn, deposed, I am a farmer. Saw the body of Robert Storey last night at the Black Swan Hotel about 12 o’clock, midnight. Saw him alive, breathing for a few seconds at about 10 o’clock.
Was sitting near my father’s place having a smoke about 10 p.m., when I heard a horse galloping along the main road, evidently about half a mile away, and a man calling out ” woa ” as fast as he could repeat it. The horse was going towards Heathcote. From the man calling out, I concluded he had no control over the horse, Heard him singing out until 1 heard a crash. He must have travelled a mile at racing pace from the time I first heard the galloping until the crash occurred.
After the crash I ran up to the station house and called out for Mr Bowman. Mr Bowman was in bed and got up and asked what was the matter. Told him what I had heard. Accompanied by Mr Bowman I searched the road but found nothing on it, and we were both going homewards when Mr Bowman called me from the station yard to come to him. We found deceased lying on the ground lying partly on his face. Mr Bowman turned his (deceased’s) face around, and I lit a match and we looked at deceased, The deceased was then alive but unconscious. He was bruised and had blood on his face.
Mr Bowman tried to catch his own horse to go for a doctor, while I remained with the injured man. Mr Farley then went for the doctor. Remained with deceased till the doctor came. In my opinion he only lived for two or three minutes after we found him. In my opinion the horse was absolutely beyond control.

To Mr Firth: Mrs Bowman has charge of the Derrinal Station, where the accident occurred. It was a dark night. Sometimes the northern gate is closed at night, and sometimes it is left open. Have seen all three gates open at night, and some times all closed. The body was about fifteen yards from a telegraph post. There is a wire stay supporting this post. There is a track leading from the north to the south gate, passing near the above stay.

Daniel Thomas Bowman, sworn stated, and a railway employee residing at Derrinal railway station. On the night of the 30th inst., about 10 p.m., someone knocked at my door, and John Duncan, of Derrinal, told me he thought a serious accident had happened, Duncan and I went across to the main, road to find out what had happened.
We searched the roads both ways for a distance of a quarter of a mile and found nothing. I said to Duncan the crash might have been into one of the wood heaps.I said to Duncan, you go along the road while I go through the station. yard. I had not gone fifty yards when I came upon a man lying on the ground. I called Duncan. We went up to the man, who was lying face downwards and I turned the man on his side and found he was alive.
I said to Duncan to stay here and I’ll get my pony and go for the doctor. Could not catch my pony and my wife’s sister went to ask Mr Thos, Farley’s assistance. Mr Farley caught the horse ridden by deceased, in the station yard, and want to Heathcote for Dr Reid. Stayed till the doctor came.

To Mr Firth: Believe there is a rule that the station gates are to be shut at a certain hour. The heaps of wood mentioned are in the station yard. Ellen Bowman, sworn,said, am station mistress at Derrinal station. On the night of the 30th October about 10 p.m., I heard a horse galloping past very fast. Mr John Duncan soon after came to the door and asked for my husband.
My husband got out of bed and went with Mr Duncan to see what had happened. Stood on the platform and heard my husband call “Jack.” My husband ran back and told me there was a man lying on the ground dead or dying, and told me to go to the injured man, and I did so, taking water and a towel with me. My husband went to catch his horse to go for the doctor, and my sister went for Mr Theos. Farley. Don’t think he lived more than half an hour from the time of the accident.

To Mr Firth; Sometimes I send the children to close the gates at night, and sometimes I do not. The woodcarters often open the gates at night after we close them. The north gate was open this morning when we got up. Know that there is a departmental rule that all station gates are to be closed at a certain hour at night, but I do not know whether or not the rule applies to my station. Did not give directions to anyone to close the gates on the evening when the accident occurred, nor did I close them myself.

George Marr Reid, sworn, deposed, am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Heathcote. On the evening of the 30th October, about 11.30 p.m, I was summoned to attend a man said to have been thrown from his horse at the Derrinal railway station. Immediately drove to, the scene of the accident, and found the body of a man, whom I recognised as Robert Storey, of Heathcote, !ying on the ground inside the Derrinal station yard.
On examination, I found that life had been extinct for. at least an hour, as rigor mortis was well advanced. Advised that the body be removed to the Black Swan Hotel. which was done on the 31st inst. about 8.30 p.m. Made a superficial examination of the deceased, Robert Storey, lying at the Black Swan Hotel.
Discovered evidence of fracture of the spine about the 8td or 4th cervical vertebra. There was a large contusion on the left shoulder, extensive abrasions on the left side of the face, and three or four lacerated wounds on the back of right hand and fingers. No fracture of the skull evident. No fracture of bones of extremities. rigor mortis and hypostatic lividity fully established.
In my opinion accordingly the cause of death was the fracture of the cervical spine, with injury to the spinal cord, causing paralysis of respiration. The injury above mentioned was evidently caused by a fall from his horse.

To Mr Firth: Have examined the scene of the accident by daylight. The body was near a telegraph post supported by a wire stay, which I noticed was quite loose today. Saw some horse-hair, evidently from the mane, lying on the ground between the position where the body had been and the telegraph post. Noticed a bright mark on the wire about two feet above the ground, as if some hard substance had come in contact with it forcibly.
It is my opinion that the horse stumbled by striking the wire and unseated his rider (the deceased.) A verdict was given to the effect that the deceased met his death from injuries accidentally received by being thrown from the horse he was riding

Magisterial Inquiry.” The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918) 8 November 1900: 2. Web. 24 Jul 2020 <;.

Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

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Gold in the Axedale District

Gold Found at Axedale

From: the McIvor times and Rodney Advertiser, Thursday 25 June 1896, Page 2

A very important discovery, states the Bendigo Independant of Monday last, was made in the Axedale district a few days ago. A resident named Winzar, whilst out looking for some cows that had strayed, stumbled on an outcrop of quartz. It looked so promising, that he broke a few specimens and took them home with him.
These, when dollied gave such a good prospect, that the discoverer kept the matter quiet till he was able to peg out the most likely piece of ground. When.the find became known the place was rushed; and on last Saturday morning, miner’s right claims were .taken up for a distance of two or three on either side of Mr Wiinzar’s claim..
Mr W. Nolan, manager of Daley and Weston’s claim at Ellesmere, pegged out one of the claims, and from a surface show, obtained a very good dish prospect. About 40 men are now engaged on the line. The rush is between Hunt’s Line and the Sugarloaf Range at a point about a mile and a half due west [unreadable words] in all probability has been made on one of the reefs running, through the Ellesmere field.

No Title (1896, June 25). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from

(Punctuation and paragraphs  have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

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A dastardly act in Axedale 1893

from Bendigo Advertiser Saturday April 1, 1893, page 5



What is evidently a most despicable and malicious act was perpetrated at Axedale on Wednesday evening, the victim being Mr. N. Ingham, the well-known quarry proprietor and hotel keeper of that place.  On Tuesday after noon an elderly man named Charles Seward, a laborer, arrived by train in Axedale, having been engaged at the Government labor bureau in Melbourne, by Mr. P. J. Cooney, the teacher at the Campaspe East State School, to work for him for 8s per week. On Tuesday evening he camped on the river bank under the bridge at Axedale, and on Wednesday he did some odd jobs for Mr. Ingham, who, however, was dissatisfied with the manner in which the man performed his work.

They had a settlement, and Mr. Ingham told the fellow to move on. Seward asked for a glass of beer, but the request was refused. The man left the hotel muttering vengeance against the landlord. He took his swag and tramped off along the road to Toolleen.

A young man, named Johnson, a woodcarter in the employ of Mr. Minter, was driving a horse and load of wood into Axedale, when he discovered that he had lost a couple of wedges. He walked back along the road and suddenly came on Seward, whom he alleges he saw set fire to a fence in three different places. As soon as Seward saw that he was discovered,he remarked to Johnson, ” You saw me lighting my pipe, didn’t you?” Johnson replied that that excuse was ” too thin, ” as he had seen the man deliberately fire the fence, which belongs to Mr. Ingham.

Seward remarked that if Johnson said a word about the matter he would blow his brain out. He then walked off along the road towards Toolleen. The alarm was raised, and several persons attracted by the smoke hurried to the spot, and by their united efforts subdued the flames, but not before nearly half a mile of fencing and a quantity of grass had been destroyed.

Mounted constable Haydon, who is in charge of the police station at Axedale, was away on duty at the Wild Duck Creek during the day, and on his return home in the evening the matter was reported to him by Mr. Ingham.

The constable at once set off in chase of the offender, and nearing Toolleen, which is about 15 miles distant from Axedale, he noticed a man camping by the roadside. From the description that had been furnished him by Mr. Ingham, the constable arrested the fellow, and on bringing him back to the police station he was fully identified.

He was then locked up on a charge of wilfully and maliciously setting fire to the property. It was a fortunate circumstance that there was not any wind blowing at the time or the adjoining properties of Messrs. Heffernan, Cahill, Brown and others right down to the Clare Inn would probably have been destroyed.

The accused was brought into Bendigo on Thursday by Constable Baydon and, during the afternoon. Mr. J. R. Hoskins, J.P., attended at the Town Hall and remanded the accused, who denied the charge, until Thursday next.