West Wimmera Mail & Natimuk & Goroke Advertiser

[updated 13 Dec 2001]

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Saturday February 26, 1887

Mr. Adam SMITH, of Hynam, deserves more than passing notice, for to weary wanderers on the world's highway he remains the sole entertainer. When the system of indiscriminate hospitality that formerly distinguished Australia began to die out, or be supplanted by the meagre pannikin of flour. Mr. SMITH stood aloof and declared that while he had a sheep he would give the weary wanderer a bite----- not a bite outside with his bull-dog as others do--- but a substantial bite of beef and brose within, and it said that he yearly gives as much in hospitality as would pay his rent and taxes---- forming a grand and glorious contrast to the bennobodies around him.

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Wednesday May 11, 1887

Our Dimboola Letter
The wars and rumours of wars that reach us from time to time, and the disturbed state of Ireland, are matters that only echo on our shores, and as yet have taken no form of reality. Not having the actual experience of either an Irish landlord or a soldier in any of the disturbed countries, and not being any one of these, we only scan the newspaper and the mention of these subjects afford only a fleeting interest or a theme for conversation in the course of a long winter evening. But to have something so very like an Irish eviction take place in our very midst is enough to startle the neighbourhood in a very great degree. So like an eviction in every way and so dramatic in detail was the occurrence that actually took place, that had the chief offender been Irish instead of Scotch, the whole proceedings would, I have been told by an eye witness, been like a scene out of one of Boucicault's dramas. It appears that one John ANDERSON, of Rosalie Park, 12 miles from Dimboola, against whom had been issued a distress warrant for the seizure of certain property of his for debt contracted by him was the hero. The creditor accompanied by the mounted constable set out one day last week for the purpose of seizing some cattle for the amount. They found the required number, and were returning in blissful ignorance that the wrathful owner awaited their approach. As well might they "beard the lion in his den, the Douglas in his hall," as John ANDERSON in his park. They were soon made aware of the danger of their position. As they crossed the river at Antwerp, the whole family appeared, the mother and a son and daughter armed with sticks, the head of the house in more war-like form, he having a gun. He arrayed his forces across the road, so cutting off the march of the enemy; and, presenting his weapon, dared either the constable or his companion to advance one foot, making use of the expression that their lives were in his hands and he would shoot them if they did so. The creditor dismounted from his steed and thought his hour had come. The constable, not having his revolver, was utterly without defence, and had to let events take their course. The other members of the family then beat a retreat with the now distracted oxen, who ran hither and thither, the bells on their necks keeping up a clanging noise. The whole scene, I am told, was one that will never be forgotten as long as the spectator lives. Now that he had rescued his property so valiantly, John ANDERSON was a proud man; he marched off after his family, discharging the gun as he went. The trembling creditor thanked his stars he had escaped with his life, went home "a sadder and a wiser man." The whole family were summoned to the police court on Saturday, and fined heavily as they deserved to be. It is to be hoped that such scenes as these will be few and far between, they having a lawless sound more in keeping with some half savage nation, and utterly out of place in such a lovely peaceful spot as Rosalie Park.

Mr Thomas THORNE, of Goroke, was most successful at the Portland races, run on Thursday and Friday last. On the first day he carried off the selling race, and on the second day Archduke won the Ladies Bracelet with exchange third.

Dick Swiveller, the 2-year-old horse belonging to Messrs. HUSBAND and NICHOLLS, of Dimboola, made a name for himself on Saturday at Caulfield, where he won the 2-year-old stakes. The horse was considered a rank outsider, and started at very long odds, so that doubtless some of our local backers have won a little over the event. The trainer of the winner, who we are informed, is Mr. A. REED, of Horsham, deserves great praise for the excellent form in which the horse went to the post.

The contract for carrying the Horsham and Apsley mail has been taken by a Mr. HOYT, who agrees to run a daily mail---up one day and down the next----for 280 pound per annum. Those who know the expense of running coaches on that road, think he might as well have done it for nothing. At present the Messrs. GRACE, who only run twice a week, pay 80 pound a year, at each of the three stages; and, with the extra horses that will be required by the new contract, the amount will, at any rate, be doubled, unless Mr HOYT, like the Irishman in Cork, learns his horses to live on one straw a day each.

The tenders for carrying the mails from Booroopki to Neuarpur (a new line) have been considered, and that of Mr. McGILLIVRAY at 26 pounds per annum has been accepted. The mail will be carried on horseback. There were only two tenders, that of Mr. McGILLIVRAY at 26 pounds and Mr. LANCASTER at 30 pounds.

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Wednesday June 8, 1887

The weather at Booroopki has been very favourable for farming up to this date, June 3rd; and although there have been some slight frosts, the crops are advancing rapidly, and are now considerably above ground. I heard that you had some very heavy rain in Natimuk, but we escaped it here, having only had a few gentle showers that helped the crops forward. Too much rain at this season is nearly as bad as too little; and when the Clergy next pray for rain, as many of them have been doing lately, it would not be amiss if they would describe the quantity they require. But if we have not got too much rain, we have got too many wild dogs lately; and they are nightly killing the selectors sheep here by the clad score. In fact, they have become so destructive latterly, that several selectors have resolved to sell their flocks and keep no sheep until the Dingoes are extirpated; and it is to be hoped that the Shire Council will declare a dingo war and send their soldiers to the rescue. It must be observed that the Dingo is a recent arrival here, and it is supposed that these destructive animals have found the neighbouring sheep stations too hot for them, and therefore sought a calm retreat at Booroopki. The people here wonder how the new mail contractor is going to work the line on 280 pound a year, as I know, of my own knowledge, that Mr. GRACE's stable bills here, and at Apsley, amount to 170 pounds a year without the drivers wages; but even if Mr HOYT had not got the contract, it would have gone from Mr. GRACE, as Mr. LANCASTER was under him considerably. The question is, will any cheap John Contractor be able to do the work in the style Mr GRACE did it ?

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Wednesday June 15, 1887

Although the road from Natimuk to Booroopki, a distance of about 70 miles, is now nearly impassable, with numerous and dangerous creeks crossing it, the Messrs. GRACE mail contractors, are never a minute behind time in delivering their bags at either end. They at present drive four-in-hand over a great portion of the line, and if the road continues to get worse than it is, they will soon have to drive six-in-hand between Goroke and Natimuk. The new contractor who has undertaken the delivery at 270 pounds a year must surely have had a bee in his bonnet......

On Saturday last were laid to rest, in the Natimuk Cemetery, the mortal remains of Mr. T. KNIGHT, a well known resident of Gymbowen, at the early age of 25. Mr Knight for the last three weeks was in Horsham under medical treatment for typhoid fever, and it was only during the last week that doubts were entertained as to his recovery. He died on Friday morning, leaving a young wife, to whom he had only been married about nine months, and a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn his loss. The funeral took place on Saturday, and was conducted by the Rev. Strafford DIXON, and not withstanding the inclemency of the weather, a large number of relatives and friends assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to one who in this district was universally liked and respected.

At the Natimuk Court of Petty Sessions on Thursday last, Charles GUMMER was fined 2 pound for cruelty to his bullocks whilst driving them. His case ought to warn others from using the whip to freely.

We are requested by the Rev. J. Strafford DIXON to state that the reason he was unable to hold services at Mitre Lake and Gymbowen on Sunday last was his inability to procure a horse for the journey. Mr DIXON more especially regrets this as he had, as promised, prepared a special funeral sermon in connection with the sad death of Mr. KNIGHT, of Gymbowen. It is to be hoped that the committee of the church will at once take steps to purchase a horse for Mr. DIXON as promised, and thus enable him to carry out his engagements in the district, without all the worry and annoyance of horse hunting to which he has lately been subjected. Mr DIXON will on Sunday week preach his funeral sermon at Gymbowen in the morning at 11 o'clock, when it is to be hoped that friends and relatives of the deceased will attend in good numbers.

"All honour to such men as Cobb and Co, for they were the originators of the coaching system in Victoria, and they carried out their contracts splendidly under circumstances of great difficulty. Road forming was only in it's infancy when they started, and even when they handed over the reins to the new proprietors. They also had good drivers, MEGGS and ANDERSON driving themselves on the more important lines. A coach was put on daily from Hamilton to Apsley about the end of the fifties. Previous to this we had no public conveyance, the mails being carried on horseback. The late Mr. Malcolm McCALLUM of Hamilton, was our first mailman and one of the first coach drivers to Apsley. A coach still runs despite the lapse of years, Mr. Jas. LYALL, an old identity of the coaching days, being the proprietor. it was quite ten years later before we had a coach from Horsham to Apsley, and Mr Jas. CARROLL was the first proprietor. He lost his life during a flood in the Natimuk creek in a brave attempt to rescue someone from drowning. Mr. T. GRACE of Goroke, then took that line and carried it out creditably until the railway to Goroke put an end to coaching so far as Horsham and Goroke were concerned"..... "Pioneering Days In Western Victoria" by J.C. Hamilton.

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Thursday November 3, 1887

An old resident of the Colac district, a farmer residing at Ondit, named Ronald CURRIE, was summoned to the police court Geelong at the instance of an orphan girl named Ada TOMLINSON, aged 17 years, the charge being for leaving his illegitimate child without support. The defendant had in May, 1886, obtained the complainant as an apprentice from the Geelong Protestant Orphan Asylum, for a term of five years' servitude. According to the girl's story, improper and criminal conduct on the part of the defendant took place soon after she went to reside at the house of the defendant and his wife, the result being that a child was born. She admitted that a young man named Job had been intimate with her, and that he had criminally assaulted her in November last. On the 19th ult. the girl swore an information to the effect that the defendant had assaulted her criminally, and shortly afterwards the secretary of the Orphan Asylum, writing under instruction from the committee, communicated with CURRIE, urging him to come to Geelong and make suitable arrangements for the settlement of the painful case. The police magistrate stated that the action of the asylum authorities looked like an attempt to compound a felony. Under all the circumstances of the case the magistrate decided to dismiss the charge.

A most distressing accident which ended fatally, happened at Mitre Lake last Sunday, to a son of Mr. M. SMITH. The poor little fellow fell into a vessel of hot water, being severely burned about the body and legs. Medical advice was speedily obtained but without avail, the little sufferer lingering until Tuesday morning, when death resulted. Much sympathy is felt for the parents in their trouble.

The Minimay school after having been without a permanent teacher for some months, has at last had it's want supplied. On Monday last Miss DENNIS from Coleraine took charge from Mr. BURKE of the relieving staff.

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Thursday December 8, 1887

Booroopki 5th Dec.
On Tuesday, 22nd ult., the Rev. J. POLKINGHORNE performed the pleasing ceremony of uniting in the holy hands of matrimony Miss HAWKINS, third daughter of Mr. F. W. HAWKINS of Booroopki, and Mr. W. LINDSAY, of Goroke. Both Bride and Bridesmaids (three sisters of the bride) were most charmingly and tastefully attired in the customary "vestments of nuptial white" but I am sorry, for the sake of your female readers, that I can not give a detailed account of the dresses. A sumptuous wedding breakfast was partaken of by the guests at the residence of Mr. H. HAWKINS. Mr. and Mrs. LINDSAY were made the recipients of many beautiful and useful gifts, they being deservedly popular in their respective districts, and Goroke is to congratulated on having gained them as residents.


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