HILLGROVE, Thursday. — Concerning the fire at Cooney Creek a few days ago, an inquest was commenced on Wednesday. Evidence went to show that Patrick Fury, who is under arrest, cut twenty cords of wood and stacked them on the side of the main road, the wood and an adjoining stack being then wilfully fired. It was alleged that Fury had threatened to burn the wood, and also to cut down the trees in an orchard, the property of the landlord of the Cooney Creek Hotel.
An inquest was held at the Hillgrove Courthouse last week, before Mr. William Morgan, local coroner, and a jury of twelve, touching the cause of a lire at Cooney Creek. The evidence, as reported in the local paper, is to the effect that Francis Mulligan, sheep farmer, residing at Cooney Creek, employed a man named Patrick Fury at wood cutting, and paid him for nineteen cords. There was a slight dispute about a balance of 14s or 16s. This was settled on Mulligan paying 10s 6d,. and getting a receipt in full payment. This final payment was made on the morning of the 13th instant, and Fury left the Cooney Creek Hotel then, and seemed quite satisfied with the settlement. After having twenty or thirty drinks during the day at West Hillgrove (according to his own evidence), he returned to Mulligan’s hotel in the evening and wanted more drink, but Mr. Mulligan refused to serve him, and Fury, after wanting to fight a man named Curran, went home about 9 o’clock. In going home from the hotel Fury would have to pass the firewood which was burnt. Mr. Mulligan said that he never had any quarrel with Fury, neither had he ever heard the latter make any threats against him. Evidence was given by William Stoddart and Joseph Curran to the effect that they heard Fury say he would burn the wood when Mr. Mulligan paid him in full for it, and also that he would cut the trees down in Mr. Mulligan’s orchard. The fire was discovered by Stoddart and Curran shortly after 10 o’clock on the night of the 13th. Stoddart and Curran had about two cords of their firewood burnt. When Senior-sergeant Edwards went to see Fury on the following morning the latter, in answer to an inquiry, said, ‘They (meaning Stoddart and Curran) have burnt it themselves, and want to blame me for it.” When the jury examined the remaining wood on the morning of the inquest two lots of stringy bark were found against it ready for lighting. At the Hillgrove Court Patrick Fury was brought before Messrs. H. G. Wakeford and W. Morgan, on a charge of arson, and was committed for trial.
(From the Armidale Papers. Aug 20.)
A fatal accident happened to an elderly married woman, named Rebecca Woods, on Friday evening last week. She and her husband were returning from Armidale to Gara station, on which Woods is a shepherd. They were on the road after dark, and in going along a rocky sideling the upper wheel of their dray was raised so high by coming on a rock that the dray turned over. The side of the vehicle fell upon the chest of the unfortunate woman, in whom life, it appeared, remained sufficiently long to enable her to tell her husband that she felt she was dying. Before she was removed from under the dray, which was done by Mr. Thomas Watt and others who were attracted by the cooeying of the old man, she was dead. Woods was fortunate to escape with only a few very severe bruises, and attended his wife’s funeral on Sunday. On Saturday the coroner held an inquest on the body of deceased, when a verdict of accidental death was returned. – In going out to Gara, while crossing a creek, the shafts of Mr. Markham’s buggy separated from the body. The horse went on, leaving Mr. Markham and the buggy surrounded by water. His position, however, not being very perilous, he escaped from it with no greater damage than wetted boots. On the following day, he and Mrs. Markham were both thrown out of the buggy, owing to a bolt coming out, but fortunately a few bruises were the only bad results.
On Thursday we received an intimation that, on the recommendation of Inspector Brown, Sen. Constable Walker, of Glen Innes, bad been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, for his gallant conduct with reference to Thunderbolt.
[The Telegraph says the promotion is to the rank of senior-sergeant]
GLEN INNES. – On Friday and Saturday last the district was visited by some of the heaviest rain known, even during these late months of wet weather. Thunder, lightning, and a high wind came in company with it. It began on Friday early, and lasted without ceasing until Saturday morning. The plains were a sheet of water, the creeks and rivers being higher than known for the last five years – in fact, there was a regular sea. The mailman to Grafton had to return to Glen Innes from the Beardy Plains, they being literally covered with water. Fortunately no damage or loss of life is reported. On Saturday, at ten a.m, I was told the river at Beardy was going down as fast as it had risen – so quickly that the Armidale mail coach came in about half-past four, having had, however, a narrow escape in crossing the Beardy at Stonehenge. Had it not been for the coolness and management of Mr. Leary, the driver, some accident must have happened. Mr. Patter left in the evening, and succeeded, also under great difficulties, in crossing at Yarrowford, on his way to Dundee and Tenterfield – The weather is now fine and frosty. There was a heavy storm on Sunday afternoon, after which it cleared up. – 15th August, 1870. Correspondent.
INVERELL. – On Friday last, at noon, it commenced raining heavily, and towards eight o’clock the River Macintyre was heard to murmur, which, increasing to a turbulent roar, soon became alarming. At two o’clock the water had attained its highest level, being within three feet of overflowing. Fencing alongside the river has in some instances disappeared. We have been informed that serious damage was sustained by the rising of the creek at Newstead, which partly destroyed the washpool, carrying away some of the sheep-washing apparatus. Aug. 15, 1870. – Correspondent.
DUNDEE. – We had a flood here in the River Severn (I believe that is the name of it) on last Friday night. The water rose ten feet, equal to the flood in 1863 – and it has done considerable damage. At Mr. Chappell’s wool scouring establishment, a large boiler was carried away, and has not been found as yet, and at Ranger’s Valley the dam on the river was swept away, while, amongst a great multitude of articles.carried off, were six casks of sheep’s tallow (1½ ton), some of which can be found. If we don’t get a bridge across this river, which is getting deeper every flood, we may expect to hear of the mail coach, horses, &c., being carried off some of those fine days – Correspondent. To the great regret of the residents generally here, the Rev. M. Keogan left Armidale for Grafton on Tuesday. As a number of his friends insisted upon his receiving from them some substantial token of their esteem, they presented him with an elegant gold watch and chain, the watch bearing a suitable inscription.
(Abridged from the Armidale Papers, May 8)
Since our last issue there have been a few light showers at Armidale, but on Saturday there was a pretty heavy fall at the Rocky and other places. The temperature is rather changeable, and hence colds are a common complaint. Express.
We understand that during the past fortnight the Gyra station, formerly in the possession of Mr. G. Allingham, and latterly in the hands of Messrs. Levy, has found a purchaser in the person of Mr. Montagu Marks, who we believe will take up his residence on the run. Rumour speaks of many intended improvements, and among others the erection of a new house for the owner. – Telegraph.
The Athletic Club at Armidale has now the large number of 67 members. – Express.
PASTORAL AND AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF NEW ENGLAND. – On Wednesday afternoon a Committee meeting was held, in the New England Hotel, to make arrangements for a ploughing match. There were present Mr. Thomas (in the chair), and Messrs. Markham, Miller, Waters, Fitzgerald, J. Moore, E. Baker, and W. L. Seeley. The committee being unanimously in favour of having a ploughing match, it was decided that it was desirable to invite special contributions towards that object, the present state of the funds of the Society not warranting additional expenditure ; and those of the public favourable to the proposal were requested to forward their contributions to the Treasurer before the 20th instant. – Express.
INVERELL. – On last Saturday night a storm of frightful violence occurred, the thunder literally shaking persons in their beds, accompanied by vivid and blinding sheets of lightning and torrents of rain. A tree was struck by lightning close to the Royal Hotel, and the fragments carried a considerable distance. – May 3. – Cor. of Express.
A serious robbery occurred on Sunday night at Mr. Ince’s Inn. It was discovered about half past ten o’clock that two boxes had been stolen from a bedroom. The police were at once informed of the occurrence, and they commenced to make a search, which resulted in the discovery of one of the boxes at some distance. This box contained clothing, and was all right when found. The other box was not found until next morning, when it was discovered near the creek, at the foot of Taylor-street. The box had been broken open, and £60 in a cash-box, together with some watches and papers, had been abstracted ; some deeds of land, however, were left. – Abridged from the Express, May 8.
CHINESE SWINDLING. – The Telegraph relates that on Saturday, May 1, a most rascally imposition was practised by a Chinaman at the store of Mr. Weston, at Maitland Point, which is managed by a Mrs. Jackson. Several Chinamen have long been in the habit of selling their gold at this store, among others one whose parcels have invariably been found genuine in quality. On the day in question John paid his usual visit, and handed Mrs Jackson a parcel of gold done up in the usual fashion. Taking it for granted that the parcel was genuine as usual, she weighed it, and handed him what she calculated to be the value (£67) with which he left the store. It was afterwards discovered by Mr. Weston that the parcel contained only sand and stones, ingeniously made up. The Chinaman is known to the police, and it is to be hoped he will soon be captured.
GLEN INNES. – We have had another change in the weather. After a few days’ severe frosts rain came on again; since then the weather has been soft and mild. – May 3. – Cor, Express.
INVERELL RACES. – These races came off on April 27 and 28. There was a pretty good attendance, and the races passed off with great spirit. The Maiden Plate of £20 was won by Mr. J. Gillespie’s Ding Dong. Mr. J. Bowman’s Slowboy carried off the Publican’s Purse, of £15. The Ladies’ Purse was won by Mr. F. McInnes’s Jack Spring. This formed the programme for the first day. On the second day the first race was the Town Plate, which was won by Mr. J. Bowman’s Slowboy. The Hurdle Race fell through for want of entrances, and a Hurry Scurry was substituted, which was won by Mr. J. Rose’s Topsy. The same owner’s Ranger took the Hack Selling Stakes, and the Forced Handicap, which was won by Slowboy, concluded the meeting. – Abridged from the Express.
GUYRA AND GARA STATIONS – This long-pending case, which had been referred to Messrs. Oliver and Greaves, has been submitted to an umpire, who, for a few days past, has taken all the evidence, which has been, as usual in cases of this kind, conflicting. The award, I hear, will shortly be made, and it may possibly end this lengthy affair, caused in the first instance, doubtless, by the different runs not having been properly described when taken possession of by the owners.
Grafton Road – A petition to the Minister for Lands is now being numerously signed, for transmission to Sydney, and it is hoped that this road, so beneficial to the interests of both this town and Grafton, will at once be placed under proper repair, at least so far as the sum voted will allow of.
Our Hospital – I am glad to report that the efforts of our collectors in town have been so far successful in the work of charity; and though not any of the lists have yet been handed in as complete, I hear that many of our townsmen have most liberally contributed to assist the funds.
Coroner’s Inquest – Mr Markham, our district coroner, held an inquest on Wednesday last, at Mr Galvin’s inn, on the remains of a shepherd who came into Armidale for medical relief. Several witnesses were examined, and the verdict was, “Died from natural causes.” The deceased was named William Weeks, and prior to his death gave over about £40 to Mr Galvin, requesting to be buried in a respectable manner. Mr. Galvin complied with his request, and the remains were consigned to the grave in a hearse and full-mounted coffin. The balance in hand will be given over to the Government, as it did not appear that he had any relations or friends near.
Our School of Arts. – We are most likely to have a boisterous meeting next Friday, which has been called for by three members and subscribers contending that the late election to the offices of president, vice-president, &c, was illegal, and not in accordance with the bye-laws of the institution. It will be, of course, an evaporation for the time being, and end in a nine days’ wonder. I do not offer any opinion as to these contests.
Rifle Corps. – This corps is likely, I hear, to be established. The preliminary meeting to propose rules, &c, was favourable to the affair, and it may be inferred that Armidale will shortly add, to other signs of advancement, a military force, consisting of many of our young men, possessed of ardour in the cause of “protection,” when needed against an aggression which at any future period may be attempted, the hon. secretary to the meeting will no doubt use his best endeavours to further the movement.
Streets. – A new culvert is nearly completed at the east end of Beardy-street; and, though these culverts are now and then complained of by a few, they seem to be well formed of the material to hand, and our municipal officers seem determined not to be in debt if possible – a praiseworthy resolution.
Our racecourse. – The appearance of the grandstand on this ground is most unsightly. We have a racing committee, and the repairs of this shed, or an improvement in its appearance, is worthy of notice, and I trust that the attention of the committee may be attracted to this scaffolding. Query, whether is be safe in its present shaky days?
Bridge in Marsh street – The tenderer for the getting and delivery of timber is to have it on the ground by the 1st September next. The sum tendered for £15.
Butchers Meat – I observed a large draft of cattle en route toward our town on Sunday last and no doubt these fetched full prices. The high price of cattle published in your and the Sydney papers, leave little doubt but that our friends of the “cleaver” will be making a good thing, consequent upon the sudden rise – I cannot say unexpected, for, with the severity of the season, no other conclusion could be arrived at.
Grafton Mail – It is impossible to state when the usual regularity of the departure and arrival of this mail will be resumed. On Sunday last, at four p.m., no mail, and due on Friday last, at six p.m. Our residents are much inconvenienced by this failure, and I trust that a fresh tended may be accepted on the 23rd instant, in order that we may have a regular transmission of correspondence.
Agricultural. – Our farmers are in good spirits at the appearance of the young crops, which is highly gratifying to those concerned, as well as generally. I hear that a large quantity of grain from the last season is still on hand, and our mills are now in full work; but fears are entertained that a rise in flour may take place, from the quotations at Sydney and elsewhere.
(From the Armidale Express, June 17.)
There has been a good deal of drizzling rain through the week, which has been excellent for farming, but a heavier fall is needed for waterholes. To the N. of Armidale, however, the rain has been far more copious.
A correspondent informs us that on the night of the 6th instant Mr. A. Drummond, blacksmith, of Maryland, was killed. The person blamed for this is stated to be Michael Gallagher, a mail driver, of Tenterfield.
We are informed that if water could be got at Puddledock, a very fair supply of gold might be obtained from it, the innkeeper there having purchased on an average about 10 ozs. a week for some time. There are about twenty-five European miners on the ground, besides six or eight Chinese. Messrs. George Stickler and party expect to wash out about 40 ozs. from a heap of wash dirt of some thirty-five loads. A miner generally known as George the Fiddler also expects to make good wages out of the stuff he has piled up. During the last fortnight ten new men have come to Puddledock, but the miners are pretty much at a stand-still from want of water. There are five sluicing parties in readiness to take advantage of a heavy fall of rain. The want of a post office is very much felt, or of some arrangement by which a mailman could pass through the diggings en route to other places. Five miners rights were taken a few days ago, and more will be applied for as soon as the miners can wash.
(From the Armidale Telegraph, June 17.)
A few young men in Armidale, we understand, are actively engaged in initiatory practice prior to giving an Ethiopian minstrel entertainment, to take place early in July. They propose to make their first debut upon the occasion of a public concert, which the committee of the School of Arts have it in contemplation to give to assist in liquidating the debt remaining upon that institution.
The first snowfall that took place in New England this season occurred on the night of the 8th instant, at Ben Lomond, and extended as far down the road to Falconer. The snow commenced falling early on Thursday evening last, and continued till noon on the following day. Tbe snow was two feet deep on several ridges along the road from Falconer to Glen Innes. The Glen Innes mailman, on coming into Falconer, was powdered as white as a flour sack could have made him. The Gwydir has risen two feet in consequence. The bridge at the Swamp has broken down, and at the Pinch, at this side of the Gyra station, the culvert there has met the same fate.
By a letter, received by a gentleman in town from an Inverell resident, we are informed that Mr. Bawden, the Secretary to the Clarence and New England Steam Navigation Company, left there on the 11th instant, en route for Glen Innes and Tenterfield. Mr. Bawden, we hear, met with considerable success at Inverell and in the neighbourhood.
We have been much struck since residing in Armidale, at the scarcity, as well as the high price, of bricks. If they were more cheap and abundant, we entertain no doubt that wood for constructive purposes would, in many instances, be superseded by bricks, seeing that the latter are not only more lasting, but offer a more effectual safeguard against fire. From all we learn there is no scarcity of good clay in the vicinity of the town, which, if manufactured into really good bricks at a moderate price, we believe the demand for them would be very considerable, thus giving employment to a large number of hands. The field is a large one, for some enterprising spirit amongst us, and presents many attractions as a profitable sphere of action.
(Abridged from the Armidale Express, February 4.)
The weather, &c. – Since our last impression the rule has been warm days and cool nights. We are informed that on Sunday and Monday mornings there was white frost a short distance from town, but the maize did not seem to be injured by it. On Thursday the weather broke slightly, with thunder, but, although refreshing, the rain was too small in quantity to ensure permanent advantage. On a solitary farm or two a few hands may yet be seen employed gathering in a remnant of the harvest, but generally this work has terminated for the present. The farmers’ staple crop is now safely housed and no longer liable to damage from the elements. Labour has been abundant, and many reapers were met during the harvest enquiring where they could find a job. At the commencement of harvest we were visited by a few showers, but the water-holes away from main creeks are nearly dried up and others stagnant. Heavy rain would be a general blessing, and probably save the maize crop.
Fruit – On a visit to Gara station, about 12 miles from Armidale, lately, we were much surprised at the abundance of fruit in the orchard, and very much gratified in partaking of a considerable quantity, by which we can speak conscientiously of its excellent flavour. With regard to plums and apples, in particular, we never witnessed such extraordinary yields, the branches bending in some instances to the ground and in others breaking off with their abundant burdens. The American blight is still a stranger to Gara orchard, and long may it remain so. It is singular that the cultivation of fruit trees is so seldom attended to as it should be in New England.
(From the Tamworth Examiner’s Correspondent.) Patrick Hynes, charged with stabbing Constable Manning at Walcha, was this day (Feb. 2nd) brought before the Police Magistrate, pursuant to remand. Manning was able to attend, and the whole of the evidence was gone into. Hynes is committed to take his trial at the next Armidale Quarter Sessions, but allowed bail. Manning is in a fearful state; he will feel the effects of this brutal attack for a long time to come.
Dingoes in New England.
To the editor of the Sydney Wool and Stock Journal.
Sir, – Allow me to correct an error in your issue of the 4th last relating to the meeting of sheep owners at Cooney Creek. You state that. “It was decided that each farmer should contribute an equal sum to complete the fence round the falls.” It should have read : “That each farmer be asked to contribute £2 to form a fund to pay £4 per dog scalp, owner to keep the scalp.”
H. E. BIGG.
Armidale, Aug. 7.
Dingo Destruction Association.
(From a correspondent.)
ARMIDALE, Sept. 25.
At a meeting of stockowners of the Gara River district, held at Cooney Creek Hotel, near Armidale, on the 22nd inst., it was decided to form the above association for the purpose of dealing with the dingo pest, which is becoming very serious in the district. Several stockowners have already forwarded their subscriptions of £2 each, and it is earnestly hoped that all others interested will do so without delay.
The association has much pleasure in acknowledging, with thanks, the receipt of a donation of £10 from Winchcombe, Carson, and Co., Ltd., through their Armidale agents, Messrs. Dight and Blaxland.
It was agreed that a bonus of £4 will be paid for any dingo destroyed upon the land of members irrespective of the bonus already paid by the stock board. No one is allowed to shoot without permission of the landholders.