1891- Flu Epidemic- 

The epidemic of influenza has taken a singularly strong hold of the village of Evansford, nearly the entire population being prostrated with the malady. The health officer, Dr. Cunningham, has ordered the state school to be closed, as out of 46 children on the roll 41 are at home, whilst in the families of the other five there are sufferers. The head teacher is down with the malady, and the sewing mistress is only con-valescent. During many years' practice Dr, Cunningham does not remember a complaint to have been more general in a particular locality. The other parts of the district are only slightly affected. The school is to be thoroughly washed and fumigated before it reopens.

The Argus, September, 1891

1891- The Avoca Mysteries

Mrs. Parker, who disappeared from Avoca the other day, is still missing. A party has been organised to search all the wet shafts where, if she met her death by drowning, it is expected some trace would be found. Mrs Ford, the other woman reported missing arrived at her parents' residence, Evansford, to-night, after wandering in the bush three nights and three days. She was terribly ex- hausted having had little or no nourish- ment during the time she was lost.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Friday 24 November 1899, page 6



Two extraordinary disappearances have occurred here during the past few days. On Friday Mrs. Parker, of Moonambel, a woman of 42 years of age, left her home suddenly, and she has not since been heard of. The woman has been somewhat eccentric in her behaviour for some time past, and is very subject to fits. On Friday morning she locked the nurse in a room with her two children, and left the house. In about an hour the nurse escaped from the room, and apprised the police, and though every effort has been put forth since no trace of the missing woman can be found. Yesterday 200 people on foot and 60 horsemen, under the guidance of five mounted and two foot police, scoured the whole country, and dragged the river to no purpose. To-day the shafts on the Moon- ambel Lead are being searched. On Sa-turday black trackers were telegraphed for, but they were not not sent until to-day. Mrs. Parker has been very unfortunate. Two of her brothers were killed, her husband died some six months ago at Richmond, her father died a week ago from influenza, and her mother is at present seriously ill.

The second disappearance reported is that of Mrs. George Ford, of Green Hill Creek. She was staying with Mrs. Ellett, near Avoca. Yesterday she went out for a walk with two children, and she sent the children back, with a letter to her husband saying that she was going to leave him. She has not been seen since. The black trackers arrived to-day, and as it was considered useless to send them to Moonambel they were taken to the scene of Mrs. Ford's disappearance.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Wednesday 22 November 1899, page 4


Mrs. Parker disappeared mysteriously at Moonambel a day or so ago, and h&s not since been heard of, nor has any trace of her been found. Owing to heavy family losses her minA is said to have
of the woman's brothers was killed by foul air in a mine. Another brother was killed by a falling limb of a tree. Six months ago her husband died, and a few days ago her father expired. Her mother is now dangerously ill It is feared that the poor woman has fallen or thrown herself down an old shaft.

At Avoca Mrs. George Ford, 30, sent her two children home with a note to their father, merely stating that she was going away immediately. A continuous search, which has been made for her, has proved fruitless.

The Inquirer & Commercial News (Perth, WA : 1855 - 1901), Friday 24 November 1899, page 1

1891- Outrages at Talbot -



The police and the black trackers have been out all day searching for the culprit who committed the outrages at Nuggetty Gully and Mount Beokworth but without success. This morning an individual supposed to be identical with the man wanted endeavoured to gain an entrance to M'Cully's Hotel, Evansford and to Mrs Hastie's, but failed. He gained admittance however to the house of Mrs O' Meara and sought to get into her daughters room but was prevented. Provisions have been stolen from the residences of Mr R.A. Stanions an Mr W. Thomas. The trackers followed footprints from the places mentioned but in each instance lost them after a short distance. The trackers, with a number of police will stay in the locality all night. A number of civilians joined in the search to-day.


With regard to the outrages at Talbot and Evansford the latest accounts received from the latter place to night indicate a considerable amount of coolness on the part of the miscreant, who though apparently remaining within a radius of a couple of miles of the residence of Mrs Withers upon whom he attempted an outrage on the previous night, seems to evade his pursuers with daring ease.

The Argus, Wednesday 16 Sept 1891.



At 3 o'clock this morning Constable MCSweeney arrested a young man, 26 years of age, who gave the name of John Bain, on suspicion of being the man wanted by the police for the outrages at Nuggetty Gully, Talbot. Bain was asleep in an outhouse at the Bridge Hotel. He had been in com- pany with another man, and had been about the town all night. Early this morn- ing information was sent to Talbot for Mrs Kirk, the woman assaulted, who at once came to Creswick and identified the prisoner from amongst a number of others. Bain was then charged before the local Bench with the offence, and remanded to appear at Talbot on the 22nd inst. Bain distinctly denies the accusation, and Mrs. Kirk is equally confident that he is the man who committed the assault, although he has been shaved since.


News reached Ballarat early this morning that a man answering fully the description given of the perpetrator of the recent outrages at Talbot had been arrested by Constable M'Sweeney at Creswick. This man, who is short and thick-set, was this evening brought into Ballarat, and lodged in the Ballarat gaol. He states that he is innocent, and can prove that he was at Beaufort when the crimes were committed, and adds that he has friends who will see him through. He admits having served a sentence of one month at Sandhurst for fighting, and having been locked up in Melbourne for drunken ness. Mrs Kirk, he says, is mistaken in the identification.


Great satisfaction was expressed to day at the arrest of the perpetrator of the recent outrages. The man was fully identified by Mrs Kirk, by his voice, as well as by his clothes and appearance, as the perpetrator of the outrage. The black trackers have been recalled from Evansford, and will leave to morrow, The police expect to have the case against Bains complete for the police court here on the 22nd Inst.

The Argus, Thur 17 Sept 1891.


About 3 o'clock this morning the Creswick police arrested a man giving the name of John Baine on suspicion of committing the recent outrages in the Talbot district. He was re manded for a week. Subsequently Mrs. Kirk, the victim of the first outrage, identified him by the clothes, voice, and general appearance.

The Argus, Wed 23 Oct 1891




John Bain w ho has been on remand for an outrage recently committed at Talbot was discharged by a special justice s order to-day a complete alibi having been easily proved. After his arrest Bain made n statement to Sergeant Charles to the effect that on Saturday last the date of the outrage he had walked into Beaufort where he arrived at about 2 o'clockin the afternoon. While there he sold three fans whinch he had made to 3 different people and left for Ballarat by the train, arriving here at about 6p.m. He then went to Powells hotel where he received permission to leave his swag and after being shaved at Rassert's in the Main road several hours, where spent at Sayers Exchange Hotel, the swag being called for at about half past 11. Yesterday Mrs Powell her daughter and Bassett separately picked Bain out from among a number of prisoners at the gaol and today Mr Loft of the Railwav Hotel, Beaufort, also identified himm as a passenger from Beaufort on Saturday afternoon last. To make doubly sure, an old man living in a hut at Beckwoth where the supposed perpetrator of the outrages slept one night, was also brought down to day and he failed to identify Bain. Sergeont Charles consequently arranged for his discharge this evening.

The Argus, Mon, 21 Sept, 1891

1897- Death of Martin Rea -

Martin Rea, a Swiss, about 70 years old, has been found dead in his hut at Magpie Gully, Caralulup, eleven miles from Talbot. The discovery was made by Wm. Edwards, who noticed an offensive smell. The door being brokon open, Rea's body was found on a stretcher. Tho deceased, who must have been dead for teveral weeks, was discovered lying face downwards, and undor neath him was found a large sum of money in gold, comprising 63 sovereigns and 148 half-sovereigns, £137 in all. The doctor's examination showed that there were no marks of violence. At the magisterial in-quiry, before Mr. W. J. Jackson, a verdict of death from natural causes was returned. From appearance the deceased had kept the money tied round his waist.

The Mercury, Wed 24th Feb, 1897

1899- Lexton Fire


The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)
Thursday 16 February 1899
INTERCOLONIAL TELEGRAMS  (From Melbourne Paper.) VICTORIA Avoca. February 11

A disastrous fire occurred at Lexton last night, when the Lexton Hotel, theatre, stable, and coach-houses were burned to the ground. The property was owned by Mr. John McPhee, and was leased by Mr. George Vowles. With great difficulty the furniture and portion of the stock were saved. How the fire originated is a mystery. It started be behind the scenery of the theatre, which has not been used for a considerable time, and where no one had any right to be. The buildings were insured, but it is not known for what.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/9441407?searchTerm=John McPhee, Lexton&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc|||l-australian=y

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