Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

Posts Tagged ‘hillgrove

Fire at Cooney Creek.

leave a comment »

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Thursday 18 April 1895

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.

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 27 April 1895

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.

Written by macalba

May 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Accused committed for trial (part 3 of 3)

with one comment

The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth, NSW : 1921), Friday 1 April 1921


Accused Committed for Trial.


At the police court yesterday, Jack McCarthy Woodburn, aged 26, laborer, of West Australia, was charged with breaking and entering the Hillgrove Post Office on or about the 19th March, and stealing cash, stamps and cheques to the value of £181/14/11.

Mr. A. A. Russell, acting postmaster, stated that on the 18th inst. he was on duty at the Post Office until 10 p.m. He balanced everything before leaving the office. The safe in the office contained postal notes, cash, cheques, stamps, war saving certificates, etc , valued at £358/15/4. When leaving the office he securely locked all doors and windows, also tried all the drawers and the safe. Then he went to the hotel where he boarded. Next morning, about 7.30, Constable Kennedy came into his room and showed him a broken cash box, also a few postage stamps. They went to the Post Office, and found the front door locked, but the back door of the office open. The middle window had been forced open. The iron safe was laying on its side on the stand with the door blown open — apparently forced open by an explosion. Pieces of a fuse and gelatine were laying close by. All the drawers in the office with the exception of two had been forced open. Later, Mr. Postal Inspector Woolett and witness made an examination to ascertain what was missing and found a shortage of £181/11/11. A pair of rubber gloves shown were also the property of the department. Before locking up the cash witness took the number of all the notes with the exception of three, and the numbers of the notes produced agreed with his record with the exception of one. There was also a registered packet missing from the safe.

To the accused: There is only one note which I cannot identify.

Constable Kennedy, police officer, at Hillgrove, said that on the morning of the 19th inst. he found the empty cash box, also the few postage stamps, 3d and 1d on a vacant piece of land near Faint’s garage. He took them to the Sydney Hotel, where Mr. Russell was staying. They then went, to the Post Office and found the premises in the condition as explained by the previous witness. Lying of the floor was one crowbar, one 8lb hammer, one coal chisel, one file, one axe head, and three damaged mail bags. The whole office appeared to have been ransacked.

Chas. Rowe, miner, employed at the New Baker’s Creek Mine, remembered conversing with the accused at the mine on the 18th inst. about 2 p.m. Near by was a box containing explosives. He left the mine about 3 p.m. Next day he returned to the mine, and at about 9.30 a.m., after having heard something, he went to his box and found missing 4½ plugs of gelatine, one plug of gelatine dynamite, 10 or 12 feet of fuse, and about 50 detonators.

Victor Adamson, engine driver at the Baker’s Creek tram line, said he saw the accused and conversed with him in the engine shed on the 18th inst. He lowered him down the tram line to the mine. Witness recognised the hammer and other tools produced as the property of the company.

William Peters, residing at Hillgrove, and living within 20 yards of the Post Office, said he remembered the night of the 18th inst. He was in his house in bed and heard something which sounded like an explosion at about halt past eleven or twelve o’clock. The sound appeared to come from the direction of the Post Office. Following this sound he heard what sounded like hammering. About an hour later he heard another explosion. After this noise he got out of bed and went to the fence adjoining the Post Office, looked over the fence, but could hear no sound nor see any light. Just before 2 o’clock he heard a third explosion.

Cornelius Faint, car driver, Hillgrove, said that on the 18th inst. the accused came to him between 10 and 11 a.m. at his home and inquired if he was a car driver. Witness said, “Can I get a car to Armidale?” Witness asked, “What time?” He replied, “Between 9 and 10 tonight.” Witness replied that he could. He did not see him again until next morning, when he came to witness’s house and stated that he wanted to go to Armidale. Witness asked him if he knew what time it was. He replied “No.” Witness informed him that it was 2.30 a.m. ‘”Oh!” he said, “it’s worth £3 to you.” He paid witness then with the notes he produced. Witness knew one by the mark he put on it before giving it to the police. He then drove him to Armidale.

Daniel Aiting, a motor car proprietor, of Armidale, said at 4.30 on the 19th he received a telephone call. In reply to his question, “McCarthy” was the name given. He got in his car, went to the Post Office, and then saw accused. He said, “Did you call to take me to Glen Innes?” Witness replied “Yes.” They then drove to Bradbury’s hotel for his bag and then went on to Glen Innes to Tattersall’s Hotel. The accused left the rubber gloves shown to witness on the seat of the car. He paid witness £7 before getting to Glen Innes — £5 and two singles. When returning to Armidale the sergeant of police at Guyra told witness something and he handed him the notes he got from the accused. He did not take the numbers.

Accused was asked if he had any thing to say, and replied “No.” He was committed for trial at Armidale Circuit Court on April 20, 1921.

Written by macalba

May 7, 2013 at 8:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Stamps, gelignite, and revolvers (part 2 of 3)

leave a comment »

The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth, NSW : 1921), Tuesday 22 March 1921



What the Police Found.


GLEN INNES, Thursday.

At the local police court this morning before Mr W. S Perry, Jack McCarthy Woodburn was charged with having stolen from the Hillgrove Post Office postal notes, stamps and money, to the value of £200.

Defendant, a young man about 26 years of age, well groomed, appeared unconcerned during the court proceedings.

Sergeant McGrath stated that about 1.30 p.m on the 19th instant, in company with Constables Stewart and Cumming he went to No. 12 room at Tattersall’s Hotel where he saw defendant lying on a bed. Witness inquired his name. Defendant replied “McCarthy”. In reply to witness defendant said he had come from Armidale that morning by car. Witness asked when he arrived at Armidale and he replied “by train from Sydney last Wednesday.” “Have you ever been in Hillgrove?” asked witness” “No never”, replied defendant. Constable Stewart asked “Isn’t your name Woodburn.” Defendant replied in the negative. “What is it all about anyhow?” asked defendant. ‘The Post Office at Hillgrove,” witness replied ”was broken into last night, and a quantity of stamps and money stolen.” Witness asked defendant if the bag in the room belonged to him. He replied “yes.” The bag was then opened by Constable Stewart, who said “it’s all-right Sergeant; he has all the stamps and paraphernalia here.” Defendant was taken to the lockup and when formally charged replied “right.” Drawing an automatic revolver from the bag witness asked where did you get this?” Defendant replied, “I got it from a friend of mine yesterday.” The Sergeant said, “where did you get all these stamps in your bag.” Defendant replied, “I got them from the same friend, at the same time.” Witness said “there are several plugs of gelignite, a fuse and detonators in the bag. Where did you get them?” Defendant replied “I bought them in Sydney. I have often to use them at my work as a carpenter.” The portmanteau was further examined and was found to contain an automatic revolver loaded in two chambers, an extra revolver magazine, 13 revolver cartridges, two coils of fuse, a box of detonators, 23 sticks of gelignite, two sticks of blasting gelignite, one stick of dynamite, a file, a gelignite piercer, 12 Chub lock keys, a lady’s pocket knife and a mouth organ. There was also an envelope addressed to the Postmaster at Hillgrove, containing stamps to the value of £5/11/7. A second envelope was found to contain stamps to the value of £1/1. There were also in the bag 270 stamps at 1/, 180 at 9d, 290 at 6d, 240 at 5d, 440 at 3d, 120 at 2½d 1302 at 1½d, 938 at 1d, 1163 at 2d, 556 at 1d, 4768 at 2d, 1219 at a half-penny, representing a total value of £112/4/10. Witness said “Do you still say you got these things from your friends?” Defendant replied “I’ll say nothing, I will take my gruel.” On searching defendant at the lockup witness found £4/10 on him.

Constable Stewart said he charged defendant and said “Is it correct you went to Hillgrove last Friday?” Defendant replied “Yes.” “How many shots did you put in the safe?” witness asked, and defendant replied “One.” In reply to witness defendant said he did it between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock. “Did you have a car waiting for you?” witness asked, and defendant replied “No, I pulled the mail driver out of bed and he drove me to Armidale.” Further questioned defendant said “I had a mate.” He followed on behind on a motor cycle.” Witness said “You paid Mackenzie and Sons £4/3 on Saturday for clothing. You also paid £2/10 to Mrs. Turnbull for board in advance. Is that right?” Defendant replied ‘That is correct.” “What did you pay for the car from Armidale to here?” asked witness. Defendant replied, “£6; my mate gave me the money to pay for board and car.”

Defendant refused to give witness a signed statement.

Defendant was remanded to Hillgrove and intimated that he did not wish to apply for bail.

Written by macalba

May 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Hillgrove Post Office Robbed (part 1 of 3)

with 2 comments

The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth, NSW : 1921), Monday 21 March 1921


Hillgrove Post Office Robbed


Arrest Made and £200 Recovered.

The Hillgrove Post Office was broken into on Friday night when a safe was burst open and £200 in cash stolen.

At one o’clock on Saturday morning a man who runs a motor car service between Hillgrove and Armidale was awakened by a man who told him that he must get to Armidale urgently. It has been ascertained that the same man engaged an Armidale taxi-driver to take him to Glen Innes, and left there at four o’clock on Saturday morning. The police think that it is quite probable that Glen Innes was not the real destination, but that the route was altered afterwards to throw the police off the track. Nothing since has been heard of the taxi driver.

Inquiry by the police shows that the suspect had been in Armidale for the past week staying at one of the hotels. The postal assistant at Armidale who knew him by sight said that he had frequently seen him looking through the window of the post office after nightfall.

An arrest was made later at Glen Innes, and all the stolen notes were recovered.

Written by macalba

May 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Alluvial mining near Armidale.

leave a comment »

Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 – 1904), Thursday 29 June 1893


The latest information to hand with regard to the alluvial mining north of this place (says the Hillgrove Guardian) is quite satisfactory enough to bear out what appeared in our columns just about a month ago ; there is safe tucker to be made at any time. Saunders, Prowl, and Jones are still working away in Cameron’s Creek, and driving through some good wash in search of the main lode.

The two young men reported previously as working in Log Hut Gully are still fossicking and doing fairly well, Hetherington, Reid, and Croke have cleared out an old shaft in the gully, and have bottomed on good tucker wash; they in tend to hole through into Lardner’s ground now left, and will use it for stowing their headings, and then continue on the lode.

Two young men, on the strength of good reports, have gone fossicking ; they are working on 11ft. of wash near Faint’s old sawmill, on the junction of the right and left hand tracks at the head of the gully, but have not bottomed yet. Another party is fossicking about, can get plenty of colors, but has not yet decided where to pitch in.

Written by macalba

April 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Ambush at Hill Grove

leave a comment »

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times (Tas. : 1899 – 1919), Wednesday 24 January 1912




SYDNEY, Tuesday. — Samuel Walker has been shot dead from ambush at Hill Grove. No reason is known for the outrage, the perpetrator of which is still at large.

Written by macalba

March 31, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Cooney Creek Tragedy

leave a comment »

The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 20 November 1919


ARMIDALE, Wednesday.

The inquest in connection with the Cooney Creek tragedy was resumed at Hillgrove this morning.

Dr. Harris, of Armidale, said a lot of force had been used to kill the deceased. He did not think the girl (deceased’s daughter) could have done it.

After a short adjournment the coroner returned an open verdict. The accused girl, Ida Willmott, was then formally brought before the Police Court and discharged.

Written by macalba

November 11, 2011 at 8:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,