1884 The Janevale Murder.
An inquest was commenced this morning at Malone's Janevale hotel, Janevale, by Mr. R. Strickland, P.M., and coroner for the Sandhurst district, into the cause of death of Margaret Sullivan, alias Walsh, whose dead body was found in a paddock on the 21st Inst. She is supposed to have been-murdered by her paramour, a man named James M'Kenna, who has been arrested on a charge of willful murder of the woman.
A jury of thirteen were empanelled, with Mr. George Gardiner as foreman. The prisoner, James M'Kenna, was present in the custody of the police. Inspector Rennie prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.
Andrew Rail, labourer, deposed : I live at Janevale, and know the deceased, Margaret Sullivan. I saw the body this morning, and recognise it as that of a woman I saw alive on Thursday afternoon, the 20th inst. At about 5 o'clock in the evening, I was out to bring home the cows, and I saw a man and a woman. She was lying down. The man is the prisoner, James M'Kenna, now present.
The woman was lying down asleep on the roadside. The man was lying down about fifty yards from her. I do not think he was asleep.
The spot where they were was 200 yards from the. hotel, on the Tarnagulla road. About a quarter of an hour afterwards when I returned with the cows, they were sitting close together. She was in the same spot as I had seen her previously, and awake.
That is the last time I saw the woman. I did not speak to them. I saw the man afterwards walking down the road with a billy in his hand, going towards the Janevale hotel from the direction I had seen him before. I could easily see from where I was the place where I saw the prisoner and the deceased, and I looked up the road and She was not there. Prisoner did not reach the Janevale hotel, where I am employed, and I never beheld him again until I saw him in the custody of the police on the 21st inst. When next I saw the woman was when I heard she was found dead, and I went with others to see her body. It was lying in Malone's paddock, off the south of the road, where I had seen her last alive. I saw the distance measured by Constable Westcott. It is five chains and 40ft. I saw some blood on, a rail on the fence opposite to where the body was found. The rail produced is like the one I saw. I saw some hair like the woman's hair on a stick now produced. It was a grey colour. I saw no other persons about the neighbourhood but prisoner and deceased. When I last saw the woman alive I did not notice any marks of violence on her face. When I saw her dead, she had two black eyes. I did not hear any angry words between the prisoner and deceased. When they were sitting together they appeared on the most friendly terms. The body was found exactly opposite the fence, where I saw blood marks. Had there been a row or loud language between the prisoner and deceased where I saw them, it could have been heard at the Janevale hotel. I did not hear any noise or screaming on Thursday night, and there were no strangers at the hotel that night. Yesterday I was shown a spot where there were stains. The prisoner had a tent, in which he camped but it Is not there now.
William West deposed : I am an engine-driver, and reside at Laanecoorie. I was returning from the Kangaroo Company's mine to Laanecoorie on Thursday night, and when near Malone's corner I saw a woman lying on the roadside. She appeared; to be drunk and asleep. About thirty yards further on I saw a man lying down asleep. I passed by both of them without speaking. I saw the body of the deceased woman this morning, and believe it to be the same. The prisoner is the same man I saw asleep on the road. John Jordan was with me at the time, and I did not see any other persons about.
Richard Jordan deposed : I am a miner, living at Laanecoorie. I remember going to work at the Kangaroo mine on Thursday night. When about a chain past Malone's corner, W. Routh, who was with me, said there had been a pretty sight up the road to-day. Before I replied I heard a groan, and Routh said, " Here they are." I saw a man and woman lying about 7ft. from each other on the road. I spoke to the man, and asked him if there had been an accident. He replied " No." He said the woman was his mate. I asked him why he did not place her up against the fence. He said "She is all right." When we got about fifty yards away we heard a scream. We stopped and listened for a few minutes, and heard the screams coming from the direction where we saw the man and woman. The screams sounded like those of a woman in distress.
I saw the body of the woman, but cannot identify it, nor can I identify the prisoner as being the same, as the night was dark.
We went to work soon after hearing the screams, and returned next morning, but saw nothing of the prisoner or the deceased, but noticed a sardine tin on the road where we saw the man and woman the night beforehand some hair, which is the same as produced.
Edward Green, a legally qualified practitioner at Tarnagulla, deposed : I made a post-mortem examination of the body on Saturday and to-day, in company with Dr. Sutherland. I more minutely examined the body of the deceased woman, Margaret Sullivan. On Saturday I found the head and face very much swollen, both eyes blackened, an abrasion on the left cheek, a cut behind the ear, and a great swelling at the back of the head. I noticed under the scalp a large quantity of extravasated blood, but there was no fracture of the skull. The brain and all the other organs were healthy. Being satisfied with the cause of death, I proceeded no further. In my opinion, death resulted from concussion of the brain from external violence. The injury might have been caused by a stick, or blow with a blunt instrument. I think there must have been several blows. The injury would be caused by .the stick produced, or from a kick from a boot, and the contusion at the back of the head from the same cause. There can be no doubt as to the cause of death from extreme violence.
Dr. J, A, Sutherland of Dunoily, gave corroborative evidence of having a careful post-mortem examination of the body with Dr. Green, and thought the deceased must have been killed suddenly from the blows received. He agreed with Dr. Green as to the cause Of death.
There being seven more witnesses to be examined, the coroner adjourned the inquest to Friday, the 28th ' inst., at 11 a.m. The case has created the most intense excitement amongst the farmers at Janevale,
1893 Carisbrook Fire Brigade visited Dunolly Fire Brigade to get an understanding of the operation of the appliances, then later retired to Mr Fulcher’s hotel where they declared their visit had been very successful.
1897 A sudden death in peculiar circumstances took place in the Dunolly Hospital yesterday morning. An engine driver, aged 58 years, named Thomas Ellis, from Ballarat, went last week to Goldsborough looking for work, but was unsuccessful. The other drivers there gave him money to pay his fare hack to Ballarat, but instead of leaving for that city he went to one of the outside hotels and drank there while the cash lasted. On Saturday he returned to Goldsborough under the influence of liquor, and while standing in front of King’s Hotel was seen to fall. Later in the day it was noticed he was still lying in the place where he fell. The police then removed him to the hospital, but he never regained consciousness. At an inquest held to-day the verdict returned was that he died of apoplexy. Ellis leaves a wife in Melbourne and one son and two daughters in Ballarat.
1915 DUNOLLY, Monday Mr J. Beasy, sen, carrier, was this morning unloading a truck at the rail way station when he fell heavily on the line on his head. Dr. Martell ordered his removal to the hospital, and it is feared Mr Beasy has received concussion of the brain.
1915 DEATH OF A DOCTOR
The death of Dr W. A. H. Barrett resident medical officer of the Dunolly District Hospital, took place in Dr Stirling's private hospital in Melbourne last week. Dr Barrett had obtained leave of absence from the Hospital committee and two months ago his leave was extended for six months.
Dr. Martell, from Ballarat being appointed, resident medical officer for that period. Dr Barrett came to Dunolly from Skipton, where he had a large practice, and was held in great esteem and regard. He has left a widow and a son and daughter.
1937 Descending today to resume work in a mining shaft at Bromley Frank Mortlock a miner fell 40ft to the bottom when the rope broke as he was being lowered. Mortlock had only gone a few feet from the surface when the rope frayed suddenly and snapped He was lying unconscious at the bottom of the shaft when two companions lowered themselves to help him. Carefully raising the injured man they tied ropes under his arms and lifted him to the surface. Mortlock was taken to the Dunolly Hospital where he was admitted in a serious condition suffering from injuries to his back and head.
1944 A reservoir at Cairn Curran, on the Loddon River, is recommended at the cost of 1,231,000 pounds.
1948 The Dunolly children arrived at the Lord Mayors 1948-49 holiday camp at Portsea.