THE YEAR OF 1900
January I: A terrible murder was perpetrated at Stanton Harcourt, Childers on Boxing Day. The victim Mary L. Blowitz left her home with a bag to gather firewood and a dog, which followed her, came back without her. After she was missed the bag was found about 200 yards away with a few sticks on it. A search was made and police and trackers went out, a heavy rain came on and though tracks had been found they could not be followed. The father of the girl found the body of the girl on the banks of Towah Creek about half a mile from the girl's home on Saturday evening. Dr. Challands and Mr. J. Sterling, J.P., went out with the police of Sunday morning. A post mortem was made when it was discovered that a foul murder had been done. There were eight wounds on the body. some being of the "Jack the Ripper" description. The girl was very pretty and big for her age 13 years and 3 months. Inspector O'Driscoll drove from Maryborough to Childers today in four hours to direct the search.
January 3: Billy Broome an aboriginal tracker was brought in to town tonight and will be charged with the murder of the girl Le Blowitz before the bench tomorrow. It is alleged that he was seen at the place where the girl went to gather firewood on the dam that the murder took place. It is said that on searching the tracker's camp, after he was arrested, police found a bloodstained knife. Chief Inspector Stewart and Inspector O'Driscoll returned to town this evening. (Billy Broome was consequently found guilty and was sentenced to death.) He was executed in Brisbane's Boggo Road Goal on the l1th June:
Recruits on rise
February 16: Quite a large number of recruits have recently joined Maryborough Defence force and has had the effect of giving impetus to the local military spirit which was very badly needed. The officers are particularly delighted with the turn affairs have taken and there is no doubt they deserve better encouragement and support than was previously accorded to them and, which to say the least of it, very disheartening. The war in South Africa is undoubtably responsible for our young men showing such a desire to become proficient in the use of arms in conjunction with a military training
March 22, We want an Inspector of Nuisances at Pialba. Public attention has been drawn to that unsightly tent and collection of empty bottles on the esplanade, but they still remain. But there is a more dangerous matter that should be seen to and that is the number of cancerous cattle at large here of their own free will. I have seen three running about the roads here within the last week and if we had such an Inspector here he would sort them out
Bounty for rats
May 5: The Council of the Municipality of Maryborough herby offers 2 shillings and 6 pence per dozen, for all rats delivered at the Town Hall between the hours of 9am and Ipm daily. Before bringing rats to the Town Hall they should be scalded and afterwards wrapped in paper. The public are earnestly asked to assist the Health Committee in clearing the town of rats.
May l5, Our Degilbo correspondent writes under date May 14. Mr Sam Baxter, practically the oldest resident in Degilbo district passed away on Saturday at 4 p.m. and was buried yesterday in the Degilbo cemetery. The deceased gentleman had been a resident of the district for a great many years, living originally at the old "Live & Let live" Hotel," at Baxter's crossing of Degilbo Creek on the Gayndah Maryborough Road and is well remembered by old travellers of the road.
March 12: Mrs Maude Wheeler who lately visited Maryborough & is now touring Nanango district as special correspondent of the Courier has given that journal her first instalment of her impressions in which our town is described in headline is described as the "Garden City", comes in fer very favourable review. It will be seen that Mrs Wheeler has discovered in us possession of virtues, which some of our citizens are fond of denying us. The following extracts are characteristic "Maryborough is a quaint quite place with shady streets and gardens round nearly every house. The town is built on a perfect flat but it crawls over one or two little rises and then runs back again to fill up the hallows. The hotel l stayed at is a queer old rambling place of wood with a wide verandah. Maryborough is a fine large town with comfortable wide streets that our Colony may well be very proud of. Its town gardens, which are kept I in the most perfect order, are a monument to the general spirit of orderliness, things habitual to the place. Strange to say Maryborough is without the usual Australian blot. It has no wicked picturesque China Town, where the heathen in his blindness lives cheerfully with his Gods and slant eyed Goddesses. In pretty little Maryborough one sees but few of the little yellow men so obnoxious to the Labour Party, instead the streets are quite and homelike with a settled appearance that is very gratifying. The people of Maryborough look as if they have found their home and it was worth their while to stay in it
Beginning of end
March 21: There was a good deal of bunting again displayed when we got the news of the peaceful occupation of Bloemfontein by Lord Roberts and his forces and many people express the opinion that this is the beginning of the end of the war, in spite of the statement made by Oom Paul that Pretoria can stand a two year's siege. Major Colin Rankin's appointment as second in command of the Australian Horse evoked quite a burst of pleasurable feeling at Howard, especially at his home and among many of the mines, several of whom stopped work to discuss the good news. It was felt that the gallant Major was doing in South Africa what his work here had promised, mainly, that he could carry on in active service the same efficient work he has done since assuming command of the 2nd regiment.
March 22: A very serious and distressing firedamp explosion occurred yesterday in Torbanlea Colliery in the Burrum district by which five men were dreadfully burned. The disaster is the worst that has happened in the history of the Burrum District Collieries, but we have been given to understand that it is not the first of the kind. The names of the unfortunate colliers are A. Gambie, F. Griggs, A. Huston, Pack Houston and J. Johnston. The following day it was announced that J. Houston and F. Griggs had died in the morning and later in the day J. F Johnston had lost his battle for life. A. Houston died on the 26th and the last, A. Gambie, after a gallant battle to survive, died on the 27th.
March 29: The year: the last of the 19th Century, bids fair to be memorable for war, pestilence and famine and the British Empire is the principal victim of them all. This is a period in which above all others the British people have realised the necessity of "sitting tight, keeping calm and helping each other to the utmost extent. The claims of sufferers by the war have met with a wonderfully liberal response and now starving India once again appeals for help, and, though the strain upon the public charity and generosity has been great for months past, it would be hard to turn a deaf ear to the starving. The Mayor following the precedent of some years ago when a similar appeal was made from India, has opened a subscription list for the benefit of the subscription list for the benefit fund and headed it with 10 pounds, l0 shillings as Mayor.
Apri117: Quite a gloom was cast on the community today (Easter Monday) by a sad drowning fatality which occurred on the Torquay beach early this morning. Mr J. Adams, of Maryborough, was passing along the beach when he noticed three ladies in bathing and as they were to all appearance drowning he went in after them. Mrs Marsh and her daughter, revived, but though every effort was made by ambulance men and afterwards by Dr Penny, the third Miss Stevenson, schoolteacher of Howard, failed to do so. Such an event in connection with seabathing at our popular watering place is quite a rarity, for nowhere are the natural conditions safer and in the last 10 or 15 years, despite the thousands who annually bathe there, we can recall no other fatality except a little child who, however, was drowned in the creek close by the beach. Gertrude Alice Stevenson was the daughter Alice Stevenson was the daughter of Edward.
October 26: The criminal sittings of the circuit court, which opened in Maryborough on Tuesday last, were resumed and concluded at the local Court House yesterday The case before the court was that of a local Iad Charles Fredericks on a charge of rape and the proceedings had a rather sensational termination, inasmuch as the jury brought in a verdict of guilty and the sentence of death was recorded against the prisoner, but it was not announced. The matter will go before the Executive and it is more than probable the lad will escape with a light sentence, as his Honour promised to see that the strong recommendation of the jury was placed before the Executive.
Plea from citizens
October 29: Citizens of the town were given an opportunity on Saturday night to sign the petition which has been drawn up for presentation to the Executive, praying for the remission of the death sentence recorded against the boy Fredericks at the circuit court last week. The petition was largely signed and a large crowd of people constantly stood round those in charge of the petition, who were stationed outside the Royal Hotel.
December 24: Word has been received in town that Mt Debatable Station house, near Gayndah, the residence of Mr & Miss Humphrey, has been totally destroyed by bush fires. This was one of the oldest and best known country homes in the Burnett District.