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Introduction to the Community

The KellyGang touched almost every part of the local community. Ned Kelly worked for sawmills and the KellyGang bought supplies in local shops. They went to local schools and were members of local churches.

By the mid 1870s the major churches were established in the major towns in the Kelly counrty. There were also coursing, racing and other sporting clubs. What we might call welfare services were not organised at a community level. Most people relied on their mates, family and neighbours. There were few doctors and other medical services. By way of example the nearest hospital in New South Wales to the Beechworth hospital was the Goulburn hospital.

Males were able to vote for the members of the lower house of the Victorian Parliament. Members of Local Government were largely elected by land owners. Similar arrangements applied to the pasture protection boards, roads boards and other local arrangements. Electricity was in its infancy; there was some thought that the Government might bring up a power plant from Melbourne to light Jones Inn

The community was split between the haves and have nots. Between the squatters and mine owners and the selectors, itenerant rural workers, including shearers, carters, crop reapers, fencers and town workers. There were no welfare services.

Following the Mansfield Murders on 26/10/1878 was an initial public out cry against the KellyGang. The newspapers were full of wild suppositions. Soon people changed. The police reported that people were polite but they gave no information.

Community members at KellyGang