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on the old Hume Highway between Glenrowan and Wodonga


Wangaratta was known as Ovens Crossing Place from 1838 until 1859.

The first settler was George Faithfull. He called his home Wangaratta from the aboriginal words 'wanga', a cormorant and 'ratta', to sit or nest. Others suggest that it means meeting of the rivers. The area was the home of the Pangerang Aborigines

Hear the story of Billy the Puntman (William Clark)(Sadleir)

Wangaratta in 1872 (Ensign5/7/1872)



Importance of Wangaratta

The headquarters of police trying to control the Greta mob and those watching the Hart and Kelly homes. The town grew rapidly in the 1860s and 70s because mixed farming. There were a large number of selections in the area. The arrival of the railway line added to the area's prosperity.

What was Wangaratta like in the late 1870s

Wangaratta was a substantial town with, by 1884 four churches, three flour mills, a tobacco factory, two breweries, several foundries, a tannery, a hospital and a town hall.

It would seem that the last corroboree in full war dress was held by the local aboriginal community in 1870

In 1867 there was a major meeting to promote the railway line in Wangaratta (Argus29/8/67)

Railway line from Melbourne to Wangaratta opened on 28/10/1873. (Argus28/10/73) (Argus20/11/73)

Prior to the arrival of the railway Wangarratta was cut off from the big market of Beechworth because of the state of the road into the mountains; "it would shake the teeth out of a saw". When it rained many of the roads in and out of Wangaratta became impassable.

Facilities in Wangaratta in the late 1870s

Population around 1000 residents Hotels Clancy's hotel (Argus24/11/68)

Horse and Jockey Hotel

Ketts Bulls Head Hotel (Albion Hotel)

Kitts Hotel

Murdoch's Hotel

O'Keefe's Hotel (RC12258)

Post Office Hotel (Ensign4/31873/)

Royal Hotel, Mrs Ellen Cotterell (Argus23/2/81)

Rubicon Hotel

Star Hotel, Petre Martains See the Jerilderie Letter.(Ensign22/11/1872)

Sydney Hotel, William Painter

Vine Hotel

Wangaratta Hotel Mr Naughton

Churches Catholic, Father George Gadden



Methodist, The Rev. J. Cowperthwaite,

Schools [[../../things/C_community/C_bankt.html|Bank]] Bank of New South Wales opened in 1859 (Westpac)

London Bank 1874

ES & A Bank building (1875) at 49 Reid St Main Streets Wangaratta became a borough in 1863.

Mr Orr Mayor (Argus 18/4/79) Local Government Police Station

in Murphy St dates from 1873

Railway Station

Henry Laing

Robert Spaven

The railway arrived in 1873

Morgan engine driver (RC8998)

Telegraph Office

Post Office

A postal outlet was opened in 1843. '

William Shields

Mail route between Wangaratta and Cobram via Kilawana, Peechelba, Bandalong, Yarrawonga , and Burramine

And between Wangaratta and Estcourt

And between Wangaratta and Milawa, via Oxley , then to Moyhu Post Office, Taylor's Gap, Murmungee, Beechworth

Other things of interest Bank holiday, 23/1/79 (Argus22/1/79)


By 1884, Wangaratta had three flour mills, a tobacco factory, two breweries, several foundries, tannery, hospital and town hall.



Wangaratta Cemetery -contains Dan 'Mad Dog' Morgan's headless body.

William Bickerton , James Sloane and George Powell Trustees of the Cemetery

Doctor s

Dr Hutchinson practiced in the 1860s- 70s

Dr Crouch

Dr William H Miller

Flour mills

There were three big steam flour mills that employed a lot of people and processed the local wheat. the flour had a good reputation internationally.


Simpson William


The hospital was gazetted in 1876 but it operated for a number of years before. (Ensign7/2/1873)

George Haley resident surgeon (Argus1/7/80) (OMA1/7/80)

Francis Edward Brady house-steward (Argus1/7/80) (OMA1/7/80)

Land Board

The Wangaratta Land Board consisted of Mr ET Dunn (of the land office Benalla), Mr Wm Ward (Chairman of the Beechworth Mining Board), and Mr Andrew Byrne (President of the Oxley Shire Council) (OMA5/4/1879)


Dwyer (Argus26/11/80)

Thomas Notcutt

Licensing Magistrates

Alexander Tone

William Harte Miller


Wangaratta Despatch

Wangaratta Star, George S Searle (Ensigh11/4/1873)


Pound Keeper HY Miller

Race Course (Ensign4/2/1873)


Hickman jeweller and tobacconist, Murphy St

William Jarvis, a storekeeper, and Irving loaned Mrs Jones money to build and furnish the Glenrowan Inn

M'Keon grocery and general store at corner of Murphy and Reid Sts


Ovens and Murray Agricultural and Pastoral Society formed in 1860

Social Clubs and Societies

Wangaratta Amateur Dramatic and Musical Club; news of a performance (OMA5/4/1879)

Wangaratta Athenaeum (OMA5/6/1880)

Wangaratta Cricket Team

Wangaratta Racing Club

Tobacco factory, Chinese (Argus9/6/80)

Water supply



Mr Lewis was the Inspector of schools based in Wangaratta (RC1511)(Argus20/7/80)

I was at Benalla on the day of the siege at Glenrowan (JJK)

Ah Woo gardener. I was murdered. (Argus11/9/71) (Argus17/10/71) (Argus11/11/71) (Argus14/11/71)

Links to the KellyGang


Hare was stationed in Wangaratta in 1854. Story of Billy the Puntman (FH)

Between 1870 and 1872 Inspector Montfort was in charge of the police at Wangaratta. (RC3263)

In April 1870 Harry Power was brought into Wangaratta after he was captured by Nicolson and Hare.

Const Cuddon gave evidence James Kelly for cattle stealing (Ensign4/3/1873) He was a policeman who was based at Wangaratta

Sgt Steele took charge of the police station at Wangaratta on the 6/11/1876. (RC8808)

At the time of the murders there were three foot men and three mounted men, besides Insp Brooke Smith. (RC17419)

Steve Hart's family lived out the back of the racecourse. [[[The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (8)|JJK]])

The Delaney, Daniel and John brothers lived near the railway station

In 1874 and 1875 Det Ward was stationed at Wangaratta.

Sgt Steele , Const Armstrong were stationed at Wangarratta.

St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, most of the church was constructed from granite that came from the Warby Ranges between 1865 and 1871. The church had a number of links with the KellyGang.

Petre Martains Star Hotel is mentioned in the Jerilderie Letter.

Ketts Bulls Head Hotel, Henry Ketts was married to Catherine Green.

Henry Kett was a former police officer, who became publican at 3 Wangaratta hotels.

David Logie (Legle) and James Dixon, a storekeeper at Wangaratta, gave evidence against James Kelly for cattle stealing (Ensign4/3/1873)

Did James sue the Kellys for goods supplied (Ensign7/3/1873)

Insp Brook Smith consulted Dr Hutton for his condition. (RC17465)

On 4/6/1878 Insp Brooke Smith had 6 constables in Wangaratta (RC14072)

This included Const Dickson (RC439)

Ned Kelly was tried in Wangaratta (Argus14/11/70)

Ned Kelly was tried in Wangaratta (Argus2/5/71)

Soon after the Murders at Stringy Bark Creek

The [[../../things/K_kellys/K_KellyGang.html|KellyGang]] passed under the One Mile Railway Bridge early on the morning of Sunday 3/11/1878. They were on their way back from the Murray River, heading for the Wombat Ranges. They passed at the back of the Wangaratta Hospital, near Mrs Delaney's home. See also(RC8856) (RC13960) (RC17415) (CHC) (BWC) (JJK)

Ovens River was in flod (Argus7/11/78)

Brooke Smith took out a search party to Lake Rowan on 6/11/1878 and returned on 8/11. He returned to Kitts Hotel. Mr Laing and Const Twomey tried to get things moving much earlier.

On 11/12/1878, the morning after the Euroa robbery Ass Com Nicolson and Sup Sadleir returned to Wangaratta. Sadleir took a search party down to the area around Glenrowan. (RC16697)

Military from the Garrison Artillery sent to Wangaratta to protect banks in town after the Euroa robbery in December 1878. (RC Appendix 8)

Was Joe Byrne in town playing billard? (Argus21/12/78)

In July 1879 Nicolson stationed a small body of men at Wangaratta under Sgt Steele. There was barely strength enough for a search party, but they could make up a fair party - seven or eight - by calling in men from neighboring stations. (RC 2nd reportXII)(RC713)

Ass Com Nicolson met Jack Sherritt at the Wangaratta show on 12/9/1879. (RC15225)

Cave Party

Ass Com Nicolson called a meeting of police in Wangaratta in about Feurary / March 1880 because the police cave party watching Mrs Byrne's might have been discovered. Const Cox 2810 was accused of pumping his colleagues for information. (RC5276)(RC1717). (RC13558) Const Cox produced a report on his duty at the cave party watching Mrs Byrnes place. (RC5440)

Const Faulkiner travelled through Wangaratta on 26/6/1880 and saw police parties that were there to cut off the KellyGang and sympathizers communication. (RC5485)

Day of the Glenrowan Siege

The first shots of the siege in Glenrowan were heard in Wangaratta.

According to Mr Laing the train with the police left Wangaratta for Glenrowan at 5.20am (RC13955)

According to Const Dwyer it arrived at the place where the track was taken up at 4.40am. He gave other times. (RC9395)

There were 4 passengers and 12 constables on the train from Wangaratta to the Glenrowan siege. Sgt Steele rode and Consts Dwyer, Caussey, Walsh, Montiford, Moore and Healey, and Mr Marsden went to Glenrowan by train (RC2880)(RC9402)

Thomas Bullivant, a saddlier made the saddle that was on Ned Kelly's horse at the Glenrowan Siege.(Argus30/6/80)

Jack Jones who had been shot at the start of the siege was taken to the Wangaratta Hospital where he arrived at about 11am. He died there at about midnight. The Wangaratta Hospital played an important part in the story of the siege. Young Reardon was also taken there for treatment.

John Grant, the undertaker was employed by the friends to provide coffins of a first class description. He arrived with them in a buggy at Glenrowan on the afternoon of the siege. The lid of the one coffin has lettered “Daniel Kelly, died 28 th June 1880 , aged 19 years,” and the other “Stephen died 28 th June 1880 , aged 21.years.” (Argus30/6/80)



Mr Tone, JP, held a magisterial inquiry at the hospital today on the body of John Jones and found that the boy was accidentally shot.

The inquiry on the bodies of Hart and Dan Kelly was not held. Mr William Bickerton, with Mr Ell to act as clerk, was in readiness to start at nine am., as appointed, when it turned but that police had not provided a conveyance, and that they could not procure one in the town. After some delay Superintendent Sadleir telegraphed to get a magisterial certificate authorising the burial of the bodies. This was obtained from Mr Tone and sent out to Greta. (Age 1/7/80)(MDTel1/7/80) (OMA1/7/80)


There was large crowd on the platform when Ned Kelly's train went by taking him back to Melbourne Gaol (Herald12/8/1880) (Herald13/8/1880)

Mrs Jones was charged in the Wangaratta court of harbouring the KellyGang. Hear from the witnesses. (Argus26/11/80)

In 1881 Const Walsh was charged with burglary from the Royal Hotel. Edwin Lawrence was the barman(Argus23/2/81)


Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into the KellyGang outbreak conducted hearings in Wangaratta in 1881.

What happened at Wangaratta after the time of the KellyGang

Ovens and Murray Agricultural and Pastoral Society show. (Argus23/9/81) (Argus24/9/81)

Members of the Wangaratta community

Robert M'Kenzie oysterman (Argus23/2/81)

What is happening at Wangaratta today

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