Hudson at Murtoa -- Past Links Revealed

Murtoa - First 50 Years

J. H. Martin UHE, J. Heinrich SCHULZ & Franz O. WAGNER, would between them, have witnessed the following developments. Much of this information comes from 2 books by Leo Rabl; - "BACK TO MURTOA" and "MURTOA CENTENARY".
I would also like to thank Kathleen Crouch for proof reading this chapter and providing some extra information about Murtoa.

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1872. The Land Act of 1869 opened up the country around Lake Marma for free selectors. The first wheat crops were sown this winter and around Christmas, taken off by hand sickle. What wasn't kept for seed was sent by wagon to Stawell, the wagons were usually back loaded with building materials. Churches were established, the first Lutherans met at Gustav Degenhardt's home.

1873. Originally called Marma Gully, after the first survey by T. H. Breen. The name had Aboriginal origins, either meaning 'Home of the Wild Duck' or, after an old black 'King Marma', who lived with his family at Marma Swamp, 4 km east of the Lake Marma. The township was renamed Murtoa in 1873 by Walter Madden, the Land Officer in Horsham. It was planned that the Lake would be in the centre of the town. Murtoa is an Aboriginal name meaning 'Home of the Lizard'. On the 17th of August a new building in Marma Street was completed which served as a combined Church, School and Town Hall. It was constructed of bulloak saplings pugged with mud. It had a thatched roof of straw and an earthen floor.

1874. The Commercial Hotel was built. Over the next decade, many more hotels were built at Murtoa, including the - Bull & Mouth, Club, Colonial, Murtoa, Railway, Shamrock and Victoria. [ The Commercial Hotel was rebuilt in its present form about 1911 and renamed the Marma Gully in 1977 ]

1875. J. H. Martin UHE and J. Heinrich SCHULZ were among the 25 foundation members of St John's Lutheran Church. The resident Pastor was C. G. Hiller.

1876. William C. Thomas opened a Flour Mill near the Lake.
Mr. Thomas built a bigger flour mill near the railway line after it was extended to Horsham on the 5th of February 1879.

1877. The Commercial Bank opened a branch at Murtoa on the 6th of February. [ The State Savings Bank arrived in 1912 ] Murtoa's first Policeman was Mounted Constable Gray, who arrived on the 18th of June. On the 1st of May, the Education Department took over the running of the school in Murtoa. On the 31st of August, the lease expired on the old school in Marma Street. Lessons began on the 3rd of September at the new Primary School (No 1549) on the present site in Duncan Street.
Higher Elementary School lessons began in February 1922. Classes were held in the Fire Brigade Hall and in the Methodist & Presbyterian Sunday Schools, until the brick Higher Elementary School opened in March 1925. Murtoa High School was proclaimed on the 4th of February 1956.

1878. The first edition of the Dunmunkle Standard hit the streets of Murtoa on the 6th of December at a cost of 6 pence. After the 17th of December, when the railway line came through from Stawell, most development was on the East of the lake toward the railway line. The Murtoa Brass Band first performed in 1878. [ Coromby Brass Band was formed in 1891 ]

1879. Horse Racing came to Murtoa around 1879.

1880. Murtoa Urban Fire Brigade was organised. In later years, some of the Uhe boys played an active part. [ A Bush Fire Brigade was formed on the 20th of December 1915 to fight rural fires ]

1881. The Murtoa Agricultural and Pastoral Society was formed on the 9th of April with a meeting at the Court House. The first 'Show' was held on Thursday the 18th of August.

1882. An Angling Club was formed, members stocked Lake Marma with Tench & other fish, and later built a pier from which to fish. Marma Lodge (No 84) was also formed in 1882.

1883. On the 29th of March at a meeting in the Court House, the Murtoa Branch (No 22) of the Australian Natives Association was formed. J. H. Martin UHE's son, F. C. August Uhe was president 1899-1900 and was later a trustee.

1884. On the 20th of March, to cater for the 640 inhabitants of Murtoa a proper Post Office was opened for business at the corner of Marma and McDonald Streets. Prior to this, mail came via a hotel at Longerenong, Mr. J. B. Millar's farm, then Anderson's store in Barkly (later called Duncan) Street.
A new Post Office was built in McDonald Street in 1959.

1886. The 40,000 gal. (181,840 litre) Railway Water Tower was completed. On the 16th of June, the Murtoa Rifle Club was formed, the Martini Henry rifle, firing a pure lead bullet was popular.

1888. On the 25th of June, a meeting was held to consider forming a Progress Committee. Members, who now belong to the renamed Progress Association, have planted hundreds of trees and done much to beautify and develop the township of Murtoa.

1898. Murtoa Football Club won it's first premiership this year. The Club was formed about 10 years earlier to play in a minor district league. Murtoa also won premierships in 1902, 1906, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913 & 1945.

Murtoa later joined the Wimmera Football League and won a premiership in 1980.

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Murtoa Water Tower Museum

1900. At a meeting in the Mechanics Institute on Friday the 25th of May, it was decided to form a Golf Club. Shortly after the meeting, a 9 hole course was built at the Racecourse Reserve.
The course was extended to 18 holes in the 20's, but moved to it's present location in 1946.

1903. Many people had private tennis courts, so it was not until the 15th of October that the Lake Club was formed.

1908. Magneto telephones and a manual exchange installed.

1909. The Murtoa Waterworks Trust was constituted on the 4th of May, to supply the town and railways with water. The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission constructed many miles of channels from around this time, to supply water to farmers in the district.
On the 26th of September 1938, the Murtoa Sewerage Authority was constituted and the sewerage scheme was in full operation by 1942. In 1984 the Murtoa Waterworks Trust and the Sewerage Authority combined to became the Murtoa Water Board.

1911. A Freezing Works to process fat lambs was opened.
Unfortunately it closed in 1926.

1919. Electricity at 230 Volt DC became available to the towns people between 4 pm and midnight from the 1st of May.
In 1951 it changed to AC, and in 1958 Murtoa was supplied from the SEC.

1920's. The 1st Murtoa Scout Troop was formed in the 1920's.
Girl Guides didn't start till the 21st of April 1932.

1922. The Murtoa Bowling Club was formed in 1922.
Carl H. SCHULZ later played there.