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Ararat Lunatic Asylum
Jane Ford was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of March 1873. Ford escaped and was arrested near Talbot on the 23rd of July 1876. The escapee was a woman by the named Jane Fordo, who for the last three years had been living in the asylum at Ararat. On escaping Ford made her way to Talbot the town in which she was from. The evening before her arrest she was seen by some residents of Evansford and recognised, but she managed, however, to evade capture. Ford was ultimately found about two miles from Evansford in a hollow log, from which she had stuck her head out. Ford was at once taken to the Wallace’s Junction Hotel, as she was suffering hypothermia. Ford told police that the reason she escaped was because she was overworked. During the 10 days of her wanderings she had only eaten on three occasions and had slept in a shed two nights with only pieces of bark to cover her. On the other nights Ford slept in the bush or on the road without shelter. During the day of her capture she had seen the police searching for her, and hid herself in the log to avoid being sent back to the asylum, however because she was so cold and hungry she allowed the police to find her. The only clothing Ford was wearing was an old skirt, a threadbare shawl, and a tattered hat. She was returned to the Asylum. Ford would go on to escape two more times, the seconds on the 15th of November 1876 and recaptured on November the 17th and again returned, 22nd of march 1882 and recaptured on march the 25th.

 

On This Day …….. 4th July 1905

FRONT DOOR ESCAPE 1905

A dangerous lunatic named Smith escaped from the main building of the Ararat lunatic Asylum about 7pm on the 4th of July 1905. It is not known how Smith managed to open the front door of the Asylum but its possible he fund some wire and picked the lock. Smith has been an inmate of the Asylum for
over 20 years, and the authorities are treating his escape with much concern. Smith was never found.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1908

The fourteenth execution in the Ballarat Gaol took place at 10 o’clock this morning, when Charles Henry Deutschmann paid the supreme penalty for having murdered his wife.

The crime took place at Dobie, a few miles from Ararat, on Saturday evening, April 11. Mrs. Deutschmann, who had been married in 1890, was stopping with her stepfather. Her husband travelled from Melbourne to Ballarat, and there purchased a revolver and 25 cartridges. He continued his journey to Ararat, and arrived there at 9 o’clock, to the surprise of his wife, who expected him on the Monday. He was under the influence of drink, and a quarrel ensued. The stepfather endeavoured to pacify him, when he drew the revolver, and shot his father-in- law. Deutschmann then returned to his wife’s room, and fired two shots at her, the second striking her in the breast, and killing her immediately. He was arrested next morning by Sergeant Hancock. The old man recovered from his wounds.  A defence of insanity was unsuccessfully raised at the trial at Stawell.

Since he came to the Ballarat Gaol Deutschmann behaved quietly, and appeared to realise the enormity of his deed. He was attended by the Rev. Charles Cameron, whose ministration he listened to with interest. Just on the stroke of 10 o’clock the sheriff demanded the body of Charles Henry Deutschmann, and, in response to the demand of the governor, produced his warrant. Deutschmann walked steadily on to the drop, and was asked by the sheriff if he had anything to say. He replied slowly, and with emotion, “No, sir; I have nothing to say. God have mercy on me. Good-bye, good-bye.” Death was instantaneous. Deutschmann made no private statement further than expressing his deep regret for the crime, and commending himself to God’s mercy. Deutschmann was a native of Ararat, and was 41 years old.

On this Day – April 11, 1914

ACCUSED MAN REMANDED. MISS BASS TELLS STORY.

By the train which arrived at Ballarat at 3 o’clock on Tuesday from Linton, James Williams came under escort as a prisoner, charged with the attempted murder at Linton on Monday afternoon of Sarah Bass. He had been brought before Mr. F. Kennedy, J.P., and remanded to appear at Ballarat next Tuesday. Williams was lodged in the Ballarat gaol. Sergeant Rogerson states that Williams told him he came from Bite Bite station, in the Ararat district, some days ago, and, beyond giving his name, refused to say anything further.

It appears that Mr. C. McCook, manager of the Mount Bute estate, near Linton, engaged Williams as a general hand, to start work on Tuesday, but on Monday Williams was required to relieve another member of the staff, who had gone to the races. By direction he drove to Linton and brought the mail in. About a quarter past four, after inquiring of Archibald McCook, 12, and Clarice McCook, 13, son and daughter of the manager, if their parents were at home, and receiving a negative reply, Williams learned from the children that the housekeeper, Sarah Bass, was in the kitchen, and he walked in that direction. Soon after this Williams was seen approaching the men’s hut, from the direction of the homestead. He was holding his head with his hands, saying, “My poor head is splitting.” It was then discovered that Miss Bass was badly cut on the head, and was lying unconscious in the kitchen. Williams was secured and handed over to the police.

To-day (Tuesday) Miss Bass is cheerful, and appears to be out of danger. One wound at the back of her neck is four inches long, and required six stitches to be inserted by Dr. Donaldton. There are four other wounds in the back of the head, three exposing the bone, which was also cut. Miss Bass states that Williams asked her for a drink of hot milk and water as he had heartburn. She supplied him, and he called for a second drink. While he was getting this she saw Williams take down a butcher’s meat chopper from the wall, but she did not guess his purpose. Immediately afterwards she received a blow on the back of the neck, and remembered no more until some time afterwards.

On this day …….. 20th of December 1942

A convict who escaped from Beechworth goal three years ago was arrested in Sydney on this day in 1942. He was charged with breaking and entering and theft of £1000 worth of property. The man, William McEntee, aged 51, escaped from Beechworth prison by scaling a high wall. An old hand at goal-breaking, Beechworth was McEntee’s third prison escape. He had previously got away from Yatala prison, South Australia, and from Ararat goal. After the second escape he was at liberty for nearly 12 months. Regarded as desperate and declared an habitual criminal nine years ago, McEntee disappeared from Beechworth prison just before the midday muster one day in February, 1940. Stealing a bicycle in a street 150 yards from the gaol, he rode out of the township in his prison clothes, and vanished. After hiding for two days and two nights in the scrub to evade capture by armed warders and police, McEntee got away from the district. Last trace of him until his arrest in Sydney was the discovery on a roadside at Tarrawingee of the bicycle he had stolen.

 

On this day …….. 18th of December 1894

An escaped lunatic from the Ararat Asylum, William Price was recaptured at his parents house in Corop, a small town near Bendigo. The police who were on the lookout for Price, escorted him to the Bendigo Hospital. It is believed that after escaping from the Bendigo Hospital he walked home and appeared quite rational. On the 18th of December 1894 at his parents house, Price violently struck his sister over the head with an iron bar, killing her. On the 23rd of December Mr Smith, J.P held an inquest before a jury of five in relation to Miss Prices death, found that she died from paralysis brought on by shock to the nervous system. The body bore traces of smaller injuries, suggesting the deceased had probably been shoved about by her brother. Price was arrested for the murder of his sister, at the time of the arrest he was so violent that he had to be put in a straight jacket. On the 22nd December Price was sent to the Kew Asylum.

On this day …….. 18th September 1954

After escaping from Ararat Mental Hospital, clothed only in his pyjamas, broke into a house where a woman was alone with her children, in the early hours of the 18th of September 1954. Many shift workers in the Ararat area were afraid to leave their families alone at night. The lady feed the man and called the police. He was taken back to Aradale.

 

On this day …….. 4th September 1868

Oliver Dragoon was committed to Ararat lunatic asylum, Western Victoria, on the 10th of February 1868. Dragoon managed to escaped from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 4th of September 1868. He was arrested in Piggoreet on the 11th of September and was taken into Ballarat by Constable Magrath, and lodged in the Western lockup, before being returned to Ararat. This is the second time Dragoon has escape from the asylum, on the first occasion he succeeded in evading all search for several months. Dragoon died in the asylum. On the 2nd of June 1871, Dragoone escapes again and course on the 27th of June.

On this day …….. 23rd of August 1933

The police have not been able to trace a patient who escaped from the Ararat Hospital for the Insane, Victoria on the 23rd of August 1933. The patient was brought to the institution from the Nhill district where he lived with his family on a farm. The patient was court in Nhill and was charged with being a lunatic at large; he was then sent back to Ararat.

 

Ararat Lunatic Asylum
Jane Ford was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of March 1873. Ford escaped and was arrested near Talbot on the 23rd of July 1876. The escapee was a woman by the named Jane Fordo, who for the last three years had been living in the asylum at Ararat. On escaping Ford made her way to Talbot the town in which she was from. The evening before her arrest she was seen by some residents of Evansford and recognised, but she managed, however, to evade capture. Ford was ultimately found about two miles from Evansford in a hollow log, from which she had stuck her head out. Ford was at once taken to the Wallace’s Junction Hotel, as she was suffering hypothermia. Ford told police that the reason she escaped was because she was overworked. During the 10 days of her wanderings she had only eaten on three occasions and had slept in a shed two nights with only pieces of bark to cover her. On the other nights Ford slept in the bush or on the road without shelter. During the day of her capture she had seen the police searching for her, and hid herself in the log to avoid being sent back to the asylum, however because she was so cold and hungry she allowed the police to find her. The only clothing Ford was wearing was an old skirt, a threadbare shawl, and a tattered hat. She was returned to the Asylum. Ford would go on to escape two more times, the seconds on the 15th of November 1876 and recaptured on November the 17th and again returned, 22nd of march 1882 and recaptured on march the 25th.

 

On This Day …….. 4th July 1905

FRONT DOOR ESCAPE 1905

A dangerous lunatic named Smith escaped from the main building of the Ararat lunatic Asylum about 7pm on the 4th of July 1905. It is not known how Smith managed to open the front door of the Asylum but its possible he fund some wire and picked the lock. Smith has been an inmate of the Asylum for
over 20 years, and the authorities are treating his escape with much concern. Smith was never found.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1908

The fourteenth execution in the Ballarat Gaol took place at 10 o’clock this morning, when Charles Henry Deutschmann paid the supreme penalty for having murdered his wife.

The crime took place at Dobie, a few miles from Ararat, on Saturday evening, April 11. Mrs. Deutschmann, who had been married in 1890, was stopping with her stepfather. Her husband travelled from Melbourne to Ballarat, and there purchased a revolver and 25 cartridges. He continued his journey to Ararat, and arrived there at 9 o’clock, to the surprise of his wife, who expected him on the Monday. He was under the influence of drink, and a quarrel ensued. The stepfather endeavoured to pacify him, when he drew the revolver, and shot his father-in- law. Deutschmann then returned to his wife’s room, and fired two shots at her, the second striking her in the breast, and killing her immediately. He was arrested next morning by Sergeant Hancock. The old man recovered from his wounds.  A defence of insanity was unsuccessfully raised at the trial at Stawell.

Since he came to the Ballarat Gaol Deutschmann behaved quietly, and appeared to realise the enormity of his deed. He was attended by the Rev. Charles Cameron, whose ministration he listened to with interest. Just on the stroke of 10 o’clock the sheriff demanded the body of Charles Henry Deutschmann, and, in response to the demand of the governor, produced his warrant. Deutschmann walked steadily on to the drop, and was asked by the sheriff if he had anything to say. He replied slowly, and with emotion, “No, sir; I have nothing to say. God have mercy on me. Good-bye, good-bye.” Death was instantaneous. Deutschmann made no private statement further than expressing his deep regret for the crime, and commending himself to God’s mercy. Deutschmann was a native of Ararat, and was 41 years old.