Mintaro, January 1864

[From our own Correspondent.]
Mintaro, January 23.
On Sunday evening last during the hours of divine service, a rider, in great haste, came to our township and informed us that a fire was raging about two miles distant from us, and soliciting assistance, which was immediately responded to by almost every person hurrying to the spot. The places of worship were immediately cleared of every one able to lend a hand, but by the time of our arrival the fire was nearly extinguished; numbers who lived nearer to it than us were on the spot and their exertions had saved, no doubt an immense amount of damage, for in a short distance it would have been amidst growing crops. I am informed it was caused by a lad striking a lucifer to light his pipe and throwing the same down, but on seeing what he had occasioned he ran to the nearest persons and informed them of it. The fire consumed about eight acres of grass, but no further damage was done.
The Catholic body have by subscription built a very commodious school on Farrell’s Flat on an acre of ground presented by Mr. James Torr, of this township, for that purpose. It is now opened, and can boast of a gentleman well qualified as a schoolmaster. It is a great boon to the inhabitants of the surrounding locality; but above all, it denotes their appreciation of learning for their children.
Several days back I was called upon by a Mr. Madigan to examine a bullock of his which had died rather suddenly. On examination, I found an enlargement of the liver, with the most extraordinary gall I ever met with in any beast in my life, containing nearly three pints. One of the ventricles of the heart was diseased, the nerve strings were broken, and I have no hesitation in saying that caused its death so suddenly. At this time people have their fears; but the beast bore no similarity to the others which died, and which I have referred to before, nor were its lungs or the membranes affected.
The weather, for our farmers, is all that can be desired; and the prices obtained for their produce are more encouraging than last year.