The death and terrible maiming of children through innocent accidents continued to plague families during the 1870s.
Such was the case in April 1877 when prominent Towradgi man Frederick Ziems lost a daughter to drowning.
It appears the unnamed child, aged almost five, went to the well on the family property and while leaning in with a dipper, overbalanced and fell into the water.
The accident was witnessed by a younger sibling but with the children's mother away in Sydney and Mr Ziems running errands in town, there was no-one at home to assist.
"It was not until about half an hour afterwards that some of the elder children arrived, when they were at once informed by the little witness of the sad occurrence that her sister was in the well," the Mercury said.
"The dead body of their little sister was found and brought to the surface by the elder children. Dr Thomas was at once sent for, but his skill was of no avail."
Young Edmund Byron of Mt Keira suffered permanent disfigurement after he fell between two coal wagons on the local tramway in February 1878.
"Three or four at least of the wagons passed over him, breaking his left leg and thigh, together with his left arm and right collarbone, as well as two frightful scalp wounds, laying a large portion of the skull bare," the Mercury said.
Notwithstanding his "dreadfully mangled state", after six weeks' care in the Albert Memorial Hospital, Edmund had progressed "wonderfully".
At Queanbeyan in September 1875, young Walter Palmer's head became a fireball after he mistook a kerosene-based furniture cleaner for hair oil.
The boy had liberally oiled his hair by putting it on with the palms of his hands, the Mercury said.
"Having brushed his hair, he accidentally brought his hand in contact with a burning candle and instantly his hand was in flames . . . in his alarm he thrust his hands into his hair and his head became enveloped in a flame bright as that of a large kerosene lamp."
The boy's eldest sister threw a blanket over him to put out the flames, but not before he suffered terrible burns to his head, face and hands.
Nine-year-old Phoebe Bowen, of Bulli, got herself into a spot of bother in November 1877 after she swallowed a large glass button.
The girl was taken to Albert Memorial Hospital but, owing to the slippery nature of the glass, the button eluded attempts at retrieval.
The button had to be forced down out of the throat, Phoebe spending the next five days in hospital until the button was passed.
Picture: Horrific accidents and tragedy plagued children throughout the Victorian era. CREDIT: From the collections of the Wollongong City Library and the Illawarra Historical Society.
For a comprehensive list of Australian cemeteries, together with a search engine for name inscriptions, go to austcemindex.com.