Australia Day 2013 ~ Remembering Susan Kelleher & Harry Crout…

Australia Day Smiley FaceIt is with great pleasure that I take up Helen Smith’s 2013 Australia Day Challenge. Helen writes:

“Australia Day, 26th January is a day we celebrate what makes us Australian.

Regardless of whether your ancestor came 40 000 years ago or yesterday and regardless of where they were from, together their descendants are Australian.

Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to tell the story of your first Australian ancestor.”

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I began this blogging journey one year ago today, Australia Day 2012, as a means of sharing my genealogy research, and family stories, with my Ancestor’s descendants wherever they may be. In fact, the very title of this Blog, “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family” reflects this focus which has been described in ABOUT THIS BLOG

Flag of South Australia

Flag of South Australia

There are LINKS provided below to the many stories I’ve written already about the first of my Ancestors to migrate to this wide, brown land and settle in South Australia. Some may be of interest to you.

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On my maternal side, the first to arrive was my Great Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, who at the age of 18 travelled from County Clare, Ireland, to South Australia, on the ill-fated ship the “Nashwauk”.

Kelleher, Susan

* To read about the shipwreck, as Susan was finally close to land, just click HERE

* Cc – is for Cousin Lizzie, provides a great deal of information about Susan’s life

* It’s an ongoing battle to ensure that the anchor from Susan’s ship, the Nashwauk, is indeed put back on public display and does not just disappear… You can read about this HERE

* This LINK will take you through to my attempts, so far, to locate Susan’s family in Ireland

* Lately I’ve become most interested in discovering how Susan’s life, just 19 years after South Australia was colonised, compared with that of one of our greatest explorers, John McDouall Stuart. It’s a work in progress and, if interested, just click HERE

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The first of my paternal ancestors to arrive in Oz is my dad, Harry Scarborough Crout. Like Susan, he too was an “assisted migrant” although 73 years later but for exactly the same reason i.e. as an Agricultural Labourer to enable those who’d come earlier to develop their land… always with the hope/ promise that ultimately they too would become “landholders”.

My dad as I remember him when I was a child  (c) 2013.  C.A.Crout-Habel.

My dad as I remember him when I was a child (c) 2013. C.A.Crout-Habel.

* Dad was only 16 years old when he arrived in Sydney Harbor, NSW, as part of “Dreadnought Scheme” in 1928, just as the iconic “Sydney Harbour Bridge” was reaching it’s final stages of construction. You can read about it HERE

* This LINK talks about dad’s birthplace in Leeds, Yorkshire, England… which turns out to be his maternal Grandmother’s home and has recently provided me with lots of family links 🙂

* HERE I’ve written about finally locating dah’s beloved home in Mossman Street, Windhill, Shipley,Yorkshire, England.

* Dad’s first wife, Connie Evans, who was my mum’s beloved older half sister, died 2 months after giving birth to their still born “Baby Crout”. So grateful was I to be able to ensure that there’s a memorial to him, and his parents, at the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, SA.

* THIS is a fun post about one of my dad’s “antics” with his mother-in-law (x2) whilst recovering from the trauma described above.

* Just click HERE if you want to read about the marriage of my beautiful parents.

Wedding Day 22 Dec 1941. (c) C.Crout-Habel

Wedding Day 22 Dec 1941. (c) C.Crout-Habel

To finish off, I MUST share this favourite song of my dad. Relates back to his mam’s Scottish heritage. Harry Scarborough Crout, from Leeds, Yorkshire, England, loved to challenge his Ozzie children to repeat the following words as quickly as they could:

“If ye can say it’s a braugh bricht moonlicht nicht t’nicht then ye alricht ye ken…”

1511767Could we ever beat him? …       

 

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Australian Aboriginal Flag

Australian Aboriginal Flag

Whilst being very proud of my Ancestors who fled often horrific conditions in their home – land and gave me, and mine, a better chance at life I am conflicted knowing that this was, and still is, at the expense of the traditional owners of this beautiful land we claim as our own – Australia.

Our previous Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gave the apology. May it now be followed up with meaningful action.

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel.

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Ll is for – Life on the Laura Blocks

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge

“Be damned the rain… be damned my bad back… I have to know!” muttered mum as she tottered up the long steep driveway. It was the winter of 1986 and we’d driven 240 miles from Adelaide, the Capital of South Australia, to the small mid-north town of Laura in search of my Nana’s childhood home on the “Laura Blocks”. Mum last saw “the cottage” 40 years before, had a picture of it in her mind, knew it was being used to store hay but we couldn’t find it. This “Gould Family History Through the Alphabet” post is dedicated to the courage and perseverance of my Murrays, and the other 12 families of the “Laura Blocks”, who pushed on through the frontier, battling to eke a living from an inhospitable land, whilst facing the wrath of the original inhabitants, the Ngadjuri and Nukunu peoples, whose own lifestyle and livelihoods were being destroyed by the new settlers.

The land in the mid north of South Australia was settled by Europeans in the early 1840’s, some 4 years after the first landing at Glenelg in 1836. In 1843 the brothers Bristow Herbert Hughes and Herbert Bristow Hughes open up the county along the Rocky River. The town of Laura was founded on their “Booyoolie Station” land in 1872, as a staging post on the Main North Road from Adelaide, and named after Herbert Hughes’ wife, Laura White, who migrated with her family from Dorset, England, in 1843.

“Until 1894, the area that is now the Laura Blocks, was a property of 52 hectares (130 acres) situated 5 Kms (3miles) north of Laura. The Rocky River and a tributary creek ran through it and there was a three roomed stone house in the centre of the farm. The land was purchased by the Crown (Government) and surveyed into 13 Homestead Blocks with each block having access to the then permanent water supply of the Rocky River. Working Men’s leases were granted on the 1st April 1895 and thirteen ‘pioneer’ families began new chapters in their lives.”  (1)

Laura Block 22 marked with *

My Great Grandfather 18 year old Peter Murray, born in County Cork, Ireland, arrived in South Australia aboard the “Berar” in 1883. Three years later, on 3 Jan 1886, he married Eliza Jane Rowan at St Peters Church, Gladstone. 

Eliza Jane is the 5th child of “my Susan”, Susan (Kelleher) Nicholls from Country Clare, Ireland, and her second husband Timothy Rowen who also migrated from County Clare but not alone. Timothy came with his two brothers and a sister-in-law.  Eliza Jane was born in Armagh, just outside of Clare, South Australia, and moved to Laura with her mother and siblings after a family scandal and court case, in 1875.

The early years of Peter and Eliza Jane’s marriage were spent in Broken Hill, New South Wales, where the discovery of silver offered them a number of opportunities. Peter worked in the mines whilst Eliza Jane ran one of the first boarding establishments, under canvas, to cater for the huge influx of miners. Intitially Eliza Jane and Peter lived in a tent and provided accommodation, for two others, in another small tent. Shift worked enabled these sleeping quarters to be shared and, before long, Eliza Jane purchased a marquee from Flavels in Rundle Street, Adelaide, and expanded into a very successful business. A fire led to the move into a rented weather-board cottage and the business continued to flourish.

These successes were marred by great sadness with the death of their first two children, Peter Murray and Walter Murray, which you can read about here. On 19 Sep 1892, 20 months after the death of Walter my Nana, Mary Elizabeth Murray, was also born at Broken Hill. The high infant mortality rate there, at this time, may have led to their decision to leave “the Hill”. In 1888 there were 358 deaths per 1000 and over a quarter of these were under 1 year old.

The most prevalent causes of death were Typhoid or Enteric Fever (Barrier Fever) followed closely by pneumonia and other lung complaints. (2)

Eliza Jane and Peter returned to Stone Hut, South Australia, a small town north of Laura where their fourth child Daphne Murray was born on 30 Dec 1893. Sadly Daphne lived only 3 days and is buried in the Laura Cemetery, Catholic Section, Grave 0833.

Beatrice May Murray, their fifth child, was born at Stone Hut on 12 Mar 1895 and just a few weeks later, on 1 Apr 1895, Peter took up the lease on Section 22 of the Laura Blocks. 

As the first European occupiers Peter and Eliza Jane built their home using local materials and, in particular, rocks brought up from the Rocky River which ran nearby. Family members described it as a typical, and very small, Irish cottage with a thatched roof which was later found, by the Gill family, when the galvanised iron was removed. It had a window on each side of the door and a chimney, jutting out to one side, with the inside hearth flush with the wall. Initially Eliza Jane cooked on a grate with hobs on either side and a hook from which to hang the boiler. The luxury of a wood stove came much later.

Six more children were born to the family during difficult times:

Andrew Patrick Murray (1879 – 1972)
Walter Henry (Harry) Murray (1901 – 1968)
Hilda Jane Murray (1903 – 1972)
Margaret Helen Murray (1905 – 1973)
Victor Alic Murray (1907 – 1982)
Dorothy Grace Murray (1909 – ? )

My Grandmother (Elizabeth Mary Murray) passed onto her daughter, who passed onto me, her experiences from the age of 8 growing up on the Laura Blocks. She told of the harshness of life on a land which was rocky, barren and infertile. Without the benefits of the fertilizers and soil improvers, which came later, it was an ongoing battle to eke out even a modest living from the barren soil. Eliza Jane, and the children, worked the land whilst Peter worked away for extended periods of time.

Eliza Jane grew onions as a cash crop. The water was bucketed from the creek. She kept geese, ducks and chooks and sold the eggs at the hotel. During the day the geese, ducks and chooks had the run of the farmyard and it was the responsibility of the children to ensure they were locked away, from the foxes, at night.

My grandmother told how eventually her mum saved enough money to buy a cow to provide milk for the children, although she never drank milk or consumed dairy products herself. The story is that, having worked as a dairymaid before marriage, the though of milk repulsed her but she was determined to provide this nourishment for her children so they would have “strong bones”. Each morning, before school, it was the children’s responsibility to take the cow across the swing footbridge to the other side of the river to graze and to return it before nightfall. One night the cow was forgotten and it met with an unfortunate “accident” in the creek, breaking it’s neck. My nana talked about her fear and trepidation, as a small child, in bringing the cow back across that swinging bridge.

Peter’s wages, and the money earned from the block’s produce, was often not sufficient to live on and make the lease payments so Eliza Jane found other ways to earn money. For many years she further supplemented the family income by walking into Laura weekly, with a baby on her hip and a toddler “at the skirts”, to do the washing for the local hotel and to sell her eggs. The legacy she carried, for the remainder of her life, was a displacement of the hips. It was heavy work. In addition to the clothing of the hotelier’s family, Eliza Jane also washed heavy items such as the bed linen, tablecloths and towels used by the hotel patrons. This was done in a galvanised iron tub with a washing board. The “whites” were boiled in a copper and the heavy linen was put through a mangle before being hung to dry. Peter Murray visited the hotel regularly to collect his wife’s pay… he and the Hotelier had “an arrangement”. 

Fettlers, like Peter Murray, laboured on building and repairing the Railroad and coming home to supervise the family’s work on “the pumper”.  Vit Tobin, late of Laura, married a child of the “Laura Blocks” and remembered the Murray family well. It was a delight to spend time with her and hearing her confirm the family stories. She described the gang of Railroad workers, stationed at Stone Hut,  and the women working the blocks to pay the Government Lease with the hope of eventualy owning the land… and yes, the Railroad workers did travel the track on “the pumper” both to supervise work on the block and to collect their pay from the “Pay car” pulled into the Laura station for this purpose. I was told that “the pumper” was also used, by the children, to bring “the father” home when he was “too taken with the drink.”      

They had no electricity, in their little cottage, and Eliza Jane made candles by rendering down fat purchased from the butcher. They also had “slush lamps” which was a lump of fat, with a piece of cotton flux which would melt the fat and provide a little light. They were very smoky and smelly and candles were much preferred.  Family talk included the whitewashing of the cottage, inside and out, every Christmas so that it sparkled. This was the task of the two older boys, Andrew and Harry. It was remembered, with delight, how when Andrew was old enough to go working as a labourer, for a little cash, he would sometimes come home with the luxury of a bought candle for his beloved mother.

Andrew also planted a Mulberry bush, for his mother to hang her washing from, and a fig tree because she so loved fig and almond jam. Hanging washing to dry on hedges was an Irish tradition, for the working class, and a practice continued in rural areas, in Australia, right into the middle of the 20th Century. A strongly held to belief was that the washing must be brought in by nightfall. If, however, it was inadventently left out then it must remain until morning so as not to disturb “the faeries” who may be sheltering there.

Life on the Block was not an easy one for the Murray family. With their father working away, for extended periods of time, the children worked hard alongside their mother to meet the lease payments and ensure their family home could be kept. A closeness was forged, between the children and their mother, with a sense of protectivess growing as they shared the grim reality of a harsh life. The stories and memories have been passed onto following generations as a celebration of the courage and fortitude of these early settlers… our Ancestors.

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My mum displayed these same qualities all her life and were certainly apparent back in 1986 when, despite ill health and bad weather, she determinedly pushed on and finally her belief was confirmed. Yes, she had the correct property!!! The reason she couldn’t find her mum’s childhood home was because time, and the elements, had reduced it to a slab and a few scattered rocks in a barren field.

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PRINTED RESOURCES:
(1) Rhonda Pech, Box 89, Laura, South Australia, 5480. Original research.
(2) Kennedy, Brian, SILVER, SIN, AND SIXPENNY ALE: A Social History of Broken Hill, 1883-1921. Melbourne, University Press, 1978. ISBN 0 522 84141 4.

FURTHER INTERNET RESOURCES:
Northern Areas Council: http://www.nacouncil.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=191
Australia for Everyone: http://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/places_laura.htm
Map: http://www.planbooktravel.com.au/australia/sa/laura
Laura Cemetery and photo, as shown above: http://austcemindex.com/cemetery.php?id=624

Rocky River Historic & Art Society Inc. PO Box 18, Laura, South Australia, 5480

Copyright © 2012. Catherine A Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family”

Pioneer Women’s Trail – walk back in time

Our South Australian German/Prussian immigrants are a crucial part of the successful settlement of this State. The first wave arrived, as religious refugees, with Pastor August Ludwig Christian Kavel in Nov 1838.  They travelled on two ships, the “Prince George and the “Bengalee just two years after the first settlers arrived on these shores.

Kavel’s people rented 150 acres of land, for seven years at 5/- an acre three miles up river, from South Australian Company” director George Fife Angas, who had sponsored their assisted passage to the new colony. They named it “Klemzig” after their village in Germany.  It is said that the aboriginal people called it “Warkowodli Wodli”.

Most of the English settler were builders, engineers and land speculators not farmers, and relied on their food being brought by ship from New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).  This became increasingly unbearable when,

“Even their bread tasted of seawater and pitch from
the barrels in which the flour was shipped.” [1]

The new arrivals set to work building and farming and within a month were selling radishes, the first freshly grown food in South Australia, at a shilling a bunch.  They were well rewarded for their hard work – a cucumber was also worth a shilling, and 7 equalled a worker’s daily wage.  These hard working peple certainly needed the money as Angas had to be repaid for their ship passage and also for the lease of the land.  A young man often acquired the “ship debt” of his new bride upon marriage.

Captain Dirk Meinhertz Hahn

The ship, the “Zebra”, arrived the following month with another 187 Lutheran migrants on board.  It was captained by Dirk Meinhertz Hahn and, after a brief stay in Klemzig, 38 families left and settled on 150 acres in the Adelaide Hills, purchased from William Dutton & partners for $14 per acre.  They named their township Hahndorf” and they too had a huge debt to repay.  The Hahndorf Pioneers soon set about clearing the land, planting crops, breaking in the cattle and milking the cows. They built their first houses with any avaliable materials to quickly provide protection from the very different climatic conditions in their new country.

“Their first winter in the Adelaide Hills was far from what they had expected. Food was often lacking and many went without at times.
Some even died of hunger. Eventually the new migrants managed
to produce a surplus of farm products which were sold in Adelaide
by their women. They walked all the way through the hills to town
in the hope of selling them to pay pay off their husbands’ or
fathers’ loans or to buy more land.” [2]

These pioneering women followed the 36km “Paramuk Aboriginal trail” [3] in the dark, arriving at Beaumont at dawn, where they’d freshen up in the creek before walking the final 5 kms into the Adelaide markets.  Often they carried bricks back 36 kms to Hahndorf for the building of more substantial homes.

The “South Australian Road Runners and Walkers Club”, along with the “Burnside” and the “Hahndorf” branches of the South Australian National Trust” have organised a run/walk for Sunday, 13 May 2012, aong this “Pioneer Women’s Trail” as part of the About Time: South Australian History Festival”. [4]

Commencing at the Hahndorf Institute” in Main Street, Hahndorf, the route follows the main road out of Hahndorf, crossing the Onkaparinga River before joining the official trail at Verdun.  This historic trail winds its way through the back streets of Bridgewater and Stirling, traverses the beautiful bush trails of Mr George Conservation Park and Cleland Conservation Park before finally opening out onto stunning city views and the descent to Burnside.  Following the run, a BBQ will be open to the public all day at historic “Beaumont House” to bring the event to a celebratory conclusion. Participants requiring further information, just click here.

Historic Hahndorf
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Johann Caeser

Our German/Prussian immigrants are not only an important part of South Australian History but aso my own Family History. Wilhelm Emil Habel, my husband’s Grandfather of “Habel’s Bend”, is the eldest child of Johann Friedrich August and Johanne Henriette Siefert. They travelled from Brandenburg, Prussia aboard the “Johann Caeser” with family and some 260 other German/Prussian immigrants, arriving at Port Adelaide on a hot summer’s day, 1 Jan 1855 and settling in Dutton, South Australia where Wilhelm was born.

“Skyjold”

Wilhelm Emil Habel married his second wife, Maria Mathilde Grosser, on 19 Jul 1890 at Dutton.  Her father, Hermann Eduard Louis Grosser, arrived with his parents and 5 siblings aboard the “Skyjold” on 3 Jul 1841.  They were amongst the congregation of Pastor Gotthard Daniel Fritzschke whom Pastor Kavel had encouraged to emigrate.  Whilst his congregation was committed to making a new life in a new land, their Pastor was initially undecided.  Fritzschke’s people settled at Bethany, in the Barossa Valley, and experienced many of the same difficulties as the Hahndorf settlers.  They too owed a “ship debt” and land lease payments to their sponsor, George Fife Angas.

Maria, Wilhelm’s second wife, bore him 9 children bringing the total number of children he fathered to 16.  Eight of their children survived childhood and little Elisabeth Clara, is buried near the “Habel Homestead” at Loxton, South Australia. You can read about Elisabeth by clicking here

Wilhelm, like many descendants of the German/Prussian Pioneers prospered and he displayed the fruits of his labour in a lavish celebration for the Wedding of Lina Martha Habel, his third daughter with first wife Marie (Martha) Emilie Fielke. Click here to read about this extravagance.

We, the descendants of these courageous pioneers, owe our Ancestors a huge debt of gratitude which is described movingly in the poem posted here on the first day of this blog, Australia Day 2012.

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SOURCES:
[1] “God’s Lost Acre” by William Reschke, Sunday Mail, 9 Mar 1975, p. 11.
[2] Flinders Ranges Research – Hahndorf
[3] “On the trail of settler history” by Sam Kelton, The Advertiser, 10 May 2012, p 15.
[4] South Australian Road Runners and Walkers Club 

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family     

25 April 1912 – Same message…different century

IN ADDRESSING the members of the Fruitgrowers and Market Gardeners Association on Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture (Hon T. Pascoe) remarked that the scientists stated that Australian people ate too much animal food.  He thought the association would be conferring a great benefit on the community if it could encourage a more liberal consumption of wholesome ripe fruit.  If the public increased their expenditure on fruit, he believed they would effect a reduction in the doctors’ bills. In the matter of public health the fruit industry was of great vaue to the community.

SOURCE: “The Way We Were”,  Compiled by Chris Brice. “The (Adelaide) Advertiser”:  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au

Habel’s Bend

The River Murray, Australia

The River Murray is 2995 kilometres in length and Australia’s longest river.  Rising in the Alps, it creates the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria.  Meandering lazily northwest the river turns south, soon after crossing the Victorian border, and travels the last 500 kilometres through South Australia to Lake Alexandrina and into the Southern Ocean.

Some 40 kilometres south of this bend the “Mighty Murray” flows past the town of Loxton.  Originally named “Loxton’s Hut”, after a primitive pine and pug hut built on the edge of the river by a boundary rider, it had a name change as Pioneer Settlers began taking up land.  One of these original settlers was Emil Wilhelm Habel.  Known as Wilhelm, or Will, he built his homestead on a bend of the river, about a kilometre downstream from the town, which soon became know as “Habel’s Bend” or “Habel’s Landing”, a name it retains today.

Emil Wilhelm Habel is the Grandfather of my former husband, Stephen

Habel's Bend

Louis Andrew Habel, and our children’s Great Grandfather.  In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s we loved to drive to Loxton, take a houseboat from “Habel’s Landing” and explore the river.  We enjoyed long, lazy days of relaxing, fishing, swimming, reading, playing games and taking turns at driving the houseboat, as well as navigating and watching out for the “snags”.  “Snags” of wood etc. in the river, not the ones you eat 🙂  Every evening it was a campfire on the banks of the “Mighty Murray” … but I digress.

The family story is that the original homestead was regularly flooded, as the river went through its natural seasons of drought followed by torretial downpours, and as soon as possible Grandfather built a sturdier home on higher ground.  A home which still stands proudly as a testament to it’s founding family – the boyhood home of my children’s Great Grandfather, Waldemar Louis Habel, 15th child of Emil Wilhelm Habel and 8th child of Maria Mathilde Grosser.

"Johann Caeser"

Emil Wilhelm Habel was born in Dutton, South Australia, on 12 Jun 1856 the first child to Johann Friedrich August Habel and Johanne Henriette Siefert who had married in Prussia and immigrated the previous year aboard the “Johann Caeser”.  Johann and Johanne left Hamburg on 5 Oct 1854 travelling with his parents, his brother and sister-in-law as well as his widowed sister, her fiance and son.  They followed other family members and arrived in Port Adelaide on New Years Day, 1855.  Their story is one to be told at a later date … so back to Emil. 

Emil W Habel & Maria E Fielke

Emil Wilhelm Habel, born in Dutton 1856, married Marie Emilie Fielke on 7Jun 1878 at Dutton.  Marie Emilie, the daughter of Johann Gottlieb Fielke and Ernestine Wilhelmina Schichholz was born in Mt Torrens on 14 Jan 1859, died tragically young and was buried at Dutton, South Australia on 8 Jan 1890 with Emil Wilhelm left to raise their 7 children alone; Martha Lydia, Alwine Minna, Lina Martin, Adolph Reinhard, Emilie Laura, Emil Alfred and MaryChristina Frieda.

Emil W Habel & Maria M Grosser

Within six months, 10 Jul 1890, Emil Wilhelm Habel met and married Maria Mathilde Grosser in Dutton.  Maria was born in Tabor,Victoria on 12 Jul 1864.  It’s no surprise that they met and decided to marry, despite the distance, because a number of Habel relations were living in Tabor, Hamilton, Murtoa and adjacent Victorian towns and there was considerable movement and re-settlement between the two communities.  The same was true of the Grossers.  In fact, Maria’s Grandparents, the original Grosser immigrants from Silesia, Prussia, settled and were buried in the nearby Barossa Valley township of Bethany, just outside of Tanunda, South Australia.

Elisabeth Clara Habel

Emil Wilhelm and Maria Mathilda continued living and farming in Dutton where they had  4 children; Edward Otto Bernhard, Oscar Emil, Amelia Olga, Elisabeth Clara and Carl Edwin. It seems Emil Wilhelm moved to Loxton without the family in 1895 with Maria Mathilde and the children following later. I estimate this to be in the second half of 1897 because  their 4th child, Carl Edwin, was born in Dutton on 21 Jun 1897 and sadly their 2nd little girl, Elisabeth Clara (aged 2), died and was buried at “Loxton Habel Private Cemetery” on 24 Jan 1898. Maybe some of Emil Wilhelm and his first wife’s younger children went with them to Loxton?

The Habels of “Habel’s Bend” had another four children; Friedrich Arthur, Victor Paul, Waldemar Louis (our relative) and lastly Armin Berthold.  Emil Wilhelm Habel fathered 16 children whilst farming and growing wheat at Dutton and Loxton, South Australia. In 1907 he handed his farm on to two sons, one from each marriage, and purchased a property at Gilles Plains.  That was later sold and the family moved to Knoxville in Adelaide.

Wilhelm died in Loxton, 12 Jun 1926, as a result of catching pneumonia after jumping out of his truck which rolled down a bank and hit a barge in the River Murray.  He is buried in the Loxton Cemetery.  Maria lived another 21 years, died on 23 Aug 1947, and is also buried at Loxton.

Initially farming and grazing country this is now a thriving irrigation area and claimed, by many, to be “the food bowl of the nation”. The land around Loxton is a significant citrus and summer fruit growing area.  Loxton is a service town for the surrounding districts and the main town for the northern part of the Murray Mallee, which is a dry farm and grain cropping area.

The Habel family continued farming at Loxton for many a long year and the site of the original homestead still bears the name, “Habel’s Bend”, in honour of these courageous pioneers. 

Emil Wilhelm & Maria Mathilde Habel and Family - 1915

 

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SOURCES:  The Grossers From Gruenberg. 1841 – 1991. Published by the Grosser Family Reunion Committee.  ISBN 0 646 05329 9
                      Wikipedia   http://en.wikipedia.org

(c) Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~Finding Family