Jakob HAUB 1845-1914

The birth of Jakob Haub on 8th February 1845 completed the family of Katharina nee Adami and her husband Johann Jakob Haub. She had lost three of her five daughters, but her three sons survived.

Jakob’s father died prematurely when the boy was only 4½ years old, adding greatly to the grave financial and other problems facing the family. Jakob’s sisters were sent to England, where the older girl, Juliana, married. In 1856 Jakob and his mother joined Juliana and her husband and son as they left to try for a better future in Australia. Ahead of the excited 11 year old lay a tedious journey of 108 days before their ship “Columbia” arrived at Melbourne on 18th March 1857.

Friedrich Geisler took the group to Ballarat, and then further north to the newer goldfields around Maryborough, before going through Bendigo to the aptly-named diggings near Rushworth. In 1861, Jakob joined his brothers as they went up into New South Wales, via the high country around Beechworth. Another Nieder-Weiselern, Georg Reuss, followed the same path with his family at the same time – a coincidence that would have an important influence on Jakob’s life. There were gold strikes in the area around Young, and some of them generated situations of violent emotion, such as the Chinese riots on the Lambing Flat field.

When both the Reuss and the Haub groups were in Young in 1864, a romance developed between Jakob Haub and the second daughter of Georg Reuss – Margaret. Although of German parents, she had been born in Scotland, coming to Victoria with them on “South Carolina” in mid-1855. She was born on 23rd July 1846, and made her first communion in April 1860 in the Lutheran Church, East Melbourne. On 14th March 1866, Jakob and Margaret were married in St John’s Episcopal Church in Young, in the presence of family members who included Jakob’s mother and sister as well as his brothers. Later that year, Margaret gave birth to the first of their eleven children, a daughter they named Catherine. A son followed in 1867; he was the first of four to be named George (and die).In 1869, Jakob and Margaret moved to Rushworth; all the Haubs were then living there. A second George was born in 1871, but he died soon after birth. Then followed Christopher (who would live for nearly a century), 1872; a stillborn son in 1874; another George in 1875; and William in 1876.

 In 1874 Jakob selected 115 ha of land in Tongala Parish, not far from Rushworth. Energetically, he set about clearing it and had 30 ha cleared and under wheat and barley within three seasons. A two-roomed log house of 3m x 6m provided shelter for his family and a barn, only slightly smaller, for the animals. He also fenced the property and built an underground dairy. His crop in 1877 was valued at £353. A son, Louis, was born in Echuca in 1879 but the next two girls, Christina 1883, and Wilhelmina 1885, were born in their farmhouse.

Jakob paid off his loans and shared his bounty by giving land to the Methodist Church in Tongala. In 1885, he sold the farm and moved back into New South Wales. He bought a property at Tubbul, west of Young, and spent the remainder of his active life developing “Pine Vale” for the benefit of his sons. The fourth luckless George was born in 1886, but lived for only a little longer than his earlier namesakes.

In 1911, Jakob and Margaret retired to Young. Jakob died here on 12th March 1914, just after his 69th birthday. Margaret lived for another nineteen years; she died in her home in Burrowa Street on 10th May 1933, aged 86. The couple are buried in the Church of England section of Young cemetery.

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