Katharina HAUSER 1839-1912

Katharina was the second of the three daughters of the baker Philipp Hauser II. The elder sister died three months before Katharina was born on 29th October 1839. When the third sister was ten months old their father died, aged only 31. The youngest girl died less than a year later and, before the year ended, Katharina had a new father, Philipp Reinhard Muller, who had also lost his wife. He was a tinsmith. There would be seven children to this marriage over the next fifteen years.

Katharina had a basic education at the village school. She helped her mother with the constant stream of babies. She was confirmed in 1853. The family was not a happy one; soon after the last baby was born, Philipp left Nieder-Weisel to go to Victoria and two of his sons followed. Katharine did the same and was in Ballarat by about 1857. She did not join her step-father, but went to the north-eastern goldfields with friends.

In March 1861 Katharina gave birth at Allans Flat to a son, registered as Henry Klippel. On 21st December she was married to Konrad Klippel, a miner at Yackandandah who had emigrated from Nieder-Weisel in 1856. The marriage was consecrated by the Presbyterian minister John McMillan in the Stanley home of George and Elisabetha Beavis nee Philippi. Two months later Katharina had a daughter, Anna Margaretha, and a second daughter followed in 1865 at Belvior; she was named Agnes Catherine. Konrad went prospecting along the banks of the Kiewa River. A son, William George, was born at Osbornes Flat in 1867. A second son, Conrad Charles followed in 1869 at Allans Flat, then a daughter, Anna Elisabetha Catherine, in 1870. Konrad then moved his family to the higher reaches of the Murray River, where he and his brother Ambrose built a hotel at Tawonga. Charles Edwin was born there in 1872, and Edwin Joseph in 1874. Joseph Caspar, born in Tintaldra 1875, completed their family. Charles Edwin did not survive.

Katharina’s energetic husband then decided that the traffic density between Tallangatta and Corryong justified an inn at Berringama, and he began to build a fourteen room hostel. This had just been started when Konrad was drowned whilst fording the swollen Mitta River. His body was never recovered.

Katharina was fortunate that Ambrose and his family were able to help her readjust her life and complete the rearing of her children. Four rooms of the inn were finished and they served as the family home (as it continues to do, with extensions, a century later for the present Klippel family). Katharina lost her eldest daughter in 1879. In 1883 Katharina was registered as the mother of Joseph James Klippel, born at Tintaldra.

Katharina’s step-father had died in Ballarat in 1864, and his son Jakob Muller had been killed in an accident at Rokewood Junction two years later. The other brother, Konrad, went back to Nieder-Weisel but he kept in touch with Katharina by mail; it was through him that she learned of her mother’s death in 1885.

Katharina lived to see seven of her children married and many of her grandchildren born. Her brother-in-law Ambrose died in 1904, so it was Katharina’s death on 26th October 1912 which severed the last link with the Hauser and Klippel families in Nieder- Weisel. She was buried in the cemetery at Cudgewa on her 71st birthday.

View Katharina's Family Chart

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