THE MUDGEE RHEINBERGERS
James Walker, born in Perth, Scotland, on 4th November 1783, landed in Sydney on 25th September, 1823, as a free settler bringing with him an overseer, tools and agricultural implements to the value of £200 and 18 merino sheep.
In 1824 he received a grant of 2000 acres of land at Wallerawang. Quickly recognising the severity of the winters and the unsuitability of the pastures, he applied, in 1827, for land west of the Macquarie River. At this time he owned 1,800 sheep, including 64 merinos, 312 head of cattle and 15 horses and employed 20 to 30 prisoners and ‘a few free men’. He was unsuccessful in his application for land beyond the Macquarie as he was with a further application for land at Bathurst.
He did, however, obtain land in the Wolgan Valley and by 1832, extended to Louee (Lue) some 50 miles further west. Here he began his pursuit as a squatter “a person who, unauthorised, occupied Crown lands for pastoral purposes”, and in 1836 he was reported to have 15,000 sheep. Which the greater number were feeding under the care of different shepherds, on unoccupied land at a distance of more than 100 miles beyond the limits of the Colony. By 1837, Walker had Biambil on the Castlereagh River, Mobilla, and some six other stations, and took up the station at Coonamble about 1,839 – an area of 50,000 acres – whilst in 1840 The Commissioner of Crown Lands reported he had 1,487 cattle and 20,534 sheep.
In 1844, Governor George Gipps reported to Lord Stanley that Walker had a run of 5,184,000 acres and ran 13,000 sheep and 3,000 cattle, but Walker only acknowledged having 382,000 acres.
In 1854, James Walker was recorded as being the holder of sixteen stations of which Yarragrin was 50,000 acres and Wallumburrawang was 41,000 acres. Walker died on 24th November, 1856, some eighteen months after the Rheinberger family arrived at Yarragrin and it is recorded that by 1866, his widow, Mrs. Robin a Walker, still held a licence for fifteen stations including Coonamble, Biambil, and Old Biambil. From the Muller diaries it would appear that she was still the owner of Yarragrin and Wallumburrawang at that time with her son-in-law Charles Sidey as manager.
The only son of James and Robina Walker, born at Wallerawang on 12th November 1841, died in Glasgow, Scotland on 25th December 1858, aged 17 years.
After disembarking from the ship at Port Jackson. Valentine, Catherine and family spent the night in Sydney, then, having been given rations of flour, salt, meat, tea and sugar by the aunt of James Walker, they were accommodated on two horse drawn wagons with English drivers and left that, afternoon, travelling until midnight. They then bedded down under the wagons and when bread ran out Catherine made more and baked it in the ashes.
On arrival at Wallerawang on 23rd April 1855, they were met by James Walker and treated in a friendly manner. However there were communication difficulties for he only spoke English and French whilst the family still only spoke German. None the less, they did manage to ascertain that they still had 200 miles to travel to the station at Yarragrin and that the manager there was German.
According to John Muller in his diary, his mother cried all night when she learned of the distance yet to be traversed. Indeed, I am assured that Catherine cried most of the way from Sydney to Yarragrin.
They left the next morning on two bullock wagons each heavily laden with rations for Yarragrin. Ten oxen drew each wagon.
Between Wallerawang and Mudgee they were delayed on one occasion for three days by rain and John Muller spent some of his time learning from the English driver the English names of certain objects. Thus he first learned to speak some English. At Mudgee they were again delayed for four days because of the rain and the Camped at Burrundulla near the site of the old flourmill ‑ the site which later became the brewery site opposite the butter factory in Lawson Street. However, they were able to buy meat and bread and Catherine cooked meat soup for the first time in Australia.
They arrived at Yarragrin ‘a pretty place’, on 10th May, 1855, met manager Pessler, a native of Braunschweig, Germany and were shown to their quarters a small cottage comprised of a kitchen and only one bedroom. John Muller said that the manager’s house, like theirs and most others in the bush was ‘built of wood and covered with bark’. Their diet consisted of tea, meat, and bread made by Catherine.
Valentine and John Muller had a contract for two years; Valentine for wages of £20.0.0 and John for £15.0.0 per year. Rations provided comprised 20 lbs. flour, 20lbs. Meat, 4 lbs. sugar and ½ lb. tea (presumably per week).
Valentine went to work in the garden, which contained some fruit trees, Catherine set up the house and John learned to ride a horse. Soon John was given 200 cattle to tend. He Said: “The cattle in Australia are distrustful, very wild and they live in the open”.
In 1854 the sheep on Yarragrin had contracted a disease so Mr. Walker had sold all the sheep and changed over to cattle in 1855.
In 1855 Mr. Pessler sent Valentine to Wallerawang with a flock of sheep. Whilst he was absent three events of significance occurred. Firstly Catherine got very sore eyes and became almost blind for eight days. The Englishman gave her some eye water and her eyes got better. Secondly a Catholic Priest travelling through there to see a sick man, called at Yarragrin.
All the people there were Protestants with the exception of an Irish woman and the Rheinbergers. Catherine asked to go to Confession and in the evening the Priest came to the Rheinberger cottage and ‘asked all sorts of questions but we could not speak enough English to confess in English so we confessed in German’. (Absolution And penance must have been a poser for the Priest but no doubt this was only one minor problem facing the Priests and the settlers in those days). Thirdly and tragically, while John was tending the cattle, Catherine was cutting barley and Peter Joseph and Jacob were also absent from the cottage, young Catherine sat near the open fire to show Anne how, on the previous day, a black woman was sitting near the fire smoking. Just then a spark from the fire fell on her clothes and started to burn. Young Catherine ran outside, it was windy, the flames spread, she fell and was dead when her mother reached the home. She was buried the next night. On hearing the sad news, Mr. Pessler sent Valentine home from Wallerawang on horseback.
In 1856 when the Irish woman gave up the job of housekeeper for Mr. Pessler, his brother, Dr. Pessler and Mr. Schullenberg, Catherine assisted by Valentines took over the job of cooking keeping house for them. And so the Rheinberger family moved “from our cottage into the manager’s kitchen”. Catherine received £20.0.0 per annum and for doing the washing a further 4/‑ per dozen (items?). John said that “there we didn’t get our rations weighed and could use as much as we liked”.
I am told that one of the dubious pastimes of John, Peter Joseph and fellow workers on the station property was to cause panic among the local Aborigines. This was done by hollowing out a pumpkin, cutting holes in it to represent the human face then placing a lighted candle in it and locating it on the side of a hill on a pitch dark night.
In their second letter home to Germany, they sent a cheque for £3. There was very heavy rain in July 1856, and on one occasion John was stranded beyond the flooded creek. The manager and the other workmen threw him a long rope; he tied himself to it and was pulled through the floodwaters to safety.
By this time, John was being given more responsibility. He looked after the manager’s young horses, did not have to spend all of his time tending the cattle and was milking seven to eight cows each morning.
On lath March 1857, Catherine gave birth to another daughter also to be called Catherine.
A story to come out of the period of residence at Yarragrin is that of the bullock driver who was sent to Wallerawang to bring back a number of Chinese to work on the property. He duly took delivery of his human cargo for which it was obvious he had no love whatsoever. When fording a creek on the way back he quietly culled the linchpin from the axle, the wheel fell off and the Chinese with all their worldly goods went tumbling headlong into the stream. Amid angry confusion the wheel was replaced and the waterlogged Chinese and their sodden property were loaded onto the wagon. The journey was completed in sullen silence, the driver taking the precaution of ensuring he befell no injury himself.
A week elapsed, then in the still of the night, the bullocky heard the jabber of Chinese voices through the timber slab wall of his locked hut. Filled with fear for his life, he seized a razor-sharp squaring axe from the corner of the hut. With bated breath he followed the movement of the chatter outside. As the voices grew louder he swung the axe with all his might at the wall whence the noise came. The heavy axe slashed through a crack in the slab wall and sliced off the ear of one of the Chinese. The explosive sound of the bursting wall and the howl of the wounded victim caused immediate panic. In a flash the Chinese turned tail and fled into the night never to be seen in the area again.
About this time, Valentine and John completed their two-year contract with James Walker and their wages were increased to £30.0.0 each per year. Though Walker had died Valentine and John agreed to stay on for another year, Mrs. Walker having leased another of the family properties to Mr. Pessler who left Yarragrin. Mr. Charles Tothill took his place.
(Meaning ‘stone no good for tomahawk’)
Mr. Tothill offered the Rheinberger family a transfer to Wallumburrawang, another of Mrs. Walker’s properties. They were glad to accept the move, particularly as the work in the manager’s kitchen was becoming too hard for Catherine. Tothill agreed to pay John £40.0.0 a year as stockman, Valentine £25.0.0 a year as cook and Peter Joseph £15.0.0 a year to help look after the cattle. Their rations were 30lbs. Flour 6lbs. Sugar, and 1lb. Tea and they could kill their own meat as often as they wished.
On 22nd August 1857, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the approved rations were, per week: flour 8 – 12 lbs., sugar 2-lbs. tea ¼ lb., per person. The approved wages were farm labourers, £20 to £30, stockmen, £35 to £40, shepherds, £25 to £30 and farm labourers (with families) £45 to £65.
And so it was that some months before he reached the ‘mature’ age of thirteen, Peter Joseph Rheinberger became a payed employee on the property.
The family moved from Yarragrin to Wallumburrawang, ‘a nice place’, on 19th February 1858. The cottage was ‘big’, containing four rooms and was located only thirty steps from the creek (possibly the Jargon Creek which flows into the Wallumburrawang Creek or the latter which in turn flows into the Castlereagh River). There was a stockyard, and across the creek about 30 Morgan of fenced‑in land. (1 Morgan = 25.5322 ares = 2/3 of an acre). They were assigned 400 head of cattle which John and Peter Joseph looked after.
About this time a Swiss family stayed with the Rheinberger family and the Swiss woman taught Catherine how to make straw hats. Between April 1858, and December 1860, she earned £70 for straw hats, in 1861 she made £14 and in 1862 she made £25 for her handiwork.
During April 1858, when all the men were absent, aborigines came and asked for and were given food. They prepared to camp just outside the house thus causing Catherine to become very afraid. She ‘Prayed for God to protect her’. As soon as she had finished her prayer an English traveller came to the door and sought to stay the night. The aborigines, seeing the white man, then left.
Mr. Tothill then hired Peter Joseph at £20.0.0 per year as a rider and Jacob took over Peter Joseph’s role at Wallumburrawang. On 15th December, Valentine and Catherine took ‘Liseschan’ and ‘Kaetchen’ to Mudgee where ‘Kaetchen’ was christened.
On 12th January 1859, John sent a cheque for £5 in a letter to Germany.
During 1859, Mrs. Walker appointed her son-in-law, Mr. Charles Sidey, as manager and in November of that year he asked the family to start a diary. So John took his mother, Catherine, to Tunderbine, a station some forty miles distant where Mrs. Ferguson taught Catherine to make cheese. They started to milk 35 to 40 cows and were making 15 lbs. of cheese a day. Because of the increase in work, Peter Joseph then returned to Wallumburrawang. Mr. Sidney sold the cheese they made, in Mudgee. In 1860 they cleared £35.0.0., in 1861, £35.0.0., and in 1862, £8.0.0.
John has recorded that in January 1660, Valentine ‘got a lot of pain again in his right leg’. This was a recurrent ailment with Valentine for years. In that year also, Peter Joseph made his first trip to Coonamble, which at that time had a white population of four.
On 17th October 1860, they received a letter from Germany with a message that John’s grandmother at Dotzheim had died in April 1860, and on 27th October 1861, they learned that John’s other grandmother in Frauenstein had died on 10th October 1860 at the age of 77 years.
On a number of occasions John referred to the considerable number of wild horses in the area and their attempts to catch some of them. It almost led to his undoing on one occasion when his and Peter Joseph’s mounts collided and they were both thrown to the ground and on another occasion when he was thrown into a fifteen feet deep ditch together with his saddle and bridle. However, he does record success in rounding up some of them on one occasion.
On 22nd March 1861, John sent a cheque for £20.0.0 to his Uncle Anton Schneider and a power of attorney over his properties in Frauenstein. Nothing more was recorded on this matter but, maybe, we can assume that at this stage John Muller was about to dispose of whatever property he may have owned in Germany.
In March 1863, Valentine and John took the cheese to Mudgee. They took the opportunity to go to Confession and Holy Communion and received from the Priest a catechism and a small book of bible stories, ‘both in English’. In June of that year there was continuous rain, they could not do much work ‘so Peter and Jacob practised English reading and also learning the catechism and they made very good progress’.
Reference to the passenger list of the ‘Caesar’ when it arrived in Sydney in March 1855, shows that John, aged 15 years, and Peter Joseph aged 10, could read and write, whilst Jacob, aged 9, could not read. And of course this was only in German and not in English. There is no record of any of the children having gone to school at Yarragrin or at Wallumburrawang and in fact there is no record of there having been a school anywhere in the area. Indeed, Peter Joseph, in urging his own children to study and learn, confirmed that he had had no I schooling in Australia. Therefore those periods of learning referred to by John must have been invaluable. I am filled with admiration for these people and particularly for Peter Joseph, who, it will be demonstrated, took a major part in the public life of Mudgee District when he resided at Eurunderee.
In May 1864, Catherine, John and Peter Joseph travelled to Mudgee where Peter Joseph made his First Holy Communion (at the age of 19 years). They also went to Pipeclay to visit the Wurth family who had formerly lived at Wallumburrawang. This is the first reference to a visit to this area and perhaps it was the commencement of the interest, which eventually led to their taking up residence in Eurunderee.
On 20th October 1864, John took ill and Peter Joseph was sent 40 miles for a doctor. In his absence a traveller arrived, said he thought John had a burst kidney, put plasters on his side and advised the drinking of parsley tea. The pain subsided. The next day Peter Joseph arrived back with medicine for a cold as the Doctor bad thought this was the trouble. It would appear that it was really gall trouble for, later, John suffered from gallstones.
Late in 1864, Mr. Sidney bought Yarragrin and Wallumburrawang. At this time John seemed to have a considerable amount of responsibility as a stockman in the running of Wallumburrawang and other outlying stations.
Indicative of the nature of the conditions under which the family was living was the fact that, during a storm accompanied by strong winds, the wind blew through the cracks in the walls. To such an extent, that they could hardly find a dry place in the house to sit down.
On l8th May l865, Valentine and John went to Mudgee and on 24th May (Queen’s Birthdays they attended the showing of the best cattle, horses, sheep and wheat. Mr. Sidney sent ‘his best breeding ox’, won a silver cup and sold him for £100.0.0. Jacob aged l8 ½, made his First Confession and Holy Communion. They also had their photos taken.
Sheep had been reintroduced to the property over the last couple of years and in about mid August 1865, the wild dogs killed 25 sheep. Later they laid baits for the wild dogs.
On 27th September 1865, they received the sad news from Twofold Bay that Peter Rheinbergers Irish wife and 9 ½ days old daughter had died.
On the same day also, Mr. Sidney told John ‘we wanted for the future an overseer at Wallumburrawang in whom he could rely and offered him the job’ at £50.0.0 per year and decided to pay Peter Joseph and Jacob £30.0.0. each per year to work here, and Valentine £20.0.0. The latter ‘did not have to work only on his own impulse when there was plenty of work and he wanted to help’. They could use as much of the rations as they liked. Their trustworthiness was surely being recognised
John’s job was ‘to give out the rations, look after the sheep on time and see what is missing and that everything is in order’. From the record of subsequent activities it became apparent that he was not only responsible for Wallumburrawang but also for the out stations of Round Hills, Wallengulgong, Yowargon, Burnbunia, Dilly Dilly’s, and Bullring and possibly to a degree in respect of Tunterburine, Bitton, Youlbang and Dinmie. On each of these properties were stationed shepherd who cared for the flocks of sheep which generally ranged in number from 900 to 1600. Whether these shepherds were untrained, or careless, or whether it was a very difficult task at that time in that area is not known. But it is known that John’s task as overseer was not made any easier by the frequent loss, by one or other of the shepherds, of as many as 200 sheep at one time. Fortunately he usually recovered most of them except when they I had been attacked by wild dogs.
On 12th December 1865, Johan, the son of Johannes Schneider, of Pipeclay Creek, visited the family.
On 10th May 1867, Jacob became ill with consumption and after having been treated unsuccessfully by Dr. Cutting, he was taken to Newcastle by his mother Catherine and Peter Joseph on 28th January 1868. But after treatment for six weeks by Dr. Bowker he had made little progress. It is believed that it was this condition which eventually led to Jacob’s death at Eurunderee at the comparatively early age of 38 years.
On Christmas Day 1867, John Miller was married to Louise Huth (also Known as Hood) in St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee by Father William Nugent. She was born on 7th July 1848, the youngest daughter of Anton and Magdeleina Huth, apparently of Eurunderee. John and Louisa set out for Wallumburrawang on27th December.
It is of interest to note that there is no diary record by John Muller between 5th July l866, and 25th December 1867. Are we to assume that the courtship was of such a time consuming nature that John could not afford the time to record more mundane activities? Perhaps it was a whirlwind courtship for the name Huth did not feature in John’s diary before July l866.
The first indication in the diary that the family was contemplating leaving its when position was when on 16th March l869, Mr. Rouse pressed Peter Joseph and the family to stay on for a further three months. However, on 10th April 1869, John and Peter Joseph set out from Wallumburrawang for Mudgee and on 13th, bought Coleman’s land at Eurunderee then returned home. On 6th June, Peter Joseph again arrived in Mudgee bringing the horses, and returned home on the 8th. On 23rd June, Valentine and Peter Joseph again came to Mudgee and back and finally on 14th July 1869, the whole Rheinberger family arrived at Eurunderee “Willow Vale” their new home.
Maybe the Rheinbergers and the Millers then saw and felt what Henry Lawson experienced in later years when he wrote in 1891: –
“Still I see in my fancy the dark green and blue
Of the box covered hills where the five corners grew,
And the rugged old she-oaks that sighed in the bend,
O’er the lily decked pool where the dark ridges end
And the scrub covered spurs running down from the peak
To the deep grassy banks of Eurunderee Creek.”
The property purchased by Valentine comprised 84 acres with a frontage to Pipeclay Creek and 207 acres immediately south across Eurunderee Road. The land was purchased from James Coleman to whom the land had been granted as Crown Grants on 8th September 1859, (84 acres), 8th February, 1865,(l26 acres) and 11th September 1866, (81 acres). The purchase price for the total of 291 acres was £860.0.0.
John and Louisa Muller, at that time, had purchased a farm of approximately 220 acres adjoining that bought by Valentine and later when they had built a home on it they named it “Mullerville”.
By this time John Muller was already settling in on his adjoining property, for on 20th May 1869, he started plough in on his place and on 4th June he ‘worked (for the first time) on some wood for a hut’. Then on 19th June 1869, John and Louisa’s first child, Peter Joseph, was born, John walking the four miles into Mudgee at 2.0 a.m. to fetch Dr. King.
On 12th October 1869, Peter Joseph brought back from Youlbang some fat livestock and 12 heifers for milk cows. And by 24th November of that year John and Peter Joseph had completed the erection of a shed with a bark roof.
In December 1869, they had their first harvest. Four reapers were employed and their mother and sisters Elizabeth and Catherine also helped, On 19th January 1870, after the threshing, their first wheat, 42 bushels, was delivered to Crossings flourmill.
John and Peter Joseph rode to McDonald’s Creek on 27th February 1870. This was where the Schipp family resided at that time. Peter Joseph actually started courting Abelonie Schipp on 18th April 1870. They were married in St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee, on Shrove Tuesday, 13th February 1872. There were 15 guests at the church and 25 plus children at the wedding reception at “Willow Vale”.
The parents of Abelonia were Thomas and Lucia Schipp who arrived in Sydney from Germany on the ship “Parland” on 5th July 1849. Thomas was 22 years of age, a vinedresser by occupation and he could read and write. Lucia was 23 years of age and could read and write. She was shown as ‘confined’ presumably being pregnant with son John who, is believed to have been born in 1849. Both were described as being of the Church of Rome. They were resident at Camden for some time, for Abelonia was born there. As previously stated they then lived at McDonald’s Creek before moving into Mudgee to live in a building, which had formerly been the Bank of New South Wales.
By January and February 1871, John was selling peaches and other fruit at the Gulgong Gold diggings which indicates that there must have been an established orchard on his property when he bought it. In March of that year he was engaged in the erection of a cellar for Valentine.
On 30th May 1872, John paid £31.1.8 for the Free (sic) Selection. The location of the property is not known but during August of that year Philip Schneider assisted him with the erection of a log fence.
Peter Joseph again returned to Wallumburrawang on 5th November 1870, to bring back some horses, He made the first reference to the erection of a new house on 8th September 1871, but it was not until 30th June 1873, that he recorded that a new house had been built. Annie Catherine, the first child of Abelonia and Peter Joseph was born at “Willow Vale” at 4.00 p.m. on Christmas Day, 1872.
Jacob Rheinberger married Mary Annie Kramer, in St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee, at ll a.m. on 16th September 1873. There were 22 guests at the subsequent reception at home, all of whom it would appear stayed the night.
Abelonia’s sister, Ann Schipp, married Eugene Farrelly on 29th November 1873. After the birth of their son Felix, Ann died on 13th September 1883. Felix then went to lives at “Willow Vale” and was reared by Peter Joseph and Abelonia as one of the family until he left to join his father on 30th April 1900. During this period he left the Mudgee district and spent most of his time in Victoria. Peter Joseph kept in regular touch with him but there is no record of Eugene having contributed to the upkeep of his son. Felix returned once in 1906 for about three weeks but it seems that Peter Joseph and Abelonia felt some hurt because of the lack of appreciation shown by the lad after he left to join his father.
It was on 30th August 1874, that Peter Joseph and Jacob were naturalised, the sum of £1.16.6 being paid for each Naturalisation Certificate. On that same day Peter Joseph bought a block of land (lot 1 Sections 24) in Mudgee for £37.0.0 and the following April received a tender for £133.0.0 for the erection of a new cottage on the block.
The Rheinberger family was not immune from the attacks of predators for, on 4th December 1874, Jacob had 15 fowls killed by a native cat, whilst in 1877 they killed 10 fowls belonging to Valentine.
Elizabeth Mary, the first child of Jacob and Mary Annie was born at Eurunderee on 6th July 1874. She was later to marry George Joseph Talbot, settle in Mudgee and raise nine children.
About this time brandy was 15/‑ per gallon, beef 3d. Per pound, potatoes 4/‑ per hundredweight and house rent from 8/‑ per week. Three cabbages cost 2d.
Between 21st January and 2nd October, 1876, John Muller religiously recorded that his wife, Louisa went to the doctor thirty seven times, on some occasions the visits being only two days apart, Regrettably there is no indication of the nature of the ailment. At that stage she had had four children and went on from the next year to have another six children. She went on to outlive her husband and die at the age of 79.
Catherine, Valentine’s daughter, contracted rheumatic fever on Ash Wednesday, 14th February 1877 and was attended at home by Dr. Newton. She was confined to her bed for almost a month. Perhaps this contributed to her later poor state of health.
Peter Joseph did not seem to have much time on his hands because of the ever-present workload of running the property, the demands of his family and his ever-increasing involvement in public and church affairs. However on 10th May 1877, he did attend the races. This he did subsequently on a number of occasions.
It was only natural that if the members of the family were vinedressers before they left Germany, they would wish not only to grow grapes but also to produce wine. This they did and so on February 1877, Peter Joseph made a winepress.
On 2nd July 1878, Elizabeth Rheinberger (the second daughter of Valentine and Catherine) married John Tierney, the schoolteacher at Eurunderee and the man who played such an important part in the basic education of the Mullers and Rheinbergers.
Peter Joseph hired a bullock team on 17th February 1879 for the purpose of drawing logs for use at home. On 17th March of that year, the new Eurunderee School was opened and on 29th November, Peter Joseph drove 90 miles to Wallerawang returning five days later with a new reaper and binder.
Following deep discussion, Valentine transferred the running of the property to Peter Joseph and Jacob on 28th February 1880, Then agreement was reached between them on 31st July 1880, regarding the leasing and division of the property.
The Eurunderee Bridge over the Pipeclay Creek was officially opened on 22nd February 1881 and on 6th July of that year two pine trees were planted at the gateway, which was the main entrance to “Willow Vale”.
On 23rd October 1881, there was a exceedingly heavy frost when all the grapevines were frozen. This was followed two days later by a hailstorm. These two combined brought about untold fruit losses.
Peter Joseph attended a ploughing match on 28th May 1883, but regrettably he did not record any further details, although, about a week later he attended a ploughing match meeting. Was there protest lodged or were they just planning for the next match? In the ensuing years he attended a number of further ploughing matches.
On 16th November 1883, John Miller inserted the following recipes in his diary:
Pickle for Pork. Brown Sugar, bag salt, common salt each of 2lbs. salt petre ½lb. water a gallon.
Boil gently and remove the scum.
To cure Hams. Mix 5oz. nitre with 8oz, of coarse sugar. Rub on to the ham and in 24 hours rub in 2lb of salt.
The above is for a ham of 20lbs. It should be in the salt for a month or 5 weeks.
Peter Joseph’s first real entry into the public life of the Mudgee district community came on 5th February 1884, when he was elected for the first time as an Alderman of the Borough of Cudgegong. This was followed on 4th March 1884, by his attendance at a winegrowers meeting at the home of Gottlieb Wurth when he was elected President of the newly formed Mudgee Winegrowers Association. Then on 29th April of that year he was present at a meeting rewarding the opening of the railway line from Wallerawang to Mudgee.
The rail link to Mudgee from Wallerawang, for which Peter Joseph and so many others had worked, was officially opened on 10th September 1884, and on 21st February 1885, he took by cart 7 boxes of grapes to the Mudgee Railway Station as his first consignment by rail to Sydney.
For a month from the 20th August 1884, John Muller was suffering from Typhoid Fever. However by April 1885 he had surely recovered for on 18th of that month he made 270 gallons of wine.
At the end of 1888, Peter Joseph made the following notation in his diary: –
‘This is the worst year since we are on the farm, no wheat or hay crops about Mudgee District, fruit very little, grapes some of us had fair crops. I myself had about 1/4 crop but the good ones we sent to Sydney and made 40 gallons of wine. Had a better crop of pumpkins than anybody about. I had hay and wheat from other parts. Wheat 6/- per bushel, bay good, from £8 to £9 per ton. Stock poor everywhere about here’.
Valentine Rheinberger, the pioneer, in partnership with his wife Catherine, in Australia of the Mudgee Rheinbergers, died at home at Eurunderee, on 12th June 1886, at the age of 79. In his usual thorough manner Peter Joseph recorded that the funeral went from home with 50 vehicles and a number on horseback. Catherine survived another five years, dying on 9th November 1891.
On 16th January 1891, Peter Jnr. shot five ducks with two shots. Not bad eh! Peter Joseph achieved a significant addition to his property on 11th February 1891 when he bought 89 acres of land across on the northern side of Pipeclay Creek from his existing property, for the sum of £233.0.0.
John Tierney died in Mudgee Hospital on 20th November 1891, leaving his youngest son, John, to be born six months later. As his wife Elizabeth was in need of assistance, both with her family and on the farm and as parents Valentine and Catherine were already deceased, Elizabeth’s sisters, Annie and Catherine, moved their goods and chattels to the Tierney home on 22nd April 1892. Then on the following day Catherine entered the Convent at Mudgee for the purpose of becoming a Sister of Mercy. Six months later she received the white veil but unfortunately she had to give up her desire to become a nun because of her poor state of health and she came out of the Convent on 13th March 1893. She then returned to live with her two sisters. It is interesting to note here that Catherine did not marry and died in Sydney at the age of 78.
Louisa Muller’s father Anton Huth died on 6th September 1892 and her mother Magdeleina died six days later and there is no further knowledge or record of the Huth family.
Though few personal matters are recorded, on 2nd October 1892, Peter Joseph did record that he gave Gus a severe hammering for stopping away from school the previous Friday and telling a lie about it. He also gave Felix “a touch up”.
On l8th February 1893, Peter Joseph was elected unanimously as Mayor of Cudgegong Shire for the first time. He had previously declined to accept the position unanimously offered to him on 11th September l890.
In April 1893, Peter Joseph judged fruit, dairy produce etc, at Bathurst, Wellington and Gulgong Shows and on 10th July of that year he took his son, Augustus George to St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, where he was to board and attend school. On 26th September, he was back in Sydney to attend the municipal Conference. Son Bernard commenced School on 24th July, whilst, on 17th December, sun Peter went to board at Kirby’s in Mudgee in order to commence work at the Mudgee Butter Factory to learn butter making.
Come 1894 end in February Peter Joseph was elected again as an Alderman of Cudgegong Shire Council, topping the poll. He was then re-elected as Mayor. In April he again judged farm horticultural and dairy produce at Bathurst and Wellington Shows and acted as a steward at the Mudgee Show. At the end of the month he went to Bega by ship from Sydney, staying there some two or three weeks. In June of that year his son Peter’s tender of £1.15.0 per week for the position of manager of the Wilbertree Butter Factory, was accepted. In August, son John joined the Volunteer Rifles and October saw Peter Joseph accompanied by Abelonia and son James, going to Sydney to attend the municipal Conference.
In January 1895, son John went to join his brother Peter at the Wilbertree Butter Factory to learn how to run a factory. In February Peter Joseph was reselected as Mayor and then attended a Fruitgrowers Conference in Sydney. He judged again at the Bathurst Show in April. On 2nd June, Lucy Abelonia, the last of the children of Peter Joseph and Abelonia, was born at “Willow Vale”. In September Peter Joseph attended a Municipal Conference in Sydney and on the last day of the year he inspected a site for the Mudgee sale yards.
January, 1896, and the Wilbertree Butter Factory closed and young Peter returned home where he stayed until 8th March when he went to work on the roads with Morgan Gleeson. In February Peter Joseph did not stand for the position of Mayor and John McEwen was elected. His sister Catherine went to the Mater Miseracordia Home in Lang Street, Sydney. On 1st March, Peter Joseph attended a church meeting, which decided to buy a new bell for St. Mary’s Church for about £90.0.0. Then he arranged for the erection of a new house in Mudgee for £130.0.0. In April, son Peter went to work at Wurth’s factory and son John took his place on the road work. Young Peter came back to work on the roads in May and in July he went to Muswellbrook apparently to look at land.
In February 1897, Peter Joseph topped the poll in being re-elected to the Shire Council. In March he was Steward at Mudgee Show and on 6th July he attended an Agricultural Conference at the Richmond Agricultural College. On 27th August of that year son Leo created a family upset, if not a personal one, when he ate a box of Beecham’s Pills apparently without undue damage to himself.
On 13th September Peter Joseph attended a meeting at Wurth’s for the purpose of considering the erection of a jam factory. It would appear that this did not lead anywhere, certainly it did not so far as the Rheinberger family was, concerned. When E1izabeth, the daughter of the late Jacob and Mary Annie Rheinberger, married Joseph Talbot on 20th October 1897, Peter Joseph gave the bride away. He was again elected as Warden of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild on 23rd October but gave up the position of 8th February of the following year. On 25th November, son John rode his bicycle the sixty-four miles to Wellington.
Premier Read visited Mudgee on 6th January 1898 and Peter Joseph attended a reception in his honour. Dr. Nicol called on him on 6th January to talk about the District Hospital. On 21st of that month he attended the Annual Meeting of the Hospital and on 29th he was elected to the Committee of the Hospital.
Annie the eldest child of Peter Joseph and Abelonia married William Gleeson in St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee, at 3.0 p.m. on 1st February 1898. Later that year, Joseph Valentine, Jacob’s son, died at 5.45 p.m. on 9th June and on 16th June Teresa Rayner, who was later to marry John, visited “Willow Vale” for the first time. There then followed what came to be somewhat regular events in the life of Peter Joseph. He was elected as a Director of Mudgee Butter Factory on 30th December and on 15th February 1899, he was again elected Mayor of Cudgegong Shire.
In April 1899, son Bernard received his first music lesson at the Mudgee Convent. When Peter Joseph paid the teaching fee of £1.1.0 for the quarter the nuns returned it. An important Catholic event took place in Mudgee on 4th June 1899, when the bishop of Bathurst officially opened the Catholic Presbytery building in Market Street. At Wurth’s on 6th June, Peter Joseph attended a meeting on Federation whilst on 20th of that month he dined with the Hon. F. H. Young, Minister for Works and “voted for Federation”. He attended a meeting at the local school on 1st July concerning the erection of a new school.
Son Gus paid a visit to Yarragrin on 14th July 1899, no doubt for the purpose of seeing where his grandparents and father had worked when first they come to Australia. On 5th August they took a needle about an inch long out of Abelonia’s wrist. It had been in her arm for eight months. On the next day Peter Joseph again became Warden of the A.H.C. Guild. Whilst in Mudgee on 17th August, he bought, at a cost of 3/3, a three pronged hoe as a present for Lizzie Tierney’s daughters. One wonders whether it was a welcome gift. In September he attended a conference in Sydney.
On 13th November l899, Gus left his employment at Loneragan’s and went to work for Marks & Co., who then had a store at the corner of Church and Market Streets. On 17th November, Peter Joseph and son Jim visited son Peter at the Butter Factory at Collar. The latter returned home permanently from Wollar in December of that year. Peter Joseph and some other officials chose the site of the showground grandstand on 27th November.
In February 1900, Peter Joseph was re-elected as Warden of the A.H.C. Guild and as an Alderman of the Cudgegong Shire Council for another three years. On 21st February he was appointed a Justice of the Peace but was not sworn in before Judge Socker until 25th July of that year.
In March 1900, Felix Farrelly, whom Peter Joseph and Abelonia had reared since the death of his mother, applied to join the Australian Contingent fighting in the Transvaal, but failed to pass the medical examination. At the end of April he left the Rheinberger household permanently to join his father, Owen Farrelly then living at Lethbridge, Victoria. On 3rd April l900, Peter jnr. went to live on the property he had bought on the Bell River four miles upstream from Wellington. These two events must have brought about a considerable change in the live of the family at home at “Willow Vale”.
Peter Joseph was a Steward at the Mudgee Show on 20th March and then on the 10th to 12th May, of that year, he was the judge of fruit at the Richmond Show. In May also there was another change in the lives of the family for on 7th May, Peter Joseph paid his sister Katy £5.0.0 for the old family house, now unoccupied, and on 12th June the two sisters Annie and Catherine moved into Mudgee to live.
In Gulgong on 17th June, Peter Joseph was in attendance to start a new branch of the Australian Holy Catholic Gui1d. This was a very cold winter and on 5th and 6th of July there was snow a foot deep at Eurunderee. The weather however did not stop sons Bernard and Jim from attending the Eurunderee School for the first time on 16th July.
On 23rd September, Peter Joseph and son John travelled to Wollar to discuss with Mr. Hardwick the possibility of John working the butter factory but they could not come to terms. On 4th October, Abelonia, daughter Lucy and Mary Dykes, Peter Jnr’s future wife, drove to Wellington by horse and sulky to visit Peter.
Items of news deemed worthy of being placed in the diary were that on 31st October news came through that Joe Governor had been shot dead; on 12th January l901 Bishop O’Byrne of Bathurst died; and on 23rd January, Fred Muller was married.
Elizabeth Tierney had commenced to write a diary in 1896 mainly, it would seem, to keep a record of her farm transactions. It is interesting to note that whereas she recorded in some detail, the alleged murder of innocent people by Jackie Underwood, and Jimmie and Joe Governor, the Breelong blacks. Writing they “have killed eight (people) altogether”, and so expressed the concern of a widowed mother for the safety of her children and herself, it was not 31st October that Peter Joseph merely recorded the death of Joe Governor.
In February, l901, Peter Joseph was again elected to the position of Warden of the A.H.C. Guild and as Mayor of Cudgegong Shire. In March he was steward at the Mudgee Show and won a prize for wheat at Gulgong Show. On 12th May l90l, he attended the opening of the Catholic Church at Botobolar.
Mr. J. H. McEwen called in on 3rd August about measuring the piece of land for the Eurunderee School of Arts and on 14th August the inaugural meeting of the School of Arts was held, Peter Joseph being elected as president with son John as Secretary. The School of Arts was officially opened on 27th December of that year.
Abelonia attended a “Ladies of the Ball” committee meeting on 1st September and on 8th of the month Peter Joseph attended the consecration of the new Bishop of Bathurst. He had recorded that the consecration took place in the Bathurst Cathedral from 10.30 am. to 1.39 p.m. and the subsequent banquet from 2.0 p.m. to 5.0 p.m. But it did not seem to exhaust Peter Joseph for he went straight from there to Sydney to attend a Municipal Conference. On 28th October, young Peter married Mary Dykes, of Mudgee and Peter Joseph gave them a wedding present of £50.0.0.
He resigned the Wardenship of the A.H.C. Guild on 6th January. 1902. On 14th of that Month he drove by horse and sulky to Goolma to meet Mr. T. Quirk of Wellington, to bring two nuns back to Mudgee. On 7th February, Mr. Grant was elected Mayor of Cudgegong Shire but he only lasted until July of that year when Peter Joseph was again elected to the position. During February he sent two circulars out to people about the Stock Board and later in the month he went to Mudgee to vote for the Stock Board. Unfortunately he did not make any further entry about the outcome.
Peter Joseph, John Muller and a Mr. Whitely left for Bega on l9th April 1902, and did not return home until 17th May. On 14th July, Peter Joseph sat on the Bench at Mudgee Court House as a Justice of the Peace for the first time. At the marriage of Daisy Tierney to Mr. Train or on 3rd September, Peter Joseph gave the bride away. Whilst in Sydney on 19th September he bought a clock for the Shire Council on 6th October, he end son John planted paspalum at “Willow Vale”.
1903, February 6th, and Peter Joseph was again elected Mayor of Cudgegong Shire and on 13th March he was appointed a Trustee of the A.H.C. Guild. Fred Muller’s house at Eurunderee burned down on 24th April. Peter Joseph again judged at the Richmond Show on 5th May. On 3rd September he received a Mayoral Allowance of £7.10.0 for the year. This is the first mention of such an allowance having been paid.
He was re-elected to the Hospital Committee on 3rd January 1904. On 12th February he drove by horse and sulky from his home at Eurunderee to Quirk’s at Wellington in 7 ½ hours, a distance of 60 miles at 8 miles per hour. Son Gus passed an examination of 5th March to work on the railways but nothing further eventuated in that regard. Peter Joseph attended a Church meeting on 6th March regarding thee purchase of a new organ and he was elected Treasurer. He attended a Local Government Convention in Sydney on 25th May after having attended a friendly Association meeting in Mudgee on 15th of the month. On 7th September, he had a calf on his property die from bee stings. On 17th of the month his “little boys” went five cornering. It was in this month that son John leased a property at Bombira where he went to live. In the following month of October, son Gus went by coach to Wollar to fix up and run the butter factory.
On 3rd January, l905, Peter Joseph was appointed one of the Visiting Committee to the District Hospital and on 20th his appointment as Trustee of Mudgee Showground was gazetted. On the morning of 25th January one of the Pyne boys brought an invitation to attend the wedding of Miss Pyne that day. Peter Joseph Attended but Abelonia was unable to go as she begun the family washing.
On 3rd February, John, Bernard and Will Gleeson came to handle the young colt. Regretfully after a few rounds of the yard the colt broke its leg and had to be destroyed ‑ a severe loss of about £25.0.0. On 17th February, Peter Joseph was in Wellington to meet the Aldermen of Wellington Council and discuss their saleyards. Monsignor O’Donovan went to Wollar on 26th March for the opening of the new Catholic Church.
A bacon factory meeting was held in Mudgee on 13th May. Peter Joseph attended and took 5 shares at £1.0.0 each. We do not know whether he lost his money in this venture. On 6th June he went to Wollar with G. Rope and on 17th of the month, he was again elected Vice President of the Mudgee Agricultural Society. He attended the annual melting of the Eurunderee, School of Arts.
He took 60 gallons of wine to Rohr’s at Piambong on 2nd August and got back 5 gallons of brandy. On 13th of the month he went to a meeting of the Mudgee Catholic Parishioners to elect a Church Committee. This was done after a ‘very hot’ meeting. He again went to Sydney on 8th September for the purpose of attending a Local Government Conference.
The Annual Hospital Meeting was held on 17th January 1906, when Peter Joseph was elected as one of the Trustees and as a member of the Committee. Son Jim went to Elliott’s School to “read up for a teacher” on 29th January. He later attended an examination but was not successful.
On 24th January 1906, the death had occurred at Wellington of George Schipp from an abscess on the lung. He was an uncle of Abelonia. On 6th February l906, Peter Joseph was again elected as an Alderman of Cudgegong Shire. At the Mudgee Annual show on 28th March he was steward in the dairy and agriculture section and also won first prize with his turkey. At the meeting of the Agricultural Society on 16th June he was elected as Vice President. On the 27th July Abelonia’s mother died in Mudgee.
Peter Joseph and John bought a McCormick reaper and hinder on 23rd October for the sum of £47.0.0.
During the last half of 1906 and the early months of l907 Peter Joseph had a very bad difference of opinion with Monsignor O’Donovan over sittings in the church. At that time it was the established practice for seats in the church to be reserved for individuals and families upon the payment of an annual fee per sitting. It appeared to be a clash between the highly volatile Irish born cleric and the stubborn persistent German born farmer. The actual basis for the disagreement is not known but perhaps it was the mediation of relieving priest, Father Lawler, which eventually settled the feud.
On 13th February l907, Peter Joseph visited St. Stanislaus College, Bathurst, with son Leo but it was not until 28th April of that year that Leo started at the College as a boarding student, the main purpose being for him to be taught carpentry by Father John Hall.
On 2nd April of that year Peter Joseph sent 53 cases of grapes to Sydney and a total of 145 cases in the week. This appears to have been the greatest despatch of fruit from the farm in any one week over the years that he was in residence.
William Gleeson, Annie’s husband, on 10th October 1906, had bought 200 acres of land at Canowindra but it was not until the end of May 1907, that William, wife and family left Lawson’s Creek for their new home.
By March 1907, John was a sergeant in the militia forces. His pay for attending camp at Liverpool for seven days was £4. Teresa Rayner, who had been working in New Zealand with her sister Clara, returned home to Mudgee on 18th April 1907, Clara did not return to Australia until April 1910.
On 11th August 1907, John applied for 1208 acres of land thrown open for selection at Grattai but was not successful. Peter Joseph and Abelonia attended the laying of the foundation stone of the new convent at Gulgong on 13th October of that year.
News was received on 6th January 1908, from Peter Jnr. in Wellington that his son Edward had run a knife into his eye and that he had lost the sight of the eye. On 22nd of that month Peter Joseph was again elected as an Alderman on Cudgegong Shire Council and Mr. G. Stewart was elected Mayor for the ensuing year.
In March Peter Joseph presided at a meeting at the Eurunderee School of Arts about the poisoning of rabbits. He sent grapes to New Zealand, possibly to Clara, and travelled to Bathurst to attend the Annual Show.
On 4th July he was again elected to the Committee of the Mudgee Agricultural Society and on the 18th was elected Vice President. At the end of August he went to Sydney to attend a local Government Conference and on his way home he stayed with son Gus who was then living at Newnes. Ferdinand Muller also took him on an inspection of the cement works at Portland.
On 8th October 1908, Peter Joseph, Bernard and James attended a meeting, over which Peter Joseph presided, at the Eurunderee School of Arts regarding the building of a railway siding. Its location was not stated and it seems that nothing came of the proposal.
John married Teresa Jane Rayner at St. Patrick’s Church, Church Hill, Sydney, on 12th November 1908, the celebrant being Father Ginisty, a French Marist Priest. They returned to live at Bombira.
Peter Joseph was elected as Mayor of Cudgegong Shire, the allowance being fixed at £30.0.0 per annum. On 26th March he and son Gus drove from Eurunderee to Wellington, leaving at 5.30 a.m. and arriving at their destination at 4.0 p.m.
The railway line from Mudgee to Gulgong was officially opened on 14th April 1909, and Peter Joseph travelled with the ministerial party by train to Gulgong and later attended the celebration banquet.
On 19th April, Abelonia travelled by train to Bowral to stay with her daughter Annie as she and husband William and family were then on a property there.
The Council road maintenance men went to see Peter Joseph on 18th April 1909, asking him to see that they were paid 7/6 per day. He promised he would do what he could for them.
On 8th November Mudgee and Cudgeyong Councils had a Jubilee meeting, then on 25th January 1910 there was a public Jubilee meeting. The event was commemorated by the erection of a sandstone light standard and horse trough at the intersection of Church and Market Streets. The monument is now in Lawson Park.
Also in January, Peter Joseph received a letter in German from Germany but records that he ‘could not well make it out”. On the 31st of the month, Gerald, the eldest son of Annie and William Gleeson, went to live with John and Teresa at Bombira for the purpose of attending school. It would appear he had a good voice for later in the year he sang solo in the school concert.
In March 1909, 344 cases of grapes and other fruit were sold off “Willow Vale”.
On 29th June Peter Joseph and John Muller attended the Court for Jury Service. They both stayed overnight at O’Brien’s, tea, bed and breakfast for two and two feeds for the horse costing 5/-. For three days jury service Peter Joseph was paid £1.5.0.
At the Eurunderee School of Arts on 20th January 1911, there was a function at which Peter Joseph made a presentation of £5 to John Tierney and £7 to Polly O’Brien. On the 28th of the month he was again elected an Alderman of Cudgegong Council and on 12th February he resigned from the position of Trustee of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild.
The Catholic Bishop of Bathurst visited Mudgee on 26th February for the purpose of blessing the newly erected spire on St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Peter Joseph was a Steward at the Mudgee Show on 15th March 1911, he attended his last Cudgegong Council meeting on 7th August of that year and handed in his resignation as an Alderman on 14th August. His son Bernard was Steward in the dairy and agriculture section at the Mudgee Show on 13th March the following year.
After the birth of Clifford to John and Teresa, on 14th July 1911, Teresa was very ill for the ensuing two weeks. She underwent an operation for appendicitis on 7th November of that year.
Monsignor O’Donovan’s Golden Jubilee as a priest was celebrated on 11th October 1911, with High Mass followed by a banquet at which he was presented with a motor car. However he did not live long to enjoy the convenience of the new conveyance for, on 24th April 1912, he died, aged 75 years, after having been in Mudgee for 45 years. There was a Requiem High Mass and a funeral procession through the streets of Mudgee after which he was buried in St. Mary’s Church. Present were 13 priests and about 1,000 people of all denominations.
Early in 1912, John inspected or inquired about several properties in the Mudgee district and at Wyong and Rooty Hill. However on 9th July he bought Hawkins’ butchering business the shop being situated in Church Street almost opposite the Commonwealth Bank. John Teresa and family moved from Bombira to the residence attached to the shop.
On 20th March 1912, Elizabeth Tierney sold her farm at Eurunderee. On 14th May, she and her family were given a public farewell at Eurunderee School of Arts, being presented with a silver tea and coffee service and on 16th of that month the whole family left Mudgee to settle in Sydney.
The foundation stone of the new Catholic School in Mudgee was laid on 27th April 1912, the sum of £600.0.0 being donated on the day of the ceremony. The town of Mudgee was lit by electricity for the first time on 1st October 1912.
Catherine and Annie, the single sisters of Peter Joseph, sold their house in Mudgee on 18th October 1912, for the sum of £207.0.0 and left Mudgee on 12th December to take residence in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt where they named their house “Frauenstein”.
In August 1913, Bernard judged at the Parkes Agricultural Show and in 1914 he was a Judge at the Gulgong Show. On 13th September 1913, James went to Nevertire for a short period to work with his brother Leo from Bathurst who was carrying out building work there at the time.
About this time Peter Joseph seemed to be making more wine than at any other time. Of course the vineyard was now in full production for on 1st March 1913 he despatched 72 cases of grapes to Sydney.
At the Mudgee Show on 24th March 1914, Peter Joseph exhibited grapes, hay, sorghum seed, butter ‘and other things’ and ‘got some prizes’. Dr. Nicol and Dr. Challands operated on him on 1st August of that year for the removal of a bowel obstruction. Two days later there was war in Europe and on 11th September, F Company, 41st Battalion, of which John was a member, got orders to mobiles on the 25th of the month. From that date John spent a month in camp at South Head and Maroubra.
The year 1915 was a year of trouble and sorrow – but there was some joy. The First World War was now gripping the world. John Lawrence Rheinberger was born to John and Teresa on 22nd February 1915. Annie Gleeson died at Auburn on 23rd April 1915, leaving nine children the youngest of who was only five years old. Daughters Catherine, Clare and Ena went to live with Peter Joseph and Abelonia later becoming boarders at Mudgee Convent whilst Nita went to live with her uncle and aunt, Peter and Mary Rheinberger, at Wellington. John Rheinberger, the son of Jacob and Mary Annie died at Eurunderee on 3rd June of that year, after a short illness. Mary Tierney Married Charles Lawson in Sydney on 11th September and Bertha Muller married James Devoy in Mudgee on 20th October.
On 30th August 1915, Gus returned to Mudgee to work for his brother John in the butchering business. On 4th September, James went to Lithgow with others to enlist in the army for active service but returned home on the 6th having been rejected because of his German name.
On 12th February 1916, Peter Joseph bought Mary Annie’s (Jacob’s wife) farm Hazeldene, immediately across the road from “Willow Vale” for the sum of £930.0.0 for his sons Bernard and James. By 30th August 1918, the two brothers had repaid the purchase price plus interest, to their father.
On 8th April 1916, John and Louisa Muller left their home at Eurunderee to take up residence in Mudgee.
Peter Joseph and daughter Lucy visited Peter Muller at Merewether in April 1916, and whilst there they inspected the Newcastle Steel Works.
Mudgee High School was officially opened on 2nd September 1916, and on the following day the magnificent Italian paintings of the Stations of the Cross in St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee, were unveiled. Miss Halley in memory of the late Monsignor O’Donovan had donated them.
John Lawrence, son of John and Teresa was born with or developed a very bad muscle condition of the left leg which was diagnosed as infantile paralysis. On 4th November 1916, Teresa took John to Dr. Charles Clubb, a Sydney specialist, then, on 28th July 1917 Dr Clubb operated John on at the Children’s Hospital, Camperdown. This was not a great success and on 15th May 1920, Dr. Clubb performed another operation on the Achilles tendon, which greatly improved my condition. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my concerned parents.
John’s slaughter yards were situated at Carleon, just west of Mudgee and the unfenced railway line passed through his paddock. On 27th January 1917, the mail train ran over killed or badly injured some 40 of John’s sheep that were being held for killing for sale in his butcher’s shop.
On 8th May 1917, John purchased “Dewhurst” a property of some 112 acres just south of Mudgee for £1100.0.0. He had his slaughter yard and piggery established there by January 1918. Ted Lovett and family who had been occupying the house on the property moved out and John, Teresa and family moved from Church Street to reside on the property on 25th June 1921. John and Teresa continued to live there until the times of their deaths in 1963 and 1961 respectively.
Dorothea Clare Rheinberger, the eldest daughter of Jacob and Annie Mary Rheinberger, came home to Mudgee on 22nd December 1917, as a fully trained nurse. Her sister Annie Imelda also trained as a nurse in Sydney and, according to information available to me, these two sisters along with another sister, Catherine, established Rexton Private Hospital in Duoro Street, Mudgee, in 1919, with Dorothea as Matron, Annie as head sister and Catherine as housekeeper. They continued to conduct the hospital for over 30 years.
John Muller, Peter Joseph’s half brother and the person who played perhaps the major role in the establishment of the family when they first came from Germany to Yarragrin, died in his sleep in his home in Mudgee, on 5th March 1918, within twelve days of his 78th birthday.
On 4th March 1918, Peter Joseph received the following letter from the Under Secretary, Chief Secretary’s Department: –
1st March 1918.
I am directed by the Chief Secretary to inform you that has been deemed expedient to remove your name from the, Commission of the Peace for this State and that a writ of Supersedeas has accordingly been issued for this purpose and forwarded to the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Fuller desires me to add that this action has not been taken in consequence of conduct on your part unbecoming Commissioner of the Peace but it is the direct result of Cabinet decision based on the principle which is broadly indicated in the Naturalised Subjects Franchise Act, 1916.
Your Obedient Servant,
I am sure Peter Joseph would have been most gratified to know that he had done no wrong. But despite this assurance obtained in the second paragraph of the letter, he must have been justified in being a very angry man particularly as we were in the dying months of World War I. Surely few had done ore for the Mudgee District and its people than he. He had been appointed a Justice of the Peace on 21st February 1900, and sat on the bench at Mudgee Court House for the first time on 14th July 1902. He had been an Alderman of Cudgegong Council for many years and Mayor on numerous occasions and had held office in may other organisations. He had proved himself to be a loyal Australian and surely did not deserve such ignominy.
When the Great War ended, on 11th November 1918, the news reached Mudgee at about 11 o’clock that evening. Most of the people in the town turned out into the streets, church bells were rung, whistles blew and there was general rejoicing at the wonderful news. The two following days were upheld as holidays and again there was general rejoicing with bands playing, bells ringing, speeches and processions.
By July 1919, pneumonic influenza was raging in Mudgee and district. Three deaths occurred in Mudgee on 14th July and another three on 15th July. On 27th July the death occurred of William Hayes who had been a faithful employee of John Rheinberger for seven years as a slaughterman and for whom John and family had very high regard.
The Centenary of Mudgee was held on 6th March 1921. One celebration event was a Church Service at 3.00 p.m. on that day which the Rheinberger family attended.
On 17th March 1919, two officers of the Department of Agriculture inspected the noxious weed, St. John’s Wort, on John’ s property “Dewhurst”. For many years thereafter John co-operated with the Department in carrying out experiments on the property on the effect of the weed on cattle of varying types and under differing conditions, whilst quantities of the noxious plant were sent from the property to the Glenfield Experimental Station.
Peter Joseph sold his property “Willow Vale” on 21st September 1921, to Mr. and Mrs. Hazlett for £2700 and on 28th September, he bought “Katalla”, a brick cottage in Lewis Street, Mudgee from Joseph Saunders for £707. Peter Joseph and Abelonia moved into the cottage where they lived for the rest of their lives. He then bought seven houses in Market Street, from Mr. Saunders on 8th November 1921, for £1500. He noted at that time that in addition to “Katalla” the other houses were named “Kinrose”, “Kinrack”, “Killara”, “Kialla”, “Kattala”, “Kelura”, and “Kelula”.
Peter Joseph and Abelonia celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding at “Katalla” on 13th February 1922, when all the children and many grandchildren, relatives and friends were present.
A new marble High Altar donated by the Loneragan family was delivered to St. Mary’s Church on 10th March 1922, and blessed on 20th May of that year. On 24th August, Peter Joseph bought another house from Mrs. Casimir for £550. The Golden Jubilee of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild was held on 19th August 1923, with the Bishop of Bathurst and many visitors being present.
Catherine Gleeson left the Rheinberger home in Lewis Street on 29th September 1923, to enter the Convent at Springwood to become a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph. A Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society was formed at a meeting held on the afternoon of Sunday, 30th September 1923, Peter Joseph becoming one of the foundation members.
On 8th October 1923, Peter Joseph returned to Eurunderee to dedicate extensions to the School of Arts to the memory of Henry Lawson.
Peter Joseph took ill on 22nd April 1924. He made his last diary entry on 6th June and died at home on 11th June 1924, at the age of 79 years.
On 8th December of the same year, Abelonia was admitted to Lewisham Hospital suffering from cancer, was operated on without success and died in Lewisham on 4th January 1925.
And so came to an end a generation of Mudgee Rheinbergers and for my part the story of this branch must conclude at this point. But perhaps there will be one or more among a later generation that may wish to amend if necessary, add to and continue our story.
FARM ACTIVITIES AND PRODUCTION
When the Rheinberger family purchased “Willow Vale”, Eurunderee, it is apparent that there was an orchard and vineyard on the property. Possibly north of where the existing home is located, so that by January 1870, they were selling fruit and grapes in Mudgee and also on occasions in Gulgong and on the gold diggings.
They had brought some horses and some cows suitable for milk production for the home, from Wallumburrawang. But right from the first opportunity they began to plough and to plant wheat which came to be their main source of income for some years. The wheat was sown and reaped by hand until Peter Joseph drove to Wallerawang and brought home by road their first reaper and binder, on 4th December 1879. The hand reaping involved all the members of the family, including Catherine senior, and the girls Annie, Elizabeth and Catherine, also the employment of neighbours and, at times, some itinerant workers. Quite frequently the family worked from 4.30 a.m. until 8.0 pm when the reaping was in full swing. The hay was stooked, carted and stacked and the stacks to be kept were thatched. Later a travelling threshing machine came and threshed the grain. Most of the grain was sold to merchants in Mudgee or to the flourmill. From the threshing the straw was saved and sold also. Some of the wheat crop was reaped for hay and some of this hay was cut into chaff. Most of this was sold to Mudgee residents such as Father O’Donovan and Dr. Nicol.
In December 1869, they produced 1200 bushels of wheat at 16 ½Bushels of wheat to the acre and paid out £34.0.0 for reaping. The threshing was not carried out until the following mid – April, by Mr. Strike who was paid £20.0.0. On the 15th November following, ½ ton of hay was sold to Mr. Malone for £7.10.0. The first recorded wheat sale was on 3rd December 1870, when 50 bushels were sold for 3/8 per bushel. The 1871 crop was sold to Dickson & Sons at prices ranging from 4/- to 7/- per bushel.
Then progressively they planted oats, barley, corn, sorghum and millet, and in lesser quantities, rye. They also grew lucernes and produced some lucerne seed. A proportion of all of these they sold, in the main, to merchants and residents of the Mudgee district. They also sowed planters friend and on one occasion, paspalum.
The Rheinbergers came from Frauenstein, a village surrounded by vineyards and orchards and within six miles of Wiesbaden, the centre, even to this day, of an extensive wine producing district on the Rhine River. Their occupation was given as Vinedresser, and though they had spent some fourteen years since their arrival in Australia, on a sheep and cattle station. It seemed inevitable that when they acquired their own property they would endeavour, at least in part, to take up where they had left off in Germany. Of course, Peter Joseph was only ten years old when he came to this their new homeland, so it was that his mother and father, assisted by his sisters, made the first wine at “Willow Vale”, to join the Roth, Buchholtz, Kurtz, Wurth and Rohr families and, no doubt, a number of others.
On 11th July 1871, they had finished the planting of a new vineyard, while John Muller, on his own property, also planted a vineyard, and by 1876 had wine ready for use. By 1877, he had a vineyard of ‘2 acres and 31 roods’. In July 1880, Peter Joseph started his new vineyard with cuttings from Kurtz, Wurth and Buchholtz vineyards and also from their own vineyards.
By 1884 his new vineyard contained 3360 vines, the varieties being frontenac, red and black muscatel, white sherry, raisin, sweetwater, muscat of Alexandria, black hermitage and black amber. In 1886 he planted a further 424 vines including some black prince.
By 1883, Peter Joseph assisted by his wife Abelonia, s making his wine and on 23rd August of that year he actually exhibited wine in the Mudgee Show. On 15th October 1881, had been chairman of a meeting at Wurth’s, no doubt of winegrowers, and on 4th March 1884, he attended a winegrowers meeting at Wurth’s and was elected President. Some two weeks later he signed a printed petition to the Minister. Protesting against the clauses on page 10 part 11 and clauses 26 and 7 the Licensing Act of 1882, ‘which clearly and distinctly prohibit the sale of Colonial wines unless on certain, conditions, which conditions the Association deem most injurious to the industry’. On 14th June 1890, he came to Sydney with F. Buchholtz to attend a Wine and Fruit grower’s conference. On 15th May 1891, he judged the wine, amongst her exhibits, at the Gulgong Show.
Peter Joseph continued to make wine right throughout the years until he retired to Mudgee from the property on 22nd February 1921. The greatest quantity of wine referred by him in his diary was on 23rd July 1886 when he finished letting off 430 gallons. He did not seem to have any set customers but he sold in the main to acquaintances, friends and relatives the standard price throughout, being 1/6 per bottle. He also gave much of his wine to relatives and friends including the Parish Priest and the Convent. He also made and sold some vinegar.
It is interesting to note that all of the winemaking equipment, with the exception of the wine casks, which was used in the wine making process, was home made. On 8th March 1875, Peter Joseph made holes in a wine box for Valentine on 26th February 1878, He made a wine press for himself. In the year 1886, John Muller gave him a wine pump of his own making. Many of the wine casks, which he used, were empty brandy casks, which he bought from Loneragans.
At that time brandy was used largely for medicinal purposes. As early as September 1875, Peter Joseph bought a gallon of brandy for 15/- and in March 1879, he got a bottle of brandy from his father for 6/-. At that stage here was no indication of its origin but some years later, on 2nd August 1905 he recorded that he took 60 gallons of wine to Rohr’s at Piambong and got 5 gallons out of the 60. It seems reasonable to conclude therefore, that brandy had been distilled in the district for some years.
But of course, only a small quantity of the grape plants were used in wine making. On 23rd March 1880, John Muller took grapes by road to Sydney and sold them for 8d. per pound, whilst six days later, 7 cases of Valentine’s grapes were taken to Tarrant to take to Sydney. The rail link from Wallerawang o Mudgee was opened on 10th September 1884, and on 21st February 1885, Peter Joseph consigned 7 boxes of grapes to the Sydney market. Three days later he sold his grape crop to W. Smith, of Sydney, for 3d. per pound or £25.0.0 per ton. In 1886, he sold all the grapes, some 381 cases from the new vineyard to E. Osborn of Hornsby, for £90.0.0. From that time on the grape crop was not disposed of in this manner but was consigned for many years to Sydney agent, McKeown with whom a great friendship developed, to the extent that a number of reciprocal visits were made to their respective homes. Later he also consigned part of his crop to an agent named Rogers.
With the maturity of the vineyards and the growing up of the male children in the family, greater quantities of grapes were produced. For example, in March 1914, 152 cases of grapes were sent to Sydney in 6 days and in 1915 some seventy odd cases per day were being forwarded.
Whilst “Willow Vale” vineyard was established mainly with cuttings from neighbours, this was not one way traffic, for on 28th July 1885, Peter Joseph sent 400 grape cuttings to his cousin John Rheinberger in Bega. These, no doubt, formed part of the vineyard at Meringlo from which John made wine for his own use. Peter Joseph made available considerable numbers of cuttings and in July 1886 he disposed of 4750 cuttings to various people in the Mudgee district.
There was, of course, the accompanying orchard on the property where they grew peaches, apricots, plums, apples, pears, quinces, cherries and figs in some quantity. Besides selling the fruit in the Mudgee district, they sent considerable quantities to Sydney. Some surplus apples, apricots, prune and raisin grapes were dried and what they did not require for their own use they sold locally.
In the way of vegetables, they produced potatoes and pumpkins, watermelons and piemelons, strawberries and gooseberries, tomatoes and the various household vegetables.
In the early times they merely milked the cows for milk for home use, However as time went on they made and sold butter and cheese, Following the establishment of the Mudgee Butter Factory their dairy herd was increased and milk and later cream was sent to the factory.
They kept pigs, which were somewhat of a bonus, being fed on the fallen fruit from the orchard, milk and some grain also from the farm. They killed pigs frequently in the winter months. They made white and black sausages from the offal, blood and some off cuts, the sausage skins having been made from the specially cleaned pig gut. Most of the meat was pickled and smoked for hams, shoulders and bacon, some of which was sold but much was kept for use throughout the year.
Occasionally they killed a steer, the meat being shared amongst the relatives. They did not keep sheep so there were none killed for meat until late in the period of residence on the property. However from quite early after they took up residence the butcher from Budgee Budgee used to call on a fairly regular basis.
They also kept poultry and sold some eggs. For some of the time, at least, they kept turkeys and geese.
Meanwhile, at home, Abelonia, as no doubt did the other housewives, carried out the usual household chores. She clocked, washed, ironed and sewed. She even made Peter Joseph’s trousers most of the time and also did some dressmaking for the neighbours. She made all kinds of jams and preserved fruit. She made pickles and tomato sauce some of the latter having been sold at one stage. She also made the pork sausages and at one stage assisted with the wine making. They bought large quantities of flour so it must be assumed that the various housewives made their own bread particularly as no reference was made to the purchase of bread until it came from Conns early this century.
Abelonia did not work outside the house except on rare occasions and then only on light work such as plucking the grapevines. In her household duties she was assisted by her two daughters, except when they attended school at Eurunderee and later boarding school at the Convent in Mudgee.
RELAXATION AND RECREATION
Firstly let it be said that there was a general acceptance of the Commandment relating to ‘no unnecessary servile works on Sunday’. So, having attended Mass in Mudgee on Sunday morning, the balance of the day and often well into the evening was generally given over to visitation between families and friends. It seemed to be fairly common for there to be as many as 20 visitors at “Willow Vale” throughout Sunday, often with a number of comings and goings. The only exception to this rule seemed to be necessary work in the case of storm, or flood or accident or some other emergency and later the packing of ripe fruit ready for dispatch to the Sydney market.
It seemed that having been deprived of a formal education, Peter Joseph was determined to learn by the only alternatives available to him. Not only did he learn from discussion with friend and neighbour but he subscribed to numerous newspapers and journals such as the Western Post, Mudgee Times, Mudgee Guardian, Catholic Times, Freeman’s Journal, The Record and the Town and Country Journal which he read avidly in the evening. To these could be added the books which he read. Indeed on 16th March 1871, he recorded, no doubt with some pride: –
‘Read off and on this five years, 41 books and history and some before them’.
He was somewhat musical, for he records that on occasions he played the concertina in the evening. His daughters Annie and Lucy received piano tuition at the Mudgee Convent. Annie subsequently gave piano lessons. Lucy also became an accomplished pianist and was also the possessor of a fine voice. Bernard also received music lessons at the Convent for a short period. From time to time they had family musical evenings at home.
Playing cards was also another form of relaxation indulged in from time to time in the evening,
The members of the family attended the horse races on quite a number of occasions whilst Peter Joseph also attended a couple of ploughing contests.
The sons, Peter, John, Augustus and James were all members of the Volunteer Rifles Force and regularly attended drill parades, rifle shooting matches and annual camps in Sydney, John rose to the rank of sergeant.
Occasionally they went shooting for sport. There is mention of possum shooting and on a couple of occasions bears were shot. They also went fishing in the Pipeclay Creek and in the dam near the house, which always seemed to be well stocked with fish. From time to time there would be a picnic, which was attended mostly by the younger folk.
James played tennis from time to time and they attended socials in the Eurunderee School of Arts. John was the first Secretary and later Bernard was secretary of the School of Arts.
Peter Joseph himself seemed to have an interest in the cultural. He seldom missed concerts staged in Mudgee and whenever he visited Sydney. Which indeed was frequently for a country resident – he went to the Museum, the Art Gallery, went to plays and inspected buildings of interest such as Sydney Town Hall and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Yes he even patronised the noted Tearoom, in Queen Victoria Building, of the still not forgotten Quong Tart.
The Muller family were prolific entertainers and held socials and balls in aid of charity. All of the members were music lovers and could play different instruments and it is not surprising that at one function that, at one function, of the 8 persons who provided the music, four were Mullers on piano (2) violin and cornet.
It is worth noting that four of the Muller sons who were taught by John Tierney at the Eurunderee School, themselves became teachers.
Prices Before Inflation
|15 Sep||Sold one ton of hay for £3.|
|3 Dec||Sold wheat @ 3/8 a bushel|
|21 Mar||Sold cow and calf for £2.13.0|
|21 Jul||Sold wheat @ 6/4 and 7/-|
|8 Sep||Sold straw for £1.20.0 a ton|
|29 Nov||In 4 weeks wheat dropped from 6/6 to 3/6 a bushel|
|30 Dec||Bank interest 4% on £50 for 1 year|
|22 Jan||Wedding Ring £1.7.6|
|12 Feb||Sold pair of geese for 7/6|
|14 Feb||Sold Plums for 3 ½d. per dozen.|
|22 Feb||Sold calf for £1.|
|8 Mar||Bought 4 gallon tin of kerosene for 14/-|
|14 Mar||Sold 3 cows and calves for £9.3.0|
|30 Apr||Bought bottle of cart oil for 1/-|
|11 May||Paid £2.10.0 to have a suit made|
|12 Jun||Sold Pumpkins for 2/6 per cwt.|
|30 Jun||Bought lucerne seed for 1/- per lb.|
|10 Jul||Sold wheat for 5/6½ per bushel|
|1 Sep||Bought ½ dozen cups and saucers for 8/-|
|24 Sep||Bought washstand and set for £1.1.0|
|6 Oct||Sold white wheat for 5/- and Californian for 4/6 a bushel|
|22 Dec||Sold apples for 7 ½d per dozen, young geese 4/- each|
|16 Jan||Bought flour @ £12 a ton|
|30 Jun||Sold corn @ 4/- a bushel|
|9 Jul||Bought 2 pigs for 12/6|
|4 Aug||Contract let Bathurst – Orange railway @ £3500 per mile|
|29 Aug||Bought block of land in Mudgee for £37|
|6 Sep||Tender for stonework on church £3300|
|3 Oct||Sold shoulder bacon @6 ½d. per lb.|
|15 Oct||Sold corn at 3/3 per bushel|
|30 Oct||Bought 1lb butter for 1/3|
|26 Nov||Bought 700 bricks for £1.5.0|
|14 Dec||Hand reaping of lucerne cost 15/- per acre.|
|30 Jan||Bought potatoes @ 5/- per cwt. Sold potatoes @ 7/- and 8/- per cwt.|
|5 Feb||Bought potatoes @ 5/- and 6/- per cwt. Sold potatoes @ 8/- per cwt.|
|11 Mar||Bought a little pig for 5/-|
|22 Mar||Bought sythe and stone for 6/-|
|12 Apr||Sold the bull for £3|
|15 Apr||Sold cow to butcher for £6|
|5 Aug||Erection of house in Mudgee cost £138.10.0|
|7 Sep||Bought a gal of Brandy for 15/-|
|7 Oct||50 sheets of iron and screws cost £13.8.6|
|26 Nov||Bank Interest on 3 months term deposit 3 ½%|
|11 Dec||Doctor’s home visit to Willow Vale (4 Miles) 10/-|
|11 Jan||Abelonia charged 5/6 to make a dress|
|3 Feb||Bought a pair of boots for 13/-|
|18 Feb||Bought a new cart for £22.0.0|
|18 Mar||Bought new table cloth 10/-|
|23 Mar||Sold for £16 an allotment bought for £11|
|20 Apr||On Jury for 6 days. Paid 4/- per day for first 3 days then 6/- per day|
|29 Apr||Bought a bag of flour for £1.8.0|
|6 Jun||Sold Straw for £3 per ton|
|17 Apr||Sold cow and calf for £6.17.6|
|28 Sep||Bought 4 gallon tin of kerosene for 10/6|
|26 Feb||Bought cloth for trousers £1.2.6. for coat £1.6.3.|
|13 Mar||Bought bottle of Brandy 6/3|
|10 Apr||Bought pair of boots £1. Sold quinces @ 4d.per dozen|
|24 Apr||Sold bullock hide for 4/-|
|26 Apr||Sold wheat @ 5/6 and oats @5/- per bushel|
|18 May||Bought two cabbages from a chinaman for 2d.|
|1 Sep||Willow Vale rates £4.8.0.|
|13 Oct||Bought an armchair for £1.1.0.|
|1 Feb||Sold two head of cattle for £2.5.0. and £4|
|13 Feb||Sold barley for 4/6 a bushel|
|14 Mar||Sold oats for 5/3 a bushel|
|15 Mar||Sold 2 cows for £7.10.0|
|17 Mar||Bought a hoe for 6/-|
|30 Mar||Bought bluestone for 8d. per bushel|
|5 May||Paid rates for block in Cox street 1/-|
|19 May||Bought 2 sheep for £1|
|31 May||Bought bottle of brandy for 5/3|
|7 Jun||Sold corn for 5/- per bushel|
|14 Jun||Bought 28lbs of fine salt for 2/9|
|20 Jun||Bought 2 bottles of wine for 4/-|
|2 Aug||Sold a ham for 6/11|
|27 Aug||Jacob bought a watch and chain for £7.0.0|
|2 Sep||Sold hay in stack for £3 per ton|
|15 Nov||Rent from Mudgee cottage 5/- per week|
|16 Jan||Bought a grey horse for £11|
|15 Mar||Bought tweed for trousers @ 3/3 per yard|
|28 Apr||Sold barley for 3/- per bushel|
|9 May||Sold a steer hide for 6/6|
|25 May||Bought a pair of boots for £1.3.0|
|16 Aug||Bought a new spring cart for £23.0.0|
|19 Sep||Bought 2 x ¼ blocks of land in Mudgee for £47.0.0|
|22 Oct||Bought new set of cart harness for £7.5.0|
|12 Nov||Bought a horse for £9.3.0|
|27 Jan||Paid board for one night at Capertee £3|
|19 May||Sold corn at 3/- per bushel|
|8 Jul||Bought beef from Daley @ 1d. per lb.|
|13 Jan||Sold straw for 18/- per cwt.|
|2 Feb||Town rates on cottage 16/6|
|23 Feb||Sold lucerne seed for 6/- per lb|
|14 Mar||Sold oats @ 3/6 per bushel|
|19 Mar||Bought scythe for 2/6|
|8 Apr||Sold 1 dozen quinces for 5d|
|16 Apr||Bought beef from father for 2 ½d per lb|
|2 May||Sold bull to butcher for £3|
|5 Jun||Bought hay rake for £10.0.0|
|14 Jun||Sold bacon @6d and ham @ 8d per lb|
|5 Aug||Bought palings @ 19/- per 100|
|30 Sep||Sold potatoes for 6/- per cwt|
|10 Nov||Bought felt hat for 10/6|
|19 Jan||Bought pair of boys boots for 5/-|
|28 Jan||Sold cow to butcher for £3|
|30 Mar||Bought flour @ £1.10.0 per bag|
|5 Apr||Bought 2 ploughshares @ 1/3 each|
|13 Apr||Bought ½ cwt potatoes for 5/-|
|24 Apr||Sold 1½ bushel of rye for 9/-|
|26 May||Sold 71lb bacon @ 9d per lb|
|3 Jun||Bought of boots for Annie for 8/6|
|26 Jul||Bought 2 gallons of brandy for £3.2 Potatoes @ 9/-|
|19 Aug||Paid 15/- for ½ cwt of beef|
|27 Aug||Sold hay for £8.8.0.|
|25 Sep||Bought bedstead 17/-|
|2 Nov||Bought sythe and handle for 8/6|
|7 Feb||Board and school fees at Convent £10 per quarter|
|3 Mar||Bought a little pig for 15/-|
|12 Mar||Bought oats @ 3/6 per bushel|
|30 Mar||Seats to see HMS Pinafore 4/- each|
|10 May||Bought pair of shoes for Annie 6/6|
|10 May||Bought mouldboard for plough 11/-|
|21 Jun||Bought new spade for 6/6|
|27 Jun||Sold hay for £3.5.0. per ton|
|18 Jul||Bought flour @ 10/6 per cwt.|
|20 Sep||Sold 40 lbs bacon @ 9d per lb|
|29 Sep||Bought chest of drawers £2.15. and washstand 7/-|
|11 Oct||Bought a horse for £10.|
|18 Oct||Bought a bucket for 2/-|
|30 Oct||Insured self for £250. Premium £3.19.0 each half year|
|1 Dec||Ordered new spring cart for £24.0.0.|
|21 Dec||Bought heifer for £3.|
|4 Jan||Kurtz charges 6/-|
|24 Jan||Farm rates £2.14.0.|
|10 Feb||Annie’s school/board fees £10 per quarter.|
|13 Feb||Sold pair of ducks 3/6|
|19 Feb||Sold hay £3.10.0 per ton|
|5 Mar||Bought flour @ £9 per ton|
|12 Apr||Potatoes 8/- per cwt.|
|1 May||Sold oats @ 3/9 per bushel|
|9 May||Sold butter @ 2/- per lb.|
|27 Jun||Bought pair of boys boots for 7/-|
|25 Jul||Paid 15/- for 50 lbs. of beef.|
|28 Jul||Sold wheat for 3 /4 per bushel|
|7 Oct||Bought pair of mens boots for 10/-|
|13 Nov||Sold 2 year old filly for £10.10.0|
|15 Nov||Paid £1.6.0 wages for 13 days work.|
|29 Nov||Bought 1 dozen porter for 15/6|
|24 Feb||Sold grapes for 3d. per lb.|
|28 Feb||Bought Griffiths tes 22lbs. for £1.15.0.|
|2 Mar||Bought oats @ 2/6 a bushel|
|28 Mar||Bought shirt for 5/6.|
|4 Apr||Bought horse hoe in Sydney for £4.7.9.|
|30 May||Potatoes 5/- per cwt.|
|30 Jun||Sold wheat @ 3/6 per bushel.|
|3 Jul||Sold bacon @ 8d. per lb.|
|15 Aug||Bought Brandy at Loneragans for £1.4.0. per gallon.|
|1 Nov||Bought bottle of wine at Wurths for 1/6.|
|7 Nov||Bought flour @ £10 per ton.|
|12 Nov||Bought half chest of tea 42lbs. for £3.|
|22 Nov||Paid for mowing @ 3/- per acre.|
|31 Dec||Sold apricots @ 2½ per dozen.|
|25 Jan||Sold fat cow to Mudgee butchers for £4.15.|
|15 Feb||Bought pair of boots for 11/-.|
|16 Feb||Bought prarie grass @ 12/6 per bushel.|
|17 Feb||Sold 2 tins of honey for £2.|
|4 Mar||Bought pair of boys boots for 6/6.|
|1 Apr||Bought new book case for £2.10.|
|24 Apr||Bought new hat for 10/- coat for £1.1.0.|
|24 Nov||Sold eggs @ 1 /4 a dozen.|
|9 Mar||Sold grapes for 4d. per lb.|
|12 Apr||Attended opera at Theatre Royal 4/- each.|
|29 Jun||Sold hide for 7/6.|
|5 Jul||Sold pork @4d. per lb.|
|18 Jul||Sold pair of fowls for 2/3.|
|10 Aug||Sold wheat @ 3/6 a bushel.|
|15 Oct||Bought bottle of rum for 6/6. Sold hay for £1.10. a ton.|
|15 Mar||Was offered £4 per ton for quinces.|
|26 Apr||Bought new piano from Elvy & Co. Sydney for £35.|
|1 May||Sold butter for 1/3.|
|28 May||Public school fees for 1 month 3/-.|
|7 Jun||Sold fowls for 2/6 a pair.|
|16 Jun||Sold eggs for 1/6 a dozen|
|10 Jul||Sold turkey for 2/-|
|2 Oct||Paid farm rates £2.9.6.|
|20 Nov||Sold steer for £2.17.6.|
|25 Nov||Bought bag of flour for £1.6.0.|
|17 Dec||Bought wall paper for 10d. per roll.|
|1 Feb||Sold grapes locally for 4d. per lb.|
|27 Mar||Bought second hand chaffcutter £3.5.0.|
|12 Apr||Bought Tea @ 1 /2 per lb.|
|4 Jul||Sold straw for 2/6 per lb.|
|8 Aug||Sold pumpkins for 5/- per cwt.|
|20 Aug||Bought trousers material for 5/- per yard|
|23 Sep||Bought tarpaulin 16’ x 8” for £2.2.6.|
|2 Nov||Bought half a sheep for 2½d per lb.|
|31 Jan||Bought boots for Gus 7/6.|
|21 Feb||Bought Ransom Plough for £6.|
|10 Mar||Sold quinces @ 3/- per cwt.|
|2 Apr||Sold wheat @ 3/- per bushel.|
|8 Apr||Sold pair of hens for 5/6.|
|29 Apr||Bought 2 pigs for 12/-.|
|19 May||Bought a bag of flour for 12/-.|
|5 Aug||Bought a roll of barbed wire for £1.12.6.|
|19 Aug||Sold bacon for 5½, 6 and 7d. per lb.|
|29 Aug||Bought sulphur for £1.6.0. for 2 cwt.|
|30 Sep||Bought bottle of brandy for 6/-.|
|1 Dec||Ordered new cart for £20.|
|15 Dec||Sold Plums 5/- case, aples 9/- a case.|
|1 Jan||Reaping costs 7/- per acre.|
|31 Jan||Bought new set of harness for £7.|
|7 Feb||Bough a whip for 6/-|
|23 Feb||Sold 412 lbs grapes @ 2d. per lb.|
|19 Mar||Sold case of quinces for 1/6.|
|26 Mar||Paid £5.2.6 for No.11 Langworth Harrow.|
|28 Mar||Bought suit for £1.19.6, boots 9/6, hat 6/6.|
|2 Apr||Bought 30 gallon cask for 10/-.|
|10 Apr||Sold apples for 5/- per case.|
|14 May||Got £3.2.6 for 50 cases of quinces.|
|18 May||Sold wheat @ 4/7½ per bushel.|
|5 Jun||Bought quarter of beef from John for 1¼d. per lb.|
|12 Jun||Bought corn sheller for £4.10.0.|
|15 Jun||Sold 81 lb. Bacon to Loneragans for 5½d. per lb.|
|21 Jul||Sold coat for 7/6.|
|22 Aug||Bought 100 posts for £1.5.0.|
|8 Sep||Bought cow and calf for £4.10.0.|
|16 Sep||Sold a ham for 7/6|
|9 Oct||Selling milk to factory for 3¾d. per gallon.|
|11 Oct||Bought buggy from Dean for £54.0.0.|
|17 Oct||Sold side of bacon @ 6d. per lb.|
|21 Oct||Paid £8.0.0. for set of harness, 10/- for a whip.|
|2 Nov||Paid farm rates £1.18.0.|
|7 Nov||Factory now paying 2½d. per gallon for milk.|
|24 Dec||Sold 1 gallon of wine for 9/-.|
|7 Jan||Sold 9 bags wheat to new roller mill @ 5/- a bushel.|
|11 Jan||Bought 1 ton of flour for £15.10.0.|
|18 Jan||Sold 5 ½ pair pigeons @ 1/6 per pair.|
|18 Feb||Bought a horse for £10.0.0.|
|12 Mar||Sold grapes @ 2d. per lb.|
|31 Mar||Bought potatoes @ 10/- per cwt.|
|11 Apr||Sold mare for £7.0.0.|
|30 Apr||Bought a sheep for 6/6, and a little pig for 10/-.|
|25 Jun||Sold corn @ 2/8 bushel and fowls @ 3/- per pair.|
|1 Jul||Sold sheep skin for 2/6.|
|5 Jul||Bought 8 heifers @ 14/-.|
|18 Jul||Bought sheep for 7/- killed weight 38/-.|
|15 Aug||Bought seed potatoes @ 7/6 per cwt.|
|5 Sep||Sold 104 lbs. bacon @6d. per lb.|
|5 Sep||Bought horse for £12.|
|22 Sep||Bought 2 casks (2cwt) Sulphur for £2.15.0.|
|4 Oct||Bought ¼ chest of tea (20½ lbs.) for £1.5.0.|
|10 Oct||Factory paying 5d. per gallon for milk.|
|3 Nov||Bought 2 Alderney cows and calves for £10.0.0.|
|15 Nov||Bought Scarifier from Southwick for £4.2.0.|
|26 Nov||Bought 2 little pigs @ 5/- each.|
1840 – 1918
John Muller, who was born in Frauenstein, Germany, in 1840, came to Australia in 1855, and after working on properties at Yarragrin and Wallumburrawang beyond Mendooran, settled on his own property at Eurunderee, four miles north of Mudgee, in 1869, having married Louisa Huth, of Mudgee. They raised a family of eight sons and two daughters.
From his own diaries it is apparent from the time he arrived at Yarragrin at the age of 15 years, John took considerable responsibility for the whole family and in his work. This he did in spite of the lack of any formal education in English, apparently having had to learn the language through his work associations. He had been given by 1864, considerable responsibility in the running of Wallumburrawang and other outlying stations.
When he died he was described as a universal favourite and it was said that he enjoyed in the fullest degree, the confidence, goodwill and respect of his fellows. Though unostentatious, he was in his quiet way, most charitable, and was a generous supporter of all charitable movements and patriotic funds.
He was a devout Catholic and almost a foundation member of the Mudgee Branch of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild.
He died in retirement, in Mudgee on 4th March 1918, at the age of 78 years.
PETER JOSEPH RHEINBERGER
1845 – 1924
Peter Joseph Rheinberger, born in Frauenstein, Germany, in 1845, came to Australia by sailing ship, with the rest of the family in 1855.
After a number of years at Yarragrin and Wallumburrawang near Mendooran, he moved with the family to Eurunderee, near Mudgee in 1869 and married Abelonia Lucy Schipp at St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee, in 1872. They had a family of two girls and seven boys,
Peter Joseph commenced work at Wallumburrawang in 1857, at the age of 12 years on a wage of £15.0.0 per year helping to look after cattle on the property of the then owner, Mrs Walker. On the occasion of the celebration of the golden wedding anniversary of Peter Joseph and Abelonia, the Rev. Father Flanagan, Parish Priest of Mudgee said Peter must have had grit to go into the Coonamble district nearly 70 years before. Blazing a track for civilisation, putting up with hardships that then prevailed, never forgetting the duties of decent citizenship, righteousness and justice.
On the occasion of his death the Mudgee Guardian and Freeman’s Journal stated he had played a conspicuous part in the history and development of the Mudgee district. He had done his share of the rough pioneering that had resulted in the degree of progress then existing.
He had taken a prominent part in the public life of the community and had a record of civic service that would stand long to his credit. He was an Alderman of Cudgegong Council for 28 years and Mayor for 15 years. He was a member of the Agricultural Society Committee in which he occupied the position of Vice-President for a period and took an active part in its work. His sense of social service brought him into active service with the Mudgee District Hospital and he filled a position on the Committee of that institution for many years. He was also made a Trustee of the Hospital which position he held until his death. He was a member of the Eurunderee Public School Board from the time of its establishment until its abolition. Recognising the usefulness of a School of Arts, in the community he was one of the founders of the Eurunderee School of Arts, was its first President and a Trustee until his death. His activities and interests were extended to various other movements in which his power of leadership and strength of character found effective scope for usefulness. Charitable work of all kinds found in him a ready helper and a silent benefactor. The same fervour, which animated him in his social life, was carried into the religious spheres. He was a devoted member of the Catholic faith and he was ever prominent in church affairs. He was a member of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild for 50 years and was one of’ the original guarantors of St. Mary’s Church and buildings. He was a foundation member of the Mudgee Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
He was or mild disposition and had a kind word and a good thought for everybody. He was ready to help where he could but he would do no man injury. This assured a fine record to leave behind as a phase of one’s personal character. It was no less pronounced than his fine record of civic service. In his busy public life he never neglected his home. He was a successful farmer and vigneron and with his good wife reared a splendid family in whose conduct was reflected his fine parental training and example.’
At that time the then President of the Agricultural Society Mr. V, Cox, stated that Mr. Rheinberger had been an old and valued member of the Committee and his services had been greatly appreciated. Besides being a Vice President of the Mudgee Agricultural Society, he acted as Steward and worked on, the gate on show days. He accepted invitations to judge’ agricultural products at the Gulgong, Wellington, Bathurst and Richmond Shows. He was also an exhibitor in Mudgee and Gulgong Shows and on one occasion sent wheat to the Melbourne Exhibition.
He was elected the first President of the newly formed Mudgee District Winegrowers Association at a meeting at the home of G. Wurth on 4th March 1884. He was a keen and active participator in meetings and discussions and represented growers the Cudgegong Council and Agricultural and Vine Societies at many conferences at Sydney.
Further, as Mayor of Cudgegong Council he took a major part in the establishment and sitting of the Mudgee Saleyards. He was also largely responsible for the planting of the Avenue of trees leading up Bombira Hill. He was in fact physically involved in the planting.
As a member of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild he held the position of Warden for a number of years and at one stage was Trustee. He was not only a guarantor for the Catholic Church and buildings but was a member concerned with the erection of the Church. He was also a churchwarden and a member of the Parish School Council.
He took a keen interest in the Mudgee Butter Factory, became a director, was s supplier of milk to the factory for many years and was a debenture holder until he died. He also had shares in the Wilbertree Butter Factory during its short existence.
From an early age he was member of the Building Society and purchased a number of allotments and houses in Mudgee. A number of these properties he owned when he died.
He was a strong supporter of the move for the construction of the railway line from Wallerawang to Mudgee and later on to Gulgong. After its opening of the line to Mudgee on 10th September 1884, he was one of the most constant users of this mode of transport for the conveyance of his grapes and other fruit to Sydney Fruit Markets and for travel particularly to Sydney.
He had a keen sense of public duty, for not only did he take a most active part in Public Life. He saw to it that his sons joined the Citizen Military Forces of the day, he and his wife and children willingly assisted his widowed sister and sister-in-law, he sat through the night with ill friends and relatives or rode to Mudgee at 2.00 am. for the doctor at the request of a neighbor.
When Peter Joseph arrived in Australia at the age of ten years, he could read and write German but knew no English and subsequently had no formal education. Yet from the time of taking up residence at Eurunderee he began to take an active interest in public affairs. He was a subscriber to local and Sydney newspapers and read them avidly. On the occasion of his visits to Sydney, apart from attending meetings, he spent his free time attending the theatre, the art gallery, Museum and other such places, always, it would seem, with a view to expanding his knowledge. In addition to all of these activities he wrote a daily diary from 12th March 1870, until a few days before his death on 11th January 1924. In this he not only recorded the day to day activities of himself, his family and friends, but also recorded many matters of district and state significance.
He was a man who strove strenuously to have himself the community, and appeared to have an insatiable drive to repay his newly adopted country and to prove that he was a worthy citizen thereof.
ELIZABETH TIERNEY nee RHEINBERGER
1854 – 1927
(Compiled by Alan Tierney from notes by John L. Tierney)
Elizabeth Tierney, nee Rheinberger, was born at Frauenstein near Wiesbaden in Germany on 18th October 1854, the daughter of Valentine and Catherine Rheinberger. The Rheinberger family migrated to Australia in 1855 and their family’s story that Elizabeth was the only baby to survive voyage.
Elizabeth was brought up on the Walker properties, Yarragrin and Wallumburrawang, in the Castlereagh district and moved with her family to “Willow Vale”, Eurunderee, in 1869.
Family tradition has it, that Elizabeth first met John Tierney when she made a consolatory visit to an elderly Irish lady (John’s mother who was looked after by him on his selection at Sapling Gulley,
In 1878, Elizabeth and John were married and lived at the residence at the Eurunderee School; on being widowed in 1891, Elizabeth and her six children moved to the house “Hill View” on the farm which John had developed concurrently with his period of teaching. Elizabeth’s youngest son, John Lawrence was born soon after in June 1892.
Elizabeth’s two sisters Anne and Catherine, also lived at ”Hill View” for a period of years, Assisting in running the house and bringing up the children. Catherine worked as a dressmaker and attended to the children’s clothes, while Anne managed the kitchen, Elizabeth worked the farm assisted by the children as they grew up and helped by her brothers and nephews for the heavier work. The farm produced milk, fruit and vegetables, eggs, poultry and bacon to keep the family. The sale of milk and grapes gave the main family income with small sums from surplus vegetables, eggs and thyme.
With the family growing up, Elizabeth and the children moved to Stanmore in Sydney in 1912. She later moved to Ashfield and died there in 1927.
1842 – 1891
(By his son John Tierney, edited by his grandson Alan Tierney)
Father’s life fell into many phases, He was born at Cloughjordan in Tipperary in 1842. The forties were truly terrible years in Ireland and how his family fared through them I have never heard.
In some way or another father had the rudiments of an education and apparently was a good pupil. At 12 or 13 he was a pupil teacher; then he was apprenticed to a surveyor, in which profession he seems to have had some real aptitude and made good progress. Then before he was 15 he forsook surveying and joined the British Army in the 2nd Dublin Fusiliers. Final training came at Aldershot.
It was the era of empire building and the Fusiliers were sent to South Africa. Apparently some sort of calm settled, on the region and the Fusiliers were then sent to Mauritius; later to the Seychelles; and finally to Bombay.
One can only dimly imagine what the army conditions were like in the tropics over a hundred years ago. Medical and surgical attention must have been crude and primitive. In the Bombay area men died like flies – cholera, typhoid, smallpox, and another real killer, fever and ague. Father caught the latter but survived which was no mean feat. However he did not come through unscathed, for he lost a lung. But the fever got him in the end – nearly 30 years later. Indeed the early sixties in India were rough times and only the tough survived.
The loss of a lung unfitted father for further service and he was given a discharge. He was a pay-sergeant and he was 23. Twenty-three and a veteran with eight years service! The discharge was signed by Captain O’Shaughnessy, who thought well of father and gave him a letter of introduction and commendation to his brother, Sir John O’Shaughnessy, then Premier of Victoria.
John came to Victoria and Sir John had him placed on the lower rungs of the surveying ladder. But there was promise of advancement.
And then came word from his brother Dan. Dan had brought his mother to Australia, a veritable haven after the Ireland of those mournful years, Dan was, in those days at least, exuberant and optimistic. He wrote from the New Pipeclay to father, ‘Sure and they are picking up the gold like the potatoes, no less’. Father fell for the bait. Who can resist the temptation of such easily got gold? And besides he had not seen his mother for eight years.
So he left surveying once more and hastened to the New Pipeclay. He now became a digger.
I don’t know who were his three mates in the party he joined. Evidently Dan was not one of them – no doubt he was already the member of another party. Father’s party was lucky and bottomed on good gold, cleaning up £800 a man, which was big money in those days. Very likely the party put down more shafts and very likely they were duffers. This went to show what a chancy venture gold digging was. A man could go years without another lucky strike. Perhaps never made one again.
From such reasoning father made the decision to go into business. He had noticed that the shopkeepers, butchers and so forth were among the luckiest men on the field. A good shop was as good as a golden hole. So father spent what was left of his £800 in goods saleable in a diggings store. Only one thing was wanted to lead on to a fortune, a very essential thing, business instinct. Father had none of it. As far as I know none of our family or any of our forebears for countless generations had any of it. The very antithesis of this business instinct is softness of heart, goodness of nature, a too touchy sense of honesty, and perhaps, worst of all, a large capacity for listening sympathetically to hard luck stories.
Father’s store was a great success in one important phase of stores – he sold great quantities of goods. He didn’t do nearly as well in an equally important phase – getting paid for them. Many diggers were down on their luck, and yet had to live somehow. And most diggers knew that next week, or soon after, they would be on payable gold. Father ‘carried’ many of these. One soon got a reputation for generosity. The hard cases kept on increasing, and at last the point was reached where father had as little as the poorest digger on the field. And so the store faded out.
In the meantime Dan got married. He had given up gold digging despite its marked resemblance to putting potatoes into a bucket. He took up a selection, and for some time conducted the local post office. I don’t think Dan was a man of the soil at all.
Father lived on his original selection and built a hut there, where he and his mother lived until the time of her death. I never heard much of his mother, though my mother, who knew her slightly, says she was a very gentle old soul and that father was greatly attached to her. Grandmother was one of the O’Meara’s.
Father fenced in the selection and undertook the Herculean task of filling in the digger’s holes. He cleared an area of about 20 acres, cultivated it and developed an orchard and vineyard. What father would have done with the selection eventually I cannot say, but in the early seventies – about 1874 or thereabouts – the Log Paddock diggings broke out. Father took no part in it.
The influx of the diggers and their families raised the question of schooling. There was, miles away, at Old Pipeclay, a school that had been opened in 1867. But it was not convenient, so agitation commenced for a local school. The head of such a movement, I should very much imagine Fred’k Buchholtz, of Fredericksburg, across the creek. He was the most successful man in that little district, a noted farmer and vigneron, well to do and much given to leadership.
Then there was the matter of a teacher. Father was deemed the most suitable candidate for the position. He must have submitted to some official test or examination but I know nothing of this. Afterwards he went for a month or two to the big school in Mudgee for training – that being the method then and for long after, of preparing teachers professionally for small schools. I think the head in Mudgee was Mr. Dash.
Peter Lawson erected a temporary structure of bark for the school building, and father opened the new centre of learning on 2nd October 1876. Most of the school furniture and material, for a start, came from the big Mudgee School, which evidently was getting a new stock of almost everything. Desks of solid red cedar and already much carved and ink stained were sent out, and so were tables, blackboards, slates and so forth. Students then did nearly all their writing on slates pen and ink was reserved for Vere Foster copybooks. Textbooks came in quantity; school readers were a graded set of Irish National Readers – mostly a dreary lot. Just as dreary or more so were the Scripture Readers, done up in mournful black or very dark green.
Forty-five pupils enrolled on that first day, a number that increased greatly later.
Father’s job in managing that school with its overload of pupils, in a depressing building, and in rather trying circumstances, must have been a heavy one indeed. But he seems to have been a born teacher and made a striking success of that venture.
Father taught in the bark school for almost two years. And then the Education Department put up a proper and permanent building. Peter Lawson had the contract to build and I should think that the new school was a very fair example of his workmanship. Well and solidly built, and giving the impression of good honest work, whatever it lacked in ornateness. Attached to it was the residence.
When Peter completed the building, father and mother were married and father was able to take his bride to a very fine house. That was in 1878, so that the full extent of their married life was 13 years. Of the ten children, seven survived. One child died in infancy, and two others went the same day to a diphtheria epidemic. They were three and five years old.
Father conducted a night school for those who wished to read and write. These had missed all schooling in their young days. Many a one came to night school and got at least some of the rudiments of education. In addition there were the young fellows who wished to ‘go for teachers’. Father coached them in the evening with marked success. In fact, Eurunderee School was noted for the number of teachers it produced.
Father spent whatever spare time and cash he had in developing the farm. The pity of it was that he had such an unpromising piece of land to deal with. But he made the very best of it that was possible. He had a stony hillside trenched deeply and all the stones carried off. Here he planted a second vineyard. In its early days it was productive enough. But the erosion of the steep slope was such that I can remember the vines, for the most part, refusing to bear. Below this; vineyard, on more level ground he put an orchard. It was better soil and it was a very successful orchard. Mother he spent much times and care in examining nursery catalogues for a good choice of trees. Some are rather rare now: blenheim orange, nonesuch, Irish peach, russet, waxies, and five crown pippin and winter pomain apples. There were royal George, and yellow Monday peaches, bergamot and Windsor pears – and a score of other names at least tucked away in memory. There were various plums, nectarines, apricots and figs; and walnuts. There was a hedge of gooseberries. And before my time there were similar rows of currants and raspberries. But these like the oranges were unsuitable for the climate.
On a commanding slope father had a spacious house built. He had it built by tradesmen, though he did good deal of the work himself, for he was fond of carpentry and was no mean performer therein.
The house had four large rooms with a wide verandah surrounding it. Three smaller rooms, like skillions, were formed on two verandah sides. There was a big kitchen with an enormous fireplace. Between house proper and kitchen was a narrow long alcove, which was used as a pantry. Under the front verandah was a long cellar with a brick floor and masonry wall.
The house was just completed when father took ill suddenly. I think they called it ‘flu la grippe’. It would seem to have been in its deadly incidence something like the Spanish flu that so swept Europe in 1913 and scoured Australia the following year, Father’s illness was of the pneumonic kind and having only one lung he never had the slightest chance. He was moved to the hospital at Mudgee and died a few days later. Many another died that winter and spring.
ANNIE CATHERINE GLEESON nee RHEINBERGER
1872 – 1915
Annie Catherine Rheinberger was born at “Willow Vale” Eurunderee, at about 4.00 pm. on Christmas Day, 1872, with midwife, Mrs. Schmid, in attendance.
At the end of 1877 Annie had started to learn lessons at home and started Sunday school on 20th June 1880. On 26th August 1878, she went to stay at Wurth’s from Monday to Friday of each school week in order that she could attend the Eurunderee Public School. Subsequently, she likewise stayed at the home of her Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle John Tierney, who was her teacher. She had had her first catechism lessons on 13th September 1879 and made her First Holy Communion on 22nd March 1883, She commenced boarding at the Convent of Mercy, Mudgee on 15th January 1885, to attend school and to learn music.
After leaving school, Annie assisted her mother in the running of the home and at one stage gave piano lessons to some of the children in the neighbourhood at Eurunderee.
At 3.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 1st February 1898, she was married by the then Father O’Donovan, in St. Mary’s Church, Mudgee, to William Patrick Gleeson, of Stony Creek. They then went to live at Lawson’s Creek. Whilst residing there, their first two children, Gerald William and John Bede were born. Husband William also served a term as Alderman on the Cudgegong Shire Council.
In 1907 William bought 200 acres of land at Bangaroo near Cowra and Annie and the family moved there with him on 28th May of that year. After a few months, the venture failed and the family moved to Wellington in 1908, where William was employed on a farm. This did not last long and by April 1909 the family was living at Oxley’s Hill, Bowral, where William managed a dairy farm.
Later in 1909, they again moved, this time to Canley Vale and it was there that the youngest child Helena (Ena) was born. Then by 1910 they had taken up residence at Granville.
Annie died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Auburn, on 23rd April 1915, at the age of 43 years and before her youngest child had reached six years of age.
PETER JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (2nd)
1874 – l963
Peter Joseph Rheinberger (2nd) was born at 9.30 a.m. on 2nd April 1874, at “Willow Vale”, Eurunderee, seeing the light of day before the midwife Mrs. Schmid arrived on the scene.
He started school on 9th February 1880, at Eurunderee Public School, started Sunday school on 20th June 1880, and made his First Holy Communion on 8th September 1885. On leaving school he worked on the farm with his father.
He joined the Volunteer Rifles when he was eighteen years of age and attended his first camp in Sydney on 23rd May 1892.
On 17th December 1893, he went to board at Kirby’s in Mudgee in order to work at the Mudgee Butter Factory for the purpose of learning butter making. Then on 4th June 1894 his tender of £1.15.0 per week to act as manager of the Wilbertree Butter Factory, was accepted.
Peter went to inspect land at Yarragrin on 1st September 1896, and on 11th of that month, inspected land on the Bell River, near Wellington, which he apparently he decided to buy. He worked as manager of the Wollar Butter factory until 17th November 1899.
On 3rd April 1900, he went to Wellington and took up residence on the property on the Bell River, some 4 miles up stream from Wellington.
At 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 23rd October 1901, in St Mary’s Church, Mudgee, Peter was married to Mary Sarah Dykes, of Burrundulla. Their only child, Edward Francis was born in Mudgee on 12th August 1904.
Peter established a large dairy on his property and introduced the first milk run to the residents of Wellington. For many years he was one of the leading milk producers and suppliers in the district.
Following the death of his elder sister, Annie Gleeson, on 23rd April 1915, her daughter Nita Mary went to live with and was reared by Peter and Mary, working in the home and assisting with the dairy.
Mary died at Wellington on 2nd November 1934, and Peter subsequently married Catherine Kennedy, of Mudgee. For a period they lived in Mudgee. His son married Phyllis Price in 1935 and later bought “Hillgrove”, near Peter’s property. Peter and Catherine returned to Wellington where Catherine died on 9th July 1943.
Peter then sold his property and retired to reside for a period at Miss Lonergan’s Boarding House, Duoro Street, Mudgee, It was whilst he was living at Mudgee that it was found he was suffering from cancer of the bowel. He then underwent surgery at Lewisham Hospital and it was entirely successful. He then went to live with Ted and Phyllis at Wellington. In 1957, when Peter bought into a newsagency and mixed business at Mendooran, Peter moved to a small house in Zouch Street, Wellington. With advancing age he then moved to Allenville Private Hospital where he resided until his death on 20th February 1963, aged 88 years.
Peter was a very keen bowler. His operation did not deter him nor did his failing eyesight for he continued to play night bowls even to the stage when the jack had to be pinpointed for him by the use of a small torch.
1877 – 1963
John Rheinberger was born at ‘Willow Vale”, Eurunderee, at 4.00 p.m. on Friday, 9th February 1877, with Dr. Rolling in attendance the third child of Peter Joseph and Abelonia.
He began to walk on 13th December 1877, and started school on 4th April 1883, at the Eurunderee Public School where John Tierney taught him, an uncle by marriage. He was given the opportunity of continuing his school with a view to becoming a teacher but opted to leave school after 6th class to work on the family property. This he did until in September 1904, at the age of 27 he bought the goodwill of Menchin’s old farm at Bombira for £84.0.0. His father gave him 5 milking cows, £50.0.0, 5 shares in Mudgee Dairy Company, a milk can and some harness. In August 1987, John applied for some Crown Land thrown open at Grattai but was unsuccessful.
On 12th November 1908, he married Teresa Jane Rayner, of Queen’s Pinch, at St. Patrick’s Church, Church Hill, Sydney, and the celebrant being Father Ginisty. On 21st August 1909, their first son Vincent John was born. Their second son, Clifford Ambrose was born on 14th July 1911, after which Teresa was very ill for over two weeks.
Putta Bucca Estate, of which John’s farm formed part, was subdivided and sold on 1st November 1911. The farm rented by John was sold for £44,000. On 12th March 1912, John inspected part of Wallinga with a view to buying, and in April of that year he inspected some dairy farms at Wyong and also made an offer for the goodwill of a dairy farm at Rooty Hill.
On 9th July 1912, John bought Hawkins butchery business located on the northern side of the laneway opposite the Commonwealth Bank in Church Street, Mudgee. Eight days later the family took up residence behind and above the shop. On 7th July 1914, he bought ¼ acre block of land in Short Street, from H. Caughey for £80, and this he used as a horse paddock.
Their third son, John Lawrence was born on 22nd February 1915, at Braeholme Private Hospital.
On 8th May 1917, John purchased “Dewhurst”, a property of 110 acres at Mudgee South for £1100.0.0 and in November of that year, a slaughter house and piggery was erected on the southern portion, the first bullock being killed on the property on 7th January 1918. At that stage Mr. Edward Lovett and family were residing in the home on the northern portion of the property.
On 7th March 1919, two officers of the Department of Agriculture inspected the noxious weed, St. John’s Wort, on the property. This led to a series of experiments on the property with various breeds of cattle and under varying conditions and later the gathering and dispatch of bags of the noxious weed over a period of years, to Glenfield Experimental Station.
On 13th April 1919, John inspected Wal Woods’ store and post office at Cudgegong but did not buy.
A sad moment in the life of the family came on 27th July 1919 when William Hayes died, a victim of the pneumonic influenza epidemic. He had worked for John as a slaughterman and butcher for seven years and in the diary was described as a good and reliable man.
Edward Lovett and family left “Dewhurst” on 29th May 1920, and on 25th June 1921, John and family moved from the butchers shop premises to “Dewhurst” to live. And so John became a farmer once more. On 9th August 1926, he sold the Short Street block of land to Miss Barrett for £156.0.0. By this time John had established a dairy and was taking cream to Mudgee Butter Factory and had a small established orchard and vineyard and was sending grapes to the Sydney market.
After the death of his father, Peter Joseph, John’s brother, Gus, acquired the market street houses from the estate and from 16th May 1927, John acted as Gus’ agent and collected the rents weekly.
On 2nd April 1927, John bought his first motor car, a Pontiac tourer and on 13th December of that year the family got its first wireless with three tuning dials and a horn speaker. John had acted as executor of the estate of his father and on 9th February 1929, he was presented with two easy chairs by his sister and brothers, for his work.
From 30th June 1934, for some years, he leased the grazing rights of the Mudgee Rifle Range, to the west of his property.
John had joined the Volunteer Rifles as a young man and continued to serve in the citizen forces until about the end of the World War, He attained the rank of sergeant and was a keen and excellent rifle shot. Whilst living at ‘Dewhurst’ he was a member of the Committee of the Agricultural Society, was a Steward on occasions and exhibited in both the stock and fruit sections. He was also a member of the Mudgee Fruit growers Asociation and a member of the A.H.C. Guild.
John and Teresa lived on at “Dewhurst” until the time of their deaths, Teresa died on 24th April 1961 and John on 6th November 1963.
AUGUSTUS GEORGE RHEINBERGER
1879 – 1964
On 30th January 1879, Augustus George Rheinberger was born the home of his grandmother, Lucia Schipp, in what had formerly been the Bank of New South Wales, the temperature at the time being 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
After attending the local Eurunderee Public School, he was sent off to St Joseph’s Collage, Hunters Hill, from 10th July 1893, until 4th December 1894. On returning home he worked on the family farm at Eurunderee, and on 13th November 1899, he joined the Volunteer Rifles.
By 1899, Gus was working at Loneragan’s Store in Church Street and on 13th November of that year he went to work for Marks & Co., storekeepers, at the corner of Church and Market Streets. On 4th March 1904, he passed an examination to work on the trams but he apparently never took up the position for on 21st October 1904 he went to Wollar to fix up and run the butter factory at that centre.
At 10.00 a.m. on 17th October 1905, he married Florence Margaret Maloney, of Lue, at the home of her parents, They had a family of four boys and three girls one of whom died as an infant.
By September 1908, Gus and family were resident at Newnes in the Wolgan Valley and by May 1912, they were living at Rooty Hill, In March 1914, they went to live at Parramatta when Gus took a position as bookkeeper with Hart and Hitchcock, timber merchants.
On 30th August 1915, the family moved to Mudgee when Gus commenced work for his brother John, in the latter’s butcher’s shop. On 18th February 1918, he commenced to work for the Mudgee Gas Works.
Following the death of his father in 1924, Gus purchased from the estate the residential properties in Market Street and Cassin Lane. Gus later went to live in Earlwood and from 16th May 1927, for a number of years, his brother John acted as his agent and collected the house rents.
From Sydney Gus moved to Oaklands and after the death of his wife, Florence, on 24th April 1954, he lived at Narrandera with his son until his death on 24th July 1964.
BERNARD JAMES RHEINBERGER
1886 – 1974
Bernard James Rheinberger was born at “Willow Vale”, Eurunderee, at 3.30 a.m. on 21st November 1886, with Dr Swanston, of Mudgee, in attendance.
He commenced school on 24th July 1893, (possibly at the Pipeclay School) and on 15th April 1899, he commenced music lessons at the Convent of Mercy, in Mudgee. On 3rd November 1900, he passed his first exam with 11 points to spare, Unfortunately he failed his next music exam on 26th October 1901, and there is no further record of his music endeavours. All we know is that on 13th May 1899, the good Sisters at the Convent returned the music lesson fees paid by his father. It is thought the musical instrument involved was the violin, On 16th July 1900, he went to the Eurunderee School for the first time.
When he left school he then went to work, with his father and brothers on the family farm. Bernard was nothing, if not a Stoic. For it is recorded that on 15th October 1912, on his brother John’s property at Bombira, the wheel of his cart, loaded with wood, passed over his foot and ‘hurt it very much’, but that night he still accompanied his mother to the Convent Concert in Mudgee.
It is obvious that he took a keen interest in the family orchard and vineyard, for when his father was invited to judge at one show he suggested that Bernard replace him. In fact, he did judge at the Parkes Show on 28th August 1913 and at Gulgong Show on 29th April 1914. For a period he was Secretary of the Eurunderee School of Arts.
On 1st April 1916, his father, Peter Joseph, bought the property of his late brother, Jacob, from the latter’s widow Mary Annie. Bernard and his brother took it over and paid their father the purchase price plus interest, by instalments.
Then in June 1921, Bernard bought “Trelawney”, the property just across the Eurunderee Bridge on the Pipeclay Creek, At Kensington, on 21st September 1921, he married Firmin Mary Stanley. Their first four children, Gregory Victor, Sylvester James, Firmin Therese and Reginald Bernard were all born at the Stanley family hone at Kensington. The youngest, Claire Carmel was born at “Rexton” Private Hospital, Mudgee.
The new farm never did seem to return sufficient income so, from about 1926 to 1929, Bernard travelled the district in his model T Ford selling clothing, mostly knitwear. About 1929, he had to give this up fearing for the safety of his family, as, at this stage, as many as 15 tramps were calling at the home each day, to beg. About 1930 he bought a harvester and a binder and undertook contract cropping. He also sold firewood and fruit but when, in 1934, a severe hailstorm, said to be 10 inches in 10 minutes, destroyed his fruit and grape crop, he sold up and bought a dairy property to be named “Willow Vale”, at Gloucester. He transported his furniture from Eurunderee to Gloucester on his dray.
Bernard conducted a dairy on his new property for many years, assisted by the members of his family. The new house on the property was of poor slab construction and about 1940 he bought the old butter and box section of the Gloucester Butter Factory which he and the family reconstructed into the family home where he lived until his death on 15th March 1974. His wife, Firmin, predeceased him on 15th November 1965.
JAMES VALENTINE RHEINBERGER
1889 – 1950
James Valentine was born at home at “Willow Vale” Eurunderee, at 1.00 a.m, on 5th April 1889, with Dr. Swanston in attendance.
It is not known what early schooling James had, but his father recorded that on 16th April 1900, he went to the Eurunderee School for the first time, being then eleven years old. On 29th January 1906, he went to Mr. Elliott’s school, as he wanted to read up to become a teacher. Unfortunately he was not successful in his endeavour, having failed the examination, and he returned to work on the family farm.
Like his older brothers, James had joined the Volunteer Rifles, However after the outbreak of the First World War, on 9th September 1915, he went to Lithgow with a number of others, to enlist for overseas service but was not accepted ‘on account of his name was not acceptable.’
On 1st April 1916, James and his brother Bernard bought through their father, “Hazeldene”, the property formerly owned by their Uncle Jacob, being part of the original Valentine property. At 6.30 a.m, on 16th April 1921, at St, Mary’s Church, Mudgee, James married Elizabeth Casimir and went to live at ‘Hazeldene’. He became the sole owner of the property when Bernard bought the property on the other side of the Pipeclay Creek.
Jim continued with the existing orchard and vineyard, produced some wheat and also became an apiarist. In later years he became an auctioneer and established a fruit and paddy’s market in Gladstone Street, Mudgee, but retained and lived on the farm, On 20th March 1936, he was elected as Secretary of the Mudgee Agricultural Society.
He subsequently developed cancer of the stomach, underwent an operation which was not successful and died on 22nd May 1950.
Jim and his wife Bessie were not blessed with a family to succeed them, firstly having a stillborn child and then a daughter in 1924 who died at the age of five months. On the death of Ivy, the first wife of Jim’s brother Lee, they took and reared the newborn son, John, who later took up residence at Sale in Victoria.
LEO EDWARD RHEINBERGER
1891 – 1980
At 9.00 p·m. on 29th April 1891, Peter Joseph Rheinberger went the four miles into Mudgee for Dr, Nicol, however, his son Leo Edward came into this world at ‘Willow Vale”, Eurunderee, before the good doctor could get to the house to supervise his arrival.
Leo made his presence felt on another occasion when on 27th August. 1897. He ate a box of Beechams Pills apparently without any ill effects other than to completely upset the family.
On the 16th July 1900, Leo attended the Eurunderee School for the first time.
He suffered with very bad eyes and was taken to Dr. Nicol in Mudgee an incredible 81 times in 1899 and 45 times in 1900 for his eyes to be treated, apparently with bluestone. There was less treatment in 1901 and 1902 but on 17th September 1903, at St, Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, Dr. Odillo Maher operated on Leo’s eyes. He saw him daily for six days after which he returned home to Eurunderee where he was treated on a regular basis until the end of that year.
On 14th October 1904, Leo’s father had to thrash him for being away for 2½ hours to collect the mail from the Post Office less than ½ mile from home.
On 1st January 1904, Father Gannon called at “Willow Vale”, and asked for one of the boys to be sent to St. Stanislaus Collage, Bathurst. Though Leo’s schooling had been severely interrupted because of his eye trouble, it was not until 28th April 1907, that he started at St. Stanislaus where under Father John Hall he studied carpentry. He proved to be a very good pupil in this particular subject. On completion of his education he was offered an apprenticeship by a Bathurst builder and did not return to the Mudgee district to live until the last few years of his life when he made his home at Wollar, 33 Miles from Mudgee, with his youngest son Barrie and family.
In August 1917, he married Ivy May Johnson in Sts. Michael and John’s Cathedral, Bathurst. By this time he was a qualified carpenter and builder and was self-employed. He had gained for himself the reputation of being an honest, hard working man. As his business progressed he took on an apprentice one Michael Muldoon. The happy working relationship continued until the depression years when he was, through lack of work, compelled to dispense with Mike’s services and take on dole work himself. However, he was perhaps one of the more fortunate ones, for at his first job, building of new nurses quarters at Bathurst Hospital, his ability was recognised and he was made foreman.
In 1924, he had purchased and was the very proud owner of a Raleigh motor bike, one of the very few in Bathurst. In 1925, he became the proud owner of a Harley Davidson motor bike and sidecar. The older of the then three children remember clearly the day he bought it and came home to 267 Russell Street riding it so proudly. However where the brake was on the Raleigh, on the Harley was the accelerator. So that when Leo thought he was slowing to enter his own driveway he madly missed the bridge over the gutter, jumped the kerb and continued on to finish up on the front verandah, amongst several broken pot plants, of his mother-in-law’s home next door. However the Harley went onto give many years of useful service as a workhorse. (The sight of Leo with his ‘Akubra’ well on his head, and his pipe, not necessarily alight, held between his teeth, timber and tools hanging from the sidecar, would be well remembered by the oldies of Bathurst). Also, on many occasions it transported him and members of his family across to Mudgee on holidays. Members of the family helped push the bike up Monky or Wyagdon Hills on the trips.
His wife Ivy died on 19th May 1925, after the birth of their fourth child, John. He managed with the help of his sister Lucy to keep the family together. In May 1927, Leo married Laura Ruth White who took over the care of the four children. They went on to have another five sons and one daughter,
After the death of his wife, Ruth, in 1974, he and son Romuald (Toby) continued to live in the family home at 161 Rankin Street, Bathurst, for a few years. In 1977, due to ill health of both father and son, he went to live with his son Barrie at Wollar, taking holidays with other of his children from time to time. As the result of a fall he was taken to Sydney for an operation on his hip, however he died on 5th May 1980, six days after his 89th birthday.
His ten children remember him as a very quietly spoken gentle man whose good opinion they valued highly. He was a keen sportsman during his life, taking great interest in cricket, football and bowls. Not so long before leaving Bathurst great interest was aroused in the final of the Leagues Club bowling Championship, the finalists being Leo senior and Leo junior. The outcome was a win for Leo senior.
Around Bathurst there are many new buildings and additions and repairs to buildings, which stand as a memorial to his work. During Bishop Norton’s regime as Catholic Bishop of Bathurst Diocese, with Father Michael Dunne as his administrator, all work carried out on Diocesan buildings was done by Leo and in later years by his son Leo junior whom he had apprenticed. Many jobs for the Convents of St. Mary and St. Joseph’s at Perthville were done at a minimum charge if not gratis.
At his Requiem Mass in Sts. Michael and John’s Cathedral it was packed with people of all denominations who had come to pay their respects to a man they held in high regard for the quiet, honest and loyal way he had led his life.
LUCY ABELONIA SLATTERY nee RHEINBERGER
1895 – 1984
Lucy Abelonia Rheinberger, the youngest child of Peter Joseph and Abelonia Rheinberger, was born at “Willow Vale” Eurunderee, at 8.00 p.m. on Sunday, 2nd June 1895, with Dr. Nicol and Mrs. Dykes in attendance.
She started school on 14th April 1902, at Eurunderee Public School and later attended school at the Convent School, Mudgee. She also received her musical education there becoming an accomplished pianist and developing an excellent soprano voice. She taught music, became an active member of St. Mary’s Church choir and a soloist at many local concerts. For a number of years she worked as a tailoress with Tighe & Tighe, Tailors, Mudgee,
On 30th January 1926, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Mudgee, she married Patrick Joseph Slattery, a railway officer, and went to reside at Rooty Hill. For a period she resided at Boorowa where her husband was stationmaster. On his retirement they returned to their family home at Rooty Hill. In the early 1950’s she undertook a course in catechetic and became one of the first catechists to work in the Public High Schools. She continued this work for about fourteen years, During this period, her husband, somewhat immobilised by bad health, became the local bush fire brigade coordinator. In 1965 they then moved to Balgowlah, her husband dying in July 1966. She continued to reside at Balgowlah until ill health compelled her to move to a Nursing Home at North Sydney in July 1982.
Lucy died at the Nursing Home on 12th January 1984, and after Requiem Mass at St. Celilia’s Church, Balgowlah was buried beside her husband at Pine Grove Memorial Park, Eastern Creek.
Lucy and Patrick had three daughters, Marie (Mrs. Troy) of Balgowlah, Philomena (Mrs. Gudgeon) of Hobart and Moira (Mrs. Watkins) of Melbourne. At the time of her death there were five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.