Albert August Hohenhaus

Albert August HOHENHAUS

Albert August Hohenhaus (1854-1940)

I KNOW almost as little about Albert August HOHENHAUS as I've gleaned about his father Friedrich.

Born in Deutsch Krone, Albert came to Australia with the rest of the family aboard the Humboldt in 1870. One of the earliest references to him can be found in his naturalisation papers (Queensland Archives No. 4300) completed at Ipswich, Queensland on 9 August 1878, when he stated he was a 24-year-old labourer.

The next time I've found him mentioned is in the 1884 Ipswich Municipal Council Valuation Register (No. A/27952 Queensland Archives - Runcorn) which records the name of Albert HAHANS in relation to payment of rates for a property in Brisbane Street, Little Ipswich. Albert's marriage certificate in 1886 states that he was a storekeeper. From the rate valuation registers it's evident that his father Friedrich owned or ran a bootmaker's store in Brisbane Street and Albert managed his what might have been a grocery store across the road until about the turn of the century.

In 1901, he was listed in the Queensland Post Office Directory as a Contractor at Coleyville (about seven miles from Harrisville). By 1903, he seems to have divested himself of his interest in the Brisbane Street property and bought a farming property at Rosevale, not far from Harrisville.

There is good reason to speculate this property originally belonged to Albert's father-in-law, Karl Meier. It seems likely that Albert's marriage to Louise Meier in 1886 is the only way the former Ipswich grocer could have become a property owner.

By all accounts, the Rosevale property was never much of a success. It is dry country throughout most of the year, and it must have been heart-breaking to run even a few head of dairy cattle there.

Albert had little farming experience. I can only speculate that any knowledge he had of farming practices must have been gained before acquisition of the Rosevale property in the malt-growing regions of western Prussia during his early teens.

In 1916, when he declared his `Oath of Allegiance' - brought about by the war with Germany in WW1 - he said he was living in Rosevale. When he registered to vote in 1920, he declared he was a farmer living at Rosevale and the post office directory listed him there annually until 1933.

Albert is also said to have worked as a 'hawker' in the Fassifern/Rosevale area and recent evidence confirms that he was a Lay Preacher in the Rosevale Church of Christ. In January 1999, an 87 year-old parishioner told me he had heard my great grandfather deliver a few sermons at the Rosevale Church of Christ. The parishioner said Albert was the butt of many schoolboy jokes for his stocky stature and German accent. Another source told me Albert was able to canter a horse at the age of 84 and he always carried a bag of peppermints.

He died October 6, 1940 and was buried in the Harrisville Cemetery. A trip to the cemetery in July 1999 failed to identify Albert's grave (or that of his daughter Emma), as many of the cemetery's old markers were missing or broken.

Any anecdotes about Albert, his life or family, are always keenly sought.