Wilhelm "William" Kruschke (1846 - 1900)



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William volunteered & joined the colonial forces (Waikato Milita) fighting in the Maori wars. He joined the 2/18th Regiment, the only colonial force remaining in the country, their departure delayed by political pressure over the "peril" still facing settlers; the last soldiers finally left in February 1870.
He could have opted for a land grant in NZ but accepted a lump sum payment and returning to Van Deimens land with a pregnant Esther Trmble. He rejoined two of the three surving brothers at Mathina.
Christian, Augusta, Christopher & Louisa were already at Fordveiw, Upper Ringarooma and building a 2 room hut on the banks of the Dorset River

1875 With 1 pack horse (Three of his brothers) Charles 24, Frederick 22 and Christopher 16 set out along the banks of the Dorset River prospecting. On April 22 1875 with the young Christopher leading & his two elder brothers following with the pack horse he turns right at a sharp bend in the Dorset and follows a tributary (Main Creek) uphill with the intention of getting a better view of the surroundings from higher ground.Christopher notices a glint in quartz rock on a sharp escarpment and calls his brother. On the information gleaned from George Renison Bell they realised they have discovered quartz bearing tin. They staked it out and named it Black Boy.

1875 In October Charles, Frederick & Christopher were prospecting along the banks of a small creek (Brothers Creek) which runs into the Ringarooma River in the Cascade Valley. Here they discovered and stake a claim on a rich load of alluvial tin which they named Brothers Home Mine. Sam Diprose is appointed Mine Manager when the mine is established. Sam later marries Louisa with George Renison
Bell as best man.

Around 1875 Wilhelm who had decide to prospect on his own discovers & stakes a tin mine which he calls the Lone Brothers Mine at Derby

They quickly contacted their now lifelong friend George Renison Bell (Little Bell) who along with other friends stake out further claims along the creek.

1876 The Krushka brother cut a cart track from the mine to the original town of Ringarooma on Ringarooma Bay (Boobyalla) as it was faster & cheaper to ship the ore to Launceston from there than out of Bridport. They build a bridge across the Ringarooma River for the track and name it Krushkas Bridge (renamed Moorina)
In the same period they purchase other parcels of land near the mine & at Upper Ringarooma.
William’s Lone Brother Mine failed and was offered a share in the Brothers Home Mine which he rejected.

He later along with Sam Diprose jointly ran Brothers Home as Mine Managers as the other three brothers spent their time running the land hildings in the district.

1877 Wilhelm opens a store in the small settlement of Krushkas Bridge

1882 In January the Governor Sir George C Strahan in the town of Krushka with the intention of naming it Strahan. He stays in the largest house in town (North View) and after a night of merriment departs without proclaiming it Strahan.

The discovery of tin in and around the Cascade River Valley in the 1800's by George Renison Bell, the Krushka Brothers and others leads to the rapid development of farms & logging in the North East and the towns of Brothers Home (renamed Derby) Krushka Town (renamed Ringarooma) & Krushkas Bridge (renamed Moorina.
The original port town of Ringarooma at the mouth of the Ringarooma River was renamed Boobyalla. Mining, dredging, logging and land clearing along the length of the Ringarooma River created major siltting at it’s mouth resulting in the loss of the town and port.

The area had been surveyed in 1855, but was not settled until 1874, Krushka brothers discovered a large lode of tin, and set up a mine (named The Brothers Mine) in the area, assuring the town's economic future. The town was originally known as Brother's Home until renamed Derby (believed to be after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom).

Brother's Home Post Office opened on 1 August 1882 and was renamed Derby in 1885.

Derby reached its peak in the late 19th century, when its population reached over 3,000, and the Brothers Mine (renamed the Briseis Mine after the winner of the 1876 Melbourne Cup) was producing upwards of 120 tonnes of tin per month.
On 4 April 1929, the Briseis Dam used by the mine burst after heavy rains and the Cascade River flooded the town, killing 14 people. The mine was closed, but re-opened five years later although it never reached the same level of output as it had in the last century and closed in 1948
The Briseis Dam Disaster resulted from the bursting of a dam constructed on the Cascade River above Derby to supply water for hydraulic tin mining operations. Following unprecedented rainfall of 450 millimetres during the previous two days, on 4 April 1929 a deluge of 125 millimetres fell in one and a half hours on the catchment area above the Briseis Dam.
The resultant flood broke the dam, and a huge wall of water surged down the river valley towards the town, engulfing several houses and other buildings and pouring into the workings of the Briseis Mine. Fourteen lives were lost, including one family of five who were sitting down to a meal when their home was carried away. Senior Constable William Taylor was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal and the King George Medal for bravery in saving eight stranded miners

Wilhelm "William" Kruschke Biography & Family History

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Wilhelm "William" Kruschke was also known as:



at Prussia,


in at Launceston, Tasmania,

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Mother: Johanna "Jane Louisa" Clocke Kruschke
Father: Christian Kruschke
Siblings: Christopher Krushka, Fennit Kruschke, Augusta Freder Kruschke Gill, Charles Matthew Kruschke, Frederick Kruschke, Wilhelmina Krushka, Miene Wilhelm Krushka, and Louisa Joanna (Krushka) Diprose

Wife: Esther Krushka

Wife: Sarah Gill Krushka

Wife: Clara Moore Krushka

Wife: Hellen Stevens Krushka
Children with Hellen: Oscar Krushka


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Colonial Forces (Maori Wars)
2/18th Regiment

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1846 - In the year that Wilhelm "William" Kruschke was born, on April 25th, conflict widened in Texas' border disputes with Mexico, following the US annexation of Texas. On May 13th, the United States declared war on Mexico and the Mexican-American War officially began.

1857 - By the time he was merely 11 years old, on March 4th, James Buchanan became the 15th President of the United States. Called a "doughface" by many - a Northerner with Southern sympathies - he said that he would only serve one term and he did what he said.

1863 - He was 17 years old when on January 1st, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation made the abolition of slavery in the Confederate states an official war goal. It also immediately freed 50,000 slaves, with the rest freed as Union armies advanced into Confederate states. The Proclamation wasn't a Congressional law - it was an Executive Order.

1876 - When he was 30 years old, on November 2nd, a giant squid - a little over 20 feet long - washed up on a beach at Thimble Tickle Bay in Newfoundland. It's still a rare occurrence since giant squid live in deep sea at 1000 to 3000 foot depth.

1900 - In the year of Wilhelm "William" Kruschke's passing, the U.S. population exceeded 75 million, rising about 13 million from the 1890 census. 87.9% of the population was white, 11.6% was African-American, 0.7% was Hispanic, and 0.5% was Native American, Asian, and other minorities.

Wilhelm "William" Kruschke Family Tree

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edit Wilhelm "William" Kruschke & Esther Krushka
Wilhelm "William" Kruschke
Wilhelm "William" Kruschke & Esther Krushka
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Wilhelm "William" Kruschke
Wilhelm "William" Kruschke & Sarah Gill Krushka
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Wilhelm "William" Kruschke
Wilhelm "William" Kruschke & Clara Moore Krushka
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Wilhelm "William" Kruschke
Wilhelm "William" Kruschke & Hellen Stevens Krushka

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Wilhelm "William" Kruschke, father to 1 child, passed away in 1900 at Launceston, Tasmania at 54 years of age. No cause of death has been listed for Wilhelm. Wilhelm was born in 1846 at Prussia. He was born to Johanna "Jane Louisa" Clocke Kruschke and Christian Kruschke, with siblings Christopher, Fennit, Augusta , Charles, Frederick, Wilhelmina, Miene, and Louisa. He married Esther Trimble and Esther died. Wilhelm married Sarah Gill and Sarah died. He also married Clara Moore and Clara died. He would also marry Hellen Stevens and Wilhelm died. They gave birth to Oscar Krushka.

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