Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Klauer (1829-1906)

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Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Klauer (b.1829 Kingdom of Prussia - d. 1906 Adelaide, South Australia) was a soldier, publican, musician, and City of Adelaide councillor.

Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Klauer
Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Klauer in his Masonic vestments circa 1880 [SLSA PRG 280/1/18/274]
Kingdom of Prussia
Died17 August 1906
North Adelaide, Province of South Australia
Resting placeWest Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
  • Prussian (1829-1874)
  • British(1874-1906
  • 1.Soldier
  • 2.Miner
  • 3.Publican
  • 4.Musician
  • 1. Eliza Ann Rutter (married 1871 Adelaide)


Author: Rita Bogna (edited and adapted by Benjamin Hollister)

Credits: Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Klauer (1829–1906) in his Masonic vestments circa 1880 State Library of South Australia Searcy Collection PRG 280/1/18/274; Frederick William August Klauer (1876–?) at the age of 10 dressed as a Prussian hussar 1887 State Library of South Australia Children's Fancy Dress Ball 1887 Collection B 7723/194; Anton Albert Klauer (1874–1951) at the age of 13 dressed as the Czar of Russia 1887 State Library of South Australia Children's Fancy Dress Ball 1887 Collection B 7723/193; Eva Eliza Klauer (Mrs. William Thomas Everett) (1870–1962) at the age of 17 dressed as South Australia 1887 State Library of South Australia Children's Fancy Dress Ball 1887 Collection 7723/195; Leonora Bertha Caroline Klauer (Mrs. George Rolfe Stow) (1865–1923) circa 1905 State Library of South Australia Searcy Collection PRG 280/1/34/278; the White Hart Hotel in Hindley Street circa 1878 when it was owned by Klauer State Library of South Australia Acre 77 Collection B 10711; Members of the Commercial Rowing Club 1894 Leopold Ernest William Klauer is pictured in the back row first from the left State Library of South Australia Port Adelaide Collection B 62070.

In Germany

Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Klauer was born in 1829 in Prussia to Wilhelm Klauer. At the age of 19 he joined the Prussian army and “saw considerable service in skirmishes against the revolutionary Socialists”. He was present in Baden at the taking of the Rastatt Fortress in July 1849 and received a bayonet wound in the thigh.

In Australia

Klauer afterwards spent some months in England and the United States, but hearing glowing accounts of Australia, he returned to England. He boarded a ship in Liverpool bound for Melbourne as a member of a German band, as by then he had run out of money. Klauer walked from Geelong to Ballarat in Victoria and there joined a band formed in connection with the Eureka Stockade, to play the diggers up to the scene of their tragic confrontation with the troopers. At the Ovens diggings in north-east Victoria, Klauer's party struck a pocket of gold and took out 80 ounces. A run of luck followed and each of the four men made £500 in one month. Klauer next went to the diggings at Indigo. There he had a narrow escape with his life when a prop fell on him and he was buried for four hours in the drive. A boulder fell over him and only allowed him room to breathe. Returning from the Crackenback diggings, Klauer's party was snowed in for three days at the foot of Mount Kosciusko. Klauer was present at Lambing Flat (now the township of Young) when a riot broke out between Chinese and English diggers, and the Chinese were burned out of their tents by the English. Several diggers were wounded with sabre cuts inflicted by the police and a bullet fired by a trooper struck a prop against which Klauer was leaning. Later in life Klauer was fond of telling stories of his mining days: “When I was at the Woolshed I met a man who had taken £12,000 out of the ground. His favourite pursuit was to play skittles with champagne bottles at a guinea a bottle. Once he walked into the hotel, and asked the landlord how much liquor he had in his bar and what it was worth. The value was reckoned at £80. The man made the landlord stack the grog on the bar counter, and then swept it off with a piece of board, smashing the lot. 'Here's your £80,' he said, 'and I'll never come into your pub again if you don't keep better stuff. I afterwards met this same man in Dunedin, when he hadn't a cent to bless himself with”. “At that time I met Robert O'Hara Burke, who afterwards lost his life exploring. He was warden of goldfields, and he and I were great chums. On one occasion there was a dispute between two Irishmen respecting a claim, and they went at it hammer and tongs. Burke sat down on a heap of dirt, and said, 'Now look here, boys, there's nothing I like better than a good old Irish shindy. You go on and fight it out'. They did go on with axe handles and so forth, and when they had finished Burke said, 'Now tell me what it is all about,' and gave his decision. Burke was a thorough gentleman. He spoke German fluently, and for 12 months we were constant companions. Some time later, when his remains had been recovered from the bush, I had the melancholy satisfaction of attending his funeral”. ('Mr. F.W.A. Klauer', Observer, 25 August 1906 p.36) Klauer returns to the Ovens from Lambing Flat and there lost all his money on a claim at Christmas Town near Rutherglen. He moved from place to place on the various goldfields and recovered his fortune to some extent. Then he joined an American circus with which he came to Adelaide. His musical instincts led him to join the Theatre Royal orchestra, and he played in other bands as well. On 27 October 1871 Klauer married Eliza Ann Taylor (née Rutter) at St. Luke's Anglican Church in Whitmore Square, Adelaide. The couple already had three children, Leonora Bertha Caroline (Mrs. George Rolfe Stow) (1865–1923), Leopold Ernest William (1868–1915) and Eva Eliza (Mrs. William Thomas Everett) (1870–1962). After their marriage they had more children: Anton Albert (1874–1951), Frederick William August (1876–?), Frances Louise (Mrs. Herbert Edgar Paul) (1878– 1947), Ethel Maud (1881–1901), William Ross Joseph (1884–1969) and Mabel Emily Jane (1885–1885). Klauer was an elected member of the Adelaide City Council for 20 years, having first been elected as a Councillor for Gawler Ward. He later represented Grey Ward. Klauer's wife Eliza Ann died on 13 June 1902 at the age of 62 and was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery (Road 4 Path 24 Site 45 West) three days later. Klauer died in the North Adelaide Hospital after a serious illness on 17 August 1906 at the age of 76 and was buried with her in a vault which also contains the remains of their daughters Mabel who died in 1885 at the age of 5 months and Ethel Maud who died in 1901 at the age of 20. Klauer was the publican of the Clarendon Hotel (1867) in Hindley Street, the Lady Fergusson Hotel (1869) in Currie Street (which he founded) and the White Hart Hotel (1869–1871, 1871–1887 and 1889–1890) in Hindley Street, and was the oldest publican in Adelaide at the time of his death. He was a founder of the Licensed Victuallers' Association, was its President in 1882–1883 and 1868–1886 and was at all times a strong advocate for unity among the trade. He was also a director of the Adelaide Aerated Waters and Brewing Company, a Justice of the Peace and served as a magistrate. He was a prominent Freemason, having been Master of the Duke of Leinster Lodge, Provincial Sub-Prior of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, and a Grand Prelate of the Masonic Order of Knight Templars. Klauer was also a member of the Ancient Order of Forresters. For many years he was a Vice-President of the Mercantile Rowing Club and greatly helped the Club in many ways.


Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus and Eliza Ann had fnine children:

Name Birth Death Spouse
Leonora Bertha Caroline 1865 1923 George Rolfe Stow
Leopold Ernest William 1868 1915
Eva Eliza 1870 1962 William Thomas Everett
Anton Albert 1874 1951
Frederick William August 1876
Frances Louise 1878 1947 Herbert Edgar Paul
Ethel Maud 1881 1901
William Ross Joseph 1884 1969
Mabel Emily Jane 1885 1885

Residences in the City

Dates Place Current Address Co-ordinates

Work in the City

Dates Place Current Address Co-ordinates

Published Obituary

From The Chronicle, Saturday 25 August 1906:

Mr. Frederick William August Klauer of Hilton, died- t thevNorth. Adelaide private hospital on August 17. Mr. Klauer, who was born of German parents in Yorkshire 76 years ago, was one of the best known men in Adelaide. For many years he kept the White Hart Hotel in Hindley-street and for two decades he represented Gawler ward in the Adelaide City Council. He was a great supporter of manly sports, especially rowing, and he identified himself also with, the Locomotive Band, which- he

accompanied last year to the Ballarat com petitions. He had for some years lived a retired life on his estate at Hilton, but be still retained interests in various commer cial enterprises in the city. He will be greatly missed in many quarters, his genial

disposition making him a general favorite. ' "OBITUARY". Chronicle. Vol. 49, , no. 2, 505. South Australia. 25 August 1906. p. 47. Retrieved 1 November 2021 – via National Library of Australia.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)


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