Hudson at Murtoa -- Past Links Revealed

Carl Heinrich Schulz

Carl Heinrich SCHULZ was the 5th child and only son of Johann Heinrich SCHULZ a farmer and wife Johanna Caroline nee KRANZ. He was born on the 3rd of May 1877 at their farm 8 km N/E of Murtoa. The family lived in a house that Johann Heinrich SCHULZ built for 200 pounds ($400) around 1875. It was a 10 metre x 7 metre (33 ft x 23 ft) 5-room weatherboard house with an iron roof. The original hut built by Johann around 1873 was then used as a workmen's hut.

Carl and his 7 sisters - Emma, Anna (Minnie), Johanna (Louie), Maria, Caroline, Theresa and Olga, walked to School No 1549 at Murtoa. They cut across paddocks to save a couple of km off the distance. This was not the original school at Marma Street built in 1873 of bull-oak saplings plugged with mud, with a thatched roof and earthen floor, but the new school built in 1875 in Duncan Street. This new building was 40 ft x 20 ft with brick walls and a slate roof. It cost 600 ($1200) and opened for lessons on the 3rd of September 1877. To cater for the 150 students in 1880, a 25 ft x 20 ft brick extension was added and for safety, a fence was placed around the school the following year. In 1883, the year a porch was added, the headmaster Archibald Millar presented Carl with a small book called "Friend and Foe". By 1887 student enrolment had grown to 200 and the school got a proper bell which was rung every morning for 10 minutes before school started. Carl went on to complete 6th grade.

Carl then went to work on his parent's farm which was originally called Gum View. Here they successfully grew wheat and raised corriedale sheep. On the farm they also kept pigs, cows & poultry for domestic use. In 1890 there was a bad drought in the Wimmera and the family nearly went broke.

In his late teens, Carl had a bad accident one night when coming home from Murtoa. His horse took fright when going past the cemetery (perhaps it saw a ghost) and he was found unconscious some hours later. Carl had a real love for band and church music; he played the piano and belonged to the Murtoa Philharmonic Society. In 1891 Walter Brinkman formed the Coromby Band and Carl later joined the Band playing the Cornet.

Carl had a few girl friends including Elsa Wehl and Edith Sprake, but nothing seemed to work out. He fell in love with one girl but she was not a Lutheran and his parents forbade the marriage. But he did have some good friends in Conrad Hiller, Fred Germaine, Charlie Petering, Fred Holtkamp and Joe Hateley.

In 1914 Mr Charles McDonald a local builder constructed the present brick homestead adjoining the East side of the old weatherboard house. About this time they planted sugar gums around the homestead and after that the property became known as The Gums. Around 1916 the road came through, the workmen's hut had to be moved and it became a garage for Carl's first car a Studebaker.

A telephone line was run from Murtoa to the property during the 1st World War. So any one with a phone could turn the ringer and ask the operator at Murtoa for "50 please", to speak to The Gums. In the 1920's Carl installed a 32 volt DC electric light system at The Gums.

Carl sang in the choir at St Johns Lutheran Church Murtoa and it was here that he met Olga WAGNER. [ Olga was born at Murtoa on the 29th of December 1897. She was baptised at St Johns on the 30th of January 1898 and confirmed on the 26th of October 1912. That was in the old 50 ft x 25 ft (15.2 x 7.6 metre) wooden building with choir gallery that was dedicated on the 19th of August 1877, the year Carl was born.]

On the 6th of October 1921, Carl aged 44, married Olga Pauline WAGNER, aged 23, the 3rd daughter of Franz Ottomar WAGNER a blacksmith and wife Mathilda Dorothea Ottilie nee UHE. Bert Hiller was the best man and Irene Wagner was the bridesmaid. In appreciation Carl gave Irene a 3 diamond ring. Soon after the wedding, Carl's parents Johann & Caroline, retired to Murtoa in a newly built brick home called "Tahara" at 30 Cromie Street.

On Saturday the 20th of December 1924 his father Johann Heinrich died aged 84 at his home. On Monday the 22nd, Pastor J. Siegle led a prayer service at 30 Cromie Street, prior to a 2:30 pm service at St John's Lutheran Church. A long cortege consisting mostly of motor cars, then headed for Murtoa Cemetery where his body was lowered by 6 of his grandsons and Pastor Siegle conducted a graveside service. On the 22nd of March 1926, Carl's mother Johanna Caroline died and in similar circumstances to the above was buried next to her husband on the 23rd of March.

Olga had a strong dislike for pipes and made Carl burn his pipe in the smithy. Thereafter he smoked cigars which Olga liked the smell of and the occasional cigarettes which he used to carefully roll and which held twice as much tobacco as most other peoples cigarettes. After the Bowling Club at Murtoa was formed in 1922 Carl bought a set of bowls and played an occasional game with Arthur Sprake and others.

Carl and Olga had 3 daughters. Sheila on the 10th of May 1923, June Heather on the 14th of June 1925 & Phyllis Betty on the 24th of June 1928. In 1935, Olga, unfortunately had a miscarriage at 6 months, and Clive Howard only lived for 1 hour. Carl was very sad at losing his only son. But when Olga developed a pulmonary embolism some days later, his main concern was for her. Olga was in Murtoa hospital for 5 weeks with a clot of blood on her lung. Francis Uhe came out and helped look after the family while Olga was sick.

Carl was a loving husband and father, also a good friend to people in trouble. He did not hold a grudge or "pay back" any person who wronged him. He didn't say bad things about other people. He rarely drank beer or wine but did have a passion for menthol jubes. Some of his favourite sayings were - "Waste not want not" and "Stop eating when it's tasting the best". Punishment for wrong doing was always firm but mild. A slap on the bottom or legs, or a short stay in the broom cupboard was common punishment.

As a family they attended St Johns Lutheran Church regularly. Carl sat with his 3 daughters in the 2nd front left row which was handy for when he took up the collection. Olga sang in the choir and so sat up in the Balcony. Carl was a trustee of St Johns for many years and gave liberally to missions to aid the spread of Christianity. He read the bible to his children every night after tea and set a very good example for his children to follow.

The farm was too big for one man to manage so at any one time he usually employed a man to help with the horses, a lad to help with the cows and a maid to help in the home. Bert Herman came from Hamilton to take confirmation lessons at Murtoa. He worked at The Gums and for a short time at a property near Jung. The names of some of the other farm hands employed over the years include - Huxley Steelo, Leo Marks, Mick Fleming, Kurt Reichstein and Bob Gerdtz. They lived on the property and slept in workmen's huts. Around 1926 Carl bought 130 hectares [Lot 119 of 320 acres at 20 pound an acre] from his neighbour J Hamilton to increase his holding to 526 hectares (1300 acres). Gertie was employed to do domestic duties around the house until 1933 when she left to get married. Jessie Stevens and later Rita Chenoweth took over as maid at The Gums.

He mostly rose at 6am to help the men, usually to get the horses ready for the day's work. Carl and the workers came in at 7 am, and the children half an hour later, to have breakfast prepared by the maid. He had 2 full teams of 8 to 10 horses per team, plus several hacks, and riding horses including Hollie and Trixie. But his favourite riding horse was called Bonnie. Carl had a bull and about 8 cows for milking purposes. A teenage lad, Bill Quinlivan, was usually employed to milk the cows, separate the milk and feed the calves. Carl kept the household in fresh meat by killing and dressing fat lambs when required. Fat lambs and the occasional pig were also sold to the butcher at Murtoa. He built a stable and a big hay shed. Chaff cutting was done regularly on a chaff cutter powered by a Blackstone engine. A lot of wood had to be cut to fuel the cooking stove as well as feed the open fires in the cooler months.

He had three, 4 wheel buggies, a new 5 seater one for going to church etc, an old one for around the farm and a little 3 seater for taking the children to school in. Because the farm was 4km from the bus route, Carl would drive Sheila and later also June to school in Murtoa. He would leave at 8 o'clock and on the way he would sing and teach his children, ditties that he knew. In the coldest part of the winter he heated glazed bricks in the oven, wrapped them in newspaper and put them in the buggy for the children to put their feet on. Carl himself wore ear muffs that Gertie Reichstein the German maid had given him. When Betty started school, Sheila would drive the buggy, which they would leave in Otto & May Hiller's yard. In the 1930's there was a problem with hares. Carl joined many hare shoots and became a good shot. He also took great care in the cleaning and looking after of his shot gun and .22 rifle.

Around 1935 the big channels, bringing water from the Grampians came through the area to provide a reliable water supply for stock and to fill the dams. Prior to this, there were small channels fed from the Wimmera River. But these were likely to dry up in the summer months. Now there was enough water for a vegetable & flower garden, plus a dozen fruit trees. Using a buck board, Carl put about 10 hectares under irrigation to grow feed for the sheep. This together with the large hay shed and 3 hay stacks that they kept in reserve, greatly helped during times of drought. With the help of his sheep dogs, he kept a good check on his live stock. Carl's favourite dog was called Nigger or some times Schweinehund (pig dog). Speaking to his dog was the only time Carl was heard to swear.

Carl always managed the sheep himself, but he did employ locals from Murtoa to shear the sheep each year. When there were only about 300 sheep, they took them to Joe Hateley's shed for shearing. Later when the number grew to about 1000, Carl built a shed and they were shorn at The Gums.

Around 1938 Carl bought a model 'N' Lanz Bulldog tractor to replace the old '2 ton' Caterpillar tractor which was one of the first in the district. The work men mostly drove it though to cultivate the soil, to plant and to harvest wheat.

He attended to quite a number of routine tasks such as starting the engine for the lights, attending to the wind mill, changing oil and greasing the car, watering the orchard, mostly by pumping out the treated septic water which was not at all unpleasant as the system worked extremely well. Carl did not aspire to public life, but he took an active interest in every movement for the advancement of the town and district. For a time he was a member of the Murtoa Agricultural Society and the Bushfire Brigade.

olgacarl.jpg (31874 bytes)

Carl & Olga SCHULZ at The Gums.
Photograph taken 7th January 1940,
the day before Carl's operation.

Carl had brown eyes with dark hair that was turning grey and balding on top. He usually wore dark work pants and in the winter time, a flannel singlet, shirt and coat. He never wore overalls. He was 5 ft 10 inches (1.78 metres) tall and weighed 11 stone (70 kg). He read the Argus, the Leader and various church papers. Carl was also a keen cricket fan and would hate to miss a broadcast of the Australia v England test matches. His position as owner of a large farm did not affect his relationship with other people. He was highly respected by all people in the district. In those days, wealthy people were held in awe.

Some of the cars that Carl owned included a yellow Ruston Hornsbuy, a Rugby, a Studebaker and a Chev Coupe. In 1928 Carl bought a Buick for 800 ($1600), which was a lot of money in those days. With the advent of the motor car the family went away for yearly holidays. Favourite spots included Melbourne, Portland, Geelong and the Grampians. Sunday afternoons were often highlighted with a drive after lunch, to such places as Minyip, Donald or Sheep Hills. Carl enjoyed playing tennis with friends and his 3 daughters. In fact they had a loam court at The Gums which he maintained.

Apart from the occasional bout of flu, Carl enjoyed good health, which is why everyone was devastated when an operation on his thyroid gland on the 8th of January 1940 revealed a spreading malignancy. In June and August he went to Melbourne for ray treatment, but his health continued to deteriorate. Sister Hopkins from Horsham helped Olga nurse him at home from December 1940, but he died exactly 1 year after the operation on the 8th of January 1941, at 6am, aged 63 years. It was a very sad time for his wife and 3 daughters who were left without a male in the house. His horse Bonnie and dog Nigger also mourned their masters passing.

On Thursday the 9th of January 1941, his body was brought to St Johns Lutheran Church where a prayer service was conducted by Pastor J M Larsen. A lengthy cortege then proceeded to the Murtoa Cemetery where he was laid to rest, by 6 of his nephews. Amongst the many floral tributes which covered the polished coffin with silver mountings, was a dome wreath from the Murtoa A & P Society and a wreath from the Marma Traders Ltd. Mr V R Crouch had charge of the mortuary arrangements.

Bert Herman and others worked as share farmers for 8 years after Carl's death. In July 1948, Wallace and June HUDSON went to live and work at The Gums. Olga and Betty went to Murtoa around 1949. Carl's wife Olga died in Melbourne on the 11th of December 1982 and was buried with her husband at Murtoa on the 14th.