THE LATE MR. F. W. A. KLAUER.
Mr. Frederick William Augustus Klauer, late landlord of the White Hart Hotel, Hindley street [Adelaide], died on Friday, August 16, at the North Adelaide Private Hospital. The deceased, who was 76 years of age, was for over 20 years a member of the Adelaide City Council.
Born at Gloina, Germany, in 1829, at the age of 19 he enlisted in the Kaiser’s army, and saw considerable service in skirmishes against the revolu-tionary Socialists. At Baden he was present at the tailing of Restadt. He there received a bayonet wound in the thigh.
Mr. Klauer afterwards spent some months in England and the United States, but hearing glowing accounts of Australia, returned to Liverpool and took a passage for Melbourne as a member of a German band, his funds having become exhausted. He walked from Geelong to Ballarat, and there joined a band which was formed in connection with the Eureka Stockade incident, to play the diggers up to the scene of what proved a tragic encounter with the Government troops.
At the Ovens diggings subsequently his party struck a pocket of gold and took out 80 oz. A run of luck followed, and each of the four men made £500 in a month. Mr. Klauer next went to the Indigo diggings, and there had a narrow escape with his life, for through the falling of a prop he was buried four hours in the drive. A boulder fell over him, and just allowed room for him to breathe.
Returning from the Crackenback diggings his party was snowed up for three days at the foot of Mount Kosciusko. The deceased was present at Lambing Flat, now the township of Young, when a riot occurred between Chinese and English diggers, and the former were burned out of their tents by the latter. Several diggers were wounded with sabre cuts inflicted by the police, and a bullet fired by a trooper struck a prop against which Mr. Klauer was leaning.
The deceased used to tell many interesting stories of the old mining days. One of them was as follows:-
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 be 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. Klauer returned to the Ovens from Lambing Flat, and there lost every penny of his money on a claim at Christmas Town, near Rutherglen. He moved from place to place on the various fields, and recovered his lost fortune to some extent. Then he joined an American circus, with which he came to Adelaide. His musical instinct led him to join the Theatre Royal orchestra, and he also played in other bands. Mr. Klauer was landlord successfully of the Clarendon, the Lady Fergusson, and the White Hart Hotels for over 30 years, and was the oldest publican in Adelaide. He was a prominent Freemason, having been a Past 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 Order of Knight Templars.
– Observer (Adelaide, SA), Saturday 25 August 1906.