Additional information about the Lührs family
originating in Loxstedt.
The Journey of Carsten Lührs
Carsten Lührs (1807-1886)
Carsten Luhrs was born in Loxstedt, Germany on September 4th 1807.
As a young man he travelled to England, possibly in the company of
a man named George Müller. He worked in London for a time before sailing
to Australia on the brigantine Agenoria which called first at Hobart,
Tasmania with a load of timber, arriving at Port Adelaide on December 29th
1839. The photo above of Carsten Lührs was taken about 1870.
Carsten Luhrs is mentioned in the 1841 South Australian census as being
a "single male occupant" of his home. He and
George Muller at first leased and later purchased land at what is now the
Adelaide suburb of Payneham and were extremely successful farmers.
Both purchased other parcels of land and became quite wealthy.
In 1849, Carsten married Metta Caroline Louise Gehlken, the second daughter
of Claus and Caroline Gehlken from Gnarrenburg, Germany. The
family had arrived in South Australia in 1846 on the ship George Washington
from Bremen. Metta was only nineteen when she married Carsten who
was then forty-one. The couple had twelve children, seven daughters
and five sons. One daughter, Anna Margreta, died soon after birth.
A son, George died at the age of three from diphtheria. The other
ten children all grew to adulthood and married, but only two of the sons,
Frederick and Carl Henry (Harry) had children of their own.
The Lührs Homestead in Payneham about 1870.
The Loxstedt Lührs Descendants in Australia
During the 1880s and early 1890s Carsten's sons John, Frederick,
Carl Henry and Wilhelm all took up land in the "Wimmera" district of Victoria.
This area was and still is today, a grain growing area. All were
successful in this enterprise and each of the brothers subsequently
purchased land in other parts of Victoria.
John went to Benalla in northern Victoria, Frederick to Cavendish near
Hamilton in the western district, and William to Inverleigh near Geelong.
Descendants of Frederick Luhrs still farm land at Cavendish.
In 1911, Carl Henry (Harry) purchased a property at Dowling near Ballarat
for 11 pounds per acre. There the family grew wheat and oats,
ran sheep and kept several dairy cows.
Harry Luhrs was partially deaf from childhood and, as this disability
grew worse with age, the quality of his relationships
with other people deteriorated. He adored his first child, Lucy Winifred
(Winnie) and was deeply affected by her death, from pneumonia,
at the age of 4. His three sons, Clarence Ronald (Ron), Clifford
Malcolm (Cliff) and Bruce Harry, all described him as a difficult man with
a bad temper. His female relatives remembered him more fondly saying that
he was well educated and had good manners.
During the First World War (1914 to 1918) anti-German feeling
was rife in Australia with many German nationals (and even some who were
naturalised) being interned. German place-names, such
as Kaiser Stuhl in South Australia, were changed, and anything German
was very unpopular. The family suffered some of this prejudice, with the
children being taunted at school. As a result, they tended
to want to forget their German origins.
Harry was known for his love of horses and motor cars, being one of
the first people in the district to own a car. He was also
especially fond of his pet dog. In 1933, Harry Luhrs suffered
a stroke while mustering sheep and was paralysed down one side of his body.
He remained in this condition for two months before dying at the
age of 67.
After the death of Harry Luhrs, his three sons -- Ron, Cliff, and Bruce
-- continued to farm and acquired more land. Gradually the families
moved off the land, although they continued to farm part of the Dowling
property until the 1980s. The old family homestead in
Dowling was sold to a neighboring farmer in the 1950s and fell
into disrepair at the hands of a succession of tenants.
In the early 1970s the property was again sold and by now, because of the
encroachment of the suburbs of Ballarat, the land was acquired by
a developer who subdivided it into 10 acre blocks with 20 acres accompanying
the homestead. In June 1976, Bruce's daughter -- your hostess
on this website -- bought back the homestead with its small parcel of land
Bruce Harry Luhrs (1905-1976)
Today, the restored homestead, still with 20 acres of land, is the only
portion of the1200 acres previously owned by the Luhrs family still in
the hands of a family member. The district is no longer known as Dowling,
rather it is called Mitchell Park.
I hope you enjoyed this web page on my Luhrs ancestors in Australia.
Thanks for visiting our website.
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