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Eggers, Karl Friedrich Wilhelm (1815–1882)

by F. J. H. Blaess

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Eggers (1815-1882), by Townsend Duryea

Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Eggers (1815-1882), by Townsend Duryea

State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 6355

Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Eggers (1815-1882), printer and journalist, was born in Brunswick, Hanover, Germany, son of a medical practitioner of some repute. He received a good education, including university training. In 1843 he went to London and was employed by the printing firm of Clowes, Gilbert & Rivington. He arrived at Port Adelaide in the Thomas Lowry late in 1848. He worked at Dehane's printery in King William Street and then joined the mechanical staff of the Adelaide Register and Observer. By February 1850 he was acting as the German reporter for the Register. In March 1851 he applied successfully for the position of German interpreter for the Law Courts at a salary of £100.

In September 1851 Eggers became the proprietor of the Adelaider Deutsche Zeitung. This paper had been founded in April by Rudolf Reimer, who had then bought the Süd-Australische Zeitung and merged the two. Eggers also bought the German printing press and type. He issued the Adelaider Deutsche Zeitung twice a week from 1853 to 1862, establishing his printery in the Register Building, Grenfell Street. A few years later he entered into partnership with Georg Eimer, but retired in 1874 after printing the first year's issues of Der Lutherische Kirchenbote für Australien. Eggers continued his own printery and resumed the Kirchenbote in July 1878. In 1879 he began editing and publishing a book almanac, the Adelaide Volks Kalender but because of ill health in October 1880 he had to arrange for the type to be set elsewhere. After several paralytic strokes Eggers died at his home in Angas Street, Adelaide, on 30 January 1882 and was buried in the West Terrace cemetery. He was survived by his widow, Henriette, née Roenfeld, whom he had married on 2 March 1850 at Adelaide, and by a daughter and granddaughter. The Observer obituarist praised Eggers's literary tastes, his culture, his many contributions to the English press of the colony and his keen interest in the affairs of German colonists.

His brother, Julius Friedrich Carl (b.1828), arrived at South Australia in the Australia in December 1850, married Henriette Waldemine Friederike Helmke on 8 July 1853, and settled on the land, first at Cockatoo Valley and later on the Kingsford estate, where he died on 25 May 1871. Julius's eldest son, Carl Friedrich Wilhelm, was born at Cockatoo Valley on 10 September 1854. At 15 he managed his father's farm and then branched out on his own at Concordia near Gawler and later at Wasleys. In 1878 he married Anna Marie Konzag. In 1905 he became a justice of the peace. He was president of the National League, a member of the local school board and of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, a trustee of the Lutheran Church and a founder of a new Lutheran church at Wasleys. In 1919 he retired to Adelaide where he died in 1944.

Select Bibliography

  • Register (Adelaide), 5 Jan, 12 Apr 1848, 19 Dec 1850
  • Süd-Australische Zeitung, 30 May 1871
  • Observer (Adelaide), 4 Feb 1882
  • German newspaper files, vol 22 (Adelaide Institute)
  • CSO letters (State Records of South Australia)
  • family information.

Citation details

F. J. H. Blaess, 'Eggers, Karl Friedrich Wilhelm (1815–1882)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/eggers-karl-friedrich-wilhelm-3472/text5313, published in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 30 October 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

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