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Ferdinand Moritz Krausé (1841–1918)

by P. L. Day and J. L. Knight

This article was published:

Ferdinand Moritz Krausé (1841-1918), civil engineer and geologist, was born on 24 February 1841 at Cassel, Germany, the youngest son of Frederich Wilhelm Krausé, comptroller of the provincial treasury. At 16 he went to London where he qualified as a civil engineer and was later elected a fellow of the Linnean and Geological Societies. He arrived at Melbourne in the Black Eagle in January 1859 and was naturalized on 6 January 1868.

By 1863 Krausé was working at Daylesford with Ambrose Johnson, mining surveyor, on the scheme proposed by E. Wardle for the Castlemaine and Sandhurst water supply, and in 1865 Krausé supported it successfully before the select committee of inquiry. In December he was appointed engineer and surveyor in the Water Supply Department and in 1868 transferred to the Ballarat and Ballarat East Water Supply Committee. In March 1870 he became surveyor with the Geological Survey of Victoria at £1 15s. a day and was also mining registrar and inspector without additional salary. He reported on the black coal deposits of Westernport and Cape Paterson in 1871-72. In 1871 he and Reginald Murray laid the foundations of the Ballarat School of Mines Geological Museum collection, both being honorary curators. Krausé also took part in work for the Gong Gong and Stony Creek reservoirs and the planning of the Ballarat-Ararat and Stawell railway lines. His next major work was the survey of 600 sq. miles (1554 km²) of rugged country between Jan Juc and Apollo Bay extending inland to Birregurra. He discovered similar rock sequences to the Westernport area but no workable coal seams. On transfer to the Ararat district in 1872 as mining surveyor he reported on the suitability of various quarries in the Grampians as sources of building stone. His meticulous survey of the Ararat goldfield was published in 1875. In November Krausé married Amy Augusta Dimock (1859-1933). Her fossil collection, still bearing her neat labels, is now in the Ballarat School of Mines. She often accompanied him on his field-work which took him to the Ovens, Creswick, Blackwood, Daylesford, Geelong and Upper Yarra areas and to Lal Lal where he reported on Victoria's only iron-smelting works in 1877. On Black Wednesday 1878 he was dismissed but was appointed in March 1879 as a surveyor with the Lands Department.

In June 1880 Krausé was appointed to the Ballarat School of Mines as lecturer in 'geology, palaeontology, mineralogy, electricity, magnetism, scientific mining, geological and topographical surveying' and as museum curator. In 1881 he was appointed professor of geology and in 1892 was elected president of the Staff Association. He was held in high repute by his students and also known as a keen musician. He resigned from the School of Mines to be lecturer in mining at the University of Melbourne from June 1895 to January 1897. Whilst at Ballarat in 1887-90 he had completed geological maps and reports on the parishes of Haddon, Carngham, Scarsdale, Lillerie, Smythesdale and Comeralghip; these were published in 1898. The Institute of Surveyors elected him a member in 1891. His Introduction to the study of Mineralogy for Australian readers was published in Melbourne in 1896. In January 1897 he became manager of the General Gordon mine near Kalgoorlie. In 1900 he contributed an article to the Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine on the mining geology of Kalgoorlie. Invited by a former student, George Denny, Krausé left for South Africa in 1901. His last work was a geological map of the Barberton area, Transvaal, published in March 1918. He died on 16 June, survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.

Select Bibliography

  • D. H. Bowers (ed), The Ballarat School of Mines: Retrospect 1870-1970 (Ballarat, 1970)
  • Votes and Proceedings (Legislative Assembly, Victoria), 1864-65, 2 (D19)
  • W. Baragwanath, notes
  • private information.

Citation details

P. L. Day and J. L. Knight, 'Krausé, Ferdinand Moritz (1841–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessed online 24 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne University Press), 1974

View the front pages for Volume 5

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Cossack, Ladislaus Sylvester

24 February, 1841
Cassel, Germany


16 June, 1918 (aged 77)
South Africa

Cultural Heritage

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