Recently I wrote about the planned headstone unveiling ceremony and family reunion at Morgan. I wasn’t able to attend myself unfortunately, but did make a monetary contribution towards the headstone for our great grandparents Jack and Emily Kakoschke.
By all accounts the day was a great success. Fund-raising for the headstone was evidently ‘over-subscribed’ by around $300 and the surplus was donated to the Diabetes Association of SA.
I’d like to thank Helen and Rex Kakoschke for providing the following photographs and commentary:
We had a very good day on 18th April – some 45 people present. Oldest I think was Ron Leedham, and youngest Ken Kakoschke’s daughter Leigh Stewart’s baby boy 10 weeks old.
The trip out to the farm was enlightening and interesting – also went to the Lindley cemetery and ruins of church and School nearby.
The headstone looks very nice. The appeal to cover costs of this was over-subscribed, and according to the family’s wishes, I have just posted a cheque to the Diabetes Association of S.A. for $376.95.
The a/c will be closed next week. We received $1012.95 from the a/c which had moneys in it for the “Kakoschke” book.
The monumental work cost $3350. Some people thought JFWK may have suffered from diabetes, and it may have contributed to his death, hence the donation to Diabetes Ass.
As soon as I can get assistance with the pictures we took on the day, and reports, they will be emailed to you, as I too think it will be of interest to viewers of the web-site.
Many thanks, Helen K.
The following article was submitted by Helen Kakoschke to “Morgan Matters” and “Riverland News”;
It was just under two years ago that Rex and Helen Kakoschke, from Yorke Peninsula, were in the Riverland, and decided to visit the grave of Rex’s great-grandfather Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Kakoschke, who came from Rädnitz, Prussia, to Australia on the ship “Edvuard” in 1878.
What Rex found was three mounts of dirt in the Morgan Cemetery – and so began the planning for a permanent memorial to the memory of a man who’s left some eight hundred descendants in this land.
The venture came to fruition on Sunday morning 18th April, 2010, when forty-five descendants gathered at the Cemetery for a short ceremony, and unveiling of the Memorial headstone to Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Kakoschke, who died in February 1915, his wife Emilie Augusta (nee Wittwer, who died in April 1925, and one of their sons Adolph Heinrich Kakoschke (child No. 17), who died in June 1915, aged 10 years.
The oldest direct descendant present was J.W. Ronald Leedham, aged 84, only son of child No 8, Selma (Zellie) Kakoschke, and the youngest was ten-week old baby Kaelen Gibson Stewart, all the way from Melbourne for the weekend, sixth generation of Child No. 1 (Johann Gustav Herrmann (Jack) Kakoschke.
Fifteen of the original eighteen Kakoschke children survived to adulthood, and made homes at nearby Burra, Lameroo or Adelaide.
After lunch at the local Commercial Hotel, most of the group went on a tour, led by Kevin Kakoschke (well known in S.A. for his historical work at Radium Hill) to the Lindley area, to see “Swamp Farm”, as it was named, and the ruins of the Lindley School and church, where they worshipped.
It was clear from the tour that these pioneers of the Morgan district had it tough, and that the people present appreciated and admired their dogged persistence, fortitude and Christian faith in the face of hardships, not experienced by anyone present that day.
As Rex said in his speech at the graveside, “We salute you and say thanks for giving us the chance to be living in a free country and a land of opportunity”.
The following article was submitted by Helen Kakoschke to “Together”, the Lutheran Church Paper:
Ninety-five years ago in February 1915, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Kakoschke died at Lindley, near Morgan in South Australia, and was buried a few days later in the Morgan cemetery. He was 64 years old . One son, Adolph Heinrich Kakoschke, aged ten years, died in June that same year.
Friedrich (as he was known according to Mid-Murray Council records) had married Emilie Augusta Wittwer, an Eden Valley girl, born in 1864. She died in 1925, and is also buried in the same plot.
Friedrich and Emilie had eighteen children, fifteen of whom survived to adulthood, and made homes for themselves at nearby Burra, Lameroo and Adelaide. About 800 descendants are now in Australia.
Rex & Helen Kakoschke of Yorke Peninsula, went looking for the graves in 2008, and were disappointed to find them unmarked – and so began the planning for a permanent memorial in their memory.
Rex is a great-grandson of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Kakoschke, who migrated to Australia from Rädnitz in the Kingdom of Prussia, in 1878, coming out on the ship “Edvuard”. He was 27 years of age. He went to work for Johann Gottfried Wittwer, the father of his future bride, at near Point Pass. It is possible that their families may have known each other in Prussia, as Brody is approximately 14 kms from Rädnitz.
Friedrich and Emilie married in 1880, and settled down at their main property “Swamp Farm” in the Hundred of Lindley, and the family attended the Lutheran church and school at Lindley, the ruins of which are still to be seen alongside the Lindley cemetery, some 15 kms out of Morgan.
On Sunday 18th April 2010, forty-five descendants gathered at the Morgan cemetery for the short ceremony and unveiling of the memorial headstone. Thanksgiving prayers were said, hymn “Now thank we all our God” was recited, and the Australian National Anthem was sung before the headstone was uncovered.
After lunch at the local Hotel, a tour out to the old farm ruins and land was taken. All who went on this tour, realized how difficult Friedrich & Emilie’s life was, hearing again the stories of the hardships of taking up virgin country and working very hard through droughts and good seasons, to provide for their ever-growing family.
So, ninety-five years after his death, a permanent memorial to Friedrich and Emilie has been constructed, and they have been remembered and thanked for their contribution to South Australian history. Thanks be to God, who gave them the strength to endure.
Footnote from Bart:
If you happen to have any old Kakoschke photographs, please contact me.