Noske Family Butchers in Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf

The following details related to the Noske butcher hierarchy was compiled by Reg Butler (Hahndorf Historian) and were extracted from his computer files.

The Origin of the Noske Surname

Of eastern German and Slavic origin.  In translation, it means John.  1st appeared in 1330, as a Martin Nosselin, in Kuttenburg, Bohemia.  This town is now known as Hora Kutna, since the formation of Czechoslovakia in 1918.  A former silver-lead mining town on the main railway and road link between Prague and Vienna.  Mines at their height in the Middle Ages.  Many beautiful buildings, including a former palace of the Habsburg emperors.  Now a manufacturing town, especially farm implements and cloth, tanneries.  On the River Czaslau.  On the edge of an extensive plain, a centre of Protestant thought in Bohemia.  A Hussite leader, John Ziska, is buried in Czaslau.

The Australian Noskes originate some 260 km to the north-east - in Nekla Hauland, a small village south-east of Posen, the capital of the Prussian province of Posen.  Nekla is only some 40 km away from the Silesian border.  Noskes possibly came to Posen, via Silesia, which from the 14th century, acknowledged the overlordship of the Kings of Bohemia.  In the 17th & early 18th centuries, much unrest due to claims by neighbouring rulers for the right to control Silesia.  Prussia won this tussle in 1763.  Many people fled to neighbouring Posen, a little quieter than Silesia at this particular period.

Posen remained under Polish rule until 1772, when Prussia seized northern Posen.  The southern part, including Nekla, followed in 1793.  Nekla Hauland is in Kreis Schroda.  In the upper reaches of the tributaries of the Oder River, which flows to the north, to empty into the Baltic Sea at Stettin.  Nearly 950 s hectares in area, with some 60 houses.  Nearly 500 people, almost equally divided between German and Slavic origin.  Nekla Hauland had an Evangelical Church.  Roman Catholics went to nearby Nekla.  Land slightly more fertile than in neighbouring Brandenburg - rich marsh; even the sand mixed with fertile loam to produce excellent cropping soil.

Posen city one of the oldest in Europe.  Christianity came early and the city became a bishopric and a member of the Hanse League.  German, English & Scotch merchants settled here early.  Enormous numbers of troops in the garrison, much expanded during the 19th century.  Centre for printing and 3 annual trade fairs - the Midsummer Fair particularly popular.

Province Posen produces much wheat, fish, bees, vegetables & fruit.  Extensive pastures with numerous herds of horses, cattle & swine.  'Agricultural operations are carried on in a very careless manner.  The country suffered very severely by the late wars, and this, together with the changes in the government, checked the agricultural improvements which had been successfully commenced under the Prussian government.  Since 1815 however a better state of things has been gradually established.  The common people live in a very simple and poor manner ...'  First waves of Germans came in as a result of unrest in neighbouring Silesia.  Frederick the Great modernised agriculture and manufacture very much, along the Rivers Wartha & Netze, north of Posen city.  That to the south more traditional.

Another group of Nuske/Noske in Barth, a coastal town in Pommern, near the border with Mecklenburg c1450-1500.  Less likely, as movement of people did not occur naturally between Pommern and Posen.

Gustav Noske - Craneford's Quality Butcher 1866-1869

Born in 1843 at Nekla Hauland, Posen, Prussia, Gustav Noske emigrated to South Australia with his parents and the families of two uncles, aboard the Heloise in 1847.  After his childhood at Tabor Valley, near Lobethal, Gustav completed a butchering apprenticeship with Carl Käsehagen, of Lyndoch.  Full of hope, Gustav bought a number of allotments in the newly-founded township of Craneford (between Eden Valley and Angaston) in 1866 and operated a butcher shop there until c1869, when the majority of the population shifted away.  G Noske then purchased the Käsehagen business at Lyndoch, where he remained as a prosperous butcher for the rest of his life.  Died 1910.  Gustav’s grandson, Max, established a butcher shop at No 78 Main Street, Hahndorf, in 1968.  Max’s only son, Timothy, has recently joined him in the business, bringing to the fourth generation the Noskes trading as butchers in South Australia in this particular line.

LYNDOCH RESIDENT DROWNED - Gawler, March 17.  [Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Friday 18 March 1910]  -  Mr. Gustav Noske, of Lyndoch, was accidentally drowned this morning.  The deceased who had just made his butchers business over to his son, went to feed the pigs at 11 o'clock.  As he did not return to dinner his son went to search for him and found his hat floating on the dam near the slaughter-house.  Messrs. F. C Gassner, of Lyndoch, and M. C. Loughlin, of Gawler, who were on the spot, started dragging operations at 12.30, but the body was not recovered till 1.40.  The marks on the side of the dam suggested that the deceased was about to draw water when he fell In.  Mr. Noske was about 66 years of age and a Lyndoch resident of 40 years.  He left a widow, two sons, and three daughters.  The dam is 90 ft. deep in the centre and slopes down rapidly.

The Noske Butchering Family of Hahndorf

In March 1847, the emigrant ship 'Heloise' anchored at Pt Adelaide from Bremen.  Amongst South Australia's newest colonists were a family of Noskes from Nekla Hauland, a village in the Prussian province of Posen.  Nekla Hauland's population of some 500 souls consisted of almost equal numbers of people of German and Slavic descent.  The township stood amidst marshy meadow in the upper basin of the River Oder's tributaries.  Numerous cattle, horses and swine grazed quietly, while noisy geese rippled the placid surface of abundant ponds and streams.

Nekla Hauland lay some 260 km to the north-east of Hora Kutna, in Bohemia, where the earliest instance of the Noske name is recorded - that of Martin Nosselin in 1330.  Shortened over the years, the surname is a mixture of German and Slavic, meaning 'John' in an English translation.  Enviably wealthy from its rich silver mines during the early mediaeval period, Hora Kutna gradually lost its prosperity as interminable quarrelling broke out between the largely-German miners and the native Czech population.

It is possible that the Nekla Hauland Noskes descended from ancestors who moved northwards across the Bohemian border into neighbouring Silesia, at that time under the overlordship of Bohemia, to escape the increasing turbulence in Hora Kutna.  During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Silesia itself became much troubled, as various surrounding powers sought to add it to their own possessions.  Prussia won this particular struggle in 1763.  Many people again fled northwards - this time to Posen, still peaceful under Polish administration.  Nekla Hauland was only some forty kilometres from Silesia.  Unfortunately, Posen also fell into disarray some twenty years later, when Prussia took over here as well, followed quickly by Napoleon and his French army.  No wonder, a life in peaceful, isolated South Australia must have seemed increasingly attractive.

In South Australia, the three emigrating Noske families separated.  Those of Christian and Christoph settled at Hoffnungsthal, in the foothills near Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley.  When the lake in the middle of their settlement happened to rise fast and overflow during the wet 1853 spring, their farms became flooded.  Some of the family moved over the range to Springton and later the Murray Flats.  Others made the long overland trek to Portland, in Victoria's Western Districts.

From the time of emigrating, the third Noske family, that of Samuel Noske, took up land at Tabor, a steep valley near Lobethal, where he farmed for the rest of his working life.  Two of his three sons followed him as farmers - the third, Gustav, born 1843, became a butcher.  Unfortunately, it is not known where he served his apprenticeship, but in 1866, Gustav bought allotments in the recently laid out township of Craneford, between Eden Valley and Angaston.  No doubt, G Noske hoped that his newly-established butchering business would do well, as it was a good distance from other townships.  Everyone had high hopes of prosperity, principally on wheat, which grew amazingly in the virgin soil.  Alack! - after 3-4 seasons, the crops failed to set properly and the settlers began to disperse. Gustav chose to cross the ranges to Lyndoch, where numbers of his Noske relatives had gone in the late 1840s.

Max Noske Butcher - 78 Main Street, Hahndorf

This address occupies portion of what used to be House Allotment 24.  Hermann Kook set aside 54 of these blocks along three streets in the original plan of Hahndorf for the founding families of the town in 1839.

The cottager Gottfried Neumann and his wife Maria, nee Pfeiffer, together with three boys and two girls, settled here after travelling in turn by river barge and Captain Hahn's ship, the 'Zebra', from their small village of Kay, Brandenburg, Prussia, to Old Port Adelaide, where they landed in January 1839.

Sometime at the end of the 1840s, the Neumanns left for Blumberg (now Birdwood), a new German settlement in the upper reaches of the Torrens River valley.  All the children married into pioneer farming families in and around Blumberg, neighbouring Lobethal and the more distant Murray Flats in the neighbourhood of Mannum.

The next recorded occupier of this Lot was Wilhelm Habich, a miner from Clausthal in the Harz Mountains, who arrived in SA aboard the 'George Washington' in 1846.  He apparently worked in the Glen Osmond and Burra copper mines before settling in Hahndorf in the early 1850s.  Wilhelm married Luise Schulz, who lived next door on House Allotment 25, with her parents, the cottager Christoph 'Klip' Schulz and his wife, Dorothea, nee Frank, originally from Klippendorf, Brandenburg, Prussia.  This family had also accompanied the Neumanns on the 'Zebra'.

Eventually, the Habichs owned quite a deal of land in Hahndorf, as Wilhelm had taken over all of the original Neumann farm allotments and gained the Schulz ones as well.  Luise's brothers both moved early from Hahndorf - to Blumberg and Springton.  The Habichs also bought land across the other side of Hahndorf's main street, when that area opened up in the 1850s.  Wilhelm built the well-known Habich's Cottage, next door to the post office, where the family shifted, as the site was far more convenient and healthy than the low-lying House Allotment 24.

In 1862, surveyor Arnold Light, from Nairne, re-surveyed Hahndorf and gave its allotments a continuous numbering system.  He abandonded the initial distiction between house and farm allotments, which was causing the SA Lands Department increasing concern in organising land titles.  House Allotment 24 became North Hahndorf Allotment 27.

This land left Habich ownership in 1904, when Wilhelm Habich's son, Julius, a monumental mason from Nuriootpa, sold his inherited property in Hahndorf.  For nearly sixty years, Gustav Martin, Hahndorf's coach driver and carrier and Alma Miller, nee Haebich, shopkeeper, owned the Lot in turn.  Nothing in particular developed on the site, no doubt due to its awkward slope.  In 1968, seeking a central place to open his own butchering business, Max Noske bought part of the Lot from Alma Miller's son, Clarence, who had taken on control of his mother's neighbouring grocery store.  After a great deal of effort, Max corrected the poor slope with massive infills of soil and established his butcher shop, which continues to trade prosperously into the 1990s.  His only son, Timothy, has recently joined him in business, bringing to the fourth generation the Noskes trading as butchers in South Australia in this particular line.

Max Noske and Son Butchers, Hahndorf

For further details of Max Noske and Son, Butchers, please refer to review of the business published in the Hahndorf Village Voice.