Items of News.
LATE MR. W. PETSCHEL.
By the death of Mr. Wilhelm Pets- chel, which occurred nt his residence, South Hamilton, last week, another link was broken in the chain of as- sociations which binds the present generation to the early history of the Hamilton district. The late Mr. Petschel, who reached the ripe age of 83 years on the fourth of the present month, was born in Neukirch, Sax- ony, Germany, and was among the first German settlers in this district. He arrived at Adelaide in 1848, and, after residing there for a short lime, came over to Portland with two of his brothers and several other fami- lies. The late Mr. Petschel took a situation as groom at the Heywood hotel, then kept by Mr. Bilston, and in later years he delighted in relat- ing his experiences of those days and the rough trips he used to have to Portland over the terrible roads. About the year 1851 he heard of some good land to be sold at the Grange, as Hamilton was called at that time,
so he and Mr. Michael Deutscher, grandfather of the Messrs. Deutscher, of the local foundry, rode up to inspect it, and were pleasantly surprised to
see the beautiful country and splendid black soil near the Grange Creek. At the land sale subsequently Mr. Deut- scher secured a block for him, and though he had to pay a high price for it, he considered it the happiest day of his life when he had a place to call his own. In 1856 he mar- ried, and in 1906 the couple celebra ted their golden wedding. The fa- mily consisted of one son and one daughter, the former now occupying the block of land first selected by his father. The late Mr. Petschel was one of the founders of the Lu- theran church, South Hamilton, in which he held the position of elder up to the time of his death. He was also a lay reader, and often conduc-
ted service in the absence of the mi-
nister. He also held the position of treasurer for many years. Mr. Petschel, who was highly respected for his many sterling qualities and straightforwardness in all dealings, enjoyed very good health until the last few years, when his heart be came affected. A severe attack of bronchitis, from which his medical adviser, Dr. Bennett, held out no hopes of recovery, resulted in his death on the 10th inst. He passed away peacefully, and his funeral was one of the largest seen for some time, friends from Dimboola, Mur- toa, and other places coming to pay the last tribute of respect to an old pioneer.