An Important Event in the Circles of Jindera

Capturing the Wedding of Gus Wagner and Tilly Schmidt in 1907

The marriage of Gustav (Gus) Wagner and Ottilie (Tilly) Schmidt in October 1907 was definitely an important and notable event in the social circles of Jindera and represented the coming together of four of the original German settler families: the Wagners, Roslers, Schmidts, Kalms and if Ottilie’s mother’s family is included, the Schultzs.

The young couple’s popularity and depth of family connections explains why the church was crowded and ‘almost the whole of the residents of Jindera assembled on the route’ to the church. Not only was the church decorated for the occasion but the route to the church was hung with floral streamers and an old pair of boots. Guns were fired as the wedding party approached and returned from the church with festivities continuing throughout the day and ‘far into the night.’

Amongst immigrant communities it is common for the first locally-born generation to marry into the community whereas the third generation tended to look further afield for a spouse. Although Myra, Gus and Ottilie’s second daughter encapsulated this geographic search when she married Arthur Eckerman of Gawler (South Australia) their other two daughters married closer to home. The depth of family links was evident at Myra’s 21st birthday party where eighty guests assembled to help her celebrate.

Gus and Tilly were integral members of Jindera society as along with managing Wagner’s store from 1914 Gus helped establish cricket, tennis, golf and quoit clubs and sat on School of Arts and Patriotic committees. Tilly was equally involved in the Jindera community, notably the St. John’s Women’s Guild and the Red Cross. A marriage which melded together family and community.