Notable ancestor - Ben Domeyer - Farmer and Butcher
Carl Robert Julius Bernhardt (Ben) Domeyer was born in Germany in 1848.
At the age of six he emigrated to South Australia with his parents and siblings. He was educated in the Nuriootpa district and later commenced business as a butcher. With basket on his arm, he used to walk to Angaston delivering orders. In 1872 Ben married Janet Gemmell, eldest daughter of pioneer pastoralist, Thomas Gemmell.
In 1890 ‘Ben’ Domeyer bought a property two and one half miles from Nuriootpa, towards the "Moppa" hill. The stone house was of four rooms and a large kitchen and a bedroom were built at the back to help accommodate the family of eight.
Ben was a ‘prudent and thoughtful’ agriculturalist who advocated a combination of industries and used crop rotation including legumes and superphosphate to enhance the productivity of his land. He was against keeping pigs in sties and allowed his Berkshire pigs to run in seven acre paddocks.
The farm of about 400 acres was planted with apricots, apples, figs, peaches and vines and a large mulberry tree stood near the back of the house. A large acreage was left to grass and a mob of sheep provided Ben with mutton for his butchering round in Nuriootpa and Angaston. He attained some celebrity status as a livestock judge, especially sheep and possessed a flock of Shropshires on his farm. Jersey, Hereford and Ayrshire cattle as well as poultry were also kept on the property. Each enterprise mutually supplemented the others. He also retained strips of native vegetation for windbreaks and shelterbelts.
He also had a smoke-house and almost all of the animal was used for smallgoods as well as for larger cuts. On Monday nights the meat was hung in a cool butcher's shop adjoining the outside laundry and on Tuesdays Ben would set out in his little square butcher's cart. The meat was all done up hygienically in white calico bags.
There were at least two creeks on the farm, one feeding the dam where yabbies were to be found. This creek also yielded a little gold, which no doubt washed down from the Moppa Hill where there were various gold mines.
Ben kept a hack, a horse to pull the butcher's cart and a small pony to pull the little trap that the Janet used for her weekly shopping trips to Nuriootpa. Janet's little white horse, Tommy, was a rather bad-tempered little thing and it was a work of art to get it safely harnessed. The two and one half miles to Nuriootpa was no effort to it and it was tied up to a post in the main street during the shopping time.
Ben Domeyer was of a retiring nature and was popular with all with whom he came in contact. He had the honour of being a member of the Greenock Oddfellows Lodge.
He died at Nuriootpa in 1932 and Janet died in Loxton in 1941.