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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Karuth, Frank (Constable)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1838
Place of birth Silesia, Prussia
Date of arrival
The date "Unknown" was not understood.
Principal occupation Mounted Constable, Clerk, Bank Manager, Company Director
Date of death 1908
Place of decease Hampstead, England

Frank Oscar Karuth was born in Silesia, Prussia around 1837, where he became a soldier in the 6th Regiment of the Prussian Artillery. He then travelled to South Australia and became a mounted constable on April 4, 1860. He is likely to have been posted to Willunga after the dismissal of Thomas Pegler on February 28, 1862. A perusal of newspapers of Frank’s service at Willunga shows little criminal activity. Perhaps Frank became bored, and, for whatever reason, he resigned on October 31, 1862, while stationed at Willunga Police Station. He wrote a letter to the Police Commissioner declaring that he was going to China, but this did not occur. After his resignation, he was a witness to the hanging of Malachi Martin at Adelaide Gaol in December 1862.

Frank then went north and became the clerk of the Kadina Court. While at Kadina he was a member of the Freemasons. He resigned as the Kadina Court clerk in October 1864, and returned to Adelaide. Frank’s status in society had risen considerably from being a mere mounted constable. In May 1865, he was privileged to be invited to a levée held by the Governor in celebration of the Queen’s Birthday.

Frank then travelled to Nooriootpa, where he became the manager of the new branch of the National Bank on June 21, 1865. He left Nooriopta in October 1867, to the regret of his fellow residents, as reported in the press:

On Friday evening, a complimentary farewell dinner was given to Mr. F. Karuth, the Manager of our National Bank. Every delicacy the season afforded was prepared by Mrs. Easlenger, of the Nuriootpa Hotel, in a style that reflected the highest credit on her ability as a caterer. Dr. Muecke occupied the chair, supported on either side by the guest of the evening, and Mr. Basedow, J.P. Mr. Von Bertouch acted as croupier. The toast of the evening, "Health and Prosperity to Mr. Karuth," was given by Dr. Muecke with such a torrent of eloquence and feeling that it is impossible for me to attempt a description. Every word breathed respect and affection mingled with regret. The toast was responded to in a manner that must have indeed gratified Mr. Kuruth, who ably responded.

Frank returned to Adelaide where, in November 1867, he attended the ball held in honour of the visiting Duke of Edinburgh. He was employed as an agent by a Mr Van Hebert, who commissioned him to travel to England to seek subscriptions to a scheme for meat preservation. On January 30, 1868, he is reported as in the cabin of Darra, sailing for England. Frank was not to return from England as far as we know. On February 1st, 1870, Frank married Mary Silberberg and they had two children together. Frank’s adventures did not cease upon marriage. The census lists show him to be a railway contractor, retired colonial civil servant, and then a director of a public company. It is likely that this public company was the Philippines Mineral Syndicate, which had Frank Karuth FRGS as the Managing Director. If this was the same Frank Karuth, which is likely, Frank was the author of several publications on Philippines Mining, and advised the US government on minerals with regard to the Philippines.

Frank Karuth died at the age of 70 in January 1908.

Related Articles


  • GRG5/2 – Police Department Correspondence. 1862
  • FamilyHistorySA – Police database
  • NURIOOTPA. (June 29 1865). The South Australian Advertiser. p. 2
  • NURIOOTPA. (October 12 1867) Adelaide Observer. p. 3
  • THE PUBLIC BALL. (November 9 1867). Adelaide Observer p. 5
  • MAGISTRATES' COURT—STRATHALBYN. NEWS OF THE WEEK (March 14 1868). South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail. p. 11
  • PASSENGERS FOR ENGLAND. (March 3 1868).South Australian. p. 4
  • Richard F. Hamilton (2017) President McKinley War and Empire: President McKinley and America's New Empire. London: Routledge

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