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John Bernard Kilian: a Waiorongomai publican and his family

The Kilian family arrived in New Zealand from Capetown in 1864. Although a carpenter, Kilian moved to the new Thames goldfield four years later and was, briefly, a miner and a mining investor. Having returned to Auckland, he struggled financially during the 1870s in several occupations, notably as a publican, and had to file as a bankrupt. In 1881 he moved to Waiorongomai and was the landlord of the splendid new Premier Hotel. Once again he invested in local mining, but his financial problems led to a second bankruptcy, in 1884. Members of his family were active in the social life of the community, but their happiness was shattered by the accidental death of the only son. After returning to Auckland, once more Kilian held several jobs and all the women of the family helped to run a boarding house. Although many young men at Waiorongomai flirted with the more popular of the two daughters, she married an Auckland clerk and shipping agent, but this marriage would end in a messy divorce, forcing her to flee the country with her lover.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Te Aroha Mining District Working Papers
Hart, P. (2016). John Bernard Kilian: a Waiorongomai publican and his family. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 142). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart