One of the earliest and most important trades in Sandhurst was that of butchery – providing meat for the thousands of hungry diggers and their families. It was a lucrative trade and a Butchers Association was formed to provide rules of conduct. One of the earliest trading partnerships was that of Carl Unmack and Bernhardt Sprenger.
CARL UNMACK was born in a farming community near Mecklenberg, Germany, in 1830. The son of Johann and Marie (nee Liepert) he immigrated to Australia arriving in Sydney in 1852. No doubt attracted by the discovery of gold, he moved on to arrive in Sandhurst c.1853. Like many others he became a quartz miner and was quite successful in his mining interests at Diamond Hill, where he resided for some years.
Carl was naturalised in 1860 and became known by the anglicised name of Charles. In 1856 he had married Wilhelmina Wespahl and their children were Emma and Bertha (1859); Charles Julius (1861); Henry (1863); Wilhelmina (1865); Alfred (1868); and Sophia.
In later years Carl entered the butcher’s trade and in 1876 went into partnership with Bernhardt Sprenger. The business was continued by Carl’s sons after his passing.
Carl died in 1902 at his home in Darling Street, aged 72 years, and was interred on 21st January in the Church of England section C7 at Bendigo Cemetery. His wife Wilhelmina died at the family home in Hopetoun Street and was buried alongside her husband on 9 Aug 1909.
(N.B. Dowling Street was first named after Sub-Commissioner Charles Dowling (1853-4). It developed an “evil reputation” and was renamed from Mundy – Baxter Streets after the Earl of Hopetoun who was Governor of Victoria 1890-95 and later first Governor General of Australia.)
CHARLES JULIUS UNMACK was born at Diamond Hill in 1861, the third child and first son of Carl and Wilhelmina. He entered the family business and with his brother, continued the partnership with Sprenger after their father died. Charles was highly esteemed in the Benigo community, although he had a very retiring disposition.
Charles died at his residence “Oxford” in Williamson Street on the 21 January 1917 – 15 years to the day when his father was buried, and 11 years after his 16 year old daughter was interred in 1906. Charles was in his 56th year when he died and left behind his widow Lily and four children. One son, Trooper Henry Unmack, had been wounded whilst fighting at Gallipoli; and another was on war service in Sydney. His daughter Sophie’s husband, Percival Mills was a Sergeant in the A.I.F.
The grave of Charles Julius Unmack is in section D7 in Bendigo Cemetery. He was interred on the 23rd January 1917 in the same grave as his daughters – Adella (1906), and 9 year old Alice (1909) who both died whilst the family were living at Dowling Street. The grave remains unmarked.
An “In Memoriam” notice placed in the Bendigo Advertiser on 21 January 1918 reads, “In loving memory of my dear husband and dear father Charlie, who died on 21st January at Williamson Street, Bendigo. Also our dear children Adele and Alla. Inserted by Lily Unmack and children now of 104 Arthur Street, North Sydney N.S.W. “