THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Philipp came from a Nieder-Weisel family, which in happier times had been of burgermeister rank, but in the 1850s were small farmers. Philipp's father, Johann Georg Hauser, had married Anna Elisabetha Hildebrand on 21st October 1832. Their daughter and four sons were brought up in a two-storeyed masonry house in the High Street (29 Butzbacherstrasse). The older boys, who worked as farm labourers, joined the mass emigration from the village. Philipp, born on 26th August 1835, was liable for military conscription and left without permission. By the time he reached England, Jakob and Konrad had left for Victoria. Philipp followed on "Marco Polo", departing Liverpool on 5th December 1855; he shows on the passengers' list as 'Philip Hoiser', age 20, labourer.
Disembarking at Melbourne on 26th February 1856, Philipp worked for a while for an Irish farmer near Melbourne; this gave him enough money to go into partnership with Gernand Bang of Butzbach, running a general store on the goldfields at Fiery Creek. It was an exciting occupation, as desperate miners made several attempts to rob the tent, which served as a warehouse. By 1858, Philipp was operating a store at Cape Clear, about 45 km south-west of Ballarat. Trading was profitable but he invested unwisely in mining operations and lost his capital. He later moved to Browns, near Smythesdale, where he started another business.
On 8th November 1859, Philipp married Katharina Elisabetha Haub, one of three sisters who had also emigrated from Nieder-Weisel in 1856. In an unusual double ceremony Katharina's younger sister, Christina, married Philipp's brother Konrad. Over the next thirteen years, Philipp and Katharina had six children, four of whom survived. For a while, Philipp worked as a carrier for the Papenhagens. During this time the Hauser family lived opposite the Church of England in Browns, near the boundary with Smythesdale. Philipp went back into business in 1868; he opened a grocery store in a rented building in Brooke Street just opposite the Post Office. His two youngest children were born in the timber residence behind this store.
Katharina died on 27th September 1876 when her youngest child was only four; for some time, housekeepers ran the household. Philipp remarried in August 1879; his second wife was Ann Hopton, a widow of 39. Ann was a good business woman and, after several years, they repaid all debts and bought the neighbouring store from John Spivey. Their business then served the area to Pitfield, 35 km to the south, and taxes paid amounted to over £200 a year.
Two children were born to the marriage, Arthur and Henry. Henry later took his mother's name, calling himself Henry Hopton. Philipp was naturalised on 17th April 1896. He served as treasurer for the Church of England for many years. In 1899 he became a councillor in Smythesdale, and served in this capacity until his death. This occurred in his 68th year, on 15th October 1902. He was buried in the C of E section of the Smythesdale cemetery.