THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Philipp, born 20th December 1843, was the third of five sons, only two of whom survived, in the family of the nail-smith Johann Konrad Muller and Margaretha nee Schimpf. Like his brothers Ludwig and Philipp Reinhard, their father had been trained by his father, Konrad Muller I, who migrated to the village from Osingem early in the 19th century. Ludwig emigrated to England in the 1830s.
Philipp was 11 and still at school when his mother bore her ninth child in August 1855; she developed tuberculosis and died in July 1856, her baby dying five months later. Johann Konrad married again in June 1857; his second wife was the widow of Konrad Schimpf, Elisabetha nee Broek. Leaving his youngest daughter, Juliana, with foster parents, Johann Konrad took Elisabetha, his other three daughters and both his sons to England. There, they met up with Ludwig and his wife, Anna Elisabetha Jung, with whom they had arranged to travel to Victoria.
Philipp, his elder brother Ludwig and their youngest sister Anna Margaretha, travelled as children of Johann Konrad, while Christina and Anna Elisabetha went as children of the uncle and aunt. In this way, the ages of all five children could be kept below 12 (Ludwig was actually 19!) and they could all travel together in the family quarters and at half fare.
Their ship "Queen of the East" sailed from Liverpool on 16th November 1857; Philipp and his brother and sisters had 101 days of excitement ahead of them as Captain Bilton took his vessel from the cold waters of the Irish sea into the tropics and the warm air of the southern summer. As well as the Muller families, there were sixteen other migrants from Nieder-Weisel on board, with children in the same age group from the Hildebrand and Krausgrill families. Their journey ended in Port Phillip on 24th February 1858.
Johann Konrad spent several years mining in the Rocky Lead / Creswick region, but later bought property at Italian Hill, near Daylesford, where he farmed until his retirement. His wife returned to Nieder-Weisel, where she died in 1868. The youngest sister, Juliana, came out to Victoria in 1869. Brother Ludwig, now known as Louis, married in 1871 Margaret Templeton, daughter of a Scottish immigrant who at the time was also farming at Italian Hill, but later moved up to the Echuca district. Philipp was mechanically minded and he had become a blacksmith. Gold had been discovered in Queensland and he went up there, spending some time in Cooktown. Later he returned to Victoria and worked in Echuca.
On 3rd June 1878, he married Isabella Templeton, the younger sister of Margaret, wife of Louis; she was born in Victoria in 1858. The ceremony took place in the Presbyterian Manse in Echuca; Philipp's sister Christina travelled across from Daylesford to be bridesmaid. Philipp took Isabella back to Cooktown to make their marital home, but they were troubled by recurrent bouts of malaria and had to return to Victoria to settle. They delayed their family until 1889 when Mabel Maud was born. She was followed by Philipp William in 1891, James Raymond in 1894, Margaret Vera in 1896 and Albert Leslie in 1898.
Philipp used his blacksmithing experience to set up a coach repair works in Echuca; in about 1892 he took his family to Shepparton, where he established a coach-making factory. In 1900 he applied for naturalisation; the letters were issued on 2nd February. Philipp and Isabella lived out the remainder of their long and active lives in Shepparton. Philipp died in 1930; he was buried in the Baptist section of the local cemetery on 31st March. Isabella survived him by seven years; she was laid to rest with Philipp on 1st November 1937.
Philipp sometimes used the name Philipp Reinhard, which was the name of his godfather and uncle, but not his. Also, he anglicised his family name to Miller.