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Bundaberg brewer died on his honeymoon

Only a few weeks after his marriage Gustav Steindl died. He had tied the knot with Esther Fogarty, the third daughter of Mr John Fogarty MLA, member for Toowoomba. The couple were at the Criterion Hotel at Rockhampton when Gustav suffered a seizure while standing unfortunately at the top of a staircase.

The paralysis caused him to fall all the way to the bottom of the staircase, which shook him up badly, but after a few days he had recovered somewhat. It was for this reason that he decided to head home to Bundaberg, but he only made it as far as Gladstone.

Gustav was well known in the Bundaberg area, as founder and proprietor of of the Bundaberg Brewery and was also a member of the town council for many years. He was even elected Mayor in 1901. He had come to Australia from Austria with his wife Theophilla Mary in 1877. They had 12 children but sadly Theophilla died in 1901.

Gustav Steindl (back left) at the wedding of his daughter Effie in 1902. Courtesy: State Library of Queensland

Esther was matron of Bundaberg hospital, a position she had held since 1899 until her wedding to Gustav. She had trained to be a nurse at Toowoomba Hospital.

They married in 1903 and the wedding was only a small affair with immediate relatives invited to the intimate event held at Gustav's home, Lakeside Villa in East Bundaberg. His award winning brewery was built close by. Gustav also owned five hotels in Bundaberg.

After the ceremony the newly-weds boarded the afternoon train for Maryborough where they would start their six week honeymoon to Rockhampton and Gladstone. Gustav was never to return to Bundaberg alive.

As Gustav and Esther were travelling home after his seizure at the Criterion Hotel in Rockhampton, it was at Gladstone that he had another attack. This time, however, it would be his last and he passed away.

Gustave is buried in Bundaberg Catholic Cemetery, his resting place is the family grave, marked by a magnificent monument surrounded by columns with a large cross on the top. He was 53 years old.

Gustav's headstone in Bundaberg Catholic Cemetery. Photo: Lauren Painter


  • 'Death at Gladstone', Darling Downs Gazette, Thursday 21 May, 1903, Page 3

  • 'Presentation to a nurse', Darling Downs Gazette, Monday 16 January, 1899, Page 2

  • Marriages - Gustav Steindl and Esther Fogarty, Queensland Births, Deaths, Marriages,, accessed 8th July, 2020

  • 'History on Tap; Beer Baron's Homestead Hops on to the Market', Questia, ttps://, accessed 8th July, 2020


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