He had the misfortune to have his little home and practically all his buildings and fencing destroyed by a disastrous fire, which swept the district in the summer of 1865. He later built a fine home on the property, and acquired more land at Upper Axe Creek.
He married Miss Ann Flood, sister of the one-time well-known coach-builder of that name, in Bendigo. They had two sons Joseph and Patrick Drechsler of Sedgwick, and six daughters, Mrs. J. Clark, of Moonee Ponds; Mrs. M. Tobin, Sedgwick; Mrs. G. Clark, of Colbinabbin; Mrs. Paterson, of Goulburn Valley.
The other two daughters entered the Convent in Armidale, N.S.W. Wilhelm died at the age of 86. A direct descendant is still farming the original property. There are a number of Wilhelm’s descendants living in the Sedgwick district today.
The Montgomery Family
William Montgomery married Janet Mc Quaig in Glasgow Scotland and had two sons William and Don. He arrived in Victoria with his family in the early 1850’s. Leaving his family behind he walked to Bendigo and staked a claim at the gold fields. Then buying a horse and dray he collected his family and brought them to Sedgwick.
Their family increased to eleven, two girls and nine boys. Most of the family were educated at the Black Eagle School. Only two sons and the two girls married. John, who worked the farm in Sedgwick, had five children, one dying in infancy. Dougal married Mary Marshall and lived in the de-licensed hotel called The Great Eastern. Maggie moved to N.S.W. married and had a big family. Mary married Peter Charlesworth and lived at Mandurang. She had one child,
Thomas. James the last surviving son remained single and lived in the old home till his death in 1957.
The Osborne Family
Henry Osborne was born on 14th Jan. 1825 at St.Enoder, Cornwall. Henry married Keziah Symons on 10th April 1851 at St.Enoder and arrived in Australia on 28th July that same year. They arrived in the Bendigo area in late 1852.
He filed a claim on a gold mine at Spring Gully but later sold it and purchased the Cornish Store at Spring GPlly: (Now under Spring Gully Reservoir). He was among the first to receive freehold grants at Sedgwick and his property is still occupied by his direct descendants.
The Semmens Family
The Semmens family, although not actually pioneers of Sedgwick, have been closely associated with the school, social and sporting activities of the district for many years. In 1909 Josiah Semmens was appointed Chief Forester for Bendigo district and with his wife Agnes and a family of five daughters and four sons settled on land purchased from G. Kofeod.
The four youngest children, Bertha, Alice, Herbert and Allen attended the school. As time passed four of the daughters and three sons married and lived in Sedgwick, and over the years 27 of their offspring, spanning 4 generations have learnt their A B C at No. 935.
At the present time, a granddaughter and her husband, Robyn and Rick Gillet, and little daughter, Jessica, live on the property, making 5 generations to have lived there.
The Steen Family
John Steen settled in Sedgwick in the late 1860’s. He married Matha Cail (a Welsh girl) and they raised one son and four daughters. Originally they lived in a timber cottage near the creek. After about fifteen years they built a house on the present site.
They farmed the land, growing oats, milking a few cows and sold wood. They planted orchards that produced apples and pears for export, as well as the domestic market.
Albert (the son) married Gertrude Down in 1903 and with their family (Beatrice, Adela, Norman and Alan) operated the Post Office that had been transferred from Sosta’s across the road in 1922.