Lake View, Chiltern
the bank a small balance and gave it to his daughter, and it is also true that he was known to have in his possession a considerable sum a short time previous to his departure. Those who conversed eight hours previous could notice nothing peculiar in his manner. I have been intimately acquainted with the doctor for the last 15 months and I have no fear for his safety, the cause of his departure being to avoid a domestic conflict but what his ulterior plans may be I know not, and the mystery which it is attempted to attach to the matter, I regard as absurd.”-South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 29th January, 1890. It should be mentioned that, because of the “considerable sum” which Dr. Rohner was apparently carrying, some locals wondered whether he may have been murdered. This suggestion, however, does not appear to have had any support amongst the various newspaper correspondents. Was there ever any trace of Dr. Rohner? For some months the residents of the little seaside village pondered the fate of their first doctor. Then in early May some boys playing in Kings Creek made a discovery; word spread quickly that they had found Dr. Rohner. The excitement soon abated when the bones turned out to be those of a dead cow. The Hastings correspondent of the South Bourke and Mornington Journal, who had so strongly advocated the “shot through” argument in January, was rather caustic in his comments (see previous page) While there has been on-going speculation as to Dr. Rohner’s fate, one fact is clear: there was never any registration of his death in the Victorian death index. *** What of Dr. Rohner’s family? As mentioned, Dr. Rohner married Margaret Emmeline Edmonds in 1862. At the time of his disappearance they were estranged and she evidently arrived in Hastings on the same afternoon of his disappearance. The family apparently assumed that Dr. Rohner was no longer alive and he must have left them in straitened circumstances for the following letter, having already appeared in The Argus, was printed
in the North East Ensign on 24th February, 1891: “Sir. On behalf of the widow and family of the late Dr. C.W.Rohner I have made an appeal to the medical profession in particular and will thank you to take charge of any contributions which may be sent to you to allow acknowledgement to be made through the columns of your newspaper. Yours etc. S. Jacoby, Esplanade St. Kilda. Feb 14.” Mrs. Rohner lived for almost 30 years after the disappearance of her husband. The personal columns of The Argus of 5th January, 1918 informed readers of her death: “On 31st December, 1917 at 38 Lewisham Road, Windsor, Margaret E. relict of the late Dr. Charles William Rohner, aged 77 years. (Interred privately in the Boroondarra Cemetery, Kew, on 2nd January.)” A similar notice appeared in the North East Ensign on 11th January, 1918 and mentioning that Mrs Rohner had been in indifferent health for some considerable time. It also mentioned that there were three surviving children; they would have been one son (Emmanuel) and two daughters (Hypatia and Corinna.) Of the eight children , there are not a lot of descendants: 1. Charles Armin Rohner-born in Chiltern 1863 but died of typhoid in Shepparton in 1889. Never married. 2. William Aberlard Rohner-born in Chiltern 1865 and died in 1901. He was a watchmaker and the cause of his death was listed as “abscess on the brain.” The following notice appeared in The Argus on 11th May, 1901: “Rohner - on 6th May at Cobram, William, dearly loved husband of Mary Rohner and second son of the late Dr. Rohner and Mrs. Rohner, St. Kilda, aged 37 years.” William married Mary Jane Burke whose death, “... late of Cobram, aged 79 years...”was recorded in the Sunshine Advocate on 13 February, 1942. It states that she “...was the mother of continued next page...
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Published on Oct 17, 2014