Select Kruger Miscellany

Here are some Kruger stories and accounts over the years:

Kruger and Krueger

Both the Kruger and Krueger spelling made it to America.  The spelling at the point of immigration was invariably Kruger.  But this tended to reflect the laziness or lack of knowledge of immigration officials who could not decipher the German "u" with its umlaut inflection.  However, German immigrants usually did - with their Krueger rather than Kruger spelling.

Today, the Kruger/Krueger numbers in America run:
  • 5,000 Krugers (or 30 percent of the total)
  • and 13,000 Kruegers (or 70 percent of the total).
Kruger is possibly the better known - because of Paul Kruger, the Afrikaan leader in South Africa at the time of the Boer War.  The Kruger spelling is usually to be found in South Africa, Australia, and the UK.

Paul Kruger's Ancestry

1.  Franz Kruger married Elizabeth Hartwigs in Berlin in the 1680's.

2.  Jacob Kruger was born there n 1686.  He married Johanna Kemp in South Africa in 1725 and they had six children, including Hendrik.

Jacob Kruger had joined the Dutch East India Company and was sent with others to the Dutch Cape colony in 1713.

3.  Hendrik Kruger married Susanna Lacya Buys.

4.  Gert Kruger married Graaff Reinet in 1776.

There were ten Krugers recorded in South Africa around this time, most of them being descendants of Jacob Kruger above.

5.  Stephanus Johannes Kruger, born in 1778, married Margaretha Steenkamp in 1798.  They had six children, including Kasper.

The family lived on a farm at Bulhoek in the Eastern Cape.

6.  Kasper Jan Hendrik Kruger, born in 1804, married Elsie Francina Steyn in Colesburg, Cape Colony.

Kasper uprooted his family from their farm in 1835 when he joined the trek party of Hendrik Potgieter as the Great Trek started to the territories north of the Orange river (also on the trek were two other Kruger families).

7.  Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (otherwise known as Oom Paul Kruger), born in Colesburg in 1825, later became President of the South African republic.

Paul Kruger married twice, the second time to Gazina du Plessis with whom he had seven sons and nine daughters (although not all of them survived).

Krugers/Kruegers in Great Lake County, Wisconsin

The following Kruger/Krueger families appeared in Federal Census registers for Great Lake county, Wisconsin in either 1870 or 1880.  All were recorded as having come from Prussia.

Head of Household

Christian Krueger
wife Hannah

farmer, aged 48
and three children
August Krueger
wife Augusta

farmer, aged 45
and four children
Carl Krueger
wife Minnie

farmer, aged 39
and seven children
Gottfried Krueger
wife Ernestine

farmer, aged 44
and three children
Gustav Krueger
mother Ernestine

butcher, aged 35     

William Krueger
wife Caroline

farmer, aged 29
three children and father Christian
John Krueger
wife Augustine

farmer, aged 28
and two children
Anna Krueger,
with six children

aged 47

Charles Krueger and His Pedigree Horses

Charles Krueger was born of German stock on a farm in Jones county, Iowa in 1865.  He remained at home with his parents until he was thirty four when he struck out on his own.  iHe ended up at Doon in Lyon county where he became manager of the Bonnie Doon hotel.

His great love was horses.  He acquired a horse called General Bufort, with a pedigree of royal blood dating back to the 17th century.  It was originally Morgan stock and then became the Hambletonian with a long pedigree of trotters noted for their speed and swift progeny,.  General Bufort was sired by Gambetta Wilkes and Mary Bufort, his mother.  Gambetta was never tracked, but can and did trot an exhibition mile in 2 minutes 18 seconds..  Mr. Krueger also owned a Clydesdale, Ringleader, whose pedigree ran back into royal blood in 1815.

He took a justifiable pride in showing the strong points of these famous horses to strangers.

Leonard Krueger and His Scholarships

Leonard Krueger was born in 1898 in a small village on the western border of the Russian Empire.  He was born into a family of German speaking Lutherans who had come from East Prussia to farm in Russia.

During the first decade of this century the family left and immigrated to Canada.  The Krueger family settled in the Winkler-Morden district of southern Manitoba.  There Leonard Krueger received his early schooling.  As a particularly bright student he attracted the attention of the superintendent of the Mennonite schools in southern Manitoba.  This man saw to it that Leonard Krueger could receive the best possible education in spite of all difficulties by a new immigrant family.

After a successful academic career in chemistry at the University of Manitoba and later at the University of Chicago, Leonard Krueger began a most unusual program of establishing scholarships.  He felt that he had to repay a debt for the kindness and support he had received as a young student.  He set aside the monies he had received as pension and donated these funds to universities, colleges, hospitals and churches in Canada to allow them to give scholarships to young people of bright mind, but without means to pursue their studies.

Having decided to give away his pension, he found a way to survive with very little.  He started to collect old bottles, scrap metal and other items that could be recycled and sold them.  These ‘alternative’ earnings allowed him to lead a very modest and frugal life.  People who met the old man pushing his vehicle, a shopping cart laden with ‘valuables’ toward the scrap yard, called him a vagabond or bag man.

Over the years Leonard Krueger had become like one of the eremite saints or street philosophers of antiquity.  When you stopped to speak to him you could quickly notice an extremely sharp mind.  And when you inquired about his motives you would discover a truly pious soul.

The Lyndhurst Stud Farm in Queensland

Lyndhurst Stud was purchased by the brothers Percy and Ted Kruger in 1956 and has remained in Kruger family ownership ever since.  Their first success was the stallion Smokey Eyes, who was, for almost a decade, the leading sire of winners for the whole of Australia.

Whilst Smokey Eyes produced many great horses, he produced one filly - who then and to this day - has left an indelible mark on the Queensland and indeed Australian racing industry.  Raced by the Kruger brothers, Eye Liner as a two year old won eight consecutive races, seven by winning margins of between six and ten lengths.  She was taken to Sydney to contest the time honored Six Furlong Champagne Stakes at Randwick.  Eye Liner won the Champagne Stakes against the cream of Australian two year olds in one minute 9.9 seconds.  In doing so, she bettered the time record held by the champion Todman

In her illustrious career, she won 14 races and carried up to 69 kgs (10stone 12lbs) to victory and was named 1967 "Horse of the Year."  As testament to Lyndhurst Stud's ability to keep producing winners, she had ten foals (to five different Lyndhurst sires), of which nine raced and all were race winners - including the Group winners Pacific Ruler and Pacific Prince.

Memories of this remarkable filly are revived each year when the Ipswich Turf Club stages the listed Eye Liner Stakes during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

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