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William Detmold (1827–1884)

Yesterday's "Herald " says:— It will be learned with general regret that Mr. William Detmold, one of the prominent business men and oldest citizens of Melbourne, died at his residence, Toorak, at four o'clock this morning. Mr. Detmold was born in Hesse-Detmold, Germany, in 1828, and arrived in this colony from New York in 1855. Though a fancy boxmaker by trade, Mr. Detmold commenced business here as a book binder. His business increased rapidly, and soon he took larger premises in Swanston-street, near Lonsdale-street, and shortly afterwards he purchased Mr. Jones' bill-posting business, and added it to his own. Mr Detmold's affairs continued to prosper, and eventually he found it necessary to give up the binding and bill-posting and confine his business solely to importing paper for the trade. Although Mr. Detmold's business affairs prospered in the manner described his domestic matters were not so fortunate. About 14 years ago he lost three of his children from scarlet fever. This proved a severe blow to Mr. Detmold, and afflicted him to such a degree that in a few months' time his hair turned grey. On account of tho unhealthiness of the situation of the house he lived in when this occurred, Mr. Detmold was compelled to move to a house he had built on the Punt road, and in this latter residence he lived for some 10 years. Then he erected a handsome mansion at Toorak, near Mr. Reginald Bright's place. Here he resided until his death. Mr. Detmold was a self-made man. He owed his success in life to the possession of rare business tact and untiring energy. He had a remarkable memory, and was an excellent linguist. For some months past Mr. Detmold had been ailing, his complaint being a malignant disorder of the liver. Mr. Detmold leaves a large family and many friends to mourn their loss.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Detmold, William (1827–1884)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Hanover, Germany


4 August, 1884 (aged ~ 57)
Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (liver)

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.