After obtaining a release from the Prussian military establishment in April 1857, Johann Christian Kupsch and his family sailed from Germany and headed for Melbourne on the Peter Goddefroy. Arriving in Preston with his three sons, Johann Frederick (1836 – 1913), John Christian (1838 - ?) and John Charles (1848 – 1894), he purchased a plot of land in Preston in the area of Bell Street, Albert Street and Murray Road and commenced farming and road contracting. The family later expanded to 11 children before Johann’s wife Anna Rosinna died in 1870. Johann Christian died in 1882.
John Charles Kupsch was one of the builders of St. Mary’s Church of England on the corner of Plenty Road and Tyler Street, East Preston. He married Anna Eliza Young, the reputed first white child born in Preston.
The Kupsch family were strong contributors to the development of Preston. One of Johann Christian’s sons, James, was a member of the A.N.A. Preston Friendly Society for 62 years, his wife, Ruby was an active member of the Preston Red Cross Society and their daughter Ruby Underhill was treasurer of the Preston Ladies’ Auxiliary for PANCH for many years.
Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.
Forster, Harley W. (1968). Preston Lands and People. Melbourne: Cheshire.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.