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Marie Henriette Dorothea KEMPE

Also known as: nee Queckenstedt, Dorothee

Died: 1891

Additional Information:

The first white women to settle in Central Australia were Dorothea Queckenstedt and Wilhelmine Schulze from Germany, the wives of missionaries Kempe and Schwarz.  They arrived at Hermannsburg on 10 April 1878, after a six-month trip from South Australia.  They were the only European women at the mission for three years.

THE STORY OF DOROTHEE QUECKENSTEDT AND WILHELMINE SCHULTZ These two women laid the foundation for the white women who came after them to Central Australia.  In 1877, after a four-month sea voyage from Germany, they set out from Adelaide for Hermannsburg, where they were to marry Pastors Kempe and Schwarz who had established a mission on the Finke River.  It was November and in the height of summer.  They had three bullock wagons and a wagon drawn by six horses.  The journey was to take them almost six months. Pastor Kempe left Hermannsburg to meet the party, which included new missionary, Pastor Schulz.  They met half way and on 1 March 1878, at Dalhousie Springs, Pastor Schulz officiated at the wedding of Dorothee (Marie Henriette Dorothea Queckenstedt) and Herman Kempe.  They used water canteens for an altar, decorated the tent with greenery, and held a frugal wedding reception.  They then continued on to the Mission.  Wilhelmine and Wilhelm Schwarz were married soon afterwards at Hermannsburg.
... Dorothee died at Hermannsburg in 1891, just after the birth of her sixth child.