The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Cromwell is situated 148 miles northwest from Dunedin, and at present (August 1904), the nearest railway stations are at Ida Valley and Lawrence. From these stations a coach service connects with Cromwell, and extends to Pembroke and Queenstown. From the Cromwell Gorge road several dredges are seen at work in the Molyneux river. The famous Hartley and Riley Company and the Electric Company's dredges, which have obtained the largest yields, are working close to Cromwell. The whole district is auriferous, and from 1862 to 1896 large quantities of gold were obtained from the quartz reefs and sluicing claims. A period of some depression then set in until the dredging industry was established in 1899, since which almost the whole of the Molyneux and tributary rivers have been dredged for gold. This industry will continue to be the chief one for many years to come.
Cromwell is a compact town, with an area of 640 acres, and a population of about 700. The borough, which is divided into two wards, Kawarau and Macandrew, is bounded on the east side by the Clutha river, and on the south side, by the Kawarau river; on the north and west side there is a town belt ten chains in width. There is a recreation reserve of twenty acres, which has been planted with trees. A reservoir containing 2,500,000 gallons, at an elevation of 320 feet above Cromwell, supplies the town with water, and provides the local fire brigade with a high pressure supply. The town is lit with kerosene lamps, and the business premises, including the post and telegraph office, banks, stores, and hotels, are in the main street. There are churches of the Presbyterian, Anglican, Catholic, and Methodist denominations, a public school, hospital, court-house, Athenaeum—with a public and lending library—and a local weekly newspaper. The Cromwell Brass Band, which receives an annual subsidy of £20 from the Corporation, periodically gives open-air concerts. There are also cricket, football, tennis, and golf clubs.
The Borough Of Cromwell dates from the 16th of October, 1866, and Captain William Jackson Barry was the first Mayor. It covers 610 acres in a square b'ock, and is situated at the junction of the Kawarau and Clutha rivers. There are about 135 rate payers in the borough, and they own 235 ratable properties of the annual value of £4,269. The rates are 1s 3d in the £, exclusive of a general water rate of 10d, and a special water rate of 2 1/2 d to provide for interest on a loan. The water supply is derived from the Dunstan ranges, and a reservoir has been constructed 320 feet above the level of the town. Kerosene lamps are used in the lighting of the streets. The council chambers, of wood and iron, occupy a central position in the main street, and were erected in 1869. During the day the council chambers are used for the purpose of the public library and reading room. There is a waterworks loan, which amounts to £2600. The borough is divided into two wards, Kawarau and Macandrew.
Mr. W. Richards.
Mr. Charles Holden , Town Clerk Collector, and Returning Officer for the Borough of Cromwell, was born in 1841, at Bolton, Lancashire, England. He emigrated to Queensland, in 1863, came to New Zealand in 1866, and when he reached Dunedin he was penniless. For a few months he followed goldmining in Central Otago; he ther tried dairy-farming in the Clyde district; and he was afterwards connected with the Black Man's Gully coal-pit for about four years, until the big flood in 1878 washed away all the bridges, and the trade which he had worked up was ruined, as there was no means of crossing the river. Mr. Holder then commenced fruit-farming near Clyde, but gave it up in about three years, as the fruit could not be sent to market. He afterwards became proprietor of hotels at Clyde and Cromwell successively. Mr. Holden was a member of the first brass band established on the Otago Central goldfields. He was married, in 1862, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Taylor, of Bolton, and has five sons and six daughters, and there are twenty grandchildren. So far, there has been no loss by death in the family.
Mr. Karl Pretsch arrived in Otago from Victoria in 1862, and has been twice Mayor of Cromwell.
Mr. D. A. Jolly.
Mr. J. L. Scott.
Mr. Max Henry Behrens , who served for a number of years as a member of the Cromwell Borough Council, and was Mayor for two years, was born in Germany in 1828. After learning the trade of coach-building in his native land he emigrated in 1859, to Victoria, where he found employment till March, 1862, when he came to Otago and settled at Bannockburn, where he was goldmining till he established his business at Cromwell in 1874. Mr. Behrenr is a member of the Cromwell Hospital Committee, on which he has held a seat for about twenty-five years. He has also served on the Athenæum and school committees. He is still a member of the Cemetery Trust, and was for many years its treasurer. Mr. Behrens has now (1904) retired from business.
Mr. James Marshall , who retired from office as Town Clerk of Cromwell in October, 1896, after sixteen years of service, and still acts as valuer of the borough, was born at Ilfracombe, Devonshire, in October, 1828. He was a currier by trade, and worked as a journeyman in London prior to November, 1852, when he left for the Colony of Victoria, where he was engaged in goldmining till 1861, when he came to the Gabriel's Gully “rush.” In the following year, Mr. Marshall returned to Australia, and after a year's absence came back to Otago and was settled at Bannockburn till 1874. In that year he removed to Cromwell, where he established himself as a mining agent, and became the first legal manager of the Crom well, Heart of Oak and Star of the East Quartz Mining Companies—all famous mines. The business then founded is still conducted by Mr. Marshall. Mr. Marshall was secretary of the Cromwell Hospital for six teen years, a member of the school committee for many years, and was secretary of Lodge Cromwell Kilwinning, No. 98, New Zealand Constitution for some time. In 1871 he was appointed one of the first gold fields commissioners representing Dunstar district. Mr. Marshall was married, in 1868, to a daughter of Mr. Andrew Bigbie, of Glasgow, and has had ten sons and ten daughters, of whom seven sons and seven daughters survive, and there are two grand children.
Mr. Henry Hotop , who was Chairman of the Cromwell District Hospital Board for several years, was born in Germany, in 1856, and educated in Coburg. In 1871, he landed in Melbourne, but afterwards he came to Otago and settled at Clyde, where he founded a business which he conducted for four years. In 1879 he removed to Crom well, and was for a number of years a member page 725 of the Cromwell Borough Council. Subsequently he was town clerk for two and a half years, prior to February, 1899. Mr. Hotop has long been a member of the local school committee, and has also been its chairman. He is a member of the vestry of the Anglican Church.
Mr. A. Horn.
The Cromwell District Hospital was established in 1875, and occupies a central position on a section of thirty-two acres, granted for hospital purposes. It is surrounded with a well-grown plantation of ornamental trees and the ground is laid out in a vegetable garden, orchard and paddocks. The building, which is of stone, contains three wards, two for men, and one for women, and there are altogether ten beds. In addition to the wards there are quarters for the wardsman and matron, and the customary provision is made for the dispensary, kitchen, wash house, and outhouses.
Dr. G. A. Morris And Mrs Morris.
The Cromwell Public School , which has been a prominent institution of the borough since 1865, is conducted in a stone building, with two class-rooms, and a central porch, and there is seating accommodation for 140 pupils. There are ninety-seven names on the roll, and the average attendance is about eighty. The staff consists of a master and a mistress. A good playground surrounds the school, which stands on an acre of land, and there is a janitor's cottage on the property. The five roomed residence occupied by the master is situated on a half-acre section a short distance from the school.
Mr. A. Warburton.
The Loyal Cromwell Lodge , Manchester Unity Independent Order of Odd-fellows, page 726 was established in 1870, and has a membership of seventy-five. The Lodge is considered one of the most prosperous in the Colony, and has accumulated funds exceeding £4,000.
Mr. Charles Ray , who has been Permanent Secretary of the Loyal Cromwell Lodge since 1877, is a sluicing claim proprietor, and resides at Bannockburn. He was born in 1846, in Midlothian, Scotland, where he was educated and brought up to farming pursuits; came to Otago in the ship “S'rathallan,” and, except for a short time when he was on the West Coast, he has resided constantly on the Otago Central goldfields. Mr. Ray has been well-known in Bannockburn since 1872, and has served on the local school and Athenæum committees. He was married, in 1872, to a daughter of Mr. J. McWhirter, of Kyeburn, and has three sons, six daughters, and several grandchildren.
Mr. And Mrs C. Ray.
“The Cromwell Argus And Northern Goldfields Gazette” (Abel Warburton, proprietor), Melmore Terrace, Cromwell. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This journal was established in 1869, by Messrs W. Fenwick and J. Matthews, now of the “Otago Daily Times and Witness,” Dunedin, and was conducted for twelve years by Mr. Thomas McCracken, prior to being acquired by Messrs Warburton and Scott. The present owner has published the “Argus” since the 1st of October, 1898. It is a bi-weekly journal, issued on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, consists of six pages of seven columns each, and circulates largely throughout the Otago Central goldfields. The plant consists of a Wharfedale printing machine, and a good jobbing plant, and the premises consist of a wooden and iron building, erected on a corporation leasehold.
Mr. Abel Warburton , the Proprietor, is referred to elsewhere as headmaster of the Cromwell Public School.
Hotop, Henry , Chemist and Druggist, Stationer and Fancy Goods Dealer, Melmore Terrace, Cromwell. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. The premises occupied by Mr. Hotop were orginaly erected for the purposes of the Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Hotop is local agent for the New Zealand Insurance Company, and the National Mutual Life Insurance Company. He is also secretary for the Beaumont Gold Dredging Company. Mr. Hotop is referred to elsewhere as chairman of the Cromwell District Hospital.
Marshall, James , Mining Agent and Sharebroker, Melmore Terrace, Cromwell. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Marshall is elsewhere referred to as valuer for the Borough of Cromwell.
Scott, James Lyell , Baker and Confectioner, Melmore Terrace, Cromwell. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This business was established in 1869, by the proprietor, who is referred to elsewhere as an ex-mayor, and ex-councillor of the Borough of Cromwell.
The Cromwell Brewery was established about 1874 by Messrs Goodger and Kuhtze, who conducted it for eight years, when the Cromwell District Brewery Company entered into possession. In 1890, Mr. D. Auchinvole purchased the premises, and carried on the brewery till his death about eighteen months later. The business was afterwards carried on for the benefit of his widow, who subsequently married the present owner, Mr. J. W. Perriam, from whom Mr. John McLoughlin leased the premises. There is a six hogshead plant, and a malthouse capable of malting 6000 bushels a year, and there is a splendid supply of good water on the property.
Mr. William Whittle Tizard , who was Brewer and Manager of the Cromwell Brewery for more than twenty years, was born in 1860, in Birmingham, England, and was educated in Plymouth at the Hoe and Park Grammar schools. He learned his business as a brewer in England, under his father, the late Mr. W. L. Tizard, author of the “Theory and Practice of Brewing,” &c., and was for some time at the Heavitree Brewery in Exeter. In 1880, he came to New Zealand, via Melbourne, and joined the Cromwell Brewery as manager. Two years later he went to Dunedin, where he was with Mr. M. Joel for two years, and was subsequently brewing on his own account for three years. Mr. Tizard was married, in 1881, to a daughter of Mr. John Marsh, of Cromwell, and has four sons and five daughters.
Mr. W. W. Tizard.
Commercial Hotel (William Richards, proprietor), Cromwell. The “Commercial” is one of the best licensed houses on the Otago goldfields. Mr. Richards was formerly in business as an auctioneer, valuer, commission agent, baker and confectioner. He was also agent in the Cromwell district for the North Queensland Insurance Company. Having sold his business to Mr. A. C. Murray, Mr. Richards bought the Commercial Hotel.
Dawson's Hotel (Matthew Henry Dawson, proprietor), Melmore Terraco, Cromwell. This is one of the most modern buildings in Cromwell, and was established as a hotel in December, 1898. The building is a two-storied one, and is built of stone. It contains thirty-two rooms, of which twenty-four are bedrooms, three sitting-rooms, one a commercial room, and one a dining-room, with seating accommodation for from twenty to thirty guests. In the billiard-room, there is a fine table by Alcock. There are two entrances to the hotel, a public and a private one, and the ladies' sitting-room is situated on the upper floor. The bath-room has a fine hot and cold water service laid on, and there is provision for a shower bath. For the convenience of commercial men, there is a sample-room, fitted up with shelves, on the ground floor. Behind the hotel there is a convenient stable, with nine stalls, and two loose-boxes. “Dawson's” is the stopping place for Craig and Co.'s coaches.
Mr. Matthew Henry Dawson , Proprietor, was born at Tuapeka, in 1870. He was brought up to a country life, but has since had considerable experience in the management of hotels. From 1892 to 1896, he was proprietor of the Butcher's Gully Hotel, and from 1897 to 1898, of the Globe Hotel. The fine house he now occupies has been altered and enlarged at an expense of £1000. Mr. Dawson purchased the license of the Bridge Hotel, which has been transferred to his house. He was married, in 1893, to a daughter of Mr. M. J. McGinnis, late of Clyde, and has one son.
Jolly, David And Sons (David Anderson Jolly, William David Jolly, and Ernest Jolly), General Merchants and Importers, Melmore Terrace, Cromwell. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This large business was established in 1869, by the senior partner. The handsome stone buildings used in connection with the business are erected on freehold land, and there are ironmongery, furniture, grain and produce, drapery and grocery departments in the business. The grain store is situated on the opposite side of the street, and the furniture department is conducted in a wooden building adjoining the main store. The business extends for a distance of fifty miles from Cromwell. Mr. David Anderson Jolly is referred to elsewhere as an ex-mayor of the Borough of Cromwell.
Mr. William David Jolly was born in Cromwell in 1870, educated at the local school, and at the Dunedin High School, and was subsequently brought up to business by his father. He has worked in connection with the business since 1885, and was admitted as a partner in 1895.
Mr. Ernest Jolly was born in Cromwell in 1873, and was educated at the Dunedin High School. He gained experience as a clerk in Dunedin, for about five years, and returned to Cromwell in 1895. He served as lieutenant in the Fourth New Zealand Contingent in South Africa, during the war with the Transvaal. Mr. Jolly was admitted as a partner in the firm in August, 1901.
Murrell, Edward , Watchmaker and Jeweller, Melmore Terrace, Cromwell. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. This business was founded in 1872 by the proprietor. The premises consist of a stone shop erected on corporation leasehold ground, with a workroom behind. Mr. Murrell is referred to elsewhere as Mayor of Cromwell.
Ritchie, James , Farmer, Cromwell. This old settler was born in 1836, at Blackford, Perthshire, Scotland. He was brought up to a country life, but afterwards became a stonemason, in Stirling, where he worked at his trade till 1863, when he came to Port Chalmers, by the ship “Electra.” Mr. Ritchie has done a good deal of work as a stonemason in the Colony, and has been engaged in the erection of several bridges, such as the Cromwell and Alexandra bridges, and the original Clyde bridge. He also served as foreman in charge of road works under the Provincial Government. In 1879, Mr Ritchie bought the first portion of his farm, which consists of 700 acres, of which only 180 are leasehold. Though often solicited, he has declined to enter public life. In 1862, he was married to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Scobie, of Black Perth, and has seven sons and one daughter.
Mr. James Pollock , formerly Proprietor of the Cromwell Colliery, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1865, brought up as a coal miner, and was underground colliery manager in the east of Fife for a number of years, before leaving for New Zealand. He arrived in Otago, in 1892, via Melbourne, settled at Green Island, and became mine manager at the Walton Park Colliery. After five years he leased the mine which he continued to work for eight months. Having secured the leaso of the Cromwell Colliery, he settled in Cromwell, and rapidly opened up the mine. Mr. Pollock was married, in 1891, to a daughter of Mr. J. McMillan, of Inverness, Scotland, and has two sons and two daughters. He is now (1904) a coalmine manager at Alexandra.
Mr. J. Pollock.
Excelsior Coal Mine (James Gibson, proprietor). This mine is about forty acres in extent. The seam of lignite which is being worked is about five feet six inches thick, and the output averages from 200 to 400 tons per month. The mine is worked by means of an incline, which has a dip of one in three, and is about 150 feet long The coal is lifted by engine power, and the firm holds contracts for the supply of seven of the dredges with coal.
Mr. James Gibson was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1853, and was brought up to coalmining. He came to Port Chalmers by the ship “Wellington,” in the year 1875, and has since been engaged in mining in the Cromwell district. For several years he was manager of Mr. Owen's mine at Gibbston. Mr. Gibson was married, in 1885, to a daughter of Mr. W. Crolley, of Arrowtown, and has one son and five daughters.
Mr. William Richard Parcell , formerly owner of the Excelsior coal mine, was born in 1872 at Rose Cottage, Happy Valley, Bannockburn, where he was educated and brought up to coalmining. He was for one year in partnership with Mr. William Anderson in the Cairnmuir coal pit. In 1897, he was joined by Mr. Gibson in the ownership of the Excelsior mine, which is now (1904) worked by Mr. Gibson. Mr. Parcell is a member of the Cromwell Lodge of Oddfellows.
Mr. John Dewar , formerly Manager of the Alpine Dredge, was born at Culross, Perthshire, in 1834. When ten years of age he went to sea, but left his vessel in Melbourne in 1858. In 1862 he was attracted to the Otago diggings, and worked for a time at Munro's Gully, next to Gabriel's Gully, and afterwards at Beaumont. Mr. Dewar was among the first to work the old spoon dredges on the Molyneux river, and was one of a party of six that built a spoon dredge at Roxburgh, about 1884. He afterwards settled at Alexandra, where he worked on the first current-wheel dredge that was used between Clyde and Alexandra, and owned by Crookston and party. He also worked for five years and a half at Alexandra on the Dunedin steam dredge, the first of the kind that was built. Subsequently he and his mates purchased the current-wheel dredge at Roxburgh, and it was afterwards converted into a steam dredge. Mr. Dewar has been in the Cromwell district since October, 1896, and became manager of the Alpine dredge in May, 1898. He was married, on the 15th of February, 1883, to a daughter of Mr. A. Bringans, Mosgiel, and has two sons and one daughter.
The Hartley And Riley Beach Dredging Company owns a claim of 100 acres, situated about one mile below Cromwell, on the Clutha river. The dredge was started early in 1899, and has a twelve-horse power engine, which is capable of lifting 100 tons per hour from a depth of 40 feet. A photograph of the Hartley and Riley dredge appears at page 26 of this volume.
Mr. George Mclay , who is Manager of the Hartley and Riley Dredge, was born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1839, and followed the sea till 1861, when he left his ship in Dunedin, and settled in Central Otago. He was for many years in the Roxburgh district, and has been closely associated with the dredging industry from its infancy. He worked on the first bucket dredge on the Clutha river below Roxburgh, and subsequently became part proprietor of a current-wheel dredge. After selling his interest, he went to Dunedin, where he remained for three years, and in 1885 removed to Alexandra, where he had charge of the Dunedin Company's dredge for eleven years. In 1896 Mr. McLay went to Cromwell, where he started the Alpine dredge, in which he had an interest, but the operations, which were conducted on the Clutha river, proved a failure, and he then became manager of the Victoria Bridge dredge. He was subsequently appointed to the charge of the Hartley and Riley dredge, and when it was decided to remove the Alpine dredge over the falls, above Cromwell Bridge, Mr. McLay was placed in charge of the work, and was successful in carrying it out. Mr. McLay was married, in 1866, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. [gap — reason: illegible], of Dunedin, and has page 728 one son and four daughters living; two sons and one daughter are dead.
Mr. Donald Marshall , formerly Engineer on the Hartley and Riley Dredge, was born in Dunedin, in 1870, and educated at Seacliff and Kakapuaka, and at the Dunedin technical classes, at which he became entitled to a junior and senior diploma. He received his engineering experience with Messrs Cossens and Black in Dunedin, in 1893. Subsequently he worked in Wellington, Lyttelton, and at Napier. He was appointed engineer on the Edina dredge at Roxburgh in January, 1898, and was afterwards employed as engineer of the Electric No. 2, at Cromwell. In December, 1898, he was appointed engineer on the Hartley and Riley dredge, but is not now (1904) in that position. Mr. Marshall was married, on the 11th of May, 1898, to a daughter of Mr. A. Houliston, of Kakapuaka.
Mr. D. Marshall.