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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Mr. Silas Spragg

Mr. Silas Spragg, of the Hansard staff, was born in 1853 at Madeley, in Shropshire, and came with his father's family to Auckland in 1863 per ship “Ulcoates.” Mr. Spragg was educated at the Western Academy under the Rev. P. Mason, M.A., and being studiously inclined, made the most of the opportunities afforded in those days for self-culture. He began his literary career in the old Evening News office, Auckland, and in two years did so well at shorthand and in reporting generally that he was offered a position on the literary staff of the New Zealand Herald. That he early made a name for himself as a shorthand reporter is evidenced by the fact that in the days of Provincialism he was told off to report the late Mr. John Williamson, the then superintendent of the Auckland Province. In 1875 Mr. Spragg left Auckland to take the position of chief reporter on the staff of the Dunedin Guardian, which, some two or three years later, was purchased by and incorporated into the Otago Daily Times. He then became chief reporter to the latter paper, which important position he now holds during the recess. Mr. Spragg joined the Hansard staff early in 1884, and is therefore one of the senior members. He is a well-read man, a capable thinker, and a credit to his profession. Those who knew his late father's devotion to temperance principles will not be surprised to know that Mr. Spragg is a life-long abstainer. He is advanced in all his opinions, and a popular pressman. He is a member of the Journalistic Institute, and was a delegate on the General Committee. In 1889 Mr. Spragg was married to Miss Fenwick, daughter of the late Mr. John Fenwick, and sister of Mr. George Fenwick, the managing director and editor of the Otage Daily Times, and of Mr. William Fenwick, the editor of the Otago Witness. Their family numbers four, of whom three are boys.