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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Old Colonists

Old Colonists.

Mr. James Ashworth was born in Bacup, Lancashire, England, in 1829, and arrived in Wellington by the ship “Indian Queen” in 1857. He settled in Canterbury in 1859, and has ever since resided in the district, except while absent on a trip to the Otago goldfields. He is a cabinet-maker by trade, and was for some time in partnership with Mr. W. Weston, but had to retire from active work in 1895 in consequence of an injury to his spine. Mr. Ashworth was married, in 1850, to the daughter of the late Mr. H. Omerod, of Lancashire, and has two daughters and two sons.

Mr. James Baker was born in the year 1818 near Faversham, Kent, England, and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Cressy” in 1850. He lived for about five years in Lyttelton, and helped to form the Ferry road. In 1855 Mr. Baker settled in Kaiapoi, where he leased some land, and broke up thirteen acres with a bullock team. He sowed this land with oats, which were reaped with sickles and threshed with flails. The land thus treated was the first farmed in Kaiapoi. Mr. Baker then purchased two acres of land in Otaki Street, where his homestead was erected and still stands. For some years Mr. Baker had practically the whole of the Kaia poi Island as a cattle run, but as settlement developed, portions of his run were, from time to time, sold, and he betook himself to dairy farming, which he conducted till within a few years of his death in 1885. He also had a threshing plant, which he worked for a good many years. Mr. Baker was married, in 1840, to a daughter of the late Mr. James Court, of Kent, England, and at his death left seven sons and four daughters; one daughter, Mrs Isaac Wilson, has since died. Mrs Baker is still hale and hearty, and has forty-two grandchildren and thirteen greatgrandchildren.

The late Mr. J. Baker.

The late Mr. J. Baker.

Mrs J. Baker.

Mrs J. Baker.

Mr. Edward Baker came to Canterbury with his father, the late Mr. J. Baker, in the ship “Cressy,” in 1850, and was brought up to country life in the Kaiapoi district. He learned to drive his father's threshing plant at the age of fourteen, and was afterwards for twenty-two years engine-driver at the Kaiapoi Woollen Factory, where he still works in the finishing room. Mr. Baker was a member of the No. 5 Kaiapoi Rifles and was present at the Hillsborough encampment in 1868. He was married, in 1879, to the daughter of the late Mr. A. Rhodes, of Leithfield, and has three sons and two daughters.

Mr. Alfred Brundell was born at Swaffham, Norfolk, England, in 1829. He is by trade a tellow chandler, and settled in Canterbury in 1852. For the first few years he worked in the bush, and just before the great flood of 1868, bought twenty acres at Camside, where his homestead is situated. He was one of the first settlers at Church Bush, Kaiapoi. Mr. Brundell served on the local school committee at Kaiapoi, and has been superintendent of the Anglican Sunday school there for a great number of years. He was married, in October, 1851, to the daughter of the late Mr. J. Stocking, of Cockley Cley, Norfolk, and has one son, two daughters, and about twenty grandchildren.

Mr. William Burgess was born in Manchester, England, in 1855, and came to Canterbury, in 1859, by the ship “Lady Nugent.” He was brought up to country life in the Kaiapoi district, where he was farming on his own account for a good many years, but having disposed of his interest, he settled in Charles Street, Kaiapoi, in 1896. Mr. Burgess was married, in 1873, to a daughter of the late Mr. W. Norman, of Kaiapoi, and has three daughters and two sons.

Dr. Charles Dudley settled at Kaiapoi in 1857, and practised his profession almost up to the time of his death in 1881. He was born in 1801, and was educated at Edinburgh, Paris, and London, for the medical profession. For five years before settling at Kaiapoi, Dr. Dudley practised in Lyttelton. He was well known in the district as a public man, and served three times as Mayor, and for about twenty years as a councillor of the borough of Rangiora. Dr. Dudley was also page 437 a Justice of the Peace, and at one time Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages for the district. He was married, in 1844, to a daughter of Captain E. Scott, of the 20th Light Dragoons, and left one son and one daughter.

The late Dr. C. Dudlex.

The late Dr. C. Dudlex.

Mr. Carl Hansen was born in Denmark in 1844. He is a saddler by trade and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Glenmark,” in 1865, when he settled at Kaiapoi, and was for a number of years in business. Mr. Hansen is vice-president of the Working Men's Club, and was for three years Mayor of the borough, and for about six years a member of the borough council. He was married, in 1894, to a daughter of Mr. R. Smith, of Kaiapoi.

Mr. John Harper, sometime of Kaiapoi, arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Sir George Pollock” in November, 1851. He was born in 1829, in Norfolk, England, and was brought up as a shepherd. For four years after his arrival in New Zealand he was shepherding at Courtenay, but settled at Kaiapoi in 1855, and was farming in the district until his death in December, 1900. He was married, in 1851, to the daughter of Mr. J. Stapleton, of Norfolk, and left five daughters and four sons; and there are thirty grandchildren.

Mr. John Humphries was born in County Down, Ireland, and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Strathallan” in 1859. He settled in the Kaiapoi district, where he acquired a small property of eleven acres, on which he worked till his death, at the age of eighty-seven, in 1894. Mr. Humphries was married, in 1852, to a daughter of the late Mr. T. Clending, of Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland, and left seven sons and four daughters; and there are nineteen grandchildren.

Mr. John Harry Keetley was born at Melbourne, Derbyshire, England, in 1850, and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Mystery” in 1859, since which he has lived at Kaiapoi. He is a blacksmith by trade, and has been employed for twenty-two years at the Kaiapoi Woollen Factory. Mr. Keetley was married, in 1874, to a daughter of the late Mr. A. Peters, of Kaiapoi. This lady died in 1886, leaving two sons and one daughter. In 1888 Mr. Keetley married a daughter of the late Mr. J. Elliot, of Kaiapoi, and two sons and one daughter have been born of this union.

Mr. Timothy Mellor was born in Stockport, England, in 1846, and came to Wellington, in 1857 by the ship “Indian Queen.” He has resided since 1859, in Kaiapoi, where he carries on business as a coal and wood merchant. Mr. Mellor was married, in 1883, to a daughter of Mr. E. Farnhill, of Yorkshire, England, and has two sons and one daughter.

Mr. Benjamin Monk was born at Smethwick, Staffordshire, England, in 1827, and arrived in New Zealand in 1858, when he settled at the Styx, where he took up a farm. Afterwards he kept the White's Bridge Hotel for seven years, and went to Kaiapoi, where he took over the Kakanui Hotel, from which he retired about 1878. Mr. Monk was for a short time a member of the Kaiapoi Borough Council, and he was also a Freemason. He died in 1881, leaving a widow, who still survives, and two sons and four daughters.

Mr. Charles Oram, sometime of Kaiapoi, was the seventh son of Mr. William Oram, of Midsomer Norton, Somersetshire, England, and was born in that town on the 19th of July, 1834. He was educated at the public school, and served an apprenticeship of five years to the boot trade in the West End of London. In 1857 he left England in the ship “Glentanner,” and arrived in Lyttelton in October of that year. He worked at his trade in Christchurch for six months, and then went into the Maori Bush, at Kaiapoi, where he was engaged as a bush-sawyer. When the Otago goldfields broke out Mr. Oram went to Tuapeka, where he worked for some months during the year 1861. He then returned to Kaiapoi to his old occupation. Mr. Oram had the enterprise of a true colonist, and in 1864 he built the Pier Hotel, which he conducted for twelve years. During that time he was instrumental in inducing Messrs Cobb and Co. to open coach communication between Christchurch, Rangiora, and Hurunui, and that company's coaches ran to and fro on the route till the opening of the railway. In conjunction with his brother, Mr. H. H. Oram, Mr. Oram established hotels in Christchurch, notably “The Royal.” In 1880 Mr. Oram entered into partnership with Mr. Carl Hansen, and the firm carried on business as general merchants for several years. In the course of time Mr. Oram retired from business, but he was always an active man. He was for some time a member of the Kaiapoi Borough Council, and of the Waimakariri Harbour Board. He was one of the original promoters and directors of the woollen factory at Kaiapoi, and he in conjunction with other directors succeeded in keeping the industry at Kaiapoi when it was proposed to remove the works to Opawa. As president of the Cure Boating Club, Mr. Oram imported the first sliding seat used for the purposes of racing. Mr. Oram was a free user of pen and voice in the cause of education and in connection with general politics. As a member of the Kaiapoi fire police, he did excellent service for the district. He was a Freemason of many years' standing, and he was one of those who helped to establish Oddfellowship in Kaiapoi. Mr. Oram was married on the 13th of June, 1867, to the daughter of the late Mr. S. Treleaven, who arrived at Lyttelton in February, 1851, by the ship “Castle Eden,” within two months of the arrival of the first four ships. He died on the 21st of November, 1900, and was survived by his wife, seven sons, and three daughters.

The late Mr. C. Oram.

The late Mr. C. Oram.

Mr. Robert Walter Smith was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1830. He came out to Lyttelton by the ship “Minerva” in 1853, and settled in Kaiapoi in 1855, when there was but a single house in the district, and neither roads nor bridges. Mr. Smith was a builder for many years, and was actively engaged in the erection of a great many well known houses in Kaiapoi. He was also for some years superintendent of the Fire Brigade. Mr. Smith was married, in 1852, to a daughter of the late Mr. R. Sharp, of Portsmouth, and has three sons and four daughters.

Mr. William Weston was born in 1834, at Hailsham, Sussex, England. He went to America in 1851, and learned his trade as a builder in the United States. After returning to England to avoid the Civil War, he came out to Lyttelton by the ship “Roehampton” in 1858. Mr. Weston settled in Kaiapoi, when there were no bridges and few roads, and there was a great deal of swamp in the locality. He has erected a large number of buildings in the district. For several years he served on the local borough council, and for about six years he belonged to the Kaiapoi Rifles. He was married, in 1862, to a daughter of the late Mr. W. Gulliver, of Bristol. This lady died in 1888, leaving four sons and five daughters. Mr. Weston was afterwards married to the widow of Mr. W. Edmonds, of Kaiapoi.

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Mr. Isaac Wilson was born at Wray, Ambleside, Westmorland, England, in 1840, and brought up to country life. He arrived at Lyttelton in January, 1854, and was for some time farming with his brother Thomas, at Church Bush, Kaiapoi. In 1862 he started a passenger coach on the North Road, between Kaiapoi and Christchurch, and it was kept running for some years. Mr. Wilson afterwards entered into the grain and milling business, in which he was successful. In 1879, with eleven other gentlemen, he became the purchaser of the Kaiapoi Woollen Mills, and the plant afterwards became the nucleus of the present successful company. Mr. Wilson became chairman of directors and held the position till 1883. During his term of office the capital was increased from £15,000 to £100,000, and the number of hands employed increased from twenty-seven to 750, including those at the clothing factory in Christchurch. Mr. Wilson was for a short time a member of the Kaiapoi Borough Council, and for many years he held office as chairman of the Eyreton Road Board. For some time he was a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand. He represented Kaiapoi for some years in the Canterbury Provincial Council, and sat for the district in the House of Representatives in 1882–1883, but had to resign on account of his health. Mr. Wilson was married, in 1861, to a daughter of the late Mr. James Baker, of Kaiapoi. Mrs Wilson died in 1897, leaving one daughter. In 1900 Mr. Wilson was married to a daughter of Mr. James Johnston, of Sunderland, England. Mr. Wilson has always been a very liberal supporter of the Methodist Church, and is well known as a friend of those who need assistance.

Mr. Horatio James Wood was born at Mortlake, Surrey, England, in 1843. He came out to Melbourne in 1867, and afterwards settled at Eyreton, Canterbury, where he acquired land, which he farmed for some years. Mr. Wood afterwards edited the North Canterbury Independent at Kaiapoi, and was subsequently editor of a paper in Southland. As a young man he served in the volunteers. Mr. Wood was married, in 1868, to a daughter of the late Dr. Dudley, of Kaiapoi, and at his death in December, 1901, left one son and two daughters.

The late Mr. H. J. Wood.

The late Mr. H. J. Wood.

Mr. William Wright was born at Pontefract, Yorkshire, England, in 1817, and was apprenticed as a carpenter. He ran away, however, and went to Spain in 1835, served two years as a volunteer under General Sir de Lacy Evans, and was in seventeen engagements against Don Carlos. On returning to England he entered the East India Company's service, as a sapper and miner, and was stationed at Addiscombe for fourteen years. In 1852 he came to Lyttelton by the ship “Stag.” After arriving in Canterbury, Mr. Wright was for four years at Lyttelton, and settled at Kaiapoi in 1856. He has worked as a carpenter since landing, except for a few years spent on the diggings. Mr. Wright was married, in 1839, to the daughter of the late Mr. B. Squires, of Addiscombe. Mrs Wright died about 1872, leaving four sons and three daughters, and there are thirty grandchildren and thirty-one great-grandchildren.

E. E. Wright, photo. The Waimakariri at Kaiapoi.

E. E. Wright, photo.
The Waimakariri at Kaiapoi.