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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



Fleming, Robert George, Farmer, “The Willows,” Sheffield. Mr. Fleming is a nephew of Mr. Richard John Phillips Fleming, one of the leading pioneers of Banks' Peninsula. He came to New Zealand in 1856 by the ship “Isabella Hercus,” and joined his uncle at Port Levy, where he remained six years. On the breaking out of the Otago goldfields he went to Gabriel's Gully, but, not meeting the success he anticipated, he returned to Canterbury, and bought his present property, which then formed a portion of the original page 765 run of the Deans, of Riccarton. Mr. Fleming has never taken much part in local affairs, but was a member of the Waddington school committee for some years, and a member of the church vestry for six years. He was married at old St. Michael's church, by the late Dean Jacobs, in 1864, to Miss Murphy, and there has been a family of eight children, of whom six are now alive, and of these four are married.

Mr. and Mrs R. G. Fleming

Mr. and Mrs R. G. Fleming

Gemmell, John, Farmer, Sheffield. Mr. Gemmell is the eldest son of Mr. John Gemmell, of Dunsandel, who arrived in 1863, at Lyttelton, by the ship “Chariot of Fame.” He was born at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, and came with his mother and brother, in the ship “Victory,” to join his father, who had previously arrived in Canterbury. The early part of his life was spent on his father's farm at Templeton and Dunsandel. On the breaking out of the Thames goldfields, Mr. Gemmell went there, and worked for about one year on the Thames and Te Aroha fields, with limited success. On returning to Canterbury, he devoted his attention to the more certain occupation of farming, and about 1896 leased his present farm, which consists of 170 acres, on which he conducts a system of mixed farming. Mr. Gemmell is a member of the Farmers' Union. He is married, and has a family of two sons and two daughters.

Pannett, William Fuller, Chailey Farm, Sheffield. Mr. Pannett is a son of the late Mr. T. A. Pannett, of Lincoln. He was born in Christchurch in 1856, educated at the Lincoln school, and brought up to farming in the Springston and Lincoln districts. In 1882, his father having retired, he carried on the farm at Springston until 1900, when he sold out, and purchased his present property. Chailey Farm, which formerly formed part of the Homebush run, comprises 336 acres of good agricultural land, which has all been under cultivation. It is named after a village in Sussex, the birthplace of Mr. Pannett's father. Mr. Pannett is chairman of the Malvern branch of the Farmers' Union, and he is a member of the Annat school committee. He has also served on the Springston school committee. For seventeen years he was a member of the Lincoln Baptist church, where he acted as deacon, and when he left the district he was presented with a handsome illuminated address by the adherents of the church. Mr. Pannett married a daughter of Mr. James Osborne, of Tai Tapu, and has a family of three sons and two daughters.

Mr. W. T. Popple, of Sheffield, was born in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in 1841, and educated at St. Peter's, York. He came to New Zealand in 1862 by the ship “Queen of the Mersey,” and entered the service of the Waterloo veteran, Lieutenant Dugald McFarlane. Subsequently he went to the Nelson diggings, and was settled for some time at Collingwood. In 1865 he tried his luck also on the West Coast, where he worked for a number of years. He then returned to Canterbury, and settled first at Christchurch, but went to Sheffield in 1871. Mr. Popple is clerk to three road boards—namely, Malvern South Malvern, and East Malvern, and he is also secretary to the Sheffield Saleyards Company. He was married, in 1871, to Miss Leigh, and has two sons and six daughters.

Wallace, Alfred, Farmer, Sheffield. Mr. Wallace was born at Treeve, parish of Sennan, in the hundred of Tollpedden-Penwith, Cornwall, England, in 1839. He was brought up as a wheelwright. He first carried on his business at Penzance, whence he went to London, where he was employed in the erection of the London Exhibition of 1862. Owing to failing health, he came to New Zealand in 1862 by the ship “Lancashire Witch,” and was employed after his arrival in the erection of Messrs Miles and Co.'s large offices in Hereford Street, Christchurch, and on several other important buildings. About 1864 he joined his brother, Mr. Thomas Wallace, now of Sheffield, in a large fencing contract at West Melton. For three years afterwards he was in the employment of the late Hon. Colonel Brett, as ploughman, and was for some time subsequently employed by Captain Halkett. In conjunction with his brother he then started farming, but gave it up in four years, owing to bad seasons and
Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. and Mrs A. Wallace.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. and Mrs A. Wallace.

page 766 other causes Mr. Wallace then entered the building trade, and built the school and several other large buildings, at Yaldhurst. He removed to Sheffield in 1876, and for six years carried on a most prosperous business as a wheelwright. On retiring from business, he settled on his present fine farm of rich grazing land. Mr. Wallace was for nine years a member of the Waddington school committee, and for five years its chairman. He is one of the directors of the Sheffield Saleyards Company, a member of the Farmers' Union, and a shareholder of the New Zealand Farmers' Co-operative Association. Mr. Wallace married Mrs Mary Wollelett, of Sheffield, who came to New Zealand in 1874 by the ship “Lady Jocelyn.”

Willis, George Reynolds, Farmer, Sheffield. Mr. Willis is the son of the late Mr. George Willis. He was born at Riccarton in 1852, and brought up on his father's farm. When a child he removed with his parents to the Malvern district, where he has resided since about 1864. He farms a property near the township, and has the reputation of being one of the best farmers in the district. Mr. Willis was for some years a member of the East Malvern Road Board, of which he was for some years chairman. He also served on the local school committee, and is at present chairman of the Sheffield Domain Board. As a Freemason he was initiated in the Malvern Lodge, No. 1919, English Constitution, and might be termed the father of the Order of Oddfellows in the district. Mr. Willis married Miss Armstrong, a Scottish lady, who arrived in New Zealand in 1874. Of this union there is a family of four sons and four daughters.