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Geraldine Old Colonists

Geraldine Farmers

Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. pages 882-884

Mr JOHN BELL, a native of Ecclefechan, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, came to New Zealand by the ship "Tudor," in 1865, and landed at Lyttelton.  He went to the Mackenzie Country as a shepherd to the late Mr. John Hay, with whom he remained two years.  After a time he went to the Geraldine district , where he acquired land, named the farm: Springfield," and carried on farming till his death in 1886. While he was in the Mackenzie Country, Mr. Bell was married at Kakahu to Miss Sarah Beattie, sister of Mr. W.J. Beattie, an early settler of the district.  Mr. Bell was of a retiring disposition and took no active part in public matters beyond begin a member of the local school committee and an elder of the Presbyterian church.  He left five children-eldest son, Mr. James Richard Bell, M.A. sometimes headmaster of the Timaru South public school, is now assistant inspector of the schools for South Canterbury. Mrs. J. Bell photo

Mr. KYRAN BROPHY was born in Queen's County, Ireland, in 1838, and brought up to farming on his father's farm.  In 1859 he left for Melbourne in the ship "Constantine," and worked in Victoria for two years.  He then came to New Zealand, went on the Otago goldfields, and struck a good claim on the Arrow river, where his party cleared �800 per man in twelve months.  After that he visited Wakamarina and the West Coast, where he made �250 in a short time.  On coming to Canterbury he bought his present farm at Pleasant Valley, near Geraldine.  The land was then in its native state, and there were no roads or fences in the county between his property and Temuka.  Mr Brophy's farm comprises of 600 acres, and his wheat crop sometimes averages forty bushels per acre, and oats sixty bushels.  Mr. Brophy has been a member of the Geraldine Road Board for along time, and has has also been chairman of the Pleasant Valley school committee for many years, and a member of the St. Patrick's Sport Association.  He married Miss Letitia Brown of Kakahu, in 1872, and they have seven sons and four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. K. Brophy photo

Mr. WILLIAM GAPES, sometimes of Geraldine, was born at Saffron-Walden, in Essex, England, in 1822, and was brought up to the cigar-making trade in London.  In 1859 he left England by the ship "Contarf" and landed at Lyttelton.  He came to Geraldine under engagement to Mr. Alfred Cox of Raukapuka station, where he remained eighteen months.  After that he went to Temuka to the late Mr. William Hornbrook of Arowhenua station, and was there for five years. He was then with Mr. Edward Acton and started that gentleman's butchering business at Timaru, managing it for five years.  In 1871 Mr. Gapes took up a farm in the valley, which was named after him, "Gapes's Valley."  He had 123 acres on which he carried on fruit-growing and general farming.  Mr. Gapes was instrumental in getting the public school opened at the Valley, and was the first chairman of the school committee.  He took a great interest in the district and worked hard to get the roads, etc., in the Valley.  In 1891 he retired from farming, and entered a private life on his property at Geraldine.  Before coming to the Colony he was married  in Bow, London, to Miss Esther Johnston, and had always taken a keen interest in painting and completed a number of fine pictures.  he died on the 7th of March, 1903. Mr. W. Gapes and Mrs. W. Gapes. photo

William Gapes (1822 - 1903)

Mr. CHARLES HEWSON, formerly of 'Greenfield,' Geraldine, was born in Morayshire, Scotland, in 1843.  He is of English descent, and his father was head shepherd to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon at Castle Gordon; where he himself was brought up to shepherding.  In 1862 he left Scotland for New Zealand by the "Queen of the Mersey," and arrived in Lyttelton with a ten pound note in his pocket.  He went to Rangitata with his father, under engagement to the late Sir Cracroft Wilson, with whom he remained for a year.  He then went shearing for a year with a crack shearer named Burgess and afterwards entered the employment of Mr. Acland at Mount Peel station, where the Hewson river is named after him.  Finding hill shepherding too monotonous, he left Mount Peel and removed to Peel Forest estate, then owned by the late Mr. Jollie.  There, after being shepherd and subsequently manager.  He then took to buying land, and his first purchase was Richmond farm, then in tussock.  From that tome he went on adding to his property, and brought "Greenfield."  In 1878 Mr. Hewson took a year's trip to the Old Country, where he visited al the scenes of his youth.  He married in 1878, and was left a widower with a son and a daughter in 1893, but has since then married again.  Mr. Hewson always took a great interest in the advancement of the district, and was  member of the local school committee and water race committee.  He now resides in Waimea Road, Nelson. photo

Mr. HENRY HESKETH, sometimes of Geraldine, was born at Fazakerby, near Liverpool, England, and was the son of Mr. Henry Hesketh, surveyor and contractor, of Liverpool, who was engaged for many years on the Liverpool-Manchester railway, and died in America.  As a boy Mr. Hesketh joined the railway services in the Old Country, and he was present at the opening ceremony of the Manchester-Liverpool railway, when Mr. William Huskisson, who had been Secretary of State for the Colonies in the Ministry of Viscount Goderich, was killed on the 5th September, 1830.  In 1852, Mr. Hesketh left England for Victoria by the ship "Falcon," and for several years was engaged on the Hobson Bay railway between Melbourne and Sandridge, and was head-porter for the greater part of the time.  He came to New Zealand in 1863 and arrived at Lyttelton, where he met Mr. George Holmes, who was then constructing the tunnel from Lyttelton to Christchurch.  Mr. Holmes gave him the position of manager of the goods department at the Christchurch railway station.  In 1876 Mr. Hesketh purchased a property at Gapes' Valley and engaged in farming.  He was married, in 1852, to Miss Meadows, of Ambrose, near Liverpool.  Mr. Hesketh died in Christchurch in October, 1899.

Mr. ADAM IRVINE, sometimes of "Ashfield," Geraldine, was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, in 1833, and was brought up to sheepfarming in the Highlands.  In 1854 he came to New Zealand under engagement as a shepherd to Sir Cracroft Wilson.  He remained with Sir Cracroft for six years.  He then went on a farm at Scotburn on his own account and was there for three years.  After that he went to Mount Peel as overseer for Mr. Acland, with whom he remained for nearly ten years.  At the end of that time Mr. Irvine removed to Woodbury, and started farming, and, later on, he had several farms throughout the district. Mr. Irvine never directly interested himself in public affairs. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Stephen Payne Smith, a very old settler of Canterbury. who came out by the "Steadfast," which arrived in 1851.  Five children were born of the marriage.  Mr. Irvine died at "Ashfield," on the 12th of October, 1901. photo The Late Mr. A. Irvine, Mrs. Irvine, and family (two sons and daughter)

Mr. DAVID SHAW, Senior, Geraldine Flat, is an old settler, who ha been identified with Geraldine for the past thirty-five years.  He was born on Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1836, and was brought up on his brother's farm, where he received his agricultural education.  In 1862 he came out to New Zealand in the "Queen of the Mersey," landed at Lyttelton, and went to the Mackenzie Country, where he remained for three years shepherding Castle Tekapo station.  Subsequently for a time he had charge of the ferry boat on the Tekapo river.  After that he went to Winchester and took up 100 acres of land on which he remained for seven years when he sold out to Andrew Barker.  In 1872, Mr. Shaw went to Geraldine Flat, where he took up 440 acres of land, and carried on mixed farming.  He still resides there, but he own several other farms in South Canterbury, on which he runs about 2000 sheep.  Mr.. Shaw was married the day before leaving the Old Country to Miss Margaret Stevenson, of Condoratt, Dumbarton, and has had fifteen children, eleven of whom are living.  Mr. Alexander Shaw, of Winchester, and Mr. David Shaw, of Temuka, are his sons.  John, his eldest, and James, his son, are both large farmers on the Rangitata, and fifth son, Robert, has a farm at Seadown.  Whilst he was at Winchester Mr. Shaw actively prompted the establishment of the local school, and was a member of the school committee.  He was a member of the Geraldine school committee for some time.  Mr. Shaw also was one of the chief prompters of the school in the Geraldine Flat district, and was chairman of the committee for sixteen years.  He took an active part in getting the water race supply system for the Rangitara and Geraldine districts, and has from the first chairman of the Water Supply Committee.  Mr. Shaw has for about ten years been a director of the Canterbury Farmer's association, Timaru.  He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church for twenty-five years, but has now retired from active service.  Mr. Shaw still (1903) resides at "Rosebank," Geraldine Flat, but he has let his farms to his two sons and two daughters-namely, Cuthbert, William, Agnes, and Mary Shaw. photo  Mr. and Mrs. D. Shaw

Mr. AMOS SHERRAT, sometime of Geraldine, was born near Burton-on-Trent, England, in 1831, and was, when twenty-three years of age, a deputy in a coal mine in Warwickshire.  He came to New Zealand in 1863 by the ship "Captain Cook" to Lyttelton.  For a while he worked at the Lyttelton tunnel, and then went contracting with his two brothers, who worked under the name of Sherratt Bros. at Lyttelton for two years.  He then removed to Christchurch, where he remained for about two years with Mr. Aulsebrook.  After that he went farming in the Leeston district and bought the Rosedale farm, where he was for twelve years and a half.  In 1878 he removed to Geraldine, where he entered into business as a money tender.  Mr. Sherratt for some years was a member of the Geraldine County Council, and he had been on the Town Board.  He was a prominent member of the Primitive Methodist Church, and was made a Justice of the Peace in 1896.  Soon after settling in Geraldine he turned his attention to sawmilling, and took Mr. E. Brown into partnership.  On the bush being worked out the firm was dissolved in 1866. Mr. Sherratt was married in Canterbury to Miss Eskett, and had a  family of two sons.  He and his wife and son visited England in 1886, and returned the same years. Mr. Sherratt died on the 4th of July, 1901. photo 

CAPTAIN E.F. Temple, Castlewood, near Geraldine, is a son of the late Colonel John Temple, Hants, England, where Captain Temple was born in 1835.  He joined the 55th Regiment, saw service in India, and went through the Crimean war.  Captain Temple resigned from the service in 1870, and came to New Zealand nine years later in the ship "Rangitikei," which landed in Lyttelton.  For two years he remained in Christchurch, and then went to Castlewood, where he has resided since.  Captain Temple is an artist of repute, and while residing in Christchurch he helped to found the Christchurch Society of Arts. 

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