160 results for Hart, Philip

  • David Mclean Wallace: a Waiorongomai blacksmith who founded an engineering firm

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Scotland and trained as a blacksmith, Wallace arrived in New Zealand in 1873, working at Ngaruawahia, Auckland, and Huntly before settling in Waiorongomai in 1885. Soon obtaining most of the available work, he acquired other blacksmiths’ businesses. Shifting to Te Aroha in 1892, his business grew steadily, and in 1912 a private company comprising Wallace and his sons was formed. With the arrival of the motor car, the firm adapted to repair these, an adaptability assisted by his inventive skills. After patenting a popular miners’ pick, he turned to inventions to benefit farmers. Wallace was involved in many aspects of community life, serving on several committees, and for a while was on the borough council where, occasionally, when opposed by other councillors, he was a belligerent member. But in general he was popular and highly respected.

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  • Thomas Lawless: a publican at Waiorongomai and elsewhere

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    An Irishman whose father and mother were publicans, Thomas Lawless was one also for most of his life. After settling at Thames in 1867, he mined there for some years before moving to Coromandel, where he ran several hotels. Returning to Thames, he was a tobacconist for several years before settling at Waiorongomai and running a large new hotel there. With the fading of the goldfield, his financial struggles resulted in bankruptcy and having to sell his hotel. To survive, he had to take on other jobs before returning to Thames in 1887 to run an aerated water factory as well as some hotels. When living in Paeroa from 1891 until 1899 he was an ironmonger, but after settling in Waihi became a publican again, actively assisted by his wife. Subsequently he ran hotels in Taranaki and Whanganui. During most of these years he invested in mines and mining companies on many Hauraki goldfields. Lawless was prominent everywhere he settled, being actively involved in social, musical, sporting, and church activities along with varioys efforts to assist these communities. He was a notable cricketer, and in Thames was a Volunteer. His wives were also involved in social activities and the Catholic Church. His family life seems to have been a happy one, apart from the death of his first wife in a tragic accident. Lawless was a man for whom almost nobody had a harsh word, apart from his defense of the Catholic Church in an argument over religious education in public schools.

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  • Thomas Francis Long: a businessman who prospected at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Tasmania, Thomas Francis Long worked as a carpenter and miner before settling in Waihi in the late 1890s. Subsequently he was a miner and contractor at Karangahake and Thames before settling in Gisborne, where his various business enterprises failed, partly because of lack of capital, and he became bankrupt. In 1912 onwards he did some prospecting, partly for base metals, and during 1915 and 1916 explored the Tui portion of the Te Aroha mountain, unsuccessfully. Despite being involved in several small companies, lack of money continued to be a problem, and he became bankrupt for a second time. In 1927 he investigated Waiorongomai, with the same lack of success; it was his last venture before his death at a relatively young age. He was no more successful as a prospector than as a businessman.

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  • James Gerrish: Te Aroha’s first bellman

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    James Gerrish moved to Thames when the goldfield opened and then settled in Te Aroha during its gold rush. Like so many others, he took up a variety of occupations, none very profitable, for he left his widow and family in poverty. His most notable occupation, and the one for which he was famous, was as the local bellman. Blessed with a loud voice, he cried out the news of the day, along with advertisements for goods and services and public meetings. He was also noted for some disreputable behaviour, notably excessive drinking. Undoubtedly a ‘character’, he was recalled fondly long after his death.

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  • Thomas Mcindoe: a Te Aroha saddler who

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Starting out as a saddler at Te Aroha in 1891, Thomas McIndoe also became an agent, especially a successful land agent, acquiring some land holdings for himself. After leaving Te Aroha in 1911 he was a businessman in Auckland for the rest of his life. During the mining boom of the 1890s, he invested in many local mines, probably without making much if any money from his share dealings. McIndoe participated in almost every aspect of Te Aroha life, including the Anglican Church, a variety of sports, the Volunteers, the freemasons, and (especially) musical events. Involved in just about every local organization and local government body, he was the first president of the Chamber of Commerce and, briefly, on the borough council. Politically, he was a prominent supporter of the Liberal Party. In addition, he was notable for his charitable acts and for one heroic rescue. His personality was generally amiable, but he had a prickly side as well. He was a notable example of a ‘pillar of the local community’.

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  • William Buchanan Maxwell: a veteran who became ‘Te Aroha’s pet adornment’

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Famous in Te Aroha as a veteran soldier, Maxwell had fought in the Crimea, China, and India before fighting against Maori in New Zealand. Proud of his four wounds, he would lead a detachment of volunteers marching off to war in 1915. In his personal life, despite his involvement in the New Zealand land wars he would marry a Maori. After the fighting ceased, he had a variety of low-skilled jobs in Rotorua, Tauranga, and Ohinemuri before settling in Te Aroha, where he was a fireman. At Te Aroha he did a little prospecting, but did not really deserve the title ‘miner’. His jovial personality made him one of Te Aroha’s most popular residents.

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  • William Dibsell: one of the first settlers in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    A baker, William Dibsell arrived in New Zealand in 1862, settling in Thames in 1868. Later he moved to the Waihou district to run a hotel and store at Te Kawana, near the future Te Aroha, transferring to the latter settlement in 1884 because his business had become isolated from the developing township. A baker and grocer, as at Thames he acquired small interests in Te Aroha’s mines, which would not have provided any profit unless he sold them speedily. He was so successful financially that he could become a moneylender, a rapacious one in the case of one man who became indebted to him. Concentrating on making money, he had only a limited involvement in the community.

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  • George Stewart O’Halloran: a pioneer publican and storekeeper at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Ireland, O’Halloran and his brothers went to Australia in 1860 before moving to New Zealand a few years later. After fighting against Maori for some years, as a member of the Armed Constabulary he made roads in Maori districts before settling in Thames and investing in mining and taking up a variety of often short-term occupations. He would struggle financially for all his life, both he and his wife becoming bankrupts. In 1875, he settled in Ohinemuri, where he was a director and legal manager for some mining companies as well as being a commission agent and, as well, becoming active in the community. His solution to the Maori ‘problem’ was for the government to acquire their land. At the end of 1878 he moved to the Te Aroha district as a publican and storekeeper, first at the Te Kawana landing on the western side of the river and then settling at the site of the future Te Aroha in early 1880, where he became the licensee of the Hot Springs Hotel. He was a strong advocate for the development of the district, seeking council and government assistance and personally helping to provide and improve roads, punts, and the baths at the hot springs, sometimes leading to conflict with local rangatira. After assisting prospecting, indirectly, he was involved in Te Aroha’s first rush, which greatly increased his bar trade, and invested in local mines. In addition to being a publican, he was a storekeeper and had other occupations as well; for a time his wife ran a boarding house. Most of these occupations were short-term and financially unprofitable. During all his years at Te Aroha he and his wife were actively involved in the community. After leaving Te Aroha, he held a variety of jobs in Australia and then back in New Zealand, but his financial struggles may have been one reason for how he ended his life.

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  • Harry and Charles: Henry Ernest Whitaker and Charles Stanislaus Stafford at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Harry Whitaker was a member of a prominent political family, and Charles Stanislaus Stafford came from an Anglo-Irish landowning family. They both invested in mines in the Te Aroha district, Whitaker being particularly active in promoting the interests of the mining industry. But he was also seen as manipulating the share market to benefit himself and as assisting Josiah Clifton Firth’s ‘clique’ to control the field, meaning that for many residents some of his actions were deeply unpopular. Both men acquired and traded in land both within and outside the settlements, and developed their Wairakau estate, all profitably. Whitaker also established the Te Aroha News, and in a variety of ways was a leading member of the community. As a member of the county council he tried to help the district, but once again was seen as working too closely with Firth for their mutual benefit. Stafford also tried to assist local development. Both men were prominent socially, notably in horse races and various sports. Whitaker in particular was renowned for his lively personality, personal charm, and elegant attire, but unusually did not marry nor, apparently, flirt with the opposite sex, which may or may not be significant. Whitaker left Te Aroha for Auckland and, later, Africa before returning to Auckland in 1918 for one last involvement with mining. After farming at Whakatane, Stafford became prominent in Kalgoorlie during the mining boom of the 1890s before retiring to London and making a late marriage. Unlike Whitaker, he ended his life a prosperous man.

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  • James Mills: a carpenter who became Te Aroha’s first mayor

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    After being active in Liberal politics in England, James Mills, a carpenter, settled in Te Aroha in 1882. Although he constructed many houses, work was erratic and he never became wealthy. Investing in Waiorongomai mining, he was outspoken in criticizing the management of the tramway and the policies of the Battery Company, accusing them of ruining the field through their high charges. He also criticized the county council for providing insufficient aid for mining, and sought financial assistance from the government. He assisted to form prospecting parties, and was especially involved in mining during the boom of the 1890s, with the usual unrealistic expectations. In 1899, as these expectations had not been attained, he ceased investing in mining. For over 20 years Mills worked hard to benefit the district in every possible way, joining many committees, in particular the domain board, the county council, the town board, and the borough council. Having strong opinions, strongly expressed, his involvement resulted in many rows and strong criticism from those he opposed. He was not beyond misrepresenting those he quarrelled with, especially when he was trying, eventually unsuccessfully, to include Waiorongomai in a proposed borough. After becoming the first mayor of Te Aroha by the smallest of margins, he achieved much for the town. In national politics, as a strong supporter of the Liberal Party he attempted to overcome local apathy about politics and squabbled with those holding different opinions. His quarrelsome personality may have been, at least in part, caused by ill health. In his old age he was respected for his achievements, if not loved for his personality.

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  • Bernard Montague: a contractor and farmer in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Ireland, Bernard Montague arrived in New Zealand in 1874 and for some years worked as a contractor, especially on drainage projects. After being a publican and storekeeper for a year, he settled in Waiorongomai in 1882 and invested in the local mines. This involvement led to his supporting criticisms of inadequate council assistance for mining, how the tramway operated, and the Battery Company’s charges. He also speculated in sections in Waiorongomai village, and briefly attempted to be a publican there. For some years he was a contractor in the district, mostly on road construction and repairs, and sometimes was criticized for the quality of his work. Acquiring a farm at nearby Gordon, he gradually developed it, like other new farmers being rather too slow to do so and also rather slow to pay the rent. In time he acquired more farmland, and by the early twentieth century was dairying on what had become a valuable estate. After struggling for years, even becoming bankrupt, by the new century he was financially secure. Montague was a prominent leader of the Gordon settlement, prominent not only for promoting its needs but also for his many conflicts with other residents. In a notably abrasive fashion he criticized absentee owners and those who did not develop their land. Deposed as chairman of the association, he later held other leadership roles, but never ceased to fight with others. At Te Aroha he joined a variety of committees to assist the progress of the community, and expressed himself forcefully (how else?) during the controversy over forming a borough. Residents became used to his quarrelsome nature and some were even amused by it, as in the case of ‘Barney’s Cow’, for he was one of the local ‘personalities’.

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  • William Archibald Murray: a Piako farmer who invested in Waiorongomai mines

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Proudly Scottish and from a sheep-farming family boasting a distinguished lineage, William Archibald Murray settled in Otago with his brothers in 1858 and acquired a large estate. A successful farmer, he was elected to parliament in 1871 and held his seat until losing it in 1881, becoming infamous as a parliamentarian because of his highly opinionated but tedious speeches. He advocated a wide range of ways to assist the development of New Zealand, but was accused of using his position to attempt to benefit himself and his family. Acquiring a large estate in the Piako district in the 1870s, this undeveloped land became a successful farm. On the basis of his experience, he advised others how to farm successfully, and criticized government and council policies affecting farmers, producing alternative ideas, which once more would benefit himself. He invested in Te Aroha mining in a small and unprofitable way, again urging both council and government to assist the field. Because of his land dealings at Te Aroha and Waiorongomai he was accused of being a land shark. He continued to produce fertile ideas on how to benefit the district, none of which would have been to his personal disadvantage. In his desire to encourage settlement he sought ways to separate Maori from their land, and despite arguing that the state should not interfere in people’s lives and should leave them to make their fortunes without being taxed heavily, in practice he wanted state support for a variety of proposals. Despite determined efforts to express his views through his many letters and occasional speeches, he failed to be elected to the county council or to parliament in 1891. In addition, Murray produced and publicized several inventions, mostly to help farmers. His last years were spent pioneering another district, named Glen Murray after his family, and his ill health, caused, it was argued, by the exertions involved in breaking in new land, meant he did not inflict so many of his views on the community. A compulsive self-promoter, he managed to annoy many of those he claimed to want to help.

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  • George Devey: a Te Aroha carpenter and his family

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    A cabinetmaker, George Devey brought his wife and young family to New Zealand in 1864, accompanied by his brother Jess, a blacksmith. After settling in Thames, from 1883 onwards they lived in Te Aroha, where George erected houses, built coaches, and was the local undertaker. He had the most minimal involvement in local mining possible: acquiring an interest in one claim. His unmarried brother was a blacksmith at Waiorongomai, but would die prematurely of cancer. George was a leader of the Methodist community, in particular supervising the Sunday School at Waiorongomai for many years. He was involved in the wider community, and lived long enough to be regarded as one of the ‘old-timers’. Despite suffering from three accidents earlier in life, he would live until the age of 97. His wife Ann first achieved prominence in 1877 for assaulting a teacher because one of her daughters had been chastised. In Te Aroha she worked as a nurse for many years, and was fondly remembered, although previously, when at Thames, her nursing was in part responsible for a maternal death. After she died, the community ensured that her memory was kept alive. Outlines are given of the careers of their sons and daughters. One daughter, Caroline Ida, married a mostly successful businessman, but another, Laura, suffered from mental problems caused by ‘disappointment in love’. Although she found happiness with her second husband, a miner, her life was cut short in tragic fashion.

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  • John Bernard Kilian: a Waiorongomai publican and his family

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The Kilian family arrived in New Zealand from Capetown in 1864. Although a carpenter, Kilian moved to the new Thames goldfield four years later and was, briefly, a miner and a mining investor. Having returned to Auckland, he struggled financially during the 1870s in several occupations, notably as a publican, and had to file as a bankrupt. In 1881 he moved to Waiorongomai and was the landlord of the splendid new Premier Hotel. Once again he invested in local mining, but his financial problems led to a second bankruptcy, in 1884. Members of his family were active in the social life of the community, but their happiness was shattered by the accidental death of the only son. After returning to Auckland, once more Kilian held several jobs and all the women of the family helped to run a boarding house. Although many young men at Waiorongomai flirted with the more popular of the two daughters, she married an Auckland clerk and shipping agent, but this marriage would end in a messy divorce, forcing her to flee the country with her lover.

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  • Edward Gallagher: a Te Aroha coach proprietor

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Edward Gallagher, who arrived in New Zealand at the age of two in 1844, fought as a cavalryman against Maori in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. His subsequent career was primarily based around horses, having pioneer coaching and cartage businesses in Thames, Ohinemuri, and Te Aroha. When living in Thames he invested in local mines and even did some mining. For several years he also farmed at Puriri. After moving to Te Aroha, his coaches ran to Waiorongomai and elsewhere, profitably. He also did some carting and became a farmer (at Te Aroha West). His investments in Waiorongomai and Stoney Creek mines probably brought him no profit. Gallagher was very active in assisting the development of the Te Aroha district, being elected to several committees and becoming chairman of the town board and later the second mayor. His erratic and abrasive behaviour in his dealings with colleagues on these bodies was notable. In politics he was a strong supporter of the Liberal Party and of the rights of the Irish, but in practice he could be as oppressive as any Irish landlord. He was an important member of the community, but a flawed one.

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  • Alfred Henry Whitehouse; a bootmaker who became a pioneer of New Zealand films

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In December 1880, Alfred Henry Whitehouse set himself up in business in Te Aroha as its ‘Pioneer Bootmaker’. He had a very small involvement in local mining. As well as making boots and shoes, he tried to earn more money by erecting houses and being an agent, a clerk, and, very briefly, the town clerk. Actively involved in local politics, he was especially critical of the local newspaper and the domain board, sometimes being abrasive and tactless, as he could be in private life as well. More positively, he was active in sporting and especially social events, with a particular interest in music. After leaving Te Aroha at the end of 1888, following the death of his first wife, Whitehouse was a commercial traveller for some years before holding public performances of the newest phonographs and of the early varieties of ‘moving pictures’. Not only did he arrange exhibitions of imported short films, he made the first New Zealand ones, using another man as the cameraman. He toured his exhibitions all around the North Island, including in his programmes a variety of musical selections and other attractions. By 1910, facing increasing competition and with his advancing age, he gave up this occupation. Financially, it had been only a modest success, but it earned him an honoured place as a pioneer of the New Zealand film industry.

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  • Charles Gould: a farmer living near Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Coming from a wealthy business family and with a brother who became a successful businessman, Charles Gould left the South Island to settle in Waitoa with every prospect of making a success of the large estate he had acquired. Observers praised the way he drained and developed the land, and his land sales enabled the erection of a small village at Waitoa. Partly because he paid low wages, he was for a time financially comfortable, but was forced into bankruptcy in 1888 due to the economic depression; most unusually, he paid his creditors in full.. Gould invested in mining in the Te Aroha district, including the fraudulent Waitoa ‘find’ close to his land. He was actively involved in the community, including in local government, where he preached the need for economical financial management. After helping to develop the district, he sought land to develop elsewhere, but died, prematurely, in an accident.

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  • Patrick Quinlan: a publican at Te Aroha and Auckland

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Panmure in 1854 to an Irish Catholic military family, Patrick Quinlan became a publican in Te Aroha at the end of 1880. He invested in a small way in mines close to the township and in a much larger way in Waiorongomai mines. After giving up his hotel in early 1885 he was a carter and contractor, but struggled to make his way financially. He was a prominent participant in the social life of the community, notably in horse racing and in helping his church. Other family members lived in Te Aroha at the same time, notably his brother-in-law, Henry William Baskiville, a butcher. After leaving Te Aroha in 1888, he became a very prominent and popular publican in Auckland, notable for the battles between his ‘free house’ and other hotels and brewers. Famous for his amiable nature, his involvement in horse racing and sport, and his charitable work, his impressive girth and ‘Irishness’ made him a cartoonist’s dream. During the 1890s he invested in the mining boom, and in 1899 stood for parliament as an independent Liberal, very unsuccessfully. In 1908 he gave up his last hotel to settle on a farm at Taihoa, near Morrinsville. Once again he became a prominent member of the community, especially through his involvement with the Matamata Racing Club. When he died he was fondly remembered as having been ‘generous and open-handed to a fault’.

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  • Robert John Michael: a Te Aroha labourer

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    An Irishman, Michael prospected at Waihi before settling in Te Aroha in late 1882, where he owned several worthless mines close to that settlement and also at Stoney Creek. He also acquired and developed farmland on the edge of Te Aroha, but struggled to retain it, and fought (sometimes literally) with some of his neighbours. His main occupation became repairing the township’s roads, and was recalled as being the borough’s sole employee, working for years on its roads. His private life was complicated by his partner already being married, meaning they could not marry. Ill health led to the early death of a hard working labourer whose personal life was the most unusual feature of his years at Te Aroha.

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  • Chinese involvement in Te Aroha and its mining

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    No Chinese mined in the Te Aroha district, but a few lived there quietly as market gardeners and owners of laundries. A few Chinese children attended the local school, provoking a controversy about these allegedly unclean children that saw the complainant defeated by public and press opinion. Only two Chinese invested in local mining; the career of one of these, Ah Chee, is summarized. Perhaps because so few Chinese lived in the district they were not seen as a problem by anyone apart from rival business men and women.

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