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OBITUARY.

e MR ALFRED COX. At St. Albans on Tuesday died at tile age of 86 Mr Alfred Cux, probably tho last survivor of the original pastoral ietllcrs of lowland South Canterbury. When Messrs Jlboiks acivoit s?d by their actions that there was in good sheep country southward ot tho limits ot" tho Canterbury titers sot in a rush to follow tho example, tliey had set, and within a very short time- in IS-54 and 1855 tbo plains and downs wore taken up. Tho first comers had the whole country to chooso from, and it will be admitted to-day, that Messrs Rhodes showed' excellent judgment in selecting the country between the Opihi and the Parcoru, and from the sea to AI bury. Tho usst comers pressed closely about the Messrs Rhodos's selections, less for society, it- may be supposed, than to be as-near as possible, to the lauding and shipping place. The second se-' lection made was that of Major Hornbrook nest to tho Levels on the north between the Opihi and Temuka (Haehae te Moana branch); tho third, Mossrs Harris and limes on the south side ot" the Levels, between the Pare-' ora and Otaio. • Next came Mr F. Joule ami the Macdonald Bros, on the north side, taking between them all th-e tuEsoelcy plains between the Orari and Rangiuita, which in those days probably looked better tlion they prov-. Ed- to be. . -These selections laft the country between the Hae hao te Moana and tho Orari, and Mr Cox, the next comer, appropriated; this, except tire flaxy- swamp land eastward of the pre-, sent Taiiway Hue. (This blook was left till all "the other-lowland'country liad been taken up, and the applicant never occupied it. It was tea wet. for sheep.) ' Mr Cox's country embraced Winchester, Geraldine Flat, Geraldine . Downs. Pleasant Valley, Fairfield, and Woodbury. A soniewluit_ later selector, Mr B. Campion, took up' the AYaitui' H.lls and "tjpper Kakahu. and v. few years later Mr Cox bought him out, nearly doubling the size ot his run.

"When he came to Canterbury Mr Cox was-mi energetic young man of '2O, son of an ex-military settler in New South Wales (an officer of the 102 nd 'Regiment-, who landed at Botanv Bav in 1778): Son of a pastoralist Mr* Alfred Cox knew nil that in those days.it was necessary to'knowabout the management of merino sheep; and ho was.possessed of means enough to make a good start when he eamo over to New Zealand. He married in Australia, some years before coming over, and left his wife with her friends until he had established a homestead near Goraldiue, which became well known as Raukapuka. Many a settler in the Geraldine district owes his start in independence to " Raukapuka," and these and many another will recal Iwifh pleasure, now tinged with melancholy, the frank and hospitable owner of that station, and Mrs Cox was equally nppular and'looked up to. After spending .many years at Raukapuka Mr Cox bocame interested in a block of native land in the Taupo distriot. and removed thither, very much to his neighbours' regret, and to his own loss, for the North Island property proved unprofitable. In 18S2, Raukapuka having been disposed'of, Mr Cox returned to Christchurch, and has lived ever since at St. Albans." t .

During his life in South Canterbury Mr Gox took an active share in the public affairs of the time. He was chairman of the local Road Board, a Member of the, Provincial Council, and at one.time wiis.M.H.R. for Timaru, at a period when South Canterbury consisted of two electorates ' only— Timaru and Gladstone. At that time there whs much dissatisfaction in South Canterbury regarding the treatment of this d : striet by the North Canterbury section.'of the Provincial Council. ,ln 1867—as an alternative to Separation— Mr Cox .introduced a. Bill in Parliament which created the Timaru and Gladstone Board of "Works,, a sort of semi-Prtfvinvial Council with an assured finance from a definite sharo of the. proceeds of land sales. The building now occupied by the Lands, Stock, and Defence Offices in Timaru was erected for tho purposes of the body created by Mr Cox's Bill, and which carried on the public works of the district till 1877. Mr Cox published in 1884 a volume of "Recollections"; —"a most agreeable caiiserie of men and things, extending back for fifty yearß, principally of-New Zealand"; and in 18S0, " jvlen of Mark in New Zealand," short biographies of most of the eminent .men with .an introduction on the colony and its founders.'Mr and Mrs Cox had a family of two sons and nine daughters, one of whom is Mr£ Francis Barker. Mrs Cox predeceased her husband a few years. Mrs Cox was the daughter of Lieut.-Cololic' Macphersou, E)9th Regiment of Foot, who came over to New Zealand and lived for many years at Geraldine.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/THD19110525.2.4

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Timaru Herald, Volume XCIV, Issue 14451, 25 May 1911

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808

OBITUARY. Timaru Herald, Volume XCIV, Issue 14451, 25 May 1911

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