COOLEY, CROSS & DEVEREUX drown Lake Wairarapa 1880
From the Evening Post 12 April 1880
THREE MEN SUPPOSED DROWNED IN WAIRARAPA LAKE
... On Saturday afternoon (10th April) we received intelligence that a sad accident was supposed to have happened on the Wairarapa Lake, by which the lives of three men had been sacrificed.
At the present time very meagre information has been received, but full particulars are hourly expected.
Two of the three young men were Mr Cross, jun., a son of the well-known settler of Cross' Creek, and George Cooley, son of Mr Isaac Cooley, vegetable grower, of the Lower Hutt, with their companion, whose name was Devereux.
They are reported to have hired a boat on Friday for a day's duck shooting on the lake. The day was very squally and, as is well known, the lake is very dangerous when exposed to the violent gusts from the south-west, the direction from which the wind came. It is thought that in one of these squalls the boat was upset, and that as none of the three could swim they were all drowned.
On Saturday morning Mr Cross and Constable Brunskill organised a search party, and started off with the object of recovering the bodies.
It was reported this morning that the body of George Cooley was brought to his father's house yesterday morning. Word to that effect was received during Sunday by a brother of the deceased, who is living in Wellington, and he immediately left town for the Hutt. It is a singular fact that this George Cooley was the man who inadvertently caused the death of the little girl Emily Mallowes (sic - the child was Emily Eliza Miller, aged 16 months, 9th of 10 known children, 8 daughters, of James & Agnes Miller) by running over her with his cart in John-street on the previous Friday.
Up to the time of our going to press no definite information had been received, and a private telegram from Featherston states that no trustworthy intelligence at all had yet been gained beyond the single fact that the three men were missing, it being added that neither boat nor bodies had been found
Constable Brunksill returned from the lake late last night, and has reported to the Superintendent of Police that after searching all day with Mr Cross and others for the missing men, they could find no signs of them or the boat, except a bag of ducks which had been washed ashore.
Other search parties that were out have also returned, with no better success.
The names of the missing men are:
• 1 Francis Cross aged 19
• 2 George Cooley aged 20
• 3 ? Devereaux aged 15
these young men were:
• 1 Francis Cross
1863 - 1880 Henry Franklin 'Francis' Cross aged 17
- only child of Lot Cross & Annie Franklin who married in NZ 23 Feb 1861 (good bio & old photos at this link)
- Lot and Annie died at Cross Creek, and buried Featherston
• 2 George Cross
1860 - 1880 George Cooley aged 20
- son of Isaac Cooley & Amy Burton who married in NZ 29 Oct 1842
- George's body was found 10 days later on 20 April 1880
• 3 ? Devereaux
1865 - 1880 Edgar Amos Devereux aged 15
- son of William Checkley Devereux & Ellen King who married ? (before 1857)
- Edgar's body was found, along with the boat, 5 days later on 15 April
article says Wairarapa Lake
there are 2 major lakes in south Wairarapa & the accident could have been in either
• Lake Wairarapa, nearest town to the lake is Featherston, which is located 5km from its northern shore
• Lake Ferry, a small settlement between the shores of Lake Onoke and Palliser Bay