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George Mathew SNELSON + Louisa Matilda BUCK - Palmerston North

Journal by ngairedith

GEORGE MATHEW SNELSON
18371901 Ironmonger, storekeeper, community leader

* 1837 George is born to James and Mary (nee Halford) Snelson
* 1852, aged 15, George leaves school and becomes an ironmonger apprentice and a hardward merchant
* 1856, aged 19 he works for a general agent in Bedford
* 1863 21st Feb., aged 25, he emigrates to NZ on the EARL of WINDSOR. He is employed as a clerk by E.W.Mills, an ironmonger and general merchant
* 1865 6th July, aged 27, he marries Louisa Matilda Buck, she is 20
* 1866, aged 29, he becomes a father to Frances Mary - she dies the following year
* 1868, aged 31, he has a son, George James - he dies 3 years later
* 1869, aged 32, the Government makes arrangement for the emigration of Scandinavians to Manawatu. George is now a partner with E.Mills and they decide he should go to Palmerston to open a general store and ironmongery, which he does on 30th Dec., taking up residencey (alone) at Papaioea (Palmerston) - Louisa joins him in April 1871
* 1871, aged 34, he is the first storekeeper in Palmerston - most of his cutomers are poor and he gives them credit on purchases and the population is now 25
* 1872 the Manawatu Gorge is opened and the residents want a new name for the town to distinquish it from Palmerston in the South Island
* 8th May 1873 , aged 36, he is appointed Vaccination Inspector
* 1877 9th Aug., aged 50, he becomes the first elected Mayor - unopposed, and the name of the town is now Palmerstnon North.. The town has a Volunteer Fire Brigade with 5 members and the town's population is now 800
* 1879 - James Linton is elected Mayor
* 1882 - Frits Jenseen is elected Mayor
* 1883, aged 46, George is re-elected Mayor and the Volunteer Fire Brigade is now funded by the Council
* 1884 - James Linton is elected Mayor
* 1885 - Alexander Ferguson is elected Mayor and the Town Hall burns down losing all community records and Birth, Death and Marriage registers (in 1894 the remainder of the library collections were transferred to the Fire Brigade
* 1887 - Solomon Abrahams elected Mayor
* 1888 - Work begins on a town water supply from the Turtea Stream and the Vounteer Fire Brigade begins using a horse drawn hand operated pump cart
* 1889, aged 52, George is re-elected Mayor
* 1890 - Longburn Freezing Works opens (it closes down in 1987), a sewerage system is constructed and the sewerage is discharged directly into the Manawatu River and the Volunteer Fire Brigade builds a small substation in Terrace End
* 1891 - the population is now 4,303, the Maori are not counted
* 1895 - William Wood elected Mayor
* 1897 - Eleanor Tasker, the 1st registered nurse in New Zealand and the 1st nurse in Palmerston North Hospital leaves to get married
* 1899 - Population is 6,200 and the local men volunteer to go the South Africa in the Boer War
* 1901, aged 64, George is re-elected Mayor. On the 22nd January Queen Victoria dies after a record 64 year reign and on the 31st October George dies during his 7th (sic) term as Mayor
His funeral was a municipal event, all the shops were closed, the flags were flown at half mast and special transport was put on to bring mourners into town

Palmerston North
IN 1871 THE POPULATION IS 25
IN 2011 THE POPULATION IS 82,400


LOUISA MATILDA BUCK
18441919 Community leader

Louisa was born in Bath, Somerset, a daughter of {b]Henry Gregory Buck, second husband of Elizabeth Frances COOSE (formerly Harvey)

From the biographies of Louisa & George

George and Louisa Snelson are remembered as the father and mother of Palmerston North

... Louisa Snelson's name was as closely associated as George's with social and religious initiatives in Palmerston North. Anglican church services were held at their home and store from October 1872, and on 29 September 1875 Louisa laid the foundation stone for All Saints', the first Anglican church in the town. Louisa was Sunday school teacher there from 1877 and George was at various times vicar's warden and a lay reader during the first years of the church's existence. Louisa also maintained close contact with Christian Maori at Awapuni.

... Louisa took a particular interest in the welfare and education of local Maori, and was said to be a fluent speaker of the language. In 1907 she was asked to share in the unveiling of the monument to Rangitane chief Te Peeti Te Aweawe, which stands in The Square in Palmerston North. She had commenced a campaign for the statue in 1890

... George presided over only eight Council meetings before his death on 31 October 1901. His funeral on 4 November was a major municipal event: all the shops were closed, special transport brought mourners from Feilding, and flags were flown at half-mast.

Louisa was left in a parlous financial position. A collection was taken to assist her, but she soon had to sell her home and in October 1903 she moved to Sydney, Australia. Little is known of her time there. She returned to Palmerston North several years later and was again involved with fund-raising for various community causes. Because of her personal circumstances she was compelled to earn money by selling flower paintings and giving private art lessons. During her last years she lived in private hotels and with friends. She died on 15 December 1919 while visiting Wanganui. Her funeral, too, was a notable local event.

In the Snelsons' various community activities Louisa appears to have been the initiator and organiser, George the spokesman and public figure. But nothing tangible endures as a monument to their work. Only Snelson Street (officially designated in 1897) reminds Palmerstonians of two fine pioneers


NOTES
Louisa's siblings:
Jane Harvey (1828-1901)
- married Solomon LEVY in 1844 & had 13 children

Ann Harvey (1831-1909)
- married THomas WILSON
- married Edwin JACKSON

Eli Buck (1834-1898)
- married Caroline DAYSH

Leah Buck (1836-1898)
- married Thomas Wilmor McKENZIE & had 14 hildren

Levi Buck (1838-1881)
- married Emma Jane AMES & had 5 children
- Around 1881 aged about 43 he went to the King Country which is an area of about 7,000 square miles that today contains, Taumurunui, Pio Pio, Te Kuiti and many more towns near the Waikato
In 1881 the King Country was isolated, uncivilised and without roads
HE WAS NEVER SEEN NOR HEARD OF AGAIN
... After 7 years he was presumed dead


George died 31 Oct 1901 aged 63
Louisa died 14 Dec 1919 (in Wanganui) aged 63
they are buried PLOTS 060 & 062, BLOCK 030 at Terrace End Cemetery



PHOTO
Manawatu Gorge opened in 1871
from the site Our City

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-05-07 17:48:16

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