9 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

John Wolfe was another

John Wolfe was another well known Lincoln resident in the 19 th century. A painter by trade he was born near Rugby in 1842, married in 1863, and migrated to New Zealand in 1875. Although he worked as a painter, plumber and glazier he gradually acquired land and eventually was more properly regarded as a farmer. He was a member of the Springs Road Board for about eight years and chairman for a number of those years. He was involved with the Lincoln Domain Board for some time and was an active member of the Lincoln Baptist Church. Mr Wolfe died in December 1916 and like his wife who died five years earlier, he is buried in the Lincoln cemetery. There is nothing known of the bootmaker and to date there seems to be little hope that information will come to hand. Another apparently short lived business was that of a public dispensary. In 1876 29 an advertisement stated that a public dispensary was open in Lincoln, that Mr W.H. Brodrick, who lived on the premises, was able to offer advice, provide medicines, and to visit. The location of these premises remains a mystery. Besides the activities recorded above, the Lincoln Fair Company, discussed elsewhere, must rank as one of the important commercial activities in early Lincoln. The company was founded by local farmers whose aim was to provide an outlet where stock could be bought and sold without recourse to the services of an auctioneer. The first sale was held in June 1869 and was so successful that it seemed that the company could look forward to a bright future, but with the coming of the railway, steadily improving roads, and competition from neighbouring fairs, support fell away until sales were abandoned some time in 1876. At about the same time the Lincoln Farmers' Club organised the annual agricultural and pastoral shows which were held in the fair company’s grounds. These too, were successful for a time, but as with the fairs, support flagged, and the show survived the fairs by about three years. Although these ventures failed after only a few years, their purpose of supporting and encouraging local farmers was met and they certainly played an important role in the development of the district. By the 1880s there were well established businesses in Lincoln which supported and serviced village residents and the surrounding farming population. At the same time roads were being improved, the railway passed through Lincoln, educational facilities were better, churches were being built and the infrastructure for the village was developing. 32

11. W. Bartram and Co. Calendar poster for 1902 – “An awkward lie” 33

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