John Hill (1836 – 1918)

Phillip Hill must have been a pretty ‘bad boy’ to have been disinherited by his father, John Hill Senior. Luckily for Phillips’ sons – John Jnr. and James – the disinheritance only went as far as their father.John Hill Senior actually went all out and beyond to make sure his grandsons had the best chance at a good life. Put under the charge of William Guise Brittan, the two boys board the ‘Sir George Seymour’ – one of our first four ships – with land orders for 50 acres each. James was 16 years old and John Jnr. was just 14.Upon landing, both lads become farming cadets at the properties of their guardian, William Guise Brittan. It would be 10 years before either brother took up their land claims.
Together they eventually owned land between Harewood and the Main North Road (the Papanui property), between the Wairarapa and Waimairi Streams (the Fendalton property), cnr of Oxford Terrace and Hereford Street and some land on Peterborough Street, near Park Terrace.

The brothers get married at almost the same time. James marries Hesther Boutell (her true name, I swear) on the 28th December 1858 and John marries Catherine Lynch on the 26th January 1859. The couples settle down together on their Fendalton property.

With their Fendalton and Papanui properties leased out, the families move to land on ‘Bealey’s Track’, now known to us as the West Coast Road.
John and Catherine, who are having kids like there’s no tomorrow, settle on their own 170 acres in what would become West Melton. By 1873, John has increased his farm to 224 acres.

John took on the role as community leader being highly involved in the opening of West Melton School in 1871. He also helped bring badly needed irrigation to what was a very dry, hostile farming area.

John and Catherine retire to Christchurch in 1907. They settle in Rugby Street in St Albans but John still helps his sons out on the old West Melton farm.
Tragically, Catherine passes away on the 17th August 1914 of influenza and heart disease. John follows her four years later and both are buried at St Paul’s Anglican Church in West Melton, Canterbury.

*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

Leave a Reply


*

 

%d bloggers like this: