Edward arrived in Lyttelton in 1851. He was just 22 years old. After spending some time in Lyttelton, he got work at ‘Pareora’, the farm owned by David Innes in South Canterbury. David Innes is now remembered in the naming of Innes Road at Merivale where he later owned land.
Next, Edward bought his own property at the foot of the Port Hills where he opened a Quarry.
He married Mary Gundry in 1854 and they would go on to have 5 sons and 5 daughters.
In 1862, he moved to Akaroa where he opened a merchant store that also dealt with shipping needs. He owned a steamer called ‘Wainui’ which ran a service between Akaroa, Lyttelton and Timaru.
The home he built in Akaroa became known afterwards as the Wagstaff’s Hotel. My attempts to find this Hotel via the Internet have failed so I don’t think it is with us anymore.
In 1876, Edward’s business ventures extended to Barry’s Bay where he bought land and opened a saw mill.
When land taxes were introduced in 1879, Edward accepted the position of Land Tax Commissioner with the Canterbury Provincial Council. A few years later, he took on the role of Official Assignee in Bankruptcy also for the provincial council.
With the death of Robert Heaton Rhodes in 1884, Edward became a co-trustee of all Robert’s land. Robert was Edward’s brother-in-law.
With this responsibility and his roles at the council – not just Canterbury but also with Akaroa – Edward was a busy man until an illness slowed him down.
He passed away as a result in his Fendalton home in 1896.
Today, Edward is remembered more in the naming of the Latters Spur Track. A walking trail that boasts of both scenic views of Christchurch and great opportunities to view some of our native wildlife such as the Bellbird and Kereru – our Native Wood Pigeon.
*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*