Epitaph

Epitaph is a series of biographical sketches produced by the North Otago Museum and Archive to commemorate local identities.

Ivy Pollard, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 5934

Oamaru cemetery is not only the place of rest for the town’s early settlers; it is also the place of rest for the town’s more recent citizens.

Rev Alexander Bruce Todd, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4491

Reverend Alexander Bruce Todd was an early minister of St Pauls Presbyterian church in Oamaru, his tenure lasted twenty-five years.

W H S Roberts, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 3590

Many of Oamaru’s early settlers are buried at the Oamaru Cemetery, most of the time the only reminder of the life of these settlers is the headstone that marks their grave.

Robert Mahan, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 654

Robert Mahan was a popular personality in Oamaru from the 1880s till the 1920s. During his time in Oamaru he was a photographer, volunteer rifleman and Oamaru borough councillor.

Redcastle and grounds, Redcastle and grounds 3578

St John McLean Buckley was the nephew of farmer and politician, John McLean.

William Waterhouse Dawson

William Waterhouse Dawson was a wood and coal merchant, and later a grain broker, with his business based on Tyne Street and his home on Ure Street.

John Falconer, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4730

John Falconer was Mayor of Oamaru between the years of 1883 and 1886. He is recognised for his dedicated approach to the growth and development of Oamaru.

William Bee and family, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 6155

William Bee is an early Oamaru citizen remembered most for the grocery store he owned and operated on the corner of Itchen and Tyne Streets.

Donald Forrester Brown, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 830

Donald Forrester Brown was the seventh son and youngest child of Jessie and Robert Brown of Polytechnic fame.

John Johnson Spence, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 5356

John Johnson Spence was an early European settler in Oamaru who turned his hand to many trades. During his time in Otago he was a farmer, builder, merchant, ship owner, miller and grocer.

James Llyod Hassell, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 3219

James Lloyd Hassell was an early settler in Oamaru. He is remembered for the windmill he erected on the block of land in the South Hill area now bordered by Stour, Rother, Towey and Lune Streets.

Henry Aitken, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4397

Henry Aitken was one of Oamaru’s early Mayors. He was a popular man, having been elected Mayor four times in a row. Aitken died on 6 January 1899, leaving a wife and one son to mourn his loss.

John Megget Forrester, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 2893

In the cemetery of Oamaru lies the plot of one of the town’s most historically significant families, the Forrester family.

Algernon and Sarah Anne Gifford, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 6095

Oamaru Cemetery is the place to go when we want to be reminded of the people of Oamaru’s past.

George Sumpter and family, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 5210

Throughout his life in Oamaru George Sumpter was a central public figure. During the late nineteenth century his name was linked with practically every public institution in the town.

Sir Henry John Miller, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 8764

A number of Oamaru’s early European settlers were of high social standing.

George Jones, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4450

George Jones was a well respected man in Oamaru during his forty-four year ownership of the Oamaru Mail newspaper.

John Rule Sewell, John Rule Sewell 5475

John Rule Sewell was a local man who made his mark on the town through the chemist store he operated for over fifty years.

Mrs and Mrs Thomas Ferens, Collection of Waitaki District Archive P0027.25.11.1

Thomas Ferens was one of North Otago’s earliest European settlers. He was a run holder and church man, heavily involved in the establishment of the Methodist church in North Otago.

Captain William Sewell, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 3238

As a sea side town, it is hard to consider Oamaru without thinking of its harbour. Many of the people who feature in the historical narrative of Oamaru have had a connection with the harbour.

Thomas Windle Parker, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 3223

Thomas Windle Parker was an early European settler in North Otago. He arrived in Oamaru in the early 1860s and played an important role in the development of the town.

Francis William Ogilvie Grant, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 3266

The story of Francis William Ogilvie-Grant is an interesting one. Frank, as he was called by his peers, was an everyday North Otago citizen who arrived to the district from Britain in 1870.

William Henry Teschemaker, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 6029

William Henry Teschemaker was an early European settler in the North Otago area.

Thomas Meek and family, Collection of Waitaki District Archve 657

The name Meek is associated with a number of Oamaru’s historic buildings.

Allan Hedley and family, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 9290

Allan Hedley was an auctioneer and commissioning agent who was a partner in the firm Fleming and Hedley.

Robert Winter, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 5662

While many historic figures buried in the Oamaru cemetery are remembered for their wealth and success some are remembered simply for their strong presence and unique character.

Elderslie estate, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 1648

As Curator of Archives at the North Otago Museum it is important to know who in Oamaru’s past is of cultural and historical significance.

Dr John Stubbs Wait, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 2286

Dr John Stubbs Wait was a doctor in Oamaru from the 1860s. He was a prominent person in the history of Oamaru, and was also Mayor of the town for a period of time.

Archdeacon Russell, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4194

John Delacourt Russell was the vicar of St Luke’s Anglican Church from 1911-1944. Sources say he was an extremely generous and “Godly man”, and was well loved in the community.

Dr Kenneth McAdam, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 3255

Doctor Kenneth McAdam was an early citizen of Oamaru whose priority was the care of his fellow citizens.

Edward Menlove, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 5532

Edward Menlove was a well known name in North Otago during the early days of European settlement in the area.

Robert Brown, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 5957

Robert Brown was an early Oamaru citizen who is most remembered for the Polytechnic department store he had built on Thames Street.

Alexander McMaster's Boundary Creek residence, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4031

Alexander McMaster was an early European settler in North Otago. His family was closely linked to the Reid’s of Elderslie Estate and he owned land at Maerewhenua, Tokarahi and Otematata.

James McDiarmid, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 4452

James McDiarmid was a business man who made his mark on Oamaru. His legacy still stands as the family owned and operated shoe store on Thames Street we know as McDiarmid’s.

John and Fanny Bulleid, Collection of Waitaki District Archive 6566

Oamaru Cemetery is the final resting place for a number of the town’s most memorable citizens.

John Campbell Gilchrist was a quiet and kindly man remembered most for being the first Mayor of Oamaru.