Epitaph is a series of biographical sketches produced by the North Otago Museum and Archive to commemorate local identities.
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.
Reverend Alexander Bruce Todd was an early minister of St Pauls Presbyterian church in Oamaru, his tenure lasted twenty-five years.
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 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.
St John McLean Buckley was the nephew of farmer and politician, John McLean.
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 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 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 was the seventh son and youngest child of Jessie and Robert Brown of Polytechnic fame.
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 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 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.
In the cemetery of Oamaru lies the plot of one of the town’s most historically significant families, the Forrester family.
Oamaru Cemetery is the place to go when we want to be reminded of the people of Oamaru’s past.
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.
A number of Oamaru’s early European settlers were of high social standing.
George Jones was a well respected man in Oamaru during his forty-four year ownership of the Oamaru Mail newspaper.
John Rule Sewell was a local man who made his mark on the town through the chemist store he operated for over fifty years.
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.
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 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.
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 was an early European settler in the North Otago area.
The name Meek is associated with a number of Oamaru’s historic buildings.
Allan Hedley was an auctioneer and commissioning agent who was a partner in the firm Fleming and Hedley.
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.
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 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.
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.
Doctor Kenneth McAdam was an early citizen of Oamaru whose priority was the care of his fellow citizens.
Edward Menlove was a well known name in North Otago during the early days of European settlement in the area.
Robert Brown was an early Oamaru citizen who is most remembered for the Polytechnic department store he had built on Thames Street.
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 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.
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.