Mary Caroline Cross nee Benbow
Mary Caroline Benbow was born at Ladymoor, Waitohi 15th July 1866 to parents Mary and William Benbow, (the same year that her oldest sister Ann was married.) She wore a built-up shoe - it is uncertain if she was born with a short leg, had an accident or if she maybe contracted a Polio-type illness when very young. She would walk the six long miles over bullock tracks, even wading a couple of creeks keeping up with the other school children as they made their way to the private school at Epworth on the banks of the west side of the Temuka River. Epworth was a private township on the freehold land which had been subdivided by the Rhodes brothers in 1861.
Mary was a gentle girl and a loyal Salvation Army lass, she married 08 Aug 1889 a man of the soil, William (Bill) Cross of Temuka. Marriage witnesses were William's brother James Cross and fiance Elizabeth Preddy who married in 1891.
Mary voted in 1893 NZ Womans first electoral roll; Parerora electorate; residing Winchester, occ. household duties
1900 Competed Geraldine flower show
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A busy life with six children to care for but after her last baby was born, Mary's health deteriorated and she died four years later on 16 Aug 1912 aged 46 years.
Rear: Stanley, Mabel, Walter, Seated Front: Bertha, father Bill Cross, Vera and Ella.