George Cone will be remembered in the history of Rangiora as a popular promoter of new clubs, societies and industries.
He served on the council continuously without a break but ill health caused him to resign in 1897, a year before he died at the age of 56.
1860 - Anyone residing within 15 miles of Christchurch and able to serve as militiamen was on the Militia list - George Cone, Ferry Road, Farmer
Intentions to Marry - George Cone, Batchelor, profession farmer; age 21 years. Dwelling Mt Grey - length of time in residence 3 years. Marriage proposed in St John, the Baptist, Rangiora by Rev. Dudley to Ellen Burt, no profession given, age 18, living at Rangiora 4 years. Thomas Burt gave his consent to a minor. Witnesses to the Marriage were Thomas Burt, Farmer of Rangiora and Emma Furby of Christchurch.
Pre- 1866 - George had some of his brother William's land and his name is recorded among those who had farms under crop in 1866 in the Ashley-Loburn area.
Electoral Roll 1869-70; George Cone Ashley bank, sect. 3971 Ashley Downs; Leasehold Sect. 1293 + 2864 Ashley bank. This land was owned by William Cone before Fawcetts road was there and George built the sod house on this land. A grandson remebered his father telling him about watching the bullocks in a pen tramping the clay for the building. This would have been possibly about 1867. There was to be a very good orchard there.
1869 - George Cone built and opened his butcher's shop on land which he later purchased in 1873 on the corner of High and Ashley Streets. A cottage had been built originally on this site by Charles Jennings who used it as a chemist's shop and then later sold it to Charles Bourke - this when removed was replaced by George Cone's butcher shop and for some years it was known as Cone's Corner
1872 - 73 Electoral Roll; Ashley Bank leasehold section 1293, 2864 Ashley Nth Bank and Section 1293 Sefton near Trig pole 1A - this block was sold to him by brother William in July 1874 - and was where George had built the sod hut. He sold it 24 days after on the 18th August 1874 to Mr Kelvey. When William Cone bought it in 1864 ( he possibly worked it well before this date) he paid £3-5 per acre for it. This land sold in 1965 for £180 an acre.
1873 - 23rd May, George Cone bought the section
1 rood 24 perches where today, the Bank of New Zealand is, for £800.
He took out a mortgage on it for £600 @ 12 1/2%. In May 1859 the property
had been bought for £20 and in May 1860 it was sold again for £110,
and then George Cone bought it.
Date unknown - George went to Australia and brought back with him some very fine crockery - it is not known whether his walnut grand piano and furniture was also bought there at this time. It was said that George lived in style - had a servant.
1875 - On the 25th May, George Cone bought from
James Fitzgerald 3 acres, 2 perches on the corner of Ashley and High
Streets for £150. By 1880 he had sold this block in 10 sections for
July 1878 George Cone leased 100 acres for 21
years at £200 a year, a fantastic price. This land was over the railway
crossing below the Southbrook railway station.
1879, 21st Jan George Cone gave testamony in a case of a suicide at an inquest held at the Red Lion Hotel before a jury. George stated how he had found the deceased whom he had known as George Butler on Sunday afternoon in Bassingthwaites's stable which was next door to the Red Lion. Butler had worked about the house and looked after horses in the stable where he also slept. George Cone who lived in the cottage owned by the deceased had been sent for by Mrs Bassingthwaite when George butler could not be found and she was unable to gain access to the stable. George Cone had to force the door open as the body had fallen against the door after the rope which was used to hang himself from a hook on the wall, had parted. George estimated that death had occurred about 2 or 3 hours previously. Others gave testimony as to the deceased state of mind in the days preceding the event and a verdict was given by the jury as "suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity".
1879 April 1st - Mr George Cone Rangiora, owner of a filly broke its leg in an accident while being exercised with other horses belonging to George Cone. The lad riding Defamer was bringing her up the Ashley Road when she shied at a spring cart which had backed in to the fence. In doing so she crossed her legs and at the same time stepped on a loose stone which caused her to stumble and break her near fore-leg close to the elbow. The valuable filly had been looked on to win in the forthcoming races and had to be shot.
1880 In July there are several advertisements advertising auctions of property by George Cone, Auctioneer.
1881 May 12-George and two friends all carrying guns along with five dogs were charged in Court for trespassing with dog and gun. They had come three or four miles across Robert Chapmans land in pursuit of game and the complainant stated that they had several hares with them but they had no permission to enter his property. George Cone said they had 2 guns and four dogs, a greyhound, a setter, a retriever and a sheepdog. One said he was not a good shot and had no gun and was simply a spectator. George and another had licenses to shoot hares, and stated that the property was unfenced and that no caution against trespassing had been advertised. They said they had offered an immediate apology and had left at a canter across to the Oxford Road. The judge ruled that all were guilty of trespass but because they had licences were given a light penalty of £3 and court costs.
1882 January, George Cone bought 20 perches of
land on a road leading to the Lincoln Road, Christchurch - perhaps with
the idea of retiring there some day.
1885 - In June, a bacon factory was situated in
a two-storied building near the corner of Northbrook Road and Victoria
Street possibly part of the old tannery was managed by George
Cone, butcher. At the end of its first month it had a thousand carcasses
in its dry-saltery and smokehouse and the company running it planned to
expand into butter and cheese. It was described as a great boon to farmers
but after a couple of years, it had closed.
1891 - 1892 - George was elected Mayor of
Obituary: Funeral At Rangiora
The remains of the late Mr George Cone were conveyed to their last resting place in the Rangiora Church of England Cemetery on Saturday afternoon with every mark of respect. Flags were flying half-mast and the business premises in the town were closed during the time of the funeral. The cortege was a very large one, amongst those present being representatives of the organisations to which the deceased belonged, the pall bearers being the Mayor, Borough Councillors and the Town Clerk. The burial service was read by the Rev. F P. Fendall. A large number of floral tokens of sympathy were placed on the coffin, amongst them being wreaths from the Borough Council, the North Canterbury Jockey Club and the Athletic Association.
Ellen Cone died at the home of her daughter Edith Cunningham on the Ferry Road in 1924 aged 79 years and was buried with her husband George at the Anglican Cemetery at Rangiora. The graves are located on Ashley Street, the second row to the right inside the gate and close by, daughter Ellen and her husband Charlie Elliott.
George and Ellen Cone had 6 children - George Herbert, Frederick Willam, Ellen Sarah, Isabella Marion who died 3rd March 1880 aged 10 years, Sarah Ann who died aged 2 years November 1872 and Edith Amelia
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