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Obituary - Eliza Curtis nee Newsham

Taranaki Herald, 2 June 1890

OBITUARY. DEATH OF MRS. GEORGE CURTIS-
Early on Sunday morning, Mrs George Curtis, a lady well known and much respected in Taranaki, died in the presence of her husband and most of the members of her family, at the age of 74 years. Mrs Curtis came out with her husband and family in the ship Pekin, which arrived at New Plymouth about the middle of January, 1850. Mr Curtis, J.P., took up land at Omata, where he and his family lived in a raupo whare, built for them by the Maoris, for about eight years. Mrs Curtis was thus brought face to face with the vicissitudes of colonial life in the early days of the settlement, and although she had been used to a comfortable home in England her father being the owner of a valuable estate in Cambridgeshire she was in no way depressed, but battled with the difficulties and dangers the early settlers were subjected to uncomplainingly.

Her husband, Mr Curtis, was one of the largest importers in New Plymouth at the time, and previous to the war breaking out in 1860 had erected a large and substantially built house at Omata. On hostilities with the natives commencing Mrs Curtis and her family removed to New Plymouth, but her husband remained at Omata, where from the stockade he saw his home destroyed, it having been set on fire by the rebel natives. Mrs Curtis with her children then went to Nelson, where she stayed for twelve months.

On peace with the natives being proclaimed, Mr Curtis re-built his house at Omata, and until recently he and his family have lived there. About eight years ago Mrs Curtis in walking down a hill slipped and falling heavily was injured in such a way as to induce paralysis, from which she has ever since been a great sufferer. About two years ago Mr Curtis and his wife came to live in town, and, although Mrs Curtis was still an invalid, she was not confined to her bed till about a week since, when she caught a severe cold, which no doubt was the chief cause of her death.

It is a very delicate matter to intrude upon the home life of a lady, but it is admitted by those who have had tho privilege of anything approaching to an intimate acquaintance with the late Mrs Curtis that, of what a wife, a mother, and a colonist should be, she has furnished us with a brilliant example.

The Messrs Curtis Brothers of Stratford and Inglewood are her sons, and, as prosperous settlers, are well known ; and she has another son who is Police Magistrate in Queensland. She also leaves two daughters, Mrs Carthew and Mrs T. Mace, both residents of Taranaki. The funeral of the deceased lady will take place on Wednesday next, at 2 p.m.