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Frederick William Cone
Frederick Cone (1866 - 1938) son of George Cone

Fred Cone was b: 08 Jul 1866 at Ashley Bank where his father George Cone was farming 40 acres he had purchased from his elder brother, William Cone. The farm was named "Aldham" after the Suffolk town where the Cone brothers were born and George built a sod hut there. The family later relocated to Rangiora when George opened a butcher's shop in Ashley Street.

Fred attended a private school in Rangiora and on completion of his education, started his working life learning the craft of saddlery at the Farmers Cooperative. This business serviced the area and sale day was particularly busy. Farmers headed for town and while there, took the opportunity to have their main form of transport, their horse, shod by a blacksmith and to have their saddles and gear mended or replaced. Fred first had a saddlery shop at Glentunnel then one at Rangiora 

 Fred Cone married Helen (Nellie) Bowie Wilson on April 25, 1888 at the Presbyterian Church, Kaiapoi. She was the daughter of Robert Wilson and mother Jane McKie nee McConnell from Castle Douglas, Kircudbright, South Scotland and had immigrated as assisted immigrants on the "Joseph Fletcher" in 1856. They lived at Kaiapoi where Robert was a baker and there their family of four boys and 3 girls, among them, Helen was born

Fred and Nellie's first two children, both boys, died.

Star: 18 May 1885:  The following New Zealand applications for patents are gazetted : Frederick William Cone, of Rangiora, saddler, for " A double-screw shoulder vein, for veining leather."

In early 1890 the family moved to Kaiapoi where the first three girls, Leonie, Isabel and Fllorence, were born. About 1895, the decision was made to move to New Plymouth, Taranaki and the family lived in the suburb of Fitzroy. Fred was manager for the next 3 years of R G Knight's Leather outlet on Devon Street, "Manufacturer of oilskin coats, Rick Covers Tents, Flags, etc. SADDLES, Harness, Collars, Bridles,, Gladstone bags, Portmanteaux -"CALL AND INSPECT. A Large Stock to choose from. Carriage Paid to any station within l0 miles on all orders of £3 and over. Marquees and Flags on hire" Abt mid 1898 the business was sold and Fred Cone opened his own outlet opposite the Herald Office in Devon-street. It was called "Canterbury Saddlery Company" and specialised in sales of saddlery and horse covers.

Early 1900, Fred took up a position as manager of the saddlery shop at the Moa Farmers Union at Inglewood

The Moa Farmers' Union, Ltd was established in the year 1891. The premises are centrally situated, and included drapery, millinery, grocery, ironmongery, a saddlery shop (Fred Cone (centre of photo below) was manager), earthenware, and baking departments where two large ovens  were kept fully employed. The turnover in 1905 amounted to £35,000 and about forty people were employed.
Manager, Moa Farmers Union Saddlery Shop, Inglewood

Taranaki Herald: School Committee Elections: 27 Apr 1905; INGLEWOOD. J. Winfield. H. W. Tarplee, A. Marshall. D. Alllan. T. Nichols, F.W.Cone.

Taranaki Herald: 18 Apr 1907: INGLEWOOD: Messrs Harold Thomson and H. B. Curtis have been nominated for the position of Mayor; J M Lessrs, G. W. Bennett, F H. Brown, F.W.Cone, H. Mayne, D. H. McDonald, A. E. Surrey, H. W.Tarplee, J. W. Winfield and G. Young have been nominated for six seats on the Borough Council

At the end of June 1909, the family returned south to Canterbury. It is thought that a property was first purchased at 12 Sheldon St., Opawa. Fred became a market gardener (Helen's uncle William Barbour Wilson, was a nurseryman) In 1910 Fred bought about 5 acres at 50 Langdon's Road, Papanui, Christchurch - this land bordered the railway line and 1945 became part of the Firestone Tyre Factory. He planted it out mainly in apple trees - Cox's Orange, Delicious, Worcester Pearmain, Lord Wolseley and Sturmer Pippin. He had some pear trees - Winter Cole and Winter Nelis and a plum and quince. While the orchard was coming into production, he interplanted with 7000 tomato plants and cucumbers and grew blackcurrants. 

1913c: Back; Myrtle, Florrie, Isabel, Phyllis; Seated - Leonie; Agnes; Fred; Freda; Helen; Evelyn

Fred was a knowledgeable and careful gardener. Some of his daughters helped in the orchard at harvest-time, and he packed apples for export in his own packing shed, making up the wooden cases on site. He had good gate-sales too, his property being convenient to the public. There were times that he regretted this proximity as the local school children would be tempted to help themselves to the fruit off the trees. To combat this menace, a grandson remembered Fred's guard dog being tethered to a long wire stretched along the railway boundary, enabling it to patrol the whole length. After the disastrous "frost of 1929, Fred invested in frost-pots and a reliable orchard thermometer, and four neighbours would help him light in an emergency.

Fred had to be often away from home on business and he became deeply involved in fruit politics. A strong character, he was elected president of the Canterbury Fruitgrowers Association each year from 1920 to 1924. He was chosen by his fellow fruitgrowers to become the Canterbury director of the NZ Fruitgrowers Federation, a national position he held for nine years, from 1922 - 31, and was also on the original committee of the Institute of Horticulture in 1922.
A split in the Canterbury Fruitgrowers Association occured late in 1934 and this lead to the formation of the Waimairi Fruitgrowers Association. So Fred changed his allegence for the last four years of his life. Fred passed away in 1938.
The orchard, once called
"Garden of Eden" was run by the Cone family estate trust till the end of World War 2 by Mr Adam employed as manager. Although the orchard was small, and only lasted some 35 years, the Cone contribution to affairs govening fruitgrowing was significant, not only in Canterbury but nationally.

Death: On November 28th, 1936, at her residence, 50 Langdon’s Road, Papanui, Helen Bowie, dearly loved wife of Frederick William Cone, and loving mother of Leonie, Florrie, Evelyn. Phyllis and Freda Cone, and Mesdames Cree, Steer and Barker; aged 69 years. At rest.

Death: CONE—On June 15, 1938, at Christchurch, Frederick William Cone, of 50 Langdon’s Road, Papanui, widower of the late Helen Bowie Cone, and loved father of Leonie, Florence. Evelyn, Phyllis, and Freda Cone and Mesdames Cree, Steer, and Barker; aged 71 years.

Obituary: Mr F W Cone
Mr F W Cone, of Papanui, who was prominent in the fruitgrowing industry in Canterbury died recently recently aged 71. Born at Ashley Downs on July 8, 1866, Mr Cone learnt the trade of saddlery at Rangiora and followed it at Glentunnel, Kaiapoi and New Plymouth. For ten years he was manager of the saddlery and harness department of the Moa Farmers' Union, Inglewood.
In 1910 Mr Cone acquired an orchard property at Langdon's Road, Papanui, where he carried on orchard work till the time of his death. Interested not only in the practical side of fruitgrowing, but also in the theoretical, he became instructor of orchard work at the Military Sanatorium, Lincoln College, and the Christchurch Technical College. He also took an active part in the administration of the fruit growing industry, being for some years a director of the New Zealand Fruitgrower's Federation.
At the time of his death, Mr Cone was a director of the Canterbury Orchardists' Co-operative Association, Ltd, and a member of the Waimairi Fruitgrowers Association and the New Zealand Institute of Horticulture. He also belonged to the Papanui Progress League, the Concord Lodge and the Independent Order of Rechabites.
Mr Cone was married to the daughter of the late Mr Robert Wilson, of Kaiapoi, his wife predeceasing him by 18 months. He is survived by a family of eight daughters, all of whom reside in Christchurch.
At the funeral June 17, the service at the Waimairi graveside was conducted by the Rev. J A Simmonds, assisted by the Rev. J Robertson. A Masonic ceremony was conducted by Mr F P Frye. The pall-bearers were Messers C Steer and I Barker (sons-in-law) and respresentatives of the Concord Lodge and Fruitgrowers' associations.

The building of the Firestone (Bridgestone) tyre factory, in Langdons Road, was commenced on land, some of which was a 5-acre orchard purchased from the Cone family, in 1945. Firestone produced New Zealand's first pneumatic tyre in 1948. This factory remained the only tyre manufacturer in the South Island until closure in 2009.

Above: (L to R) Florrie, Evelyn, Myrtle, Phyllis, Agnes, Isabel, Leonie and Freda


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