After the death of his father William Bullock Cone in 1852 on the Bridle Path, William, his brothers and sister and step-mother Caroline lived on in the home that their father had bought at Ferry Road. It would have been to 14 year old William that his younger siblings looked to their lead, Fred 12 yrs, George 10 and Sarah Ann 6. It was said that as a boy, William was a good swimmer and once got into a row for paddling his sister across the Heathcote River in a tub. Their step mother Caroline remarried in 1859, the three brothers moved out and took a separate house on Ferry Road and 16 year old Sarah Ann kept house for them and also at Ashley mid year 1860, until her own marriage in 1862.
With the unsettled state of Taranaki, anyone residing within 15 miles of Christchurch Land office and able to serve was posted on the militia list of 1860 - William Cone, Ferry Road, Farmer.
As early as 1857 William applied along with brother Fred for land and 25 acres were granted to him on 19 April, 1859 at Halswell and Fred bought 20 acres next to William. William Cone and Mr George Bartrum, (brother-in-law of Thomas William Pursey who later married Sarah Ann) were in partnership with 20 acres at Hoon Hay which they bought for £93. William later sold out his half share to George Bartrum in 14th October 1863. At the same time as his purchase at Halswell, William bought another 25 acres at McTeague Road - this was sold in 16 September 1865 for £165. He had purchased a further 25 acres for £130 and this was sold on 30 September 1864 for £275. All the land at Halswell was likely to have been very wet and undrained so William would have been keen to purchase a drier place and as land was being subdivided and sold for settlement he decided to move north. He and brother George joined a number of early settlers who bought on the north bank of the Ashley River. William bought 25 acres on 6 December 1860 from John McFarlane who owned a large estate at Ashley - he paid £3.10s an acre.(Sect 2848 Ashley River, Mt Grey Downs) This was on the left side of the road which was named after him, going north of the Ashley river, Cones Road and went to the corner where you turn left to go to Loburn. At the point where the road crossed the river, it became known as Cones Ford. William was possibly the first to operate a threshing mill north of the Ashley River and among the first settlers to farm in the area.
Intentions to Marry - Christchurch District Application dated Sept 24, 1861 - William Cone, Batchelor, Farmer aged 23, dwelling at Ferry Road 4 days, intention to marry at St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Christchurch to Isabella Parish of Ferry Road aged 21 years, daughter of William and Hannah Parish, living there 10 years. Witnesses to the marriage which actually occurred on 30th September were Ambrose Cant, a Christchurch carpenter and Esther Cant, householder. The minister was Charles Fraser.
On the 12th of August /September 1864, William took possession of a further 40 acres paying £130, on the right side of the road from the Ashley river bridge and continuing on past the road turning off to the Ashley township, northwards. This is where sister Sarah Ann and Thomas William Pursey first lived after their marriage. It is thought very likely that William farmed the property for some time before the sale was recorded (1862) as this was often done in those days. The first owner of the property was Mr John McFarlane and after the Purseys took possession of their own property across the road (Sect 2849) in 1865 William Cone moved into the house they had vacated on the corner of the road that leads to the Ashley township and continued farming there until 1894 when he retired to Wellington. He used to drive a threshing mill, one of the first to operate north of the Ashley. While William was doing threshing for other farmers, Thomas Pursey, his brother-in-law looked after his farm.
Among those listed as having farms under
crop at the end of 1866 were both George and William Cone, and Thomas
Pursey, the husband of Sarah Ann. The Purseys lived closer to the
Ashley River on the opposite side of the road.
The Lyttleton Times reported in December 1886 that William Cone was brought before the Rangiora Court. He was charged by the Ashley Roads Board under the Amended Public Works Act, that he had allowed gorse to spread from his section onto the public road bounding it. The clerk of the board stated that William not complied when asked to grub it out - the fence was partly gorse and partly stakes and wire. William successfully defended himself against this allegation stating he had never planted gorse along his boundary and the gorse had spread from the road on to his property. The case was dismissed.
On the 25th July 1874, William sold 27 acres, part of his Ashley land, to brother George and here George built the sod hut. William had originally purchased this land for £30 and was before Fawcetts Road - the corner used to be known as Cones Corner. He and wife Isabella who died June 1889 and later with his second wife Maria, lived on the corner (Cones Corner) of the road north of the traffic bridge over the Ashley river above Rangiora. William never had more than 87 acres in total and in 1892 he bought the section in Ashley Street opposite the Salvation Army Hall from brother George for £75 - George had paid £100 for it, and here he retired to in 1894. He bought land at Kowai 23/10/1875 - this was sold 27/2/1901. He had bought another section also in 1902 for £52.10s near his house but not touching Ashley or High Street and here he kept his horse. William died 18th September 1905 aged 67 of peritonitus and is buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery, East Belt Rangiora alongside his first wife Elizabeth. The graves are about 50 metres from the road in the older part of the cemetery and has a headstone.
William and second wife Maria whom he married March 26th. 1890 at Christchurch, left Rangiora after his retirement. In the New Zealand Directory he is living at 8 Princes Street in Mount Victoria, Wellington in 1896. He
returned and was a witness/signatory on George's will dated 1/6/1898 with occupation
Website address - http://www.winsomegriffin.com//