Frank Yates & Clara Lethbridge
Frank Yates Lethbridge was b: 22 May 1852 at New Plymouth, eldest child of George Yates and Fanny Lethbridge - his bapt: 04 Jul 1852 by Rev Wm Woon,
During the Maori war period he was educated partly at the Public School in Nelson and Boys High School at Christchurch and after leaving, he went to work on his father's farm.
In 1876 he settled in Feilding, taking the management of a run which is owned by Messrs Lethbridge (George Yates Lethbridge Sen) and Sons. The estate, 7000 acres, principally consisted of pastoral land, and on the flats on the frontage was the first racing track used in Feilding, the local golf links, the polo ground, and cricket and football clubs' grounds.
Frank became a member of several local bodies, taking an active interest in farming matters and was for several years captain of the Manchester Rifles, and was also a lieutenant in the Militia.
He mar: his cousin 28 May 1879 in Turakina - Clara Lethbridge daughter of Thomas Barnabus Lethbridge and Sussannah nee George. She was b: 21 Oct 1852 in New Plymouth; d: 30 Oct 1933 Taranaki, Bur: Feilding Cem.
Their three daughters were:
2 William Russell Taylor (b: 25 Apr 1911; d: 1995) mar: Amy Violet Chapman (b: 1905; d: 1981)
3 Margaret Cynthia Taylor (b: 23 Jun 1914; d: 1990 in Gisborne) Mar: (1)1934 to Cornelius Alphonsus Collins (b: 18 Aug 1899 Napier, son of Isabella and John Collins; d: 1971 in Wairio Southland)
*2nd Husband of Margaret Cynthia Taylor: she mar: 1950 to widower John Leonard Syms (b: 1898; d: 1983 in Whangarei; he mar in 1930 to first wife was Rita Mabel Warnock (b: 1901; d: 1948) They had 5 children
*2nd Husband of Dorothy Barbara Lethbridge: Mar: 1920 to Percy Ernest Wyllie (b: 1890 in Gisborne to parents Gavin Ralston and Maude Emily Wylie; d: 1959 in Te Puke; Bur: Te Puke Old Cem) Their son:
Not long after marriage, Frank Lethbridge entered local body politics. He was an early member of the Manawatu County Council, and Treasurer for a year and was a member of the Manchester Road Board for fifteen years, six of them as Chairman. He was a member of the first Feilding Borough Council, becoming Mayor in 1882, 1886 and again in 1889. He was a member of the Feilding School Committee and of the Wanganui Education Board, and was the first Chairman of the Palmerston North Hospital Board.
He was pre-eminent in the field of sport, was the second president of the Jockey Club, and at various times held the presidency of the Polo Club, Golf Club and Cricket Club, the vice-presidency of the Cycling Club and was a member of the Rugby Football, and Bowling Clubs. He entered national politics as a Conservative, was defeated in his first contest for the Rangitikei seat in 1893, but was successful in 1896. He was a Member of Parliament from 1896-1902 representing Rangitikei and Oroua from 1902-1908.
Feb 1909: Frank Lethbridge, of "The Hill", Feilding, retired from Parliament prior to the last general election, received a complimentary social from the Kimbolton electors last evening, and was presented with an address (says a press message). In a letter to the chairman of the meeting. Mr W. F. Massey said that Mr Lethbridge would be welcomed by all parties when he re-entered politics. Mr Lethbridge took up farming in the Feilding district in 1876 and represented Rangitikei from 1896 to 1902, and Oroua from 1903 to 1906.
Dominion; 7 April 1913: Petition for Divorce
Feilding Star, 26 Jan 1915: OBITUARY. DEATH OF Mr F. Y. LETHBRIDGE
There are few residents on this coast who will not learn with sincere regret that Mr Frank Yates Lethbridge, of Makino, succumbed this morning to the illness from which he had been suffering, after every effort had been made to effect a cure. He underwent two operations, one in Palmerston and the other in Feilding, but neither was of any avail. There are few men fortunate enough to be gifted with such a loveable personality as Mr Lethbridge possessed. Kindhearted, generous to a fault, liberalminded, tolerant, and both deeply read and a deep thinker, he won a place in the hearts of everyone who knew him for all the qualities that go to make up a man of the best kind. His benefactions were as broad and as liberal as they were secretive, and there are many residents who have cause to be grateful for the kindly thought and timely help which he so well knew how to render unobtrusively. Many tales are current in the district of his wide charity, and they all bear the impress of that quality which adds so greatly to its best characteristics. As a man of the class that is all too rare, Mr Lethbridge's death will leave a great oap amongst the earliest residents of this district.
As a public man he had a wide experience, but his good-nature prevented him becoming what is known as a "good party man." He had been a member of the Manawatu County Council, Chairman for years of tbe Manchester Road Board (and a splendid chairman, too), Mayor of Feilding from 1832 to 1889, captain of the old Manchester Rifles, whom he commanded at Parihaka, and a member and officer of a large number of other local institutions, particularly the Horticultural Society. In 1893 he unsuccessfully contested the R-angjitikei seat in ' the House of Representatives against Mr John Stevens, but was returned for that seat in 1896 and 1899. In 1903 he was elected for the Oroua constituency, but did not contest the seat at the 1906 election, Mr D. H. Guthrie taking his place. He was a member of several Royal Commissions, notably that in connection with the timber industry, and on those and as a member of tlie House he rendered good service in the unobtrusive manner
so characteristic of his life. In sporting matters he'was very keen in helping; for years the Feilding Jockey Club used his property free for a racecourse, and he was one of the leading spirits in the control of the great Feilding athletic sports. In fact, it would be impossible to name one source of worthy activity he had not a prominent share in.helping. Mr Lethbridge was born in New Plymouth in 1852, being a son of the late Mr G. Y. Lethbridge a member of the Taranaki Provincial Council), and mar: his cousin, Miss Lethbridge. He took up farming on the Feilding run in 1876, and when that was subdivided and sold, he built a residence on his property at Makino, where he could combine farming with his greatest hobby, the cultivation of native trees and shrubs. Mr. Lethbridge was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and held the rank of P.M.
He leaves a widow and a family of three daughters (Miss Edith, Mrs G. Taylor, and Mrs G. Walpole) while his brothers and sisters and other relations are a legion in the land.
The PRIME MINISTER moved a similar motion respecting the death of Frank Lethbridge, a former member of the House of Representatives for the constituencies of Rangitikei and Oroua. Mr. Massoy expressed his admiration of the personal good qualities of Mr Lethbridge which had made him respectcd of all men. SIR JOSEPH WARD expressed keen regret at the death of Mr. Lethbridge, a gentleman whom, though a political opponent, he had always held in high regatd. Mr. D. H. GUTHRIE (Oroua), who succeeded Mr. Lethbridge as representative of the seat, expressed his regret for the death of an esteemed friend. The motion was carried.
Mr F Y Lethbridge, ex-MP, for Oroua, Frank Yates Lethbridge; Date of Death: 26 Jan 1915 after a long illness. Bur: 28/01/1915 Fielding Cem.
Clara's photo sent by descendant and Lethbridge historian - John Jensen - thank you!