Solomon Stephens

Solomon Stephens was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England on 1832. He married on the 7 August 1851 and with his wife Selina (aged 18) set sail for Canterbury, arriving on the 10 December 1851.

For the next six years they lived in Christchurch, with Solomon working as a Nurseyman, before moving out to Rangiora, and settling on some land he had previously bought.

In 1859 he applied for a wine and beer licence for his house but this was refused for being involved in a fight with the an opposition applicant across the road. In 1861 he again applied for and was granted a general licence.

The owners of the first Plough Hotel, Selena and Solomon Stephens, with their 12 children.Mr and Mrs Stephens are standing by the verandah post behind the dog.

When its doors opened in 1864, the hotel was known as Stephens Hotel, before changing it’s name to The Plough Inn in 1865. The hotel had one of the old fashioned English signs swinging over the door shaped like the model of a plough.

Plough Hotel

After a few good years he sold the goodwill of his hotel and devoted himself wholly to cultivating his land.

Solomon Stephens was a busy man. By 1889 he had also held positions on the Rangiora Borough Council, Licensing Committee, Rangiora School Committee and was the People’s Warden of St John’s Church. He was a member of the Oddfellows and Masons and held high office in both.

Solomon died on the 6 May 1891 in Rangiora, at the age of 59, leaving his widow Selina, 3 sons and 8 daughters. Selina died at Rangiora on the 3 July 1900.

Children:
Charles STEPHENS 1853-1933
Sara Annie STEPHENS 1855-1900
Catherine Lucy STEPHENS 1857-1937
Emily Selina STEPHENS 1859-1936
Fanny STEPHENS 1861-1939
Augustus Henry STEPHENS 1863-1954
Mary Adlin STEPHENS 1865-1934
Amy STEPHENS 1867-1875
William Albert STEPHENS 1869-1938
Ada Maria STEPHENS 1871-1957
Maude Harrison STEPHENS 1873-1955
Amy Florence Harrison STEPHENS 1875-1956
Male child (stillborn) STEPHENS 1877-1877

 

Colonist suggested by Maureen Dunlop
Research by John Walker
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