Can you help us with these family history enquiries?
Thomas & Julianna Price
A descendent of the Price's asked which hotels they owned. We were able to find out that they owned the Otautau Hotel in 1875. Thomas died in 1879 but Julianna owned the Crown Hotel in 1884. She also owned the Wairio Hotel around that period. While Thomas had planned to build a hotel on the Otautau-Riverton railway line, his son was listed as the owner of the Fairfax Hotel before it burned down in 1881.
So this leaves us with the question as to who built the Otautau Railway Hotel. Alistair McLachlan of the Wallace Early Settler Association in Riverton says it was a man named Smith. Do you know more about that?
George & Christina Kelly
Our next enquiry was from a woman wanting to know about a house owned by George & Christina Kelly who used to live on Clitheroe Street. George became the Wallace County Clerk in 1916. He was then called to serve in World War I. He became ill and didn't finish training and was given his clerk job back.
The house in question is not a typical Otautau house. I've asked around and have heard it might've been in Winton, Invercargil or Gore. But no one thinks it was in Otautau. Have you seen this house? If so, where is it? Or, if you know anything about the Kelly's and their time in Otautau, please let us know.
John & Jessie Johnston
Our next enquiry was for John Smith Johnston and his wife Jessie Isabella (nee Walsh or Welsh). John came over from Scotland and died in 1920, age 79. They lived in the Yellow Bluff area along the Aparima River. After John died, Isabella seems to have moved to MacAndrew Street.
Three of their boys served in World War I, and one of them, Peter, died at Passchendale in 1917. He's listed on the Otautau War Memorial.
If you know anything of interest to these family history researchers, please contact us so that we can pass the information along.
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