Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hales Family

Another interlinked family around the Wanganui area is the Hales family.  This was headed by William Henry Hales, well known pioneer during the 19th century who married Ellen/Helen Wilkinson, sister of Christina Higgie and David Norman Wilkinson II.  

William Henry Hales arrived in New Zealand from Canada, via Australia around 1856.  At first he worked as a builder and contractor with respect to bridges and roads, and then became Assistant Engineer building roads around the Wanganui/Rangitikei area.  He moved between Wellington and Wanganui several times.  In between, he also moved to Farewell Spit to erect the lighthouse there. When the Public Works Department was established in 1871, he obviously became an Officer.  He spent around ten years in Auckland as a District Engineer also.  Finally they retired back to Wellington.  The family were obviously theatrically talented, as is evidenced by their sons' successful theatrical pursuits.  
Mr. William Henry Hales
William Henry Hales 

William Henry Hales (1830, New Brunswick, Canada - 1909) was the son of James Rettalick and Jane nee Everett Hales.  He married Ellen Wilkinson (daughter of David Norman Wilkinson I) (1846 - June 1921) on 9 July 1869.  They had a family of six sons as follows:

1. William Harold Hales (1871 -26 May 1947) married Elizabeth Margaret Wilson (1881 - 26 November 1957, Wellington) (daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Wilson) in 1919.  Based around Blenheim/Picton, William worked as a District Traffic Manager for the Railways.  

2. David Orren "Orren" Hales (24 December 1873 - 30 June 1964) married Alexa Emmeline Higgie (1876 - 1941) on 16 February 1911.  On 17 February 1911, the Wanganui Chronicle reported on the wedding:

A very pretty wedding was celebrated in the Matarawa Church yesterday afternoon, when Miss Alexa Higgie, daughter of the late Mr Alex. Higgie, of Blinkbonnie, was married to Mr Orren Hales, of the Bank of New Zealand Akaroa. The Rev. Williams officiated. The bride was attended by Misses Kathleen Hiagie and Vera Scott, cousins of the bride, while Dr Hales, of Wellington, brother of the bridegroom, acted as best man, and Dr Simmonds, of Patea, was groomsman. There was a large number of wedding guests, who were entertained in a marquee, on the lawn at Blinkbonnie. The happy couple left by the afternoon train en route for Rotorua, where the honeymoon is to be spent.

More on Orren and Alexa here.

3. Everett Olive Hales (27 October 1876 - 1 November 1947) married Annie Harford in 1910.  He was an excellent cricket player and was Superintendent of the State Advances Office.  

4. Ethelbert Dunlop Hales (1879 - 26 January 1933, Riverdale, The Bronx, New York, US).  Ethelbert married Molly Pearson (1876, Scotland - 29 January 1959, Sandy Hook, Connecticut, US), a Scottish stage actress in 1913.  He went under the stage name Ethelbert Hales and acted in the film "Garden of Lies" released in 1915.  He played the character Von Aldorz.  He also acted in "An Honourable Cad" released in 1919.  He also acted in a variety of Broadway shows.
Ethelbert Hales courtesy of University of Washington Libraries

Molly Pearson

Ethelbert Hales' obituary appeared in the Evening Post on 2 February 1933:

News was Teceivcd recently of the death in New York of Mr. Ethelbert D. Hales, a son of the late Mr. W. H. Hales, formerly Engineer-in-Chief of Public Works for New Zealand. Mr. Hales was educated at the Terrace School and the "Wellington College, and early in life had a leaning toward drama of the more serious type. He studied Shakespeare thoroughly, and before he left school had decided to go on the stage. He took the first opportunity of going to America, because he realised that that country offered more scope for study and practice in histrionic work. Mr. Hales's talent was soon recognised, and after a few years he was playing responsible parts, being associated with such renowned actors as Julia Marlow, Olga Nethersole, Robert Mantell, Southern, and many others. He was married several years ago to Miss Molly Pearson, a gifted actress, who was the original Bunty in Moffat's play, "Bunty Pulls the Strings." In 1928 Mr. and Mrs. Hales made a world tour, and included Wellington in their itinerary. The late Mr. Hales was a brother of Mr. E. O.Hales, Superintendent of the State Advances Office, and the late Dr. Norman Hales, who also was on the American stage and who died in New York.

5. Leonard Clive Hales (1880 - August 1927).  Leonard doesn't appear to have ever married.  He trained as a dentist in Philadelphia, US around 1903/1904, returning to New Zealand to practice some time around early 1905.  Leonard is buried at Karori.  

6. Norman St Clair Hales (1884) married American Rubi Trelease Hoskins in 1915.  Norman was a dental surgeon (trained in the US for five years) and an accomplished amateur actor.  In October 1915 he left for America on the ship Makura.  It appears he stayed in the US and acted, like his elder brother.

Norman St. Clair Hales
Norman St Clair Hales courtesy of NYPL

The Evening Post published Norman's obituary on 12 January 1929:

Cabled advice has been received from America of the death, the result of aa accident, of Mr. Norman Hales, formerly of Wellington. The late Mr. Norman Hales was the youngest son of the late Mr. W. H. Hales, formerly Engineer-in-Chief. He was born in this city, and on leaving college took up dentistry. Possessing dramatic qualities, he became well known locally as an entertainer, and was a member of the Wellington Operatic Society and the "Charley's Aunt" Company organised by Mr. Norman Aitken. Mr. Hales was a frequent performer at the Wellington Savage Club. About twelve years ago he left for the United States and took up dramatic work in that country with considerable success. Mr. E. O. Hales, Assistant Public Trustee, is a brother of the late Mr. Norman Hales.

7. James Rettalick Hales (1886 - 1886).  William and Ellen's youngest son died aged just four weeks.

The Wanganui Chronicle 21 July 1909 reported:

With the death of Mr W. H. Hales, which we recorded some days ago, there passed from the ranks of civil engineers, one of the foremost of the profession, and New Zealand lost another of its pioneers.

The late Mr Hales was associated with Wanganui's early history, and a short resume of his career will be interesting to local residents. Mr Hale was born in New Brunswick in 1830. His father was a shipbuilder, and he educated his son privately for some time, and then sent him to Liverpool, where he studied for his profession. At the age of twenty-three he came out to Australia, and for three years engaged in contracting engineering in Victoria. He then came over to New Zealand and spent his first six years here in road and bridge contract work. In 1861 he entered the service of the Provincial Government as assistant engineer for roads in the Wanganui and Rangitikei districts. The next year, however, he was transferred to Wellington to supervise the construction of the wharf and harbour works and also the road construction works in that district. When the country round here was being opened up Mr Hales was again transferred, and remained here, supervising the construction of the great northern highway, till 1866 when Maori troubles put a temporary stop to the work. The deceased then returned to Wellington, and for two years supervised public works under the Provincial Government. In 1869 he was engaged in the construction of the Farewell Spit lighthouse. On the completion of this work he came to Wanganui to supervise the construction of the Town Bridge, remaining here till 1875, when he returned to Wellington to supervise public works. Among the important works completed under his supervision vvas the Wellington-Masterton railway line. In 1881 Mr Hales was appointed District Engineer at Auckland, a position which he held for ten years. He became Engineer-in-Chief to the Public Works Department in 1892, retiring in 1906.

In the year following his retirement, Mr Hales was elected to the Wellington City Council, and represented the corporation on the Board of Trustees of the Wellington Hospital. He married, in 1869, Miss Wilkinson (daughter of the late Mr D. N. Wilkinson, of Oriental Bay), who survives him. The family consists of six sons.

The funeral, which took place on Wednesday, was largely attended. The Dominion refers to it as follows:— The Ministry, Parliament, many of the Civil Service Departments, the City Council, and other bodies with which the late Mr W. H. Hales was connected, Mere represented at his funeral. The Hon. Dr. Findlay was present on behalf of the Ministry, and Parliament was represented by the presence of the Hon. A. R. Guinness (Speaker of the House of Representatives), Hon. J. E. Jenkinson, Mr F. M. B. Fisher, M.P. and Mr J. P. Luke, M.P., Mr J. G. H. Blow (Under-Secretary for Public Works), Mr R. W. Holmes (Engineer-in-Chief), Mr John Campbell {Government Architect), and a number of other officers were present from the Public Works Department, of which Mr Hales was formerly Engineer-in-Chief. Nearly all the members of the City Council, and also the Hon. C. M. Luke (chairman) and almost all the members of the Wellington Hospital Trustees, with Dr. Hardwick Smith (superintendent of the hospital) were present.

The chief mourners were the four sons of the deceased, with Mr Thomas Higgie, his brother-in-law, and Mr A. Higgie, nephew. Letters of condlence were received from the Acting Prime Minister (the Hon. James Carroll) and other members of the Ministry, and wreaths from the Public Works Department, Wellington Hospital Trustees, Wellington Cricket Club, Athletic Football Club, staff of the Bank of New Zealand, Public Trust Office, and Greymouth Rugby Union. The Rev. James Paterson conducted the services at the house and also at the graveside.

Ellen (also called Helen apparently) died in 1921 and her obituary was recorded in the Evening post on 27 June 1921:

A wide circle of friends will mourn the death of Mrs. Helen Hales, widow of the late Mr. W. H. Hales (formerly Engineer in Chief of the Public Works Department), which took place at her residence, 92 Oriental Bay, this morning. Mrs. Hales was a daughter of the late Mr. D. N. Wilkinson, sen., and was among the first babies born in Wellington, the year of her birth being 1849. For many years, Mrs. Hales was a well-known social worker, and was the mother of a well-known family of six sons. They are: Mr. W. H. Hales, District Traffic Manager, Blenheim- Picton Railway; Mr. D. O. Hales, accountant, Bank of New Zealand, Wanganui; Mr. E. O. Hales, District Public Trustee, Auckland; Mr. E. D. Hales, on the stage in New York; Dr. L.C. Hales, dentist, Wellington; and Dr. Norman Hales, on the stage in New York. Her husband, the late Mr. W. H. Hales, predeceased her in July, 1909.

A brother of William's, Edward Everett Hales (1840, New Brunswick - 13 May 1914) appears to have come to New Zealand with him.  Known as Everett, he was married to an Annie Hales (1851 - 6 May 1914) towards the end of their lives, they lived at West Road, Northland, Wellington, however prior to this, in the 1870s and until as late as 1909, they lived in the Wanganui district and around Turakina.  They are both buried at Karori.  I believe that they may have had at least one son, namely:

1. Stanley Everett Hales (1885 - 1945) married Hetty Boys (1885 - 1934) in 1914.

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