Topic: Solomon Stephens

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Solomon Stephens, 1832-1891

Solomon Stephens was born at Chiltee, Wiltshire. He married young, aged 19, and came to New Zealand on the Cornwall, arriving 10 December 1851. His wife, Selina, was only 18 at the time. They lived in Christchurch for six years, then moved to Rangiora in 1857, setting on land they had previously bought.

In 1859 Solomon applied for a general hotel licence, but this was refused. In 1861 he applied for a general licence and was again refused, but he was then granted his wine and beer licence and his premises became Stephens Hotel in 1864. The following year the hotel became known as the ‘Plough Inn’, and was a popular stopping place for draymen and coach passengers. His hotel had an old-fashioned English-style sign swinging over the door – a model of a single furrowed plough.

Solomon farmed his land and used some of it for a nursery garden. After several years he sold the goodwill of his hotel to T McKelvey and devoted himself wholly to the farming of his land.

Solomon Stephens was People’s Warden of St John’s Church in Rangiora, and was a member of the Sunday School Committee. He was elected to the first Rangiora School Committee in 1873 and stayed on the committee until 1889. He was a member of the Rangiora Borough Council from 1879 until 1889. He was also a member of the Licensing Committee. He was an Oddfellow and a Mason, and held high office in both.

Solomon Stephens died at Rangiora on 3 May 1891, aged 59.

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Solomon Stephens

First Names:Solomon
Last Name:Stephens
Place of Birth:Chiltee, Wiltshire, England