Person Index

Kilmister, Arthur

Arthur Kilmister
b: 1871
Mr Arthur Kilmister
A Tribute to a Grand Old Man.
The death of Mr Arthur Kilmister at Ngaio on 14th October, 1973, marked the end of a long and successful farming life. For the last 60 years Mr Kilmister has lived at 26 Ottawa Road, the oldest resident in the district and possibly the longest living Wellingtonian in many years.
The Kilmister family trace their Wellington connections back to the 1840''s when John and Frances left England for New Zealand in the "Lady Nugent". They arrived March, 17, 1841, with their three (sic) children, including John, then 5 years old, who was to become Arthur''s father. First the family lived in a small house in Bolton Street area and later moved to their own house in Ascot Terrace. This cottage still stands today (this would be 1973 from the date of the article?) and many of the present generation Kilmisters were born there. The old couple died there in 1904.
John Kilmister Snr. worked at various jobs in the city, but mostly as a cooper and part time farmer - he had land up on the Tinakori hills. His sons John and Henry started Sky farm from small holding, originally in the area north and west of what is now Karori cemetery. On Henry''s death John took over the farm, assisted by his sons Fred and Arthur.
These two boys were the third and fourth children from a family of ten. John married Sarah Judd who also traced her family back to the early days in Wellington. Her parents arrived in the "Martha Ridgway" in 1840.
Later Fred and Arthur purchased the land from their father and shared it between them. Arthur settled on land to the north and Fred the Karori-Makara portion.
Arthur married Sarah Hughes in 1902 and their first home was in the Karori hills, west from the end of Parkvale Road. A few months later they moved to Crofton (as Ngaio was then known) to live in the cottage at the end of Silverstream Road (in the suburb we now know as Croft Downs). The home and farm buildings, which still exist today (this would be 1973 from the date of the article?), were purchased from Mrs Chew along with about 200 acres of surrounding land.
The Casey''s had previously leased the land and buildings. It was not the original cottage, however, this had been destroyed by fire before the Kilmister''s time. In addition to the Chew''s land, and his father''s 500 acres, Arthur purchased 100 acres of native reserve, and 60 acres from John Stevens, or Morris Scanlon. The latter was the land between Sky and Chew''s. Some years later 580 acres from the Hobbs estate extended the farm north to Mt Kau Kau. This land Mr Kilmister brought in his son''s names - Arthur and Tom.
In 1914 the family moved to 26 Ottawa Road. They had four children by this time. Lila and Phyllis were born at the family cottage in Ascot Terrace, Arthur and Otari at Silverstream Road. The house at number 26 was purchased from, and had been built for, Mr Alf Aplin who was a carrier. The sale included a 1/2 acre of land and stables and sheds at the back. Their neighbours to the north were the Aplins (Alf''s parents) to the west the Gibsons in Chew cottage, south-west across the railway line were the Radcliffes and south at 24 Ottawa Road were various tenants (the house was built by John Chew in the 1870''s).
After the death of his first wife, Arthur married Ivy Palmer from Khandallah in 1949. Since his retirement his sons Tom and Arthur have farmed the land and in more recent years his grandsons Gary, Brian and Ken.
Mr Kilmister was a Framer all his life. He started working for himself at 19 year of age and did not retire until after his eightieth birthday. Just before his 100th birthday, at the time I took his and Mrs Kilmister''s photograph, he told me of his family''s great record of good health, hard work and longevity. He pointed out that his grandparents had both lived to their nineties and his father over 100 years. "And I''m going to do better than that" he assured me.
He was true to his word, maintaining a tradition through three generations of the New Zealand branch of the family. To retain this record will be quite a challenge for future Kilmisters.
Note: includes a partial family tree and photos of Mr & Mrs Arthur Kilmister taken in 1971 and the home at 26 Ottawa Road taken circa 1913 when the Alpin''s still lived there.
Taken from The Onslow Historian Vol. 3., No. 4, 1973

Birth Details
1871/21175, Arthur Kilmister, Mother: Sarah Ann, Father: John
  • 1871 - Birth -
John Kilmister
1808 - 25 FEB 1904
John Kilmister
1836 - 11 OCT 1937
Frances Nicol
1810 - 26 FEB 1904
Sarah Ann Judd
1843 - 17 NOV 1931
Ann Unknown
1810 - 23 APR 1870
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) John Kilmister
Death11 OCT 1937
Marriage1864to Sarah Ann Judd
FatherJohn Kilmister
MotherFrances Nicol
PARENT (F) Sarah Ann Judd
Death17 NOV 1931
Marriage1864to John Kilmister
FatherWilliam JUDD
MotherAnn Unknown
FAlice Kilmister
MCharles Kilmister
MFrederick Kilmister
MArthur Kilmister
FMartha Delilah Kilmister
FEmily Kilmister
MWalter Kilmister
MAlbert Kilmister
MThomas Kilmister
FMaud Josephine Kilmister
FCaroline Kilmister
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