The Otago Witness, on July 24, 1890 reported on the death of an early settler to the Otago district, New Zealand.
Mrs Heenan, of George Street, Dunedin, died on Saturday evening at the ripe age of 80 years. An esteemed correspondent furnishes us with the following particulars:
” Mr Heenan arrived in Otago in the ship Mariner in 1850, and settled on his own section in the North-East Valley, being the suburban section of his block under the Otago scheme. Mr Heenan was a stalwart man, to whom persevering work was a delight, and in every enterprise he was backed by his wife, who added to a good head and skilful hands a kind heart. Old settlers will remember that she offered hospitality to tramps and travellers who called at her house. The writer in days of long ago often called at their house when at the head of the Valley, and never without receiving a welcome and the unfailing tea and toast of those ancient times.
Mr Heenan cultivated his own land and bred cattle, having about him a family of six sons and six daughters. One left for Victoria shortly before his arrival in Otago, and two were cut off in the course of years by a visitation of scarlet fever.
In 1862 Mr Dennis Heenan, junior, rejoined the clan after a sojourn of 11 years on the goldfields of Victoria, and has ever since lived among us. The Heenans as they grew up struck out for themselves. Five sons took to farming, and the girls, except one, were in due course settled in life. Mr Heenan, sen., who continued to reside in the Valley, died at the ripe age of 84, in July 1868.
The Heenans were attached members of the Presbyterian Churoh, and connected themselves in 1860 with Knox Church, and took their part in every work pertaining to a Christian congregation. During three or four years of Mr Heenan’s residence in West Taierl he rarely visited town without leaving with Dr Stuart a pound or two for the poor, to be given at his discretion.
Some will remember that it was not uncommon for him, when turned 80, to be sufficiently early in town, on Sunday mornings, to enable him to attend the morning Bible class of the church.
Mrs Heenan continued till very recently to take a kindly interest in matters social and ecclesiastical. Her old friends, as they read this notice, will recall the ejaculatory prayers with which she would occasionally break out, and so far from giving offence proved refreshing to friends and visitors.
She died on Saturday evening in the presence of several members of her family, age 80— a good settler’s wife, a good mother, and a good Christian. Besides her sons and daughters mentioned above, she leaves behind her a large number of grandchildren and great grand children, who, we believe, are following* in the walks of order and industry which her husband and herself so faithfully exemplified.”
Otago Witness, issue number 1903. Page 20
Dennis Heenan and his wife Joanna travelled to New Zealand on the ship the Mariner with nine children. They travelled steerage. Dennis Heenan was aged 60 at the time and described as an agriculturalist. His wife was aged 42.
New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973, Archives New Zealand, Wellington, (Family Search).
THE CYCLOPEDIA OF NEW ZEALAND [OTAGO & SOUTHLAND PROVINCIAL DISTRICTS], Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, (Cyclopedia Company Limited)
Papers Past https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/copyright. Copyright permission: the newspaper publications provided from the 19th and early 20th century are out of copyright