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Neil Cairns Harper (1827–1908)

from Clarence and Richmond Examiner

The R. R. Express contains the following :—The late Mr. Neil Cairns Harper was well-known, not only here, but on the South Coast. Mr. Harper's first introduction to the Northern Rivers was in 1898 when he started dairying at Kyogle for Mr. H. F. Smith, of Kyogle Estate. He remained there about three years, when his son (Mr. J. H. C. Harper) came there and took charge of his father's place. After that the deceased came to Casino, and commenced a commission agency business which he carried on until some three years ago, when his health failed him, and he practically retired from active business. Deceased was a very old Freemason, and in his early years assisted in opening several lodges on the South Coast. Prior to coming to the Richmond he was a large landholder on the South Coast, about Kangaloon, and was a very intimate friend of the late Dr. Harman Tarrant, of Kianga, and the late Mr. Thomas Coughran, of Eltham. In his early life he followed the sea, and was for a number of years chief engineer or the old A.S.N Company. Once when visiting the Torres Straits, after its settlement, he was wrecked, and he and his crew were rescued by a Dutch ship and brought to Sydney. When the late Mr. Harper went to Kangaroo Valley he was one of the first settlers to take up land under the well-known Sir John Robertson's Land Act. His uncle (Sir John McDonald) was the first Premier of Canada, and he was a relation by marriage of the late Sir Thomas Mcllwraith, ex-Premier or Queensland. In his days on the South Coast he was one of the late Sir Henry Parkes' most intimate friends. Some two years ago his wife died at Tatham. Deceased leaves a family of eight girls and one son, Mr. J. H. C. Harper, of Casino. The remains of the late Mr. Harper were brought from Grafton by train, and interred in the local cemetery. The Rev. H. Allan conducted the last solemn rites at the graveside.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Neil Cairns Harper

Citation details

'Harper, Neil Cairns (1827–1908)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]




27 September, 1908 (aged ~ 81)
New South Wales, Australia

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