The Death of Mr. William Falconer of Enfield
The following article appeared in the local newspaper following his death;
A lamentable accident by which Mr. William Falconer, farmer, of Enfield, lost his life occurred shortly before ten o'clock this morning. Mr. Falconer and his son left home early this morning with two teams and drays of wheat, Mr. Falconer being in charge of one and his son of the other. Coming down Severn St. Mr. Falconer was walking beside the shafts of the rearmost team on the left hand side of the road. At the small cutting almost opposite the steps leading to Greta St., according to an eye witness of the disaster, the leader of Mr. Falconer's team which was almost in the middle of the road, drew in towards the bank, followed of course by the dray. The wheel of the dray cut into the face of the embankment and slewed the shaft against Mr. Falconer, knocking him down upon his back. Before he had time to regain his feet the wheel of the dray passed over the lower part of his stomach and chest. The injured man staggered to his knees and called to his son who immediately came to his assistance.
Mr. J. Grenfield, who witnessed the accident, drove off at once for the doctor, and returned within a few minutes with Dr. Garland, but the doctor at once pronounced Mr. Falconer's case to be hopeless, and the injured man almost immediately expired. The body was removed at once to the Junction Hotel, and an inquest was held there at 3 o'clock this afternoon. We understand that the injuries sustained by the unfortunate man are entirely internal, and that he is in no way disfigured. The heavy dray was loaded with 20 sacks of wheat.
Mr. William Falconer was one of the old local identities, he having come out to Dunedin in 1860 in the ship Storm Cloud. He stayed only a few months in Dunedin, and came to Oamaru on 15th June 1860. He has resided in the district ever since - a period of 31 years. On his arrival in Oamaru he started a business as a Blacksmith in France's block, and the old house he occupied is still standing in Ribble St. He changed his shop to one on the site now occupied by Messrs. John Bulleid & Co. After a year or two and in 1866 he left Oamaru and proceeded to Otepopo, where he continued in the Blacksmith's trade for some years, but he ultimately relinquished it to adopt farming. In 1875 he took up a farm in the Windsor valley, and has ever since resided in that district, where he has made many friends and has been looked upon as an honest, intelligent and energetic settler. He has taken an active part in local and general politics, having been a member of the Oamaru Town Board from its initiation until he left the town, and since then a member of the Waiareka Road Board, Chairman of the late Waiareka licensing Committee, and Captain of the Otepopo Volunteers, and at one time he was spoken of as a candidate for the Waitaki Seat in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Falconer leaves a wife and large family to mourn his loss, all of whom, save two are resident in the district. The news of his unfortunate death has cast quite a gloom over the little community of which he was a prominent member, and wide-felt sympathy is expressed towards Mrs. Falconer and her family in their great bereavement.
We understand that Mr. Falconer's Life was insured in the Australian Mutual Provident Society for £1000, to which bonuses of £500 have accrued.