Edward Law 1864-1939

My inquiry is on Edward Henry Law-Cargill, my great, great, great grandfather. As I discovered he was involved in a number of community groups in Shannon. My great grandmother, who is still alive and was Edward Law's granddaughter was able to give me information about Edward Law. She lived on a farm just out of Shannon and went to Shannon School.

Edward leased a bush farm on Otaura Road, Shannon in 1892. He moved here with his wife, Jane and their four children from Tua Marina, Marlborough. The children were William, Henry, Eleanor and Ronald Law. The land was swampy. Besides bush-felling and breaking in the farm, he did shearing in the Rangitikei and Hawkes Bay. Edward and Jane had four more children born in Shannon. Archie, Margaret, Wilfred and James. Edward and Jane took a very active interest in local affairs and were known for their hospitality.

Edward was one of the founders of the Shannon Co-operative Dairy Company, and it’s Chairman for the first eleven years. Shannon had become more populated and dairying was the main farm industry. The three factors which made it essential that the large dairy factory should be established in Shannon were, the jersey cow becoming more popular, increased use of artificial fertiliser and the general use of milking machines. The Shannon Co-operative Dairy Company was launched in 1908. This new company took on a building that had been making butter for ten years. They continued to make butter. At first the farmers would cart the milk to the factory to be separated, and the skim milk was carted home again. Soon the farmers would separate the milk themselves and the cream was collected from the farms.

Edward was a member of the Horowhenua County Council. He was also involved in the flood control of the Manawatu and Oroua Rivers in the late 1900s.

My research also showed he was a member of the Shannon School Committee and an elder of the Presbyterian Church. His wife Jane died suddenly at a social gathering at the church aged, only 46 years old. There is a window in this church that his son Ronald donated. Edward got remarried to Georgianna Malcolm and had four more children. Sadly his second son Henry was killed at Gallipoli. Uncle ‘Harry’, as he was known, name appears on the Cenotaph in Shannon.

Edward went on to own two other farms in Shannon. One is Te Rohenga. My Mum grew up there and this farm is still in the family. The other is on Marinoto Road this is the farm we now own, which I think is really cool!

I have found this a very interesting inquiry. I have learnt so much about my family and have enjoyed interviewing my Great Grandmother and other members of my family.

I used information from a book on the Law family from a reunion that my Mum attended when she was fifteen. The Shannon School Jubilee book from 1889-1939 had the information on the Dairy factory. Also a book from the Library, my Great Aunty wrote, Marjorie Law on Shannon From Bush and Swamp and my mum. Edward Law 1864-1939.

By Emma (Year 5).