Thursday, January 28, 2010

Street Stories 14: William Paterson, not quite remembered

Postetrity doesn't always go quite to plan.

The death of Mr. Wm. Paterson, founder of the firm of W. Paterson and Co., ‘bus proprietors, occurred yesterday. The late Mr. Paterson, who was a native of East Kilbryde, Scotland, was 62 years of age, and came to Auckland in the early sixties. In 1865 he started to work for Mr. A. Bell, of this city, and in the seventies Mr. Bell purchased the business of Belcher and Co., grain and forage merchants, on Mr. Paterson’s account. Here he laid the foundation of a most successful business as a ‘bus and cab proprietor, with branches at Auckland, Mount Roskill, Mount Eden, Avondale, Devonport, and Rotorua. He was at one time proprietor of the horse tramcars, at the same time carrying on his grain and produce business. He took a keen interest in politics, and followed the various political changes of his day with close attention, although he sought no public office. He was a benevolent man, but carefully concealed from the public gaze his many charitable acts. Mrs. Paterson and a family of four sons and three daughters survive him. The funeral will leave his late residence at Mount Roskill for Purewa cemetery tomorrow.
(NZ Herald, 2 August 1905)

William Paterson owned several pieces of land in Auckland, North Shore, Avondale, Onehunga ... on two part of his estate, when his family later subdivided and solkd off sections, he had a real chance of being remembered.

A William Street was so-named through part of his Balmoral/Mt Eden paddocks -- but at some point, it had a name-change to Wiremu (the Maori equivalent), so that link is largely severed.

At Sandringham, Patterson Street runs alongside a large amount of what was once Paterson's land -- but somehow, the single T became double. (A Paterson family history researcher the other day brought both examples to my attention the other day.) Not something easily corrected, if at all possible -- four other Patersons already exist among our region's street names. A shame, really.


  1. Maybe if the spelling of the street from Patterson to Paterson is not a goer because of similar street names in the area an alternative could be to change the street name to William Paterson St.

  2. Certainly something the Super City could consider, John. Mind you, they'd also need majority approval from the current residents of the street. Worth a shot suggesting to the territorial authority, though.