Monday, September 1, 2014

20 Ancestors in 20 weeks–week 6 Nelson Valentine Middlebrook


Journalling once again by John McBain to whom I am hugely indebted for all the info on the Te Awamutu Middlebrook Family


Nelson Valentine  Middlebrook was the 9th. child of John and Mary Anne Middlebrook. He was born on February 14th 1894 (hence his middle name. Nelson’s schooling was in Te Awamutu , but in those days it was usual to start work at an early age. Nelson left school at age 13 and immediately went help in his father’s Butchery.   In 1911 he went to work for Titus Rickit (C.T. Rickit who was the father of Sid Rickit that married Ettie Middlebrook) . Nelson enlisted for service in the First World War and served in France. When he returned from the war in 1919 he married  May (Marion Elizabeth) Crawford and they bought a farm at nearby Korokanui .
He was the first in the area to install a milking machine (1922) it would most likely have been driven by a petrol engine.
  In 1933, the family butchery business was growing and it was in need of an extra helper.  Nelson took on a role as part time butcher (3 days a week) and the other 4 days on the farm.
Nelson and May had four children (two boys and two girls). In 1936 when his father John retired from the business, Nelson came into the Butchery full time to support John T.   The farm at Korakonui was sold and Nelson and May bought a house in Frazer Street. When John T. left the business in 1941, Nelson took over the Butchery and continued in the business for a further 20 Years. In 1961 he suffered a serious stroke which meant he could no longer carry on. Nelson died in 1963.

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