LEILA MILLS (LILY) DAVIES born 12 Oct 1860 died 14 Mar 1917 Waimea West. Married Charles Frederick RUSS 23 October 1879, Dovedale, Nelson. Marriage application 16 Oct 1879 at Wakefield. Charles Frederick Russ NZ Gazette 1891 Waimea Rd Board Member. Probate: Charles, died 2 Nov 1901, farmer, Waimea West, intestate filed 5 Dec 1901 Nelson Court. Probate: Leila Mills, nurse, Wakefield, will filed 26 May 1917.
Charles Frederick Russ, called Fred, seventh of the nine sons of Job and Elizabeth was married in 1879 at the age of 23, to the attractive Leila Mills Davies, a week or two after her nineteenth birthday. Leila, genreally known as Lily, had grown up in Waimea West, but her family moved to Dovedale some time before her marriage, and it was there the wedding took place.
Fred farmed at Waimea West when first married, but at some time he ventured to Taranaki. It seems he went there about 1900, with or at the same time as his older brothers Tom and Will Russ. However, he was probably already ill at that time, and he returned to spend his last days in Waimea West, dying in 1901, aged only 45.
It is said that Fred died of a brain tumour. His death certificate shows that this is not strictly accurate, but probably his illness would have had similar effects. Apparently, a severe ear infection spread to cause what was described as "intra-cranial suppuration". Looking at his later photos, and comparing them with the bright-faced young man of earlier yeats, one can read between the lines that he probably endured a long and very painful illness, which would have caused great suffering both to himself and his family. His youngest child had just turned 2 and his oldest 21 when he died.
According to electoral rolls and directories of 1903 and 1905, Lily was living on Waimea West Road over those years. She supported herself and her family by running a nursing home, first at Wakefield and later at Richmond, with much assistance from her daughter Martha. Over the years Lily published "In Memoriam" notices for her husband, two of which read, in part:-
"Silently the shadows of evening Gather round our lonely door, Silently they bring before us Faces we shall see no more, Sweet their memory to the lonely ..."
Emily Adeline RUSS b. 12 Oct 1880. Admitted Waimea West School 13 Dec 1886 by Fred'k Russ. Last day of schooling 15 Oct 1895 destination home. Marriage and application to Reuben SNOWDEN registered at Wakefield on 18 Sept 1901. Reuben Snowden b. 6 Dec 1876. Admitted Brightwater School 23 Jan 1882 by John Snowden, Brightwater. Last day 19 Dec 1884 destination Spring Grove. Admitted Spring Grove School by T Snowden, Brightwater. Last day 14 Aug 1888 destination Brightwater. Admitted Brightwater School 1888 by Thos. Snowden. Last day Nov 1889 destination Farm.
"Fred and Lily's oldeast daughter Emily married Reuben Snowden, who grew up on a farm in Brightwater. Reuben, who continued to be a farmer, moved away from Nelson, first to Cambridge and then Hikurangi, North Auckland. It was there that Emily died in 1918, a victim of the "flu" epidemic that followed World War 1. She left a son and two daughters. Her husband died at Hikurangi 20 years later.
Martha Vida RUSS b. 3 Oct 1881. m. 1928 GILL. Admitted Waimea West School 13 Dec 1886 by Fred'k Russ. Last day 27 Nov 1895 destination Home.
Martha, second daughter of the Charles Frederick Russ family, is well remembered for her work at the nursing home her mother established. Later Martha took over management of this establishment, and it continued on as a convalescent home and boarding house at Dorset House, Richmond for many years. Martha married Harold Gill at the Richmond Church of Christ in her late thirties; they had no family.
A newspaper report of Martha's wedding says her bridesmaids were her nieces Jessie and Vida Russ. Guests were later received at the bride's homw, Dorset House, and among the gifts was a silver teapot, suitably inscribed, from church members, as both bride and groom were valued church workers. The honeymoon tour was through Westlant to Christchurch, returning via the east coast."
Frederick "Colin" RUSS b. 12 Jun 1883. Admitted Waimea West School 18 Sept 1888 by Fred'k Russ. Last day 22 Jun 1896 destination Home.
Frederick Colin Russ, known as Colin, was the oldest son of Fred and Lily. He married Ann Murcott of Brightwater, and they lived first on 75 acres of bush land in the Lee Valley where the limeworks are now situated, land which had been left to Annie. Colin cut the bush himself, and then went round the roadsides and wasteland of Appleby cutting grass seed to sow it. Later Colin and Annie moved to a farm just over the bridge at the fork of the Lee Valley and the Wairoa Gorge. Colin and Annie had eight children, the youngest of whom were twins, and when the twins were about two years old Colin felt the need to take up more land. In 1920 he moved away from his farm to Tahunanui, and his family lived there for about a year while he looked around NZ for land he could develop as a farm. At Kaikohe he obtained some Maori lease land to which he moved in 1921. Later he was able to take up 3,000 acres of bush adjoining this land. He bought in millers to cut the bush, and gradually converted it to pasture. He visualised running thousands of sheep on this property, but died in his mid fifties.
Edwin D'arcy RUSS b. 26 Sept 1884. m. 1913 Jessie Alma Thomlinson. Admitted Waimea West School 30 Sept 1889 by Fred'k Russ. Last day 8 Nov 1898 destination Home. ganger, Murchison, will filed 15 Jul 1966 Nelson Court. Probate: Jessie Alma, married woman, Murchison, will filed 30 Jun 1958 Nelson Court.
Raymond Walter RUSS b. 19 Jan 1890. Admitted Waimea West School 21 Jan 1895 by C.F. Russ. Last day 18 Sept 1903 destination Home. 1917 NZ Gazette Raymond Walter, Gardener, Wakefield, Military Call Up.
Stanley Lewis RUSS b. 1 Dec 1892. m. 1917 Alice Eliza Wadsworth. Admitted Waimea West School 6 Dec 1897 by Frederick Russ. Last day 24 Apr 1906 destination Wakefield. From Church of Christ Marriages: Stanley Lewis Russ, 24yrs, farmer, bachelor, born Waimea West, son of Frederick Charles Russ, farmer and Leila Mills nee Davies, to Alice Eliza WADSWORTH, 27 yrs, domestic, spinster, born Wai-iti, daughter of Thomas Win Wadsworth, farmer and Violet Alice nee Watson on 13th Nov 1917 at the residence of Mr. T.W. Wadsworth, Wai-iti. Probate: Stanley Lewis, retired farmer, Nelson, will filed 17 Jul 1957 Nelson Court. Probate: Alice Eliza, widow, Nelson, will filed 14 Jul 1955! Nelson Court.
Alfred Thornton RUSS b. 1 Feb 1896. m. 1921 Edith Isabell FENN. Admitted Waimea West School 4 Feb 1901 by Fred Russ. Last day 4 May 1906 destination Wakefield.
Charles Howard RUSS b. 20 Mar 1899. Admitted Waimea West School 23 Apr 1906 by Mrs. F. Russ. Previous school Sherry. Last day 30 Apr 1906 destination Home. (is he a nephew rather than son - as came from a different area.)
Vera Ivy RUSS b. 2 Apr 1895. Admitted Waimea West School 23 Apr 1906 by Mrs. F. Russ. Previous school Sherry. Last day 30 Apr 1906 destination Home. (is she a neice rather than son - as came from a different area.)