[From Manx Quarterly, #10,1911]
Died March 22nd, 1911.
the death of Mr T. H. Clague, which place on Wednesday, March Douglas has lost one of its most excellent citizens. He was best known when in business in Strand-street from about 1860 to about 1890, when he kept well-known, at that time, Mudie House Circulating Library and book and stationery business, so that he was the pioneer of the many good circulating raries now in Douglas-not to mention excellent public library of the Douglas Corporation. Mr Clague, who was a printer by trade, served his apprenticeship with the late Mr Backwell, then located at the corner of Athol-street, where now the Isle of Man Banking Co.'s head office stands, and afterwards worked in Liverpool. Coming back to Douglas, he entered into business, and his splendid and systematic habits soon gained for him well-deserved success, his capable and cultured wife, who was a Miss Eleanor Cubbon, doing her fair share. Not only was Mr Clague a good methodical business man, but he was, in his own way, a most diligent and kind friend of the poor, in days when there were no Board of Guardians, either voluntary or legal; and the habit of dispensing alms and necessary comforts to certain old people, of all sorts and conditions, was one he kept up to the last, even after he and Mrs Clague retired from business with a decent competency, some time in the 'eighties. They then went to Union Mills, and afterwards to Ramsey, where Mrs Clague, in 1892,died. This latter event the bereaved husband never entirely got over, for the love that each had for the other was very deep and irreparable. But still he ministered constantly to those who were less well-off than himself, and his joy was to go about " doing good," uncontaminated and unsoiled by the world-an old-world saint. He did " good by stealth, and blushed to find it fame," for he was one of the most modest and unassuming of men. A Wesleyan Methodist all his life, he was yet brought into contact with members of all denominations, and he was a friend to all who loved what was right and good. For the last ten years he has been gradually less seen in his ministrations to the sick and poor, and as already said, passed away on Wednesday, his age being 74 years. Mr John Clague, of Ramsey, an elder brother, survives him, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
The funeral took place on Saturday morning, when a large number of old friends accompanied to the boundary of the town. Among those who were at the grave side were his friends, Messrs Moses Hampton, Arthur Stead, J. J. Belly, S. B. Broadbent; and his relatives, Mr George Cowen, of Ramsey; Mr Stanley Cowen, Prospect-hill; Mr J. S. Aspell, Buck's-road (nephews) ; and Mrs G. Hogg, of Union Mills (niece). The service at Braddan Cemetery was feelingly conducted y the Rev John Davidson.
Died April 16th, 1911,
Mr James Gell, who for something like a quarter of a century past has been a leading figure in the commercial life of Douglas, died at his residence, Croydon, Woodbourne-road, Douglas, early on the morning of Easter Monday. About a year ago Mr Gell was stricken with paralysis, but he recovered sufficiently to resume chief control of his extensive business concerns. For the last nine months, how-ever, he was content to exercise a general supervision, the details of the four establishments constituting the concern of Gell and Sons being attended to by his sons, Messrs William and Wesley Gell, who were in partnership with him. Mr Gell, who was of exceedingly genial disposition, in the comparative leisure thus secured to him, apparently renewed his health and good spirits, and the news that he had been again seized with paralysis in the early part of last week came as a surprise and shock in Douglas. The seizure resulted in deprivation of consciousness, and Mr Gell remained in a merciful condition of coma until the end came on Monday morning. Like so many successful business men in Douglas, Mr Gell was not of the town, but of the soil. He was born in the Ballakilpheric district of Rushen Sheading, where his father was a farmer, and on leaving school was apprenticed with the late Mr James Mylchreest, grocer, provision dealer, and wine and spirit merchant, of Castletown. He, while yet a youth, displayed remarkable capacity for business, and on completing his apprenticeship was retained by Mr Mylchreest as principal assistant, and was subsequently taken into partnership. Between 25 and 30 years ago he decided to try his fortunes in Douglas, and having realised his interest in the firm of Mylchreest and Co., he established himself in premises in Nelson street, Douglas, which for many years had been in the occupation of the late Mr Thomas Goldsmith, watchmaker and jeweller, father of Messrs Goldsmith Brothers, of Victoria-street. Mr Gell's venture was almost immediately crowned with success, and he was soon in the enjoyment of one of the largest businesses as a grocer, provision dealer, bottler, and wine and spirit merchant, in Douglas. The extension of his connection necessitated removal to the large shop in Victoria-street, which became and remains the headquarters of the business. To meet the convenience of a great army of customers, however, branch establishments were opened in Glen Falcon-road, Church-street, and Buck's-road. Mr Gell's chief business characteristics were enterprise and attention. His removal to Douglas was at the transition stage in regard to retail commerce in the Isle of Man. The old methods of " sit and wait for customers " were being abandoned in favour of "go out and find customers", and Mr Gell, with adaptability rare in Manxmen who remain in the Isle of Man quickly and readily fell into the new ways. He had for many years prior to death one of the largest business connections in the Isle of Man, his customers hailing from every part of the Island. His establishments were exceedingly complete in they were ever up-to-date, were admirably conducted, and were maintained in orderly and inviting fashion. Mr Gell had business instinct developed in high degree and he also had the faculty of imbuing associates in commerce with his own smartness and enthusiasm. He did not take great interest in public life-indeed, regarded political and municipal matters more from the humorous than the serious point of view. Such political leanings as he had were Conservative of chaacterr though tinged with broad-mindness. He was an adherent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and was a constant liberal supporter of connexional enterprises. For many years he was a seat-holder in Rose Mount Church, in which place of worship he took great interest.
Mr Gell was twice married. By his first wife he leaves four children, and by his second, who prior to her marriage with him was a Miss Cowley, of Crammag, Lezayre, three. Mrs Gell survives her husband, and much sympathy with her her family in their bereavement has expressed. As has been mentioned, of Mr Gell's sons were associated with him in the business. The third son, Mr George Gell, is a dentist; while the fourth, Herbert Gell, holds a position in Parr's Bank, Douglas.
Amid many manifestations of respect, remains of Mr James Gell were laid rest in Braddan Cemetery on Wednes-y. The funeral cortege left the deceased's gentleman's residence at eleven clock, and was joined in by a numerous company of relatives and others, the Douglas grocery firms being well represented. Among the relatives were Mr Gell's four sons-W. H. Gell, J. W. Gell, Geo. C. Gell, and John Herbert Gell, and the other mourners included Messrs W. H. (fell, Balladuke (nephew) ; W. A. Henderson (son-in-law); E. Moore, junr., Port St. May (nephew) ; T. J. Cowley, Eyreton (nep ew) ; E. Moore, Port St. Mary (brother-in-law) ; B. Cowley, Ramsey (nephew) ; W. Gell, Port St. Mary (nephew) ; G. Kermode, Surby (nephew) ; Fred Cowley, Manchester (nephew); J. T. Cowley, The Vollan, Ranïsey (brother-in-law) ; Jas. Bell, Ramsey (brotherin-law) ; and Jas. Moore, Port St. Mary (nephew). About twenty employees of the firm followed the mourning coaches, and among others present were: The Rev R. L. Cain, and Messrs W. D. Cowin, R. H. Collister, H.K., J. Carr, J. J. Spence, J. Cornish, J. S. Evarard, D. Evarard, J. Boyd, J.P., R. D. Cowin, J. L. Kneale, R. I. Reid, D. H. Rothwell, James Grains, W. Beck, J. J. Corlett, Mark Carine, T. P. Ellison, J. J. Taggart, Jos. Kaye, W. L. Clague, W. Tongue, M. Quinney, R. J. Clague, Edwin Greer, R. Moore, Thos. W. Kewley, S. K. Broadbent, James Gell, R. Forrest, F. C. Poulter, J. Kinrade (Laxey), W. Kelly, George Thornley, C. W. Coole, R. Brindle, Thomas Hough, James Oates, J. J. Dean, J. Graige, V. Bucknall, Thomas Stowell, H. Bamber, Joseph Faragher, J. M. Cubbon (Heron and Brearley), and others. The coffin was carried from the hearse to the mortuary chapel, and from there to the graveside by four of the senior employees of the firm-Messrs S. Christian, R. Cubbon, R. Collister, and T. Caugherty. The services in the chapel and at the graveside were conducted by the Revs W. H. Moseley, superintendent Wesleyan minister, and the Rev T. Markwell, Primitive Methodist. Mr J. J. Spence had charge of the funeral arrangements.
Died May 19th, 1911.
It is with regret that we announce the death of Mr George Preston, son of the late Mr George Preston, builder, Douglas. He passed away at his residence, No. 3 Howard-st., Douglas, on May 29th, after a long and tedious illness. Mr Preston was by calling a builder, and was very much respected in the town. Ill-health, however, had been his lot for a few years, and although he made plucky efforts to shake off the white scourge which attacked him, he finally succumbed, despite medical aid and sanatorium treatment.
The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon, and was largely attended. Service was conducted in Loch Parade P.M. Church, to which place of worship Mr Preston had been attached. The coffin, covered with beautiful wreaths, was revwreutly placed inside the communion rail. The service was conducted by the Revs D. Oakley and S. A. Langham, the pulpit being draped. After the singing of the hymn " O God, our help in ages past," Mr Langham read the 90th Psalm. Then prayer was offered by Mr Oakley, who breathed a beautiful petition. After reading from I. Corinthians xv., Mr Langham delivered a short address. He paid a tribute to the deceased gentleman's life of unobtrusive service and unselfish activity. Mr Preston's place would not easily be filled. To the church at Loch Parade he rendered spleadid service, and especially did he apply his gifts to the business side of the church's life. Yet was he keenly interested in its spiritual well-being, and always rejoiced when there were signs of revival. His illness was borne with patience and fortitude, and he (the speaker) never left his bed-side without having his own faith strengthened. Their brother had in his latter days drawn great solace from the fifteenth chapter -of St. John's Gospel. That was very natural, because his out-ward life of service was the fruit of an inward life of faith. They sympathised with those who had lost a husband, father, brother, and friend. They could not understand why he had been taken away when he was so far off the allotted spas, but they could hold fast to God in faith; they could repose in the kindness of purpose and the wisdom of the providence of the Almighty. God had anoth standard than. they had. Their brother' life had not ended; it had only j begun; he had been called to hi service.-Mr Oakley having pronounced the Benediction, the company left church, the " Dead March" being played on the organ by Mr J. E. Kelly.
The North Douglas Rechabite which the deceased gentleman had served as C.R. and treasurer, was represented the funeral.
The cortege then proceeded to Borough Cemetery, where the internment took place. The committal servicewas conducted by the Rev S. A. Lang
Mr Preston, who was only 33 years old leaves a widow and one child.
Died May 22nd, 1911,
Another link in the past has been broken, and the Church sadly bereaved, by the death of Mrs Hincksman, of The Starr Hills, Lytham. Mss Hincksman was a child of the manse, and was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, August 1st, 1830. Her father was the Rev Samuel Broadbent, who for many years served in the mission field, first in Ceylon, and afterwards in South Africa, and spent the closing years of his life at Lytham. Her mother was the daughter of an Indian officer, and out of the darkness of Romanism she was led to Christ and to association with Methodism through the instrumentality of the minister who afterwards became her husband. Left motherless in infancy, her childhood was passed under the loving care of her step-mother, a daughter of James Burton, of Swannington, Leicester-shire. Brought up in a home pervaded by an atmosphere of cheerful piety, She early yielded to the drawings of the gracious Spirit, and began those loving rninistries which were never intermitted.
On her marriage to W'lliam Henry Hincksman-a name very fragrant in all the Fylde district and throughout Methodism-Mrs Hincksman found that wider field of service for which Providence had fitted her; and well did she meet the higher calls. The Starr Hills became a centre of light and influence. No home has surpassed it in the frequency of its welcomes of the servants of the Lord. The family altar of the Starr Hills, no crowd-ing cares, and no inrush of worldly tides, were allowed to break down. Mrs Hincksman delighted in serving the Church. She loved to minister to the sick and the poor, and her time, strength, and means were laid ungrudgingly on the altar. For many years she was a Class loader, treasurer and collector for the Women's Auxiliary; president of the Ladies' Sewing Society and of the Young Leaguers' Union; and a member of the committee of the Parish Nurse Fund. But Mrs Hincksman's world was one with very wide horizons, and to foreign missions her sympathies were especially drawn. Her father a missionary, her mother the fruit of missionary influence, her two brothers missionaries-the Rev James H. Broadbent, B.A., founding our cause in Calcutta, and the Rev Joseph Broadbent, who sleeps at Lucknow; her mother-in-law a missionary in the West Indies, and one of the few who were rescued from the wreck of the Maria mail-boat, and her step-mother one of the little group of boys and girls who formed the first Juvenile Missionary Asso-ciation in Methodism she had all her life breathed a missionary atmosphere.
The end came all unexpectedly, for though she counted fourscore years, they had dealt very kindly with her, and few of the infirmities of age had come. Indeed, she had planned a 6,000 miles journey to California this Anguust, and her passage to New York had been taken. Only ten days before her death she was entertaixing two ministers who were attending the Liverpool Synod at Blackpool; but a cold developed into pneumonia, and on May 22nd she peacefully passed away, leaving three children to mourn her loss-a son in California; Mrs Joseph Farrar, of Halifax ; and Mrs F. Coulthard, of Windermere. The interment took place at the parish church on May 25th, the Revs Canon Hawkins and T. J. Choate officiating. The memorial service, conducted by the Rev T. J. Choate, was held at Park-street Church, Lytham, on Sunday morning, the address being given by the Rev Dr Henry Burton, Mrs Hincksman's cousin.-" Methodist Recorder," June 1st, 1911.
[Mrs H:incksman was aunt to Mr S. K. Broadbent, and had often visited the Isle of Man, the scenery of which she and Major Hinclmm,an thought unsurpassable, and they were great travellers. Manv of the old Douglas Methodists remember her quite well.-En.]