William Stanley Cato

#217, b. 9 March 1880, d. 8 May 1959
  • Reference: 1957 TAMAKI

Individual's Timeline

Birth9 March 1880William Stanley Cato1
Marriage14 October 1908William Stanley Cato2
Death9 September 1935Mansell Ann Prentis
Death of Father10 July 1936William Coggin Cato
Death of Mother29 September 1936Caroline Murrell
Marriage1937William Stanley Cato
Marriage of Son10 May 1947William Stanley Cato
Death8 May 1959William Stanley Cato3

Primary events

Secondary circumstances

  • (Witness) letter: William Stanley Cato was referred to in a letter sent by; This is a copy of a letter written by W.S. (Stan ) Cato b.9.3.1880-d.1.5.1959.(Joseph, William Coggin, William) to his cousin Oscar Herbert Cato Green b.31.12.1885-d.17.5.1959. ( Joseph, William Coggin, Emma Elizabeth) Alan Cato of Thames N.Z. has the original.

    Joseph Cato landed at Hobart Nov. 29th 1832. Barque John Craig 374 tons (ye gods) after a voyage of 134 days. He had his wife and family 4 boys and 2 girls, one son having died on the voyage. There were William Cornelius Joseph. Samuel Frances and Elizabeth.
    The family lived in Elizabeth Street for a couple of years and moved into Kemble in 1834 and started to clear the land. The coach to Launceston passed the property and could be heard from the house but not seen for the bush. An extra flourish from the horn meant victory during the Crimea war.
    I don't know if you ever heard the following bit but it throws some light on the character of these people.
    Joseph Cato was in financial difficulties and borrowed the money for the voyage. In fact he was avoiding the debtors prison. However although they had no legal claim every creditor was paid by money remitted to England

    William Cato married Rosetta Coggin and lived in a house on Kemble property. The Rev Coggin was a Pres. Chaplin on the convict ships.
    I have his watch a gigantic silver affair with the initials W.C. He told me it had crossed the equator 11 times. You probably know of William's family but here are a few impressions.
    William my father was accountant Lands & Forestry Dept. He built a home at Kangaroo valley (now Lenah Valley) "Malvern"and planted an orchard (now alas building sections)
    The orchard was a model. I have known agents from Sydney who bought crops on the trees to give Dad 1/- case above market rate.
    He sent four sons to Secondary School and the highest salary he touched was 190. After 39 years service he got six months leave but no pension.
    Harry Cato who lived in Sydney I never knew much of. I gather he was not all he should have been. He had a daughter named Constance and some years ago I read in the press that a Constance Cato was charged with conspiracy in connection with a forged will.
    Herbert Cato I remember going off to the Sudan War in a blazing red tunic He was later a solicitor's clerk in Launceston and married a Miss Sidebottom (what a name) I only remember one son. Garnet who was a crack swimmer. Herbert had a wonderful voice and left home to join a theatrical Co. While I was a boy he arrived in Hobart broke wide and after ratting Dad's wardrobe left for N.Z. I was on the wharf as the boat pulled out with Herbert on the sail gaily throwing kisses to Dad from Maggie Moore's mouth
    One day at Stratford I went behind the scenes at the town hall. There were a lot of props interned by the B. Council for rent. I noticed some labels to the effect that they were suppplied by H.J. Cato Theatrical Agent Sydney.


    I last saw him in Sydney in 1935 when he was over 80 and had been to the first World War and had a hollow in his skull you could lay your thumb in.
    I remember Arthur quite well., He was a great boy. Grandmother had bought him a hat to which he took a violent dislike. I think he kicked it to school but explained to

    his mother that it was damaged by raising it to the ladies. We had a bonfire on Queens Birthday and Arthur filled the hat with crackers and blew it to pieces.
    Of his wanderings from gold rush to gold rush of his visiting Gran. after he had struck it at the Dee and of his sad end I think you will be familiar.

    Aunt Julia I don't remember much of Dolf Inches who married her came from the Huon where his people built boats of the famous Huon pine.
    There were still some in Auckland a while back. He built the Methodist parsonage quite close to Kemble. I remember him calling on Julia and going to sleep by the fire. They went to Echuca (not sure of the spelling) where he built boats for the river traffic. These were constructed of very light draught and guaranteed to go anywhere so long as there was a heavy dew.
    Aunt Rosie was the youngest and I remember many of her pranks well. She was always stringing some beau on and filled the place with young people on Sundays which annoyed grandfather very much. She was not allowed to dance and I remember going with her to the hall at New Town and listening to the music from outside. It was the first time I had heard a waltz. I was entranced and thought it the loveliest music ever. There were only hymns at our place.
    Mother and Dad went to Melbourne Exhibition when we were kids and Auntie Rosie looked after us. There were only Ray and I. One night as we were singing round the piano in the front room a man broke in the back but tripped up over the sticks I had put by the stove for the morning.
    I remember the look on their faces and I suppose mine was as white. We left by the front door and ran all the way to Kemble (about a mile) and grandfather came back with us and brought Carlo a big black retriever. The police found tracks across the garden and although they had a good idea who it was there was no arrest. Shortly after the suspect was convicted and goaled for assault on a woman.
    Well Oscar, I haven't answered your question re: "Paraclete" Joseph Cato the younger built the place and his descendants still live there. Paradise Valley is the name of the locality at Knocklofty now known officially as Mt. Stewart. I remember seeing Joseph in church. He always wore a stock. One of his daughters Emily married John Beattie photographer (one of the best chaps ever) John had a hobby of collecting relics of early Tas. from prison records to leg irons. After his death his widow sold the collection to the Launceston museum for a considerable sum. As she was born at Paraclete it is easy to guess how a picture of the place comes to be in the museum.
    Joseph Cato the younger had five sons. Sam Joseph and George all of whom grew apples at the Huon Frank of Hearts Hardware Launceston and Hilmer who lived at Paraclete. Of his sons I only remember Melven who I was obliged to fight as he went to Friends High where the boys were all cads and had to be reminded of it when they met a man from Queens.

    I am pretty sure that the Rev. Cato is a son of Hilmer - someTe Kuiti boys who were in the Islands during the war met him and knew about me. He told the boys I came of a very devout family - too bad.
    Sam the youngest of the original ships load was the only son who did not go for the soil. He was a Wharf Superintendant for the Tas. Steam Nav. Co. and after with the Union Co which absorbed the old company. He married Harriet Hickman a sister of Joseph's wife Fanny.

    He had several daughters all of whom I knew but I did not know the sons. One was at Grandfather's funeral and I think his name was Albert. I have always thought (I don't know why) that Jack Cato belongs to this family. Sam's home was at New Town quite close to Kemble.

    Cornelius Cato I never saw. He was found dead from heart failure either when I was very young or not yet born. He had one daughter Cornelia who kept a dance school and taught me my alphabet and finished up teaching for the state. She was organist at New Town Methodist Church for donkeys years.
    Elizabeth Cato married a cornish man named George Harding. Their home was called "Jutland"and overlooked Kemble about half a mile away and backed onto Augusto Road. They had one daughter who married a Hickman.- getting mixed somewhat!
    Frances Cato married a Captain Mabel. Her daughter Kate Mabel married Ernest Peacock late of Melbourne and founder of Peacock Bros Pty Co. of which Ray is a member and manager at Adelaide.
    Enough or you will be overwhelmed. There are two generations well on the way since I left Tasmania. Charlie has seven grandchildren. I am looking forward to Jack's book which I have been unable to find in town today but I have placed one on order to hand on to Stan. What a field for an author is the early history of Tasmania
    Why there were enough characters on our wad to make a book.
    There was old lady O'Brien reputed to be the widow of the irish orator and political exile Smith O"Brien.
    There was cranky Jimmy who belonged to the Salvation Army standing near our front-gate giving a long and passionate appeal to an imaginary audience to come forth and be saved while we hid behind the hedge. He would conclude by thanking the crowd for their attendance and hoped there would be as large a gathering next Sunday afternoon when he would speak from the Town Hall steps. The benediction was interrupted by a ripe tomato.
    There was old gummy, a bewhiskered and unwashed little oddity who took his black currants to town in a perambulator and closed the openings on hives so the bees wouldn't work on Sundays.
    And Old Possum our ticket of leave handyman who always got a violent pain in his belly when in dry weather there was water to be carried from the "crick"
    I must tell you about him. The name on his ticket was William Little but he told us his father was a Parson and his name William Erasmus Counterbound. It was probably true as he was well educated and wrote a beautiful hand.
    He wrote a lot which he explained were marvelous plans for making money. I was his favourite and I was to be rich beyond the dreams of averice. When he got too old and

    had to be sent to the New Town Charitable Institute he was dressed in a shapeless tunic and pants with NTCI in three inch stencils across shoulders and backside.
    When confined to his bed he still talked of his plans and while he pictured buckets of money his old eyes would light up at the sight of a bob.
    He got weaker and I thought I had seen him for the last time but one day as I was going to the creek for a swim I noticed smoke coming from a log and when I went round it, here was Possum. He had on a night shirt and the blankets he had pinched off his bed and was quite childish.

    He was back in the Institute quick and lively but did not last much longer. After he left Malvern for the Inst. we turned out his hut. You never saw such a collection of stuff from silk hats to women's shoes. We had a great sbonfire. Enough this time. I will endeavour to make a family tree one day and will let you have one.
His life was recorded thus ~~ William Stanley CATO was born on 9 March 1880 at Lenah Valley, Hobart, Tasmania.
William moved to Wellington, New Zealand in early 1908 and he married May PRENTIS on 14 October 1908 at the Anglican Church, Seatoun, Wellington. The witnesses were John MURRELL, Stella MURRELL and Oscar GREEN.
May PRENTIS was born in 1880 at Hobart, Tasmania and was the daughter of William Charles and Alice (nee HOGARTH) PRENTIS.
William and May CATO had three sons and a daughter: Audrey Alice CATO died as an infant on 3 June 1918 and was buried at the Old Cemetery, Te Kuiti.
William and May lived at Queen Street, Te Kuiti.
May CATO died on 9 September 1935 and was buried at the Old Cemetery, Te Kuiti.
William Stanley CATO in 1937 married Carmen Sylvia WILKINSON (nee SPARKS) at Te Kuiti.
Carmen had previously been married to Roy WILKINSON and had a son Trevor Roy WILKINSON who was born in 1930.
Trevor Roy WILKINSON was adopted by William Stanley CATO and was then named Trevor Roy CATO.
William Stanley CATO was an Ironmonger by trade and had a Hardware business in Rora Street, Te Kuiti. The business was W S CATO Ltd, General Ironmongery and Sports Dealer. The Business was later continued by his son William Stanley CATO.
William and Carmen in the early 1950's moved to Auckland and lived at 83 Bassett Road, Remuera.
William Stanley CATO died on 11 May 1959 at his home, aged 79 and was cremated at Purewa Cemetery, Auckland on 13 May 1959. Carmen died approximately 1965 in Auckland.
Story from Rex Cato. The Cato house in Queen St Te Kuiti had a veranda around the outside. This was extended and closed in with heavy canvas roll up curtains. The house was a three-bedroom house but the family chose to sleep on the veranda all year round. Pop use to get up at 5.30 and tend the garden before going to the shop. All though the shop opened at 8.30, he did not get there until 9oclock. Pop always read the mail before making himself available to the travellers who wanted to see him. They had often traveled into Te Kuiti by train. May had a soft spot for some of them, especially if they had stayed the night in town, and she would give them a meal.

Children of William Stanley Cato and Mansell Ann Prentis

Child of William Stanley Cato and Carmen Sylvia Sparks

  • Trevor Roy Cato


  1. Digger - Tas BMD Digger databases on CD, Surname: CATO
    Given Names: WILLIAM STANLEY
    Event: Birth
    Father/Spouse Surname: WILLIAM COGGIN
    Mother/Spouse Given Names: MURRELL CAROLINE
    Day: 09
    Month: 3
    Year: 1880
    Sex: M
    Spouse Age:
    Spouse Sex:
    Registration Place: HOBART
    Registration Number: 1577/1880
    Reference: RGD 33.
  2. Website Tasmania, Australia, Index to Marriage Notices in The Mercury, 1854-1962 (unknown url) "William Stanley Cato
    Spouse Name:      May Prentis
    Marriage Date:      14 Oct 1908
    Other Details:      New Zealand
    Gender:      Male
    Publication Date:      4 Nov 1908."
  3. Conclusion of, Shirley, Assumed from confirmed Burial date.
  4. Letter, W S (Stan) CATO to Oscar Herbert Cato GREEN, 15/7/1948.