our family stories

Alexander Low and the Iron Age

Family history says that Alexander Low formed a syndicate to search for the General Grant which had been shipwrecked with its cargo of gold in 1866. He did indeed join with others to buy a steamer. On June 24 1877, just 3 months before the wreck of the SS Mattau, Alexander signed an agreement with 4 other men to become part owner of the steamer, Iron Age. It was trading at the time in the harbour of Otago.
His co-owners were:

  • Evan Prosser merchant of Dunedin owned one sixth
  • John Mill stevedore of Port Chalmers owned one sixth
  • John Densem shipmaster of Dunedin owned one sixth
  • Cohn MacAndrew shipping agent of Dunedin owned one third.

Alexander also owned one sixth and was listed as stevedore.
The agreement was witnessed by William Parker and the agreement was drawn up by the Dunedin solicitors, Sieuwright and Stout.

(note: Alexander’s sons, David and Alexander. were later to become managers of branches of New Zealand’s largest drug company, Kempthorne, Prosser and Co (called The New Zealand Drug Company]. Perhaps they were introduced to Mr Prosser through the Prosser association with the Iron Age.)

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