Print
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 40, September 1996

John McGeehan was born at Glenkeragh, Letterkenny, County of Donegal, Ireland about 1840. He arrived in New Zealand about 1864 with his brother Bernard and they settled in the Thames and Paeroa district. John was a cattle dealer, butcher and storekeeper. He bought a racehorse, which he named Glenswilly, no doubt after the River Swilly in the Glens of Glenties in his homeland of Donegal. He entered Glenswilly in the Paeroa races and all went well as far as the line up was concerned but, when the starter's gun sounded, Glenswilly did an about turn and ran in the opposite direction.

A newspaper, reporting on the Mafeking celebration of 20 May 1900 tells that the celebration was marred at Paeroa by a fire at the residence of Mrs McGeehan, near the Esplanade, Paeroa. The fire was discovered by Messrs W Quinlivan and R Walker who raised the alarm but as the bell had been ringing all afternoon in honour of Mafeking deliverance, no notice was taken. When the brigade finally arrived, nothing could be done because of the shutting off of some valves so there was not enough water to extinguish even a small fire. Considerable sympathy was expressed on all sides for Mrs McGeehan, a widow with a large family. The building and furniture was insured. It was thought that a spark from the chimney set the shingles alight.