Abraham & Williams

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Abraham & Williams Ltd

In 1884, Mr R. S. Abraham bought out the interest of John Stevens in the firm of Stevens & Gorton, livestock auctioneers located in the township of Bulls in the Rangitikei District. Branches were opened in Palmerston North and Feilding and managed by the other partner, Colonel Gordon. The head office of the company was in Palmerston North.

Later, the firm of Stevens & Gorton was dissolved, Colonel Gorton retaining the Rangitikei business while R.S. Abraham carried on the southern part of the business, inviting Alex Williams of Hawkes Bay to join him as partner.

The firm then became Abraham & Williams.

After 5 years, Alex Williams sold out to Ormond C. Cooper and Oswald H. Britt. In 1901 the business was formed into a Limitd liability company, Abraham & Williams Ltd. The first directors of Abraham & Williams Ltd were: R.S. Abraham (Chairman and General Manager), C.E. Beetham, S. Bolton, O.C. Cooper (Managing Director), J. Davies, W.A. Keiller, O.H. Porritt (Managing Director), S.W. Luxford and A. Strong.

In 1901, the company acquired an interest in the Johnsonville Saleyards from Messrs Freeman R Jackson & Co. In 1902, it purchased the business of R.E. Beckett of Marton and in 1904 purchased the remainder of Messrs Freeman R. Jackson & Co's interest in the Johnsonville business. Then, in 1906, it acquired Lowes & Iorn in the Wairarapa and O.C. Cooper was put in charge of this.

Beetham resigned from the Board in 1906 and was replaced by R.E. Beckett. In 1916, the Wairarapa and Bush district businesses were sold to Wairarapa Farmers Co-op Association and Abraham & Williams Ltd opened business in Taumarunui and Te Kuiti.

In 1916, therefore, there were branches in Palmerston North (Head Office, with P. Larcomb as manager), Feilding (W. Simpson as agent), Pohangina (R. McDonald as agent), Himitangi, Linton, Wellington (I. Holmes as manager), Johnsonville (B. Mexted as agent), Levin (T. Nicholson as manager), Shannon, Otaki (RS Young as agent), Waikanae, Pauahautanui, Marton (PJ Sladden as manager), Hunterville (A.V. Theed as agent), Mangaweka (W. Gordon as agent), Taihape (C. Stewart as agent), Taumaranui (WG McLeod as agent), Hamilton (ME Leybourn as manager), Hastings (G. Hartshorn as agent) and Te Kuiti.

The Board of Directors in 1916 comprised R.S. Abraham (Chairman and Managing Director), O.H. Porritt (Managing Director and Chief Auctioneer), A. Holmes (Managing Director and Secretary), R.E. Beckett, S. Bolton, O.C. Cooper, H. Williams and P.J. Sladden.

In 1918, Abraham & Williams Ltd purchased Messrs G.W. Binney & Sons of Auckland and E. Binney became a director. Wright Stephenson & Co Ltd purchased an interest, with limited voting powers, in Abraham & Williams in 1919 and a controlling interest in 1922. Abraham remained General Manager until 1922 and Chairman of the Board of Abraham & Williams, also taking a seat on the Board of Wright Stephenson & Co from 1919.

The Head Office of Wright Stephenson & Co in Wellington became the Head Office for both companies. W.D. Hunt and J.T. Martin, directors of Wright Stephenson & Co Ltd, joined the Board of Directors of Abraham & Williams Ltd. The two firms carried on their business independently of each other, although Abraham & Williams Ltd expanded its business to cover similar areas to Wright Stephenson & Co. Ltd. In 1931, R.S. Abraham advocated the formation of a separate company to transact the stock commission business of all the stock and station agency companies in the Wanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and Wairarapa areas in order to reduce costs. This company was Associated Livestock Auctioneers Ltd, with R.S. Abraham as Chairman and S.R. Thomson as Manager, but it operated at a loss and closed after about 16 months. In 1950, Wright Stephenson & Co Ltd purchased the balance of the shares in Abraham & Williams Ltd and on 31 March, 1950 Abraham & Williams Ltd went into voluntary liquidation.

DATE: 1901 - 1950

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