Charles Edward Moore Curtis was the youngest son of Gersham Curtis and Elizabeth Jane Molyneux.  Born on the 8th December, 1861.
Close up of Charlie taken from the photograph opposite.
Charlie would have been a young boy but a month off his 10th birthday when his mother died of a liver disease.  At the time his oldest sister would have just married the previous year.
Did she care for him or was he out with Dad and the older brothers working?   What we do know is that he married Julia Anne Newth, daughter of William Newth and Ellenor Kinzett. 
The above photo was in The NZ Encyclopeadia along with the following information on page 584:
Mr. CHARLES CURTIS, formerly Manager of the Victory Extended Gold Mining Company, at Brunnerton, was born at Collingwood, Nelson, in 1861, and received his education at Greymouth.
After leaving school, he was engaged in looking after the ferry at the Arnold Junction for many years. Mr. Curtis started mining when sixteen years of age, and worked at different places on the Buller, where he was fairly successful for twelve months. On leaving the West Coast, he engaged in prospecting in the North Island, but with no success.  He accordingly returned to Greymouth and almost immediately commenced prospecting the Paporoa Ranges, where he eventually discovered the now famous "Victory".  Mr. Curtis, who is married and has six children, now resides at Stillwater.
Annie and Charlie - don't know who the fella at the rear is. Note Charlies left hand in both photos.
According to Merv. Curtis, Charlie had no money to work the mine they had discovered, so went back to Cobden to get a guy by the name of Joe Taylor to put up the money for it, which he did. They put in a stamper battery and bins for the ore after widening the track to it.  It opened and they filled the bins but there had been no rain so they were unable to get started and had decided to have an early Christmas when the rains came and filled the creek so they started up the battery, working solily for 10 days crushing the ore. In that 10 days it is said that they made enough money to pay for the whole operation. When the seam came to a dead end they spent virtually everything they had to search for the supposed other end of it. They even employed surveyors.  Started going up towards it from the 10 mile and one day in heavy fog they found quartz with an even higher level of gold. They thought they knew where they were, but on returning to peg it out, couldn't find it. 

I noticed that Charlie's left hand looked a bit strange when playing around with his photograph one day, so took a closer look at the other photo also. Definitely missing fingers - why? I asked Mervyn Curtis on my first visit to his home. He knew all about it.
Charlie lost his thumb, index and middle finger on his left hand when unpacking detonators, 100 to a box in sawdust. There was a bit of sawdust jammed in the bottom of a detonator which he tried to remove with a nail.  They apparently had mercury in the bottom of them and were very sensitive!!!!

Langdon's Reefs:
These reefs were situated almost due North of Stillwater, on the northside of the Grey River in the Langdon's Creek area.  They were known to exist since 1870. Antimony was found in 1879, outcropping in the gully at the head of the creek, about 1440 feet above sea-level.
Langdon's Extended Claim, an antimony lode, later called the Julian Claim; taken over in 1894 by Curtis Bros. who discovered the Victory.

From "The Golden Reefs" by Darrell Latham:
"Slab Hut Gold-Dredging Company"
Charles later became dredgemaster at Slab Hut. This was a gold dredging Company situated opposite the railway line at Tawhai, between Reefton and Ikamatua. 
"Operated at Tawhai, opposite the railway station. Dredgemasters: Charles Curtis and George Pettigrew.
The Slab Hut was originally the Kangaroo Creek dredge. She started work in June 1905 and continued with consistently payable results until 1908, by which time the heavy wash had so strained the machinery that breakdowns became frequent. Six months' dredging in 1905 produced 560 ounces of gold  - a maiden dividend of two shillings per share was paid. During 1906 the average weekly return was around twenty-three ounces.
In 1909 the company went into voluntary liquidation and the dredge was disposed of to a private syndicate which ceased operations in 1912. Butler and party worked the Slab Hut on tribute during 1913 but she proved unpayable. A strong new syndicate overhauled the dredge in 1914 and fitted larger buckets (five cubic feet) as well as another boiler. Published returns by private parties are few and far between but for 1916 gold to the value of 2573 pounds was recovered. Work came to an end late in 1918."

An excerpt from "Remember Cobden" by Jack Minehan reads:
"Mr. Curtis, senior, played an important part in the building of the Cobden Bridge and was involved in dredging and gold recovery.

The family lived for some years at Stillwater and then moved to Cobden.
Wise's Post Office Guides between 1909 and 1917 list Charles Curtis as a mining speculator living in Cobden.

Charlie's older bother, Henry John, built the house at Cobden in which the family lived.




Charles died on the 29th of June 1919 aged 58 and his wife, Annie, died on the 31st of January, 1954 at the ripe old age of 92.
Both are buried in the cemetery at Greymouth - Section 1, Row 20, No. 22.
This page was last updated: February 21, 2020

                                                  Charles Edward Moore Curtis                            m.                            Julia Ann Newth
                                                               8 Dec 1861                                         1888                              22 Apr 1862 
                                                                                                                                                                   Blenheim
                                                               d. Jun 1919                                                                               d. Jan 1954
                                                                  Cobden                                                                                      Cobden
                                                         bur.                                                                                               bur.
                                                               Greymouth                                                                                  Greymouth
                                                              aged 58 yrs                                                                                 aged 92 yrs
                   ______________________________________________________________I______________________________________________________________________________
                   I                                   I                                   I                                  I                                  I                                  I                                      I                                 I                                 I                              I
            Henry                         Elida                        William                    Archibald                    Gerda                       Clifton                    Ivan Bernard                    Ivy                        Gordon                   Cyril
           Edward                Florence Ellen              Leonard                  Raymond                    Irene                       Ashton                         Oswald                      Melba                      Wilson                   Nolan
             1889                      10 Feb 1891             24 Jan 1893            22 Aug 1894            21 Sep 1896             7 Aug 1898                        1901                          1902                         1904                23 Jul 1908
                                                Brunner                                                     Stillwater
  d. 14 Nov 1916            d. 18 Mar 1944         d. 19 Jul 1966        d. 17 Jan 1966        d. 25 Nov 1984        d. 28 May 1972            d. 4 Jun 1962                                            d. 3 Mar 1959     d. 27 Sep 1973
           France                    Greymouth                                               Christchurch           Christchurch  
bur. Cite Bon Jean
     Military Cem.
     Armentieres                    m. 1914                     m. 1914                    m. 1940                     m. 1920                     m. 1921                 m.                                     m. 1923                    m. 1925                 m. 1932

                                      James Hazeldine         Annie Mary           Norma Wilson       Edward Cooper       Jessie Neilson           Ellen Gamble            William Tell            Kathleen May       Gladys Alice
                                                                         Teresa McGinley         1918 - 1988                    Joyce                         Kells             ? 1901 - 21 Oct 1932            Lanini                     Webster                  Smith
                                                                                                                                                    1899 - 1960                                                                                         31 Jul 1897             10 Apr 1907
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                d. 3 Sep 1941
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Otago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m. 1934                                                                                        m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Evelyn Beryl Hart                                                                      Gladys Seymour
                                                                                                  I                             I                            I                             I                            I
 
                                                                                                                       Mavis Edna                Ann                      Harold              Keith William
                                                                                                                            Nola                                              Ronny Hart       Wilma Patricia Ann
                                                                                                                          Edward

Notes: from those that knew them well. "....." notes from Merv.
ARCHIBALD RAYMOND 1894: Most talked about member of the family. Escapades would fill the page. My Mum's favorite uncle - he could certainly charm the ladies. Nephews were not as enarmoured it would seem from the stories. "Proper Army man. Area Commander for the West Coast. Got a medal for saving peoples lives". "Worked in Lolly factory after war - boiled lollies - in the old Greymouth Bourough Coucil Buildings.  Played the stock exchange." 1930 Stones Directory - Gold miner, Maori Creek.  1944 Stones Directory - Captain, MC. 5 Joyce Cres., Greymouth.  1948 Stones Directory - Tearooms, 98 Mawhera Quay, Greymouth.  Died aged 71.
BERNARD OSWALD IVAN 1901:  Known as Ivan. "Worked for Cyril up Glenroy Sluicing Claim between about 1938 and 1941. By this stage he was married to Beryl Hart. Had a heart condition. Had a heart attack at race course." 1930 Stones Directory - labourer, Stillwater. 1939 Stones Directory - sawmiller, Fox St., Cobden. 1944 Stones Directory - Harbour Board employee, 29 Peel St., Cobden.
Another visit - "Had TB earlier in life. Assume he didn't marry Nell Gamble (the mother of his son Harry Curtis) as her tombstone has her birth nameon it. The family apparently accidentally buried Ivan beside another Nell Gamble, but opted not to bother moving him as they fought like cat anddog anyway, and figured they were better left apart. Son Harry brought up by the Gamble family."
Kevin - " Worked a dredge at the Marawera for years. Also worked for the Harbour Board loading coal boats on the wharf. Went overseas ? Papua New Guinea - looking for gold for a company called ? Lear McMahon for a few years. Gordon supposed to go with him but his wife wouldn't allow it. Had a son Harold by ? wife Ellen Gamble and later a son Ronny to Beryl Hart. " 
Died aged 60 yrs.
CHARLES EDWARD MOORE 1861: Kevin - "Charles Lived at Stillwater for many years and later moved into Peel St., Cobden, where he built the largest house there at the time. 
Wife ANNIE (JULIA ANN NEWTH). "Strict and straighter than a handle of a broom". A great walker and at a good pace. She would be mistaking for a young woman from behind. I heard one story of how she would cart Silver Pine knots in a pushchair from Stillwater to Cobden for furniture for the new house there to be made up at Uddstroms Factory in Quay St., Cobden.  Harold (Barney) Sutherland and his wife Anne are supposed to have been in possession of o dresser from the house.   Went up to Reefton to look after Roy and other kids there while mother was hospitalised during the war.
CLIFTON ASHTON 1898: "Caught a lot of whitebait that he would take up to those Curtis families working out of Reefton. Had the Curtis coal mine at Point Elizabeth, Rapahoe - virtually from the sea cliff - winched up the cliff into bins."  There is a film strip of this in National Archives that I saw many years ago.  He and Jessie adopted one of Jessie's nieces. I went to stay with them in Paroa as a 15 or 16 year old. Coming from spending my life in new suburban houses the outhouse came as a big shock. I suffered terrible constipation for the week. I learnt a lot about the West Coast during that week though and have wanted to live there ever since. 
Kevin - "Cliff had the Curtis mine at the 8 mile doing long wall mining. Later worked for Public Works as a diesel mechanic and he also did all the rope splicing for the mines on the Coast. Married his childhood sweetheart Jessie Kells. Also worked up at the Matukituki and Reefton. Had a Morris once but after that had a love affair with VWs. Sent to Wellington to help the folk from the Lost Tribe in a court case over settlement of ground the government wanted to take off them that was gold rich. Judge dismissed it in the end. Jessie and Cliff great cobbers of Gerda." 1930 Stones Directory - Miner, Baton. 1944 Stones Directory - fitter, Paroa.
Died aged 72 yrs.
GORDON WILSON 1904: "A good generous joker.  Had a bad stomach and was getting treated by a doctor he would go up to Reefton to visit." "Helped build a boat with a Mr. Shelton called Melba". 1930 Stones Directory - Fireman, Peel St., Cobden. 1939 Stones Directory - Fireman, Peel St., Cobden.  1948 Stones Directory - labourer, 19 Peel St., Cobden.
HENRY EDWARD 1889:  Quit his job in Police in ChCh to sign up and dead 8 months later. Died aged 24.
WILLIAM LEONARD 1893: Unlike his siblings, he was not a social man and kept to himself. 1930 Stones Directory - Carpenter, 47 Boundary St., Greymouth. 1939 Stones Directory - Carpenter, Preston Rd., Greymouth.  1944 Stones Directory - Carpenter, 5 Preston Rd., Greymouth.  Died aged 73 yrs.

                                                                     

                                                  Cyril Nolan Curtis                    m.                      Gladys Alice Ethel Smith (DIV.)                m.               Violet Gladys Seymour
                                                     b. 23 Jul 1908              7 Mar 1932                        b. 9 Nov 1914                               1964                    b. 20 May 1910

                                                    d. 27 Sep 1973                                                            d. 1988                                                                  d. 3 Jun 1989

                                                                                                                               m. Arnold Donaldson
                ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                I                                          I                                       I                                          I                                               I                                                  I                         
           Lorna                             Roy Arthur                     Marie Emmie                        Dorothy Ann                                Rosalie                                 Robin Edward
    b. 25 Oct 1932                   b. 5 Sep 1934                b. 25 Oct 1937                     b. 10 Apr 1937                          b. 5 Oct 1942                           b. 22 Aug 1944

                                                   d. 2012                                                                                                                                                                           d. 2007
        m. 1956                        m. 29 Jan 1957               m.                                         m.                                             m.                                             m.

  William Cairney               Valerie Isobel Hunt            George Vincent                 James Ernest Morris              Vernon Henry Pupich                       Denise Proffit
                                                   b. 1937                                                                   b. 30 Mar 1934                       b. 13 Jan 1938
                                                   Reefton
                                             d. 8 Aug 1999                                                                                                                    d. 1938
                                                   Nelson
              I                                                                     m.
              I                                         I                                                                                     I                                              I                                                  I
              I                                         I                         Barry Paul Spittal                                I                                              I                                                  I
              I                                         I                           b. 14 Dec 1930                         Eric Wayne                                 Alison                                         Brent
              I                                         I                                                                            Gary James                               Maxine                                        Sheryl
              I                                                                           d. 2016                                  Joanne                                     Miles                                          Lyell
              I                                    Susan                                                                                                                                                                             Craig
              I                                    Carol                                    I                                                                                                                                          Sarah
  Rosemary Jean                    Tony John                            Allen                                                                                                                                      Melina
     Neil William                           Linda                             Brendon                                                                                                                                    Alisha
  Gregory Brent                           Gail                               Corrine
                                                                                           Nigel
                                                                                            Jay
                                                                                         Shelley
                                                                                         Stacey
                                                                                           Kim

Notes:
CYRIL NOLAN CURTIS 1908: Worked Glenroy Sluicing Claim.  Ivan and Merv Curtis both worked for him at some stage.  1944 Stones Directory - miner Reefton.  1948 Stones Directory - miner Reefton. Died aged 65 yrs.
Wife GLADYS ALICE ETHEL SMITH 1914:
Wife VIOLET GLADY SEYMOUR 1910: Died aged 79 yrs.
                     
Archibald Raymond
Back row from left: Mavis Edna Joyce, Keith William Lanini,
?  ,  Norma and Ray Curtis, Nola Joyce.
Child in centre: ?   Rodney Curtis.
Front row from left: Mavis Rosina Curtis, Annie Curtis (Julia Ann Newth) Gerda Joyce nee Curtis.
Gerda Irene Curtis
The two named Mavis
Mavis Rosina and Maavis Edna
Closeup of Annie Curtis nee Newth
Gerda Irene Curtis
Archibald Raymond Curtis m. Norma Wilson

Charles Edward Moore Curtis in Directories and Electoral Rolls:

1880 Directory - Miner, Inangahua Junction. (along with brother Alfred Samuel and Henry John)
1883 Directory - Miner, Inangahua Junction.
1893 Electoral Roll - miner, Taylorville. (wife Annie - married, domestic, Stillwater).
1900 Directory - Miner, Stillwater.
1905 Electoral Roll - Dredgemaster Slab Hut, near Reefton. (wife Annie - household duties, Stillwater)
1912 Stones Directory -  Mine manager, Cobden. 

Annie
1930 Stones Directory - Peel St Cobden.
1939 Stones Directory - 11 Peel St Cobden.     
1944 Stones Directory - 11 Peel St Cobden.