Mr John Fox Gee

1843 - 1906

Mr John Fox Gee
Died Tuesday 7th February 1906 at his residence in his 63rd year.

In the rather lengthy list of worthies whose death it has been this reporters painful duty to report during these last few months, none was better known or more highly esteemed than the subject of this obituary notice.

He was the son of the late William Gee, and his youth was passed at Spray House Farm, on the Park Hall Estate, farmed at that time by his father. He was educated at Hayfield Grammar School, the Rev Samuel Wass then being the incumbent and headmaster. Mr Gee's father became the landlord of the Bulls Head Inn, when his son was in his teens and he remained there until the death of his parents.

At an early age Mr Gee began to carve out a career for himself, starting at the bottom of the ladder, he successively filled with distinction most of the public offices of his native Parish, culminating with the collection of the highway rates and ultimately succeeding Mr James Wild as assistant overseer, other positions which he filled were Sanitary Inspector, Clerk to the Hayfield Parish Council.

There was no more faithful and efficient public servant than Mr Gee, and practically the whole of his life was given to the discharge of those duties. It was when he was between 20 and 30 years of age that he became the assistant overseer, at that time the highways were under the old parish surveyor and later when he succeeded as surveyor he collected both the highway and poor rates and nearly all the taxes of the Parish.
When the School Board was formed he was appointed its first clerk and he retained that important office right through the whole history of that authority to its dissolution, the consequence of passing the recent Education Act, when he became the secretary to the local Education Committee. It was largely through complete physical incapacity, owing to his failing health, that he was obliged to retire. For a great many years he held the dual offices of Secretary to the Education Authority and school attendance officer.
He efficiently discharged his duties as Parish Clerk until increasing infirmities compelled him to relinquish them. In all his public offices he attended strictly to his own work, never interfering with the business of other members, and it is worthy of record that such was the efficiency with which he kept the numerous accounts of the Parish, that never in the 30 or 40 years in which he submitted those accounts to the public auditor was he once surcharged. Indeed the accounts were never found to be a farthing out.

During the long and acrimonious discussions at the School Board, when excitement ran almost wild and party feeling got to such a pitch as to cause fisticuffs, Mr Gee always maintained his coolness and dignity without the moving of a muscle. Mr Gee also held various other offices, for some years he was agent for the Shudehill Estate, ding business with Mr Alfred Slack, of whom he considered to be a personal friend. There were an important group of men in Hayfield who really constituted the public and social life of the place Mr A. B. Wimpenny Mr Christopher Slack Mr Albert Slack Mr W. P. Gibb and Dr Masters the deceased may be classes as the last of this set who will be remembered for some considerable time in Hayfield.

He was well known as a most enthusiastic cricketer, a skilful wielder of the 'willow' being one of the founder members of the Hayfield Cricket Club.
"Fox" as he was familiarly known, was well regarded in cricket circles, he was often called to play in County teams. He was the model secretary of Hayfield Cricket Club for something like 30 years. He was looked upon as the backbone of that institution. He was a crack shot and was frequently seen in the season on the grouse moors around and above Kinder Scout.

He never married and for many years lived with a niece. At the Parish Council meeting on Wednesday night it was announced that he wished his remains to be cremated at Manchester Crematorium Mr Luke Garside proposed that condolences be sent to the family

High Peak Reporter 16th February 1906

Mr Gee was involved in the formation of Hayfield Parish Council in 1894 click on 'Next' to take you to the Parish Council Records for more information on Mr John Fox Gee


Cllr Philip E Gee (2008)



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