“In the old days Phineas was Wagga”. So declared the obituary of Phineas Hann following his death in 1919.
Hann was an influential and extremely well respected member of Wagga’s fledgling community during the late 19th Century.
Born in Tintinhull, Somerset in 1839 Phineas had taken up residence in Wagga by the early 1860’s. He was employed at George Forsyth and Company, initially as the Accountant and afterwards as Manager.
In later years he opened up business on his own account, becoming a partner in the well-known stock dealing firms Swift and Hann and also Wilkinson, Hann and Lavender.
He acquired considerable land interests in and around the town of Wagga, including the rich river flats country, known as Hann’s Paddock, located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee just north of the racecourse.
At the height of his fortunes he built and resided at “Invermay” in Baylis Street, which was known as one of the best appointed homes in the district, surrounded as it was by beautiful gardens.
In his early years Phineas was heavily involved in public institutions and affairs. For many years he acted as District Coroner, was Secretary of the Riverine Club and a Director of the Wagga Wagga Building Society. He was also elected as Alderman for the South Ward in 1900 and held office until 1908.
A keen sportsman, Hann was a committee member of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club and held the position of both Treasurer and Judge. He bred and raced several good horses including Impulse and Invermay both winners of the Wagga Cup.
In his later years, the family fortunes declined. The farming properties passed into other hands, the house “Invermay” was sold and the racing stable was broken up.
In 1911 he retire to Rockhampton where he remained until his death in 1919.