|The son of a miner, Edward Quinn joined his father on the new Thames field when aged 17. As well as acquiring interests in several claims there and at Ohinemuri, his increasing skills meant he soon became a manager. Involved in the Te Aroha rush and then in the Waiorongomai and Tui portions of that field, he managed several mines there. At Tui, despite not working his own ground he would try to obtain others’ unworked ground, but failed. At Karangahake he again attempted to exploit the system of holding ground for his own benefit, unsuccessfully.
Quinn mined on almost every Hauraki field, prospected briefly in the King Country, and even became a mine manager at Reefton. In addition, for a while he ran several hotels and also took up contracts to construct roads and drain swamps. He also acquired farmland, and may have farmed it.
Notable for his involvement in the local community, he was a member of two licensing committees, the Hot Springs Domain Board at Te Aroha, the Te Aroha Town Board, and the Ohinemuri County Council. Relations with his colleagues were often fraught, as he never failed to speak his mind about others’ defects. He suffered from miners’ complaint for many years, possibly increasing his irascibility.