The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Kaitawa, a farming district in the Pahiatua County, is 100 miles from Wellington and another four miles from Pahiatua. Conveyance is by rail to Eketahuna or Woodville, and thence by coach. A public school provides education for the children of the district. Mails for Kaitawa close at Wellington on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 6 a.m., arriving at Kaitawa on the same days at 3.45 p.m.
Kaitawa Public School The Kaitawa School was opened by the present headmistress, Mrs. Swan, in 1890. It is situated quite close to the township, and is at present large enough for all requirements. The attendance, however, is almost trebled since its establishment, and there is every probability that increased accommodation will soon be needed. At present the number on the roll is sixty, with an average attendance of forty-five.
Mrs. Swan has charge of the Kaitawa Public School, which position she has held from the opening. Mrs. Swan was born in Tipperary, Ireland, and left there in 1873, arriving in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1874. A year later Mrs. Swan, or rather Miss Bourke, for that was her maiden name, began teaching, her first appointment being at the Roman Catholic School, Wellington. Here she remained for about a-year-and-a-half, when she entered the Buckle Street School as a teacher under the Board of Education. After three years in Buckle Street, Miss Bourke resigned her position as a teacher under the Board and was married to Mr. Swan, gaoler, of Timaru. Mrs. Swan was then appointed to the office of matron of the Timaru Gaol. On the 9th of August, 1889, Mr. Swan died, leaving his widow with five children to provide for and educate. Returning to Wellington, Mrs. Swan was re-engaged by the Education Board, and was sent to Kaitawa to open the school as an aided school. During the first month the attendance was twenty-three, and in the second month the requisite twenty-five needed to remove it from the list of aided schools was secured. Since then the attendance has gradually increased, and under Mrs. Swan's popular management will no doubt continue to do so. On arrival in Kaitawa, Mrs. Swan bought land in the vicinity, where she is having a house built. During her residence there she has taken great interest in all matters concerning the welfare of the district.
Kaitawa Butter Factory (Proprietors, Messrs. Cook and Gray, Wellington). The Kaitawa Butter Factory was erected and fitted up in November, 1894, under the direction of the manager and engineer, Mr. Olson. The Delaval separator is used, and all the machinery is of the latest description. The capacity of the factory is about 1000 gallons, but at present only about a third of this quantity per day is put through. Everything about the factory is scrupulously clean and well cared for.
Milne, T. W., General Storekeeper, Post-office Store Kaitawa. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand Mr. Milne established himself in Kaitawa in 1891, but his hopes concerning the district have not been realized, in consequence of the bridge over the Tiramea river— some two or three miles to the north of Kaitawa township—diverting the Makuri traffic. Mr. Milne was born in Aberdeen, and left in 1861 for the Victorian goldfields. Prior to settling in Kaitawa he lived some twelve years at Wright's bush, almost twelve miles from Invercargill, and before that for five years in Groper's Bush about twelve miles to the west.
Crawford Bros., (John Yatman and Henry Edward Venner), Sheepfarmers, “Chelsfield,” Kaitawa, near Pahiatua. This splendid property of about 2000 acres is situated in the Mangaone Valley, and was taken up by the Messrs. Crawford in 1891. About 1700 acres are cleared and sown with English grasses. The stock is principally the Lincoln-Romney breed of sheep, and a few cattle are also bred on the farm. The homestead is a very comfortable building of five rooms, with outbuildings, woolshed and orchard.