The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
General Government Offices
General Government Offices.
Palmerston North Post-Office is situated at the corner of Main Street and The Square. It is a large wooden building, and is fitted up with private letter boxes and other conveniences. At the rear of the main building stands the Telephone page 1153 Exchange, in charge of two young ladies. Mails for Palmerston North close at Wellington at 6 a.m., and 12.45 p.m., daily, the return mails closing at Palmerston North at 5.45 a.m., and 4 p.m.
Mr. George Innes, who has been Postmaster at Palmerston North since August 1875, joined the service on the 1st of March 1866. He is a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he was educated and brought up, and came to the Colony in 1864 in the sailing ship “City of Dunedin.” After obtaining the position in the Government service, he resided in Otaki and other parts of the colony prior to being removed to Palmerston North.
Palmerston North Police Station, which adjoins the new Magistrate's Court in Main Street, consists of a residence for the officer in charge, together with office and lock-up. The Station is connected with the Telephone Exchange, the number being 40.
Mr. Michael Scanlon, Sergeant-Major of Police in Palmerston North district, was born in Kerry, Ireland, in 1837, where he was educated. In 1855 he came to Australia in the ship “Champion of the Seas,” and after arriving in Melbourne he visited the Bendigo and Beechworth gold-diggings, where he prospered exceedingly well. At the end of five years he returned to Ireland, eventually coming back to the colonies in 1863. After a short service in the police force, Mr. Scanlon retired and engaged in the goldmining industry, during which time he was present at some of the famous rushes on the West Coast. He has also taken an active part in the administration of the affairs of local bodies, having been a member of the Okarito County Council and Road Board. Mr. Scanlon re-entered the police force in 1872.
Palmerston North Railway Station was opened on the 20th of October, 1876, being originally situated in the centre of The Square. In March, 1891, the station was removed to the present commodious wooden building in Main Street. The accommodation comprises public ticket office and vestibule, ladies' and general waiting rooms, luggage office, porters' quarters, and a large refreshment room. A fine asphalted passenger platform of about eighteen chains in length—said to be the longest in New Zealand—has two docks, from which the trains start simultaneously every day for the north and south. As the junction of the Foxton-New Plymouth, Foxton-Napier, and Wellington-New Plymouth and Napier lines, Palmerston North is destined to become an increasingly busy station. Two through trains leave daily for Wellington, three for Wanganui, one for Foxton, one for Napier, and one for Dannevirke, besides local and short distance trains. There is a large goods shed and offices, also an engine shed with foreman's office.
Mr. Walter Bowles, the Stationmaster at Palmerston North, is the son of Mr. W. J. Bowles, of Rangiora, Canterbury, who was for many years in the service of the London North Western Railway Company. Educated partly at private schools in England, and partly at public schools in New Zealand, he came to the Colony with his parents in 1876. Joining the railway service as a cadet in Christchurch in 1878, Mr. Bowles was appointed a stationmaster in 1882. From 1885 to 1890 he was clerk in the traffic manager's office, Christchurch. Then till June, 1896, he held the position of chief relieving officer in the Canterbury district, when he was appointed stationmaster at Palmerston North. Mr. Bowles was married in 1893 to the eldest daughter of Mr. C. Vincent Clarke, of Waimate, Canterbury.
Mr. James John Louden, Clerk in charge of the Goods Department at the Palmerston North Railway Station, was born in 1865 at Port Chalmers, and was educated in Otago. Entering the Railway Department as a cadet in 1884 at Port Chalmers, he was promoted in 1890 to the charge of the goods department in Palmerston North. A Freemason, Mr. Louden is attached to Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge, having been initiated at Invercargill in Southern Cross Lodge, No. 9. He is considerably interested in all field sports.
Mr. Alexander Buchan, Railway Storeman at the Palmerston North Railway Station (Goods Department), was born in 1853. in Aberdeen, where he was educated. Arriving in Wellington, per ship “Zealandia” in 1879, he joined the Railway Department as porter in Wanganui, being promoted to the position he now holds in 1886. As a Forester, Mr. Buchan is attached page 1154 to Court Manawatu, A.O.F., of which he has been secretary for four years. In out-door games he is greatly interested, being a member of the local Caledonian Society. In 1878 Mr. Buchan was married to a daughter of the late Mr. Robert Johnson, of Tynemouth, and has one daughter.
Mr. Henry Stephenson, Driver in charge at Palmerston North, was born in 1834 at Newcastle, England. As cleaner, fireman, and driver, he served some years on the North Eastern Railway, resigning in 1861 to accept the position of locomotive engine-driver on the Great Southern of India Railway (Madras Presidency). For nearly thirteen years he was running the Company's fast service, and otherwise was acting locomotive foreman. In 1874 Mr. Stephenson arrived in Lyttelton, and was appointed engine-driver under the Canterbury Provincial Government, being promoted to the position of driver-in-charge by Mr. A. D. Smith. He has successively been stationed at Ashburton for thirteen years, at Timaru for five years, at Napier twelve months, and at Palmerston North since 1891. Mr. Stephenson is a prominent member of the Masonic brotherhood, having been initiated in 1864 in Emulation Lodge, Neagapatam, India. In New Zealand he was one of the founders of the Somerset—now Ashburton—Lodge, becoming the second W.M. Having passed through the various chairs of the order, he holds office as a member of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, and is a Past Z. of the same. He is also an Excellent Master S.C., and a Mark Master E.C. In Palmerston North, Mr. Stephenson was one of the founders, and is one of the principals of the Manawatu Kilwinning Royal Arch Chapter. He is also a member and Past Officer of the District Grand Lodge of Canterbury, E.C. In 1854 the subject of this notice was first married, his wife dying in 1862, leaving two sons and a daughter; five years later he was married to Miss Sheaham, by whom he has two daughters.
Mr. Harry Downey, Engine-driver on the Napier-Taranaki section of Government Railways, stationed at Palmerston North, was born in 1853 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. He served seven-years as a gas-fitter in his native place, and came to Wellington in 1872, per “Star of India.” Joining the service as cleaner in 1874 at Palmerston North, he was promoted to the position of driver after four years, and has since been stationed successively at Foxton, Eastown, Hawera, and New Plymouth, returning recently to Palmerston North. In 1873 Mr. Downey was married to a daughter of Mrs. Smith, of Sudbury, and has six sons and three daughters.
Mr. Richard Feasey, Engine-driver on the Napier-Taranaki section of New Zealand Government Railways, stationed at Palmerston North, is a native of Leamington, Warwickshire, England, where he was born in 1839. Having served an apprenticeship in Leamington to the locksmith and bell-banging business, he went to sea in H.M.S. “Dragon” in 1855 as a first-class boy, after passing through a course of training on board H.M.S. “Excellent” at Portsmouth. Arriving in Australian waters, Mr. Feasey was transferred to H.M. frigate “Iris” as smith screw, from which he returned to England in H.M. brig “Elk” as armourer, in 1860, when he was paid off. For fourteen years he was employed on railway lines in England as engine-driver, coming to Wellington in 1874 by ship “La Hogue.” In September of the next year he joined the Railway Department as engine-driver on the Picton-Blenheim section, where he remained four years. After a year at Halcombe, Mr. Feasey was stationed at Palmerston North in 1880. As a member of the craft, he is attached to Lodge Unanimity, No. 1236, Blenheim, and as an Orangeman, to Palmerston North Lodge, No. 48. Mr. Feasey was married to a daughter of Mr. G. Gazey, of Weston (under Wetherley), near Leamington, Warwickshire, and has six daughters and four sons surviving, nine children being deceased.