The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Situated on the Foxton-Napier section of New Zealand Government Railways at an altitude of 238 feet above sea level, distant ninety-six miles from Wellington, 103 miles from Napier, and nine miles from Palmerston North, Ashurst is within easy walking distance of the famous Manawatu Gorge, one of the sights of the district. The township, which has a population of 316, with an additional 564 in the immediate vicinity, is in the Ashurst Riding of the County of Oroua, and in the Electoral District of Palmerston. The local post and telephone office is also a post-office savings bank, and a place for the issue of money-orders and postal notes. Mails from all parts are received and despatched every day. Ashurst is surrounded by an agricultural and pastoral district containing a large area of bush land, the timber of which is being rapidly brought to market by the various saw-millers.
The township has the usual complement of churches and a local public school, under the guidance of a committee elected annually by the householders. Tourists and travellers will find the several hostelries convenient, and their hosts civil and obliging.
The Ashurst Post-Office is conducted at Mr. G. Crichton's store by Mrs. Wilson. A Post-office savings bank, money-order office, telegraphic office, and Government insurance office, undertaking the collection of premiums, land and income tax, etc., is conducted locally by the postmistress. All the conveniences of a much more pretentious establishment may be had at the Ashurst post-office—even private boxes being provided, which are largely patronised by the business people of the town.page 1205
The Ashurst Railway Station was opened on the 7th of March, 1892, having been used as a flag-station for about a year previously. There are two trains daily each way. Timber was until recently the stapie industry, but has now fallen off. A considerable quantity of wool and general merchandise passes through the station.
Ashurst Public School, which is conducted in a wooden building of three rooms, has accommodation for 230 children, there being 210 on the roll. The school was opened in 1878 and the staff consists of a headmaster and five teachers. Mr. William Jeffrey Andrew, the headmaster, was born in 1865 in Victoria, where he was educated and commenced his scholastic career. Mr. Andrew was appointed to Ashurst in 1895.
Theatre Royal (Rimmer and Craven, proprietors) Pohangina and Feilding Roads, Ashurst. Ashurst possesses a theatre and concert hall of which many a larger town might well be proud. It is thirty-three feet wide, by a depth of sixty feet, exclusive of the stage, which adds other nineteen feet to the length, and two fine dressing rooms, still further in the rear. The whole length of the building is 110 feet. It was built in 1893 by the proprietors, Messrs. Rimmer and Craven, the well-known builders and ironmongers, and it forms a part of their premises, the entrance being between their shop windows. It is all on the ground floor, well built, and well ventilated. It will comfortably accommodate 400, leaving a passage of some seven feet down the middle. The stage is well appointed, all the scenery being painted by that well-known artist, Mr. Thornton. The drop scene is after the manner of that in the Wellington Opera House, being covered with well painted advertisements of the business men of Ashurst, Palmerston North, Feilding, etc. The acoustic properties of the building are excellent, and it is in every way creditable to the town The very reasonable charge of one pound per night includes lighting, and the use of a very good piano. There is an orchestra of three instruments, led by Mr. Rimmer himself, whose services may be obtained for a concert or for theatrical purposes at the rate of ten shilling each for three performers. For a ball or other long night, double this charge is [gap — reason: illegible]
Freeman, J. S., Land, Insurance, and Commission Agent, Bookseller, and Stationer, etc., Main Street, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Freeman, Ashurst.” P.O. Box 6. Bankers, [gap — reason: illegible] Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, adjoining business premises. Agents: Wellington, Messrs. Harcourt and Co. and Mr. A. T. Bate; Wanganui, Messrs. H. I. Jenes and Sons. Mr. James Spiers Freeman, whose picture accompanies this article, was born in Maidstone, Kent, but early left his native place for Seven Oaks, in the same county, where for many years he was engaged in agriculture In 1884 he left the Old Land per “Rimutaka,” and arrived in Willlington during the same year. He come to Ashurst at once, and has since that time been settled in the district. For the first seven years he applied himself steadily to bush and farm work, and made very creditable progress. In 1880, however, he decided to try the lighter work of business life, and established himself as above. As a land agent, Mr. Freeman has been even more successful than in the other branches of his business. His list, published monthly, 2000 copies of which are circulated throughout the district, contains ten pages of closely-printed matter, setting forth the various properties in his hands for sale, and the variations of this list from month to month show that an extensive business is being done. Being so thoroughly acquainted with the vendors and purchasers, as well as with the properties themselves, Mr. Freeman is highly respected, and the greatest confidence is placed in him. All his transactions are business-like and prompt, and his reputation as a land and commission agent is widespread. In the bookselling and stationery business he is well established. His premises are of wood and iron, and freehold. The shop is a very good one, presenting a fine appearance. It was built by Messrs. Rimmer and Craven, whose business premises are on the opposite corner, from plans by Mr. E. Larcomb, architect, of Palmerston North. The stock is good, and wall kept, and the dressing of the window and shop throughout is in excellent taste. One wall of the shop is occupied by the shelves of the circulating library, which contain a splendid variety of good and new books. The subscription to the library is five shillings per quarter. Mr. Freeman's agencies include the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Association, North German Fire Insurance Company, and the Dresden Piano Company, besides reciprocal agencies for Messrs. Harcourt and Co, and Mr. A. T. Bate, of Wellington, and Messrs. H. I. Jones and Sons, of Wanganui. Of course all the latest Home and colonial periodicals, including the weekly newspapers published throughout the Colony, are to be had at this establishment. Mr. Freeman is secretary to the Masonic Lodge, Otangaki, No. 70, N.Z.C., and occupies the same office in connection with the Ashurst-Pohangina Hack Racing Club.
Vincent, John Howard, Commission Agent, Ashurst. Established 1892,
Rimmer and Craven (Thomas Rimmer and John Craven), Builders, Ironmongers, and Timber Merchants, corner of Feilding and Pohangina Roads, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Rimmer, Ashurst.” P.O. Box 8. Bankers, [gap — reason: illegible] Bank of New Zealand. Private residences: Mr. Rimmer, on the premises; Mr. Craven, in Durham Street. The business of Messrs. Rimmer and Craven was established by them in 1883. The buildings, which are of wood and iron and partly of two stories, are freehold, including the Theatre Royal, which they surround, with the exception of the entrance. They were all erected by the proprietors from their own designs and plans. As ironmongers and timber merchants, Messrs. Rimmer and Craven do a large and steady business. Their stocks are good and well kept, and their trade extends throughout a large district. The firm are agents for Messrs. Luke and Sons, Limited, of Wellington, whose ranges command a ready sale all over the Colony, and for the Wanganui Sash and Door Factory and Timber Company, Limited, whose manufactures are well known. As builders, Messrs. Rimmer and Craven have set their mark throughout the surrounding district. The Masonic Hall, Ashurst, the private residences of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jones of Cheltenham, (each of about fourteen rooms), the large house of Mr. Pudney on the Feilding Road, the hotel at Coliton, and the Presbyterian Church at Danevirke have all been erected by this firm, besides a host of shops, stores, and smaller dwelling houses, and large additions have been made both to the school at Danevirke and the hotel. Mr. Rimmer is a native of Birkenhead, near Liverpool, and Mr. Craven of Blackburn, Lancashire. Both partners came to the Colony in 1880 per ship “Arethusa,” arriving in Wellington during the same year. Prior to leaving, Mr. Rimmer had learned his business with Messrs. Wishart and Irving, of Southport, and Mr. Craven with Mr. Southern, of the same place. Mr. Craven is a “past master” Mason, and Mr. Rimmer was for a considerable time secretary to the Masonic and Oddfellows Lodges.
Clarke, Francis Thomas, Draper and Clothier, the Cash Drapery House, Main Street, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Clarke, Ashurst.”Bankers, [gap — reason: illegible] Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Clarke was born in Nelson, his parents being married in the Colony. His mother arrived in New Zealand in 1840 per ship “Lady Grey,” which was owned and commanded by her father. Mr. Clarke was educated in Nelson and learned his business in Blenheim with Mr. W. B. Girling. Subsequently he had experience in the business of the Clothing Factory Company, Blenheim, and more recently in the D.I.C., at Wellington. In the winter of 1893 Mr. Clarke undertook the management of Mr. Cobb's Ashurst branch, and within a year purchased the business for himself. A few months later he was successful in buying the freehold property which consists of a large shop of nearly forty feet frontage to Main Street with a comfortable dwellinghouse attached and a fine large section of land at the back. The shop is well stocked and particularly well kept, and every attention is paid to the needs of customers. The trade extends throughout a large district and is rapidly increasing. Mr. Clarke takes orders for all kinds of men's, youths' and boys' clothing to measure, and forwards them to the Kaiapoi Woollen Factory, Christehurch, where they are executed in that Company's best style to the general satisfaction of customers. Quite a large and growing business is done in this way. Though so recently established, Mr. Clarke is working his way into a good business and is most attentive in all matters. In public offices he has taken an important part. At the time of writing he is a member of the Ashurst Brass Band, is treasurer to the local Lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars, leader of the Wesleyan Choir, and “grand master” of the Ruahine Lodge of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. About eighteen months ago he was married to Miss Manthel, of Wellington, who was well known there in musical circles
Clapham, T. D., and Son (Thomas Dunnill Clapham and John Newsome Clapham), Tailors and Habit Makers, corner of Main and Guilford Steets, Ashurst. Telegraphic address. “Clapham, Ashurst.” Bankers, [gap — reason: illegible] Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Mr. J. N. Clapham, Guilford Street, adjoining business premises. Mr. Clapham was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and with his family left England for New Zealand in 1875, per ship “Verona.” Arriving at Timaru, for the first twelve years he worked as journeyman for Mr. Paget and others, and then established himself in business there, and remained another year. In 1888 he removed to Ashurst and set up in his present premises, which are freehold and fairly large. Part of the shop is occupied as a boot store, the other half being used for the display of tweeds and other tailor's goods. Some three or four hands are usually employed, and the trade of Messrs. Clapham and Son extends throughout a large district, even to Feilding and Birmingham. Mr. Clapham, junior, learned his business with his father, partly in Timaru and partly in Ashurst.
Commercial Hotel (Thomas Taylor, proprietors corner of Mulgrave and Main Streets, Ashurst. Bankers, [gap — reason: illegible] Bank of New Zealand. The Commercial Hotel was erected and established by Mr. Thomas Nelson in 1890. It was built from plans by Mr. Beard, architect, Messrs. Rimmer and Craven being the builders. It is a two-stall structure of wood and iron, con taining twenty-two rooms, of which thirteen are bedrooms, there being four sitting-rooms, besides a commercial and dining-room. Behind the hotel is a good six-stall stable and two loose boxes. Mr Taylor is a native of Wiltshire. He was brought up to farming from eight to seventeen years of age, and subsequently learned brewing in Reading, Berkshire. Leaving the brewing trade after eighteen months, he entered the service of the Great Western Railway at Reading, and was transferred to the Paddington Station, London, as porter. He came to New Zealand per ship “E. P. Bouverie,” arriving in Wellington in 1873. Mr. Taylor has had varied experiences on the West Coast goldfields, also in Wellington in various capacities. For eight years he was farming at Mount Albert, Newtown. Before settling in Ashurst, host Taylor had the Panama Hotel, Wellington, for about eighteen months. Mr. Taylor is very solicitous for the comfort of all travellers who patronise the “Commercial.”
Masonic Hotel (James Williams, proprietor). Feilding Road, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Masonic, Ashurst.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. The Masonic Hotel was erected in 1893, since which time it has been conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Williams in a manner most satisfactory to all concerned. The building is fairly large and has a fine appearance, the builders being Messrs. Rimmer and Craven, of Ashurst. There are eight fine bedrooms, besides drawing-rooms, sitting-rooms, parlors, and a dining-room, the whole being very comfortable and tastefully furnished. The dining-room is a specially pleasant and comfortable apartment. Everything about the hotel is scrupulously clean and tidy, and the best attention is paid to visitors. The table is exceptionally good. The proprietor, Mr. James Williams, is an American, being born at Cincinnati, Ohio. In very early life he took to seafaring, and in that way has seen most of the civilized world. In 1872 he arrived in New Zealand per “Shehalyon,” and twenty years ago kept a boardinghouse in Old Customhouse Street, Wellington. Many years prior to opening page 1207 the “Masonic,” Mr. and Mrs. Williams were well and favourably known in Wellington in connection with their restaurant in Willis Street. Mr. Williams is a member of the Loyal Britannia Lodge, A.O.F. and of the Masonic Lodge, “Otangaki,” Ashurst.
Manawatu Gorge Hotel (W. McPhait, proprietor), Ashurst.
Empire Hotel (J. Shechy proprietor) Ashurst.
Paton, J.H., Shooing and General Blacksmith. Coach-builder, etc., Victoria Shoeing Forge, Feilding Road, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Paton, Ashurst.” Bankers, [gap — reason: illegible] Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Pohangina Road. Mr. John Henry Paton was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and left there with his father's family in 1867 for England. Some four or five years later he sailed for New Zealand per barque “Sissie,” arriving in Nelson in 1872. He was educated at Picton, and learned his business with Mr. S. Ingram, of Marton, completing his apprenticeship in 1879. After continuing in the employ of Mr. Ingram for some two years, Mr. Paton removed to Ashurst, and for another period of two years was in the employ of the late firm of Messrs. Warne and Beard. He then, in 1884, began on his own account as above. His premises are all freehold, the buildings being of wood and iron, and partly two stories. The frontage to the Feilding road is forty-six feet, and the size of the section a quarter of an acre. A part of the premises are let off for the purposes of a coach factory, and the two businesses are mutually helpful. Since establishing himself in this business, Mr. Paton has been more than ordinarily successful, and the picture above will serve to show the extent of the premises, which are situated about midway between Messrs. Rimmer and Craven's ironmongery store and Mr. William's Masonic Hotel.
Wilson, Thomas, Shoeing and General Blacksmith, etc., Criterion Shoeing Forge, Main Street, Ashurst. Private residence, Salisbury Street. This business was established in 1890 by Messrs. Ingram and Paton, who conducted it for some three years. Mr. Wilson took possession in 1895, and during the interval the premises changed hands several times. They are now, however the property of Mr. P. Hanlon, livery stable keeper, a brother-in-law of Mr. Wilson's, and there is every probability that the present proprietor will be rewarded with greater success than that which fell to the lot of his predecessors. Mr. Wilson was born at Rosedale Abbey, Yorkshire, and left England for New Zealand in 1887, arriving in Wellington per ship “Edwin Fox” during the same year. He almost immediately came on to Ashurst, where he has remained ever since. He learned his business with Mr. Paton, of the old firm of Messrs. Ingram and Paton, of Ashurst, completing his term in 1892, and from that time till he established himself as above, he continued in the employ of his master. He has a fine large shop, with two forges and all the necessary appliances for the conduct of a thoroughly good business, including a tiring-bed, drilling machines, screwing machines, stocks, dies, etc. Mr. Wilson is bandmaster of the Ashurst Brass Band. He is well known and much respected throughout the district, and though only so recently established, he has already worked up a good business. His premises are situated in the very centre of Ashurst, and his operations extend over a large district. In every way Mr. Wilson is to be commended, and is thoroughly deserving of encouragement.
Wycherley, C. J, Saddler and Harness Maker, Main Street, Ashurst Telegraphic address, “Wycherley, Ashurst.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Palmerston Road. Mr. Wycherley was born at Weymouth, Dorsetshire, and left there with his father's family in 1886, arriving in Auckland during the same year per ship “Jessie Readman.” He learned his business with his father partly in the Old Country, but mainly in Wellington at the well-known establishment of Mr. C. W. Wycherley. In 1890 the above business was established, since which time it has been carried on with marked success. The building is of wood and iron, and two stories high, and was built for him by the late Mr. Powley. A fine stock of saddlery is kept, all the English goods being imported from Home by Mr. C. W. Wycherley, of Wellington, to the evident advantage of both houses. Mr. Wycherley is the only saddler in the Pohangina-Ashurst district, and the establishment is well patronised. The picture given above shows the building to be of good size and handsome appearance.
Rumble, G. S., Butcher, Ashurst Butchery, Main Street, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Rumble, Ashurst.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, adjoining business premises. Mr. Rumble was born in Victoria, his parents arriving on the Bendigo diggings in the year 1853. He was educated at Epsom, near Bendigo, and for some time worked in the mines there. In 1878 he came to New Zealand, and the following five years were spent in Carterton, for the last twelve months of which he was in business on his own account. In 1883 he established himself as above, and has since that time made a good name for himself throughout the district. He is widely respected, and has been more than ordinarily successful as a business man. His premises are freehold, the buildings being erected by Mr. John Vile, from plans by Mr. Rumble himself. The sausage-machine is driven by a four-horsepower horizontal steam-engine. His trade extends throughout the Ashurst-Pohangina district. Mr. Rumble has a freehold receiving paddock, and also a freehold farm of some twenty-seven acres, at a distance of about two miles from Ashurst, where he grows his own horse-feed and otherwise carries on the business of a farmer. It is here that he does his slaughtering. Mr. Rumble is, at the time of writing (1895), treasurer of the local Foresters' Lodge, and holds the same honourable position in the Ashurst-Pohangina Racing Club.
Brewer, Gaius, Seedsman, Fruiterer, etc., Ashurst. Seed Store, Main Street, Ashurst. Telegraphic address “Brewer, Ashurst.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private page 1208 residence, on the premises. Vegetable garden, on the Feilding Road. Mr. Brewer established the above business in 1884, since which time he has made good headway. His premises are freehold and the picture given shows them to be extensive. Mr. Brewe has seed cleaning machinery of the latest and most approved kind, and does a large business in the cleaning of grass seeds for the farmers of the district. Many of his seeds are imported direct, and the greatest care is taken to have them all of the best quality. In this respect Mr. Brewer enjoys the confidence of the whole community. His trade, therefore, is wide spread. Mr. Gaius Brewer was born in Abingdon, Berkshire, and arrived in Wellington, New Zealand per ship “Wairoa” in 1877. Since that time he has paid tw[unclear: o] visits to the Old Country, the first in 1879, and the second in 1892.
Gallichan, Edwin, Manufacturing Chemist, Ashurst. Mr. Gallichan is the proprietor of well-known and extensively used remedies for various dangerous and annoying disorders of the system. The proprietor claims that all his medicines may be relied on by the purchasing public as being genuine. Among the patent lines is Bee Ointment, which may be used on the weakest baby or strongest man for croup, bronchitis, colds, sprains, bruises, chapped hands, piles, and numerous other prevalent disorders. Besides being used for human beings, a special manufacture of Bee Ointment is used for horse and cattle dressing. Farmers will find the ointment useful for cows' sore teats, and cuts, girthgalls, broken knees, heat lumps, greasy heels, sore shoulders, and harness chafes on horses, are all speedily cured by a few applications of this ointment. Another of Mr. Gallichan's patent lines is the “A.C. Corn Cure,” which has had most wonderful success in very stubborn caess [sic] of hard or soft corns, warts, or bunions. Besides these lines there are the equally useful A.C. Vegetable Pills, which are acknowledged to be first-rate for dyspepsia, sick headache, and liver complaints, and suitable for male or female in all climates. It is claimed that as a blood-purifier their use will invigorate the whole system, giving renewed health and strength, freshness of complexion, and clearness of vision. Mr. Gallichan is most enterprising in introducing his excellent wares to the public, and, being an ardent cyclist, it is a common matter for him to ride from eighty to 100 miles per day in the course of business. His testimonials are numerous, and would convince the most sceptical, as they are from all classes of the community, and fully bear out what Mr. Gallichan claims for his remedies. The present writer can certify to the efficacy of Bee Ointment as a wonderful healer and remover of stiffness in the joints. Mr. Gallichan was born in London, in 1866, sailing for New Zealand at the age of nine years with his parents. After completing his education in Dunedin he was engaged on the southern goldfields for many years. Having a taste for botany and the study of medicine, Mr. Gallichan turned his attention to producing his wonderful lines, and has been most successful. The factory (a very complete one), has been established at Ashurst since 1888, and employs four travellers.
Crichton, George, General Storekeeper, Ashurst Post-office Store, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Crichton, Ashurst.” Bankers, Colonial Bank of New Zealand. This business, which has for the last eight years been so successfully carried on by Mr. George Crichton, was established in 1884 by Messrs. Bray Bros. It is one of the largest stores in the district, its dimensions having been considerably increased lately by Mr. Maunder, one of the builders of Ashurst, from plans by Mr. William Crichton, of Wellington, second son of the subject of this notice. The property, which is freehold, has a frontage to the main street of Ashurst, of about 200 feet Attached to the store is an exceedingly comfortable and commodious dwelling-house. Mr. Crichton was born in that hive of industry, Glasgow, but left there in 1844, when quite a young man, for Cornwall, where he married and went into business as a draper, clothier, tailor, outfitter, etc., having learned the business with Mr. Robert Dunn, of Redruth, Cornwall. In February, 1879, Mr. and Mrs. Crichton arrived in Wellington per ship “Chili,” and at once began business in Molesworth Street, afterwards opening a branch on Lambton Quay, as drapers and fancy goods dealers. After some four years experience in the Empire City, Mr. and Mrs. Crichton removed to Feilding, and a few years later came on to Ashurst. For twenty years Mr. Crichton was superintendent of the Baptist Sunday school at Redruth, and was for a good part of that time a deacon of the Baptist Church. On arrival in Wellington, he was one who assisted to secure the erection of the Baptist Church of that city, and during his residence there was one of the deacons. When at Feilding, the Baptists not being represented there, he was elected to the management committee of the Presbyterian Church, and at Ashurst was for many years superintendent of the Wesleyan Sunday School.
Page, Mrs. J. E., Central Storekeeper, Main Street, Ashurst. Telegraphic address, “Page, Ashurst.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, on the premises. This business was established by the late Mr. G. H. Page in 1883. The premises, which are freehold, have a fine frontage to the main street of Ashurst in its busiest part, and the trade extends throughout a large district, one cart being constantly employed in the delivery of goods. Mrs. Page is a native of Manchester, England, and came to New Zealand with her husband in 1877, per ship “Hereford,” arriving in Wellington during the same year. For about eleven years the business was conducted by Mr. Page with considerable success, and, though left with quite a young family, Mrs. Page has been enabled to keep page 1209 her late husband's trade well together. Mr. Page was a useful and popular man in the district, and was an officer of the local Masonic Lodge. Mrs. Page is in every way to be commended and thoroughly deserving of encouragement.
Hart, William, Storekeeper, Ashurst.
Lambert, Charles Colton, Storekeeper, Ashurst.
Warne, Charles, Cheese Factory Proprietor, Pohangina Road, Ashurst. Established 1894.
Hanlon, P., Livery Stablekeeper. Telegraphic address, “Hanlon, Ashurst.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Main Street. Mr. P. Hanlon is a native of County Louth, Ireland. In 1876 he crossed over to Liverpool where he remained for some three years. He then came to New Zealand per ship “Rakaia,” arriving in Wellington in 1879. Coming into the Manawatu district he spent several years in contracting for road formation, mainly on the road between Feilding and Ashurst. After this he was in the employ of a survey party under the Manchester Road Board and subsequently employed by the Government. In 1893 he established himself as above. He has fine stables of wood and iron containing sixteen stalls and three loose boxes, besides several outbuildings for buggies, gigs, brakes, waggons, drays, ploughs, etc. The only hearse in the district is the property of Mr. Hanlon. Carting of every description is undertaken, including the removal of furniture, for which special waggons are provided. His premises, both business and residential, are freehold, and his business is about the best in the district. The coach to and from the railway station, which meets every train, is run by Mr Hanlon.
Acheson-Gray, Arthur, Farmer, Ashurst. Mr. Acheson-Gray possesses what may be regarded as one of the prettiest little properties in the Ashurst district. “Waiwiri,” as Mr. Gray calls his place, is situated on the road leading from Ashurst to Feilding, and when the present owner has completed his improvements the farm will he a really beautiful place. At the present time extensive alterations are being made in the house, which is being transformed into a most picturesque homestead. On the property is a fine greenhouse, and the garden (in which Mr. Gray takes great interest) is being planted with choice and valuable trees. Born in the old cathedral city of Winchester, in the year 1874, Mr. Acheson-Gray received his education at Reading, Rochester College, and completed his studies at Malvern College. In 1890 he came to New Zealand by the “Tongariro,” and, having resolved to adopt pastoral pursuits, proceeded to the Colyton district for the purpose of acquiring colonial experience. He afterwards purchased two sections in the Harbour Board Block, which are now leased. “Waiwiri” consists of some 310 acres, all good ploughable land, and carries some 1000 crossbred sheep, and a good number of cattle. Mr. Gray breeds all his own riding horses. At school Mr. Gray was noted as a good mile runner, and succeeded in carrying off a large number of trophies. In 1895 he was captain of the Feilding Association Football Club, and is one of the committee, and also a steward of the Ashurst-Pohangina Jockey Club.
Hopkirk, Robert Home, Farmer, Ashurst. Mr. Hopkirk has leased from his father (a well-known resident in the Empire City) the compact little freehold estate known as “Glenburn.” This property consists of about 254 acres, and is well grassed, fenced, and watered. On the property are some 200 well bred sheep and about twenty dairy cows, Mr. Hopkirk being a large supplier to the Stoney Creek Creamery. Mr. Hopkirk was born in Roxburghshire in 1863, and came to Wellington with his parents when ten years old. He received his education at the Wesleyan School in that city. He then served his time as carpenter and joiner, and was employed by Messrs. Waddel, McLeod and Weir for several years. Mr. Hopkirk then established himself as a flaxmiller in the Wairarapa district, and afterwards near Shannon, where he remained for three years. Some three years ago he leased his present place from his father, and has been devoting himself to agricultural pursuits with great success. For a number of years Mr. Hopkirk was connected with the Literary Society attached to St. John's Presbyterian Church in Wellington, to which society he rendered his assistance and support upon every occasion. He is married to a daughter of Mr. Barron, of Wellington, and has one daughter.
Orr, David Mackinlay, Farmer, Ashurst. Mr. Orr is the owner of the property, situated near Ashurst, known as “Te Kupenga,” consisting of 300 acres of really good land, which carries some 700 crossbred sheep and twenty head of cattle. The homestead is a comfortable single story building, containing eight rooms. At the back of the premises are the usual farm buildings, including a commodious woolshed and sheep dip. Mr. Orr was born at Glasgow, and came out to New Zealand with his parents at the age of six years. After spending five years in the employ of Mr. Lawrie, a well-known old colonist, Mr. Orr joined his father in the Waterloo Dining Rooms—rooms which are well known to all old residents in Wellington. From these dining-rooms Mr. Orr went to the Buffet Hotel, where he remained as manager for his father for a period of thirteen years. He finally retired from this business for the purpose of taking up his present holding in the Ashurst district. In volunteer circles in Wellington Mr. Orr was well known, having been one of the first members enlisted in the Wellington Guards, when that corps was commanded by the Hon. Captain Johnston. Mr. Orr is married to a daughter of Mr. Areus, the well-known boatbuilder of Oriental Bay, Wellington, and has one son.
Walker, Donald Downie, Farmer, Watershed Road, Ashurst. Mr. Walker came to the Colony in the early sixties, and had some very rough experiences. Among them may be mentioned the fact of himself and his wife having tramped their way along the Coast from Wellington right up to the Manawatu in order to take a billet on a Mr. Perry's station, to which Mr. Walker had been appointed. This was only one of many very rough experiences which were undergone by Mr. and Mrs. Walker in their early experience of colonial life. Mr. Walker was born in Aberdeenshire in 1836, and was educated at the local schools. He then went farming till 1853, when he joined the 94th Regiment, in which he served some years. After visiting Melbourne he crossed to New Zealand and obtained a situation with Mr. J. D. Kebbel, a runholder in Manawatu. Some four years subsequently he became manager of Mr. Manson's station at Kairanga, and while there was a member of the Manawatu Road Board. He now has an excellent property on the Watershed Road, near Ashurst, which consists of about 100 acres. Here Mr. Walker, a remarkably erect, wiry, and hale old Scotchman, resides with his wife and daughter. Mrs. Walker, who was evidently the right sort of woman for a settler's wife, is a daughter of Mr. Gerrie, of Aberdeenshire.