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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]



A Flag station on the Longburn-Wanganui section of New Zealand Government Railways, situated ninety-five miles from Wellington, at an altitude of 179 feet above the sea level, the township is divided by the railway line, one portion being included in the Manchester and the other in the Manawatu Road District. There is one hotel, a public hall, and the usual business establishments, besides a dairy factory. The local post-office is also a telephone bureau and an office for the issue of postal notes, mails being daily received and despatched. Churches are represented by the Anglicans and the Wesleyans, and the public school, under the Wanganui Education Board, is well attended. Bunnythorpe, which is in the County of Oroua, and in the Palmerston Electoral District, is surrounded by a considerable population of small settlers, who seem to thrive exceedingly well in this fertile locality.

Bunnythorpe Post-Office is situated in Mr. Henry Richardson's store, which is a wooden building centrally situated in the township.

Mr. Henry Richardson, the Postmaster at Bunnythorpe, was born in 1849 at Nelson, and was educated at the public schools of his native city. After an experience of nine years page 1212 in sheepfarming, he joined Messrs. Arthur and Co., subsequently being transferred to Christchurch, where he remained some years. Mr. Richardson acquired his present business in 1895.

Bunnythorpe Public School, which is held in a wooden building of the usual description, has an average attendance of 116 children. It is under the control of a local school committee, and is within the jurisdiction of the Wanganui Education Board.

Mr. George Henry Espiner, the Headmaster of the Bunnythorpe Public School, was born in 1862 at Eggleseliffe, Durham, where he was educated. After teaching for five years at St. James' School, Stockton, he came to New Zealand, per ship “Pareora,” in 1882, and was appointed to Bunnythorpe in 1886.

The Bunnythorpe Public Hall Company, Limited. Chairman, Mr. P. Scheidt; Secretary, Mr. G. H. Espiner. This hall, which is a large and prominent building, was erected in 1888. It is built of wood and iron, and affords a floorage space of 1100 square feet, the sitting accommodation being for 200. There is a good stage, with all accessories, including ante-rooms. The hall has been found a great convenience to the district.

The Bunnythorpe Creamery, which is situated in a wooden building, thirty feet by forty feet, with an iron roof, is strongly supported, there being some forty suppliers from all round the district. The machinery is driven by a six-horse-power engine.

Mr. John Gillies, the Manager of the Bunnythorpe Creamery, was born in 1866 in Stirlingshire, Scotland, where he was educated. Me was occupied in farming in his native land until about 1888, when he came to New Zealand. Prior to his present engagement, Mr. Gillies, was manager of the Pohangina Creamery, run by the same company as the Bunnythorpe establishment. Mr. Gillies is married to a daughter of Mr. Hopkirk, of Wellington.

Scheidt, Poter, General Storekeeper, Ingleby Street, Bunnythorpe. Bankers, Union Bank of Australia, Palmerston North Mr. Scheidt was born in Rheinland, Germany, and came to New Zealand in 1876, per ship “Terpsichore,” from Hamburg, arriving in Wellington. Mr. Schedit came up to Palmerston North, where he resided for some time, and settled in Bunnythorpe in 1879. His private residence and farm in Ingleby Street, comprise seventy-five acres of land, on which there is a good orchard of one-and-a-half acres in extent. The store was established in 1892. The large double-fronted shop being built of wood and iron, comprises over 1200 feet of floorage space. The premises are freehold, and a convenient stable and out offices have also been erected. Mr. Scheidt's connection extends for miles around. Besides conducting the farm and store he undertakes the carting of timber, etc., throughout the district. Mr. Scheidt is a good colonist. His family numbers ten, of whom several are assisting in the business.

Tremewan, Benjamin, General Storekeeper, corner of Ingleby and Railway Streets, Bunnythorpe. Mr. Tremewan was born an Cornwall, and came to New Zealand per ship “Star of India,” arriving in Lyttelton in 1874. He was brought up to farming pursuits, but on arriving in New Zealand went to the goldfields for several years before engaging in the Colony. In 1890 he sold his farm and established himself as a general storekeeper in Bannythorpe. The premises occupied by Mr. Tremewan are erected on a freehold section, one of the most prominent corner lots in the township. The buildings include a substantial store and dwellinghouse comprising about 1600 square feet of floorage space. Alongside the store and dwelling a new factory has just been erected, which affords about 1500 square feet of space. Here Mr. Tremewan manufactures his splendid Excelsior Baking Powder, which is considered by experts to be one of the best brands of this useful commodity manufactured in the Colony. He also makes the celebrated Excelsior Sauce in two qualities, the one mild and the other piquant, and his Excelsior Vinegar is excellent quality. As a manufacturer he has been very successful, and the demand is steadily increasing for his various manufactures, of which the word “Excelsior” is the trade mark. Mr. Tremewan packs his goods in neat and attractive packages, with printed directions for use. Behind the dwellinghouse he has a capital garden and orchard.

Humphries, D., Baker and Confectioner. Bunnythorpe Bakery, Bunnythorpe. Established 1893.

Nearle, T. W., Storekeeper, Post-Office Store, Bunnythorpe. Established 1893.

Reeves, Harry, Butcher, Ingleby Road, Bunnythorpe. Established 1890.

Smith, R. P., Farrier and General Blacksmith, Bunnythorpe, Established 1891, and conducted by present proprietor since 1891.

Wiggins, Henry, Blacksmith, Bunnythorpe. Established 1992.

Aldrich, Arthur Stanhope, Jnr., Sheepfarmer, Bunnythorpe. “Matsubara” (“Pine Plain”) is the Japanese name of the fine property owned by his father, Mr. A. S. Aldrich, senor, close to Bunnythorpe, which consists of 800 acres of freehold land. There is also Arthur Stanhope Aldrich Jnr. page 1213 another property at Birmingham of 750 acres. The two estates carry 5000 pure bred Lincoln sheep, and about fifty-three head of cattle. At the homestead are some two-and-a-half acres of orchard, in addition to a splendid garden. The house is a prettily situated two-story building, and contains twelve rooms, with many valuable Japanese curios, the hallway having some beautiful specimens of armour, swords, etc. The various rooms, in short, contain art treasures of all kinds—beautiful bronzes, rare china, old screens, and quaint old ornaments, are arranged in artistic profusion. Mr. Aldrich, senior, occupies the responsible position of Chief Secretary to the Government Railways in Japan, being stationed at Yokohama as his headquarters. He has been the recipient of many special marks of distinction from the Japanese Government, being the first Englishman presented with the Order of the Rising Sun, as also that of the Mirror. The subject of this sketch was born at Still Organ, Dublin, in 1872, and after spending four years in Japan was sent Home to be educated at an Anglo-French College in Paris. In 1886 he came to New Zealand, where his father had purchased these properties. When at school, Mr. Aldrich was a keen athlete, and distinguished himself in various branches of sport. He is a rifleman, an angler, and a huntsman. In volunteering he has always taken great interest, and in 1891, when the Manawatu Mounted rifle Corps was organised, he joined them as a full private. He has since steadily worked his way through the ranks, and at present holds the commission of lieutenant in this smart corps. In shooting, with both revolver and rille, he has taken great interest, a id indulges in all military sports with enthusiasm. In “Matsubara” Mr. Aldrich has a home of when any man might well feel proud, with its matchless art treasures, splendid grounds, and beautiful situation.

Hazell, Wm., Farmer, Leamington Farm, Bunnythorpe. Born in 1840 in Oxfordshire, Mr. Hazell's younger days were spent first in a hay and corn merchant's, and then in various brewing establishments in different capacities, until 1873, when he sailed for New Zealand in the “Euterpe.” Acting on the advice received through the Colonists' Aid Corporation, he proceeded to Feilding, subsequently going to Palmerston, where he spent two years, chiefly carpentering. Mr. Hazell now has a compact little farm, situated four miles from Feilding, and one-and-a-quarter from Bunnythorpe, with a neat homestead, standing in nicely laid out grounds. There is a good orchard on the property, and the outbuildings include woolshed, dip, etc.

Mr. W. Hazell.

Mr. W. Hazell.

Manson, Thomas, Sheepfarmer, Bunnythorpe. Mr. Manson's farm is situated on the road leading from Bunnythorpe into Palmerston, and is close to the road. The place has been in the occupation of Mr. Manson and his family for the last ten years. There are about 400 acres of first-class land, running 1250 good crossbred sheep. The homestead is a cosy one, containing eight rooms, and was built to Mr. Manson's special design. The subject of this sketch was born at Kilmarnock in 1848, and received his education at the academy in his native city. He was then apprenticed to his father to learn the business of builder. After serving his time, Mr. Manson went to Canada, and, with his brother, established sawmilling works in the Dominion. Dissatisfied with Canada, he resolved (early in 1875) to come out to New Zealand, and took passage by the ship “Timaru,” landing in Wellington. Soon after his arrival he obtained the sub-contract for the building of the Palmerston Railway Station; besides this work, he erected the Presbyterian Church in Palmerston, and also built the Foxton Railway Station. These, and many other contracts, were carried out by
Photo by Attwood. Mr. T. Manson.

Photo by Attwood.
Mr. T. Manson.

page 1214 Mr. Manson in the most thorough and satisfactory manner. Mr. Manson then established the first drapery emporium in Palmerston, and during the following ten years gained the confidence and support of a very large circle of customers throughout the Manawatu. When he retired from business, Mr. Manson and his wife took a trip to the Old Country, also taking their family Home to be educated. On returning to New Zealand he purchased his present compact little estate in the country, where he has since resided. In 1893 Mr. Manson was appointed a Justice of the Peace, and in the same year was appointed a member of the Board of Review, established to revise the valuations of the assessors of property tax in the Manawatu district. For a number of years Mr. Manson was a member of the Palmerston Borough Council. In church matters he has been prominent, having been manager of the Presbyterian Church for a long while. At one period he was attached to a local lodge of Oddfellows. Mr. Manson has had a long and useful career, both in business and in public matters, and has gained the esteem and goodwill of a large circle of friends. He is the owner of several town properties in Palmerston.

Ranson, James, Farmer, Bunnythorpe. The subject of this article was born in Suffolk, England, in 1830. He served his apprenticeship with his father and brother, who were in business as builders and contractors, and when his time was up went to London, and completed his knowledge of building there. When the war with Russia broke out, James Ranson he joined the Army Works Corps, and served at the Crimea, returning home in 1856. Shortly afterwards, hearing of the fabulous tales of gold-finding in Australia, he made up his mind to go there, so sailed for the Antipodes. Arriving at Melbourne at the end of 1856, Mr. Ranson went straight to Bendigo, where he worked at the building trade for some months, and did very well. When the great Ararat rush took place in 1857, he was the first to take timber there, and sold the whole lot at a handsome profit. Then, lured by the splendid reports of the great finds being made, he joined in the rush, and started mining, with the result that he lost all the money that he had made. After various vicissitudes, he left Melbourne for Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1861, and was working at his trade for some years in various parts of the South Island. At one time in Queenstown, Mr. Ranson had a contract to erect buildings at Maori Point, all materials for which had to be conveyed on pack horses at a cost of two pence halfpenny per pound. In 1874 Mr. Ranson settled in Wellington, and has erected many of the most prominent buildings in the city, among which are the Club and Melbourne Hotels, and many buildings in Cuba Street. He built the Opera House in brick in 1886, and two years later the building was re-constructed by him. Subsequently he erected Messrs. Scoullar and Chisholm's and Messrs. P. Hayman and Co's premises, and many others. Mr. Ranson retired, partly through ill-health, in 1889. He was married in Melbourne, and has a family of two sons and one daughter. His eldest son is in business in the country, having a general store and bakery, while the other superintends the working of the farm.


Campbell, John, Farmer, “Bute Farm,” Taonui, near Feilding. Mr. Campbell, better known as Captain Campbell, who was one of the earliest colonists in New Zealand, landed in Wellington in May, 1856. Born on the Island of Bute—after which his farm is named—he followed the sea at the age of fourteen in the ship John Campbell page 1215 “Lady Cornwall,” under Captain McPhee, bound for the West Indies. After two years' service Mr. Campbell left this vessel and served on two others. Coming out to Australia, per ship “Monarch,” when the gold rush broke out, he then went to the Homœo diggings, crossing over to New Zealand in 1857. After about twelve months on the Slate River, in the vicinity of Collingwood, Mr. Campbell went to Napier, where he remained till 1887, and was engaged in shipping circles, being part owner of the steamers “Kahu” and “Fairy Weka.” His fine freehold property at Taonui consists of 500 acres of level land, which is situated three miles from Feilding and two miles from Bunnythorpe. He grazes 1500 Lincoln sheep and 100 cattle, principally shorthorns. Since Mr. Campbell took over the farm he has effected many improvements. The residence consists of a large two-story building, antique in appearance, whilst the outbuildings are very complete, including a large woolshed and sheep dip.


Hiwinui Public School —Situate in the district of that name—is controlled by the Wanganui Education Board, and has a roll-number of fifty-six scholars. The headmaster, Mr. G. W. McCaul, who has been in charge of the school since 1894, has one assistant.

Mr. George William McCaul, the Headmaster, was born at Wanganui in 1872, was educated at Wanganui College, and passed his examinations as a pupil teacher in 1889–1890. Mr. McCaul was for two years engaged in pupil-teaching at the Wanganui Public School, and was afterwards successively appointed to Foxton for eight months, to Rongotea for one year, and thence to Wanganui again for eighteen months, when he received the appointment of headmaster at Hiwinui. He has been very successful in the performance of his duties. Mr. McCaul takes an active interest in all branches of athletics, and in the recreations of the people generally. He was for two years a member of the Wanganui Debating Society, and he is an enthusiastic cyclist, frequently making trips on his machine through the surrounding districts. Mr. McCaul, who is quite a young man, is an ardent advocate of Prohibition and Temperance reform, and is imbued with an earnest desire for the advancement of his of strict.

View, Heaton Park Estate Bulls.

View, Heaton Park Estate Bulls.