The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Some eight miles north-east of Feilding, and on the Kimbolton Road, rural Cheltenham, with its homely dwellings, broad acres of rich, well-cultivated soil, and finely-bred flocks and herds, stands pleasantly enough, and as the small centre of picturesque surroundings offers inducement for an hour's resting place at the local inn, the Cheltenham Hotel. The chief industry of the village is the Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Factory, which is referred to below. At the local post-office, which is also a telephone bureau and an office for the issue of postal notes, mails are daily received and despatched. Cheltenham is included in the Electoral District of Rangitikei, and in the County of Oroua. There is communication by coach daily to Feilding and Birmingham (Fowlers).
The Cheltenham Public School has been in existence ten years, and consists of a lofty wooden building of two class-rooms, situated in an acre paddock, used for the playground. The number of the children on the roll is sixty two, while the average attendance is about forty-eight.
Mr. Henry Coventry, the Headmaster of the Cheltenham Public School, was born in England, and came to New Zealand some few years ago.
The Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Company, Ltd. Directors:—Messrs. W. Mitchell (chairman), John Bruce, W. G. Pearce, G. R. Jones, R. Burne, W. P. Buchanan, and W. Jones. This Company, which has been three years in existence, has a freehold three-acre section on which the dairy is erected, and has a large contract in the Old Country, which absorbs the greater part of the butter produced. The price obtained during the season 1895–6 was 9d. per lb., f.o.b., Wellington. The premises consist of a wooden building, roofed with iron, having a concrete floorage space of over 1300 square feet. Burmister and Wain's machinery was used for some time, but is now replaced by De Laval's, with Hall's freezing apparatus. The whole is worked on a gravitation principle. The apartments include cream and butter rooms, and cooling chamber. The cream is ripened in large vats capable of holding 200 gallons, the output in the season being half-a-ton daily. Cleanliness prevails throughout, and a small creek runs through the rear of the section. Excellent water is also obtained from a depth of sixty-two feet by means of a pump.
Mr. William Mitchell is Chairman of the Directors of the Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Company, Limited, and a farmer at Kiwitea, where he has resided since 1880. He is a son of the late William Mitchell, of Horokiwi Valley, and was born in Wellington in 1860. The subject of this sketch had several years of farming under his father, after which he came to Cheltenham and purchased this valuable freehold property. By dint of perseverance and hard work, Mr. Mitchell has succeeded in seeing his labours page 1245 rewarded. A large portion of this land is now under the plough, the soil of which is remarkably fertile. The whole is grassed and subdivided into paddocks, and will carry nearly four sheep-to the acre all the year round. Mr. Mitchell is one of the largest suppliers of milk to the local dairy, and milks upwards of thirty cows. He is a member of the Birmingham Rifle Club.
Mr. William Owen Strang Niccolls, Manager of the Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Company, Limited, was born in Shropshire in 1858, and educated at the Grammar School, Dedham Essex, finishing his studies at Liverpool College. Landing in New Zealand, per ship “Goron,” in 1879. Mr. Niceolls commenced farming on his own account in the Mahurangi district. After four years experience, he journeyed to Australia, and established himself in business with Gregg and Murray, auctioneers, Queen Street, Melbourne. Returning to New Zealand, he opened the Belfast Dairy Factory for Mr. G. Jakins, initiating his son in the business. Mr. Jakins, junr., took charge when Mr. Niccolls left and come to Cheltenham, and superintended the construction of the premises of the Dairy Company, taking a practical part in the laying of the concrete floors and drains.
Mr. Reginald Charles Templer, the Secretary of the Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Company, Limited, has held the position since its inception. Born in Canterbury, he was educated at Christ's College. Mr. Templer was farming for some years, when he removed to Kiwitea, where he was engaged in school-teaching and afterwards to Cheltenham, in the some capacity. He returned to farming, and is now engaged in the dairy industry. Courteous and obliging, he has rendered valuable service as secretary of the local football and cricket clubs.