The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
The Lower Hutt Borough, which was incorporated in 1891, is bounded by Petone Borough on the south, and by Hutt County on north-east and west, and contains an estimated area of 3255 acres. The population of the district is 1550, the number of dwellings being 295, owned by 246 ratepayers, whose rateable properties number 359, and are of the capital value of £245,036. The assets and liabilities of the Council are respectively £85 and £130. For several years the rate has been at three-farthings in the pound on the capital value, the gross revenue for 1895–6 being £1392. The large foot and traffic bridge which spans the Hutt river and connects the borough has long been a source of annual expenditure for maintenance to the Council. They have recently had the structure permanently redecked with totara timber at a cost of £600, which will no doubt last for some years to come.
His Worship the Mayor, Mr. William Alfred Fitzherbert, J.P., C.E., is the eldest son of the late Sir W. Fitzherbert, K.C.M.G., whose political career is referred to on pages 69, 100 and 113 of this volume. Sir William arrived in Wellington early in 1842, per schooner “Lady Lee,” 60 tons, bought and equipped by him for the voyage, which proved to be a long and stormy one, occupying five months to Sydney, where he put in for stores and repairs. A water-colour drawing of this small vessel as she entered the harbour of Port Philip was shown to the writer on his visit to Mr. Fitzherbert's residence. Sir William started in business as a merchant in Wellington, where he established stores and did a large business, owning several trading vessels, including the brig “William Alfred”—which served as the mail boat to Sydney for many years—the “Susannah Ann,” and others. He also established whaling stations at Kapiti and Kaikoura, which prospered for some time. In 1848 Sir William and his family embarked on the “Subraon,” which had been chartered to convey refugees to Sydney on account of the earthquakes, but which was wrecked on Barrett's Reef, a valuable cargo being lost. Mr. W. A. Fitzherbert was born in London in 1842, and educated at the Rev. William Wheeler's Grammar School, Wellington, the Sydney Grammar School, Mr. Dodd's school, Surrey Hills, Sydney, and at Canterbury College. He entered the engineering department of the Provincial Government while Mr. Roy was chief surveyor, and here he gained his knowledge of engineering, remaining about five years. In 1863 he went to Wainui-o-mata, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits for some years on a farm belonging to his father. Soon after Sir William was elected Superintendent of the Province, Mr. Fitzherbert returned to professional life, taking part as a surveyor until the abolition of the provinces in 1876. He was then appointed county engineer to the Hutt County Council, which position he held for about five years. Since that time the subject of this sketch has been principally engaged in pastoral pursuits. He has a small sheep farm of 1200 acres near his home in the Hutt Valley, and is in partnership with Mr. Frank Waterhouse—a nephew of the Hon. G. M. Waterhouse— on a run of some 30,000 acres in Hawkes Bay. Mr. Fitzherbert has long been an officer of many public and semi-public institutions. He is one of the commissioners under the “Lands for Settlement Act, 1894,” a member of the Wellington Education Board, the Wellington Waste Lands Board, and the Lower Hutt School Committee, and a member and past president of the Wellington Agricultural and Pastoral Association; he has been a J.P. for the past twenty-five years, and is a member and “past grand” of the Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows. Mr. Fitzherbert was one of the promoters of the Wellington Woollen Company, and has served as a director for ten years. He has filled the office of Mayor of the Borough of Lower Hutt for the past five years. In church matters, Mr. Fitzherbert has taken a great interest, having been a member of the Anglican Diocesan Synod for many years. As a volunteer he served ten years between 1862 and 1872. For the first six years of this term he was captain of the Hutt Rifles, and did garrison duty at the time when sixty maories made their escape from a hulk in Port Nicholson, his troop being successful in securing the only one of the fugitives captured. He then formed a company of cavalry known as the Hutt Cavalry, of which he was captain for four years. In 1876 Mr. Fitzherbert was married to the adopted daughter of the Hon. G. M. Waterhouse, and has five daughters and four sons.
Mr. Percy Robert Purser, the Town Clerk Treasurer, Rate Collector, and Returning Officer, was born in 1865 in London, and was educated at a Presbyterian school at Woolwich. Coming to New Zealand in 1884 per ship “British King,” to join his parents in the Colony, he learned the drapery business. Mr. Purser, was afterwards a storekeeper at Petone, and was appointed to the position he now holds in 1892. He is a member of the firm of Purser and Co., coachbuilders and wheelwrights, Lower Hutt.
Lower Hutt Post and Telegraph Office, a wooden building one story in height, is situated on the Main Road in a central position in the township. There has been a Post and Telegraph Office at the Lower Hutt for over a quarter of a century, it being one of the earliest suburban offices established. There is also a telephone bureau on the premises. Mails are received twice and despatched three times daily.
Mr. Isaac George Price, Postmaster and Telegraphist, was born at Acton, Middlesex, England, in 1844. He was educated in London, and came to Auckland per ship “Owen Glendower” in 1863. Joining the forces during the Maori troubles, Mr. Price served in the first, second, and third Waikato regiments in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty districts. He took part in several engagements, notably at Orakau in March and April, 1864, under Generals Cameron and Carey, and at Ake Ake, Irihunga, Waiwhatawhata, Te Ropi, and other engagements in the Opotiki and Tauranga districts in 1866. He afterwards became a mounted constable in the A.C. Force till 1874, when he joined the telegraph department in Wellington. In the following year Mr. Price was promoted to the position of postmaster in Otaki. After four years he was transferred to Wellington Railway Station as parcel clerk and telegraphist, which position he held till 1886, when he received his present appointment. Mr. Price was married in 1876 to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Bouts, of Stoke, Newington, and has one son and one daughter.
Lower Hutt Railway Station, which was erected about the year 1892, is well known to most Wellington residents. It is a compact wooden building containing ladies' and general waiting rooms, stationmaster's office, ticket lobby, and porter's room. This is the terminal station for suburban traffic, and on fine holidays large numbers of pleasure-seekers alight on the platform. The stationmaster is supplied with spare carriages, vans, and trucks to enable him to provide for the exigencies of the traffic. As a distributing station the Lower Hutt receives all empty sheep trucks from Ngahauranga and Petone for return to the Wairarapa as opportunity serves. In addition to the passenger station building, there is an engine shed, a goods store, and a coal shed.
Mr. Leonard Payne, the Stationmaster, has been in charge for twelve years. Born in Brighton, Sussex, England, page 835 in 1854, and educated at Ringmer, Leves, in the same county, Mr. Payne arrived in Wellington per ship “Arethusa” on the 8th of December, 1879. Prior to leaving the Old Land, he had eight years experience on the Brighton and South Coast Railway, the last four of which term he was passenger guard between Hastings and London. Entering the New Zealand railway service on the 17th of January, 1880, as porter, Mr. Payne became acting guard till appointed to his present office in 1884. He is a member of the Star of New Zealand Lodge of Druids, Hutt, and belongs to the Masonic fraternity, Lodge Ulster, N.Z.C., Petone, of which he was treasurer for over two years. Mr. Payne was married in 1873 to the only daughter of Mr. Josiah Fellows, of Frant, near Tunbridge Wells, Sussex, farmer, and has three daughters, who were all born in England.
Lower Hutt Public School is situated in a portion of the borough known as Alicetown. The buildings occupied, which are built of wood, contain five separate rooms, accommodation being afforded for from 250 to 300 scholars. The original building, which was intended for a public hall, is completely overshadowed by the additions which have been made from time to time. The school was established over twenty years ago, the average number of scholars on the books being 270, of which from sixty to seventy are infants. The headmaster is assisted by four certificated assistants and one pupil teacher.
Mr. David Barry, Headmaster of the Lower Hutt Public School, is one of the oldest teachers employed by the Wellington Education Board. Born in 1837 in Ireland, where he was educated, Mr. Barry came out to Australia in the early fifties, and alter some years crossed over to New Zealand in 1862. His experience in the colonies was of a varied and general character till 1874, when he joined the Board of Education as headmaster of a small school in the Wairarapa. Mr. Barry was subsequently transferred to Wanganui, where he had charge of the Catholic school that had been taken over by the Board. Afterwards he was successively headmaster of the Tenui, Clareville, and Kaiwarra schools, receiving his present appointment in November, 1886. Mr. Barry is a widower without family.
Taita Public School is on the main road about three-and-a-half miles from Lower Hutt railway station. The building—a wooden structure—was erected prior to 1864, and has been since enlarged to three rooms. There are 107 children on the roll, the average attendance being about seventy-six. The head teacher is assisted by one certificated and one pupil-teacher.
Mr. Alexander Watt Williamson, Headmaster of the Taita Public School, was born near Coventry, Warwickshire, England, in 1849. He came to New Zealand with his parents in the ship “W[unclear: illi]am Hyde” in 1851, landing at Wellington. After attending a small side school for a time, he entered Wanganui Grammar School in 1864. Seven years later he entered Otago College, where he gained a New Zealand University scholarship. In 1874 Mr. Williamson was successful in gaining his B.A. degree, which was the first bestowed by the Otago University. In the same year he was appointed to the Turakina Public School, where he remained till 1881, being then transferred to Patea. Eleven years later he was appointed to the position he now holds. Mr. Williamson, who takes a keen interest in Church, Sunday school, and temperance work, holds the position of elder in Enox Presbyterian Church, Taita, superintendent of the Sunday school, and “chief templar” of Templars' Retreat Lodge, No. 39, Taita. As a teacher, he is much beloved by his pupils, and is held in the highest esteem by the residents. Mr. Williamson is married, and has a family of three sons and five daughters. The eldest daughter is a pupil of Mr. R. Parker, and shows considerable talent as a pianist.
Day School for Girls (Miss Burnett, principal), Belmont Road, Lower Hutt. This school, which is pleasantly situated, was established in September, 1892.
Norwood School (Miss Winder, principal), Main Road, Lower Hutt. This is a preparatory school—centrally situated. Miss Winder is also a teacher of music.
Private Day School (St. James' Schoolroom), Waiwetu Road, Lower Hutt, is conducted by Miss Haase, who is a certificated teacher, assisted by Miss Ouida Haase. The school was established early in 1896 in the Church of England schoolroom, where there is good accommodation for a large number of pupils. The subjects taught embrace English, French, Latin, drawing, painting, music, plain and fancy needlework. Miss Haase was born in Auckland, her education being commenced in that city and continued in Brisbane. In 1891 she commenced her career as an assistant in a ladies' school in Brisbane, where she taught until her return to New Zealand in the latter part of 1895. The school, which was established as above, has received support from some of the best families in the Hutt District. Miss Haase will be glad to forward prospectus on application.
St. James's Anglican Church, Lower Hutt—a wooden building accommodating a congregation of some 250 persons—was consecrated in 1880. It is about fifty years ago since the old original Church was erected. Part of this building is now used as a schoolroom, the Sunday school numbering forty children. A comfortable vicarage adjoins the church and school. The parish of Lower Hutt extends as far as Silverstream, and page 836 St. Augustine's Parochial District—created in October, 1895—which comprises the Borough of Petone, is under the supervision of the vicar.
Christ Church, Taita, in the Lower Hutt Parish, is a beautiful wooden building erected about 1845, accommodating some eighty worshippers.
Rev. Joshua Jones, the Vicar of Lower Hutt, was educated at Liverpool Collegiate Institution, and at St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, England. He was ordained in Brisbane in 1867, and four years later arrived in New Zealand. The rev. gentleman was the first clergyman appointed to the Dunstan, Otago, where he continued four years, and was then appointed incumbent and rural dean of Queenstown, Wakatipu, which he vacated in 1879. In Feilding he was the pioneer of the Anglican Church, remaining there eight years. Mr. Jones was located in the Lower Hutt in 1886.
Knox Presbyterian Church is situated in a central position on the main road between the townships of Lower Hutt and Taita. The first Church, which was erected in November, 1850, was replaced in 1890 by a convenient wood and iron building, which accommodates about 200 people. There is a schoolroom adjoining—seated for 150—where the Sunday school is held, the number of scholars on the roll being ninety. The manse—a seven-roomed residence—adjoins the church, the whole occupying about two acres of ground. The district under the care of the minister in charge of the Lower Hutt, extends from the Hutt Bridge to the Rimutaka. Services are held at the Upper Hutt, where a wood and iron church holding about 150 was erected in 1881; at Wallaceville, in a similar building, seated for 100, which was erected in 1893; and at Mungaroa.
Rev. Andrew Gray, Presbyterian Minister of the Hutt District, was born in 1865 at Glasgow, where he was educated. Arriving in New Zealand per s.s. “Tainui” in July, 1892, Mr. Gray's first charge was the district over which he still presides. In 1893 the rev. gentleman was licensed and ordained at the Hutt. The same year Mr. Gray was married to a daughter of Mr. Glasgow, of Alloway, Ayr, Scotland.
Lower Hutt Wesleyan Church, originally under the wing of the Wellington circuit, was constituted, together with the surrounding districts, a separate circuit about forty years ago. The land on which the church and parsonage are erected comprises about an acre-and-a-half of land, having frontages to the Main Road and Bloomfield Street. The present church, which is seated to accommodate a congregation of 250, was erected about twenty years ago. The schoolroom will hold comfortably 200.
The Rev. Joseph Henry Gray, Minister of the Lower Hutt Wesleyan Church, was appointed to the circuit in 1896. Mr. Gray was ordained at the Christchurch Conference of 1882. He was stationed three years successively in each of the following places:—Tapanui, Balclutha, Waimate, Rangiora, Ashburton, and New Plymouth.
Templars' Retreat Lodge, No. 49, Taita. This Lodge was opened in 1893, and has had as many as seventy members. At present its members number less than half that. Meetings are held every Tuesday evening in the Wesleyan schoolroom. The officers are:—Mr. A. W. Williamson (chief templar), and Miss Minnie Hancock (secretary).
Purdy, James Robert, M.B., C.M., Physician and Surgeon, Oulton, Lower Hutt. Telephone 604. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Born in Morpeth, Northumberland, England, in 1857, Dr. Purdy was educated at the local grammar school, and, studying medicine at the Aberdeen College, gained his degrees in 1883. For a short time he occupied the position of surgeon to the College Hospital at Uxbridge, near London, and afterwards acted as locum tenens for the house surgeon of the Morpeth Dispensary. Dr. Purdy practised at Oulton, Yorkshire, for seven years before coming to the Colony per s.s. “Coptic” in 1891. On arrival he bought out Dr. Wilford's interest in the partnership with the late Dr. Whitehead, since whose death he has practised solely at Lower Hutt. Dr. Purdy is sole referee in the district for the Australian Mutual Provident Society and for the Government Life Office; he is also health officer for the Hutt County.
Dr. John George Frederick Wilford has been a resident in the Hutt Valley for over thirty years, of which period he was actively engaged in the practice of his profession for a quarter of a century. Born at Brompton, near Northallerton, in 1842, and educated at Wesley College, Sheffield, Dr. Wilford studied at Guy's Hospital, London, taking his degrees as Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries on the 16th of November, 1864, and as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England on the 26th of July, 1865. In the year last named he came to Wellington per ship “Bevar,” and almost immediately commenced practice at the Lower Hutt. After about twenty years the late Dr. Whitehead became associated with him under the style of Drs. Wilford and Whitehead, which partnership lasted for about six years, the practice being sold to Dr. Purdy in 1890. Since this time Dr. Wilford has engaged in pastoral pursuits, his sheep farm of 1400 acres being at Patea. As a member of the Rose of the Valley Lodge of Oddfellows, Dr. Wilford has lent his influence in support of this successful branch of the Order.
The Bank of New Zealand is a two-story wooden building situated on the Main Road, Lower Hutt, right opposite the traffic and foot bridge over the Hutt River. The Bank has been represented at the Hutt for many years, the agent also having control of the Petone branch, which he attends on Tuesdays and Fridays each week.
Mr. Sidney Clark Barraud, Branch Agent of the Bank of New Zealand, Lower Hutt, is the second son of Mr. C. D. Barraud, who is referred to on page 361 as chairman of the Sailors' Rest, Wellington. Born in 1853 in the Empire City, the subject of this notice entered the Telegraph Office at the age of fifteen, and after five years joined the Bank of New Zealand as clerk in the Wellington branch. Subsequently he was on the West Coast at Hokitika, Ross, Stafford, and elsewhere, becoming agent at the Lyell branch. After being transferred to Wellington, Mr. Barraud was appointed to the office he now holds in 1879. As an Oddfellow he has passed through all the chairs in the Rose of the Valley Lodge, Lower Hutt. He is a member of the Church of England, and was a vestryman for about fourteen years. Mr. Barraud has been a widower for the past four years.