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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Morrison Bush

Morrison Bush.

Morrison Bush is a small settlement lying about three-and-a-half miles from Greytown. A coach runs twice a week—Wednesday and Friday—from Greytown to Morrison Bush, and proceeds to Martinborough on the same days. The fare is one shilling single and eighteen-pence return. In 1888 a post office was established, and at the time of writing (1896) Mrs. Waite was post-mistress. There are three mails weekly to and from Wellington—Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The mails are carried on horseback to and from Greytown.

Kaitara Public School, Morrison Bush, is a neat wooden building in the centre of the settlement, adjoining which is the teacher's residence. Both are well kept, the grounds being tastefully planted. Connected with the school is a lending library, which is available to the public. There are fifty-four children on the roll, Mr. F. G. A. Stuckey being the teacher.

The Presbyterian Church, Morrison Bush, is alternately used for the services of the Presbyterian and Wesleyan denominations. There is also a Church of England Sunday school, which is held in the Morrison Bush schoolroom.

Barratt, David, Nurseryman, Tividale Nursery, Morrison Bush. Born in County Roscommon, Ireland, in 1826, Mr. Barratt went to Staffordshire when only seven years of age, and was educated at the parish school, Horsley Heath. His first employment was in a forge rolling mill, where he stayed for twelve years, leaving to come to Tasmania in 1849. Soon after his arrival there, the Australian gold diggings broke out, and Mr. Barratt visited and worked on several fields. Coming to Wellington, New Zealand, about 1853, he entered into partnership with Mr. P. Campbell. After nine months trading with the natives, he took up land at Ohariu, where he remained four years. Removing to Morrison Bush, he bought 100 acres, of which he has sold half. Mr. Barratt has been in business as a page 895 David Barratt nurseryman for eighteen years. He married a daughter of Mr. W. Dunn, of Karori, and has four sons and three daughters, one of the latter being Mrs. Nicol, of Greytown. Mr. Barratt was a member of the first road board formed in the Moroa district, and was in the Greytown Rifles. In matters educational he has served on school committees in the district.

Bush Hotel (John Hodge, junr., proprietor), Morrison Bush. Established 1857.

Jones, William H. P., Farmer, Morrison Bush, Greytown South, is the youngest son of Mr. Ty. Jones, jeweller, of Ludgate Hill, London. Mr. Jones came to New Zealand in 1862 and was one of the first at the celebrated Shotover diggings in Otago. In the following year he came to the Wairarapa. Commencing in business as a sawmiller, he worked with success till 1879, when he sold his interest and entered into farming pursuits at Morrison Bush. Mr. Jones has a splendid freehold property of some 270 acres. He has abstained from entering into political life, preferring to attend to his own business. In his younger days he served as a member of the local volunteer corps and also in the militia.

Knapp, George, Settler, Forest Lea, Morrison Bush, was born in Kent, England, in 1826. Mr. Knapp enlisted in the fifty-eighth regiment in 1813, and came to the colonies the following year with convicts for Norfolk Island. After seven years service, during which he was engaged in hostilities with the Maoris in several places in the North Island of New Zealand, Mr. Knapp took his discharge, and settled down to peaceful pursuits. He was engaged for some time as a sawyer, and acquired land in the Wairarapa in 1884. Mr. Knapp is a married man, and has three sons and a daughter.

McKerrow, John Craig, Sheep, Uruokakite Station, Greytown North. Telegraphic address, “Uruokakite Station.” Letters are brought to the station daily by coach, a special mail-bag being made up for that purpose at the post-office. The land of which this fine station is composed was taken up in the year 1855 by Messrs. Herschoerg and Mitchell, who, after improving it somewhat, sold it, and since that time it has had a succession of owners. About three-and-a-half years ago, Mr. McKerrow purchased it, and has carried [unclear: it] on with no inconsiderable success ever since. Uruokakite Station comprises some 4000 or 5000 acres of fine land, all of which is well-fenced, subdivided, and improved. Four hundred or five hundred acres are set apart for the cultivation of turnips, oats, and other feed crops, the rest of the run being used for grazing purposes. Mr. McKerrow owns from 7000 to 10,000 cross-bred sheep, and 200 head of cattle of the Shorthorn breed. The proprietor of this station is well-known in New Zealand, having been in the Colony since 1873, and in the various pursuits in which he was engaged, has always been more or less a public man. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and there, too, he was educated. In 1861 he left that county for Dumfrieshire, and remained there for some eleven years, profiting by the good opportunities which offered to thoroughly learn and understand the science of agriculture. Being the eldest son of the family, Mr. McKerrow was placed at the head of a very large estate, and during his management of it, it was extensively improved by all the latest methods then in vogue. He left Scotland for New Zealand twenty-two years ago, arriving in Dunedin in January, 1873, per ship “Margaret Galbraith.” He immediately took up land in South Canterbury, and had a farm of some 3000 acres in Timaru, known as “Claremont.” During the five years which Mr. McKerrow spent there, he amassed a considerable amount of money, so much, indeed, that he was enabled to retire. He was, however, so unfortunate afterwards as to lose the greater part of this John Craig McKerrow page 896 fortune, and in 1886 he came on to Wellington, and went into partnership with Messrs. Joseph and Wright, of the Happy Valley Estate, and in this connection founded the Happy Valley Meat Company. He afterwards started in the Empire City in business on his own account as land and estate agent, and in this he continued until 1892. By this time Mr McKerrow's enterprise and business capacity had been the means of accumulating again a nice sum of money, which he invested in the station where he now lives, in the Wairarapa, removing there about a year-and-a-half ago. While in South Canterbury, he took a great interest in public matters, and has filled many important positions, his clear-sightedness being of assistance to each body with which he was connected. He was a member of the Hospital Committee, the Board of Education, the Levels Road Board, Geraldine County Council, and the School Committee. He was elected president of the South Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, having previously filled in rotation all the offices of that society. The honour of being a J.P. has been Mr. McKerrow's for fifteen years. While in Wellington he had the misfortune to lose his wife, by whom he had two children, a son and a daughter. Since removing to the country, however, he has married again. Mr. McKerrow is a popular man, and deservedly so. His many friends will therefore learn with much pleasure of his return of good fortune, and though not as wealthy as formerly, he is in a fair way of becoming so. On several occasions Mr. McKerrow has been requested to contest a parliamentary election, and on one occasion was offered a seat in the House without opposition; but though taking an interest in politics, he had no desire to enter the political arena. Mr. McKerrow makes a good host, as his many friends who take advantage of his hospitality at Uruokakite can testify. He is a thoroughly genial Scotchman.