The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Brough Of Masterton
Brough Of Masterton.
Masterton Borough Council. The Borough Council of Masterton is composed of a mayor, elected annually by the borough, and nine councillors, elected for a period of three years, but in such manner that one for each ward retires annually. Of course all are eligible for re-election, and a councillor may contest for the mayoralty without first vacating his seat on the Council, but if he be elected his seat as a councillor becomes vacant. There are three wards, respectively known as East, West and Outer. The town clerk, Mr. Richard Brown, is also the treasurer, and the post of secretary to the Trust Lands Trust is in his hands. The borough was formed in July, 1877, and Mr. Brown's appointment dates from the following mouth. The meetings of the Council are held fortnightly on Tuesday evenings, and the members evince a lively interest in the affairs of the town. The chamber and offices form a part of the building known as the Public Institute, Chapel Street, which contains also the free reading-room and public library; and near which the town hall is being erected, fronting the same street, and Hall Street. The area of the borough is 4311 acres, of which some fifty acres are devoted to and retained for public purposes. The rateable value of the borough is £28,805, and the authorised rates amount to eighteen pence in the pound, made up as follows: General rate of one shilling, library rate of one penny, and gas rate of fivepence. The last-mentioned rate is not now being collected, as the municipal gasworks are paying without any assistance from the special gas rate, and with no further aid from the general rate than a fair payment for gas used for street lighting and other public purposes. The public debt of the Council consists at present of one item—the gasworks loan of £10,000 at six per cent., of which the whole is expended, and for which nothing in the shape of a sinking fund has been attempted. On the 31st of March, 1896 however, there were balances—to the credit of the gas supply account of £493 2s., and to the credit of the interest account of £333 ls, 3d. It was in view of this united balance of £826 3s. 3d. that the Council decided not to collect the gas rate for the present year. The united balances of these accounts at the beginning of the last financial year amounted to £482 14s, 9d., and during the year rates were collected amounting to £507 10s. 4d. The [unclear: n]ett assistance, therefore, which the gas accounts had from rates and balances during the last financial year was to the extent of only £164 ls. l0d. As the arrears of the special gas rates amount to a little over this last sum, and as last year's expenditure included nearly £200 for improvements page 934 and extensions, there is good ground for believing that the municipal gasworks of Masterton will be no further burden on the ratepayers. The consumption should increase at a greater rate than the expenditure, and this will probably result in a reduction in the present prices, which are for lighting, ten shillings, and for heating purposes, eight shillings per 1000 cubic feet. Thus relieved of the gas rate, it is but reasonable that the ratepayers should consider such matters as drainage and water supply; and it is expected that a loan of £30,000 will be almost immediately floated for these very necessary works. The surplus assets of the Council, apart from the real estate, were set down on the 31st of March, 1896, at £647 3s. 11d. The real estate consists of several town sections, and upwards of 700 acres at Mangaone.
His Worship the Mayor, Mr. George Heron, who occupies the civic chair for the third consecutive year, was born in 1840 in Forfarshire, Scotland, where he was educated. Arriving in Nelson in 1863 per ship “Electra,” he was for some time engaged in bush and general country work, and after a short period employed in road making in Wanganui, be settled in the Wairarapa in 1868. At the East Coast Mr. Heron was engaged in fencing and country work for five years, when he became a road contractor, and subsequently a threshing machine proprietor, establishing himself as a corn dealer in 1879 in Masterton. Entering the Council in 1880, he has been a member almost continuously up to the time of writing, although he has never been returned without a close contest. He is known as a man of decided opinions, and is looked upon as an economist who will see that the ratepayers are not unduly burdened. As a Forester he has been a member of the Masterton Lodge since its foundation in 1872, and has passed all the chairs. He has also served as a member of the school committee, and has long held a seat on the Hospital Board. In 1870 Mr. Heron was married to a daughter of the late Mr. Dr McKav. of Sutherlandshire, Scotland.
Councillor Edmund Edinburgh Chamberlain has held a sent on the Borough Council of Masterton continuously, with the exception of a single year, since 1883. Born in 1843 in Wellington, when but few facilities existed for education, Mr. Chamberlain at the age of ten commenced work cutting firewood and milking cows. His father, the late Mr. Thomas Chamberlain, trained his sons in farming and agricultural pursuits, and settled them in the Wairarapa in 1857. Councillor Chamberlain has been a prominent settler in the district, which he has materially assisted in developing. A section of forty acres at the Upper Plain was given to him by his father nearly forty years ago. This was subsequently sold, and together with his brother, the late Mr. W. F. Chamberlain, he purchased 1000 acres at Upper Taueru. After effecting considerable improvements this property was realized. In 1869 the subject of this notice purchased forty acres at the Upper Pain, which he has since increased to 107 acres. The property, which is known as “Rosswood,” is fully cultivated, and here Mr. Chamberlain resides. At Miki-Miki he holds 1180 acres of freehold and 210 acres of leasehold, the estate carrying 2300 sheep and 100 head of cattle. Besides giving up a large portion of his time to his public duties as a borough councillor, Mr. Chamberlain has served as a member of the Trust Lands Trust for about three years, and on the committees of the Masterton Agricultural and Pastoral Association the Caledonian Society, and the local jockey club. He is ever ready to do all he can for the district in which he has lived so long. Mr. Chamberlain, who has declined to be nominated for the mayoralty of the borough, is an economist, but will support any proposal which he considers for the good of the town, if it does not involve excessive rating. He was married in 1869 to a daughter of the late Mr. Colin McKenzie, of Glasgow, and has four daughters and two sons, having lost a son by accidental poisoning.
Councillor E. E. Chamberlain.
Councillor Edwin Feist, who was Mayor of the borough of Masterton in 1880, has almost continuously held a seat on the Council since that time. Born in Framfield, Sussex, in 1842, and educated at East Hothly, Mr. Feist cama to Wellington in 1865 per ship “Mallard.” Having served an apprenticeship of five years to the grocery and drapery business in Bletchingly, Surrey, he joined his brother in Masterton on arrival, and taking over the business in 1870, did a successful trade till 1888, when he sold out and retired. Mr. Feist was one of the first councillors of the borough, having occupied a seat in the local board for some years previously. As chairman of the Cemetery Trustees and of the local school committee, and as a member of the Park Trust and an ex-member of the Trust Lands Trust, the subject of the notice has served the public. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church, of which he has acted as secretary and treasurer for twenty-five years. Mr. Feist takes a deep interest in the temperance movement, and is an ardent prohibitionist. In 1868 he was married to a daughter of the late Rev. John McQueen, Free Church minister, of Daviot, Inverness, and has two daughters.
Councillor E. Feist.
Councillor John Hessey has been a member of the Masterton Borough Council for the past ten years, with the exception of one year. He is a native of Worksop, Nottingham, England, where he was born in 1845, and came to the colonies with his parents, landing in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1858. After a short time the family removed to Melbourne, where they remained two years, spending another year in Beechworth. In 1862 they came to Woodend, Canterbury, and continued for eighteen years. Councillor Hessey had some experience on the goldfields of the South Island, particularly in Westland. In 1879 he settled in the Masterton district, purchasing 167 acres at the Upper Plain in 1885. This estate, which is named “Shurwood,” may fairly be regarded as a model farm. Though nearly all cut out of the solid bush, it is in a high state of cultivation as an agricultural holding, Mr. Hessey having reaped as high as ninety bushels of oats and fifty of wheat to the acre, and good all round crops of barley and peas. As a stock breeder he favours Border Lincoln sheep and Ayrshire cattle, but agricultural horses are his specialty. His stud horses are considered the best in the district, the celebrated brood mare “Darling” having won about thirty first and champion prizes at North and South Island shows. In public matters Mr. Hessey has served for many years as a member of the Licensing Bench, the Trust Lands Trust, the Upper Plain Irrigation Board, and the Masterton and Wairarapa Agricultural and Pastoral Association. As a borough councillor he takes an independent position, not being bound to party, but desirous to secure the progress and advancement of the district. As an Oddfellow, Mr. Hessey belongs to the Masterton Lodge, M.U., in which he has passed most of the chairs, having been a trustee for about twelve years. In 1872 he was married at Cobden to a daughter of Mr. Thomas Barrett, of Fines, Limerick.
Councillor J. Hessey.
Councillor Robert Edward Hornblow, who is a son of Mr. C. W. Hornblow, J.P., of Greytown, was born in Wellington in 1861, but received little education in his early days. At the age of ten he commenced life's battles by driving a horse and cart on the road. After this he was apprenticed to Messrs. Wakelin and Payton, of the Greytown Standard for six years, and in 1882 he became a compositor on the New Zealand Times in Wellington, where he gained valuable city experience. In the following year Mr. Hornblow returned to Grevtown, where he acted as reporter and canvasser under Mr. Nation, who had page 936 purchased the local paper. After representing the New Zealand Times in the Wairarapa for six months, Mr. Hornblow was employed on the Wairarapa Star for four years, and afterwards on the Wairarapa Daily for a similar period. In 1891 he established himself in business as a printer in Masterton, and, notwithstanding keen competition, succeeded in building up a successful business, which he conducted till June, 1894, when he sold out to Messrs. Gillespie and Co. Mr. Hornblow then established his present business as an auctioneer and land agent, particulars of which are given further on in this section. In political contests Mr. Hornblow has ever taken great pleasure, and on offering himself for a seat in the Council against Mr. C. Hughes, J.P., he was returned by a substantial majority. This year he was opposed by Mr. J. L. Murray, and although that gentleman was supported by both the local papers, Mr. Hornblow was again re-elected councillor for the ensuing term of three years. He is also a member of the Trust Lands Trust and of the Masterton School Committee. In Friendly Societies Mr. Hornblow joined the Loyal Enterprise Lodge of Foresters, and passed through all the chairs, but is presently unattached. As a Good Templar and Prohibitionist he has been a leader in the cause. Mr. Hornblow is also a member of the Masterton and Wairarapa Agricultural and Pastoral Association. He was married in 1889 to the second daughter of Mr. Walter Perry, and has a son and a daughter.
Councillor R. E. Hornblow.
Councillor Alexander Mutrie, who was first returned as a member of the Borough Council of Masterton by a large majority against five candidates, and was re-elected for the present term unopposed, is a sheepfarmer residing at “Springfield,” Manaia. Born on the last day of 1843, in Kinross-shire, Scotland, he came to Wellington per ship “Agra” in 1852 with his father, who still survives. After some years at Karori, and a year on the Otago goldfields. Councillor Mutrie came to the Wairarapa in 1862. He was brought up by his grandparents to sheepfarming, and resided with them and his uncle, Mr. R. Cockburn, at Lower Manaia, until purchasing the farm of 150 acres which he now holds. From its original state of scrub, flax, and raupo swamp, the property has been transformed into a first-class farm supporting a considerable number of crossbred sheep. Mr. Mutrie, who has been a prizewinner for fat sheep, is a member of the committee of the Masterton Agricultural and Pastoral Society. As a Forester, he belongs to Court Loyal Enterprise, No. 5501, Masterton, but has declined to accept office. As a member of the Borough Council, he favours the side of the economists, being against the proposed large loan. In 1870 Mr. Mutrie was married to a daughter of the late Mr. T. Kelleher, of Masterton, but has no family.
Councillor Walter Perry was a member of the local governing body that existed prior to 1877, when the first Borough Council of Masterton was elected. He has been almost continuously a member of the Council from the beginning of municipal government in the district. Mr. Perry hails from Cornwall, where he was born in 1839. He arrived in New Zealand with his father, the late Mr. John Perry, settler, of New Plymouth, by the ship “Amelia Thompson,” and was brought up to the handicraft of a carpenter. Coming to Masterton in 1860, Mr. Perry became the pioneer butcher of the district, establishing himself in business in 1863. After a successful career of thirty years, he retired from business. Mr. Perry owns 230 acres in Masterton, which is almost entirely in cultivation, and 1000 acres elsewhere in the district, where he runs sheep and cattle. For many years he was a member of the Town Lands Trust, of the Hospital Board, and of the committee of the Wairarapa Agricultural and Pastoral Association. In 1865 Mr. Perry was married to a daughter of the late Mr. Charles Dixon, page 937 of Masterton, and has six daughters and three sons, of whom a son and two daughters are married.
Councillor William Simms, who was returned to the Masterton Borough Council in November, 1895, is a native of Ireland, from whence he came to the Colony with his parents, per ship “Ramsay,” in 1866. He received a liberal education, and turned his attention to banking, in which he received a thorough training. Entering the Bank of New Zealand from a minor position he worked steadily upwards filling almost every office, till he was entrusted with the charge of an agency of the bank. For sixteen years he enjoyed the confidence of his superiors, but was compelled to resign what he looked upon as his life's calling, on account of health, which demanded less confinement, and more fresh air. While in the bank he was for many years in Auckland, where he gained large experience, and subsequently in Masterton, where he had facilities for becoming acquainted with many settlers. After leaving the bank, Mr. Simms entered the service of Messrs. Lowes and Iorns, auctioneers, of Masterton, where he gained a considerable insight into the local trade. In conjunction with Mr. John Mowlem, Mr. Simms founded the firm of Simms and Mowlem, stock and general auctioneers, in 1894, and succeeded in building up a good business. Retiring from the firm in May, 1896, he commenced business as a land, estate, and financial agent, which he still continues, his office being situated in the Star block, Queen Street, Masterton. As a councillor, Mr. Simms advocates the progressive ticket, and supports the £30,000 water and drainage loan, for which a Bill was before Parliament during the session of 1896. He has also taken an active part in connection with the proposed town hall, which it is understood is to be put up by the Trust Lands Trustees at a cost of between £3000 and £4000. In 1892 Mr. Simms was married to a daughter of Mr. John Keand, of Christchurch, settler, and has two daughters.
Councillor Thomas Wagg was returned to the Masterton Borough Council at the election for the year 1895, defeating Mr. Walter Perry, the oldest councillor. Born at the Upper Hutt in 1892, Mr. Wagg was educated at the public schools of Greytown and Carterton, and served his apprenticeship to the coachbuilding trade with Mr. William Black, of Wellington. In 1886 he came to Masterton, establishing his present business as coachbuilder and wheelwright five years later. Mr. Wagg had on one occasion failed to secure a seat at the Council Board, but on making a second effort he was successful by a substantial majority. In local politics he is in favour of the drainage and high pressure water scheme, which involves a loan of £80,000. Mr. Wagg has identified himself with the institutions of the district in which he resides—for about four years as a member of the school committee, and for some time as a committeeman of the Wairarapa Athletic and Cycling Club. As a member of the craft he is attached to the Masterton Masonic Lodge. Mr. Wagg was married in 1887 to a daughter of the late Mr. Charles Keep, of Bloomfield, England, and has three sons and a daughter.
Photo by D. Wilton, Masterton.
Councillor T. Wagg.
Mr. Richard Brown, Town Clerk to the borough of Masterton, was born at Woodhall, Hertfordshire, England in 1848. Coming to Wellington in 1874 he stayed only a short time in the Empire City, and settled in Masterton, commencing business as a book-keeper and accountant. Three years later he was appointed town clerk of the borough, which position he has since filled with satisfaction. Mr. Brown is deservedly popular with all classes, owing to his courteous and unassuming manner. He takes a great interest in the welfare of the town, and is a member of all the various Lodges. For a time he was manager of the Masterton Building Society, and now acts as secretary to the Masterton Trust Lands Trust. He is married and has five children surviving.
Mr. R. Brown, Town Clerk.
Mr. Arthur Rigby Bunny, the Borough Solicitor, Masterton, who is the second son of the late Mr. Henry Bunny (for many years a member of the House of Representatives), was born in 1846 at Newbury, Berkshire, England. Arriving in Wellington, per ship “Duke of Portland,” in 1854, he was educated at private schools in the capital, and after studying law was admitted on the 20th of January, 1876. Having commenced the practice of his profession in Masterton, Mr Bunny was appointed solicitor to the Borough Council on its incorporation in 1878, having previously acted in a similar capacity for the local Board of Masterton. Among other solicitorships Mr. Bunny acts for the Bank of New Zealand, the Mastorton Hospital Trustees, the Masterton Trust Lands Trustees, and the Official Assignee in bankruptcy. Mr. Bunny, who is a trustee of the Masterton Park and of the local cemetery, is ever ready to help forward any deserving object. He resides at “Makoura,” in Worksop Road, and has recently purchased “The Taipos” estate of 6617 acres, situated about twenty miles from Masterton, where he carries on sheep-farming on an extensive scale.
The Masterton Public Library contains about 3000 volumes, representing all classes of literature. There is a good reading-room, well supplied with magazines and periodicals. The library is liberally supported by the public, and there are many subscribers in and around Masterton. Mrs. Forbes, the librarian, has been in charge for about two years.
The Masterton Municipal Fire Brigade has its station—a single-story wooden building—in Church Street. The appliances comprise a steam fire engine—christened the “Jubilee”—a small hand pump, and the usual hose reel, a horse being placed at the disposal of the corps. There are three bells in the borough—one at the Church Street station, one at Victoria Street, and the other at Queen Street, Kuripuni, where there is a second municipal fire brigade station. The strength of the main brigade is twenty, including the officers, whose names are:—Messrs. J. P. Prentice (captain), P. Reynolds (lieutenant), J. C. Ewington (foreman), and J. Symes (assistant foreman).
The Masterton Municipal Gasworks are situate in Bannister Street, occupying a fine section of two acres of land. The buildings, which are substantially built in brick, include a retort house, in which there are ten gas retorts, a purifying house containing four purifiers, a metre house, where up to 6000 feet per hour is registered, and a workshop and a governor house, which has eight inch connections. There are two gasometers, having respective capacities for 24,000 and 20,000 feet of gas Twenty-six street lamps in the main thoroughfares of the borough are lighted by contract in addition to the town clock at Mr. Dougall's and the Church Street fire brigade station. The works are under the care of Mr. Charles Curham as manager.