The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Kohukohu is the chief centre of the timber industry on the Hokianga river, and the Kauri Timber Company has large mills and offices at the township. Vessels of heavy draught can sail up the indented estuary from the Heads and find berthage at the mill wharves. Kohukohu has churches, a good hotel, several stores, hall and public school, post and telegraph office, and a population of about 300. The timber industry is in itself of great immediate importance, but it also means that as the bush is cleared off thousands of acres of excellent land will become available for settlement. Mr. Breidecker has a vineyard close to the township and produces many hundreds of gallons of excellent wine, and this industry bids fair to be eminently successful in that part of the district. The Hokianga Fruit Association has its headquarters at Kohukohu, and there are many excellent orchards in the neighbourhood.
Seon, Cornelius William Pellatt, Accountant, Auctioneer, Estate, Native and General Agent, Kohukohu, Branch at Rawene. Postal and telegraphic address, “Seon, Kohukohu.” Bankers, Union Bank of Australia, Ltd., Auckland. Agencies, Northern Steamship Company and National Fire and Marine Insurance Company. Mr. Seon, who conducts a large and gradually extending business, is well known throughout the whole of the Hokianga and adjoining counties. As a public man he is a prominent figure and has done a great deal to forward the interests of Kohukohu. Being an expert Maori linguist, his valuable services in that direction have been of much public use, both as a valuer and in native land transfer work, which is very extensive. Mr. Seon was born in Whangarei in 1864, and is a son of the late Capt. Seon, harbour master of Hokianga. He received his education in Auckland and adopted the profession of an accountant; was four years at Gisborne and afterwards at Napier, where page 621 he was native interpreter and secretary to the late Hon. John Sheehan. On the death of his father, Mr. Seon returned to Kohukohu, where he established himself in his present business. He initiated the scheme for the reclamation of the sports ground, is secretary and treasurer of the Hokianga Settlers' Association, librarian of the Hokianga Public Library and chairman of the Regatta Committee. During the general election of 1896 Mr. Seon received a large and influentially signed requisition to allow himself to be nominated for a seat in the House, but for private reasons declined. He is married to Miss Harrison, of Waimate, to whose exertions the success of the Hokianga Floral Association has been largely attributed. Like her husband, Mrs. Seon is thoroughly conversant with the native language.
Mr. C. W. P. Seon.
Halliwell Bros. (George Edwin Halliwell, Frederick Halliwell, and Herbert Halliwell), Butchers, Kohukohu. Branch at Rawene. This firm's business was established in 1882 by the late Mr. G. Halliwell, father of the present partners, and taken over by them in 1893. Their trade extends throughout the whole of the Hokianga district, live stock is bought chiefly in Bay of Islands County, grazed on Messrs. Halliwell Bros,' property of 250 acres at Kohukohu, and slaughtered as required. The firm do the entire trade of Kohukohu and Rawene, and ship meat weekly to Hokianga Heads and Mangamuka. Their slaughter-yards, situated at Bankfield, are of modern construction and thoroughly up-to-date. Mr. George Edwin Halliwell, the senior partner, was born in Halifax, England, in 1870, and came with his parents to New Zealand, landing at Auckland, per ship “Orari,” in 1877. Some few years of his life were spent in that city, after which he assisted his father in conducting the butchery he had established at Kohukohu. On his father's decrease, the business was taken over by him and his two brothers.
Lester Bros. (Robert Ernest Lester and Charles Bertram Lester), General Storekeepers and Traders, Kohukohu. Branch at Rawene. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand, Auckland. Messrs. Lester Bros. established their flourishing business in 1892 in premises containing a floor space of 2500 square feet and replete with a varied stock of merchandise systematically arranged according to the respective departments of the trade. There are large store-rooms at the rear of the premises for bulk goods, and a commodious grain house adjoining.
Mr. Robert Ernest Lester, the Managing Partner at Kohukohu, was born in Leicester, England, in 1856, and is a son of Mr. Robert Lester, of Mount Roskill, Auckland. After carrying on farming pursuits in the Port Albert district for ten years, Mr. Lester returned to Auckland, where he began commercial life establishing himself in business as a grocer in Karangahape Road. Subsequent to making a travelling engagement in Australia, Mr. Lester started the store at Kohukohu for the Kauri Timber Company, but left the company shortly afterwards to manage a store for Mr. S. H. Godden. Eighteen page 622 months later, Mr. Lester conjointly with his brother, established the present firm of Lester Bros. His favourite pastime is orchard work. In 1900 he built a large sanatorium of sixteen rooms at Kohukoha, and laid out five acres in a vinery and orchard. He now conducts this property conjointly with his business. Mr. Lester is married to a daughter of Mr. M. Scott, of Manurewa, and has two daughters.
Mr. R. E. Lester.
Wallace, David Brown, General Storekeeper and Provision Dealer, Kohukohu, Telegraphic address, “Wallace, Kohukohu.” Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand, Auckland, Mr. Wallace's business was originally established by Messrs. Andrewes and Yarborough in 1861 and taken over by Mr. Wallace in 1891. The premises are large and commodious and contain a first-class stock of general merchandise. An excellent connection is maintained on “The River” and over a very wide area. Mr. Wallace was born in Dundee in 1845, came with his parents to New Zealand in 1855 per ship “Bank of England” and finished his education in Auckland, where he entered upon a mercantile life. In 1866 he established himself as a timber merchant at Greymouth, but gave it up two years later and returned to Auckland. After spending six years on the Thames, Mr. Wallace was engaged at a mill at Whangapoua, belonging to Mr. J. S. Macfarlane. He subsequently went to Turua, where he managed for two years the mill now owned by Messrs. Bagnall Bros. Coming next to Kohukohu, Mr. Wallace was appointed secretary to the Hokianga Sawmills Company, which post he filled for five years and, subsequently, managed the company for twelve months. He then took charge of the Waiotu sawmills for a year, but returned to Kohukohu to take charge of the Kauri Timber Company's mills. Three years later he purchased his present business from Mr. Godden. Mr. Wallace was the first master of the Masonic lodge in the district and is secretary of the local school committee.