The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Bennett's takes its name from the railway station known as Bennett's Junction, which is the point where the branch lines from Oxford and Kaiapoi meet. The railway station is thirty-five miles from Christchurch, and stands at an altitude of 555 feet above the level of the sea. Close to the railway station there is a local store, at which the business of the post office is conducted, and there is also a blacksmith's shop. The district is devoted to agriculture, to sheep, and to dairy farming. Bennett's is close to that celebrated trout stream, the Cust, and within five miles of the river Ashley, the fish of which are noted for their delicate flavour. At the census of 1901 the village had a population of seventy-seven.
Bennett's Post Office, which was established about 1874, has long been conducted by Mrs. Ann Farr, at her store, close to Bennett's Junction Railway Station. Mails are received and despatched daily.
Bennett's Junction Railway Station and Telegraph Office was established in July, 1877. The station is at the junction of the Rangiora-Oxford line with the Kaiapoi-Bennett's branch, which was opened in 1880. Daily trains pass through each way, and extra trains run on three days in the week. The station building is of wood and iron, and contains a public office, ticket lobby, and a suitable waiting room. There is a good asphalt platform for passengers. There are also engine and goods sheds, and five railway cottages for the employees. The local stationmaster, and a driver and guard, reside at Bennett's Junction.
Lyons, John William, Wheelwright and General Blacksmith, Bennett's Junction. This business was established in the early seventies, and has been conducted by the present proprietor since 1901. The premises consist of a smithy and wheelwright's and painter's shops, and a residence. Mr. Lyons was born in August, 1867, at Hull, Yorkshire, England. He learned his trade in the Valley of the Wear, County Durham, and came in 1888 to Lyttelton by the s.s. “Aorangi.” For some years he worked for others at his trade, and commenced business on his own account, in October, 1898, at Lower High Street, Christchurch. Eighteen months later he removed to Kaiapoi, where he continued till taking over his present business. Mr. Lyons has been a member of the Sons and Daughters of Temperance. He was for some time a member of the Motett Society in Christchurch, and was at one time a member of the Choral Society of Auckland. Mr. Lyons was married, in 1894, to the daughter of Mr. John Tellum, of Cornwall, and has three sons.
Atkinson, William Henry, Farmer, “The Pines,” Bennett's. Mr. Atkinson was born in County Down, Ireland, on the 25th of June, 1858, and was brought up to country life on his father's farm. In 1874 he arrived in Lyftelton with his father, mother and family, by the ship “Eastern Monarch.” Mr. Atkinson settled at the Cust, where he worked for wages for ten years. He carefully saved his earnings, and began farming with a cousin between Glentui and Birch Hill. Later on he leased a farm on North Moeraki Downs, but sold out to go to the North Island. He did not care for the North Island, however, and returned to Canterbury, and purchased The Pines farm, which consisted of 227 acres of freehold land. Since that time he has bought an additional 168 acres in the neighbourhood. Mr. Atkinson served for one year as a member of the Cust Road Board, and was at one time a member of the Summerhill school committee. He was married, in 1889, to a daughter of Mr. James Moore, of Spreydon, and has three sons and two daughters.
Bennett, Robert McLean, Farmer, “Home Dale,” Bennett's. Mr. Bennett is a son of Mr. Alexander Bennett, of Richmond, Christchurch, and was born in Glasgow, in 1858. He accompanied his parents to Lyttelton ton by the ship “Motoaka,” when he was two years of age. After nine years in Christchurch, the family removed to the district, which was named after his father. Mr. Bennett was brought up to country life in the district, and has farmed on his own account since 1901. His property consists of 200 acres, on which he conducts mixed farming. Mr. Bennett has been a member of the local domain board since its inception, and has served for some years on the local school committee. He was married, in 1894, to the daughter of Mr. W. Elliott, of Bennett's, and has one daughter and three sons.
Cowan, George, Farmer, Bennett's Junotion. Mr. Cowan was born in Northumberland, England, in 1840, and was brought up to farming. In 1868 he came to Lyttelton in the ship “Mermaid,” and engaged in farm work, until starting for himself at Bennett's on 100 acres of leasehold land. He has since acquired 700 acres of freehold, including 450 acres in the Cust, and 250 acres in the Oxford district. At each of these places Mr. Cowan carries on agriculture and sheep farming. For several years Mr. Cowan has been a member of the Cust Road Board. He was one of the first promoters of the Carleton school in the old Provincial Council days, and was the first chairman of the school committee, of which he was a member for many years. Some time ago Mr. Cowan paid a six months' visit to England, where he visited the scenes of his youth, and the friends of his earlier years. Mr. Cowan was married in 1871, to a daughter of the late Mr. McVeety, of Ireland, and has two sons and four daughters.
Tolputt and Clarke, photo.
Mr. and Mrs G. Cowan.
Cross, John, Farmer, “Leeside Farm,” Bennett's. Mr. Cross was born in London in 1856 and came to the Colony with his parents in 1858, in the ship “Zealandia.” The family settled at Ferry Road, Christchurch, for two years, and then removed to Rangiora, where the subject of this sketch was educated. Mr. Cross settled at Oxford in 1874, and is now farming over 350 acres, of which 220 are freehold. The land was taken up in its native state but is now highly improved, there being two good dwelling-houses with gardens, orchards, and out-buildings. Mixed farming is carried on, and the sheep kept are Border-Leicesters. Mr. Cross has always taken an active part in local matters; he is a member of the Oxford Road Board, Carleton School Committee, page 490 and Domain Board. He is also member of the cricket club, and was a promoter of the Carleton Sports Association. Mr. Cross was married in 1891 to Miss Englebrecht, and has two sons and two daughters.
Mr. J. Cross.
Elliott, William, Farmer, Bennett's. Mr. Elliott owns 200 acres of land, which includes twenty acres of leasehold. He was born at Dorking, Surrey, England, in 1838, and became gardener for Sir Benjamin Brodie. In 1863 he came to Lyttelton by the ship “Lancashire Witch.” For a year he was gardener to the Hon. Leslie Lee, at Rangiora, and afterwards followed his occupation independently as a gardener for a number of years. About 1872 Mr. Elliott took up the first part of his property in the Bennett's district, and has since increased his holding. He served for two terms as a member of the Carleton school committee. Mr. Elliott was married on the 10th of March, 1863, to the daughter of the late Mr. John Lewis, of Flowton, Suffolk, England, and has six daughters.
Tolputt and Clarke, photo.
Mr. and Mrs W. Elliott.
Englebrecht, George, Farmer, Bennett's Junction. Mr. Englebrecht was born at his father's farm in the district in 1874. He farmed for several years with his brother at Waimate; and in 1900 commenced sheep-farming for himself on 400 acres of land. He was married, in 1901, to a daughter of Mr. Charles Clarke, of West Oxford.
Englebrecht, Henry, Farmer, Pine Tree Farm, Bennett's Junction. Mr. Englebrecht was born in Germany in 1840, and came to Lyttelton in 1857 in the ship “Bosworth.” He was farming at Kaiapoi Island until the time of the flood in the north branch of the Waimakariri, in 1866. Later on he bought 115 acres of his present property, to which he added from time to time; and now he has 1030 acres of freehold and seventy acres of leasehold, on which he keeps sheep and carries on general farming. He has a fine two-storey residence, surrounded with well grown shelter trees; in the vicinity there are commodious outbuildings, a sheep dip, and well arranged pens for drafting sheep. Mr. Englebrecht was a member of the Oxford Road Board for four years, and was for five years on the Carleton school committee. He was married, in 1861, to a daughter of Mr. Lancelot Giles, of Kaiapoi Island, and has four sons and five daughters. One daughter died in 1899.
Finlay, James, Farmer, Bennett's. Mr. Finlay was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1849, and was brought up as a shepherd. He followed his calling till 1875, when he came to Lyttelton by the ship “Soukar.” Mr. Finlay found employment as a shepherd at Woodstock station, and was for some time employed in that capacity at that station or at Fernside, which was the property of the same owners. In 1880 he took up a piece of freehold land at Bennett's where he has since conducted a dairy and mixed farm. Since 1899 Mr. Finlay has been a member of the Carleton school committee. He was married, in January, 1874, to the daughter of Mr. John Wallace, of Lanarkshire, and has five sons and four daughters.
Glentui Station, Bennett's, the property of the Assets Realisation Board, consists of 7,050 acres of freehold and about 30,000 acres of leasehold, and carries 32,000 Merino and crossbred sheep.
Mr. John O'Halloran, J.P., Manager of the Glentui Station, was born at Clare, Ireland, in 1840. Soon afterwards his parents removed to Shantalla, Galway, where he lived till he came to New Zealand in the ship “Chrysolite,” in 1862. He entered the employment of the late Mr. A. H. Cunningham, of Fernside, and accompanied that gentleman and his son, Charles, to the West Coast, through Browning's Pass, with the first mob of sheep from Canterbury, for the goldfields. The sheep were most acceptable to the miners who were living in camp between the Dividing Range and Hokitika. Mr. O'Halloran has a lively recollection of his experiences in the snowy ranges on that occasion. In 1865 he was placed in charge of the Okuku run of 23,000 acres. He purchased freehold land at Loburn in 1873, and took up a run of 3000 acres, which he sold in 1877, becoming manager for the new proprietor, the Hon. E. Richardson, who had 20,000 sheep and 500 head of cattle grazing on a number of merged runs. On the late Mr. John Inglis closing the Canterbury business of Matheson's Agency, Mr. O'Halloran bought land on the late Mr. T. page 491 Ellis's Ashley Gorge run. He was enabled, through the successful operations of the Belfast Freezing Works, and the consequent advance in the price of stock, to arrange the purchase of Mr. Ellis's homestead flock, and some of the heavier land along the Cust Drain. At the sale of the Glentui estate by the Assets Board in December, 1899, he bought the homestead block, and other lots aggregating 2000 acres. He now farms 700 acres of agricultural and pastoral land, and keeps on an average 8000 sheep of various breeds to suit his climate and pastures. Mr. O'Halloran took a prominent part in connection with the building of the Roman Catholic churches at Loburn and Oxford. He was a member and chairman of the North Loburn school committee, chairman of the Carleton Doman Board, served on the Ashley Road Board for several terms, and was chairman of the governing body of the Waimakariri-Ashley water-races during his six years' connection with that body. Mr. O'Hallorn was married, in 1880, to Miss Cummings, and has one son and three daughters.
Moderate Brothers (William, David, and Alexander Moderate), Farmers, Bennett's. These well-known settlers hold 474 acres of land, all freehold except twenty-four acres, and carry on mixed farming. They were all born near Belfast, Ireland, and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Chrysoiite” in 1862, and settled at Kaiapoi. Subsequently they removed to Fernside, and took up their residence in the Bennett's district in 1870. The property now owned by them was then in its natural state, and has since been brought into thorough cultivation. Mr. Alexander Moderate has served as a member of the West Eyreton and Cust Road Boards. He was also a member of the Carleton school committee. Ncne of the brothers are married.
Reid, Robert, Farm Manager, Traction Engine and Chaffcutting Machine Proprietor, Bennett's Junction. Mr. Reid was born in 1877 at his father's farm in the district. He received his education at Carleton school, and has always followed farm work. Mr. Reid has been manager of his father's farm since the death of the latter in 1901. He is also proprietor of a traction engine of six horse power; and of an Andrews and Beaven chaffcutting machine. This engine and machine are capable of cutting and bagging from two to three tons of chaff an hour, and Mr. Reid makes very short work of many huge stacks in the Oxford, Cust, and West Eyreton districts.
Storer, William, Farmer, “Endersleigh,” Bennett's Junction. Mr. Storer was born in Warwickshire, England, in 1846, and came to Lyttelton with his parents by the ship “Randolph,” in 1850. The family remained for a year at the Port, and for a similar period at Woolston. For some eighteen months afterwards they lived on the Sand Hills, Cashel Street, Christchurch. They then removed to Kaiapoi Island, where they remained for over fifteen years. At the end of that time, Mr. Storer removed to the plains in the Oxford district, and settled at Bennett's in 1874. His property embraces fifty page 492 acres of freehold land, which has been brought into a thorough state of cultivation. The remains of the original sod whare, which was first erected on the property, are still in existence, but the modern homestead consists of substantial farm buildings and a comfortable house surrounded by ornamental trees; Mr. Storer also farms 240 acres of leasehold land. Mr. Storer has served as a member of the Carleton school committee. In 1874 he married the daughter of the late Mr. Richard Mason, of Nelson, Kaiapoi and Fernside, and has three sons and three daughters.
Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. and Mrs W. Storer.
Thompson, William John, Farmer, “Marshdale,” Bennett's; Postal address, Cust Mr. Thompson was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1859. He was brought by his father, Mr. R. Thompson, of Cust, to Lyttelton, by the ship “Gannonoque,” in May, 1860, and was brought up to country life. Mr. Thompson was employed by his father until he started on his own account in 1882, when he bought 150 acres of land, which he has since increased to 475 acres, all freehold. He devotes himself chiefly to sheep-farming. Mr. Thompson has been a member of the Summerhill school committee since 1902. He was married, in August, 1894, to the daughter of the late Mr. W. Bennett, of West Eyreton, and has two sons and one daughter.
Standish and Preece photo.
Mr. and Mrs W. J. Thompson.
Mr. Thomas King, sometime of Bennett's Junction, was born in Lanarkshire. Scotland, in 1851, and came to Lyttelton in the ship “Chrysolite,” in 1862. He was employed in general farm work until 1880, when he leased 300 acres at Bennett's Junction, and carried on sheep-farming and agriculture until his death in 1897. For many years Mr. King was a champion plougher, and was also noted as an athlete, especially in connection with tossing the caber. Mr. King was married, in 1883, to a daughter of the late Mr. Richard Mason, of Fernside. Mrs King died in 1888, leaving two sons and one daughter. Mr. King was married again in 1890, to a daughter of the late Mr. George Hamilton, of Ashburton, and two sons and one daughter were born of this union.
The late Mr. T. King.
Mr. Robert Reid, sometime of One Willow Farm, Bennett's Junction, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1849, and followed farming until he came to Lyttelton in the ship “Agamemnon,” in 1862. He went to Kaiapoi Island, where he engaged in general farm work for some years, and finally moved to One Willow Farm at Bennett's. From time to time he added to his area, until he had 370 acres of freehold, on which he conducted mixed farming. In 1896 he bought a traction engine and chaff-cutting machine, with which he used to cut chaff for a large number of farmers throughout the district. Mr. Reid was a member of the Grand Orange Lodge of New Zealand, and also of the Rangiora and Oxford Orange Lodges. He was married, in 1870, to a daughter of the late Mr. Lancelot Giles, of Kaiapoi Island. Mr. Reid died in 1901, leaving seven sons and six daughters.
A Threshing Mill at Work: The late Mr. R. Reid on the Engine.