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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



Ashley has a flag railway station on the northern line of railway, and is twenty-two miles distant from Christchurch. The station is 120 feet above the sea level. There is a hotel, post office, store, and blacksmith's shop in the settlement, which had a population of 202 at the census of 1901. Ashley is only two miles from Rangiora, and is in the Kowai riding of the Ashley county. The district is devoted to agriculture, and to sheep breeding and dairy farming.

Mr. R. Meredith, whe represented Ashley in the House of Representatives, was born in County Carlow, Ireland, in 1843. He was educated at the Tullow public school, and was a schoolmaster for a few years before he came to the Colony in 1863 in the ship “Accrington,” and followed the same profession after his arrival, teaching in several schools in Canterbury until he retired in 1889 to his farm on the Moeraki Downs. In 1890, in response to a numerously-signed requisition, he contested the Ashley seat against the late Mr. J. D. Lance and Mr. J. Knight, and was returned with a majority of thirty-two votes. He again contested the seat in 1893, defeating his opponents, Mr. D. McFarlane and Mr. David Dick, by 500 votes. In 1896 he congested the seat, for the third time, against Mr. Reece and Mr. G. Renner, and was successful over the former by 370 votes. At the election of 1899 he polled 1943 votes to the opposing candidate's 1192. He stood fo the new electorate of Hurunui at the general election of November, 1902, and was third at the poll with 835 votes, the successful candidate, Mr. A. W. Rutherford, obtaining 1577 votes. Mr. Meredith is a total abstainer, and lends his influence to the temperance cause. He was sessionally elected chairman of the M to Z Public Petitions Committee of the House for many years. In 1889 he was elected a member of the North Canterbury Board of Education, and was chairman of that body in 1892, and was appointed a member of the Canterbury Land Board in 1891. He was married in 1867 to Miss Louisa Willis, page 518 eldest daughter of Mr. James Willis, proprietor of the “Canterbury Standard,” and has four sons and five daughters.

The Church Of St. Simon And Jude, at Ashley, was built in 1875. It is of wood and shingles, and has accommodation for 120 worshippers. Two services are held every Sunday. The Sunday school is attended by thirty scholars under three teachers, and a branch Sunday school is held at Sea View, the residence of Mr. George Bowron, a lay reader.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church, Ashley, was built in 1884 by the United Methodist Free Church. It is situated on a section of half an acre. The building is of wood, and has seating accommodation for eighty adults. Services are conducted by the ministers of the Rangiora circuit.


Croft, Thomas, Senior, Farmer, Middleham Hill Farm, Ashley. Mr Croft was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1837, and brought up to farming. He arrived at Lyttelton in 1865, by the ship “Glenmark.” Upon his arrival in New Zealand he engaged in farm work and contracting, and owned and managed a threshing plant. One of Mr Croft's contracts in 1884 was the cutting of the Kuku Pass—a work which he successfully carried out in three years. His present property consists of 100 acres, which he works as a sheep and agricultural farm. Mr. Croft was for four years in the North York Volunteers, and has served twelve years on the Ashley school committee. He was married, in 1864, to a daughter of the late Mr George Furby, of Yorkshire, and has six sons and five daughters.

Tolputt, photo. Mr. and Mrs. T. Croft.

Tolputt, photo.
Mr. and Mrs. T. Croft.

Croft, George Thomas, Farmer, Ashley. Mr. Croft was born in 1871 at Ashley, where he was educated and brought up to farming. He was employed as a shepherd for six years on White Rock station. On returning to Ashley, in 1899, he leased 180 acres, upon which he keeps sheep and grows crops. He is a member of the Rangiora Lodge of Oddfellows, which he joined in 1896. Mr. Croft was married, in 1899, to a daughter of the late Mr. A. Yates, of North Loburn, and has two sons and one daughter.

Dick, David, Farmer, Ashley. Mr. Dick was born in 1847, at the farm of Polcairdoch, Ballantrae, Ayrshire, Scotland, and was educated successively at the schools of Kirkoswald and Auchinflower, and under Mr. Temple, of Ballantrae. He was apprenticed at the establishment of a wholesale merchant in Ayr, but at the request of his uncle, Mr. Douglas Graham, of Riccarton, he emigrated to New Zealand by the ship “Glenmark,” on her first voyage, and landed at Lyttelton on the 20th of January, 1865. After remaining at Riccarton for a short time, he went to live with his uncle, the late Mr. William Graham, of Drumrcolin, Southbridge, where he resided over six years. At that time there were only a few houses in the district, and there was then no township of Southbridge. Mr. Dick afterwards joined his cousin, Mr William McMillan, and went into farming on an extensive scale. They held land under lease from Mr. Samuel Bealey, at Rhuddlan, Leeston, also part of Mr. Bealey's Styx property, Papanui, and the George Hill block, Sheffield, belonging to Mr. John Deans of Riccarton. Mr. Dick and Mr. McMillan claim to be the first that put the plough on that portion of the Home Bush estate. They were the first that grew wheat successfully on an extensive scale in the Malvern district; but they were quickly followed by others. Some time afterwards Mr. McMillan became manager for Mr. Wason, at Corwar, Rakaia, and Mr. Dick purchased 455 acres in the Loburn district, from Mr. Charles Delamain. He worked the land he had at Styx in conjunction with his Loburn property, and was a very large grower of potatoes, to the cultivation of which he gave special attention. On his farm at Ashley, where he now resides, he keeps a large herd of dairy cows. As a breeder of Clydesdale horses, Mr. Dick has taken over twenty champion prizes, besides second and third awards too numerous to mention. He bred “Lord Ashley,” the champion horse at the Melbourne show of 1897, and afterwards sold in Melbourne for 800 guineas. In 1896, “St. Lawrence,” a full brother of “Lord Ashley's,” and also bred by Mr. Dick, and purchased from him by Mr. John Dollar, carried off first honours at the Sydney show, where he took a prize as the best horse on the ground, and for the best colonial bred horse, and the first in his class. Mr. Dick bred both the dam and the sire of “Lord Ashley” and “St. Lawrence.” While he was in the Malvern district Mr. Dick was a member of the East Malvern Road Board, and was for many years chairman of the Ashley Road Board, and a member of the Ashley County Council. He was also a member of the Kowai Road Board, Ashley Licensing Committee, and Ashley school committee; a director of the Rangiora Bacon Factory, one of the provisional directors of the New Zealand Farmers' Co-operative Company; chairman of the Sefton Dairy Company for six years, and still a director; a member of the Loburn school committee and library, and of the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Mr. Dick unsuccessfully contested the Ashley seat at the general election of 1893. He has been Land Valuer under the Property and Land Tax Act for nineteen years, and is now District Valuer for North Canterbury, from the Waimakariri to the Clarence, under the Land Valuation Department. Mr. Dick is the eldest son of the late Mr. William Dick, of Kirkeswold, Ayrshire, Scotland. His mother, Elizabeth Graham, was a daughter of the late Mr. David Graham, farmer, Polcairdoch, son of Mr. Douglas Graham, farmer, of Shanter and Jameston, known as Tam o' Shanter. Mr. Dick's greatgrandfather was, therefore, the original of the hero in Burns's famous poem, He has in his possession several relics which belonged to his great-grandfather, such as his silver snuff box or “sneeshin mill,” his pipe, beautifully carved out of horn, his eight-day clock, and family Bible; which are, of course, all very much treasured by Mr Dick. Mr. Dick was married, in 1886, to Miss Robertson, eldest daughter of Mr. John Robertson, farmer. Willowbrook, Ashley, and has six daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo Mr. D. Dick.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo
Mr. D. Dick.

Horrell, Harry J., “The Poplars,” West Eyreton. Mr. Horrell is a son of the late Mr. John Horrell, after whom Horrellville is named. He was born at Papanui in 1857, and was educated at Woodend and West Eyreton, and was trained to farming by his father. His property consists of 200 acres, which is a portion of the original estate. He cultivates the land chiefly for breeding and fattening sheep and lambs for the export trade, using the Shropshire strain with crossbred ewes. Mr. Horrell was placed on the commission of the peace in 1886. In conjunction with the late Mr. W. F. Pearson, M.H.R., and Mr. John page 519 Dobson, now of Rangiora, Mr. Horrell worked hard in promoting the existing water supply, which has proved such a boon to the district, and was chairman of the provisional committee formed for the purpose of carrying the scheme into effect. He is chairman of the West Eyreton School Committee, and was formerly a member of the West Eyreton Road Board, of which he was interim chairman durtng Mr. Addinell's absence in England. He was also chairman of the Licensing Committee, a member of the Ashley County Council, and a member of the General and Diocesan Synods of the Church of England. Mr. Horrell was married in 1884 to Miss Ladbroke, daughter of Mr. J. W. Ladbroke, and has four daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Mr. H. J. Horrell.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. H. J. Horrell.

Kingsbury, Samuel, Farmer, Ashley Bank. Mr. Kingsbury was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1853. In 1863 his parents came to Lyttelton in the ship “Captain Cook,” and settled at Saltwater Creek. Mr. Kingsbury was brought up to country life, and began farming on his own account by leasing land at Chertsey. Subsequently he had a farm at Rakaia. Since 1881 he has been farming at Ashley Bank. Mr. Kingsbury was married, in 1879, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Dixon, of Ashley.

Lock, James Carnegy, Farmer, Hill Farm, Ashley. Mr. Lock was born in 1834 in the Isle of Wight. At the age of fourteen years he went to sea as naval cadet in a man-of-war, and served three years. He was afterwards for two years in the service of Green and Wigram, trading to India and Australia, but left it at Melbourne during the excitement of the early Victorian goldfields, and had experiences on Bendigo and the Ovens. Having returned to the Old Country, he came to Lyttelton in the ship “Clontari” in 1859, and after two or three years settled in North Canterbury. Mr. Lock was married, in 1866, to daughter of the late Mr. H. Stark, of Christchurch, and has two sons and one daughter surviving.

Robertson, John, Farmer, Ashley. Mr. Robertson has been a farmer in the Ashley district since 1866. He was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1838, and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Mermaid” in 1864. Mr. Robertson served for a number of years on the local school committee. He was married, in 1861, to a daughter of Mr. Robertson, of Perthshire, Scotland, and has seven sons and three daughters.

Old Colonists.

Mr. James Anderson was born in 1840, in Calcutta, India, where his father and mother died. He was brought up by an uncle and aunt (brother and sister) in Scotland, and came to Wellington by the barque “Clara” in 1851. Mr. Anderson has always been engaged in country pursuits, and had a dairy farm at Ferry Road, Christchurch, for twenty-three years, for ten or fifteen of which he was a member of the Woolston Borough Council and school committee. He retired in 1899, and has since resided on his property of twenty acres at Ashley. Mr. Anderson was married, in 1869, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Dixon, of Ashley, and has four daughters and two sons.

Mr. William Cone arrived at Lyttelton with his parents in the ship “Bangalore” in 1851. He was brought up to country pursuits, in which he was engaged until compelled by declining health to retire from active life. Mr. Cone served as a member of the Ashley Road Board for about three years. He was married, in 1890, to a daughter of the late Mr. Walton, of Bristol, England.