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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



Southbrook is in the Mandeville riding of the county of Ashley. It is built on the Christchurch-Culverden line, nineteen miles from Christchurch, and a little more than one mile from Rangiora. The railway station stands at an elevation of fifty-five feet above the sea. There are two flour mills, a flax mill, a number of churches, a public school, post office, and two stores in the district, which was formerly covered with heavy bush. This, however, has all been cleared away, and the land is now covered with agricultural and dairy farms. At the census of 1901 Southbrook and neighbourhood had a population of 1070 souls.

The Post Office, Southbrook, was established about 1872. Daily mails are received and despatched, and the postmaster, who has held office since 1893, is Mr. W. Dyson.

The Public School, Southbrook, is one of the oldest in North Canterbury. It is built of wood and iron, contains two class rooms and two porches, and has accommodation for 175 pupils. There are 148 names on the roll, and the average attendance is 124. The headmaster is assisted by a mistress and two pupil-teachers. There are about three acres of land attached to the school premises, which include a schoolhouse of five rooms.

Mr. James Bibb Borthwick, Headmaster of the Southbrook Public School, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1860. He arrived with his mother in Lyttelton by the ship “Canterbury,” in 1866, and finished his primary school education at the West Christchurch School, where he served his pupilteachership. After a year at the Normal Training College, he entered the service of the Board of Education, and was appointed to Southbrook in 1900. Mr. Borthwick was married, in 1896, to a daughter of Mr. Dorman, of Springfield and has two daughters.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church, Southbrook is centrally situated in the township. The first portion of the building was removed from Ashley Street, Rangiora, but a new church was subsequently erected, and the two, having since been joined together, provide ample Sunday school room accommodation. When the Methodist Union was consummated, the Free Methodist Church in Rangiora was removed to Southbrook, and adjoins the other premises. It is a good building of wood and iron, and has seating accommodation for 180 persons. There is a very fine Sunday school at Southbrook, with 130 scholars and fifteen teachers.

Watson, George, Butcher, Southbrook. Mr. Watson was born in January, 1837, at Monk Wearmouth, Sunderland, England. He was brought up as a butcher, and was in business on his own account in his native place for about three years before he came to New Zealand, in 1858 by the ship “Indiana.” After his arrival he settled at Southbrook, where, for over forty years, he has resided on his present premises. Mr. Watson was actively engaged in business as a butcher till 1901, when he retired in favour of his son. page 458 He has held office as a trustee and circuit steward in connection with the Methodist Church for many years, and was for many years a member of the Southbrook school committee, of which he was chairman for several terms. Mr. Watson was married in June, 1858, to a daughter of the late Mr. R. Pace, of Monk Wearmouth, and has seven daughters and four sons surviving out of a family of fourteen.

Withers, James, General Merchant, Flax and Rope Miller, Builder and Contractor, Sawmiller and Timber Merchant, Southbrook. This extensive business was founded by the proprietor in 1867. Though he began only in the building line, Mr. Withers gradually developed the flax industry, to which he subsequently added rope-manufacturing. In connection with his business as a builder and contractor, he put down a sawmilling plant, and has extensive yards for stacking timber. The buildings are large and well adapted for the requirements of a considerable trade, which includes storekeeping in all branches. Mr. Withers was born in London, in 1843, educated in his native city, and apprenticed to the trade of a builder. As such he worked in England till 1862, when he came to Lyttelton by the ship “Queen of the Mersey.” At first he settled in Rangiora, where he engaged in farming pursuits for about three years before establishing his business in Southbrook. Mr. Withers was married on the 29th of February, 1864, to a daughter of Mr. G. Smith, of Southbrook, and has one son surviving.

Mr. J. Withers' Premises.

Mr. J. Withers' Premises.

Archer, Harry, Rangiora Flour Mill, Southbrook. Mr. Archer was born in Essex, England, in 1844, and was brought up to the milling trade. He arrived at Lyttelton, by the ship “Mermaid” in 1865. At first he was employed at Messrs Aulsebrook's, in Christchurch, for a short time, and afterwards had four years of experience on the West Coast. On returning to Canterbury, Mr. Archer built a mill at Malvern, and worked it for some time before settling at Southbrook. Mr. Archer was married, in 1876, to a daughter of Mr. G. Willis, of Malvern, and has two sons and three daughters.

Southbrook Roller Flourmill (Messrs Moir and Co., proprietors), Southbrook. This mill was built many years ago, and was afterwards burnt down and rebuilt. It is a wood and iron building of four stories, and is driven by steam and water power. There is a weekly output of fifty tons, and the mill is under the management of Mr. John McKenzie.

McIntosh, Kenneth, Farmer, Southbrook. Mr. McIntosh was born in Ross-shire, Scotland, in 1832, and was brought up to farming. He came to Lyttelton by the ship “Mystery” in 1858, and settled in Kaiapoi, where he took up land, and engaged in farming for fifteen years. On removing to Southbrook, he took up an area of 700 acres, on which he has since resided, and altogether he farms over 2000 acres. As a breeder of Clydesdale horses, Mr. McIntosh has taken many prizes. He was married, in 1858, to a daughter of Mr. A. Cruickshank, of Invernessshire, and has four daughters and eight sons.

Pearson, George William, Farmer, Southbrook, Mr. Pearson was born at Flaxton, in 1876, was brought up as a farmer, and has worked his property, which is forty-one acres in extent, since 1899. He also possesses a full threshing machine and chaff-cutting plant, which is in demand for many miles around. Mr. Pearson has been a member of the North Canterbury Mounted Rifles. He was married, in 1900, to a daughter of the late Mr. G. Ridley, of Fendalton, and has one son.

Sansom, William, Farmer, Southbrook. Mr. Sansom was born in Surrey, England, in 1844, came to New Zealand in the ship “Ashburton,” in 1857, and afterwards became a coach proprietor and mail contractor in North Canterbury. When the railway was completed to Amberley, and the coaching days mine to an end, Mr. Sansom took to farming and settled on his compact property, which contains about 300 acres of good land. He has always taken a leading interest in Masonic affairs, and has been a member of the craft for over thirty years. He is also connected with the Kaiapoi Woollen Factory, of which he was one of the first promoters. Mr. Sansom was married in Kaiapoi in 1864, and has seven children.

Standish and Preece, photoMr. W. Sansom.

Standish and Preece, photo
Mr. W. Sansom.

page 459

Todd, David, Farmer, Southbrook. Mr. Todd was burn in Suffolk, England, in 1826. He arrived in New Zealand in 1856 by the ship “Isabella Hercus,” and settled at Riccarton. Four years later Mr. Todd moved to Southbrook where he bought land. He was one of the first to settle on the Rangiora Swamp. Mr. Todd was married, in 1857, to a daughter of the late Mr. T. Norfolk, and has five daughters and four sons.

Seed, James, Southbrook. Mr. Seed was born in Walton Lee Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, England, in 1842, and came to New Zealand in the ship “Victory” which arrived at Lyttelton on the 18th October, 1863. He found employment at general station work for a few months, then settled at Rangiora and engaged at bush work for about six years. Mr. Seed then turned his attention to the flax industry and rope and twine manufacture, and went into partnership with Messrs J. and J. Thompson in one of the first mills in Canterbury. He continued in that line of business for twenty-four years, after which he entered into business as a general merchant. About the time the first Deering binder came into use, Mr. Seed invented a new twine which was a great success and has come extensively into demand. He has also invented a patent window sash-roller for railway carriages, which is both noiseless and useful. Mr. Seed was a member of the school committee for upwards of twenty years, and for some years was chairman. Mr. Seed was the founder of the Sons and Daughters of Temperance lodge at Rangiora in 1872, and at one time held the position of G. W. P. and later of M. W. P. of New Zealand. He was married in 1870, and has one son and three daughters living. Mr. Seed sold his business at Southbrook in 1902 to Mr. Harry Hill.

Mr. J. Seed.

Mr. J. Seed.

A Ferny Nook.

A Ferny Nook.