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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



Fairford is a run of 1600 acres near the Cave, and is owned by Mr. Albert Smith. It was originally part of the Levels sheep station, but was taken up on the perpetual lease system in 1890 by the present proprietor, who has effected extensive improvements on the place, which now carries a flock of half-bred English Leicester sheep.

Mr. Albert Smith was born in Gloucestershire, England, where he followed farming pursuits during his early years. He came to New Zealand in 1859 in the ship “Zealandia.” and engaged in station work at Coldstream with Messrs Scott and Grey. In 1863 he went to work for Mr Mellish at Lake Heron. There were then no roads or bridges in the district, and the haulage was done by bullocks. Mr. and Mrs Smith met with bad weather on their way to Lake Heron, and their journey thither occupied five weeks. Mr. Smith commenced farming on his own account in 1866 at Pleasant Point, where he passed ten years, and removed to Albury in 1876. There he carried on farming till 1888, when he sold out. He was married, in 1857, to Miss Major, and has two sons and six daughters.

Mr. A. Smith.

Mr. A. Smith.

McGrath, B., Darling Downs, Cave. Mr. McGrath was born in 1868 at Oxford, where he passed his early years on the farm of his father, the late Mr. Thomas McGrath, who came to New Zealand in 1862. He purchased Darling Downs from Mr. Donald Matheson in 1898. It contains 637 acres, and is devoted to the production of wool and mutton for the export trade. The land grows rape and other root crops to perfection, and the farm is divided into conveniently sized paddocks. Mr. McGrath's homestead is charmingly situated on the top of a round knoll, whence one obtains a splendid view of the river, plains and sea, and on a clear day, even of Banks' Peninsula. Whilst at Oxford Mr McGrath served as director of the sheep dipping company page 946 at Viewhill, and was also a supporter of the Working Men's Club. He always took an active part in football and cricket.

Mr. B. McGrath.

Mr. B. McGrath.

McPherson, Alexander, Sheepfarmer, Mount Misery, Cave. Mr. McPherson was born in 1843, in Caithness-shire, Scotland, and was educated at Braemore school. In 1870 he came out to New Zealand in the ship “James Nicol Fleming,” and entered the service of Messrs Buckley and McLean Brothers, of Waikakahi, where he remained for twenty years. In 1890 he took up his present holding of about 2000 acres on the lease in perpetuity system, and has made substantial and permanent improvements. The homestead is built on a piece of tableland overlooking the Pareora river gorge. It commands a good view of the Southern Alps, and is sheltered by a well grown plantation. The run is divided into conveniently sized paddocks, and carries a robust flock of crossbred sheep. Mr. McPherson is a member of the local school committee. He was married, in 1863, to Miss Cunningham, and has eight sons and six daughters.