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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]



Tokarahi , originally the name of a large sheep station, is now a flourishing agricultural and pastoral settlement, which is connected with Oamaru by the Tokarahi branch line of railway. It was originally intended that the line should be continued to Naseby in Central Otago, which would then have been connected with the port of Oamaru; but that was frustrated by the people of Dunedin inaugurating the Otago Central railway. Tokarahi railway station is twenty-two miles from Oamaru, and stands at an elevation of 721 feet above the level of the sea. Two trains run each way on four days of the week. There is a post office and telephone bureau, and a public school, and the Island Cliff creamery is not more than a mile from the railway station. The country is undulating, and of rich limestone formation. It is in the Otekaike riding of the Waitaki county, in the electorate of Mount Ida. The original estate was owned for many years by Messrs Borton and McMaster. A large portion of the estate, which had been acquired by the Government for close settlement, was thrown open in 1897, but the homestead was retained by Mr. A. A. McMaster, the present proprietor. According to the census of March, 1901, the village and neighbourhood had then a population of 176. The district is watered by the Awamoko river.

Tokarahi Public School was established in 1899. It has a glebe of five acres, is of wood and iron, is a school and residence combined, and has accommodation for sixty-four pupils. There are thirty-five names on the roll, and the average attendance is twenty-eight. The teacher in charge, Miss Elizabeth Susan Eudora de Lambert, was born in Ceylon, and arrived in New Zealand with her parents in 1883.

Bremner, Alexander , Farmer, “The Willows,” Tokarahi. Mr. Bremner was born in Scotland, in 1852, and came to Port Chalmers with his parents in 1857 by the ship “Palmyra.” The family settled in Dunedin, and there he was educated. He has done a great deal of cropping and contract work in the Tokarahi district, and for seventeen years was in the employment of Mr. George Hutchison. Mr. Bremner took up his holding near the Livingstone Hill in 1897. The property consists of 100 acres held under a lease in perpetuity, and in addition to working this, Mr. Bremner generally crops from 100 to 200 acres of land.

Duff, John Alexander , Farmer, Centre Park, Tokarahi. Mr. Duff was born in Dunedin, in 1830, and was educated at Green Island. He was brought up to country life at Waihola, and afterwards started business as a butcher at Outram. After about fifteen years the business was taken over by his son, and Mr. Duff acquired “Centre Park.” This is a property of 431 acres held under a lease in perpetuity, and is worked as a mixed farm. During his residence at Outram, Mr. Duff took a prominent part in all matters affecting the welfare of the town; he served on the Town Board for most of the time, and also on the school committee. As a volunteer Mr. Duff served in the cadet corps. He was married, in 1875, to Miss Steele, of the North of Ireland, and has three sons and two daughters.

Hore, James Joseph , Farmer, Hill View, Tokarahi. Mr. Hore was born in 1873 at Naseby, Central Otago, and was brought page 487 up to farming on his father's farm. In 1897 he drew 200 acres of the Tokarahi estate, under a lease in perpetuity, and he has erected a convenient dwelling-house and out-buildings constructed about three miles of fencing, sunk a deep well, and put up a windmill on his property, Mr. Hore has also 300 acres of freehold at Maerewhenua. During his residence at Naseby he was a member of the Maniototo Football Club, and was also connected with cricket, and with the Farmers' Association, of which he was secretary for some time. Mr. Hore was married, on the 20th September, 1900, to a daughter of Mr. George Arthur Miller, of Gore, and has two sons and one daughter.

Howden, William Chalmers , Farmer, “Glenmoa,” Tokarahi. Mr. Howden was born in 1853 in Dunedin, educated at Green Island, and brought up to farming. He was in business as a butcher for a short time at Caversham, before settling in the Oamaru district in 1877. In 1880 he leased a farm on the Tokarahi estate from Mr. McMaster, and on the opening of the settlement in 1897, secured part of the same block on which his homestead already stood. Mr. Howden's property consists of 454 acres of land, which he holds under a lease in perpetuity, and devotes to mixed farming. Mr. Howden served as a volunteer in the North Otago Hussars and is at present (1904) a member of the Ngapara Rifle Club. For some time he has served on the Island Cliff school committee, and now acts as its secretary. As a Freemason he is a Past Master of Lodge Ngapara, No. 68, New Zealand Constitution. Mr. Howden was married, in 1888, to a daughter of Mr. Thomas Finnie, of Saddle Hill, and has three daughters.

Hutchison, George Tudhope , Farmer, “Rocklands,” Tokarahi. Mr. Hutchison was born in Lanarkshire. Scotland, in 1839. He was brought up to country life, and served for some time as a gardener. In 1861 he came to Port Chalmers, by the ship “Young American,” which brought out the first lot of Leicester sheep for the mon. Mathew Holmes and the New Zealand Land Company. Mr. Hutchison was a lumper at Port Chalmers for a time, was employed for a few months at Saddle Hill, and afterwards had five years' experience on the Nokomai, Nevis, Arrow, Twelve Mile, Shotover, and Molyneux diggings. Subsequently he spent eighteen months on the West Coast, and after a trip to Wellington and Nelson returned to Saddle Hill, where he took contracts for felling bush, making roads, and afterwards purchased a team and commenced carting. For some time he conveyed flour from the Kakanui flour mill and other places, and delivered it to surf boats on the beach. Mr. Hutchison started farming at Happy Valley, near Kakanui, and was afterwards for seven years cropping at Kauroo, near Maheno. In 1876 he removed to Tokarahi, and commenced contract ploughing under Mr. McMaster. He was the first to turn a furrow on the “Tables,” before either roads or fences were constructed. For about eighteen years before the Government acquired the Tokarahi estate, Mr. Hutchison leased 800 acres from the proprietors, and when the property was cut up, he acquired 536 acres, on which his original homestead had been erected in 1876. He has served on the Island Cliff school committee, and has long been a member of the North Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Mr. Hutchison was married, in April, 1870, to a daughter of Mr. William Brash, who came to Otago in 1858 by the ship “Three Bells,” and now (1904) resides at Ngapara. Mr. Hutchison has two sons.

Huxford, George , “Ana-Tini.” Tokarahi. Mr. Huxford was born in 1857, in Devonshire, England, and was brought up to country life. He spent a few years at sea, before coming to Lyttelton by the ship “James Wishart,” in 1877. After engaging in mining for a few years in Lake Wakatipu district, he settled in 1888 at Kurow, where he was Government stock agent for seven years. In 1897 Mr. Huxford acquired his present property of 291 acres, under a lease in perpetuity; he works it as a mixed farm, and he has now made substantial improvements. The compound Maori word Ana-Tini means many caves, and is thoroughly descriptive of Mr. Huxford's property. Mr. Huxford is a member of the Order of Foresters at Kurow. He was married, in 1890, to a daughter of Mr. Thomas Anderson, J.P., of Little Awakino, Kurow, by whom he has had six children.

Mr. and Mrs G. Huxford.

Mr. and Mrs G. Huxford.

Jamieson, Joseph , Farmer, “Spring-side,” Tokarahi, Mr. Jamieson was born in Wigtonshire, Scotland, in 1853, and was brought up to a country life. He arrived at Port Chalmers in 1877 by the ship “Invercargill,” and for two years was at Mount Royal station, near Palmerston, and for a similar period at Tuapeka West. Mr. Jamieson was employed at Tokarahi for six years by Mr. McMaster, from whom he leased a block of land in 1887. On the opening of the settlement, he was fortunate in securing this property, which consists of 374 acres held under lease in perpetuity; he raises Clydesdale horses, cattle, sheep, and Yorkshire pigs. Mr. Jamieson served for three years as a member of the Island Cliff school committee.

McCone, James , Farmer, “The Willows,” Tokarahi. Mr. McCone was born in County Antrim, Ireland, on the 26th of July, 1866, and came to Port Chalmers by the ship
Mahan and Muir, photo. Mr. J. McCone.

Mahan and Muir, photo.
Mr. J. McCone.

page 488 “Auckland” in 1879. The family settled at Kurow, where James McCone was brought up to country life. In 1887 he started cropping on his own account on the Otekaike station, where he continued for about seven years, and he was afterwards sheepfarming for a similar period on the Naseby Pass Road. In 1900 Mr. McCone drew a section of 260 acres under a lease in perpetuity, and built a substantial homestead at “The Willows,” but he still holds a grazing run of about 6000 acres, on which he runs 3090 sheep. Mr. McCone was married, in March, 1893, to a daughter of Mr. William Barrie, of Otiake, and has two sons and three daughters.

Tokarahi Station , Tokarahi. This property was taken up with others in 1861 by Messrs Borton and McMaster and at the dissolution of the partnership, in 1878, the part known as “Tokarahi” was taken over by the late Mr. Alex. McMaster. It consisted of 13,000 acres of freehold and 70,000 leasehold, with a carrying capacity of 42,000 sheep. The Crown leases expired in 1891. A large amount of the freehold property has been sold by Mr. A. A. McMaster to the Government for settlement purposes, and he has retained only the homestead block with 1500 acres. This land is splendidly adapted for grain and root crops and the rearing and fattening of stock. Mr. McMaster keeps a small stud of thoroughbred horses and choice lots of pure-bred Alderney, Jersey and Guernsey cattle from imported stock; but the great feature of the property is its stud flock of strong combing heavy fleeced Merinos, descended from South Australian stock imported in 1864. At the dissolution of the original partnership this flock was divided, and in the following year the late Mr. Alex. McMaster imported another twenty rams from Mr. C. B. Fisher, of South Australia. In this way he established the existing high-class Tokarahi stud, which has gained over 330 first, second and third prizes, exclusive of numerous championships.

Mr. Alex. A. Mcmaster , Of “Tokarahi,” was born in 1863, at “Waikaura,” Oamaru, and educated at Rugby and on the Continent. He is a son of the late Mr. A. McMaster, sometime of the firm of Borton and McMaster. After a few years of travelling and training in commercial pursuits, he came to Oamaru to assist his father in the management of his property. Mr. McMaster has always taken great interest in athletic sports. He was married, in 1889, to Miss Reid, of Elderslie, and has two sons and one daughter.

Mr. A. A. McMaster.

Mr. A. A. McMaster.

Robertson, James , Runholder, Tokurahi. Mr. Robertson was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1863, and educated at Blackford. In his earlier years he followed farming, but subsequently entered commercial life in Perth and at Stirling. He came to New Zealand in 1877 in the ship “Timaru,” and landed at Dunedin. In September, 1877, he settled in the Waimate district, chiefly for the purpose of growing wheat on the Waikakahi estate, and he did that for fifteen years; in 1883 he took up 325 acres of Crown land, which he used chieffy in connection with the breeding and feeding of horses. Mr. Robertson took up a sheep run in North Otago in 1895. It comprises 14,000 acres, is known as Ben Ledi, and carries a flock of Merino and crossbred sheep. Mr. Robertson also owns a freehold farm of 640 acres in the same neighbourhood. He was married, in 1890, to Margaret, third daughter of Mr. Robert McFarlane, Stirlingshire, Scotland, and has one son and four daughters.

Waddel, David , Farmer, “Tableholm,” Tokarahi. Mr. Waddel was born on the 26th of April, 1883, at Christchurch, Canterbury, where he was educated. He was brought up to a country life, and in 1881 went to Southland, where he found employment for ten years in country occupations, and was for a number of years contracting and farming on his own account. In 1897 Mr. Waddel drew his section of 290 acres on the Tokarahi estate. A residence and outbuildings have been erected, besides a great deal of fencing; and other improvements have been made on the property, which is devoted to rearing cattle and raising crops. During his residence in Southland, Mr. Waddel was for two years a member of the Wendon Valley school committee, and he has served for three years on the Tokarahi school committee. He was connected with the Order of Oddfellows in Southland. Mr. Waddel was married, in 1887, to a daughter of the late Mr. David Matheson, of Chatton, Southland, and has had five sons, one of whom is dead.

Mr. and Mrs D. Waddel

Mr. and Mrs D. Waddel