The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
The North Taieri District School is conducted in a wooden building—plastered and well ventilatpd throughout—which was erected in 1888. In the very early days teaching was carried on by Mr. Findlay in a large mud hut, with a thatched roof—the only school in the district. In 1862 the Provincial Government took over the school, erected a more suitable building, and appointed as master Mr. George Blyth Anderson who has held the position ever since. Since 1894 there has been an average attendance of between forty and fifty scholars. In the Provincial Government's time the attendance was 180, but through the erection of schools at Mosgiel, Outram, and Wylie's Crossing, the pupils have been divided. Miss Georgina Anderson assists her father, and acts as sewing mistress.
Mr. G. B. Anderson.
Fraser, Mrs Elizabeth , Farmer, “Maneroo,” North Taieri. “Maneroo” is a freehold property of 118 acres, close to the township of Mosgiel. Mixed farming is successfully carried on, and about 275 sheep, mostly crossbreds, are kept. The land provides first class pasture. A little cropping is done, but most of the land is given over to the sheep. The other stock on the farm includes a few cows and eight fine draught horses. The homestead is practically a new house of eight rooms, and is well built and furnished, and surrounded by well-kept green lawns.
Mr. Charles Findlay was born on Findlayson Farm, and educated at the North Taieri district school. After leaving school, he began to learn farming, and on the death of their father, he and his brother took over the management of the estate. Mr. Findlay is on the committee of the Taieri Agricultural Society, and also a member of the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Association. As an Oddfellow, he is a member of the Hand and Heart Lodge at Mosgiel, and has served as a volunteer in the Taieri Hussars. Mr. Findlay was married, in 1899, to a daughter of Mr. Robert Gawn, of Deerpark, North Taieri.
Mr. John Findlay , sometime of Findlayston Farm, North Taieri, was born in Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, on the 30th of April, 1824, and was brought up to an agricultural life. He landed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1852, and after spending six years at the Ballarat goldmines, came over to New Zealand, and bought the property at North Taieri, where, after a return trip to Australia to settle up his mining business. he made his home. Mr. Findlay took an active interest in all public and local matters and was ever ready to give his time and attention to the advancement and the welfare of the district. He was married, in 1870. to Miss Elizabeth White, of Stewarton, Scotland. Mr. Findlay died on the 9th of October. 1903, leaving a widow, four sons, and one daughter.
Gibson, R. And A. P. (Robert Gibson and Arthur P. Gibson), Farmers, “Keinton,” North Taieri. “Keinton” consists of 300 acres lying at the foot of the hills, and the land is admirably adapted for sheep and cattle. A large number of sheep are fattened yearly, while about 200 Border Leicester crossbred ewes are kept for breeding purposes; twelve cows are milked, and the product sent to the creamery. Messrs Gibson also work the Silver Peak run, which consists of 13,000 acres, at Mount Allan, where 7000 Border Leicester crossbred sheep are grazed.
Mr. Robert Gibson , the Senior Partner, was born in Haddingtonshire, Scotland, in 1836, and arrived with his parents at Port Chalmers by the ship “Blundell” in 1848. For the first six years he was engaged in shepherding in the Waitahuna district, and later was with Mr. N. McGregor, of North Taieri. Subsequently he bought land and commenced farming on the present property at North Taieri, where he continued his operations for forty years. In 1839 Mr. Gibson retired from the active management of the property, in favour of his son, whom he had taken into partnership, and he now resides on the Factory road, about a mile from Mosgiel. He was elected chairman of the Taieri County Council in 1903. Mr. Gibson was married, in 1859, to a daughter of Mr. William Petrie, of Durris, Scotland, and has a grown-up family of eight sons and four daughters.
Mr. Arthur P. Gibson , the Junior Partner, is a son of Mr. Robert Gibson, and was born in 1868, and educated at the North Taieri district school, and the Normal School, Dunedin. After a time spent with his father on the home farm, he acquired the Silver Peak run, and worked it successfully for twelve years, subsequently combining it with the home farm, which he owns in partnership with his father. Mr. Gibson has been well known as a football player, and was one of Otago's representatives against the first English team that visited New Zealand. He also played in the match against the Maori football team, and has helped to maintain the prestige of Otago in various other matches. Mr. Gibson was married, in 1892, to a daughter of Mr. Adam Oliver, of Mosgiel, and has two sons and two daughters.
The Silverstream Estate , North Taieri. This estate covers an area of 2800 acres, and is the property of Mrs James D. Mowat, having been bequeathed to her by her father, the late Mr. Neil McGregor. With the exception of forty acres the land is all hilly, and is used as a sheep run. At present (1904) the estate is leased to Mr. John Curry, and about 800 Border Leicester crossbred sheep are grazed, and an aveagc of 300 lambs fattened yealy for the market. The Silverstream river runs through the property; hence the name.
Mrs James D. Mowat , who owns the Silverstream estate, is a daughter of the late Mr. Neil McGregor, and was born in the Taieri county, and educated at the Wellington Convent. She was married, in 1878, to Mr. James D. Mowat, who died in 1886, leaving two sons and one daughter.
Smellie Brothers (Peter Smellie, Andrew Smellie, Robert Smellie, and Samuel Smellie), Farmers, “Duddingston,” North Taieri. This firm has 200 acres of freehold property, and the land is almost all on the flat. Mixed farming is carried on, also a little dairy farming, and there are about thirty-five head of cattle. About 150 Merino and Leicester crossbred breeding ewes are kept on the farm. About thirty acres are laid down in wheat, and fifty acres in oats; wheat averages forty-five bushels, and oats fifty bushels to the acre. The machinery includes two traction Marshall engines, a threshing machine, chaff cutter, and straw-press, and a lot of outside work is contracted for by the proprietors.
Mr. Peter Smellie was born at Mosgiel, and educated at the North Taieri district school. Subsequently he spent a year with Messrs Reid and Gray, in Dunedin; he was also three years at the Otago Iron Rolling Mills, at Burnside; and was for three years manager of creameries at Greytown and Gladfield. On returning to his home, he gave his attention to farming, and especially to the working and management of the traction threshing plant.
Mr. Andrew Smellie , Of Duddingston Farm, North Taieri, was born at Mosgiel in 1874, and educated at the North Taieri district school. He afterwards found work on the home farm. Mr. Smellie was for two years a private in the Otago Hussars. His tastes are musical, and he shows much talent as a player on the violin.
Mr. Robert Smellie , Of Duddingston Farm, North Taieri, was born at Mosgiel, in 1876, and was educated at the North Taieri district school. Mr. Smellie is a good violincello player.
Mr. Samuel Smellie , Of Duddingston Farm, North Taieri, was born in 1882, and educated at the North Taieri district school, and at the Otago Boys' High School. Like his brothers, he is a lover of music, and takes a great interest in the clarionet.
The Late Mr. R. Smellie.