The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Inchclutha is a large island, several thousands of acres in extent, surrounded by the two branches of the Molyneux river, and is in the county of Bruce. It lies between Stirling, Kaitangata, and Balclutha, and is connected by the two former places by means of bridges. Inchclutha has been termed the Garden of Otago, on account of the exceptional richness of the soil; but being flat and rather low lying, it is subject to floods when the river rises. Good crops are grown, especially root crops, and the chief industry of the settlers consists in cattle breeding and dairyfarming. There is a creamery of the Taieri and Peninsula Milk Supply Company, Limited, on the island. At one time a considerable area of Inchclutha was covered with flax and dense bush, but most of the good land has now been cleared for cultivation. There are churches of the Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and a local post office; but the nearest telegraph offices are at Kaitangata and Stirling.
Inchclutha Presbyterian Church is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Matau branch of the Clutha river. It presents an ornate appearance, and is surrounded by well laid out grounds and a beautiful clump of totara trees. The church cost £1900. It is built of wood, with a handsome pointed spire of 90 feet, and was erected in 1877 on an acre of ground, part of which was swept away by the great flood of 1878. The interior is semi-circular in shape, and has seating accommodation for 250 worshippers. There is an excellent choir, under the conductorship of Mr. Alex. Fraser, of Kaitangata, who plays upon a very sweet-tuned and powerful American organ. The religious instruction of the young is well provided for by a Sunday school, which is conducted in the church, under the superintendence of Mr. Peter McSkimming. Services are also held every Sunday afternoon, at the Matau school-house. The early settlers who resided in the scattered districts of Wangaloa, Kaitangata and Balclutha, worshipped for many years in a church erected in 1850, near Balmoral, Inchclutha, under the pastoral charge of the Rev. W. Bannerman, but those districts have now their own separate churches and members.
Rev. J. M. Allan.
Mr. William Soltau Pillans , only son of the late Colonel W. S. Pillans, Bengal Horse Artillery, Honourable East India Company's Service, and nephew of the late Mr. Francis Scott Pillans, of Myres, Inchclutha, was born at Agra, British India, on the 7th of April, 1849. He was educated at Circus Place school and at the Edinburgh Academy, Scotland; came to New Zealand, via Panama, in May, 1867, and settled at Manuka Island station, Hillend, Otago. Mr. Pillans was for eighteen years a volunteer officer; at first as captain commanding the Clutha Rifles, and afterwards adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of the Otago Rifle Volunteers. He was a Justice of the Peace, and a member of the Council of the Otago Acclimatisation Society, and took a great interest in fishing and fish culture. Mr. Pillans took part in several exploring expeditions, and was a member of the first party to traverse the Catlin's river bush from end to end, from Catlin's river to Fortrose, and also of the first party to cross from Milford Sound to Lake Te Anau, via McKinnon's Pass. He took part in the search expedition when the late Mr. Quentin McKinnon was lost in Lake Te Anau. In company with Mr. H. J. Day, Mr. Pillans navigated the Clutha river as far as Roxburgh. This occupied nine days, though the return journey, with favourable wind and current, was accomplished in ten hours. Mr. Pillans went to reside in Scotland in January, 1898. He was married on the 5th of February, 1879, to Mary Agnes, younger daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Halliwell, of Dunedin, and has one son, William Soltau Pillans, born at Geldeston, Norfolk, England, on the 11th of March, 1880.
Mr. James Rutherford.
As Captain of the Kaitangata Rifles.
Mr. William Selwyn Mosley , J.P., sometime of Bellevoir, Inchclutha, was born at Half Way Bush, near Dunedin, in 1850. He was educated at the Inchclutha school, and at the early age of nine years, he began to work upon his father's farm, where he resided until he was thirty-three. About 1880, he and his brother John leased the Woodside estate from their father, and cultivated it until 1891, when they dissolved partnership, and Mr. William Mosley retained 400 acres of the estate, which was afterwards brought into a high state of cultivation. Before the introduction of the double-furrow plough, disc harrows, etc., the methods of breaking up the soil were very primitive and crude, but the Mosley Bros. soon adopted new machinery, and claim that they were the first to introduce one of Woods' twine binders in the district. Mr. William Mosley also followed the footsteps of his father, in furthering the welfare of the district, and was a member of the Bruce County Council, road board, school committee, Clutha Rifles, and had also been a director of the Inchclutha Dairy Factory and other companies. He was also a successful cultivator of the tomato plant (under glass), and experimented with the culture of the grape. In 1883, he was married to Eliza Jane, daughter of Mr. W. Henderson, of Aberdeenshire, and they had a family of one daughter and one son. Mr. Mosley died on the 14th of September, 1902.