It may not be inappropriate to slate, by way of preface to this section, that originally a large part of the site of Invercargill was covered with dense bush. The whole of the upper terrace northward from Puni creek was covered with very heavy timber in 1859, while southward from the creek there was an extensive area completely taken up with swamp, rank tussocks and flax. Eleven years later Tay Street, though cleared of bush, had no metal on it. At the same date Dee Street was only partly cleared, and the road northward from the site of the present hospital was a mere bush track, with pit-sawyers at work in the bush where there are now populous and well-formed streets. At that time the population of Invercargill did not exceed 200 persons, and the town had two stores; two small buildings in which the Bank of New South Wales and the Union Bank conducted business; and three hotels, which would now be described as shanties. Overland communication with Dunedin—then also a raw young-colonial town—was carried on by means of a two-horse van between Invercargill and Clinton, and with a larger coach between Clinton and Dunedin. Traffic by sea was conducted by means of a small vessel that entered at the New River, came up Puni creek, and unloaded at the site of the present Rank of New Zealand. When gold was discovered in the Lake Wakatipu country. Invercargill became almost depopulated; the cost of cartage from the settlement to Kingston was £100 per ton, or £10 for one sack of flour. It is said that the price of oats rose as high as 16s. 6d. per bushel, and that, on one occasion, oats became so scarce that oatmeal was given to the horses in order to keep them alive. Reminiscences like these may help people of later times to realise some of the difficulties which had to be faced and overcome by the early colonists, a few of whom are referred to in this section, and some of these are still, happily, in the land of the living. Country settlers as well as town residents are referred to here together as old colonists. The conductors of the Cyclopedia would willingly have given many more biographies, but it is now a difficult matter to obtain the facts and dates that are essential to the value of such sketches.
Mr. Christopher Basstian
, sometime of Dunrobin and Woodstock stations, Southland, had a varied experience as a pioneer colonist. He was born in London, in 1820, and when he was only two years of age his father emigrated to Tasmania, where he became a landowner and was engaged in business. As he grew up Mr. Basstian joined his father in farming and runholding, and also carried on business for a number of years on his own account in Hobart as a wholesale wine and spirit merchant. In 1858 he was one of a number of Tasmanian gentlemen who resolved to come over to New Zealand, to which he had, during the previous year, sent a cargo of sheep, most of which were landed safely at the Bluff, under the charge of his brother, Mr. W. D. Basstian. Mr. Basstian took up what has ever since been known as Dunrobin—so named because the sheep came from a Tasmanian run of that name—which he held until a few months prior to his death; he also secured a 2000 acre block to the north of Long Bush, which he occupied and improved under the name of Woodstock. Mr. Basstian was a man of great energy, and took a very prominent part in all public matters. He sat in the House of Representatives for some time as member for Wallace; was a member of the Provincial Council of Southland, and also of Otago; had been a member of the Wallace County Council from its formation, and was its chairman for some time; he was also a member of the Southland Hospitals and Charitable Aid Board at its institution, and was one of the Southland Hospital Trustees at the time of bis death. He took a great interest in acclimatisation, and was a prominent member of the society; and was likewise president of the Invercargill Club. Mr. Basstian died in Invercargill in 1895.
Captain Thomas Brodrick
, who was well-known for many years in Southland, was the sixth son of Mr. John Brodrick, shipowner, of Hull, England, and was born in that town in the year 1819. He was brought up to a seafaring life, on one of his father's vessels, and served an apprenticeship of live years. In 1846 he gained a master's first-class certificate, and was in command of vessels trading in most parts of the world, until he left the sea in 1853. During that period he had charge of ships visiting Australia, and is said to have conveyed the first 50,000 ounces of gold to the Old Country, and at one time to have been in charge of a troop ship of the Royal Navy. In 1860, Captain Brodrick landed at Auckland from the ship “Nimrod,” after a very long voyage. For some time he engaged in agricultural pursuits, at Whangarei, but left that district in consequence of the trouble which white settlers then frequently had with
the Maoris. Captain Brodrick arrived in Invercargill in 1864, and continued a resident of Southland until his death in February, 1904. He held the position of Lloyds' Agent, in Southland, from 1865 onwards, and was for thirty years a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a life member of the Invercargill Athenaeum. Captain Brodrick was one of the first churchwardens of St. John's, and afterwards also filled a similar position at All Saints, Gladstone. In 1856 he married a daughter of the late. Mr. Radford Potts, of Beverley, England. Mrs. Brodrick died in 1877, leaving six sons and three daughters : and one son died subsequently to the date of her death.
Mr. William Cameron
, sometime of Centre Island, near Riverton. was born at the foot of Ben Nevis, Inverness-shire, Scotland, in 1822. He was
the youngest son of Mr. John Cameron, a well-known sheep and cattle dealer, who was popularly known in Scotland as “Corry-Choillie,” the name of one of his pastoral properties. The subject of this notice was educated mainly at the local parish school, and after serving three years in Her-Majesty's 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, was employed by his father in selling sheep and cattle in the south of Scotland and in various counties of England. Mr. Cameron left Scotland for Victoria in 1850, sailing from Greenock in the ship “Geelong” (Captain Bart), and arrived in Melbourne on the celebrated “Black Thursday” in 1851. Shortly after his arrival, in conjunction with his brothers, John and David Cameron, of Portland Bay, he became part owner of the Morrambro station, Mosquito Plains. South Australia. In 1855, he left Melbourne for Otago in the ship “Gil Blas” (Captain Nicol), one of his fellow passengers being the Hon. W. H. Reynolds, who was then acting as Immigration Agent for Otago in Victoria. Mr. Cameron, being pleased with the country, purchased an interest in the Mount Hindon station, together with Mr. J. Hyde Harris, but, owing to the great difficulty of access and other reasons, the venture did not prove a success, and the station eventually fell into other hands. After revisiting Victoria and making a short stay in that colony. Mr. Cameron returned to New Zealand and took up land in the Waicola district in Southland, which he stocked with sheep driven across country from Dunedin, but subsequently sold out to Mr. William Martin of Melbourne. Mr. Cameron next took up some good sheep country in the neighbourhood of Lake Wakatipu, including the first station property. “Glenquoich,” in that district, and the “Upper Glenquoich.” or Bucurochi station; also “Glenfalloch,” on the Nokomai river, and the “Devil's Staircase,” in the Nevis country. He afterwards became proprietor of the Mount Linton station, which he worked for some time, and subsequently sold to Mr, A. M. Clark. Mr. Cameron was married, in 1857, to the eldest daughter of Captain Howell, one of the earliest settlers of Southland. Through his wife's influence and interest in Maori lands, he acquired Centre Island, hoping to spend his declining years in peace on that retired spot. Mr. Cameron's colonial career had been marked by more than ordinary vicissitude and hardship, and, though a man of wonderful activity, the constant strain of those early days of colonising told upon him very effectively. It was for this reason that he betook himself to the solitary insular home in which he lived peacefully with his family for thirty years. Latterly Mr. Cameron resided at Riverton, where he died in 1898. It was stud of him that “no one who ever resided in Southland did more, in a quiet unostentatious way, to open up the country and make it known, both in the interior and on the coast.” Mr. Cameron was intimately acquainted with all the first settlers in the district, and with the settlements they occupied, and could count more than two score of able men whom he had survived, besides numerous others who had left the country in disgust at the difficulties in the way of settlement.
Mr. James Galt
arrived at Port Chalmers on the 28th of January, 1861, by the ship “Lady Egidia.” He was born in 1848, in Ayrshire, Scotland, and educated in his native place; and he accompanied his father, the late Mr. Allan Galt, to New Zealand. For the first six years after his arrival he was associated with his father, who was a timber merchant in Dunedin. He also had a short experience at Gabriel's Gully. In 1866 he took up land at Mataura, and for thirty-six years was engaged in farming a fine block of 1778 acres of freehold. During this time the property was brought from a state of nature into a high state of cultivation. Mr. Galt is well-known in connection with Ayrshire
Homestead At “Marairua,” Mataura: Formerly The Porperty Of Mr. Jas. Galt.
cattle, of which he was a successful breeder, having a registered herd, and for a number of years as many as seventy cows were in milk. Mr. Galt also was a breeder of Clydesdale horses, and sometimes had as many as thirteen foals in the season. He was also a sheep farmer. Mr. Galt served on the Tuturu Road Board, and was at one time its chairman. He has been connected with agricultural and pastoral societies throughout Southland, and has served on various committees, and has often acted as a judge of Ayrshire cattle at Otago shows. Mr. Galt sold his fine property at Mataura in 1903, and settled in the neighbourhood of Invercargill. He was married in June. 1884, to a daughter of the late Mr. John Howe, of Wyndham, and has had five sons and three daughters. Three of his sons have died.
Mr. Walter Guthrie
, who was an energetic and prominent manufacturer and merchant in Southland for many years, was born in 1839, in Fifeshire, Scotland. His father was the owner of coastal vessels, and young Guthrie went to sea early in life. However, he left the sea in 1862, at Port Chalmers, and was afterwards connected with Otago for about twenty years, for much of the time as a member of the firm of Guthrie and Larnach, whose large wood factory, in Princes Street, Dunedin, was subsequently completely destroyed by fire. About 1880 Mr. Guthrie settled in Invercargill, and founded a number of firms and companies, namely, Walter Guthrie and Company, the New Zealand Pine Company, the Southland Implement Engineering Company, and the Southland Sawmilling Company. Up to the time of his death in February, 1902, Mr. Guthrie was actively engaged with these extensive businesses. During the time of the dredging boom, 530 men were employed by the Engineering and Implement Company. Mr. Guthrie was a director of the Otago Daily Times Company for a good many years, and also of several insurance companies. He was married in 1860, and left two daughters and one son.
Mr. Robert Wilson Harvey
was born at Stromness, Orkney, on the 27th of May, 1827. He was brought up as a carpenter by his father, and gained experience in shipbuilding. In June, 1845, Mr. Harvey went to Hudson's Bay, where he was engaged in ship-building for the Hudson's Bay Company, and afterwards crossed the Rocky Mountains to work for the company at Vancouver. In this connection his life was truly one of “moving incidents by field and flood.” Before reaching the Rockies, the party had to row and track their boats up Nelson river, and pass through Hell's Gates up to Norway House, where they were for a few days. Then a start was made for Lake Winnipeg, where they were storm-bound. They reached the Saskatchewan river by rowing and tracking, and passed through Coal Falls in Buffalo county, where they found abundance of fresh meat; a pleasant change from pemmican. When they arrived at Edmonthouse, they had a few days' rest, and they needed it, for their working day was not one of eight hours, as they toiled from sunrise to sunset, and had only two meals a day. At Edmonthouse they got horses to take them to the Athabasea river, where boats were waiting to convey the party to Banff. But the current was such that all the boats had to be “tracked” all the way : the river was
frozen every morning, and as their provisions ran out the guide had to forage in the forest for deer. At Banff the party rested, and got horses with which to cross the mountain. On this section of the journey the men slept on snow every night, without tents, and the horses had to be fed on scrub. Still, on the top there were Indians with whom the party did half-a-day's trading, and secured some mountain mutton and porcupine flesh, before setting out on the downward journey to Columbia river, on which they travelled by boats to Fort Vancouver, and saw the grandest scenery imaginable in passing down the numerous rapids. From Fort Vancouver Mr. Harvey had to travel alone by river and portage to Nesqually, where he went aboard the Hudson Bay Company's steamer “Beaver,” which, after touching at Vancouver Island with mails, went on to Fraser river, where, at Fort Langley, Mr. Harvey spent the winter and built four boats and two river canoes. Then he went with a party to build a scow above the rapids in the Zete country, where the Indians, quiet, inoffensive people, live underground, and the visitor who goes in at a door has to go down the chimney. After finishing his work in the country of the Zetes, and returning to Fort Langley, Mr. Harvey went to Vancouver Island, where he built some small boats, and a large flat-bottom, to carry logs. From Vancouver Island Mr. Harvey went to San Francisco, where he shipped in the barque “Sebastian” for Launceston, Tasmania, where they stayed for the crops to ripen, and then returned with a cargo of produce. He continued in various vessels till the last on which he worked, the barque “Time and Truth.” was wrecked at the Bluff on the 6th of January, 1863. Being thus stranded in New Zealand, and having lost all his belongings in the wreck, he had no option but to remain in the colony. There were very few houses in the Bluff then, and Mr. Harvey lived with some of the crew for the first three weeks in a Government gaol. He then settled in Invercargill. and worked at boat-building till 1865, when he went to Gummies Bush, and commenced farming. Five years later he returned to Invercargill, where he has since engaged in the building of bridges, jetties and vessels. Mr. Harvey was inspector of roads and bridges at Cromwell, Central Otago, from 1877 to 1880. He served in the Invercargill Rifles in 1863 and 1864: has been attached to the Masonie Order since February, when he entered Lodge Sincerity. 174, English Constitution, and is now a member of Lodge St. John, New Zealand Constitution, of which he is a Past Master. Mr. Harvey was married, in 1864, to a daughter of Mr. David Fraser, of Blairgowrie, Scotland.
Mr. Henry Hirst
, Of Orepuki, landed in New Zealand during the “fifties.” He was born in England, at Huddersfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the year 1838, educated at the Huddersfield College, and sailed for Dunedin by the ship “Agra.” Shortly afterwards he arrived in Southland, and engaged in pastoral pursuits at Te Anan and Manapouri, where be was one of the first settlers Mr. Hirst sold his interest and joined Captain Watts Russell, of Canterbury, in exploring for about seven weeks, for open country between the Waiau river and Breeksea Sound. The
voyage was made in an open boat manned by a native crew, but the explorers did not succeed in their object. Mr. Hirst, therefore, returned to Riverton and started butchering, but afterwards sold his business, He was the first to take a drove of cattle from the south to Gabriel's Gully, in August, 1861. A few years later Mr. Hirst purchased a run at Orepuki, but on the discovery of payable gold in that locality in 1866, the land was resumed by the Government, and Mr. Hirst received compensation for relinquishing his rights. He then acquired his present estate, upon which he has resided ever since. Mr. Hirst was elected a member of Wallace County Council in 1877 and became its first chairman, a position he occupied for eight years; he still represents his riding in the Council. In 1879, he successfully con-
tested the Wallace constituency against Mr. J. Joyce, the sitting member, who had held the seat for several years. At the next election he was defeated by one vote, but was re-elected in 1884. He again contested the seat, but unsuccessfully. During his long residence in the western district, Mr. Hirst has witnessed its rise and progress from a wilderness to its present prosperous condition, and can justly claim to be the pioneer of the settlement. Through his exertions and influence, the Hall Ministry extended the railway line from Riverton, and it has no doubt been distinctly instrumental in advancing the prosperity of the Orepuki district. Mr. Hirst is now (1904) a member of the Bluff Harbour Board, as representative of the Wallace County Council. As a member of Lodge Aparima (of which he is an old member), he laid the foundation stone of the Riverton Town Hall. For six years—1879–85—Mr. Hirst was captain of the Riverton Rifles, and was presented with a silver tea and coffee service on his resignation. In 1860, he married a daughter of the late Mr. William Dallas, of Riverton, and has two sons and six daughters. His farm of 620 acres is close to Orepuki.
Captain John Howell
, sometime of Fairlight Station, was one of the most prominent of the early pioneers of Southland. He was born in 1809 at Eastbourne, Sussex, England. Captain Howell brought out emigrants from England to Hobart, Tasmania, and afterwards went whaling in the bays of the Tasman Sea for two years. In 1836, he was sent over to New Zealand by another old Otago celebrity—the late Mr. John Jones, who then resided in Sydney—to form a whaling station at Riverton. It was the first whaling settlement in Otago, and during his residence there Captain Howell built a schooner named the “Amazon,” which earned considerable reputation in her day. She was afterwards wrecked off the Bluff, and none of the cargo was saved. Captain Howell was then given command of another of Mr. Jones's vessels, and was very successful with her, not only in whaling, but in carrying passengers between the colonies and California. He afterwards engaged in whaling near the Macquarie Islands, and in conjunction with his half-brother, the late Captain William Stevons, of Gummies Bush, went extensively into the business of runholding, which they afterwards carried on separately in their individual interests; Captain Stevens at Beaumont, on the Aparima river, and Captain Howell at Fairlight, near Lake Wakatipu. Captain Howell imported from Twofold Bay, New South Wales, the first sheep and cattle that arrived in Southland. He died on the 25th of May, 1874, deeply regretted, not only by his family and relatives, but by all sections of the community.
Mr. Matthew Instone
was born in Shropshire, England, in 1836, and left his native land for Melbourne in 1857, in the ship “Norfolk” on her second trip to Australia. In 1860, Mr. Instone joined the firm of Whittingham Bros., and took charge of their Sydney branch. He remained in Sydney till the opening of the Southland business in the firm carried on an extensive trade with Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding districts. On the opening of the railway to Invercargill, the firm started a branch at Thornbury, and later on moved its chief Southland office and business to Invercargill, where Mr. Instone was resident partner and manager, and the firm was known as Whittingham Bros, and Instone. Mr. Instone during his long residence in Southland, was identified with the local interests of the district. He was captain of the Riverton Rifles for ten years, a member of the local Harbour Board, a director of the Invercargill Savings Bank, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the committee of the Acclimatisation Society, and held the commission of Justice of the Peace. In 1871, Mr. Instone married the eldest daughter of the late Mr. G. S. Brodrick, of Dunedin. He died on the 27th of June, 1901.
Mr. Andrew Kinross
was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and lost both his parents while he was young He landed in Geelong, Victoria, in 1848, and was married there in 1853. In 1863 he arrived at Port Chalmers,
Otago, and afterwards removed to Invercargill. He became a member of the Southland Provincial Council, in 1869, and also of the Executive Council. In 1873 he was elected a member of the Otago Provincial Council, and continued a member till it was abolished in 1876. Mr. Kinross was appointed a member of the Southland Waste Lands Board for two years in 1878. He was re-appointed in 1885, and has always been re-appointed since at the close of each term. Mr. Kinross began to compose verses in boyhood, and still composes in his later years. In 1899 he published a book entitled “My Life and Lays,” which contains a selection of his poems and a sketch of his life.
Captain Angus Mclean
, of Ettrick Street, Invercargill, is one of the best-known old settlers of the Southland district, in which he has resided since 1863, and owns property in Invercargill and at the Bluff. He was born at Rothesay, Buteshire, Scotland, in 1830, and as a boy joined the revenue cutter “Princess Royal,” in which he served for five years. After he left the cutter he made trips to Russia, and to North and South America. That was previous to the Emancipation of the Negroes, and he saw several sales of human beings at New Orleans. At the time of the Exhibition of 1851, he left London for Launceston, Tasmania, where he saw the first gold brought there from Victoria, and determined to be soon a gold-seeker himself. From Launceston he sailed to Calcutta, and thence Home, where he did not remain long, but left to seek his fortune on the Victorian goldfields. He went to the Bendigo diggings, but had no success, and was then engaged for a time in lifting a sunken French vessel, in which he afterwards served two years, and made two trips to Callao from Melbourne, and to England. He then settled in Melbourne, where, in 1856, he went into lightering work. On gold being discovered in New Zealand, he left Melbourne in 1861, and went to the Gabriel's Gully, the Dunstan, and Arrow rushes. In 1863, he removed to Invercargill, where he bought a lighter and worked it until 1873, when, in partnership with Mr. Todd, he bought the coasting schooner “Dunedin,” in which he traded for some years. The small steamer “Laura,” engaged in harbour work, was placed in his charge, in 1876. On giving up the steamer in 1879 he started a store, from which he retired in the beginning of 1903. Captain McLean was a member of the Bluff Harbour Board for six years, and was its chairman in 1894; he was for three years a member of the Invercargill Borough Council, and one year on the Licensing Committee. Captain McLean was one of the founders of the Southland Building and Investment Society, and he is a trustee of the Star of the South Court of Foresters, of which he has been a member for over thirty years. He-was married, in 1858, to a daughter of the late Mr. D. McMillan, of Greenock, but all the children born of the union died in Victoria. He and his wife afterwards adopted a daughter, who is now the wife of Mr. R. H. Bryant, storekeeper, Tweed Street, Invercargill.
Captain A. McLean And Mrs McLean.
Mr. Angus Mckay
, who now resides in Biggar Street, Invercargill, was born in 1833, in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, where he was educated and brought up to a country life. He landed in Victoria, in 1855, spent
Mr. A. McKay.
about two years at the Ballarat diggings, and after two years further experience, came to the Bluff by the s.s. “Pirate.” Mr. McKay took up fifty acres of land at Longbush, where
Mrs A. McKay.
he commenced farming, and added to his property until he increased it to 170 acres, making for himself a comfortable homestead, and bringing the land to a high state of cultivation. In 1892 he sold his farm and took a trip to the Old Country, and on his return settled in a comfortable residence in Biggar Street, Invercargill. Mr. McKay served for many years on the Longbush school committee, of which he was at one time chairman, and he has been a member of the South Invercargill school committee since 1898. He also served on the Oteramika Licensing Committee for six years. Mr. McKay was married, in 1867, to a daughter of the late Mr. John Helm, of Hawick, Scotland.
Mr. Donald Lachlan Matheson
, sometime merchant of Invercargill, was one of the early Australian pioneers of the “fifties;” and, excited by the allurements of the great Victorian gold discoveries, he left his native land in 1852 in the celebrated ship “Marco Polo,” for the new El Dorado. He was the youngest son of Captain Farquhar Matheson, master mariner and shipowner, once well known in the Baltic trade, and was born at Plockton, parish of Lochalsh, Ross-shire, Scotland, in 1834, and was educated in his native town. Young Matheson entered the service of Messrs McPherson and Co., chemists and druggists, of Stornoway, Isle of Lewes, and remained with them until leaving for Australia. Mr. Matheson took part in the various “rushes” at Ballarat, Avoca, and Bendigo. In 1855, he commenced storekeeping at Prahran, Melbourne, and carried on business until 1862. when he crossed over to Otago, where he engaged in mining pursuits at Switzers' (now known as Waikaia); but, in 1865, he settled in Invercargill and started as a general merchant. He retired from business in 1895. Mr. Matheson was one of the promoters of the Southland Building and Investment Society, which was instituted in 1869. In 1866 he was elected a trustee of the Invercargill Savings Bank, and was a member of the advisory board of the Scottish and New Zealand Investment Company, Ltd. Mr. Matheson was an elder of the First Church, member of the High School Board of Governors and Southland Board of Education, and was a member of the Invercargill school committee in 1870. He died on the 12th of September, 1903.
Mr. James Mackintosh
was a native of Lochinvar, Sutherlandshire, Scotland, where he was born on the 18th of October, 1827. He arrived in Victoria with his father at a very early age, and was educated in that Colony. Mr. Mackintosh commenced sheep and cattle farming at Moonee Ponds and Oaklands, Victoria, where he resided for twenty years, and for many years represented East Bourke in Parliament. He also was one of the most successful breeders of Clydesdale stallions, of which the celebrated sire “Prince Charlie” was one. In 1865, Mr. Mackintosh purchased the Strathmore estate, Southland, of 3000 acres, and in the following year came to reside on the property. Subsequently, he leased the Bayswater estate and also acquired the Gladfield estate of 14,000 acres. These properties were utilised principally for the breeding of sheep, cattle, and horses, but most of the land is now cut up into farms. Mr. Mackintosh was elected member for Wallace in 1890 and represented the constituency until the general elections in 1896, when he was defeated. He was the first member of the House to advocate advancing cheap money to settlers, and lectured in different parts of New Zealand in favour of the scheme, which was subsequently adopted by the Seddon Government and carried into effect. Mr. Mackintosh unsuccessfully contested the Mataura seat against the Hon. G. F. Richardson. He was one of the first members of the Aparima Road Board, afterwards merged into the Southland County Council, of which he became chairman. Mr. Mackintosh also occupied a seat on the Southland Education Board, up to the time of his death. He took a deep interest in educational progress, and was a consistent supporter of Mr. Seddon. In 1852, he married Anne, daughter of Mr. W. McLean, of Pollio station. Darling River, Victoria, and had eleven children. Several of his sons are well-known settlers in Southland.
Mr. Archibald Mckellar
, sometime coal merchant, Liddell Street, Invercargill, was an accomplished teacher of Highland dancing. He was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, in 1844, his father being Mr. Dugald McKellar, a shepherd in those parts. The son was educated at the village of Loch Goil Head, Argyleshire, and at the age of twenty years, went to Glasgow, and entered the office of a woolbroker. He was employed in several other offices until 1878, when he left Glasgow in the ship “Canterbury” for Invercargill, by way of Dunedin. On his arrival he entered the service of Messrs Carswell, White and Co., as storeman, in which capacity he served for thirteen years, and in 1893 he commenced
The Late Mr. A. McKellar.
business on his own account. Mr. McKellar was elected president of the Caledonian Society in 1895, and had occupied the position of its secretary for seven years. He was a member of the Loyal St. George Lodge of Oddfellows for many years, during which he took an active interest in the prosperity of the Order. Mr. McKellar has been (1904) dead for some time.
Mr. George Ott
, who now resides in Tay Street, Invercargill, was born in Germany in 1831, and learned the trade of a tailor in his native country. He came to New Zealand by the ship “Maori,” in 1847, and found work as a journeyman in Dunedin; and he remembers when there were no houses in sight from the spot where the Cargill monument now stands. Mr. Ott settled at Invercargill in 1862, when the site of the borough was covered with bush, and there was no demand for tailors. Notwithstanding this he commenced business, and continued until 1881, when he retired owing to ill health and has since resided in Tay Street. Mr. Ott served as a volunteer in the early days, and was a member of the first Town Board. He married a daughter of Mr. Angus Murray, of Sutherlandshire, Scotland, and has two sons and one daughter.
Mr. Walter Henry Pearson
was born in India, but was sent Home to England as a child to be educated. He returned to India in 1849, arrived in Australia in the beginning of 1852, and left Victoria for Port Chalmers, New Zealand, in 1855. With Mr. James Saunders and Mr. Peter Napier he explored a great part of the Maniototo Plains during the latter part of that year, and formed the second party who had, up to that time, been so far inland. With Messrs J. and W. Saunders he purchased the Waipori run and stock. However, finding the occupation of runholding uncongenial, Mr. Pearson entered the Land Office in Dunedin in 1857, and was given charge of the Invercargill branch, which he opened in October of that year in a “wattle and daub.” straw-thatched hut in Tay Street. He was shortly afterwards appointed a Justice of the Peace. Southland was separated from Otago under the New Provinces Act, 1858, on the first day of April, 1861; and Mr Pearson was appointed a commissioner of Crown Lands and Chief Commissioner of the Waste Lands Board of Southland, an appointment which he continued to hold after reunion with the Province of Otago and the abolition of the Provinces. He also held the appointment of an assistant commissioner under the Land Claims Settlement Act, Commissioner of Immigration under the Public Works and Immigration Policy. Visiting Justice of the Invercargill Gaol, and was one of the School Commissioners of Otago during 1880–88. He was also appointed on several Royal Commissions. On the constitution of the Province of Southland, Mr. Pearson entered into provincial politics; sat in the first Provincial Council, and was head of the Southland Executive Government till he resigned his seat in the Council. Subsequently he was elected a member of the Council for the years 1864–67, and 1867–69. He was also a member and head of the Executive Councils during the years 1861–2–3, 1865–66, and 1867–69. Mr. Pearson retired on his pension in 1884, after twenty-seven years of service in the Lands Department, and has since then resided in Dunedin. Literary men or women in quest of what was distinctive in the life and scenery of Southland during the earlier years of its colonisation, should find Mr. Pearson's official reports, in the political archives of Otago and Southland, rich in fact and suggestion; for he was not only very truly, in the ordinary sense, an able administrator, but the Yorick-cum-Mercutio of the public service, with a vivid eye for the salient and the picturesque, and a happy talent for reproducing them in words.
Mr. David Smyth
—who was one of the old pioneer settlers of Invercargill—was a native of Dundee, Scotland, where he was born on the 17th of February, 1831. He was educated in Scotland, but was articled to a London solicitor. After some years he got tired of the law and cancelled his articles, to join the mercantile marine, in which he subsequently obtained a master's certificate. About 1852, he went to the Australian diggings, and experienced the various fortunes incidental to the gold “rushes” of the “fifties.” In 1861 he settled at Invercargill, and shortly afterwards started in business, in the premises known as the old “Niagara” store, but subsequently removed to Tay Street, where he remained until his death, which occurred on the 27th of November, 1887. Mr. Smyth always took a keen interest in political and local public bodies; he represented the borough on the Council for one term and was for some years a member of the Bluff Harbour Board, and was its chairman for two years. Mr. Smyth married Annie Struthers, daughter of Mr. Thomas Fergusson, farmer, of Myross Bush, Southland, by whom he had nine children, of whom only two sons survive.
Captain William Stevens
was born on the 17th of June, 1825, at Eastbourne, Sussex, England, and arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, with his parents during the first week of January, 1841, by the ship “Alfred,” Captain Eastmore. In 1843 he came to New Zealand, and joined his half-brother, the late Captain John Howell, in the whaling industry, then in a most flourishing state, and they carried on their business chiefly on the coasts of Southland. During his seafaring period, he and his ship were employed by Commander Richards and Liout. Stokes, R.N., while they were surveying the coast of New Zealand, and Commander Richards gave Captain Stevens a certificate of competency as a master mariner. Captain Stevens afterwards passed his examination in Sydney before the Marine Board, which gave him pilot exemption for both the South Islands of New Zealand, and for Port Jackson, Newcastle, etc. About the year 1860 he took up Beaumont station, on the Aparima river, and there carried on sheepbreeding on an extensive scale. He also had a large farm at Gummies Bush, near Riverton, and was possessed of both properties at the time of his death, though, latterly, he had suffered con-
at Beaumont from the rabbit peat, which had ruined many men. Captain Stevens was for eighteen years a member of the Bluff Harbour Board, and chairman of the Gummies Bush school committee for twenty-one years. The Aparima Dairy Factory owed its existence to his exertions, and he was from the first chairman of its directors. Captain
Stevens was an Englishman of the manliest and most wholesome type; entirely unassuming in manners, a man of honour and of true courage. When the physician told him that death was inevitable in a few weeks, he set about putting all his affairs in order, displaying very quietly the resignation and fearless-
ness which had been characteristic of his whole life, and, in his last days, when his friends made their final calls he was wont to say cheerily, in answer to their enquiries, “Ah, yes; I've all sail set, and I'm going into port.” He died on the 2nd of August, 1897. He had been twice married, and had of the two unions, twenty children, ten of whom, as well as his second wife, survived him.
Mr. Frederick George Stone
, J.P., who now resides in Invercargill, but has a farm on the Oteramika Road, was born in 1842, in London, where he attended school, and was brought up to the trade of a carpenter. He arrived in Victoria, in 1862, and a few months later, came to Otago, where he had a short goldmining experience at Tuapeka and the Dunstan. Mr. Stone then went to Wellington, and finally settled in Invercargill in March, 1863, where he started farming, but afterwards carried on business as a forwarding agent for a short time before being appointed Inspector of Works for the borough of Invercargill. He after-
wards served in a similar capacity under the Government, and also under the Southland County Council. During his career Mr. Stone served under seven different engineers, and supervised the erection of buildings, bridges, and jetties in various parts of Otago and Southland, and subsequently started on his own account as a contractor for the construction of roads. He ultimately engaged in farming, and owns a property on the Oteramika Road. Mr. Stone served for seven years on the Invercargill Road Board, of which he became chairman, and was afterwards a member of the Invercargill Borough Council. He has been Visiting Justice and Official Visitor to the Invercargill prison for a number of years. Mr. Stone joined the Shamrock, Rose and Thistle Lodge of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity, in 1860, and has filled the offices of his Lodge and district; and his six sons are members of the same lodge. He was married, on the 15th of October, 1867, to a daughter of Mr. Thomas Hunter, of Invercargill, who was born in Belfast, Ireland and came to New Zealand by the ship “Robert Henderson.” There is a family of six sons and four daughters.
The Rev. Andrew Stobo
, the first Presbyterian clergyman of Invercargill, was born at Strutherhead, in the parish of Avondale, in the middle ward of Lanarkshire, Scotland, on the 28th of August, 1832. He first went to school at the village of Sandford, but afterwards attended the parish school of Lesmahagow, and latterly that of Strathaven, in his native parish. He entered the University of Glasgow in the winter of 1847, and passed through the usual curriculum required of students looking forward to the ministry in the Presbyterian churches of Scotland. After the completion of this course, feeble health, which had much interfered with the latter part of his University course, rendered it advisable for him to pause for a little, and he then started the Free Church school of Strathaven. He entered the New College, Edinburgh, in November, 1852. After the completion of the usual theological curriculum at that institution, he was engaged as a missionary at Uddingstone. There he received a license to preach from the Free Church Presbytery of Hamilton on the 4th of November, 1857, After
continuing for some time at Uddingstone, he was appointed to the territorial mission at Castle Street, Montrose, now Free St. Andrew's, of that city. When he resolved to go to the Colonies, he was appointed in 1859 by the colonial committee of the Free Church to proceed to Invercargill, Otago, a new settlement which was then applying for a minister. Towards the end of January, 1860, Mr. Stobo sailed in the ship “Storm Cloud,” from the Clyde, reached Port Chalmers on the 27th of April, 1860, and was ordained and inducted at Invercargill on the 23th of June of the same year. Mr. Stobo was the first ordained minister—apart from Mr. Wohlers, missionary to the Maoris of Ruapuke—in the whole of what afterwards became the province of Southland, and, indeed, beyond it to the west coast of Otago. In the latter part of 1879, and early part of 1880, Mr. Stobo's health having given way, the Rev. John Ferguson (afterwards of Sydney) was appointed his colleague and successor, and was succeeded in that office by the Rev. J. Gibson Smith. After his health became to a considerable extent restored, Mr. Stobo found in a little while, that instead of sharing directly in the pastoral work of the First Church, Invercargill, it would be expedient rather to undertake some Home Mission work, to the south of the town, which naturally fell to the First Church to look after. In that work he continued until his death, which took place on Saturday, the 24th of December, 1898.
Mr. William Todd
was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He came out to Victoria in 1853, was brought up to mercantile life, and was a storekeeper at Bendigo. In 1863 he came to Invercargill, and became an auctioneer, and has since carried on that line of business, either on the West Coast or in Southland. He became a member of the Provincial Council of Westland, where for some time he held office as Provincial Treasurer. At present (1904) Mr. Todd is head of the auctioneering firm of William Todd and Company, Don Street, Invercargill.
Mr. Andrew Toshach
was a member of the Provincial Council of Southland for some time, and afterwards served on the County Council. He was also a member of the Southland Land Board for about fifteen years. Mr. Toshach was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1829, and came to Auckland by the ship “Caduceus,” in 1858. He became a settler in Southland in 1860, and acquired 200 acres at West Plains, where he resided until his death in 1896. Mr. Toshach was married, in 1873, to the daughter of the late Mr. I. McNaughton, and had one son and one daughter.
Mr. John Turnbull
, sometime Manager at Invercargill of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, Ltd., is one of the pioneers of Southland, in which he settled in 1861. He was born at Newton-Don, Berwickshire, Scotland, in 1826, and is the third son of the late Mr. Thomas Turnbull, who, with his grandfather, were farmers at Lurdenlaw, in Berwickshire. Mr. Turnbull was educated at the Kelso grammar school, Roxburghshire. In 1846 he emigrated to Tasmania, on the advice of a relative then settled in that Colony, the late Dr. Lillie, a distinguished Presbyterian divine of the Established Church of Scotland, Soon after his arrival in Hobart, Mr. Turnbull entered the service of Mr. George Washington Walker, manager of the Hobart Savings Bank, and remained in his office until 1852, when he commenced business as a merchant on his own account, and traded under the name or firm of John Turnbull and Co. In the year 1857, he went to Molbourne and opened a branch of his business in Flinders Lane East. He, however, had long cherished a desire to settle in New Zealand, and having disposed of his Australian business in 1861. he and his family landed in Invercargill on the 7th of August of that year and purchased
the squatting property of “Tuturau,” on the Mataura, where he stayed until 1873, when the run was cut up into hundreds for settlement. Mr. Turnbull was then appointed Resident Magistrate for the Southland district, and retained that position till April, 1876, when he was offered and accepted the managership of the Invercargill branch of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, and he also opened the branch. In April, 1899, however, he retired from the more active management of the company, and then became its local adviser. During the twenty-three years of Mr. Turnbull's management of the compány, he was for half of that long period president of the Chamber of Commerce. For many years he held the position of chairman of the Southland Produce and Export Freezing Company, and was the first president of the Invercargill Club, of which he was one of the originators. For several years he represented the Government on the Bluff Harbour Board, of which he was chairman for some time. He has also been a member of the Education Board, and a director of the Invercargill Stock and Saleyards Company, and its chairman from the first. Mr. Turnbull has been a Justice of the Peace for the Colony since 1868. In 1853 Mr. Turnbull married the youngest daughter of the late Captain John Atkinson, of the Indian Army. His only son, Mr. John Turnbull, junior, represents Dalgety and Co. Limited, in the Taieri district, Otago; and his only daughter, Edith Lillie, is married to Mr. T. Scott-Smith, a barrister, who is now (1904) Stipendiary Magistrate and Warden at Blenheim.
Mr. John Turnbull Thomson, C.E., F.R.G.S.
, was born in 1821, at Glororum, near Bamborough, Northumberland, England. His father was the third son of James Thomson, Esquire, of Earnslaw, Berwickshire, and his mother was a daughter of John Turnbull, Esquire, of Abbey St. Bathan's, Berwickshire. Mr. Thomson was educated at Duns Academy, and at Marlschal College, Aberdeen. In 1838, he went to the Straits Settlements, where he spent seventeen years as Chief Surveyor of the Colony, and also as civil engineer and architeet, one of his principal works being the
construction of the Horsburgh Lighthouse, a work of singular difficulty, which earned for him a high reputation. This lighthouse, begun in May, 1850, and finished in July, 1851, is erected on the rock Pedra Branca, in the China Sea. The Indian climate proving unsuitable to him, Mr. Thomson left for New
Zealand in 1856, and, after travelling through the Colony, settled in Otago, where he accepted the position of Chief Surveyor. Those who are acquainted with the after history of the province know with what brilliant success he performed the difficult work of perfecting a thorough survey of the country, and of what value his labours in that department have proved. Mr. Thomson held for many years the joint offices of Chief Surveyor, Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands, and Provincial Engineer of Otago, and in May, 1876, was appointed Surveyor-General of New Zealand, having successfully Inaugurated the system of triangulation permanently adopted by the Colony. On his retirement he made his home at “Lennel,” Invercargill, and that is still (1904) also the home of his family. Mr. Thomson was an enthusiast in science, and contributed many papers to scientific journals. His special studies were ethnology and astronomy. He was also the author of several books, and in 1867 published “Rambles with a Philosopher,” a work of great merit. Afterwards there appeared from his pen “Glimpses into Life in the Far East,” and a sequel, “Hakayit Abdulla,” the autobiography of a Malayan native teacher and translator, translated from the Malay by Mr. Thomson; and in 1878 he published “Social Problems,” in which the various opinions and social questions of the day are ably handled. Mr. Thomson was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, member of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, Natural History Society of Newcastle-upon-Type, New Zealand Institute, and founder of the Otago Institute. He married Miss Williamson, whose father was one of the pioneer settlers of Otago. Mr. Thomson died at “Lennel” on the 16th of October, 1884.
Mr. James P. Young
, Of Orepuki, is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and was born in 1834. He is the youngest son of the late Dr. James Young, of Glasgow, and at the early age of thirteen, he left Scotland, accompanying his brother Alexander, to Port Phillip, where they arrived on the 26th of September, 1848. Settling in Melbourne, he was apprenticed, at Langland's Foundry, as a mechanical engineer, but after remaining only eighteen months, he was—in consequence of the arrival of his widowed mother In Melbourne—removed, and placed under the charge of his brother, Mr. John Young, C.E., of Ruthergien, Victoria. He did not stay long with his brother, for in 1851, when he “gold fever” broke out, Mr. Young found his way to the goldfields at Mount Alexander and was very successful. In 1852 he was working on the “Eureka” lead prior to the memorable “Stockade” episode, which culminated in a battle between the military and the miners. On leaving the goldfields he took up agriculture and contracting, and followed these callings till 1859, when he left Melbourne, for Riverton, where he commenced contracting, and also acted as carrier to Gabriel's Gully and Kingstón for several years. In 1860 his brother, who was engineer of the s s “Pride of the Yarra,” was drowned in Dunedin harbour. Early in 1894, Mr. Young went to the Zeehan silverfield, where he remained for some time, but, in consequence of the climate, he returned to New Zealand and opened a store at Orepuki. In 1854, he married the eldest daughter of Mr. Sydenham Edwards, General Government paymaster of Victoria. Mrs Young died at Riverton in July, 1877, leaving six sons and two daughters. During Mr. Young's eventful and stirring colonial career, covering a period of fifty-six years, he has witnessed and undergone many hardships and had many adventures. He is a typical representative of the early band of pioneers, who have assisted in raising the colonies to their present high
position. Mr. Young is a writer of considerable talent, and has contributed numerous articles to the “Christchurch Press,” “Tasmanian Press,” and “Otago Witness,” under such headings as: “Reminiscences of Early Diggings,” “Riverton's whaling days,” “A visit to the Round Hill mining district,” “The western district of Southland,” “Ye old identity of Southland,” etc.
Mr. James Wilson
was a prominent settler in Southland. He held a seat in the Provincial Council, during the whole period of Provincial Government in Southland, and was for part of the time Provincial Treasurer and Deputy-Superintendent, and for eight years Speaker of the Council. After the reunion of Southland with Otago, Mr. Wilson sat in the Otago Council. He was born on the 16th of March, 1814, in Ayrshire, Scotland, and was educated at the Wallacetown Academy. Mr. Wilson was brought up to country life, and came out to Sydney, New South Wales, in 1842. On the discovery of gold, about ten years later, he was among the first to visit the Australian diggings. He arrived in Otago in 1856, with the intention of becoming a settler; and having decided to settle in Southland, he bought land at Waianiwa, on behalf of himself and three others. He built his first residence of logs in June, 1856, and was an active and energetic settler for many years. Mr. Wilson was married, in Sydney, to a daughter of the late Mr. Samuel Benson, of that city, and on his death, on the 19th of August, 1898, he left two daughters.
Mr. Walter Charles Wright
, who has been a resident of Invercargill since his arrival in 1870 by the ship “Peter Denny,” at Port Chalmers, was born in England, in 1824. He served his time as an architect in the Old Land, and became a practical staircase-builder. After settling in Invercargill, he erected the first cottage in Clyde Street, then known as the Flat, and he named it “Alpha Cottage.” His services as a staircase-builder were much in request, and he erected the stairs of the Athenaeum building, and those at “Lennel” for the late Mr. J. T. Thomson, besides doing other work in the same line in many parts of the South Island; and he was also for a time employed in Sydney in connection with this special kind of work. For some time Mr. Wright conducted technical classes for architectural work and staircase-building. He was married, in 1846, to a daughter of the late Mr. Edward Mitchell, of Kensington. Mrs Wright died on the 12th of July, 1898, leaving six daughters and three sons, and there are forty-eight, grand children.