The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Grove Bush lies between Rakahouka and Mabel Bush, and extends to, and beyond, the Maka-rewa stream. It is partly in the Awarua, Hokonui, and Wallacetown ridings of the county of Southland, and also partly in the electoral districts of Awarua and Mataura. At the census of 1901, the population of the district was: twenty in the Awarua riding, twenty-five in the Hokonui riding, and thirty-nine in the Wallacetown riding. Grove Bush is two miles from Rakahouka, four miles from Roslyn Bush, six miles from Woodlands, and twelve miles from the Forest Hill railway station. Though partly on both sides of the picturesque Makarewa river, the district is not served by a bridge in that connection. In addition to agriculture and sheep-farming, the district has flaxmills and sawmills. The residents have to travel to Rakahouka and Roslyn Bush for church services, but there is a public school, which is said to have been in operation since 1864, but which had an average attendance of only fifteen in 1904. The postal department has been represented at Grove Bush since 1875, and two mails are received and despatched weekly. The country is decidedly undulating, and the native bush is rapidly passing away.
Grove Bush Sawmill (Kilkelly Brothers, proprietors), Grove Bush, This mill was established in 1899. The building is a wooden structure and contains two portable steam engines, of fifteen horse-power in all, with two sawing and cross-cutting punching and plaining machines, and there is also a five horse-power hauling engine. The bush now being worked consists of 700 acres of freehold, and there is a tramway three miles in length. The output of the mill is about 60,000 feet of timber a month, and eight men are employed.
Mr. Thomas Kilkelly , Senior Partner of the firm of Kilkelly Brothers, was born in October, 1870, at Grove Bush, where he was educated and brought up to a country life. He was for many years employed in road contracting and sawmilling, and, in conjunction with his brothers, established the Grove Bush mill, in 1899, Mr Kilkelly was married, in 1904, to a daughter of Mr Patrick Ryan, of Oreti Mains.
Mr. Donald Kilkelly was born in January, 1880, at Grove Bush, where he was educated and brought up to country life. He joined his brothers in establishing the Grove Bush sawmill in 1899.
Mr. Malachi Kilkelly was born in June, 1882, at Grove Bush, where he was educated. He followed an outdoor life until joining his brothers in partnership in 1899.
Ross. Redmond , Farmer, Grove Bush. Mr Ross was born in 1868, at Myross Bush, where he was educated and brought up to farming. He worked with his father, the late Mr John Ross, until the latter's death in 1897. His farm consists of 450 acres of freehold land. Mr Ross was married, in December, 1900, to a daughter of Mr Michael Leonard, of West Plains, and has one son.