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



Dacre is a farming district five miles from Woodlands railway station on the Dunedin road, and nine miles from the Edendale railway station. The road continues through the district to Mataura, eighteen miles distant, and branches off to the left to Mabel Bush, which is six miles away. Dacre public school is conducted in a building originally erected as an hotel, and is attended by about thirteen children, on an average. The postal department has been represented at the house of one of the local residents since the eighties, and two mails are received and despatched, each week. Dacre district is partly in the Hokonui, and partly in the Waihopairiding of the county of Southland. The population in the former riding was twelve, and in the latter thirty-one in the township, and fifteen in the vicinity, at the census of 1901. Dacre is in the electoral district of Mataura. Woodstock estate, in the immediate neighbourhood, has within recent years been cut up for closer settlement, and this has led to a steady increase in population. No church services are held in the district, and the settlers have to go to Woodlands for the purpose of public worship.

Lee, Patrick William , Farmer, “Burnside,” Dacre. Mr Lee was born in the west of Ireland, and came out to New Zealand with his parents about the year 1876, when he was only about four years old. The family sailed from Glasgow in the ship “City of Dunedin.” and though he was so young, Mr Lee can well remember the excitement which prevailed on board, on sighting Port Lyttelton heads. The family settled in Southland, where he
Mr. P. W. Lee.

Mr. P. W. Lee.

went to school until he was about sixteen years of age. Since then he has followed various avocations, including farming, carpentering, etc. While young he had an intense love for the sea, and made several attempts to apprentice himself aboard a home-going vessel, but as his parents refused their consent, he was not accepted. He worked on the railways for two years, and afterwards engaged in farming pursuits until the close of 1901, when he joined the Eighth New Zealand Mounted Rifles for active service in South Africa. While thus engaged he lost his right leg, as a result of injuries received in a railway collision at Machavie, on the 12th of April, 1902, in the Western Transvaal; casualties, sixteen killed; fourteen injured. He spent three months in the military hospital at Potchefstroom, three weeks at Elandsfontein, a suburb of Johan nesburg, and was invalided home a week later. Mr Lee is at present (1905) residing near Woodlands, Southland, where any of his old friends who choose to call will receive a royal welcome.

Henderson, Thomas , Farmer, Dacre. Mr Henderson was born in 1868, at Myross Bush, where he was educated and brought up to farming by his father, the late Mr John Henderson. In 1895, he bought 222 acres of freehold, part of the Morton Mains estate at Dacre. The property was then chiefly in its native state, but has since been brought into a fine state of cultivation. As a Forester, Mr Henderson is a member of Court Star of the Forest, Woodlands. He was married, in 1902, to a daughter of Mr Duncan McDermid, of Waianiwa.

Wilson Brothers (James Peter Wilson, and Thomas Kerr Wilson), Farmers, Dacre. The property of Messrs Wilson Brothers consists of 402 acres of freehold. It is worked as a general farm, and, with the exception of fifty acres, has all been broken up.

Mr. James Peter Wilson , Senior Partner of the firm of Wilson Brothers, is a son of Mr Thomas Wilson, of Oporo, and was born in 1874. He was educated at Waianiwa and in Invercargill, and was brought up to farming. In November, 1899, he was joined by his brother, and acquired part of Morton Mains estate at Dacre. As an Oddfellow, Mr Wilson is a member of Loyal St. George Lodge, Invercargill. Mr Wilson takes a keen interest in sports; is a cyclist and athlete, and plays football and cricket. He has served on the Dacre school committee, of which he was at one time chairman. Mr Wilson was married, in 1901, to a daughter of Mr John Bell, of the Land Transfer Office, Invercargill, but she died in 1902, leaving one daughter.

Mr. Thomas Kerr Wilson , Of the the firm of Wilson Brothers, was born in Invercargill, and was educated at Waianiwa. He was brought up to farming, and worked on his father's page 1068
Mr. J. P. Wilson And Mr. T. K. Wilson.

Mr. J. P. Wilson And Mr. T. K. Wilson.

farm until 1899, when he joined his brother in taking up his present property.

Woodstock Estate . This place is picturesquely situated about six miles from the Woodlands railway station, on the main line to Invercargill. Originally the property comprised 2,500 acres of freehold and 4,000 acres of leasehold. A mixed system of farming was adopted, such as the cultivation of oats, turnips, and grass seed, etc. Mr Wallis also grazed a flock of 2,000 sheep, including a stud of 500 Romney Marsh rams and ewes, besides 250 head of Polled Angus cattle. In former years, Mr Wallis invariably exhibited some of his celebrated herd at the Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, and Invercargill shows, and was very successful, particularly in the female classes, and for years one of his cows gained the champion prize at the Dunedin show. He also successfully exhibited his Romney Marsh rams at the New South Wales Sheep Breeders' Association's shows in Sydney, where he gained first prize for ewe, and second prize for rams, defeating exhibitors from all parts of Australia and New Zealand. Since then the estate has been cut up for closer settlement.

Mr. Alexander Robert Wallis , J. P., formerly owner of Woodstock Estate, is the eldest son of the Rev. A. W. Wallis, one of the Royal chaplains in the Bengal Presidency, and was born in Ghazeepore, India, in 1848. He was educated at Lancing College, near Brighton, Sussex, and afterwards studied at Cirencester Agricultural College, as well as in Germany. His success was a brilliant one, as he became the senior diplomist, and leading student in agriculture at that time, and was offered the chair of Professor of Agriculture, at the Cornell University, United States. He, however, declined the offer in order to accept an appointment on the agricultural staff of the “Melbourne Argus,” and “Australasian;” a position which he ably filled for rather more than one year. In 1872, he was appointed first secretary of the newly-established Agricultural Department of Victoria, and was instrumental in building up that important department, and founding the agricultural college of that colony. He retained the position until 1882, when he became interested in pastoral properties in West Australia and Victoria. In the following year he purchased an interest in the Morton Mains Estate, near Edendale, Southland, and ultimately became sole proprietor until 1888, when it was acquired by a company, who retained him as manager. On the dissolution of the company, in 1894, Mr Wallis purchased the Woodstock, Estate. Mr Wallis now carries on business as a sawmiller at Hedgehope, and has an office in Esk Street, Invercargill.