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



Fairfax is on the western bank of the Aparima river, and on the Riverton-Nightcaps line of railway. It is twenty-seven miles from Invercargill, and eighteen miles from the terminus at Nightcaps. The district is in the Aparima riding of the county of Wallace, and in the electorate of Wallace, and at the census of 1901, its population was recorded as eighty-seven. The main road from Thornbury to Otautau and Nightcaps passes through the township, and diverges eastward, over the bridge spanning the Aparima river, towards Limestone Plains and Drummond. Fairfax has a combined post office and railway station, at an elevation of seventy-nine feet above sea-level; an hotel, a store, a smith's shop, and a public school. Several sawmills are at work in the district, as a large extent of bush country lies to the south. Fairfax is, nevertheless, chiefly an agricultural, dairying, and pastoral district, and large quantities of grain are sent from the local station.

Fairfax Railway Station And Post Office, Fairfax.

Mr. Thomas Alexander Stephens , Stationmaster and Postmaster at Fairfax, was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1876, and came to New Zealand in 1882. He was educated at the Invercargill Grammar School, and then entered the railway service as a cadet in the clerical department at Christchurch. Thence he was transferred to Gore, and from Gore to the railway shipping department in Invercargill. Then he was appointed a relieving officer, and as such he served for two years. He was appointed to the Fairfax station in 1903. Mr Stephens has taken a considerable interest in athletics, and has been a competitor in rowing and running contests.

The Fairfax Public School is a wood and iron building of one classroom, lobby and porch, and stands on a half-acre section. It accommodates from forty to fifty pupils, and the attendance is about twenty-five.

Miss Edith Hodgkinson , M.A., formerly head teacher of the Fairfax school, was born in Auckland, and
Gerstenkorn, photo.Miss E. Hodgkinson.

Gerstenkorn, photo.
Miss E. Hodgkinson.

educated at the Otago University and Canterbury College. She graduated M.A. in 1895, with second-class honours in English and in French, and third class in mental science. In 1891 she was appointed head teacher of the South Wyndham school, where she served for one year. She was afterwards for some time head teacher of the Portland Island school, in Hawke's Bay. The years 1896 to 1901 were spent teaching in Taranaki at the Durhan Road school, near Inglewood. In the beginning of 1902, she was appointed head teacher of the Fairfax school. She holds an A3 certificate, but gave up public school teaching at the end of 1904, with the intention of engaging in journalistic work. Miss Hodgkinson is a daughter of Dr. Hodgkinson, well known throughout Southland as a pioneer colonist and public man. Dr. Hodgkinson's biography and portrait appear on page 794 of this volume.

Shamrock Hotel (Christina Callaghan, proprietress), Fairfax. This hotel was built about twenty years ago by its present owner. It is of wood and iron, has twenty rooms, and there is very good accommodation for guests.

Mrs Christina Callaghan , Proprietress of the Shamrock Hotel, is a daughter of the late Mr Thomas Harrison, farmer, of East Taieri, who came to New Zealand in 1848. She was born at Christon, Kirkintilloch, Scotland, in 1837, accompanied her parents to the colony, and lived with them until 1854, when she married Mr Robert Montgomery McDowall, a school teacher. Two sons and two daughters born of this marriage are now alive. In 1875, she married Mr John Callaghan, to whom she bore four sons and six daughters. Mrs Callaghan page 958 settled thirty-eight years ago at Orepuki, where she was the first white woman. She afterwards built the Havelock Hotel at Riverton, and conducted it for six years, when she built her present house and has held it ever since. Despite the fact that she is a great-grandmother, Mrs Callaghan is an enthusiastic cyclist. She also drives a motor-car, having bought a fine “Swift” in 1903.

Ermedale Sawmill (McCallum and Company, proprietors), Fairfax. This mill is situated a short distance from Fairfax railway station, to which the timber is conveyed by tramway. The plant consists of a ten horse-power engine, two benches, one planing machine, and a ten horsepower hauling engine. About twelve men are employed, and the output is from 80,000 to 90,000 feet of timber per month.

Mr. Matthew Bradley , Manager of the Ermedale Sawmill, was born at Lady's Bay, Tasmania, in 1868, and educated there. He spent a short time at bootmaking, and was afterwards at sea for some time. Then he
Gerstenkorn, photo.Mr. M. Bradley.

Gerstenkorn, photo.
Mr. M. Bradley.

settled down to sawmill work in the service of Mr Tyler, of Ida Bay, Tasmania, and soon worked up to the managership of some of his mills. Later on, he joined Messrs Gray Brothers, of Adventure Bay, in the same capacity. In 1893 he came to New Zealand and began to work at the Excelsior mill, at Tisbury. He then worked at mills at Otatara, Colac Bay, and Riverton successively, and while at Riverton he built a mill and four miles of tramways and bridges for Messrs More and Sons. After running the launch of Messrs Trail Brothers on the Pourakino river, he built the Otautau mill of the Southland Timber Company. Mr Bradley received his present appointment in February, 1903. When in Tasmania, Mr Bradley took some part in athletic sports, particularly rowing. In 1894, he married a daughter of Mr H. Dewe, of Invercargill, and has one daughter.
Mr. John Kilkelly , Manager of the timber yard of McCallum and Company's Ermedale sawmill, Fairfax, was born at Mataura. in 1867, and educated at Grove Bush, where his father is a farmer. For some years, he
Gerstenkorn, photo.Mr. J. Kilkelly.

Gerstenkorn, photo.
Mr. J. Kilkelly.

and his brothers were road contracting, but left that to start saw-milling, which they carried on in various parts of the Forest Hall, Tokonui and other districts. Mr Kilkelly left his brothers after they had started a mill at Grove Bush, and was for some time manager of McPherson and Company's sawmill at Fairfax. When that mill was sold to Messrs McCallum and Company, he was appointed to his present position. As a runner and wrestler, Mr Kilkelly has competed at sports in various parts of Southland, and has also taken part in sawing contests with some success. For three years he has been a member of the Fairfax school committee. In 1900, he married a daughter of Mr P. Ryan, of West Plains, and has two sons.
Mr. Albert Currie , Engineer at Messrs McCallum and Company's Ermedale sawmill at Fairfax, was born at Forest Hill, Winton, in 1882, and brought up on his father's farm. Whilst at farm work, he learned the working of traction engines, and in 1901 left for the Edendale district, where he drove a portable engine in
Gerstenkorn, photo.Mr. A. Currie.

Gerstenkorn, photo.
Mr. A. Currie.

Messrs Sutherland and Lopdale's sawmill. Early in 1902, Mr Currie went to Wairoa, in the North Island, and drove the engine in a large sawmill there for about nine months. He afterwards worked in sawmills in the Midhirst and Dannevirke districts, and, on returning to Southland, became engineer at Mr Wallis' mill at Hedgehope, where he remained until being appointed to his present position at the Ermedale mill, in 1904. Mr Currie holds competency certificates for driving stationary and portable engines. He is a well-known competitor at sports meetings in Southland, and has won several prizes for quoiting.

Mr. Donald Mcintosh , Engineer at McCallum and Company's Ermedale sawmill, was born at West Plains in 1882, educated at the school there, and apprenticed to blacksmithing with Mr Gardiner, of Mataura. After serving his time, he became blacksmith and engine-driver at the Ermedale mill. He holds a second-class certificate as a driver of portable engines.

Fox, John , Farmer and Stock Dealer, Fairfax. Mr Fox was born in August, 1857, near Oxford, England, and was brought up to farming. He came to New Zealand by the ship “Waimate,” in 1875, and worked as page 959 a contractor in the Kaiapoi and Ashburton districts for about five years. In 1882 he removed to Southland, and settled at Grasmere, near Invercargill, where he carried on cattle dealing till July, 1900, when he purchased his present property at Fairfax. The property consists of 300 acres of land, which is devoted to mixed farming, and Mr Fox still continues to do a large business as a dealer in stock. While he was at Ashburton, he was a member of the Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows. Mr Fox was married, in December, 1881, to a daughter of Mr Daniel Evans, of Dipton, and has three sons and five daughters.

Haywood, William , Farmer, “Thorn-hill,” Fairfax. Mr. Haywood was born in Devonshire, England, in 1860, and received his education at the district national school, being afterwards engaged in various occupations before leaving England for Port Chalmers in 1880, by the ship “Wellington.” A short time after his arrival he entered into a farming partnership with Mr. F. J. Linscott, in which they were subsequently joined by Mr. Charles Haywood. When the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Haywood commenced
Mr. W. Haywood.

Mr. W. Haywood.

business as land agent and valuer. In 1895, he purchased his present property “Thorn-hill,” where he has resided ever since. This property is almost entirely laid down in grass, well drained, and utilised for grazing sheep and cattle. Mr. Haywood is a successful breeder of Romney Marsh sheep, for which he has won the first prize against all comers at the Riverton show. The “Thornhill” homestead has a strikingly English aspect, with its well-laid out orchards, surrounded by English oaks and other trees. The dwelling-house is built of stone, and contains nine rooms; and there are substantial stables, stock-yards, and cattle sheds. Mr. Haywood is an old member of the Western Districts Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and senior deacon of Lodge Aparima. N.Z.C., Riverton. He has also, for several years, been circuit steward of Riverton Wesleyan church.

McIntosh, Donald , Farmer, “Culblair,” Fairfax. Mr McIntosh was born on the 28th of July, 1838, in Inverness, Scotland, where he was educated. He came out to Melbourne in 1854, by the ship “Black Eagle,” and worked for some time on the goldfields in Victoria. Mr McIntosh came to Dunedin in 1863, and entered into partnership with the late Major Croker and Mr. Hugh Rice, now of Invercargill, in the carrying business in the Tuapeka and Waitahuna districts, and afterwards in the district between Kingston and Invercargill. Mr McIntosh settled in the Fairfax district in 1882, when he purchased his present property consisting of 200 acres of freehold, and forty acres of leasehold, land. He has been well known for many years as a breeder of Clydesdale horses. He was at one time a member of the Otautau school committee. Mr McIntosh was married, in 1869, to a daughter of the late Mr Alexander McDonald, of Riverton, and has had nine sone and three daughters. Two of his sons died in infancy, and one in South Africa, where he served as a member of the Fourth Contingent.

Gerstenkorn, photo Mr. And Mrs D. McIntosh.

Gerstenkorn, photo
Mr. And Mrs D. McIntosh.

Ward, William , Farmer, Pine Hill Farm, Fairfax. Mr Ward has a farm of 310 acres. His house, which contains eleven rooms, stands on a commanding position, whence he obtains very fine views of the district. Mr Ward was born at Kidderminister, England, in 1851, and came to New Zealand, with his parents, in 1859. The family settled at Gummies Bush, where he was brought up to farming. After
Mr. And Mrs W. Ward And Child.

Mr. And Mrs W. Ward And Child.

page 960 spending many years in farming, mostly in the Groper's Bush district, he started what was known as the Fairfax sawmill, which he carried on for five years—1894–99. As, however, saw-milling did not agree with his health, he sold out and went into farming again at Pine Hill Farm, which he had owned since 1886. Mr Ward has been for some years a member of the Fairfax school committee, and of the Western Districts Agricultural and Pastoral Association. For about three years in the middle of the late seventies, he was a very successful long distance runner at Riverton and Invercargill. He married a daughter of Mr William Flint (a farmer in the Fort-rose-Waikawa district, after whom Flint's Bush was named), and has one daughter.

Ward, Benjamin , Farmer, Fairfax. Mr Ward was born at Thornhill Farm, Groper's Bush, in 1863, and educated at the Groper's Bush school. He was brought up to farming on his father's farm, and has ever since followed that occupation. In 1890, he bought a farm of 100 acres, on which he conducts mixed farming. He occasionally exhibits cattle at the Western Districts Agricultural and Pastoral Association show. In 1884, Mr Ward published a small book of poems, “Food for Mirth and Lore for Learning,” which had a large circulation in Southland. Since that time he has been a contributor of prose and verse to several newspapers, and it is his intention to publish another book of poems at an early date.