The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Picton was constituted a borough in the year 1867. The first Mayor was Mr. Thomas Williams, who has been followed, in turn, by Messrs A. P. Sey. mour, W. Symes, A. T. Thompson, S. Swanwick, A. G. Fell, Thomas Philpots, Captain Harris, Dr. Redman, and the present Mayor, Mr. J. A. R. Greensill, who is now (1905) occupying the chair for the fourth time. The present councillors are Messrs Thomas Philpotts, T. J. Storey, George Wilkins, J. Anderson, G. J. Riddell, L. Pugh, H. A. McCormick, H. A. Simmonds, and J. F. Esson; and the Town Clerk is Mr. Jabez Blizzard.
The town's water supply is drawn from a large reservoir, about three miles up the Waitohi stream, and all the houses are connected by pipes with the main channels. The pressure in the town is about 120lb to the square inch.
As the site of the town slopes away seaward, elaborate drainage is unnecessary; and there is nothing in page 386 this way, further than a few surface channels.
The streets are lighted by means of kerosene lamps, of which there are about thirty; and their upkeep costs about £11 a month.
The disposal of refuse is at present carried out privately, but improved methods for this work are now under consideration.
The total capital value of rateable property in the borough is about £126,000, but of this amount over £18,080 is exempt from taxation.
Rates in Picton are levied on the unimproved values. This system was adopted in 1904, when a poll was taken to determine the matter. The total unimproved values amount to about £15,900, and certain exempted properties are valued at about £9000. The rates are 3⅜d in the pound on unimproved value as a general rate; ½d in the pound on capital value, as a water rate: and 1–9th of a penny in the pound as a hospital rate. The total revenue from all sources is about £2,200 per annum.
The loans now in force are the water works loan of £5,688, borrowed in 1889 at 3½ per cent., the extinction of which is provided for by a sinking fund; and a loan of about £315, to clear the overdraft. The assets of the town are about £900, and there are valuable reserves. Picton has a population of about 950 souls, and the distriet's electoral roll contains about 450 names.
His Worship the Mayor, Mr. J. A. R. Greensill, has had a long and honourable connection with public affairs in Marlborough. He is referred to in another article as a man of business.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Councillor J. Anderson.
Councillor H. A. Mccormick has been a member of the Picton Borough Council since the year 1901. He was born in Pietor, in February, 1870, and is the son of a sheep farmer in the Sounds. Mr. McCormiek was educated at the local Borough School, afterwards learned farming, and in 1897 established himself in business as a general storekeeper in High Street, Picton. In 1901, however, he sold out, and has since conducted a commission agency.
Councillor George Wilkins was first elected to the Picton Borough Council in the year 1901, served for two years, and was re-elected in April, 1905. He was born on the 25th of August, 1861, at Gloucester, England, where his father was an officer in the police force; came to New Zealand in 1874, and completed his education at the Blenheim Borough School. Mr. Wilkins subsequently learned the bakery trade, and established a business in Blenheim, which he successiully conducted for nine vears. In May, 1896, he removed to Picton, and established a profitable business in High Street. Mr. Wilkins is married, and has five sons and three daughters.
Councillor Gerard Joseph Riddeli ., who has been a member of the Picton Borough Council for several years, is the second son of Mr. John Gerard Riddell, of Hermeston Hall, in North Nottinghamshire, England, and was born in the year 1868. He was educated at Stonyhurst College, and came to New Zealand in early manhood. Since 1893, Mr. Riddell has lived in retirement at his homestead, “Cam House,” near the page 387 township. Mr. Riddell married the eldest laughter of Mr. H. C. Seymour, of Tentersfield station, in the year 1899.
Councilor H. H. Simmonds was first elected to the Picton Borough Council at a by-election in the year 1901, and re-elected in April, 1905. He was born in Belfast, Ireland, in November, 1836 and is the eldest son of Lieutenant H. Simmonds, of the 51st
Regiment, Queen's Own Light Infantry. In 1848, Mr. Simmonds went with his parents to Tasmania, and in the early fifties visited the Victorian goldfields. He came to New Zealand in 1862, and landed at Dunedin. Four or five years later Mr. Simmonds went to Marlborough, where he worked in turn at Havelock, Blenheim, and Renwicktown, and then took up a farm which he conducted for thirty years at Para, on the Picton Road. In February, 1903, he retired from business, and settled in Picton.
Councillor John Fuller Esson, who was elected to the Picton Borough Council in April, 1905, was born in Picton on the 13th of November, 1872, and is the third son of the late Mr. William Esson, a Picton pioneer, who is further referred to under the heading of Old Colonists. He was educated at the local public school, and was brought up to farming. At twenty-four years of age Mr. Esson joined the Government service as road overseer for the Marlborough district, but on the death of his father in June, 1902, he resigned his position to take over the farm. This property, which is known as Esson's Valley, comprises an area of 1000 acres, and is devoted to sheep grazing. Mr. Es-son married Miss Webster, of Picton, in June, 1901, and has one daughter.
Councillor Llewellyn Pugh was elected to the Picton Borough Council in the year 1905. He was born in Picton in October, 1874, and is the fourth son of Mr. William Pugh, one of the oldest living settlers in Picton, who is referred to under the heading of Old Colonists. Mr. Pugh was educated at the Picton public school and at Havelock, and was brought up to the building trade under his father. Later on, he spent two years in the local malthouses, and then went to the Auckland goldfields, where he remained for two years. Mr. Pugh subsequently returned to Picton, and after following his trade as a journeyman for many years he joined his brothers in partnership; and the firm has since carried on an extensive and successful business. Mr. Pugh is a member of the Picton Domain Board, and has also been connected with various social clubs.
Councillor Thomas Philpotts is referred to in another article as a member of the firm of Messrs Philpotts and Son.
Councillor Thomas James Storey was elected to the Picton Borough Council in April, 1905. He is further referred to as the proprietor of the Federal Hotel, Picton.
Mr. J. Blizzard.