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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Mt. White — (Runs 219, 271, 303 and 30 4)

Mt. White
(Runs 219, 271, 303 and 30 4)

Mt. White takes in the country in the fork of the Esk and Poulter rivers. Run 219 was taken up by E. C. page 243Minchin in October, 1857. He took up Run 271 in August, 1858, and he or one of his sons took up 303 and 304—five thousand acres on both sides of the Poulter-in May, 1859. Part of the run was taken up in 1857 by J. C. Aitken, whom the Minchins bought out. I think Minchin sold the station to Major Thomas Woolaston White in April, 1860. A new license was given then to White and immediately transferred by him back to Minchin, no doubt as security for the purchase money. The Minchins' homestead was up the Poulter about six miles above its junction with the Waimakariri. White built a new homestead at Lake Letitia, a beautiful mountain lake which White named after his wife. It is now a sanctuary for native birds and there are still black teal and crested grebes there, and it is about the only place in Canterbury, except one or two on Banks Peninsula, where woodhens are not yet (1930) extinct. They are always about the yards and buildings and come to the house for scraps.

White lived at his other station, the Warren. His brothers, Taylor and John, worked Mt. White which I am told was named after Major White.

Sometime during the late 'sixties White failed, and Minchin took the station back and resold it in May, 1870, with 18,000 sheep, to John Moore Cochran and Gray. I do not know who Gray was but he sold his interest to Cochran in 1875.

I have given accounts of the Whites in my note on the Warren. Minchin lived mostly in Christchurch. He built a large house near where St. Saviour's at Shirley is now. He and his wife returned to England during the 'eighties, and he died there. His sons William and John looked after his stations. William afterwards had a farm at Waddington which he named Westwood, and died in Christchurch in December, 1889. John left New Zealand in the 'seventies and I believe made a fortune.

Cochran died at the station, and in 1885 the Loan and Mercantile took over Mt. White from his executors.

page 244

J. M. Cochran came of an old Army family in the north of Ireland. He was the son of Major Cochran and was born about 1834. He came to New Zealand in the 'sixties. His brother James, of Lochinvar, was a cadet at Mt. White. The two Cochrans and Douglas Campbell of Craigieburn all married sisters.

At that time, or soon afterwards, the Loan Company took over from different owners all the runs at the head of the Waimakariri-Cora Lynn, Riversdale, Mt. White, and Lochinvar. They held them until 1902, when they sold them to F. J. Savill Savill sold Mt. White and Riversdale to Studholme and McAlpine about 1910. Studholme and McAlpine sold Mt. White and Riversdale to the present owners, D. C. and R. T. Turnbull, of Timaru, in 1924.

The Loan Company's manager was Thomas Douglas. He had previously managed Brookdale and Mt. Torlesse for them. Savill's managers were A. Dunbar and N. Carney. The present manager is J. G. Thompson.

For many years, in the Company's days, they went in extensively for horse breeding at Mt. White, and the old Tram Company used to buy an annual draft. Many of these horses were greys, and their old drivers still remember the Coronet (Mt. White) brand.