The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Kaeo is one of the most northern settlements in New Zealand, and is situated close to Whangaroa harbour, in the midst of the timber industry. Its distance from Auckland is 174 miles. Kaeo has a weekly mail, and also a telephone service. The place itself is one of the pleasantest little corners to be found north of Auckland. The scenery is enchanting, and a beautiful tidal river empties into Whangaroa harbour. This river runs through a very fertile valley, which produces a great variety of choice fruits and beautiful flowers. For persons broken down in health, no better place could be found in which to recuperate and grow strong again. The settlers are kind and hospitable, and the stranger soon finds himself among friends. It was in this valley that the captain and crew of the ship “Boyd” were killed and eaten by the natives in the year 1809. One at least of the old natives who witnessed the slaughter still (1901) lives and is quite strong and healthy, and enjoys a talk about the old times. Several relics of those bygone days are still to be found in the possession of some of the settlers, though the times themselves, with all their associations, such as missionary work amongst the Maoris, have given place to modern life and civilisation. Kaeo has two day schools, which are very well attended, and there are two churches —a Wesleyan and a Seventh Day Adventist. It also has a public library, three stores and one hotel. The natives are just now (April, 1901) about to open a church for themselves, and the building does great credit to the Maori people. Specimens of copper have been found, and mining for this ore may in the near future develop a rich industry and make the prosperous valley yet more prosperous. Many indications of coal exist; a good shale has also been discovered, and may prove valuable. Anyone desiring an Arcadian home, and a healthy locality to live in, should not overlook Kaeo.
Kaeo Public Library, established in 1875, is situated in the centre of the township and contains over 1000 volumes of current literature. The subscription is 1s. 6d. a quarter, with 2s. 6d. entrance fee, and the library is well patronised by local residents. Mr. James Halliday is secretary and treasurer of the institution.
Kaeo Football Association (Mr. James Halliday, secretary.) This association was formed for the purpose of encouraging football in the district. A sum of £30 was voted as a prize, and in 1897 six teams entered for competition, viz., Ngawha, Kaupurangi, Kenana, Kaeo, Tokirau, and Raukura. With the exception of Kaeo they were all native teams. It is said that Maoris play a most friendly game and can teach European players a good lesson in that respect. Neatly attired to a man in the colours of their respective clubs, the Maori footballers are a credit to their several districts.
Nisbet, Alexander, Contractor, Kaeo. Mr. Nisbet was born in Prince Edward Island, British North America, in 1829, and followed farming pursuits till 1848, when he took to a seafaring life. He came to New Zealand per ship “South Boston,” landing at Mongonui in 1850 and was for nearly two years engaged in the kauri timber trade, when he was smitten with the universal gold fever and joined the Australian “rush.” After trying his fortune on the Castlemaine, Ballarat, and Bendigo fields, he returned to New Zealand in 1853. Since that time Mr. Nisbet has executed numerous contracts in the district for the construction of roads, bridges, etc. He was on the Commission of the Peace for over thirty years, and at the time of his resignation was the senior Justice in Whangaroa County. Mr. Nisbet is a trustee of the Wesleyan church, an Oddfellow, and a Mason, and was formerly a prominent Orangeman for many years, having also filled many local offices, including that of chairman of Kaeo Road Board. Mr. Nisbet was married in 1854 to a daughter of the late Mr. Spikeman—who came to New Zealand with the early missionaries—and has a grown-up family of six sons and four daughters.
Mr. A. Nisbet.
Nisbet, William Arthur, Farrier and General Blacksmith, Kaeo. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand, Auckland. Mr. Nisbet's business was established in 1882 by Mr. Daniel Hayes and taken over by the former in 1892. He is well and widely known as a farrier and liberally patronized by the travelling public, and is an excellent manufacturer of agricultural implements and haulage “gear” for bush work. Mr. Nisbet was born in Kaeo in 1870, and on the completion of his apprenticeship commenced business on his own account. He has been for the past five years secretary of the local Oddfellows' lodge, and is a member of the Rechabites. Mr. Nisbet is married to a daughter of Mr. Prior, who is well-known in the district.
Halliday, James, Shoemaker and Hairdresser, Kaeo. Bankers, Bank of Australasia, Auckland. Established in 1887. Mr. Halliday carries on a good country trade in bespoke and hand-sewn work, of which he makes a specialty. He was born in Belfast in 1864, and is a son of Mr. Samuel Halliday of Kawakawa, having come to New Zealand with his parents when quite young. After following the trade of a shoemaker for several years, he page 588 added the business of hairdressing. Mr. Halliday takes great interest in athletics and is secretary of the Kaeo Football Association. Kaeo Public Library, School Committee, and at the annual sports is entrusted with carrying out the necessary arrangements. He is a member of the order of Oddfellows and an Orangeman. Mr. Halliday is married to a daughter of Mr. Alexander Nisbet, of Kaeo.
Hare Bros. (Joseph Hare and Wesley Hare), Shipowners and General Merchants, Kaeo. Branch at Tairairi. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand, Auckland. Established 1875. Among the agencies held by the firm of Hare Bros., that for the Sintz gas engines stands foremost. Messrs Hare Bros. are now the representatives for New Zealand, and are pushing the sale with great success owing to the small cost and great utility. The firm also holds the agency for the Manson Cycle Company of Chicago, United States of America.
Mr. Joseph Hare, Junior, is a son of Mr. Joseph Hare of Kaeo, and was born in Armagh, Ireland, in 1849. He came to New Zealand with his parents in 1865 per ship “Lancashire Witch,” landing at Auckland on the 12th of May of that year. In the following month they came to Whangaroa, and Mr. Hare engaged in road contracting at Kaeo, eventually going into the timber industry and adding the business of general merchants a few years afterwards. Messrs. Hare Bros. have for several years past been actively engaged in the shipping trade. Mr. Hare is deeply interested in the welfare of the whole county, which he at present represents as chairman of the council.
Mr. J. Hare, Junr.
Mr. Joseph R. Hare, sometime Accountant for Messrs Hare Bros., was the eldest son of Mr. Joseph Hare, Junr., J.P., of Kaeo, where he was born in 1874 In 1891 he went to America per mail steamer “Alameda” and finished his education at Healdsburg College, California. On the completion of his studies he travelled through the States, gaining further knowledge and mercantile experience. In August, 1894, he returned to New Zealand viâ Australia, and afterwards served in the firm of Messrs Hare Bros., with charge of the business during the manager's absence. He and his brother Oliver—who obtained No. 1 certificate for oil engines in New Zealand—met their death while on a trip in the ill-fated schooner “Wolverine.” “Lovely and pleasant in their lives, in death they were not divided;” and they will long be mourned by their sorrowing family.
The Late Mr. J. R. Hare.
Halliday, Mrs. S. General Storekeeper, Kaeo. This lady, who is the mother of Mr. James Halliday referred to elsewhere, established her business in 1890 in large freehold premises, with a very complete stock of general merchandise. Being a cash purchaser, Mrs. Halliday is able to sell at prices that defy competition and, therefore, commands an extensive trade.
Hayes, Thomas, Farmer, Kakaparere, Te Moari, three miles from Kaeo. The freehold property of Mr. Hayes embraces 500 acres of broken land and 100 acres of first-class land, of which about one-third is sown in English grasses and carries some 400 crossbred sheep and about 50 head of cattle. The flat alluvial land is admirably suited for crops and fruitgrowing, but the larger portion of the farm is “broken.” Mr. Hayes was born in the district in 1850, and has all his life been associated with the kauri timber trade, chiefly as a contractor during the past thirty years. In 1880, he bought 490 acres of his present homestead, supplementing it with an additional 110 acres four years later. The cattle and sheep fattened on the property are amongst the primest sent to the markets. Mr. Hayes was for six or seven years a member of the Whangaroa County Council, was superintendent of the Wesleyan Sunday school for several years, as well as a steward of the church, and is associated with the Oddfellows and Recha bites. He is married to a daughter of the late Mr. T. H. Skinner.
Mr. T. Hayes.
Woodside Farm, six miles from Kaeo, is the freehold property of Mrs. W. Murray and contains 300 acres of fine level country. Over 600 well-bred Lincoln sheep, besides some forty head of cattle, graze on the property, which is for the greater part page 589 cleared, grassed, and well-watered throughout. Adjoining the property are 240 acres of land recently taken up by Mrs. Murray's sons. “Woodside” homestead is a fine nine roomed house, pleasantly situated and well-sheltered by ornamental trees.
Mr. William Murray, sometime of “Woodside,” was born in Aberdeen in 1837 and was brought up to the trade of a butcher under his father. He came to New Zealand in 1864 and during the Waikato war took a contract for supplying the troops with meat, after which he established himself in business at the corner of Wellesley and Queen Streets, Auckland. In 1870, he went to the Bay of Islands and lived for ten years close to “Woodside Farm,” then took a two years' lease of Cavalli Island, grazing thereon over 400 head of cattle and about the same number of sheep. In 1882, Mr. Murray bought “Woodside Farm” and worked it with great industry till his death in 1886, which was caused by a tumour, the result of a kick from a horse. He left a widow and family of seven sons and seven daughters.
Bramley, William, “Sheriff Park,” Kaeo, County Whangaroa. The subject of the present article was born near Bury, Lancashire, on the 12th of October, 1822. He received his early education from his father, a talented and successful teacher in the Old Country, afterwards attended a course of instruction at the Warrington Model School, then went to the Battersea Training College, London, and finally finished his education at the Chester Training Institution for Teachers. During the time he remained in England he held several lucrative situations. He was appointed headmaster of the Dunham Hill Government school, Nottinghamshire, on leaving which he became private tutor to Lord Tamworth, eldest son of Earl Ferrers, of Chartley Castle, Staffordshire. Previous to his coming to New Zealand he was master of the Caldbeck Grammar School (near Carlisle. Cumberland) for four years. With his wife and family he left England for New Zealand on the 10th of June, 1859, in the ship “Tornado” of the White Star line, which arrived in Auckland on the 25th of September of the same year. After remaining in Auckland a short time Mr. Bramley proceeded to Kaeo, where he conducted a private school for fifteen months. Holding excellent testimonials, he received the appointment of master of the Kaeo public school under the Board of Education, which he held for nearly ten years. When he came to Kaeo he took up land under the forty-acre system, receiving 180 acres in all, eighty-seven acres of which he handed over to his eldest son. Mr. Bramley was chairman and treasurer of the Kaeo Road Board, secretary of the Kaeo School Committee, secretary of the Independent Order of Oddfellows (American constitution), and has been associated with the Freemasons for many years. His wife dying on the 3rd of February, 1890, at the ripe old age of seventy-three years, he was left a widower, with a family of six sons and two daughters, one of whom has since died.
Mr. W. Bramley.
Mr. Richard Edward Gibbs, Old Colonist, Kaeo. The late Mr. Gibbs, who was for several years a successful storekeeper at Kaeo, was born in the Isle of Wight in 1838, and was employed at his father's grocery business till he came to New Zealand per “John Duncan” in 1860, when he engaged in bush work at Whangaroa for about two years. In 1872 he established himself in business, also taking over the duties of local postmaster. His enterprise and attention to business gave promise of a very successful future, when four years later his career was unfortunately cut short by drowning on the 6th of June, 1876. The deceased dealt largely in Kauri gum, and on this fatal occasion was engaged in taking a load to Whangaroa for transhipment when the boat upset. Mr. Gibbs was the Baptist local preacher during the early days of Kaeo and superintendent of the Sunday school, which he was instrumental in forming. He also instituted and took an active interest in the Band of Hope. His widow still resides in Kaeo with her daughter; and of her sons, Richard is a captain in the Salvation Army at Stratford, Taranaki, William, a farmer at Paparoa, and Edward, a captain in the Salvation Army in Melbourne.
Mr. R. E. Gibbs.