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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



The Post Office And Telephone Bureau at Murchison is conducted at the private residence of Mr. McNee, who, as postmaster, is assisted by Miss McNee. Mr. McNee is further referred to as a general merchant at Murchison.

Matai River, Nelson.

Matai River, Nelson.

The Murchison School was opened in the early eighties. It stands on three acres of ground, is a wood and iron building, with two class rooms and a porch, and has room for from seventy to eighty pupils. In 1905 page 280 the roll contained forty-eight names, and there was an average attendance of thirty-nine. There is a teacher's residence of five rooms. At Matiri, near Longford, there is a small side school (worked under Murchison) with an attendance of eight. It is taught by a pupil teacher. The headmaster of the Murchison school, Mr. George Lawn, is assisted by Mrs F. E. Webb.

Mr. George Lawn , Headmaster of the Murchison School, is a native of Lefroy, Tasmania, where he was born in 1883. As a child, he came to the Greymouth district with his parents, and was educated there and at schools in the Reefton district. In 1898, he entered the Reefton school as a pupil teacher, and whilst there took his E certificate. His D certificate he gained in 1902. For two years, Mr. Lawn was teacher of the Gordon school, which he left in 1904 to take charge of the Murchison school. When in Reefton, Mr. Lawn was colour-sergeant of the Reefton Rifles, and when at Gordon was sergeant of the Waimea Rifles. In Murchison, he is captain of the Murchison Defence Rifle Club, and secretary of the local Racing Club. He takes an active interest in affairs generally in the district, and particularly in matters connected with athletic sports. Mr. Lawn holds a D3 certificate.

Commercial Hotel (Owen Lynch, proprietor), Murchison. This hotel was established in the year 1878. It contains eleven bedrooms, two sitting-rooms, and a billiard room. The best liquors are kept, the accommodation is good, and there is a moderate tariff. There is also stabling for eight horses in connection with the establishment.

Mr. Owen Lynch was born in the year 1843, in County Cavan, Ireland, where he was educated, and brought up on his father's farm. In 1865, he came to New Zealand and landed at Auckland. For a short time, he was engaged in farm work, and afterwards went to the Thames goldfields. Mr. Lynch then went to Nelson, and for a time was mining in the Murchison district, where he has since resided. In 1870, he took up land, and acquired the Commercial Hotel in the year 1901. For about thirteen years, Mr. Lynch was on the Commission of the Peace. When the Hampden Road Board was in existence he was one of its members. He was for six years a member of the Inangahua County Council, and was for a number of years chairman of the Matakitaki school committee, and he has been a member of the Nelson Land Board since 1897. He married in 1875, and has four sons, and four daughters.

McNee, Robert, General Merchant, Murchison and Horse Terrace. Mr. McNee carries a large stock of groceries in his premises at Murchison, including drapery, boots and general supplies. There is also a butchery and bakery in connection with the establishment, and a large number of vehicles and horses are employed. A son of Mr. McNee's conducts the branch store at Horse Terrace, Mr. McNee has also twenty-one acres of freehold in Murchison, and fifty-three acres of freehold, and 100 acres of leasehold at Horse Terrace.

Mr. Robert Mcnee was born in the year 1836 at Lochearnhead, Perthshire, Scotland, where he was educated and learned the drapery trade. He afterwards went to Melbourne, Australia, in 1857, and was storekeeping at Ballarat for some time. In 1861, Mr. McNee came to New Zealand, and followed the gold rushes at Gabriel's and Switzers. He then returned to Australia, and after a short visit to Austoria, came back to New Zealand, and went to the Wakamarina. Later, Mr. McNee visited the Grey district in the “Nelson,” on her first trip to the West Coast, and followed the various rushes. He then started in business at Okarito, where he remained for two years and six months; and subsequently, for some years, he conducted business at Hokitika. About 1877, Mr. McNee removed to Murchison, and was employed in the store of Mr. Moonlight. He afterwards acquired the store, in conjunction with others, but he subsequently bought out the other interests, and has since conducted the business on his own account. For many years, Mr. McNee was chairman of the Murchison school committee. He is librarian and secretary of the local library, the establishment of which was largely due to his energy; and he is chairman of the Cemetery Trustees. As a Freemason, he is a member of Lodge Pacific. He is also a member of Prince Alfred Lodge of Oddfellows, Hokitika, of which he was Noble Grand when Mr. Seddon, the Premier of New Zealand, was initiated. Mr. McNee is married, and has four sons and four daughters.

Tyree, photo. Mr. B. McNee.

Tyree, photo.
Mr. B. McNee.

Hodgson, H. J. And Co ., General Storekeepers, Murchison. This firm carries on a general country store, and keeps a full supply of groceries, drapery and boots. Goods are delivered throughout the Murchison district by the firm's own carts, and three persons are employed. The firm holds agencies for the Royal Insurance Company and for Zealandia Boots.

Mr. Herbert John Hodgson , the Resident (Partner (the other partner, his brother, has a large business at Wakefield), holds sixty-six acres of good land in the township and its neighbourhood. He was born in Wakefield, in 1868, and served his time there as a wheelwright. For many years he was engaged in erecting mining machinery in various districts on the West Coast. In 1901, he started the present business, in partnership with his brother, and made Murchison his page 281 home. Mr. Hodgson is a member of the Wakefield Rechabite Lodge, and a member of the local racing club. He married a daughter of Mr. Charles Downie, of Murchison, and has one son.

Tyree, photo. Mr. H. J. Hodgson.

Tyree, photo.
Mr. H. J. Hodgson.

Lynch's Store , the Six-Mile, Murchison. This store is conducted by Mr. Lynch, together with a butchery. There is also a farm of 350 acres in connection with the establishment, and grazing and cropping are carried on. Mr. Lynch is further referred to as the proprietor of the Commercial Hotel.

Thomson, Alexander, Farmer, “Forest Home,” Murchison. Forest Home Farm consists of 330 acres of first class land, chiefly rich river deposit. It is situated within three miles of Murchison, and is devoted to mixed farming; root and grain crops grow well on the land. There is a comfortable homestead, and convenient and well laid out farm buildings. Mr. Thomson has also a small run of 1400 acres of freehold on the Mangles river, on which he grazes sheep and cattle, Mr. Thomson was born at the Carse O'Gowrie, in Perthshire, Scotland, in the year 1843, and was educated at a Dundee grammar school. When nearly fifteen years of age, he was apprenticed to the sea, and served for three years and a-half. In August, 1861, he came to New Zealand, arrived in Nelson by the ship “Glenshee,” and went to Marlborough, where he was employed on the Glenlee station. He worked there for five years and six months, became manager, and in 1867 removed to Hokitika, where he ran a line of coaches. Later on, Mr. Thomson sold his horses, and for a few months was mining at Addison's. He then went to Caledonian Terrace, where he conducted a butchery business for two years, and subsequently removed to Wangapeka, where he was engaged in the same business for one year. Mr. Thomson afterwards acquired the Baton Plain run, Wangapeka, of 2000 acres, and conducted it for about twenty-three years. He finally sold out and purchased the Forest Home Farm. Mr. Thomson was for three years a member of the Wangapeka County Council, and for fifteen years a member of the Baton Plain school committee. He is treasurer of the Fern Flat school committee; was appointed a Justice of the Peace some years ago; and is Acting-Coronor for the district. As a Freemason, he is a member of Lodge Southern Star, Nelson. Mr. Thomson married a daughter of the late Mr. W. Bell, formerly a member of the Nelson Education Board, in the year 1871, and has two sons and two daughters.

Tyree, photo. Mr. A. Thomson.

Tyree, photo.
Mr. A. Thomson.

Kohi Kohi Gold Dredging Company, Limited . Offices in Wellington; secretary, Mr. H. F. Logan. This company is dredging in the Matakitaki Valley, from four to five miles from Murchison. The dredge is 88 feet by 30 feet, with four-feet buckets. The twenty horse-power boiler is by Cable, and the sixteen horse-power engine is a Marshall, and Cable winches are worked by Marshall engines. A successful sluicing claim on the banks of the Matakitaki is also owned by the company.

Amikitea Gold Dredging Company, Limited . The offices and secretary are the same as in the case of the Kohi Kohi Company, and Mr. W. H. Barber, M.H.R., is chairman of directors of both companies. A powerful dredge is at work on the Amikitea claim, about half a mile from the Kohi Kohi.

Mr. Thomas Wearne , Dredgemaster of both dredges, and manager of the sluicing claim, was born in Alexandra, Otago, in 1865, and educated at Reefton and Hokitika. He entered the Telegraph Department, but left it to take up mining work. Since qualifying as a mine manager, he has had a long connection with mining in various parts of New Zealand. He was for some time underground manager of the Endeavour Inlet antimony mines, and was for five years in charge of the King Solomon mine at Mahakipawa. For about two years he was engaged in farming in the Palmerston North district, but sold out and was then connected with quartz mining, as a foreman, at Waihi, which he left to take charge of the Kohi Kohi and Amikitea companies. Mr. Wearne holds a first class mine manager's and a second class engine driver's certificate. As a Freemason, he is a member of the Marlborough Lodge, New Zealand Constitution. Mr. Wearne is married, and has two sons.