The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Toko is a farming settlement thirty-one miles east from New Plymouth, and six miles from Stratford by rail, in the east riding of the county of Stratford, in the Ngaire survey district of the Taranaki land district. About the year 1885 the whole of the country surrounding the settlement was covered with dense bush. Most of the original settlers took up land under lease with the right to purchase, though many of the holdings were acquired direct from the Maoris. Toko has two stores, a bakery, a butchery, a smithy, one hotel, and a livery stable, and there are four creameries of the Stratford Dairy Factory in the district, including one in the township. The post office is under the charge of a postmistress, and there is a church at which services are held regularly by visiting representatives of various churches. There is also a local domain. There are a number of sawmills at work in and near Toko, including the New Plymouth Sash and Door Company's mill, Messrs Derby Brothers' mill, and Mr. G. Syme's mills at Toko road and Makuri road. Mr. W. M. Kennedy established the first sawmill in the settlement. It is said that the Maori word Toko means, in English, to propel a canoe.
The Toko Post Office was erected in 1901, but the department had been previously represented for some time at one of the local stores. The building is of wood and iron, and contains a public lobby, a mail room, and a residence. Daily mails are received and despatched. The office is in charge of a postmistress.
The Toko Public School was established about the year 1892, and stands on part of a section of ten acres, about one mile and a-half from Toko. The building is of wood and iron, and contains two class rooms and three porches. There is accommodation for 160 pupils, the number on the roll is 163, and the average attendance 120. The teacher's residence adjoins the school; and the headmaster is assisted by a mistress and a pupil teacher.
Mr. Orlando Lincoln Allan was appointed headmaster of the Toko public school in the year 1904. He was born in 1865, in Dunedin, where he was educated, and trained as a teacher at the Normal Training College. Mr Allan was for seven years in charge of the Purekireki school, and afterwards removed to Taranaki. He conducted the Oaonui public school for two years, and the Omata public school for six years, before being transferred to Toko. Mr. Allan is a member of the New Zealand Educational Institute. In 1899, he married a daughter of Mr. R. Malcolm, of Oaonui, and has one son and one daughter.
The Makuri Road Creamery is situated about six miles from Toko. It is the property of the Stratford Dairy Company, and has been at work for a number of years. The building is of wood and iron, and stands on part of a section of four acres; and the plant is driven by water power, and includes a 440 de Laval separator. There are fourteen suppliers, and the largest quantity put through in one day in the season 1905–6 was 1326 gallons.
Mr. Victor Philip Membery was appointed manager of the Makuri Road Creamery in the year 1905. He was born in 1881 at Palmerston North, was educated at Rongotea, and brought up to country life. In 1901 he was employed at the Auroa Dairy Factory, near Kaponga, and after one season's experience became an assistant cheese-maker at Awatuna. Mr. Membery was afterwards for a year at the Riverlea Factory before he re-received his present appointment.
The Toko Factory was established by the Crown Dairy Company, and acquired by the Stratford Company in 1902. It is a wood and iron building, and stands on a section of two acres of land. The plant includes a twelve horse-power boiler, an eight horse-power engine, two Alpha de Laval separators each of 440 gallons, a cooler, a pasteuriser, and a skim milk pump. There is also a full cheese plant. There are twenty-one suppliers, and the highest tally for the seasons of 1905–6 was 2000 gallons. The cream is sent in daily by the 2.15 train to the factory at Stratford.
Mr. R. G. Diack.
Hayward, William, Contractor, Toko. Mr. Hayward was born at the Thames, Auckland, in the year 1871, and was educated in Auckland. He worked in connection with carting and carrying until 1888, when he removed to Taranaki. For two years he was employed on the Pohokura sheep station, and then started a carrying and contracting business on the East road, between Stratford, Toko, and Whangamomona. Mr. Hayward was the first to take pack horses to the Whangamomona district, in the year 1890, for Mr. Sealey's survey party. He employs about fifty bullocks and ten horses, including waggons and drays. In 1902 Mr. Hayward married a daughter of the late Mr. H. Surman, of Mount Eden, Auckland, and has one son and one daughter.
Cluett and Company (G. E. Cluett). General Storekeepers, Toko. This business was established in the year 1892, and was acquired by the present proprietor in 1898. The building is of wood and iron, and is situated in the main street of the township. It contains a store, an office, and a residence. The premises also include a bulk store and a stable.
Mr. G. E. Cluett was born in Portsmouth, England, where he was educated; and in 1870 entered the service of the mercantile marine. He was for seven years in the Shaw, Savill and Albion line, and became second mate on the “Zealandia.” Mr. Cluett subsequently came to New Zealand and settled in Auckland, where he was engaged in various occupations. About 1890 he removed to Stratford, and took over the Commercial Hotel. A year later he acquired the Ellerslie Hotel, near Auckland; he was then for some time in business as a sharebroker, and was well known on the Auckland Exchange. Mr. Cluett afterwards returned to Stratford, and, in conjunction with Mr. R. Carr, took over the Stratford Hotel, in which he continued to be interested until he settled at Toko.
Mr. Frederick Caulton was appointed Manager of Messrs Cluett and Company's store in Toko in July, 1905. He was born in 1878, in Wellington, was educated at St. Patrick's College, and was brought up to business life at the Molesworth Street establishment of Mr. David Anderson, with whom he remained for about six years. Subsequently, Mr. Caulton was employed by the Massey-Harris Company, in Dunedin, for eight years. He then removed to Taranaki, and was for four years at Eltham, before receiving his present appointment. In 1904 Mr. Caulton married a daughter of Mr. Robert Milles, of Dunedin, and has one daughter.
The Toko Sawmill is the property of the New Plymouth Sash and Door Company, Limited. The machinery, which was at work for about twenty years at Ngaire, was transferred to Toko in 1905. The plant includes an engine of thirty horsepower, a feeding breast bench, vertical saws, and a planing machine. The mill is known as a two-bench mill, and will cut 8000 cubic feet per day; the timber near the mill is estimated to be sufficient for about six years cutting. An iron tramway of about three miles in length has been laid through the bush, as far as the Patea river, where a bridge is in course of construction, in order to be able to reach the bush beyond. The timber from the mill is loaded on to trucks at the railway siding at Toko, where there is a yard. About twenty-four persons are employed.
Bayly Brothers (Alfred Bayly and Charles Bayly), Sheepfarmers, Toko. Messrs Bayly Brothers' Property Consists Of 3000 Acres Of Good Pastoral Land, and Carries About 6000 Sheep, and 500 Head Of Cattle. There Are Two Fine Homesteads, and A Substantial Woolshed Containing One Of Taylor and Bremmer's Latest Woolpresses. The Ab over Toko brand of wool is well known in the market. Messrs Bayly Brothers were born in Taranaki, and are sons of the late Mr. Thomas Bayly. They were educated at the New Plymouth High School, brought up to farming by their father, and subsequently acquired their present property. Both have been well known in the football field and as members of athletic clubs. Mr. Charles Bayly married a daughter of Mr. B. Jonas.
Bayly, Fred, Farmer, Hillside, Toko. Mr. Bayly, who is a member of an old and well known family in Taranaki, was born in New Plymouth in the year 1857, and was educated in New Plymouth and Wanganui. He was brought up to farm life, and has owned farms at Manaia, White Cliffs, and Mokohia. Mr. Bayly's present property contains 950 acres, and carries 2,200 crossbred sheep and 150 head of cattle. Mr. Bayly has taken considerable interest in all athletic matters, but principally in football and cricket. He married a daughter of Mr. Fantham, of Hawera, a well known colonist, and has two sons and three daughters.
Mr. F. Bayly.
Mr. Harry Bayly was born in New Plymouth in the year 1862, and educated at Wanganui, and at the Parnell Grammar School, Auckland. He had considerable experience in managing farms, before taking up land of his own in 1891. While a resident of the Toko district he owned “Tokoawa,” a fine property of 1649 acres, on the banks of the Toko river. It carried 3,500 sheep, and about 400 head of cattle; and the woolshed could house 500 sheep at night, and had accommodation for shearing 5000 each season. Mr. Bayly acted as judge for the Stratford Racing Club. He married a daughter of Mr. W. Rennell, a well known old colonist, and has children. After leaving Toko, Mr. Bayly lived at Palmerston road, Gisborne.
Mr. William McLaughlin Kennedy was born near Ballymoney, in County Antrim, Ireland, in the year 1857. He attended the Eden National School, and was further educated at the Ballymoney Model School. Subsequently, he spent two years in Scotland, and then emigrated to New Zealand, where he landed at Port Chalmers, in August, 1879. Mr. Kennedy was for five years in the Timaru and Geraldine districts of South Canterbury, where he gained his first colonial experience. He then removed to the North Island, and settled at Hawera as manager for the sawmilling firm of Messrs Southey and Willy, who had their mills at Mangawhero, Eltham. He managed the firm's business for seven years, and for part of that time in his own name, on behalf of the guarantors to the Bank of New Zealand. In 1892, in conjunction with Messrs Meredith and Howe, Mr. Kennedy started the first steam saw and planing mills in the Toko district, under the style of W. L. Kennedy and Co., and subsequently had also a branch mill at Strathmore. On the dissolution of the partnership, in 1897, Mr. Meredith took over the Strathmore mill and Mr. Kennedy ran the page 188 Toko mill on his own account until 1898, when the mill and a large stock of timber were totally destroyed by fire. There was no insurance, but Mr. Kennedy re-erected the mill on a larger scale, and sold out some eighteen months afterwards. Mr. Kennedy is now the oldest resident of the Toko township, of which he was, practically, one of the founders. He has always taken a keen interest in the social and public welfare of the township and district; and was the first captain of the Toko Rifle Club. Mr. Kennedy was also elected an honorary member of the Stratford Rifle Club. He was chairman of the Taranaki Sawmillers' Co-operative Association, Limited, in 1898, and was one of the promoters of the proposed Toko Tramway Company. The Bill for the authorisation of this company did not pass the House of Representatives, but the Government subsequently adopted the promoters' surveyed line to Toko, as the start of the Stratford-Kawa-Kawa railway. Mr. Kennedy was for some years a member of the Taranaki Education Board, and also of the Egmont Licensing Bench; and was for a number of years on the local school committee. He is now a member of the Toko Domain Board, and one of the committee of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mrs Kennedy has been president of the Stratford Women's Christian Temperance Union for the past eight years, and both husband and wife take an active interest in church work, and have for twelve years been steady supporters of the Toko Sunday school. Mr. Kennedy holds property in the borough of Stratford, at Huiroa, Strathmore, and Toko, and resides at “Ellerslie,” Toko. He is the eldest son of Mr. Andrew Kennedy, of New York, and grandson of the late Mr. William Kennedy, of Cross House, County Antrim, representative of a cadet of the family of Bennane and Finnarts, Ayrshire, lineal male representative of the old baronial family of Bargany, the heraldic history of which is given in Burke's Peerage and Landed Gentry. The first of the Barganys was Sir Thomas, eldest surviving son of Sir Gilbert Kennedy, of Dunure, whose second son, James, married a daughter of King Robert the Third of Scotland, after she had become the widow of the Earl of Angus, and became ancestor of the Marquis of Ailsa. The family pedigree is fully recorded in the office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and the armourial bearings of “Ellerslie” are matriculated in the same institution; namely, 1st and 4th the Arms of Kennedy, 2nd and 3rd the Royal Arms of France, with the usual difference for cadetey. In the year 1884, Mr. Kennedy married Jessie, daughter of George Richard Meredith, of Rocky Point, South Canterbury, and they have one son, Reuel Gilbert, who was born at Hawera, Taranaki, in the year 1885.