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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]



Ormondville is a rising township in the centre of a dairying and grazing district, sixty-six miles by rail south-west from Napier, in the county of Waipawa. In 1876 a special settlement, comprising 2,600 acres, was made, and later on other similar Government sub-divisions were effected. Ormondville was named after the Hon. J. D. Ormond, M.L.C., who at one time owned large estates in the district. The country is very broken, and is rugged and mountainous. A deep gorge traverses the district north of the township, and is spanned by a large steel railway bridge. Saw-milling was at one time carried on near the township, but dairy-farming is now the principal industry, and sheep and cattle grazing is also carried on. Ormondville has a court-house, a public school, two churches, a public library, one hotel, a public hall, various places of business, and a sports ground. The business of the post and telegraph office is conducted at the railway station. Ormondville, owing to its high altitude, is a favourite summer resort.

The Ormondville Town Board has jurisdiction over a narrow area extending along the railway line from Ormondville to Makotuku, and embracing the two townships. The population of the Ormondville Town District is 413, and that of the outlying district, 775. A general rate of 2£½d in the £ is levied on the unimproved value, and this produces an annual revenue of about £70. The Board are trustees of the cemetery, which is situated outside the town area. The offices of the Board are situated in Ormondville, and meetings are held monthly. Mr. Job Packer is chairman of the Board.

Mr. Job Packer, Chairman of the Ormondville Town Board, was born in page 534 Gloucestershire, England, in the year 1845, and was brought up to the plastering trade. He came to New Zealand in 1872, and landed at Napier. For a few years he worked at pit-sawing and timber milling, and in 1876 took up his present farm of 103 acres at Ormondville, which he has since successfully conducted. Mr. Packer has been a member of the Ormondville Town Board for several years, is also a member of the library committee and cemetery board, and a member of the local lodge of Oddfellows. He was a member of the school committee for about fourteen years. Mr. Packer is married, and has five sons and five daughters.

Mr. J. Packs.

Mr. J. Packs.

Mr. Matthias Joseph Skinner, member of the Ormondville Town Board, was born in London, England, in the year 1856. He received his education there, and at fourteen years of age went to a brother in Ontario, Canada, with whom he learned the bakery trade. Returning to England soon afterwards, he came to New Zealand, whence he went to Melbourne, where he remained a year, and then came back to the Colony. Ho worked at Napier for about eighteen months, and in 1877 settled in Ormondville. Mr. Skinner has for many years been a member of the school committee, and is a past grand of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. He is married, and has five daughters and four sons.

Mr. Robert Read Groom, J.P., was Chairman of the Ormondville Town Board from its inception in 1886 until 1898, and has been a Juctice of the Peace since the former year. He is chairman also of the Domain Board and of the Cemetery Board, and is a member of the Hawke's Bay Land Board. Mr. Groom was born in Dartford, Kent, England, in the year 1846, and was educated in his native place and at the Church of England School in London. He subsequently served an apprenticeship to the milling trade with an uncle, and in 1874 came to New Zealand, by the ship “Winchester.” Landing at Napier, he went inland to Waipawa, where he remained until 1876, when he settled in Ormondville, and started one of the first stores there. Mr. Groom is also chairman of the Library Committee, and for many years has been chairman of the Ormondville School Committee. He is a Freemason and a trustee of the Oddfellows, in which society he has passed through all the chairs. For a number of years he was a member of the Waipawa County Council, and has taken the greatest interest in public matters generally. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Charles Beale, of London, and has six children.

Mr. John Charles Davis, formerly a member of the Ormondville Town Board, represented the Makotuku Riding, and was for some time a member of the local school committee. Mr. Davis was also the popular host of the Makotuku Hotel. He was born and educated in Auckland, where he learned the blacksmith's trade, and on the completion of his apprenticeship, left for Taradale, where for three years be worked for Mr. Robertson, and was for some time with Mr. Lawten. Mr. Davis commenced business on his own account first in Taradale, and in 1889 removed to Makotuku. He married a daughter of the late Mr. W. Burton, of Taradale, and has two sons and two daughters.

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Mr. William Shuker, formerly a member of the Ormondville Town Board, is a native of Shropshire, England, where he was born in 1845. Educated at Sheffield, he was apprenticed to the butchering trade, and came to this Colony in 1864, by the ship “Portland.” Landing in Auckland at the time of the Maori war, Mr. Shuker joined Major Jackson's Forest Rangers, and afterwards served on the West Coast under the gallant Von Tempsky. He received the New Zealand war medal, and a grant of land at Rangiaowhia. Mr. Shuker visited various parts of Australia, and, returning to New Zealand, settled in Ormondville in 1882. He married the second daughter of Mr. James Beard, of Marton, and has two daughters and one son.

The Alpha Dairy Factory, at Ormondville, is situated about one mile from the township, on the Norse-wood Road, and was established in the year 1899 by the present proprietor, Mr. Niels Nikolaison. Originally the factory had only a capacity of 300 gallons, and the plant was driven by a one-horse power portable engine; but from time to time it has been enlarged, and is now a fine building on concrete foundations, and contains an up-to-date plant, which is driven by an eight horse-power stationary engine. There are twenty-six suppliers, three persons are employed, and in the summer months the output amounts to 550 lbs. of butter per day. Of this amount about 1,000 lbs. a week are sold locally, under the brand “Alpha,” and the balance is sent to the English markets, bearing the brand “N.N. 735”; in both cases the highest market prices are realised.

Mr. Niels Nilolaison, proprietor of the Alpha Dairy Factory, was born in Denmark, on the 8th of January, 1863, and came to New Zealand at the age of twelve years. He was afterwards employed for several years in bush work, chiefly in connection with saw-mills, and afterwards settled at Ormondville. Mr. Nikolaison subsequently turned his attention to dairy farming. His property consists of 600 acres, in two blocks, on which he depastures 1,200 sheep, 120 head of cattle, and a dairy herd of sixty cows. Mr. Nikolaison has been a member of the Ormondville School Committee for about ten years, four years of which he was chairman, and is a member of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and the National Dairy Association. He is married, and has two sons and three daughters.

Henderson, photo.Mr. N. Nikolaison.

Henderson, photo.
Mr. N. Nikolaison.

Sugden, Arthur, General Storekeeper, Ormondville. Mr. Sugden took over his present business in March, 1906, having previously conducted it since the year 1902, in partnership with his father, under the style of Messrs Sugden and Son. The building is a substantial one with a commodious billiard room at the rear. A large stock of general merchandise is kept, and a good trade is done in the surrounding district. Mr. Sugden also conducts a large boarding house in conjunction with his business. He was born at Ross, Westland, in 1868, and was educated at Hokitika. He was afterwards employed for some years in the butchery trade on the West Coast, in Christchurch, and in Auckland, and then removed to Hawke's Bay. For four years Mr. Sugden conducted the Beaconsfield Hotel, at Mokotuku, and for three years subsequently was engaged in dairy farming at Norsewood, before taking up his present business.