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



Norsewood is a prosperous dairy-farming settlement, seventy miles south-west from Napier, in the county of Waipawa, and is situated between the Ruahine Ranges and Ormondville, the nearest railway town, from which it is four miles distant. It is an old Scandinavian and Danish settlement, and was founded many years ago. At one time saw-milling was largely carried on in the district, but the bush has now almost entirely disappeared, and dairy farming and grazing are the principal industries. The land is excellent, the roads in the district are good, and game is abundant in the neighbourhood. Norsewood has a large and prosperous co-operative dairy factory, with several creameries, a post, telegraph, and money order office, a public school, a public library, a town hall, several churches, two hotels, and various places of business. There is a daily coach service with Ormondville.

The Norsewood District School was established in the year 1873, and was rebuilt in 1880. It stands on a section two acres in extent, and is a large and well-constructed wooden building, containing three commodious class-rooms. The school has seating accommodation for nearly 300 children. The play-ground is enclosed by pine trees, and has a good shelter shed, and there is a cricket ground in the adjoining section. There are about 200 names on the roll, the average attendance is 174, and the examination results have been consistently good. The staff consists of the head-master, an assistant master, the infant mistress and two pupil-teachers. There is a cadet corps in connection with the school.

Mr. John D. Watson, M.A., Headmaster of the Norsewood Public School, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is the son of a civil emgineer. page 536 He was educated at Edinburgh University, where he graduated in 1880. He went through a four years' theological course, and a post-graduate two years' course in philosophy, and for many years acted as a college “coach.” In 1895 Mr. Watson came to New Zealand, and settled in Hawke's Bay. For some years he was head-master of the Ormondville Public School, and in 1902 received his present appointment. On Saturdays he conducts a teachers' class in Napier, which is recognised by the department, and largely attended. Mr. Watson takes a keen interest in educational matters, and is a member of the Hawke's Bay Teachers' Institute, of which he was president for two years. He is a frequent contributor to the Journal of Education, and also to the public press of the province, he is secretary to the board of managers of the Presbyterian Church, is president of the Horticultural Society, has been president of the Siports Association, and is a member of the library committee. Mr. Watson is married and has one daughter.

The Norsewood Co-operative Dairy Factory was established in the year 1897, with Mr. John O'Hara (who has been chairman of directors from its inception) as its principal promotor. The factory is owned by 140 shareholders, and the paid up capital is £2,400, on which an annual dividend of 6 per cent. is paid. There are two creameries in connection with the factory, one at Ngamoko, and the other at Makotuku, each having twenty-five suppliers. The main factory is a fine building, with walls and floor of concrete. The engine room, which is detached from the main building, is fitted with an eight horsepower Tangye engine, a Luke's boiler of sixteen horse-power, and a one-ton freezer. The plant includes two 440 gallon Alpha de Laval separators, two 350 gallon cream vats, and two churns, one of which has a capacity of 1,000 lbs. There is also a Sabroe cream elevator. The grounds are spacious, and a crescent-shaped drive admits of entrance and exit without the inconvenience of turning. The main factory has about fifty suppliers, and the annual output is 100 tons of butter, two-thirds of which are exported in bulk, and one-third disposed of locally. The butter is of excellent quality, and realises the best market prices.

Mr. John O'Hara, Chairman of Directors of the Norsewood Co-operative Dairy Factory, was horn and educated in County Antrim, Ireland. He canto to New Zealand in the year 1878, and eventually took up land in Hawke's Bay from the Government, the deferred-payment system. Mr. O'Hara has had many varied experiences as a back-blocks settler, and underwent many hardships incidental thereto. He successfully organised the Norsewood Dairy Company at a time when there were six private creameries in active operation in the district, and has been chairman of directors from its inception. Mr. O'Hara was for five years a member of the Norsewood Road Board, three years of which he was chairman, was chairman of the Farmers' Union for four years, a member of the Norsewood School Committee for two years, and is chairman of the Ngamoko School Committee.

Henderson, photo.Mr. J. O'Hara.

Henderson, photo.
Mr. J. O'Hara.

The Crown Hotel (M. J. Johansen, proprietor), Norsewood. This hotel has been established for many years, and is a two-storeyed wooden building. The ground floor contains a well-furnished dining room (capable of seating twenty-five guests), a good billiard room, three comfortable sitting rooms, and the bar, which is stocked with the best brands of wines, spirits, and cordials. On the first floor there is a private sitting room and twelve comfortable bedrooms. The house is well-furnished throughout, a good table is kept, and the domestic arrangements, and the comforts of lady guests are attended to by Mrs. Johansen. There are excellent stables in connection with the hotel, and reliable horses and vehicles can be hired.

Mr. Martin Joseph Johansen, proprietor of the Crown Hotel, was born in Norway, in October, 1866, and is the son of a manufacturer in Hamar, near Chriatiania. He was educated partly in his native country, in 1877 emigrated to New Zealand, and completed his education in Palmerston North. He afterwards gained experience in. printing and carpentry, and then turned his attention to sawmilling. For about twenty years he was engaged in this industry, as a saw-mill contractor in various parts of
Crown Hotel, Norskwood.

Crown Hotel, Norskwood.

page 537 Hawke's Bay and Wellington. In 1904 he bought the Crown Hotel, and settled in Norsewood. Mr. Johansen is a member of the Norsewood School Committee. He is married, and has one son and two daughters.
Mr. M. J Johansen.

Mr. M. J Johansen.

Grant and Barclay (David Howison Grant and Thomas Hugh Barclay), General Blacksmiths and Wheel wrights, Norsewood.

Mr. Thomas Hugh Barclay, partner in the firm of Grant and Barclay, was born in the West of England, in the year 1874, and was educated in his native place. He served his apprenticeship with Messrs Webb Brothers, of Mortlake, Surrey, and afterwards cams to New Zealand. After working at Ashburton for some time, he moved northwards to Danne-virke and Takapau, and eventually established his present business. Subsequently Mr. Grant entered the firm, what it assumed its present title. Mr. Barclay is a past chief ranger of the Ancient Order of Foresters, and takes a general interest in all local affairs.

The Ngamoko Sawmilling Company was formed in the year 1993, by Messrs Anderson and Collett. Later Mr. Collett withdrew from the firm, and Mr. D. H. Grant then entered into partnership with Mr. L. Anderson. The Company's mill is situated at Ngamoko, in the neighbourhood of Norsewood, and is fitted with a first-class plant, including a fourteen horse-power Rushton-Proctor portable engine. Rimu alone is cut, and, when in full work, the mill employs about twenty-six persons, and turns out 8,000 feet of sawn timber per day.

Mr. Leonard Anderson was born on the 12th of October, 1866, at Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He afterwards removed to Schelde, of which town his father was mayor for eighteen years. He was educated at a college in Odense, Denmark, afterwards served for three years in the German Army, and then applied himself to the dairying industry in Denmark, where he received a thorough training at some of the leading factories. In 1891 he came to New Zealand, for about twelve months found employment in manual work, and then established the first dairy factory in Norsewood, in partnership with Mr. Christensen. This factory he managed for eighteen months, and then sold his interest to Mr. Henry Smith. Later, Mr. Anderson started dairy farming, subsequently leased his farm, and for several years carted for saw-mills, having at one time as many as three teams on the road. He then started saw-milling on his own account, and in 1903 established his present mill. He also conducts a farm of over 200 acres in conjunction with his business. Mr. Anderson was for a time a member of the Norsewood Road Board. He is married, and has three sons and one daughter.

Parsons, Walter, Saw-miller, Norsewood. Mr. Parsons holds cutting rights over a reserve of 300 acres of bush, chiefly rimu and red birch. The mill is fitted up with the most up-to-date machinery, driven by a ten horsepower portable engine. Ten men are employed, and the daily output is about 5,000 feet of timber. Mr. Parsons was born in August, 1861, at Akaroa, Canterbury, where his father carried on saw-milling for many years. He was educated in his native place, and afterwards learned saw-milling. Mr. Parsons then found employment at Oxford, in North Canterbury, and afterwards at Palmerston North for a few years, and subsequently removed to Hawke's Bay. Later, he was employed in saw-milling at Masterton and Eketahuna, and in 1895 settled in Norsewood, where he has since been engaged in the same industry. Mr. Parsons is a member of the Hawke's Bay Saw-millers' Association, and the Norsewood School Committee. He is married, and has three sons, one of whom is a pupil-teacher in the local school.

Henderson, photo.Mr. W. Parsons.

Henderson, photo.
Mr. W. Parsons.

Tewiti“consists of 1,400 acres of native leasehold, and was taken up by its present proprietor, Mr. J. D. Gollan, in the year 1887. It comprises both flat and undulating country, and is highly suitable for grazing purposes. About 2,000 sheep and thirty head of cattle are depastured. Nearly 100 acres are annually sown in turnips, of which good crops are obtained. Three hundred acres of native bush are preserved, and provide excellent shelter. There is a fine residence, and efficient wool-sheds, stables, and various outbuildings on the property. Mr. Gollan has also a valuable freehold farm of 920 acres in the Wimbleton district, which he acquired in 1902. This property is of first-class quality, and carries about 2,000 sheep and 200 head of cattle.

Mr. James David Gollan, proprietor of “Tewiti,” was born in Scotland, on the 24th of August, 1841, and is a son of the late Mr. Kenneth Gollan, who farmed for about twenty years at Tamumu. He was educated in the Old Country, and came to New Zealand in the ship “Philip Laing,” in 1857. For fourteen years he was employed by his uncle, the late Mr. Donald Gollan, on a large station at Waipukurau. Mr. Gollan then conducted a station for sixteen years at Wallingford, in partnership with Mr. Drower, and in 1887 acquired his present property. He is married, and has two sons and four daughters.

Williams, Alfred George, Sheep-farmer, and Stock-dealer, Norsewood. Mr. Williams farms a property of 300 acres of good grazing land, which is stocked with about 200 sheep and 100 head of cattle. He has also a fine property of 500 acres in the page 538 King Country. Mr. Williams was born at Irwell, near Christchurch, in September, 1869, and was educated at Brookside. He afterwards learned farming on his father's property, and, later, took up land at Kirwee, in partnership with his brother. In 1898, however, the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Williams then removed to Hawke's Bay, and farmed for four years neur Makotuku, before taking up his present property. He is a member of a local football club, and was formerly a member of the Farmers' Union, and the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society. Mr. Williams is married and has two daughters.

Hendersor., photo.Mr. A. G. Williams.

Hendersor., photo.
Mr. A. G. Williams.