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

Leather Trade

Leather Trade.

Johnston, Alexander, Saddler, Harness-maker, and Manufacturer of Horse Covers, High Street, Dannevirke. This business was established by Mr. Richardson in the year 1901, and acquired by the present proprietor in February, 1906. The premises consist of a fine shop and stock room, with a large work-shop at the rear. A good stock of the various lines is kept, most of it being manufactured on the premises, and the remainder is imported direct from the manufacturers. The workmanship is good, the best quality of material is used, and the prices are on a most reasonable scale. Three tradesmen are constantly employed in the business, and a good turnover is done. Mr. Johnston was born on the 5th of September, 1871, at Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland, England, where he was educated. He afterwards served an apprenticeship to his trade under Mr. Bissett, of Dundee, and in 1892 came to New Zealand. For a short time he lived with his uncle, the proprietor of Allandale Farm, Governor's Bay, Canterbury, and for three years thereafter was employed in the saddlery department of the Farmers' Co-operative Stores, Christchurch. In October, 1895, he went to South Africa, where, in various large centres, including Cape Town, Durban, and Johannes-burgh, he continuously followed his trade. During this period he held some responsible positions, and was for a time manager of a large business at Paarl, with a staff of eighteen under him. He also took a keen interest in various South African agricultural and pastoral shows, and gained ten first prizes and one second prize for samples of his workmanship exhibited. Mr. Johnston then returned to England, worked for a short time successively with Messrs McNaughton and Rankin, of Glasgow, and for Messrs Newton and Company, of New-castle-on-Tyne, and then went to America. He found employment in New York and Michigan, and, later, managed a business in London, Canada, for one year, during which time he took a first prize for a double set of harness at the Toronto Agricultural and Pastoral Show. He then accepted a position in Detroit, where he was engaged chiefly in the manufacture
Henderson, photo.Mr. A. Johnston.

Henderson, photo.
Mr. A. Johnston.

page 562 of trotting-horse harness. In February, 1901, Mr. Johnston sailed for Sydney, New South Wales, under engagement as senior assistant to Messrs Brush and Company, and six months later came to New Zealand. He was employed as light harness maker by Mr. J. C. McVay, of Napier, with whom he remained for four years before taking over his present business. Mr. Johnston takes a keen interest in Association football, was a member of the team that won the Canadian Championship, and of the Canterbury team that won the Brown Shield of 1893.

Neagle, James, Saddler, Harness Maker and Cycle Dealer, High Street, Dannevirke. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This business was established in the year 1891. The shop is a large one, with two entrances and a fine window. A good stock of cycles is maintained, including Humbers and many other good makes. Mr. Neagle was born in Napier, and is the son of Mr. Richard Neagle, of Taradale. He was educated chiefly at Meanee College, and afterwards served an apprenticeship with Mr. John McVay, saddler, of Napier. On the conclusion of his apprenticeship, he took a trip round the Colony, but returned to Hawke's Bay, and started on his own account in Dannevirke. When in Taradale Mr. Neagle was a member of the representative football team, and holds the rank of Past Chief Ruler in the Ancient Order of Foresters.

Mr. J. Neagle.

Mr. J. Neagle.

Ransom, E. A., Importer and Manufacturer of Saddlery, Bicycles, Motor Cycles, and Motor Cars, High Street, Dannevirke. This large and prosperous business was founded by Mr. Wiggins, of Wellington, in the year 1888. In 1889, however, it was acquired by Mr. Ransom, who had previously conducted it as manager for Mr. Wiggins. The premises have been several times removed, and in 1902 Mr. Ransom bought a valuable site of an eighth of an acre in High Street, and erected the present commodious and handsome shop. The building is of brick, with a second storey extending back about forty feet, and measures thirty-one feet by 150 feet. The show-room, which has fine plate glass windows, is thirty-one feet by forty feet, and carries a splendid stock of general saddlery, bicycles and accessories. To the rear of this, divided from it by a glass partition, are the general office, the packing room, and the saddlery workshop, which are fitted up in the latest and most convenient manner. The first floor is used as the sail-making and horse-cover manufacturing department and bulk store room. The cycle and motor car building and repairing shop is a detached building, constructed on up-to-date lines, and replete with the most modern appliances. About fifteen persons are employed in the Dannevirke business. In 1902 Mr. Ransom opened a branch business in Norsewood, and in 1905 he also established a branch at Feilding. These branches have proved very successful, and a large trade is conducted.

Mr. E. A. Ransom's Premises.

Mr. E. A. Ransom's Premises.

Ries, H. M., and Sons, Vehicle and Harness Importers, High Street North, Dannevirke. This business was established in the year 1895, by the present proprietors, who have since conducted a successful and increasing trade. The premises consist of a commodious carriage house, showrooms, and offices. Frequent direct importations are made, and a fine stock of vehicles of every description is kept. The stock of harness, which is an extensive one, is imported direct from the manufacturers at Walsall, near Birmingham, England. Kaiapoi rugs are also kept in stock. Messrs Ries and Sons are also horse dealers, and usually have on hand a number of carriage horses and light hacks. Three saddlers and harness-makers are constantly employed on the premises.