The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Old Colonist — Mr James Laird
Mr James Laird was born in the year 1831, in Forfarshire, Scotland. He came to New Zealand in the year 1855, settled at New Plymouth, and followed the nursery business for five years. He served in the Maori war during 1860 and 1865, and was awarded the New Zealand war medal. In 1867 he removed to Wanganui, and laid the foundation of the Egmont Nursery, well-known on the West Coast of the North Island. In public matters in Wanganui he took a great interest, as mayor of the borough from 1886 to 1888, and as a councillor for over fifteen years. While on the borough council he was instrumental in the purchase of Lake Westmere for the water supply. He was a member of the hospital committee, and as chairman of the Waitotara County Council had a seat on the Harbour Board. Mr Laird died at Wanganui on September 3rd, 1902.