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



Bulls, which is named after a pioneer settler. Mr. James Bulls, is a prosperous township, forty miles south-east from Wanganui, in the Rangitoto riding of the county of Rangitikei. The nearest railway station—four miles away—is Great-ford, near Marton, on the main line, and coaches ply regularly to meet every train. The township is the centre of a very extensive and rich farming district, the land being of a level and undulating character, and mixed farming (grazing, cropping, and dairying) is the chief industry. Flax-milling is also carried on in the district. Bulls has one principal street, and possesses a fine post-office, two banks, a district high school, several churches, a public hall, and two hotels, while the various business firms are well represented. There are good cycle roads in the vicinity, and pheasant, wild duck, and quail shooting, also trout fishing, can be obtained. Bulls is governed by a town board, established in the year 1873; there are 170 rateable properties, and 130 ratepayers in the district. The population at the census of 1906 was 492.

The Manawatu County Council has its head-quarters at Sanson, near Bulls. The country covers a large area of farming country, for the most part undulating and level. It is bounded on the north and north west by the Rangitikei river, on the south-west by the ocean and the Foxton borough, and on the south-east and east by the Manawatu and Oroua rivers. The country has good roads and bridges, and there is a tramway line which connects Bulls with the main Palmerston-Foxton line at Himatangi, six miles from Foxton. The total length of this line is twenty-four miles, and there are two engines, ballast and cargo trucks, and passenger carriages. The trams run on four days a week, and have proved of incalculable benefit to the farming community. The total debt of the county amounts to £51,662, and the rates consist of a general rate of £¼d in the £ and a number of special rates. Members for the year 1907:—Messrs. J. G. Wilson (chairman), George Kendall, Thomas Masters, R. B. McKenzie, W. E. Barber, John Dalton, and J. Henson.

Mr. Alfred Kingsley Drew, who succeeded Mr. Fred Purnell as clerk and treasurer to the Manawatu County Council in the year 1907, was born in New Plymouth in July, 1882. After leaving school he entered the office of Mr. Walter Rutherford, agent for the public trustee and clerk to the Kairanga County Council, Palmerston North. He remained there for eight years, gained a thorough knowledge of general accountancy, and was admitted as a member of the New Zealand Institute of Accountants. In January, 1907, he was appointed acting-clerk to the Manawatu County Council, and soon afterwards received his permanent appointment. Mr. Drew is a member of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association and the lodge of Oddfellows.

Mr. John Ewing Walker has been chairman of the Bulls Town Board since 1903, and was first elected a member in 1901. He is a member of the Feilding Agricultural and Pastoral Association, the Bulls Jockey Club, the local lodge of Freemasons (of which he is secretary), and a member and trustee of the Order of Oddfellows. Mr. Walker was born in the year 1872, in Bulls, where he was educated and brought up to the black-smithing trade, under his father. He was afterwards engaged in contracting for several years, and in 1897 entered into partnership with Mr. T. F. Nolan to take over his present stables, but subsequently bought his partner out. Mr. Walker is married, and has two children.

The Bulls District High School, which stands on the north side of the town, is a wooden building containing four class rooms. There is accommodation for 200 pupils, and the number on the roll is 130, which for the year 1907 resulted in an average attendance of about 115. The playground is an extensive one, and there is a well-kept garden, cultivated by the children in connection with their lessons in elementary agriculture. The staff of the school consists of the Rector, a special male assistant, an assistant mistress, and a pupil teacher. The secondary work is at present carried on in a room of the main school, but a detached building for secondary and technical purposes is shortly to be erected on the same ground. This is to contain a class room, a science and technical room, and a room for instruction in cookery, and will cost £400.

Mr. Joseph Henry Gray, Rector of the Bulls District High School, is a son of the late Rev. J. H. Gray, a Wesleyan minister. He was born at Broad Bay, on the Otago Peninsula, in the year 1863, was educated at the public schools, and for some years followed journalism. In 1887 he adopted the teaching profession, and has served successively under the South Canterbury, the Southland, and the Wanganui Education Boards. Subsequently for four years he was head-master at Colyton, near Feilding, and in 1907 was promoted to his present position. Mr. Gray has decided musical ability, which is always willingly placed at the disposal of his school, the church, or any other deserving institution, and in this sphere of labour he is ably assisted by his estimable wife.

The Bulls Cordial Factory (G. H. Hathaway, proprietor), was established in the year 1906 by Mr. Hathaway. The business is conducted in a substantial wooden building, containing three apartments, namely, the storeroom, the manufacturing room, and the bottling and washing shed. All varieties of cordials page 644 are manufactured, and also vinegar. The hotels and stores throughout the district are supplied from the factory. The machinery is up-to-date, and is driven by a four and a half-horse power oil engine.

Mr. George Henry Hathaway, proprietor of the Bulls Cordial Factory, was born in the year 1871, in Blenheim, Marlborough, where he was educated, and for some years followed flaxmllling, cabinet-making, and carpentering in Marl-borough, Foxton, and Bulls. He then held a position in the Hawera Brewery, where he remained for some years, latterly as manager. He subsequently managed a cordial factory at Eltham for some months, before establishing his present business. Mr. Hathaway is married, and has one daughter.

The Junction Hotel . (E. Morse, proprietor), Sanson, near Bulls. The original building of this old-established hotel was destroyed by fire in the year 1907, and was replaced by a substantial two-storeyed modern building, containing twenty rooms. The whole house is well furnished, and affords first-class accommodation for visitors.

Mr. Ernest Morse, proprietor of the Junction Hotel, was born in Nelson in the year 1862, and is a son of Major N. G. Morse, who was a member of the House of Representatives in New Zealand. He was educated at Nelson and Wanganui, and afterwards followed farming pursuits for a short time. He then had some years' experience of commercial life, and in 1904 took over the Junction Hotel. Mr. Morse is married, and has one son.

The Rangitikei Hotel (F. Rhodes, proprietor), Bulls. This popular hotel is a substantial two-storeyed wooden building, and contains about twenty-two rooms. There are two entrances, the private one, from High Street, leading into a fine hall, from which a broad staircase leads to the first floor. The ground floor contains a commercial room, the dining room (capable of seating fifty guests), two sitting rooms, a large billiard room, and a double bar. The second floor is composed of well furnished bedrooms, a sitting room, a bathroom (with hot and cold water laid on), lavatories, etc. At the rear of the hotel are the stables. The table and accommodation are good, and the liquors are of the best brands.

Mr. Frank Rhodes, proprietor of the Rangitikei Hotel, was born at Drury. Auckland, in the year 1862, and is a son of a Waikato runholder, who, in the days of the Maori war, supplied the troops with stores. He was educated at the Drury public school, and the Auckland Grammar School, and afterwards entered the service of the Bank of New Zealand at Hamilton. Subsequently he resigned and followed farming pursuits with his father in the Waikato for six years. In 1898 he settled in Gisborne, where he had been farming and contracting for a time, and was engaged by Messrs. Williams and Kettle as stock agent and yards-man until 1906, when he resigned to take over the Rangitikei Hotel, Bulls. Mr. Rhodes takes a keen interest in local public affairs, is a member of the Bulls Town Board, a member of the Cricket, Football, and Jockey Clubs, and is a Past Arch Druid. He married Miss Green, of Gisborne, in 1891, and has two sons and five daughters.

Home, William, Butcher, High Street, Bulls. This business was established many years ago, and was taken over by Mr. Home in the year 1904. The premises include a shop, a sausage-making room, small goods room, and storeroom, and are lighted by electricity. The machinery is up-to-date, and is driven by a three-horse power oil engine. Three men are constantly employed, and there is a cart delivery. Mr. Home was born in Blenheim, Marlborough, in the year 1868, and was brought up to the painting trade. He subsequently turned his attention to racing matters, for twenty-five years was a trainer and rider both in New Zealand and Australia, and he is stil interested in racing. Mr. Home is a member of the local school committee, and is a Freemason and an Oddfellow. He is married, and has three sons and two daughters.

Wearne, Renatus Triggs, General Storekeeper, Bulls. This business was established by the present proprietor in the year 1900. It is conducted in premises occupying a large corner section opposite the Bank of New Zealand, and carries a fine stock of general merchandise, including groceries, ironmongery, crockery, drapery, clothing, and fancy goods. The business is well conducted, the prices are moderate, and a good turn-over is maintained. Mr. Wearne was born in the year 1859, in St. Just, Cornwall, England, where he was educated and brought up to the drapery and clothing trade. He subsequently emigrated to New Zealand, and opened his present business in Bulls. Mr. Wearne is a local preacher in the Methodist Church, and is secretary of the school committee. He is married, and has two sons and one daughter.

Nolan, Thomas Francis, General Carrier and Contractor, Bulls. Mr. Nolan carries on an extensive business as a contractor and carter, and employs six teams of horses in connection with the business. The stables are situated in High Street, at the rear of the old Criterion Hotel, and contain twenty-five loose boxes. Mr. Nolan was born in Wellington in the year 1875, and was educated at the Rangitikei and Manawatu public schools. For about seven years he conducted the Bulls Livery and Bail Stables, in partnership with Mr. J. E. Walker, and since the dissolution of partnership Mr. Nolan has been successfully engaged as a contractor. He is an officer of the Jockey Club, vice-president of the Football Club, a member of the Cricket Club, and for fourteen years was a member of the local lodge of Oddfellows. Mr. Nolan is married, and has one son and one daughter.

Walker's Stables (J. E. Walker, proprietor), Bulls. This business has been established for many years. The stables contain sixty stalls, twenty-eight loose boxes, a waiting room, and an office, and there is also a large amount of yard room, and paddock accommodation. Forty horses are constantly on hand, and the vehicles comprise eight gigs and buggies, four coaches (chiefly engaged in the Bulls-Greatford service), and six heavy haulage brakes. A motor car is kept on the premises for hire, and an expert motorist is employed. In connection with the stables there is a saddlery business conducted in a well-appointed apartment on the right side of the entrance. A large and varied stock of saddlery is carried, and one experienced tradesman is employed in connection with the business.

Nut Farm, near Bulls, on the Sanson side of the river, is a compact farm of first-class level land. It was part of the late Mr. James Bulls' original estate, and was taken up by Mr. Lambess in the year 1906. The property is divided into five paddocks, carries about 300 sheep, and is also used for fattening stock, the proprietor being a well-known dealer. There is a comfortable homestead on the farm.

Mr. Thomas Robert Lambess was born in Wanganui in the year 1868. He was educated at the State school, and then farmed for a time with his father. On his father's death he started on his own account, and was chiefly employed as a drover, shepherd, and dealer, before taking up his present property. Mr. Lambess served in the South African Boer war with the New Zealand contingents.