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



Hunterville is a rising township situated in a hollow among the hills, which immediately surround it. It is a station on the Main Trunk railway line, and is sixteen miles north from Marton. The staple industry is sheep-farming, although dairy and agricultural farming are also successfully carried on. The periodical sales held in the Hunterville yards are the largest held in the district. The township is mainly composed of two principal streets, and stands near to the railway station. Hunterville has a large post and telegraph office, with savings bank and money order office, a branch of the Bank of New Zealand, a large public school, several churches, a club, public halls, and two hotels. There is a regular daily mail service with Wellington. The township is in the Ohingaiti riding of the County of Rangitikei, and the electoral district of Rangitikei. Its population at the census of 1906 was 645.

The Hunterville Town Board . The town district has 159 ratepayers; the rateable property amounts to £52,261, and there is a rate of one penny in the pound. The Board meets on the third Wednesday in the month. Members for the year 1907: Mr. H. Street (chairman), Messrs. R. B. Cole, W. G. Ashworth, A. S. Brooker, J. Hurley, G. W. D. Morris, and W. C. Dudding (councillors). Mr. F. Marshall is town clerk.

Mr. Henry Street, Chairman of the Hunterville Town Board, was elected at the head of the poll as a member of the Board at the inception, and succeeded Mr. Remmington, M.H.R., as chairman. Mr. Street was born in the year 1857, in New Plymouth, where he was educated, and apprenticed to the blacksmithing trade under his father. He afterwards took over the business on his own account, which he successfully conducted until 1891, when he sold out owing to ill-health, and acquired a farm of sixty acres near the town. Eighteen months later he bought his present business, which is now one of the best coachbuilding and smithing businesses in the district. The coachbuilding department carries a complete plant of wood-working machinery, driven by a six-horse power benzine engine; the smithing department contains three forges, and an extensive business is done, giving constant employment to nine tradesmen. Mr. Street is married, and has two children.

Mr. William George Ashworth was elected a member of the Hunterville Town Board at its inception, and has served continuously since. He was chairman for five years of the Hunterville School Committee, and for two years was a member of the Pohangina County Council. Mr. Ashworth is lieutentant of the Hunterville Mounted Rifles (with which he has been connected since its inception), is secretary of the Hunterville Club, and senior warden in the local lodge of Freemasons. He was born in Wanganui in the year 1863, and is the son of an army officer, who had served in the Crimean campaign and Indian mutiny, and came to New Zealand with the 57th Regiment during the Maori war. He was educated at Fernflat, in the Rangitikei district, and was brought up to farming pursuits. Mr. Ashworth then bought a fine farm of 660 acres at Coal Creek, in the Pohangina county, and, after successfully conducting it for seven years, sold out and settled in Hunterville. He also owns a run of 2,200 acres in Taranaki. Mr. Ashworth is married, and has two sons and one daughter.

Bell Byos., photo.Mr. W. G. Ashworth.

Bell Byos., photo.
Mr. W. G. Ashworth.

Mr. Robert Bell Cole, a member of the Hunterville Town Board since its inception, is also chairman of the Public Library Committee, a member of the Domain Board, the school committee, the Hunterville sub-committee of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society, and is senior steward in the local lodge of Freemasons. He was born in the year 1861, in County Monaghan, Ireland, where he was educated. In the year 1879 he came to New Zealand, and for four years was employed as a cadet on a sheep station in the Chatham Islands. He then removed to Auckland, where he was variously employed for nine years. Subsequently he was engaged for twelve years in a store at Moawhango, Hawke's Bay, and then joined Mr. Woolley in Hunterville to establish their present butchery business. Mr. Cole is married, and has five children.

Mr. George Walter Drake Morris has been a member of the Hunterville Town Board since its inception, and takes a keen interest in the local public affairs. He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in the year 1873, and was educated at Mount Cook public school and at the
Bunting, photo.Mr. G. W. D. Morris.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. G. W. D. Morris.

page 630 West Christchurch School. For some years after he was engaged in general work, including butchering, in the Wellington province, and also in Australia. Later he established a butchery business in Hunterville, but three years afterwards the business was sold, and in 1898 Mr Morris opened his present butchery business, which is conducted in a commodious shop in Bruce Street, and gives constant employment to three persons. Mr. Morris is also a general dealer in live stock. He is a member of the Domain Board, the Gun Club, and the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Morris is married, and has three daughters.

The Hunterville Mounted Rifle Corps was founded in the year 1900, with a membership of fifty. The Rev. Dove was elected to the command, and was succeeded in February, 1903, by Mr. William Meldrum, who had formerly been first lieurenant. The corps from its inception has been a popular and prosperous body. It has a membership of sixty-three. The officers are Captain William Meldrum, Lieutenants W. G. Ashworth, W. Howie, F. Pleasants, Sergeant-Major J. S. Howie, and Quartermaster-Sergeant O. B. Dobbs. The members of the corps have a khaki uniform. Their rifle range is on Messrs. Simpson Brothers' estate, close to the township.

Captain William Meldrum, who was one of the founders of the corps, and took office at its inception as first lieutenant, is a well-known barrister and solicitor of Hunterville. He takes a prominent place in public matters, has been chairman of the School Committee, the Domain Board, the sub-committee of the New Zealand Acclimatisation Society for the Hunterville district, and a member of many other minor bodies. He was a representative cricket and football player in Auckland, is a representative player in the Wanganui Golf Club, captain of the Hunterville Cricket Club, an ex-New Zealand champion chess player, and a Past Master of the local lodge of Freemasons. Mr. Meldrum was born at Kamo, near Whangarei, North Auckland, in July, 1865. He was partly educated in Kamo, for two years at the Clifton Bank School, at St. Andrew's, Scotland, and on his return to New Zealand completed his education at the Auckland Grammar School and the University. He was then articled to Messrs. Whittaker and Russell, qualified in 1889, and after practising for about eighteen months at the Thames, settled in Hunterville, where he has established a large practice. Mr. Meldrum is also interested in farming, has a fine property of 900 acres adjoining the town, and is part owner of a sheep run of 2,500 acres in the Ohura district He is married, and has one son and one daughter.

Lieutenant William Howie, of the Hunterville Mounted Rifles, was born near Aberdeen, Scotland, in the year 1853, and is the eldest son of a well-known pioneer farmer in the Marton district. He came to New Zealand in the ship “Westminster,” in the year 1856, and landed in Wellington. After leaving school he was employed for some time on his father's farm at Fernflat. In 1877 he bought 400 acres of land in the Rangitikei district, and on his father's death, in 1897, he came into possession of the property at Fernflat. Two years later he sold both farms, and acquired a property between Hunterville and the Rangitikei river. This farm comprises 409 acres of rich agricultural and grazing land. It carries 1,000 ewes, and 100 head of cattle, and has a fine homestead. Mr. Howie is president of the Rifle Club, a member of the Rangitikei Licensing Committee, and the Hunterville Club, and one of the managers of the local Presbyterian Church. He married Miss Elizabeth Findlay, of Marton, in 1877, and has three sons and four daughters.

Lieut. W. Howie.

Lieut. W. Howie.

Sergeant-Major James Stent Howie, of the Hunterville Mounted Rifles, has been a member of the corps since its formation, and was elected to his present rank in the year 1903. He was born near Wanganui in the year 1864, and is a son of a pioneer settler of the Wanganui district. He was educated at the public schools, brought up to farming pursuits, and assisted his father at Fernflat, near Marton, for over fourteen years. In 1889 he took up a block of 746 acres, in partnership with his brother, in the Hunterville district. The partnership was dissolved in 1899, and since then Mr. Howie has farmed 335 acres on his own account. The farm is highly improved, carries about 900 ewes and some cattle, and has a comfortable homestead. Mr. Howie is a member of the local lodge of Freemasons, and secretary of the Hunterville Rifle Club. He is married, and has four daughters.

Brunton, John, Ladies' and Gentlemen's Tailor, Bruce Street, Hunterville. This popular business was established in the early “nineties,” and was acquired by Mr. Brunton in the year 1902. The premises consist of a large doublefronted shop, with two workrooms at the rear. Mr. Brunton is a direct importer from the best English makers, and carries a fine selection of ladies' and gentlemen's tailoring materials. He employs twenty persons, and has established a good reputation for the cut and finish of his work. Mr. Brunton was born on an emigrant ship in the Gulf of Carpentaria, in the year 1877, his parents being then on their way to New Zealand. The family settled in Oamaru, where his father followed his trade as a tailor, and afterwards removed to Masterton. Mr. Brunton, junior, left school at an early age, and learned the tailoring trade under his father. He then went to sea, and worked his passage to England on board the s.s. “Tainui.” For two years and a half he found employment at Woolwich Arsenal, and then walked from London to Liverpool, where, after many experiences, he was finally stranded. Subsequently, however, he managed, by the aid of a small remittance from his parents in New Zealand, to reach the south of England, where he again took to the sea, and eventually arrived in New Zealand. For two months he worked with his father in Masterton, then went to the goldfields at Coromandel, and soon afterwards to Auckland. After working at his trade with several of the chief firms, he removed to Wellington to fill an engagement with Messrs. Kirkaldie and Stains, which he afterwards resigned to work for Messrs. King and Muir. He then removed to Marton, was employed by Mr. J. page 631 J. McDonald, and subsequently bought his present business in Hunterville. Mr. Brunton is a member of the Anglican Church choir, and various social bodies.

The Argyle Hotel (H. McManaway, proprietor, corner of Bruce Street and Milne Street, Hunterville. This hotel was established in the year 1887, and is one of the oldest houses on the Main Trunk line. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1901, and the present two-storeyed wooden building was then erected. The hotel, together with the public hall, livery stables, and five shops, which belong to it, has a frontage of ten chains. The house contains sixty rooms, including a well-appointed commercial room, three parlours, two dining rooms (each with accommodation for fifty guests), two sitting rooms, bedrooms, bathroom (with hot and cold water laid on), and lavatories. The hotel is well furnished throughout, an excellent table is kept, and the bar is stocked with the best brands of liquors. The business is under the personal supervision of Mr. and Mrs. McManaway, whose first consideration is the comfort and convenience of guests and travellers.

Mr. Henry McManaway, proprietor of the Argyle Hotel, was born in Wellington in the year 1870, and was educated at the Marist Brothers school. He followed farming pursuits for many years in the Wellington district and then took over the Taratahi Hotel, Wellington. Two years later he sold out and successively conducted the Masterton Refreshment Rooms, the Club Hotel (Eketahuna), the Marquis of Normanby Hotel (Carterton), and in June, 1907, bought his present hotel. Mr. McManaway is an active supporter of racing, and is the owner of some well-known race-horses. He is married, and has three sons and one daughter.

The Hunterville Hotel (E. D. Hammond, proprietor), stands near the railway station, and is a large two-storeyed house. It contains twenty-six rooms, including a fine commercial room, two comfortable sitting rooms, and a large billiard room. The house is well furnished throughout, the best brands of liquors are stocked, a good table is kept, and guests are well attended to. There are also livery and bait stables in connection with the hotel.

Rees and Upchurch (W. J. Rees and A. Upchurch), Plumbers and Tinsmiths, Milne Street, Hunterville. This business, the oldest of its kind in the district, was established in the year 1891 by Mr. R. H. Coltman. The premises consist of a shop, and a large workshop at the rear. A good stock of plumbers' and tinsmiths' materials is carried, and there is a complete plant for every branch of the trade. The firm employ only trained and expert tradesmen, and their work can be thoroughly relied upon.

Mr. William John Rees was born in Nelson in the year 1876, and was educated in Wellington. He learned his trade with Messrs. Wilkins and Field, of Nelson, and after completing his apprenticeship went to the Wairarapa as a journeyman. He then went to Wellington, where he worked for eleven years for Messrs. Taylor, Ramsay and Company, during the last four years of which term he was foreman of their works. In 1906 he resigned to join Mr. Upchurch in their present business. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters. Mr. Rees is married, and has five children.

Mr. Albert Upchurch, of the firm of Messrs. Rees and Upchurch, was born in Christchurch in the year 1876, and was educated in Wellington. After leaving school he was apprenticed to the plumbing trade under Messrs. Futter and Jansen, and for fourteen years was continuously employed by that firm, for whom he was three years foreman. In 1906 he resigned to join Mr. Rees in Hunterville. He is a member of the local lodge of Foresters, and also a footballer. Mr. Upchurch is married, and has two children.

Petherick, Francis James, Saddler and Harness Maker, Hunterville. This old established business was acquired by the present proprietor in the year 1905. A considerable stock of manufactured and imported goods is carried, and the workshop is kept constantly busy in manufacturing and repairing. The proprietor has a good reputation for sound and reliable workmanship. Mr. Petherick was born in the year 1863, in Picton, and was educated at Richmond, Nelson. He was apprenticed to his present trade under Mr. Dempsey, of Wellington. After completing his indentures he was employed successively in Napier (with Mr. J. C. McVay), Lower Hutt, Palmerston North, Marton, and Feilding, and in 1898 removed to Hunterville, where he worked as a journeyman for some years before starting business on his own account. Mr. Petherick has always taken a prominent part in amateur dramas, athletics and volunteering, and is a member of the local lodge of Foresters, and the Anglican Church. He was for some years senior sergeant in the Manchester Rifles, Feilding, and holds a number of trophies as a marksman. Mr. Petherick is married, and has three sons.

Wilson, Alexander Howie, J.P., General Storekeeper, Builder, Cabinetmaker, and Furniture Manufacturer, Milne Street, Hunterville. This business was established in the year 1887, when the town of Hunterville was in its infancy, and there is now an extensive business connection throughout the district. The large general store carries a fine stock of merchandise, including groceries, ironmongery, crockery, paints, oils, and paperhangings, and there is also a considerable display of cabinetware and furniture made at the factory. The sash and door, turning, and furniture manufacturing department, which was established in 1892, stands on the opposite side of the street. An eight-horse power oil engine drives the plant, which is up-to-date in every respect. Mr. Wilson was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in the year 1864. After leaving school he was apprenticed to the building trade, which he followed continuously until he came to New Zealand in the year 1887. For some months he followed his trade in Marton, and then established his present business in Hunterville. In 1892 the sash and door manufacturing department was added to the business. In 1905 the building trade was given up in favour of general retail trading, in which a heavy turnover is done. Mr. Wilson was appointed to the Commission of the Peace in 1898, is registrar of electors for the Rangitikei constituency, the original trustee of the local lodge of Freemasons, and a former member of the school committee. He is married, and has two sons and two daughters.

The Carbine Stables (T. D. James, proprietor), Bruce Street, Hunterville. These fine stables are situated in a central position, contain nineteen stalls and ten loose boxes, and afford ample accommodation for all ordinary requirements as well as for country customers. The plant comprises one coach, one double buggy, and five gigs, and there are ten horses employed in connection with the stables. Mr. James personally superintends the business, and patrons may rely on receiving every attention.

Mr. Thomas David James was born at Spreydon, Christchurch, in the year 1872. He was educated at the public schools, and then turned his attention to general manual work, which he followed continuously until he established his present business.

Denton, photo. Mr. T. D. James.

Denton, photo.
Mr. T. D. James.