The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
The Linton Flax-Mill (G. Craw, proprietor), near the Linton railway station, about eight miles south from Palmerston North, was established by Mr. Craw in the year 1902. The mill originally stood on the upper side of the railway line, and was removed to its present site in the year 1904. There are 500 acres of freehold flax-bearing country connected with the mill. The premises consist of an iron building of the most up-to-date plan, and careful attention has been given to the outbuildings and men's quarters. The machinery and appliances are of modern type, and the motive power is supplied by a fourteen-horse power Marshall's compound portable engine. The mill gives employment to twenty-five persons, and there is a daily output of one ton of fibre. At Tokomaru, about three miles distant, Mr. Craw owns another mill cf a similar type and output, working a freehold block of 400 acres of vigorous flax. These two blocks, comprising 900 acres of the Makarua swamp, were purchased from the Wellington-Manawatu Railway Company in 1897, Mr. Craw being the first to take up the land. In conjunction with this flax area he has 700 acres of excellent farming country, adjoining the swamp, page 691 which is devoted to grazing purposes. Mr. Craw also owns a property about fifty-five miles south of Auckland, of 2,500 acres, half of which area is covered with well-grown flax.
The Oroua Flax-Mill, situated near the Oroua Bridge, about nine miles from Palmerston North, was established by Mr. Sutherland, and was taken over in the vear 1903 by the present proprietor. The building is of wood and iron, and contains a first-class machinery plant, driven by a powerful modern engine. The mill employs twenty-five men, and the daily output is about one ton. Mr. Smith holds cutting rights over 500 acres of excellent flax country.
Mr. William George Charles Smith, proprietor of the Oroua Flaxmill, was born in the year 1873. in Wairoa, Hawke's Bay, where he was educated at the public schools. He afterwards followed sheep station life for about ten years, and in 1898 turned his attention to flax-milling. In 1898 he started on his own account in the Manawatu district, worked the mill for about three years, and subsequently built his present mill at Oroua. Mr. Smith has taken a keen interest in local volunteering matters; he joined the Manawatu Mounted Rifles in the year 1898, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant-major in 1905. He is a member of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, the Employers' Association, the Racing Club, the Bowling Club, and other local clubs.
Mr. Alfred Seifert, Managing Director of the above firm, was born in North Loburn, Canterbury, in the year 1877, and is the fourth son of Mr. John Herman Seifert. He was educated at the local public school, and afterwards followed the flaxmilling industry for some years with his father and brother. After a short interval spent in farming he joined his brothers in a flax-mill near West-port, and in 1894 joined his eldest brother, Mr. Herman Seifert, in his flax-mill near Lake Wanaka. Early in the year 1898 Mr. Seifert removed to the North Island, and in May of that year joined his brothers George and Frederick Seifert in the proprietorship of a mill at Oroua Bridge, the firm soon afterwards taking over another mill on Mr. Akers' property. The partnership was dissolved in 1899 and Mr. Alfred Seifert then started a mill on his own account on the Heaton Park estate. From that date he has been continuously engaged in the flax-milling industry. Mr. Seifert is president of the New Zealand Flax-millers' Association, is an enthusiastic golf player, and was for some time a member of the Palmerston North Young Men's Literary and Debating Society. In the year 1899 he married Miss Esther Blondell, of Winton, Southland, and has one son and one daughter.
Mr. Louis Seifert, of Messrs. A. and L. Seifert Flax-milling Company, Limited, was born in North Loburn, Canterbury. He afterwards entered the flax-milling industry in the Rangitikei district, where he operated two mills at different times, until 1902, when he sold out and went to England and America. On his return to New Zealand he bought a mill at Rangitane, near Oroua Bridge, and subsequently erected two other mills, having acquired a considerable area of flax-bearing country. Mr. Seifert still conducts two of these mills on his own account, and employs about sixty men in this connection. He takes a great interest in the hemp industry; and in 1907, with Mr. Smith, visited Queensland to inquire into the sisal industry there, and its probable effect on the flax industry in New Zealand.
Mr. L. Seifert.