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



Greytown is one of the oldest towns in the Wairarapa Valley, having been founded by members of the “Small Farms Association” in 1854, and is named after Sir George Grey. The town is situated fifty-four miles north-east from Wellington, and has a branch line from Woodside, on the main railway line. Greytown is the centre of a large agricultural, pastoral, and timber district. The industries include saw-mills, carriage works, brick works, and flax-mills. The main thoroughfare is a wide street, and contains some substantial shops and buildings, including the post office, council chambers, and the town hall. The town has Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Methodist churches, a district high school, a large public hospital, a branch bank, a library, a tri-weekly newspaper, and three hotels. The town as a whole is well laid out, and there are six miles of formed streets. There are several fine orchards in and around Greytown, and this industry is being developed on a large scale by the Greytown Fruit Growing Company, Limited.

The Borough of Greytown has an area of 3,907 acres, with 253 dwellings and 230 ratepayers. A general rate of 1s. 6d. in the pound is levied, also a water rate of 2£¼d. in the pound, a library rate of 1d. in the pound, and a hospital rate of 2d. in the pound. The annual revenue amounts to £1,538. Greytown at the censús of 1906 had a population of 1,123. The Municipal Town Hall was completed to the order of the borough council in December, 1907, at a cost of £2,500, and is a wooden building situated on the main street. It is lighted throughout by acetylene gas, has every accommodation for theatrical performances and other entertainments, and is capable of seating 800 persons. The members of the council are: Messrs. D. P. Loasby (mayor), H. Haigh, J. Judd, J. S. Kent-Johnston, T. E. Kempton, A. Coe, J. J. Kimpton, G. R. Stevens, H. Wall, A. L. Webster, and E. Dunn (councillors). Mr. H. Dudding is the town clerk.

His Worship The Mayor, Mr. David Pell Loasby, who held office for many years as a councillor, was born in Sydney, Australia, in December. 1851, came to New Zealand at an early age, and after leaving school was apprenticed to the bootmaking trade in Nelson. In the year 1879 he settled in the Wairarapa, and after following his trade for some time he bought land, engaged in farming for eight years, and then sold out and established a business as a general storekeeper in Greytown. This business is conducted in a large two-storeyed building, with a frontage of sixty-six feet to the main street. The shop is large and well appointed, and a heavy stock of general groceries and crockery-ware is carried. Mr. Loasby is chairman of the Greytown Town Lands Trust, and of the Working Men's Club, of which he has been secretary and treasurer for twelve years; and was one of the founders of the Greytown Fruit Growing Company, Limited, of which he is chairman of directors. He has been a member of the Order of Oddfellows for thirty-seven years, was the second Grand Master of New Zealand, and on the establishment of the Loyal Greytown Lodge, in 1879, he was elected the first Noble Grand; on the formation of the New Zealand branch of the Manchester Unity, in 1902, he was elected the first Deputy Grand Master, and in 1904 became Grand Master.

Councillor Arthur Coe, who was elected a member of the Greytown Borough Council in the year 1908, was born in Featherston in April, 1878, and after leaving school was apprenticed to the blacksmithing and cycle engineering trade under Mr. Unwin. In September, 1901, he established his present cycle and motor
Wilton, photo.Councillor A. Coe.

Wilton, photo.
Councillor A. Coe.

page 750 works in Greytown. The premises, with a frontage of forty feet and a depth of eighty feet, comprise a large shop and showroom, workshops, bulk storeroom, and office. The showroom carries a fine stock of bicycles, also motor cycles, including the “Motosa-coche,” “Mountaineer,” and the “Minerva.” There is a complete building and repairing plant; the proprietor undertakes the building of, cycles and motor cycles to order, and repairs are also executed on the premises. Mr. Coe is grand master of the Order of Oddfellows, branchman of the fire brigade, and for a number of years was a member of a volunteer corps.

Councillor Joseph John Kimpton, a member of the Greytown Borough Council, is chairman of the lighting, sanitary, and cemetery committees, and a member of the works and fiuance committees. He is also a member of the Greytown District High School Committee, is secretary and cornet player of the Municipal Brass Band, and a member of the Greytown Lodge of Freemasons. Mr. Kimpton was born at Moruya, New South Wales, in July, 1874, and is a son of an engineer in the Australian civil service. After leaving school he followed farming pursuits for nearly ten years, and was then engaged for four years as a travelling insurance agent in Sydney, prior to coming to New Zealand. For the next two years he found employment as an insurance agent in the Wellington province, and then resigned this position to take up farming in Greytown. In April, 1907, he purchased a farm of 200 acres, near the township, which is devoted to mixed farming and dairy-farming purposes, and there is a private cheese factory on the property. Mr. Kimpton is married, and has two children.

Wilton, photo.Councillor J. J. Kimpton.

Wilton, photo.
Councillor J. J. Kimpton.

The Greytown Municipal Band . The first band in Greytown was established in the year 1863 as a private band, conducted by Mr. Jackson, of “Stonestead,” and in 1877 it became known as the Greytown Brass Band, of which Mr. M. R. Varnham became band-master. This gentleman was succeeded, in 1900, by Mr. H. T. Rees. The title of the band was altered to that of the Greytown Municipal Band in 1907, since when it has been in receipt of an annual subsidy from the borough council. The band is equipped with complete brass instruments, including seven cornets, six horns, three baritones, three trombones, one euphonium, four basses, two flugel horns, and two drums. The uniform is dark blue cloth, with white facings, and there is a membership of twenty-two. Monthly public concerts are held by arrangement with the borough council, but the band also gives its services for charitable purposes, and holds open-air concerts in the hospital grounds. Practices are held weekly in the band room at the fire brigade station. The officers are Messrs. H. T. Rees (band-master), A. Madson (sergeant), and J. J. Kimpton (secretary).

Mr. Henry Thomas Rees, Band-master of the Greytown Municipal Band, and conductor of the Greytown Orchestral Society, was born in May, 1867, in Sydney, and came to New Zealand with his parents at an early age. He was educated at the Mount Cook School, Wellington, then went to Masterton, where, after working for Mr. H. Peterson for nine years, he managed a branch business for three years for Mr. Pearce, and then started on his own account. He subsequently removed to Taueru, where for seven years he carried on business as a bootmaker and importer, and also acted as postmaster. In May, 1900, he removed to Greytown, where he has since conducted a successful business as a bootmaker. While in Masterton Mr. Rees was band-master for three years, a member of the orchestral, philharmonic, and operatic societies, and for thirteen years was connected with St. Matthew's Church choir. He is a member and secretary of the fire brigade, a past chief ranger in the Order of Foresters, and was a member of the borough council. In the year 1894 Mr. Rees married Miss Bessie Great-head, and has two children.

The Greytown District High School was established many years ago as a primary school, and the secondary department was not introduced until the year 1905. The school building stands on a section in East street, and contains six classrooms, with accommodation for 340 pupils. A separate building of four rooms, at the rear of the head-master's residence on the main street, is used as a science and cookery school, and possesses elaborate appliances for teaching agricultural chemistry and cookery. The Greytown District High School is fortunate in having an annual endowment of £180 through the Town Lands Trust. There are 260 scholars on the roll, and the average attendance is 240. At Papawai, two miles and a half distant, there is a small side school in connection with the Greytown District High School, which has an attendance of about twenty pupils, the greater number being Maoris. The head-master of the District High School is assisted by a staff of three male assistants and four female assistants.

Mr. Alexander Burnet Charters, B.A., Head-master of the Greytown District High School, was born in Christchurch in June, 1876, and is the eldest son of Mr. W. W. Charters, manager for Messrs. Kinsey, Barnes and Company, of Christchurch. He was educated at the Opawa and West Christchurch public schools, and, after gaining a Soames' scholarship, spent two years at Christ's College. He matriculated in 1892, gained his D certificate in 1895, and then spent twelve months in the Normal Training College, during which time he attended Canterbury College and gained his C certificate. For the following six years he was employed as a relieving teacher, successively at Inglewood, Taranaki; and the Thorndon and Clyde Quay schools, Wellington. In January, 1902, Mr. Charters went to South Africa as a reg mental sergeant-major of the Eighth Contingent, and returned to New Zealand in August of the same year. He then acted as relieving teacher for a short time at the Te Aro and Lower Hutt schools, and in 1903 was appointed first assistant master of the secondary division of the Masterton District High School, where he remained for four years, during which time he completed his B.A., degree. Mr. Charters was appointed to his present position in June, 1907. He is chairman of the Wairarapa Rugby Union, is a junior warden of the Masonic Lodge, and was captain for four years of the Masterton Rifle Corps. Mr. Charters married Miss page 751 Eliza Curtis, a daughter of Mr. H. B. Curtis, of Inglewood, and has one son.

Balfour, Alan Bidwell, Surgeon Dentist, Greytown and Martin-borough. The Greytown practice was established in the year 1903, and in the following year a branch was opened in Martinborough, where Mr. Balfour pays regular professional visits. He was born in Napier, in December, 1881, and is the eldest son of Mr. T. W. Balfour. He was educated at the Napier Boys' High School, and then studied for his profession under Mr. H. W. Frost, with whom he remained for four years. He qualified in 1902, and in the following year established his present practice. Mr. Balfour is a member of the committee of the Wairarapa Rugby Union, a member of the Automobile Association, and is an enthusiastic angler.

Halse, Harold V., Pharmaceutical Chemist, The Pharmacy, Greytown. This well-known pharmacy was established in the year 1869 by Mr. L. St. George, and after passing through several hands is now under the management of Mr. Halse. The shop contains a large stock of drugs, chemists' sundries, proprietary medicines, and toilet requisites. A feature of the establishment is the dispensing of physicians' prescriptions and family recipes, in which the purest drugs are used. Mr. Halse was born in Wellington in June, 1885, was educated at the public school and Wellington College, and afterwards apprenticed to Mr. Sutherland and Mr. St. George. He qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist in the year 1905, became assistant to Mr. Robert Gant, and subsequently took charge of the business, which he has since successfully conducted. Mr. Halse takes a keen interest in music, and is clarionet player and secretary of the Greytown Orchestral Society.

The Greytown Orchestral Society was founded in the year 1900 by Mr. H. T. Rees, its present conductor, and it has a membership of twenty-two. The instruments of the orchestra include four first violins, six second violins, one viola, two clarionets, one flute, one trombone, two cornets, one French horn, one euphonium, one 'cello, two double basses, two drums, and a piano. Practices are held regularly in the public school room, the use of which was granted in recognition of the services rendered by the orchestra in raising the funds to purchase a piano for the school. Public concerts are frequently given, and concerts are also held for charitable purposes. Mr. H. V. Halse is secretary of the society.

Maxton, Mark and Company, Auctioneers, Land, Estate, General Commission, and Indent Agents, Main Street, Greytown. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This business, which is one of the most important of its kind in the Greytown district, was established in 1900 in Izard's Buildings, and in 1908 was removed to the present premises. These stand on a section one acre in extent, and consist of a large two-storeyed wooden building, with a frontage of twenty-five feet and a depth of 150 feet. On the ground floor there is a well-appointed auction mart, a showroom, a convenient suite of offices, and bulk storerooms. The first floor contains a fine showroom and further storage accommodation. Fortnightly auction sales are held, and private and clearing sales as required. The firm have at all times a large list of properties for sale on their books. They are local managers of the well-known Wairarapa Debt Collecting Company, and are agents for the State Fire Office, the South British Accident Insurance Company, the National Mutual Life Association of Australasia, the Live Stock General Insurance Company; the manures of the Wellington Meat Export Company, the Gear Company, and Messrs. Kempthorne and Prosser; Messrs. McGill and Sons, monumental masons; Messrs. Gibbons and Company, seed merchants; Baltic separators; and the famous horse and cattle remedy, “Oxol.” The firm act as auditors, assignees, and valuators.

Premises of Mr. H. V. Halsk.

Premises of Mr. H. V. Halsk.

Mr. Mark Maxton was born in Wellington, and is the son of the late Mr. Samuel Maxton, who came to New Zealand by the ship “Birman,” in the year 1842. He was educated at the Church of England School, under Mr. Mowbray, afterwards served an apprenticeship to the bakery business under his father, and then learned the printing trade at the Government Printing Office. After completing his indentures he removed to Masterton, where he was engaged for a few years
Wilton, photo.Mr. M. Maxton.

Wilton, photo.
Mr. M. Maxton.

page 752 as jobbing printer on the staff of the “Wairarapa Daily Times.” He then returned to Wellington to assist his brother-in-law, Mr. W. F. Roydhouse, in the establishment of the “Evening Press,” but subsequently severed his connection with the paper, and found employment in Greytown as a storekeeper, and, later, as a flourmiller, until establishing his present business. Mr. Maxton has always taken a keen interest in public affairs, was a member of the borough council, and is a member of the Wairarapa District Hospital Board, and the South Wairarapa Hospital Trustees. He was the founder of the local bowling club, of which he was secretary for some time, for many years served as a volunteer, and in 1872 was appointed honorary lieutenant of the Wellington Rifle Volunteers. Mr. Maxton is local correspondent of the “Evening Post,” the “Dominion,” and the “Wairarapa News.” He married Miss Elizabeth Tinney, of Wellington, and has two sons and two daughters. Both sons are working for the firm.

Bannin, Peter Joseph, Tailor, Main Street, Greytown. This business was established in the year 1901, and is conducted in suitable premises, comprising a shop, fitting room, and workroom, and five persons are employed. Mr. Bannin is an importer of tweeds and tailors' trimmings, and maintains a considerable stock. He was born in February, 1879, in Wellington, and is the third son of the late Mr. James F. Bannin. He was educated at the Marist Brothers' School, served an apprenticeship of five years under his father, and then entered into partnership with his brother in Carterton. The partnership was dissolved two years later, and Mr. Bannin then established his present business. He is a past arch of the Order of Druids, a member of the fire brigade, the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the cricket, football, tennis, bowling, and hockey clubs.

Murray, Alexander, Draper and Clothier, Main Street, Greytown. This business was established in 1896, in a small building on the other side of the road, but the business increased so rapidly that the present fine premises were soon afterwards acquired. They consist of a two-storeyed building, which is lighted throughout by a private installation of acetylene gas, and has double plate glass show windows. The shop is well fitted up, and is divided into two main departments, namely, the drapery department, and the clothing, mercery, and boot department. The showroom is well appointed and tastefully arranged, and the whole stock is up-to-date. Mr. Murray was born at Millport, Buteshire, Scotland, in March, 1852, his father being a steam-boat engineer, who came to New Zealand in the early “fifties.” He was educated at a private school, under the late Mr. William Finnimore, in Wellington, and afterwards followed sheep-station life in Mohaka, Hawke's Bay. During the Maori war Mr. Murray served in the militia, but after the Poverty Bay massacre he left the district, and settled in Wellington, where, after a short time spent in accountancy work, he found employment in Te Aro House. Seventeen years later he started business on his own account at the corner of Cuba and Ghuznee streets, but subsequently sold out and established his present business in Greytown. Mr. Murray has taken a keen interest in public matters, was a member of the borough council, and for ten years was secretary of the school committee; he is an ex-president and treasurer of the bowling club, and a director of the Greytown Fruit Growing Company, Limited. He is married, and has one son and two daughters. His son, who was educated at Wellington College, is a successful sheep farmer, residing near Pongaroa, and a member of the Akitio County Council.

Wilton, photo.Mr. A. Murray.

Wilton, photo.
Mr. A. Murray.

Veitch and Allan, Drapers, Clothiers, House Furnishers, and Boot and Shoe Importers, Main Street. Greytown. Head-quarters, Cuba Street, Wellington. The Greytown branch of this important firm was established about 1884, and is now one of the largest businesses of its kind in the South Wairarapa. The premises have a frontage of about forty feet to Main street, and expansive plate glass windows. The shop is divided into two main departments, the drapery and boot department being on one side, and the furniture and furnishing department on the other. The firm import direct from England, and carry a large stock, which is tastefully displayed. Four persons are employed in connection with the business.

Mr. Douglas Charles Humphrey, Manager of Messrs. Veitch and Allan's Greytown branch, was born in the year 1884 in Marton, where he was educated at the District High School, and after some mercantile and journalistic experience was apprenticed to the drapery trade, under Messrs. White and Company, of Mangaweka, of which branch his father was then manager. He was subsequently employed for twelve months by Mr. R. H. White, of Wanganui, then joined the Wellington staff of Messrs. Veitch and Allan, and in December, 1905, was placed in charge of the Greytown branch. Mr. Humphrey is sub-chief ranger of the Order of Foresters, secretary of the bowling, tennis and hockey clubs, and the fire brigade. He married Miss Dora Trotman, youngest daughter of Mr. E. H. Trotman, and has one daughter.

Robertson, John, Hair-dresser and Tobacconist, Main Street, Greytown. This business was established in the year 1902 in a small shop in part of the Palace Hall, which building
Wilton, photo.Mr. J. Robertson.

Wilton, photo.
Mr. J. Robertson.

page 753 was subsequently destroyed by fire. The present fine premises were acquired in 1906, and stand on a site half an acre in extent. They comprise a shop, a hair-dressing saloon, and a billiard saloon. The shop is well fitted and furnished with glass show cases, and carries an assortment of the best English goods in tobacconists' wares, musical instruments, leather and fancy goods, brush-ware, and toilet and sporting requisites. The hair-dressing saloon has the most modern improvements, two chairs, and several large mirrors. The billiard saloon is most comfortably furnished, and has a large size Wright. Ranish and Company's table. Mr. Robertson was born in Creswick, Victoria, in December, 1867, was educated at St. Arnaud, and then learned the hair-dressing trade in Melbourne, where he spent five years with Mr. Turley. He afterwards worked at his trade as a journeyman in Australia for nearly ten years, and then came to New Zealand. Soon after his arrival in the Dominion he established a business in West Oxford, which he successfully conducted for three years, then sold out and removed to Greytown, and established his present business. Mr. Robertson is treasurer of the trotting club, also a member of the Order of Druids.

The Greytown Fruit-Growing Company, Limited, was formed in October, 1907, for the purpose of conducting fruit-growing on a large scale, and has already proved very successful, showing that the district is well adapted for the purpose. Mr. D. P. Loasby. to whose enterprise the company owes its origin, thought that if it could be demonstrated that the industry was profitable, Greytown would receive a great impetus from an entirely new source. The Company has a capital of £10,000, and has taken up an area of 518 acres of good land about two miles out of the town.