The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Foxton —named after Sir William Fox—is one of the oldest centres in the Manawatu district, and the terminus of the Foxton-Palmerston North branch line of railway. It is situated on the banks of the Manawatu river, twenty miles west from Palmerston North and 107 north from Wellington, in the county of Manawata. Foxton is a shipping port of considerable importance. It is the outlet for a large area of agricultural country, and the coal required for the Government railways is landed there direct from Grey-mouth. At the mouth of the river good deep-sea fishing can be obtained. In clear weather peeps of the islands of the Straits and the fragmentary rocks of the sea and coast to the southwards add variety to the surroundings, while northwards stretch miles of sand, a bit of Mount Egmont, and the chains of the Ruahine and rugged Tararuas. The Moutoa swamp, with 10,000 acres of the finest flax-bearing country, which a few years ago was a desolate waste, has now twelve flax-mills at work, and this industry is going ahead with great rapidity. Mixed farming and dairy farming are also carrried on, the land is mostly undulating, with considerable stretches of level country, and some of it is well adapted for grazing and fattening purposes. The cutting up of the large estates, in which the surrounding country was almost entirely held, has given great assistance to the farming community, the Moutoa estate, in 1903. being the last block sub-divided. As a holiday resort, Foxton has superior attractions, and in this connection great things are predicted for the town. There are few parts of the west coast of the North Island so well adapted for a sea-side resort as Wharangi, at the mouth of the river, The Government set aside an area of ten acres, and surveyed and subdivided page 695 divided it into small residential sections, with a view to encouraging the formation of a public sanitarium. Many holiday residences have been erected, and the number is increasing every year. The town of Foxton is principally composed of one wide well-kept street, running almost north and south, The noteworthy buildings include the council chambers, several hotels, a bank, the post and telegraph office, the court house and the newspaper office. There are also Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches, a public school, a technical school, a public library and reading room, two public halls, a Masonic hall, and a Good Templars' lodge room. Foxton was constituted a borough in the year 1888, and has six public reserves, aggregating 360 acres in area (which are let for grazing purposes, and return an income of £112), also a sports ground and a racecourse. Mail coaches run daily to Levin and Shannon.
The borough of foxton was constituted in the year 1888, and the first meeting of the council was held in the same year. The first mayor of the town was Mr. E. S. Thynne, who was followed successively by Messrs J. W. Gower, Thomas Wilson, George Nye, J. R. Stansell, Alfred Fraser, W. B. Rhodes, F. E. Jenks, Thomas Westwood, P. Hennessy, George Simpson, and B. G. Gower. The borough has an area of 1,240 acres, and the population is 1,334. There are 367 dwellings, 257 ratepayers, and 578 rateable properties. The rates consist of a general rate of is 9d in the £, a separate rate of 6d. in the £. a special rate of 3d in the £, and a library rate of 1d. in the £. The town is lighted with Kerosene lamps, and there are fifteen miles of well-kept streets in the borough. The borough has extensive reserves bringing in a substantial revenue annually. The council chambers occupy a site in the main street, and were erected in September, 1906, to take the place of the old building, which stands at the rear of the police station. The building is a commodious one of wood. The chambers, mayor's room, and town clerk's office are all well appointed, and the council chamber is large, well-lighted, and furnished with two screens for voting purposes. On the left side of the building is a library and reading room; the former is fitted with shelves, and carries 1,400 volumes, and the latter, which is furnished with reading tables, chairs, and two newspaper stands, is well supplied with daily papers and periodicals. The council chambers were erected at a cost of £1,360. Members of the council for 1907–8: Messrs. B. G. Gower (mayor), George Coley, P. J. Hennessy, F. W. Frankland, A. E. Shadbolt, S. H. Baker, G. A. Gray, S. Hickson, G. H. Stiles, and L. W. Wilson (councillors). Mr. Alfred Fraser is town clerk.
His Worship The Mayor, Mr. Bernard Gapper Gower, was first elected to the Foxton Borongh Council in the year 1901, and served continuously as a councillor and deputy mayor until 1905, when he was elected mayor. Mr. Gower has always taken a keen interest in the affairs of the borough: he is president of the Foxton Horticultural and Industrial Society, the Rowing, Athletic, and Tennis Clubs, a member of the Racing Club, and the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and represents the borough in technical school matters. He was born in Nelson in November, 1864, and is the eldest son of Mr. John Wright Gower, who was the second mayor of Foxton. He was educated at the State school and at the Rev. Ross' college, at Turakina, and brought up to farming pursuits. Mr. Gower took charge, at an early age, of his father's farm in Foxton, and in 1891 took it over on his own account. This property consists of 600 acres, situated near the township, and is one of the most valuable farms in the neighbourhood, the land being rich and suitable for fattening purposes. It is well improved, upwards of 700 sheep and 250 head of cattle are permanently depastured, and a considerable amount of cropping is also done. In the year 1906 Mr. Gower married Miss Fanny Aitchison, of Yarrawanga, and has one daughter.
Councillor Samuel Henry Baker, member of the Foxton Borough Council, is also chairman of the local school committee (of which he was for one year previously chairman and three years secretary), superintendent of the Primitive Methodist Sunday school, and a vice-president of the Foxton Horticultural and Industrial Association. Mr. Baker was born in the year 1871 in the Bay of Islands, and is the eldest son of Mr. Samuel Marsden Baker, and a grandson of the Rev. Charles Baker, Church of England missionary to the Maoris. He removed to Foxton with his parents at an early age, and after leaving school served two years in the teaching profession in the local State school, but was compelled by ill-health to resign. He then farmed for some time with his father, and finally took over the property on his own account. The farm is composed of about seventy acres of rich level land, and is situated within the borough boundary on the north-east side. It is highly improved, about eight acres are devoted to an orchard in full bearing, and there are also three vineries under glass and twenty-five colonies of bees.
Councillor S. H. Baker.
Councillor Frederick William Frankland was elected a member of the Foxton Borough Council in the year 1904, and is also a member of the school committee. He was born in April, 1854, in Manchester, England, and is the eldest son of Sir Edward Frankland, K.C.B. He was educated at the University College and at the London University, and afterwards entered his father's chemical research laboratory in the South Kensington Science Schools. Owing to ill-health, however, he came to New Zealand in 1875, and in the following year entered the New Zealand Civil Service, where he rose to the responsible position of Actuary to the Registry of Friendly Societies, and in 1884 to the position of Actuary of the Government Life Insurance Department and Registrar of Friendly Societies. In 1886 he was appointed Government Actuary and Statist, and in 1889 was made Commissioner of the Government Life Insurance Department. In the following year he resigned and went to England, where he was appointed Assistant Actuary of the Atlas Insurance Company. In 1893 he accepted the position of Associate Actuary of the page 696 New York Life Insurance Office, and resided in New York for nine years, with an annual furlough to visit his father in England. During this period he was engaged on the mortality statistics of under-average lives, a new departure that the company had made, and to these he made valuable contributions. In December, 1902, he was compelled to resign owing to ill-health, and he decided to return to New Zealand. Prior to coming to the Dominion, however, he travelled through the Orient, to study the national and domestic institutions of Eastern life. Mr. Frankland is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of London, a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Great Britain and Ireland, a member of the Actuarial Society of America, and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, of the American Economic Association, and of the American Academy of Political Sciences. As a writer he has devoted considerable time to mathematical, metaphysical, and sociological subjects, and is the author of various papers in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In April, 1879, he married Miss Miriam Symons, the second daughter of the late Mr. C. H. Symons, of Foxton, and has two sons.
Councillor F. W. Frankland..
Councillor George Gray has occupied a seat on the Foxton Borough Council since the year 1903. He formerly served on the Bulls Town Board, has been a prominent officer of the Racing Club since 1883, and is now treasurer. Mr. Gray was born in the year 1860, in Foxton, was educated at the local public school and at the Wellington Grammar School, and afterwards assisted in his father's store. In the year 1883 Mr. Gray, senior, retired, when the son took over the store on his own account, but subsequently let it and entered the flax-milling industry. Ten years later Mr. Gray obtained a license, and converted the store building into an hotel, which he leased for six years. He afterwards conducted an hotel at Bulls for three years, and finally took possession of his own hostelry, the Post Office Hotel, which ne has since conducted with success. Mr. Gray is married, and has three sons and three daughters.
Councillor Samuel Jasper Hickson, member of the Foxton Borough Council, is referred to in another article as proprietor of the Foxton Family Hotel.
Councillor Albert Edward Shadbolt has been a member of the Foxton Borough Council since the year 1903. He was born at Akaroa, Canterbury, in March, 1865, and after leaving school was brought up to farming in Duvauchelle's Bay, at the head of the Akaroa harbour. He subsequently learned the butchering trade, was employed for five years by the Gear Company in Wellington, and then started a butchery business in Foxton. This he conducted until 1906, when he sold out and acquired the Manawatu Hotel. Mr. Shadbolt is a member of the Racing Club, the Athletic and Sports Clubs, vice-president of the New Zealand Athletic Association, and a Freemason. He is married, and has one son and one daughter.
Councillor Lewis William Wilson was elected to the Foxton Borough Council in the year 1907. He is chairman of the school committee, a member of the management committee of the Anglican Church, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, vice-president of the Athletic Club, a steward of the Racing Club, and a Freemason. Mr. Wilson was born in Bradford, England, in the year 1873, and went to Australia at nine years of age. He completed his education at Black Friars School, in Sydney, and then came to New Zealand. He landed at Foxton, found employment as a cabinetmaker, and later went into the flax-milling industry, in which he rose to the position of mill manager. Subsequently he found employment with Messrs. P. Hennesy and Company, storekeepers, of Foxton, and for a time was manager of their business, prior to receiving his present position. In the year 1899 Mr. Wilson marrie Miss Easton, and has two sons and one daughter.
Councillor L. W. Wilson.
Mr. A. Fraser.
The Foxton Defence Rifle Club was formed in the year 1906, mainly throught the efforts of the present captain, and it is a popular and prosperous body, with a membership of forty. Regular shooting practices are held on the range, which is situated at the back of the racecourse, on the north side of the town.
Captain Oliver Edward Austin was elected to the command of the Foxton Defence Rifle Club in the year 1906. He was formerly a member of the Foxton Rifle Volunteers, and subsequently rose to the rank of sergeant. Mr. Austin was born in Wellington in the year 1877, was educated at the State schools, and afterwards assisted in his father's flax-mills. He subsequently joined his brothers in the purchase of Messrs. Gamman and Company's sawmill, which they operated for eighteen months and then converted into a flax-mill. From that date he has been continuously engaged in the flax industry. Mr. Austin was a member of the Borough Council for six years, is a director of the Rope and Twine Works, a steward of the Racing Club, a successful race-horse owner, vice-president of three Athletic Clubs, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
All Saints' Anglican Church occupies a valuable site of three-quarters of an acre in the centre of the town. It is a wooden building with an iron roof, has accommodation for 200 persons, and possesses a fine pipe organ. In connection with the church is a Sunday school. The vicarage, a modern seven-roomed house, is erected on a section of three acres, and another section of five acres is leased for pasturage. Services are held in connection with the church at Moutoa and Oroua Downs, and in other outlying districts.
The Rev. George Young Woodward, Vicar of All Saints' Church, Foxton, was appointed in the year 1907. He was born near South-port, Lancashire, England, in June, 1876, and after leaving school spent three years at accountancy work in Liverpool. Mr. Woodward then decided to enter the Church, and after a course of theological studies was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Lincoln in the year 1902. In the same year he came to New Zealand, and settled at Palmerston North as curate to the Rev. C. C. Harper, during which time he was ordained priest Four years later he revisited England, and on his return to New Zealand was appointed to his present charge.
The Foxton Chamber Of Commerce was founded mainly through the instrumentality of Mr. Alfred Fraser, in May, 1905. On that date a meeting of the leading business men of the town was called for the purpose of discussing the advisability of forming an organisation to guard the interests of the Port and the railway, and the commercial affairs pertaining to them. Mr. Fraser, and Mr. Nash, of Palmerston North, were the chief speakers at the meeting, and the result of the proceedings was the establishment of the present Chamber of Commerce. Besides the beneficial influence which it has exercised upon the strictly commercial affairs of the town, the Chamber of Commerce has done much in the interests of shipping. Mr. Morgan, local manager for Messrs. Levin and Company, is president, and Mr. Rae-Howard is secretary.
Rae-Howard and Company, Auctioneers, Stock, Station, Land, Insurance, and General Commission Agents and Valuators, Main Street, Foxton. Telegraphic address: “Howard.” Telephone No. 53. P.O. Box 28. This business was established in October, 1906, as a commission agency. A year later the present commodious premises were acquired, when the auctioneering department was added to the business. The premises have a frontage of twenty-five feet with a depth of sixty feet, and comprise a spacious mart and private offices, with storage accommodation in Clyde street. Weekly sales are held on Saturday afternoons in the auction room, where there is invariably a good attendance. On the books of the land and estate department there is always a large selection of properties, including stations, farms, town sections, houses, hotels, etc. Mr. Rae-Howard is a property valuer, and also holds the following agencies:—The State Fire Insurance Office, the New Zealand Accident Insurance Company, the New York Life Insurance Company, the Live Stock General Insurance Company, the Plate Glass General Insurance Company, the Blake hydraulic ram, and the Lister cream separator.
Mr. Peter Harvest Rae-Howard was born in New South Wales in November, 1869, and is the fourth son of Mr. William Howard, a large grazier on the Murray River. He was educated at the Albury Grammar School, and brought up on his father's station, where, in addition to a thorough training in farming methods on a large scale, he learned wool-classing. For five years subsequently he managed his father's station in the Riverina, and then took charge of another large run on the Queensland border. Six years later, however, owing to ill-health, he was compelled to resign. In November, 1901, he came to New Zealand, and soon afterwards settled in South Canterbury, where for some years he worked in connection with one of the firm of Messrs. Guinness and Le Cren, stock and station agents. Early in 1906 he removed to the North Island, spent a short time in Wanganui page 698 and then settled in Foxton. Mr. Rae-Howard is secretary and one of the managers of the local Presbyterian Church, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, the Starr-Bowkett Building Society. the Poultry Association, and the Horticultural and Industrial Association. In November, 1905, he married the third daughter of Dr. Rae, of Melbourne, and has one son and one daughter.
Rough, James Wilfred, Architect, Main Street, Foxton. Mr. Rough has designed and carried out Messrs. Levin and Company's premises, the New Zealand Shipping. Company's local stores, Messrs. F. Easton's and H. Austin's private residences, and the business premises of Messrs. Perreau and Healey. He was born in the year 1882 in Invercargill, where he was educated at the State school, and was articled to his profession under Mr. Peter Walker. He subsequently spent a short time under Mr. D. B. Frame, of Napier, and then returned to Invercargill to take charge of Mr. Peter Walker's office, which he managed for one year. He was then employed by Mr. J. C. Maddison. of Christchurch, and helped to design the Exhibition buildings, prior to settling in Foxton. Mr. Rough takes a keen interest in the social life of the town, is vice-president of the Football Club, secretary of the Sports Club, and a member of the Tennis, Bowling, Cricket, and Hockey Clubs.
Osborne, Archibald Reginald, Tailor and Mercer, Main Street Foxton. This business was establlished in the year 1892, and is conducted in a fine shop, which carries a large stock of imported and colonial materials. Mr. Osborne is well-known for his reliable workmanship, and gives constant employment to several persons. He was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, in August, 1867, and was educated and brought up to clerical work. In 1882 he came to New Zealand and settled in Foxton, where for ten years he was employed by his brother, a draper and clothier, latterly as manager of the clothing department. Mr. Osborne has been connected with the local Primitive Methodist Church since 1883, is a trustee of the lodge of Oddfellows, and has also been a member of the Orders of Druids and Good Templars. He is married, and has two daughters.
Mr. A. R. Osborne.
The Foxton Family Hotel (S. J. Hickson, proprietor), Foxton. This hotel is a large two-storeyed building, with up-to-date outbuildings and stables. On the ground floor are the dining room, several sitting rooms, a commodious billiard room, and a fine commercial room. The first floor contains two sitting rooms, the bedrooms, and bathrooms. The house is comfortably furnished throughout, a good table is kept, and the bar is stocited with the best brands of liquors.
Mr. Samuel Jasper Hickson, proprietor of the Foxton Hotel, was born in the Lower Hutt, Wellington, in the year 1859, and after leaving school spent some years at farming. For eleven years subsequently he was employed as a striker in the Petone foundry, and severed his connection with the foundry to take over an hotel at Lowry Bay, near Wellington, where he remained for six months. He then engaged in farming in the Wairarapa, and, later, on the Moutoa estate, under the Assets Realisation Board, and finally turned his attention to flax-milling, the firm being known as Messrs. Hickson and Reaves. After spending about eight years in this industry he sold out and acquired the Family Hotel. Mr. Hickson is a member of the Foxton Borough Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the Masonic fraternity. He is married, and has two sons and one daughter.
The Manawatu Hotel (A. E. Shadbolt, proprietor), Foxton, occupies a site at the north end of the town. It is a two-storeyed building, and is complete and up-to-date in every respect. On the ground floor are a commercial room, several sitting rooms, and a large dening room; and the first floor contains the bedrooms, a large sitting room, and a bathroom. The rooms are well furnished, the table and accommodation are good, and the liquors are of the best brands.
Mr. Albert Edward Shadbolt, proprietor of the Manawatu Hotel, is referred to as a member of the Foxton Borough Council.
The Post Office Hotel (G. Gray, proprietor), Main Street, Foxton. This hotel is a fine two-storeyed wooden building with a verandah and balcony in front, and contains twenty rooms. The ground floor contains two comfortable sitting rooms, a well-appointed commercial room, and a large dining room. On the first floor are ten comfortable bedrooms, a sitting room, and bathrooms with hot and cold water laid on. The water supply is drawn from artesian wells. A good table is maintained, and guests receive the utmost care and courtesy.
Mr. George Gray, proprietor of the Post Office Hotel, is further referred to as a member of the Foxton Borough Council.
Easton, Charles Thomas, Family Butcher, Main Street, Foxton. This business was established by Mr. A. S. Easton, senior, in the year 1874, and was acquired by his son in the year 1901. The premises consist of a large two-storeyed building, containing an extensive shop, a manufacturing room, and an up-to-date office. There are also other detached departments, with a complete machinery plant. Only the best quality of meat is kept, and four men and two carts are constantly employed in connection with the business. Mr. Easton was born in Foxton in July, 1872, and is the second son of Mr. A. S. Easton. After leaving school he was engaged in farming pursuits for some years, prior to taking over his present business. He is a member of the Racing Club, the Athletic Club, and the Order of Oddfellows. Mr. Easton is married, and has two sons and one daughter.
Levin and Company, Limited (G. W. Morgan, manager), Foxton. The Foxton branch of this important firm has been established for some years. The premises are situated on the river bank close to the railway station, and consist of a commodious wood and iron building, containing 19,000 feet of floor space. The dumping plant is up-to-date, and is driven by a forty-four-horse power Tangye engine. Messrs. Levin and Company, Limited, are agents for all the small river steamers and most of the cot. and cargo vessels that come up to the town. In addition to their large shipping business the firm are buyers of flax, tow, and wool.
Mr. Grosvenor William Morgan, Manager for Messrs. Levin and Company's Foxton branch, was page 699 born in Queenstown, Otago, in November. 1876. He completed his education at the Wanganui Boys High School, afterwards gained clerical experience in the offices of the Wanganui Freezing Works and other mercantile houses in the town, and then removed to Wellington to join Messrs. Finn, Chisholm and Company, merchants. Two years later he entered the employment of Messrs. Levin and Company, and in February, 1906, was appointed manager of the Foxton branch. Mr. Morgan is president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Horticultural and Industrial Association, vice-president of the Wellington Provincial Lawn Tennis Association. vice-chairman of the Foxton Co-operative Building Society, and in his spare time takes a very keen interest in the game of tennis.
Nash. J. A., and Company, Limited (L. W. Wilson, manager), General Merchants, corner of Main Street and Clyde Street, Foxton. This extensive firm is one of the oldest commercial establishments in the district, and the business was acquired by Mr. L. W. Wilson in the year 1904. The main business premises consist of a commodious wood and iron building, divided into several distinct departments. The grain and store sheds are situated in Watson street. The firm are universal providers, and are direct importers of groceries, ironmongery, furniture, crockery, and glass and brushware. Delivery is made daily by a large van and two carts throughout the town and district, and twelve persons are employed in connection with the business.
Mr. Lewis William Wilson, Manager of Messrs. J. A. Nash and Company, Limited, is further referred to as a member of the Foxton Borough Council.
The Herston Flax-Mill (J. N. Symons, proprietor), situated at the Wairokino Bridge, near Foxton, is an up-to-date mill, employing about thirty persons. The flax is drawn from an area of 387 acres on the Foxton side of the river, adjoining the Moutoa flax country. Mr. Symons also holds the lease of extensive flax fields on the other side of the river.
Mr. James Nash Symons, proprietor of the Herston Flax-mill, is the second son of the late Mr. Charles Henry Symons. He was born in Foxton in October, 1863, and was educated at the local public schools and in Wellington. For many years he assisted on his father's farm, was afterwards in partnership with his brother, in farming and flax-milling, and has since been engaged in these industries on his own account. He acquired the Herston Flax-mill and a farm on the Moutoa, the latter comprising 200 acres of good cropping and grazing land. Mr. Symons was for four years a member of the Foxton Borough Council, and is a prominent official of the Jockey Club. He married the third daughter of the late Mr. T. U. Cook, of Foxton, and has four daughters.
The Kowhai and Cornwall Flax-Mills (O. E. Austin, proprietor), Foxton. These mills, situated on the bank of the Manawatu river, were conducted for some time by Messrs. Austin Brothers, who first took possession in the year 1897. Later, Mr. O. E. Austin bought out the interests of his brothers, and now conducts the mills on his own account. Each mill is driven by a fifty-three-horse power gas producer plant, the machinery is modern, and the total output of the mills is about thirteen tons of fibre a week. The green flax is obtained from the Moutoa estate, and sixty persons are constantly employed.
Mr. Oliver Edward Austin is further referred to as captain of the Foxton Defence Rifle Club.
The Potu Flax-Mill (Saunders Brothers, proprietors), on the Manawatu river near the site of the Foxton-Shannon traffic bridge, was erected in December, 1902, by its present proprietors. The mill is up-to-date in every respect, and gives employment to twenty-four persons. The greater part of the flax is drawn from an area of about eighty acres near the mill, and the output is invariably of high grade. Messrs. Saunders Brothers have erected up-to-date accommodation houses for the men, and also good storage sheds.
Mr. A. Saunders.
Ross, William and Son, Limited, Rope and Twine Manufacturers, Johnston Street, Foxton. This well-known business was for many years carried on at Port Ahuriri, Napier, and was removed to Foxton in June, 1906. It was afterwards formed into a limited liability company, with Messrs. W. Jupp. O. Austin, and G. H. Stiles as directors, and W. Ross and A. Ross as managing directors. The works are situated on a fine site of six acres and a half, the building is chiefly of iron, with 20,000 square feet of floor space, and there is a detached office. The machinery is of the latest English and American make, and consists of three systems for both long and short fibre. The factory manufactures binder twine, shop twine, manilla and flax ropes and lashings, plough lines, clothes lines, and all classes of polished lines in twines and ropes.
Easton, Augustus Spencer, Farmer, “Te Ngaio,” Foxton. Mr. Easton was born in the year 1840, in Peckham, London, educated at the Peckham schools, and afterwards served an apprenticeship of six years in the butchery trade, with a brother at Woolwich. In the year 1860 he went to Australia, and after a short time spent in Melbourne, came to New Zealand in the s.s. “Aldinga.” He landed in Otago, followed the gold-fields at Gabriel's, Waitahuna, and Tuapeka for some considerable time, and then went to the West Coast, where he had some further mining experience. Subsequently for five years he conducted a butchery business in Wellington, after which he removed to Foxton, where for twenty-five years he caried on a butchering business. This he sold to his son, Mr. F. S. Easton, and has since devoted his attention to farming. His present property, situated about two miles from the town, is known as “Te Ngaio.” It embraces 480 acres of excellent land, which, being hilly, commands a fine view of the district. The farm is highly improved, and is worked chiefly in fattening stock. Mr. Easton also has a property at Rongotea, comprising about 235 acres, and this is devoted to fattening stock for the Longburn Freezing Works. He took a prominent part in connection with the establishment of the Anglican Church in Foxton, of which he is now an office bearer, and for a short time served on the borough council. Mr. Easton is married, and has four sons and two daughters.
Mr. A. S. Easton.
The Moutoa Estate, Foxton, which for many years was one of the finest farms in that part of the district, is noted for its valuable flax areas. It was originally Government land, and was taken up in the early days by Mr. Larkworthy; some years later it passed into the hands of the Assets Realisation Board, and thence, in March, 1903, to a local syndicate, composed of Messrs. John Stevens, M.P., F. S. Easton, and H. Austin. The estate then consisted of 9,012 acres of rich flats and low undulating hills of the finest grazing land. Nearly half of it, however, was covered in well-grown flax, and as the syndicate was chiefly interested in this industry, the remainder of the area was cut up and sold. From the flax land seven mills are supplied, averaging 200 tons per month per mile. The arable land consists of grazing and dairying farms, ranging from forty acres to 2,000 acres. One of the largest blocks, a fine section of 2,000 acres of rich undulating and flat country, was bought by one of the syndicate, Mr. F. S. Easton, and is now known as the Moutoa estate. The original homestead stood on this property, near the main road between Foxton and Shannon, about two miles from the former place. It is a picturesque spot, the site being elevated and surrounded by tall pines, eucalyptus, and mixed native bush. The private residence, built by the present proprietor, is a handsome building, containing among its elaborate appointments, a fine office (connected by telephone with Foxton) and a commodious billiard room. It is lighted throughout by acetylene gas. There are commodious sheep yards and a dip, also several well-appointed cottages for the employees and their families, substantial outbuildings, including grain, implement, cart, and trap sheds, a smithy, and extensive wool sheds fitted with five Wolseley shearing machines, driven by a ten-horse power gas engine. There is also a chaff-cutting and wood-sawing plant. The run carries 4,000 sheep, 300 head of cattle, and 100 horses, and about 200 acres are annually placed under crop. The Moutoa flaxmill, on the south-eastern part of the estate, is driven by a twelve-horse power engine. It turns out about twenty-five tons of fibre per month, and gives employment to twenty-five persons; the output is graded “G.F.A.Q.” Mr. Easton has also a fine private training track on this block, of over one mile, and when finally completed will be one of the best in the Dominion.
Mr. Frederick Spencer Easton was born in Wellington in October, 1872, and is the eldest son of Mr. Augustus Spencer Easton. He was educated at the local public schools, and then assisted his father in the butchery business, which he afterwards bought and successfully conducted for some time, and in 1900 disposed of it to engage in flax-milling. He conducted mills at Himatangi and at Bulls, prior to joining Messrs. Stevens and H. Austin to take up the Moutoa estate. Mr. Easton is a member of the New Zealand Flax-millers' Association. In the year 1907 he married the second daughter of the late Mr. Robert John Burrell, of Dunedin.
The Oroua Estate, which originally comprised 30,000 acres, and extended from Carnarvon to Oroua Bridge and Awahuri, was one of the finest estates in the North Island. It was cut up by the late Mr. John McLennan, and the homestead, which stands near Himatangi, was then taken up by Mr. H. Godfrey Hammond. This property comprises about 2,000 acres of rich level and undulating land, well drained, subdivided, and highly improved. It carries about 4,000 sheep and 400 cattle. The homestead is prettily situated, and surrounded with plantations of gum and pine trees. The outbuildings and shearing sheds are substantial and up-to-date. Mr. Hammond also owns another farm of 1000 page 701 acres on the Moutoa estate, well adapted for fattening and grazing purposes.
Mr. Henry Godfrey Hammond is the second son of the late Mr. Henry Hammond, and was born on Waitohi Farm, Sandon, in January, 1876. He was educated at the public school, brought up to farming pursuits, and at an early age took over the management of his father's property. He subsequently acquired a property of 1,800 acres near Himatangi, in conjunction with Captain Dunk, and after successfully conducting this for six years, sold out and bought his present property. Mr. Hammond is a member of the Farmers' Union, is married, and has two sons.
Oturoa Farm, on the main road between Foxton and Levin, is a fine property of about 350 acres of first-class grazing land. Originally native land, it passed through several hands, and was taken up by the present proprietor, Mr. C. H. Symons, in the year 1902. It is sub-divided, highly improved, laid down in good grasses, and is devoted chiefly to sheep and cattle grazing, carrying over 400 sheep and nearly 100 head of cattle. Turnips are cultivated, and invariably yield an excellent crop. A modern residence has been erected on the property.
Mr. Charles Henry Symons was born in Foxton, in the year 1862, and is the eldest son of the late Mr. Charles Henry Symons, a pioneer settler. He was educated in Foxton, and spent some years farming, chiefly with his father. Later he was engaged in flax-milling, and for eight years was in partnership with his brother, Mr. James Symons. On the dissolution of the partnership he settled on his present farm. Mr. Symons married Miss Wallace, of Wellington.
Robinson, James Henry, Sheep-farmer, “Silksworth,” near Foxton. Mr. Robinson's farm, situated three miles from Foxton, consists of 1,000 acres of good land, which with another property at Himatangi is devoted to sheep and cattle grazing. “Silksworth” is highly improved, and there is a fine homestead on the property. Mr. Robinson was born near Foxton in the year 1857, and is the second son of the late Mr. Francis Robinson. He was educated at the Foxton and Wellington public schools, and at the Rev. St. Hill's College, at Kaiwara-wara. For some years he farmed with his father on the Herrington estate, which he now manages in conjunction with his brothers. He is married, and has four sons and two daughters.
Robinson, John Walker, Farmer, near Foxton. Mr. Robinson was born at Foxton in the year 1865, and is the third son of the late Mr. Francis Robinson. He was educated at the State school, and until 1906 was continuously employed on the Herrington estate, in the management of which he still continues to assist. In 1906 he acquired his present farm, which consists of 1,300 acres of first-class grazing land, now much improved and laid down in English grasses, and on which about 800 sheep and 100 head of cattle are depastured. Mr. Robinson married Miss Harley, of Nelson, and has three sons.
Wriggle worth and Bunns. photo
Mr. J. W. Robinson.
Robinson, Charles Edward, Claremont Farm, near Foxton. This fine property consists of 850 acres, and is devoted to sheep and cattle grazing. “Claremont” is a highly improved, and there is a homestead on the property situated within the borough boundary. Mr. Robinson, the fourth son of the late Mr. Francis Robinson was born in Foxton in July, 1867, and was educated at the local public school and at the Wellington College. He then spent eight years on the Herrington estate, of which he is still clerical manager, before acquiring his present property. Mr. Robinson takes a keen interest in racing matters, and is a steward of the local club. In the year 1895 he married Miss Symons, of Foxton, and has three sons.
Mr. C. E. Robinson.
Robinson, Octavius Roland, Kariri Farm, near Foxton. Mr. Robinson was born in Foxton in the year 1870, and is the youngest son of the late Mr. Francis Robinson. He was educated at the State school and at the Wanganui Collegate School. He then returned to the Herrington estate, his late father's property, and in the year 1905 acquired the Kariri farm, a fine property of 800 acres, situated in the Foxton borough. It is grazing country, is highly improved, and carries about 700 sheep and sixty head of cattle. Mr. Robinson is a steward of the local Racing Club, and a member of other social clubs.
Satherley, George, Dairy Farmer, Foxton. Mr. Satherley was page 702 born at Nelson in the year 1842, and after an experience of twenty-two years in the Nelson district, on his father's farm, he removed to Foxton. He was overseer for fifteen years on the Moutoa estate, a run of 9,000 acres. In 1889 Mr. Satherley bought seventy acres of the Moutoa estate, and has since successfully carried on dairy farming, in which he is assisted by his sons. He is married, and has ten children.
Mr. G. Satherley.
Dr. Wall's Estate, Moutoa, near Foxton, was taken up by the present proprietor, Dr. Wall, of Wanganui, in the year 1905. It comprises 700 acres of rich flat land, is highly improved and sub-divided, and carries about 350 cattle and 860 sheep. There is a fine homestead on the farm, and a good supply of artesian water. The property is chiefly used for fattening purposes, for which it is admirably adapted.
Mr. Frederick Gardiner, Manager of Dr. Wall's estate, was born in the Rangitikei district in the year 1875, and was brought up to farming pursuits, which he has since followed in various parts of the North Island. He was for seven years manager of a property near Wellington, for four years and a half was head shepherd on Mr. Gear's Te Aro station, and has also farmed on his own account.
Mr. Herbert Austin was born in Wellington in June, 1873, and was a son of the late Mr. Robert Austin. He was educated in Foxton, and then engaged in the flax-milling industry with his father, upon whose death he carried on the flax-milling business in conjunction with his brother. Subsequently, owing to a depression in the flax trade, they engaged in saw-milling for a time, but finally returned to the flax-milling trade. Mr. Austin was one of the syndicate that took up the Moutoa estate, was a shareholder in the Foxton Rope and Twine Works, and at one time was sent to the Phillipines as a representative of the New Zealand Flax-millers' Association. He took a keen interest in the social affairs of the district, and was a member and office bearer in most of the local social and sporting clubs. In 1903 he purchased a property of 400 acres on the Shannon road, on which he erected a handsome residence. In April, 1895, Mr. Austin married Miss Ellen Hodder, and at his death in December, 1906, left one son and one daughter.
The Late Mr. H. Austin.
Mr. Thomas Uppadine Cook was one of the oldest settlers in the district. He came to New Zealand in the ship “Adelaide,” in the year 1840, and for some time was engaged in storekeeping with his brother in Wellington. Subsequently he settled in the Manawatu district, and was engaged in farming pursuits at Paiaka for some time. Later he took up the river trade, and for some considerable time plied between Paiaka and Wellington, with two forty-ton sailing vessels. In the year 1854 Mr. Cook settled in Foxton, and was appointed postmaster, registrar for births, deaths, and marriages, wharfinger, and also returning officer. As an hotelkeeper Mr. Cook erected the Family Hotel, and had the first licensed house in Foxton district, which he called the Adelaide Hotel. He married Te Akau, a daughter of the Chief Te Horohau, of the Ngatiraukawa tribe. Mr. Cook died in the late “nineties” at the age of eighty-one, and left a family of eleven sons and four daughters.
Mr. Henry Hammond was born in England, in the year 1840, came to New Zealand with his parents in 1842, and settled in the Manawatu district. For a time he was part owner of the well-known York Farm, Marton, and of Killymoon Farm, at Bulls, and he later acquired the Waitohi estate, near Sandon, a fine property of 3,000 acres, where he resided until his death in September, 1907. He left a widow, three sons, and eight daughters. Mr. Hammond took a keen interest in all the affairs of the district, was a member of the Palmerston North Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and for many years was chairman of the Manawatu County Council.
Mr. George Nye, one of the pioneer colonists, was born at Lewes, Sussex, England, left for New Zealand by the ship “Oriental,” in September, 1839, and landed at Petone beach on the 31st of January, 1840. The “Oriental” was one of the first three ships despatched by the Colonisation Company, the two others being the “Aurora” and the “Adelaide.” In January, 1841, Mr. Nye accompanied Colonel Wakefield, the representative of the New Zealand Company, with an interpreter, to Taranaki, when the block of 30,000 acres on which the town of New Plymouth now stands was purchased from the Maoris, in exchange for blankets, ironmongery, guns, etc. He remained in New Plymouth for two and a half years, during which time he was connected with a whaling venture, which proved a failure. He, with four others, then walked down the coast to Waikanae, and crossed to Kapiti Island, where he joined another whaling company, with whom he remained for about eighteen months. About this time Sir George Grey had been sent out to settle the Maori disurbances, and the soldiers were employed in road-making. They completed the road from Wellington to Pahautanui, and the natives were employed under supervision of the military to continue it to Paikakariki. Mr. Nye was employed as one of the overseers at three shillings and sixpence per day. Settlement soon progressed, and Mr. Nye came to Foxton, after working a ferry boat at Porirua for about six page 703 months. In 1851 he helped to build two forty-ton coasting vessels, after which he went to sea for a short time, but, returning, carried on business as a carpenter for about twenty years. On the commencement of the public works policy, in 1872, Mr. Nye joined the Government service as inspector of works. His district extended over the Foxton-Wanganui section, and he superintended the laying of the line of railway between Foxton and Palmerston North. In May, 1899, he retired from the service and bought “Sunnyside,” a farm of 263 acres at Foxton, now owned by his son, Mr. T. Nye. Mr. Nye took a keen interest in public affairs, and was twice mayor of Foxton.
Mr. James Saunders was born in Herefordshire, England, in September, 1826, and after leaving school was employed some time by the late Dr. Cumming, of London. He then went to sea, served some years on merchant ships trading to the East and West Indies, and at thirty years of age came to New Zealand in the ship “Mariner.” For a time he lived in Canterbury, and then removed to the Wellington province, where he farmed for ten years in the Hutt and Wairarapa districts, before settling on the Moutoa, between Foxton and Shannon. During this time he served in the Militia under Captain Cleland. The property on the Moutoa consisted of 213 acres of good level land, which was worked as a dairy and cropping farm until 1900, when it was taken over by two of his sons, and Mr. Saunders retired from the active management of his farm and resided at his home near Foxton, until his death. He was a member for some years of the school committee. He died in November, 1907, and left a widow, three sons, and four daughters. Mrs. Saunders, a daughter of the late Mr. David McHardie, of the Rangitikei, was born in Kerrimuir, Scotland, in the year 1836, and came to New Zealand by the ship “Lord William Bentick” in the year 1841. For twenty-four years she lived in the Hutt district, and was a witness of some of the exciting events of the Maori war. The eldest son is a farmer at Ngaire; the second and third (Saunders Bros.), in addition to the flax-mill at Moutoa, Foxton, have interests in the firm of Prouse and Saunders, flax and saw-millers, Mangarakau, Nelson. The eldest daughter married a son of the late Mr. Edward Kirby, senior, of Palmerston, and resides in England; the second daughter married Mr. Nicholls, a farmer of West Wanganui; and the third married Mr. David McKenzie, a machinist in the Government Railway Workshops at Petone. The youngest daughter, Miss Annie Saunders, resides with her mother at Moutoa.
Mr. Charles Henry Symons, who was one of the pioneer settlers of the Manawatu district, was born at Millbrook, in Cornwall, in January, 1824, and came to New Zealand in the ship “Catherine Stuart Forbes” in the year 1841. He was brought up to country pursuits, and ultimately engaged for some years in farming in the Manawatu district, in conjunction with his cousin, Mr. Henry Symons. Mr. Symons was the first person to introduce ploughing by bullocks, and in this connection he devoted much time to teaching the Maoris how to handle the plough, and to cultivate wheat and other cereals. Native troubles, however, arose, and he was compelled to abandon his holding. For many years thereafter he was associated with the late Captain William Robinson, as overseer of the Herrington estate, and he finaily purchased and settled on a property now known as “Herston.” In the year 1854 he married the eldest daughter of the Rev. James Nash. Mr. Symons died in September, 1900, in Foxton, leaving a widow and eleven children. Mrs. Symons was born in the year 1834 at Sandhurst, Kent, England, and came to New Zealand in the year 1840, with her parents.
The Late Mr. C. H. Symons.