The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Pahiatua is a rising township 107 miles north-east by rail from Wellington. It is the centre of a large dairying industry, and is the county and market town of a large and growing district. Wool, mutton, and dairy produce are the staple exports of the district, though the timber industry is of considerable importance. There are large dairy factories and several creameries in the neighbourhood. The holdings around Pahiatua are small enough to admit of the resources of the country being thoroughly developed. Besides sheep and dairy farming there are several subsidiary industries, namely, large brick-works, the Premier Nurseries, a cordial factory, a sash and door factory, coach-building and cycle works, an engineering establishment, timber yards, gas works, etc. The completion of the railway through to Woodville and Napier advanced the interests of Pahiatua, and the gradual opening up of the back country and the cuting up of large pastoral estates have further assisted the development of the town. The main street is three chains wide, and possesses some good business premises, in addition to four hotels, the post office, the public school, three branch banks, the borough and county council chambers, and the theatre. When Main street was laid off it was expected that the railway would be laid down the centre, but this was not carried out, and the railway station is at Scarborough, two miles from the town. Coaches, cabs, and expresses meet every train. Pahiatua also has Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Methodist churches, a drill hall, a technical school, a public library, a hospital, and a fire brigade. Stock sales are regularly held in Pahiatua, and there is also a general auction mart in the town. The town has a number of clubs, societies, and associations connected with sport and social entertainments and amusements. The Pahiatua district is noted for its fine fishing and shooting.
The Borough Of Pahiatua was constituted in September, 1892, the first mayor being Mr. Job Vile. The capital rateable value is £207,712. The rates since 1898 have been levied on the unimproved value, which is now (1908) £100,941. There is a general rate of 3d. in the £, and seven special rates, three of which, however, apply to only part of the borough. There are 520 rateable properties, 420 ratepayers, and the population of the borough at the census of 1906 was 1,370. There are fourteen miles of well-formed streets, a good sewerage and surface drainage system by gravitation into a septic tank, and a splendid water supply from a reservoir capable of holding 180,000 gallons, situated on the Balfour estate. Street lighting is undertaken by a private company, which have established gasworks in the town. The borough council chambers are situated in the main street, and there is a well-equipped fire brigade. Members of the Council: Messrs. D. Crewe (mayor), J. W. Sturton, James D. Wilson, W. W McCardle, S. C. Bisdee, E. Baucke, E. C. Cox, F. G. Milne, J. B. Westlake. and D. P. Davidson (councillors). Mr. G. C. Miller is town clerk.
The Pahiatua Municipal Fire Brigade was founded in the year 1892, the first captain being Mr. D. A. Pickering. The main station is furnished with a complete modern plant, including a manual fire engine; sub-stations are to be established at each end of the town. The brigade is under the control of the borough council, from which it receives an annual subsidy. The staff consists of fourteen members, including Captain T. T. McAlister, Lieutenant Parks, and Foreman Wallis. Business meetings are held monthly, and practice meetings fortnightly, at the central station, and during recent years the brigade has taken part in public contests in various parts of the Dominion.
Captain T. T. McAlister, of the Pahiatua Municipal Fire Brigade, was born in Otago, New Zealand. After leaving school he learned the building trade under his father, and subsequently became a partner in the business. He afterwards removed to Mangaweka to take over the management of the Mangaweka Sash and Door Company, Limited, and fifteen months later resigned this position to purchase a musical business in Pahiatua, which he has since success-fully conducted. The premises occupy a prominent corner section, and carry a fine stock of pianos, organs, Edison phonographs, records, musical instruments, and sheet music. Mr. McAlister is also agent for the Wertheim sewing machine and the Yorkshire Fire and Accident Insurance Company. He is a past grand master of the Order of Oddfellows, and was secretary of the Tapanui Poultry Society and the Agricultural and Pastoral Association.
Captain T. T. McAlister.
The Pahiatua County Council was established in October, 1880, the first chairman being Mr. Job Vile, who was followed successively page 718 by Messrs. S. Bolton, G. Whitcombe, J. Griffiths, F. E. Perry, R. J. Hodgins, R. Smith, and Thomas Hodgins. The capital value of the county is £1,687,571, and the rateable value is £1,009,901. There are two rates, 1£¼d. and 1£½d. in the £, on the unimproved rateable value. The population of the county is 3,672, of which 1,125 are ratepayers, and there are 718 dwellings. The chairman is Mr. T. Hodgins, and Messrs. W. E. C. Tylee, A. Ross, H. Cornelius, J. S. Bisset, R. Smith, J. McCarthy, A. Barrell, and S. Bolton are also members of the council. Mr. George Moore is county clerk.
Mr. Henry Burmeister, who was apointed Engineer of the Pahiatua County Council in December, 1906, was born in Hokitika in the year 1871, and is the second son of the late Mr. W. F. Burmeister. He was educated at Jackson's Bay and at Arawata, on the West Coast. Mr. Burmeister was trained as an engineer and surveyor, and served for some years under Messrs. J. N. Smythe, W. Wilson, and latterly under Mr. W. G. Murray, late chief surveyor of Nelson. He then went to Melbourne, where for nine months he studied municipal engineering, and also attended the technical college. On his return to New Zealand he was appointed assistant engineer to the General Exploration Company, of Westland, eighteen months later became engineer of the Virgin Flat Gold Mining Company, and then accepted the position of assistant engineer to the Greymouth Harbour Board. He resigned this appointment in order to accept that of assistant engineer to the Feilding Borough Council. Fourteen months later he was engaged in survey work in connection with the irrigation of the Argyle settlement, and also to report upon a scheme of high-pressure water supply for Waipawa, Hawke's Bay. On the completion of this work he was appointed to his present position. Mr. Burmeister married Miss M. E. Rhodes, of Reefton, and has three sons and one daughter.
The Pahiatua Mounted Rifle Volunteers, the B Company of the 2nd Wellington (Wairarapa) Batallion of Mounted Rifle Volunteers, was formed in April, 1900, under the command of Captain Samuel Bolton, who was afterwards appointed Major of the Battalion. Subsequently Captain G. Innis was promoted to the command, and he was succeeded by Captain Harry Cornelius. In the year 1907 Captain T. P. Wills, who was formerly sergeant-major of the No. 2 Battalion, was appointed to the command of the Pahiatua Mounted Rifle Volunteers. Mr. F. S. H. Bolton is first lieutenant, Mr. J. W. Sturton second lieutenant, and Dr. Henry T. Dawson, M.B., is surgeon-captain. The corps has been a popular body from its inception, and has a membership of forty. The full-dress uniform of the corps consists of dark green cloth with black facings, and the undress uniform is of khaki. Monthly parades are held, and frequent shooting competitions take place on the range just outside the town. The corps has some able marksmen, some of whom take part in the Trentham match and the Coleman Shield contest. Annual sports are held by the corps on the racecourse, and these have proved very successful, over £50 per annum having been raised in this way. Many interesting competitions and attractive items are given, and a large number of valuable prizes, many of them donated by local citizens, are awarded. During the Boer war the Pahiatua Rifles sent twenty men to the front, most of whom re-joined the corps on their return. The drill hall, which occupies a site in the centre of the town, is a handsome and well-appointed building.
Captain Tracy P. Wills, Commanding Officer of the Pahiatua Mounted Rifle Volunteers, was born in Temuka, Canterbury, in September, 1875, his father being for many years clerk of the court there. He was educated at the district high school and subsequently indentured to his profession, under Mr. E. C. Dann, chemist, Temuka. For some time Mr. Wills acted as locum tenens in Christchurch, then spent three years in Marshall's pharmacy in Dunedin, and in 1899 settled at Pahiatua, where he acquired the business formerly conducted by Mr. Coleridge Ridd. The building is a commodious one, and contains a pharmacy, with an office and drug store at the rear. A complete stock of allopathic and homoeopathic medicines, drugs, perfumes, and toilet requisites is carried. Mr. Wills is secretary of Lodge Tararua, No. 67, N.Z.C., and is a member of the Order of Foresters. He is married, and has two daughters.
The Pahiatua Gun Club, which has done much in the encouragement of shooting practice, was founded in 1907 by Mr. T. C. Irving (who shoots under the assumed name of McKay), J. B. Tanner, Mr. George Oxley, Mr. M. Quirke, and Mr. C. F. Sidey. Under good management the club became a success from its inception, and it has a membership of thirty-five. Officers of the club are: Major S. Bolton (patron), Mr. J. Breeds (president), Father McKenna, Messrs. G. H. Smith, G. A. Burgess, F. Bolton, W. Norrell, A. Reece, — Tripe (vice-presidents), and G. Oxley (secretary). There is an entrance fee of 7s. 6d., and the club has a sound financial position. Regular monthly practices are held at the gun club grounds on Mr. Reece's property, and there are some excellent marksmen in the club. Business meetings of the club are held at the secretary's office.
The Pahiatua District Brass Band was established in the year 1893, with Mr. F. Holder as first bandmaster. Practices are held twice weekly in the drillshed in Wakeman street, open-air concerts are given fortnightly, and the band frequently plays at local functions and for charitable purposes. The band has a membership of eighteen, and the instruments include three basses, one euphonium, one trombone, two baritones, three tenor horns, five B Flat cornets, one E Flat cornet, and drums. Mr. J. W. Mills is band-master, and Mr. J. W. Carter, band-sergeant.
Husband Brothers, Land, Estate, Financial, and General Commission Agents, Main Street, Pahiatua. This business was founded in the year 1902 by Mr. W. I. Husband, who has since been joined by his brother, Mr. T. R. Husband. The premises consist of general and private offices, adjoining Messrs. Abraham and Williams. The firm publish a land guide, and have on their books a large number of farm properties, town and suburban residences, and businesses. The proprietors being practical farmers are in a position to give valuable advice, and a conveyance is placed at the disposal of clients desiring to inspect properties.
Mr. William Inglis Husband, founder of the firm of Messrs. Husband Brothers, was born near Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, in February, 1862, and is the second son of the late Mr. Robert Husband, the well-known shorthorn breeder, of Gellet Farm, Scotland. After leaving school Mr. Husband gained commercial experience with Messrs. W. Thomson and Company, shipowners, of Leith; Messrs. Orr, Riddock and Company, shipowners and brokers, of Leaden-hall street, London; and then was employed as clerical manager of a large farm property in East Lothian. In May, 1886, Mr. Husband came to New Zealand, and gained experience in sheep farming with Messrs. Hay Brothers, of Pigeon Bay, and in the Mackenzie Country. He was then employed in the wool business by Mr. Jabez Rhodes, of Christchurch. Later he travelled for three years with Cooper's sheep dip, and then in conjunction with a syndicate took up the Mount Baker block of 4,000 acres, in the North Island. Mr. Husband worked page 719 his section of 200 acres for four years, then farmed for six months in the Mangamahoe district, and in 1895 removed to Pahiatua, where he subsequently established his present business.
Mr. W. I. Husband.
Mitchell, Griffith and Company Limited, Auctioneers, House Furnishers, Land, Estate, Financial, and General Commission Agents, Pahiatua, Eketahuna, and Woodville. The head-quarters of this important firm are in Pahiatua, where the business was originally established in the early “nineties” by Mr. D. Crewe. The premises occupy an extensive section in Wakeman street, and consist of an up-to-date building, containing a furniture showroom, the offices, and the large auctioneering mart. At the rear are large stock yards, fitted up with stalls and pens, and stock sales are held regularly every week, and clearing sales as required. Throughout the season fruit sales are held twice weekly. The furniture warehouse carries a large variety of general house furnishings and imported furniture. Messrs. Mitchell and Griffith are cash buyers of hides, wool, poultry, and other farm produce. The firm have a large number of farm properties on their lists, and are in a position to supply reliable information concerning land in the surrounding district. They also deal in town properties, including hotels, business houses, residences, and sections. The Eketahuna branch was founded in the year 1905, and a special building containing an auction room and office has been erected there. Auction sales are held, and the branch has a good business connection. Mr. H. Griffith is manager of the Eketahuna branch, and he also conducts the firm's sales both at Pahiatua and Woodville. The Woodville branch, which was opened in January, 1908, is under the management of Mr. Valentine Mekhalick, who is a partner in the firm.
Mr. Charles Robert Mitchell, the senior partner, was born in Dunedin, in August, 1864. He was educated in Wellington, and after serving an apprenticeship of seven years to the coachbuilding trade, under Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell, Limited, he conducted business for a number of years on his own account. He then rejoined his former employers, and travelled for the firm for four years. He subsequently resigned this position in order to establish his present business in Pahiatua. Mr. Mitchell is W.M. of the local lodge of Freemasons, is president of the Pahiatua Bowling Club, and for three years was a member of the Pahiatua Borough Council.
Mr. C. R. Mitchell.
Mr. Horace Griffith was born in Nelson, but came to the Pahiatua district at an early age. He has had an extensive farming experience, which enables the firm to give advice concerning farm properties in the Forty-Mile Bush.
Mr. V. Mekhalick is also a farmer of forty years' experience, and is well known in the district, where he has resided for over thirty years. He was the means of settling a large number of farmers in what is now known as the Mekhalickstone block.
Bluett, Charles Arthur, Bullder and Contractor, Scarborough, Pahiatua. This business was established in May, 1897, and among the many contracts carried out by Mr. Bluett may be mentioned the additions to the Commercial Hotel, Mr. T. P. Wills' premises, a part of Mr. G. Marley's premises, the Public Library, Messrs. Barrell and Early's premises, and a large number of private residences, page 720 among them being that of the late Mr. J. O'Meara. Mr. Bluett was born in East Oxford, Canterbury, in the year 1869, and after leaving school learned the building trade, under his father, with whom he afterwards entered into partnership. Two years later he removed to Pahiatua, and for several years worked as a journeyman before starting business on his own account. In the year 1903 Mr. Bluett went to South Africa, worked at his trade for one year, and then returned to New Zealand. He has always taken a keen interest in music, is a teacher of the violin, and has a considerable number of pupils. Mr. Bluett is married, and has four sons and one daughter.
Mr. C. A. Bluett.
The Mangatainoka Brewery (The North Island Brewery Company Limited), Mangatainoka, near Pahiatua. This important industry was established many years ago. Ten persons are employed in the brewery, and a large and increasing business is conducted. The brewery has supplied a large proportion of the hotels on the West Coast with bottled ale and stout for many years, their famous “Tui” brand having a splendid reputation. The business was acquired by the present proprietors in September, 1903. The premises consist of a large brick building, with extensive manufacturing rooms, stock rooms, and cellars, and the bottling department, which is in a detached brick building. The company have been awarded many prizes at various exhibitions in the Dominion.
Mr. Henry Cowan, Managing Director of the Mangatainoka Brewery, was born in Auckland, in March, 1854, and is the eldest son of the late Mr. Henry Cowan, a pioneer settler. He was educated at an early bush school, afterwards served his time as a cooper in Auckland, and at the age of twenty-one removed to the Thames, where he followed his trade on his own account for seven years. He then entered the brewery industry, and was employed for eighteen years by Messrs. Brown and Campbell. Subsequently he became one of the proprietors of a brewery at Paeroa, and sold out in order to float the present North Island Brewery Company, Limited.
Mr. H. Cowan.
The Pahiatua Cordial and Mineral Water Factory (W. C. Vincent, proprietor), Pahiatua. This busines was founded early in the “nineties” by Mr. Frank Holder, and was acquired by Mr. Vincent in the year 1907. The factory, which stands on a site of one acre in extent, is a large wooden building, with both water and gas laid on. It is divided into several departments, and is thoroughly up-to-date, with all the latest machinery and appliances. There are also concrete purifying tanks, and a 200-dozen-per-hour cordial maker of the latest type. Cordials, mineral waters, syrups, and a variety of other beverages are made, and the water used in their manufacture is purified. A large and increasing business is done throughout the town and district.
The Ballance Co-Operative Dairy Company Limited, which controls two large factories, was formed in the year 1895. The chief factory is situated at Konini, about four miles from Pahiatua; the other is at Ballance, about seven miles distant, and there are several creameries connected with the factories. Both factories are thoroughly up-to-date, and contain first-class butter-making plants. Ten persons are employed, and the output is aproximately 500 tons of butter per annum. The general business office is situated near the Pahiatua railway station, at Scarborough. Mr. Alexander McFarlane is chairman of directors, and Mr. G. Godfrey Taylor is secretary.
The Makuri-Pongaroa Dairy Company has factories at Makuri and Pongaroa, which are supplied by four creameries. Six persons are employed, and there is a rapidly-increasing cutput. Mr. G. Godfrey Taylor is secretary.
Mr. George Godfrey Taylor, Secretary of the Ballance Co-operative Dairy Company Limited and the Makuri-Pongaroa Dairy Company, was born in the year 1870 in Glamorgan, South Wales. He was educated at the Swansea Grammar School, afterwards entered his father's shipping office, and three years later went to Dunkirk, where he was engaged for some time in a shipping business. In 1891 he came to New Zealand, and was employed by the Wairarapa Farmers' Cooperative Association, with whom he remained for ten years in the Masterton and Carterton branches. The latter position he resigned in order to take up the “Wairarapa Observer” newspaper, in conjunction with Mr. James Brown, but subsequently retired to accept his present appointments. Mr. Taylor is agent for the Phoenix Fire Office, the Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation, Limited, the Wairarapa Brick and Tile Company, and is also auditor for several business firms. He is a lay reader in the Anglican Church, a trustee of the Hospital, secretary of the school committee, and a member of the Orders of Foresters and Druids. In the year 1895 Mr. Taylor married Miss Arabella Brown, eldest daughter of Mr. James-Brown, of Carterton, and has four sons and three daughters.
Bailey, T., and Company, Painters, Paperhangers, Glaziers, and General House Decorators, Main Street, Pahiatua. This business was established in February, 1907. The premises ocupy a site in Main street, and consist of a commodious shop, with workshop and storerooms at the page 721 rear. The shop carries a large stock of imported materials, including paperhangings, paints, oils, picture framings, and other decorative requisites. Fifteen persons are employed in connection with the firm, and a large and increasing business is conducted.
Mr. Thomas Bailey was born in Shropshire, England, in the year 1867, and at twelve years of age came to New Zealand. He learned the painting trade under Mr. J. E. Evans, of Wellington, and then for some time worked as a journeyman both in Australia and New Zealand. In 1892 he started in business on his own account in Karori, Wellington, and conducted it successfully for fifteen years, when he sold out to establish his present business in Pahiatua. Mr. Bailey is a member of the bowling club and of the Order of Foresters. He is married, and has two daughters.
Campbell, Allan, and Company, The Mascotte Drapers, Main Street, Pahiatua. This business was founded in the year 1902, when the present commodious freehold premises were erected. The building is of wood and iron, eighty feet by thirty-five feet, with two expansive plate-glass windows. The shop is well appointed throughout, and contains the drapery, clothing, millinery, Manchester, fancy, hosiery and glove, dress, haberdashery, and furniture departments. The showroom, at the rear is an attractive apartment, carrying a tastefully-arranged stock. The proprietors are direct importers, keep their stock thoroughly up-to-date by frequent shipments, and employ six persons.
Mr. Allan Campbell was apprenticed to the drapery trade under Messrs. C. Smith, Limited, of Wellington, with whom he spent fifteen years, latterly in charge of one of the branches. He afterwards successfully conducted business on his own account in Patea for three years, and then removed to Pahiatua, where, after a three years' engagement with the Wairarapa Farmers' Co-operative Association, he took over the management of Messrs. Sandford and Company's business. This position he held for a similar period, and then managed Mr. Rosenberg's local branch until establishing his present business. Mr. Campbell is Chief Ranger in the local lodge of Foresters, stage manager of the Pahiatua Dramatic Club, an official of the Amusement Club, and for some years was bugler in the Pahiatua Mounted Rifle Volun-teers. He is married, and has six children.
Mr. Paul Ernest Debreceny, proprietor of the Club Hotel, was born in Miskolcz, Hungary, in the year 1871. He emigrated to New Zealand in the year 1883, and completed his education at the Wanganui Collegiate School. For some years subsequently he was engaged in farming pursuits, and later acquired the Club Hotel in Carterton. This he conducted with success for nearly a year, then sold out and acquired his present hotel in Pahiatua. Mr. Debreceny is a member of the jockey and gun clubs, and a member of the Masonic fraternity. In the year 1904 he married Miss Warn, of Otaki, and has one child.
The Dudley Arms Hotel (C. H. Fisher, proprietor), Mangatainoka, near Pahiatua. This hotel is situated at Mangatainoka, on the main road to Woodville, three miles from Pahiatua, and is a two-storeyed wooden building, containing twenty rooms. The ground floor contains a sitting room, the dining room (capable of seating about thirty guests), and the bar. On the first floor are the bed-rooms and a comfortable sitting room. The house is comfortably furnished, an excellent table is kept, and the best wines and liquors are stocked.
Mr. Charles Hyne Fisher, proprietor of the Dudley Arms Hotel, was born in Wellington in January, 1879, and after leaving school served an apprent ceship to the bootmaking trade. For several years subsequently he engaged in farming in the Eketahuna district, and sold out in order to take over the Dudley Arms Hotel. Mr. Fisher is a member of the public library committee and is president of the local sports committee.
Mr. Duncan Campbell, proprietor of the Konini Hotel, was born in Aberfeldy, Scotland, in October, 1863, and after leaving school spent ten years in his father's business. In the year 1886 he came to New Zealand, and joined the service of the Union Steamship Company in Dunedin. In the same year he was one of the survivors of the wreck of the S.S. “Talaroa.” Later he was employed for seventeen years by Mr. Keith Ramsay, as providore in Dunedin, and resigned in order to take the position of chief steward on the S.S. “Pareora.” Twelve months later he left the sea, and became manager of the Club Hotel in Masterton, whence in June, 1907, he acquired the Konini Hotel in Pahiatua. Mr. Campbell is married, and has three sons and two daughters.
The Post Office Hotel (T. W. Watts, proprietor), Main Street, Pahiatua. This hotel is a two-storeyed wooden building, fitted throughout with up-to-date conveniences, and contains a commercial room, bar, bar parlour, three sitting rooms, a comfortable dining room (capable of accommodating twenty guests), thirteen bedrooms, and a bathroom with hot and cold water laid on. The cuisine is good, while the liquors are of excellent quality. There are also commodious stables in conmection with the hotel
Mr. Thomas William Watts, proprietor of the Post Office Hotel, was born in Middlesex, England, in the year 1857. came to New Zealand at an early age, and was educated in Marlborough and in Auckland. He followed farming pursuits for a few years, and then learned the black-smithing trade, which he followed in Spring Creek, Marlborough, and afterwards in Wellington for a period of twelve years. Mr. Watts then turned his attention to dairy farming, and took up a property at Hamua, which he successfully operated for seven years. He then acquired a larger farm of 173 acres at Mangamaire, which he sold four years later in order to take up his present hotel. Mr. Watts is married, and has three sons.
The Pahiatua Fellmongery (W. Norroll and J. D. Murray), Pahiatua. The fellmongery is situated about half a mile from the town. It was established in the year 1894, and after passing through several hands, was taken over by the present proprietors. The works are situated on a section of one acre and a quarter in extent, and consist of a large building divided into various departments. Six persons are employed, and a large amount of prepared wool, pelts, and hides are exported.
Mr. W. Norrell, senior partner in the firm of Messrs. Norrell and Murray, was born on the 13th September, 1860, in East Dean, Sussex, England, and as a lad joined the stables of Colonel Leslie Lindon, near Arundel. He was subsequently employed on the underground railway in London, where he remained for three years and a half. In the year 1881 he came to New Zealand by the ship “Euterpe,” and landed in Wellington after a voyage of 106 days. He then made his way to Hawke's Bay, where he was employed by Captain Russell for twelve months, when he entered the employment of the New Zealand railway. Mr. Norrell held the position of porter for three years, and was then promoted as guard, which position he held for ten years. He subsequently resigned, and took over the Mangatera Hotel, Dannevirke, which he successfully conducted for three and a half years. He finally sold out, and removed to Pahiatua, where he has since conducted a large fell-mongery business. Mr. Norrell was a member of the Dannevirke Borough Council for three years.
Mr. James Duff Murray, junior partner in the firm of Messrs. Norrell and Murray, was born in the Bay of Islands, North Auckland, in July, 1871, and after leaving school spent two years on Messrs. Williams' Pakaraka station. Later he managed a small station at Waipiro Bay for three years, and then joined his brother in farming in the Dannevirke district. In the year 1898 he joined the firm of Norrell and Murray (of which his brother was then the second partner), as wool buyer, and soon afterwards purchased his brother's interest in the business. Mr. Murray is a member of the school committee and the Masonic fraternity.
Mr. J. D. Murray.
Feist, Leonard Alfred, General Merchant, Main Street, Pahiatua. This business was established in the year 1903 by Mr. K. C. Munro, and acquired by the present proprietor in December, 1907. The premises consist of a fine shop, with bulk stores, and grain and produce sheds. The proprietor is a direct importer, and carries a large stock of general merchandise, including groceries, ironmongery, crockery, grain, produce, etc. One delivery cart is employed, and a good cash business is done. Mr. Feist was born in Carterton in October, 1883, was educated at Wellington College, and was brought up to mercantile life in his father's office. He afterwards had three years' experience in a hardware house in Wellington, before establishing his present business in Pahiatua. Mr. Feist is a Freemason and a Forester, and has taken a keen interest in athletic sports.
Sturton, J. W., and Company, General Merchants. Main page 724 Street, Pahiatua. This business was established in the year 1886 by Mr. John Gregory, and was taken over by Messrs. Cross and Sturton in 1902, Mr. Cross withdrawing five years later. The premises consist of a handsome and well-appointed building, with a frontage of thirty-three feet, and three plate glass windows. The shop has two long counters running almost the whole length, in the centre of the shop are display stands, and at the rear are the private and public offices. At the back of this main department are the showroom, the bulk store, and unpacking rooms. The grain and produce store is a separate building on the opposite side of the road. The firm carry a very large stock of general merchandise, including groceries, ironmongery, crockery, bedsteads and furnishings, grain and produce, fencing mater als, etc. They do a very extensive turnover both in town and country, and eight persons and two carts are employed in connection with the business.
Mr. Sturton was born in the year 1876 in London, was educated at the Buxton Grammar School, and brought up to the general storekeeping trade. After spending four years with Messrs. Rolland Brothers, during which time he gained a thorough knowledge of all branches of the trade, he came to New Zealand, and for eighteen months had some experience in sheep-station life in the Buller district. He was subsequently employed for eight months by Messrs Wardell Brothers, of Wellington, and then became manager of their Pahiatua branch, which position he resigned three years later to start his present business. Mr. Sturton is a member of the Borough Council, lieutenant in the Pahiatua Mounted Rifles, vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, and one of the original members of the Technical School Board.
The Premier Nurseries (T. Horton, proprietor), Pahiatua. This property, which is known practically and over the world as one of the finest nurseries in Australasia, consists of forty-four acres of rich level land. When taken up the area was covered with native bush, but within a comparatively short time it was placed under cultivation. Mr. Horton has had many years of experience, and has worked hard to bring the nurseries to their present state of perfection. All kinds of fruit trees, shrubs, hedge, shelter and ornamental trees, and flowers are grown in large quantities, a specialty being made of native trees and plants. Mr. Horton imports regularly from all parts of the world, and is in touch by correspondence with all the leading English, American, and Australian firms. At an exhibition of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain the Government pomologist awarded Mr. Horton the first prize for the best collection of fruits correctly named, and he has also won a large number of prizes and trophies at various shows in New Zealand and Australia. There is a residence on the property, with the offices and packing and storerooms at the rear. The nurseries give employment to fifty-two persons, including twelve travellers, who represent Mr. Horton in all parts of Australasia.
Mr. Thomas Horton, proprietor of the Premier Nurseries, was born in Warwickshire, England, in October, 1867, and came to New Zealand at an early age. He was educated at Ran-giora, Canterbury, where he afterwards spent a long apprenticeship under Mr. W. E. Ivory, nurseryman. He then removed to the North Island, worked for seven years in Mr. Goddard's nurseries, Havelock North, and was then appointed manager of the Fernleigh Nurseries, at Wood-ville. Three years later he resigned this position, and soon aftrwards established the Premier Nurseries.
Mr. T. Horton.
Walkley and Hill, General Storekeepers, Mangatainoka, near Pahiatua. This business was established in the year 1902 by Messrs. Walkley Brothers, and was conducted by them until 1904, when one of the brothers withdrew, and Mr. Hill, the present resident manager, became a partner. The premises, which measure forty feet by sixty feet, comprise a large shop with show windows, a crockery and boot department, grain and bulk stores, with stables and yards at the rear, A large imported stock is maintained, including drapery, groceries, ironmongery, crockery, fancy goods, stationery, builders' requisites and fencing materials, grain and produce, etc. The stock is kept thoroughly up-to-date, an extensive retail trade is done, and two delivery carts are employed in connection with the business.
Oxley, George, Jeweller and Optician, Main Street, Pahiatua. This business was established in the year 1897. The premises consist of a shop, with a plate glass front, and a bulk store and unpacking room behind. The proprietor is a direct importer, and carries a well-assorted stock of watches, clocks, jewellery, silver plate and optical goods, also fancy goods, toilet requisites, etc. Mr. Oxley is well known as a reliable and skilful tradesman, and does a large amount of repairing work. He was born in July, 1867, in Nelson, where he was educated and brought up to the jewellery trade. For fifteen years he was employed by his firm, latterly in charge of their manufacturing and repairing department, and then removed to the North Island and opened his present business in Pahiatua. Mr. Oxley is a member of the Order of Oddfellows, was for some time a member of the Pahiatua Mounted Rifle Volunteers, and is secretary of the local gun club.
The Pahiatua Carrying and Forwarding Agency (H. Vile, proprietor), Mangahao Road, Pahiatua. This business was established in the early “eighties” by Mr. Job Vile, and was acquired by the present proprietor in the year 1906. The head-quarters of the firm are on Mangahao road, where there are large stables, storerooms, an office, and a private residence. There are also branch premises, consisting of stables and storerooms, at Makuri, twenty miles from Pahiatua. The plant consists of twelve spring and block drays and waggons, and eight persons and thirty-two horses are employed in connection with the business. A large business is done in the transportation of heavy goods and in bringing the wool from the back stations to the railway line. Mr. Vile is local agent for the New Zealand Express Company.
Mr. Herbert Vile, the fifth son of the late Mr. Job Vile, M.H.R., was born in the year 1873 in Masterton, where he was educated. He afterwards learned the joinery trade at Pahiatua, for some time conducted business on his own account in the Taranaki district, and then took up the work of driving his father's coaches on the New Plymouth, Hawera, and Opunake roads. He subsequently settled in Pahiatua, and in partnership with another took over the Ranfurly stables, but sold out to acquire his present business. Mr. Vile was a member of the borough council, was a representative football player, and is a member of the bowling club and the Tararua club. He is married, and has one son.
The Ranfurly and Commercial Stables (S. P. Girdwood and—Taylor, proprietors), Main Street, Pahiatua. The Commercial Stables are situated near the Commercial Hotel, and were established many years ago. The building contains sixty stalls, three loose boxes, an office, waiting room, etc., and there is considerable yard accommodation. The proprietors also hold the Government mail contract to the local railway station, Eketahuna, and the outlying districts. These stables are reserved entirely for stabling purposes, and all the carriages, etc., are kept at the Ranfurly stables. The Ranfurly Stables, situated at the north end of the town, were established before the advent of the railway. They contain fifty stalls and eighteen loose boxes, and have a working plant of seven cabs, two drags, one waggonette, and several gigs, employing sixty horses. They are the receiving and departing station of the Makuri and Eketahuna Royal Mail coaches. The firm employ twelve persons, and do a large business.
Mr. Samuel Price Girdwood was born in Featherston in February, 1877, and was brought up to farming pursuits, in which he still takes an active interest. He is a member of the local racing club and of the Tararua Club. Mr. Girdwood is married, and has one child.
The Pahiatua Sash and Door Factory (C. L. Stokes, proprietor), Mangahao Road, Pahiatua. This business was established in January, 1900, by the present proprietor. The factory covers a quarter-acre section, and is a two-storeyed wooden building. A nine-horse power Tangye engine drives the plant, which is up-to-date in every respect, and comprises efficient planing, moulding, turning, and boring machines, and circular saws. Every article of woodwork in connection with the building trade is manufactured, and an extensive private business is also done in the supply of general house furniture. The timber, obtained from the saw-mills on the main trunk line, is thoroughly seasoned before being used.
Mr. C. L. Stokes.