"Kua u mai tenei tauhou, ki tenei whenua tauhou ".
This stranger has arrived at this strange land. (Reed's Maori Proverbs)
As has been stated above, the Crown Grant to the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company Limited, dated 20th July 1876, was 86,502 acres. A new company with a capital of Six hundred thousand pounds was formed in London in 1879, and was to be known as the Waikato Land Association Limited. Provisional directors were the Hon. Thomas Russell, an Auckland Lawyer, Land Speculator, and politician during the 1860's, Sir James Fergusson, Governor of New Zealand 1873-74, and a Mr Mundella, a British Member of Parliament.
To this new company, the Loan and Mercantile Company transferred its Crown Grant plus approximately 2,000 acres of privately owned land bought to give outfalls for the 500 miles of drains which were needed for initial drainage of the vast area known as the Piako swamp. In the north the block was bounded by the Mangawara River which flows into the Waikato River at Taupiri, and took most of the surplus water drained from the swamp. From Taupiri the western boundary was the Komakorau Stream to Gordonton, thence along the Tramway Road almost in to present day Silverdale. The Militia allotments close to Hamilton were excluded. Then the southern boundary zig-zagged almost to Eureka, back along Eureka Avenue to the Newstead Service Station, and then along Platt and Tauwhare roads, taking in the area around the village of Tauwhare including the farms of Mickell, Fleming, Post, Mulholland estate. The eastern boundary was the Aukati or Confiscation Line. This line is mentioned often in this story. The New Zealand Setlements Act of 1863 authorised the confiscation of lands belonging to "rebel natives". In the Waikato this amounted to approximately 1.2 million acres, taken by proclamation in December 1864. This became Crown Land, although some was later returned to its former Maori owners.
Towards the end of the 1850's, the supply of land for increasing numbers of would-be settlers in Auckland Province, had dried up. By 1859, all land around Auckland had been taken up and was worth One hundred pounds an acre. Settlers were eager to enter the Waikato.
The confiscation boundary was not initially surveyed on the ground. This came later as surveyors moved out from the militia settlements. Instead it was defined from one point to the next - from Miranda on the Firth of Thames to Pukemoremore, Opuahau, Pukekura, Orakau, along the Puniu River to its junction with the Waipa, thence to the summit of Pirongia, north to the Waitetuna Stream, to Raglan to the Waikato Heads and back east to Miranda. The line from Miranda to Pukemoremore passes through the Tauwhare district.
A plan of the proposed township of "Tawhare" was produced by a surveyor, A. B.Morrow, on the 1st December 1879. This provided for 149 allotments, mostly of a quarter acre, with access to roads and streets reading from north to south: Piako Avenue, Poplar Road, Oak Street, Pine Street (the present day road to the west), Cedar Road, Elm Street and Acacia Road. On the western boundary was Tawhare Road and further east was Main Road (now the Morrinsville Road and lower Scotsman's Valley Road).
In 1882, the Waikato Land Association decided to sub-divide and sell the eastern portion of its Eureka Estate. This included the proposed Tauwhare township and 1,033 acres around the township surveyed into farms varying in area from 4 to 79 acres. The soil was claimed to be rich alluvium all laid down in good grass with an abundance of water in the neighbourhood. It was claimed to be an excellent situation for working men of small capital, being handy to the principal employers of labour in the district, and served by good roads. Liberal terms were offered, either leasehold or deferred payment titles, interest to be 6% per annum. The Land Association promised to set up a "cheese and bacon manufactory ' at Tauwhare when sufficient farms in the sub-division had been sold to make it viable, that is when 20 settlers were established. Those who bought land from the company would be paid fourpence per gallon for milk, others threepence halfpenny per gallon.
The township and suburban lots were offered for sale by public auction at B. Tonks and Company's Auction Mart, Auckland on the 6th December 1882. A Waikato Times report dated 9th December claimed that the sale had been a most successful one. Total proceeds were Three thousand four hundred and seven pounds, hardly a bonanza for· the Waikato Land Association. The highest price bid for a town lot was Forty two pounds, being 1 rood 21 perches on Mr A. Bullick's corner on the south side where Chitty Road meets the main road. The two sections across Chitty Road where the hotel and store were later built, realised Thirty three pounds each. The section on the corner opposite reached Thirty six pounds. The lowest price was Ten pounds. Not all sections were sold. Prices paid for suburban lots ranged from Seven pounds to Seventeen pounds per acre.
More recently R. J. Stone, associate professor of History at Auckland University, claimed that the sale was a failure. This may have reflected the depressed state of agriculture in New Zealand at the time - a situation which did not improve until about 1895.
In 1883, two larger blocks belonging to the Waikato Land Association, were sold to two young men from South Australia. Thomas Diprose had been working for the land companies of the Waikato as a blade shearer and was so impressed with the quality of drained swamp land for fattening cattle that he urged his friend Thomas Dodd to come and see for himself. The result was that T. E. Dodd purchased 720 acres three miles west of the township at a price said to be Nine pounds per acre, and Thomas Diprose purchased 251 acres (now farmed by N. Pope, C. Fletcher and G. Langley). Dodd's property was north and east of what is now called Platt's corner. By 1894 Dodd's area had been reduced to 204 acres. Diprose left the district in 1893. Both men had been warmly welcomed by the Times on their arrival. Dodd was described as being "thoroughly practical" and a good influence to those around him. His land passed to Platt, and David Shaw, and the parts on the Tauwhare road are now held by North, H. Shaw and McHardie junior.
A perusal of the rates lists for the Tamahere Road Board shows that much of the land was still owned by the Waikato Land Association, but had been sold on deferred payment terms to settlers who paid the rates. A small area was leased from the Waikato Land Association, which became the New Zealand Land Association in 1890.
One settler whose name features prominently in local history was Andrew Ramsay senior. He was born in County Donegal, Ireland in 1842 and farmed at Hairini for 20 years before coming to Tauwhare in 1892. In 1893 he paid rates on 316 acres which had a valuation of One thousand five hundred and eighty five pounds. The rate was three farthings in the pound. By 1904 he was paying rates on 857 acres including town lots and closed roads amounting to 23 2/3 acres. These have long since been amalgamated with adjoining titles, except a few held by individual owners today.
There were four boys and two girls in the Ramsay family, and no doubt the father had in mind setting up his sons as farmers, when he took up such a large area of land. At various times the Ramsay family, either individually or in partnership, owned all the land on the west side of the main road and lower Scotsman's Valley Road from but not including Woodcock's block where Gunns live, southwards, around the Hapi corner, to and including the property now farmed by G. Jory. On the east side they owned all the land from Tahuroa Road up to Mrs M. Hapi's land. The sons were Charles, Robert, Andrew junior and Alex. Andrew Ramsay senior served on the Tamahere Road Board from 1898 to 1906, and was an elder of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Tauwhare, built in 1916 on land which he had given. He also gave the land for the site of the first hall. He left Tauwhare about 1917, when he sold his property toW. Adlington. In 1920 it was sold again for "the handsome figure of Seventy pounds an acre". These were boom times. The new owner, Mr A. C. Massey, remained until 1938 when he sold to H. G. Mickell.
Mr Charles Ramsay owned the farm on the comer of Tahuroa and Morrinsville Roads. He sold to George Runciman, son of James Runciman of Marshmeadows, Newstead. In 1920 David Laird of Waihou bought it as a going concern for Fifty five pounds an acre. It was then sub-divided, part going to Kirkman, then Hanan, McClennan, Leslie, and now Stokes. The other part went to Eva, then Fletcher and Skinner, and now Fawcett.
After Charles Ramsay sold that property, he took up the farms now owned by J. Post and the Mulholland estate. The Post piece was sold to J. Allwood whose son Ray had married Jean, one of Charles Ramsay's daughters. This farm later passed to B. Kissling from whom J. Post bought it. The second piece passed to M. Dury who married Charles' other daughter Muriel. This block was later bought by Bert Mulholland and is now farmed as his estate.
Between Charles Ramsay and his father's farm was Robert Ramsay's farm. This land passed to Hastie, then Brown and now T. Fleming.
Alex Ramsay owned the piece in Hill Road next to his brother Charles, but he did not live there himself. Sharemilkers were employed there, while he lived in Scotsman's Valley on property now owned by Doug Hoult. Alex sold the Hill Road property to Cranston, after whom the road was named for some years. It later passed to A. O'Neill and now G. Jory.
Andrew Ramsay junior owned the large block behind the store and opposite the school. He sold the land to V. Chitty and moved up the valley to where M. Kennedy now farms. The Chitty family later sub-divided the land. One part was bought by Bullicks. The other has since been sub-divided again, one part passing to J. Van Gool, and the other to Care, then Young and now Bowen.
Andrew Ramsay senior had also owned the land around the hall, church, blacksmith shop and telephone exchange. He had lived somewhere near the present hall before his house was built on the Mickell block. When he left Tauwhare his original block was sold to W. Jones, and was later bought by M. Wood. He sub-divided, the smaller part being bought by R. McHardie senior then J. Martin, E. Mellow, R. Nash. M. Wood later sold the larger block to L. Main.
Mr P. E. Dingle bought 278 acres, part 31 Eureka Estate, in 1913- the block now farmed by his son George. Previous owners had been W. M. Richardson and Chapman. Early maps show an old lagoon, long since drained, which is the flat where the pony club meets today.
Next door, a block of 258 acres was owned by one Hansford in 1884. Later owners were S. Tickelpenny and Curle. At some stage 48 acres were cut off the back of the property. The remaining 210 acres were sub-divided into two long narrow farms and sold to J. Spencer and Lovelock. Lovelock later sold to R. McHardie senior.
Across the road, the Fraser farm belonged to the New Zealand Land Association although it was just outside the original 1876 Loan and Mercantile grant. In 1907 Mr Arthur Edmonds bought the original 77 acres of low-lying land plus additional land to make a total of 199 acres with frontage to Ringers Road. Later owners were Jeffries, Roberts, Pardy, Clark and Lochhead. Jeffries sold some of the land he owned to Moreland. Alongside, on Victoria Road, were many Maori titles which were gradually amalgamated and farmed by Pretty, Middlemas and Borrell before being sub-divided again.
Mr Archibald Hoye was another early landowner in this area. Like the Shaws and the Russells of Scotsman's Valley, he came from Clevedon. His 503 acres included the farms on the east side of Victoria Road from F. B. Lamb's to I. Paterson's. This land cost Hoye One pound ten shillings an acre in scrub. It was originally part of the Tamahere Native Reserve. Hoye bought it before 1897 and in 1902 he sold 200 acres at the southern end to Mr Hickey, who sold 100 acres to William Ferris in 1904. This land is still farmed by his sons Norman and Robert. It took much hard work to develop, being covered in heavy ti-tree, as shown in an early photograph. Low-lying areas of swamp land had to be drained before cultivating, operations made more arduous by the large amount of timber buried in the ground. Now it is top class farmland.
In 1919 Mr Hoye sold his remaining 303 acres to Thomas Cleland, who sold out in 1934. He was a great uncle of Jocelyn Silvester and Vivienne McNally now of Tauwhare. Subsequent owners of the Cleland block were Whitten and Chapman, Houghton, and now Lamb, McMullen, de Nicolo and Mulholland estate.
Behind the Hoye block, and fronting on to Hill Road, the farm of 95 acres now owned by L. C. McMillan was granted to Taiepa Tarone in 1880. The Waikato Land Association bought it in 1886. In July 1903 William and Joseph McMillan, blacksmiths of Cambridge, became the owners. In 1929 William transferred his share to his brother Joseph who immediately sold to his son Norman. Norman's son Len became the owner on the death of his mother in 1971.
A property in several titles on both sides of Hill Road, was farmed for many years by Thomas Neil. It passed to his son, then to S. Ranby, and to R. T. Moses the father of Richard Moses, the present owner.
The land to the north of Tauwhare Village was part of the Waikato Land Association property. Diprose's 251 acres was sub-divided, 201 acres passing to the Pope family in 1909. The other SO acres passed to Drinkwater, Lock, Innes and now Langley.
It is difficult to find the early owners of some blocks as land transfers between occupiers of Waikato Land Association land, were often internal and were not officially registered. Only in 1902 did it become obligatory for all land transactions to conform to the Land Transfer Act.
It is known that Neil farmed at one time on the block where Gunns live, and Clarkin brothers owned the land to the north. Later, both blocks were owned by T. P. Coles who sold to ldoine who in turn sold to Austin Fotheringham. Then the two blocks were sold separately to R. Woodcock and G. McNally.
A large block of 522 acres known as Eureka 17 was probably owned by Grigsby in the early days. It was sub-divided. The northern 220 acres are now in the hands of Russell Bargh. The next 180 acres were owned by Willis, then Muir, and the Sattrup family came there in 1935. This land has since been sub-divided into three, but Russell Sattrup still retains a portion of it. The remaining 120 acres are known to have been farmed by the Potts family. Bert Walker bought it in 1958 and later began the poultry farm. The 120 acres have since been sub-divided into three, with Alan Walker retaining the centre portion.
The Pope Family
Reminiscences of Mrs Emily Tickelpenny nee Pope.
Mrs E. Tickelpenny, now 87, recalls the Pope family coming to Tauwhare from Orangipango near Hunterville in 1909. Her father, William H. Pope had managed a timber mill before buying his farm from Mr Gabriel Day (son of Mr Cornelius Day of "Pencarrow" Tamahere). Tragedy struck the family in February 1910 when Mr Pope was accidentally shot while out shooting rabbits, aged only 38 years. His widow Mrs Clara Pope carried on the farm and brought up eight children.
The eldest son Bill served overseas in World War One and died in 1927 at the young age of 34, as a result of war service. He and his younger brother Walter were ploughmen for Griffin Brothers of Tahuroa Road. Mrs Tickelpenny's brother-in-law Alfred Tickelpenny also worked for Griffins. He was killed in World War One.
Eventually the Pope farm was sub-divided. Walter took over the lower 77 acres, now farmed by his son Noel, and Norman John Pope took the 124 acres now farmed by C. Fletcher. Walter married Esme Ferris who spent her whole life in Tauwhare. They had three children, Selwyn, Noel and Elaine. Norman's children attended Tauwhare School but have all left the district.
There were three girls in the Pope family, Emily (Mrs Tickelpenny), Netta (Mrs Edwards) and Ruby who married J. E. Shaw and lived in Tauwhare for many years. Younger sons were Ernie and Alfred. Ernie worked for the Waikato County Council for many years and later for Trevor Smith who became his son-in-law. Ernie married Daisey Belle who was postmistress 1943-53. Their daughters Val (Mrs Smith) and Lyn (Mrs McCurdy) were living in the district until 1983.
Emily Pope, as she was then, attended Tauwhare School from 1909 to 1912. She recalls the Jones family who lived where N. Boyd lives now. Later on she went to school with Jack Clothier, whose father Obed had bought out his partner Jones. Jack and his brother Harvey later became well known as stock agents for the Farmers' Auctioneering Company, based in Morrinsville. Harvey was the father of Mrs Doris Fotheringham, until recently a resident of Tauwhare (McNally's farm now).
Emily Pope, at the age of 19, married Ted Tickelpenny. He was the youngest of 14 children of Mr and Mrs Sam Tickelpenny, early Tauwhare residents. Sam was born in England in 1829. He came to New Zealand in 1854. He was granted 60 acres after the land war and bought 250 acres in Tauwhare in 1886. He died in 1902. His farm was later sub-divided and is now owned by the Spencer and McHardie families.
Emily and Ted left Tauwhare after their marriage in 1916, but came back 1936-38 to milk for Mr A. C. Massey (now Mickell's farm).
Reminiscences - Hec Reese
Hec Reese, now 95, lived in Tauwhare between 1933 and 1937. He had briefly worked for the Road Board in 1908 metalling parts of Scotsman's Valley Road. In the thirties the family share-milked a large herd of cows on Vere Chitty's farm, now owned by Mr A. Bullick. Milk was supplied to the Glaxo factory at Matangi, carted by horse and wagon. This took 40 minutes each way. During those depression years suppliers to this factory werP more fortunate than others as the Glaxo factory paid a premium of twopence per pound of butter fat.
He remembers some of the floods on the flats behind the store in those days. He served on the School and Hall Committees in his Tauwhare days and later became well known as a stock agent employed by G. W. Vercoe and Company.