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March 31, 2020 April 2020 No Comments

Early settlers

Captain William Mein Smith – Of Huangarua Run 

Cpt. W M Smith was ex Royal Artillery and was the Chief Surveyor General of the NZ Land Company. He arrived in Wellington on the ship Tory in January 1840 . His wife Louisa and three children followed in the Adelaide arriving over five months later. The Adelaide had been delayed by a stop over at Cape Town for a duel. 

In 1845 in partnership with Samuel Revans he leased the Paeroa Block north of the Haungarua River and called their run Haurangarua with William Smith managing the run. 

He was a steady, sure worker who got things done, building the homestead himself  then establishing his family of now five children; Frances 11 George 10, Wallace 8, Helen 4 and the baby Louisa. 

Next he built a woodshed on flats above the river cliff. The story goes that this would make it easier to load the wool for transport on a longboat for which could go past there until the 1855 earthquake made the river unnavigable 

Mrs. Louisa Smith was a great gardener who had five acres of land under cultivation around the homestead.  William had artistic skills  and painted numerous water colours scenes of the lower Wairarapa.

In 1865 the  family moved to Woodside and the homestead was taken down. William’s son George and son in law John Tully continued to work the lease until 1869 when the Haungarua run was sold to G M Waterhouse. 

William and Louisa’s family: Frances married John Tully a surveyor. George married Clara Evans , Samuel Revans’ neice. Wallace married  Mary-Anne Hume .Helen married  Robert Russell of Whangaimoana. Louisa married Knowles a member of William Mein Smith’s surveyor team. 

William Smith later became the Wellington Provincial Council surveyor who surveyed Featherston township in 1857. So he is to blame for the town not being aligned with the main roadMate Higginson

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