GAPES VALLEY, named after the late Mr. William Gapes, one of the pioneers of the district, lies between two spurs of the high downs which fall away from the back ranges, and is about four miles from Geraldine. The flat land is exceptionally good quality, and yields large crops of grain. The valley is about four miles in length, and the houses of the settlers, nestling in well grown plantations, give an idyllic charm to the landscape. back from the lower land rise downs, whose fattening qualities are noted by the district. The roads are good and of easy grade and the valley has a public school.
CLEPHANE, Robert, farmer, Gapes' Valley. Mr. Clephane is the third son of Mr. Thomas Clephane, an old settler of Christchurch. He was born in Christchurch in the year 1866, and brought up to the occupation of a farmer on his father's farm near Ashburton. In 1890 Mr. Clephane took up his present property of 200 acres at Gapes Valley, where he carries on farming. He has been connected with sporting, and has always taken a great interest in the Geraldine Racing Club, on which he serves as a member of the committee. Mr. Clephane is married to a daughter of the late Mr. G.F. Lovegrove, sometime of Scarborough Road, Kekerangu station, Marlborough, and has a family of four.
LOVEGROVE, Henry William, farmer, Gapes' Valley. Mr. Lovegrove, who is the eldest son of the late Mr. G.F. Lovegrove, was born in Marlborough, in 1864, and was engaged with his father in the various places where they resided. He farms his present property, and cultivates fruit extensively. Like his father, he takes great interest in sporting affairs; he has won nine steeplechases in Canterbury, and has bred some of the best Hunt Club horses. Mr. Lovegrove has been a member of the South Canterbury Hunt Club, and of the Gapes Valley school committee, of which he was chairman for several years.
PATRICK, William, farmer, Gapes' Valley. Mr. Patrick was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1835, and worked for about thirteen years in the coal mines. In 1860 he came to New Zealand in the ship "William Miles" and landed at Lyttelton. He settled for a time at the head of Akaroa Bay; he was engaged in the construction of the Lyttelton tunnel and afterwards went contracting and road making. In 1866 Mr Patrick went to Hilton, where he took up a farm, which he worked for five years. He then went to Gapes' Valley, and took up the farm on which he has since resided. The property consists of 280 acres, and was, when bought by Mr. Patrick, all tussock land. It has been successfully cultivated, and the oats crops average forty bushels, and the wheat twenty-five bushels per acre. Mr Patrick has been a member of the Gapes' Valley school committee for several years. He was married in the Old Country, and has a family of eight sons and six daughters.
RUSSELL, William, farmer, Hillside Farm, Gapes' Valley. Mr. Russell was born in Forfarshire, Scotland in 1845, and was brought up in farming. He came out to New Zealand in the ship "Zealandia", in 1872. For three years he was engaged in farming and contracting at Maheno, North Otago, after which he removed to Canterbury. He cropped for a season on the Levels estate, and then went to Waitohi, where he leased some land, which he worked for three years, when he bought some Government land in the neighbourhood, and settled on his present farm. At the end of two years he went to Kakahu bush, and twelve years later returned to his farm. His wheat crops occasionally average forty bushels per acre, and oats fifty bushels. Mr. Russell was married at Maheno to Miss Proctor, and has five sons and three daughters.
WELLS, Richard Perry, farmer, "Greendale Farm," Gapes' Valley, Mr. Wells was borne in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1841, and being trained to farming pursuits, from the time he was nine years old he worked for himself. His father Joshua Wells, paymaster-sergeant, served in the 27th Regiment of the line at Waterloo, and his brother, Sergeant John Wells, of the Royal Artillery, served through the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. Mr. R.P. Wells landed at Lyttelton in the ship "Lancashire Witch." in 1863, under the engagement to Mr. James Lockhead, being accompanied by his brother, the late William Wells. He reached Christchurch with only ten shillings in his pocket, and worked with several employers in town and country, after he joined the "rush" to Waimea, being the first on the West Coast, and remained at the diggings for sometime. He returned to Canterbury, and whilst in the employment of Mr. Charles Newton, met with a severe accident, by his horse falling and rolling over him, but no permanent injury was received. He engaged in erecting the fence around Hagley Park and the Canterbury College grounds. Mr. Wells entered into road contracts at Cheviot Hills, after which he worked at draining the Lincoln swamp. In 1867, he brought fifty-eight acres of land in the Temuka district, near what is expected to be the Milford harbour. He next was in partnership with Mr. John Campbell in contract work for the Oamaru Borough Council, after which he returned to Christchurch, and again took several contracts, such as the formation of the main road between Winchester and Geraldine, fencing the railway line between Waitaki and Oamaru, and from Timaru to Pareora, and other sections. After this he was next engaged by Mr. Shiers, inspector of works, to fence the Albury section for the contractors. Mr. Wells then sold his land at Milford, and purchased 153 acres at Gapes Valley, where he has since lived, creating a comfortable home and generally cultivating his farm.
LOVEGROVE, George Frederick, J.P. who was one of the very early colonists of New Zealand, was born at Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, in 1831; twenty years after he came to New Zealand in the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" and landed at Wellington. His first engagement was with Sir Charles Clifford at Stonyhurst, and after working there for two years he was appointed manager. Seven years later he went to Flaxbourne, Marlborough, and managed the station for Messrs Clifford and Weld for a period of fifteen years. He then bought Benhopai station, Marlborough, and resided at the later place for three years. On coming to Canterbury he bought a large farm at Makikihi, and afterwards went to Castle Rock farm, Totara Valley. In 1891 he bought Brookside farm, Gapes Valley, where he resided until his death, in 1894. He left a family of eight children. Mr. Lovegrove served on the Waimate Road Board, and was chairman of the Hook school committee for some years. He was the starter of the first grand National Steeplechase in New Zealand, and was also secretary of the Waimate Hunt Club..
Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Part 4. pages 898-899. Published 1903