Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Vol. 3 pages 894-896. Published 1903
HILTON, on the Kakahu river, in the county of Geraldine, is twenty-two miles north from Timaru, and eight miles from Temuka, with which it is connected by coach. The district is a farming one, and has limestone and pipe clay deposits. It lies in a north-easterly direction from Waitohi Flat. For the greater part it is fine, rich, open country taken up by large and well managed farms. High and fertile downs separate it from the Waitohi Flat, but the whole district is in a state of thorough cultivation. It has a good public school, a store, ands a blacksmith's shop. Extending from the head of Hilton, towards the mountain is Kakahu, a fine sheep country, with its lower portions under cultivation. Throughout the whole district there are well kept roads, some steep, but mostly of easy grades. Hilton has a daily mail service with Timaru, and there is a telephone bureau at the local post office.
HILTON SCHOOL. This school was built in 1874, on a section of three acres of land, the gift of the late Mr. Ormsby and Messrs R. and J. Skinner. The building will accommodate one hundred children, and there is an average attendance of about fifty, Mr A.E. Wray, the headmaster, is assisted by Miss Mary Wharton.
BEATTIE, William John, Farmer, Hilton. Mr Beattie was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1835. He came out to New Zealand in the ship "Lancashire Witch," in 1863, and landed at Timaru. For five years he was shepherding for the late Mr John Hay in the Mackenzie Country. In 1865, he went to the Hokitika goldfields, but finding the place over-crowded and over rated, returned to Mr Hay, and remained in the Mackenzie Country another five years. In 1873, he took up 200 acres of land at Hilton, where he has since resided. He has been a member of the Hilton school committee for the past twenty-eight years, and for the same period connected with the Geraldine Presbyterian Church, of which he has been manager for several years. In 1871, he married Miss Bridget O'Shannesy, of County Clare, Ireland, and they have three sons and five daughters. Mrs Beattie came out on the "Queen of the Colonies." landing at Brisbane, Queensland, in 1866, and arrived in New Zealand in 1869.
CROW, Michael John, Farmer, Hilton. Mr Crow, who is the eldest son of Mr William Crow, J.P., Leeston, was born at Poleworth, Warwickshire, England, in 1859, and came out to Lyttelton in the ship "Lancashire Witch," in 1863. He worked on his father's farm at Leeston for about twelve years, and was subsequently for three years at Coldstream. In 1881, he purchased 400 acres at Rangitara, where he remained for three years. He then removed to Invercargill, and took up 450 acres in Southland. After three years sojourn, he found the climate of Southland unsuitable to his health, and brought a f farm at Hilton and another at Arowhenua Downs, the two together comprising 572 acres. In 1883 he was married to Miss Clara Johnson, daughter of Mr Thomas Johnson, of Irwell, and has a family of five daughters and three sons.
FRIEL, Peter, Farmer, Hilton. Mr Friel was born in the County of Donegal, Ireland, in 1843. He was bought up to farming and came out to Australia in 1862, in the ship "Greyhound," which landed at Melbourne. After a stay of six months he came out to New Zealand. He remained twelve years in Otago, eight years of which he spent on the goldfields. On coming to Canterbury he settled at Pleasant Point, where he was engaged in contracting on the Levels estate for three years. Afterwards he bought a farm at Waitohi Flat where he has resided for twenty years, during which he continued cropping and contracting. Some years ago he sold out his farm at Waitohi Flat, and in 1897 he took up his present property at Hilton on lease in perpetuity; it consists of 264 acres, and is part of the Arowhenua estate. Mr Friel has never taken much part in public affairs, but was a member of the Upper Waitohi Flat school committee for several years. In 1876, he married Miss Coll, of County Donegal and they have one son and three daughters.
GREENE, William, Farmer, Hilton. Mr Greene was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1849, and passed his early years on his father's farm. He came out to New Zealand in the ship "City of Dunedin," and settled at Ashburton, where he followed farming. In 1897 he took up the largest farm offered on the Raketairi settlement. It contained 425 acres, and was partly cultivated. Mr Greene immediately set about improving the property by building a dwellinghouse, erecting about two miles of subdivision fences, and renewing old pastures. He raises fat lambs for the export trade, for which he breeds from halfbred ewes and English Leicester rams. Mr Greene has served on the local school committee for a number of years. He was married, in 1872, to Miss Cameron, and has two sons and four daughters.
HUNT, James John, Chippendale Farm, Hilton. Mr Hunt was born in Portsmouth in 1857, and was apprenticed as an engineer and blacksmith. He came to New Zealand in 1875, by the ship "Blairgowrie," and worked at his trade for twelve years in Christchurch. In 1887, he removed to Rangitata, where he remained for ten years. He then bought 220 acres of land from the Government, and named his farm "Chippendale." Mr Hunt has cultivated his land with excellent results, and has occasionally threshed fifty bushels of wheat and eighty of oats to the acre. He also grows good crops of turnips and rape, and fattens crossbreds Leicester sheep for the export trade. Mr Hunt has made permanent and substantial improvements in the shape of a good dwellinghouse, outbuildings, garden, and orchard and the farm is divided into six paddocks. He has been twice married, and has sons and daughters.
SKINNER, Robert, Farmer, Hilton. Mr Skinner was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1844. He was educated in his native place, and brought up to farming by his parents. In 1868 he set out for New Zealand and arrived at Port Chalmers by the ship "William Davie." A year after his arrival he began cropping at Totara station, near Oamaru, and was there for about seven years. Mr Skinner then removed to Hilton, in the Geraldine county, where he acquired a farm, and has since been engaged in farming. His farm consists of about 600 acres of freehold, is named "Redcliff," and has 600 acres of leasehold land known as Burleigh farm. In 1896, Mr Skinner was elected a member of the Timaru Harbour Board, and has been chairman of the Hilton school committee for the past eighteen years. He takes a great interest in all social matters of the Geraldine Farmers' Club. Mr Skinner is married, and has a family of four daughters and one son.