Manawatu Herald , 19 December 1893, Page 2
CHAIRMAN MANAWATU COUNTY. » INTRODUCTORY.
Mr Ransom is not a New Zealander by birth, but very near it, as he arrived in the oolony in August, 1854, when he was only seventeen months old. However, he is none the worse for that. In Mr Ransom we meet the same hardy, sturdy qualities which must have animated his parents, as well as the other old colonists, who chose to brave the rough and hazardous ife in which true freedom could be obtained, in preference to the other life of safety and comfort tinged with that restraint that is upon all classes in the Old Country. Experience has shown that these pioneers did ft wise and useful thing when ftisy "pftek «
their belongings and betook themselves and j their families to these shores The credit is none the less though results have proved the wisdom, as it was to them an unknown, and rather a hazardous experiment. In the good ship Ci'oniwttll did the subject of diiv sUeti'li* With lHs pWents, reach Wellirigtdri; where tltey resided for ft coiiple of years and then moved to tile garden of the colony, the Lower Hntt. L Mr Ransom is a Ijonddrier lit biMl, Btit feflljr a New SeWarider by trdiriiiig and education; and is a good example of the kind of men possible to have been reared when half the advantages now obtainable were wanting ■* lid I;p3s tile son,.'' Our politicians are preaching "Go upon the soil young man, go upon the soi 1 ," which serves to show that during these latter years other means of employment have been opened up to the youths of the colony, thirty years ago no such cry was raised as that duty was the reoognised one of the offsprings of those who had come to subdue the Wildef nefW and to transpose it into an Eden. Mr Ransom, after leaving school, and very good schools were to be found these years back; presided over by nlen df culture and refinement; and imbued ith. the best spirit Of the SchdolS of the country lHBy Had left; went dri to tHe land ; But the schooling had to be paid for, " free and compulsory" system which we are supposed' to have, but have not, was not then in existence. The early colonist looked these troubles fairly in the face, combatted hard work, bad roads, expensive, considered with the system now in force, schooling, bad markets, expensive living, and yet got on and prospered, whilst the late comers want a lot of hot-house forcing to enable them to keep themselves in beer. He took to farming as a means of livelihood and is enabled still to say that it was a step he has had no cause to regret. He holds the farmer's life has less cares and is a more independent life than anv other he knows, and he is jllst right We h'Ust our younger readers will make a note of this practical statement from experience; and seek on land the true position of a colonist; Hard work must be looked for, but. what sturdy Yeoman's son shirks that ? Farm* ers dr* riot, ltd an old and curious lawyer asserted they did, " sit on a rail and smoke their pipes whilst their beeves grew fat," but they have the health an outdoor life gives and secure that possession Smollett wrote so eloquently about — Thy spirit, Independence, let me share ; Lord of the lion heart, and eagle eye, Thy steps I follow with my bosom bare, Nor heed the storm that howls along the nky. VKIWOSAI,, When still at an early age Mr Ransom assumed the duties of a family man, marrying in 1875 the eldest daughter of tor James Knight, of the Lower Hutt. He has now a colonial family) rich in eight sons and three daughters. Mi' Ransom has the proud distinction of having been a total abstainer all his life, and thoroughly believes in the advantages accruing thererom. He is a Wesleyan Methodist in religion. In politics he is a Liberal. PUBLIC LIFE. It was in the year 18S7 that Ml' Ransom first entered into the full blasie of public life as a member of the Manawatu County Council, having been elected for the Riding of Campbell in the room of Mr W. Davis. Mr Thynne was then chairman of the County Council and the meetings used to be held in Foxton. After the offices were removed to Sanson Mr R. B. McKenzie for a period ruled the destinies of the settlers, and upon his resignation the choice of the Council fell upon Mr Ransom, who has since then, year by year, been forced to accept that position. As " one having authority" we can fairly say that Mr Ransom has, by the attention he gives to his duties and his courtesy and strict impartiality, proved himself an excellent holder of the office, and the continued selection of him by a Conncil of competent men most decidedly proves it Asa settler, desiring to secure the advancement of the district, Mr Random has had as others have done, take a prominent position in the administration of public duties in many varied paths, and has held the position of chairman of the Licensing Committee, chairman of the Oampbelltown Cemetery Trustees, and is also a member of the Palmerston North Hospital and Charitable Aid Boards. IMKMER. In August, 1878, Mr Ransom purchased a section of land in the Douglas Special Settlements Block, a portion of land rescued by the settlers from the encroaching arm of the then owners of the Oroua Downs Estate. By hard fighting this block of land was at last agreed to be set aside for small farmers, though it was a portion of the richest part of that large estate. When put in the market it was quickly purchased and Mr Ransom secured his farm at once. That part of the country was solid bush, portions very wet, communication very miserable, and all had a tough fight to change it into what it is now, one of the richest pasture lands of the very rich pasturage ground of this West Coast. Men had to have ' grit ' to tackle homes of this nature, and they naturally feel an honest pride in what they have tried for and done. Mr Ransom took up his permanent home on the farm in 1880, and vigorously set to work to fell the bush and gain a living from the land. He devoted some part of his time to growing grass seed for sale, growing as much as one ton of Timothy seed in one year ; on a new bush farm this is a very profitable crop. To show the fertility of the soil, and how soon bush land will produce revenue we may mention what Mr Hansom did He felled the bush by December, sowed rye grass on the burn which was got in March, and before the following January, about a year from the time the land was covered with standing bush he cut forty bushels of grass seed per acre and sold it for five shillings per bushel, thus making £10 an acre ! Mr Ransom keeps about 250 Lincoln breeding ewes and 20 dairy cows on his 132 acres of holding. From experience he finds that sheep alone upon the land do not answer as they deteriorate, and that it is better to graze half sheep and half cattle His dairy cattle are mostly half bred Alderneys, and last year, in November, from only 11 cows he made 1121bs of butter per week, an average of over lOlbs per cow. He now supplies the butter factory with milk thus considerably lessening the work in the house.