Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Vol. 3 pages 872-879 Published 1903
Woodbury is a fertile farming valley, which extends from Geraldine back to the high mountains ranges, a distance of about ten miles. It has a public school, store, post office, and blacksmith's shop. The districts noted for its fine crops of oats and wheat. It is supplied with an effective system of water-races, and the river Waihi also flows through the district. Towards the mountains, at the head of the valley, the country is occupied by large stations, such as Four Peaks and Orari Gorge. Good roads of easy grade run through the district in all directions.
THE WOODBURY PUBLIC SCHOOL, is situated near the general store at Woodbury, and on an area of two acres. The school consists of two class rooms, and Mr. J. McLeod, the headmaster, is assisted by Miss Riordan. There are seventy-two on the roll, and the average attendance is sixty-three. A gymnasium is fitted up in the school ground, and there are two play-grounds, one for girls and one for boys. The headmaster's house adjoins the school.
Mr. John McLEOD, the Headmaster, is the third son of Mr. William McLeod, an old settler of Opihi, Pleasant Point. He was born in the Island of Skye, in 1866, and was educated partly at Home, but principally in New Zealand at Lakeside school, Leeston, and at Opihi. At first he worked on his father's farm, but at the same time he pursued his school studies privately. In 1893, he was appointed to teach at Burke's Pass, where he was for four years, and in 1897 he was transferred to Woodbury. Mr McLeod married a daughter of Mr. W. Anniss, an old settler of Burkes's Pass.
FIFIELD, John, Blacksmith, Woodbury. Mr Fifield was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1868, and came to New Zealand with his parents hen a boy. He was educated at Geraldine at the Public School and served his apprenticeship to the blacksmithing trade with Mr. W. Heney, of Geraldine. He was with Mr. W. Heney, of Geraldine. He was with Mr. Heney for nine years, and afterwards worked with Mr. Kingston for one year. In 1894 he purchased the business at Woodbury. He was elected as a member of the school committee in 1896, and in 1897 was elected chairman. He is a member of the Oddfellows' Lodge at Geraldine, and has been through all the chairs. Mr. Fifield married a daughter of Mr. George Hammond.
BENNETT, William, Sheepfarmer, "Fairfield", Woodbury. Mr. Bennett was born in Cheshire, England, in 1838, and came to New Zealand, in 1859, by the ship "North Star," which was afterwards wrecked at Invercargill. He went to Arowhenua shortly afterwards, and worked there for several years. About 1869 he brought a team, and was for some years engaged in contract work, and in carting wool from the Mackenzie Country. Mr. Bennett was afterwards farming at Pleasant Valley for twenty eight years. In 1897 he disposed of his property to his eldest son, and brought his present farm of 203 acres, on which he conducts general farming. He married Miss Foley, who, accompanied by her two brothers and sisters, arrived in New Zealand in 1858  by the ship "Zealandia." Of a family of eleven children, seven sons and two daughters are alive. family photo page 918
MacDONALD, John William, Farmer, "Woodlands," Mr. MacDonald is the youngest son of the late Mr. Allan MacDonald, an old settler of the district, who came to the Colony by the ship "Zealandia." Mr. MacDonald, senior, was settled first at the Hinds, where he engaged in farming, but and secured a farm at the Waihi near the late Mr. Tripp's station. He delt in cattle on a large scale, and went about the year 1870 to Woodbury, where he purchased the farm of "Woodlands." This he farmed successfully for many years., till 1897, when he died in consequence of an accident. He left four sons and one daughter, Mr. J.W. MacDonald was born at "Woodlands" in 1875, and after his father's death he bought out the interests of his brothers, and now carries on his farm on his own account. He was once a prominent performer amongst athletes, and was well known as a sprinter. As such he won many 100 and 200 yards races in Canterbury, principally over hurdles. Mr. MacDonald is a member of the Woodbury waster-race committee.
WEBB, Joseph, Farmer, Waihi Bush, Woodbury. Mr. Webb was born at West Bromich, near Birmingham, England. He emigrated to Victoria in 1854, and was on the Ballarat goldfields for six years. In 1860 he returned to England and was away from the colonies about twelve months. About the end of 1862 he came to New Zealand for the purpose of going to Otago goldfields, and was first at the Dunstan and subsequently at Bannockburn, Arrow, Shotover, and several other creeks and rivers leading into Lake Wakatipu. He came from Southland to Canterbury in 1867, and worked for a few years at Raukapuka Bush sawmills, Geraldine. In 1870 he entered into partnership with Mr. Penny. They took up and worked out a portion of the Waihi Bush which was then a miniature forest, but now consists only of small patches of scrub, which have been left to give shade and shelter to stock. Mr. Webb has 516 acres of well grassed land, which is devoted to the production of wool and mutton. For this purpose he uses crossbred ewes and Southdown rams. Mr. Webb has served on the local school committee, and he is a member of the cemetery and domain boards. He was married, in 1867, to Miss Ferguson, and they have three sons and four daughters.
WOODING BROTHERS (Joseph and Thomas Percival Wooding), Farmers and Mill Owners, Woodbury. These gentlemen are sons of the late Mr. T.P. Wooding, of Woodbury. The first was born at Woodend in 1861, and was one of the first scholars at the Woodend school; the second was born in 1868, also at Woodend, and was educated at Woodbury. Both sons were brought up to farming on their father's property, and in 1888 they started in partnership on a farm near Woodbury. They also own two threshing combines, clover shellers, and chaff cutters, which they work throughout the Geraldine and Orari districts, and during the season of 1899, they threshed 233,000 bushels of grain. Mr. Joseph Wooding has been a member of the Woobury Domain Board for many years. He married a daughter of Mr. William Hawke, Geraldine, in 1892, and has two sons and two daughters. Mr. T.P. Wooding married a daughter of Mr. Robert Ray, of Geraldine, and he also has two sons and two daughters.
Mr. Thomas Percival WOODING, sometimes of the Woodland Grange, Woodbury, was born in Bedfordshire, England, in 1832, and was brought up as a gardener. He came to New Zealand with some of the early colonists in the ship "Joseph Fletcher," and arrived in Lyttelton in 1856. After remaining at Papanui for a few months Mr. Wooding went to Woodend, where he was one of the first colonists, and there he resided until 1875. During his stay there he resided until 1875. During his stay there he was a member of the first Wooden church, school committee and sexton of the Woodend church. On leaving that place, he went to Woodbury, and took up a farm of 500 acres, then in a state of nature. Mr. Wooding kept half-bred sheep, and his oat crops averaged forty bushels per acre. His success in life was due to his untiring energy, and his sons have followed in their father's footsteps. He was married, in 1859, to Miss Gibbs, of Bedfordshire, and they had three sons and four daughters. Mr Wooding died in August, 1901. photo Mrs. T.P. Wooding, Senr.
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project