1932 TO 1979
The Barton family arrived from England in 1885 and after a period in Auckland, farmed in Onewhero and Pukekawa before moving to Papatoetoe.
Here Sam Barton, who had married Ella Drake in 1900, became involved in valuing land offered for resettlement under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act and destined to be taken up by soldiers returning from the First World War. Later in the 1920's he spent some time in Fiji advising on the setting up of dairy herds.
Sam’s eldest son Harry began working for Wright Stephenson’s when he left school. In those days they sold cars to farmers and Harry had to take the car to the purchaser and teach him to drive before returning to Auckland.
After a brief spell farming in Northland, Harry joined forces with his Father and Alfred E Odlin, Manager of the Odlin Timber Company, and in 1932 they purchased 450 acres of land in Mangatangi.
Called the Totara Stud Farm, it was previously part of a much larger block owned by Mr. George Stubbs.
The farm originally carried a pedigree herd of 50 Jersey cows plus replacements. There was also a team of 4 Clydesdales required for theheavy work of breaking in the scrub covered parts of the farm. About1943 came the first tractor, an old Farmall. Later on the farm changed to dairying plus a flock of Romney crossbred sheep. Pigs were also raised on the skim milk and the occasional consignment of old cracker biscuits purchased from surplus American war requirements.
In 1934 Harry married Bertha Shuker who had been helping her brother Frank on the Shuker farm about 3 km up the road. Between 1937 and 1945 they had four children. Ian, Brian, Sylvia and Peter.
The family continued farming through the difficult years of the great depression and the Second World War, being joined by Sam and Ella‘s youngest son Pete, after he left school. Pete married Elly Williams in 1946 and they had two children, Maureen and Pat.
When Sam died in 1945, Pete joined Harry and A E Odlin in the Company and this association continued until the mid 196O’s when Pete left and Harry, with his son Brian reformed the Company into H Barton & Son. At about this time the dairy herd was sold and the farm changed to sheep and beef cattle.
In 1979, at the age of 75, Harry decided that it was about time he also retired, because Brian and his wife Jan wanted to try farming at Mairoa in the King Country. The farm was sold (it is now owned by Mr. J Roulston) and the Barton ties with the District were severed.
Well not quite! Apart from Bertha being a Shuker, Iva Barton, Harry’s younger sister, married Jack Cummings in 1937, so we are still part of things through our Shuker and Cummings connections.
As at 1990 Bertha and Sylvia lived in Paeroa. Ian and Jan at Hunua, Peter and Carmel in Wellington, Elly at Torbay, Maureen and George at Waiau Pa and Pat and Mardi near Melbourne.
Ian Barton 1979