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Charles Adnam Mountfort was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1854.

Mountfort arrived in Feilding in 1874, where he spent the next 6 years surveying between 30,000 and 40,000 acres of the 106,000 acres that comprised the Manchester block. This included the cutting of the lines for many of the roads - his first job in Feilding was cutting the line for the road from Feilding to Bunnythorpe. Mountfort also surveyed the Oroua River from the mouth to its source, and completed similar work on the Manawatu River. In 1902, he surveyed the Aorangi Block for the subdivision into small farms, and was also responsible for the surveying of Apiti Small Farm Block, and similar blocks behind Kimbolton and Rewa. Mountfort also surveyed and laid out the townships of Halcombe, Ashhurst, Apiti, and Rongotea.

Mountfort joined the Survey Department in 1884, and eventually rose to become a district surveyor. In 1888, he was involved in creating the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors.

He retired in March 1923, regarded as a "conscientious, hardworking, and efficient officer, possessed of good practical knowledge of the higher branches of geodesical survey." His last work before retiring was the redoing of the standard survey of Feilding, Palmerston North, and the adjacent district.

Mountfort was married to Ann Barry Vaughan in 1879. They settled in Feilding and had seven children together. Ann was a teacher who had set up a girls' school in Gisborne. She also painted landscape scenes when she accompanied her husband on surveying trips. Ann died in February 1938, several years before Charles passed in May 1941.

(Lydia Smith, 2021)


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