Grahamstown Journal 1885 01 January
Tuesday 6 January 1885
THE NEERA FATALITY
(E.L. Dispatch Jan. 3)
A correspondent has been good enough to forward us the following:
The final scene of the late sad catastrophe at the seaside was enacted on Sunday last, December 28th 1884, when the mortal remains of the three young ladies who were drowned on the 26th inst were consigned to their last and final resting place in the Wesleyan Burial Ground, Neera, in the presence of a large concourse of people, who assembled from the country round, and also from East London and King Williamstown. In the forenoon the Rev. Ezekiel LONES, of King Williamstown, preached an appropriate sermon based on Rev. 1st chap, 18 verse. The hymns selected for the sad occasion were: “Begin my soul some heavenly theme”, “God moves in a mysterious way”, “My God! My Father! while I stray” and “Nearer my God to thee”. About three o’clock in the afternoon the funeral took place, the cortege moving from Mr. R.W. FORRESTER’s residence, Greenfields, to a point about a quarter of a mile from the chapel, whence the coffins were shouldered and the funeral procession reformed, the numbers being so great as to make it imperative to conduct the mournful service in the open air in the front of the chapel, where the Rev. E. LONES delivered a powerful and impressive address; the two hymns commencing “Oh God our help in ages past” and “The morning flowers display their sweets”, and offered up prayer for the bereaved, and concluded the service at the grave, around which there could not have been less than about two hundred and fifty people. The three bodies were placed in one grave, the inscriptions on the coffin plates being as follows:- “Angelina S. BROOKS, died Dec 26 1884, aged 18 years and 9 months”, “Lucy M. BROOKS, died Dec 27 1884, aged 15 years and 5 months”, “Dorcas BROOKS, died Dec 26 1884, aged 15 years 4 months and 18 days”. The two former were the daughters of Mr. Chas. BROOKS of Hohne Park, and the latter the daughter of Mr. Alex BROOKS, Rocklands, both in this district. The sad event has cast a complete gloom over the whole locality, and great sympathy is manifested for the bereaved relatives both by English and Dutch, the latter of whom were present in large numbers. Of the deceased young ladies it may truly be said “They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided.”
Wednesday 7 January 1885
MARRIED at Clarksbury on Christmas Day by the Rev. T. Chubb MA, Purdon Smailes JEFFREY, sixth son of E.C. JEFFREY Esq, Special J.P., Kamastone, division of Queenstown, to Deborah Jane WOOD, youngest daughter of Mrs WOOD, “The Cottage”, Hemyoak, Devon, England.
A military funeral of unusual grandeur (writes the Wynberg Times) took place in Capetown on Wednesday afternoon last. The remains of Assistant-Commissary-General of Ordinance, Sydney Lancey Davies SMITH, of the Bechuanaland Expeditionary Forces, who died on Tuesday last at the International Hotel, Gardens, was taken to his last resting place with full military pomp, and the officers and men of the various regiments, Artillery, Engineers, Dragoons and Infantry, now stationed at the Cape, paid their last respects at the grave of the deceased officer, who was highly esteemed by all.
Friday 9 January 1885
DIED at Dutoitspan on the 7th inst, John Edward NELSON, eldest son of John Edward NELSON Sen. Aged 36 years.
A young man named THOMPSON, aged about twelve years, was found drowned in the river near Adelaide on Christmas Day. He was subject to fits, and it is supposed that he was suddenly seized with one whilst bathing and thus met his untimely end.
Saturday 10 January 1885
SAD CASE OF DROWNING
(Natal Advertiser Jan. 3)
On New Year’s Day Henry Duncan McEWAN, who was employed at the Eastern Telegraph Cable Company’s office, went for a picnic to the old station of the Company near the shore on the right bank of the Umgeni. Among the party were Mrs. POWYS, her daughters, and Miss Sarah ALEXANDER. In the afternoon Mr. McEWAN went out on the lagoon close to the station with two of the Misses POWYS in one of the Berthon’s patent collapsible boats which he kept there, and which he had frequently used before. The boat, we learn, was in Messrs. ADLER Bros’ store at the time of the fire in Smith Street four months ago, and was damaged in the hurried removal of the goods which were saved. He returned safely with the two ladies, and went out a second time, about four o’clock, with Miss Ella POWYS and Miss Sarah ALEXANDER. Miss POWYS and Mr. McEWAN sat in the stern of the boat and Miss ALEXANDER in the bow. They were not far from the shore when Miss ALEXANDER drew attention to the fact that water was rising in the boat; and in a very short time the boat filled and sank. Whether the water ran over the sides of the boat, or whether it got in through a hole in the bottom, we believe has not been ascertained. Miss POWYS jumped out of the boat, and Mr. McEWAN went to her assistance; but she told him not to mind her, as she could swim, but to remain with Miss ALEXANDER. It appears that at this time the accident was looked upon both by the young ladies and by McEWAN in anything but a serious light, though the water at the spot where the boat sank was comparatively deep. The only clothing McEWAN hand on was a singlet and trowsers. He was a good swimmer, and struck out for the shore with Miss ALEXANDER, who at first held him by the belt with her left hand and swam with her right. Miss ALEXANDER says that he then said “Let go my waist, Sarah, and take hold of my shoulder, and hold it hard.” She accordingly let go the belt, and was about to support herself by leaning on his shoulder when, without a word, he sank to rise no more. Miss ALEXANDER missing him turned round to look for him, and kicked her feet, thinking he might be under her. In doing so she sank. She was seen to rise immediately afterwards, and tried to swim. She disappeared for an instant a second time, when she struggled again in the water and tried to float on her back. She managed to keep that position for three or four minutes, when finding herself going down again she screamed out and attracted attention. Four young men, Messrs. LEASK, WINDERS, GHEE and another, who were fortunately in a boat on the lagoon, at once rowed towards Miss ALEXANDER and pulled her up by her hair at the moment she was going down again. Search was then made for McEWAN, and Mr. GHEE dived into the water in the hope of finding him; but their efforts were fruitless. In the meantime Miss POWYS, who had also sunk and was just giving way, had nearly reached the shore, when a bystander rushed into the water and caught her as she was about to sink.
As no-one had seen McEWAN, Frank BUTTON galloped off to the Umgeni Police Station and dispatched a note to the Superintendent, who arrived within half an hour from the time of the accident. He found his daughter leaving the place in company with Miss POWYS and found several boats on the lagoon and a number of men stripped who had been diving. Others under the direction of Mr. Thomas CROWDER were dragging the bottom of the lagoon with large fish hooks. The Superintendent galloped back to town, sent down the grappling irons and returned to the Umgeni. On reaching the brick fields he learned that the body had been found by Mr. CROWDER, who brought it to the surface by means of a fish hook and a small boat anchor. The corpse was then taken by Sargeant BURNE to Addington Hospital, where it was yesterday examined by Dr. ADDISON. We do not know what his report says, but we are informed that it does not support the theory that McEWAN met his death from an attack of cramp.
The deceased was a man of superior education and of good family, his father being a retired dean. He was about 24 years of age, a tall, handsome and generous young fellow, and a general favourite with all who knew him. His last night was spent at the watchnight service at the Wesleyan Chapel in West Street. The sad news has been telegraphed to his parents by Mr. CARLISLE.
We are glad to learn that neither Miss ALEXANDER nor Miss POWYS is much the worse for the accident; but they are naturally much affected by the sad death of their friend, which has cast a gloom over more than one home in Durban.
Tuesday 13 January 1885
MARRIED by Special Licence on the 9th instant, by the Rev. W. Oates, at the residence of the bride’s father, Charles William, youngest son of the late J.F. LOGIE Esq to Leonora Alice, fourth daughter of Edward J. HISCOCK Esq. of Somerset East. No cards.
DIED at Grahamstown on Tuesday January 13th, Alexander LOGIE Jun, aged  years 1 month and 15 days, after a painful illness of 1 year.
The Funeral of the above will leave the residence of his father, Mr. Alex. LOGIE Sen, the Location, on Wednesday afternoon at 5 o’clock. Friends are invited to attend.
Thursday 15 January 1885
MARRIED at Shrewsbury, District of Peddie, on the 1st Jan. 1885, by the Rev. E. Gedye, Richard, youngest son of the late Edward GOFF Esq, of The Lyth, Condover, England, to Elizabeth Mary Pallister, only daughter of the late Daniel PENN Esq, Junction Farm, District Peddie.
DIED at Bedford on January 13th 1885, William Henry, youngest son of Mr. C.P. WEBBER of Somerset East. Aged 36 years.
Monday 19 January 1885
The Argus of Friday writes: A very sudden death occurred at Green Point yesterday morning. A case had been decided a few days since in the Magistrate’s Court – J. PRINCE v J. LEACH. Yesterday forenoon the deputy messenger of the Court, Mr. J. HALL, went out to the defendant’s house at Green Point to attach his property. He was met at the door by the deceased, who asked him what he wanted. The messenger explained his object, but the deceased required to see his warrant, which HALL also produced. He then said quite clearly, “Well, then, do your duty”, and proceeded to point out the articles in the house. The first article was a stove, and he had just said “this stove cost me £5” when he exclaimed “Oh God” and fell down. HALL, who thought that deceased had simply got a fit, with the assistance of his wife and another woman carried him from the room, laid him on his bed, and proceeded with the attachment. About two or three minutes afterwards a man came into the room where he was and asked him to come and look at the deceased, as he thought he was dead. On going into the room he found that his pulse had stopped, and he was getting cold. He was dead. The messenger at once reported the matter to the Magistrate, by whom an inquest will be held. The deceased is a white man, and was for several years in the employ of Captain MURISON, as a gardener.
[Transcriber's Note: As the convention was Plaintiff v Defendant, it was J.LEACH who died!]
FATAL DRIFT ACCIDENT
The lady, Miss WEBB, stated to have drowned in the accident reported from Pretoria in this day’s telegram, is understood, we hear, to be a niece of Mr. Henry HILL, the Secretary to the Albany Divisional Council.
KIMBERLEY MAIL COACH WASHED AWAY – FOUR PERSONS DROWNED
January 15th, delayed in transmission
The driver of the Kimberley mail coach arrived this morning on horseback and reports that last night, whilst trying to cross the Crocodile River at Edgson’s Drift, the river rushed down carrying off the coach and horses. Mr. DEVOGEL & son, Miss WEBB, Teacher of the Wesleyan School here, and a coloured man are supposed to be drowned. A number of people have gone to the scene of disaster to recover the bodies.
Tuesday 20 January 1885
THE FATALITY AT CHALUMNA
A correspondent forwards a contemporary particular of the accident reported in issue [sic]:
I regret to record another sad accident to be added to the already lengthened list of fatalities throughout the Colony during the recent festive season. On Saturday evening last, Jan 10, the family of Mr. John ROWLES, an assistant in Mr. J.J. IRVINE’s store Kingwilliamstown, and the esteemed bandmaster of the Kingwilliamstown Volunteer Rifles, were proceeding on a holiday trip to the farm of Mr. Jos. NELSON, his father-in-law, Chalumna district: they were riding in a wagon of Mr. John NELSON’s, the party consisting of father, mother and four children. At about 6 o’clock in the evening, while ascending a hill beyond Rasmussen’s Hotel, the chain of the wagon snapped, and the wagon ran back with considerable velocity, throwing its occupants out onto the road, killing instantaneously a fine girl of 14 years of age and so seriously injuring another child as to have faint hopes of its recovery; the father had his legs badly injured; the baby seven months old was thrown a distance of about four yards, but was fortunately picked up apparently uninjured; the mother also received some severe bruises on her leg. As may be well imagined the parents are sorely distressed at the untoward accident, and doubtless the knowledge of the great sympathy manifested on their behalf by a large circle of friends and others will in a measure alleviate their distress, though sympathy can go but a little way to help them in their sore trial and affliction.
Friday 23 January 1885
Pretoria was horrified this morning (says the Transvaal Advertiser of the 15th inst) [in] the intelligence that the Kimberley mail cart had been washed down the river near Edgson’s, and that Mr. DE VOGEL (the Postmaster-General), his little son, and Miss WEBB, a young lady connected with the Wesleyan School, had been drowned, as well as the leader of the cart. From what we can gather the post-cart reached Mulder’s Drift about 8pm on Wednesday evening, and when it entered the drift there was not more than 1½ feet of water in the river. The exit on this side being very steep and stony, the driver directed the leader to get down and take the horses up the bank. But he had scarcely got out of the cart for that purpose when the river came down like a wall, and carried horses, cart and passengers down. The driver escaped by a miracle. He was washed a considerable distance down, but fortunately for him managed to get hold of a bush on the bank, and so scrambled out. As soon as possible he made his way to Pretoria, and gave notice of the accident. When he left Edgson’s neither the cart, horses, nor the corpses of the unfortunate passengers had been recovered; but we believe that a party has been organised for the purpose of recovering the bodies. The drift is within 50 or 100 yards of Edgson’s, and Mr. EDGSON, hearing the bugle of the post-cart, sent a man with a lantern down – the night being intensely dark – in order to show the road: but before he could get there, the calamity had occurred, and nothing was to be seen of the mail-cart. The greatest sympathy is felt for the relatives of the unfortunate victims of this sad catastrophe, and it may be hoped that the Government will do something on the main roads of this country to lessen the chance of such accidents occurring in future…. This calamity is one of those accidents that may be considered preventable. Complaints have been poured out without ceasing by the Post Contractors and by the travelling public as to the bad condition of the roads and drifts along the line, but nothing effective has been done to improve them or to minimise the dangers inseparable from travelling in this country. In this case the accident took place in the narrow channel of an unimportant affluent of the Crocodile River through which the road passed. It appears that if the drift on this side had been in good order the cart might have got through, but the driver, knowing the exit from the drift to be very bad on the Pretoria side, directed the leader to lead the horses out. But for the brief delay involved in this step, and which is solely attributable to the negligence of the Government to keep the roads in repair, four valuable lives might have been saved, and the mails brought on in safety.
Saturday 24 January 1885
BIRTH at Oaklawn, Grahamstown, Jan 22nd, the wife of Charles H.N. GIRDLESTONE of a son.
FELL ASLEEP in Christ on January 24th 1885, Elizabeth Ann, daughter of the late John SHELBLOM of this City, in her 21st year, after a lingering illness borne with exemplary patience and Christian resignation. The Family desire to acknowledge gratefully the services and sympathy of many kind friends shown to the departed and to themselves in all their affliction.
“My strength is made perfect in weakness”.
The Funeral of the above will leave the residence of her mother, Mrs. SHELBLOM, Market-street, tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at half past 3. Friends are respectfully invited to attend.
Tuesday 27 January
APOPLEXY, NOT MURDER
The following is from the E.L. Dispatch. Accounts reached here during the week of the supposed murder of a white man, Mr. T.J. PITCHERS, near Brandspruit, on the road between Burghersdorp and Aliwal. Death occurred shortly after the discovery of the body, which was lying 900 yards away from the cart and horses with which Mr. PITCHERS was travelling. There were alleged to be bruises on the face, and a robbery had evidently been committed as the clothing was scattered about. A post-mortem examination having been made, the result is a verdict of death from apoplexy, so that the supposition is that the unfortunate man was robbed by natives or others whilst lying in an apoplectic fit. Mr. PITCHERS was in East London for the Christmas holidays, it being the first holiday he had taken for twenty years. He came down to see his daughter, who was spending the honeymoon here. He stayed at the Phoenix Hotel, where he was jolly company and entered with zest into the pleasure trips provided by host Graham. The deceased leaves a wife and family of eight children.
Wednesday 28 January
DEATH OF AN OLD COLONIST
The Representative announces the death of an old and esteemed colonist. Mr. Frederick HALSE died on his farm “Carnarvon” on the 15th inst, in his 65th year. The career of this lamented deceased is thus sketched: “His main object in life was to strive after the practical and the useful – to benefit those around him and at the same time to benefit himself. In early life he fully recognised the fact that the agricultural development of this country was in its merest infancy, and moreover that scientific agricultural development was an indispensable basis upon which to build the future greatness of a self-supporting African Empire. All who knew the farm “Groot Vlei” of fifteen years ago, the “Carnarvon Farm” of today, will recognise the magic transformation. The desert has become an oasis, encircled by over twenty miles of stone walls and wire fences. The mountain torrents of the Andries Berg he, as far as practicable, arrested and diverted into a reservoir capable of holding nearly a million gallons of water, being made available for the irrigation of some 750 acres of arable land; the result being that, whereas in former years 100 bags of wheat were considered an enormous crop, thousands are now annually reaped, threshed and ground, and this done by the latest and most approved machinery, in which line Mr. HALSE was undoubtedly one of the pioneers in this part of the Colony; amongst other things, we believe, the first private gentleman who invested in steam-threshing machinery, which example is now being followed everywhere. One swallow, it is said, cannot make a summer, nevertheless it is marvellous how the influence of one energetic and go-ahead nature can, and does, stimulate and arouse those associated with it. The conclusion is not a difficult one. The unquestionably active influence of half a dozen such men exercised in each district of the Colony would, in a very few years, demand an emphatic veto on all hazy, harassing and, above all, unwarrantable protective legislation. The ‘cheap loaf’ problem would then emerge from the nebulous haze of schemes and be reduced to the anvil of work-a-day facts.
Saturday 31 January 1885
We (Free Press) regret to learn that Mr. GRADWELL, a well-known farmer near the Bankies, has been killed by a threshing machine. Further particulars are not yet to hand.
A correspondent of the Uitenhage Times, writing from Jericho on the 27th inst, says “A fatal accident occurred last night to Mr. G. BARTON of Wittie Poort, son in law to Mr. Joseph HAYWARD, by which he lost his life. It would appear from the report of the Field-cornet that he had been with his wagon to Barroo Station for some goods, and after leaving the station he found that two casks he had on the wagon rolled about; so he sent a little Kafir boy, the only person he had with him, back to the station to get two poles belonging to a neighbour, so as to block the casks. While the Kaffir was gone a Hottentot woman saw he oxen run right round, and then BARTON ran round behind the wagon to where the oxen had run. She next saw the oxen running off alone in one direction, and the wagon going downhill in another direction. It would appear BARTON did not put the break on, as he should have done, and that when the oxen started and ran round short, and broke off the disselboom. Being downhill the wagon got a start, and when he went to turn the oxen he did not observe that the wagon was free, which must have overtaken him, thrown him down, the two wheels going over the full length of his body, killing him on the spot. He was lying on his face, and never moved after the wagon passed over.