Grahamstown Journal

Grahamstown Journal 1898 09 September

Thursday 1 September 1898

Mrs. DELANEY, wife of Mr. Jerry DELANEY, aerated water manufacturer, poisoned herself at Kimberley by accidentally taking carbolic in mistake for medicine. She was greatly liked in the town, and considerable sympathy is felt for her husband.

Just as we (Vryburg News) go to press we are in receipt of the following particulars regarding the murder of a farmer by a native. It appears that a Kafir stole a goat and killed it, and Mr. VAN DYK went on the spoor, taking with him two little native boys in his employ. They came up with the thief about 4 miles from the homestead, and attempted to arrest him, whereupon he fired three shots at the farmer. The unfortunate man fell with one charge in his head and another in his heart. On receiving the first wound he called out to the murderer, imploring him to let him return to his wife. He never uttered another word. The little boys ran off and carried the tidings to the deceased’s family, and when they found him he was quite dead. The murderer took the deceased’s horse, a dark blue stallion, and rode off with it.

The mother of Mr. BOTHA, a farmer at Tweefontein, near Vryburg, was a wonderful woman, a real treasure to a poorly populated country like this. She was the happy mother of no less than 36 children! Six times did she have twins. Mr. BOTHA himself has 8 sons.

After a lingering and painful illness, Mr. Major BEAMISH has died at his farm Stonehills, near Cradock.

Tuesday 6 September 1898

On August 10th, at St.Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness, by the Right Rev. Bishop Webb, assisted by the Rev. Canons Murdoch and Llewellyn, the Rev. L.M. DINWOODY, late of St.Andrew’s College, Grahamstown, to Margaret HAY, eldest daughter of the late James HAY Esq, Harmony House, Balerno.

DIED at his residence, Tea Fountain, on September 5th, George LEPPAN sen., aged 75 years 1 month and 10 days.
The Funeral will take place at his late residence, Tea Fountain, on the 7th inst. at 11am. Friends respectfully invited to attend.

We regret exceedingly to report the sudden death of one of the best known and most popular farmers in the district, and even in South Africa, one whose death will be felt as a calamity by all who had the honour of knowing him. Mr. George LEPPAN senior, of Teafountain, Lower Albany, died at 10:30 last night, after a twenty-four hours’ attack. Death, which was caused by a sudden telescoping of the bowels, came almost as a happy relief after the hours of excruciating pain, which were, however, borne with the fortitude with which our old friend was characteristic. Mr. LEPPAN was 75 years of age, and though lately he has showed signs of failing health, no one suspected the end was so near. He leaves a widow, 4 sons and 6 daughters, who deeply mourn his death.
Mr. LEPPAN was the son of British Settlers of 1820, a right worthy descendant, one who has done his utmost for the advancement of the country. Soon after his parents had settled down in the land of their adoption, their location being near the mouth of the present Kowie River, Mr. LEPPAN was born, and there he grew up, partaking of the hardships and perils of a settler’s life. The stories Mr. LEPPAN could tell of these early days were intensely interesting, and his own adventures and the history of his life and times would form an interesting volume. In the most [sic] of all this, Mr. LEPPAN grew up a sturdy and typical young colonist, able to shoot, swim, ride, walk and, above all, to work. It was this invaluable education which turned him out the farmer he was, who took his farm Teafountain and turned it into a living monument of his energy and ability. Mr. LEPPAN would often speak of the “good old days” and always maintained that the country was more easy to live in then. There were no cattle diseases, no fruit pests, game was plentiful, and water abundant. Mr. LEPPAN was in all the early Kafir Wars, and his thrilling experiences of encounters and escapes from the savages were most interesting. He was a sergeant in the famous STUBBS’s Rangers, and did yeoman’s service for the defence of hearth and home. On many an occasion he was connected on active service with Sir Walter CURRIE. We remember one story he told of how their little hamlet in the Kowie was suddenly alarmed by news that the Kafirs were coming. The settlers packed up and trekked to Bathurst, where there were small fortifications. “And”, naively remarked the old veteran, “I lost three pairs of new shoes, which had been forgotten on the shelf of our house, for before we got 5 miles the hamlet was in flames, and the savages dancing around”.
He married Miss WEBB, daughter of Mr. C. WEBB, also a well known settler, who survives him. Mr. LEPPAN’s stories of the early day schoolmasters are amusing, and he never failed to close with the remarks that the present day young people should be deeply grateful for their advantages. At the opening of the Diamond Fields Mr. LEPPAN followed the “rush”, but soon returned to his farm, which he was justly proud of. It is a pity there are not more like him. His spirit is shown by an incident which took place only the other day. He had promised to come into town and vote at the Assembly Elections for the Progressive cause, and though seriously ill at the time, insisted on keeping his promise. Alas! the kind old gentleman has gone, and has left behind a gap in our circle of friends.
The funeral will take place at Mr. LEPPAN’s late residence, Teafountain, tomorrow at 11am. Friends are respectfully invited to attend.

William N. TAYLOR, about 37 years of age, poisoned himself with strychnine at Maritzburg and died immediately. The deceased was an Englishman of gentlemanly appearance, had only been in Maritzburg a few weeks, and is said to be well known in the Mooi River district. From letters found at his lodgings, he would appear to have been in financial difficulties.

Mr. Andries VAN DER HEEVER, formerly elder of the Dutch Church, Bloemfontein, died on Wednesday near Petrusburg, aged seventy. He was the best of good fellows and turned the scales at 635lbs.

There was a fashionable wedding at Bulawayo on Thursday, the contracting parties being Miss Ida MACDONALD and Mr. Patrick FLETCHER. About 200 guests were present.

Thursday 8 September 1898

DIED at Bedford on the 8th September 1898, Helen Mary, infant daughter of W. Martin and Helen SCHOFIELD, aged 10 months and 11 days.

The funeral of the late Mr. LEPPAN took place at Teafontein yesterday (Wednesday) morning. After a short service in the house, conducted by the Rev. A.T. RHODES, of Grahamstown, assisted by the newly-appointed minister of the Dutch Reformed Church at Riebeck, the four surviving sons of the deceased carried the coffin to a plot of ground not far from the homestead, already made sacred as the resting place of one son and two grandchildren, who died some years ago. With the exception of one daughter, who is visiting at East London, and a granddaughter who is on a visit to Johannesburg, all the members of the family were present, together with all the neighbouring farmers and friends who could possibly attend. Had it not been for the Stock Fair, which was being held in Grahamstown at the same time, the attendance would have been considerably larger. Mr. LEPPAN was a good father, a kind neighbour, a just master, a pattern of industry and activity, a model Colonist, as is evidenced by his beautiful farm, and was deservedly very highly and universally esteemed. To the widow and family who have been so suddenly bereaved we tender our sincerest sympathy.

Saturday 10 September 1898

A fatal gun accident occurred at the Spitzkop Gold Mining Company, Lyndenburg, in which the accountant, Mr. J. BROWNLIE, a Scotchman, was killed. The District Surgeon and the Public Prosecutor, accompanied by the Rev. J. RAE, have left for the scene of the tragedy.

An interesting and attractive wedding was solemnised in Capetown at St.George’s Cathedral, on September 2nd, the contracting parties being Mr. Harry SWEETINBURGH, representing Messrs. STEEL, MURRAY & Co, of Port Elizabeth, and Miss Minnie TUCK, of Kensington.

Tuesday 13 September 1898

BIRTH at Kimberley on Sunday September 11,the wife of J.D. TYSON of a son.

DIED at Oak Lawn, Grahamstown, on 12th September, Dorothy Gertrude, infant twin daughter of F.A. SAUNDERS, aged 3½ months.

Some stir has been caused at Durban by the elopement of a married woman. Her husband, a painter named William WALLIS, states that he found on reaching home that his wife had gone, along with the marriage lines and his private papers, also taking the eldest child and leaving the youngest, aged only six months. He found that she had booked a passage under her maiden name to East London by the Tintagel Castle, and that a friend of his, who frequently visited him, voyaged by the same steamer. The curious part is that Mr. and Mrs. WALLIS have always been on affectionate terms, and the husband is much cut up: he never even suspected his friend. He is taking legal proceedings to recover his child.

A brutal murder took place about midnight on the 9th, at a spot near the Pretoria Preserve Works, about 50 yards from the railway station. The body of the unfortunate victim, a white man named Japie BOTES, was found at the spot mentioned with the skull battered in. A heavy railway bolt about two feet long, and a piece of iron piping about the same length, were found near the body. He appearance of the ground nearby showed that the murderers were Kafirs, and that a desperate struggle had taken place. A stoker on an engine heard cries for help a little after midnight, but he could not leave his charge. Robbery was evidently the motive of the crime, as the deceased’s pockets had been rifled. The deceased was formerly a trooper in the mounted police. Four natives have been arrested on suspicion.

Thursday 15 September 1898

DIED at Market Square on Wednesday September 14th 1898, Lenix James, infant son of James A. and S.J. TOMLINSON.

The Hon. Philip NORTON, one of the members of the Natal Legislative Council, is dead. His grandfather, John NORTON, was one of the first settlers at Grahamstown. The father of Mr. Philip NORTON suffered much through the rising in the Fort Beaufort district and on one occasion Philip was in laager under fire during the whole night. The latter settled in Natal in 1860 and has lived in Riet Vlei, where he died, since.

Saturday 17 September 1898

On Monday evening (states the Beaufort West Courant) the town was aroused from lethargy at the continued agitation of the bells of the Town Hall and various churches. Vine Lodge, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. KRIEL, was on fire and was doomed. Sparks were seen falling from the roof into the hall and the alarm was soon given. Within 15 minutes the whole of the furniture etc. was in a place of safety. The roof, which was thatched and covered with corrugated iron, was by this time blazing from end to end. The fire engine arrived about twenty-five minutes after the outbreak and was worked by a band of 10 coloured boys, and there was a plentiful supply of water. It did good service in keeping down the sparks which had previously threatened to endanger the properties in proximity. The fire was subdued about 11 o’clock. The cause of the outbreak is at present unknown. The destroyed property is owned by Mrs. GRIMSBECK, and it is uncertain whether it is fully insured.

By Special Licence, before the Magistrate this morning (says the Frontier Post) were celebrated the nuptials of Mr. Hermanus J. STEYN sen. of Vaalbank (age 79) and Miss SMIT, of Burghersdorp. The bridegroom, who was a weary widower of two months’ standing, started life half a century in advance of his young bride. May they have a long and happy spell of wedlock!

On Thursday last [sic] at Johannesburg a very pretty wedding took place between Alice, the eldest daughter of Mr. Thomas SHEFFIELD, and Theodore, son of the Rev. C.H.L. PACKMAN, of Grahamstown. The church was crowded with friends of the happy couple, the entire body of the building being occupied by guests and spectators. The service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. FISHER, Precentor of St.Alban’s Cathedral, Pretoria, assisted by the Rev. J.T. DARRAGH, Rector of St.Mary’s. At the appointed hour of three, the bride entered the church with her father, who gave her away. Attended by the Misses Lily, Ella, Kathleen, Florence, Constance and Lorna SHEFFIELD, she was accompanied to the top of the aisle, where the bridegroom was in waiting. Mr. W. SANGSTER acted as best man. After the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. PACKMAN left the church for the residence of the father of the bride, where a reception was held. The list of wedding presents was a huge one.
[Transcriber’s note: The marriage certificate shows that the wedding actually took place on Friday 14th September]

The sad and extraordinary position of a woman being a widow before she is a wife is that held by Mrs. L.G. KOOPS, the widow of Mr. Postmaster VAN TULLEKEN’s late secretary. A few days before Mr. KOOP’s deeply regretted death, he was married by the handschoen (glove) to the lady in Holland. She was to have left to join her husband on the 13th instant, but the cables have apprised her of her misfortune. The system of marriage by proxy is frequently adopted by Dutch bridegrooms in South Africa and Dutch brides in Holland. A friend of the groom represents him in the church, and is only released from the solemn engagement by a saving clause in the certificate. The aim and object of these innocent mock marriages is to bind the far away husband to his contract.

The marriage of Mr. Herbert Hinton MILDENHALL to Miss Mary BOVEY took place in St.John’s Baptist Church, Fort Beaufort, on Tuesday morning. The Rev. Father SIMEON officiated. The bridesmaid was Miss MILDENHALL, and the groomsman Mr. Cecil DUGMORE. The bride, who looked very charming, wore a cream-coloured dress, and the bridesmaid one of canary. Mr. J.Q. DICKSON gave the bride away in the absence of her brother, Sub-Inspector William BOVEY. A reception was held after the ceremony at Klu Klu, which was attended by about fifty guests. Mr. and Mrs. H.H. MILDENHALL left at one o’clock for Grahamstown, en route for the Kowie.

Tuesday 20 September 1898

Captain HOWATSON, of the British ship Eskdale, now lying in Algoa Bay, died a few days ago. He was seventy years of age, and had been much upset by the shocking death of one of his seamen, who fell from the rigging, sustaining terrible injuries.

The Free Press reports that Mr. William THOMSON, a farmer living on the Klipplaat, above Shiloh, went out with a number of his boys to extinguish a grass fire on his farm. In the midst of their endeavours to put it out, the boys saw him fall. They went to lift him up, but found he was quite dead. Mrs. THOMSON was waiting dinner for him, expecting him every moment, when to her horror the servants arrived carrying the lifeless body.

Thursday 22 September 1898

MARRIED at Grahamstown on the 17th Sept. by the Rev. W. Liddle, Alwin Emanuel SCHLENKER to Bertha Paulina Augusta HARTMANN.

A terrible accident occurred at noon on Saturday at Pretoria. A cart laden with gravel drawn by two horses was coming down Koch Street when the bolt connecting the pole to the body of the cart broke, and the driver was pitched between the horses, which set off down the street. After running about two hundred yards the horses went on to the sidewalk, on which two little girls of seven years old were playing, unconscious of the approaching danger. Before anything could be done the horses had dragged the cart over the children, both of whom were killed. The chest of the one was crushed in, while the other had her neck broken. The one is the daughter of Mr. Henry HUMAN, conductor on the Pietersburg Railway, and the other the child of an Austrian, Peter [LENN]. The driver of the cart had a wonderful escape, being dragged the whole distance while hanging on to the pole. He has been arrested and charged with culpable homicide.

Tuesday 27 September 1898

A young fellow of about 20 years of age, named Arthur GOODCHILD, son of Auctioneer GOODCHILD of Kimberley, attempted to commit suicide by taking strychnine. Owing toa medical man being soon on the spot, and prompt measures taken, it is probable that his life will be saved.


Another very sudden death has occurred at Waldeck’s Boarding House, Graaffreinet, an elderly maiden lady, named Miss BRIGG, being found dead in bed. She stayed up rather late on the previous night and was in her usual health. She came to the Colony five years ago, having broken down in the old country whilst nursing. Mr. C.J. BRIGG, her nephew, is farming at Klipplaat, and her brother is at Herschel.

Thursday 29 September 1898

DIED at Grahamstown on Thursday 29th day of Sept. 1898, Edwin ATHERSTONE M.D., aged 57 years.
The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon.

We regret to report the death this morning of Dr. Edwin ATHERSTONE M.D., of this City, who is a very well known resident. Dr. ATHERSTONE was 57 years of age, and his health has of late been failing very much. He leaves a widow and family to mourn their sad loss, to whom the sympathies of the public will be extended in their sorrow. The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon.

A boy named John PETERS, residing at Brackwater Cottage, Capetown (says the Times) was drowned at the South Arm Jetty. It appears that he was getting into a boat to go for a sail when he slipped between the boat and the quay, and being unable to swim, was drowned before assistance could arrive. The alarm was given on board the U.S.S. Greka, which was lying close by, and the ship’s surgeon and Mr. EDMUNDS, chief steward, hastened to the spot, where they assisted the Dock Police in endeavouring to restore life, but owing to the boy’s long immersion their efforts were unavailing. The body was removed to the morgue to await the usual inquest.

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