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TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 04 APRIL

UPDATED: 04/04/2022

4 April 1860, Title deeds to the farm Dorstfontein granted to AP du Toit.

DU TOIT of DU TOIT’S PAN and DORSTFONTEIN

The farms that make up what is now the general Kimberley region were Dorstfontein, Bultfontein, Vooruitzicht, Alexandersfontein and Benaauwheidsfontein. The title deeds to the farm Bultfontein were granted by the British Government then controlling the Orange River Sovereignty, under Warden Certificate to J.F. Otto on 16 December 1848.

This was the first farm to be settled by white Boers.

PT-Dorstfontein_Farm-1860

General Plan of the Diamond Fields

Dorstfontein was granted by the Orange Free State Government to Abraham Paulus du Toit on 4 April 1860, while Vooruitzicht, formerly a portion of Bultfontein was sold to the brothers Diedrich Arnoldus and Johannes Nicolaas de Beer two weeks after he had received his title deeds, on 18 April 1860. Whether Otto sold the land is not known, but there are documents that suggest the Free State Government sold it to the De Beers brothers for £50. There are some discrepancies here as Alpheus Williams records that Vooruitzicht was sold on 27 December 1863 to the De Beers brothers.

The first of the Kimberley diamond mines to be discovered was the Dutoitspan Mine, named such because the farm Dorstfontein originally belonged to Abraham Paulus du Toit, who had built a small house next door to the Pan, a basin shaped like a saucepan that holds water. It was named Du Toit’s Pan for obvious reasons.

UPDATED: 04/04/2018

4 April 1860, Title deeds to the farm Dorstfontein granted to AP du Toit.

DID YOU KNOW

The farms that make up what is now the general Kimberley region were Dorstfontein, Bultfontein, Vooruitzicht, Alexandersfontein and Benaauwheidsfontein. The title deeds to the farm Bultfontein were granted by the British Government then controlling the Orange River Sovereignty, under Warden Certificate to J.F. Otto on 16 December 1848. This was the first farm to be settled by white Boers.

Dorstfontein was granted by the Orange Free State Government to Abraham Paulus du Toit on 4 April 1860, while Vooruitzicht, formerly a portion of Bultfontein was sold to the brothers Diedrich Arnoldus and Johannes Nicolaas de Beer two weeks after du Toit had received his title deeds, on 18 April 1860. Whether Otto sold the land is not known, but there are documents that suggest the Free State Government sold it to the De Beers brothers for £50. There are some discrepancies here as Alpheus Williams records that Vooruitzicht was sold on 27 December 1863 to the De Beers brothers.

Alexandersfontein was granted to Johannes Cornelis Coetzee by the Orange Free State Government on 3 December 1862, while that portion cut off from the Orange Free State after the boundaries were set in forming Griqualand West was sold to Phillip Rudolph Nel and Willem Gabriel Nel on 18 April 1860. The Coetzee family was already residing on the farm Benaauwheidsfontein in May 1858 as a Johannes Coetzee, presumably related to, or is, Johannes Cornelis Coetzee, was killed in an attack on the farm against the San who were unhappy about their land being given to white farmers. Another farmer residing on Benaauwheidsfontein, Jacob Diedericks, was also killed.

Dorstfontein was 6579 acres in extent, Bultfontein 14457 acres and Vooruitzicht 16405 acres.

Benaauwheidsfontein farm lies on the borderline between the Orange Free State and Griqualand West and was owned by Johannes Jacobus Wessels when diamonds were discovered. The Wesselton Estate, including the farms Benaauwheidsfontein and Olifantsfontein and including the Premier (Wesselton) Mine, were purchased by De Beers from JJ Wessels in December 1891 for £451 438 5s 10d.

4 April 1860, Title deeds to the farm Dorstfontein granted to AP du Toit.

DID YOU KNOW

Kimberley, as it is known today, was originally situated on several farms. Bultfontein, the adjoining farm Dorstfontein (known as Du Toitspan), and Vooruitzicht. Alexandersfontein was the fourth of the farms, and Benaauwheidsfontein the fifth. The original farms of Bultfontein and Dorstfontein were regular stopping places for travelers along the north-south route before diamonds were discovered. Benaauwheidsfontein was already well known in Southern Africa as the site of a skirmish in May/June of 1858.

The title deeds to the farm Bultfontein were granted by the British Government then controlling the Orange River Sovereignty, under Warden Certificate to J.F. Otto on 16 December 1848. This was the first farm to be settled by the OFS Boers. Dorstfontein was granted by the Orange Free State Government to Abraham Paulus du Toit on 4 April 1860, while Vooruitzicht, formerly a portion of Bultfontein was sold to the brothers Diedrich Arnoldus and Johannes Nicolaas de Beer two weeks after he had received his title deeds, on 18 April 1860. Whether Otto sold the land is not known, but there are documents that suggest the Free State Government sold it to the De Beers brothers for £50. There are some discrepancies here as Alpheus Williams records that Vooruitzicht was sold on 27 December 1863 to the De Beers brothers.

Alexandersfontein was granted to Johannes Cornelis Coetzee by the Orange Free State Government on 3 December 1862, while that portion cut off from the Orange Free State after the boundaries were set in forming Griqualand West was sold to Phillip Rudolph Nel and Willem Gabriel Nel on 18 April 1860. The Coetzee family was already residing on the farm Benaauwheidsfontein in May 1858 as a Johannes Coetzee, presumably related to Johannes Cornelis Coetzee, was killed in a fight on the farm against a combined indigenous force who were unhappy about their land being given to white farmers. Another farmer residing on Benaauwheidsfontein, Jacob Diedericks, was also killed.

Benaauwheidsfontein farm lies on the borderline between the Orange Free State and Griqualand West and was owned by Johannes Jacobus Wessels when diamonds were discovered. The Wesselton Estate, including the farms Benaauwheidsfontein and Olifantsfontein as including the Premier (Wesselton) Mine, were purchased by De Beers from JJ Wessels in December 1891 for £451 438 5s 10d.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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