Header
Home / Historical / TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 04 APRIL
Amphibic Design - Websites - Graphibic Design
Today in Kimberley's History

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 04 APRIL

UPDATED: 04/04/2019

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.

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 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.

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, and named Du Toit’s Pan for obvious reasons. Du Toit sold the farm to a Mr Geyer for £525 on 12 May 1865, and he in turn sold it to Adriaan J. van Wyk for £870 on 6 January 1869. At the time of the discovery of the Dutoitspan mine the owner was Adriaan J. van Wyk.

In Jeremy Lawrence’s superb biography on Joseph Benjamin Robinson , it is stated that in either 1868 or possibly even in 1869 – the original details are somewhat sketchy – Robinson, while on his way to Hebron, now Windsorton, heard that a farmer’s wife had a stone similar to what he was looking for. He went to see the farmer’s wife, a Mrs van Wyk of Dorstfontein, and purchased the diamond from her. She had found it in a dry donga close to the house. Another tale told by J.B. Robinson was that she sold him two bottles of pretty stones, among which were six or eight diamonds for which he paid her four sovereigns. Robinson further states that during this same journey he shot a springbok antelope on the farmer de Beer’s land, the farm Vooruitzicht. De Beer, a near neighbour of the van Wyk’s, also showed Robinson a diamond that he had picked up under the tree where the antelope had been shot.

On 11 March 1871 van Wyk sold the Dorstfontein farm to Lilienfeld, Webb and partners (the London and South African Exploration Company) for £2600.

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

x

Check Also

Today in Kimberley's History

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 16 APRIL

16 April 1878, The Black African band – the Kimberley African Amateur ...

PT-Kimberley_African_Choir-1891

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 15 APRIL

UPDATED: 15/04/2019 15 April 1891, The Kimberley African choir (pictured) leaves for their ...