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Name: KEELING, William Henry 'Harry'

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Birth Date: 7 June 1865 Yew Tree Farm, Penkridge, Staffs.

Death Date: 13 June 1931 Nakuru

First Date: 1904

Profession: Farmer, 'Congreve Farm'

Area: Elmenteita - pioneered improved breeds of cattle

Married: At Mombasa Cathedral 15 Nov 1906 Harriet Mary 'Molly' Wilcox b. 1876, d. 27 Mar 1945 Nairobi

Children: All leading sportswomen: Dorothy Mary (Wood) (17 July 1910 Bridgnorth, Shropshire-5 Mar 1983 Nairobi); Hilda Kitson (Robb) (17 Mar 1912 Elmenteita-1989 Johannesburg); Helen Masfen (Allardice) (18 Apr 1914 Elmenteita-18 July 1991 Cape Town); Phyllis (5 Sep 1920 Nakuru); Mollie (Goldhawk); Eric Charles (11.1.1909-3.2.1909)

Book Reference: Gillett, HBEA, Joelson, KAD, Hut, Land, Advertiser, Pioneers, Gazette, Leader14, Red Book 1912, Barnes, SE, North, Red 25, Red 31, Red 22, Rift Valley, Gazette

War Service: Boer War

General Information:

Joelson - 1928 - ..... eastern shore of Lake Nakuru. Mr Keeling, the earliest pioneer of this district, and now a successful stock farmer, owns a valuable area with its homestead only 2 or 3 miles south of the railway station.
Land - R.A.B. Chamberlain leased 22109 acres at Nakuru, later 6637 acres passed to L.H. Keeling
Advertiser - 27/11/08 - Nakuru Agricultural Show - donation from - W.H. Keeling
Pioneers - Nakuru School - Anne Walshe - ……I arrived to teach in Nakuru School, on Thinking Day, 1934. ….. Mrs Dorothy Keeling, the Guide Captain, had kindly helped to collect my cabin-trunk at the old ramshackle wooden railway station opposite Nakuru Hotel (now the Midland).
Gazette - 18/2/14 - Partnership between Robert Chamberlain and W.H. Keeling dissolved 11/2/14
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Elmenteita - H.W. Keeling (British), Settler
Red Book 1912 - W.H. Keeling - Naivasha
Barnes - Nakuru North Cemetery - William Henry Keeling (Harry) who died at Nakuru on 13/6/1931 aged 63 years, of 'Congreve' Elmenteita where they settled in 1904. Husband of Harriet Mary Keeling
HBEA 1912 mentions Messrs Chamberlain & Keeling in connection with sheep farming.
Hut has W. Harry Keeling 1912 Congreve, Elmenteita married to Molly who was a tennis champion
SE - W.B. Keeling - Elmenteita - July 1907
Rift Valley - Member of the Rift Valley Sports Club - Jan 1929 - Elected - 16 Aug 1927 - H. Keeling
Gazette - 3/12/1919 - Register of Voters - Rift Valley Area - H. Keeling - Farmer - Elmenteita and Mary Keeling - Married - Elmenteita
Gazette 19/4/1922 - Liquor Licence issued at Naivasha - H. Keeling, Gilgil Hotel - General Retail and Hotel Liquor Licence
Red 25 - Honorary Permit Issuer
Gazette - 23/8/1922 - Meeting of Creditors - of Harry Keeling, trading as the Gilgil Hotel, Gilgil will be held at the offices of Messrs Dunn, Hornby & Standish .…… on 30 August 1922
Gazette - Dec 1919 - Application for Liquor Licence - Harry Keeling - Hotel Liquor Licence - Gilgil Hotel, Gilgil - transferred from Lady Colvile
Gazette 17 July 1945 wife's probate 
Rowena Burrow (granddaughter: My grandfather found farming at Elmenteita very hard, and very different from what he was used to in
England! He brought cows out to Kenya - obviously by sea in those days - which were not strong enough to endure the conditions. He
records "no rain", seemingly for ever, added to which he had to deal with all the local diseases - rinderpest etc. He built bomas for the cattle, which my grandmother would defend from lion and rustlers at night
- with a hurricane lamp in one hand and a rifle in the other. Here was this lovely English rose with no previous experience of Africa, and from what I understand she never got used to the life.The nearest'neighbouring' farms were located many miles away, so they seldom met up with other people and I think she was very lonely. My grandmother lost her first son at childbirth, so she returned to the UK for the birth of her next child, my mother. In the end there were five Keeling daughters. A second son unfortunately died at a young age. My grandfather had sent a little African 'toto' runner to Nakuru with a note in a cleft stick to call the doctor. The doctor arrived in due course, by ox cart, but was sadly unable to save the child, When they grew up, the five girls left the farm and went to work in Nairobi, which is where my mother met my father, who was sent out by Kodac at a very young age in 1930 or before. They all indulged in every sport possible at Parklands Club. Harry Keeling sadly died suddenly in his early sixties,
having only been in Kenya all told for about twenty years. After his death the farmhouse burnt down, so my grandmother re-located to Nairobi to live out her final days near her daughters. Having been purchased for a song, the land was sold for a song.

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