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Nee: Initially spelt his name Paterson

Birth Date: 1865

Death Date: 10/9/1940 Nairobi

Nationality: British

First Date: 1893

Last Date: 1940

Profession: In charge of the Agricultural Section of the Church of Scotland Mission at Kibwezi. 1938 planter, Thika

Area: Kibwezi, Kikuyu, Chania Bridge, 1930 Thika Rapids, Thika, 1920 Mbagathi, 1912 Thika Rapids

Author: Further Bookref: Red Book 1912

Book Reference: Gillett, Ainsworth, KFA, Scotland, Binks, Weller, Fitzgerald, White Man, Land 1903, John Rawlins, Barnes, EAHB 1905, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, North, Drumkey, Red 22, Land, Pioneers, EAHB 1906, Gazette, Nicholls, EA Diary 1902, EAHB 1904, EAHB 1907,

General Information:

Binks - Father Bernard [St. Austin's Mission] said in a letter of 25th Sept. 1931 - "Coffee was also planted by Dr Charters and Mr John Patterson at Kibwezi at the Scottish Industrial Mission during 1893. Later they also transferred plants to Kikuyu. …"
Fitzgerald - Rev. T. Watson - Meteorological observations at Kibwezi from 1893-96 assisted by Matthew Wilson and John Paterson
White Man - 1902 - Paterson was growing tobacco along a creek and had some healthy 3 year old coffee trees.  
Land Grant 1903 - J. Patterson - Agricultural, 1,000 acres - Mbagathi - Oct 23 - Freehold
John Rawlins' resumé - Arrived at Kibwezi in 1893 on first appointment as gardener. 1895 - reported as being present at Fort Smith, Kabete. 1896 departs on leave ........ he stayed away for 26 months, which seems a very long time in comparison with the then expected norm of 6 months. This would suggest that he had been seriously ill and/or he was reluctant to return until he knew that there was a definite move up country in the offing. ....... Jan 1899 - returns from home leave ...... at Baraniki pressed on with the work of the farm, growing vegetables, tending the coffee, experimenting with crops. ........ 1900 - He is reported as being a member of the first Committee of Europeans in EA. ....... John Patterson, an agricultural missionary, ran a flourishing shamba on the lower site where he grew and distributed the first coffee seedlings, from seed brought to Kibwezi from Sheikh Othman ..... 1903 - left the mission at the end of 1903 to take up farming on his own account. ....... In later life he became something of a recluse. He died during the second world war, leaving his estate to Dr. Barnardo's Homes.  
Obituary - EA Standard - 18-9-1940 - "Passing of a Pioneer - Man who first planted Coffee in Kenya" - With the death of Mr John Patterson, on his coffee estate at Thika, on Sept. 10th 1940, the Colony lost its pioneer planter. The late Mr Patterson, who was 75 years of age, was also a pioneer missionary, coming to Kenya about 1892, in the days of the Imperial British East Africa Company. For some 3 years he was stationed at the Church of Scotland Mission at Kibwezi, but then transferred to and started the existing mission at Kikuyu. There 45 years ago he planted the first coffee in EA, using seed he had brought from Aden. For long he was the Mission's Agricultural Superintendent and had the satisfaction of seeing the crop flourish and become one of the agricultural pillars of the Colony. About 1905 or so, he retired from missionary service and took a farm of his own at Ngong on the site of what was, until recently, the Westwood Park Hotel. There he continued with coffee and later went out to Thika, where he remained until the time of his death. Not only was he the pioneer of Kenya Coffee, but he did much work in developing the land around Kikuyu and later Kiambu. He also started Potato growing for export in the Colony's early agricultural days. .......….  
EAWL Scrapbook - Makuyu/Mitubiri - 'John Paterson, the first person to bring coffee to Kenya lived at Mitubiri. He was a trained Horticulturist from Kew Gardens and first planted coffee near Karen. He then took up land at Mitubiri and farmed there at Thika Rapids Farm where he planted Coffee and a long avenue of naatjies, both of which are still flourishing. A jilted love affair embittered him and he lived the life of a recluse for many years before his death during the last World War. It was then learned that he left his entire estate to the Barnardo Homes.  
EAHB 1905 - Mbagathi River, Dagoretti North - Kibwezi  Nov. 1894, June 1895; arr. Fort Smith from Kibwezi 29/9/1895; returned from leave and moved to new mission at Kikuyu Jan 1899; based Kikuyu 19/3/1900; at first meeting of "Committee of Europeans" Nairobi 4/1/1902; Land Grant application 23/10/1903, Mbagathi
Red 22 has J. Patterson, Thika Rapids, Chania Bridge
Land - 1909 - John Paterson - Agricultural and grazing, 96 acres, M'bagathi, 19-12-08, Registered 27-3-09
Land - 1908 - J. Paterson - Grazing, 4000 acres, Thika River, 10-1-07, Registered 6-3-08
Pioneers - John Paterson, a trained horticulturist from Kew in London, walked from the coast in the 1890s to Kibwezi and worked with the mission there for some time. Later he moved on to Nairobi and Kikuyu: he was the man who brought the first coffee seed from Sheikh Othman to the Church of Scotland Mission. He then took up land at Mitubiri and planted coffee and naartjes on Thika Rapids Estate. In later life he became something of a recluse. He died during the Second World War, leaving his estate to Barnardo's Homes.
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Fort Hall - John Patterson, Thika Rapids, Chania Bridge
EA Diary 1902 - Listed as Committee member of the East Africa Agricultural and Horticultural Society - Established 1901 EAHB 1904 - Masai-Land District Residents - Peterson, J. [sic] - CS Mission, Kikuyu
Red Book 1912 - J. Paterson - Kyambu
Gazette 23/3/1921 - Notice - I the undersigned John Paterson wish it to be known that in future I shall change the spelling of my name to Patterson - Thika Rapids, Thika - 17/3/1921
KFA - One of the first to successfully harvest wheat in Kenya prior to 1903. Gravestone at Nairobi, Forest Rd. says - 'One of Kenya's Pioneers'
Barnes Forest Road, Nbi, cem - d.10 Sep 1940, aged 75
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Ukamba Voters List

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