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Name: WATKINS, Frank (Senior)

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Birth Date: 1 May 1855 Durban

Death Date: 15 Sep 1938 Gilgil

First Date: 1904

Last Date: 1938

Profession: Farmer. Director and Editor of 'The Times of East Africa' in 1905, President of Parklands Sports Club in 1906, 1908 a Vice President of the Pastoralists Association and a Member of the Land Board in 1911. Also farmed at Obogonoto Estate, Nakuru

Area: Nairobi, Nakuru, Solai, 1925 Obogonoto Farm, Box 50, Nakuru, 1904 Naivasha, 1909 Milima Farm Solai

Married: Susan Bridella Glynn b. 18.11.1863, d. 30.3.1920 Nakuru. She always had an open house and warm welcome for anyone who called.

Children: Frank B. (1884-26 Sep 1928 Elburgon); Hubert Glynn; Henry Thomas (1882 S. Africa); Ruby Mary (Hill) (b.11.11.1888 Barberton, SA); Charles Warren Glynn (1889 Barberton, Transvaal-14.2.1914 Nairobi)

Book Reference: Gillett, SE, HBEA, Cuckoo, KFA, Sorrenson, Joelson, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Curtis, Playne, Drumkey, Land, Red 22, Pioneers, EAHB 1906, AJ, North, EAHB 1907, Leader14, Rift Valley, Red Book 1912, Barnes, Red 19

School: Pinetown School, Natal

General Information:

SE - F. Watkins - Dec 1907
His wide experience, ability and willingness to listen drew a great number of settlers and Govt. Officials alike to seek advice and help.    
HBEA - 1912 President of the Pastoralists' Association.    
Cuckoo - came up from S. Africa.
KFA - '....who had come up from SA where he had been a member of the Transvaal Volksraad.'    
Sorrenson - In 1905 a Land Committee was set up by Sir Donald Stewart - Judge Cator, Judge Hamilton and the Crown Advocate, J.W. Barth together with Lord Delamere and Frank Watkins. Cator was posted to the High Court at Zanzibar before the committee began work and Lord Delamere became Chairman.  
Red 25 - Honorary Permit Issuer.
Red 25 - JP, Solai. President Colonists Association 1905; first President, Parklands Sports Club; was Member of first Land Commission appointed in 1905; President, Convention of Associations 1910; 3 times elected as President, Pastoralists Association, Nakuru; Vice-President, Nakuru Memorial Hospital; President, Solai Association 1923
Curtis - p. 82 - 'The Government Experimental Farm, Naivasha by Ruby Hill - 'My father, the late Frank Watkins, came to BEA in 1904 to have a look at this new colony. He bought land for a song in what is now Moi Avenue and also much of the land on the hill where the Nairobi Club and hospitals now stand, and property in Parklands which was then thick forest. He sold it all for about 10/- an acre when he got depressed and for a while lost faith in the colony. When he arrived, at first he was very enthusiastic at the prospects and wrote to my mother to come out. I was then studying opera singing at Dresden but I begged to be allowed to leave my studies for a while and to accompany my mother. I never returned to go on with my singing career as I got married instead.
My father did not tell us that Kenya could be very cold, especially up country where we would be living. His only advice to us was to bring a stove as they could not be bought or were in limited supply, and my Bechstein piano and our side-saddles. We sailed in s.s. Modasa and arrived in Mombasa in 1905 ....... after a few days at the hotel [the Stanley] we were invited to stay with some old friends of my father's who had preceded him to Kenya, the well-known pioneer settlers, the late Mr and Mrs Russell Bowker. After spending some happy weeks with the Bowkers my mother bought land with a nice wood and iron bungalow on it, near where the Salisbury Hotel now stands. And so we moved into our first home in EA.
Together with the late Lord Delamere and Robert Chamberlain my father started one of the earliest newspapers, the 'Times of East Africa', and he was editor. Later on, when this newspaper closed down, he started the 'Globe Trotter' with the late Alexander Davis - I don't remember how long that lasted. Later my parents farmed at Solai.
Playne - Pastoralists' Association (Nakuru) - The idea of this association was first mooted by Messrs S. McCall and R. Chamberlain, and at a meeting a few days later the association was formed after a joint conference between them and Mr A.S. Flemmer. At a general meeting held at Nakuru on May 22, 1906, a constitution was agreed to, and Mr Flemmer was elected President and Mr Banks Secretary and Treasurer.  At the annual meeting in 1907 Mr Chamberlain was elected President; Messrs S. McCall and Flemmer Vice-Presidents, while Mr Banks was re-elected as Secretary and Treasurer. At the annual meeting in 1908 Dr. Atkinson was elected President, Messrs S. McCall and F. Watkins Vice-Presidents, and Mr P.G. Throne Secretary and Treasurer, vice Mr Banks, resigned.
Playne - The 'Nairobi News' - May 1905 - The plant was put up to auction and was purchased by Mr Frank Watkins and by Messrs Newland, Tarlton & Co. who, under the editorship of Mr Newland, brought out the 'Times of East Africa' on the 22nd of July 1905. A company, under the style of the 'Times Printing and Publishing Company,' was then floated, having as directors Mr Frank Watkins (managing director), Lord Delamere, Messrs R. Diespecker, J.B. Ellis, D.O. Roberts, and Douglas Gray. New plant, or rather old plant, belonging to the defunct 'East Africa and Uganda Mail' 9the first newspaper in Mombasa) was purchased for the 'Times' Company. The value of this investment was somewhat discounted on the arrival of the stock at Nairobi, for it was found that much of the type was useless, the founts having been tampered with when lying in Mombasa. However, several founts of new type were brought out from home, and a double royal "Wharfedale", so that the 'Times' started its career well equipped. ........…..
Mr Watkins then filled the editor's chair until the 25th December 1905, when Mr Ernest Law, from South Africa was appointed to the position, which he held until April 1906. Again Mr Watkins performed the duties of editor until June 1906, when Mr Hartnoll, who had been engaged in England, took over the duties, but only performed them until December of the same year, when he suddenly disappeared. It can well be imagined that the continual change of editors was not to the best interests of the paper, although the independent policy established in the first instance by the 'Nairobi News' was practically maintained throughout.
Drumkey 1909 - Cattle Brand - V2W - F. Watkins - Nakuru
Land - F. and F.H. Watkins leased 10650 acres at Nakuru later sub-divided
Red 22 - Justice of the Peace - Nakuru - F. Watkins
Red 22 - Honorary Permit Issuer - F. Watkins Senior, Obogonoto Farm, PO Nakuru
Land - 1906 - F. and H. Watkins - Grazing, 10,084 acres, Obogonotho River, 29-9-05, Registered 22-8-06
Land 1909 - F. & H.T. Watkins - Grazing and agricultural, 566 acres - Obogonot River - 6/6/08 - Leasehold for 99 years from 1/7/06 - Registered 23/8/09
Land - 1911 - Frank Watkins - Buildings, 0.99 acres - Nakuru - 18/4/11 - Leasehold for 99 years from 1/5/11 - Registered 18/9/11
Pioneers - Solai - The first European to take up land in Solai was Frank Watkins, in 1909.
Agricultural Journal 1908 - Brands allotted and registered - F. Watkins, Nakuru - Naivasha V2W
North - Foreman of the jury in the Max Wehner trial, Nairobi 8/5/1905; with wife, Susan, at Nairobi, laying out 'Parklands' Aug 1905; Vice-President of the Colonists Association, 'A man of means …. former member of the Volkstrad in Transvaal …. tried to hinder anti-plague measures in Nairobi' (F.J. Jackson CO 533), Sept 1905
Rift Valley - 6 Mar 1928 - 'May I call attention to the fact that although there is an "In" gate and an "Out" gate for motor cars, a great number of members & visitors discard both and invariably use the "In" gate for leaving the Club. Surely for safety's sake the above notices should be observed & members fined unless they comply therewith.'
Rift Valley - Member of the Rift Valley Sports Club - Jan 1929 - Elected - 4 Aug 1911 - F. Watkins Senr.
Red Book 1912 - F. Watkins - Naivasha
Red Book 1912 - Member of the Land Board
Red Book 1912 - President - Pastoralists'  Association
Gazette 1/6/1913 - General retail and Hotel Liquor Licence - R.E. Hale and F. Watkins - Nakuru -  transferred to Mrs T.H. Drake
Gazette - 3/12/1919 - Register of Voters - Rift Valley Area - F. Watkins (Senior) - Farmer - Nakuru and Susan Bridella Watkins (Senior) - Married - Nakuru
Barnes - Nakuru North Cemetery - Frank Watkins, born 1/5/1855, died 1938
Barnes - Nakuru North Cemetery - Susan Bridella Watkins, born 18/11/1863, died 30/3/1920
Red Book 1919 - Permit Issuer - Naivasha - F. Watkins Snr., Obogonoto Farm, Nakuru
Gazette 27 Sep 1938 probate

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