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Name: KEMP, John

Birth Date: 1877

Death Date: 17 Aug 1929 Kassawai estate, Trans Nzoia

First Date: 1902 - from S. Africa after service in the Boer War. 1902 - roamed upcountry and in Uganda

Last Date: 1929

Profession: A Cornishman. Lived in Eldoret for a time then farmed at Kitale. Founder member of the Mount Elgon Lodge. Crossed Nzoia River to start farming before 1914. 1913 developed coffee plantation. Pres. Mt Elgon Coffee Growers Assoc.

Area: Eldoret, Kitale, foot of Mt. Elgon, HBEA 1912 - Farm 68, Uasin Gishu, 1922 - Soy, 1925 Kitale

Married: In Queenstown, S. Africa 20 Dec 1905 Elizabeth Jane 'Bessie' Robinson b. 1882 (later Mrs Pearson)

Children: Iris (Mrs George Ulyate); Colin Robinson (killed in a game trap); Pendennis Hosking Robinson 'Dennis' (12 Oct 1916 Elgeyo-6 Oct 1956 Kitale)

Book Reference: North, EAWL, KFA, Red 22, Land, Gazette, Nicholls, Leader14, Red Book 1912, Pioneer Spirit, Gillett, HBEA, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, EAMR, Red 22, North, Red 19

War Service: Boer War, WW1 served with EAMR - C Sqdn. 7/8/14 - 7/12/14 - Sergt. 19/8/14

General Information:

Went to S. Africa to serve in the Boer War. The spirit of adventure brought John and his wife to BEA in 1908. They went to farm on the Uasin Gishu Plateau, but later they joined the first settlers in the Trans Nzoia, moving to their farm: "Kassowai" about 1913.
Mrs Kemp was savagely attacked by a native who ran amok and there was a near battle on the lonely farm. A few years later their son was accidentally killed in a game trap when he was impaled on a spear. - Source: Mrs Peggy Kemp
Land 1909 - John Kemp - Grazing and agricultural, 1831 acres - Uasin Gishu - 15/10/08 - Leasehold under Occupation Licence from 5 to 99 years from 1/3/09 - Registered 13/7/09
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Uasin Gishu Plateau - J. Kemp, Farm No. 68
Nicholls - Eldoret - The post office, a stone building of 2 rooms run initially by the Kemps and then by Mrs E.O. Milne … Nicholls - John and Bessie Kemp arrived from South Africa in 1908 with their baby Colin. They obtained a farm 10 miles from Eldoret, subsequently ran the post office and store at Sergoit, and bought a farm on Mt Elgon in 1917, where they grew coffee and lived a hospitable existence holding tennis parties on a court they had built. Their son Colin was accidentally impaled on an African spear set as a game trap to catch bushbuck; he severed his femoral artery and bled to death 2 miles from home. The great wailing of the farm employees brought neighbours to the scene and Colin was carried home on a sheet of corrugated iron to be buried on the farm. John Kemp died a few years later.
Red Book 1912 - J. Kemp - Uasin Gishu
Gazette - 29/10/1919 - Register of Voters - Plateau North - John Kemp - Farmer, Soy
Gazette 12/4/1922 - Brands Registered during quarter ending 31/3/1922 - John Kemp, Kassowai Estate, PO Kitale - GK8
Pioneer Spirit - John Kemp was a Cornishman from St. Ives. He fought in the Boer War and then settled in South Africa, where he married Bessie Robinson of Queenstown. Later he bought his farm on the Kassowai River and moved to the lower slopes of Mount Elgon and that was where I [Raymond M-Barberton] found them when I walked over from my grass hut, crossing the fallen tree bridge and wandering along the snake-like foot-path until I came upon their cottage of 4 rooms.
This was on a slope running down to their river, which like the Kaubeyon, was fast-flowing. John was jovial, rather indolent and very friendly, as was his wife Bessie with her round cheerful face. All were welcome in their tiny home. Bachelors were given a bed on the floor, on the dining room table and even on the verandah, when we used to congregate there for company and for tennis - I think theirs was the first tennis court in the district.
Gazette - 26/9/1923 - Voters Register - Plateau North - John Kemp, Farmer PO Soy and Mrs J Kemp, Married PO Soy
Gazette - 12/11/1929 - Probate and Administration - John Kemp late of Kassawai Estate, Kitale who died at Kassawai Estate on 17 August 1929. Applied for by Christopher O'Toole of Kitale
Red 22 - Honorary Permit Issuer - Mr J. Kempe, Farm No. 2, Elgon, Soy
Barnes - EAMR has John Kempe, Serjeant, No. 170
Red Book 1919 - Permit Issuer - Naivasha - J. Kempe, Farm No. 2, Elgon, PO Soy
Hut 1912 Farm 68 Store,
Hut - 1913 Elgon Coffee, 1919 Kassowie Est. Soy

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