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Name: DAWSON, William John 'Willy'

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Nee: bro of William George Dawson

Birth Date: 15 Dec 1884 Scotland

Death Date: 16 Sep 1963 Njoro

Profession: Official in the Agricultural Department; later farmed at Njoro. 1912 Registrar of Brands, Agric. Dept.; farmer, Memzie Farm, Njoro

Area: Njoro

Married: In Nakuru 23 Aug 1921 Catherine Graham Cowan Williamson b. 27 Mar 1899 Cathcart, Renfrewshire, d. 22 Feb 1985 Natal, S. Africa

Children: Fergus Lorne (11 July 1922 Njoro-1997); Beth Niven (29 Oct 1923 Njoro-1986) (Fey); Olga Belle (22 Aug 1925 Njoro) (Barker); Fiona MacBeth (6 Nov 1927 Njoro) (Burr); Elspeth Anne (16 Nov 1930 Njoro) (Harte)

Book Reference: Gillett, HBEA, KFA, Today, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, EAMR, Pioneers, Drumkey, Red 22, Advertiser, Gazette, SKP, Leader14, Colonial, Rift Valley, Red Book 1912

War Service: Joined EAMR on outbreak of WW1 - B Sqdn. 8/8/14 - 13/10/14 - Cpl. 10/8/14; to EAVC

General Information:

Farmer and Developer - A pioneer and had been in Kenya for some time. Owned 'Memzie' a 2000 acre farm at 7000ft above sea level, near Nakuru, Grew wheat and other things. Also a member of Kenyan Parliament and pals with Lord Delamere, so travelled a lot. He met his wife through a friend of the Middlemas's and Willy was rumoured to have fainted at the signing of the register as he realised then she was 20 years younger than him. She took a personal loan out to buy some cattle, sheep and hens and set up her own business as well. Selling milk, butter and cream and breeding cattle to sell, importing pedigree bulls from Australia. Built walled garden to grow things.
KFA - in 1916 Mr W.J. Dawson established flax at Bahati, near Nakuru. ......... One of the few who sold at the right moment - he parted with his land at Bahati at what seemed then to everyone a fabulous price. Soon afterwards, when his fortune was the talk of the country, he was summoned in one of the early T model Fords to rescue the Governor, whose grander vehicle had stuck in the mud. Arriving in his farm clothes, he effected the rescue and deposited the gubernatorial party in Nakuru: to receive from a grateful aide-de-camp a tip of 5/-. His fortune, sad to say, later evaporated, as is the way with fortunes of pioneers. He decided to go in for essential oils and, not being a man to do things by halves, built a distillery and put in no less than 1100 acres of geraniums - probably the largest single geranium plantation in the world. They thrived for 6 weeks; then a rot set in; within another month every single geranium had perished. So had the fortune. Undismayed, Mr Dawson scraped enough together to make a new start in wheat.  ............ Possibly the first pyrethrum seed was imported and grown by W.J. Dawson of Njoro, who received 60 grammes of Dalmatian pyrethrum from a French seed firm in May 1927. ........ The pyrethrum grew well but, the following year, a visiting scientist remarked that it had been superseded by a synthetic insecticide, and Mr Dawson pulled up the plants and threw them away. 
Today - Pioneer of the essential oils industry in Kenya - began distilling at Njoro in 1925-26.
Red 22 - W.J. Dawson, Proprietor, Nakuru Hotel, Nakuru
Red 22 - Vice-President, Njoro European Association
Advertiser - 4/9/1908 - Subscribers for St. Andrew's Church Building Fund - W.J. Dawson - Rs. 50
Gazette - 1/1/14 - William John Dawson - appt. Acting Manager Government Farm, Kabete and Acting Superintendent Reformatory
Gazette - 4/11/1914 - Appt. - East Africa Veterinary Corps - To be Lieutenant - W.J. Dawson
Gazette - 11/8/1915 - Appt. - EA Veterinary Corps - Resignation - Lieut. William John Dawson
SKP - 1938 - Society of Kenya Pioneers - over 30 years in Colony - arrived Feb 1907 - W.J. DawsonLeader14 - Registrar of Brands, Agricultural Dept.
Colonial 1912 - Agricultural Dept. - Registrar of Brands
Rift Valley - Member of the Rift Valley Sports Club - Jan 1929 - Elected - 3 Jan 1916 - W.J. DawsonRed Book 1912 - W.J. Dawson - Nairobi
KFA - Pioneer in the Solai area.
KAD 1922 - W. Dawson, Vice-President, Njoro European Association
Gazette - 18/4/1923 - Notice - Nakuru Hotel - William John Dawson has leased the above Hotel to Mr Ralph Davis as from 15 April 1923
Moved to Pietermaritzburg in 1963
Ancestry Family Tree gives his name as William James

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