Grahamstown Journal

Grahamstown Journal 1883 02 February

Monday 5 February 1883

BIRTH at African-street, Grahamstown, on the 5th inst, the wife of Mr. C.H. ABBOTT of a son.

Grahamstown Fire and Marine Assurance and Trust Company
Assigned Estate of Richard Anthony HULLY
The First and Final Liquidation and Distribution Account in the above Estate will lie for inspection of Creditors at the Office of the undersigned for fourteen days from this date, after which no claims will be recognised; and should no objections be raised thereto, the Assignee will proceed to the distribution thereof in accordance with the respective preferences of the claims lodged.
Grahamstown, February 1st 1883

Monday 12 February 1883

Rev. Thomas GUARD
The New York Witness says it is proposed to raise £20,000 as a testimony to the memory of the Rev. Thos. GUARD of Baltimore, the income to be applied to the education and maintenance of his family.

Friday 16 February 1883

MARRIED on the 14th February at St.George’s Cathedral, Grahamstown, Charles, fifth son of Capt. John DICKINSON of Louth, Lincolnshire, England to Fannie, eldest daughter of William CHITTENDEN, of Grahamstown. No cards.

The Port Alfred Budget of the 15th writes:- On Sunday afternoon last, the 11th instant, a native, named William GAIKA, committed suicide at the Location by hanging himself. He effected it by means of a woollen scarf tied twice round his neck and then attached to the end of a piece of chain suspended from the top of the hut. No reason has yet been assigned for the rash and [insane?] act. The deceased some time ago was very much addicted to drink, but since the inauguration of the Red Ribbon Army by the Rev. Mr. MOUNTAIN at Port Alfred he had been a member of it, and was at the time he committed suicide a total abstainer.

Tuesday 20 February 1883

It is our sorrowful duty, says the Bloemfontein Friend of the 15th inst, to record the death of two ladies from this dreadful disease. On Wednesday the 31st ult the wife of Mr. Charles J. OERTEL JP, of Modder-river, about six hours from town, was confined of a fine healthy child. On the following Friday symptoms of child-bed fever exhibited themselves. Dr. EASTON, who was in attendance, consulted with Dr. CROGHAN, but the unfortunate lady succumbed last Friday, and was buried on Saturday afternoon in the Church of England cemetery, the Hon. and Rev. A.V. LYTTLETON, assisted by the Rev. Canon BORTON, officiating at the Cathedral and at the grave. Mrs. OERTEL was the second daughter of Mr. Town-councillor GOODALE, and was much respected. She leaves nine children to mourn their loss. – On Saturday the 11th inst the wife of Mr. P.J. BLIGNAUT, Government Secretary, gave birth to a son. On the following Tuesday diarrhoea and fever set in. Dr. KELLNER, who was in attendance, called in Dr. STOLLREITHER. Nothing that medical skill could suggest, or kind and careful nursing could effect, was of any avail in either case. Mrs. BLIGNAUT died on Sunday afternoon last, leaving five young children, and was buried on Monday at 3pm, the Rev. C.S. MORGAN performing the last solemn rites at the Dutch Reformed Church and at the grave. The death of these two ladies has cast quite a gloom over the town, and the bereaved husbands and families have the sympathy of the public in their affliction. We need not say that the presence of such a contagious and fatal disease in our midst is very appalling, and we hope and trust that we have seen the last of it.

A most distressing case of drowning at Blinkwater on Wednesday last is reported by the Fort Beaufort Advocate. A young man named PETZER, and three lads, sons of Mr. GREEF of Somerset East, were bathing at the junction of Blinkwater Poort. PETZER had swum across the river and back again when one of the GREEFs wanted to be carried across. PETZER carried two of the boys safely over, and returned for the third. He cautioned the lad not to hold him too tight, but when about half way across, young GREEF, becoming frightened, clasped PETZER around the chest, imprisoning both arms. Mr. GREEF, father of the three youngsters, saw PETZER sink, but did not suspect that anything was wrong. When, however, he saw them rise to the surface three times he became frightened, and shouted for assistance. Being unable to swim himself, Mr. GREEF ordered two Hottentots to render assistance, but they could not swim, and would not go into the water. Mr. TIDBURY hearing shouts, jumped on to a horse and rode down the river, calling to his assistance Mr. BISHOP Sen. and Mr. STOKES. Both TIDBURY and STOKES immediately plunged in and after several unsuccessful attempts STOKES shouted he had found the bodies, but could not move them. TIDBURY went to his assistance, and between them they brought PETZER to the surface; and finally, with the assistance of BISHOP, got the body out of the water. A Kafir dived down and brought out young GREEF. A glance showed that life had been extinct for some time. The most distressing feature in this sad case is that father, mother and brothers witnessed the drowning without being able to render assistance. Mrs. GREEF, in great grief at seeing her son lying dead on the grass, made a desperate leap into the water; but a Kafir caught her before she sank. Mr. GREEF had only recently lost a daughter, and was travelling to restore his wife’s health, which was seriously affected by the loss. PETZER was a strapping young fellow, 20 years of age

Friday 23 February 1883

From a Correspondent
On Tuesday morning last the inhabitants of Somerset were shocked by the dreadful intelligence that Mrs. LEPPAN, wife of Wm. Oliver LEPPAN, attorney, residing in this place, had been brutally flogged to death by her husband. From subsequent investigation the leading facts are substantially as follows:- LEPPAN (the husband of the deceased lady, who was a daughter of Professor KIDD, formerly of Gill College) had gone to Zwager’s Hoek, during which time Mrs. LEPPAN had made arrangements to leave her husband, and had (so rumour states) taken her ticket on Monday to leave by passenger cart on Tuesday morning for Cookhouse. At present it would not be well to assume what the reasons were of her intended departure. On Monday evening LEPPAN returned from Zwager’s Hoek, and during the same night committed the dreadful deed for which he now lies in gaol, awaiting trial. At the preliminary examination held yesterday before the Resident Magistrate, the statement of Dr. MOOLMAN and BUDLER was taken, who declared that the deceased lady had died by reason of the extreme violence done to her body and shock caused to the whole system. The entire body was one mass of bruises, and the stripes too many and too close to be counted. More than 100 stripes, however, could be counted, distinct from the general mass of bruises. And this terrible flogging, which was inflicted with a huge horse sjambok (we shudder almost as we write) was inflicted apparently on the bare body of the unfortunate lady, the body being found in a state of nudity and rigid. At some time during the evening she must have been on the bed, as the blood from the lacerated body had soaked through two mattresses, while there was but little blood on the night-dress, the inference being that she had been divested even of that garment. At four am on Tuesday morning LEPPAN hastened to call a doctor, saying “come quickly, my wife is dying”. Dr. MOOLMAN was soon on the spot, and found life extinct, and this he concluded had been the case for half an hour or more. LEPPAN then stated that he had given her a whipping, and finding his wife dead, asked the Dr. “What would you advise?” It was suggested that he should report the matter at once. He then said “Will you do so for me?” This was done, and soon after LEPPAN was apprehended and committed to gaol. The prisoner cross-questioned the several witnesses yesterday and then made his statement, which was very lengthy, and entered into minute particulars respecting what transpired during the night, finally coming to the chief points, which may be thus summarised: “On my return I picked up an envelope in my wife’s handwriting to Mr. ___ ___, and marked ‘private’ in the corner (this envelope, however, is not forthcoming). I asked what it meant, and what I was to think about it? She said ‘You may think of it what you like’. I then got angry and said ‘Give me your keys, for I mean to get at the bottom of this’. She said she would not, and I became exasperated and struck her two or three times with the sjambok. She said ‘That is just what I want, now beat me’. She sat still on the bed and I beat her.” At the confession there was a great [reaction] in Court. “We afterwards made it up, and I dressed her wounds. This was because she asked me to forgive her this once, which I did. Later during the night she got up and went to get something for the baby, and I heard a heavy fall. Then after she had laid down I heard her groan, and asked what was the matter. She said she had fallen down the steps. After a time I heard her breathing heavily and [short]. I asked ‘What is the matter?’ She did not reply. I thought she had fainted and went for the doctor, and when he came she was dead.”
The prisoner’s remarkably composed manner in court, and more than all his attempt to account for his wife’s death by the fall (if true) and to prove that she had been unfaithful to him (a matter about which the least said by the prisoner the better) tended largely to alienate from the prisoner any pity which the public may have felt for him under the circumstances.
Further revelations will doubtless soon be made, throwing more light upon this awful case. Two men were under sentence of death here a few months ago, the one being executed a few weeks back, and now another murderer occupies our prison whose crime appears of yet deeper dye.

Monday 26 February 1883

BIRTH at Grahamstown on the 20th inst, the wife of Ernest William WELLS of a son.

The Partnership heretofore subsisting between the Undersigned has this day been dissolved by mutual consent. All Debts due to the late Business must be forthwith paid to the first undersigned, by whom all Debts owing by the late Firm will be paid.
Somerset East, Feb 23 1883

[Transcriber’s Note: A lengthy description of the LEPPAN court case is printed, more or less repeating the information from Friday’s account, but the report ends with the following:-]
We may mention that prisoner requested to be tried at the Circuit Court to be held here on the 8th March.
The deceased lady was the eldest daughter of Mr. T. KYD of Murraysburg, late Professor in the Gill College here, and much sympathy is expressed for the family under the sad bereavement. She was barely 22 years of age, and leaves two little children.
Her brother, Mr. R. KYD, clerk to the Magistrate of Cradock, arrived on Tuesday evening, the other members of the family being too far distant to come.
The funeral took place on Wednesday at 11 o’clock, and was very numerously attended, considering that the preliminary examination of her husband was being conducted at the same time.

BIRTH at Grahamstown on the 26th Feb 1883, the wife of Mr. W. HOLLAND of a daughter.

Wednesday 28 February 1883

BIRTH at Cassel Cottage, West Hill, on the 28th February 1883, Mrs. Julius GAU of a daughter.

MARRIED on 28th Feb at Commemoration Chapel by the Rev. E. Lones, Alexander McKirdy McGREGOR, of Keiskama Hoek, to Harriet Foster, eldest surviving daughter of E.D. BRADLEY of Grahamstown.

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