Arthur Hunt Dell (1857 - 1939)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Death: Died in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Managed by: Zoe Jeffery
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Immediate Family

About Arthur Hunt Dell

Notes of Tessa King Arthur Hunt Dell, my great grandfather, was the son of Edward Hunt Dell and Eliza Weymouth Usher. He was born on the 8th December 1857 in the Grahamstown area and baptised in the Wesleyan Church as recorded in the Salem/Albany Circuit Register by Rev John Smith on the 23rd June 1858. He was their seventh son and the tenth of 13 children. His family lived in one of his grandfather's houses in Grahamstown when he was a little boy. In 1863 his father purchased the farm 'Maitland' in the Peddie District. However, they soon moved back to Grahamstown.

Arthur attended school in Grahamstown and during his education learnt to speak Xhosa fluently. In about 1874 when his education was complete his brother William Thomas taught him the tricks of the trade of a Transport Rider. This was a popular and lucrative way to earn a living in those days with diamonds having been discovered in 1866 and gold just a a few years later.

In 1884 Arthur went to the Witwatersrand to seek his fortune as so many others were doing. He is alleged to have done prospecting at either the old Klerksdorp Mine or at Afrikaander Leases. Later he joined Wemmer Gold Mine where he worked as an accountant and at times acted as Mine Secretary, an occupation his son George would one day follow.

It is not known when or how he met his wife, Emily Loxton Locke, who was the eldest child of George Gray Locke and Emily Margaret Green an 1820 Settler descendant. Her father was a well known preacher in the Albany area. Arthur and Emily were married in the Methodist Church in Johannesburg on the 17th February 1892 after banns and out of community of property. Their marriage was witnessed by Dora Humphreys and Martin Adolph Urens Koch (who later married Elizabeth Dell, Arthur's youngest sister). Arthur was 34 at the time and his bride was 26 years of age. Emily too had been born in Grahamstown, so perhaps they met as children.

During the period 1893-1899 Emily gave birth to six children whilst they lived at Wemmer Mine. Their first born was George Edward, my grandather, born at Wemmer Mine on the 16th April 1863. Their eldest daughter Connie died in 1896 at about two years of age. At the start of the Boer War, Emily, who was pregnant with their seventh child, together with the children were sent back to Grahamstown. Many of the family stayed at Barville Park just outside of Bathurst and perhaps this was where Emily and her children stayed. But if her parents were living in Grahamstown one would assume that she lived with them. In February 1900, Emily had her baby, Eric whilst staying in Grahamstown.

After the war had ended in 1902 they returned to Johannesburg. The Wemmer Mine closed in 1904/1905 and Arthur then joined Premier Diamond Mine at Cullinan as Chief Storekeeper until he retired in 1930 at the age of 72. Whilst at Premier Mine three more children were born to Arthur and Emily. Sadly their daughter Dorothy born in 1904 and their son Vivian born in 1912 at Cullinan died there in 1912.

After retirement Arthur and Emily returned to Grahamstown where he died at the age of 82. He and Emily are buried in the same grave in the Old Grahamstown Cemetery.

Memorial Inscription: "Arthur Hunt Dell. Died 03-10-1939. Husband of Emily Loxton Locke."

Sources: 1. Family notes and interviews. 2. Baptism entry from Salem/Albany Wesleyan Circuit Baptism Register Entry 1011 (photographed 13/1/2004 at Cory Library, Grahamstown by Tessa King). 3. Marriage Certificate & Marriage Entry 69 - Methodist Church, Johannesburg. 4. Death Notice - KAB MOOC 6/9/5549 Ref 66335. 5. Death Notice - TAB MHG 518/52 Eric Dell (son). 6. Death Notice - TAB MHG 7393/73 - George Dell (son). 7. Death Notice - KAB MOOC 2928/1954 - Emily Dell (wife). 8. Death Notice - KAB MOOC 6/9/4265 Ref 37708 - James Dell (brother). 9. "The Dell Chronicles 1750-1979" by Margarete E Jeale.

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Arthur Dell's Timeline

1857
December 8, 1857
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1858
June 23, 1858
Albany/Salem Circuit, E Caoe, South Africa
1939
October 3, 1939
Age 81
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
October 5, 1939
Age 81
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
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