Herman Otto Carl Friedrich Jeppe, SV/PROG

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About Herman Otto Carl Friedrich Jeppe, SV/PROG

Hermann Otto Carl Friedrich *Rostock, Duitsland 22/4/1819,oudste seun van Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Jeppe en Magdalena Anna Westphal a.c. 1848, werk in die aptekersaak van O.H.L. Landsberg, verhuis 1857 na Rustenburg waar hy as mediese dokter praktiseer. In 1859 is hy Posmeester te Potchefstroom, word die eerste Posmeester-Generaal in Transvaal, sterf Prieska 25/2/1892

x spes.lis.30/1/1849 Anna Maria Wilhelmina Landsberg

xx Rose Ellen Robinson (SABW 11)

The first Jeppe Migrant was Hermann Otto, born in 1819, who arrived sometime in the 1850s. In 1861, he was followed by his younger brother, Friedrich Heinrich and their sister Francina and her German officer husband, a Captain Dietrich. A third brother, Julius Jeppe arrived in 1870. ...

Why did the brothers come to South Africa? As facts and articulated motives are scarce, one can only speculate. Their journeys here began with Herman Otto, who wanted to practice medicine, but poor eyesight prevented this. Perhaps he learnt that given a shortage of medical men, regulations in South Africa might not be as strict? He came to Cape Town, where he worked for the prominent apothecary, Otto Landsberg, learning much medical lore in the process. He fell in love with Landsberg’s daughter, Mimi. The family did not approve. Mimi was invited to a reception at Government House where perhaps she enjoyed relative freedom from surveillance. Hermann gained access to the gathering disguised as a Malay waiter and from where the couple then eloped. They later proceeded to the Transvaal where Hermann began practicing medicine in Rustenburg. So we may speculate that the first Jeppe crossed the Vaal mainly because of an intense and romantic love affair rather than original intent, and that later, he attracted his brothers with intimation of rich opportunities in a land where skills were in short supply...

Initially, Hermann did not function as a doctor in Rustenburg for long. After a brief spell as Rustenburg’s postmaster, he was appointed the first Postmaster-General of the Transvaal Republic and moved to Potchefstroom, where, for a short period, he also filled the post of acting State Attorney between September 1859 and May 1861. At the end of 1861 he resigned his postal job and returned to Rustenburg where he resumed his medical career. He was elected to the Transvaal Volksraad in 1866 and became the first Master of the ZAR Supreme Court in 1869. His career turned sour when in 1873, he was accused of embezzling money as a member of the Orphan Chamber commission. He explained the problem as being due to careless bookkeeping and handed all his property to the Government. He was nevertheless charged with public theft and fraud and dismissed from his post.

Impoverished, he left the Transvaal, and in 1881, was living with his second wife Rose Ellen Robinson and family on a farm close to the alluvial diggings on the Vaal near Barkly West. He died in Prieska in 1892.


South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958

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Herman Otto Carl Friedrich Jeppe, SV/PROG's Timeline

April 22, 1819
Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
December 12, 1849
February 23, 1853
Swellendam, Cape Colony
September 22, 1855
April 19, 1857
February 12, 1859
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany
June 1, 1860
Potchchefstroom, Transvaal
August 24, 1860
Rustenburg, Transvaal
August 24, 1863