"Granny Macarthur was born Jane Clarke on 6th January 1879. She was the
youngest of seven children and they lived in Merrivale in Natal. After
leaving school she became a teacher.
Her marriage to Charles Cornish Macarthur took place on March 13th, 1896,
at The Manse, Loop Street, Maritzburg, Colony of Natal.
Before starting on their first trek to Rhodesia she had all her teeth
extracted and false teeth fitted because, with no dentist in Rhodesia,
teeth could have been a problem. Travelling with her husband and brother
Jim (Clarke) they set off. The trek was stopped at Pietersburg by trouble
in the area. Jane returned home leaving the men to travel on. At
they sold their oxen to the Bechuanas for gold sovereigns, left the
to rot, and walked back to Natal. Jane went back to teaching.
In March 1898 they started out once more with four wagons and 150 head of
cattle. They took with them a document signed by Cecil Rhodes under the
seal of the British South Africa Company, dated in Cape Town on February
26th and reading: 'Charles Cornish Macarthur is trekking to Rhodesia with
two or more herds of salted cattle which will probably number 150 or
and by arrangements made by him with the Acting Administrator, these
are allowed to pass direct to Victoria from Pietersburg.'"
The document was later signed: "Strickland Cattle Inspector. Passed along
main road, Charter, June 26/98" and finally, "reported in Salisbury this
4th July, 1898. W. E. Taberer."
Trekking started at 4 a.m. and lasted until 10 a.m. when during the heat
the day the cattle rested. For a meal Jane mixed dried vegetables with
whatever meat was available. The men went hunting for next day's rations.
She would make bread in a large pot buried in coals. She always produced
fresh bread by saving the old bread to make yeast. Many a passing
traveller, notably the Meikle brothers, was enticed to the camp by the
tantalising smell of freshly baked bread.
The Macarthurs arrived in Salisbury in July the same year, with a herd of
cattle. They sold the wagons and bought a small plot at Hillside where
started a dairy. The wagons had been their home, so selling them gave
an accommodation problem. Their first home was a tent. Then they built
rondavels and eventually a kitchen and living room. The dairy prospered
mainly because of Jane's hard work. There were days when on her own, she
milked the cows, bottled the milk in whisky bottles and delivered the
in a small horse-drawn cart.
They moved from Hillside to Komani Farm on the Mazoe Road and set about
building a suitable residence. This was completed in 1912. Their four
children, Marion (Chance), Errol (Joe), Colin and Beryl (Babs Maclaurin),
were all born in Salisbury and sent to school in Wales.
Jane kept chickens, grew carnations, made butter, bacon, soap, pickles
jams for income to help educate her children. She had many remedies that
cured all ills. Ginger for upset tummies, wagon grease plaster for
and pneumonia, and paraffin on a sugar lump for coughs - the paraffin HAD
to come out of a lamp!
When the motor car was introduced to the country she was the first in the
family to learn to drive. The day her husband learned to drive, she gave
up, because she said, divorce was not contemplated in those days!
Her son-in-law, Leo Maclaurin was born on 11th April, 1898 and his birth
certificate, which was issued by the B. S. A. Co., was numbered 21.
He worked for Dr. Godfrey Huggins on The Craig, and later bought Lawfield
Farm at Arcturus. He and Babs were excellent riders who won many races
over the country in the days when race meetings were widely held.
Granny Macarthur left Komani Farm in 1945, to spend a few months a year
with each of her children. Her stays at Lawfield became longer and longer
and she spent her last years there. She died on 14th August, 1972 at the
age of 102.
 [SOURCE] 'Echoes of Enterprise. A history of the Enterprise District' by Kathie McIntosh and Libby Norton, Published by Enterprise Farmers' Association, ISBN 7974-0795-2 and 7974-0796-0