Tag Archives: Duncan Box

Prologue to Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Standard
Prologue to Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

 A few Months ago I wrote  Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box and today I found the story before the story they say.

In October of 1890 Duncan and James sat on the steps of the father’s farmhouse just a few  miles from the small village of White Lake, Ontario. It was a beautiful day in Renfrew County and both boys watched the cows and horses graze in a field nearby while they discussed their future.

After their father married Ellen McLachlan their father Alexander (Alec) Box found out that the soil of their 200 year-old farm was rich sandy loam perfect for the growing of potatoes. In fact their potatoes were so in demand locally that customers flocked to the farm and  potatoes were bagged, loaded, and paid for on the spot by many eager buyers.

You would think that Duncan and James would be content with inheriting the farm but Duncan brought up conversation mentioning to James that there was no future for them in White Lake other than being potatoe farmers.

Duncan lamented that their friends were out west in Manitoba and he just didn’t want them to end up like their friend Lal, living alone trying to raise prize beef. He did not want his future to be a hillbilly existence and wanted to be rich as if you didn’t have money you were going to go nowhere but the shores of White Lake.

They both realized their siblings would stick around and one of them would take the farm over some day, and it was time for the both of them to leave. Their friend Tom was in Edmonton prospecting for gold in Peace River country and Duncan thought that was the life for the both of them– oil and prospecting.

Duncan wanted to know how much James had in the Arnprior Bank and James said he didn’t have a dime. When Duncan expressed surprise James told him he hadn’t liked the face of the new manager so he had taken his $ 300 out of there and put it under his mattress. Between the two of them they had $700, so they decided to leave immediately.

When their father Alec heard of their plan he wasn’t surprised but he hated to see them go. Strong good-looking boys, they had been hard workers on the farm and never given their parents any trouble. As they stood on the steps saying good bye a few days later their Mother expressed concern that she might never see them again. When they shook their father’s hand in farewell they found a few dollars in their hands.

Next the boys arrive in Winnipeg….

boxfamilysmall.jpg

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

historicalnotes

 

Photos by Gary Box

This is the house my great great grandfather John Ambrose Box built and farmed in White Lake and is now a museum complete with a log school, small log home and log church all moved on to the property when the town took over. The church and school house were constructed in 1868…..at least that is what is indicated over the doors of each building. In fact, I was told that the school was used until 1967. He also ran the General Store. The herb and flower gardens are magnificent. White Lake is about 30 miles from Carleton Place.

 

19702521_10212305509425814_4393726969985476246_n.jpg

 

19748408_10212305484385188_7129307516110150416_n.jpg

19884509_10212305477265010_4344966175425369514_n.jpg

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

 

relatedreading

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

 

The Short but Illustrious Life of Dr. Daniel Muirhead

What Was it Like Living in Beckwith 1800s? Christina McEwen Muirhead

Christena McEwen– The Belle of Beckwith Part 1 -“The Woodcocks”

Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Was a Boldt Castle Boathouse Once in our Midst? See the Home of the Daphne!

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

“Bossin’ Billy” McEwen Muirhead –Box family

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!

 

unnamed (1)

Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Standard
Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

 

boxfamily.jpg

Gary and Leigh Box and family

I had the pleasure of meeting Gary and Leigh Box from Toronto along with our local belle Marion Giles McNeely the other day at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum. If you have never heard about the Box family from Carleton Place and White Lake etc. etc. —let me tell you they have quite the past. In fact so much so, I am going to share stories with you thanks to Gary and Leigh who were very kind to share their family memories.

Remember if you have family stories you want to share with the LCGS please PM me or email me at sav_77@yahoo.com

 

18274890_10154857996301886_4327841926600834782_n.jpg

Gary Box Marion, Giles McNeely, and Leigh Box at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum– May 2017

 

Please note that this is only a fraction of this story about the Box’s from White Lake– As they say, “The best is yet to come!” Stay tuned!

 

The History

The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion or part of what is known in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought between 1896 and 1897 in the area then known as Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. It pitted the British South Africa Company against the Ndebele (Matabele) people, which led to conflict with the Shona people in the rest of Rhodesia.

In March 1896, the Ndebele revolted against the authority of the British South Africa Company in what is now celebrated in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga. The Mlimo (or M’limo, or Umlimo) the Ndebele spiritual leader, is credited with fomenting much of the anger that led to this confrontation. He convinced the Ndebele and the Shona that the settlers (almost 4,000 strong by then) were responsible for the drought, locust plagues and the cattle disease rinderpest ravaging the country at the time.

 

Zulu.jpg

The Family Story

James and Duncan Box were murdered at the Eureka Mine while trekking near Sipolilo’s kraal on June 29, 1896 during the Matabeleland Rebellion. The body of Francis Lee Bent was also found with them in the Lomagundi District who was an engineer with the Great B. Syndicate. According to other notations I found online they were also known to have been with another prospector named Anton Henckens, prospecting gold near the Mazoe River.  

The family noted in their pages that both ancestors had set forwards towards the Zambesi accompanied by a Mr. Gilman Spence of Ireland who was killed at the same time. (The Rhodesia Pioneers and Early Settler’s Society- National Archives of Rhodesia)

 

rhodes_monument.jpg

Imposing granite memorial to Cecil Rhodes on Table Mountain Cape Town South Africa

On Table Mountain in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) there is a monument to the memory and honour of Cecil Rhodes.  On that same monument is inscribed the names of Duncan and James Box. A grateful government received the warning (read about this soon) sent by James Box and his name is listed on the Honour Roll. It was mentioned that UK lawyers contacted the Box family after their death in White Lake and some money changed hands.

 

image075.jpg

Photo of white skulls and things taken by the Zulus in a Zulu Queen’s tent– late 1800s

 

In the inquiry from the National Archives of Rhodesia they told the family that the white skulls of the murdered were probably at one time in a zulu hut in the hinterland of the Mashonas. White skulls were prized ancestral trophies and a grim reminder of a time when the search for gold was on the minds of many.  Duncan and James Box were sadly in the wrong place at the wrong time and were never to return to White Lake where their family resided.

 

 

historicalnotes.jpg

 

Zulus–A weekly serial called Black Heart and White Heart by Henry Ryder Haggard on zulus from Africa ran as a serial in 1896 in  newspapers as there was such an interest.

218248830Black_Heart_and_White_Heart

 

Some of the other noted men that  perished:

The London Gazette Issue 26954 published on the 5 April 1898. Pages 2203 to 2208.
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search-by-number

List of Persons Reported Murdered or Missing:

Note. – In the following list of murdered and missing no hope is entertained for any of those returned as missing. All bodies that have been found have been buried.
Civilians, 114; Local Forces, 3; Imperial Troops, 1; B.S.A. Police 1-Total, 119

IRELAND, George, about June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Prospector, believed to have been murdered at the Eureka Mine.
JAMESON, Arthur John, about June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Mining Commissioner, believed to have been murdered at M.C.’s Camp,
Lomogondi.
JOUBERT, J., about June, 1896, Salisbury District.
KEATINGE, Frank, June 18, 1896, Lomogondi District, Corporal M.M.P., murdered at Gwebe River, real name was Frank Gilbert Keating
JACKSON.
KERR, June 20, 1896, Lomogondi District, Prospector
KOEFOED, S., June 16, 1896, Salisbury District, Prospector, murdered at the Beatrice Mine by ‘Mslopa people, body thrown down
well.
LAW, Horace, about June 20, 1896, Salisbury District, Storekeeper, murdered near N.C. Campbell Farm; body, supposed to be his,
found July 25, 1896
MCCULLUM (Captain), William, June 25, 1896, Lomogondi District, Telegraph Constructor, murdered at his camp, Matatima.
MCGOWAN, James, June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Prospector, murdered at or near Deary’s Store.
METCALF, Samuel, about June 20, 1896, Headlands, Trader; body found August 20, 1896, at Nedziwi’s Kraal.
MICHELL, William Walton, Trooper, B.S.A.P., lost on veldt, Hartley District, July 31, 1897.
MILTON, William, about June 20, 1896, Salisbury District, Transport Rider, body found, Umtali Road, August 3, 1896.
MOORE, John, about June 20, 1896, Salisbury District, Storekeeper, body found near Umtali telegraph line on August 3, 1896.
MYNHARDT, A. G. F., June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Native Commissioner, murdered at his camp; body, supposed to be his, found
October 30, 1896
MOONY, David Enraght, June 15, 1896, Hartley District, Native Commissioner, murdered at Mashangombi’s Kraal; body recovered and
buried, July, 1897.
NELSON, Thomas, about June 20, 1896, Hartley District, Prospector, believed to have been murdered near Umswezwe’s Kraal.
NOBLE, Andrew, about June 20, 1896, Abercorn District, last heard of May 22.
NORTON, Joseph Norton, about June 17, 1896, Salisbury District, Farmer, murdered at or near his farm Porta; body found.
NORTON, Caroline, about June 17, 1896, Salisbury District, wife of above, murdered at or near his farm Porta; body found.
NORTON, Dorothy, about June 17, 1896, Salisbury District; daughter of above, murdered at or near his farm Porta; body found.

 

img.jpg

 

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal01 Aug 1912, ThuPage 6

Also read–

Prologue to Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

relatedreading.jpg

Stay tuned for more about the Box family from Carleton Place, Prospect, White Lake and Beckwith.

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

Was a Boldt Castle Boathouse Once in our Midst? See the Home of the Daphne!

 

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Mar 1895, Wed  •  Page 5