Script

SOUTH AFRICAN SCRIPT

by Martin Aarbo

The South African Boer War was fought in 1899-1902. When Canadian and British subjects who fought in this war returned to Canada, the Canadian government gave them an option to acquire a half section of homestead land (320 acres), without proving up, for serving in the South African army. This land was known as South African Scrip.

These soldiers went into the Land Titles Office in Edmonton and picked out their land at random wherever there were two quarters of land together, then received their title.

Some of these soldiers never did come out to see their land and if they did, perhaps found they were not cut out to be farmers.

A few years later most of this scrip was listed with a real estate company in Edmonton and sold to other homesteaders for one dollar an acre. Homesteaders who bought South African Scrip in our area were Omro and Earl Bullis, and Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Keitges.

Peter John Keitges, taken about 1898

Mrs. P. J. Keitges (Cora) holding her son Raymond

with them is Mrs. Keitges' mother, Mrs. Shimer. Taken about 1898.