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KIRKNESS, John Johnston

Born: 1857 04 01
Died: 1939 06 13


Born in Sandwick, Orkney Islands, Scotland.

J. J. KIRKNESS came to South Africa in 1879, and was first engaged in building operations in the then Natal Colony and the Orange Free State Republic. Eventually he made his headquarters in the Kirkness Building on Church Square in Pretoria, capital of the then South African Republic.

He was the contractor for numerous buildings here including the Raadsaal Building on Church Square, Pretoria.

Mr. KIRKNESS was a member of the Pretoria Municipal Council for many years and a Mayor at one period.

The following entry is extracted from South African Who’s Who (Social and Business) 1927 – 1928; Ken Donaldson, Cape Town, 1927, pg 168. sent to us by William MARTINSON.

"Contractor; O.B.E.; J.P.; ex-Mayor of Pretoria; b.1857, at Sandwick, Orkney; e.s. of late Thomas Kirkness, of Leith. Educ. Sandwick, and Heriot-Watt Institution, Edinburgh; m.1884, M.A., d. of late Samuel Baikie; 4 Children. Came to Orange Free State in 1880, Transvaal 1885, Builder and Contractor. Proprietor of Groenkloof Brick, Tile, and Pottery Works. Member of Pretoria Club. Add., P.O. Box 44 Pretoria."

He died in Pretoria.

Books citing KIRKNESS

Erasmus, Koos and Friebus, Hein. 2008. Vergete padbrûe van die ZAR : 'n oorsig van die padbrûe wat gebou en beplan is tydens die regering van die Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek. Centurion: Koos Erasmus and Hein Friebus: . pp 22, 31, 39, 44

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 126, 166, 175

SAWW & Donaldson, K. 1926. South African Who's Who (Social and Business) 1925-1926 . Cape Town: Ken Donaldson. pp 146

SAWW & Donaldson, K. 1938. South African Who's Who (Social and Business) 1938. Cape Town: Ken Donaldson. pp 137

Chapters in books citing KIRKNESS

Fisher, Roger C. The Third Vernacular: Pretoria Regionalism — Aspects of an Emergence: in 1998. Architecture of the Transvaal: pp 123

Holm, Dieter. Kerkplaats and Capitalists: The First Architects in Context: in 1998. Architecture of the Transvaal: pp 55