Isabel's sister Jesse married William Dower in 1865 and the photograph here shows Wiiliam Dower himself (1837-1919) and his wife Jesse Edward (1838-1924), with their respective parents - William's parents John Dower (1808-1872) and his wife Jane Forbes (1811-1866) and Jesse's parents Alexander Edward (1811-1879) and Margaret Stewart (1811-1905)
William drew the plans for the first family home in Kokstad and did much of the building himself, completing it in 1871. The windows and doors were made by his father and imported from Scotland. The building still stands and is now a craft outlet.
The opening in 1877 was marred by sadness, in that the ceremony was due to be performed by William's eldest child Mina Margaret Jane. but she died just a week before the opening date, aged only 11. .
The Griqua Church Kokstad built by Rev. William Dower
and opened in May 1877
Jesse is in the centre front and William is just behind her. The other lady in the photo who looks very much like Jesse is Jesse’s sister Margaret Edward. Margaret Edward was a qualified teacher and at one time had taught at the Free Church School at Inch in Wigtownshire. She followed William and Jesse out to South Africa and became the teacher at the local school.
William went on to write a definitive history of the area in "The early annals of Kokstad and Griqualand East".
- The two eldest sons William John Dower and James Martin Dower became minsters, with James marrying four times between 1901 and 1927 - his wives possible dying in childbirth.
- Third son Edward Ebenezer Dower was a champion of 'native' citizens' rights and higher education in the Cape. who in 1908 became Secretary For Native Affairs, Cape Town.
- Youngest son Robert Reid Dower was a cricketer who played for South Africa against England in 1899. He later became a lawyer, but when he died in 1964, he was the oldest South African Test cricketer.
- Daughter Jesse Edward Dower married a German mining engineer Semmy Joseph Blumlein of Jewish descent. They settled in Britain and Semmy took out citizenship in 1903. Their son Alan Dower Blumlein (1902-1942) has been described as "the greatest electronic engineer of the 20th century", notable for his many inventions in telecommunications, sound recording, stereo, television and radar. But that is another story!