Benoni had an uneasy birth. The government of the then Transvaal Republic decided to assign title deeds to unclaimed State property lying between occupied farms.
Johann Rissik, later to become surveyor-general and administrator of the Transvaal was given this task. One particularly irregularly shaped and difficult to survey region was given the mournful name of Benoni ('son of my sorrows') - the same name Rachel gave to her son Benjamin (Genesis 35:18)
In September 1887 gold was discovered and the Chimes Mine was established and staffed by Cornishmen. The mining village became a 'little Cornwall' with whippet racing, gambling and organized dog fights.
Sir George Farrar planted thousands of trees in the town from whence it owes much of its beauty.
Water was pumped to a natural marsh from the mines and stocked with fish. Today these reservoirs are large enough for yachting and boatings and there are many picnic sites on the banks.
The town became a municipality in 1907 and besides gold, it produces iron, steel and brass.
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