History of Uasin Gishu
History of the previous inhabitants is scanty but in many places there are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of a by-gone age. This tribe was dislodged by the Maasai who took over the land as grazing for their cattle. The Maasai were eventually ousted by the Nandi after a major battle which took place between them at Kipkarren- the Nandi word for “The place of the Spears”
Farm 64 “Sisibo”
As a result of complaints by the settlers of Governmental neglect, the Postmaster General established a post office on Farm 64, because at that time it was 64 miles (103 km) from the newly built Uganda Railway railhead at Kibigori. This came to be known by the locals as “Sisibo”, a name that has stuck to-date.
Formation of Eldoret Township
The governor decided to establish an administrative centre in the area 1912 and thus the Post Office was renamed from “64” to a new official town name: “Eldoret” . The origin of the name Eldoret is the Maasai word “eldore” meaning stony river –with reference to the river-bed of the nearby Sosiani. Becoming an administrative centre caused an enormous increase in trade within the prospective city. A bank and several shops were built. This November 14th 1912, Eldoret, with an acreage of 2,770 was officially proclaimed a township.
Elevation to Municipal board
Difficulty was experienced in providing township services to keep pace with the rapid commercial development; responsibility for town services lay with the District commissioner, helped by a Township commitee, which had no legal authority and no way of collecting funds. This led to elevation of the town to status of a Municipal board in April 1929.
Building of town hall & first Mayor
With the developments that were brought about by the elevation to a Municipal board, the face of Eldoret was changing and enhanced civic pride was evident in improved cleanliness, tarmac roads, public gardens and the provision of social services. The town hall was built in 1956 and in January 1958 the town was elevated to municipal council status. The first Mayor J. Wolston-Beard was elected and in November 1959 the Governor of Kenya presented the town with its Charter and Mace.
Uasin Gishu at Independence
By 1964, Eldoret was the fifth largest town in Kenya and was the administrative capital of Sirikwa County, the largest county in Kenya at the time, with an approximate population of over 550,000 people. Uasin Gishu district had a population of roughly 100,663 comprising approximately 1,211 Europeans, 3,804 Asians and 96,524 Africans.
Formation of Uasin Gishu County
The Uasin Gishu County is the creation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and successor of the defunct City Council of Uasin Gishu. It operates under the auspices of the Cities and Urban Areas Act, The Devolved Governments Act and a host of other Acts. Its name comes from the Illwuasin-kishu Maasai clan. The land was the grazing area of the clan. They surrendered the land to the colonial government in the Anglo-Maasai agreement of 1911, and were subsequently pushed towards Trans Mara. The plateau that they once occupied was then registered in its Anglicised version, Uasin Gishu