Many of the town’s population left. Houses were deserted or dismantled and taken to other towns, such as Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe or Albany.
The South African Boar War commenced 1899 – 1902 volunteers from Esperance rendered their services in the infantry and mounted infantry.
From “Kalgoorlie Western Argus:” 23rd Nov. 1899:
Esperance. (By Telegraph) (From our own correspondent). Esperance 21st Nov.
The Municipal elections yesterday passed off quietly, general interest was taken in them, but there was little excitement. Not a single ratepayer failed to record his or her vote, though it was generally expected that Mr McCarthy would have a substantial majority the results exceeded expectations.
The votes recorded for Mayor were – McCarthy 98 (elected). Purchas 45, Informal 1: for Councillors, Dempster 40 (elected), Sharkey 37 (elected) Dance 32, Daw 12, Informal 1. Mr McCarthy briefly proposed a vote of Thanks to the returning officer (cr. Acraman) and thanked the electors for their support, and trusted any friction such as had been in the past would now cease, and that the council would work together smoothly in the best interests of the town.
Mr. Purchase, the retiring chairman seconded the motion. He said he surrender to the ratepayers their estate which had suffered no detriment from his guardianship. Mr. Sharkey supported Mr Acraman, replying, said that all the proceedings at the election had been of a harmonious nature.