R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

. (page 36 of 79)
Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 36 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

is now manned with seventy-nine men, including the chief, two sergeants,
four detectives, three desk clerks, one police court clerk, three jailers and
seventeen patrolmen, and the entire force is under Chief North and is thor-
oughly modern and efficient, and law and order are very severely maintained
in the city; in fact, the criminal classes here have little opportunity and the
property and lives of the citizens are very thoroughly protected, the behavior
of Vancouver police department being highly commended.

In 1894 Mr. North was married to Miss Joanna* Stewart, a native of
Canada and of Scotch lineage. Their home has been blessed with six chil-
dren, all born in Vancouver, namely : John Wilson, Samuel Stewart, Caro-
line Margaret, Ann Elizabeth, Aleck Neil and William Roy. Mr. North
and his family are Presbyterians in religious faith. They have a nice home
in Vancouver and many warm friends here. Mr. North is a valued member
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but his time is completely en-
grossed with the duties of his office, and therefore he has given little time
to social matters. He yet has the esteem and friendship of a large majority
of Vancouver's citizens.



Frank Bernard Lewis has been closely identified with the business
and civic affairs of Revelstoke and vicinity for several years, and is a man
of recognized business ability and integrity, and has been found a willing
and efficient coadjutor in all enterprises looking to the welfare and growth
of Revelstoke.

Mr. Lewis is a native of Oswestry, Shropshire, England, where he was
born October 5, 1876, and his parents, Thomas and Mary (Davis) Lewis,
are both living in Revelstoke. After receiving his education he entered
commercial pursuits, and has been connected with affairs of a commercial
nature for many years. The family home was established in Revelstoke
in 1890, and up to 1900 he was in the general merchandise business. In
the latter year he entered insurance, real estate and mining business as
agent and broker, and is at the present writing also largely interested in
mining on his own account. His business connections place him among
the leading men of affairs in the city, and he is a stockholder in many of
the business enterprises of the city and district. He is one of the youngest
men actively engaged in private business affairs in Revelstoke, and the
executive ability and capacity for large responsibilities already displayed are
an earnest of a broad and eminently useful career in the world of business
and public affairs. He is a member of the Revelstoke board of trade, and
is a city alderman, being a member of the fire, water and light committee
of the city council. In politics he is a Liberal, actively interested in that
victorious and progressive party, and is secretary of the local Liberal As-

In 1900 Mr. Lewis was married to Miss Bertha Powell, a daughter of
Frederick Powell, of Liverpool, England. Their two children are Francis
Ernest and George Winyard. The family are Church of England people.


Clarence Burpee Humie is a man of progress, of great energy and enter-
prise, and, although young in years, has accomplished much during his brief
career. He is recognized as one of the foremost business men of Revel-
stoke, where he has been prosperously engaged in merchandising during almost
the entire history of the town and where he is now at the head of one of
the most complete ^and up-to-date mercantile establishments to be found in
interior British Columbia.

Mr. Hume was born in Florenceville, New Brunswick, October 18,


1867. His father, R. W. Hume, for many years a merchant, is still living
in Florenceville. The son spent most of his youth in St. John, New Bruns-
wick, where he attended first the public schools and then a business college,
after which he entered the employ of W. H. Thorne & Company, hardware
merchants of St. John, with whom he remained three years. He then came
to British Columbia to work for his cousin, J. Fred Hume, in Revelstoke,
and continued as an employe three years more. He was then ready to
enter business on his own account, and in 1892, with C. F. Lindmark as
partner, he established the general merchandise business which has since
been so steadily successful. The concern grew rapidly, and in 1902 a new
store building was erected and a joint stock company organized. The build-
ing, all of which is devoted to the business, is a two-story brick, fifty by one
hundred feet, and was constructed at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars.
As has been stated, this is one of the finest and most modem mercantile
houses in the province, and would be a credit to any city. Mr. Hume is
secretary of the Revelstoke Lumber Company, president of the Lawrence
Hardware Company, Revelstoke, has large mining interests, has stock in
the McCullough Creek Mining Company, and is a generally prosperous and
influential business man. Mr. Hume is a Conservative in politics, and his
religious faith is that of the Methodist church.


Mr. Wells is a native of London, England, and in 1883 he came out
to Winnipeg and began work in the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railway at Swift Currents and at Calgary. Following that he took up
government land in the Northwest Territory, and in 1886 came to Revel-
stoke. since which date his interests have chiefly centered at this place. For
a short time he did work for the Canadian Pacific, but then went into the
mercantile business by purchasing the general merchandise establishment of '
T. A. W. Gordon. James A. Gilker, now of Nelson, British Columbia,
was his partner for a time, but later sold out to Mr. Wells, and the latter .
has since conducted this well known enterprise alone and with a high and ;
worthily gained success. He is manager of Trout Lake City townsite, and 1
is president of the Keystone Mines, Limited, and of the Camp Creek Hy- j
draulic Company.


George W. Urquhart, who for ten years has been a r.esident of Rossland
and since 1886 has made his home in British Columbia, arrived in the prov-«
ince when a young man of twenty-one years. He has therefore throughout the;



entire period of his manhood Hved in this portion of the country and his
advancement has here been won through capabiHty, close appHcation and
honorable effort. He was born in Indian Land, Ontario, in January, 1865,
his parents being Alexander and Catherine (McNaughton) Urquhart. His
father is deceased, while his mother still makes her home in Ontario.

George W. Urquhart was a public-school student in Athol, Ontario,
and entered business life as a salesman in a general mercantile store at
Dun vegan, where he remained for fifteen months. In 1886 he came to
Vancouver, having but recently attained his majority. Thinking that the
west afforded a more advantageous field of labor for a young business man
he came to the coast country and worked in a meat market in connection
with Patrick Gannon in Vancouver. He was afterward with the firm of
Hayes & Mackintosh, being thus connected for six and a half years. Later
he was engaged in the express business in Vancouver for a short time and
subsequently he renewed his efforts as a dealer in meats. In the fall of
1895 he came to Rossland, where he prospected for two years, and he then
entered the employ of P. Burns & Company as assistant bookkeeper. His
capability won him recognition there in a desirable promotion and in 1901
he was made manager of the business, in which capacity he has since served,
capably and successfully controlling its affairs.

Mr. Urquhart belongs to Pacific lodge. No. 26, I. O. O. F., of Van-
couver. He is a Liberal in his political views and is a member of the
Presbyterian church. During his residence in Rossland he has gained many
friends who esteem him highly for his many excellent traits of character
and he is popular in the city.


On the roster of officials in Vancouver whose capable service have won
them high encomiums is found the name of Robert J. Skinner, provincial
timber inspector and mining recorder for the province of British Columbia.
He is one of the honored pioneers of the province, having made his home in
this part of the country since the i6th of January, 1853. He was born in
Essex, England, on the 24th of March, 1844, and comes of English and
more remotely of Dutch ancestry. His father, Thomas James Skinner, was
born in England and the record of the family in that country can be traced
hack for more than four hundred years, but prior to that time the ancestors
ived in Holland. Thomas James Skinner married Miss Mary Lowdham
Goodell, a native of Buckinghamshire, England, and they secured passage on
the vessel, Norman Morrison, which weighed anchor at an English port on


the 15th of August, 1852, and sailed around Cape Horn, reaching what is
now Victoria upon the i6th of January, 1853. Mr. Skinner was for five
years in the employ of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, after which
he settled upon a farm on Vancouver island and improved his land, spending
his remaining days upon that place. He took a very active part in the early
affairs of the county, aiding in molding its public policy and shaping its|
destiny. He served as a member of the colonial legislature and also held a
magistrate's commission. A man of strong mentality and public-spirited |
interest, he was well fitted for leadership in thought and action, and his efforts^
proved of marked value in the line of material, political, intellectual am
moral development. Both he and his wife were members of the Church oi
England. The former lived to the advanced age of eighty years and his
wife was also about the same age at the time of her demise. They enjoyed
the respect of all who knew them and had the warm friendship of many of |
the pioneer residents of this province. They brought with them from Eng-
land five children, and three were born to them after their arrival in British
Columbia. With the exception of the. oldest son, all are now living, these
being Ernest M., who resides on the old homestead in the Cowichan district;-
Annie L., who is now the wife of John Bremner, who occupies a position
in the navy and is in New England ; Mary, who' resides at the old home with
her brother; Constance, the widow of Hon. A. B. E. Davis, who was attorney
general and premier of the province; Ada, the wife of John Stevenson, sheriff
of Cariboo county; and Emily, at home.

Robert J. Skinner was educated in the Hudson Bay school in Victoria,
being a youth of about eight years when he accompanied his parents on their
emigration to the new world. He also received private instruction and at
fourteen years of age entered upon his business career, becoming a general
utility boy in a wholesale commission store in Victoria. His adaptability,
energy and faithfulness were demonstrated in the fact that he continued with
that company for nine years. He then joined the Hudson's Bay Company
and went into the interior, visiting the Kamloop, Kootenay and Cariboo dis-
tricts, buying furs and selling goods for that company for twenty years, dur-
ing which time he had charge of. several of the trading posts. He con-
ducted an extensive and profitable business for the company, and while visit-
ing these places in the interests of the business he became widely known,
winning the respect and confidence of all with whom he was associated. This
led to his election to the legislature as a member of the last house of the
assembly in the colony, and while serving in that capacity he voted for con-
federation.- He continued with the Hudson's Bay Company until given his

. L


present office on the 15th of April, 1888, since which time he has served as
provincial timber inspector and mining recorder for the province of British
Columbia. Upon receiving the appointment he took up his residence in the
new city of Vancouver, and he is now serving in his sixteenth year in that
capacity. He is very thoroughly acquainted with nearly every portion of
the province, and it is safe to say that there is no pioneer of the county more
widely or favorably known than he.

On the I St of February, 1877, Robert J. Skinner was united in marriage
to Miss Annie Lindsay, a native of Scotland, and they now have one daughter.
Miss Constance Lindsay Skinner, who was born in Cariboo. She has been
provided with excellent educational privileges, and is now engaged in news-
paper and literary work. The family home is a delightful residence and the
members of the household belong to the Church of England. Mr. Skinner
has advanced in business and political circles by reason of his inherent force
of character, his marked fidelity and capability, and is known as an honored
man in all life's relations.


P. I. Palmer, manager of the Vancouver Sash & Door Company, lim-
ited, and thus closely identified with one of the leading productive indus-
tries of Vancouver, has gradually advanced from compairatively humble
financial surroundings to his present responsible position in connection with
trade circles of British Columbia. He was born in Buckingham, Quebec,
on the 2d of August, 1876. His father, Mathew H. Palmer, was a native
of England, and in his boyhood emigrated to Canada, where he was mar-
ried to Miss Rosina Cosgrove. For some years he was engaged in lum-
bering and subsequently turned his attention to the harness and saddlery
business. He filled the office of secretary and treasurer of Buckingham,
Province of Quebec, and remained an active and valued representative of
business inetrests in that place through a long period. He died in the
seventy-third year of his age and his wife, still surviving him, is now in
her sixty-second year.

P. I. Palmer was educated in Ottawa, Ontario, and entered upon his
business career in the lumber woods, but in iSg6, attracted by the business
opportunities, which according to re,port were offered on the Pacific coast,
he came to Vancouver when in his twentieth year. His brother, A. E.
Palmer, had an interest in the Vancouver Sash & Door factory, limited,
and it was through his influence that P. I. Palmer was induced to make
this city his home and the field of his business operations. He was first


employed by the company as an accountant and in 1901 was promoted to
his present position, having for the past three years conducted the business
with satisfactory success as manager of the Vancouver Sash & Door fac-
tory. The property was purchased by the present company in 1892. This
is a private stock company, the officers being J. B. MacLaren, president;
J. T. De Pencier, secretary and treasurer; and P. I. Palmer, manager. The
company manufactures sash, doors, moldings, trimmings and all kinds of
house furnishing materials and has a thoroughly equipped factory supplied
with the latest improved machinery. There is a large demand for the
manufactured product all over the northwest in addition to a profitable city
trade, and the annual business amounts to one hundred and twenty thousand
dollars, while employment is furnished to from fifty to sixty-five men. The
business methods of the company are liberal and honorable and its success
has long been assured, while under the capable direction of Mr. Palmer of
this review the enterprise is being profitably conducted and has become
one of the leading productive industries of Vancouver.

Mr. Palmer was married in 1901 to Miss Lilian E. Morency, a native
of Canada, and they have two children : Bemice Evelyn Rose and Albert
Edward, both born in Vancouver, where they have a pleasant residence.
They are faithful adherents of the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Palmer
has never had occasion to regret his determination to ally his interests with
those of the far west in early manhood, for in its business conditions he
has found opportunity for his expanding powers and has made for himself
an honorable name in commercial circles.


The Albion Iron Works Company, limited, of Vancouver, is one of
the large manufacturing enterprises of British Columbia, the company being
engaged in the manufacture of marine engines and boilers, logging engines,
logging machinery, sawmill machinery and, in fact, everything which usu-
ally constitutes the output of large iron works. In 1902 the property was
purchased by The Albion Iron Works Company, Limited, of Victoria, the
president being Mr. John Bryden.

W. H. R. Collister, who- is the manager of this large manufacturing
enterprise in Vancouver, has throughout his business career been a practical
mechanical engineer, with constantly developing ability and powers. He
is a native of Liverpool, England, and a son of R. Collister, who came to
British Columbia in 1875. He has been a prominent shipbuilder, is now
Dominion government inspector of hulls and also surveyor for Lloyds.


W. H. R. Collister learned the shipbuilding trade with his father
and with other prominent shipbuilders. He was educated in Liverpool and
came to British Columbia with his family in 1875, settling in Victoria.
He engaged in ship-building there and was for several years connected with
the Albion Iron Works Company, Limited, of Victoria and Vancouver, re-
signing that position in order to take charge of the plant of the Albion Iron
Works Company, Limited, in Vancouver. His intimate and thorough knowl-
edge of the business has made him particularly well qualified for the con-
trol of this extensive industry and he has the full confidence of the business
community as well as of the company which he represents.

Mr. Collister was married in 1887 to Miss E. C. Lewis, a daughter
of ex-Mayor Lewis, of Victoria. Their union has been blessed with a
son and daughter, William K. and Ethel A. They have a nice residence
in Victoria and have the high esteem of a wide circle of friends. Mr.
Collister devotes his undivided attention to the management of the manu-
facturing plant and yet is deeply interested in public afifairs concerning
the welfare and progress of his adopted city.


James Paterson, managing director of the Paterson Shoe Company,
Limited, at Victoria, is a well known business man in this city, and as a
principal member of one of the largest shoe firms of the northwest he has
made his influence widely felt in commercial circles. He is progressive,
capable and public-spirited, a comparatively young man hardly past forty-
five, and his energy and enterprise are valuable factors in the general wel-
fare of Victoria. The Paterson Shoe Company, Limited, are wholesale
and retail dealers, and conduct five stores in this province, three at Victoria,
one in Vancouver and one in Nanaimo. Mr. Paterson founded this shoe
business in Victoria in 1888, and ten years later the business was incor-
porated under the present name. The company are also special agents of
the Granby Rubber Company. They have a large warehouse on Langley
street, Victotia, and their extensive trade extends throughout this province.

Mr. Paterson was born in the city of Toronto, Canada, June 19, 1858,
l3eing of Scotch ancestry. His father, John Paterson, was a shoe manu-
facturer in Toronto, but is now retired from active affairs and residing in
Alberta, being seventy years old. His wife and the mother of Mr. James
Paterson was Miss Elizabeth Walker. They are Presbyterians, and highly
respected people.

Mr. Paterson's early education was received in Aberdeen, Scotland,


and he learned the shoe business with his father. He was in the employ
of the Hudson's Bay Company at Winnipeg for a time, and in 1887 came
to Victoria and in the following year established his present business, which
has l>een developed under his firm control and executive management into
the foremost shoe business of Victoria,

In 1886 Mr. Paterson was married to Miss Jennie Mclntyre, of Strath-
roy, Ontario. Their only child, Gilzean, was born in Victoria. Mr. and Mrs.
Paterson are valued mem.bers of St. Andrew's Presbyterian church, in which
he is one of the managing board. He is also a member of the board of
trade of the city, and during the period of his residence here he has never
lacked the civic spirit which means so much for the progress of a city.


Adolphus Williams, a lawyer of Vancouver, ex-member of the provincial
parliament and now police magistrate of his city, was born in Aylmer, On-
tario. His father. Dr. Adolphus Williams, was a native of London, Eng-
land, whence he crossed the Atlantic to Canada. He married Miss Jane
Burdick, a daughter of C. Burdick, a New England loyalist, who at the time
of the American Revolution never swerved in his allegiance to the king, and
because of his fidelity he received property in New Brunswick. Dr. Williams
practiced his profession in Aylmer during his remaining days and was a
helpful citizen in matters of public progress and improvement, taking an
active interest in all that pertained to the general good. He belonged to the
Church of England and was a man of the highest respectability, enjoying in
unusual degree -the friendship and confidence of those with whom he was
associated. Unto him and his wife were born six children, five of whom are

Adolphus Williams, the only representative of the family in British
Columbia, was educated in St. Thomas, Canada, and in the University of
Toronto. Determining to devote his attention to the practice of law, he
studied in the latter institution and afterward practiced in Toronto until
1889, when he came to Vancouver. He was alone there for -a year, after
which he entered into his present partnership as a member of the firm of
McRiillips & Williams. This relation has since been maintained and the
firm has a large law practice of an important character, being connected with
much of the leading litigation here in the courts of this locality.

Mr. Williams in politics has always been a Conservative, and as such
was elected to the provincial parliament, becoming a member of the first
session that held its meeting in the new parliament building. He was a




member for five years, was active in connection with constructive legislation
and did all in his power to advance the welfare of the people through the
enactment of wise and beneficial laws. After his retirement from parliament
he re-entered upon the practice of law, and in December, 1903, he was ap-
pointed police magistrate, which position he has since filled.

In 1890 Mr. Williams was married to Miss Katherine Wylie Raeburn,
a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. They are members of the Episcopal church,
in which he has filled the offices, acting as church warden for a number of
years. They are deeply interested in the various church activities and Mr.
Williams has been prominent not only in professional circles, but also in
promoting the intellectual, moral and political advancement of his adopted city.


John J. Sehl is one of Victoria's prominent business men and a native
son of the city, having been born on March 15, 1864, when this flourishing
city was little more than a village. He is now actively associated with the
mangement of the extensive business which was built u,p by his father's
energies and broad capacity for mercantile affairs. His father, recently
deceased, during a career extending from the pioneer history of Victoria,
made his name a synonym for success, integrity and conscientious devotion
to every undertaking, and his life has much of inspiration and permanent
impress for good to the succeeding generations of Victoria's citizenship.

Born in Germany in 1832 and emigrating from the fatherland to New
York when twelve years of age, Mr. Jacob Sehl, the father, finished his
education and learned thoroughly the cabinet-maker's trade in the latter city,
but being full of enterprise and the spirit of adventure, he joined the hosts
of forty-niners and took passage by way of the Panama route for the golden
west. Arrived in San Francisco, he went directly to the gold diggings and
tried for success in this exciting and strenuous occupation, but working in
the water gave him rheumatism, and he then abandoned gold prospecting
and mining and returned to San Francisco to take up his trade. A few
years later the discoveries on Eraser river in British Columbia again allured

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 36 of 79)