R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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to Ontario. His education was acquired at Barrie and was afterward arti-
cled to the jewelry business in Barrie and also served a part of his appren-
ticeship in Toronto. He followed that pursuit for fifteen years and in 189 1
he arrived in British Columbia, locating first at Vancouver, where he fol-
lowed his trade until 1895. In that year he came to Rossland and for a
short period was engaged in the jewelry business here on his own account.
In October of the same year, however, he was appointed postmaster of Ross-
land and has since administered the affairs of that office, proving a capable

In 1897 M'"- Wadds was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Morris, a
resident of Vancouver and they have one child, George Morris. They held
membership in the Episcopal church and have a large circle of warm friends
in this locality, being held in favorable regard by those who knew him.

"■'Arms. — Ermine, on a bend sable, three pheons or, in the sinister chief
point a cinquefoil, vert. Crest. — A cock proper, charged on the breast with
a pheon or. Motto. — Eloqueptia Sagitta.



Honored and respected by all there is no citizen of Rossland who occu-
pies a more enviable position in financial circles than does J. S. C. Fraser,
who for twenty-six years has been in the employ of the Bank of Montreal.
He entered the services of that institution at Ottawa, Ontario, and was after-
ward with the branch house at St. Johns, New Brunswick. Subsequently
he was located at different times in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, in con-
nection with the banking establishments there and in 1888 he came to Brit-
ish Columbia as accountant in the New Westminster branch. In July, 1896,
he was appointed manager of the Rossland branch and has since served here.
He is thoroughly familiar with the banking business in every department and
in control of the institution of which he is now manager he has shown excel-
lent business ability, making the institution one of the strong financial con-
cerns of this locality and securing for it a desirable patronage.

Mr. Fraser has been very active and influential in community affairs
and in athletics. He is recognized as the leading spirit in public interests
and his co-operation may always be counted upon to aid in the advancement
of every measure for the general good. He was president of the board of
trade for two years and it was at his suggestion that the associate boards
of trade of eastern British Columbia came into existence. He introduced
the idea in his annual message to the Rossland board of trade and fostered
the measure until it became an actuality. He was then elected the first presi-
dent of this association and through his active connection with the office he
has done much to promote trade interests in his section of the province.

Mr. Fraser is also deeply interested in athletics and is president of the
Rossland Curling & Skating Rink Company and also president of the Koot-
enay Curling Association. He takes great interest in anything along athletic
lines and he was elected the first president of the Rossland Club, which was
established in 1897, and has continuously held that office. He is regarded as
one of the foremost citizens of the community, active in public life as well
as banking circles, and his efforts for the general good have l^een far-reach-
ing and beneficial.


Kenneth C. B. Frith, filling the position of postmaster of Greenwood,
was born in St. John, New- Brunswick, April 2, 1868, his father being H. W.
Frith, now deceased. He was a public school student in his native city and
after putting aside his text books was engaged in the insurance business for


a short time. Later he went tO' Florida, where he was connected with the
orange trade for four years, when the "big freeze" of 1890 ruined his trees
and he returned to St. John. He then entered the hardware business, in which
field of commercial activity he remained for ten years and in 1898 he came
to Greenwood, where he has since lived. Entering the employ of Post-
master King he remained with him for six months and upon his resignation
Mr. Frith was appointed to fill the office in January, 1900, and has since acted
in that capacity. He is a member of the Greenwood Lodge No. 29, K. P.


The commercial activity of Rossland finds a worthy representative in
Thomas Russell Morrow, who is conducting a drug store there. He was
born in Orangeville, Ontario, February 9, 1862, and is a son of Allan L. and
Elizabeth (Robinson) Morrow, both of whom are deceased. The son was
educated at Owen Sound, attending the public schools until he had mastered
the branches taught in the high school. He afterward took a full course in
Ontario College of Pharmacy and thus prepared for the practical duties of
his active and responsible business career. He was articled in Chadsworth
and served for four years, when on the completion of his term of indenture
he accepted a position in the Winnipeg Drug Hall, where he remained for
three years. He then returned to Toronto and was there engaged in the
drug business for three years, after which he came to British Columbia in
1888. Settling in Vancouver he opened a drug store on his own account
and conducted it until 1895, when, feeling that he would have a still more
advantageous field of labor in Rossland he came to this place and in the
fall of 1895 opened his drug store which he has since conducted with con-
stantly increasing and gratifying success. He has a good store well equipped
with a large line of drugs and other goods found in a first class establish-
ment of this character and a liberal patronage is accorded him in recognition
of his honorable dealing and his earnest desire to please his patrons. He
has been largely interested in mining, in which he has been very successful
and he still has extensive mining property, whereby his income has been ma-
terially increased.

In 1889 occurred the marriage of Mr. Morrow and Miss Isabelle Pear-
sail, a daughter of George Pearsall, a hardware merchant of Toronto. Mr.
Morrow belongs to the Ancient Order of Foresters and to the Presbyterian
church, and is interested in all that pertains to the intellectual, moral and
social progress of his adopted city. Coming to British Columbia with the
hope of bettering his financial condition he has found here the opportunities


he sought and by using the advantages which surround every individual he
has worked his way steadily upward to a position of business prominence
while he is now enjoying a comfortable competence as the reward of his
capable management and judicious investment.


William Shannon, of Vancouver, British Columbia, who is superin-
tending his real estate and invested interests, is numbered among the pio-
neers of British Columbia of 1862. At that time a few courageous frontiers-
men hazarded to locate within the borders of the province, which was, how-
ever, a wild district; its lands unclaimed, its resources undeveloped and
the country but very little explored, and the greater part of it had never
been seen by white man. The work of progress and improvement was a
thing of the future and there was little promise of early rapid growth. In
the years which have since passed, Mr. Shannon has witnessed a wonderful
transformation and has largely aided in the labors which have brought the
change. Watchful of business opportunity ' he has made judicious invest-
ments as occasion has offered and is now the possessor of valuable realty
interests in Vancouver and elsewhere in this province.

A native of Ireland, Mr. Shannon was born near Sligo on the 19th
of February, 1843. His father, Peter Shannon, was born near London-
derry, and among his ancestors were several of the apprentice boys who
closed the gates and cried " no surrender " when the siege of that old his-
torical city occurred. After arriving at years of maturity, Peter Shannon
wedded Miss Catherine Lytle, also a native of Sligo, whose father was a
local preacher under the Rev. John Wesley, and traveled in company with
him in different parts of Ireland, assisting him in establishing missions.
When Miss Lytle was quite a girl, most of her i>eople moved to the state
of Ohio and settled in what is now the city of Cincinnati ; and their descend-
ants are now among the most influential men of that city. Mr. Shannon's
father was also connected with the first Methodist preachers in the north
of Ireland and became a local preacher among them; he remained so until
his death, having pursued this work for over forty years, and when his son
William was six years of age he crossed the Atlantic with his family, in-
cluding his wife, six sons and four daughters. He settled in the township
of Ops, county Victoria, province of Ontario, near Lindsay, where he pur-
chased land. There he improved a farm and made a good home, carrying
on agricultural pursuits for many years. He did all in his power to advance
the moral, intellectual and political interests of his community; was a mem-

/iW- jMyn^i^uyh/


ber of the township council and much respected by all with whom he came
in contact.

William Shannon was reared upon his father's farm and his education
was acquired in the public schools nearby. He was in the twentieth year
when he came to the far west to seek a fortune. After remaining a short
time in California, in Oregon and Washington, he continued his way north-
ward and arrived in British Columbia in June, 1863. He then made his
way into the mining regions, where he had the usual successes and losses
that fall to the lot of the miner. In 1865 he started the first trading post
that was ever started, in the south end of the Okanagan country, where he
remained for a short time, and was very successful in business. At that
time ihe first and great gold excitement broke out in the Kootenay country,
which is known as the big bend of the Columbia river. Mr. Shannon was
among the first who fitted out at Fort Colwell with lx>ats, etc., and ascended
the Columbia river to its head waters. He visited the ground where the
town of Nelson now stands, and also the Wild Horse creek and Columbia
lakes. In 1866 he took charge of a small party who started from the Big
Bend mines on the Columbia river in order to explore the country from
the head of the Columbia ri^'er, or the mouth of Canoe creek into the Rockies
and from there northward into the Peace river country. It was at that time
a very hazardous undertaking and but very little was known of that unex-
plored region. Their provisions l>ecame exhausted, and for a length of
time they subsisted on what they could catch by trapping and hunting. The
party here divided, and Mr. Shannon and another man made their way
back to the mines. The others went eastward to Fort Edmonton, and after
wards they went north and were for three years exploring the McKenzie
river country, during which time they never saw a human being. They
followed up the de'Lure river until they came to Diese lake, where they
discovered the first gold that was found in the Cassiar country. Here they
met an Indian trapi^er, who told them where they were; that they were
within one hundred and fifty miles of a Hudson's Bay fort. Until this time
they were at a loss to know their location.

The follow^ing season Mr. Shannon continued his explorations in the
north, and for a time engaged in fur trading with the Indians, with fair
success. It was at this period of his life that he acquired his very extensive
knowledge of the countr}-. At this time the Western Union Telegraph Com-
pany were exploring for their line from here to Behring Straits. Mr. Shan-
non listed with the company as one of the explorers, but after a few months'
preparatory work, the Atlantic cable proving a success, the company aban-


doned their works. About this time also Mr. Shannon, in connection with
his brother Thomas, who accompanied him from the east, took up farms in
the Chilhwack valley and was among the first settlers there. At that time
there were no roads in any part of the Lower PYaser, but what produce the
few farms grew at Chilliwack was shipped by boat to Yale, which was the
only market in the lower country at that time. Later he became interested
in the freighting business of the Cariboo mines and drove the first big
wagon into Williams Creek. A short time afterwards, he went into placer
mining extensively, and was considered by many as being among the best
miners in the country, and assisted in making improvements upon the means
of saving the fine gold. He was later again engaged extensively in farming
in connection with his brother in the Chilliwack country. By this time quite
a number of people had taken up farms along the Fraser, and farming be-
came quite an industry, and the government gave the first assistance in the
shape of building roads. A deputation from the settlement in Chilliwack
went to Victoria to prevail upon the government to establish municipal
councils in different localities. Mr. Shannon was one of that deputation
and helped to draft the first municipal act that was passed by the government
of British Columbia. Later on the Chilliwack settlement was formed into
a municipality, which was the first in the province.

At this time quite an immigration was coming to the Fraser valley.
The lands were then unsurveyed and very little known about them. Mr.
Shannon then turned his attention to assisting in the settlement of the lands
along the Fraser; he spent much time in acquiring information and after-
wards assisting settlers to locate. The land law required that a post was
to be put in, and each man described his boundaries from that post; and
those who were unacquainted with the work found it very difficult. Mr.
Shannon located a great number of settlers in different parts of the Fraser,
more particularly the Chilliwack country, which was nearly entirely settled
through his efforts, and he never charged one dollar for his services which
he rendered to those settlers. About this time the government constructed
the main trunk wagon road through the Fraser, which runs from Ladners
through to Chilliwack. This was a great assistance to those who were anx-
ious to settle upon land. After the completion of this road Mr. Shannon,
in connection with his brother Thomas, purchased land situated in Clover
valley and shortly afterwards commenced farming that land. The wild
clover grew in this valley abundantly, and it was when addressing a letter
soon after their arrival there that Mr. Shannon gave the valley its present
name, "Clover Valley," which is one of the prettiest and most prosperous


settlements on the Fraser river. For some years after this Mr. Shannon
engaged extensively in the lumber business, with which he was very suc-
cessful. He has b€en considered an expert in valuing standing timber, and
has given much valuable information in this connection. He is quoted by
some of the best commercial papers as the most expert man in this line on
the Pacific coast.

In 1886 Mr. Shannon started on an extended exploration. He spent
that summer in the northern country and towards the coast. He traveled
through the whole of the Chilcotin country and north near the Skeena river.
Some time after he submitted a report of the northern country to the gov-
ernment, and acting upon his suggestions they sent surveyors to the north
and made some surveys and mapped out part of the country described by
Mr. Shannon. That same year in tKe fall he visited his old home near To-
ronto, Ontario, which he had not seen for over twenty-five years. He also
traveled extensively through different parts of the states during the same
year. While in the east he was married on the 15th of December, 1886, to
Miss Eliza Mclndoo, who was born and educated there, and is a daughter
of William Mclndoo, who still resides there, having come to the new world
from county Cavan, Ireland. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Shannon has
been blessed with one son, William Lloyd Shannon.

Mr. Shannon settled in the city of Vancouver in March, 1887, and
engaged in the real estate and commission business ; since then he has trav-
eled a great deal throughout the whole province, also through the northwest,
and he has ever been very active in promoting the welfare and progress of
the province of British Columbia, and his name is inseparably associated
with its early history. He has been instrumental in inducing immigration
here. In 1889 Mr. Shannon was the author of a very interesting pamphlet,
entitled "British Columbia and Its Resources," and wherein he dealt with
the whole province in sections, according to the mountain ranges, giving the
area of farming and pasture land, also the mining resources. It has been
stated by many of the leading newspapers of the country that this is the
most reliable and comprehensive pamphlet that has ever been written on
British Columbia; ten thousand of these were published in England. Mr.
Shannon has been employed by railway companies and the government to
give information regarding the geography of the province generally, and
he receives communications from men in different parts of the world request-
ing information on this subject, and is considered to be the best authority
on this matter in British Columbia. Besides this many of the banks and
loan companies have employed Mr. Shannon to value and estimate prop-


erties, both mineral, timber and land. In public affairs Mr. Shannon has
taken an active and helpful interest. He served as a member of the first
grand jury of the town, and his influence has ever been on the side of right,
order, reform and improvement. He has on numerous occasions acted as
guide to parties scaling the highest mountains of British Columbia and else-

Mr. Shannon and his wife are active and helpful members of the Meth-
odist church, contributing generously to its support. He was a member of
the lx>ard of trustees when the Wesleyan Methodist church edifice was
erected, has also served as steward, and has been very active and zealous
in promoting the religious interests of the town. He was also prominent
in the establishing of the Y. M. C. A. work, and indeed has been active and
liberal in promoting all enterprises for the benefit of Vancouver and the
province. We might here state that Mr. Shannon's eldest brother was a
Methodist minister in Ontario for several years previous to his death, which
occurred some years ago.


William, Graham McMynn is well known as a public official who in
office is ever loyal to the trust reposed in him and capable in his discharge
of the duties that advance the welfare and general prosperity of the com-
munity. He is now gold commissioner and government agent for the Green-
wood mining division ; is stipendiary magistrate for Yale and Kootenay
counties with jurisdiction under the small debts act, registrar of the supreme
court, registrar of the county court and clerk of the peace.

Mr. McMynn was born in Glenvarnoch, Scotland, March 14, 1864, his
parents being David and Annie (Graham) McMynn. His father is de-
ceased, but the mother is living in Scotland. Mr. McMynn of this review
having acquired his early education, became a student at Ewart Institute at
Newton Stewart and for six months after leaving school he was with an
uncle, who was a lumber merchant of Carlisle and also a ship owner, being
a member of the firm of Graham, Anderson & Company. He then went to
London, England, and entered the service of Moffatt & Company, whole-
sale tea merchants wath whom he continued for three and a half years. In
August, 1884, he arrived in British Columbia and resided for six months
on the delta below New Westminster, but in the spring of 1885 l"*^ w^"^^ to
Spallumcheen country and worked on the public roads under foreman Wal-
ker. In the following fall he removed to the vicinity of Rock creek and
secured a ranch, beginning its development and improvement, but in the


spring of 1886 he returned to Scotland for a trip, coming again to America
in the fall of 1887. He then took up another place in Myers creek, adjoining
the international boundary line and there conducted his ranch until 1892,
when he entered the government service as constable and later in the same
year he was made mining recorder for the Kettle river mining division. . In
1893 the office was removed to Rock creek and in 1895 ^o Midway, at which
place Mr. McMynn remained until 1900 when the office was again removed
to Greenwood.

Mr. McMynn is an interested member of the Masonic fraternity, active
in the work of the craft and is now serving as district deputy grand master
for district number 7. He also 1>elongs to the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and religiously is connected with the Presbyterian church. On the
29th of October, 1890, he was married to Miss Mary Turner, a daughter of
William Turner, of Millbrook, Ontario, and they have one daughter, Alice.


Samuel Parker Tuck, a prominent representative of the official interests
of Nelson and the Kootenay country, has for a number of years figured prom-
inently in the work of development and improvement in this portion of
America and his efforts have been so discerningly directed along well defined
lines of labors that they have become valued resultant factors in bringing
about the present high state of civilization and improvement which char-
acterize the country at the present time. He was- born in St. John, New
Brunswick, April 25, 1837, his parents being Moses and Elizabeth (Travis)
Tuck, both now deceased. The father was a prominent lumberman, con-
ducting an extensive business. His brother, William H. Tuck, is now chief
justice of the supreme court of New Brunswick. Samuel Parker Tuck
acquired his early education in the grammar schools of New Brunswick and
afterward attended Amherst College at Amherst, Massachusetts, where he
completed a full course by graduation. He then matriculated in Harvard
University, where he pursued a course in engineering under Professor Eustis
and following his graduation within the classic walls of that honored edu-
cational center he returned to New Brunswdck, where he became connected
with the engineering corps in the construction work of the Inter-Colonial
Railway, being thus engaged until the completion of the line. He was after-
ward connected with similar work on the St. John & Maine Road, now a
portion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, extending between St. John and

The year 1880 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Tuck in British Columbia,


where he joined in the construction of the Canadian Pacific road from Yale
west, having- charge of the building from Lytton to Spences bridge. He
was here for four years, after which he turned his attention to provincial land
surveying with headquarters at Victoria, being thus engaged until 1892,
when he came to the Kootenay country. He early had the prescience to dis-
cern what the future had in store for this great undeveloped district. Real-
izing- its great natural resources he resolved to be among those whose labors
should at once prove of benefit to the country and also a source of profitable
income to themselves. He continued the work of surveying at Nelson and
Kaslo until 1899, when he was appointed sheriff by Joseph Martin and is
still occupying that position, discharging his duties with loyalty and fidelity
that are above question.

Mr. Tuck has had a varied newspaper experience in connection with
other business duties. In 1878 he assisted in founding the St. John Sim,
now the leading newspaper of St. John, New Brunswick, and it was begun
as a campaign paper and entered upon an era of prosperity that has since con-
tinued, the paper steadily growing in value and influence in that locality.

On the 29th of July, 1873, at Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Mr. Tuck
was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Morse, a daughter of James S. Morse,
a barrister, practicing before the supreme court of New Brunswick. Her
mother was a representative of a branch of tjie noted Campbell family of
Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. Tuck have three children: Douglas C. who is a
resident of New Westminster and occupies a position in the dominion public
works office; Edward S., living in Victoria; and Isla, at home. The par-
ents are members of the Church of England and Mr. Tuck is registrar of the

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 42 of 79)