R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

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the branch house at Nelson to act as bookkeeper and in February, 1903,
he was promoted to the position of manager, in which capacity he is now
capably serving, the business proving a profitable investment under his care-
ful direction. He is a well known factor in business circles here, has taken
an active interest in the board of trade and in the Nelson Wholesalers


In July, 1898, Mr. Niinn was married to Miss May Aitken, of Winni-
peg, and they have one child, Doris Aitken. Mr. Nunn belongs to the Can-
adian Order of Foresters and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and to
the Methodist church. He has always taken a keen interest in athletic sports,
winning the championship in Manitoba for sprinting in 1896. He was also
at one time one of the Nelson hose reel team champions of Kootenay. He
enjoys the esteem of a large circle of friends, and possessing the enterprising
spirit of the northwest is contributing to the general prosperity of Nelson
as well as to his individual success in business affairs.


Senator James Reid, who attained wealth and honors through a life
of intense and well directed activity, his work proving not alone of benefit
to himself, but also of value to his district, was born at Cascades, Quebec,
in 1840, and died on the 3d of May, 1904. His parents, James and Anna
(Maxwell) Reid, were natives of Ireland, and crossing the Atlantic to
America established their home near Quebec, being early settlers of that part
of the country. The father devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits,
and James Reid was reared upon the home farm, early becoming familiar
with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He was
granted liberal educational privileges, attending the public and high schools
near his home and completing his literary course in the college at Ottawa.
When sixteen years of age he entered upon his business career as an employe
in the meixantile store of James McClaren, now of British Columbia, with
whom he continued until 1862, when attracted by the Cariboo gold excite-
ment he came to the Pacific coast, making the voyage by way of the Isthmus
of Panama. He went direct to Williams creek, where he spent seven years
in mining. During his early experience in British Columbia he made no
less than five trips into the Cariboo district, carrying his pack upon his back.
This meant traveling thousands of miles, for at the close of each season
in the mining district when the snows made further work impossible he
would return to Victoria, where his winters were devoted to whatever work
he could get to do. After spending five years at mining he found himself
just as ix)or as when he started upon the search for the precious metal, and
arriving at the conclusion that he could not make a fortune in the mines
he wisely determined to concentrate his efforts upon other lines of business.
He therefore started anew at Quesnel, where he gradually worked his way
upward, attaining financial success and also political honors.

It was in 1869 that Mr. Reid joined a Mr. Foster at Lillooet in a

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general mercantile venture. Not long afterward he entered the employ of
the Barnard Express company at Barkerville in the Cariboo district, and
subsequently he went to Quesnel, where he settled in 1870. He removed
to that place as the representative of the express company, but gradually con-
centrated his efforts more and more largely upon the mercantile business,
which grew to extensive proportions and is now a part of the estate which
he left to his family and which is managed by his widow. He found it
necessary to increase his stock to meet the growing demands of his trade,
for a liberal patronage was accorded him in recognition of honorable meth-
ods and his earnest desire to please his customers. Notably prompt, ener-
getic and reliable, he never made an engagement that he did not meet, nor
incur an obligation that he did not fulfill, and his business record is such
as any man might be proud to possess. It gained him the respect and con-
fidence of his associates in commercial circles and of the general public, and
as the years passed his efforts found their legitimate reward in a handsome
competence. His force of character, ability and devotion to the public good
also won the attention and recognition of those among whom' he lived, and
in 1882 he was honored by election to the house of commons as a supporter
of the Conservative party, and in 1884, at the general election, he was re-
turned by acclamation. In 1888 he was again chosen for the position over
two opponents, and in 1889 he was appointed to the senate by Sir John A.
Macdonald, where he served continuously up to the time of his death, cov-
ering a period of fifteen consecutive years. He made a close study of the
social, economic and ix)litical questions affecting the welfare of the country,
and his influence was unfalteringly given to every measure which he believed
would prove of benefit to the province. A man of firm convictions, he stood
fearlessly in defense of what he believed to be right, and left the impress of
his individuality upon much of the legislation, the wisdom and worth of
which time has proven.

In 1883 Mr. Reid was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Clark, a
daughter of Nicholas and Frances (Mills) Clark, both of whom were na-
tives of Ireland, whence they made their way to Ontario, Canada, being
among the early pioneers there. Unto Senator and Mrs. Reid two sons
were born : James Maxwell and Clark Sanson, both attending school.

In an analyzation of the life record of Mr. Reid it will be noted that he
was most persevering and energetic, which qualities alone assured the great
success he achieved in mercantile pursuits. He was also well known for
his liberality and for his devotion to his family and friends. The ix)or and
needy found in him a helper, for remembering the struggles of his earlier


years he was always willing to assist others who manifested a disposition
to help themselves. He never believed in the indiscriminate giving that
fosters vagrancy and idleness, but was always generous in his gifts to benev-
olent institutions, or wherever he believed that his aid was merited. He
held friendship inviolable and his interests centered in his home. He re-
garded no personal sacrifice on his part too great, if it would promote .the
welfare or enhance the happiness of his wife and children. He was a strong
advocate of temperance in its underlying principles and was in the truest
sense a self-made man, hecoming during the long years of his residence in
British Columbia one of its best known citizens and honored representa-
tives. Mrs. Reid, a lady of refinement and culture, presiding with gracious-
ness over a hospitable home, now resides in the popular west end district
of Vancouver, where she has a wide circle of friends. The life record of
Senator Reid should serv-e as a source of inspiration and encouragement to
others. While he accomplished much in the business world and ratified his
friendships by kindly sympathy and thoughtful consideration his greatest
depth of love was reserved for his family.


During five years' residence in Nelson Harry Bird has made for him-
self a leading position in the front ranks of the business men of this por-
tion of British Columbia. He is engaged in dealing in real estate, is also
conducting an insurance business and is interested in mining properties. He
has represented the West Ward in the City Council for the past two years
as alderman. He has marked perseverance, reliability, energy and incon-
querable determination — qualities which enable him to pursue a course that
has been marked out and it is these salient elements in his character that
have made him one of the substantial and valued citizens of the province.

Mr. Bird was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, on the
8th of September, 1857, his parents being Charles and Emily (Webster)
Bird, both of whom are deceased. His education was acquired in Clifton
College, where he pursued a full course. He afterward signed articles with
Thomas J. Bewick of the firm of Bewick & Moreing, mining engineers of
London, England, with whom he continued for four years, subsequent to
which time he took charge of the Argentiere mines of France in the capacity
of manager. He continued there for a year and later became consulting
engineer for Sir Francis Bolton, of London, England. He acted in that
capacity for six years and during that time twice visited Mexico on trips
of inspection. Sir Francis Bolton also had mines in France, Germany and


Algeria in addition to iron stone mines on the estate of the Duke of Marl-
borough at Blenheim. In the year 1887 Mr. Bird crossed the Atlantic to
Canada and located in the Moose mountain district, two hundred miles west
of Winnipeg. He joined his brother there, built a flourmill and estab-
lished a trading post for trade with the Indians. He became the founder of
the village of Connington Manor and was actively identified with the devel-
opment of that place as a proprietor until 1899. when he left his interests
in the charge of his partner and came to Nelson, British Columbia. Here
he opened a real estate and insurance office and in connection with business
along these lines he is likewise handling mining property and placing invest-
ments in mining interests. The firm handles the lands of the Canadian
Pacific Railroad Company from the divide on the east to the divide on the
west about seventy-five miles square. They also have town sites in Nelson,
Castlegar and Proctor. Mr. Bird has thoroughly acquainted himself with
realty values in this section of the country, recognized opportunity for judi-
cious investment and profitable sale and in the conduct of his business has
secured a large clientage, negotiating many important realty transfers which
adds not alone to his success as a business man but also proves a factor in the
general prosperity of this section of the province.

In 1884 Mr. Bird was married to Miss Eliza Belton, a daughter of
James H. Belton, manager of Munster Bank in Cork, Ireland. He is a
Mason in his fraternal relations, belonging to Moosomin lodge, of the North-
west territory. He is also an associate member of the institution of civil
engineers and his religious faith is indicated by his relationship with the
Church of England. In his business career he has made consecutive advance-
ment and today stands as one of the leading representatives of his chosen
field of activity. Drawing the lessons which we do from his life work we
learn that the qualifications necessary for success are a high ambition and a
resolute, honorable purpose to reach the. exalted standard that has been set up.


William Kirkwood Leighton has been closely identified with the busi-
ness interests of Nanaimo for twenty years. He has spent practically all
his life in British Columbia, and belongs to the class of public-spirited and
enterprising citizens to whom the most credit for material and commercial
progress is due. He has grown up with the country, started out on his
career without capital or special advantages, and has advanced steadily into
business prominence and the esteem of his fellow citizens.

Mr. Leighton was born in Benicia, California, November 21, 1854, a


son of David and Isabel (Buie) Leighton, who are both deceased. His
parents brought him to British Columbia when he was a child, so that his
life's associations are almost entirely with this province. He was educated
in the public schools of Victoria through the high school, and after that
learned the art of telegraphy. For six years he was in the employ of the
Dominion government as a telegrapher. He then went to clerking and book-
keeping, being employed in Victoria, Nanaimo and other places in the upper
country. He located permanently in Nanaimo in 1882, and for the first
six years kept the books of the firm of A. R. Johnson and Company. After
that he embarked in business on his own account, establishing a real estate,
insurance and mining business which he has continued with increasing suc-
cess to the present time. He represents the staple life and fire insurance
companies, among them the Confederation Life Insurance Company and
eight English fire insurance companies.

In 1884 Mr. Leighton married Miss Hattie Gough, a daughter of Ed-
win Gough, of Nanaimo. Their pleasant home contains five bright chil-
dren: Frederick K., Gladys S., Clifford M., Russell L. and William K., Jr.
Mr. Leighton affiliates with Ashlar Lodge No. 3, A. F. & A. M., with Van-
couver Commandery of the Knights Templar, and is a Shriner, belonging
to Victoria Temple. He is also a member of the Woodmen of the World
and of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In politics a Conservative, he is sec-
retary of the Conservative Association. He has served as a school trustee
one term, and all public matters are an object of interest and effort on his
part. He and the family are adherents of the Presbyterian church.


W. J. Blake Wilson, well known citizen and business man of Nelson.
British Columbia, has been prosecuting a busy and successful career in this
part of the country for a number of years, ever since leaving the old home
farm in Ontario, and he has made himself a most useful and highly esteemed
■citizen. He is a man of many resources, has energy sufficient for carrying
out the plans of a resolute mind, and has been found a dependable and active
factor in the business circles of this portion of the province.

Born in Wellington, Simcoe county, Ontario, April 29, 1866, a son of
John and Catherine (Manning) Wilson, both deceased, Mr. Wilson had the
rearing of a farm boy, attended public school at Bradford, then for two terms
enjoyed the advantages of the Arcade Commercial College in Toronto, after
that worked hard on his father's farm until he was twenty-three years old,
and in 1890, ambitious, strong and resolute, he came out to Kamloops,


British Columbia. Going down the Columbia river, he secured the beef
contract for the Canadian Pacific Railway from Nelson to Robson. This
meat contracting business he carried on in the Kootenay country for three
years, and in 1893 associated himself with the P. Burns and Company. He
is still a member of the firm and has had charge of the meat contracting
division of their business since it was inaugurated. In addition to contract-
ing he also ran a pack train in the Columbia river district from 1890 to
1892, and for two years carried the mail from Colville, Washington, so that
he has indeed had a varied and eventful career, and while he has been keenly
alive tO' his own interests he has at the same time been a worthy factor in
the general development of this part of the coimtry. He is recognized as an
eminently public-spirited citizen, and the city of Nelson is fortunate in
counting him among its citizenship.

Mr. Wilson affiliates with Nelson Lodge No. 23, A. F. & A. M. He
was married in 1890 to Miss M. L. Ferguson, of Ontario. His wife is now
the pioneer woman of Nelson, having been among the first arrivals on the
city's site. They have two children. Joe and Blake, and the older is now
attending St. Andrew's College in Toronto.


■ Thomas Embleton is the proprietor of the best grocery of Rossland and
has developed a business from small proportions through the exercise of his
native talent, unfaltering diligence and keen business discernment. He was
born near Sunderland, county Durham, England, February 15, 1867. His
father, William Embleton, is now^ residing near that place, but his mother,
who bore the maden name of Mary Ann Atkinson,, has departed this life.
Following the completion of his education accjuired in the common schools,
Thomas Embleton began farming and was thus engaged for five years in the
north of England, after which he went to the coal mines, where he worked
until the 6th of July, 1893. He then came to British Columbia, locating at
Nanaimo', and for two and a half years worked in the mines there. He after-
ward removed to Three Forks, British Columbia, where he remained for a
short time and again engaged in mining. He afterw-ard went to Montana,
being employed in the m.ines for four months, and in February, 1896, he
arrived in Rossland. Here he was employed for a half year in the Leroy
mine and for four months in the Iron Colt mine, when seeing new advantages
opening for a mercantile enterprise he established a grocery store, having at
first but a limited stock of goods. He afterward changed his location and
subsequently was forced to move again during the great fire. He came to


his present place of business in August, 1903, and is today proprietor of the
finest grocery and store in the city, having a large and well selected stock,
which is neatly and tastefully arranged so that the attractive appearance of
the store is in a degree responsible for its large patronage. Mr. Embleton
is also well known as a most reliable business man and his earnest desire
to please his customers has secured to him a gratifying patronage. As the
years have advanced and his financial resources have increased he has not con-
fined his attention entirely to merchandising, but has become largely inter-
ested in mining and is a member of the Trout Lake syndicate and of the Cali-
fornia syndicate.

IHi 1886 Mr. Embleton was united in marriage to Miss Annie Leadbit-
ter, a daughter of John Leadbitter, of Durham county, England. He is
quite prominent in fraternal circles, being grand treasurer of the grand lodge,
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, high priest of the grand encamp-
ment of Odd P^ellows of British Columbia, also a member of the Order of
Rebekah, the Knights of Pythias fraternity, and the Rathbone Sisters. He
belongs to and is a supporter of the Methodist church, and is deeply in-
terested in the moral development of the community. In politics he is a
Liberal and he served as alderman in 1902 and 1903. Such in brief is the
life history of Mr. Embleton. In whatever relation of life we find him —
in the government service, in political circles, in business or in social rela-
tions — he is always the same honorable and honored gentleman, whose worth
well merits the high regard which is uniformly given him.


Moses Lenz, senior member of the well known wholesale drygoods firm
of Lenz and Leiser at Victoria, has devoted all the years of his life since
early boyhood to dry-goods merchandising. Ele is a capable, alert and pro-
gressive business man, and has made a large success simply because he has
deserved it. He showed his business instincts in early life, and great energy
and perseverance have accomplished the rest. It is a pleasure to state that
the firm of Lenz and Lesier is the most extensive of its kind in all the province
of British Columbia, and its growth and management are the net results of
the character and ability of its proprietors.

Mr. Lenz was born in Madison, Wisconsin, February 17, 1862. He is
of German stock, and his father, Jacob Lenz, was born in Germany and emi-
grated to Madison, ^Visconsin, in 1854, where h6 was engaged in merchan-
dising until his death. The son Moses v^as educated in his native city, but
had not advanced far from childhood when he entered into the serious occu-


patioii of life. He has been identified with the dry-goods business contin-
uously since he was fourteen years old. He came out to Victoria in 1873
and for the following three years sold dry-goods in the store of A. B. Gray,
and then for a short time was connected with the White House store. In
1880 he and Mr. J. York founded the present business, it was incorporated
in 1892, and has always had a steady and substantial growth. They may
be said to have begun business in a shack fifteen by forty feet in dimensions,
and the present quarters alone would indicate how large has been their
growth. The fine brick block of Lenz and Leiser is sixty by eighty feet, and
three stories high. They also have a large brick manufactory in which are
made men's overalls, shirts and similar goods. In this department employ-
ment is given to thirty young women. Three salesmen are kept on the
road from one year to another in order to dispose of their manufactures,
and the goods bearing their brands are sold all over the northwest. Liberal
and honorable business methods have been large factors in their success,
and they now have the reputation of possessing the largest wholesale dry-
goods house in British Columbia. Mr. Lenz sfives strict attention to all the
details of his enterprise and is always to be found working for its extension
and upbuilding. Each year he makes a trip to Dawson on the Yukon in the
interests of the firm, and he personally sells a large amount of goods.

Mr. Lenz affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. • For
a number of years he has been an active member of the board of trade and
in that capacity as in other ways has done much for the welfare of his cit}-.
In 189 1 he was happily married to Miss Hattie Cohen, who is a native
daughter of California. They have one daughter, Helen. They are mem-
bers of the Hebrew synagogue, and are held in the highest esteem by a large
circle of friends.


Dr. Lewis Thomas Davis, a long established physician and surgeon at
Nanaimo, has made an enviable record in his profession through his skill,
his native ability and the high attainments which he has brought to his life
work. He has a wide reputation among hundreds of private households in
Nanaimo and vicinity, but also has the responsibility of several official con-
nections, and is a practitioner of recognized high rank throughout his

Dr. Davis was born in Portland, state of Maine, July 4, 1862, being
a son of William and Jane (Coates) Davis, who are both now deceased. Edu-
cated in the excellent Trinity College at Fort Hope, he then took up studies


preparatory to his profession as a matriculate of Queen's University at King-
ston, Ontario, where he was graduated with the class of 1883, as a Doctor of
Medicine. He then left Canada and went to San Francisco, where he was
located six months with a brother, A. C. Davis. He was then induced to
take charge of a hospital at Belmont, Nevada, but as he found affairs there
to have been misrepresented to him he stayed only one week. Returning
to California he engaged in practice at Redwood City for three months,
and on May 2, 1884, he arrived in Nanaimo, which has since proved to
be his permanent location and where he has worked out his professional
career to its fullest capacity. His first purpose in coming to this city was
to act as. temporary assistant for the late Dr. Cluness, colliery physician to
the Vancouver Coal Company. After two years he dissolved partnership and
has since carried on an extensive and profitable practice alone. For the
past eighteen years he has been surgeon to Nanaimo Hospital, and for five
years has served the district as coroner. He is examining physician for
several life insurance companies, and for the last eighteen years has been
surgeon to the provincial jail. For four years he served as a member for
the Nanaimo district on the provincial board of health. Professionally he
fraternizes with the British Columbia Medical Association.

Dr. Davis was married in July, 1887, to Miss Eva May Reynard, a
daughter of the late Rev. Reynard, Episcopal minister at Nanaimo. Their
five children are Gerald, Phyllis, Flwyn, Travers and Cedric. Dr. Davis
and his family are Episcopalians.


Dr. William Oliver Rose, physician and surgeon at Nelson, also prom-
inent in public affairs and the fraternal orders, has passed his entire pro-
fessional career in this city, and has been unqualifiedly successful. A young
man, of great energy, determined purpose, excellent native ability combined
with' thorough professional equipment obtained in one of the foremost med-
ical schools on the American continent, he has already reached a recognized
high place in medical circles and is of the type of citizenship most valuable
to a growing, flourishing country like British Columbia.

Born on Prince Edward Island, February 10, 1871, a son of William
and Jane (Baker) Rose, the former of whom is still living on Prince Edward

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 44 of 79)