R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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had married Miss Ann Wilson, a native of Scotland and she and her two
sons, Alexander, Jr., and Robert, came to British Columbia in 1864. They
settled in Victoria and the father there worked at his trade as a journeyman.
A little later, however, he engaged in ship-building on his own account
and had the credit of building all the river boats for Captain Irving and later
for the captain's son, Captain John Irving. Among these were the Reli-
ance, Glenora, Elizabeth J. Irving, R. P. Rithel and various other boats.
Mr. Watson was a Presbyterian in his religious faith and was a member of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In the family were six children:
Alexander, Jr., Robert, Thomas, James D., George and Bella. The daugh-
ter is now acting as her father's housekeeper, for the mother departed this
life in 1876, in the thirty-sixth year of her age. The son Robert was acci-
dentally killed by the falling of a limb of a tree, while he was engaged in
getting out crooks for vessels.

Thomas Watson, whose name introduces this record, was educated in
the public schools of Victoria, pursuing the work of the high school there,
and after putting aside his text books entered upon his business career. He
has followed various pursuits. He was first a sheep herder and at the age of
seventeen years he entered upon an apprenticeship to the machinist trade in
the Albion Iron Works. After acquiring a fair knowledge of the trade he
went to Oregon, where he was employed as a machinist in the railroad
shops. Subsequently he removed to San Francisco, where he entered the
employ of the San Francisco Bridge Company and was soon given charge
of the construction of several of their large bridges. After a continuance
of that business connection for three years he returned to Victoria and was
engaged in electrical work, constructing an electrical establishment and fin-
ishing and fitting up all kinds of electrical plants.

Mr. Watson has been connected with the fire department from his
lx)yhood in different capacities, associated therewith when it was a volun-
teer organization and since it has become a pay department. He was made
captain of the company and in 1900 he was appointed chief of the Victoria
fire department, for which important position his knowledge of mechanics,
electricity and steam has amply qualified him. He has charge of all of the
fire apparatus and of all the supplies, and during a fire has command not
only of the firemen but of the citizens and the surrounding property. He


has made the department a very efficient organization, its work being car-
ried on systematically, and in case of emergency Mr. Watson is found to be
clear-headed, his mind acting with decision and rapidity, so that he directs
the labors of his men to the best possible advantage.

In 1890 occurred the marriage of Thomas Watson and Miss Chris-
tiana St. Clair, who was born in Victoria and is a daughter of William St.
Clair, who became the pioneer settler of British Columbia, who was con-
nected with the Hudson's Bay Company. Mr. and Mrs. Watson have had
five children, three sons and two daughters, namely: James A., William G.,
Thomas M., Doris Marjory and Ethel Gladys. Mrs. Watson's father
reached the age of seventy-five years and her mother is still living in her
sixty-eighth year. There were three sons and eight daughters in that family.
Mrs. Watson was reared in. the faith of the Church of England, while Mr.
Watson is of the Presbyterian faith. He belongs to the Native Sons of the
province and he and his family enjoy the high esteem of many friends in
Victoria. Almost his entire life has been passed in this city and in the
present responsible position which he now fills he has done effective service
for his fellow townsmen.


Charles Edward Dickie, of Duncans, has been largely interested in the
development of the material resources of his district, and has left his impress
on a number of enterprises which have stimulated industry and added to
the wealth-producing powers of British Columbia. He is a successful busi-
ness man, possessed of a high degree of public spirit, and during a career
marked by much strenuous activity he has gained the esteem of all his fellow
citizens and made himself an influence in affairs.

Born in Oxford, Ontario, September 14, 1858, Mr. Dickie is a son of
James and Lucretia (Burdick) Dickie, who are both living in Ontario. He
was educated in the public schools of Ontario and then in the University of
Michigan at Ann Arbor, after which he went to work at inspecting lumber
and logs in northern Michigan and also learned telegraphy. Continuing at
that until 1885, he then went out to California, locating in Los Angeles and
in San Diego, and did some farming near Anaheim. After spending two
years in California he came up to the Puget Sound country, and later located
at Victoria, British Columbia, where he was in railroad employ for about
three years. He then became a hotel proprietor at Duncans, and while in
that business he became interested in the Tyee copper mine, being active in
interesting sufficient capital for its development. A short time, later he re-


tired from the hotel business and identified himself exclusively with mining.
He sen'^ed as managing director of the Richard the Third mine and the Cop-
per King mine, and also organized the company to work the Leach river
diggings and put in hydraulic works there, but this latter enterprise was
unsuccessful. At the present time he has large interests in timber lands and
in farming operations.

Mr. Dickie is a Conservative in politics, and in 1897 was elected a mem-
ber of the provincial parliament, an office which he held, serving his constit-
uents faithfully and public-spiritedly, until 1900, when he refused the prof-
fered nomination for another term. He is a prominent Mason, being af-
filiated with Temple Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and with the Victoria command-
ery, and also belongs to the Odd Fellows order. He and his family are
Presbyterians in religion. He was married in 1888 to Miss Eliza E. Cal-
vert, a daughter of Peter Calvert, of Skipton, England, and they have one
child, Herbert William.


Captain William Hart-McHarg, of Vancouver, barrister, author and
soldier, was born in the barracks at Kilkenny, Ireland, w'here his father was
at that time stationed with his regiment. His natal day was February 16,
1869, and he is descended from Scotch ancestry. He is a son of Major
William Hart-McHarg, who was in the old Forty-fourth, now known as
the Essex, regiment for many years. His father saw service in the Crimean
and Chinese wars, for which he received four medals and four clasps. He
retired from the army with a special pension, given him for meritorious and
distinguished service. He married Miss Jane Thomsett, a daughter of
Captain Thomsett of the same regiment, who also served through the
Crimean and Chinese campaigns.

William Hart-McHarg pursued his education in England and in Bel-
gium, but when sixteen years of age he started out in life on his own ac-
count. Believing that the new world would offer him superior opportunities
for advancement, he made his way to Manitoba, where he followed farming
for five years. When in his twenty-first year he removed to Winnipeg and,
desirous of entering professional life, he devoted five years to the study of
law and then successfully passed the examinations which secured his admis-
sion to the Manitoba bar in 1895. He practiced law in that province for
two years and in 1897, attracted by the mining activity in the Kootenay coun-
try, he canie to British Columbia, and having been called to the bar of this
province took up the practice of his profession in Rossland.


Always interested in military life, he attached himself to the Winnipeg
Dragoons while in that city and upon the formation of the Rocky Mountain
Rangers in the Kootenay he joined that organization as a private and later
attained the rank of lieutenant. Upon the breaking out of the war in South
Africa he volunteered for the First Contingent, the Royal Canadian Regi-
ment, and being unable to obtain commissioned rank he enlisted as a private.
During the campaign he was promoted to sergeant. The Canadian Militia
list gives the following record of his war service : " Operations in Orange
Free State, February-May, 1900, including operations at Paardeberg' (18-26
February), and actions at Poplar Grove (7 March), Dreifontein (10
March), Hout Nek (i May), Zand River (i May) ; operations in the Trans-
vaal in May and June, including actions near Johannesburg (29 May), Pre-
toria (4 June). Operations in Orange River Colony and eastern and west-
ern Transvaal, June-November, 1900. Medal with four clasps."

On the return of his regiment to Canada Mr. McHarg resumed his law
practice in Rossland. He continued his connection with the anny, was re-
instated as lieteuant in the Rocky Mountain Rangers and was soon afterwards
promoted to the rank of captain. In November, 1902, he removed to Van-
couver, where he established his home. He was transferred to the Sixth
Regiment, " The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," and is now captain of
a company in that organization.

Captain McHarg has also given evidence of literary ability, having
written and published a book on the South African war, entitled " From
Quebec to Pretoria." It has met with a good sale and has been highly com-
mended. He is a Liberal in politics and has been president of several Lib-
eral associations. He is giving close attention to his law practice and therein
is acquiring a very satisfactory clientage, while his social, political and mili-
tary prominence class him with the leading and representative young men
of Vancouver.


John A. J. Honeyman, whose active connection with industrial interests
makes him a leading factor in business circles in Nelson, is now engaged in
the manufacture of engines, boilers, sawmills, quartz mills and mining ma-
chinery, also architectural iron work and iron and brass castings, and the
quality of the workmanship of his foundry and shops is Such as has brought
to him a liberal patronage. He was born in Quebec in February, 1841, and
was reared in Kingston, Ontario. He acquired his education at Queen's
College in Kingston and in his youth became connected with the machinist's


trade, working in his father's foundry, where he was employed from 1856
until i860. He left Kingston to go to New York city, where he was em-
ployed for a short time as a journeyman and was then promoted to the posi-
tion of foreman. He continued there until September, 1868, when he sailed
for San P^rancisco, obtaining employment in the Union Iron Works, a posi-
tion which he occupied for a little more than a year. He next removed to
Portland, Oregon, where he worked as a journeyman for a short time, when
again his capability won him advancement to the position of foreman.

In 1873 his father and three brothers formed a partnership and estab-
lished the City Foundry & Machine Shops at Portland, Oregon, conducting
this enterprise with gratifying success until 1886, when the partnership was
dissolved. Mr. Honeyman of this review then accepted the position of
superintendent with the National Linseed Oil Company, acting in that capac-
ity for two years, when he resigned in order to again enter the foundry busi-
ness on his own account. He conducted his enterprise for two years, but
did not meet with the success he had anticipated and he therefore removed
his plant to Nelson, British Columbia, in 1897. He built a foundry and
machine shop in Bogustown, and met with good success there. In July,
1904, he built a new shop in Nelson at the corner of Hill and Water streets,
and is now conducting a fair business, meeting with a desirable measure of

In 1864 Mr. Honeyman was united in marriage to Miss Jane E. Power,
a resident of Birmingham, England, and they have five children : David A.,
William A., Charles J., Mabel M., and Benjamin F. Mr. Honeyman is a
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and also belongs to the
Congregational church. His life record is an exemplification of the fact
that success may be won through persistent purpose, capable management
and laudable ambition, for starting out in life with no capital Mr. Honeyman
has steadily worked his way upward, brooking no obstacles that could be
overcome by determined and honorable effort. He is now a respected rep-
resentative of the business interests of Nelson, enjoying the full confidence of
the business community.


William Garland McQuarrie, member of the law firm of Martin, Weart
and McQuarrie, of New Westminster and Vancouver, is a prominent young
representative of the bar of this province. Born in 1876, at Ottawa, Ontario,
Mr. McQuarrie is a son of a well known citizen of New Westminster, Lachlan
McQuarrie, a native of Ontario, as is also his wife, Mary (McKinnon) Mc-


Quarrie. Lachlan McQuarrie was a prominent railroad and public works
contractor in Ottawa. He came west to Winnipeg- in 1881, and in 1886 to
British Columbia, of which province he has since been a resident. He has
been identified with many large contracts in this province. Among his im-
portant undertakings were the installation of the water works system in New
Westminster, at Vernon, at Winnipeg and at Ottawa.

Having been brought to British Columbia when a child, Mr. McQuarrie
received most of his elementary education in the province. He also attended
Osgood Hall at Toronto. At the age of eighteen he left school in order to
take up the study of law, and became a student under Hon. Aulay Morrison,
Hon. Richard McBride, now premier, and the late Chief Justice McColl, all
acknowledged leaders in the legal fraternity. In 1900 he received admission
to the bar, and after a year spent at Ashcroft he entered the well known firm
of Morrison, Whiteside, McQuarrie and Briggs' at New Westminster. When
Mr. Morrison was elevated to the supreme bench in 1904, Mr. McQuarrie
formed a partnership with Messrs. Martin and Weart, of Vancouver, the
firm now being as given at the beginning of this sketch. They have offices
both in New Westminster and Vancouver, and Mr. McQuarrie's home is in
the former city. Hon. Joseph Martin, K. C, is the head of this firm.

In politics Mr. McQuarrie is an active Conservative, being secretary of
the Conservative Association at New Westminster. Fraternally he affiliates
with the Masons and with the Woodmen of the World.

Agent-General of British Columbia in London.

The following account appeared in the Daily Colonist upon his leaving
for England to fill his present position:

"John Herbert Turner was the son of John Turner, of Ipswich, Eng-
land, and was bom at Playden, near Ipswich, Suffolk, in 1834. He was
educated at Whitestable near Canterbury, and left England in 1856 for
Halifax, N. S. After residing at Halifax for two years, he removed to
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and began business there. While
living in Charlottetown he took a leading part in the organization of the
first volunteer rifle corps in that province, of which he continued to be an
active member until he left for British Columbia in 1862. This corps, in
conjunction with other country corps, to the number of a thousand, turned
out to welcome the Prince of Wales on his visit to Prince Edward Island
in 1861. It was in 1862 that the reports of British Columbia's marvellous


richness had their greatest influence in Eastern Canada, and hundreds of
the best and most energetic young men from all the provinces abandoned
established businesses, assured prospects, and unsurpassed opportunities, for
the dream of untold wealth to be gathered from the goldfields.

" On July 2, 1862, Mr. Turner arrived in Victoria by the steamer
Oregon, in company with a large number of gold-seekers, many of whom,
disappointed and discouraged, left the country within a month of their
landing. A few, however, with more of that combative quality and indom-
itable energy and perseverance so necessary in the citizens of a young state,
settled in Victoria, and stuck to her through good and evil report, sharing
her troubles and trials, and helping to build up the city to its present pros-
perous condition,

" Mr. Turner went into business in 1865, and has continued at it
uninterruptedly since that ti^e.

" As in Charlottetown, so in Victoria, Mr. Turner was one of the
original promoters and members of the volunteer rifle organization, and was
enrolled in the first corps that was formed here, for the defense of the island
during the Fenian excitement, and threatened raid in 1865. This corps wore
the celebrated uniform of white blanket coats, with black facings. Mr. Tur-
ner served through the ranks from private to sergeant, then into the com-
missioned ranks, and through the various grades, finally retiring to the
reserve militia with the rank of Lt.-Col. in 1881.

" He was elected a member of the city council of Victoria in 1876,
and served for three years, till 1879, when he was elected mayor by accla-
mation, and served the city through three terms in that position. He
was chairman of the British Columbia Benevolent Society, and also of the
Royal Hospital from 1879 to 1882, and chairman of the British Columbia
Agricultural Society for 1881 and 1882.

" In the general election of 1886, he was elected to represent the city
of Victoria in the provincial legislature, and joined the government of Hon.
A. E. B. Davie in 1887, being re-elected in August of that year, after having
accepted the portfolio of finance minister. At the general election of 1890,
he was again returned for the city of Victoria and occupied the position of
finance minister in the government of Hon. John Robson. In 1894, he was
once again elected by his constituents, and in the cabinet of which Hon.
Theodore Davie was premier, he continued to administer the finances of the

"On Saturday, March 2, 1895, Hon. Theodore Davie resigned the
premiership, and Mr. Turner was called upon to form a cabinet. He served


the province as premier and minister of finance from that time till August,
1898, when his government was dismissed from office by Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor Mclnnes, and for the next two sessions he led the opposition. In
1900, Hon. James Dunsmuir assumed the premiership, and Mr. Turner
was one of the first invited to enter the new cabinet. He accepted his old
portfolio of finance, and remained in office till Se:ptember 3, 1901, when he
retired from office to accept the important position of agent-general of
British Columbia, in London, England.

" From the day he entered politics, Mr. Turner always possessed the
entire confidence of his constituents, and during his long career as a busi-
ness man and politician, has always taken an active interest in the mining,
fishing, and other interests of the province, of which he was a foremost
promoter. He has been connected with most of the large enterprises which
have had their origin in Victoria, and while his business was centered in
this city, he had also large commercial interests in other parts of the

" Mr. Turner was married in i860 to Miss Eilbeck, of Whithaven,
Cumberland, England. Mrs. Turner accompanied her husband to England,
her departure being deeply regretted by her very large circle of friends in
Victoria, and throughout the province."

Mr. Turner has filled the office of agent-general most acceptably, and
in a great many ways has advanced the interests of the province, being
instant in and out of season in its behalf. British Columbia has received
great prominence through his efforts.


John Horatio Watson, chief of the New Westminster fire department,
has been connected with that most important branch of the municipal service
for sixteen years, and has advanced to the head of the department by steady
promotions based on efficiency and merit as a firefighter, with courage and
coolness and skill tested in many a hard-fought battle with the destroying
element. It is a fact of which the citizens of New Westminster feel very
proud that their fire department ranks with the best in the northwest when
the size of the city is considered, and it is therefore a position of honor as
well as of utmost responsibility to be its chief.

Mr. Watson, who is yet a young man, being only twenty-two when he
entered the department, was born' in Durham, Grey county, Ontario, in 1867.
His, parents were Robert and Dinah (Gadd) Watson. His father was a


Grey county farmer for many years, and later moved to Algoma in West-
em Ontario, where he still lives.

After an education in the common and grammar schools of Grey county
Mr. Watson left school at the age of sixteen, and began learning the stone-
mason's trade. In 1885 he came to British Columbia, and continued to
follow his trade in New Westminster until 1889. In the latter year he was
appointed driver in the fire department. From this post he was promoted to
chemical engineer, then to captain, and in 1899 came his appointment as chief
of the department, which office he has since done so much to honor. The
fire-fighting equipment of New Westminster contains the most modern ap-
paratus, and that combined with the efficiency and discipline of the men
makes the entire service of the highest standard. The water supply is from
gravity pressure, it befng piped from Lake Couquillam, a distance of fourteen
miles, to a reservoir on a high altitude above the city, so that, at low level,
there is a pressure of one hundred and seventy-three pounds to the inch.
The New Westminster fire service has undergone a complete reorganization
and transformation since the disastrous fire in 1898, which destroyed the en-
tire business section of the city, and which brought home to the citizens and
authorities the necessity of a first class fire department. Since then new and
modern apparatus has l^een added and everything done to make the service
equal to the demands of a growing city.

Mr. Watson was married in 1893 to Miss Nellie Deans, of Grand Val-
ley, Ontario. She died in the following year, and left one son, Albert Bert-
land. In 1902 Mr. Watson took for his second wife Miss Margaret Murray,
of Woodstock, Ontario. By this marriage also there is a son, Robert Mur-
ray. Mr. Watson affiliates with the Knights of Pythias, and is one of the
popular and highly esteemed citizens of New Westminster.


Charles Robert Hamilton, K. C, barrister at law and mayor of the
city of Rossland, was born in the city of Quebec in 1867. His father, Charles
Hamilton, a native of Quebec, is Bishop of Ottawa in the Church of England,
and one of the foremost ecclesiastics of his day, whose work and influence
have been of lasting value to his church and to social and religious welfare.
Mr. Hamilton's mother, Frances Louisa Hume (Thompson) Hamilton, was
born in England, a daughter of Commissary-General Thompson, at one time
stationed in the city of Toronto. Mr. Hamilton was educated at Bishop's
College School in Lennoxville, Quebec, and at Kebbe College, Oxford, and
graduated with second class 'honors from the University of Oxford in 1888,


with the degree of B. A. Returning to Canada in 1889 he took his law
course in Osgood Hall, and came to British Columbia in 1892, while in Janu-
ary of the following year he was admitted to the bar of this province. He
practiced law in Vancouver with A. St. G. Hammersley until 1896, and since
that year has been located and engaged in active practice in Rossland. Since
1900 he has served as alderman and in January, 1905, was elected mayor of
that city. He is a bencher of the Law Society, a justice of the peace for the
province of British Columbia and was in April, 1905, appointed a king's

In 1900 Mr. Hamilton married Miss Edith Bell Wilson, a daughter of
W. B. Wilson, a pioneer of British Columbia. They are the parents of four
children, named Charles Hamwood, Edith Frances Mary, Violet Craigie and
Isobel Joan.


The Victoria Chemical Works is one of the most important manufac-
turing enterprises of Victoria. It was established in 1892 and has since
been in continuous operation and productive of great material value to the
city in which it is located. This is the only establishment in British Colum-

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 46 of 79)