R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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another store at Three Forks. In 1896 they established a branch house at
Sandon and in 1897, having purchased his partner's interest, Mr. Hunter
incorporated the William Hunter Company. In 1899 he opened a store in
Brooklyn, which he conducted for about five months, closing out, however,
on the completion of the railroad. He afterward built a store in Phoenix,
but later sold his stock there. The building was burned down and Mr.
Hunter rebuilt it and again stocked it with goods in 1901. He is still pro-
prietor of that mercantile enterprise. In 1897 he sold the store at Sandon
to the firm of Hunter Brothers and in 1902 he sold the store at Three Forks
to John T. Kelly, while in 1903 the firm of Wilson & Barclay became pro-
prietors of his store at Silverton. He has been the pioneer in inaugurating





many new inrlustries and commercial interests and his efforts have contrib-
uted in large and substantial measure to the improvement of the districts
in whicli he has carried on business.

Mr. Hunter has found another field of labor in the development of the
rich mining resources of the country and is now heavily interested in mining
property. In 1903 he began operating the Comstock mine, which is proving
a very, paying one. He also has another property on the north fork of Car-
penter creek called the Rowse mine. These seem to contain an inexhaustible
supply of ore, which furnished a rich yield, and the business is now profitably

In 1901 Mr. Hunter was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Parsons,
a daughter of Robert Parsons, of New Westminster, and they have one
child, Helen. Mr. Hunter belongs to Kaslo lodge, A. F. & A. M., and is
also a member of the Presbyterian church. He served as justice of the
peace in Silverton for seven years and has been a co-operant factor in
many progressive measures that have had for their object the benefit of the
comm.unity. He belongs to the little group of distinctively representative
business men who have been the pioneers in inaugurating and building up
the chief industries of this section of the country. He early had the sagacity
and prescience to discern the eminence which the future had in store for
this great and growing country, and, acting in accordance with the dictates
of his faith and judgment, he has garnered, in the fullness of time, the
generous harvest which is the just recompense of indomitable industry, spot-
less integrity and marvelous enterprise and in business he has achieved suc-
cess through honorable effort, untiring industry and capable management.


Jonathan Reece, who died June 4, 1904, was one of the oldest and most
honored of the citizens of Chilliwack, and his life, reaching beyond the
seventieth milestone, was exceedingly busy, useful and worthy in all deeds
and aspirations. He identified himself closely with the affairs of his home
community, was always ready to devote his energies to some public-spirited
enterprise, was liberal of his time and money, and made himself a powerful
factor for good and progress along all lines of activity.

The late Jonathan Reece was born in Oxford county, Ontario. May i,
1 83 1, so that he was a month past his seventy-third birthday when death
called him to lay down his duties. Spending his early life in Oxford county,
where he was educated in the public schools and spent the vacation periods
in working on his father's farm, he was nearly grown when he left home to


seek for himself a place in the world's affairs. After spending a short time
in the state of Michigan, in 185 1 he went to California, where he was em-
ployed in various occupations for seven years. He came up to British Colum-
bia in 1858 and went to the mining regions of the Cariboo, but shortage of
provisions soon compelled him to leave this district, and he came to the more
settled parts of the province, although the entire country was just then be-
ginning to develop and he was among the pioneers of the province. He
worked in a sawmill in Yale for a time, and then went into the butcher busi-
ness. In the year 1869 he came to Chilliwack, and to him belongs the honor
of taking up the first pre-emption at this place. He purchased land from
other parties, and during his life time came into possession of large amounts
of land. He was one of the best known and most highly respected men in
his community, successful and progressive in all departments of his activity.
In politics he was a Liberal.

Mr. Reece was married in 1866 to Miss Lucinda Lewis, a daughter of
Edwin Lewis, of Oxford county, Ontario. The five children of this union
are Willena, wife of Jonathan Galloway, of Chilliwack; Bertha, wife of
George Marshall, of Chilliwack; Flora, wife of James Ballamy, of Chilli-
wack; and Edwin and Elenora. Mrs. Reece is a member of the pioneer
society of Chilliwack, being the third white woman settler in this district,
coming in 1866. She has witnessed many important changes in the growth
and development of the country. She takes an active part in church affairs,
and is a mefnber of the Methodist congregation.


The rapid development of the great northwest has furnished excellent
fields of labor wherein the activity of men of energy, ambition and discrimi-
nation have proven resultant factors in winning prosperity. William Grant
Gaunce, who is engaged in the real estate and mining brokerage business in
Greenwood, came to this place in 1898. He was born in Carsonville, Kings
county. New Brunswick, August 5, 1850, his parents being Christopher G."
and Esther (Cook) Gaunce, both of whom are deceased. He was educated
in the public schools of his native city, in Superior school in Millstream and
in the University of New Brunswick, completing a course by graduation in
the last named institution with the class of 1873, winning the Douglas gold
medal in his last year over a large number of competitors. For a number
of years he was identified with educational work, following the profession
of teaching in the city and high schools of New Brunswick for six years,
while for five years he was inspector of schools. In 1884 he was sent to


England in behalf of emigration and following his return to his native land
he was for three years superintendent of agencies for the Confederation
Life Insurance Company for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
In 1889 he went to the state of Washington, where he remained for four
years, or until 1893. In 1896-7 he conducted the immigration bureau of
the state of Washington and in 1898 he came to Greenwood, where he has
since made his home. Here he embarked in the real estate and mining
brokerage business, in which he has since been engaged, and during the six
years of his connection with this city he has secured a large clientage. Many
important real estate transfers have been promoted through his efforts and
he has handled much valuable mining stock.

In community afifairs Mr. Gaunce has taken a very active and helpful
part, withholding his co-operation from no measure which he believes will
contribute to general progress and improvement. He has been secretary of
the board of trade of Greenw^ood almost continuously since its organization
and he was a member of the commission which settled the coal strike at
Fernie, British Columbia, in March, 1903.

In 1875 Mr. Gaunce was happily married to Miss Eliza J. Atherton, of
Frederickton, New Brunswick, and they have two children, Harold S. and
A. Helen. Mr. Gaunce belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen
and is a Conservative in ix>litics, while in his religious belief he is a Con-
gregationalists. The field of business is limitless, its opportunities are many,
and yet comparatively few who enter the world's broad field of battle come
off victors in the struggle for success and prominence. This is usually due
to one or more of various causes — superficial preparation, lack of close
application or an unwise choice in selecting an avocation for which one is
fitted. The reverse of all these has entered into the success and prominence
which Mr. Gaunce has attained in the business circles of Greenwood, where
he now has a wide and favorable acquaintance.


Samiuel Stewart Fowler, one of the foremost mining engineers of British
Columbia, a resident of the city of Nelson, and active in the management
and development of several of the most important mining, power and indus-
trial enterprises of this section of the province, was born in New York city
in i860. His parents were Azro and Louisa (Abbott) Fowler, of well
known and long established New England ancestry.

Mr. Fowler received the highest educational advantages offered in the
eastern metropolis. He graduated from a Jil^eral arts course in 1881 with


the degree of A, B., and in 1884 graduated from the Columbia University
School of Mines with the degree of E. M. From 1884 to 1886 he was em-
ployed as a civil engineer in New York. In May, 1886, he went to the Black
Hills of South Dakota, and filled positions in mining, smelting and milling
concerns. In January, 1888, he was called to El Paso, Texas, and there
built and operated a smelting plant. In the fall of 1888 he became assistant
superintendent of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines of Idaho. In the
summer of 1889 he arrived in British Columbia, this being a preliminary
trip with reference to the building of a smelter for western capital. In 1890
he built, at Golden, one of the first smelters in the province. From 1891
to 1896 he was mining engineer for several British syndicates and at the
same time prospected in different portions of the province.

In the spring of 1896 Mr. Fowler became engineer for the London and
British Columbia Gold Fields Company, a finance and development syndi-
cate, which organized the Ymir Gold Mines, Limited, the Whitewater Gold
Mines, Limited, and the Enterprise British Columbia Mines, Limited. This
company took over the property of the Cascade Water Power and Light
Company, and equipped and utilized the power of the falls of the Kettle
river at Cascade City, the plant now supplying power to the surrounding
districts. Since the death of J. Roderick Robertson Mr. Fowler has assumed
the management of the company's interests, and has lent his energies and
ability without reserve to the upbuilding of the industrial affairs of this
section of the province.

Although an eminently practical and exceedingly busy engineer, Mr.
Fowler gives much attention to all branches of his profession and is a mem-
ber of various organizations connected with this line of activity. He has
membership with the American Institute of Mining Engineers, with the In-
stitute of Mining and Metallurgy of London, is past president of the Cana-
dian Mining Institute, and a member of the Franklin Institute of Phila-

Mr. Fowler was married in 1902 to Miss Frances Hedley, a daughter
of the late William Hedley of Halifax.


John Houston is editor and publisher of the Nelson Tribune, which
he founded in 1892, and he has a place among the newspaper men of British
Columbia. He has not only held up the mirror to public events and through
his editorial columns lent his influence for public advancement, but as a citi-

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zen has himself taken an active part in affairs and in various official relations
has served his city and province.

Born in 1850, on a farm in Caledon township, Peel county, Ontario,
a son of William and Mai-y (Thomas) Houston, his father a native Scotch-
man and his mother born in Canada, he began his education in the public
schools of Caledon, but left school when fourteen years old and has since
relied on his ix>wers of observation for an acquaintance with the affairs of
the world. On leaving school he went to Chicago, and became an appren-
tice to the printer's trade, in 1865, having been identified with that line of
business for practically forty years. He came to British Columbia in 1888,
and has since been identified with the affairs of the Kootenay district. He
established the Donald Truth in 1888, and in 1890 the Nelson Miner, and in
1892 the Nelson Tribune, of which he is the editor and manager. He also
established the Rossland Miner in 1895.

Mr. Houston was elected mayor of Nelson in 1897, 1898, 1900 and
1905, giving the city a most efficient administration of its affairs. He
was elected to the provincial legislature in 1900, and was re-elected in 1903.
He is affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and is not affiliated with
any other order, society or church. He is married, his wife, Edith May
Keeley, iDeing a native of York county, Ontario.


Samuel Drake, for the past twenty years associated with the responsible
office of jailer and sheriff of Nanaimo, is one of the British Columbia pio-
neers, and the forty odd years spent in this province have been varied in ac-
tivity and results, but have culminated in universal respect and esteem among
his fellowmen and a gratifying degree of material prosperity. During the
early days he was connected with half a dozen different enterprises in this
new northwest country, and, while not universally successful, his energy and
resolution never flagged and his career as a whole has been unusually suc-
cessful and useful.

Born in Devonshire, England, June 18, 1838, his parents, Samuel and
Maria (Richards) Drake, being long since deceased, he was reared in one
of the most noted mining regions of old England, and naturally his first and
very early occupation was working in the copper mines of Devonshire. When
twenty years old he came to a field of broader and better opportunities in the
new world, and worked for a time in the old Cliff copper mine in the state
of Michigan. In 1861 he went to California and worked six months in
the quicksilver mines, and in the spring of 1862 joined the rush to the Eraser


river in British Columbia, In that early year in the history of the province
he landed at the then new and straggling town of Victoria. He then went
as foreman of a copper mine at Sooke, on Vancouver Island, next went to
the Cariboo region and got as far as Douglas portage. In that vicinity he
worked on the Trutch contract from Chapman's Bar to Boston Bar, and dur-
ing the summer was foreman of road construction. He spent the winter
seasons of 1862 and 1863 in Victoria, and finished his contract during the
open months. In the spring of 1864 he went to Cariboo and became fore-
man of a copper mine. He later bought into what was known as the Watson
claim on Williams creek, and directed his energies to the working of that for
three years, but in the end the company became involved in a lawsuit and
lost the claim in the court of equity. Following that unfortunate outcome
he worked for wages and also prospected on Wilson creek and other places.
In the fall of 1872 he arrived in Nanaimo, and his interests have been al-
most permanently centered at this place ever since. He worked in the
Douglas pit until 1874, and during that year he put in nine months and in
1875 eight months in work at Cassiar, after which he returned to Nanaimo
and began working in the coal mines. In 1878 he was appointed guard of
convicts, and in 1885 was advanced to the position of assistant jailer and
assistant sheriff, and somewhat later was appointed jailer and sheriff and
has held the office to the present time, always serving with marked efficiency
and giving an administration of unusual satisfaction in this very difficult and
responsible office.

Mr. Drake was happily married in Nanaimo on Christmas eve of 1873,
and eleven children have been bom to himself and wife, two of them being
deceased. Maria is the wife of Edward Devlin, of Nanaimo; Rhoda La-
vina is deceased ; Rhoda is the wife of Alex Forester ; Mary ; Elizabeth is the
wife of Robert Vipond; and the others are Annie, Ella, Samuel, Jr., Francis,
Ethel and Lillian. Mr. Drake is a member and past master of Ashlar Lodge
No. 3, A. F. & A. M., and in religion is a Methodist.


Jeffery Hammar, who is filling the position of mayor of Grand Forks
for the second term, and is one of the prominent and influential residents of
that city, wielding a wide influence in public thought and action, was born in
Sweden, August 8, 1865. He was reared under the parental roof and pur-
sued his education in the public schools in Stockholm, after which he learned
the butcher's trade under his father. In 1883 he crossed the Atlantic to
New York city and soon secured employment there. Later he was employed


in different places in the United States and in 1897 he arrived in British
Cohimbia, locating at Rossland. There he conducted a boardinghouse for
a short time, when he removed across the line to Bossburg, Washington.
Becoming identified with business interests there as a butcher, he conducted
his market until 1897, when he started a market in Grand Forks. He re-
mained proprietor of that business until he sold out and accepted the man-
agement of the business established by P. Burns & Company. He is suc-
cessfully controlling this business enterprise, managing the market with a
capability that shows that he has excellent knowledge of the trade and
thoroughly understands the wishes of his patrons.

In April, 1896, Mr. Hammar was united in marriage to Miss Kerstin
Johnson, also a native of Sweden. They have two children.^ Mr. Hammar
is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the Knights of Pythias, this year being
elected to grand master at arms, and enjoys the confidence and high esteem
of the members of these fraternities.

Mr. Hammar, in the position of mayor, has the confidence of the alder-
manic board and ratepayers, always exercising his official prerogatives in
support of every measure calculated to foster the general good or advance
the public prosperity of the city.


John Ayton Gibson, the postmaster of Nelson, was born in Teeswater,
county Bruce, Ontario, September 29, 1859, and is a son of Alexander and
Agnes' (Hastie) Gibson. His father is deceased, while his mother is now
living in London, Ontario. In the public schools of his native town John A.
Gibson acquired his early education, which was afterward supplemented by
study in a high school in Walkerton. His education completed, he accepted
a clerkship in a general store in Teeswater and in 1881 he went to Manitoba,
where he entered the service of a contracting firm. In 1884 he arrived in
British Columbia, landing at Golden after walking the entire distance from
Calgary. Hoping to rapidly realize wealth in the mining districts he began
a search for gold, but like many others was unsuccessful, and returned to
other business pursuits. In 1885 he opened a store and started pack trains to
the Similkameen country, continuing thus until the trade fell off and busi-
ness was at a standstill. He then returned to Winnipeg, but after remaining
there for a year he again came to British Columbia, for he believed that its
future was a bright one and that business conditions would develop, so
that he might have better opportunities in the far west. For a year after
his return he engaged in mining and then established a drug store in con-


nection with W. F, Teetzel, conducting this enterprise until 1896, when
he sold his interest. In that year he became manager of the Phair Hotel,
which he conducted until 1902, when he was appointed postmaster of Nel-
son, which position he yet occupies. He employs four clerks and through
the holidays has extra service. The new postofhce building completed in
1903 is the handsomest structure in the Kootenay country and in his admin-
istration of the affairs of the office Mr. Gibson displays marked capability,
executive force and fidelity to duty. He has always taken an active interest
in political affairs, supporting the cause of the Liberal party. He is a mem-
ber of the Presbyterian church and his interest in its work is sincere. Prog-
ress and patriotism may well be termed the keynote of his character, for at
all times he labors for advancement and has put forth effective and earnest
effort in behalf of general improvement. He is enthusiastic in the subject
of the future of the province and especially of the Kootenay country and is
a worthy representative of that substantial class of citizens who uphold the
social, political and moral status of the community.


Thomas Kirkpatrick, a prominent manufacturer of red cedar shingles
with offices and mills at Hastings, British Columbia, and residence in Van-
couver, has lived in the province since 1886. This was the year of the great
fire and the year of the org^anization and naming of the city of Vancouver.
With the business development he has since been closely identified and his
efforts have been resultant factors in the promotion of its substantial g-rowth.

A native of Nova Scotia, Mr. Kirkpatrick was born in Parrsboro, on
the loth of December, 1864. His father, Alexander Kirkpatrick, who was
of Irish lineage, became one of the early settlers of that section of Nova
Scotia and was married there to Miss Eliza Mason, a native of that country.
She died in the forty-fifth year of her age, but Mr. Kirkpatrick is still living
in his eighty-sixth year.

Mr. Kirkpatrick of this review is the only member of the family in
British Columbia. He was educated in his native town and reared upon his
father's farm. In 1886, when nineteen years of age, he went to Boston
and two years later came to British Columbia, where he accepted a position
in a shingle mill under George Slater, being paid thirty dollars per month.
He continued to work in that mill for two years and then, desiring to benefit
more directly by his own labors, he entered upon an independent business
career by renting a small mill at Port Moody. This he operated for two
years with varying success, thus gaining a good start in the business world




In 1890 Mr. Kirkpatrick again started in the manufacture of shingles.
He built a scow on which he erected a shingle mill, and operated it for two
years on False creek. He then purchased a site at Cedar Cove, and moved
his mill to that location from False creek. In 1900 he purchased the Archi-
bald McNair mill at Hastings, which he still owns. In 1902, the mill at
Cedar Cove having been destroyed by fire^ he purchased the Welsh mill at
New Westminster, and built another mill at Hastings. In 1904 he lost
the mill at New Westminster, also by fire, and, having no insurance, his loss
was about $15,000. His annual output of shingles is now about sixty million
of common dimensions and he finds a ready sale in Ontario and throughout
the northw^est. His business reputation is unassailable, for he is strictly fair
and honorable in his dealings and his enterprise and laudable ambition have
formed an excellent foundation upon which he has built his success.

On the 1 8th of September, 1890, Mr. Kirkpatrick was united in mar"
riage to Miss Elizabeth Brander, a native of Halifax and of Scotch descent,
her father being Robert Brander of Halifax. This union has been blessed
with two sons, Earl Alexander and Robert Huntley, both born in Vancouver
and now attending school.

Mr. Kirkpatrick and his wife occupy a pleasant cottage home, about
two miles from his mills. His attention is largely given to his business
operations and he is now running his plant with a full quota of men, operat-
ing the mill to its full capacity. As his financial resources have increased
he has invested in city property, which is continually growing in value, and
his life record stands in evidence of the fact that success is not a matter of
genius but is the outcome of clear judgment and experience.


Isaac Kipp, of Chilliwack, is the longest established citizen of the Chilli-
wack valley, and took a very prominent part in the formation of the town,
which was located on land that he took up over forty years ago. Per-
severing industry has been the dominant trait of his character and the prin-
cipal ground of his success. He began his career in this country without
capital or backing, and has steadily continued his work until he is now one
of the most successful and widely known men of the Chilliwack valley.

Born in Brant county. West Ontario, November 10, 1840, his parents,
Benjamin and Elizabeth (Force) Kipp, being both deceased, Mr. Kipp got

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 48 of 79)