R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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ment agent, assessor and collector, registrar of supreme court, stipendiary
magistrate, clerk of the peace, registrar of deaths, births and marriages, assist-
ant commissioner of lands and works, and inspector under the cattle act.

In 1884 Mr. Fraser married Miss Katherine Bennett, a daughter of
Arthur Bennett, of Perth, Ontario. Nine children have been bom to this
happy union, named as follows : Sarah Edith, Mary Florence, William John,
Cathleen, Claire, Beatrice, Fred, Jr., Arthur and Alexandra. Mr. Fraser
affiliates with Kootenay Lodge No. 15, A. F. & A. M., and he and his family
belong to the Church of England.

DAVID ROBERTSON.

The great lumber industry of the northwest has been one of the chief
sources of wealth and prosperity of the country leading directly to its up-
building and settlement. It is of this line of activity that David Robertson
is a representative, being the senior member of the firm of Robertson &
Hackett, manufacturers of lumber, shingles, doors and sash. Thus becom-
ing an active factor in industrial circles it is imperative that consideration be
given him in a history devoted to the representative men of the province and
in an analyzation of his character there are found many elements worthy of
high commendation and admiration, notably his strict perseverance, unfalter-
ing diligence and straightforward dealing.

Mr. Robertson is a native of Fife, Scotland, born on the 28th of March,
1850. and belongs to one of the old families of that land. His father, Alex-



BRITISH COLUMBIA 573

ander Robertson, was born in the lowlands of Scotland and married Miss
Jane Richie, also a native of that country. He was a millwright and in re-
lig-ious faith they were Presbyterians, their lives being characterized by in-
dustry and integrity so that they w-ere held in high respect throughout the
community in which they resided. The father died in the seventy-fifth year
of his age, while his wife, surviving him for a short period, passed away
about the same age.

David Robertson, having, acquired his literary education in the schools
of his native country, afterward prepared for life's practical and responsible
duties by learning the carpenter's and joiner's trade. He was an apprentice
for five years, receiving eighteen pence per week at the beginning of his term
of indenture, and at its close being paid a salary of three shillings and six
pence per week. He then began work as a journeyman and was for fifteen
years in the employ of Robert Neill & Sons, large contractors and builders
in Manchester, England. Desiring to do business on his own account, how-
ever, and believing the great west to be a better field because of its livelier
competition and advancement more quickly secured, he started for Vancou-
ver in 1888. This city was then just coming into prominence and was being
talked about in the industrial and commercial world, many recognizing that
it was destined for rapid growth and marvelous achievement. The place
attracted Mr. Robertson, and while upon the voyage he formed the acquaint-
ance of a fellow passenger, James W. Hackett. Each learning the intention
of the other to become factors in the business life of Vancouver they entered
into a partnership relation which has since been amicably continued and has
resulted in mutual and gratifying profit. Upon their arrival in the then,
as now, growing city they at once engaged in contracting and building,
erecting the first block at the corner of Hastings and Rogers streets. He
also erected the Montreal Bank Building and the- Bank of British North
America, together with many other of the fine business blocks of the city.
Their building operations became so extensive that they w^ere induced to
procure a factory to facilitate their work as contractors and builders, having
always at their command the supplies needed for interior finishings. They
thus became the owners of the mill on Granville street, w^hich they still own,
and they have conducted their factory for the past nine years. It is located
at the foot of Granville street on False creek and covers three blocks of land.
Here they have a well equipped plant with a daily capacity of forty thousand
feet of lumber and sixty thousand shingles every ten hours. They are also
extensive manufacturers of sash, doors and all kinds of house finishing ma-
terials and their business has reached extensive proportions, so that Mr.



574 BRITISH COLUMBIA

Robertson has achieved the success the hope of gaining which led him to the
new world.

Mr. Robertson is past chief of the Sons of Scotland. He also belongs
to the Society of St. Andrews and is its past president. He has the entire
respect of the business community and the fact that the acquaintance formed
between himself and his partner on the steamer has resulted in mutually
pleasant business relations and the strongest friendship, speaks well of the
ability and attractive personal qualities of each.

Mr. Hackett was born in Nova Scotia on the 19th of October, 1849, ^^^
there learned the carpenter's trade. He spent several years in Boston and
other parts of the United States and since coming to Vancouver has been
classed with its stalwart and reliable business men. He has also been in-
terested and active in community affairs, has filled the office of city alderman
for two terms and does all in his power to promote general progress, but has
no desire for further political preferment. He is a member of the Board of
Trade. He was married in 1890 to Miss Anna Rice, a native of Frederick-
ton, New Brunswick, and they have two children : George Robertson and
Elsie Madaline. They have a good residence and Mr. Robertson has made
his home with them since the partnership was inaugurated. Mr. Robertson
as a member of the Cascade lodge, A. F. & A. M. Mr. Hackett is also a
member of the order.

GEORGE E. GATES.

George E. Gates, shipbuilder and the proprietor of the Gates shipyards
and electric and marine railway which he established in 1896, was born in
the state of Maine on the 6th of December, 1861. His father, Andrew J.
Gates, also a native of Maine, was a lumberman and shipbuilder throughout
his active business career. He still lives at the age of eighty years, while
his wife is now in her seventy-fifth year. She bore the maiden name of
Gatherine Kelly, and is also a native of the Pine Tree state. Both are mem-
bers of the Roman Gatholic church. George E. Gates attended school for
only a brief period, his education being largely acquired in the dear school of
experience. He learned the shipbuilder's trade in New York city and when
only nine years of age started out on his own account, since which time he
has been entirely dependent upon his own labors. He certainly deserves
great credit for the success which he has achieved and his life history con-
tains many lessons that should serve as an incentive and source of inspiration
to others. He was first employed on a schooner as cook. He occupied that
position for three years and was then before the mast for two years. For



BRITISH COLUMBIA 575

three years he worked at the shipbuilder's trade in New York, and during
the latter part of his service as an apprentice was paid twenty-four dollars
per week. He had been in the shipyard not more than a year when he was
made foreman, a fact which indicates the rapidity with which he had mas-
tered the business and his efficiency in the trade. He also displayed marked
executive force and his capability won recognition in rapid promotions and
he found in each transition stage of his busines career opportunity for still
further advancement. He continued at his business in Brooklyn, New York,
until he came to Vancouver in 1896, the ill health of his wife causing his
removal to the west. It was their intention to remain only three months, but
she regained her health here and being pleased with the city and its prospects
they decided to make Vancouver their permanent home.

Four yars later, however, Mr. Gates was called upon to mourn the loss
of his wife, who died from an attack of typhoid fever. They were married in
1880, her maiden name being Miss Margaret Grimason, and for ten years
they traveled life's journey happily together. At her death she left one son :
Adrian, who is now attending college in Westminster. In 1902 Mr. Gates
was again married, wedding Mrs. Isabella McLellan. There are two sons
and a daughter by this marriage.

Mr. Gates has met with very gratifying success in his shipbuilding in
Vancouver. He built the steamship Bretania, a five hundred ton steamer^
finishing her complete and launching her, and she is now a popular passenger
steamer. He also built the steamships Alice and Ghampion, and in the past
eight years his work has amounted to three hundred thousand dollars, while
employment has been furnished to as high as one hundred and twenty-five
men at a time. He has also built many large scows one hundred and sixty
feet in length for the Klondike. He has an electric plant of his own of five
hundred horse power and in six minutes he can haul a two hundred and fifty
ton steamer on the ways. Since coming to Vancouver he has invested in
city property and is now building a handsome and commodious residence.

Mr. Gates is a member of the Roman Gatholic church, to which he ren-
ders large assistance by his liberal contributions. He is also interested in
progressive measures for the city's benefit and his co-operation has been of
value in promoting everything that has resulted in general good. Although
a resident of Vancouver for but a comparatively brief period he has won for
himself an honorable name and has acquired prosperitv through intelligent
industrial efifort.



676 BRITISH COLUMBIA

CHARLES ARTHUR WORSNOP.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Arthur Worsnop, surveyor of customs d
Vancouver and one of the early settlers of the city, having arrived here in
1887, has in the intervening years been an active participant in the splendid
progress resulting in the phenomenal growth and upbuilding of the city.
In military and civic life he has rendered valuable service to his country, mak-
ing for himself a creditable record and is today a popular and prominent
resident of Vancouver.

Colonel Worsnop was born in Lancashire, England, on the i8th of
October, 1858, and is descended from an old English family of Anglo-Danish
origin, but for many generations had been represented in England. His
father, Charles Barnett Worsnop, was born in England, and for a long
period was connected with the department of Science and Art in the South
Kensington museum. He married Miss Martha Bellhouse, a native of Eng-
land, and both were members of the Church of England. The father died
in 1883 at the age of fifty-nine years, while his wife departed this life in
1888 at the age of fifty-five years.

Colonel Worsnop was educated in London and in connection with the
museum of Science and Art went to Philadelphia in 1876, taking charge of
an exhibit at the Centennial Exposition. Interested in the new world and
pleased with its advantages and opportunities he continued a resident of
Pennsylvania until October, 1881, in which year he went to Winnipeg, where
he embarked in the real estate business, dealing in property for himself and
for others. From friends in Vancouver he received very favorable reports
concerning the outlook of the city and its possibilities and he decided to come
to the Pacific coast and ally his fortune with the embryo metropolis. Here
he became the city editor of the Daily News Advertiser, and entering the
Dominion civil service he became connected with the Vancouver custom house
on the 1st of October. 1889, ^^^ was afterwartl appointed by the Dominion
government surveyor of customs. This office he has since filled most satis-
factorily, dicharging his duties with promptness and fidelity.

In 1881 Colonel Worsnop joined the Winnipeg Field Battery of Artil-
lery and in November, 1883, upon the formation of the Ninetieth Battalion of
Winnipeg Rifles he joined that organization as" a lieutenant. In 1885 he was
present with the regiment in the Northwest rebellion and participated in the
engagement at Fish Creek and Batoche, also in the operations against Big
Bear's band, and for his military service was awarded a medal and clasp. On
the formation of garrison artillery at Vancouver in 1894 he was appointed



BRITISH COLUMBIA 577

captain and subsequently major, and on the 28th of May, 1897. was promoted
to the rank of Heutenant colonel commanding the Second Battalion of the
Fifth Regiment of Garrison Artillery. On the ist of July, 1889, ^^e battalion
was changed to the Sixth Regiment Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles, and on
the end of his term of command he was transferred to the reserve of of-
ficers. During his continuance with the regiment he took a very great in-
terest in its affairs and was a prominent factor in its growth, efficiency and
prosperity, and such was his devotion to it during his early history that he
justly earned the appellation of being the father of the regiment. He is held
in high esteem by all its members and is yet very prominent and popular in
military service.

On the 22d of Octol^er, 1878, Colonel Worsnop was united in marriage
to Miss Mary Benson, a daughter of the late Colonel Benson, of Peter-
borough, Ontario. Colonel and Mrs. Worsnop had two sons, the elder,
Charles Benson Worsnop, born August 5, 1879, is now a captain in the Duke
of Connaught's Own Rifles. The second son, Lee Campbell, was born in
February. 1881, and died on the 8th of September. 1899, in the eighteenth
year of his age. Colonel Worsnop has throughout his residence in the Brit-
ish provinces of the new world given his undivided attention to his official
duties and the affairs of the regiment exclusive of all other business interests.
He and his wife are adherents of the faith of the Presbyterian church.

HUGH ARCHIBALD BROWN.

Hugh Archibald Brown, cigar manufacturer, former merchant, and one
of the foremost public-spirited citizens of Revelstoke, has, in the course of the
fifteen past years, left his impress on numerous affairs in this portion of the
province and has accomplished much for the upbuilding and the permanent
welfare of the town of his choice.

Mr. Brown is a Scotchman by birth and early rearing, and has shown
the rugged qualities of his race during his business career. He was born in
Dairy, Scotland, December 31, 1858, being a son of David and Elizabeth
(Archibald) Brown, who are now both deceased. From attendance at the
public schools and at Irving Academy he passed to more* practical duties
and learned the engineering business. For eight years he was manager
of his father's paper-box factory in Scotland, and at an early age demon-
strated his capacity to assume large responsibility in the direction of busi-
ness enterprises. Coming out to Winnipeg in 1880, he was for the following
three years engaged in mining in Ontario, from 1883 to 1886 was engaged
in various enterprises at Winnipeg, and then went on a trip to the States



I



578 BRITISH COLUMBIA

for one year. In 1887 he went to the coast and for the following twelve-
month was located in that part of the province. In 1889 he entered the
service of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Revelstoke, and has ever since
been more or less closely identified with this town. He personally conducted
a hotel for ten years, at the end of which time he leased it to other parties, but
two days after resigning the enterprise the hotel was burned down. He then
built a block of buildings which still form a substantial part of the town,
and established a general merchandise store, which he conducted with much
success until he turned it over to his son and started the cigar factoi"y which
he is still running and to which he gives much of his business attention. He
is also interested in mining.

In 1890 Mr. Brown married Elizabeth Knowles, a widow, who had two
children by a former marriage. Mr. Brown affiliates with Gold Range Lodge
No. 26, Knights of Pythias, and with the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He is
a Liberal in politics. In 1903 his fellow citizens elected him mayor of Revel-
stoke, and for four terms he served as president of the board of trade. He
is lieutenant commander of Company No. 5, Rocky Mountain Rangers. His
religious faith is Presbyterian.

HENRY JOHN CAMBIE.

Henry John Cambie, consulting engineer of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
road, with residence in Vancouver, was born in county Tipperary, Ireland,
and is the only member of a family of three sons and three daughters in
British Columbia. He is descended from Huguenot ancestry that has been
represented in Ireland through three centuries. His parents were Charles
and Jane (Disney) Cambie, also natives of the Emerald Isle, in which coun-
try they were reared and married. The year 1852 witnessed their emigra-
tion to the new world. Mr. Cambie was for some years in the civil service
of Canada. He died in 1867, at the age of sixty-seven years, and his wife's
death occurred when she was in her sixty-fourth year. They were members
of the Church of England and were people of high character worth, enjoying
the respect of all with whom they were associated.

Henry J. Cambie was educated in Leicester, England. He was born
on the 25th of October, 1836, and was therefore about sixteen years of age
at the time of the em.igration of his parents to the new world. He entered
upon his business career in connection with engineering under Walter Shanly,
of the Grand Trunk Railway system, and remained in that work for seven
years. He then served for three years as a land surveyor in Ontario, and
in 1864-5 he made surveys and exhibits for the Intercolonial, and in 1866



BRITISH COLUMBIA 57li

he followed his profession of engineering in Pictou, Nova Scotia, in connec-
tion with the building of railroads for the coal mines. In 1867-8-9 he was
engineer of the Windsor & Annapolis Railway in Nova Scotia; and from
1870 until 1873 he was in charge of w^rks on the Intercolonial Road.

The year 1874 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Cambie in British Colum-
bia. He came to take cliarge of a line from Nanaimo to Esquimault, which
was offered to the province of British Columbia by Mr. Edgar as the rep-
resentative of the McKenzie government. The offer, however, was refused
by Mr. Walkem, then premier of the province. Mr. Cambie, in 1874-5, was
engaged in the survey of the mainland of British Columbia to select a route
for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and from 1876 until 1879 he had charge
of all the surveys in the province, and from 1880 until 1883 was in charge
of the work of construction through the Fraser river canons. His next work,
1884-5, was the superintendence of the construction for the railway com-
pany from Savona's Ferry to Shuswap lake; while from 1886 until 1902
he was engineer of the Pacific division of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
Since 1903 he has been retained in the company's service as consulting en-
gineer on the main line from the summit of the Rockies westward and south
from Kootenay lake. While engaged on the intercolonial and on the surveys
of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, he worked under Sir Sandford Fleming,
K. C. M. G.

While in Nova Scotia, Mr. Cambie was happily married to Miss Helen
E. Fay, a daughter of John B. Fay, of Halifax, and five children have been
born unto them : Elizabeth M., now the wife of Hon. R. T. Tatlow, minister
of finance for the province; Helen M. ; Henry B., who is in the Bank of Mon-
treal ; Ida J. ; and Geraldine F. The family is one held in high esteem in
Vancouver, .where they have hosts of warm friends. They are members
of the Church of England. Mr. Cambie holds membership in Cascade
lodge, A. F. & A. M. His life w'ork has been of an important character,
for no other single line of endeavxDr has such direct and important bearing
upon the settlement and improvement of any locality as railroad construction,
whereby a district is brought into direct communication with the outside
world, furnishing a market as well as a source of supply. In this direction
Mr. Cambie has rendered signal service to his fellowmen, especially in Brit-
ish Columbia, and he has now a comfortable home in Vancouver in which
to spend the evening of life, when he shall have put aside its more active
business cares and arduous responsibilities.



580 BRITISH COLUMBIA

CHARLES A. GODSON.

The development of Vancouver has been so rapid as to partake almost
of the nature of the marvelous. Within a few years it has emerged from •
small beginnings to metropolitan proportions through the establishment of
large commercial and industrial enterprises and thus her real founders and
builders are those who have inaugurated and controlled her business inter-
ests. To this class belongs Charles A. Godson, a member of the firm of
Robertson, Godson Company, Limited, of Vancouver, connected with the
James Robertson Company, Limited, of Montreal, Toronto, St. John and
Winnipeg, manufacturing lead pipe, brass goods, etc., and dealers in metals,
iron pipe, plumbers' supplies, etc. This firm is the largest of its kind in
Canada.

Mr. Godson is a native of Toronto, Canada, born on the 14th of May,
1868. He is descended from loyalists of English ancestry. His father,
Thomas Godson, was born in Cambridge, England, and married Miss Mar-
garet Hutty, a native of Canada. He has been connected with the whole-
sale business for many years, and still takes an active interest. Both he and
his wife hold membership in the Church of England.

The only member of their family in British Columbia is Charles A.
Godson, who was educated in Toronto, and in 1889 came to British Co-
lumbia, passing through Vancouver and settling at Victoria. There he en-
gaged in the commission business as manufacturers' agent and dealer in
other branches of hardware. In 1898, however, he returned to Vancouver,
to establish the James Robertson Company, Limited, a branch of the Mon-
treal house, and this business he conducted until it was merged into that
of the present company. In this undertaking he has met with most gratify-
ing success and is now in control of the largest enterprise of the character
in the province of British Columbia and west of Toronto. He devotes all
of his attention to this business, having no other commercial or industrial
interests and his close application, unfaltering energy, keen discrimination
and foresight have been the salient features in the prosperity which has
attended it.

In 1900 Mr. Godson was united in marriage to Miss Annetta May Sea-
brook, a daughter of Rhodes Seabrook, vice-president of the R. P. Rithet
Company. Limited, of Victoria. Mr. and Mrs. Godson hold membership
Avith the Church of England and he is a member of the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows. He is connected with the Vancouver board of trade and
takes an active interest in promoting .the welfare and upbuilding of Van-



BRITISH COLUMBIA 58 L

couver and the province. His business career has been notable for its suc-
cess and the straightforward methods he has followed, and illustrates clearly
the possibilities and opportunities which the province offers to her citizens.

JOHN HOWE CARLISLE.

Perhaps no representative of the official service of Vancouver is more
entitled to the trust, respect and confidence of his fellow townsmen than is
John Howe Carlisle, chief of the fire department. He arrived in this city
in 1886, just before the great fire which completely destroyed the little town.
A forest fire occurred, sweeping down upon the embryo metropolis and all of
the efforts of the few inhabitants were unable to check it, so that only one
building was left standing. Mr. Carlisle, therefore, has witnessed the entire de-
velopment and growth of the present city, taking just pride in what has been
accomplished and contributing his full share to the general improvement.
He is a native of Alberta county, New Brunswick, born on the 4th of No-
vember, 1857, and is of Scotch and Irish ancestry. His father, Theodore
Carlisle, was a native of Canada, while his grandfather, William Carlisle,
was born in Scotland, and emigrated to New Brunswick at a very early day,
settling on a tract of land in Alberta county, which he developed into a good
farm. He was of Scotch Presbyterian faith and was a worthy resident of his
community, actively associated with its material development and moral
progress.

Theodore Carlisle, born on the family homestead in Canada, devoted
his entire life to agricultural pursuits, residing for many years in Nova Scotia.
He married Miss Jane Russell, a native of Truro, Nova Scotia, and a descend-



Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 56 of 79)