R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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Company at Wellington, British Columbia, he. served as colliery surgeon for
two years, and in 1900 located at Duncans, where he has since remained and
has been caring for a large and representative patronage. He is surgeon for
the Mt. Sicker mines, and has large real estate interests in San Francisco.
Dr. Perry affiliates with Temple Lodge No. 33, A. F. & A. M., with
the Western Gate Commandery, K. T., and with Gizeh Temple of the Mys-
tic Shrine; and he has passed all the chairs of Duncans Lodge No. 17, L O.
O. F. He is a member of the British Columbia Medical Association, the
Canadian Medical Association, and his religious connections are with the
Presbyterian church.


O. Allen Graham, who is secretary of the British Columbia Pioneer
Society, arrived in the province on the 13th of April, 1862: In the front
rank of the columns which have advanced the civilization of the northwest,
Mr. Graham has led the way to the substantial development, progress and
upbuilding of British Columbia, being particularly active in the growth of
Victoria, where he still m^kes his home. He is numbered among the pio-
neers of British Columbia, his memory going back to the time when the
entire Pacific coast was but very sparsely settled, when the Indians were
more numerous than the white men, and the land had not been reclaimed
for purposes of cultivation, but remained in the primitive condition in which
it came from the hand of nature.

Mr. Graham is a native of England, his birth having occurred in White-
haven, Cumberland county, on the 22d of February, 1837, the year in which
her royal majesty. Queen Victoria, was crowned. His grandfather, John
Graham, was of Scotch ancestry, descended from an old Edinburg family.
The father, Allen Graham, was born in Bothal, Cumberland county, Eng-
land, in 1808, and having arrived at years of maturity he wedded Miss Jane
Stables, a native of his own county, born in Edgemont. They were farm-
ing people, active in their Christian life and exemplifying in their careers
the principles that work for good and uprightness in every land and clime.


He belonged to the Methodist church, while his wife was a communicant
of the Church of England.

Allen Graham, was educated at Edgemont and on putting aside his
text books served a six years' apprenticeship in a grocery house. He was
subsequently employed in different wholesale houses and still later became an
accountant in the counting house of Peck Brothers, but the favorable reports
heard concerning British Columbia attracted his attention and awakened a
strong desire in him to enjoy the privileges of life on the Pacific coast. He
therefore took passage for British Columbia, sailing from Liverpool to New
York City, thence going by way of the Isthmus of Panama to San Fran-
cisco and on to the Esquimault district. The place then had only a transient
mining population, men who were attracted there by the hope of rapidly
acquiring wealth, while a few others conducted business enterprises neces-
sary to live in any community. Mr. Graham went to the mines on the
Thompson river, but at first failed in his search to secure the precious metal.
He then went to the Cariboo district, but his efforts there also ended in fail-
ure. He then returned to Victoria, where he spent the winter, having charge
of some business at the Seventy Mile House for the Harpers Brothers, at
Clinton, large stock growers and also proprietors of flouring mills. Mr.
Graham had charge of their business, also became their bookkeeper and con-
tinued with them for six years. Subsequently he took up three hundred and
sixty acres of land, lived thereon and improved the property, transforming
the wild tract into richly cultivated fields, but in 1868 his house there was
destroyed by fire. He had built a good two story frame residence and in
the fire he lost not only his home but also his agricultural implements, and
having no insurance his loss was a severe one. In 1871 he started for Omi-
neca with a pack train and supplies . for the purpose of trading, but that
country did not prove to be a resourceful mineral district and he was left
with a large stock of goods on his hands, while many who had purchased
and used his supplies left without paying him. Again, therefore, he suffered
heavy losses.

In 1885 Mr. Graham returned to Lome creek, for the country was al-
most deserted in the district in which he had hoped to realize a good profit
from merchandising. He had hopes of the building of the Canada Western
Railway, but that projected enterprise was never carried forward to com-
pletion. About this time Mr. Graham received the appointment of gold com-
missioner on Lome creek and served in that office for two years or until
the office was abolished. After this he was located on Skeene river at the
canneries as store keeper, but as the fish industry, which was carried on


extensively there, proved detrimental to his health he was obliged to abandon
his efforts there and in 1891 he returned to Victoria, where he has been en-
gaged in trading, bookkeeping and other business pursuits. He has for sev-
eral years been the competent secretary of the British Columbian Pioneer
Society, in which he has taken much interest and he has the credit of having
been the prominent factor in the growth and upbuilding of this organiza-
tion. He spends his time in Pioneer Hall, surrounded by the pictures of the
dead and the living who bravely facing difficulties and dangers of frontier
life have made the desert to bloom and blossom like the rose and made
possible the high degree of civilization and prosperity that this part of the
northwest now enjoys, planting many thousands of beautiful and happy
homes surrounded by all that taste and refinement can secure.

Mr. Graham is a valued member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and is serving as scribe of Vancouver Encampment. He has been
an active working member of the Pioneer Society for the past thirty years,
is a member of the Church of England and is one of the intelligent and
respected early residents of British Columbia who for forty-two years has
been an interested witness of the growth and progress of this section of the
country, watching the province as it has emerged from pioneer conditions
to take its place as the best improved districts of the Pacific coast country.


Thomas H. Henderson, prominent in commercial circles at Chilliwack,
has lived in the Chilliwack valley from the early days, when there were
comparatively few settlers and agricultural and industrial development was
hardly begun. Ranching and merchandising have been the lines along which
he has directed his energies most successfully, and besides being an influen-
tial participant in these departments of human endeavor he has lent his
public-spirited interest and efforts to the progress and welfare of his com-

Lawrence, the state of Kansas, is Mr. Henderson's birthplace, and he
was born April 10, 1859, during the stirring ante-bellum days in the states,
when Kansas was a constant scene of tragedy and bloodshed. Mr. Hender-
son is a son of Arthur C. and Rebecca (Hunter) Henderson, well known
and highly respected citizens of Chilliwack. Mr. Henderson received a pu1>
lie school education and then took his college course at Baker University in
Baldwin, Kansas. He has been a resident of Chilliwack since 1876, in
which year he went on a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres with his
father. In the following year he took up a ranch of one hundred and sixty


acres on his own account, and this fine tract, which his subsequent efiforts
developed to a high state of cultivation, remained in his possession until 1903.
His father now owns two farms in the valley which he has purchased since
coming here. After farming for about eight years Mr. Thomas H. Hen-
derson, in 1884, went into partnership with his brother, the latter having
established a general merchandise business in Chilliwack. This business has
been carried on with great success for the past twenty years, and is now
conducted under the name of A. C. Henderson, Mr. Henderson acting as
manager. A large and complete stock of general merchandise is carried,
and their trade extends all over the valley.

Mr. Henderson was married in 1893 to Miss Isabella Maultsaid, a
daughter of William Maultsaid, of Londonderry, Ireland. Mr. Henderson
is a Liberal in politics, and a member of the Presbyterian church.


L. A. Lewis, manager of the Burnette Sawmill Company, located at New
Westminster, is in this connection controlling an important industry that con-
tributes to the commercial activity of the town as well as to the general pros-
perity of the stockholders. Through intense and well directed energy Mr.
Lewis has risen to his present creditable position in trade circles, not placing
his dependence upon any fortunate combination of circumstances, but molding
business conditions until they have served his puqx)se, at the same time
winning that respect which is accorded in recognition of allegiance to high
principles and ethical commercial relations.

Mr. Lewis was born in Hagersville. Ontario, on the 27th of March, 1864,
and is of Welsh ancestry. His father, Lewns Lewis, was born in Wales and
leaving the little rock ribbed country of his birth became a resident of Canada
when a young man. He settled in Hamilton and was married there to Miss
Mary N. Hopper, a native of Ontario. A contractor and builder, he was
identified with construction work throughout his entire business career, thus
providing for his family. He and his wafe held membership in the Methodist
church and he died in that faith in the seventy-third year of his age, while
his w'ife, surviving him, is now, in 1904, in her seventy-fourth year.

L. A. Lewis was educated in Dresden, Ontario, and in the commercial
College at London, Ontario, and when he had put aside his text books he en-
tered upon his business career as manager of a private bank in Dresden, On-
tario, continuing in that position for a number of years. He came to New
Westminster in 1887 and was for six months in the employ of the Royal City
mills. He then came to his present company in the capacity of cashier and

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bookkeeper and filled that position until 1897, when he was made general man-
ager and secretary of the Burnette Sawmill Company, which was organized
in 1878 by the DeBeck Brothers, who continued in the management of the
business until 1888, when the present company became the owners. The offi-
cers are Hugh McDonald, president, and L. A. Lewis, general manager and
secretary. The mill has a capacity of one hundred thousand feet of lumber
in ten hours. The same gentlemen constitute the Dominion Shingle Com-
pany, engaged in the manufacture of shingles, and the capacity of this plant
is one hundred thousand shingles in ten hours. They received a diploma for
the best shingles at the Provincial fair in 1904. They manufacture all kinds
of house finishing materials, including moldings and trimmings, and also deal
in doors, sash and blinds. The company owns all of the tug boats used in
connection with the business and tows all of the logs from up the Fraser river
and far up the coast for a distance of two hundred miles. The Burnette Saw-
mill Company also manufactures large quantities of boxes, having a capacity
of five thousand daily. They have the only nailing machine west of Toronto,
and they are the only firm in British Columbia that manufacture dovetail
boxes. They also have the most complete printing press for printing labels
for boxes in British Columbia and they enjoy a large trade throughout the
northwest and extending eastward to Toronto and Quebec. Mr. Lewis has
from the beginning been manager and secretary of this extensive and success-
ful industry, and is also one of the stockholders and directors.

In his political views Mr. Lewis is a Conservative. He takes an active
interest in all the affairs of the country, being" earnestly desirous of its pro-
motion along" lines of material, political, intellectual and moral progress. He
is the president of the New Westminster board of trade and is a director and
one of the executive officers of the Royal Agricultural Society.

In 1892 Mr. Lewis was married to Miss Nettie Dockrill, a native of On-
tario and a daughter of Joseph Dockrill, of Port Moody, British Columbia.
This union has been blessed with three children, all native sons of New West-
minster, namely : Allen, Evan and Valentine. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis hold
membership in the Holy Trinity Episcopal church and Mr. Lewis is a past
master of King Solomon Lodge, No. 17, A. F. & A. M., of New Westminster.
He has thoroughly informed himself concerning the usages and tenets of that
ancient and honorable order, and endeavors to square his life by them. He is
a very respected business man, while his family enjoys the high esteem of
a. host of friends.



J. Howe Bent has been closely identified with the business activity, espe-
cially along the lines of real estate and insurance, in Chilli wack, since 1888,
and, being a successful and well prospered man himself, he has also given
his influence to the advancement and general progress of the town and com-
munity. Being now a man of nearly three score and ten, his career has been
filled with activity from the time of boyhood, and, having gained a due
meed of prosperity, he is on the threshold of a contented and enjoyable old

Mr. Bent was born September 27, 1835, in Annapolis county, Nova
Scotia, where his parents, Israel L. and Hannah (Bath) Bent, now de-
ceased, resided for a number of years. After a period of attendance in the
common schools and the high school at Bridgetown, he became a clerk in
his uncle's store at St. Johns, New Brunswick, and a short time later went
to another uncle who had a dry goods business at Halifax, where, during his
stay of several years, he acquired valuable business experience. His next
enterprise was shipping timber from, Cape Breton. Taking a good-sized
cargo of various kinds of produce and provisions, he then went to England,
and during three years of commercial exploitation he opened up an English
market for produce, and then returned to the Dominion. In 1880 he went
to Brandon, Manitoba, and after farming a year opened a grocery business
which he conducted successfully for six years. He was compelled to relin-
quish this enterprise because of ill health, and he then came out to Van-
couver, where he was engaged in the real estate business for two years. In
1888 he came to Chilli wack and bought four hundred and twenty acres of
land for himself and a brother-in-law. He has since sold some of this and
now retains about one hundred acres. In Chilliwack he conducts a general
real estate and insurance business, and during his residence here he has been
the agent of numerous transactions along these lines, being a reliable busi-
ness man and having gained a well deserved success.

Mr. Bent was married in 1862 to Miss Lavina De Wolf, a daughter
of William H. De Wolf, of Nova Scotia. Mr. Bent is a Liberal in politics,
and the family are Methodist.


Samuel Arthur Cawley is a well known real estate dealer at Chilliwack,
and has gained a commendable success in this enterprise and at the same time
has made himself a useful factor in developing the material resources of his


locality and promoting the growth and prosperity of one of the most fertile
and wealthy districts of the province. He has spent all his adult life, cover-
ing a period of more than a quarter of a century, in British Columbia, and
his varied undertakings have brought him into prominence as a citizen and
business man.

Born in Brant county, Ontario, November 29, 1858, a son of Samuel
and Isabella (Falconer) Caw^ley, both deceased, Mr. Cawley received his
early education in the public schools of his native county. The home farm
was a scene of rugged and useful training during the first twenty years of
his career, and at that age, in 1878, he came out to British Columbia. He
purchased land and farmed in the Chilliwack valley until 1890, and then
sold out his farming interests and engaged in the hardware business in
Chilliwack, carrying on this line of trade until he sold to C. B. Reeves in
1896. He then began mining in the Harrison river district, but after con-
tinuing at that a few years he opened up the real estate, insurance and min-
ing business in Chilliwack which he is still conducting.

Mr. Cawley is a Conservative in politics, and a member of the Church
of England. Fraternally he affiliates with Ionic Lodge No. 19, A. F. & A.
M.. with Excelsior Lodge No. 7, I. O. O. F., and with L. O. L.. Lodge No.
1470. He was married in 1882 to Miss Emma Reeves, a daughter of
Amran Reeves, of Chilliwack and formerly of Norfolk county, Ontario.
They have four children, Maud, Ethel, Elwyn and Doris.


Henry Frederick Heisterman, in whose death Victoria lost one of its
worthiest citizens, was a man of rare capacity who in his day was among
the foremost in developing the business and municipal interests of the city.
His native talent led him out of humble circumstances to large worldly suc-
cess through the opportunity that is the pride of our American life. Nor
was his success to be measured by material standards alone. He developed
that type of character which makes for higher ethical ideals in business and
in society. He knew the life of the people and he kept a warm and sympa-
thetic heart for the unfortunate and oppressed. He took a keen interest in
Victoria's growth, giving active support to many measures for general prog-
ress and improvement and further, in his business relations and dealings,
he applied the principles of his private life.

Mr. Heisterman was born in Bremen, Germany, on the 22d of July,
1832, and was descended from a highly respected old German family. He
acquired his early education in his native country and when eighteen years


of age he removed to Dantzic, where for three years he was engaged in
commercial pursuits. In 1853 he removed to Liverpool, England, where he
was engaged in the commission husiness, in which he continued until 1862,
and while there he became a citizen of Great Britain, to which country he
ever afterward gave his allegiance. Attracted to the Pacific coast by the
gold excitement, in August, 1862, he landed at Victoria, and soon after-
ward started with others for Stikeen. He had the misfortune, however, to
lose his canoe and whole outfit, including his supply of provisions, and he
returned to Victoria with very little money. Neither had he employment,
but he soon afterward established a reading room and a chamber of com-
merce, and in this venture met with fair success. After conducting the
business for six months he sold out and began dealing in paints and glass,
in partnership w'ith John Banks. Eight months later the partnership was
dissolved and Mr. .Heisterman, in 1864, turned his attention to the real
estate business, in which he met with almost immediate success, his client-
age steadily growing until he was conducting a real estate business second
to none in the province, negotiating the large majority of the important
realty transactions in Victoria and the surrounding districts. He became
largely interested in city property on his oaVu account, making investment
as he saw opportunity to purchase judiciously, with promise of speedy rise
in valuation. He built one of the first fine residences in this now beautiful
city of splendid homes, and the business and the home are still in posses-
sion of his family. Through the avenue of his business he had opportunity
to promote the upbuilding and substantial improvement of the city and his
deep interest in Victoria and its growth was not a minor consideration with
him in his business transactions. He also extended his efforts to the field
of insurance and represented many of the largest and most reliable insur-
ance companies. In 1884 he admitted G. W. Haynes to a partnership in
the business and this relationship was maintained until the death of Mr.
Heisterman, which occurred on the 29th of August, 1896, when he was in
the sixty-fifth year of his age.

In 1872 Mr. Heisterman was united in marriage to Miss Laura Adams
Haynes, a daughter of Perly Haynes, of the state of Maine. They became
the parents of seven children, six of whom, together with the mother, sur-
vive the husband and father. The sons and daughters are : Laura Agnes,
now the wife of D. R. Ker, of Victoria; Sylvia L., the wife of R. E. Brett,
of Victoria; Verna A., the wife of Arthur G. Smith; Olive Irene, at home;
Henry George Sanders, who is practicing law in Victoria; and Bernard S.,
who is managing the real estate business.

AtAvx (uuid^


Mr. Heisterman was a very active and valued worker and member of
St. Andrew's Presbyterian church and he took a deep interest in the educa-
tional affairs of the city, serving for a number of years as a member of the
board of school trustees. He was also a member of the board of trade from
the time of its organization until his death and he was a very prominent rep-
resentative of Masonry in Victoria, having taken the degrees of the York
rite and become a member of the Commandery. He filled many of the
ofitices in the order and was grand secretary of the grand lodge of the prov-
ince. He was likewise a valued member of the Pioneer Society and a citi-
zen who enjoyed the confidence of a very wide circle of friends. His name
should be enduringly inscril>ed on the list of the founders and promoters of


Bernard S. Heisterman, who has demonstrated his right to rank with
the leading young business men of Victoria, was born in this city in 1873,
and is a son of the late Henry Frederick Heisterman, whose history is given
above. He acquired his education in the public schools of his native city
and from his youth was more or less closely associated with his father's
business, assuming a greater portion of the management as age and experi-
ence qualified him for the onerous duties involved in its successful conduct.
Upon his father's death he assumed charge of both the real estate and
insurance business and is now the senior member of the firm of Heisterman
& Company, being associated at the present time w-ith James Forman. This
is one of the oldest established real estate enterprises of the city and is
known throughout the province because of the scope and importance of
the business carried on.

Mr. Heisterman resides in the fine homestead with his mother. Like
his father he is a leading and influential' member of St. Andrew's Presby-
terian church, of which he is now serving as treasurer, and in the various
church activities he takes a helpful part. He is also a Sir Knight Templar,
a member of the Mystic Shrine, and an esteemed representative of the Native
Sons of the Province.


John Reid, of New Westminster, has made a career of large and broad
success. He is not only one of the prominent business men and manufacturers
of his city, but has a variety of other interests identifying him with the com-
munity and province as an active factor in public and semi-public affairs. His
principal business is as proprietor of a large machine and blacksmithing busi-


ness. Industry, persevering energy, strict adherence to honorable business
methods, and general ability in all his undertakings have characterized his suc-
cess, and it has been a thing of personal achievement with him, for he has
progressed from one point to another with a steadiness and sureness that in-
dicate the character of the man rather than any chance good fortune.

Born at Carrickfergus, country Antrim, Ireland, March 28, 1852, of old
Scotch ancestry, he was a son of Ezekiel and Mary (Neeson) Reid, both na-
tives of that country, farmers by occupation, and honored and esteemed mem-
bers of the Presbyterian church and of their community, in which they spent
all their lives, the mother dying at the age of sixty-eight and the father at

Mr. Reid was educated at his native town, and remained at home and
assisted to work the farm until he was twenty-one years old. In 1873 he
emigrated to Canada, and then settled at Ottawa, and there made the be-
ginning of his prosperous industrial career. In Ottawa he began learning the

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 62 of 79)