R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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WILLIAM HAROLD MALKIN.

William Harold Malkin, as a member of the Board of Trade, of which
he was at one time president, and as a wholesale grocer of Vancouver, is
prominent in the business circles and public life of Vancouver. He belongs
to that class of representative men who have been the real promoters and
upbuilders of the city, through the institution and conduct of extensive com-
mercial and industrial enterprises that have promoted commercial prosperity.

William Harold Malkin Avas born at Burslem, Staffordshire, England,
July 30, 1868, the fifth son in a family of six sons and three daughters, all
of whom grew up to years of maturity, with the exception of one sister.
His parents and grandfathers were natives of the same place, and were
identified for many years with all its religious, philanthropic, and commer-
cial activities. His father, James Malkin, was a member of the firm of
Edge, Malkin & Company, earthenware and tile manufacturers, having mar-
ried Ann Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Joseph Edge, the head of the
firm. At the death of her husband Mrs. Malkin left England in 1895 to
reside in Vancouver, where three unmarried sons, W. Harold, James Fred-
eric and John Philip Davey, had preceded her, and she still (1905) con-
tinues to make it her home.

William Harold Malkin was educated at the High School, Newcastle-
under-Lyme, Staffordshire, the head rhaster of which was Mr. Kitchener,
cousin of the famous soldier, Lord Kitchener. As a master at Rugby, under
Dr. Temple, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. Kitchener suc-
ceeded to the traditions of the famous Dr. Arnold, and he brought to New-
castle the same spirit of enthusiasm, in the work of moral and intellectual
education, which had distinguished that man. In 1884 William Harold
Malkin came to Canada with his elder brother, Frederic, who took up
land and farmed at Grenfell, Assinaboia, for several years. After some ex-
perience in agriculture in the Northwest, and in connection with the firm
of Sherlock & Freeman, general merchants, Grenfell, W. H. Malkin became
manager for O. P. Skrine, in the same business. In 1894 this firm removed
to Vancouver; there he entered into partnership with Mr. Skrine. After
two years he purchased his partner's interest in the business, and when he
had conducted it alone for two years he incorporated the business under the
name of The W. H. Malkin Company, Limited. His brothers are his part-



0J)2 BRITISH COLUMBIA

ners, and the business has kept pace with the phenomenal growth of the city.
It is conckicted along thoroughly honorable business principles, and the
brothers give their individual attention to the enterprise, carefully superin-
tending every department. The reputation which the house sustains is unas-
sailable, for they have closely followed a high standard of commercial ethics.
They have a fine large store on Water street, and carry a large stock of
groceries and provisions ; they employ thirty employes to meet the demands
of- the trade, which is constantly growing in volume and importance, and
they have a large wholesale trade throughout the Northwest and the Yukon
territory.

Since coming to Vancouver, Mr. Malkin has ranked with the leading
business men of the city, and was at one time president of the Board of
Trade. He filled the office in a manner highly satisfactory to the members,
creditable to himself and l>eneficial to the city. He is also a director of the
British Columbia Permanent Loan & Saving Company, an institution which
has been wonderfully successful since its incorporation seven years ago.

In April, 1901, Mr. Malkin was happily married to Miss Marion Dougall,
fifth daughter of Francis James Dougall, of Windsor, Ontario. They have
one son, Harold Richardson, and one daughter, Lila Marion. They are
members of the Methodist church, and Mr. Malkin is identified with the
quarterly board. Coming to Canada when a youth of sixteen, he has never
had occasion to regret leaving his native country* for here he has worked
his way upward, gaining not only most gratifying success in the business
world, but also the good will, confidence and regard of many friends.

ALEXANDER MUNRO.

Alexander Munro is a Scotchman, born in Ross-shire, Scotland, in the
year 1824. In 1850, after having served for a number of years in offices
in his native county, he went to London as clerk in a bank, and remained
there nearly seven years. In 1857, under agreement to go out to Vancouver's
Island, he left London in February and reached Victoria on the 7th of May
in that year. For the first few years he was accountant and general over-
seer in Vancouver's Island for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company (an
offshoot from the Hudson's Bay Company), who had several large farms
and establishments in full operation in Esquimault District, adjoining the
District of Victoria. Afterwards he took up his residence in Victoria, and
became accountant there for the Hudson's Bay Company's western depart-
ment, which comprised the whole of what is now known as the province of
British Columbia, continuing also his charge of the Puget Sound Agricul-



BRITISH COLUMBIA 698

tnral Company's affairs. At that time and for many years subsequently the
Hudson's Bay Company's extensive business throughout the western de-
partment was conducted from Victoria by a board of management, consist-
ing usually of two and sometimes three chief factors. The goods required
for the trade of the country were brought from London to Victoria around
Cape Horn yearly in the company's ships, the same ships taking to London
return cargoes of furs and other products from the many outlying posts,
all of which had been collected at Victoria as the depot, and there prepared
for shipment ; while the " Brigades," on their return to the interior, took
with them by various modes of conveyance, such as boats, canoes, horse,
mule and ox trains, etc., the goods which had been prepared at Victoria for
the several districts. Those were busy years and called for strenuous effort,
especially at certain seasons. Besides the fur trade there was an increasing
commercial and shipping business carried on at Victoria.

In 1872 Mr. Munro obtained his commission as a factor in the Hudson's
Bay Company's- service, and in 1874 his commission as a chief factor, charged
with the leasing and selling of the company's lands in and around Victoria
and Esquimault on Vancouver's Island and at Langley and other places on
the mainland, until 1890, when he retired from the service, enjoying the
confidence and good will of the governing board in London and their repre-
sentatives in British Columbia, etc.

In 1862 he built the dwelling house in Victoria which he and Mrs.
Munro still occupy, now known as No. 6 Michigan street. Victoria was
then but a small town. In the James Bay quarter, southward between his
site and the Straits of Fuca, there were only two or three buildings of any
kind, one of them being a farm house of the company, and the other owned
and occupied by one of the company's officers.

Mr. and Mrs. Munro were married in Scotland on the ist of November,
i860, and they have reared a family of three girls and four boys, all now liv-
ing, and grown up years ago.

HON. FORBES GEORGE VERNON.

Hon. F. G. Vernon, a pioneer citizen, prominent man of affairs and for
a number of years intimately identified with the administrative policies of
the province, has lived in British Columbia since 1863, ^"*^ ^^ now a well
known resident of Victoria, where he has large interests.

Mr. Vernon is a native of Ireland and was born near Dublin, at Clon-
tarf Castle, on August 21, 1843. He is descended from an old and illus-
trious family of Ireland. The earliest ancestors founded the town of Ver-



694 BRITISH COLUMBIA

non in Normandy, and followed William the Conqueror into England. About
the fifteenth century some of them crossed the channel into Ireland and set-
tled at Clontarf. In this vicinity some large estates came into the possession
of the Vernons, which still remain in their ownership. It was on this an-
cestral demesne, inherited by his father and now owned by his elder brother,
Colonel Edward Vernon, D. L., that Mr. F. G. Vernon was brought up.
He was educated in England for the Royal Engineers, eventually receiving
a commission in the Twenty-first Fusileers, but resigned it the same year
it w^as granted, 1863, and in company with his brother Charles A. and
Colonel Houghton, took passage for New York, and from there to Aspin-
wall, Panama, and San Francisco, arriving in due course at Esquimault.
The party settled finally in the Yale district and engaged in stock-raising,
mining and merchandising. Colonel Houghton sold his interests to the
brothers in 1873, and later on Mr. F. G. Vernon purchased the interests of
his brothers. He immediately increased his possessions from three thousand
to thirteen thousand acres, imported blooded cattle and engaged in farming
on an extensive scale.

In 1875 began Mr. Vernon's public career by his election to the provin-
cial legislature as a representative from Yale, being returned by a large
majority. In February, 1876, he accepted the portfolio of chief commissioner
of lands and works in the Elliot cabinet, and on seeking confirmation in
this ofiice by the votes of the people he was re-elected by an overwhelming
majority, and the confidence thus plainly manifested in his ability and in-
tegrity was never misplaced during his long legislative and administrative
career. He retained this position in the cabinet until the general election
of 1878, when he was again returned to the legislature by his constituency.
But in consequence of the defeat of the Elliot ministry about that time, dur-
ing the remainder of this term he sat among the opposition. In 1882 he
was not a candidate, but in 1886 was again elected, and in 1887, on the
death of Hon. Mr. Smythe, he accepted the vacant office in the Davie cabinet
as chief commissioner of lands and works. In June, 1890, he was again
sent up by his constituency, and continued to hold his ministerial office
during the premiership of Hon. John Robson and of Hon. Theodore Davie,
filling the position most acceptably until 1894. During his long official
career he proved himself one of the most capable and public-spirited men
ever chosen to office by the people of this province, and the affairs of his
department notably prospered throughout his terms. For four years, 1895
to 1899, he resided in Lxindon, England, as agent general for the province
of British Columbia, holding that position until the office was abolished.




^^;A-^S7^



BRITISH COLUMBIA 695

Mr. Vernon is now retired from political life, and during recent years has
disposed of his large holdings in the interior of the country, investing largely
in real estate and buildings in Victoria and on the mainland.

In 1877 Mr. Vernon married Miss Branks, by whom he had two chil-
dren, the daughter, Miss Beatrice, being the only survivor. The death of
Mrs. Vernon occurred in 1884. The prosperous town of Vernon, popula-
tion two thousand, takes its name from the_ subject of our sketch.

JAMES LEAMY.

James Leamy is the crown timber agent at New Westminster and for
the past quarter of a century has been a leading contractor and engineer in
British Columbia. He has been identified with the construction of various
railroad lines and with other enterprises which have increased the indus-
trial wealth and resources of the province.

Mr. Leamy was born in 1848, in Hull, at the mouth of the Gatineau
river, Quebec, being a son of Andrew and Erezina (Wright) Leamy. His
mother's grandfather, Philomen Wright, Sr., was the pioneer who first set-
tled at Hull, having come there from Woburn, Massachusetts, during the
migration of the loyalists from the colonies. Andrew Leamy, the father, was
a prominent lumberman on the Ottawa river. He owned and operated the
first steam sawmill in that vicinity, located on what is known as Leamy's
Lake, two miles and a half from the city of Ottawa. Mr. Leamy's maternal
uncle, Alonzo Wright, was ordinarily known as the "King of the Gatineau,"
and for nearly forty years represented the county of Ottawa in the Canadian
Hcuse of Commons.

Mr. Leamy obtained his education in the Jesuit college at Montreal and
at Ottawa College. After his graduation from the latter institution he went
into the lumber business with his father, and continued that line of activity
until the latter's death. He then beg^in railway construction, building a
part of the Q. and M. O. & O. road, which is now a part of the Canadian
Pacific. He came to British Columbia in 1880 and began work on the Pacific
division of the Canadian Pacific, in the Onderdonk contracts, at Yale. He
was assistant superintendent of construction under E. Tilton and later under
M. J. Haney until the road was completed. In the fall of 1885 he moved
to New Westminster, and went into the contracting business in company
with D. McGillivray, building the branch line into New Westminster and
other works. In company with George F. Kyle, he built a sawmill on False
creek, and continued its operation until 1894. Other of Mr. Leamy's works
in British Columbia was the building of a branch line from New Westmin-



696 BRITISH COLUMBIA

ster Junction to New Westminster, the building of the New Westminster
& Southern, and the WilHams Head Quarantine Station wharves. He and
D. McGillivray built the bridges on the line from Port Moody to Vancouver,
also the first extension to the Canadian Pacific wharf at Vancouver. He
then built the New Westminster and Southern Railway, which extends from
the boundary line of British Columbia to Blaine, Washington. In 1897
Mr. Leamy was appointed crown timber agent for the Dominion govern-
ment, being given charge over the timber in the Dominion railway belt in
British Columbia, an office of responsibility and trust which he has capably
filled to the present time.

Mr. Leamy is president of the New Westminster Club, and is affiliated
with the Masonic order. He married Miss Annie Quigg of Aylmer, Quebec,
a daughter of Charles Quigg. Four sons and four daughters have been
born, namely, Charles L., Erezina, who is the wife of J. H. Diamond, Albert
J., Lila. Harold, Alma, Hubert and Veda. Mr. Leamy is an enthusiast
on the national game of Lacrosse, and was the first president of the British
Columbia Amateur Lacrosse Association, and has always taken an active
interest in the sport.

THOMAS JAMES SKINNER.

Thomas James Skinner, by whose death the province of British Colum-
bia lost one of its oldest pioneer citizens, was among the first to begin to
develop the province. He was much experienced in the ways and affairs of
the world, and had been in various parts of the world. A native of Essex,
England, in early life he joined the East India Company's service and made
several voyages to India. Leaving that service he resided for some time
on his father's property and engaged in farming, which he continued until
1852. In that year he left England and made the voyage around Cape Horn
to British Columbia, where he arrived in 1853, on the sailing vessel Norman
Morrison. He entered the employ of the Puget Sound Agricultural So-
ciety, and was located at Esquimault, where he engaged in farming. In con-
nection with Mr. McKenzie and others he also held the contract for supply-
ing the navy with l^eef and vegetables. In 1866 he moved to the Cowichan
district, and was one of the first to acquire land in that locality. He con-
tinued his farming operations to the time of his death. He was a leader in
the community, and was one of the members elected to the first legislature
in the province.

His wife was Mary Lowdham Goode, who. became the mother of eight
children, one of whom died in England, and those living at the present



BRITISH COLUMBIA 69T

writing are: Robert J., who adopted a mercantile career and was in charge
of the Hudson's Bay post at Ouesnelle. He was a member of the legislature
of British Columbia for the Kootenay district and assisted in advancing
the confederation of the province with the Dominion of Canada. On leaving
the Hudson's Bay Company Mr. .Skinner received the appointment of timber
inspector for the province, which office he now holds. Ernest M., a civil
engineer at Duncans, mentioned below; Annie, wife of John Brenner, of
the Royal Navy ; Mary, who lives with her brother Ernest at Duncans ; Ada,
the wife of John Stevenson, of Cariboo; and Emily.

Ernest M. Skinner was bom in Essex, England, April 26, 1847, and
was brought to British Columbia as a child, his education being received in
the Hudson's Bay Company's school and then in the collegiate school in
Victoria. He was employed on the home farm, and by actual experience
in the field he became a practical surveyor and civil engineer, which self-
acquired profession he has since continued with large success. He has
large mining interests, and has a small dairy and fruit farm about four
miles from Dtmcans. He is a Conservative in politics, and is a member of
the Church of England. His fraternal affiliations are with the Ancient
Order of United Workmen.

GEORGE W. CAMPBELL.

George W. Campbell, manager of the Rat Portage Lumber Company
at Vancouver, is classed with the most enterprising and successful business
men of this section of the country, being in control of one of the large
productive industries of the province. The business development of British
Columbia has been so rapid and its condition so constantly changing that it
has been the men of marked discernment and unfaltering diligence who have
been able to cope with intricate business conditions and so shaped them to
their own ends as to win success that is at once creditable and gratifying.
George W. Campbell, possessing the full confidence of the business com-
munity, is in control of one of the leading lumber interests of Vancouver.

Born in the town of Maria in the province of Quebec, on the 13th
of June, i860, he is of Scotch ancestry. His grandfather, Peter Campbell,
was born in Scotland and emigrated to Summerside, Prince Edward's Island,
at an early day. There the father of our subject was born in the year 1816,
and having, arrived at years of maturity he married Miss Jane Tourgis,
a native of the Isle of Jersey. Early in his business life he secured the
island of Anta Costa in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for a hunting preserve, but
later in life he met with an accident that caused him the loss of one of his



698 BRITISH COLUMBIA

lower limbs and this incapacitated him for that enterprise. He then turned
his attention to commercial interests and was proprietor of a general stc>re
in Maria. He also became engaged in lumbering and in the fishing business
there. Thus his activity reached out to several fields of endeavor, wherein
capable management brought him desirable prosperity. He is now living
retired in the ninetieth year of his age and is splendidly preserved both
physically and mentally. His wife, who has long traveled life's journey with
him, is now in her seventy-third year. They are Presbyterians in religious
faith and have so lived as to command the esteem and good will of all with
whom they have been associated. They became the parents of five children,
three of whom are now living, namely : E. T. Campbell, who is engaged
in the lumbering business with his brother in Vancouver ; George W. ; and
Mrs. G. B. Baker, also a resident of Vancouver.

George W. Campbell acquired his early education in New Brunswick,
and after putting aside his text books became connected with the lumber
and canning industries in his native town, following in the footsteps of his
father in this particular. They owned two canneries there and Mr. Camp-
bell continued his identification with commercial and industrial interests in
Maria until his removal to Vancouver in 1885. Where is now seen a popu-
lous city with every modern advantage and improvement and with large
business enterprises was then a dense forest, only a few houses having been
built, while the little hamlet gave no promise of the splendid development
which the future had in store for it. Here Mr. Campbell became connected
with the lumber trade, his present experience well fitting him for his opera-
tions here. He was with the British Columbia Mills, Timber & Trading
Company for fifteen years and left that company to take charge of the Rat
Portage Mills at Vancouver, being now actively engaged in the management
of this extensive plant. The mill was built by W. L. Tait in 1900 and was
purchased by the Rat Portage Lumber Company in 1903, having at that
time a capacity of forty thousand feet of lumber in ten hours. The Rat
Portage Lumber Company at once made very extensive improvements, using
new and modern machinery and increasing the facilities until it now has
the capacity of ninety thousand feet of lumber in ten hours. Employment
is furnished to a large number of men, and there is one five hundred horse
power engine, another of eighty horse power and two of fifty horse power.
The plant is equipped with five planers and the dry kiln is thirty by one
hundred and twenty feet, holding five carloads. of lumber. The company
owns six thousand acres of timber on the coast, from which they obtain
their logs and in connection with the sawmill they have a shingle mill with



BRITISH COLUMBIA 699

a capacity of fifty tfiousand cedar shingles per day. The plant at Vancouver
is but a branch of the property of this character owned by the Rat Portage
Lumber Company, Limited. The officers of the company are D. C. Cameron,
president, with headquarters in Winnipeg; Mr. Monk, manager of the Ot-
tawa Bank in Winnipeg, as one of the directors; William Robertson, gen-
eral secretary; and J. E. Young, cashier. The company owns a large mill
at Winnipeg, one at Riny river and a third at Rat Portage, and in addition
to the mills at Vancouver the company is erecting a large new mill at Har-
rison river, which when completed will be one of the best equipped mills
on the Pacific coast, while the aggregate capacity will be about six hundred
thousand feet of lumber in ten hours. Employment is furnished to more
than two thousand men. Mr. Campbell, in control of the business in Van-
couver, shows a thorough knowledge of the lum1>er trade and of the best
methods of converting the rough logs into the finished and marketable prod-
uct, and is one of the trusted representatives of a leading corporation, his
capability and thorough understanding of the trade enabling him to fill an
important and lucrative position.

Mr, Campbell was married in 1893 to Miss Alexine Patterson, a native
of Winnipeg and a daughter of A. Patterson of that city. This union is
blessed with a son and daughter, Wetsford and Isabella. Theirs is one of
the nice residences of Vancouver. Mrs. Campbell is a member of the Pres-
byterian church and they are both widely and favorably known in the city
in which Mr. Campbell has resided from pioneer times to the present.

JOHN CHAPMAN DAVIE, M. D.

Dr. John Chapman Davie, one of Victoria's pioneer citizens, whose dis-
tinguished ability in the line of his profession has won him notable success,
was born in Wells, Somersetshire, England, on the 22d of March, 1845,
and is a representative of old families in that country. His father, the Hon.
John Chapman Davie, M. R. C. S., L. S. A., who practiced his profession
in Merton, Surrey, England, came to British Columbia in 1862, accompanied
by his four sons. He continued in the active practice of medicine in Victoria
and also became a prominent and influential factor in pubjic affairs, serving
at one time as a member of the local legislature before the confederation.
He married Miss Annie Collard Waldron, a representative of an old family
of Wellington, Somersetshire, England, who departed this life in 1866, in
the fifty-fourth year of her age. One of her sons, Hon. Alexander Edmund
Batson Davie, became a very prominent member of the bar of British Co-
lumbia and occupied the high office of premier of the province. Another son,



700 BRITISH COLUMBIA

Hon. Theodore Davie, also became premier of the province of British Co-
kimbia, and afterward chief justice of the province. The third son, Will-
iam, has extensive agricultural interests. The father died in 1867, in the
fifty-sixth year of his age.

Dr. John Chapman Davie completed his literary education in Silcoates
College of England and prepared for his profession in the University of
San Francisco, in California. He spent three years there, during which



Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 69 of 79)