R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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number of associates, obtained, in 1901, a charter and a bonus of four thou-
sand dollars a mile, then, in 1902, a renewal of the charter with improved
conditions and a subsidy of five thousand dollars per mile constructed, and
it; IC03 succeeded in getting a Dominion charter and a subsidy of six thou-
sand dollars a mile. After overcoming many difficulties and discourage-
ments it is a matter of pride with Mr. Wood to state that at this date (Au-
gust, 1905), the road is under construction and he is looking forward with
merited pleasure to his first ride over the line and to seeing the first carload
of ore hauled by this route to the Greenwood smelter. Mr. Wood has
been materially assisted in his many projects by the energy and business
capacity of his wife, formerly Miss Margaret McLennan, of Port Rowan,
Ontario. Mr. Wood is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the
Church of England. Influential in public affairs, he served as mayor for the
first two terms after the founding of Greenwood, and is now a justice of
the peace. He has given his influence to the steady and substantial develop-
ment of Greenwood and vicinity, rather than endeavoring to "boom" the
place in any way, and this economic policy has been most satisfactory to all



John Peck, of New Westminster, is a fine representative of the modern
industrial and technical activities which have revolutionized all departments
of the world's work during the past half century. A son of John and Caro^
line Elizabeth (Clark) Peck, the former a native of Norfolk and the latter
of Essex, England, his father an industrious and successful farmer and con-
tractor, Mr. Peck was born in Essex, near London, in 1861, and spent his
early years on his father's farm and went to a boarding school in Essex.

At an early age manifesting decided aptitude for mechanical pursuits,
at" the age of twelve he began learning the operation of traction and steam
ploughing engines in the Essex steam plough works. Two years later, in
1875, he became an apprentice in the establishment of John and Water Wit-
tingham, and here his two previous years' experience with machinery en-
abled him to complete his apprenticeship in three years instead of the regu-
lar period of five years. As apprentice he learned blacksmithing, boilermak-
ing, draughting, pattern making, and became acquainted with the details
of machine shop and construction work. After serving his apprenticeship
he continued to work for the same firm one year.

In 1882 he emigrated to Canada, to Winnipeg, and was employed on
the Canadian Pacific Railroad as fitter, erector, leading hand and superin-
tendent of water supply, on the line between Brandon and Swift Current.
Then for two seasons he superintended the steam ploughing machinery at
the well known Qu'Appelle farm in Northwest Territory. Not yet satisfied
with his technical equipment, he returned to England in the fall of 1885,
and after passing successful examinations for the civil service, he obtained
a position of engineer to the local government board for the districts of
Wandsworth and Clapham in the southwest district of London. Then, to
utilize all his spare time and his night hours, he entered Birbeck Institute,
in Chancery Lane, an.d the city guilds and guilds of the London Institute, and
there followed out a thorough four years' course in the evening classes, grad-
uating with ample qualifications for teaching and carrying on practical work
in mechanical and electrical engineering and the allied sciences.

In 1890 Mr. Peck came to British Columbia, accepting a position as
machinist with the Reid and Currie Iron Works in New Westminster; later
he was engineer on the steamer Constance, and then returned as foreman
of the iron works. On the failure of this company he was appointed liqui-
dator, and after winding up the affairs of the concern he became manager and
part owner in the reorganized company. Buying additional ground, he estab-

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Ushed the Vulcan Iron Works, which continued as one of the foremost indus-
tries of the province until its destruction in the great fire of 1898.

In June, 1899, Mr. Peck was appointed by the provincial government
as inspector of steam boilers and machinery for the province, in which his
technical training and abilities have since found full scope. In June, 1901,
after he had gone over the ground and made his reports, a number of in-
spectors were appointed and a board formed, at which time he was made
chief inspector of machinery, which is his present ofiice.

All things pertaining to the general welfare of his community elicit the
interest of Mr. Peck, and especially anything in the line of his profession.
In 1890 he started the Mechanics Institute in New Westminster, an institu-
tion which has been of inestimable practical value for the promotion of
technical education. He has been a member of the IxDard of trade since
1894, and was a director in the Royal Agricultural and Industrial Society.
In 1899 he served as city alderman, and during that time did much effective
service as chairman of the fire, water and ferry committee. He was elected
in 1905 a member of New Westminster board of school trustees.

Mr. Peck married, in 1886, Miss Agnes E. Bacon. Their two children
are Arthur Evan and Ethel Agnes.


Dr. Edward R. Northrop, until May, 1905, numbered among the medi-
cal practitioners of Grand Forks, was born in Seymour, Connecticut, Decem-
ber 3, 1870, and for about six years had been identified with the professional
interests of this place. The public acknowledged his capability as a repre-
sentative of the medical fraternity and he enjoyed a liberal share of the public
patronage. In addition to his private practice he Avas physican for the Gran-
by Smelter. He is a licensed physician of Washington and of Pennsylvania
and belongs to the Medical Association of British Columbia, and that of the
United States. He is a young man of strong purpose and laudable ambition,
brooking no obstacles that can be overcome by determination and earnest
effort and well qualified for his practice he gained a place in the front rank
among the representatives of the medical fraternity in this portion of British

In June, 1899, Dr. Northrop married Miss Laura Merwarth, a daugh-
ter of Sylvester Merwarth. of Easton, Pennsylvania, and they have one
child. During his residence in British Columbia he gained many warm
friends and when in May, 1905, he resigned his position at the Granby
Smelter and removed to Spokane, Washington, he was the recipient of many


expressions of sincere regret at his departure. He is now the appointed
surgeon for the Spokane Traction Company and alHed lines, and enjoys a
large and profitable practice.


Thomas Shannon, who has perhaps done more for the improvement of
the standard of stock raising than any other man in the province is now
living in Cloverdale. He was born Marcli 24, 1843, and was educated in
the public schools of the county of Victoria, Lindsay, Ontario. He left
school at the age of seventeen years and in 1861 started with his brother
William for the Pacific coast. Going to California he was there engaged
in mining, and in the fall of 1863 he came to British Columbia. In the
spring of 1864 he went to Cariboo, where he engaged in mining for "one
season, and in 1865 he took up the land in Chilli wack valley, where he
remained until the spring of 1874. About that time he was married and
removed to Sumas, where he was engaged in stock raising until 1856, when
he took up his residence which is his present place of abode in Clover Val-
ley. He was the pioneer settler here, cultivating the first farm in this por-
tion of the province. He purchased four hundred and eighty acres of land
and developed one of the best farms in this portion of America. He has
since carried on general farming and the raising of fancy stock, making
a specialty of blooded horses, cattle, sheep and pigs. His son, Thomas, Jr.,
is one of the best known stockmen of this portion of the country and won
a giold medal and thirty dollars in money at the Westminster Agricultural
Society Fair in 1904 for being the best judge of all kinds of stock, the
competition being open to the world.

In 1874 Mr. Shannon was married to Miss Mary Robinson, who was
born on the Orkney Islands and is a daughter of Samuel Robinson, the
pioneer fruit grower of the Fraser river valley and one of the first settlers
of this part of the country, having been identified with the Hudson's Bay
Company. Mr. and Mrs. Shannon have four sons and a daughter : Sam-
uel Howard, who has charge of his father's farm and is superintendent of
the Union Sunday School at Cloverdale, is also prominent and active in
other walks of life, being a director and mem.ber of the Royal Agricultural
Society of Westminster and a director and member of the British Colum-
bia Agricultural Society of Victoria. For many years he was correspondent
of the Farmers' Advocate of London for British Columbia. Mary Jane,
the only daughter, is teaching school. George Walken, Thomas and John
Weslev are all at home.


Mr. Shannon has traveled extensively through the province and is
well posted on the general resources of the country. He was the first reeve
of the municipality of Surrey and was connected with the council as field
reeve or councilman for the first ten years after its incorporation in 1880.
He has long taken a leading part in agricultural affairs and is a member of
the Royal Agricultural Society of Westminster. He and his sons have done
more perhaps toward raising the standard of stock interests than any man
in the province. Mr. Shannon is also connected with the Ancient Order of
United Workmen and is a charter meml^er of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows at Cloverdale.


John Sampson, one of the foremost farmers of the Chilliwack valley,
has had a prosperous and most active career, spent in various parts of the
world, and during the period of his residence in the province of British
Columbia he has enjoyed the highest esteem and respect of his fellow citi-
zens and become an aggressive and valuable factor in affairs of citizen-
ship and material welfare.

Mr. .Sampson is a native son of the old county of Cornwall, England,
where he was born May 20, 1859, and he has since lost by death both of his
parents, William and Margaret Edwards (Tyacke) Sampson. He attended
the Cornwall public schools during his youth and at the same time found,
busy employment on his father's farm, where he learned practical lessons of
industry and skill and where he remained until he was nineteen years old.
In 1878 he left home and emigrated to the fertile island of New Zealand,
and remained in the southern hemisphere engaged in farming for seven
years and a half. He then returned to Cornwall and farmed his native
soil for four years. In 1891 he came out to the Dominion and bought a
farm at Stonewall, where, however, he remained but nine months. In 1892
he came to Vancouver, and for several years was engaged in farming near
Sumas, where he rented a place of twelve hundred acres. In 1898 he moved
to his present location in the Chilliwack valley, where he owns one hundred
and twenty acres, and rents an additional ninety-four acres. All of this
land is under a high state of cultivation, and for careful operation and
productivity his is one of the model farms of the valley. He also has one of
the most comfortable and substantial farm houses of the locality, it being
surrounded by a beautiful garden and grounds, and every appliance and
improvement suggesting a high degree of skill and progressiveness in the
owner of the estate.


Mr. Sampson returned to New Zealand in 1901 and there married Miss
Margaret Fleming Bain, a daughter of Robert Bain, of that country. They
are members of the Methodist church.


George Turner, a prominent British Columbia pioneer, having arrived
in the country in the spring of 1859. and now and for many years past con-
nected with the Dominion government department of public works as a civil
engineer, has been identified in countless ways with the history of his present
home city of New Westminster from the date of its founding in the heart
of the wilderness, through its subsequent career of prosperous development,
to its happy and flourishing condition of today.

Born in London, England, September 17, 1836, of English and Scotch
ancestry, a son of George and Helena (Wright) Turner, both English born,
and the former of whom was a soldier in the British army and died in the
service of his country while in the East Indies, Mr. Turner was reared by
his widowed mother, and an uncle and his grandmother, and grew up in
London, receiving his education in the schools of the metropolis. In March,
1855, being then nineteen years old, he joined the Royal Engineers, and on
the 5th of September was assigned to work in government surveying, since
which date he has been continually employed in this line of work, either on
public or private enterprises. Several years later he and twenty other sur-
veyors joined the British Columbia detachment which were sent around the
Horn in the sailing vessel Thames City to their destination. This party
surveyed not only in the New Westminster district, but the entire province
for a number of years until the detachment was broken up, and since then
he has continued civil engineering largely on his own account. Few men
have a wnder knowledge and acquaintance throughout the entire province,
all of which has been the field of his work. When he arrived in the spring
of 1859 New Westminster did not exist, and the engineering corps of- w^hich
he was a member located the site, cleared away part of the dense forest,
and gave location and name to what has since grown into this thriving city.
There were, of course, plenty of Indians in the neighborhood, and the Eraser
river gold discoveries of the previous year had attracted large numbers of
miners, principally Americans, but these latter were not permanent and soon
retired from the field. The river and the old Indian trails were the courses
and avenues of trade and pioneer conditions were an every day fact for some
years after Mr. Turner made his arrival. And especially wonderful to
such an old-timer as Mr. Turner seems the transformation which has been


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wrought ill every condition and environment of civilization during the forty-
five years of his career in this province. Mr. Turner was employed one
year with the Canadian Pacific Railway — the railroads also made their
appearance in British Columbia after his advent. In the employ of the
Dominion and the provincial government he has laid out many of the wagon
roads of the province, has also platted townsites, and done much engineer-
ing work for private corporations. His work has led him in exploration of
the coast and the country in every direction, and he has been instrumental
in many ways in building up the country.

In the early days Mr. Turner was a member of the Seymour artillery.
He has served in the city council of New Westminster; is a member of the
Church of England; is a charter member of the independent Order of
Odd Fellows in New Westminster, and of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen. His present work as engineer is confined mainly to the opera-
tions in' the channel of the Fraser river under the direction of the govern-

In July, 1869, Mr. Turner was married to Mrs. x'Xnn McColl, the widow
of Sergeant McColl. She had six children by her first husband and three
by her union with Mr. Turner, and they are all well settled in life. Mrs.
Turner came to this province in 1861. Her children by Mr. McColl are:
William, connected with the Imperial Canning Company; Mary Ann, who
is the wife of Hugh Boyd, now residing in Belfast, Ireland; Helen, the wife
of E. S. Scoullar, of Vancouver; Neil Lucknow. James and Miss Maria J.
Mr. and Mrs. Turner's children are Frederick George, in the real estate
business in Vancouver; Maud E., the wife of Herbert Appleby, who is with
the Canadian Pacific Railway; and Annie H., the wife of J. R. Grant.


Henry Alexander Stewart, practicing law in Nelson where he has
resided since 1899, was born in Anchencloich, Ayreshire, Scotland, on the
28th of December, 1869, his parents being Charles S. and Eliza (Copland)
Stewart. His father has departed this life, but the mother yet resides in
London, England. Henry A. Stewart accompanied his parents on their
removal from Scotland to England when but three years of age and he
pursued his education in two of the best known institutions of learning in
that country, Eton and Cambridge. After leaving college he went to Lin-
coln's Inn, where he prepared for his profession and was called as a bar-
rister in 1895. He practiced for two years in London, during which time
lie earned just two guineas. Great is the competition there and it is with


the utmost difficulty that the new lawyer makes a start in the world's me-
tropolis. Realizing that he must enter a more lucrative field of professional
labor Mr. Stewart came to the far west, arriving in British Columbia in
1897. Here he entered upon a more advantageous field of labor, being for
a time associated with Mr. Cassidy in practice in Victoria. For a year after-
ward he was with the firm of Fulton & Wall, of Kamloops, and in 1899
he came to Nelson where he has since remained in practice.

In 1900 Mr. Stewart was united in marriage to Miss Emily Aspland,
a daughter of Sydney Aspland, of California. They have two children,
Euphenia and David. Mr. Stewart is a Liberal in his political views and
he is secretary of the Nelson Club.


William Watts, manager and founder of the Vancouver shipyard, was
born in Collingswood, Ontario, on the 31st of December, 1862. The Watts
family is of Irish lineage and his parents, William and Susan (Newton)
Watts, were both natives of the Emerald Isle. The father was born in
county Sligo and in 1849 emigrated to Canada, but subsequently returned
to the Emerald Isle, where he wedded Miss Newton. He then brought his
bride to the new world, going "first to Toronto and afterward to Collings-
wood, where they reared their family of eleven children. Mr. Watts made
ship and boat building his life work and is today the oldest shipbuilder of
Canada, being in his seventy-fifth year, while his wife is sixty-five years of

William Watts, the only member of the family in British Columbia,
acquired his education in his native town and learned the shipbuilder's trade
with his father. He has continuously engaged in that business from boy-
hood to the present time. Making his way to the Pacific coast, he spent a
year in Oakland and in San Francisco and became informed in the latest
methods and designs used in shipbuilding there. Coming to Vancouver
in 1888, he secured employment in that line and when his industry and econ-
omy had brought him sufficient capital to engage in business on his own
account he established the Vancouver Shipyard in 1899, remaining as pro-
prietor of the business until 1902, when he became one of the stockholders
upon its incorporation. The incorporators were William Watts, J. W. Mac-
fir, Russell Banester, E. B. Morgan, Captain Tait and George Taylor. The
last named was elected president, James W. Macfir secretary and treasurer,
and Mr. Watts m.anager. The principal work of the company is the build-
ing of yachts, fishing boats, canoes and racing shells and they do repair


work of all kinds. They have both steam and electric power and marine
ways and can take out two hundred tons weight. They also have a ma-
chine shop in connection with the business, of which Mr. McD'oogal is man-
ager and their plant is equipped with* all the tools and appliances necessary
for any kind of repairing in their line.

In 1892 Mr. Watts was married to Miss Emily Louise Leckie, a native
of Toronto, and a daughter of John Leckie. They have two sons, Howard
and Clarence, and their home is a nice residence at No. 1208 Georgia ave-
nue. Mr. Watts was reared in the faith of the Church of England, but he
and his wife are now members of the Presbyterian church and he belongs
to the Masonic fraternity and to the Independent Order of Odd Eellows.


George W. Chadsey, now of Chilli wack, is a pioneer citizen of New
Westminster district, where for the past forty years he has engaged in a
varied and useful activity. As a farmer and stockman his success has been
large, and he has been known for years as a substantial and prosperous
man of affairs. His executive and administrative ability has also found
other channels, and he has performed with equal energy and zeal as in pri-
vate affairs the duties which have come to him as a citizen and member of

Mr. Chadsey is a native of Prince Edward Island, born in Ontario
county, March 25, 1846, and his parents, James L. and Lucy (Hill) Chad-
sey, are both deceased. Educated in the public schools of Northumberland
county, he afterward engaged in farm work in the states of New York and
Michigan, and got a good preparation for the career which he was to follow
throughout life. He came to British Columbia in 1865, ^^^ joining the
first colony of settlers at Sumas, he pre-empted land there, and, when a
youth of about twenty years, began to devote his energies and industry to
making a success of agriculture in this province. Besides his pre-emption
he purchased other land, and owned three hundred and seventy-two acres
in that locality. For thirty-three years, a third of a century, he continued
farming in its general phases and the raising of stock. In 1899 he moved
to Chilliwack, where he has since made his home. He owns a beautiful
residence in towai, and also a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in the

In 1887 Mr. Chadsey was appointed registrar of county court of New
Westminster and notary public, and he still holds these offices. He is also
■registrar of births, deaths and marriages, and registrar of voters; is col-


lector of the municipality, and is secretary of the Chilliwack Agricultural

He was married in 1870 to Miss Eliza Jane Thorne, a daughter of
Edmund Thorne, of Brighton, Ontario. Their six children are as follows :
Edna Augusta, the wife of J. A. Evans, of Chilliwack; George Edmund;
Stephen A. and David W., twins; and Burdette Louise and Helen Geor-
giana Eliza.


Frederick J. Hart, insurance, real estate and financial agent at New
Westminster, is an enterprising and successful representative of the class
of young business men in British Columbia. Beginning practical life as a
clerk in a store, he has ever since been making his way steadily to larger
and more important fields of effort, and the fifteen years of his connection
with the business interests of his present home city has been a period of
increasing prosperity for himself and of benefit to the general welfare.

Mr. Hart was born in Trinity, Newfoundland, a son of William and
Elizabeth (Finch) Hart, who came to Newfoundland from their native city
of Birmingham, England. Mr. Hart's early education was received in the
schools Colonial and Continental School Society. On leaving school at the
age of eighteen he became a clerk in a mercantile house at St. Johns, New-
foundland, and after spending two years there came to British Columbia
in 1890, having made New Westminster his permanent home ever since.
Ehiring the first eight months he was employed on the construction of the
waterworks system. He then became a clerk in an insurance office, and in
a little more than a year, in 1891, he bought out his employers, and has
since conducted a general insurance, real estate ajid financial business on his
own account. In May, 1905. the business was incorporated under the style
of F. J. Hart and Company, limited, and established a branch office at Van-
couver, British Columbia, Mr. Hart being president and general manager.
Mr. Hart is identified with other interests, among them being Westmin-
ster Trust and Safe Deposit Company, Limited, the Western Steamboat
Company, Limited, being its manager, and the Westminster Masonic Tem-
ple Company, Limited. His transactions in these lines have been steadily

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 71 of 79)