R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

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The next Sunday morning he witnessed twO' surprises, a surprise of the
Indians and the arrival of the American boat Surprise, that being the first
boat to make the passage up the Fraser river.

Mr. Ladner took up some mining claims and began doing trading. A
little later he was appointed customs agent and government officer, having
the honor of being the first constable appointed on the mainland of the prov-
ince. As an officer he had some interesting experiences. At one time a
steamer came up the river and made a stop at Hope, and while he was de-
coyed and delayed by the official examination of a man who brought from
the boat a jug which he supposed to be whisky, at the same time there were
being unloaded on the other side of the steamer two canoes full of whisky,
and thence it was carried back into the woods and secreted before he could
get it under his legal authority. The lone jug which he did examine proved
to be full of water.

He remained in Hope until the spring of 1859, and then started a pack
train to the interior, continuing this enterprise until 1865. Freight rates
were then very high. He got as much as fifty cents for every pound he


carried between Yale and Williams creek, exclusive of the road toll, which
was two cents per pound. From this the reader may easily judge how high
all commodities were in that part of the country. As another illustration,
one day he paid seventy-five cents a pound for five pounds of barley for his
mules; it cost him fifty cents to wash the cobw^ebs out of his throat, and
his bacon and l^eans were a dollar and a half, so that this meal for himself
and mules came to an even five dollars.

After he had tried the packing business in the Big Bend country for
about a year he lost all he had made, and in 1868 he returned to the prov-
ince and settled at what is now known as Ladner's landing, or simply Lad-
ner, where he pre-empted a hundred and sixty acres and later bought four
hundred and eighty acres, all of which he devoted to agricultural pursuits
and stock-raising. This line of business has been his chief occupation ever
since, and through it he has acquired a competence. He is one of the earliest
pioneers of this section of the province, and has been very prominent in
agricultural, commercial and public afifairs.

Mr. Ladner is a member of the Pioneer Society of British Columbia.
He has taken an active part in politics, being a staunch Conservative, and
he represented the New Westminster district in the provincial parliament
from 1886 to 1890. He has been reeve of Delta almost continually since
1880, has held a commission as justice of the peace since 1872, and has
been police magistrate for the municipality of Delta for the past fifteen years.

In the spring of 1865 Mr. Ladner married Miss Mary A. Booth, who
was a native of the state of Iowa. She died in 1879, and the four children
surviving their marriage are Ida Harriet, Sarah Louise, wife of Fred Howay,
Paul Edward, and Delta Mary, wife of W. J. Watson, of Ladysmith. In
1880 Mr. Ladner married for his present wife Mrs. McLellan, of Clinton,
British Columbia.


Reginald A. Upper, whose public-spirited citizenship has been a reliable
influence for the welfare of Revelstoke during his ten years' residence there,
and who is now the incumbent of one of the important administrative of-
fices of the district, was born in Dunville, Ontario, in 1875. His parents,
Martin Campbell and Louise (Cook) Upper, are both natives of the Do-
minion, and his father for thirteen years held the honored place of judge of
the county of Haldemand, where the parents still reside.

The grammar schools oi Dun-ville and the high school at Cayuga fur-
nished Mr. Upper his educational equipment. He left school at the age of


eighteen, and in the following year, 1894, came west to British Columbia,
since which time his lot has httn mainly cast with that of Revelstoke. Dur-
ing- 1895-96 he prospected in the Kootenay mining district, and from 1897
to 1900 he was proprietor of a first class hotel at Revelstoke. In August,
1900. he received appointment as provincial police and chief license inspector
for the Revelstoke riding of the West Kootenay district, and in a most satis-
factory and capable manner has performed the duties of this office up to
the present time.

In 1902 Mr. Upper married Miss Selma Turnrose. Her father, Charles
Turnrose, was an honored pioneer of the town of Revelstoke. Mr. and
Mrs. Upper have two children, Walter and Reginald, Jr. Fraternally Mr.
Upper affiliates with Kootenay Lodge No. 15, of the Masonic order.


Samuel Mellard, postmaster at Chilliwack, is also one of the foremost
business men of this town, a man of prominence in all life's relations, and
has given his influence and effort to the advancement and general welfare
of the province since leaving his native land and taking up his residence in
this part of America. He has been successful in private business affairs,
and has also been intrusted with many responsibilities of a public nature,
all of which he has borne in a manner to reflect the highest credit upon his
worth and usefulness as a public-spirited citizen.

Born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, September 24, 1854, a son of
Thomas and Mary (Wood) Mellard, both of whom are now deceased, he
was educated in the grammar school of Newcastle, and was then articled
to the hardware trade, at which he served his full time. He then moved to
Bedford, near London, and was in the same employment there for ten years.
He was a man of considerable business experience and mature ability when
he came to Chilliwack in 1887, and has ever since been prominently identi-
fied with the business and civic affairs of the town. He started a hardware
store, and in the same year was appointed postmaster, a position which he
has held ever since. He was appointed notary public for the province in
1890, having previous to then been notary for the district. He has served
as treasurer of municipality, and also of the Chilliwack Agricultural Society,
At the present writing he is registrar of marriages, is commissioner of affi-
davits for the supreme court of the province, and is justice of the peace for
the district; has been secretary of the school board since June, 1893, and
is interested in all departments of publfc progress and prosperity. He is
the representative of ChilliAvack of several old-line life insurance companies.

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April i6, 1881, Mr. Mellard was married to Miss Katharine Alice Webb,
a daughter of Thomas Webb, of Marston, Bedfordshire, England. Their
three children are Carrie Elsie, wife of Henry i\yres, of southern Califor-
nia; Edith Lillian; and Constance Louise, wife of John W. McGillivray.
Mr. Mellard is a charter member and a past master of Ionic Lodge No. 19,
A. F. & A. M. ; is a member of Westminster Royal Arch Chapter No. 124.
He is a past grand of Excelsior Lodge No. 9, 1. O. O. P., and is a mem-
ber of the Sons of England. The religious connections of the family are
with the Church of England. Mr. Mellard was one of the first men to
engage in business on the present townsite, and has witnessed many changes
during this time, having practically grown up with the town.


William Gosnell, of the Nelson Brewing Company, Limited, widely
known in business and social circles of the Kootenays, and a man of broad
experience in the affairs of the world, was born in 1858, in the province
of Quebec, where also were born both his parents, Edward and Anne
(Smyth) Gosnell.

He received a public school education in the city of Quebec, at the age
of twelve going with his parents to the province of Ontario. He became
connected in business relations with his father, who was a lime manufac-
turer, and he remained in Ontario conducting a lime kiln until 1895. In
that year he went to South Africa, where he followed contracting and under-
took various enterprises, with considerable success. He returned from
Johannesburg in 1897 and came out to British Columbia. After a short
time spent at Rossland he located at Nelson, which has been his home and
center of business activity ever since. He established what was known as
the Castle Brewery, and operated this plant until October, 1904, at which
time an mcorporation of the brewing interests of the city was effected, his
brewery being consolidated with the Nelson Brewery and the Riesterer
Brewery, the latter being the pioneer concern of the kind in the Kootenays.
The interests are now conducted under the name of Nelson Brewing Com-
pany, Limited, and the plant has a daily capacity of fifty barrels of highest
class beer, which product is distributed throughout the Kootenay region.

Mr. Gosnell is prominently identified with the Fraternal Order of
Eagles, having been a delegate to the grand eyre at Vancouver in 1900, at
Seattle in 1899, at San Francisco in 1901 and at New York city in 1903.



Charles T. Cooney, of Kamloops, is one of the most interesting pioneer
characters of eastern British Columbia, and among the early settlers living at
the present time he holds almost the palm of priority in reaching the mining
district of the Cariboo and Kootenay, where his career of active usefulness
has since been spent. Although an eager seeker after mineral wealth dur-
ing the first years of his residence in the province, he has now for forty years
been almost solely occupied in ranching, and it is not too much to state
that he is one of the most prosperous of that class of men in the vicinity of
Kamloops. He specializes on high grade stock, and his ranch impresses one
as a model of its kind, both in extent and variety of its operations and in,
its care and management.

Of excellent Irish parentage and nativity, Mr. Cooney was born in
Kings county of the Emerald Isle in March, 1835, so that he has now at-
tained the age of three score and ten, although yet being a man of great
activity and in full enjoyment of his powers. His parents were William
and Mary (Kelley) Cooney. What early education he received, and it
was limited in quantity, he obtained in the parochial schools at his birthplace,
and his rearing was on his father's farm, where industrious habits were
early instilled into him.

At the age of sixteen he and his brother John came to America, the
first year being spent in work in a tannery in Johnstown, Fulton county.
New York. He went to Canada in 1852, and spent two years in what was
then known as Lower Canada. On his return to the United States he be-
came connected with a surveying party at St. Paul, Minnesota, and was
engaged in railroad work until the fall of 1857.

In 1857 the Eraser river gold excitement had spread eastward and was
attracting hundreds to the then little known province of British Columbia.
Mr. Cooney joined a party of forty-two men bound for the new diggings,
and, leaving St. Paul in the fall of 1857, it was the last of November, 1858,
when he arrived in Kamloops, having passed through a variety of experi-
ences in reaching the scene of his future life work. After leaving St. Paul
the first point of civilization' which the party struck was Eort Garry, Mon-
tana, and thence the route lay through Portage la Prairie, Fort Ellis, Carle-
ton, and after crossing the mountains into British Columbia they followed
the Kootenay river for many days; they crossed the Columbia at Colville
Valley, and then followed the Kettle river and the Okanogan into Kamloops,


at which point the party disbanded and went as each individual chose for

Mr. Cooney, immediately on his arrival, began mining, spending the
seasons of 1862 and 1863 on Williams creek in the Cariboo district. In
1865 he started a pack train from Yale into the Cariboo district, and con-
ducted it until 1869. In the latter year he bought the ranch on which he
has since made his home. He owns two hundred and seventy-five acres,
and leases five thousand acres, all of which is under a high state of cultiva-
tion. His stock is mainly thoroughbred shorthorn and Hereford cattle, and
the Clydesdale and Percheron horses. Having lived here for so many years,
he has been a witness of the entire development of the country, whether in-
dustrially, commercially or socially, and it can be said to his honor that he
himself has taken no inconsiderable part in that great work of transform-
ing a new country into an abode of civilization.

Mr. Cooney married, in 1867, Miss Elizabeth AUar, who was born in
Fort George, British Columbia. They are the parents of ten children, four
sons and six daughters, and all have grown up and taken useful and honor-
able places in the world, thus adhering to the example of their revered par-


John Hamilton, mayor of Nelson, and connected with the executive
service of the railroads as agent for the Canadian Pacific & Great Northern
Railway, was born in St. Marys, Ontario, March 27, 1856, his parents being
Thomas H. and Isabella (Reid) Hamilton, both of whom have passed away.
His early education was acquired in the public schools of St. Marys, and
after putting aside his text books he was employed for a time as a farm
hand. Subsequently he learned telegraphy and later he secured a position
with a dry goods house, but subsequently he returned to telegraphy, and
when the Canadian Pacific Railroad was being built in 1884 he joined its
forces and acted as telegraph operator in its service until the completion of
the lines. When the two sections of the railway connected he accepted a
position as telegraph operator at Griffins, where he spent the winter, and
in the spring of 1885 he went to Farwell in Revelstoke, where he was engaged
in a similar line of work. In the fall of 1886 he went to Donald as train
dispatcher, continuing there until the spring of 1890, when he returned to
Revelstoke as agent of the road. In the summer of 1891 he came to Nel-
son to look after the general business of the road and was agent and general
overseer. He also acted as agent at Rokons and Sproats Landing for a


time, and managed the company's stores there. In the fall of 1891 he took
the agency of the road at Nelson, and has since served in that capacity with
the exception of a short interval spent as train master. He is both local
freight and ticket agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the
Great Northern Railway Companies at Nelson, and is a popular official be-
cause of his courtesy, his earnest desire to please the patrons of the roads and
his devotion to the niterests of the companies which he represents.

In 1881 occurred the marriage of Mr. Hamilton and Miss Sarah Block,,
a resident of Rockwood, Ontario. They had one child, Harry, who' is a
physician in the General Hospital at Nelson and is now house surgeon. In
1892 Mr. Hamilton was again married, his second union being with Miss
Jean Rath, a resident of Belgrade, Ontario.

Mr. Hamilton is a charter member of Nelson lodge, No. 23, A. F. & A.
M., acted as its first master and was also the first master of the lodge in
Revelstoke. In fact he was the organizer of the Masonic lodges in Donald,
Revelstoke and Nelson, and has thus been well known in the active promo-
tion of Masonry in the province. His religious faith is that of the Presby-
terian church. Prominent in community interests he served as alderman
of Nelson for three years and was so capable that in January, 1904, he was
elected mayor of the city. He is widely and favorably known throughout
his section of the province, his abilities well fitting him for leadership in
political, business and social life. The terms advancement and patriotism
might be considered an index to his character, for throughout his career
he has labored for the improvement of every line of business or public in-
terest with which he has been associated, and at all times has been actuated
by a fidelity to the province and her welfare.


Thomas Madden, the popular proprietor of one of the leading hotels
of Nelson, whose business career has been characterized by consecutive ad-
vancement won through earnest application and able effort, was born in
Quebec, October 15, 1855, ^^is parents being Thomas and Sarah (Connors)
Madden, both of whom are deceased. The son was a public school student
in Quebec, and on putting aside his text books he secured employment in
the lumber camps of that portion of the country. He was afterward en-
gaged in construction work for the Chicago, American & Baltimore Bridge
Company in the United States, and also on the Northern Pacific Railroad
and the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railroad. Subsequently he be-
came connected with the surveying department of the Canadian Pacific





Railroad, and in 1881 he returned to bridge building, with the same com-
pany. He followed that pursuit for two years and then entering into part-
nership with his brother opened a hotel. In 1889 he came to Nelson and
entered into the hotel business here, erecting a new building for that purpose
in 1890. His hotel is one hundred and twenty by sixty feet and contains
thirty-five rooms. It is conducted in harmony with modern ideas of hotel
keeping and has become popular with the traveling public, having a liberal
patronage, which has been secured through the reliable business methods
of the proprietor and his earnest desire to please his patrons.

In 1 88 1 Mr. Madden was united in marriag-e to Miss Margaret Fitz-
patrick and they have seven children, Alan, Sarah, Thomas, Charles, Mary
and John and James, twins. The family is well known in Nelson and the
members of the household have a large circle of friends. Mr. Madden
may truly be called a self-made man, for he started out in life empty-handed
and has steadily worked his way upward through determination, unfaltering
energy, executive force and capable business management.


Thomas John Trapp, head of the firm of T. J. Trapp & Company, lim-
ited, and in numerous other ways one of the foremost business and civic
factors of New Westminster, has spent thirty odd years in this province and
is undoubtedly one of the m.ost experienced and tried old-timers of British
Columbia. It is unfortunate that the limits of this history will not permit
an extensive recital of the careers of such men as Mr. Trapp, for they have
seen and passed through the most exciting phases of British Columbia history
and growth from pioneer times to the present, with stirring and thrilling
experiences on every hand sufficient to enrich a book of romance.

Mr. Trapp is a native of Waltham Abby, county of Essex, England,
born on June 4, 1842, of good English ancestry. His father, Thomas Trapp,
a native Englishman, was a forest ranger for Sir Heribwald Wake and sur-
veyor for the town of Waltham Abby, county Essex. He was a Baptist in
religion and he died in England in his sixty-seventh year. His widow, Eliz-
abeth (Guy) Trapp, then came out to this province and resided in New
Westminster until her death, at the age of seventy-seven.

Reared and educated in his native town Mr. Trapp began his business
career as a clerk in a grocery store, and later for some time was a traveling
salesman for a wholesale manufacturing house in Lx)ndon. In 1872 he
came out to Canada, locating at St. Thomas, Ontario, and as evidence of
■the fact that he began his business career at the bottom of the ladder it may


be stated that he drove spikes and used the pick and shovel as a day laborer
in the construction of the Canada Southern Railroad. He was also in a
general store in Buckston, Kent county, Ontario. On the 23d of April,
1873, he arrived in Victoria, and thence came on to New Westminster. He
packed his blankets over the trail to Burrard inlet to Hastings sawmill and
after two weeks spent without employment he got a job at loading a ship
with spars, being paid three dollars a day and bunking with the sailors.
After that he packed his blankets back to New Westminster, and from there
to Victoria. At Spring Ridge he was engaged in digging a ditch and also
ait cordwood at one dollar and a quarter a cord for dry and one dollar for
green. While there he walked to Presbyterian church and Sunday school
every week for a distance of nine miles. He was next employed in A. B.
Gray's dry goods store at forty dollars a month, his wages soon being in-
creased to seventy-five dollars a month. In the spring of 1874 he went to
the Cassiar gold fields, where the excitement had just broken out. The ex-
pected success did not meet his labors there and he returned and went to
stock-raising in Nicoli and Kamloops, east of the Cascade mountains. He
remained there during the winter and then with Rev. S. M. McGregor and
C. N. McDonald bought four hundred sheep, thus carrying on quite an ex-
tensive stock business for a time. During this time he was engaged to
take charge of a pack train with supplies for the surveyors engaged in the
Rockies, on the Yellow Head Pass for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Arriv-
ing at the Athabasca depot he found that the surveyors had left for the
east, letters of instruction being left on eastern slopes. The Athabasca depot
was established at this point by the Moberly party, this being the old trad-
ing post of the Hudson's Bay Company. The supplies were stored at this
depot, and the cattle and horses went on the Bow river, where they wintered.
At the Hardesty river Mr. H. A. F. McLeod, C. E., was met. he being in
charge of the eastern division, and made arrangements with Mr. Trapp to
take charge of the Athabasca depot with the supplies. Mr. Trapp then
returned with Michael O'Keefe to the Athabasca depot, where they remained
until the following September, nearly twelve months. The Hudson's Bay
Company were the first to establish the old Henry House, and here Mr.
Trapp and Mr. O'Keefe wintered. During the winter the Indians and half
breeds were out of ammunition and there was imminent danger of starva-
tion, so Mr. Trapp volunteered to cross the mountains one hundred miles
to the nearest supply station, the Tete John Cache, and bring back the much
needed ammunition. He started on January 2, 1876, with two half breeds
and two dogs, the snow being six feet deep and the cold and hardships of


the journey almost exhausted them. When within twenty miles of his des-
tination the snow was softened by a thaw to such an extent that traveling
was exceedingly difficult. Forced to camp for the rest of the day and night,
the two half-breed Indians who accompanied him began praying for colder
weather and as propitiatory sacrifices to favoring cold weather they fashioned
out two rabbits from the snow and set them up. Whether these rites had
anything to do with the weather Mr. Trapp cannot say, but anyhow it was
colder in the morning and they traveled on top of the snow. Their provi-
sions for this journey were a little bacon and some tea, and they managed to
shoot a red squirrel. Their teapot was leaky, the holes being stopped with
rags, and once or twice, while the pot was setting in the snow to cool a little,
one of the rags came out and thus their beverage escaped. They finally
reached Tete John Cache at eight o'clock in the evening, where they got their
supply of ammunition and waited several days to recuperate. This depot,
Tete John Cache, was in charge of William Roxburgh and Joe Ratchford.
After a weary repetition of the journey they arrived at the Athabasca depot.
Mr. Trapp remained at this post until September, when Marcus Smith,
C. E., and party came along and with them he returned to Kamloops.

In the winter of 1879 occurred the Indian outbreak, in which the sher-
iff, John Usher and a sheep herder by the name of Kelly were killed, John
McLoud was wounded and the country generally terrorized for some time.
The red men also came to Mr. Trapp's place, but while they ransacked his
cabin, taking his firearms, they left him alone, considering him a " good
fellow." Finally two and a half miles further they killed the above Kelly.
The Indians were surrounded and captured at Douglas Lake and four of
them were subsequently hanged, Mr. Trapp being a witness against them.
During the winter when the trial took place at New Westminster he lost
most of his stock, owing to the severe winter, and did not return to the
mountains. He therefore gave up ranching and went into business at New

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 75 of 79)