R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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Westminster. The firm at first was R. W. Dean & Company, Mr. Trapp and
his brother Sam both being in the firm. The Trapp brothers later bought
the business and conducted a general establishment, selling hardware and
dry goods and doing tailoring and dressmaking. Like most firms this one
has met with both reverses and successes, but on the whole it has prospered
exceedingly and has come to be one of the leading houses of its kind in the
province. The business is now conducted as the T. J. Trapp & Company,
Limited, with Mr. Trapp as its leading factor. Hardware is now the line
of trade and they sell it both retail and wholesale. Shelf hardware, stoves,
furnaces, machinery, both farm and mill, and all other features of an up-


to-clate and metropolitan hardware house will be found. The business passed
through the great fire of 1898 with heavy loss but it had been established
on such a substantial basis that it was only a matter of a few months until
it had recovered its former status and was reaching out for more trade,
rebuilding and enlarging the premises and building a new block in addition
to the old one.

Mr. Trapp is an independent voter and actively interested in the wel-
fare of his city and province. He is affiliated with the Ancient Order of
United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World, and for the past sixteen
years has been an active member of the Royal Agricultural and Industrial
Society of British Columbia, being president of its board of directors for ten
years. He was one of the twelve men who built the New Westminster
Southern Railroad, for which they never received a dollar from the govern-
ment, and it being the only road in the Dominion not receiving a subsidy,
and which line is now a part of the Great Northern, Mr. Trapp still is sec-
retary of this branch. Mr. Trapp has added to his other numerous enter-
prises the art of the auctioneer and he often conducts sales, being one of the
most talented and effective men in this business anywhere in the country.

In 1886 Mr. Trapp was happily married to Miss Nellie K. Dockrill,
who was born in Canada, being a daughter of Joseph Dockrill.
Eight children have been born into their home, as follows : Edith Kath-
leen, Thomas Dockrill, Stanley Valentine, Ethelyn, Neta, George, Donovan
and Dorothy. They have a delightful home in New Westminster and all
are highly esteemed in the social circles of the city. Their church mem-
bership is* with the Presbyterian church.


Ranulph Robert Gilpin, who is filling the position of collector of customs
at Grand Forks, having been appointed to this position in 1900, was born
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 9th of November, 1861, his parents being
Edward and Amelia (Haliburton) Gilpin, the mother now deceased, while
the father is living in Nova Scotia. The son was a public school student
and mastered the branches taught in the high school at Halifax. Still am-
bitious for intellectual advancement he then matriculated in the Agricultural
College in Guelph, where he remained as a student for two years. In 1882
he arrived in British Columbia and located on a ranch of seventeen hundred
acres about six and a half miles from Grand Forks, and there he lived for
twenty years, raising cattle. His was a fine ranch, well improved and highly
cultivated, and he is quite successful in his business there. He entered the


public service in 1878 as a preventive officer, and continued in that position
on the ranch until about five years ago, when the office was removed to
Grand Forks. In 1900 he was appointed collector of customs and he is
now acting in that capacity in a very efficient manner, discharging every
duty that devolves upon him with promptness and fidelity. He is also deputy
collector of inland revenue.

In 1894 Mr. Gilpin was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Wyseman,
a daughter of Joseph Wyseman, of British Columbia, and they have three
children : Florence Amelia, Bertha May and Arthur Edward. The par-
ents are identified with the Church of England, and in Grand Forks they
have many friends who esteem them highly for their sterling worth.


Ernest Miller, filling the position of city solicitor at Grand Forks,
was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, November 22, 1870, and
by reason of his continuous residence in the province he is very familiar with
its history during the period of its greatest and most permanent develop-
ment. His parents are Jonathan and Margaret (Springer) Miller, resi-
dents of Vancouver, in which city the father is filling the position of post-
master. Under the parental roof Ernest Miller spent the days of his boy-
hood and youth, his education being acquired in public and private schools
of his native city and of Victoria. His choice of a profession fell upon the
law and in order to qualify for the practice he matriculated in the Osgood
Hall Law School of Toronto, Canada, where he continued his studies until
1894. In that year he successfully passed final examinations in British
Columbia, at Victoria.

Mr. Miller opened an office for practice in Vancouver, where he re-
mained for two years. In 1894 he removed to Rossland, where he prac-
ticed for four years, arriving in Grand Forks in 1898. Here he entered
upon the practice of law and soon secured a good clientage, for he early
demonstrated his ability to successfully cope with the intricate problems
of jurisprudence. He has been city solicitor for the past your years. In
addition to his professional duties he has business interests, having made
large investments in mining and coal lands, which are rich in products that
form one of the chief sources of British Columbia's revenue.

In 1899 occurred the marriage of Ernest Miller and Miss Jean Helen
Ross, a daughter of Rev. W. R. Ross, late of Manitoba. They have one
child, Ernest Ross. The parents are communicants of the Church of Eng-
land and in social circles in Grank Forks they occupy an enviable position.


Mr, Miller is a Conservative in politics and he belongs to the Knights of
Pythias fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is like-
wise identified with the British Columbia Law Society and he concentrates
his efforts upon his professional duties. The zeal with which he has de-
voted his energies to his profession, the careful regard evinced for the in-
terests of his clients and an assiduous and unrelaxing attention to all the
details of his cases have made him a large practice and made him very suc-
cessful in its conduct.


Nicholas Thompson is the founder of the firm of N. Thompson &
Company, manufacturers of all kinds of machinery and boilers. This is
one of the leading productive industries of the city, and Mr. Thompson has
made for himself an honorable place in business circles. He was born in
Woodhorn, Northumberland, in the north of England, in 1853, and having
acquired his education in the public schools of his native county, he, in
1869, was apprenticed to the engineer trade in the works of the celebrated
engineering and shipbuilding works of Charles Mark Palmer & Company
at Jarrow on the Tyne. After serving his apprenticeship he went to sea as
engineer, and succeeded in securing a first class certificate. In 1887 he came
to Montreal, and after working in the shops of George Brush & Company
and running as chief engineer on the steamship Cacouna, of the Black
Diamond line, he started for the west in the fall of 1888. On his arrival
here Mr. Thompson engaged in steamboating and general business with
Evans, Coleman & Evans, of this city. In 1899 he launched out for him-
self with G. H. Hardy, a consulting engineer, under the firm name of Hardy
& Thompson, and later on they ran under lease what is now the Albion Iron
Works. In 1902 the firm of N. Thompson & Company was established, his
associates being William McCullouch, A. Muir and W. V. Radley, who
joined him in the enterprise and building the factory which covers ten lots
at No. 136 Alexander street and extending through to Powell street, Van-
couver. They give employment to more than one hundred operatives,
manufacturing mill machinery of all kinds, also marine and mining ma-
chinery, of which they make a specialty, and they are now conducting a
profitable business, sending their manufactured product throughout British
Columbia and Alaska. Theirs has become a large and profitable concern,
and their sales of machinery are now represented by a large figure annually.
Mr. Thompson has also established the North Pacific Steam Ship Company,
with head office in Vancouver, and with the assistance of Victoria and Van-


couver capital, is now constructing the largest freight steamer built in the
province to the present time, of fourteen hundred tons displacement, cargo
capacity from eight hundred to one thousand tons, fitted complete with sur-
face condensing engines, with two Hardy-Thompson patent water-tube
boilers capable of developing six hundred horse-power, length one hundred
and eighty feet, forty-six feet beam, fourteen feet depth to hold, the entire
construction, including machinery and equipments, being made at the N.
Thompson & Company's works in Vancouver.

In 1885 Mr. Thompson was married to Katharine, the daughter of
James White, who for many years was manager of the Springmill Pciper
Company near Jarrow on the Tyne. Mr. Thompson has been a member
of the Masonic fraternity for many years, and is past master of Mount
Hermon Lx)dge, Vancouver, also grand steward in the Grand Lodge of
British Columbia.

William McCullouch, who is the manager of the business, was born in
Scotland, on the 3d of September, i860, and is of Scotch ancestry on both
sides. He is now the only member of the family in British Columbia. He
was educated in Scotland and learned the blacksmith and forging trades
there, and in 1881 came to America, going first to New Jersey, where he
was employed for some time. He afterward conducted business in Seattle
for two years, after which he joined Mr. Thompson and the other members
of the firm in the present enterprise. While in New Jersey Mr. McCullouch
wedded Miss Margaret Campbell, a native of the north of Scotland and a
daughter of James Campbell. They have one child, Mary. Mr. McCul-
louch is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and he was made a Mason in
Scotland, St. John's lodge. No. 125, A. F. & A. M. The firm of N. Thomp-
son & Company has made a splendid business record in Vancouver, and the
partners are gentlemen of marked reliability and enterprise.


John Joseph Caulfield, one of the organizers of the Russell-Law-Caul-
field Company, Limited, conducting an extensive general mercantile enter-
prise in Greenwood, was born in Ossawa, Ontario, October 5, i855) his
parents being William and Ann (Rorick) Caulfield, both of whom are now
deceased. His education was acquired in the public schools of the city of
his nativity and throughout almost his entire business career he has been
identified with merchandising. His first position was in a general mercan-
tile store in Toronto, and on leaving that place he removed to Winnipeg,
while in 1882 he became a resident of Brandon, Manitoba, and there em-


barked in business on his own account. In 1884 he estabHshed his home in
Verdon, Manitoba, and opened a general store there, conducting it for five
years. He then sold out and went into the grain business, in which he con-
tinued until 1897, when he came to Greenwood and assisted in forming the
Russell-Law-Caulfield Company, Limited. This firm owns its own build-
ing, fifty by one hundred feet. It is a two-story structure with basement
and is entirely occupied by the general mercantile interests of the corpora-
tion. The store is conducted along modern lines, a well selected stock of
goods is carried and from the beginning the enterprise has been attended
with gratifying success. Mr. Caulfield is also one of the stockholders and
directors of the Providence Mining Company. His business career has
made him honored and respected by all, for it has been characterized by
consecutive progress, resulting in success, and at all times his methods have
been such as would bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.

In 1883 Mr. Caulfield wedded Miss Margot McArthur, of Colling-
wood, Ontario. He has served as alderman for several years and has been
interested in public affairs to the extent of giving hearty co-operation to
all measures fostering public improvement and general advancement.


William M. Law, who was born in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Sep-
tember 26, 1863, is a son of William H. and Hetty (West) Law. The
father is deceased, while the mother resides in Provincetown. The son was
a student in the public schools and afterward had the advantage of pursuing
a business course in Poughkeepsie, New York, being thus well qualified
to enter the fields of commercial activity. He later became bookkeeper
for a wholesale fruit and produce house in Boston, Massachusetts, where
he remained for two and a half years, and for one year he was connected
with the oyster trade in that cit)^ In 1887 he came to Portland, Oregon,
and was with Tatum & Bowen for eight years, winning advancement with
that house in recognition of his capable service until he was promoted to
the position of manager, acting in that capacity for three years. In the
spring of 1896 he went to Anaconda, where he embarked in general mer-
chandising as a member of the firm of Miller & Law, but after twenty-one
months he removed to Greenwood and the firm of William Law & Company
was thus organized. In 1901 a change occurred in the ownership and the
present firm of Russell-Law-Caulfield Company, Limited was formed. They
have developed an extensive business which has become one of the leading


commercial concerns of Greenwood, and the house sustains a very enviable
reputation in trade circles.

Mr. Law does not confine his efforts entirely to merchandising, but
with recognition of opportunities in other directions in the northwest he has
become a stockholder in the Providence Mining Company, and is now its
secretary and treasurer. In his social relations he is an Odd Fellow, be-
longing to Boundary Valley lodge, No. 38, I. O. O. F.


Charles Woodward, the founder and proprietor of a large department
store of Vancouver, and one of its most prominent merchants, has found in
the expanding business conditions of this city scope for his laudable am-
bition, perseverance and diligence — ^his dominant qualities. A native of
Ontario, Mr. Woodward was born in county Wetworth, on the 19th of
July, 1852, and is of English and Welsh ancestry. His father, John Wood-
ward, was born in England, on the farm which had been the ancestral home
of the family for three hundred years and is still in possession of represent-
atives of the name. He married Miss May Cullham, a lady of Welsh an-
cestry, and she died in the eighty-second year of her age, while Mr. Wood-
ward, Sr., is still able to attend to his duties and is now in his eighty-fourth
year. They were members of the Church of England and people of the
highest integrity of character. In their family were five children.

Charles Woodward, the only member of the family in British Colum-
bia, was educated in his native country, and is a graduate of Mono College,
was reared upon the home farm until twenty-two years of age and became
familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist,
from the cutting of wood up to the most difficult department of farm work.
He was a young man of twenty-two when in 1874 he moved with his wife
and two children to the wilds of Algoma, and with his characteristic energy
cleared ready for crops the next year over thirty acres, which yielded large
and profitable returns and commanded ready sale and good prices from the
incoming settlers. He had taken a farm in the backwoods and had built a
little store upon it, and this was the humble business beginning of one who
now ranks with the leading merchants, of Vancouver. He continued in the
business there for five years, when, selling out, he removed to Manitoba in
1882, and engaged in the purchase and sale of cattle, thus returning to a
business with which his early experience had made him somewhat familiar,
but he soon found that he had made an unprofitable investment and return-
ing to Algoma, he started anew in business, giving his attention to lumber-


ing and merchandising. He soon again built up a large business and met
with gratifying success, but a disastrous fire occurred and in that way he
lost heavily. He managed, however, to pay one hundred cents on the
dollar. The favorable reports concerning British Columbia attracted him,
and hoping to benefit by the business opportunities which were said to exist
there, he came to the young city of Vancouver in 1891 and allied his inter-
ests with her mercantile life. He built a three-story business block, fifty-five
by seventy feet, at the corner of Harris street and Westminster avenue.
On the 5th of January he commenced building operations and had the build-
ing completed on the ist of March following, and was selling groceries,
boots and shoes, and had rented the parts of the building which he did not
use. Later, however, his increasing trade demanded the entire building, for
he met with constantly growing success. In November, 1903, he removed
to his present building, at the corner of Abbot and Hastings streets. This
building is sixty-six by one hundred and thirty-two feet, four stories in
height with basement, Avhich extends under the sidewalk on two sides of
the building and contains fifty-four thousand feet of selling space. The
company occupies the whole of this large building, having a well selected
stock of general merchandise, including everything usually found in such
an establishment. He has, altogether, fourteen departments, and his is one
of the fine department stores of the northwest. The building is of brick
with plate glass front on both sides, and the location is central and very
attractive. The company is now enjoying a large and profitable business,
and his mercantile emporium would be a credit to a much older and larger
city. When the company first began merchandising in Vancouver his store
was in the edge of the bush, but his faith in the town was unbounded and
his highest expectations have been realized. He is one of the city's most
progressive business men, and has, aside from his business, done much to
promote the welfare and growth of Vancouver.

In 1873 ^^^- Woodward was married to Miss Elizabeth Anderson, who
was born in Arthur township, Ontario, a daughter of Donald Anderson, a
gentleman from Ayrshire, Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. Woodward have nine
children, of whom six are living, as follows : Mary C, Annie E., Donald
Anderson, William C, Cora L., and Archie P.

Mr. Woodward is a member of the Foresters and of Acacia lodge, A.
F. & A. M., but finds little time for outside interests beyond his store. He
has done considerable building in the city, thus contributing to its sub-
stantial upbuilding, but the line of his chief activity has been the develop-
ment of a mercantile enterprise which has now reached extensive propor-


tions. Once proprietor of a little country store, he is now at the head of
a large mercantile emporium, the development of which has made him not
only a successful one, but also one whose honor and integrity stand as an
unquestioned fact in his business career.


William Fortune is the pioneer of Kamloops, and the first cabin which
graced the present site of that flourishing city was built by him, and "is still
standing as a landmark of the ancient history of a region which has since
become one of the most prosperous of British Columbia. Born in England
in 1838, the son of a thrifty Yorkshire farmer named Richard Fortune,
he spent the first twenty years of his life in the various occupations incident
to youth, chief among which was imremitting work on the homestead
farm, to the cultivation of which he contributed his labors until 1858. At
that date he took ship for the new world, and on arriving in Buffalo, New
York, got work at ploughing the streets of the city and planting maple trees
along the roads. In the following year he went to St. David's, Canada,
where he spent two years in a tannery business, and then spent a year in
traveling for the tannery, making Queenstown, Niagara and other points.
In 1862 he joined a party of twenty-six persons who made an overland
journey from Queenstown to British Columbia, starting out in March and
arriving in Kamloops on October 13, 1862. It must be remembered that
this was a primitive time in the history of the northwest, and the great
industry of the time was still trapping and fur gathering, agriculture and
kindred pursuits yet lagging behind the vanguard of civilization.

During the first winter Mr. Fortune was in the employ of the Hudson's
Bay Company at a salary of fifteen dollars a month. His efficiency was
evidently appreciated, for only a short time afterward he was put in charge
of the teams of the company at a salary of one hundred and thirty dollars
a month, and during the seven years which he served the company he saved
up six thousand dollars. This he loaned out on such rates that it brought
him in an additional income of seventy-five dollars a month. In 1868 he
built a flour and sawmill at Kamloops, the first built in this part of the coun-
try, and, the enterprise proving successful, he shortly afterward rebuilt and
installed improved machinery. Later he put up a still larger sawmill with
a daily capacity of eighteen thousand feet of lumber, but this was burned,
and he replaced it and operated the mill for twelve years. In the meantime
he had taken up one hundred and sixty acres of land in the vicinity, and
■ he has since kept on buying land until he is now owner of seven hundred


acres and has seven thousand acres leased. His stock-raising estabhshment
is one of the best in the district. He runs about one hundred and fifty head
of fine horses and some thousand head of Hereford and shorthorn cattle
on his broad acres. He also maintains a fine orchard of seven acres, in
which he raises apples, peaches, quinces and other fruits.

Mr. Fortune has also built a number of stores in Kamloops, and he
rents these, and he also has mining interests. He is often known as " Cap-
tain " Fortune from the fact that he built the steamer Lady Dufferin and
for fourteen years ran this boat on the Thompson river. It was a sixty
ton boat, ninety-five feet long and sixteen wide. It has been blown up since
he disposed of it. He holds a captain's certificate as a memorial of his
career as a steamboat captain. At one time Mr. Fortune owned the electric
light works at Kamloops. He is a member of the Pioneer Society, and is
a member and director in the Agricultural Society of New Westminster.
His wife is Mrs. Jane (Mackaw) Fortune, to whom he was married in


Oregon C. Hastings, of Victoria, now well known in business and
public life of this city, and also recognized as a scientist of no' mean ability,
has the honor of having known Victoria from its earliest times to the
present, although not as a permanent resident through all these years. He
sailed into the harbor where Victoria now stands as long ago as 1852, being
on a schooner owned by his father. At that time this was a thickly timbered
spot, with nothing to indicate a city either potential or actual except the blue
smoke curling up above the trees from the fort of the Hudson's Bay Com-
pany. Victoria began as a trading post, and its commercial importance has
continually increased with its expanding population, and Mr. Hastings has
been an ardent well-wisher of the city from his first connection therewith.

Mr. Hastings was born in the town of Pontoosuc, Illinois state, April
26, 1846. On both sides of the family the ancestry is English, and his
father's family were early settlers of New England. His father, Loren
Brown Hastings, was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in 18 13, and was a
man of large capabilities and during his active career had many broad and
varied experiences, having performed an important part in the history of
early settlement and material progress in the west and northwest. After

Online LibraryR. E. (R. Edward) GosnellA history; British Columbia → online text (page 76 of 79)