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Colonial Cases


THE BRITISH COLONIST, 20 June 1859 (2)


Our Yale correspondent says: A man named John Lee, a native of Cornwall, England, was shot through the head by an Indian, on June 6th, about four miles above the Fountain, and probably mortally wounded.  The only cause assigned for the deed was that Lee would not shake hands with him on the trail.  The Indian was brought to Yale to await his trial, by Constable Brown.


THE LEDGE, 22 August 1895



While in Victoria news reached us of the murder of French Joe, Lowen and another man near Capt. Mitchell's, on the north fork of Quesnelle.  The three men were reputed to have had about $50,000 between them.  Robbery was evidently the object of the murderers.

   The unfortunate men had just crossed the bridge and were taking a drink from the stream when three shots were fired at then each of which proved fatal.

   I cannot help associating the murderers with the three fellows who caused us so much uneasiness and rejoicing in the fact that they did not get off with their booty.  There was a great commotion raised at the time - the whole county was up in arms against them.  Mclean and his boys gave hot chase to one of the party who in his endeavor to escape jumped into the Thompsons and drowned.  Another of the suspected murderers was traced to Walla Walla where he was arrested for a similar crime, but he succeeded in breaking jail.  He was subsequently arrested at Bill Sutton's saloon in Yale and was ultimately hanged.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 26 August 1865



The Remains of S. Pin Found.

About twelve months since a most profound sensation was created here by the sudden and mysterious disappearance of S. Pin, the head of the firm of S. Pin & Co., traders in Richfield.  Various rumors were afloat at the time regarding the missing man.  Some attributed his disappearance to his having committed suicide in the woods, but many others held that he had levanted to escape from his creditors, and was subsequently seen on his way to Kootenay, Boise, &c.  Active search was instituted in the woods for many days after the unfortunate man left home, but no trace of him could be found.  By mere accident the whole mystery has come to light and speculation set at rest for ever.  The circumstances attending the discovery of Mr. Pin's remains will be gathered best from the evidence given at the


Held on Wednesday, 23 rd Aug. 1865, before W. G. Cox, Esq., and the following jury: - O. J. Trevalliot, foreman; Leopold Kuhn, G. W. Robinson, Charles Florence, Peter Travers, Thomas Guthrie, E. A. Wadhams, James Roberts, Patrick Kirwin, S. A. Smith, Thomas Durrell.

   The jury being sworn by Mr. Fitzgerald, the clerk of the Court, Mr. Cox briefly addressed them on their duties.

   William Wright, milkman, was the first witness examined; he deposed as follows : - On Monday evening last, about 5 o'clock, I was on my way home from Richfield; I proceeded from the blacksmith's shop straight up the hill; when I came near the edge of the woods I took my bearings by the sun for my camp, which is at the head of Stouts gulch; I did not go more than half or three quarters of a mile when I saw a dead man lying on the ground; I found the flesh had all gone; the body was lying in a position seemingly of repose at full length; I saw a piece of paper, partly concealed under the right arm, and a small phial at the right knee; I lifted the paper and found it was a letter written in French, but the word "poison" was written on it in English; I thought it then too late in the evening to return to town so I went home; next morning I came to town and reported the discovery of the remains to the magistrate, Mr. Cox.

   François Lelier sworn, and examined through an interpreter. - I was a partner of the late Mr. Pin; on the 11th October, 1864, Mr. Pin left home at six o'clock in the morning; never heard of him since till yesterday; (the letter found by previous witness, and also a pocket book containing valuable papers, some of them promissory notes of amounts due the firm, a pipe and small rule found on the person of deceased by Mr. Woods, Police Constable, were produced in Court and identified by Mr. Lelier)l the letter [produced is addressed to me and reads as follows: (Translated by Captain Trevalliot,)

MY DEAR FRANK, - I see that my murder .... Are just on me **************

Margin cut on right, words missing.

Williams Creek, 12th Oct. 1864.

(The action of the weather had obliterated the portion of the writing which we have marked with asterisks).

I can recognise the bottle as belonging to the house; it had a label on it marled "poison" with a death's head; the label is gone; I can identify the several articles produced; I have inspected the remains of the body found, and can recognise the clothing as the same Mr. Pin wore on the day he left the house; Mr. Pin was a native of the village of Roman in France; his Christian name was "Sermet;" he was a married man, an d had a wife and family (one son and two daughters) living in France; I believe the cause of his committing suicide was on account of his pecuniary embarrassments and the fear of being put in gaol.

   O. Lambert, an employee in the firm of Pin & Co., was next examined; he stated as follows:--- I have seen the dead body found by Mr. Wright, and am convinced it is that of Mr. Pin; I can easily swear to the clothes being those he had on when he left home; Mr. Pin was a native of the province of Dauphine in France, and was aged about 50 or 53 years; I am sure the articles produced belonged to Mr. Pin; I saw the body before it was removed to town, and am of opinion it was not disturbed since death; I believe the poison in the bottle to be strychnine.

   Mr. Cox thought this evidence was all that was necessary to convince the jury that the remains were those of Mr. Pin, and that there was no doubt the unfortunate man had committed suicide.

   The jury said they were satisfied and brought in the following


"That Sermet Pin came to his death on or about 14th Oct., 1864, at Richfield, by poison administered by his own hands while he was in a state of temporary insanity produced by pecuniary embarrassments."


We would remark that the estate of Pin & Co., having been placed under judicious management is nearly wound up, and will pay one hundred cents upon the dollar.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 2 September 1865



We regret to state that an accident happened in one of the hill claims above the canon on Williams creek, this afternoon, by which one man was killed and a second severely injured.  The men were engaged in undermining a bank of clay for the purpose of ground slucing when it suddenly fell, burying both beneath.  One man was extricated alive, but when the second was taken out the vital spark had fled.  The deceased was a fine young man only 24 years of age; he was a German by birth and named Louis Rock.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 23 September 1865

FATAL ACCIDENT   . - We regret to have to record a fatal accident which befell a young man named Charles McIsaacs, on Munro's ??? road, between Van Winkle and Williams creek, yesterday.  McIsaacs was engaged in grubbing on the road when a large tree fell on him killing him instantly.  Deceased was a general favorite among the workmen and the greatest regret is felt at his sudden and melancholy end.  Mr. Cox, accompanied by Mr. Fitzgerald, chief constable, proceeded to-day to hold an inquest on the body.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, [4 July 1867] 8 November 1865.

John Morgan deceased.  "I attended the inquest, which was held at Soda creek on the eighth [November].  The jury brought in a verdict that deceased was murdered by some person or persons unknown."



Poor Mr. Tooby, a well-known writer in the late 'Vancouver Times,' has put a melancholy end to a lately, melancholy existence, by cutting his throat, on Sunday, 15th inst.  He resided for some little time past at Mr. Whears, tailor, Fort street, and the last three or four nights slept at Mr. Cretney's, next door, the old gentleman you may remember as having at a recent election issued a placard offering himself as Mayor.  Tooby appeared to have been wandering round town during the middle of the night; soon after last retiring to bed he rose again, and on Mr. Cretney getting up he found him dead.  Such a spectacle as the body presented I do not wish to see again.  Fancy a man half dressed, lying ion his back, chin forced up, head rigid, an opening in the throat large enough to admit the clenched fist, features colorless, arms extended, both hands and the trowsers on both sides red with blood, and you have all that remained of poor Tooby.  The Doctor at the inquest gave evidence that it was a most unusual, if not an unparalleled, case of suicide, for directness and extent of cut, the cut being usually diagonal, and not, as in this case, severing partially the carotid on both sides; death must have been very rapid. From the evidence adduced, which  tended to prove mental depression, excess in  drinking, etc., the jury could bring in no other verdict than: "Death by his own hands, while laboring under temporary insanity."



An inquest had been held by the Coroner over the body of an Indian who it is alleged met his death at the hands of three men, named Ebenezer Hatch, John Vincent and James R. Ford, on the 4th inst., on the Cedar Hill road.



FATAL ACCIDENT. - We regret to have to announce a terrible accident that happened at Boston Bat last week, depriving a fine young man, named Frederick Enderlin, of life.  It appears that deceased and his brother Alexander had been mining at Boston Bar, on the Fraser river, for some years past, and that on Monday last a cave took place in the bank which carried Frederick into the river, burying him several feet below the surface.  His remains were not got out until Thursday, when an inquest was held by Mr. Sanders, J.P., and a verdict returned of accidental death.  [Funeral.] Deceased was a native of Switzerland, and we understand it was his intention, had his life been spared, to return home this fall in company with his brother. - B. C. Tribune.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 3 September 1866

FATAL ACCIDEN T. - A sad accident happened at California creek on Wednesday last, 29th ult., whereby a young man named Thomas McMinnimie lost his life.  The deceased, in company with four others, owned a bed rock flume on said creek where they have been at work all summer, but having lately been stopped for wan t of water deceased started a prospect drift on his own account into the bank, and having neglected to timber it the ground caved on him injuring him mortally.  He was extricated and conveyed to Antler creek where he lingered till the following evening (Thursday) when he expired.  Deceased was a native of Belfast, Ireland, and about 28 years of age.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 1 October 1866


Mr. Cox, accompanied by Chief Constable Fitzgerald, left here on Friday last for the purpose of holding an inquest on the remains of the man found near Beaver Pass, and returned on Saturday evening, from whom we gather the following particulars:

   On Saturday morning Mr. Cox proceeded to the spot, which is distant nearly half a mile below Edwards' Ranch at a point where the wagon road intersects the old trail, and swore in a jury who examined the remains, which they found lying in a hole into which the body must have been thrown after the murder had been committed.  Nothing remained but a mere skeleton, the clothes still undisturbed; on the back part of the skull was observed a bullet hole, but no corresponding perforation could be noticed on any other portion of it, thus showing conclusively that the shot must have come from behind; the teeth were perfect in both jaws but the lower and upper back teeth appeared to be filled with gold.

   The clothes consisted of a black double breasted vest, blue serge pants, with drawers, a grey undershirt, and a heavy greyish-brown overshirt; a small white neckerchief, a pair of heavy nailed Wellington boots (No. 8's), a belt was lying by his side with a brass hook and eye, no hat could be found. The following articles were found in the pockets of his clothing, and taken charge of by Mr. Fitzgerald: A silver hunting-case watch, makers name John Tobias, Liverpool; a silver pencil case, bearing on the seal the initials C. M. B,; a new tin drinking cup, with the name C. M. Blessing scratched on the bottom; a sheath knife was found at his feet, on the handle of which was carved the initials C. M. B.; in one of the pockets there was a small clasp purse containing a few grains of fine gold wrapped up in a piece of tea paper.  One of the pockets of the pants was turned inside out.  The Coroner's jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

   Before leaving Mr. Cox left instructions to have the remains decently interred.  With a view to ascertain something concerning the man the records of miners licences were searched for two years past, but no trace of the name could be found.  We have thus been particular in describing the clothes, &c., as it is more than likely they may lead to the identity of the man; up to the present moment no one appears to know him.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 11 October 1866

STILL AT LARGE. - The Indian who killed Morgan near Sida creek last fall is reported to be skulking about the Okanagan Lake, threatening to kill every white man or Indian he should meet.  The Indians are in great dread of him, as they consider he is bullet proof.  The authorities ought to use every effort to recapture the miscreant, if only for the salutary effect it would have on the other Indians who believe that the carelessness of the Government arises from fear.


SIR, - In answer to "A Passer By" the lonely grave below Marysville, I would state for his information that the body of a young man by the name of Edward or Thomas Tassell was interred there in the fall of 1863 or 1864; he was introduced to me at Little lake while on his road to Cariboo.  On his arrival here, being unable to find employment, took to packing heavy loads from Antler to Williams creek, from the effects of which he sickened and died.  He was from Devonshire, England, and I believe very respectably connected there. ....... I would suggest that the same be done for the purpose of bringing in for decent interment the body or remains of Donald Munroe, who perished in the woods on Bear River in1863l ...E.H.S. Grouse Creek, Oct. 9th, 1866.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 15 February 1867

INQUEST. - An inquest was held before Warner R. Spalding, Esq., Coroner, at Richfield, on the 2nd inst., on the body of Francois Casse, a cattle dealer.  The evidence before the jury was to the effect that deceased left Van Winkle during a snow storm on the previous morning to drive a flock of sheep over the mountain to Richfield, and that the body was found on the road between Richfield and Jack of Clubs creek in an easy posture and without marks of violence.  The verdict of the jury was, death from over exposure and fatigue.  Deceased was a native of Navarre, and about 53 years of age; he was an honest and successful business man and much respected.




It is at all times a very painful duty to record the occurrence of an accident by which a human being is suddenly deprived of existence; but it is still more poignant, when it happens to one who is an intimate and esteemed friend.  Mr. William L. Mitchell, the subject of this notice, has been personally known to us for the last six years during his connection with the press of this colony; first as one of the proprietors of the British Colonist, and more recently as part proprietor of the Evening Express and Telegraph, Victoria, and in all our intercourse with him, we have ever found him to be frank, free and affable in his demeanor to every one, a kind and sociable companion, an d a very enterprising business man.  The unfortunate accident which has cut him off in the full vigor of health and strength, is deeply regretted by all his friends and acquaintances.

   After closing up business in Victoria this spring Mr. Mitchell bought a half share in the Davis claim, on this creek, and arrived here about a month ago, with the intention of working in the claim, and has been so employed for two weeks past.  About seven o'clock on Friday evening last, while he was being lowered down the shaft, from some unaccountable cause, he was precipitated to the bottom, and received such injuries as to terminate his life that evening about twelve o'clock.  It appears that after he had been lowered about twenty feet, he called to the brakesman to stop, which was instantly done, and the next moment, the ma heard the dull heavy sound of his fall.  He must have fallen at least thirty-six feet, and it was evident that he went down head first, from the severe contusions to be seen on his head and face.  He was carried in an insensible state to his cabin, and received the immediate aid of Drs. Carrall and Bell, by whom he was examined, but they could discover no fracture, either of the bones or the skull, and no external injuries further than an abrasion of the skin about the head and face.  Deceased, who was a very powerful young man, writhed in great agony at first, but gradually sank from exhaustion, and expired without a moment's consciousness.  [Funeral.]


On Saturday, the 25th, an inquest was held by R. M. Ball, Esq., on the body of W. L. Mitchell, who died from the effects of injuries received by his falling down the shaft of the Davis Company, on the 24th inst.  A jury, consisting of the following gentlemen, was empannelled, viz.: Messrs. R. R. Omro, Geo. Devoa, John Murphy, V. Van Valkenburg, F. W. Laumeister, J. Well, G. Boardman, J. S. Thompson, ands A. Allan.  A. Allan was chosen foreman.  The following evidence was then  adduced:

   Jas. Taylor, sworn - I am brakesman at the Davis shaft; on the evening of the 24th, about s even o'clock, I lowered down the men for the night shift, deceased went on the rope in the same manner as the other men did, and I lowered him down.  When about twenty feet down, he called to me to "stop," or "hold on."  I stopped the brake at once, and then  heard the sound of him falling.  There was nothing wrong with the machinery.  He was the last man who went down.  I let the foreman down immediately after.  Deceased has been working for the last fortnight.

   Alex. Jack, sworn - I am foreman of the Davis coy.  I was standing at the shaft on the evening of the 24th last, about seven o'clock.  Saw all the men, seven in number, go down.  Deceased was let down as usual, having previously steadied himself in the rope; he was down but a short distance, when I heard him say "stop," or "hold on," I then  heard him fall to the bottom; as soon as I heard the fall, I went down at once, and found him lying at the bottom of the shaft insensible.  I heard him exclaim, while I was going down the shaft, that he was gone, or something to that effect.  We carried him out through the Borealis tunnel.  I was with him till he died, which was about twelve o'clock last night.  I cannot assign any cause for his falling out of the rope.  The rope was not broken.

   Dr. Carrall, sworn - I was called last evening about seven o'clock to see deceased.  I made an examination but could find no fracture of the skull, only a trifling wound on the forehead.  I came to the conclusion, from the symptoms, together with the absence of any fracture, that he was suffering from concussion of the brain, caused by a fall on the right side of the forehead.  Dr. Bell was also present.  Deceased never fully rallied from the effects of the fall.  The concussion was sufficient to produce death.

   The jury returned a verdict that the deceased came to his death on the 24th instant by accidentally falling down the shaft of the Davis Company, on Williams Creek.

DIED. - At Barkerville, Williams Creek, on the 24th inst., William Lang Mitchell, of St. Marys, Canada West, aged 32 years.



CORONER'S INQUEST. - On Friday last the Magistrate held an inquest on the body of a Chinaman, which was found on the road between Richfield and Van Winkle on Thursday.  A jury having been empannelled, Mr. Fitzgerald testified to having proceeded yesterday to a place two miles from Richfield, on the wagon road, where he found deceased lying on his back within a few feet of the road; he examined the body but could discover no marks of violence thereon; on searching the clothes of the deceased he found $34.37 in notes and silver, and alongside of the body he picked up two miner's certificates.  A Chinaman was called who stated that he knew deceased; his name was Chang Wong, a native of Canton, aged 31 years; saw him three days ago when he went off to Van Winkle, with beef, for the purpose of selling it there.  The jury, after viewing the body and hearing the evidence, rendered a verdict that deceased came to his death "by the visitation of Providence."



FATAL ACCIDENT. - A Chinaman who was at work in the Ne'er-do-Well claim on Grouse Creek, was instantly killed on Tuesday last by the caving of a large lump of clay.  It appears the Chinaman was engaged with other members of the company in cleaning out rocks from the ground sluice, within a few feet of the deep bank, when a portion of it weighing several tons gave way, burying the unfortunate man.  The ground was so hard that it took nearly an hour to extricate the body, which presented a frightfully mangled appearance.




(Before Hon. Mr. Justice Begbie.)

Monday, July 1st, 1867


On his lordship resuming his seat on the bench, the prisoner, James Barry, was placed in the dock, and the indictment having been read over to him, he pleaded "not guilty,": whereupon the following jury was empannelled: W. Winnard, foreman.  George Wilson, E. Vaughan, C. A. Brouse, Wm. Langen, E. Pearson, C. Moorehouse, James Mann, A. Clink, George Dakin, Frank Lecuyer, W. S. Melross.

   Mr. H. P. Walker opened the case for the prosecution, by a speech of considerable length, in which he recited the various circumstances connected with the murder, which he was prepared to bring evidence to establish.

   The prisoner was defended by Mr. A. R. Robertson.

   The first witness called for the prosecution was -

   William H. Fitzgerald, who being sworn said - Last fall, from information I received, I went to a place about two miles on the other side of Edwards' ranch at Beaver Pass, where I found the body of a man.  It was lying behind an undulation of ground, in a clump of bushes; the body was decomposed; the skull was three or four yards from the trunk.  Examined the skull and found a bullet hole in the back part of it, which appeared to have been produced by a six-shooter revolver; the clothing was very much decomposed.  I identify a sheath knife, tin cup, watch, silver pencil case, and gold pen; they have been in my possession ever since I found the body.  The cup has the name C. M. Blessing engraved on it; the only money I found, was a French franc piece.  I identify the two gold pins now shown me; I took them from a dancing girl last autumn, and they have been in my hands ever since.  One remarkable feature about one of them is, that when turned in a certain direction, the profile of a man's face is distinctly shown.

Cross-examined - It is quite possible that paper money might have decayed on the body.  There might have been paper money sewed up in the clothing unknown to me; I could recognize one of the pins years after I had seen it.  The body was found fifty yards from the wagon road, and within twenty feet of the old trail.  My impression is that the murder was committed on the trail, as the ground is steep towards the road.

   W. D. Moses,  sworn - Knew deceased Charles Morgan Blessing; travelled up country with him last spring.  We got to Quesnelmouth at seven o'clock on the evening of 28th May, 1866.  Saw prisoner on the evening of 29th, in  front of Brown & Gillis's saloon; Blessing and I were together.  Prisoner addressed me as Mr. Moses, and enquired when I was going up to the creek; told him I would not go till next day.  Blessing said he would like to go if I would; told him I was engaged, and could not go till day after.  Prisoner and Blessing got into conversation; Blessing left Barry and  said to me "I don't like to travel with that fellow." Blessing came to me again, and said he thought he would go, and promised to meet me at Van Winkle.  He  said his name was Charles Morgan Blessing, and said "be sure to recollect it, if anything should happen to me in this country."  He then went into the saloon to get his blankets, and went up to the bar to take a drink; he paid for the drinks with a Bank of British Columbia bill.  I said Charley you are not broke yet; he answered by saying he had $50 or $60 left.

   I identify the knife, watch and pencil case; they were Blessing's.  Blessing and Barry went out of the saloon, in the direction of an empty house, where they were going to sleep.  I have never seen Blessing since.  When I got to Van Winkle, I enquired at Macaffery's if any one had asked for me, and was answered in the negative.  This was on the 1st June.  I got to Williams creek next day.  A day or two after this Barry came into my shop, and I enquired of him where my "chummy" was.  He said "your chummy, who is he?"  I said the man who left Quesnelmouth with you.  He replied, "that coon I left him on the road, his feet were sore."   I asked what time they left that morning, and he said about four or five o'clock.  On a second occasion, I asked Barry about Blessing, and got the same answer.  Some time afterwards I asked him if he had seen the man yet, when he looked savagely at me, and muttered something I could not distinguish.

Cross-examined - Prisoner was near enough Blessing to hear him say he had not much money.  Never saw the initials on any of the articles produced before, but they look like those Blessing had.

   H. P. Stark, sworn - Have known prisoner by sight for three years; saw him at Quesnelmouth on 29th May, 1866.  Asked him when he would leave, he said next morning.  I left on the morning of the 30th.  Saw Barry at the thirteen mile house along with another man I did not know.  We all left the house together, but did not travel far in company; we went ahead of Barry and his companion.  I went to Boyd & Heath's that day.  Next day I saw Barry alone at Van Winkle; Elliott, who travelled with me, asked Barry what became of his companion.  He answered that he had sire feet, and would stay at Beaver Pass that night.

   Patrick Gannon, sworn - Remember driving cattle to Williams creek towards the end of May last year.  Recollect seeing prisoner on 31st May on this side of Boyd & Heath's.  There was some one along with him, they had a camp fire, and were taking breakfast; was in a hurry, and did not notice the man.  Saw Barry again the same night at Van Winkle, and heard Elliott ask him about his partner.

   William Fraser, sworn - Got acquainted with prisoner at New Westminster in April 1866; was at work at Moody's saw mill.  He travelled with me from Yale to Quesnelmouth; he carried a six-shooter revolver.  He was short of money at Quesnelmouth; he asked me for money, as he said he was dead broke; I refused, but he got $5 from Daniel Fraser.  Saw Barry again about first June, at Cameronton, dancing with the hurdies; have seen him paying money for this at the bar.

   John H. Sullivan, sworn - I left this creek on  second October last, with a warrant for the arrest of the prisoner.  he was given in my charge at Yale on the 8th.  After passing Cornwall's ranch, he asked me who made the charge against him.  I told him he would find that out when he got to the creek; he said he could tell me who it was, and named Moses, the barber; as he had asked him several times concerning a man named Blessing, he got vexed with Moses, and told him he was not the man's keeper.  He also said he had plenty money when he came on the creek, but went through on the hurdies. He said he left Quesnelmouth alone, but overtook a Frenchman.

   George Gartley, sworn - Came from San Francisco last spring with Blessing.  He wore a gold specimen pin, which I now identify.  Think the two pins were connected by a small chain; he valued it much, as it had been dug out of the mines by himself.

Cross-examined - I have seen many specimens, but none like the one produced.

   Frederick Dibble, sworn - Prisoner worked with me last summer; we had a conversation about the hudies, with whom he had been dancing.  He showed me two pins, one of which I now identify, and said that they wanted them.

   Thomas Barry, sworn - Was interested in the dancing saloon at Cameronton last year.  Have seen prisoner in my saloon frequently; I charged him a dollar for each dance; can't say how much he paid me in June.  He sometimes got credit; did not give him credit at first.

   George Baker and Mr. Coombs were called for the defence, to show that prisoner was at work for them in the month of June, but failed to prove whether it was in June, July or August.

   This closed the case, the prisoner bringing no further exculpatory evidence.

   Mr. Robertson, in an able speech, addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner, and was followed by the prosecuting attorney, but our space will not permit us to give their speeches in detail.

   The judge summed up the evidence in a clear and lucid manner, pointing out the law governing such cases, and left the case in the hands of the jury, who, after deliberating for an hour, brought in a verdict of "guilty," against the prisoner.

   The prisoner was then  remanded till tomorrow for sentence.

Tuesday, 2nd July, 1867.

The court met this morning at ten o'clock, when the prisoner, Nikel Palsk, was arraigned for the murder of John Morgan.  The charge having been interpreted to him by Mr. E. Dewdney, who was sworn as interpreter, he plead "not guilty."  A jury, composed of the following gentleman, was then empannelled:

   Wm. Meacham, foreman, Jonah Williams, J. Mcnerhaine, A. Ward, John Endt, William Rennie, Charles Fredden, Duncan Cameron, H. Edwards, William Brunton, Alfred Lewis, James Ellison.

   Mr. G. A. Walkem, at the request of the judge, appeared for the prisoner.

   Mr. Walker opened the case for the prosecution, and called the following witnesses:

   John Grant, sworn - Knew Morgan when he was alive; saw him last alive about the first November, 1865.  Saw his body in a house at Sida creek, after it was brought in; I identified it.  Thought, on examining the body, that he had been shot on the left side, although there were holes on the right side; there was a wound near the ear, as if inflicted by a sharp instrument, and also one on the top of the head.  Morgan was going down country.

   John H. Sullivan, sworn - On the seventh November, 1865, I found the dead body of a man near Soda creek; it was lying about one hundred and ninety yards from the 172 mile post, and about sixty yards from the wagon road.  I partially examined it on that day, and found the head crushed in; there was also a cut on the ear, running through to the skull; next day I examined it more closely, and discovered a gunshot wound on each side of the body.  Found no money or valuables on the body; saw a leather watch guard cut near to where the watch should have been. 

   I attended the inquest, which was held at Sida creek on the eighth.  The jury brought in a verdict that deceased was murdered

   Chil-Pecken, the accomplice of the prisoner who gave Queen's evidence, was sworn through the interpreter and said, I know about the murder of a white man two years ago.  Prisoner got a musket and a bottle of liquor at Quesnelmouth and we both went on down the river and slept at a siwash house that night; got up next morning and went on, after getting a hatchet at the siwash house; we came to where a white man was sitting, eating; prisoner told me twice he would kill him, and I said no; we both went on again and found the same man sitting by the road.  I had whisky and asked the man to take some but he refused.  Shortly after I saw the prisoner point his gun  at the man; I was afraid and went back a little; prisoner said what are you afraid of; then prisoner fired his musket and shot the man in the back but did not kill him; the man got his blankets and ran off; prisoner loaded his gun again and we both went after the man, he looked round and the prisoner fired a second time, the man fell and prisoner told me to kill him with the small axe and I did so; we hauled the body a short distance off; we took a $10 note, a gold watch and a specimen from the body.  The watch was in the blankets.  We both went to Mrs. Ritchie's, at Canoe creek, and prisoner sold the watch to her for $5.50 and the specimen for $2.50.  The first shot was in the back and the second in the breast.

Cross-examined. - I have not been promised my liberty to give evidence against the prisoner.

   W. H. Fitzgerald, sworn - Went to Mrs. Richie's, Canoe creek, on 23rd Nov., 1865 (being shown a gold watch and specimen) I identify them as those I received from her at that time; they remained in my possession till last May.  I arrested prisoner on Thompson river in 1865, I showed him at that time the watch and specimen, and he recognized them and said he bought the watch from an Indian and the specimen from a Spaniard and sold both to a woman at Canoe creek.

   E. Hodgens sworn - Was a watchmaker on this creek in 1866; identify the watch produced as one I repaired for John Morgan in 1865.

Cross-examined - Have got the number of the watch in my book; can swear to the watch, could not do so without referring to the number.

   This concluded the evidence for the prosecution and the prisoner having no testimony to adduce, Mr. Walkem went over the whole of the evidence, pointing out the defective links and urging the jury to give the prisoner the benefit of any doubt that might exist in their minds as to his guilt.  Mr. Walker followed in a speech of some length, in which he reviewed the evidence, drawing the special attention of the jury to the strong circumstantial evidence against the prisoner, corroborated as it was by the direct evidence of his accomplice and white man, and concluded by asking for a conviction  against the prisoner.

   His honor the Chief Justice explained the law regulating cases like the present, and summed up the testimony adduced in a very learned manner, cautioning the jury not to place much dependence on the statements of the accomplice unless they were fully borne out by other evidence.

   The court then adjourned, so as to allow the jury to deliberate.  After a lapse of a quarter of an hour, the jury returned a verdict of "guilty," against the prisoner.

   The prisoner, Nikel Palsk, was asked if he had anything to say, why sentence should not be passed on him, and answered "no."

   The prisoner, Barry, was then brought forward, and asked the same question; when he answered that he had nothing to say, further than that he never committed the murder of which he was charged.  When asked if he had any statement to make, he said, "I never remember travelling with any stranger until I got to the 13-mile house; the stranger over-took me there.  The witness Stark came up afterwards; we started out together; Stark and his companions went on.  I travelled three quarters of a mile with the stranger, and then parted with him, and have not seen him since.  I admit that Gannon saw me alongside a camp fire, but when I got there I found two men there, and after resting a little, I went off.  I passed three or four Chinaman on the road, and came on to Van Winkle that night.  This is all the statement I have to make."

   The judge then addressed the prisoner, Barry, who still maintained the same stolid indifference which he manifested throughout the whole trial, and said, "I concur with the verdict of the jury; it is one given after due consideration of the whole circumstances.  It is a matter of extreme importance to have to decide on a matter of life and death.  The longer the jury considered the evidence, the more thoroughly were they convinced of your guilt.  It is clear that you started with the murdered man from Quesnelmouth; that you knew he had money; that you were penniless; that you were seen at the 13-mile house in his company; and again seen with him a short distance from the spot where the body was afterwards found, that the man was never more seen alive.  You had money when you came on the creek; you were in possession of a nugget belonging to the murdered man, which you disposed of to a witness, which has not been produced.  You are found in possession of a weapon that would produce the crime.

   I can no more doubt your guilt, than if I had been an eye-wiriness to it.  I have no doubt you seduced your victim to leave the road, and then  perpetrated the crime, and that you did it for the sake of booty, the most sordid of all motives; that you revelled for months on the proceeds, and then left; that you gave a false name when apprehended.  You have given no explanation regarding the nugget, and none as to the disappearance of Blessing; you have appeared perfectly indifferent.  It has been proved that you did not work, nor do anything to get money.  It is impossible to conceive a crime more wanton or atrocious than that which you have committed.  I can offer you no hope of mercy.

   Beside you stands a man with n o common tie of blood or color, who slew a man, actuated with the like pernicious avarice; the same fate that dogged your footsteps awaits him; you have both dyed your hands in blood, and must both suffer the same fate.  The law for the savage as well as the Christian is death for death.  My painful duty now is to pass the last sentence of the law on you both; ...

   Neither of the prisoners seemed in the least affected by the awful sentence pronounced.  On the contrary, Barry seemed to make light of his position, to judge from his expression to the crowd assembled around the door of the court house, when he told them to "clear the ranks," and let him pass.



FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Monday evening 15th inst., an accident occurred on the Esquimalt road, causing the death of J. T. Pidwell, Esq.  Mr. Pidwell, it appears, who was on horseback, was riding at a rapid pace, and the wind blowing fresh raised a cloud of dust, rendering it difficult to perceive objects on the road and Mr. Pidwell's horse ran at full speed against a carriage.  The horse fell and its unfortunate rider was thrown out of the saddle with great violence, and his head coming in contract with one of the front wheels of the carriage was shockingly fractured.  Mr. Pidwell never spoke after the accident, and died in about an hour.  An inquest was held and the jury returned a verdict of "accidental death."  Mr. Pidwell, who came to this colony early in  1858, was a native of Cornwall, England.  He was Superintendent for the Victoria Road Commission at the time of his death.  He leaves a widow and a large family of children, most of whom are provided for. - B. Colonist.



[From the Daily Bulletin, Aug. ??th. 1868]

Chas. Heidenger, wife committed suicide cut throat razor; left half column blanked out



FATAL FIRES.  -  Yesterday a Chinaman arrived in Barkerville with news to the effect that ten Chinamen had been burned to death by forest fires.  Thirteen Chinamen had been working on a creek which empties into Quesnel river, and the forest around them took fire and only three of them escaped.  Two of these were badly burned, and the one who managed to escape unhurt did so b y lying down in the water of the creek until the fire decreased in fury.  It appears that a huge fire, stretching along both banks of the river for several miles, it is said, took place on Tuesday last, and as there were at least a hundred and fifty Chinamen mining at different points along the river, it is probable that of this number many have been burned.  About forty Chinamen had left their diggings and taken refuge at Quesnelmouth.  Kwong Lee & Co. intend sending some men to the disaster. ...


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 11 August 1869


On Saturday the inhabitants of Barkerville were pained to learn that an accident has happened in the Columbia shaft, William creek, by which John Mclaren had been covered with sand and tailings to such a depth that there was little hope of his being brought out alive. ...


On Saturday Coroner Lee held an inquest over the body, when the following persons were sworn as jurors:  Jas. D. Loring (foreman); Hugh Gilmore, W. Alexander, J. Dunn, G. Galor, John Parker, J. Cummings, W. Willey, J. Murray, W. Clark, H. Anderson and Alex. McDonald.

   After examining the body, the inquest was adjourned till Monday, when George Kerney was sworn and testified as follows:

   I lowered deceased down the  Columbia shaft, on William creek, on the 7th August, between eight and nine o'clock, a.m.; he went to put in some centre boards in the shaft, and when he struck two or three blows the dirt slid on top of him; the shaft had only one side cleaned out; the shaft was sunk in 1863 or 1864; he thought there was no danger; did not know that any of the centre boards were wanting till he went down; I do not think the accident can be attributed to anyone; I think there was no stint, and we could use our own judgment about cleaning out the shaft; we spoke about it and did not think it necessary; Joseph Evans had no say in it; he has not been down there for some time; I think it was purely by accident John McLaren was killed; I was on top alone when the accident took place; it was about an hour before he was got out; he was dead when he was hoisted up; he died, I think, from suffocation; Dr. Bell and Dr. Carrall were present and pronounced him dead; the centre boards are sound; the centre boards were pushed away; we only cleaned out one side; did not think it necessary to clean the other.

   Alexander A. Robertson, sworn - Have seen the deceased; recognized him to be my cousin, John McLaren, a native of Glengarry county, Canada West; he has some interest in the Ballarat and some in the Adams company; he had $15.10 on him when I searched his pockets; the Freemasons took charge of his papers, by George Grant, of the Bank of British North America, and John Brace; he had, by last accounts, a father and mother living in Canada.

   The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 25 August 1869

FATAL ACCIDENT. - On the 20th inst., Frank Roberts, the mate of the steamer Victoria, accidentally fell overboard and was d owned.  A boat was lowered immediately he fell into the river, but he could not be found. The accident happened at Spanish Riffle, about two miles below Quesnelmouth, where the current is very swift. ...Mr. Roberts leaves a wife and three children at Quesnelmouth, whither he had recently brought them from the lower country.  He was a powerful man and a good swimmer, but he did not rise to the surface after falling into the river.



DEATH AND INQUEST. - On Wednesday night a Chinaman who was employed by the Jenkins Company, on Stout gulch, fell down the shaft of the mine and died shortly after.  It appears that he was about to descend the shaft and his foot slipped out of the loop.  Losing his hold of the rope by the sudden jerk thus caused, he fell to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of 50 feet.  Two of his countrymen were at the windlass at the time.  An inquest was held on Thursday by Dr. Bell, and a verdict returned in accordance with the accidental nature of the fatal occurrence.



FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Wednesday afternoon a miner named Jules H. Franklin fell down the shaft of the Perseverance co.'s claim on Mink gulch, and was killed.  No one saw how the accident occurred.  The deceased had been engaged at the hoisting gear and was alone at the time.  The shaft is 100 feet deep.  P. O'Harrigan, Henry Brown and Jas. Knight were in the diggings, and on the latter hearing sounds as of something having fallen down the shaft, hurried to the shaft and found poor Franklin almost dead.  In a few moments thereafter the unfortunate young man died.  The men in the diggings shouted for help, but it was half an hour after the accident occurred before assistance came, and the men and deceased were hoisted up the shaft.  James Campbell, who was resting in a cabin close to the Perseverance claim, having been working on the night shift, first saw that something was  wrong by the jerking of the rope, and immediately called William Jones and Jarvis to ascertain what was the matter.  It is supposed that Franklin lost his balance while endeavoring to land the bucket and was drawn into the shaft.  Deceased was a native of Jersey, one of the English Channel Islands, but was reared in London, whither his parents removed and settled while he was a child. [Biography.] He was a few months over 23 years of age, and was buried yesterday in the Cameronton cemetery.  At the request of the Jewish residents, the Rev. Mr. Derrick attended the funeral, and the service at the grave consisted in the reading of portions from the Old Testament and an address suitable to the sudden death and afflictive occasion. ...




Nine men arrived at Quesnelmouth on Saturday last from Vital creek with news from the new mines, and also some particulars relating to a fatal accident which had occurred near the mouth of Bear river.


It will be remembered that a few parties left William creek for Omineca, proceeding in boats by way of Bear river.  The first boat - Laidlaw & Co. - descended the river [?????], and when last heard from were on the way to Vital creek, being the first or second boating party in the spring migration up Stu [???] river for Omineca.  Another party, comprising of James and Andrew Christie, Wm. Love, Jacob Hough and T. Thistlewaite, were not so fortunate, the three latter having been drowned.  The Christie brothers were met on Lake Tatlah, about forty miles from the Landing, but some of the men who have returned to Quesnelmouth, and were on their way to Vital creek.  The particulars of the fatal accident are reported as follows:

   Christie & Co., in company with McArthur & Co., of grouse creek, were going down Bear river, and came to a riffle, which the McArthur boat successfully passed.  One of the Christie and another of the party had gone ahead of the two boats in a canoe piloting the way and cutting out driftwood, etc.  After McArthur & Co. had passed the riffle they lay to for the purpose of waiting for the Christie boat and to watch the passage of the latter.  The Christie boat, which was heavily laden, struck, it is supposed, on a rock and began to sink.  As soon as the MacArthur party observed what had happened they quickly unloaded their boat and plied up stream for the purpose of rendering assistance to the men, who were b y this time struggling in the water, two of them swimming well.  Christie got hold of a roll of blankets, which supported him and enabled McArthur & Co. to pick him up.  One of the men (Love) sank with the boat and was not seen afterwards.  The body of Hough was subsequently found on a bar. .......




On Sunday last an Indian woman named Lucy Bones was found dead in her bed in a cabin opposite the St. Saviour's Church, Barkerville.  An inquest was held on the following day by Dr. Bell, when the following particulars came out on examination as to the cause of death:

   Tom, an Indian, saw Lucy about 1 or 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon.  She was in bed with a white man and her arm was under his head.  He (witness) at once told the Siwashes who were in his room at the time that Lucy was dead, and he went to Chief Constable Lindsay and told him.  He knew the white man at sight.

   Swap-shin - Saw Lucy alive on Saturday night; she was washing clothes in her house; she did not complain of being sick; saw her again on Sunday about 9 o'clock; she was drunk abed; a white man was with her, and her arm was under his head; knew the white man; Siwash Charley was also in the room; saw Lucy again at midday; she was dead.

   Andrew Kelly - Heard a noise on Sunday morning; it seemed to proceed from Lucy Bones' cabin; didn't go near the cabin because the Siwashes were in the habit of making noises; between one and two o'clock was told that Lucy Bones was dead; gave information to Constable Bowron l didn't see any white man in the cabin; the noise was like that of a drunken woman.

   J. W. Scott - On Saturday evening saw Lucy Bones from my cabin, which is opposite that of Lucy; she was hanging out clothes; on returning from work on Sunday morning at 1 ½ a.m. heard a good deal of noise in Lucy's cabin; spoke to one of them named Charlie; asked him if Lucy was drunk; he said she was hi-you drunk all night; asked him if a white man slept in Lucy's cabin the night before; told me no; asked him if a white man was there in the morning; told me no; he said Lucy was at home alone; he didn't say she was dead, but hi-you drunk; between 4 and 5 p.m. on Sunday went into Lucy's cabin and saw her dead in bed saw no blood or marks of violence.

   Charlie, an Indian - On Saturday night Lucy was ironing; I was in the house, when a white man came and asked to sleep there; Lucy demanded money; the white man said he had none; Lucy told him it was very good if he would get some cocktails; he went and got one bottle; about midnight he went and got another bottle; I slept on the table; Lucy and the white man slept in the bed; the white man slept until midday when he rose; I didn't hear any quarrel or high words between them; Lucy shouted a good deal, but it was from the effects of whiskey; I had no idea she was going to die or I would have told the white man.

   Charles Hughes - Had been drinking on Saturday night; about 10 o'clock went to Lucy Bones' cabin; she was crying and drunk; said she had a sick tum-tum because she had lost her tillicum at Sida creek; after a while I told her I wanted to sleep with her; she told me she wanted some whiskey and I replied that she had had enough and I would not get it for her; I went away; she told me I might come bye-and-bye; I returned about two o'clock; she was pretty drunk; I went to sleep and in the morning I awoke and she was crying again; she got out of bed, went out, and came back to bed; Siwash Charlie was in the room; I went to sleep again; when I woke up there were some Siwashes knocking at the door; they came in and sat down; I told them to clear out as I was going to get up and dress; they wanted me to give them whiskey; I told them I would not do it, they all went out but one, a relation of Lucy; after I got up and dressed Siwash Charlie came in; about noon I went away, leaving the woman asleep in her bed; didn't send for any whiskey; had no quarrel with her; she said she intended to be drunk for three or four days.

   Hudson Bay Charlie - About 12 o'clock on Sunday, when taking a walk, Swap Chin and I went over to see Lucy; through the key-hole of the back door saw an Indian and a white man; opened the door and went in; I shook Lucy and asked her if she was drunk; she screamed; I told the white man to out his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming; he did so; I went away; didn't see her dead till six in the evening; didn't think she was sick - only drunk.

   The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Death caused by intemperance."


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 5 November 1870


A Chinese restaurant-keeper in Barkerville was stabbed early on Thursday morning at his own door, and we give below the particulars as elicited at the Coroner's Inquest.

   Jean Boulanger alias John Baker, the party implicated according to the Chinese testimony, was brought before Mr. Ball yesterday, and after hearing a great deal of evidence similar to that adduced at the inquest, the case was adjourned till today.

   Mr. Boulanger is a native of France and well known in Cariiboo as proprietor of a farm near Quesnelmouth and dealer in agricultural produce.  He bears an excellent character, and has always been much respected by the entire community.


An inquest was held on Thursday last, at the Theatre Royal, Barkerville, before the Coroner for the district, Dr. bell, to inquire into the death of Ah Mow, a Chinaman, who was found stabbed fatally on the same morning.

   The following jury was empannelled:- W. J. Jeffree (foreman), John Thorne, A. McNaughton, F. Bissonnette, B. Van Volkenburgh, J. J. Cowley, J. L Crimp, Thomas Jones, A. Monroe, W. W. Dodd, J. G. Bastedo, J. G. Goodson, and A. D. McInnes.

   The Jury, accompanied by the Coroner, proceeded to view the body of deceased, and on retuning proceeded to hear the evidence.  Hon. Mr. Walkem appeared to watch the interests of the accused.

   Ah On, sworn. - last night, about 2:30 o'clock, I was on the street of Chinatown, Barkerville, outside of Tie Loy's house; I saw John Baker and a Chinaman; the Chinaman shouted murder; I started to John Baker; I say, John Baker, you kill this Chinaman? he say, Yes, sir - you G-d d-n s-n of a b---h; I say, all right, Mr. John Baker; I was about 9 feet distant from Baker and the Chinaman; I ran to them, thinking it was a fight; I saw Baker with a knife in his hand and blood on it, Baker was kneeling down about a foot and a half from Ah Mow; did not see them fight; I saw Baker kill the latter; first him kill above collar bone with knife; Ah Mow hollered before he was dead, after he had been struck; Ah Mow hollered murder; he was dead in about 5 minutes; Baker struck him with a knife; one kill on belly; Baker ran down the street; I ran after him for a constable.

   By the Foreman - Was it dark at the time?

   Witness - yes.

   By the Foreman - Did you see baker strike the Chinaman?

   Witness - Yes: I saw him lift his hand and strike; he had a knife in his hand about four inches ling; I saw blood on the knife; I did not have the knife in my hand; the snow on the ground made it not very dark; the knife was like a butcher's knife; it was not a clasp knife; would not shut; sure.

   By Mr. Walkem, showing a pocket knife - Was it like this?

   Witness - No.

   How did you get that scratch on your cheek?

   Witness - when I ran down the street after the constable I fell down; my foot slipped and something cut my face.

   Could Ah Mow speak English?

   Witness - No; he didn't know how to speak English at all; he did not live with me; he lived in the boarding house on the opposite side of the street; I saw no Chinamen fighting last night.

   By Mr. Walkem (showing several knives) - Which knife was the knife like?

    Witness - Like this one (picking one about 8 inches long).

   Was there blood on your face when you fell?

   Witness - No; I fell and something cut my face.

   Ah Ling was then examined through an interpreter.  Last night, about two o'clock, was in Chinatown, on the sidewalk at the restaurant house; saw one white man kill a Chinaman with a knife in the neck and bowels; the Chinaman's name was Ah Mow; the white man's name is John Baker; he was three doors off or about ten feet; went into the house immediately; saw Ah Mow fall down.

   J. W. Ellison,  sworn - Was in Mrs. Parker's saloon last night; John Baker was there, Mr. Lennon, Mr. Jenkins and others; some of the gentlemen went away; two Chinamen came in about half an  hour or 20 minutes after; one said he was looking for a constable, as there was a Chinaman murdered in Chinatown; I started directly and went up to where the deceased was; he appeared to be dead; the body was in a house; met no one as I was going; I think Ah On is the Chinaman who came to the saloon; there were some spots of blood on his face; I think it was after two o'clock when Baker left Mrs. Parker's. 

   J. Lindsay, Chief Constable - Went into Parker's saloon with Mr. Walkem about half-past 11 last night; John Baker came in afterwards, and Mr. Walkem asked him where he had been as he had been looking for him; I left about 1:30 along with Mr. Walkem and Baker; when I got to Baker's door, opposite Manetta's, I told Baker to go to bed and he said he would; after getting up street about 100 yards, looked back to see if he had gone in, and saw him in the street opposite his own door; went home, and in about an hour Judge Ball came and  awoke me, and told me a Chinaman had been murdered, and that a big Chinaman had accused John Baker; came down immediately and saw a dead Chinaman; went into Baker's house but he was not there; went to Cunio's saloon and found him asleep; searched his pockets and found the knife now produced in his coat pocket; the knife (a large clasp one) was wet and clogged with tobacco; took his coat, now produced; there was blood on the sleeve, between the elbow and the wrist; I arrested him; he was in good spirits; he had been drinking, but was not very drunk; considered him compos mentis; before leaving Parker's, he asked one of the children to take a ride with him next day; there was no blood on the knife; could not say if the blood stains on the coat were fresh or not; Baker was very quiet and good-natured on leaving the saloon, and said every one knows I would hurt nobody; I had told him previously I arrested him, on suspicion of murder, and warned him to say nothing which would criminate him; Chinatown was quiet when I passed on my way home.

   Dr. J. Chipp, sworn - Examined body of deceased to-day; on removing clothes found an incised wound at the scapular end of the clavicle, about one and a-quarter inches in length, extending from without inwards; made an incision in the usual way, drew back skin and found that the sub-clavian artery was divided by a  clean incision; the wound extended two or three inches behind the sternum; there was no other wound on the body; I attributed death to the division of the artery; death must have been nearly instantaneous; the wound must have been inflicted by some sharp instrument; cannot give an opinion whether it was inflicted by himself or another party; think a knife or poniard was used; do not think the knife found on Baker was the weapon; I doubt if it could have divided the vessel in the manner in which it was done.

   Ah Ling, examined through a fresh interpreter - Was about 10 feet from Ah Mow when he was killed; he fell down when Baker struck him; came out of the house to go to the restaurant; when he saw the parties Baker was about ten feet away from the Chinaman Baker ran away; Ah Mow said nothing when he was struck; went to Ah Mow, who was lying down; he was dead when I reached him; saw no one outside but Baker and Ah Mow; called some Chinamen and carried Ah Mow into the house; did not see a knife in Baker's hand.

   Robert Smith, sworn - About half-past two this morning was in the St. George Saloon, when a tall Chinaman came into the house, pale and excited, and enquired for a constable; directed him to go to the jail; he said there was a Chinaman up town killed dead; when the Chinamen came into the saloon there was blood on his hands, and I recognize Ah On as the man.

   Sam Pierce and Wm. Roberts were then examined, but no new facts were elicited.

   Ah Sing - Saw Ah On this morning about half-past 1, in the street, opposite the Kwong lee boarding house; asked him what he was doing; he replied, John Baker had killed a Chinaman and he was going to find a policeman; Ah On fell down in the street and cut his face; he fell near Shepherd's shoe shop; saw blood on his face, but did not see any on the snow; saw no blood on his face before falling.

   The Coroner having read over the evidence, the house was cleared to enable the Jury to deliberate, and after deliberating some time they brought in a verdict that deceased came to his death by a knife wound, but that the evidence was not sufficient to say by whose hands it was inflicted.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 12 November 1870


(Before H. M. Ball, Esq., S.M.)

SATURDAY, Nov. 5, 1870.

The examination of Jean Boulanger, alias Baker, charged with the homicide of Ah Mow, was resumed this morning. No new evidence, however, was adduced in addition to that presented at the Coroner's Inquest.  The principal witness, Ah On, was cross examined by Mr. Walkem, counsel for the prisoner, as to the cuts or scratches on his face or forehead; that on the face he persisted in saying was caused by a fall, and that on the forehead he asserted was received while shaving himself on the evening prior to the fatal occurrence.

   Mr. Walkem, addressing the Court, remarked that from the nature of the evidence the Magistrate unfortunately had no option except to commit his client for trial.  He, however, offered to produce evidence contradicting some of the statements made by Ah On, in order to show their general liability.

   Mr. Ball stated it would be unnecessary to produce any evidence except as to prisoner's character, which in the present instance would be superfluous, as he was well acquainted with him himself for years, and he deeply regretted the painful duty he had to perform, which was to commit Baker for trial at the next sitting of the Supreme Court.  He then informed the prisoner that he might either make any statement he pleased now, which would, however, be taken down in writing and might be used against him at his trial, or reserve his defence.  The prisoner, advised by his counsel, chose the latter alternative.

   Mr. Walkem then moved that the prisoner be admitted to bail, and commented briefly upon the improbability of the story told by the Chinese witnesses.

   Mr. Ball stated that under the circumstances he should take bail.  It would be requisite, however, that the bail should be commensurate with the nature of the offence and not the individual charged.  He would, therefore, fix the bail at $5000, in two sureties of $2500 each.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 14 January 1871


From the Mainland Guardian we learn that a fatal accident occurred at Saint Mary's Mission, above New Westminster, on 17th Dec., whereby the Rev. Father Lamure met his death by the accidental discharge of as gun in the hands of brother Ryan.  It appears that both parties went to look after a pig that was trespassing on some land a short distance from the Mission.  They started to run a race, and Father Lamure got a short distance in front of his companion, when the cock of the gun caught in the brush, thus discharging it.  The whole charge entered the calf of the deceased's leg, and passing between the bones, severed the principal arteries.  Death resulted from loss of blood.  An inquest was held and a verdict returned of accidental shooting.




We regret exceedingly to announce the painful news received by telegraph of the accidental death of Dr. A. W. S. Black, of New Westminster, who was found dead on the road between that city and Burrard Inlet, having, it appears been thrown from his horse.  Dr. Black came to this colony from Australia, and has left many friends in Cariboo, where he resided in 1863 and 1864. .....




On Sunday last quite an excitement was created in Barkerville by the rumor that the dead body of a child had been found in William creek, near Cameronton - a circumstance of astonishment in Cariboo where children are so scarce.  On inquiry it was ascertained that a Mexican had discovered the body, which was much decomposed, especially the head, and from its condition it was impossible to arrive at any conclusion as to its genealogy, but the general supposition is that it was either of Chinese or Indian origin, and it is altogether probable that it had been buried in tailings during the winter and washed down the creek during the recent high water.

   On Monday an inquest was held by the Coroner, Dr. T. Bell, and the following Jury was empannelled: Messrs. R. J. Skinner (foreman), G. L. Shepherd, James Mitchell, F. Perret, L. Wilde, J. D. Keating, J. E. Nicholson, B. Van Volkenburgh, S. P. Parker, B. R. Davies, J. Rosenberg, Thos. Gall.

   From the evidence of D. R. McDonell and Jesus Almado it appeared that on Sunday, about noon, Almada had first seen the body among the tailings in the creek, a short distance below Cameronton.  He immediately went to McDonell's cabin and told him of the fact.  The latter then went and informed the Coroner and authorities.  The legs and arms were tolerably perfect; the head was much broken, as if from being washed against rocks, and witnesses could give no opinion as to what race the child had belonged to.

   The Jury returned a verdict that the body was that of an unknown male infant which had been found in William creek, but that there was no means of ascertaining whether or not it had been born alive, or, if so, how it came by its death.




Wm. Sooby, who was injured by a cave in the San Juan claim on the 13th inst., and was taken to the hospital last week, died on Wednesday night from the shock to his nervous system and fever resulting from the internal injuries received.  An inquest was held on Thursday before dr. T. Bell, Coroner.  Messrs. T. Pottere, J. Fletcher and J. Naismith testified to having been some distance off when the accident occurred.  They immediately went to the assistance of deceased, and the dirt under which he was buried was with difficulty removed.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.  Mr. Sooby was a native of Hull, England, where he was respectably connected.  He had resided for several years in Cariboo, and was about 45 years of age.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 19 August 1871

The steamer Douglas, from Nanaimo, brings news that the steamer Emily Harris, with 70 tons coal for Victoria, had blown up, and that Captain Frain, a white passenger from the quarry, and the Chinese cook had been lost.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 7 October 1871


On Thursday a man named Charles Brown, a native of Sweden, working in the hydraulic claim of Sharp & Co., Cunningham creek, was struck on the head by a rock falling from the bank.  A messenger was at once dispatched to William creek for medical assistance, and Dr. Bell immediately started over on horseback, but the unfortunate man had breathed his last before his arrival.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 21 October 1871

Quesnelmouth, October 20. - The dead body of John Duhaig was found this morning by Mr. E. C. Neufelder in a water-closet.  The body was taken home, and awaits the arrival of Dr. Reevor to hold an inquest.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 28 October 1871

CORONER'S INQUEST. - Sida Creek, October 24. - A Coroner's Inquest was held to-day on the body of Antoine Malboeuf, who was found shot near Alexandria on 3d September.  The body having been exhumed a minute examination was made by the Coroner, Dr. Trevor.  Several witnesses testified that the deceased had repeatedly stated that he would shoot himself, and the position of the body, gun and ran rod having been shown, a verdict was returned of "Felo de se."


CARIBOO SENTINEL, [21 June 1873] 13 August 1872

Murder of two Indian women; inquest.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 18 January 1873

Yale, Jan. 17. - At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon a man named David Oney was found dead in his room by a man, who immediately gave the alarm.  It is thought he had been dead some time when found.  An inquest will be held this afternoon.  Oney formerly owned an interest in the ferry at Quesnel.

Yale, Jan. 17, 4 p.m. - An inquest was held on the body of the late David Oney this afternoon.  A verdict was rendered in accordance with the evidence of Dr. Foster, that deceased came by his death from bursting a blood-vessel in the lungs.



SUDDEN DEATH. - On Monday night last a miner named David Heenan, employed in the Spruce claim on Lightning Creek, died like a good man and true at his post.  He was working in one of the drifts when he broke a blood-vessel.  He was assisted to the shaft by Mr. A. Macdonald, which he reached with great difficulty, and died before reaching the surface.  The Coroner held an inquest on the body, and the jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes. The remains were brought to Barkerville on Wednesday and interred in the cemetery at Cameronton.  The deceased, who was well known as a skilful miner, was much respected, and his death is deeply regretted by all who know him.



New Westminster, March 23. - J. C. Dieter, who was robbed and knocked down night before last, committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor this morning at 1 o'clock.  It appears his brother-in-law and two other men were sitting up in the kitchen, and they heard a strange noise in the bedroom where Dieter was sleeping alone, and when they went in found him about expiring and a razor under his arm.  A Coroner's inquest sat on the body this morning.

New Westminster, March 25 - The jury on the inquest held on the body of J. C. Dieter, after listening to the examination for a whole day, gave the following verdict" That J. C. Dieter committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor while laboring under a fit of temporary insanity, caused by a shot in the head by some party or parries unknown."

   It is generally thought here that Dieter was not robbed at all, but in a fit of insanity took the money off in the woods and shot himself.  An oyster can containing his gold watch and $43 was found at the side of a stump covered with moss and bark.  According to his books he should have about $1000 - $700 of his own and $320 deposited for safe-keeping. The hat and pistol which he usually kept behind the bar are missing and have not yet been found.  It is supposed they will be found in the woods somewhere near where he was found trying to make his way to town.  The bullet taken out of his head was quite flattened.  The affair has caused a great deal of excitement.




Victoria, May 6. - The schooner Surprise Capt. Christensen arrived from the West coast on Friday night.  About thirty days ago the Indians found the body of a white man on the beach.  It was that of a young man, with light curly hair, and had only a pair of trowsers.  The natives buried the remains.  It is thought to have been from the wreck of the Wright.

   Alfred Jones, aged about 50, a native of the United States, was found dead in his bed yesterday afternoon.  The Coroner's jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.



DROPPED DEAD. - On Tuesday evening last the dead body of a Chinaman was found lying on the trail on Grouse creek, about 1000 feet above Rogers' store.  The poor fellow had a stove strapped on his back, and had apparently dropped dead from exhaustion.  An inquest over the body was held by the Coroner on Thursday, and the jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.




WEDNESDAY, June 11, 1873

REGINA vs. TOMMY (AN Indian,) - The prisoner was indicted for the wilful murder of two Indian woman at Omineca in August 1872.

   Mr. Davie appeared for the Crown.

   The chief points against the prisoner proved in evidence given by John Grant, W. H. Robertson, Ira Crow, John Latimer, E. Page and Charles Seymour were as follows:

   The two women were found dead in Kildare gulch on the 13th August, having wounds upon their heads likely to produce death and apparently inflicted by some sharp instrument.  They had been robbed.  The prisoner was seen in their company on three occasions on the 9th August, the day on which the women were last seen alive, and was seen going off into the woods with them.  He was seen the day previously to his going off with the women, with a hatchet in his possession.  A hatchet was afterwards found under the root of a willow tree near to the place where the women were found, and not far from the place where the prisoner was seen with his Indian wife after he had gone off with the deceased.  A tin can taken by the prisoner from Ira Crow's house, but the taking of which the prisoner denied, was also found near the same place.  On the 9th August the prisoner's trowsers were observed to be tucked up, and on the day of the inquest, the 13th August, they were examined, and when unrolled what appeared to be blood stains were found upon them.  Similar appearances were found upon his undershirt and overshirt.  Money was taken from the Indian women according to the admission of the prisoner, who says that he found one dead and the other dying.  The prisoner denied all knowledge of the charge and pleaded not guilty.

   No counsel appearing for the prisoner, the Chief Justice watched the case, and in remarks on his behalf his Lordship pointed out that the hatchet found was not identified as the one in the possession of the prisoner; that any one may have put the hatchet where it was found; that, if the prisoner committed the deed, he would be unlikely to have put the hatchet where any one could find it, and that it had no blood stains upon it.  That though there was water hard by with which the hatchet might have been washed, it was unlikely that blood stains could be washed from wood.  As regards the stains on the prisoner's clothing, there was no evidence that they were blood stains, or if so the stains of human blood, and the prisoner may have got them upon him by passing through the slaughter yard, which was not far from where the prisoner had been on the 9th August.  In conclusion, his Lordship said the case for the Crown virtually was: ---These women have been murdered.  Who could it be but the prisoner?  On the other hand, the prisoner said: - True, the women have been murdered.  I did not do it, and you have not proved I did it.

   The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

THURSDAY, June 12.

REGINA vs. TOMMY. P-0 The prisoner, who before had been acquitted of the charge of murder above stated, was now indicted for stealing money from the bodies of the Indian women found murdered at Omineca, and pleaded not guilty. ...The Jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to two years; imprisonment with hard labor.




An inquest was held on Tuesday evening at Lowhee Creek by Coroner Dr. Thomas Bell and a jury over the body of Thomas Howells, who was killed on the morning of that day by falling down the Calaveras Co.'s shaft.  It appears from the evidence that the accident was the result of the deceased's carelessness, and that no blame can be attached to the man at the hoisting gear.  The poor fellow was a native of Wales, aged about 38 years, and was a steady, industrious man.  Death was almost instantaneous, as he fell head first down the shaft, a distance of 75 feet.

   Ah Vawn, a Chinaman, sworn: - Was at the bottom of the shaft at a quarter to 12 on the 8th; saw a man come down the shaft head first; I was close to the bottom of the shaft; called John Gullixon.

   John Gullixon, sworn: - Was down in the drive of the Calaveras co. at a quarter to 12 on the 8th; a Chinaman at the bottom of the shaft called to me to come; I went directly and saw Thomas Howells, who I thought was dead; also saw Peter Corr and Jos. St. Lawrence come down the shaft; we then lifted Howells up and found he was dead.

   Peter Corr, sworn:- Was on the platform of the Calaveras shaft at a quarter to 12 on the 8th; heard some one call hoist up; hoisted up Thomas Howells to the platform; he placed one foot on the platform, the other was apparently on the rope; his hand was on the rope; he immediately slipped the rope and fell down the shaft; I was not the usual man at the hoisting gear; I am dump-box man; the work of the hoisting-gear man includes making wedges and keys; I am not a first-rate man at the hoisting gear; upon my oath I did my duty; I consider Howells death was caused by his failure in keeping hold of the rope; never had any orders not to hoist; R. Richard's let me down the shaft directly after the accident; Richards was standing 6 or 8 feet from the hoisting gear; the sling went down with Howells.

   R. Richards, sworn:- At a quarter to 12 I was sharpening a saw about 12 feet from the Calaveras shaft; I saw a man whose name was Thomas Howells coming up the shaft; he put one foot on the platform, the other was in the shaft, his hands on the rope; he tried to swing himself out; he let go of the rope and fell down the shaft; I am hoisting gear man; I consider the hoisting gear properly handled, and the accident happened from the rope slipping out of the ring; I consider Corr quite capable of hoisting a man.

   Joseph St. Lawrence, foreman Calaveras co., sworn:-  I do not consider Corr a capable man at hoisting-gear; never gave Richards orders to employ Corr to hoist; I gave orders for Richards to make wedges and keys; never ordered him to sharpen saws; his duty was to attend to the hoisting-gear before anything else.

   After a short deliberation the Jury returned the following verdict: - "That Thomas Howells came to his death by falling down the Caleveras shaft, having lost his hold of the rope."


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 16 August 1873

Victoria, August 11.

The body of a man was found cast on the beach in front of the grand stand, Beacon Hill.  It was identified as the body of a man named Martin, who escaped from the French Hospital about a week ago.  An inquest was held and a verdict returned in accordance with the facts.

Victoria, August 13.

MAN KILLED - Chilliwack, Aug. 13. - Wm. Bullock, formerly of Victoria, was killed here yesterday by a limb from a tree falling on him, breaking his skull and left arm.  He was engaged in clearing land for Robert Garner at the time of the accident.  He leaves a wife and three children to mourn their loss.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 30 August 1873


Victoria, August 23. - The body of a white man was found floating in the harbor near Craigflower bridge to-day.




An inquest was held at the Barkerville Reading Room on Wednesday evening, 5th inst., to inquire into the cause of the death of Felix Daoust, who met his death in a shaft of the White Pine Company, Conklin Gulch, on the morning of the same day.  After the body had been viewed by the Coroner and Jury, the following evidence was heard:

   John McLean. - Deceased was a share-holder in and foreman of the White Pine co., Conklin gulch; I am also a shareholder in the same company; three men were working in  the claim - myself, deceased, and James Boyce; I work on top; we were engaged in running a drift from the shaft to tap the old tunnel, and had about three feet to go; last seen deceased alive this morning about ten minutes past seven on the platform of the shaft; Boyce had hold of the rope preparing to go down, but deceased instructed him to go and work in the tunnel; I then lowered deceased down the shaft; he was down a few minutes when he sent the bucket up filled with half-burnt wood; asked him how the air was; he replied it was all right, and told me to send down a pick and a candle; I sent them down, and he returned the bucket filled with the remains of the half burnt wood; deceased was then  down the shaft five or six minutes; was about to send the bucket down again when I heard splashing in the water and groans; immediately sent down the rope and shouted to deceased to lay hold of it; got no answer, and ran down the shaft to where Boyce was, shouted for him, but got no answer; then ran to John Tindal's cable [smudged crease] informed him of the accident, and told him to run on to the shaft while I went for further assistance; when I got back to the shaft, Barr, Tindal and Beal were there; they had the rope round Beal, who was going  down; the air was so bad he could not get down; five or six men were then on the platform; I then went down to the other shaft to see after Boyce and when I returned I saw McDermott going down the shaft; he succeeded in getting down and bringing the body up; when the body was landed on the platform I consider that life was extinct; from the first time I heard the groans until the body of Felix Daoust was laid on the platform of the shaft not more than 20 or 25 minutes could have elapsed; the nearest help at hand was about a quarter of a mile distant.

   Henry McDermott. - Last seen Felix Daoust alive about 5.15 this morning; he was passing Mr. Heak's cabin in Conklin gulch at that time; next seen him at the bottom of the White Pine co.'s shaft about an hour and a half afterwards; heard the call for help and ran to the shaft, carrying the alarm to the Ontario claim; on arriving at the shaft found that no one had gone down; I got in the rope and was lowered down; found the air very bad; it seemed impregnated with charcoal gas; found deceased lying face downwards in a pool of water at the bottom of the shaft; a candle would not burn 25 feet down the shaft; put the rope round the body of deceased and we were hauled to the surface; feel satisfied that Daoust was dead when I hid hold of him at the bottom of the shaft; I believe water was thrown down the shaft previous to my going down; consider the air very bad, and no man could have lived in it more than a few minutes; I was down the shaft two or three minutes, and breathed as little of the air as possible; also took the precaution of fastening a cloth around my mouth and nostrils.

   The Coroner complimented Mr. McDermott on his presence of mind and bravery.

   James Boyce. - Last seen Felix Daoust alive about 7.15 this morning; when I next seen him he was dead; this was after he had been taken out of the shaft; had worked the day previous in the shaft in which deceased met his death; considered it unsafe; yesterday, at noon, we were obliged to stop work on account of the bad air; deceased then had a fire of wood made in a bucket and lowered down the shaft, for the purpose, as he said, of driving the foul air out; I considered it unwise, and that it would make the air worse; the shaft is about 52 feet deep, and the drift running from it about 15 feet in length.

   [Ink smudge top left of column.] ... accident arose from bad air, ... that Felix Daoust, who was ... the shaft, was dead; went up as quickly as possible, and saw the body of deceased lying in a cabin; examined the body; saw a wound over the left eye; the respiratory organs were not acting; listened to the heart and there was no rhythm; was satisfied life was extinct; my opinion was that he died from breathing air that was not respirable; examined the wound; it was merely as abrassure, probably caused when he fell.

   The Coroner did not consider it necessary to hear any further evidence, and the Jury after a short deliberation returned a verdict of death through suffocation from foul air.


CONKLIN GULCH. ... White Pine co. are putting in air pipes.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 20 February 1875


A Coroner's Jury was sworn in on Tuesday last, at 11 a.m., by Dr. Chipp (acting as Deputy for the Coroner, who is in a poor state of health), to enquire into the cause of the death of Kim Soon, a Chinaman, who died at Barkerville on the 8th February from the effects of frost.

   After the Jury had been sworn,

   Mr. G. W. Robinson asked the Deputy Coroner if he could appear at the inquest on behalf of the Crown?

   The Deputy Coroner - No; not without you have been empowered to do so.

   Mr. Robinson then asked if he could appear on behalf of the dead Chinaman?

   The Deputy Coroner - Certainly, if his friends have authorized you to do so.

   Mr. Robinson failed to produce authority to act for the deceased, or to show that he had even been asked to do so by deceased's countrymen.  Not at all undaunted, Mr. Robinson then said he would claim to appear in the interests of Humanity.

   The Deputy Coroner said he could not permit the interference of unauthorized and irresponsible parties.

   The first witness - a Chinaman - was then called, but he did not put in an appearance.

   The Deputy Coroner asked if the witness had been subpoenaed?

   The Chief Constable said he had personally served the several subpoenas, but they did not call for the appearance of the witnesses until the following day, the 17th.

   After a few words with the Chief Constable as to the mis-dating of the subpoenas (which had been filled up by the Deputy Coroner himself,) The Deputy Coroner left the room.

   Previous to his departure, several jurymen demanded remuneration from the deputy Coroner for the loss of time occasioned by their unnecessary attendance.

   The Jury then separated of their own accord.


      About two hours afterwards, the Coroner (Dr. Bell) who had managed to come to town, called the same jury together and proceeded with the inquisition.

   It is necessary to state that the inquiry was held on the demand of Mr. G. W. Robinson on the grounds - 1st. That the deceased Chinaman had been inhumanely treated by being confined in the Barkerville lock-up, a place unfit to confine a dog in.  2d. That it was reported the deceased Chinaman had been turned out of the hospital by the physician in charge while in a dangerous state.

   The first witness called was

   Alex. Mouat, sworn. - On the `13th January, at 15 minutes to 8 p.m., I had occasion to go to the back of Neufelder's store, when I saw a man standing at the door of the water-closet spoke to him and told him to get out of the way; he didn't reply, when I caught hold of him and he fell down; the man was drunk; it was very cold; his mitts had fallen off and were lying on the ground; I then went to Neufelder's and told Mr. Edward Neufelder that somebody was behind his house drunk, and he advised me to look for Chief Constable Lindsay; did not find the Constable; I then went to Kwong lee's and took Ah Chong to near where the man was lying; I then went to the engine-house; this was the last I saw of the Chinaman.

   Edward C. Neufelder corroborated Mouat's testimony.

   Jon. Nutt, J.P., sworn. - At the time specified by previous witness Alex. Mouat came to the Library and informed me that a drunken Chinaman was lying on the hill behind Neufelder's and would freeze if he was not taken care of; told him to go to Kelly's hotel, where he would find Lindsay; Mr. Holloway was present at the time, and suggested that it would be better to inform the Chinamen; Mr. Holloway afterwards went out and returned in a few minutes, saying the Chinaman was still lying on the hill; I then immediately went to Kelly's and folium Lindsay; told him a Chinaman was lying in the snow, and that he should go and take care of him.

   G. W. Robinson, sworn. - On the 13th of January last, while in bed, I heard rapping on the jail wall, which is within 122 feet of my house; I spoke to the man who lives in the house with me (Alex. Coutts), and asked him who was in the jail; Coutts told me the Constable had a fire on in the jail and was taking care of the man; about an hour after this I again heard knocking; in the morning, some time before daylight, heard a faint knocking; I met James McMillan in the morning, who asked me if there was not a frozen Chinaman down there; I replied that it was too bad, or something to that effect, to have kept the man on jail on such a cold night.

   Dr. Berll, sworn. - I received a letter from Mr. Bowron, Government Agent [crease in paper] to receive into the Hospital a Chinaman who was frozen, the man on whom the inquest is now being held; I replied that I would take the man for three weeks without charge, and after that would charge $10 per week; I was particular in making this arrangement on account of having been taken in by a Chinese patient last fall; I met the deceased Chinaman on the road as he was being taken to the hospital; about three hours afterwards I saw him in the hospital; when I examined the man in the hospital his legs were mortifying and he was crazy; had I been present when he arrived, I would not have received the man as he was crazy, and I considered it unsafe to have him in the same ward with the other patients;  Mr. Wm. Dixon called at the hospital with milk the day deceased was admitted to the hospital, and I requested him, on his return to town, to call at Kwong lee's and tell him to send a man to help take care of deceased, of which Kwong lee took no notice; this was about 5 p.m. about 7 p.m. I sent my Chinaman to renew the request, and told him to tell Kwong Lee that if he did not comply I would hire a man and charge him $10 a day for his services; the next morning Kwong lee sent two Indians for the msn, with a note stating that on account of it being Chinese New Year, he had not time to come to the hospital himself, and requesting that I would hand over the Chinaman to the Indians; after reading the note, I told the Indians that I wanted to see Kwong Lee before the man was removed; I never requested that the man should be taken out of the hospital; I simply requested help to take care of him; I have never refused any man admission into the hospital, no matter what his nationality might be; any report to the contrary is a base lie; in all hospitals the doctor has power to send out any patient who does not conduct himself properly; I sat up with the deceased the night he was in hospital because I had no help; the man was in the hospital from 12 o'clock noon of one day until 10 o'clock the next morning; nothing appeared to have been done for the man before he was brought to the hospital; I am certain the man's life could have been saved if he had been brought to the hospital after it was known that he was frozen; the man died from the effects of frost, and I believe proper treatment would have saved him.

   Ah Hong alias Kwong lee. - On the night of the 13th January Mr. Mouat came to my house and told me a Chinaman was lying on the hill; went out with Mouat, who showed me where the Chinaman was lying; I went up to the man and asked him the reason he was lying there, and told him to get up and go home; he replied that he would do so shortly; I tried to get him up but was unable to do so; I  then went back to my store for assistance, and returned with four or five Chinamen and a hand-sleigh, but the man had been removed during my absence; inquired of Mr. Neufelder where the Chinaman was, and he told me that he had been taken to jail; saw the Chinaman next day; his hands and feet were badly frozen; don't know how long the man was lying on the hill; the sick man was supplied with food and Chinese medicines up to the time of his death.

   Chief Constable Lindsay, sworn. - On the 13th of January, at 8 p.m., I was requested by Jonathan Nutt, J.P., to take charge of a Chinaman  who was lying behind Neufelder's store; I understood by this that I was to  take the man to  jail, which I did; when I spoke to the man first he would not answer; thought the man was behind Neufelder's store for the purpose of committing a robbery; after I took him to jail the first thing I done was to light a fire and fill the stove with wood;  waited in the jail until the place was comfortable and then left; the man was drunk; he gave me a kick when I was putting him in the cell; I gave the man a cup of coffee in the morning; except that the man's hands were swollen, I did not notice anything particular was wrong with him.

   James C. McMillan, sworn. - The first I seen of the deceased Chinaman was when he was being dragged down the street to jail by Constable Lindsay and Frank Peirin on the night of the 13th January last; I told Lindsay in that night that if he did not take care of his prisoner he would have a dead Chinamen in the morning; Lindsay replied that he was no flunkey to Chinamen, or words to that effect; I was under the impression that the Chinaman was frozen before he was taken to the lock-up; asked Capt. Robinson in the morning if there was not a frozen Chinaman in the jail.

   No further evidence being offered, the Coroner directed the jury to consider the evidence which they had heard and render their verdict.

   Two Jurymen then stated that the lock-up was unfit to confine any person in, especially during cold weather; one of them stating that from his own personal knowledge there was a hole in the building large enough for a man to crawl through.

   The Jury then resolved to inspect the lock-up, and proceeded there in a body accordingly. [Crease in paper.] The lock-up was thoroughly examined, and found to be a small but comfortable one story log building, well mudded without, with double floor, and lined inside with planed lumber with the exception of a few feet.  It contains two cells, lined with planed lumber, the usual grating for the admission of air in the doors.  The first cell is 5 feet from the stove (an iron one), the second - in which the deceased Chinaman was confined - 7 feet, and with the exception of the small grating in the door, perfectly airtight.  The large hole stated to exist in the lock-up was discovered in cell No. 1, and proved to be just large enough for a small cockroach to squeeze through.  The covering used by the deceased Chinaman the night of his confinement was then inspected, and found to consist of 2 ½ pair of single blankets and a small woollen rug.  No mattresses are provided for prisoners in the Barkerville lock-up or the Richfield jail.

   The Jury then returned to their room to deliberate, and after due consideration returned the following verdict:-

   "That the deceased, Kim Soon, came to his death from the effects of frost, and that his death was accelerated by the want of proper treatment while in charge of his countrymen; and that no blame can be attached to the constable or the physician in charge of the hospital for their treatment of the said deceased Kim Soon.

   In witness whereof, as well the aforesaid Coroner and Jurors have to this Inquisition put their seals.

   Robert Holloway (foreman), S. A. Rigers, Robert Lipsett, W. B. Steele, John Bibby, W. B. Cameron, John Heden, Andrew Kelly, B. Van Volkenburgh, Frank Perrettt, J. RF. Pascoe, Wm. Crawford."

   The Jury suggested that the authorities should provide more blankets for the lock-up, those at present provided, although sufficient to keep a man from freezing, being inadequate  during extreme cold weather.  




SCOOGIE, an Indian woman, died suddenly at Lightning on Friday morning.  The Coroner for the district, Dr. Chip, was notified, but as the woman had been sick for some weeks previous to her death, he did not consider it necessary to hold an inquest.

[Since the above was in type, we are informed that the developments in this case are of such a nature as to necessitate the holding of an inquest, and the Coroner left for Lightning Creek early this morning.  Whatever the developments may be they have not yet leaked out, as upon making inquiries of parties who arrived from Lightning this forenoon they informed us that they had heard of nothing new in the case except that a dose of Epsom salts had been administered to the deceased woman by a male friend the night previous to her death.]





Clinton, August 5. - From Mr. Smith, Government Agent at Lillooet, we learn that on July 28th the body of a Chinaman was found floating in the river at Lillooet.  A Coroner's inquest ascertained that the name of the deceased was Shall Lee, who had been mining at High Bar, and on the 13th July, while bathing in the river, was struck on the head with a pick-handle in the hands of a Chinaman named Loo Yeun, and pushed into the river.  The murder was witnessed by another Chinaman, who gave the above evidence.  A warrant was immediately issued for the arrest of the murderer.

Spence's Bridge, August 2. - On Friday last, at Ashcroft, while some Indians and Chinamen were testing a pocket pistol, one charge  ... camp about 150 yards distant, accidentally struck an Indian child 18 months old, the ball penetrating its breast and killing it almost instantaneously.  An examination of the matter was held before Mr. Cornwall, J.P., and the Indian  bound over to appear at the next Assizes.


CARIBOO SENTINEL, 28 August 1875

DEATH AND INQUEST. - Coroner Chipp holds an inquest this evening on the body of a Chinaman who died from the effects of injuries received in a mining  claim on Stevens creek.


CARIBOO SENMTINEL, 11 September 1875


A fatal accident occurred in the Victoria co.'s shaft on Friday morning last, by which two Chinamen lost their lives.  As will be seen by the evidence at the inquest, the accident was the result of carelessness on the part of the sufferers, who neglected to place the bucket properly on the hook before giving the signal to hoist.  The men fell a distance of 78 feet.  One was instantly killed, and the other lingered until a late hour last night, when death put an end to his sufferings.  The Victoria company telegraphed to Barkeville for medical assistance as soon as possible after the accident, and Dr. Chipp started over as soon as he received the message.

   An inquest was held before Coroner Chipp on the body of the man taken out of the shaft dead, when the two witnesses examined made the following statements:

   John Cornthwaite, sworn - Was on the hoisting gear about 6 o'clock this (Friday) morning when the signal was given to hoist; hoisted to about 12 feet from the top, when the bucket fell with the two Chinamen in it.  I then lowered one of the Chinamen on top down the shaft, who shouted up to me that the men were killed.  I did not understand his answer, and went for Mr. Lynch, who lowered me down the shaft.  I found one of the Chinamen on the platform, the other lying in the water with his head downwards.  Called for more assistance, when the men were sent to the top.  One was dead, the other alive.  The one dead appeared to have been drowned.  I believe the accident was caused by the bucket not being properly placed on the hook.  The machinery was in perfect order.

  Wm. Yates, sworn. - Was coming down the road at 8 o'clock this morning when I saw P. Lynch running towards the Van Winkle shaft-house, and Simon Reed started to run in the same direction.  When I got to the shaft-house Mr. Cornthwaite told me two Chinamen had fallen down the shaft.  Asked him how it happened.  He said he could not account for it, except that the bucket was not properly hooked.  Lynch lowered Mr. Cornthwaite down the shaft.  He called for help and I went down, when I found the Chinamen both lying on the platform.  Heard one make a gulp; sent the other, who appeared to be dead, up first.  Went up with the man who appeared to be alive.

   The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


THE DAILY ASTORIAN (Astoria, Or.), 4 February 1881

Execution at New Westminster of Allan Charlie, Archie McLean and Alex Hare, for the murder of Ussher and Kelley, December 1879.  Inquest, verdict usual.


Qu'APPELLE PROGRESS (Saskatchewan), 19 October 1888


VANCOUVER, Oct. 5. - A man named Coel, but whose real name is said to be Moore, jumped from the Yosemite yesterday and was drowned.  He is said to have hailed from Minneapolis and to have been a fugitive from justice.


THE MINER (Nelson), 4 April 1891



Four crushed and mangled bodies were brought up from the rock-cut, opposite Selous & Lewis's work, about 2 miles below Nelson, on the Columbia & Kootenay grade, on Monday evening at sundown and laid in one of the bunk-houses at McCammon's camp, there to await the arrival of medical assistance, for which a couple of messengers had been dispatched post-haste to Nelson. The bodies were those of James Ryan, Henry Martin, Augustus Johnson and Justis Mathison - four of the rock-gang working under foreman Smith.  It appears that at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon a 22-foot hole, loaded with 10 kegs of black powder and a case of dynamite and primed with a 19-foot fuse was fired.  The men, together with Mr. McCammon and Smith, the foreman, returned from the cut about, 450 distant, where they had gone for safety, and proceeded to work again.  MR. McCammon and the foreman had climbed on top of the bluff into which the hole had been drilled and were discussing the effect of the blast - which had not done as much as Smith had expected - when they observed den se smoke issuing from one or two crevices in the rock, and they immediately apprehended danger.  Before they had time to speak, the cliff beneath them heaved and split and the granite hills on every side rang with the echo of a loud report that struck terror to the hearts of the men working in the vicinity. 

   When the road had subsided, Mr. McCammon found himself sitting on a mound of earth; he was slightly dazed, but uninjured.  Mr. Smith, 2 or 3 minutes after the blast, came to consciousness at the bottom of the cliff, where he had landed on a pile of rocks; and whence he was summoned by the piteous appeals for assistance that came from beneath the pile of rocks and debris which the second shot had thrown foreyard onto his gang.  Benumbed by the shock and sickened by the heart-rending cries and groans of the wounded, he was powerless to move; and Mr. McCammon, realizing the situation immediately started up the line for help.  A relief crew was quickly organized and rushed to the scene of the accident to engage in the work of disentombing their unfortunate mates. 

   They were met by a man running towards the boat, his head and face and neck bathed in the blood that was pouring from wounds all over his head and frantically waving in the air the mangled remains of a hand.  It was August Johnson, one of Smith's best men.  The next man extracted from the rocks whose jagged edges cut like a knife was Henry Martin.  He was so badly smashed that he had to be wound in a blanket to be taken to the boat.  The third was James Ryan, a powder-man, a huge stone of about 3 tons w eight was pressing him onto the points of 2 triangular pieces of rock that squeezed his body to a thinness of about 3 inches.  He was conscious when relieved, but vomiting blood.  The last to be unearthed was Justis Mathison.  A great boulder had fallen forward and literally crushed him into a ball, while flying rocks had nearly torn him limb from limb.  He died shortly afterwards.  They were taken to the headquarters camp and had just been housed when Dr. Arthur and W. Gesner Allen arrived from Nelson.

   The interior of the bunk-house in which the wounded men lay presented a sad appearance.  Bloody, blackened forms were struggling and writhing on beds of pine branches, and each one mingling with his cries of agony touching appeals to the doctors to attend him first.  Tourniquets being applied to the spurting stumps of limbs of martin and Johnson, endeavors were made to resuscitate Ryan.  They were successful, and after he had been comfortably settled the others were taken in hand, and it was into the small hours of the morning before the sick could be left to the care of the nurses.


JAMES RYAN: Broken sternum, 2 ribs on right side driven into right kidney; internal injuries in the sacral region, and severe bruises all over his body.

JUSTUS MATHISON: Right arm wrenched off - attached only by portions of the deltoid muscle; right side and groin crushed and torn; right  leg crushed in parts to a pulp; left arm, side, and leg badly v rushed;  ruptured in the iliac region on left side; occipital protuberance crushed in and head generally bruised.

AUGUST JOHNSON: Injuries in left parietal region; jagged wound over left eye, laying skull bare; five other scalp wounds; first finger of right hand so badly smashed and crushed as to necessitate amputation; two last joints of second finger blown away; third finger and hand badly crushed; slight internal hemorrhage.

HANRY MARTIN: Left clavicle broken; inguinal hernia; left arm crushed; right femur broken; metatarsus and phalanges of right foot crushed and torn; left leg crushed to a jelly from above the knee to the ankle; ninth and tenth ribs on left side broken; badly crushed generally.

   The wounded men were as well attended as possible under the circumstances, and after being dressed fell into a light slumber, and August Johnson slept fairly well till morning.  But at about 2 o'clock in the morning Ryan became delirious, got rapidly worse, and within 20 minutes of feeling himself sinking had passed away' within an hour he was joined by Henry martin in swelling the ranks of the great majority.


   An inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon, and, after 2 hours' deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," with no evidence of neglect or carelessness on the part of any one.


William Smith, being duly sworn, said: Yesterday afternoon I had a 22-foor hole loaded, and McCammon asked me if I was ready to fire the blast; I said I was.  I told him I had 10 keys of black powder and one case of dynamite.  I told him that it would take more than 10 minutes for the lighted fuse to fire the blast.  I told the men to quit work; and as soon as I saw every one out of the cut I fired the fuse and quit myself.  We waited 15 or 20 minutes before the blast went off.  The blast went off and we all went back to work.  McCammon and myself went to the blast to see the effect of the shot; I told McCammon the blast should have done better.  I saw some smoke coming from the other side of the rock; but before I could say anything the second blast went off.  I was thrown about 20 feet.  When I became conscious I was at the bottom of the cliff, and heard some of the men crying for help.  I cried for help and had the wounded man taken out and sent up to camp.  The wounded men were: James Ryan, Justus Mathison, Henry Martin, and August Johnson.

The 22-foot hole was meant for one blast.

I only cry "all over!" when there are many holes.  When there is only one hole there is no need to cry "All over!"

The second blast was about 15 minutes after the first.

I had no suspicion that any of the powder had not gone off.

I think the powder must have fallen in to separate seams and so caused the second blast.

I put a case of dynamite on top of the powder to ensure it firing all at once, and had every reason to think it had all gone off from the noise of the blast.

The fact that the blast did not so as much as I had expected, I explained by thinking that the powder must be weaker than I had taken it to be.

Ryan, who was killed, was my powder-man, and said, after the first blast, that the powder was no good.

   William Watson, being duly sworn, said: At about 5 o'clock I heard Mr. Smith called "fire" and I at once got my men out of the way, and Smith's men got out of the way at the same time.  Mr. Smith. Mr. McCammon, and myself came about 450 feet from the blast and went into a cut.  We waited there about 12 or 15 minutes till the blast went off.  Mr. Smith and Mr. McCammon went back to where the blast went off and I went back to my work.  Smith's men, about half at least, were back to work before Smith got there.  I did not hear Smith say a word after the blast was fired.  My men were all to work about 300 feet from where the blast was fired.  I started and loaded 3 holes on my work; when loading the fourth hole I heard the report of the second blast, and I heard some one hollar that some of Smith's men were hurt.  I rook all my men to render assistance, and in going met McCammon who was hurrying for medical assistance.  We got the wounded men out and sent them up to camp.

I did not hear Smith, the foreman, cry "all over," as he usually did when satisfied it was safe for the men to go to work.

There was an interval of about 10 minutes between the first blast and the second one which caused the injury.

Elof Berg, being duly sworn, said: I am one of Smith's gang, and was working on his rock work the day the men were hurt.  Smith told us to quit before the blast went off.  We went away and went back to work as soon as it had been fired.  We were all near the work again when a second blast went off, and James Ryan, Henry Martin, Justus Mathison, and August Johnson were hurt.  We all thought the powder was all fired and that the danger was all over.  There was only one hole loaded, and so, of course, only one report.  When there is only one shot, we all go back to work, and so we did not wait for the foreman to cry "all over," but went right back to work.  I was only 10 feet away from the cut when the second blast went off I was just picking up a drill.  I was not hurt, and went to work to get the wounded men out

There was an interval of about 10 minutes between the first and second blasts.

I did not expect a second blast from that hole.

Smith, the foreman, was at the blast, right on top of the hole when we got back to work after the first report.


On Tuesday afternoon the bodies of Mathison and Martin were interred in Nelson cemetery, and vials containing the following particulars were placed in their respective coffins.  The remains of James Ryan were cared for by friends here and were interred at Nelson Wednesday afternoon.

Justus Mathison (alias Korpi) died March 30th, 1891, by accidental discharge of powder on the Columbia & Kootenay railway, about two miles west of Nelson, B.C. Extract of a certificate in his possession: Farmer Justius Mathison (Korpi) of town of Malkelammin, Finland, born December 28th, 1856.  Has wife and 6 children.  Signed by Chr. Sjoblon, Diocesis Aboensis, Magni Princ, Finland.  Dated June 15th, 1889.

Henry Martin (alias Huntula) died March 31st, 1891, by accidental discharge of powder on the Columbia & Kootenay railway, about two miles west of Nelson, B.C. Said to come from town of Malkelammin, together with Justis Mathison (Korpi), and that he has a wife there.

   James Ryan died March 31st, 1891, from injuries received by accidental discharge of powder on the Columbia & Kootenay railway, about 2 miles west of Nelson, B.C. Said to have been born in Nova Scoria, and to be a brother of Mrs. Richard Allan, newsdealer, 105 Farnsworth avenue, Bordentown, Burlington county, New Jersey, United States.


THE MINER (Nelson), 16 May 1891

Dan Reed's Body Found.

The body of Dan Reed who was drowned in the rapids below Sproat last March has been found in the Columbia, about a quarter of a mile below the boundary, in the big eddy near the mouth of the Pend d'Oreille river, by an Indian.  A justice of the peace at Little Dalles was notified and an inquest held.  The body was afterwards buried near where it was found.  The face and head of the deceased were cut and bruised by the rocks, and the remains were only recognized by the clothing.  Reed's brother who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, was notified of the finding of the body.


THE MINER (Nelson) 22 August 1891

A Well-Known Contractor Knifed.

Pete Costello, one of the parties concerned in the following affray, was formerly a well-known employee of the Canadian Pacific at Donald.  The account of the affray is from the Spokane Spokesman:

   "A lively fight took place in front of the Hyde block yesterday afternoon between Peter Costello and Garrett Wasson.  Wasson had the contract for grading Victoria street, at Lingerwood park, and according to Costello's friends, Wasson got short of money to complete his contract, and having no credit got Costello to help him.  Costello furnished teams and men to the amount of $2000, and waited for the money.  Wasson met Costello in front of the Hyde block yesterday and accused him of charging for more time than was actually put in.  At this both men got angry.

   Wasson drew a knife from his pocket and went for his antagonist with the fury of a lion.  Costello stood him off for some time with his fists, being an expert boxer, but at last Wasson rushed in and the pair clinched and fell with Wasson on top.  He was pulled off by Tom Roberts and other bystanders.  Costello's hat was slashed with the knife and his coat and vest were cut in several places.  One cut about 8 inches long right over the heart showed that Wasson meant business.  The cut went through the coat, vest, and just ripped the shirt a little.  If the blade had been long enough Costello today would have been measured for a casket instead of a new suit of clothes."


THE MINER (Nelson), 29 August 1891


About noon on Monday an accident on the Columbia & Kootenay railroad resulted in the death of one man and slight injuries to two others.  A gravel train, made up of 10 loaded flat cars and a caboose, with the engine pushing it, was being run from the travel pit to Nelson.  Two gangs of Chinese, about 50 in all, and their foreman were on the flat cars; conductor McMorrine, trainmaster at Hamilton, and road-master Watmore were in the cupola of the caboose.  When about ¾ of a mile west of Kootenay siding and 6 miles from Nelson, the caboose jumped the track and turned over.  A flat car went off on the opposite side, and another flat car was derailed and thrown across the track.  The engineer saw the caboose leave the track, and reversed the engine, stopping the train within a distance of 200 feet.  The men in the caboose had no difficulty in climbing out, and although shook up a little had escaped with slight bruises, Mr. Watmore having received a cut over one eye and Mr. Hamilton a sprained wrist.  One of the Chinese foremen named Anderson, however, had not escaped.  A few minutes before the accident he was noticed coming towards the caboose, and it is not known where he was standing when the caboose left the track.  He was found with one leg pinned under the platform of the caboose, and on being released, it was seen that his right leg had been badly crushed.  Conductor McMorrine procured a mattress from the caboose and placed the injured man on it; he then tied a handkerchief over the knee of the crushed leg to stop the flow of blood.  Roadmaster Watmore and Mr. Hamilton got a handcar and started to Nelson for medical aid.  This obtained, an engine was run back and the injured man brought to Nelson.  Although a strong, healthy man and apparently conscious all the time, he died within 3 hours after the accident. On Tuesday forenoon a jury was summoned by coroner Sproat, and an inquest held. After viewing the body, an adjournment was had until evening, to allow the trainmen to be present.  The following is the testimony given:

   E. C. Arthur: I am a qualified medical practitioner permitted to practice in the province.  I recognize the body of Andrew Peter Anderson.  I was summoned yesterday morning by Mr. Shea, acting for Mr. Hamilton, to go to the station to see a man who had been hurt.  I went to the station and was told that the man was some 5 or 6 miles down the line, where an accident has occurred.  I went there on the train.  On arriving I found the man on a mattress, beside an upturned flat car. His right leg was very severely crushed midway between the ankle and the knee.  He was quite conscious.  I gave him an opiate, and as soon as it had time to act caused him to be removed to the train, and he was taken to the station.  He continued to be quite conscious.  It was about an hour from my arrival at the scene until he got to the station.  At the station I gave him a stimulant and left him in charge of some of the section men, when I went to my house for dressings, etc.  There was little bleeding.  On returning I found his pulse had failed very markedly in my absence.  I immediately gave him some stimulants, but in vain; he kept sinking until he died, which took place an hour after I returned - say about 2 o'clock P.M. yesterday.

   On the man's arrival at the station he seemed strong enough to stand amputation, and I went for instruments and dressings, but he failed so rapidly that I thought he could not stand amputation.  The blood on the mattress and the floor of the station b was blood that had oozed from the wound.  On reaching him at the scene of the accident I found that a handkerchief had been tied round above the knee, which probably prevented much bleeding.  On arriving from my house at the station, I noticed increased bleeding and I applied a tourniquet above the knee.  This must of necessity have stopped bleeding, but there must still have been oozing as it dripped from the mattress.  The man died from shock.  The left leg showed some cuts but nothing of a serious nature.  I have no reason to believe that there was any external bleeding, while I was absent, other than I have stated.

   The bones of the right leg were crushed - a comminuted fracture.  I cannot say whether the main arteries were cut or not.  All the bleeding that I saw may have come from the veins or from the smaller branches supplying the muscles.  A man of the deceased's size would have about 12 to 14 pounds of blood.  It was 30 or 40 minutes from the time that I saw him at the station until I came back and found him failing.  I had given him brandy and ammonia.  I gave him, by the mouth, ¼ of a grain of morphine, which not acting, I gave him, hypodermically, another ¼ of a grain, and, towards the last, I gave him half a dozen hypodermical injections of brandy but he was then nearly dying.  Almost all the blood on the floor had accumulated largely in the mattress.  I considered that the tourniquet I found on the man at the place of the accident was well put on.  I do not know how long after the accident it was when the handkerchief tourniquet was put on.

   In answering questions asked by the jury, Dr. Arthur stated that he did not know whether the main artery was cut or not; and that he believed the loss of blood from the time he first examined Anderson until his death, did not amount to a teacupful in all.

Other evidence by:

AELXANDER McMORRINE, conductor of ballasting train.

HERBERT CREELAMN, driver of the locomotive.

THOMAS GOULD, car inspector.


On hearing Mr. Watmore's testimony, the coroner and jury deemed it unnecessary to call other witnesses, and on consultation the jury brought in the following


The said Andrew Peter Anderson died at about 2 o'clock P.M. on the 24th August, 1891, in the station house of the Columbia & Kootenay Railway Company at Nelson, from shock and loss of blood, the effect of injuries, chiefly to his right leg, received a few hours previously, when the caboose and two flat cars of a ballasting train, on which the said A. P. Anderson was foreman of Chinamen, ran off the track, from causes which the evidence does not explain, at a curve on the Columbia & Kootenay railway, situated about ¾ of a mile west of Kootenay siding.



THE MINER (Nelson), 9 April 1892

Fatal Drowning Accident.

The treacherous waters of Kootenay lake added two more to its list of victims on Sunday afternoon last; and Mrs. George Woods and her adopted child, Miss Edith Holden are missed from the circle of Nelson's respected residents. It appears that Mr. and Mrs. Woods, accompanied by the child, started out in a row-boat on Sunday morning to go up the river on a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Shannon who are living near 5-mile point.  They arrived safely and after a pleasant visit started out to return home early in the afternoon in tending to get the benefit of the breeze that was blowing down the lake.  They had not got very far on their journey, when a gust of wind, rushing down one of the numerous gullies, struck the sail, which was unfortunately fastened to the gunwhale, and before anything could be done, had capsized the boat, throwing the occupants instantly into the water.  The child was never seen again.  Mr. Woods, having climbed on top of the overturned boat, endeavored to raise his wife from the water but before he was able to do so, she had expired and sunk, leaving him so exhausted and benumbed that it was with the greatest difficulty the shore was reached.  Here he realized that he was too weak to walk and was slowly crawling along on his hands and knees when he was picked up by John Holzeten and brought to Nelson in a very precarious condition.  Search parties have been looking for the bodies all the week, but so far their efforts have been unsuccessful.  Mr. Woods is able to be around once more, but is extremely weak.  Mrs. Woods (nee McDermot) was a native of Elgin county, Ontario, and had been a resident in Nelson for two years; their adopted daughter was the youngest daughter of Isaac Holden of this place.  Great sympathy is expressed in town for the bereaved husband and father.


THE MINER (Nelson), 21 May 1892


This afternoon T. B. Lewis of Nelson, died in his house on Baker St.  Dr. La Bau was called in this morning, but the apoplectic fit proved fatal at 3.30.


THE MINER (Nelson) 29 August 1892

Captain Pittendright, the coroner at New Westminster, held an inquest on Friday upon the body found in the Fraser, on the 29th ult., which was identified as that of George Bull, one of the victims of the Lillooet tragedy.  The jury found a verdict stating that George Bull came to his death by murder, committed by a person or persons unknown.  The finding of the victim's remains may, and probably will lead to the detection of the assassin.  There is no doubt that the body was dragged to the stream and thrown in after death.


THE MINER (Nelson), 27 May 1893


Dick Hughes, of Kaslo, Tries to Blow Himself and Family into Eternity.

A man named Dick Hughes is now lying in a dying condition at the Nelson jail.  He was brought from Kaslo suffering from the result of injuries received from an explosion of Giant powder, by means of which he had planned to destroy himself and family.

   So far as can be learned from those who something of the history of the man, and the contents of a letter discovered on his person after his arrival in Nelson the rash act was caused through the influence of jealousy.

   It appears that for some reason Hughes became suspicious that all was not as it should be between himself and wife.

   This idea so preyed upon his mind that he resolved to destroy not only himself, but his wife and infant child as well.  As a result he procured a stick of giant powder, and on the night of the 23rd inst. arranged to carry his plan into effect.  A fuse was attached to the powered, which was concealed at the head of the bed under the pillows.

   After Hughes and his wife had retired for the night the fuse was lighted and the man lay in momentary expectation of death.  The "spitting" of the fuse aroused his wife who got up to find the cause of the noise.  She was far enough away to receive no injury when the explosion occurred.  The child also escaped in some way and seems to be suffering scarcely any ill effects from the concussion.

   Hughes was severely stunned and is suffering from concussion of the brain, which will in all probability prove fatal within the next few days.


THE LEDGE, 5 October 1893

A young man named Hall living at Hall's Landing, a short distance from Nakusp shot himself one day last week.  An inquest was held by Mr. Manuel of Donald, and a verdict returned according to the circumstances.  His remains were taken to Vancouver where his relatives reside.


THE NELSON TRIBUNE, 5 October 1893


The Notorious Charlie Ross Implicated Warrant Out for Billy O'Brien on the Charge of Murder - Both are Bad Men and Should be Punished.

West Kootenay's fair name for law and order has been tarnished by a revolting and brutal murder, which has taken place at Pete Larson's headquarters on Salmon river, known as Salmon City.

   The scene of the crime was a saloon in Salmon City situated near the forks of the Salmon river and about two miles from where the Nelson & Fort Sheppard railway crosses the north fork of the Salmon.  Besides being the contractors' headquarters it is the rendezvous of the placer miners on the Salmon and Hall creek.

   It appears that the victim, Stephen Hamon, who was a camp cook, had drawn a considerable amount of money, some $400 in all.  He made a trip to Nelson and remitted $100 to his wife.  He then returned to Salmon City and, although it is not certain that he had $300 on his person, he was nevertheless flush of cash.  On the afternoon of the 26th he showed his money, which he kept in an ordinary clasp purse, to a restaurant keeper in the camp, and, taking out twenty dollars,  said he was either going to win some more or lose that much.  That night he went over to a saloon and sat down in a poker game with four men, named Charlie Ross, a man named Rube, Charles Cameron and Billy O'Brien.  The game was afterwards joined by a man of the name of Leslie, but he does not seem to have had any part in the fight which resulted in Hamlin's death.  There were also present in the saloon Peterson, James Bourke, Leslie and Sisson.

   The evidence given at the inquest points clearly to the fact that it was Ross's intention to do the man up for all he had. Ross is a notorious ruffian, well known during the construction of the main line of the Canadian Pacific.  He is a gambler and illicit whisky seller and rumor has it has caused the death of five or six men on the other side.  He came into West Kootenay from the Coeur d'Alenes.  Hamlin had been drinking but was not apparently intoxicated, and held his own at the game, and in fact was winning money.  The game was a tough one, and a good deal of quarrelling went on.  Ross was seen to extract something from Hamlin's hip pocket and put it into his own vest pocket; it is supposed that this was Hamlin's purse.  Some time afterwards Ross, apparently with the intention of making a row, claimed that he had lost an express check and insisted on every man at the table being searched.  They all submitted to have the contents of their pockets turned over including Hamlin, but while he was being searched he found that some of his money was gone.  He immediately accused O'Brien of having stolen it.  On that O'Brien got up and made as if to go out by the back door of the saloon, but before he could do so Hamlin got up and stood between him and the door to prevent him going out.  O'Brien thereupon knocked Hamilton down with his fist, and coming up alongside of where he was lying kicked him on the head.  He was then pulled away from the prostrate man by Sisson against whom he made no resistance.

   From the effects of this kick Hamlin died two days later.  Between the time he received the kick and the time he died he was in a stupor complaining of a pain in the head.  At the inquest held on the body by coroner Arthur and James Foot, R. D. Young, Charles Griffin, James O'Connor, Alex, Cumming and Louis Olsen jury it was found that "The said Stephen Hamlin died on or about September 28th, 1893, from the effects of a kick received from one William O'Brien in a fight on Tuesday night, September 26th, 1893."

   Nothing was found on deceased's body except his clothes, a pocket comb and a pocket book.  His money was gone.  A warrant was immediately issued for the arrest of Billy O'Brien on a charge of murder but his whereabouts are not known.  He was last seen walking in the direction of  Nelson, but the probabilities are he has crossed the line.  Charlie Ross also skipped across the line.  The chief of police in Spokane wired the authorities here that Charlie Ross was in Spokane, and they could have him if he was wanted.  But although there is little doubt he was implicated in the crime it would not be easy to prove his complicity.

   It is to be hoped the provincial Government will spare neither time nor expense to bring the authors of this outrage to justice.  All along the boundary line there is a rich mineral country which will always attract prospectors and miners.  And if law and order there is not to be degraded to the level of the worst camps in the States, it must be made known once and for all that it is not sufficient for a criminal to cross the line to escape justice.


THE MINER (Nelson), 7 October 1893



A Game of Cards Terminates In a Quarrel in which one Man is Knocked Down and Kicked into Unconsciousness from the Effects of Which he Dies.

   Beneath a stunted pine, a few yards from the cluster of shacks which constitute Salmon City, a mound of newly turned earth marks the solitary resting place of Steven Hamlin, of Kingston, Ontario.

   Hamlin was employed in boarding men on the construction work of the Nelson & Fort Sheppard railroad.  He was in Nelson a few days ago and had considerable money.  Returning to the railway line he "sat into" a game of cards at Salmon City, on Tuesday night in an illicit whisky dive, kept by a man named Leslie.

   In the dive, and at the card table with Hamlin were a number of notorious characters, including Charlie Ross, Wm. O'Brien, and Rube McNair.  The play continued till midnight.  As the men rose from the table Ross asserted that he had lost a cheque, and demanded the right to search everyone in the house. No one objected, and while Ross was searching Hamlin, O'Brien started for the door.  Hamlin stopped him.  Words passed between the two men, and Hamlin struck at O'Brien.  The latter retaliated, and striking Hamlin twice knocked him down, and proceeded to kick him on the head.  A ,man named Sisson saw the first kick, and interfered but not before a second kick had been administered to Hamlin's head.

   Leslie, the keeper of the dive, and Sisson then set themselves to the task of bringing Hamlin to, he being in a state of unconsciousness.  They succeeded after a time, in part, the wounded man recovering sufficiently to answer questions, but remained quite unable to stand upon his feet.

  A bed was made for Hamlin outside the shack, and Sisson remained with him throughout the night.  On the following day Hamlin did not improve, and it was evident that he was not likely to live.  The parties to the assault asked permission to take the wounded man into their tent and care for him.  He was removed there, and on Thursdays the gang consisting of Ross, O'Brien, McNair, and Leslie made tracks for the United States leaving their victim to die unattended.  Hamlin died about midnight of Thursday.

   Coroner Dr. Arthur got wind of the story two days after the death, and went to the scene of the murder at once. Though Hamlin was seen with a number of bank notes both before and at the time of the assault, no money of any description was found on him after death.  The scalp of the head where the kicks had been received was bruised but not broken.  Contusion of the brain was the cause of death.

   The Coroner's inquest disclosed the above facts, and a verdict was rendered to the effect that Hamlin came to his death by wounds inflicted by one William O'Brien.


THE BRANDON MAIL (Manitoba), 2 November 1893.


Murder of Steven Hamlin.


THE TRIBUNE, 30 November 1893

Fatal Accident in the Slocan.

On Monday last, about dark, a young man named "Louie" Sams was killed while working on the sleigh road near the Slocan Star mine.  Much of the timber where he was at work had been blown down by the wind, and he was standing under a fallen tree, one end of which rested on a stump about twenty feet high.  From some unlooked for cause the tree slipped from the stump, and in falling struck Sams on the back of the head.  The injury was so serious that he was dead in an hour.

   Mr. Sams was about 28 years old, and one of the most robust men in the Slocan.  He was from the Lake Superior country, having worked there for Byron N. White, the manager of the Slocan Star.  He has a brother in Butte, Montana, who telegraphed that the body be sent back to Lake Superior for burial.


THE LEDGE, 25 January 1894

Kaslo experienced two fires last week, one of which proved fatal, whereby a half-witted Chinaman answering to the appellation of Jim, lost his life.

Wrapped in Mystery.

Provincial Officer Fauquier went up the lake on the Arrow Saturday to search for the body of the man said to have been discovered on Albert point, particulars of which appeared last week.  The shore was diligently scanned for over four miles, particularly at the point, but not a trace of the body was observed.  Considerable fresh snow had fallen, however, which would have effectually obliterated all signs; while a second theory may be advanced for the fruitless search in the fact that wolves have been unusually numerous in that region  of late, ...


THE LEDGE, 17 May 1894


Garners in Another Victim Without a Moment's Warning.

Friday afternoon F. G. Fauquier, P. O., was notified of the discovery of the body of a man in a log cabin, on the north side of Slocan Ave., some distance west of Broadway. He at once made an investigation, and found the man lying on his face in a bunk in the cabin mentioned.  His name was Charles Johnson, a native of Sweden.  He had been boarding at the Prospect House since March, but had slept in the cabin with three others.  Johnson, who was a man of magnificent physique and about 32 years of age, had been employed on the McMartin contract on the railway till the latter part of February.  He had been paid off on May 1st, and on Thursday commenced drinking heavily around town.  In the afternoon he was discovered on the street by a couple of his companions who carried him to his bunk to sleep off the effects of the liquor.  He was very restless during the night, but appeared easier in the morning when the other inmates of the cabin went out fishing.  Returning at about 2 o'clock they found him dead, and notified Officer Fauquier.

   It is presumed death resulted from heart disease superinduced by the drink.  Death must have been very easy with him, as there was no sign of a struggle.  On his person was found $32.50, besides papers, one of which was written in the Swedish language to a friend in Aberdeen, Wash., where deceased had some property.  Johnson was a temperate man and well liked.  He had no relatives in America.

   Saturday morning Officer Fauquier held a court of investigation at the Prospect House, the following persons acting as a jury, J. T. Nault, W. C. Muirhead, T. Abriel, R. Hewett, D. A. McDougald and C. E. Smitheringale.

   The first witness called was Gus Johnson, who said he had last seen deceased alive on Friday morning at  6:30.  He had last spoken to him on Wednesday night in Mr. Nault's.  Deceased was asleep in the cabin on Thursday night when witness retired. He appeared to be ill from the effects of drink, crying out several times during the night in his dreams.  Witness slept in the same bunk as deceased, who had never complained of being ill previously.  He had known him two months, but knew nothing of his history.  Deceased owned property in Aberdeen, Wash., and had been a good deal around Gray's Harbor.  When witness returned from fishing on Friday afternoon deceased was dead but he was all right when he went out, he being asleep.

   Andrew Swanson last saw deceased on Thursday noon at Prospect House.  He was considerably the worse for liquor at the time.  He was asleep in the cabin when witness went in.  During the night he was very restless, yelling frequently in his sleep.  Witness slept in the bunk overhead.  He had never heard him complain of illness.  Witness did not know anything about his people, and did not think he had any relatives in this country.  He had known deceased since last August.  Witness was of opinion that the deceased died from the effects of the drink.

   John Anderson was acquainted with the deceased, having known him since last August.  He had been living with him for the past five weeks.  He had last seen deceased alive on Thursday night, he being asleep on the bunk, about 9 o'clock.  Deceased disturbed witness about midnight by his cries.  He had turned over on his face in the bed during the time witness had been at breakfast, about 6 a.m.  Deceased appeared all right when witness left the cabin to go to work.  He has never been ill during the time witness knew him.  Deceased came from the north of Sweden, from a place called Neuland.

   Swanson, being recalled, said that he had been in the cabin on Thursday noon, to get some matches off the table.  He noticed deceased lying in bed, but paid no attention to him.

   John Bergland last saw deceased alive about 9 or 20 o'clock Friday morning.  He was then sleeping in the bunk, and witness concluded not to disturb him.  He was resting easily with his face downwards.  He appeared to be all right at the time.  Witness helped to carry him to the shack, with O. Anderson, about 2 p.m. Thursday, deceased being very drunk at the time.  He was lying on the street when picked up.

   O. Anderson last saw deceased alive on Thursday afternoon about 3 o'clock lying drunk in the street.  Witness and Bergland picked him up and put him in his bunk.  Gus Johnson and witness had been out fishing and when they returned deceased was found dead in his bunk.  Witness knew nothing of deceased or his antecedents, but was inclined to think he had no relatives in this country.  H e had two lots in Aberdeen, Wash., in partnership with another man.

   The jury after weighing the evidence submitted, came to the conclusion that, in absence of medical opinion death resulted from natural causes.

   Johnson was buried on Saturday morning in the cemetery, according to the rites of the Church of England.

[Next column: short report of shooting of Cultus Bill by Sam Hill. Koootenay Mail, 19th May.]




Sam Hill sent a bullet through the heart of "Cultus Jim."

The Columbia River and its tributaries have for generations past been the hunting grounds of a certain tribe of Indians now known as the "Colville Indians."  Colville is in the domain of Uncle Sam, and these Indians have no right or title to cross the boundary and hunt in British Columbia.  But in view of the fact that their forefathers hunted here and looked upon both shores of the Columbia as their own especial preserves, great laxity has always been allowed them, and they hunted fir two hundred miles up the river from their own reservation at Colville.  The camp of this tribe was right here in Revelstoke last summer, and they killed cariboo and smaller game all through the close season, which white men are not permitted to do.  Lately some men have pre-empted land on Galena Bay, at the extreme northeast corner of Upper Arrow Lake, and last Friday "Cultus Jim" met an untimely end by attempting to drive one of these men off the land.

   Mr. Coursier, J. P., was at Hall's Landing last Friday on business, and he arrived here on the str. Columbia Sunday afternoon with Sam Hill and the Indian's rifle.  Mr. Courier had telegraphed the news of the shooting on Saturday, and Coroner Manuel arrived here from Donald about midnight Saturday.  Mr. Manuel and Officer Graham of Revelstoke went down Monday morning, and at Hall's Landing picked up six men to act as a jury, and they went on to Galena Bay, where the inquest was held.  Tom Beach, the man who took Sam Hill's message to Lardeau to telegraph to Revelstoke, was missing for a day or two, and it was thought the Indians had killed him for revenge, but he has since turned up, and it appears he had been searching for Sam Hill, expecting to find his dead body, as he had found the Indian lying where he fell, and thought the other Indians must certainly have killed Sam.

   The following composed the jury: Messrs. A. Craig, W. Glenn, A. Cummings, John Holstrom, W. S. Phipps and D. Hall.  The inquest was held on the beach at Galena Bay, where the evidence was taken.  The party returned to Hall's Landing and the jury went into private conclave.  It was about midnight before they handed in their verdict, which was to the effect that Hill had shot the Indian in self-defence.  In other words "justifiable homicide." 

   No other conclusion could possibly have been arrived at.  Sam Hill is an old Big Bend miner, and worked there several seasons in partnership with Andy Hunker and others. Hill is one of the quietest men to be met with in a day's journey, and not the least blame attaches itself to him for killing the Indian in preference to losing his own life.  "Cultus Jim" bore a hard name here, and it is said was not particularly well liked by his own tribe.  It was found on examination that two bullets had gone clean through the body, one entering the left side pierced the heart. 

   We give the evidence in full:

   Albert Sanden, being duly sworn, stated as follows: I live with P. E. Olson on a ranch on Galena Bay, Arrow Lake.  On Friday, the 11th of May, I was working there with Samuel Hill on his pre-emption.  About two or three in the afternoon, the Indian that lies dead in the field came around, and he asked Hill why he did not leave the land, as he had told him in the morning.  He said it was his land and Hill was stealing it.  Hill answered that it was his land, and asked the Indian to go away and not to bother him, and if he had been a good Indian he could have hunted all he liked on his land.  Hill said "you met me alone this morning and wanted to shoot me." Hill then told the Indian to leave the ground, and repeated it a good many times.  The Indian then went over to the Squaw, who was standing near by, and took up the gun.  He pulled the cover from the gun, and just as he drew the hammer up Hill and the Indian fired at each other and both missed.  The Indian then began to pull the lever of the gun, and began running back towards some elder bushes.  Hill fired again and the Indian fell.

   By the Coroner: I recognize the Indian to be the same man.  Don't know his name.

   By the Jury: When the Indian first came he had a forked stick in his hand, which he dropped.  Hill had the gun in his hand when the Indian pulled the cover from his gun.

   By the Coroner: Hill did not use any threatening language towards the Indian, but told him not to bother him.  I know Mr. Hill.  He is not a quarrelsome man.  I think him a nice man.

   P. E. Olson, sworn, said: I live on my pre-emption on Galena Bay.  On Tuesday, the 11th May, I was working with Samuel hall.  Between two and three in the afternoon the Indian came down and said to Mr. Hill, "I told you this morning to leave this patch or get out of here." Hill told him to get off, because it was his ground.  Hill told him two or three times to get out.  The Indians shook his clenched fist at Hill and told him to get out.  After that the Indian said "you will soon find out," and then called for his gun, which the Squaw was carrying.  The Squaw answered "No."  He then stepped back and took the gun from the Squaw.  He then pulled the cover off the gun and opened the lever.  Hill and the Indian both shot together.  I think Sam's bullet was a little ahead.  The Indian's bullet missed Hill.  The Indian tried to load the gun once more, and ran behind some bush, some elder.  Hill fired a second time, and the Indian fell behind the elder bush where I saw him to-day.

   By the Coroner: Mr. Hill came to my place for his gun in the forenoon.  He wanted the gun, as an Indian had tried to shoot him in the morning.  He asked me if I would go and help him to work that day, and said he would help me.  He wanted me to stay on his place, so that he could send a telegram to the Government Agent at Revelstoke.  He sent Tom Beach up with the message to Lardeau.

   By the Jury:  The Indian lifted his gun first to fire.

   By the Coroner: I have known Mr. Hill for about a month.  He is my nearest neighbor.  I know him to be a peaceable man, and not quarrelsome.  I have heard the Indian called Cultus Jim.

   Samuel Hill stated as follows:  On Friday, 11th May, 1891, I met the Indian first at the end of the trail going in on my pre-emption. I said "Cla how-you?" to the Indian.  He asked me where I was going or what I was doing.  I said I was planting potatoes back here.  He said if I planted potatoes back there he would take them; that this was his land; that Johnson had stolen his land at the head of the Arm, and I was trying to steal this; but he said I wouldn't, he would kill me first.  I told him there was no use in talking like that.  I said go to the Tyhee at Revelstoke.  He said he did not care for my Tyhee; but wanted me to go to his.  Then for some time there was no talk while I was filling my pipe.  He ordered me away or he would kill me.  He pulled the cover off his rifle and then came up and tapped me on the cheek two or three times, gave me a good one on the breast and then covered me with his rifle.

   I then walked off for the other boys - Sanden, Beach and Olson - and told them what had happened, and asked them to stay over at my place while I would go to Lardeau, or some of them would go, with a message to the Government Agent at Revelstoke.  Tom Beach went with the message.  The other two and myself went out to work on the ground the Indian had forbidden me to work on.  During this time the Indian was up the creek with the Squaw.  Somewhere near there the Indian and Squaw came out again.  He had a stick in his hand and the Squaw was carrying the rifle.  He said, "Didn't I tell you not to come here?"  At the same time he came towards me with the stick.  I beat back towards where my rifle was lying till I got within a jump of it.  I covered the Indian with my rifle, and then he beat back towards his Squaw, calling for his rifle.  I told him not to touch it or I would shoot him. but to get away.  He said I would see by and by, at the same time catching hold of his rifle.  He then pulled the over off.  During all this time I had him covered, wanting him not to touch his rifle.  As he got his rifle to his shoulder I fired.  His went off almost at the same time; his bullet passed so close to my cheek that it was like the swish of a handkerchief.  I thought that if he was struck at all it was very lightly.  I stood in my tracks and commenced loading again, he seemingly doing the same, while sunning to the shelter of some elder bushes.  I fired the second shot, and he fell.  I then covered him the third timer whilst running up to take his rifle away.  I then left, not knowing whether he was dead or not.  I gave myself up to Mr. H. N. Coursier, J. P., at Hall's Landing.

   Andrew Cummings, swoon, stated: I am a cook by profession and live at Hall's Landing.  I have known the Indian at Nakusp; he was known by the name of Jim.  What I know and have seen of him in Nakusp he is a bad Indian.  I saw four men handle him in Nakusp when trying to arrest him in the Columbia House.  I have always heard he was an American Indian.

   Thomas Reid, sworn, said: I am a rancher and live at Hall's Landing.  I am acquainted with an Indian by the name of "Cultus Jim."  Have known him nine years.  I saw him last alive last summer.  I recognize the Indian dead as being him.  Cultus Jim bore a very hard name.  I had him with me eight years ago for about eight months.  He is an American Indian, one of the Colville tribe.  I have known Mr. Hill a little better than a year.  He bears an excellent character, and is a hard worker and industrious man.



A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Sam Hill for killing an Indian named "Cultus Jim" at Galena Bay last Friday week.  The Coroner's jury brought in a verdict of "justifiable homicide," but some new evidence has since turned up, presumably that of the squaw, who did not give evidence at the inquest.  Wm. Kirkup has been sent down to make the arrest, and Hill will appear before the magistrates on Monday or Tuesday.


THE MINER (Nelson), 9 June 1894

The Kooteany mail says that Sam Hill came up from Galena Bay on Tuesday in response to a summons issued by the Attorney General, to take his trial before Revelstoke magistrates for the shooting of an Indian named "Cultus Jim" on the 17th of May.  Constable William Kirkup went down for Hill, but did not return with him, as he (the constable) is searching the lower country for Cultus Jim's squaw, for whom a warrant has been issued to appear at Revelstoke and give evidence regarding the shooting.  She was not present at the inquest, which was in Nakusp on the 24th.  Hill came up voluntarily and is now here awaiting the trial, which is fixed for June 7th, provided the squaw can be found.


THE MINER (Nelson), 23 June 1894

It will be remembered that in February last two men, Charles Brown and John Dolan, who were out on a prospecting trip for Mr. Marks of the Nelson House, disappeared.  At the time it was feared that an accident had befallen them; because their communications suddenly ceased and they did not come in for food.  Mr. Marks did everything that could be done.  Search parties were sent out into the district where it was known the missing men were, and rewards for their recovery were offered, but without avail.  But now the melting snow has disclosed its victims.  About four miles from the trail, up Bear Creek, the bodies of the two men have been found.  Just as if they were asleep they lie on their soft bed of snow, but the bright sun and blue skies of June ill represent the howling storm of dreary February, when the roaring avalanche came tearing down the mountain side and folded its two victims in its deadly arms.


Fanny Thompson a servant, aged 18, in the employment of Mrs. Cresswell, Columbia street New Westminster, left the house the other evening to post a letter.  She expressed her intention to return at once, but has not since been heard of.  Hitherto the mystery had baffled the police.


THE MINER (Nelson), 23 June 1894


At Nanaimo Sydney Lobb, accountant of the New Vancouver Coal Co., has been arrested on the charge of wilful murder of his wife.  The deceased was found sitting upright in a chair in her bed room shot through the heart, with a revolver lying on the ground at her feet.  Mrs. Lobb was a daughter of R. W. Elliott wholesale druggist of Toronto.  At the inquest Sydney Lobb said: "The deceased lady was my wife.  I think it was after 10 o'clock last night that the shooting took place.  I had been in bed and was about to get up to obtain liquor when I heard the report of a revolver, and looking across the room saw my wife lying back on a chair.  I became dizzy, stupid, and the next thing I remember was going across the street in my bare feet calling for help from Jim Lister.  That is the general substance of my recollection of last night's occurrence."

   Lobb admitted that he had been drinking heavily, and much of the evidence taken went to show that he was periodically addicted to terrible drinking bouts in which he became altogether unmanageable.  Lobb is still in a very dazed condition  and appears quite unconscious of what is going on.  In summing up the coroner told the jury that in the face of the evidence it would be well-nigh impossible for them to find that the deceased had committed suicide, whilst there was nothing to show that Mr. Lobb had not in his frenzy carelessly handled the revolver with a fatal result.




... A. J. Marks and Dr. Arthur retuned on Tuesday from Bear creek, where the latter went to hold an inquest on the bodies of Brown and Dolan.  They report the trip a hard one from Sproule's to the point where the bodies were found.  The bodies were in such a condition that carrying then to the wagon road was out of the question, and they were buried near where they were found.

Killed at the Mountain Chief Mine.

A fatal accident took place at the Mountain Chief mine, in Slocan district, on Tuesday last.  During the forenoon Walter Hunt was slucing dirt below the south tunnel, looking for the vein, when a landslide came down, carrying him almost to the bed of Carpenter creek.  When discovered the body was so mangled and crushed as to be almost beyond recognition.  It was taken to New Denver for burial.  Hunt had been in George Hughes' employ as foreman on railway construction before coming to British Columbia, and since coming here worked for Mr. Hughes as foreman at one of his corrals and stables.  He had only been at work around the mine a short time.  He leaves a wife and four children at Seattle.



[See also issue of 14 July]

Killed by Parties Unknown.

The inquest on  the body of John Kneebone, who was killed by masked men at Gem, Idaho ...


THE MINER (Nelson), 28 July 1894




KOOTENAY MAIL, 28 July 1894


News has arrived of a fatal accident at the Surprise mine, near Bear Lake during the week.  A miner, whose name could not be ascertained, was engaged performing assessment work in an upper tunnel by himself.  Bering away from camp longer than usual, a search was made for him.  It was found that the roof of the tunnel, a foot in thickness, had caved in, burying the man and smothering the life out of him.  When discovered, one hand and arm were protruding from the earth, while the body was in an upright position.  He was a married man.


KOOTENAY MAIL, 4 August 1894


One of the Big Pushing Engines Kills its Driver and Fireman.

On Monday word reached here that two men had been killed and two others dangerously wounded by the explosion of a locomotive boiler at Field, the eastern boundary of the province in the Ricky Mountains. Later intelligence corroborated the sad news.

   Engine 314, one of the big freight engines kept in the mountains for pushing up the heavy grades, left Field for the east about five o'clock on Monday afternoon in charge of Engineer Wheatley and Fireman Hunt.  The locomotive was at the rear end of a freight train, and seven or eight cars ahead two brakemen were standing on the top of a car.  After the train had gone about two miles a terrific explosion took place, which was heard at the head of the head of the train and also by those residing at Field station.  From both directions people rushed to the scene, and it was found that the boiler of 314 had burst and the debris was scattered in all directions for hundreds of yards around.  Hardly anything but the wheels was left.  Engineer Wheatley was found in an unrecognizable mass of flesh and blood, while Fireman Hunt was discovered 300 feet away with his head crushed and his limbs badly mangled.  He had been blown clean over the tree tops.  The brakemen, Thompson and Kemp, were badly injured about the head by the flying missiles, one of them so seriously as to leave slight hopes of his recovery.  Both were taken to the medicine Hat hospital.

... Some two years ago the dome of the boiler of 314 blew up while pulling the Pacific Express, three miles west of Banff.  However, nothing more serious than frightening the passengers and trainmen and causing a slight delay took place on that occasion.

   The railwaymen cannot account for Monday's accident, and it is impossible to ascertain the cause of the explosion.


MOOSE JAW HERALD TIMES (Saskatchewan), 17 August 1894

Lobb, who is accused of shooting his wife at Nanaimo, is out on bail till the fall assizes.


Alfred Bland, of Victoria, for some time missing, is supposed to have been drowned.


Willie Cadden, son of Mr. Wm. Cadden, watchman on the C.P.R. at Roger's Pass, lost his life by drowning.  He and some other boys were bathing in a slough upon the Indian reservation when he got beyond his depth and was unable to swim.  The body was recovered soon afterwards.  No inquest was thought necessary.



TRIBUNE, 22 September 1894

Fatal Accident at the Silver King.

The first fatal accident at the Silver King mine occurred this morning at 7 o'clock.  Peter Campbell, who had but recently been employed at the mine, fell into a shaft partly filled with water and was drowned.  Mr. Campbell came to Nelson last year from Inverness-shire, Scotland, where he was born in 1855.  A widowed sister keeps the Stanley house at Nelson.


THE MINER (Nelson), 29 September 1894

The Coroner, Dr. Arthur, held an inquest at the Silver King into the death by drowning of Peter Campbell who, as reported in our last week's issue, fell into a sump and was drowned.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

   The other evening a Chinaman was shot near New Westminster.  He was well known and owned a ranch in the neighborhood.  Government offers a reward for information leading to the discovery of the murderer.


THE MINER (Nelson), 13 October 12894

The remains of the unfortunate msn Robert Neely were found on the shore of the lake above Daly's ranch, removing any  further doubt as to the cause of his disappearance.  Though much decomposed the identity of the deceased was easily recognized, and there being no marks of violence nor reason to suppose that the death was anything but an accident, Dr. Arthur did not deem it necessary to hold an inquest.  The body was brought to town for burial.  The deceased had a son here a year ago and friends have communicated with him.


THE MINER (Nelson), 27 October 1894

Jessie Keith, a daughter of William Keith, farmer, while returning home from Listowell by a railway track, was stripped, outraged and stabbed to death buy some person unknown.  A search was instituted and the body found near the track.  The deed is supposed to have been done by tramps.  The body was found hidden under moss and rotten wood.  The clothing had been removed.  The murderer was seen in the vicinity to-day and a search party is scouring the country. The crown-attorney, sheriff and coroner arrived to-night and an inquest is now going on.  The body is frightfully mangled and slashed in many places.


THE LEDGE, 15 November 1894

The lower end of Kootenay lake was the scene of a fatal gunning accident Thursday.  Gus Adams and J. Keppler were out hunting, and a stray shot from the former's rifle struck Keppler above the knee and glanced in to his body.  Adams started with the wounded man in a boat for assistance.  The streamer Nelson was met and Keppler was taken to Bonner's Ferry, where the wound was pronounced fatal.


THE MINER (Nelson), 24 November 1894

At Nanaimo on the 16th William Quail, a miner employed by the New Vancouver Coal Co., met with a fatal accident in No. 1 Level of the Esplanade shaft.  John Wilson and Charles Webster were working on a cross-cut which was being put through for an airway.  The shit fired by them blew through to the ceiling , where Quail and his partner, C. Hansen, were working.  Quail received the full force of the blast about the head and shoulders.  With his skull fractured, his neck and both arms broken, and other severe injuries, death was not immediate, and despite his ghastly wounds Quail lived until his companion started to carry him to the pit-head, where death gave him a welcome relief from his agony.  Quail had been several years in the employ of the company.  He is a young man, and it is supposed has relatives in eastern Canada.

   The coroner's inquest promises to develop some interesting points.  The shot lighter will be asked to explain why the men were not warned.


THE MINER (Nelson), 1 December 1894

The inquest touching the death of Cornelius Riordan, who was killed in a sparring bout with Robert Fitzsimmons in the H. R. Jacob's house last Friday week was held at Syracuse on the 290th.  The jury brought in the following verdict after a loving wrangle, which lasted from 11 p.m. till 12.30 a.m. : we find that Cornelius Riordan came to his death in the evening of Friday, Nov. 16 from an accidentals blow delivered by Robert Fitzsimmons while engaged in a sparring exhibition on the stage of the H. R. Jacob's opera house.  We exonerate Robert Fitzsimmons from all blame.  Strong testimony against Fitzsimmons was given by Dr. D. M. Totman, who attended Riordan.  He testified that the blow delivered by Fitzsimons alone caused death.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 1 December 1894


A sad accident occurred on Sunday night at the Government wharf, New Westminster. A young woman named Johanna Nelson, in company with her sister and Mrs. Larsen, was boarding the Government snag boat Samson with the intention of visiting Mr. Larsen, an employee of the Samson, when she slipped on the narrow gang plank and fell into the water.  Ten minutes afterwards her body was found foliating between the wharf piles and taken on board the Samson.  The efforts of those present to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.  Dr. Walker was telephoned for and arrived within a quarter of an hour, but too late to save her life.  From the evidence adduced at the inquest it was apparent that the lamentable occurrence was purely accidental and the jury returned a verdict accordingly.  Miss Nelson was 24 years of age, and a native of Sweden.  She came to New Westminster about a year ago from Lynden, Wash., where she had lived for some time previously.


KOOTENAY MAIL, 15 December 1894


Andy Whalen and Ed. Wilson Drowned in the Columbia.

The people of Revelstoke were terribly shocked Wednesday morning when the fearful news became known that Andy Wilson and Ed. S. Wilson had been drowned in the Columbia the night before. Wilson had been under the care of his friends at the Victoria Hotel for several days, in consequence, probably, of the too frequent and long continued use of stimulants.  Malcolm Ross was looking after him on the fatal night, and it was feared that Wilson might attempt to do himself harm, as some of his actions had pointed that way.  About midnight he took a walk to the rear of the hotel which stands only a few feet from the river bank, and Ross and Whalen, with a lantern, went out to look for him.  On their return Ross was ahead looking frequently back to see that Wilson was following, but suddenly he rushed behind a building and slid over the bank in the snow - the bank being quite steep and nearly ten feet high.  Ross cried out ":He's gone," and rushed after him, only a few seconds behind.  Wilson made directly towards the open water across some intervening ice, which was not strong and broke through with their weight.  Wilson then ran down the river for several yards, Ross directing his course so as to overtake and head him off; but Wilson turned toward the river and, throwing his hat on the ice, rushed into the water.  Meantime, Whalen had rallied the men in the hotel and about half a dozen came running to the river, bringing a long pole.  Wilson was a good swimmer, keeping near the shore but beyond reach, and when the pole (which had a cross-piece in it for clearing snow from roofs) was pushed near him, so that he could have seized it by merely stretching out his hand, he refused to touch it.  Ross waded out until he nearly lost his footing, and the other men joined hands and, with the pole, tried to get hold of Wilson, but he refused to be helped, and swam away.  Whalen then went down the river a hundred yards, perhaps, where there is a small island in shallow water, and where the water makes a riffle in passing it.  Wilson came quite near the shore at this point, almost within reach, and Whalen, regardless of himself as he could not swim a stroke, rushed in and whether he threw himself towards Wilson to grasp hold of him, or lost his footing and fell headlong into the river, cannot be known.  Wilson, still floating and swimming, kept on the surface for some time, and Tom Horne thinks he saw him sink near the uptown steamer wharf.  But it has since been proved that it was Whalen who was seen splashing in the water off the wharf.  The moon was at the full, but the sky was overcast, and it was hardly possible to distinguish which it was.  An effort was made to get out Mr. Horne's boat but it was too late.  Ross says Wilson made only one outcry after coming to the surface from his first plunge, which he understood to be "God help me."  He was determined to throw himself away, and Andrew Whalen lost his life trying to save his friend.  All the men worked bravely, and some risked their own lives, being in the cold water up to their necks.

   The friends of the unfortunate men have been indefatigable in their efforts to recover the bodies, but so far they have been unsuccessful.


THE TRIBUNE, 22 December 1894

In carrying out His Determination He Sacrificed the Life of a Friend.

The Revelstoke Mail of the 15th contains the following particulars of the sad ending of Ed Wilson and Andy Whalen:   [As in The KOOTENAY MAIL, 15th December, above.]


THE LEDGE, 3 January 1895

A fatal shooting affray occurred on Salmon river, two miles above Fiddle creek.  Halford, Hepps, and O'Brien were working a claim, Halford supplying the grub and the others doing the work.  O'Brien and Hepps, it is said, conspired to do away with Halford when he returned with a load of supplies.  Hepps and O'Brien got into a wrangle over the conspiracy.  O'Brien shot Hepps, killing him instantly.  Halford coming up, took the gun away from O'Brien.  O'Brien then ran for a gun.  In self-defense Halford shot him through the hips.  Halford went to Mount Idaho and gave himself up.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 12 January 1895

It was the Skeleton of a Lunatic.

The skeleton found at Burnaby Lake, near New Westminster, has been proved to be that of Frank Hallgarth, a lunatic, who escaped from the asylum a year ago last month.  He was sent out to empty some spittoons and ran away.  He was a native of Iowa, and was 32 years of age at the time of his death.  While the skeleton was lying at the lakeside some one stole the skull, which has not been returned although advertised for; so the poor remains will probably be buried without the head.


THE MINER (Nelson), 19 January 1895

   The saddest event on connection with the coming down of the snow slides is the death of J. McMillan of the Eureka.  He and Jack Moore were crossing the slide which killed him on the way from the cabin to the tunnel of their property, when the slide gave way with their weight.  It was but a small slide only about three feet deep and rolling 60 feet, nevertheless it was large enough for its fatal work which it did too well.  When the slide started the part where the men were seemed to subside and instantly they were covered and carried along in the heart of the silent snow sepulchre.  For three hours they lay in the snow.  They would both have been killed but that Moore had one hand left uncovered which by dint of wriggling and loosening gave him sufficient air to come to himself and revive. Moore now began to dig himself out, succeeded and looking round saw MacMillan's snowshoes above the snow.  Mechanically, as Moore says, he commenced to dig MacMillan out, but when he got him he was dead.

   Poor MacMillan, it is thought, was killed quickly as the snow shoes acted like buoys and kept him head down all the time.  His body was brought in Saturday and has been embalmed for sending to fond and sorrowing friends in the east, who the poor fellow just dead intended to visit in the near future.

A man named King was brought to the hospital on Tuesday from Trail Creek.  He has been injured by a falling tree which struck him on the head, and he is paralyzed from the waist down.  The poor fellow was lying in the depot at Northport from Saturday morning until Monday waiting for the delayed train.  He died shortly after reaching the hospital.


THE MINER (Nelson), 26 January 1895

Louis Victor was hanged at New Westminster last week for the murder of Peter an Indian policeman at Cheam on 18th Sept. last.


THE LEDGE, 28 February 1895


H. McLaughlin, a Well-Known Carpenter, Passes in His Checks.

The first life to be taken in a quarrel in West Kootenay in years, was sacrificed at Rossland a day or two ago.  Arrivals in town assert that on Tuesday week two men, named Hugh McLaughlin and James Westcott, got in to an altercation over a building which the former purposed erecting close to one owned by the latter, and which Westcott contended would shut out the light from his premises.  From words, the altercation soon led to blows.

   McLaughlin, thoroughly incensed, picked up a hatchet, and struck Westcott over the arm and head with the back of it, peeling the skin and causing the blood to flow.  Westcott had his wounds dressed and his arm put in a sling.  Later on he again met McLaughlin and hurled an axe at him, the blade entering the calf of one of the latter's legs, severing the artery and cords.  Dt. Arthur was summoned, and administered chloroform to McLaughlin in order to dress the gaping wound.  McLaughlin lingered on for a few days, and then succumbed to loss of blood and nervous prostration.

   The body was removed to nelson yesterday, where deceased's wife lives.  Westcott was also brought in and lodged in gaol.  McLaughlin was a steady and industrious fellow.  He had erected several buildings in the Forks and Kaslo, and was generally well known and respected.


THE MINER (Nelson), 16 March 1895

Neil Heath, the Victorian School-master who was recently suspended for six months has committed suicide.  The discovery of the body was made by Thomas Osbourne, of 64 Humbolt street, who, while taking a morning walk, came upon a dead man close to the well known trail.  The body was in a sitting posture, on an old stump which formed a natural seat.  The head bowed upon the breast was covered with blood, and a stained 38 calibre revolver near the ungloved right hand, told the story.  The fatal shot had been fired full on the right temple, and had passed through coming out at the left, and carrying the hat to a distance of perhaps four feet.  Friends who knew the unfortunate man in New Zealand, where he has a wife and child living, say that his professional career as an engineer, there, which opened brilliantly, was terminated by the unmistakable evidences of mental weakness, and the same symptoms had again been observable by the friends who knew him best during his short residence here.  


QU'APPELLE PROGRESS (Saskatchewan), 2 May 1895


A Destitute Invalid Slaughtered With an Axe - A Mystery to Be Solved.

Louis Pemerlow, a French Canadian, thirty years old, was hacked to death by an axe a few days ago in the city of Vancouver.  Pemerlow was known to the whole city through his misfortunes.  A few months ago he was nearly kicked to death by a crazy drunk.  Doctors saved him, but he was again stricken with heart disease.  Destitute, out of work, disheartened, he applied for a pass to the city council that he might go to his home in Quebec, where he could be cared for until he died, and be buried by his people.  He went to live in a shack on False Creek, Vancouver city, with a man named Andrews.  His friend wrote to his parents: "Louis is grievously sick; send $75 that he may go home."  Louis' parents were very poor, but the case was urgent.  They raised $75 and sent it to their son.  Immediately afterwards the young French-Canadian disappeared, but not until a week had elapsed did his shack companion notify the police.  The police told him to find where Pemerlow had gone. Next morning Andrews reported that he found the horribly mutilated remains of the missing man only twenty feet from the shack.  The sight was a ghastly one; the body and head had been brutally hacked by an axe, which was lying beside the remains.  The horribly disfigured corpse had been raised on a stone and an attempt made to burn the body by kindling a fire around it.  Rain had evidently put the fire out and the attempt of the savage homicide to destroy all traces of the murder had been frustrated by the hand of providence.  One man who lived near Pemerlow disappeared from Vancouver a week ago.  It will be interesting, however, to hear the evidence of Andrews at the coroner's inquest.  How those living directly at the scene of the murder could be ignorant of the crime for a week must be explained to the satisfaction of the coroner.



A very sad occurrence was the death of Mrs. F. E. Mathaw, which happened last Monday morning at the Senate Hotel, where the deceased had been employed as cook for some months past.  The circumstances surrounding the case were such that the attending physician, Dr. Mclean, wishing an inquest, telegraphed coroner G. E. Manuel, of Donald, who arrived Monday afternoon.  A post mortem was held by Dr. McLean Monday night, and as a result of his examination the jury returned a verdict of death from hemorrhage.  Deceased leaves two children - both boys - who are being cared for by sympathetic friends until such time as their relatives - if any - can be communicated with.


THE LEDGE, 27 June 1895

Mrs. F. E. Matlaw, formerly of Watson and Three Forks, died at the Senate Hotel, in Revelstoke, last week.  Owing to suspicious circumstances an inquest was held, and the jury found that she died from hemorrhage.  She leaves two children, her husband having died in Idaho some years ago.




A Watchman Fatally Injured Near Tappen Siding Last Night.

TAOPPEN SIDING, July 13. - A fatal accident happened last night about a mile east of Tappen Siding, whereby watchman Powers lost his life.  The unfortunate man was has been employed as watchman at Genelle's mill, which is located about a mile east of the Siding, had gone to Salmon Arm to participate in the Orange demonstration held there yesterday and was returning on the special from Kamloops.  To save walking back from the Siding he attempted to jump from the train while it was passing the mill, with the result that he was thrown under the wheels and had both legs cut off near the trunk.  The train was stopped and he was taken aboard, but expired before Kamloops was reached.


THE MINER (Nelson) 3 August 1895

On Monday last two men named Charles Sundholm and John Matson were overcome by the fumes of a previous shot in an upraise at the Blue Bell.  The former fell to the ground, a distance of some 30 feet, and was killed.  The Coroner, Dr. Arthur, held an inquest on Tuesday, when a verdict of accidental death was returned.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 24 August 1895


It was a Case of Suicide - Geo. Calloway's Body Recovered.

ILLECILLEWAET, August 22. - The body of Geo. Calloway, who disappeared over three weeks ago under circumstances pointing to self-destruction, was found on Monday in the river about two miles west of Illecillewaet, b y Andrew Stanestrom and John McGregor, who were out fishing for trout.  It had been caught by the feet by a log, and had been held under water until brought to view by the recent fall in the river.

   The Coroner, Dr. Mclean, was notified at once by telegraph, and came up from Revelstoke Tuesday morning.  Selecting Thos. Richardson as officer, a coroner's jury was summoned composed of Swan Anderson, Andrew Stanestrom, Andrew Erickson, Wm. Cleveland, Walter Scott and Archie Chisholm.  It required about four hours to secure the body, which was done by using cables, as it was on the opposite side of the river at a place where there were no means of crossing.  The witnesses testified to the finding of tracks pointing directly towards the river, to his disordered state of mind and hints at suicide, and to the finding of the body.  The verdict of the jury was that the deceased came to his death by his own act during a period of temporary aberration of mind.

   The remains were taken to Revelstoke by the brother of deceased, who arrived from Ducks Wednesday morning, and were buried in the cemetery there same evening.

   Geo. Calloway is kindly remembered by all who knew him.  He was always ready to oblige a friend and to perform an act of kindness to those who were in need or unfortunate, and sincere regret is felt at his untimely end.


THE MINER (Nelson), 5 October 1895

Mr. Charles Hayward, jr.,  died last week at Kamloops.  He was very well known in Nelson, where he was a general favorite amongst his acquaintances.  Not long ago he was employed for some time in the recorder's office here and since receiving his appointment as timber inspector, has visited Nelson in that capacity.  During his last trip in West Kootenay he suffered from an attack of hemorrhage of the lungs, from which he never quite recovered.  This was aggravated by a fall from a buggy, brining on the last illness, which proved fatal


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 26 October 1895

Buried Alive in a Mine.

A fatal accident occurred last Sunday afternoon at the Cariboo mine, Quesnelle Forks, whereby S. Budden lost his life by a cave-in in pit No. 2.  The men were expecting the cave-in for twenty minutes, and had got their tools all out of the pit; Budden and McLeod were in the slucing, and all hands were out of danger.  Just before the fall, Budden, for some unexplained reason, started back up the sluice, and when it fell he ran ahead of it in the sluice and was caught and covered up.  All the other men escaped without a scratch.  The monitor was carried in the dump and the sluices that stood out over the dump were smashed, and broken down into the dump.  Repairs will be made in a few days.


THE LEDGE, 7 November 1895


Last Thursday J. Wood noticed in a creek near his bakery what he supposed to be a prospector's pack.  Grasping it, he was surprised to find the body of a man, the face disfigured beyond recognition but the rest of the body in a good state of preservation.  The body was taken to the Slocan Star ore house, and a jury with J. W. Edwards as foreman held an informal inquest.  In the pockets of his coat were found a Kaslo paper, of August 1st, and a bottle of whiskey.  The jury gave a verdict of death from unknown causes and the unidentified remains were conveyed to New Denver and buried in the cemetery.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 14 December 1895

George Platt, an "old timer," who resided here some four or five years ago, was drowned in Kootenay Lake a few days ago.


One Man Missing and three others seriously Injured.

A premature explosion on the rock section of the Arrow Lake branch extension, last Tuesday, resulted in the death of one man and serious injury to three others.  The accident occurred on a section for which John Wilson, a Swede, as the sub-contradictor and he had some 27 men at work for him.  Wilson says that the hole, which was about 18 feet deep, had been sprung and partially recharged when it became blocked about three feet from the bottom by stone and dirt falling into it.  A bucket of water was poured into it to free the hole of the obstruction; he and a man named W. Johnston, also a Swede, were using a drill when the explosion occurred.  Wilson ran up the hill and was uninjured, while the mass of rock fell into the cut below, in which the other men were working, and it is a matter of surprise how so many of them escaped alive.  No trace of Johnston could be found, though the rock in the cut was all removed Wednesday with this object in view, and it is supposed that he was blown into the river.  Of the three men injured in the cut two were Italians and one a Scotchman.  Dr. McLean went down on a hand car Tuesday night to attend the wounded men, who were brought up on Wednesday and sent to the hospital at Donald Thursday morning.

   Great indignation prevailed among the foreigners in the camp who alleged carelessness as the cause of the accident, and there was some talk of lynching Wilson. Who got out and made his way to town Wednesday night and reported himself to the police.  Commissioner Graham says he has made all inquiries possible in the case and fails to discover that anyone is blamable for the accident.  Johnston was a sailor and hailed from Vancouver.  If his body is recovered there will be an inquest, when, no doubt, the evidence will disclose the true cause of the accident.  Wilson remains in town in the mean time.


THE MINER (Nelson), 11 January 1896

Dr. Arthur, Coroner for West Kootenay held an inquest on Monday last on the body of a man which was found dead on the Nakusp and Slocan Railway near McGuigan Siding.  There was no mark of violence and there was every appearance of the unfortunate man having met his death from exposure.  The body was viewed by at least a couple of hundred people not one of whom was able to identify the deceased.  He was apparently a Hungarian Jew.  An open verdict was returned.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 18 January 1896

The news of a somewhat similar occurrence was received from the same camp [Trout Lake camp] this week, but this time it was attended with fatal results.  Two miners, J. H. Hoar and W. Breckenridge, who had been employed for some months on the Abbott group, at the head of Healey creek, were the victims.  The camp was built in the timber about 1 ½ miles from and below the mine, and the two men were working their shift when overtaken by the slide.  No trace of them had been found when the camp was last heard from, and it is hardly possible that their remains will be recovered for some months.  Hoar is a brother of O. D. Hoar, who is superintendent at the Abbott group, while Breckenridge, it is said, came to this section from Kaslo.  The sad occurrence has cast a deep gloom over the whole camp.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 21 March 1896

Four Miners Killed at Rossland.

A terrific explosion occurred at the Centre Star mine last Saturday which resulted fatally to four men and inflicted probable fatal injuries upon two others.  The explosion was caused by the ignition of two boxes of giant powder which were being thawed out in hot water.  The dead are Thos. Gibbons, Mike Ravigan, Jos. Donlan and Daniel Lynch.  The injured are Ed. Shanahan and Mike brooks.

   It was nearly an hour before the mine could be cleared of gasses so that men could go in to the rescue.  Gibbons and lynch were dead before aid reached them, evidently having been killed by concussion.  Ravigan and Dolan were asphyxiated.


THE BRANDON MAIL (Manitoba), 26 March 1896

A Roseland, B.C. special of March 14 says: one of the most disastrous accidents in the history of British Columbia precious metal mining occurred at the Centre Star mine here this afternoon.  As a result of the explosion of two boxes of giant powder, four men are dead and two more are so seriously hurt that they will probably die.  Two boxes of giant powder were being thawed out in hot water.  The only man who knows how it became ignited lies at the point of death in the hospital.  He came running out of the tunnel crying "the powder is on fire," but before he could reach a place of safety the explosion occurred, and only two escaped death or serious injury. [List.] The air pipes from the compressor were torn out at the place of the explosion and it was nearly an hour before the mines could be cleared of gasses so that men could go down to the rescue. ...


THE MINER (Nelson), 21 March 1896


Full Particulars of the Explosion Which Cist Five Lives.

Coroner's Inquest the Remains. - Verdict of the Jury.  Mammoth Funeral.

Full particulars are now at hand concerning the terrible explosion of giant powder in the Center Star mine at Rossland last Saturday.   Dr. E. C. Arthur, coroner for West Kootenay proceeded from Nelson to the scene of the accident where he found the bodies of Edward Shanaghan, Joseph Dolan, Michael Galaghan, Daniel Lynch and Thomas Gibbons awaiting inquest.  On March 16, a jury, consisting of C. C. Woodhouse, foreman, Thomas Furlong, T. H. Whalen. John Hartlines, Wm. Weeks and John Martin was empaneled and the taking of evidence began.  [Continues with details of the recovery of bodies; See also KOOTENAY MAIL, 28 March below.]


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 28 March 1896


A Broken Casting Falls and Kills an Experienced Bridgeman.

Construction work on the big C. P. R. bridge across the Columbia has claimed another victim.  The fifth accident and second fatality on this work occurred yesterday morning when an experienced bridgeman and old employee, named John McCauley lost his life.  He was working with others on the bottom cord, about 20 feet below the top of the bridge, and 25 feet above the ice and timber.  He was one of Miller's bridge gang, and they were taking out rods and castings near the surface of the bridge, which loosened them for lowering by ropes.  One of these castings was broken, but the fracture being on the under side was not observed, and a piece weighing 80 to 90 pounds fell and struck McSourley knocking him to the ice and rubbish below.

   The man who handled the rope and castings above cried "look out," and one man jumped out of the way, but McSourley did not appear to realize the danger, and caught the full blow, slightly stooping on his back.  In falling, he struck a Swede who was made insensible for awhile, but was not seriously injured.

    McSourley received two severe cuts, one on the back of the head, the other on the forehead, each about three inches long, from which blood flowed profusely.  There did not appear to be any internal injuries, but death occurred between 12 and 1 o'clock, about five hours after the accident.

   Elijah McDonald was one of the first to help him, and staid with him at the car to which he was removed.  McSourley recognized him and said "Mack, take me home."

   Dr. McKechnie says there was no fracture of the skull, and as far as could be judged no internal injury, but in his opinion death was caused by hemorrhage which brought fatal pressure upon the organs of respiration.

   Dr. McLean, Coroner, and officer T. Cadman summoned a jury composed of F. B. Wells, W. M. Brown, A. McNeil, Albert Stone, John Abrahamson and James W. Vail, (foreman).

   Several witnesses gave testimony in substance as above detailed, and the finding of the jury was as follows:

   "That the said John McSourley on the 27th day of March, being at work on the railway bridge across the Columbia river at Revelstoke, was struck by a casting falling from a height of about 15 feet, and knocked to the timber and ice below, about 20 to 25 feet, by means whereof the said John McSourley received wounds which caused his death about five hours afterwards.

   And we, the jurors, would recommend that extreme caution should be taken by those in charge of constructing this bridge, in giving warning of danger that may be feared, to the working men below, in time to save themselves." [Funeral cancelled, body taken to Ottawa, Ont.]


Attributable to the Carelessness of One of the Victims.

An inquest was held on the bodies of the victims of the recent mine horror at Rossland and from the evidence it is apparent that the explosion, which resulted in the death of five men was caused through the carelessness of one of the victims who was engaged in boring powder sticks with the end of his candlestick, containing a lighted candle, a practice common among miners.

   The story of the disaster as told to the jury by Jeremiah Collins, Ed. Shanaghan's companion is as follows:

   Saturday, the 11th instant, I was working on the day shift in the Center Star mine.  I was working with the deceased Shanaghan.  We were finished drilling and ready to charge the holes.  I went to the blacksmith shop for fuse and string.  The fuse is kept in the blacksmith shop already capped.  I returned with the twelve pieces of fuse that were needed, with cap upon each piece.  I found Shanaghan there digging powder out of the sticks.  He had prepared three or four sticks and laid them between me and him for me to grease the fuse.  He had a wire candlestick which was not large enough to make the hole in the stick for the cap; he was using his own candlestick.  I laid the fuse around the bucket of grease so that I could pull them out as I needed them.  I had taken the first one out and greased it, put the hole in a cartridge with my own candlestick, put the grease on and closed the paper around the fuse, and was tying the string around the paper and fuse.  I think I had the cartridge between my knees when Shanaghan jumped over me, knocking me down. He did not speak as he jumped over me.  I got up and Shanaghan was out of my sight.  When I saw the powder blazing I started out if the tunnel.  Shanaghan was ahead of me and fell.  He was on his feet before I could pass him.  When we were at the door of the blacksmith shop, Shanaghan first spoke, saying, "Jerry, for Christ's sake go and tell Pete," meaning the foreman.  I told the foreman, who was in the blacksmith shop, that the powder was on fire.  He asked if we had told the men inside.  I said we had no time to do so.  He then ran out of the shop, but I do not know where he went to.  When I came out I found Shanaghan standing as I had left him, facing the tunnel in front of the shop.  I told him this is a bad place to be.  He did not speak or move that I saw.  That was the last I saw of him before the explosion.  Not more than two minutes elapsed from the time the powder took fire until the explosion occurred.  The powder I saw on fire was the powder I mentioned as being prepared and laid between us. There could be no caps on those sticks.  The caps and fuse would not be distant more than twenty inches from the burning powder.  The caps were nearest the fire.  I carried the stick into which I had placed the cap to the point where Shanaghan fell; I then threw it behind me as far as I could.  I could have thrown the burning powder away from the place where it was if I had not been knocked down.  I could have done so after I had got to my feet again if I had not lost my presence of mind.

   I don't know how much powder there was at the place where the explosion occurred.  It was the duty of Joseph Dolan to place the powder there, under the foreman's instructions.  The foreman carried the keys to the powder magazine.  The burning sticks would not be more than two feet distant from the heater on which the powder was.  The heater was a square tin box, long enough for two sticks inside.  Outside it was another which held the hot water.  So far as I know all the powder in the tunnel at that time was in the heater excepting the sticks Shanaghan had removed from it.  I think the heater would hold not more than 100 pounds.  I don't know how much powder was in the heater at the time. 

   I saw Shanaghan after the explosion.  He was lying on his back about 50 to 75 feet from where he had been standing when I left him.  Shanaghan was using his candlestick, in which there was a lighted candle, for removing powder from the sticks, and it must have been from his candle that the powder was ignited.  I think the candle had been burned not more than one hour.  It is customary to use our candlesticks for preparing the powder to receive the fuse.

   The jury returned the following verdict:

   That the said Ed. Shanaghan, together with Joseph Dolan, Michael Gavigan, Daniel Lynch, and Thomas Gibbons came to their death by an explosion of giant powder in the Center Star mine.  From the evidence we are of the opinion that the explosion was caused by the giant powder becoming ignited in the hands of Ed. Shanaghan while probing cartridges for blasting in the mine. The custom we find to be common among miners of boring out the end of a candlestick containing a lighted candle should be universally condemned.  We should recommend to the legislature of British Columbia that a law be passed that no powder shall be stored in a mine, and further that all the charges of powder shall be thawed out ready for use in blasting at some place prepared for that purpose above ground and at a safe distance from the main powder magazine and buildings about the mine and, furthermore, that the inspectors of mines be appointed for the mines of British Columbia.  We found the Center Star mine well ventilated, and with a good system of escapes by ladders and tunnels.


THE MINER (Nelson), 18 April 1896


A terrible explosion occurred last week at Nanaimo.  Austin Stevenson an employee of the Hamilton Powder Company, was driving a cart with 400 lbs. of nitro-glycerine from the lower works to the mill, when by some accident the stuff exploded with such terrific effect that man and wagon were literally blown into nothingness, while the horse was horribly mutilated, its head and legs being torn from the body, and the latter disemboweled.  The ground within a circle of fully fifty yards in diameter looks as if a cyclone had recently struck it.  Trees are torn up by the roots in all directions and the few houses in the vicinity are badly shaken and their windows shattered in fragments; the small cottage of A. E. Douglas, situated about 200 yds. Away from the scene of the tragedy sustained the greatest damage in this respect though none of the occupants are injured.



Victoria Bridge Disaster Point Ellice.


THE BRANDON MAIL (Manitoba), 9 July 1896


Eddie, the young son of R. S. Drewer, Port Dresden, was drowned a few days ago while bathing.


THE MINER (Nelson), 12 September 1896

Stabbing in London and medical evidence; mentions - "It is possibly fortunate for McGregor who was recently tried for stabbing a man at Rossland, that the details of this case had not reached here then.


THE MINER (Nelson) 17 October 1896


Has a Preliminary Examination Before Stipendiary Magistrate Fitzstubbs on Wednesday.

The preliminary examination  of James Woods for the murder of S. M. Woods, the blacksmith, which was set for Monday afternoon, could not be heard, owing to the absence of Crown Prosecutor Joseph H. Bowes.  The magistrate therefore again remanded the hearing until Wednesday at 2 p.m., at which hour all concerned were ready to go forward with the case.

   The witnesses who testified at the coroner's inquest, namely, Dr. David La Bau, Dr. G. Hamilton, H. Symonds, William Beard and Constable John Miles, were examined by the crown prosecutor, but no new evidence was adduced aside from that which they had sworn to before colonel Arthur.

   The evidence of Joseph Tallmire and Sid Cummings, as given before the coroner, was not taken at this hearing, but will be again brought out at the trial.

   Jesse Bogard was a new witness, but nothing having a very important bearing on the case was embodied in his testimony.  He swore to meeting the accused on the Spokane Falls & Northern railway track several days previous to the tragedy and when the prisoner was heading this way on foot.  Heard him called Al, but did not know if that was his name.

   Frank B. Haroer, a musician and resident of Nelson, testified to having seen the prisoner on Wednesday and Thursday nights previous and also on the night of the shooting.  He noticed prisoner, because he appeared so reticent in a crowd at the Tremont house, where on these particular nights they had been having some warm arguments, and the only one in the party who had not a word to say was the prisoner.  Thought it rather singular, because the controversies were upon the question of nationality.  Spoke to accused on the night of the shooting, but could get no satisfactory answer from him.  He (prisoner) was at the Tremont house until about 10:30 or 11 o'clock Friday evening, but did not know which way he went after he left.  Saw the wounded man next day, and  from his description of his assailant, immediately concluded prisoner was the culprit and so informed Constable O'Loane.

   This concluded the examination of the witnesses.  The prisoner was told by the court that he was at liberty to testify in his own behalf, but replied that he had no testimony to offer.

   The ante-mortem deposition of S. M. Woods was not offered in evidence, Mr. Bowes arguing that sufficient testimony had been offered to warrant committal without putting in this document, and as the prisoner had no counsel to represent him, objection might be raised to this statement being made use of at this hearing when the case came up for trial.

   After a little argument Magistrate Fitzstubbs deferred to this view of the crown prosecutor, and then intimated that he was ready to hear Mr. Bowes' argument as to why the accused should be committed.

   The argument was brief but pointed.  Mr. Bowes submitted that the accused should be committed for trial on a charge of murder for the following reasons:

The positive ante-mortem statement of S. M. Woods that the prisoner was the party who shot him, as testified by Constable Miles.

When arrested and searched the accused was found to have concealed in his person a revolver and a "billy," the carrying of which weapon is against the law and they are rarely used except for violent purposes.

The conduct of the accused when arrested was not that of an innocent man; he showed no surprise or indignation, but seemed to take his arrest as a matter of course.

After hearing these arguments the magistrate at once committed the accused for trial at the next court of competent jurisdiction.

   Mr. Bowes  asked that witnesses Beard, Harper and Tallmire be bound over to appear when called upon.

   The prisoner maintained an easy and imperturbable demeanor throughout the proceedi9ngs.  He refused to question any of the witnesses or give evidence in his own behalf, although he paid strict attention to everything that was said.  His whole manner and conduct since the shooting is that of a man who had seen so many of the hardships of life that he is utterly indifferent as to what becomes him.  In the jail he never speaks of the shooting but is willing to talk of his home and past life.  He was born in Galt, Ontario, where his parents are still livi8ng.  He says he has two brothers in the furrier business in Galt, one of them being a traveler for the firm.

  The prisoner is only about 25 years of age.  The police believe that Woods is not his proper name, though why he should assume the name of his victim is inexplicable.

   As  there is not fixed date for the holding of assize courts in West Kootenay as yet, it is uncertain when the case will come up again.  The matter is at the discretion of the attorney-general, who may think it well to order a special court on account of the grave nature of the case, otherwise the prisoner will have to remain in jail until the spring assize court.




A coroner's jury sat at Camp McKinney on Wednesday of this week to inquire into the causes which resulted in the death of a man called Matthew Rhoderick.

   Joseph Keane, foreman in employ of the Cariboo Mining company, testified that he had been instructed by the police authorities to be on the watch for Rhoderick, who was suspected of having been connected with the highway robbery in August last when Mr. G. B. McAuley was "held up" and relieved of gold bricks valued in the neighborhood of $10,000.  He (witness) had been told to detain Rhoderick if necessary.  On the day that Rhoderick came by his death information had been received that the suspected highwayman was in the vicinity, and he (witness) accompanied by another employee of the Company named Graham left together to discover Rhoderick's whereabouts.  They suddenly came upon their man walking along the road.  Graham immediately hid behind a stump, but he (witness) had not time to do so.  He called our "is that you, Mat ?" when Rhoderick raised the Winchester rifle he was carrying and pointed it at witness who immediately fired his revolver, - noticing by the flash that Rhoderick's rifle was pointed directly for his breast - instantly killing Rhoderick.  The witness evidently felt very keenly the position in which he was so unfortunately placed.

   After other witnesses had been heard the jury brought in a verdict of "justifiable homicide," exonerating Keane from all blame.  The jury was composed of: H. Nicholson (foreman), J. Atwood, W. H. Blick, A. Cosens, Geo. M. Bennet, V. R. Swanson.  Dr. Jakes, of Greenwood, coroner for this district, presided. 


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 14 November 1896



While Thawing Dynamite - They were Instantly Killed and Their Bodies were Terribly Mangled - The Remains Recovered.

A shocking accident occurred Wednesday on Cariboo Creek, about 12 miles from Illecillewaet, whereby Chris. Berger and Crist. Miller lost their lives.

   These two men were working by themselves on the Round Hill claim situated on Cariboo Creek and owned by Messrs. McCallum & Potts.  Though no person witnessed the accident, it is supposed that they must have gone down to their cabin from the mine to thaw out some dynamite which, exploding, killed them instantly and shattered the cabin to pieces.

   A man working in the vicinity heard the explosion and proceeded at once in the direction of the sound, but could find neither cabin or men.

   The next day, Walter Scott, J.P., of Illecillewaet, went up and discovered the remains of the poor fellows.  The bodies were only partially recovered, being fearfully mangled and widely scattered.

    Through the complete isolation of the place and the victims of the accident being alone particulars are very meagre, and the manner of their death but mere conjecture.  Everything points, however, to its being by thawing out the dynamite, a practice which has before now occasioned considerable loss of valuable life, as in Rossland last winter.

   The Coroner left Revelstoke yesterday for the scene of the explosion and will hold an inquest on the remains.

   Miller was but slightly known here, but his partner, Berger, had many acquaintances, as he worked for some time in an extra railway gang in this neighborhood.  It is said he leaves a wife and family to mourn his loss.



The verdict of "justifiable homicide" on the part of Keene, brought in by the coroner's jury at the inquest held on the 28th ult., is still much discussed and by many severely criticised.  Judging, however, from the affidavits that have since been published, there is little room to doubt that if not the principal, the unfortunate man Rhoderick was at least implicated in the highway robbery of last August.

   But this in no way affects the case of the manner in which  he met his death, and it is highly probable that when the evidence obtained by the coroner is submitted to the Attorney-General, a further enquiry will be instituted.  Killing a man, even under circumstances as extreme as on the occasion in not lightly to be passed over without full and careful enquiry.


THE MINER (Nelson), 14 November 1896

$100 REWARD.

A reward of one hundred dollars will be given by A. Powys for the recovery or information leading to the recovery of Evelyn A. S. Powys who is believed to have met with a fatal accident in the neighborhood of Nelson on the 21st October last. ...



The inquest that was to have been held at Camp McKinney by Dr. Morris on the body of Roderick, the supposed highwayman, has been postponed.


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 12 December 1896



Found hurt between the switches and Died at Revelstoke later - Coroner holds an inquest and suggests then lighting of the depot at Arrowhead.

   The inquest on the body of the man killed on the Arrow Lake branch last Friday, disclosed the fact that deceased was a Swede named Andrew Johnson.  The coroner's jury decided on Monday that he was "killed accidentally by an engine, while under the influence of liquor, no blame attaching to anyone."

   From what can be gathered it appears that Johnson came to this part of the country about two months ago from Manitoba, and was for a while cutting wood for the C. & K. Co.'s boats and, more recently, has been employed on an extra C. P. R. gang under James Armstrong.  On Friday night last about 10:30 J. J. Foley of the Lakeview Hotel, Arrowhead while returning from the Str. Nakusp, heard groans and on searching found Johnson lying between the switches on his back with legs drawn up.  He was only semi-conscious and did not seem to know how he had been hurt.  He was removed to Revelstoke that night and a wire was forwarded for a doctor and government officer to meet the train.  He was still alive on his arrival but badly injured and expired soon after the arrival of the doctor.  He was buried on Monday afternoon, Rev. F. Yelland officiating.

   A rider was added to the verdict suggesting that, as the depot and its neighborhood at Arrowhead is more or less a thoroughfare, the railway company should properly light the place.  This is a most proper suggestion, as several persons who have had to cross rails and under cars at Arrowhead in the dark will testify, and should be acted upon by the company.




It is with feelings of genuine sorrow that we chronicle this week the sudden and tragic death of Mr. R. N. Taylor, which occurred early in Wednesday morning.  Up to a late hour on Tuesday night Mr. Taylor was in full enjoyment of vigorous health and spirits, and it seemed hardly credible to those who had talked and laughed with him but a few hours previous that he should have passed to that bourne whence none return. ...

[From Barrow, England; biography.]

   An inquest on the body of the late Mr. R. N. Taylor was held at 1 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon by Dr. Jakes, coroner for the district, and a jury of Messrs. T. Miller (foreman) R. Wood, Hallett, Huff, Sansom, Webb and Worgan.

   The first witness, Mr. J. Fisher, deposed as follows:  At 10 minutes to 1 on Wednesday morning I heard Mr. Taylor unlock, enter and re-lock the front door of the drug-store, of which we are joint proprietors.  He came in to the back part of the building, which we used as a living and sleeping room, and remarked to me that he and Mr. Rendall had passed a very pleasant evening with the doctor.  I was then in bed. Deceased took the lamp from the table near the head of his bed and went over to the dispensing counter, commencing to do something there, I could not see plainly what as the light was dim.  Mr. Taylor was in the habit of taking a dose of bromo-seltzer before retiring for the night.  The bottle in which the bromo-seltzer is kept is very similar in size, color and appearance to that containing the poison.  I saw deceased lift something to his lips, he staggered over to the bed, and said, I think I will go to bed now."  These were the last words he ever spoke.  He dropped suddenly on to the bed in a way that struck me as strange, and at the same time I noticed a strong odour in the room.  I jumped up and said, "For God's sake Dick what have you done?"  I recognized the smell as the same as came from a drug Mr. Taylor had given me for the purpose of poisoning a bird. I immediately rushed into the store, procured a bottle of castor oil, and poured the contents down deceased's throat. He swallowed three parts of the contents of the bottle.  I then ran for the doctor.  On my return the deceased was breathing irregularly; I gave him some more oil.  About three minutes after the doctor's arrival death occurred.  Deceased had been very jolly all day and so far as witnesses knew had had no trouble on his mind.  Deceased was not intoxicated when he swallowed the poison.  Witness was satisfied that it was purely accidental.

   Mfr. G. A. Rendell said: Had known deceased for nearly four years and he was never otherwise than cheerful; was with him at Dr. Jakes'

 On  Tuesday evening and there asked him  if he would go to Greenwood camp on New Year's  night, to which he consented.  We left the hospital together and I bid him good-night near the store about 11 o'clock.  Do not know where he went after that time.

   Dr. G. W. Hepworth, Grand Forks, stated that he had examined the body of deceased and noticed the smell of hydrocyanic or prussic acid escaping from his mouth; there were no marks of external injury; the poison taken is the strongest preparation made,. And from the appearance of the body would have no hesitation in ascribing death to the effect of the acid.

   Police Constable Elkins testified to being called by Mr. Fisher at 1.25 on Wednesday morning, and reaching then drug store found Mr. Taylor was dead.  Dr. Jakes was present in the room.

   The coroner, in addressing the jury said there could be no question as to the cause of death and no difficulty in rendering a verdict.  Mr. Miller then announced the fin ding of the jury to be "Accidental death."


 Deceased was a member of both the Freemasons and Oddfellows, bur as neither order have an organized lodge in Greenwood they were unable to officiate at the funeral other than as personal friends.  The pall-bearers, however, were all Freemasons.


THE NELSON TRIBUNE, 27 February 1897

W. W. West and a party of men were sent out by the government agent early this week to bring in the body of the deceased miner Sherwood, who died from exposure on the Whitewater trail.  The coroner did not consider an inquest necessary as the cause of death was manifest.


THE MINER (Nelson), 6 March 1897


A Woman Suicides. - ...

Special Correspondence to THE MINER.

Kaslo, March 6. - Coroner Arthur of Nelson held an inquest last Monday concerning the death of Car9oline Bertrand, a French-Canadian woman, who was found dead in her cabin on Sunday morning.  Evidence showed that the woman had taken an overdose of laudanum with suicidal intent.


THE MINER (Nelson), 20 March 1897


A Prospector Dashed to Death by a Train on the Nelson & Fort Sheppard Railway.

Wm. Bryan, a prospector, was run over by the Nelson and Fort Sheppard train at 3:15 o'clock last Wednesday afternoon about half a mile south of North Fork.  The body was brought to nelson.  The jury called by the coroner, Dr. Arthur, rendered a verdict of accidental death and completely exonerated the railroad company and its employees from any blame.

   From the testimony gathered at the inquest, it appears that Bryan had been on a protracted spree but according to the story of his partner, Gus Anderson, was sober on Tuesday.  Since that time Anderson had not seen him and the supposition is that deceased celebrated the 12th of Ireland and while walking along the track at the point mentioned, stopped to take a rest. The testimony of the engineer was to the effect that when the engine was rounding a curve, witness saw Bryan reclining on a snow bank with his feet stretched across the rails.  Every effort was made to stop the train but the slippery rails carried it a hundred yards beyond where the man was lying.  When he was picked up his skull was fractured and life was extinct.  The snow plow on the engine had thrown Bryan's feet high upon the snow bank and caused his head to slip down under the cars where one of the oil boxes or steps had fractured the skull.

   Deceased lived in a cabin on the line of the railroad, about three and one half miles from where he met his death,  His burial took place at Nelson on Thursday afternoon.



Carlson's Body Is Recovered.

The body of Godfrey Carlson, a Swede, was discovered Sunday morning floating in the river five mile north of Trail.  It was brought to Trail by constable Devitt.  The coroner was notified, but it was evidently a case of suicide, no inquest was held.  The body was so badly decomposed as to be almost beyond recognition, but it was identified by letters in a pocket.  One was from Carlson's father in Sweden and reprimanded him for excessive drinking.  The other was from Fred Baker, authorizing him to sell some Slocan claims.  In his pocket was 30 cents.


THE LEDGE (NAKUSP), 1       April 1897

It was reported last week that Di Michele, who lost his life in the mountains a few days ago had started from Conundrum cabin on his fatal trip.  This was not so as he had not been at the Conundrum for three days.  The report of the inquest will be found in another column.


The Party Set Out for the Body of Di Michele


By Friday evening's boat from down the lake Wm. Thomlinson, Patrick S. and Felix Hughes, Thos. Reid and Frank Hart came up from Ten Mile with the body of Francisco Di Michele, the unfortunate miner who lost his life in the mountains six miles up from the Enterprise mine, the finding of which was reported last week.  The party had a most perilous trip and each of them was very much exhausted.  They state that had their mission been anything but what it was, had the body been so much gold, they never would have risked what they did in getting it out of the mountains to the wagon road.

   In the report circulated last week the facts were not accurately stated,  At the coroner's inquest held Saturday morning, before a jury of John O. McKay, F. LoCasto, Henry Stege, Jas. Clark, H. H. Knox and Dougald McMillan, Patrick S. Hughes and Wm. Thomlinson gave the particulars of finding the body and the bringing of it to New Denver.  Sunday morning between 10 and 11 o'clock Di Michele left camp Aylwin with a valise and sack weighing probably 75 pounds.  He was not a man accustomed to liquor, but on leaving he took a glass of whiskey and put a pint flask of it in his pocket.  To save a mile or twp's travel, he was to avoid touching campo Conundrum and made straight for his own camp, a distance of six miles.  P. S. Hughes of the Conundrum camp, had arranged with Di Michele to go Monday to the latter's cabin intending to go with him to hunt a mineral claim.  Had such arrangements not been made Di Michele's body may never have been found and his whereabouts would have been a mystery.  Hughes started Monday morning following the snow shoe trail made by deceased on previous visits to and from their camp, until he reached the main trail leading to Di Michele's cabin.  He found, about 100 feet from where he struck the main trail, indications that Di Michele had gone up the centre of the gulch instead of continuing on the trail.

   About 100 feet out into the gulch he noticed a bank of snow which he supposed had been shovelled by deceased in search of a discovery post, but on closer examination he found that Di Michele had tramped down a straight-face, three or four feet high, which he evidently did in his efforts to climb the obstruction.  About 30 feet further he found where Di Michele had evidently become bewildered and madly struggled and floundered in the deep snow, sometimes on his hands and knees.  He there picked up one of his snow shoes.  Di Michele had struggled on, the snow showing handmarks where he had struggled and fallen from side to side.

   At a point where the trail was very steep, not more than 200 feet from Di Michele's cabin Hughes saw where the deceased had slid or fallen into a clump of timber, and thinking that he had possibly regained the trail and made the distance to his cabin he went and knocked at the door.  Receiving no answer he tried it, and, it being a single slab without hinges, it fell in.  There was no signs that Di Michele had been there, and fearing then that something had happened him, Hughes returned to the spot where he had fallen from the trail.  There, 40 or 50 feet below, he saw the body of Dr Michele.  He went to it and found it cold and stiff.  It smelled strongly of whiskey.

   Hughes went to his camp and told his brother, then made his way to Ten Mile landing and came to this city to inform the authorities.

   Mr. Thomlinson being Di Michele's attorney, was notified and engaged the others named to go with him and bring in the body.  The task was a most difficult and dangerous one.  Snow slides were met frequently.  At the point where the body was found they were in peril of being swept thousands of feet below at any moment.  A rude toboggan was built and the body toed to it, then with three of the party pulling, and lifting it over the snow, while one went below with a pole and another above with a rope, they managed to hold tit from sliding down the mountain side, and got it, after a hard day's struggle, to the wagon road and out of immediate danger, finally bringing it safely to New Denver.  There was but a slight mark on the body, the left eye and one side of the nose bared to the bone, where some small animal had nibbled the flesh.

   His valise and pack and the whiskey flask one-third full, were found by the party where they had been dropped by the unfortunate man in his mad struggle to save his life.

   A letter was found in his effects from a brother in Massachusetts, and a card was found on the body showing he was a member of THE MINERs Union No. 10 of Burke, Idaho.  His brother and Union have been notified by Mr. Thomlinson of his death.

   In clothes belonging to deceased hanging in his cabin was found $20 and 55 cents was the amount on the body.  On the 18th of March he had deposited with Mr. Thomlinson $250.  The body was buried Saturday afternoon.

   The verdict of the coroner's jury was that Di Michele came to his death from cold and exposure while under the influence of liquor, on his way to his cabin on Ten Mile creek.


THE MINER (Nelson), 3 April 1897



Seven Trucks Mangled the Body of the Unfortunate man to a Condition Beyond Recognition.

Harry Smedley, a young man of 25, was run over by a Nelson and Fort Sheppard freight train last Tuesday noon and killed.  His remains were buried in Nelson on the same day.

   It appears that on the day mentioned deceased in company with S. H. Bernard was walking along the railroad from Northfork to Quartz Creek and were within half a mile of their destination when they met two men walking in the opposite direction.  At that instant the freight train, travelling at about the rate of seven miles an hour, bore down upon the men and they all clambered to the top of the snow bank at one side of the road to let it pass.  As the train got opposite them, Smedley cried out:

   "I'm going to get on."

   Suiting the action to his words, he jumped and caught the side ladder at the rear of the front car.  His balance was not good for the momentum of the train broke his grip on the ladder and for one awful instant his companions saw him grasping at the air in a vain effort to recover his hold.  In another moment he was thrown upon the snow bank and before the horrified bystanders could move to his assistance, the unfortunate man roiled under the wheels.  Seven trucks passed over him before the train could be stopped, grinding out his life and mangling him in a most pitiful manner.  The remains were placed on the train and brought to Nelson.

   Deceased was a miner and prospector, and was recently a resident of Trail.  He leaves a father in Chilliwack and other relatives in Toronto.  The inquest was held on Tuesday night and was adjourned so as to permit the introduction of further evidence by the railway employees.


Harry Smedley, a prospector, was run over and killed by a freight train on the nelson & Fort Sheppard railway on Tuesday.  In company with another young man named Sidney H. Bernard, he was walking on the railroad from North Fork to Quartz Creek, and when within a mile of the latter place, they were overtaken about noon by the northbound freight.  Smedley made a grab to catch the ladder of the first box car, but was knocked to one side in the snow, which is so deep at that point that he could not prevent himself from rolling back under the following cars, five of which passed over the body, mangling it horribly.

   In his evidence at the inquest, Bernard stated that the unfortunate man was perfectly sober at the time, and that his impulse to catch the train was taken so quickly it was impossible to render him any assistance.  Harry Smedley was well known among men of his class in Kootenay.  He was about 28years of age, and came to this district from Chilliwack, where his parents reside.  The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the facts.


THE LEDGE (NAKUSP), 8 April 1897


Three Men Buried Beneath an Avalanche from the Mountain


Sunday was a day of snow slides.  One could stand at his doorway and count them by twos coming down the deep slopes of Goat mountain.  The big boys were making life miserable for the hardy miners farther up on the hill sides.

   About 4 o'clock the men working on the Slocan Milling Co.'s tramway near Three Forks, heard the roar of a slide coming from above,  Supt. Hickey, Clark Bibbee and Alex. Stansfield were standing together, and Chas. H. Phillips had just come up, on his way to the mine after spending the Sabbath with his young wife in Sandon.  They all started to run down the mountain.  Stansfield, Bibbee and Phillips sought shelter in a snow shed close by, but Supt. Hickey kept on the race for life and fortunately escaped uninjured.  The slide struck the shed with tremendous force and demolished it in a moment, burying all beneath 30 feet of snow, timbers and rock.  Supt. Hickey summoned help and 25 men were soon at work digging to rescue the bodies of the unfortunate boys, but it was not until after nine o'clock at night that they were found.

   Although the snow shed was strongly built its timbers were snapped like pickets.  The body of Stansfield was found with a 10x12 timber across the head.  With his arm about its neck and his head resting partly upon it was found the carcass of his faithful dog, which he had apparently attempted to hold in the shed to prevent its being caught in the slide.  His body was not greatly bruised outwardly, but those of Phillips and Bibbee were frightfully crushed and lacerated.

   The sadness surrounding the death of Phillips is largely augmented by the fact that he had been married but three weeks.  He had been in Sandon to visit his wife at the Balmoral hotel and reached the spot just in time to be caught in the slide.  He was 27 years of age.

   Stansfield came to this section from Prince Albert in company with H. G. Lincoln, leaving there in October last.  They were joined at Fort Steele by Bibbee.  Bibbee was 27 and Stansfield 22 years of age.  Their parents and relatives reside at Fort Steele and Prince Albert.

   Dr. Brouse was summoned and proceeded to the tramway Monday morning to hold an inquest.  The verdict of the jury was that death was in each case accidental, and that no blame was attachable to anyone.  The bodies were brought to New Denver for burial on Tuesday afternoon. [Letter from H. G. Lincoln in preceding column.]




Mr. Ed. Driscoll, the well known store-keeper and postmaster of Carson, died suddenly last Friday; to within an hour or so of his death he was apparently in ordinary health and spirits. The coroner for the district, Dr. Jakes, was at once notified, and an inquest was held on Saturday and concluded on Monday after a post-mortem examination has been made by Dr. Smith, of Grand Forks, on Sunday.  The coroner's jury, Messrs. Thos. Hardy (foreman), J. McLaren, E. E. Spraggett, J. A. Coryell, J. M. Seal and R. Johnson, after hearing the evidence, brought in a verdict of "death from heart failure."[Funeral and Address by I. O. O. F.]

   Mr. Driscoll was a native of Western Ontario, where he learned the trade of a harness-maker.  Upon his arrival in  Vernon several years ago he was employed in this capacity by Mr. W. R.  Megaw, with whom he remained until the spring of last year.  Just a year ago he opened a general merchandise store in Carson; this business has been taken over by Mr. Megaw, who has engaged an assistant from Greenwood to take charge.



Supposed to Have Been Drowned.

James C. Yuill of Kaslo, has been missing since last Saturday evening, and circumstances point to the conclusion that he was drowned in Kaslo river.  About 10 o'clock Saturday evening he was seen passing along Third street in the direction of his cabin  on the south side of the river.

   Somewhat later in the evening Frank Nelson reported to the police that he was going toward the river and saw, in the moonlight at a considerable distance ahead of him, a man walking toward the river, and as this man mounted the stone protection wall built along the bank, he seemed to stumble forward into the current.  Nelson said he ran as quickly as possible to the spot whence the man had disappeared, but could see nobody, nor did he hear any outcry.  He then ran back until he met another person, and both searched along the bank, but could see nothing.  Report was then  made to the ;police of the singular circumstance.

   When Yuill's cabin was visited on Sunday morning, it was found that he had not returned, and his dog was still tied up in the vicinity.

   "Jim" Yuill was fidelity known in the Nelson and Kaslo districts, where he had been prospecting for a number of years.  He had been prospecting during the spring, and had come into Kaslo to record his location.  The stream, where he fell in, is very much swollen, and rushes along with great speed and force, so that he must have been killed or drowned immediately after having fallen in without any chance of saving himself.

Trying To Locate the Blame.

Dr. E. C. Arthur, coroner, opened an inquest Monday evening for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of the death of Bruno Maraimo, the Italian killed on the C. & K. railway Wednesday morning,  The jury was composed of R. E. lemon, A. C. Buchanan, H. R. Cameron, P. J. Russell, W. J. Dickson and A. E. Lott. The evidence presented went to show that the death was caused by the carless piling of cord-wood along the main line of the company's track, so that it fouled a work-train in passing.  The deceased was struck by a stick of the wood while riding on  a flat car of the work-train and received a fractured skull which resulted fatally.  The wood contractors who are said to be responsible for the piling of the wood are Messrs. Colette & Foley.  The inquest was adjourned to secure further evidence from the workmen who piled the wood.

THE MINER (Nelson), 19 June 1897

No Inquest.

Dr. Arthur, the district coroner, went to Kaslo Saturday evening to inquire into the death of John King, who died from a fall from a bluff on the south fork of the Kaslo creek.  He decided that an inquest was unnecessary and gave orders for the burial of the body. [See also Mining Review of same date.]





Witnesses at Inquest Explain How the Catastrophe Occurred - Coroner's Jury Out All Night - The Verdict - Four Bodies Buried Here.  TBC




Alleged Slayer of John Dyer a Free Man Once More.

Nelson, June 24.  - The grand jury did not find a true bill against James Manson, charged with the murder of John Dwyer. ...

   It will be remembered that James Manson was committed for trial on December 23 by Justice Townsend for the murder of John Dwyer on the night of December 12, at the Club restaurant on Spokane street.  Although the evidence produced at the coroner's inquest showed that Dwyer died from laceration of the spleen, it was as much as proven that if it had been done by Manson, who had quarrelled with Dwyer earlier in the day, the man could not have lived as long as he did. ...


THE MINER (Nelson), 3 July 1897



He will be Executed at Nelson Within the Next Six Weeks. - Prisoner Exhibits A Stolid Indifference.


   Dr. David La Bau, who attended Woods from the time of the shooting till the death, was next sworn as a witness.  The post mortem examination disclosed the fact that the bullet had entered to body about two inches below the shoulder, passed through the thoracic cavity, through the apex of the right lung, finally lodging in the spinal column and protruding from the body from the fourth dorsal vertebrae.  The doctor could ascribe death to no other cause than that of the bullet.

   Based upon the establishment of the fact by Dr. La Bau that Woods at no time during his sufferings entertained any hope of recovery, the dying declaration of the deceased was admitted by the court, after a strenuous objection by counsel for defence.


Charles E. Tisdall, a gunsmith of Vancouver, was next placed on the stand.  He testified that he made an examination of the revolver taken  from the prisoner, and also of the bullet taken from the body of the deceased.  He further testified that the bullet had been fired from the revolver taken from Wood, the accused.  In substantiation of this he produced a bullet that he had fired from the same revolver, and the brazures produced by the rifling were exactly the same as those on the bullet that killed Samuel D. Woods.


   The only evidence introduced in defence was that of Dr. Charles Arthur, coroner of West Kootenay, who held the inquest on the body of the murdered man.  He testified that a wound in the apex of the right lung would not necessarily produce death.  He stated that if the kidneys were diseased, the morphine administered would be more slowly excreted from the system and might possibly cause death; also that the action of the morphine on the injured lung might aid congestion and hasten death.  On cross examination he stated that it would be possible for a person to live after receiving a wound such as Woods received, but that it was not at all probable.


Wood never took his counsel into his confidence.  His only comment as to the sentence was: "They didn't do a thing to me, did they?"



Askew & Immell, killing & shooting


THE MINER (Nelson), 14 August 1897



The Deed Done by a Man Who Immediately Afterwards Took His Own Life.- The Inquest.

At 10:45 o'clock on Thursday night last pedestrians in the vicinity of Baker and Hall streets were startled by the loud reports of five pistol shots.  It was soon ascertained that the sounds emanated from the house occupied by a woman known as Alice Willis but whose proper name is Carrie Wilson.  The shots were fired by Harry V. Swyny, the first four being  directed at Alice Willis, but fortunately for her but one took effect.  Although aimed at the abdomen, it was deflected by a corset steel and inflicted a flesh wound only, and lodged in the back near the lower vertebrae.  The other three bullets were wildly fired and lodged in the ceilings and walls of the room in which the shooting occurred.

   Having completed the deadly work to his own satisfaction, Swyny placed the revolver to his own head, sending a bullet crashing through his brain, the effect being instant death.

   The immediate cause of the shooting is shrouded in mystery.  Swyny, however, is supposed to have fallen in love with his victim, and he is known to have asked her on more than one occasion to live with him as his wife.  For many days past he has spent much of his time at her house, and his devotions to her were sufficiently marked to be noted by the other inmates.  His attentions being rejected, it is believed that he became despondent and premeditated the deed that he designed should carry both into eternity.

   Swyny entered the house on Thursday evening about eight o'clock and at 10:30 he was placed in the dining room, which was dark at the time, by Alice, in order to entertain visitors in the parlors.  At 10:45 she returned to him in the dining room urging him to go home.  She had spoken but a few words to him when he fired at her.


Harry V. Swyny was a Scotchman by birth, aged 43 years, and stood six feet one and one-half inches in height. He was the son of a surgeon in the Scots Guards.  In July, 1871, he enlisted as a private in the Scots Guards, and a few months afterwards was discharged for indifferent conduct and absence without leave.

   Correspondence among the deceased man's effects reveals that fact that as  late as May last he was a member of the firm of Swyny & McDonald, architects and builders, of Butte, Montana.  Later letters show that he came to Nelson from Rossland, and while here he was engaged in doing carpenter and cabinet work on the improvements now going on at the Nelson hotel.

   Letters found on the deceased also show that he was a married man. The latest address to his wife being: Mrs. Harry V. Swyny, 311 West Park st., Butte, Montana.  In one of the letters a daughter named Pauline is mentioned.

   Swyny was also much worried in regard to property in England to which he claimed to be heir, but to which up to the time of his death he had been unable to obtain a title.

   The last time Swyny was seen down town he was at the Grand Central hotel bar, somewhat under the influence of intoxicants, he having been on a protracted spree for the last two weeks.  At that time, about 7:30 in the evening, he gave to the barkeeper his silk, gold mounted watch guard, and bid those at the bar goodbye.  It is presumed that at this time he had planned the tragedy.

   Alice Willis came here from Port Townsend about four years ago, opening at that time the house she is still conducting.  Yesterday morning she was removed by Dr. La Bau to the hospital, and every hope is entertained that she will recover from the wound. The body of Swyny, immediately after the tragedy, was removed to McDonald's undertaking establishment from which it will be buried.

   The weapon used was a 41 bull dog Colts revolver.


An inquest on the body of Harry V, Swyny, the suicide was held by Coroner Arthur, at the court house yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock.  The jury empaneled consisted of D. M. Carley, John Buckley, P. J. Russell, J. Robinson, J. Dover, R. A. Josling, W. Graham and A. J. Lyons.

   Witnesses examined were Chief of Police Wolverton, Pearl Saylor, Josie Prescott, Lillian Gibbons, Carrie Harris and Edith Blair, inmates of the house in which the tragedy occurred.  Frederick Wright, pianist at the house, and John Macready, the owner of the revolver with which the deed was done.

   The evidence adduced from the several witnesses was essentially the same as stated in the report of the tragedy.

   At the conclusion of the testimony of John Macready, the inquest was continued to Monday evening next, at 8 p.m., in order to take the testimony of Alice Willis, the assassin's victim, who now lies in a very critical conditio9n at the hospital.  If at any time before Monday evening the woman shows any evidence of approaching death her dying deposition will be taken and presented to the coroner's jury.

   The body of the suicide was buried this morning at the expense of the city, unmourned and alone.

   Chief of Police Wolverton yesterday communicated with the chief of police of Butte Mont., and also of Richmond, N.B., in an endeavour to find some clew to the friends or relatives of the deceased, but up to the time of going to press no response had been received.



Execution of James Wood, INQUEST.


THE LEDGE (NAKUSP), 26 August 1897


"Doc." A. Huff Dies all Alone in the Woods and His Body is Found the Following Morning.

Last Thursday morning W. R. Smith, J. H. McKay, J. Westall and "Doc," A. Huff started for Six Mile to spend several days there camping out.  Huff was not well and made the trip thinking it would improve his health, while the others went to do some prospecting.  Their camp was pitched a short distance from the lake shore, and Friday evening they spent on the beach.  About 8:30 Huff left the boys to go to his tent.  The others remained an hour or more later.  On going to camp Huff was missing.  Search was instituted and every possible effort to find him was made.  At midnight the party concluded to wait until morning.  At break of day they renewed the search and fortunately stumbled upon the body of Huff, lying 300 yards from camp, in a direction that proved that he had lost himself in the darkness.  He was unaccustomed to roughing it and was very timid when in the woods.  It is presumed that when he realized he was lost he became frenzied with fright and his efforts to find the camp caused a stroke of apoplexy.  His death must have occurred early in the night as one of the party passed very close to the spot where the body was found in the early search.

   Saturday mooning the body was brought to New Denver and an inquest held.  The jury's verdict was that death had occurred from natural causes.  The body was taken charge if by Huff's many friends here and was buried Sunday morning, the band accompanying the body to the grave.

   ":Doc." A. Huff was well-known to all travelling men of the northwest.  He was a native of Oregon, where his relatives now reside.  During the prosperous run of the Grand Central hotel Huff was night bartender.  His affability won him a host of acquaintances.  He was also well-known in Sandon, where he recently worked for Ira Black.


THE NELSON ECONOMIST, 8 September 1897

Samuel Trapp, proprietor of the Parisian Dye Works, was found dead on the steps of a building adjoining his shop last Thursday morning.  The coroner's inquest returned a verdict in accordance with the facts.


THE MINER (Nelson), 11 September 1897


Costello-Cronyn Assault Case to be Tried before the Next Assize.

In the next court of assizes which convenes in October, Peter Costello, a fireman in the employ of Contractor Davey of Rossland will be tried for an assault upon Edward Cronyn, barrister.

   The assault was the direct outcome of the inquest over the remains of James Youngclause, who was killed by a cave-in of the sewer over which Costello was in charge.  The friends of Mr. Youngclause were represented  before the coroner's jury by H. A. McDonald, of the law firm of McDonald & Cronyn.  The entire case hung on the point as to whether or not the contractor and the foreman had used proper precautions against such accidents as the one that killed the deceased.  To secure expert evidence on this point, Mr. Cronyn, the legal partner of Mr. McDonald, visited the scene of the accident about two o'clock in the afternoon with David Lawson, a contractor of thirty years experience.

   It was the intention to have Mr. Lawson look over the sewer at the point where the fatality occurred, with the view of discovering whether or not the nature of the soil demanded precautions that were not taken.  As the coroner had placed a guard over the spot, Mr. Cronyn applied for an order from Coroner Bowes authorizing the bearer to inspect the sewer.  This was readily secured, and thee two walked down to the ditch in front of the International, where Youngclause was killed.

   Mr. Costello saw them coming and when Mr. Cronyn stated their errand and showed the order from the coroner, he curtly replied that as the order was good for the bearer Lawson could not go into the ditch

   Mr. Cronyn then asked one of the bystanders to go down in to the sewer, but as he declined the attorney jumped down himself and scooped up a handful of earth from the bottom of the ditch.  As he was getting out of the sewer, it is said that Costello endeavoured to kick the earth out of the hand of Cronyn, but missed his calculation, his foot striking Cronyn on the side of the head, knocked him senseless.

   The case will be one of wide interest as all parties are well known throughout this section. [See also 23 October 1897 below.]


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 11 September 1897   [Adjourned???] The Sears Inquest


THE KOOTENAY MAIL, 25 September 1897

The Shears' inquest was again resumed Friday night.  It was thought when they sat before and failed to agree that the jury were dismissed.  Is that so, Coroner?


THE NELSON ECONOMIST, 29 September 1897

A laborer, known as James Ross, employed on railway construction about twelve miles from Slocan Crossing, was instantly killed on Sunday last by the falling of rock.  A charge of powder had been put in the rock and shortly after the explosion Ross and one of the contractors advanced to see what effect it had had.  Just then a huge boulder rolled down, striking Ross and literally crushing his head into pulp.  The body was brought to Nelson yesterday and an inquest held.  The coroner's jury returned a verdict of accidental death.  Ross was a man about forty years of age and un married.  He was a member of the Oddfellows order, and the funeral today will be under the auspices of that body.



The Granite Creek Tragedy.

The latest report from Granite Creek is to the effect that the coroner's jury after hearing all the evidence brought in the following verdict:

   "We, the jury empannelled to enquire into the matter of the death of James Hamilton  after hearing and duly considering the evidence given in this case, do find that James Hamilton came to his death by a gun shot wound, said gun being in the hands of Mrs. Euphemia Rabbitt.  And it is our opinion and belief that Mrs. Euphemia Rabbitt shot the said James Hamilton in self-defense,."

   Mrs. Rabbitt was brought before Messrs. Sutton and Clapperton, justices of the peace for preliminary hearing on the charge of shooting James Hamilton.  The evidence taken was practically the same as at the inquest. Mrs. Rabbit was committed to stand her trial at Kamloops.


THE MINING REVIEW, 2 October 1897


The Treacherous Lake Claims Three Pleasure Seekers.

Johnson, Strohm and Snellman Were the Fated Ones.

A deplorable drowning accident occurred last Sunday afternoon, by which three unfortunate men met death quickly and suddenly.  The particulars are as follows:

   On Sunday morning the men in question, who had all been working at the Noble Five mine, came to Bennett's boat house and asked for a sail boat, not getting it they went away, but returned after dinner, about half past on e, when they rented a row-boat from Bennett and started out on the lake, going as far as THE MINERal springs.  Some time afterwards they again put out on the water and when about opposite the long sand point, in some way their boat capsized, throwing them all into the water.  Two of the men, John Snellman and Charles Strohm sank from sight almost immediately, the other, William Johnson, held on to the boat for some time, but finally slipped off and went down like his companions.  Several parties on shore who witnessed the brief struggle of the men put out at once and picked up the boat, but no traces of the bodies could be seen. Dragging for the men was at once commenced and kept up until Tuesday morning, when Johnson was found by the searcher in water about 150 feet deep.

   The remains were removed to the fire hall.  A gold watch, an empty leather wallet, $13.50, and a few more articles were found in the clothes of Johnson.  Dragging was continued for Snellman and Strohm, and the body of Snellman was recovered about three o'clock yesterday afternoon in about the same place.  He had $125.654 in his pockets and a silver watch which had stopped at ten minutes to three, the  time they down.  Search is still kept up for the body of Strohm, but to this hour 1 p.m. without success.

   The three men were supposed to have been on their way to the fair bat Spokane, and report says they carried considerable money.  Johnson was a carpenter by trade and had been working of late at various mines in the vicinity.  He came originally from Telluride, Col.

   The spot where the first body was recovered is about 200 yards distant from shore, and fisherman Lindsay, Alex. Lindroot and Ole Lawson were the successful searchers.  The water was not particularly rough at the time of the accident and how the men upset is unknown unless the common report that they had been drinking is true.

   William Johnson has a sister living in Spokane.  She was notified by Chief Adams of her brother's death and telegraphed them not to bury her brother till she was heard from again.  Later she ordered the body shipped to Spokane.

   This will be done tomorrow morning, no inquest being deemed necessary by Mayor Green, who received instructions from the coroner to use his own judgment and proceed accordingly.

   Snellman will be buried this afternoon by the city, as no one seems to know where his friends are.  - Kootenaian,


THE MINING REVIEW, 9 October 1897


A Locomotive on the Pacific Division of the C.P.R. Explodes with Fatal Results.

At noon Saturday word reached the office of the General Superintendent of the C.P.R. of an accident to a freight train east bound, near a structure known as White's creek bridge, about 12 miles west of North bend.  Information to hand later this afternoon shows that the boiler of engine No. 354, which was hauling the freight special, exploded.  A brakesman named George Elson, of Vernon, late of Port Moody, who was riding on the engine, was thrown over the embankment, and sustained injuries through the effects of which he has since died.  The engineer and fireman were slightly scalded. ... General Master Mechanic Cross proceeded by to-day's east bound express to hold an investigation.


THE NELSON TRIBUNE, 16 October 1897

Not Guilty of Murder.

Mrs. Euphemia Rabbitt, the Granite Creek woman charged with the murder of James Hamilton, was acquitted at Vernon on Monday.  The murdered man had made improper proposals to Mrs. Rabbitt and she was very much frightened of him.  He was approaching her again when the fatal shot was fired.



James Costello, foreman of the Rossland sewer works, was charged with assaulting Lawyer Cronyn, while the latter was engaged in securing evidence for the coroner's inquest into the death of a laborer named Youngclause engaged on the works. ... There was no attempt made on the part of the defence to deny the assault, which took the form of a kick on the jaw that rendered Mr. Cronyn unconscious.  The jury found the prisoner guilty of common assault, and he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.


THE NELSON TRIBUNE, 23 October 1897


For Kicking Lawyer Cronyn in the Head in a Dispute in Rossland.

The case of Regina vs. Costello was taken up Tuesday afternoon. ... The jury retired at 12:15 o'clock, and upon court resuming at 1:30 o'clock, a verdict of common assault was rendered.  Judge Walkem sentenced the prisoner to six months' imprisonment at hard labor.

   Justice Walkem sprang a surprise upon those on attendance upon the court Thursday evening by reversing his judgment in the Costello case. ... Justice Walkem then imposed a fine of $100 upon Costello instead of imprisonment for six months.


THE MINER (Nelson), 6 November 1897


Dan Campbell Expires on the Molly Gibson Trail.

On Monday last Daniel Campbell expired on the trail leading to the Molly Gibson mine on Kokanee creek, while he was being brought to town on horseback to be treated for pneumonia.

   Campbell was taken sick last Friday and as his condition became critical, his companions concluded to take him to town.  He gave out before Kootenay lake was reached and his companions brought in his remains.  At the coroner's inquest held last Wednesday, the jury brought in a verdict in accordance with the facts related.  The interment took place in Nelson last Thursday.


THE NELSON ECONOMIST, 10 November 1897

Daniel Campbell, THE MINER who died last week on his way from the Mollie Gibson mine to Nelson, was interred on Sunday last.  There was an inquest held on the body, and a verdict returned in accordance with the facts, as stated in last week's ECONOMIST.


THE NELSON TRIBUNE, 11 December 1897

Died to Save His Comrade.

W. J. Merry, a miner employed in the Iron Colt mine at Rossland, met his death from fatal damp on Monday.  Merry, with a miner named Cattanach was employed in running a power drill.  They had fired a round of holes in the main drift at 5 o'clock, and shortly after 10 o'clock Cattanach went into the drift to see the effects of the blast.  He was overcome by the gas and had just strength enough left to call for help.  Merry went to his assistance and was also overcome by the gas, falling across his comrade's body. Three quarters of an hour later the men were discovered.  Cattanach recovered, but Merry was taken out dead.  The deceased was a brother-in-law of William MacKenzie, the Toronto street car magnate, and was making a study of practical mining, with a view to filling a more responsible position in the service of the Iron Colt company, in which MacKenzie is largely interested.



E. P. Suydam Suicides.

Edward P. Suydam, who resided in Greenwood for some time and left here only about two weeks since, suicide in Rossland on Friday, Dec. 10th.  The news reached Greenwood early in the week and created considerable excitement in the city, as Suydam was well known here.

   Mr. Suydam and C. A. Hagelberg left here for Rossland about Dec. 1st.  His object was to dispose of some of his numerous claims in Boundary Creek district.  Disheartened at making no deal he shot himself at the War Eagle hotel.

   He spent the most of Friday writing and at 9:30 in the evening went up to his room.  A moment later the report of a pistol was heard.  It was found that he had seated himself before a mirror, placed the pistol against his right temple and fired.  The bullet entered the temple and came out in the upper part of the forehead.  Two Rossland physicians were summoned and they at once pronounced the wound fatal.  He was removed to the Sisters' Hospital where he died at one o'clock Saturday morning.

   The deceased was 54 years of age and an American.  He served for a number of years in the navy and afterwards made a fortune in mining operations in Colorado but soon lost it all. ... He leaves a wife and family at Castle, Montana.

   The deceased left a letter in which he declared that the world would be better without him.  he requested that his brother Master Masons bury him on American soil.


THE LEDGE (NAKUSP), 23 December 1897

Mr. Paul Fink, of Waterloo, died suddenly after partaking of his luncheon one day this week.  The circumstances attending his death have led the doctors to think that he was poisoned.  The inquest has been adjourned for a week.


THE MINER (Nelson), 25 December 1897


A Carless Hunter Discharges a Rifle into His Own Mouth.

Through his own carelessness Daniel McNaughton forfeited his life last Saturday and was buried in Nelson last Wednesday.

   A coroner's inquest was held last Tuesday and from the evidence submitted it appears that on the day mentioned McNaughton and two or three companions decided to go deer hunting along the line of the Slocan branch of the Canadian Pacific railway.  They accordingly equipped themselves with rifles and had been out only a short time when the accident occurred.  McNaughton in a very careless manner was using his gun as a walking stick, the butt of it resting on the ground.  In climbing over a wind fall he forcibly placed the butt of the gun on the fallen tree to steady himself as he climbed over.  The gun was discharged and the ball entered his mouth, coming out of the back part of his head.  When his companions reached him he was dead.  The jury rendered a verdict in accordance with the facts stated.

   McNaughton was an axman in Jolly's wood camp about 10 miles up the Slocan river.


THE NELSON TRIBUNE, 25 December 1897



Dr. Arthur, coroner, held an inquest Wednesday morning for the purpose of enquiring into the circumstances attending the death of Daniel McNaughton, whose body was found in the woods a few miles from Park Siding on the Slocan river road, on Tuesday.  The jury was composed of J. H. Matheson, foreman, H. F. Murray, J. A. Kerr, A. J. Marks, J. P. Cameron and William Herron.

   From the evidence it appeared that McNaughton left Joly's wood camp at Park Siding, on Saturday morning, on a deer hunting expedition, accompanied by a relative named Fraser.  According to the evidence of Fraser the two worked their way up into the mountains and came upon a deer in the afternoon. McNaughton  wanted Fraser to make a detour of the hill, but as he was not  familiar with the country he declined.  He offered to follow the deer with McNaughton, but as McNaughton did not consider this necessary he decided to return to camp, and McNaughton said he would be back that evening. About 20 minutes after Fraser left he heard three shots in quick succession and he returned, but not seeing McNaughton he went back to camp.  Sunday morning McNaughton not having returned a searching party started out to look for him.  They were unsuccessful, but upon the following day they came across the body of a deer, and the tracks of a wounded one.  These tracks were followed on Tuesday, when the body of McNaughton was found between two logs, and the rifle, with an empty cartridge in it, beside the body.  It was evident that in following the deer McNaughton had accidentally discharged his rifle in getting over the logs.  The bullet entered through the mouth and came out at the back of the head,.  A verdict was rendered in accordance with the facts.

   Daniel McNaughton was about 40 years old.  He left his home in Lancaster, Ontario, about 14 years ago, and after spending some time in the western states he came to West Kootenay.  He followed the business of prospecting and hunting, but at the time of his death was employed at Jolly's wood camp.  He was known by sight to several of the jurors who had seen him around town.


THE NELSON ECONOMIST, 29 December 1897

The dead body of a man supposed to be Napoleon Boulangier, was picked up in the lake near the city wharf yesterday.  The deceased, who is said to belong to Pilot Bay, came to Nelson to spend Christmas, and during the week he was here was drinking very freely.  He was last seen alive on Sunday, when he was under the influence of drink, and in this condition he is supposed to have fallen into the lake.  An inquest will be held at two o'clock tomorrow.



Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School