Frederick Ernest CARTER18,43,57,137,138,146,147
was born on 29 Jan 1871 in England.
In 1906 he was a miner in Kamloops,
B.C.1 Carter was a member of Pearse and
Fernie's posse. Pearse in particular found Carter of value. Carter is in Mary
Spencer's posse photograph.
Voter's List for B.C., 1898
Carter, Frederick Ernest, Kamloops, Miner, YN
In the 1901 Census, Carter is noted as immigrating from England in
1888, resident in Cherry Creek, SW of Kamloops and at that time he was
employed as a miner.
Const. Pearse's report to Sup't Hussey states that Carter left
Kamloops with Pearse on the afternoon of the 9th and was
valuable in assisting to determine the tracks on Campbell's
Range and remained with the party until its return to
Kamloops eight days later.
On the 19th of May, we find Carter on the job again. He accompanies the
investigator "LC", (Thiel Detective Calhoun?) with driver
Richard Blair and C.P.R. Special service Detective W. F. Foy to investigate
the robber's camps numbers 1 and 2, as well as a cursory look at Dalton's
In Deputy Attorney General McLean's closing argument notes, he states that
Carter "brought in bay on 19th", referring to one of the bandit's
horses. McLean goes on to state that Carter
first saw the horse on Friday 11th. He also notes that Exhibits 2 and 3 were
found in a camp, and that Exhibit 1, the walnut bag, was found in the cache,
1 1/2 miles further on from the camp.
In a letter from B.C. Provincial Police Chief Constable Fernie to
Inspector Hussey dated 20 Sep 1906, Fernie refers to a "guard
Carter". It is not known whether this refers to F.E. Carter, and has to
be determined. Did F.E. Carter work as a prison guard? This "guard
Carter" had apparently gained the confidences of both Miner and Dunn,
and had several long conversations with them. Carter reported his conversations
with Miner about switching overcoats before the robbery, and that the
overcoat entered as an exhibit at the trial was not the one he wore "on
his prospecting trip northward." Miner also confided this information to
warden Vicars, but not in such detail. Miner was an old hand in dealing with
trials and appeals, and was not beyond letting information slip out that
could weigh on his ability to obtain a re-trial.
Chief Constable Pearse in Kamloops sent a
telegram to Hussey in Victoria
at 4:20 pm, 12 June, 1906. Pearse included Carter in a list of potential
reward recipients that contributed most to the successful capture of the
relates a story about Miner and Budd while he was riding along side them. He
was a friend to Jack Budd.
Okanagan Historical Society #48, VB Cawston, p72,
"R.L. Cawston of the "R" ranch knew Jack Budd. One time, out
of curiosity, he asked him, 'What kind of a fellow was that Bill Miner?'
Budd's answer gave "RL" more than he asked for. 'He was a
gentleman, and if the kid had kept the horses where he was supposed to, Bill
would have got away."
Between 1904 and 1906 A C CHADSEY43,148
was a barber and owner of the Elite barbershop in
Chilliwack, B.C. He provided a witness
statement about the Mission robbery in May
1906. There are a number of Chadseys in the Chilliwak area on the B.C.
1898 Voter's List.
Chadsey, Chester, Sumas, Farmer, WChi
Chadsey, David Wm., Sumas, Farmer, WChi
Chadsey, George Washington, Sumas, Farmer, WChi
Chadsey, James Lonson, Chilliwak, Farmer, WChi
Chadsey, Louis L., Sumas, Farmer, WChi
Chadsey, William, Sumas, Farmer, WChi
Chadsey, William Harvey, Chilliwak, Farmer, WChi
The chances are that the detectives spelling of the surname
"Chasdsey" is in error.
Chadsey ran the Elite barber Shop in Chilliwak.
On 23 May 1906, the Thiel detective interviewed Mr Chadsey. Chadsey
recognized the photo of Edwards (Miner) and said that he had shaved the old
man many times while he was in Chilliwak.
In the 14 Sept 1904 issue of the Chilliwak Progress in the section on
local businesses, Al Chadsey has an advertisement for his barbershop, the
Elite. He is described as an agent for the "New Method Laundry",
and his shop has facial massages as a specialty.
Inspector RG CHAMBERLIN149,150
was living in 1904 in Ottawa,
ON. He was with the Dominion
Police and was visiting Vancouver at the time
of the Mission robbery and assisted in the
Chamberlain interviewed the train crew after the Mission
He assisted B.C. Provincial Police Chief Constable Campbell in the search for
Surname spelling is both "ain" and "in".
Outlaw John T. CHAPMAN149
provided the role model to Miner and Leroy on how to rob trains.
Miner followed Chapman's modus operandi for holding up a train - cutting
the engine, tender and express cars off from the main train, and the use of
dynamite. Chapman started robbing trains in 1870, long before Miner came upon
A station on the mainline of the C.P.R. 236 miles east of Vancouver,
telegraph office Kamloops,
15 miles, in north Yale district.
From the 1905 Henderson's Gazetteer and Directory for 1905
(See also Sumas, Sardis, Cheam and Rosedale)
A municipality on the south bank of the Fraser River 50 miles from New
Westminster, in the electoral district of New Westminster.
Chilliwack, the chief town, is situated in
the centre of the municipality and 1 mile from the steamboat landing. Has
money order post office with savings bank, telegraph office and telephone
connection. St. Thomas
Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches. Weekly newspaper.
Nearest railway station Harrison
River distance 5 miles.
Valley is about 20 miles long and
about 10 miles wide and is one of the richest agricultural areas of the
Population of the town - 1902 - 600. Of the municipality - 3000.
From R. E. Gosnell's 1901 Year Book
Chilliwack is a thriving little town
situated in the centre of the famous Fraser
Valley, and on the banks of the
is fifty miles east of New
Westminster, and about thirty miles west of Hope.
Valley is about twenty-two miles long
and eight miles wide. Chilliwack
is distinctly a farming community, and all kinds of fruits, cereals and farm
produce grow abundantly. It is also noted for stock raising. A great many of
the best and most successful farmers and fruit-growers of
British Columbia have large, well-cleared
farms and comfortable houses here. Fish and game abound, and it is a
desirable resort for summer tourists.
Our roads are in first-class shape, and are generally admitted by bicyclists
to be the best in the Province.
Chilliwack is a
progressive, growing town, with a population of about 500 souls, and contains
a number of enterprises.
(From the Chilliwack Progress, September 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 1904)
The Chilliwack Exhibition in the early years of the 20th century was a
three day event of some substance in the Fraser Valley. In 1904, the year
George Edwards spent considerable time in
Chilliwack and the surrounding area, both
before and after the Mission Junction robbery, the Exhibition was held on
September 21, 22 and 23rd, Wednesday to Friday. The Provincial Government, in
an effort to reduce expenditures and rectify the dire state of the provincial
finances, reduced the appropriations to all the agricultural fairs in the
saw it's grant reduced from $850 to $248, and the Chilliwack Progress, in an
editorial, ensured the local population was aware of the fact. As well, they
noted that due to the past year's drought, the root crop would not be up to
The Exhibition Society called upon local residents to throw open their houses
to the expected influx of visitors. The Chilliwack Progress notified all
school children to be ready for the parade to take place on Thursday. The
best musical talent in B.C. was ready to perform at the local Henderson Hall
on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats,
poultry and other animals were entered, as well as grain and vegetable crops
and horticultural and floral displays and the domestic arts. School displays,
horse and harness racing, athletic sports and football games added to the
The steamer Ramona made special trips to
New Westminster each day to pick up
passengers to attend the fair.
Later in the first week of October, Chilliwack
residents who attended the Victoria Exhibition commented that Chilliwack's far
outshone that of the provincial capital's.
While no record exists that George Edwards or any of his compatriots in the
Mission Robbery attended the exhibition, we do know from a witness statement
that a man resembling one of the robbers was supposedly in
Chilliwack the day after the robbery, and
checked in to the Commercial Hotel under an alias. The hotel proprietor noted
that the robber had a number of gold nuggets on his person at the time. We
know also that Edwards and Budd were in the same area at the time, so it is
no stretch of the imagination to assume that they attended some of the
Exhibition events, particularly the horse races. Also, C.P.R. detectives were
busy monitoring the activities of suspicious characters around Chilliwack at
the time, and Missouri Bill in particular stuck close to Edwards while he
played poker and shot pool in the town.
Vancouver World, 10 Aug 07, p1.
After Miner escaped from the B.C. Pen, the World commented that he had many
friends in the Chilliwack
area, He was described as well known and well-thought of by a number of
Chilliwack Landing. (See
PROGRESS. The Chilliwack Progress was a weekly newspaper when it was
published between 1904 and 1906. It handled mostly local news, and commented
on other non-local events when it had a local interest.
After the Mission Junction holdup in September of 1904, only two inches of
column on the front page was devoted to this story. However, the issues
directly after this holdup are valuable to refer to as they feature the
advertisements of a number of witnesses questioned in May 1906 about the
aftermath of the Mission Junction robbery in
Chilliwack. The issues also give copious
coverage to the Chilliwack Exhibition referred to by J. E. Stevenson, who
travelled down from Princeton to attend it, and followed the tracks of Miner
and Budd on the way along the Hope
Trail. Stevenson was a
few (3?) days behind them.
The "Local and Personal" columns also proved valuable as
they gave an idea of daily life in the village at the time, as well as the
fact that detectives investigating the robbery were in town and staying at
After the May 8 Ducks robbery in 1906, the Progress commented on the fact
that Miner, as George Edwards, had spent considerable time in Chilliwack subsequent to
the Mission Junction robbery. He stayed six weeks in the Dominion Hotel in
Dec 1904 and early Jan 1905.
Thiel operative #38 interviewed Mr Stevenson 25 May 1906. Stevenson
said he knew Billy Dunn and had camped with him for about two days near Princeton around the first of September in 1904. At
that time he also knew George Edwards while in the Similkameen country, and
talked about his trip to Chilliwack.
He stated "But as I was getting started, I heard that Edwards and Budd
had gone over. (This probably refers to the fact that Edwards and Budd had
'gone over' the pass to Hope.) And I saw their tracks when I came across.
This was along about the middle of September, 1904, and Edwards and Budd were
a few days ahead of me. I got in to Chilliwack
on the third day before the exposition opened in 1904. (The exposition
referred to opened on Sept 21, 1904, and continued on the 22nd and 23rd.
Stevenson therefore arrived in Chilliwack on the 18th.) I saw Edwards
with an automatic Colt's gun. He always had plenty of money to pay his way. I
saw Missouri Bill around town, but I do not know who he was.
After Miner's escape from the B.C. Pen in August of 1907, the Progress makes
no comment on the event.
CHINESE IN B.C.152,153,154
In the Vancouver
World of 21 May 06, p1, is an article commenting on the fact that the
"anti-Mongolian legislation of the Laurier government has been in the
interests of labour". The front page article goes on to note that the
initiated tariff against Chinese and Japanese immigrants has had a positive
effect on the employment of "suitable white labour." "Every Chinaman eliminated means
the employment of a white man and the addition of another white family in the
population." All the lumber mills in B.C. were now in short supply of
skilled labour. Main Street,
Gillian Creese in her essay Exclusion or Solidarity? Vancouver Workers
Confront the "Oriental Problem," Canadian Working Class History,
2000, gives a good background to the influence of the unions (Vancouver
Trades and Labour Council, Industrial Workers of the World, the Tailors
Union, the Cooks and Waiters Union, Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union and
the Typographical Union) at the turn of the 20th Century on restriction
of Asian immigration to B.C. (p296, 297) The unions wanted restrictions on
immigration not only for elimination of cheaper labour competition, but also
on racial grounds. (p298) These exclusionary tactics were not the sole tool
of the labouring class, but also of political parties. The Socialist Party of
Canada supported legislation discriminating against Asians in the workplace
as well as curbing further immigration. (p301)
The Colonial Hotel was Bill Miner's favourite place to stay while he was in Kamloops. He stayed
there numerous times, and found it the best hotel in
Kamloops. Perhaps he chose it because of
its advertised policy towards Orientals.
Inland Sentinel advertisement, 20 Sept 1904
J.A. Lavery, Prop.
Increased accommodation for guests. Refitted and renovated throughout.
Excellent Cuisine. White Cook
Bar supplied with the best liquors and cigars.
The Kamloops Inland Sentinel of Friday the 13th of January 1905 ran
the following advertisement.
"Patronize union white labour by leaving your laundry at
Dunc Brown's, agent for Cascade Laundry in
William "Smoky" CHISHOLM20,155,156,157,158,159,160,161,162,163,164,165
was living about 1906 in Aspen Grove, B.C.
On 9 January 2006 the writer had a telephone
conversation with Janelle Cecceco of Princeton.
She says she remembers seeing a building at the location of Mannings when she
was a little girl fishing with her parents. It was called Manning's Crossing,
right by Manning Creek.
Maizie Armytage-Moore writes, "Then there was Smoky Chisholm, that
little dark crippled gunman, the son of a Presbyterian minister in Nova Scotia; he was a
whole story in himself. He used to let me ride his cayoose,
"Mowich" (Deer in Chinook jargon), a chestnut streak of
lightning." Maizie described Chisholm as crippled due to the limp caused
by Brooks' gunshot wound to the leg.
Similkameen Star, Sat. 9 April 1904, p1
Smoky Chisholm Shot By Steve Brooks in Drunken Brawl
A shooting affray at a wayside tavern run by Billy Manning on the
Nicola Road last
Saturday was the result of a prolonged spree by a coterie of individuals well
known for their fine drinking qualities. The principals in the affair were
Smoky Chisholm and Steve Brooks. Chisholm flashed a six shooter towards
Brooks who tried to evade him but he persisted in his threatening manner.
Brooks, in sheer desperation and fear, seized a nearby
Winchester, and pulled on his man with
perilous effect, the bullet penetrating the groin of his leg. Brooks gave
himself up to the authorities and will have a preliminary hearing at Nicola
Lake. Smoky will now have opportunity
to smoke the pipe of peace and chew the cud of reflection if not of
repentance. While Brooks is almost sure to get short rations and no grog for
a term, (balance of article not on tape.)
(Looked for issues of the Star for the time around the October 1904
assizes in Kamloops, when Brooks was tried, but these issues are not
available at the Legislative Library.)
Kamloops Semi-Weekly Inland Sentinel, p4.
Friday 8 April 1904.
"Smoky Chisholm Shot At Manning's on Princeton Road"
"A man named Brooks is held in custody at Nicola Lake charged with
shooting another man and his preliminary hearing will take place next week on
the arrival in Nicola of some important witnesses.
So far as can be learned at present the shooting took place at Manning's,
about 50 miles from Nicola, on the Princeton
road about 4 miles below Thynne's, on April 1. The wounded man, known
throughout the district by the soubriquet of Smoky Chisholm, does not enjoy a
very enviable reputation and is said to be notorious for always looking out
for trouble; a species of "bad" man. He habitually carries a
revolver, and is prone to threaten to shoot should anyone cross his path.
It is alleged that Brooks had come under his displeasure and the result of
the trouble that ensued was that, in self defense, Brooks shot Smoky.
Brooks was promptly arrested and taken to Nicola, Dr. Tuthill being sent out
to attend the wounded man. The extent of the injury sustained cannot be
ascertained until the Doctor's return, however, that a flesh wound in the leg
covers the damage.
Public feeling throughout the district is decidedly in favour of the
prisoner, very little sympathy being extended to the injured man. It is
stated that Chisholm is not anxious to prosecute and would rather prefer
crossing the boundary line into Uncle Sam's territory."
Kamloops Standard, 30 April 1904
"Wentworth W. Wood, J. P., left for Nicola Lake yesterday afternoon
to hold the preliminary hearing in the "Smoky" Chisholm shooting
case. The man Brooks, who is charged with the shooting of the Similkameen
"bad man" gave himself up to the authorities and will face the
music for his action. A. D. Mcintyre, who has been retained by the
prosecution, (defense? See next below.) accompanied Mr. Wood."
Standard, 7 May 1904.
"A. D. Mcintyre returned on Wednesday night from
where he appeared for the defense in the shooting scrape that put
"Smoky" Chisholm out of business for a time. Chisholm has not yet
been able to appear against Brooks but the latter was nevertheless committed
for trial by Magistrate Gillie and Murray."
Inland Sentinel, 10 May 1904, 1.
"In Rex vs Theriaut and Rex vs Brooks, both adjourned for the next
assizes. (fall) A. D. Mcintyre yesterday applied for and succeeded in
securing the release of his clients on bail. That of Brooks, the defendant in
the Chisholm shooting affair, was fixed at a moderate amount. His Lordship,
commenting in strong terms on the unsavoury character of Chisholm condemning
the reprehensible practice of men of his stamp carrying deadly weapons at all
times and seasons."
Kamloops Standard, 27 Aug 1904
"'Smoky' Chisholm, a well-known prospector of the Similkameen and Nicola
Districts, who was shot in the leg some months ago, is able to be on the
streets with the aid of crutches. He still makes the hospital his home, but
is rapidly progressing towards complete recovery."
Kamloops Standard, 10 Sept 1904
"William Chisholm, a well known Similkameen prospector, who has been
at the Royal Inland Hospital, suffering from a fractured leg, the result of a
bullet wound received some months back, is able to be on the streets again.
Through the medium of the press he desires publicly to acknowledge the
skillful treatment and kindness he received at the hands of both the medical
and nursing staff of the hospital."
Kamloops Inland Sentinel, Friday 7 Oct
(The Fall assizes started in Kamloops
on Thursday October 6th. The following is a verbatim transcript of the
newspaper report of Friday 7th.)
"When Rex vs Brooks was called, Mr Macintyre (sp) for the
defence asked for an adjournment until Friday morning as his client, out on
bail, was under the doctor's care, but would be able to appear in the
morning. This was agreed to, his lordship fixing the trial for 10 o'clock in
(Reporting on the Friday morning commencement of the trial continues.)
"The case of Rex vs Brooks was then taken up, A.D. Mcintyre (sp)
appearing for the defence, Hon. F.J. Fulton conducting the case for the
crown. The crown witnesses occupied all morning, the principal one being
William, otherwise known as "Smoky" Chisholm, the man who was shot
at the hands of Brooks. The defence does not attempt to deny the shooting but
apparently relies on the self-defence theory. The case is still in progress
on going to press, several witnesses for the defence being called. The whole
affair seems to have arisen out of a drunken brawl in which none of the
participants figure to any advantage."
"City and Country"
"Hugh Hunter, mining recorder at Granite Creek, is in town, a witness at
the assize in the Chisholm case."
(Hunter was undoubtedly residing in Princeton
at this time, and was a constable with the B.C. Provincial Police. He could
still have been the mining recorder for Granite Creek.)
""Judge" Murphy, of Princeton,
is in town regaling his friends with tales of the hills, and incidentally
attending the assizes as a witness."
(Who is Judge Murphy? Was he at the Chisholm-Brooks shooting at Mannings?)
Standard, 8 Oct 1904, 1.
The Fall Assizes (Court of Assizes) in
Kamloops opened under Mr. Justice Buff
"In Rex vs. Brooks the accused was charged with wounding with intent
and after a lengthy hearing the case which arose from a drunken brawl fell
through and Brooks was dismissed."
(That same day, Hugh Hunter, mining recorder and constable from Princeton,
was in Kamloops.
Was this just a coincidence, or was Hunter attending the Brooks/Chisholm
trial? The Sentinel's article makes it clear that Hunter was attending the
trial as a witness. He probably played a role in arresting Brooks, and
escorting him to Nicola after the shooting.)
(This was the Smoky Chisholm trial that Bill Miner as George Edwards was at
Kamloops Inland Sentinel, Tuesday 11 Oct 1904, p1.
"The Jury Brings In a Verdict of Not Guilty"
"The assizes closed late on Friday night, the rendering of the verdict
in the case against Brooks ending the criminal docket. The witnesses for the
defence called in the afternoon included J. Thynne and others who were originally
witnesses for the crown in the preliminary hearing, a tack, Mr. Mcintyre,
(sp) counsel for the defence, did not fail to emphasize. The main points
sought to be established by the defence were the general good character of
the ac cussed and the less reputable one borne by the crown's chief witness,
the injured man Chisholm."
"The addresses to the jury were not lengthy, but his Lordship took an
hour and ten minutes to carefully present an impartial summary of the case,
the inclination being slightly against the prisoner. After being out nearly
two hours the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty and Brooks was
B.C. AG Correspondence, Letters Inward, 1902 to 1937
Report from the general assizes held in Kamloops, 6 Oct 1904
Supreme Court of B.C.
Indictment - “Wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm”
Findings of the Grand Jury - True Bill
Plea - Not Guilty
Verdict - Not Guilty
B.C. AG Correspondence, Letters Inward, 1902 to 1937
Microfilm Reel B2051
18 Oct 1904, Victoria
From Frederick Fulton in Kamloops to Hon. Charles Wilson, AG.
I beg to submit the following report on the
Kamloops assizes at which you requested I
take briefs for the Crown, ... .
Rex vs Brooks.
In this case the charge was of shooting with intent to do grievous bodily
harm, the prisoner was not well enough to attend on the first day of the
assizes, and the case was adjourned until 10:00 am on the Friday the 7th
instance. The trial lasted all day, the Judge summing up about 8:00 pm and
the jury retiring at 9 or 9:15 pm. The ground relied on by the defense was
that the prisoner had done the shooting because he was in fear of his life
from the wounded man Chisholm, who seemed to have borne a very bad character
throughout the district. The Jury were out about 1 ½ hours and finally
returned a verdict of Not Guilty.
These were the only two cases at the assizes.
Frederick J. Fulton.
On 18 May 1906, C.P.R. Detective Bullock made a series of interviews
in the Kamloops
area. He interviewed Angus McKay and McKay went on to tell Bullick that
Edwards was in Kamloops
this February past "with a $300 race horse and had lots of money."
He was also in Kamloops a year ago last fall
at the Smoky Chisholm trial, and about a year ago attended a mining trial in
Kamloops related to the Princeton
Bullick noted that according to his investigations, Edwards had been in Kamloops at least nine
times; staying at the Colonial Hotel. This was confirmed by Bullick
interviewing A. LaPoint, the proprietor of the Colonial Hotel. (Bullick,
R.E. C.P.R. Special Service Detective, "Witness Statements of Brothers
Evander and William McLeod, A Duck, McKay, etc." Report to C.P.R. Sup't
Kilpatrick, Revelstoke, B.C., 18 May 1906)
From DO Vicars "Unfinished Narrative," p8.
(After the Ducks robbers were captured, they spent their first night
in a hall under guard at Quilchena. A number of sources mention that locals
were attempting to free the prisoners.)
There is now a man working for Gerard Guichon, W.A. Jackson, who was then
working on the Triangle Ranch, who happened to have walked to Quilchena for
supper. There were no extra strangers but one Smoky Chisholm who happened to
be very interested in Bill Miner. (or the George Edwards who was under
guard in the hall.) He was drinking and bragging. He passed a remark if
he had a bunch of firecrackers he could take the boys away from those
Mounties. He did try to get to the hall, but the guard turned him down.
Chisholm went back to the hotel, braced himself with more whiskey, and made
another attempt to get into the hall. The guard said to him, "You have
asked twice, ask again and I will let you in, but you will not come
out." That killed the attempt to liberate the prisoners by the boys at
the old Quilchena Hotel.
James H. CHRISTIE.32,166,167,168
The first instance of Christie occurring in my research occurs in the B.C.
Provincial Police files of Constable Basil Gardom.
During B.C. Provincial Police Constable Gardom's investigation after the
Ducks robbery, Christie was apprehended and arrested by Gardom near
just south of Falkland. Just why Gardom
arrested Christie on being an accomplice to the robbery is not known. It can
only be surmised that Christie was in the wrong place at the wrong time, did
not have a credible explanation for his movements and may have resembled one
of the descriptions of the robbers that had been wired throughout the
southern interior of the province.
The following is from Constable Gardom's official B.C. Provincial Police
report to Hussey in Victoria,
and only includes those sections referring to Christie.
(Gardom, B.C. Provincial Police Constable Basil, Report on
"Investigative activities between Falkland and Grand Prairie after the
Ducks Robbery" (9 May 1906 to 14 May 1906), B.C. Archives, GR0055,
Box 54, Files Goa - GN, Goa - Gz and Fos -.)
On May 9th, Gardom, during his Ducks robbery investigation, called at Mrs.
Stinson's (Steenson) house on the Grande Prairie
side of the first bridge (south of Falkland).
In the course of conversation, he mentions a "Christie", and a Mrs.
Volrath, who was at the Stinson place, said "Mr. Christie went away over
the mountain at the back of my house". (Gardom notes that this house is
just above Moffat Creek near Salmon River
bridge) "just a week ago - I know because he had dinner with us - he had
a rifle and a revolver." Mrs. Volrath went on to tell Gardom that her
neighbour "McEwan" was a friend of Christie's and that he lived
alone up on the mountain near her place - she could not say whether he had
been at home lately - Mrs. Stinson then broke in to the conversation to say
that McEwan had bought milk from her but she had not seen him since Tuesday
the 8th of May.
Gardom then returned to Vernon.
(On May 10th) Gardom met Special Constable Cotton (from
Grande Prairie), and they headed together for Siwash
Creek on the west side of Okanagan
Lake. Upon leaving the
east Salmon River bridge, it started to get dark, and they saw a light on the
opposite side of the second lake (Round Lake?)
Indian Scotty was also with them. They rode towards the light of the fire,
Gardom and his two partners ... went through the brush towards the light. It
was very dark and the brush very thick. It was about 8:30 pm. Within 100
yards of the camp, a dog started to bark. Gardom ran forward to a few yards
of the fire and held a rifle on the lone man who jumped up with a rifle in
his hands. Gardom yelled that they were the B.C. Provincial Police and to
throw up his hands. Soon Gardom saw it was "Christie" and lowered
his rifle and walked right up to him. Gardom advised he was looking for the
train robbers, and Christie explained that at first he thought Gardom was a
cow, then a bear. The two chatted for a few moments, and Gardom noticed
Christie was wearing brown pants, a jersey and hob nailed boots were laying
Christie did not appear to Gardom to be interested in the holdup, and
suggested an easier route for Gardom to follow that would get him out of the
thick brush and emerge near "Wilson's"
camp. Christie asked for a description of the robbers as Gardom was leaving.
On 11th of May, Gardom arrested Christie and lodged him in the jail in Vernon.
The Van. World of 12 May 1906 reports on the capture and arrest of
James Moir, W. Wilson and James Christie.
By the May 14th issue of the World, Christie is described as "the
leader of the bandits".
In the Vancouver Daily News
Advertiser of 18 May 06, it reports that Christie, Wilson and Moir (sic)
had apparently been moved from Vernon to Kamloops since their
initial arrest on May 12th. On May 18th, the three suspects were released,
probably due to lack of evidence.
Enderby Progress, 18 May 1906, p4
McQuarrie made a trip to Vernon to see the
prisoners Basil Gardom had arrested and put in the jail in
Vernon. On his way back he spoke to a
reporter for the local paper in Enderby. He noted that Christie was not the
man who had come into the mail car (Miner), but his description was
similar to the man who met the robbers at the location of the holdup.(Stevens?)
McQuarrie commented that the robbers were visibly upset when they found they
had left the express car with a substantial amount of money or bullion
Armstrong Advance, Fri. 25 May 1906.
"James Christie was in town this week, having been freed of
suspicion as having been connected with the train robbery. The following
taken from a Rossland dispatch conveys an idea of Christie's past life:"
"Christie has resided in and about Rossland for the past 10 years, being
a rancher, prospector and timber cruiser and has coal, timber and mineral interests
in different sections of the province. Twenty-five years ago he was a scout
in the Northwest Territories
and has always been a typical frontiersman and knows the remote portions of
the continent perhaps as well as any man. In 1889 he, in company with several
others, explored the Olympic Mountains in the interests of the Seattle press, and he
and the party with him, were the first men, white or red, to explore the wild
vastness of that range. He was one of a party that climbed
In his wanderings he has visited the Peace River country and has been as far
north in Canada as where
the surf of the cold Atlantic (sic)
beats against the northern shores. It is thought here by men who have known
him for two decades and who have never known him to commit a dishonest or
unlawful act that the police have made a mistake in arresting him."
(Hand written Christie letter.)
Box 45, File 1
Glen Emma Post Office, Armstrong, B.C.
26 June 1906
To Superintendent Hussey,
Would you kindly furnish me with a copy of any report made to you by any
party which led up to or was the cause of my arrest as a suspected person in
connection with the late train robbery near Kamloops. Also a copy of the
report made to your department by any person connected with my arrest, the
person actually responsible for the arrest and any reasons given for same or
should this letter of inquiry be sent to any other department? Kindly advise.
J.H. Christie, lately under arrest at Vernon, B.C.
Box 45, File 1
Chief Constable's Office, Vernon, B.C.
15 Aug 1906
To J.H. Christie, Glen Emma
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th. If
Mr. Hussey, my Superintendent, or the Honourable the Attorney General, wish
to know on what grounds the order was given for your arrest, I should be
pleased to furnish them with the information. Regarding the public statements
I am supposed to have made, I can only say that I can not hold myself
responsible for anything the public may say.
E.C. Simmons, Chief Constable
(Christie made a handwritten copy of Simmons' letter to him, and enclosed
it with his letter to Hussey.)
Box 45, File 1
Glen Emma Post Office, Armstrong, B.C.
21 Aug 1906
In accordance with your position I have written the Chief Constable here in
Vernon, E.C. Simmons, re my arrest. In his first communication he simply
informed me that I was arrested by his order. I requested him to give me
reason or cause for same. I enclose you a copy of his answer. I would infer
from the Constable's answer that he has not given, as is expected, to give a
report to your office or that of the Attorney General's office regarding the
unwarrantable arrest. It is surely not possible that any such authority is
held as given to any mere (???) policeman in B.C. Kindly advise me if such is
the case. Would you kindly demand from Mr. Simmons a report upon giving his
whole reasons on cause of reasonable suspicion for his order for my late
Remaining yours respectfully,
File 2. Gaq - Gn
28 Aug 06
From Basil Gardom, at Chief Constable's office in Vernon
Re Train Robbery. Mt. Simmons has instructed me to acknowledge receipt of
your letter to him of Aug 25th making inquiries as to arrest of J. H.
Christie and he wishes me to say that he will get you full particulars on his
return this office next week. I arrested this man but I am unable to give a
detailed report until I have seen my notes on the matter which are at
The honour to be Sir,
Your Obedient Servant,
Hand written letter to Hussey from Glen Emma, B.C.
Glen Emma Post Office, Armstrong, B.C.
17 Sept 1906
My absence in the mountains for the last three weeks account for my not
acknowledging ours of the 25th of August sooner. This I found awaiting me
here on return and desire to thank you for your prompt consideration of my
request. I look forward to reading the copy of Mr. Simmon's report with some
Remaining Yours Truly,
Considerable information on Christie is available in the 54th report of
the Okanagan Historical Society, "Letters and Diaries," p77.
Christie's article, introduced by Robert de Pfyffer, deals with
conditions on the Okanagan Indian Reserve. He was born in Speyside,
Scotland in 1852, and
immigrated to Canada
as a teenager. He joined the Canadian Artillery, B Battery in
Quebec and by 1870 he was in command of a gun crew at Fort
In 1876 he joined the Northwest Mounted Police, and was one of the police who
met with Sitting Bull after the battle of the Little Big Horn. After a series
of adventures in the North West Territories of Canada and the North West United
States, he pre-empted two parcels of land on the west side of the Shuswap
River, at the south end of Mabel Lake. By 1905 he had discovered coal near
Shorts Creek, close to Fintry. In 1907 he moved to Clint Hill, four miles
east of Armstrong. There he was joined by Amelia Diteau, whose mother was an
Okanagan Indian. They had a son named Lloyd George Christie. It was from
there that he would pen his telegrams and Declarations to the Department of
Indian Affairs in Ottawa.
was suspected in the killing of Michel LeCamp. He was also known as Temista Chulma.
He was the alleged killer of the tracker Michel Le Camp.
Charged with murder of Michelle Lecamp. (sic)
"Of the three Indians who were most intimately associated with him on
the last night, two are under arrest, one having been arrested at Salmon Arm,
and the other at Vernon.
Temista Chulma, the Indian arrested at Vernon, had a quarrel with Lakemp
(sic) that night over money matters and it is known that they engaged in
Maclean, Deputy Attorney General, Letter to B.C. Provincial Police Supt.
Hussey, "Preliminary Hearing of Stanilaus Chualma" (Victoria B.C.,
9 Jun 1909)
In 1906 Inspector Frank CHURCH170
was a Mounted Police officer in Regina,
headed the detachment of R.N.W.M.P. to
to intercept the robbers before they got across the American border.
"Two days after the original Mounted Police party left
for Kamloops, a second detachment of nine
under Inspector Church of Regina left for Penticton
to attempt to head off the bandits in case they were heading for the US
border, but upon arrival they learned that the trio had been captured."
In 1903 CLARK142
(first name unknown) was a rancher.
Okanagan Historical Society #48
Apparently Miner stayed at the Pembroke Ranch with a Clark.
Neither the ranch nor Clark have been
identified by the writer. This
could be the origin for all the reports I have come across for Miner being
familiar with and in the Duck
Prisoner John W. CLARK13,134,171,172
took part in the escape of Miner from the B.C. Pen 7 Aug 1907. He was an
ex-policeman sentenced to 3 years for bad cheques. (Grey Fox)
The New Westminster Daily Columbian
of 9 Aug 1907, states that J. W. Clark had been sentenced to three years
for passing bogus cheques in Nanaimo.
He had served eight months of his sentence when he, along with Bill Miner and
two others, escaped from the B.C. Pen 8 Aug 1907. Clark
was described as about 5 foot 10 inches in height, of slight build, with fair
hair and complexion. All the escapees were working in the brickyard at the
New Westminster Daily Columbian 12 Aug
On the night of the 11th, Clark, in the
company of Woods, was reportedly spotted on Lulu island. Immediately Bourke
dispatched a motor launch from Steveston to the area The three guards on the
launch joined five more that already were on the island.
In the Tony Martin
Collection, Edwards Correspondence file, there is a letter from Montana.
The letter is dated the 14 Sept 1907, and is to the Warden of the B.C.
Pen. Bourke would have handled it at that time. From the Office of the Chief
of Police, Metropolitan Police Department, Butte, Montana, it requests that
photos of Miner and Clark be forwarded to them as they think that
"probably Miner and Clark Turned that Trick on the Gr. Northern &
they may have come this way." They have a newspaper photo of Miner but
it is a poor one. The letter is signed by one Geo. F. Purlin, Butte, Montana,
c/o Police Station.
In May 1906 Walter CLARK31,173
was a B.C. Provincial Police Constable and mail carrier in
B.C. He described Miner and Budd's horse rustling activities and unsavoury
reputations. He provided a witness statement to Detective Seavey.
The 1904 Henderson B.C.
Directory notes three Clarks living in
Nicola. In 1904, Walter Clark, along with the other two Clarks,
was noted as a mail carrier.
Clark, John. Farmer and mail contractor
Clark, Laidlaw. Mail carrier
Clark, Walter. Mail carrier
All these Clarks were probably related.
From Government Agent's office in Ashcroft, 13 May 1905
Letter to Hussey.
(Handwritten from Joseph W Burr,)
(Appointment of Walter Clark in Nicola Lake as provincial constable, and that
he will require the following equipment:
1 copy of Provincial Police regulations
1 Provincial Police badge
1 revolver with case and belt, cartridges.
1 rifle and cartridges.
1 pair of handcuffs
1 pair of shackles
Send also 25 forms of monthly police reports.)
Box 38, File 8
16 Aug 1905
Burr in Ashcroft to Hussey
(Submits Walter Clark's monthly report and that Clark
wants a dark lantern as well, as he finds it very awkward getting along on
dark nights without one.)
Burr also requests the following:
1 pair of shackles
1 copy of Criminal Code and amendments
2 copies of Indian Act and amendments, 1 for Spence's Bridge, and 1 for
In Det. Seavey's 22 May 1906 letter to C.P.R. Special Service Detective
McLaws, Seavey states that he interviewed Walter Clark, a B.C. Provincial
Police Constable in Nicola, 15 May 1906. Clark
stated "I have seen Edwards at Quilchena, and what I can learn from the
outside he is a partner to a man by the name of Jack Budd. They have a ranch
in the vicinity of Princeton. Also Edwards
has interests in mineral claims with Jack Budd and a man by the name of
Alonzo Roberts who lives in the vicinity of Aspen Grove. I have known Jack
Budd for about eight years and have seen him off and on for that length of
time. There has been quite a few horses stolen from here (Nicola) and
Aspen Grove and Jack Budd has been suspected of driving them away to the
other side of the line or to the Coast and disposing of them. Jack Budd's
height is about 5 ft 9 in weight 160 lbs, small blue eyes, squints with one
eye or closes it when speaking light hair and fair moustache. Does not bear
the best of a reputation."
Letter, Walter Clark to Joseph Burr, from GA's office in Nicola, 21 Jan
(Regarding complaint lodged against him. He says he has been enforcing the
Sunday closing of bar rooms.)
Box 38, File 8
Burr in Ashcroft to Hussey, 24 Jan 1907
(Encloses Const. Clark's letter in reply to complaint laid against him for
not enforcing the Sunday Closing Act in all the hotel bar rooms and saloons
Box 39, File 5
Burr in Ashcroft to Hussey. 10 April 1908
(Encloses monthly reports of the following Constables in his district:)
Const. JW Mullen, Clinton
Const Walter Clark, Merritt
Const. JW Graham, Nicola
Const. AC Minty, Spence's Bridge.
Const. Ego, Lillooet
Const. McGillivray, Lytton
Const. Burr in Ashcroft.
Box 39, File 5
Const. Walter Clark in Merritt to Burr in Ashcroft, 8 July 1908
(Re recent celebrations of 24 May in Merritt there were two Indians drunk
and he arrested them and had them tried before J.P. Tuthill on 26 May 1908 at
Merritt. Complains about not having a lock up in Merritt. He had Const.
Graham of Nicola and two Special Constables in attendance all day. Clark was
the Constable in Merritt by this time, and Graham was constable in Nicola. Clark wanted to return to Nicola if possible, as that
was where his house and family were.)
Box 39, File 6
From W. Clark in Merritt 8 Jan 1909 to
Burr in Ashcroft.
(Tool theft investigation at Granite Creek. One Rabbitt is suspected, but
due to depth of snow items could not be found. A Mr. Murphy is the J.P. in
Granite Creek. Also mentioned is Constable Hewitt (sic) in Princeton,
as is Mr Hunter, the Government Agent in Princeton.)
Thomas Joseph (Tottie) CLEMITSON.
Letter from Margaret (Peggy) Young to writer, 4 Jan
2006, Nanton AB.
Peggy (Young) deRoaldes was a grand daughter to Tottie Clemitson. She and her
brother Robert remember hearing that "Miner at some point spent time at
or near "The Meadows" south of the family property. He may have
just passed through there but rather think perhaps he camped there for a
while. Our grandfather (Tottie) knew and liked him. He talked about
the distinctive ring of the bell he used on his horse. I remember hearing he
was on the posse hunting for the robbers but was glad (when he found out
who it was) that he wasn't with the ones that found the robbers. He
attended the trial and one time pointed out which person he was in the
picture taken in the courtroom (in the far back corner)."
From Unknown. Initials "L.C.", "H." and
"G.H.", "Investigative Report Covering Robber Camps", and
"Interviews" (Unknown. B.C. Provincial Police Investigation)
In "H's" and "GH's" reports of 18 May 1906, they
interviewed a number of residents of the
Grande Prairie area. They were
investigating the habits of the robbers prior to the robbery on the 8 May
"F. J. (sic - T.J.) Clemitson, who lives about one mile below H.
Guernsey's Store in Grande Prairie said that he had seen Miner and one other
ride by at 7:00 AM, heading north, about 3 weeks ago. He could not remember
the colour of the horses."
Coalmont did not yet exist at the time of the events in this book.
More extensive information is accessible from the book Blakeburn-From
Dust To Dust by Don Blake and published by Skookum Publications,
The Colonial Hotel was Bill Miner's favourite place to stay while he was in Kamloops. He stayed there
numerous times, and found it the best hotel in
Kamloops. Main Street,
Inland Sentinel advertisement, 20 Sept 1904
J.A. Lavery, Prop.
Increased accommodations for guests. Refitted and renovated throughout.
Excellent Cuisine. White Cook
Bar supplied with the best liquors and cigars.
Inland Sentinel, 4 Oct 1904, p6
City and Country column.
"Adolphe Lapointe is to take over the Colonial Hotel from J.A. Lavery.
He will have a 5 year lease with an option to buy." (The property was
to be handed over the day the newspaper was published, 4 Oct.)
Going through Sup't F.S. Hussey's files in the B.C. Archives, there
are some letters with Colonial Hotel letterhead in the files. Rates are one
dollar a day, has good stabling in connection and is the headquarters for
miners and prospectors. The Colonial Hotel, R.H. McGinnes Proprietors, Kamloops, B.C.
Lewis COLQUHOUN was born on 27 Apr 1877 in Clifford, Minto Twp.,
Wellington Co., Ontario.
In Vol 48 of the Okanagan Historical Society, VB Cawston notes that
Colquhoun's body was shipped back to "Collingwood" Ontario for burial.
This appears to be incorrect.
Lewis: born April 27, 1877 Died September 22, 1911. Lot 230 & 250"
(From: Clifford Historical Society)
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 6:52 PM
To: Peter Grauer
Subject: Re: Louis Colquhoun)
He died on 22 Sep 1911 in B.C. Penitentiary,
New Westminster, B.C.
Additional information and
sources pertinent to this individual are only available in the password
protected section of this website. The password is located at the rear of the
book, "Interred With Their Bones. Bill Miner in Canada. 1903 to 1907," by
In May 1906 Percy
COTTON166,192 was a
rancher and B.C. Provincial Police special constable in
Grande Prairie, B.C. He was part of the
Ducks robbery investigation with Const. Gardom of Enderby. He accompanied
Constable Gardom to Paul Stevens' place.
Percy Cotton arrived from England
and started to work for the Kirkpatrick Ranch. He had been appointed a
Special B.C. Provincial Police Constable in
Grande Prairie sometime previous to the
Ducks robbery. He was apparently only paid for these services when actually
engaged in police work. Later, Cotton was to lease the Pylewell Hotel for two
years from 1914 to 1916. Cotton ran a substantial farm holding when he leased
the Clemes place in Grande Prairie.
He was married to Jennie (Martha Jane Kirkpatrick) and had a daughter Dorothy
Marguerite. Jennie's sister Marguerite Kirkpatrick married Gerry Talbot who
was also interviewed by Constable Gardom. Young, Margaret F., "Quelle
Grande Prairie" (Wayside Press, Vernon B.C., 1994)
On 9 May 1906, after his interviews with Frank Gordon,
Gerry Talbot and Bertie Butler, B.C. Provincial Police Constable Gardom
discussed the situation of the robbery investigation with Cotton in Grande
Prairie. Cotton gave him details on one "Mohr". Cotton advised that
Mohr came to him at his ranch by the granary that day (May 9th) to buy
a horse and a saddle. Mohr had inquired in
Grande Prairie as to who was constable in
the area, and that was how he had come to Cotton's ranch. Cotton mentioned
the robbery to Mohr, and Mohr replied "It will be a case of shooting
when they get them". This struck Cotton as peculiar. It was at one
o'clock when Mohr told Cotton he was going to
and mentioned Paul Stevens. He left Cotton, who did not see him again.
Cotton accompanied Constable Gardom on his investigations around the Grande Prairie area. On
the 10th of May he was with Gardom and "Indian Scotty" when they
confronted Christie near Round
Lake east of Falkland.
On the 13th of May he rode with Gardom and a "Smith" to Paul
Stevens' place, where they met up with Chief Constable Pearse and Captain
Graves. He was to spend a hair-raising night with Gardom in Stevens' cabin,
where they were in fear of their lives.
Box 45, File 1
To the Superintendent of the B.C. Provincial Police (F.S. Hussey) from
the Adelphi Post Office, Grande Prairie, B.C.
30 May 1906
Should the reward offered for capture of men who held up train #97 on May 9th
between Kamloops and Ducks be divided up to any persons other than those who
actually made the capture, I hereby send in my claim for share of same as I
had been working in trails near their capture. I also helped to arrest Paul
Percy C. Cotton.
(Rec'd in the Sup'ts offices 1 June 1906)
Percy Cotton's grand daughter is Helen Morrison, and she lives in Kamloops. Percy and
Jenny Cotton had a daughter Dorothy. She married Ted Elliott, and they had
Helen. Brian Elliot, married to Sue, and who I know, lives in Westwold and is
Helen Morrison's cousin.
1904 Henderson's Directory:
(See also Nicola Lake, Lower Nicola, Quilchena, Rockford and Mamit Lake and
A money order Post Office on the Nicola Road 8 miles below Nicola Lake. The
nearest railway and telegraph office is Spence’s Bridge 42 miles.
Telephone to Kamloops
and intermediate points. Kamloops
distance 60 miles. It is a good agricultural section and is chiefly occupied
by cattle ranchers. Good coal mines and silver ledges are located here and
are being worked. Mail bi-weekly. This is the point where the road branches
to Mamette Lake,
Granite Creek and Similkameen Mines and to Voght
Post Master. H.G.T. Armytage
In 1906 Commissioner CRAIG was a
police officer with the R.N.W.M.P.. Acting Sergeant J.J. Wilson received his
orders from Craig to proceed to Kamloops.
What Craig’s official position with the R.N.W.M.P. was at this time is
confusing in the source materials.
Harold (Harry) CREELMAN1,2,3,193
was living in 1904 in Vancouver,
B.C.1 In the 1907 VL he is noted as living
at 836 Hamilton Street
On 10 Sep 1904 he was a locomotive fireman on the Mission Junction train
robbery. He provided valuable eye witness details of the Mission Junction
robbery. Harold Creelman was the fireman on the head end of the train stopped
at robbed west of Mission
in September of 1904. While many newspapers of the day called him Freeman,
his real name was Creelman.
In the 1907 B.C. Voter's List,
(sic?) Creelman of 826 Hamilton Street in
Vancouver is noted as a Locomotive fireman.
In the Vancouver
Province of 12 Sep 1904, Freeman (sic)
is noted as showing C.P.R. Special Service Sup't Beasley and his party the
highlights of the Mission robbery. This took
place after daybreak on the morning of Sunday Sept 11th. In other sources he
is noted as having the surname Creelman.
Van. Prov., 27 Nov 1946
A meeting of pioneer railroaders honoured Mission
robbery conductor Bill Abbott at a meeting 27 Nov 1946, along with Theo
Michell (baggage man), Herb Mitchell
(express messenger), Harry Creelman (fireman), and AJ Buckley (brakeman).
In the 11 Sept 1954 issue of the Province, upon the occasion of the
50th anniversary of the Mission robbery, it notes that Fireman
"Harley" Creelman was living in the Mayfair home for the aged in Vancouver.
William CUBBS in 1906 was a
storekeeper in Bostock’s store and hotel in Ducks, B.C. He sold
supplies to the Ducks robbers.
Valentine David CURRY18,194
was born on 1 Apr 1864 in Quebec.
In 1906 he was a horticulturist in Campbell Creek,
Curry appears in the 1901 Census out at Ducks with his wife Marinda, 2
daughters and a son.
Curry had earlier worked for W.J. Roper, and then ran a dairy farm in North Kamloops. He moved to Campbell Creek in 1886,
running a market garden and nursery. He became an expert on irrigation, and
moved to Vernon
in abt 1910.
Spouse: Miranda CARLOW. Valentine David CURRY and
Miranda CARLOW were married on 17 May 1890 in
had a cabin in the Upper Campbell Creek area. He was the possible owner of the
cabin mentioned in the police reports.
cabin may have been used as a temporary camp by the robbers. The only Dalton
found that fits resided in Campbell Creek at the taking of the 1901 Census is
James Dalton and his wife Mary, with their 3 daughters and two sons. They lived in a census area that
included Todd, Bleeker and Walker, all names preserved in the Barnhartvale, Campbell
Winnifred M DAVIE.195,196
Winifred was the daughter of the former B.C. Premier the Honourable Alex E? B
Daphne Fernie relates that her sister Mary and Winifred, unaccompanied, rode
their horses to Williams
Lake and back in the
1920s. Fetterly also notes that Winifred was a "horsewoman."
Spouse: Attorney General Frederick John FULTON. Attorney General
Frederick John FULTON and Winnifred M DAVIE were married in 1909 in Kamloops, B.C.195
Frederick and Winifred had 4 sons, E Davie
was the youngest.
The two older brothers, Alec and Jack, were mechanically inclined. The two
youngest, Fred and Davie,
They (the Fultons) owned a pasture behind
St Ann's Academy. Children were: John
"Moose" FULTON, Alec FULTON, Frederick
FULTON, Edmond Davie FULTON.
was part of the Mission robbery
investigation. He watched the Hope
Trail with 2 other
officers. Provincial Special Constable Wilson, along with city police officer
(Vancouver?) Davies and Gault, were sent by rail up to Hope to watch
the Hope Trail
Mountain, thinking perhaps that the
bandits had made for the Boundary country and by that route attempt to make
their escape across the border. The Hope
Trail branched off to the mining
towns of Granite Creek and Princeton, and Constable Hunter in Princeton had been alerted. Long distance telephones
located at Abbotsford and Nicola aided in communications, while the three
officers made their way along the trail to Princeton.
Davies happened to be on his holidays at the time.
In the Chilliwak Progress of 21 Sep 1904, in the "Local and
Personal" column, it mentions that "Messrs Wilson, Galt (sic)
and Davies, private detectives, were in the village registered at the Harrison
House last week. They are out searching for the train robbers. They started
at Hope and are making their way down towards
The New Westminster
Daily Columbian of 15 Sep 1904 also mentions Wilson, Davies and Gault
leaving for Hope on the morning of the 14th (Wed.). There they were to
"cross the river and work along the trail".
In 1907 Inspector G.W. DAWSON201,202
was an Penitentiary Inspector in Ottawa,
ON. George Dawson, working out
was the Inspector of Penitentiaries responsible for heading the inquiry into
the escape of Bill Miner from the B.C. Penitentiary. In so doing he generated
the enmity of the forcefully retired D.D. Bourke.
Columbian (NWCol), Wed 12 June 1907
arrived Monday from the east on his penitentiary inspection tour. He
registered at the Guichon Hotel (the same one Shorty Dunn was to live in
after being paroled in 1915) and gave an interview to the Columbian,
expressing his satisfaction at the way the B.C. Pen was being run.
Dawson had been
Inspector of Penitentiaries for a number of years, and had been coming to the
West Coast annually for the past 5 years.
previously was a Liberal member of parliament, and no doubt got his position
as a result of patronage from the Laurier government.
(DlyClmbn, 4 Sep 1907)
Inspector George Dawson was the head of the penitentiary section of the
federal Department of Justice. He came to New Westminster
in early September 1907 from Ottawa to
investigate both the Miner escape and the escape of the two convicts from
Wright's Island two weeks later. If it had
not been for representations from the C.P.R. and the police of Vancouver and other
places in B.C., it seems as though the federal government would have been
content if the whole episode were forgotten.
completed his annual inspection of the facility not two months before the
escape, and supposedly any problems or breaches of security had been cleared
up at that time. Bourke maintained that he had complained about security
lapses, but was paid no heed.
From the documentation, it appears that
was determined to have at least Bourke's head roll to ensure that reflections
on the competency of the service did not go any higher.
Dawson assumed that the investigation and
inquiry would take no longer than a week, however, he did not finish until
December 1907, a full three and a half months after starting. The volume of
evidence that he was presented with, the varying statements from convicts and
administration, accusations of complicity by penitentiary staff and others in
assisting Miner escape, all served to muddy the waters of the inquiry.
In the subsequent debates in the House of Commons,
Dawson emerges as either a rather
incompetent civil servant, or, as is more likely, one who has skillfully
managed to ensure that the penitentiary service, and the department's
minister, escape rather unscathed from the whole affair.
In 1906 Superintendent R. B. DEANE
was a police officer in Calgary,
AB in 1906. He was with the R.N.W.M.P.
He wrote the annual report detailing the capture of the robbers near Douglas
Lake. Superintendent Deane was the
Commanding Officer of "E" Division in
Calgary. He wrote the detailed report for
George DES KOCHES203
was interviewed by the New Westminster Daily Columbian after the escape of
Miner. He supposedly fed Miner
breakfast the Sunday morning three days after the jailbreak.
In the New Westminster Daily Columbian of 14 Aug 07,
it reports that farmer George Des Roches, at his place on Nicomen Island,
inadvertently fed Miner on the Sunday morning (11th) following the
escape, three days after the event. Des Roches had heard nothing of the
events at the B.C. Pen, so was not suspicious when Miner slowly walked up to
his place, seeming to favour sore feet. Miner asked the farmer if he had seen
a stray horse around, and when the farmer replied that he had not, Miner asked
whether he might have some breakfast. Miner stuffed himself as if he had not
eaten for a great while. Later Des Roches saw a picture of Miner, and
identified him as the old man he had served breakfast. B.C. Provincial Police Constable Lane
was immediately dispatched to Nicomen
Whether this was in fact Miner remains a mystery. If Miner had been assisted
in his escape by others outside the Pen, like Jack Budd, he would have been
given a horse, a change of clothes and grub to assist him on his way. It
seems likely that he would not have been left to fend for himself, and
indications are that he had left the country soon after the escape, probably
within the first couple of days. Des Roches' recollections are the same as
many generated during manhunts that prove to be erroneous.
The Dewdney Trail that Bill Miner, Jack Budd and their partners would have
followed between Princeton and Hope was, in
1904, a trail 6 feet wide with just the middle 2 feet capable of supporting
any traffic. It was used by Miner and his friends to drive rustled cattle and
horses to Hope, where they would be loaded on C.P.R. steamers and shipped to New Westminster for
The route between Princeton and Hope was much
more direct than the present Hope-Princeton
Highway. The present highway dips almost to the
American border in the south before it turns north west
to go over the Allison
Pass to Hope. The
Dewdney Trail, however, maintained a south west direction from Princeton and
went over the height of land in the Cascades and down to meet where the
present highway passes the Skagit
River and on to Hope.
The first real highway, the Hope-Princeton, was opened on 2 November 1949.
W.A. DEWOLF-SMITH. Dr. W.A.
Dewolf-Smith was the prison surgeon at the B.C. Penitentiary when the three
train robbers were processed for admittance. He checked the trio over on the
2nd of June 1906 and processed his report on the 4th. In the case of Edwards,
he found that he had not been vaccinated, and was free from any
"contagious, cutaneous or putrid disease." He was found to be in
sound bodily health with the exception that he had volunteered that he had
contracted small pox in the past. The results of his examinations of the
other two are not known as their files have been sent to
was a homesteader living in 1906 in Princeton,
B.C. She was the daughter of the Edna Dignan (Verdier) who saw the Jack Budd
Princeton book, Pg 319
"Dignan, William and Edna"
By Edna (Dignan) Slater
"William Joseph Dignan was the son of a pioneer
Montana ranch family. He came to Princeton to visit his brother Jack Dignan."
(Met Edna Mary Josephine Verdier and married in 1919. Four girls born to
them at ranch at Kreuger Mtn in Boundary country; Frances (Penny), Edna
(Billie), Josephine (Jody), and Lorna. Came back to Similkameen country. At Copper
Mountain in 1925. In Princeton
were born Kathleen (Keme), William (Buddy), Sheila and Patricia. Jim was born
in 1931. Three more children born in Princeton;
Frances (Frankie), Margaret Anne and the youngest Thomas. Moved to the coast
during the 2nd WW.)
Duckworth's 30 June 1994 article "Another Bill Miner Story."
"Cecil Clark ... was intrigued by the story of the friendship
between Miner and Budd. He went to the Provincial Archives to see what
information he could find on Jack Budd. Included with a copy of Budd's 1948
Obituary and other papers, was a letter from Millie Huey (nee Schisler)
and Edna Dignan (nee Verdier). Mrs. Huey's family had homesteaded on a
ranch on Bald Hill just outside Princeton.
She remembered when she was a girl that a kindly grey haired Bill Miner paid
regular visits to the young family and brought gifts of candy and oranges for
the children. He told wonderful stories of the old West."
(Skipped 2 paragraphs.)
"According to Millie Huey, after Jack Budd's death in 1948 the
undertaker gave some letters found in Budd's pocket to Mrs. Huey's brother.
The letters were written by Miner to Jack Budd and in them Miner revealed
that his name was neither Miner nor Edwards. His real name was McDonald and
... Bill Miner was Jack Budd's brother. ... The alleged family connection
between Bill Miner and Jack Budd has not been verified." (Duckworth)
On 10 Nov 2001, the writer received a phone call as a result of a
request for information from the
Museum. It was a Peg
Wikstrom of Kamloops. The Museum in Princeton
had contacted her as a result of a letter to them requesting information on
"Edna Dignan". Mrs. Wikstrom is now 78 and grew up in Princeton. She went to school with an Edna Dignan, who
is now 81 and lives in Chemainus. She was the 2nd eldest of 12 children, her
family was quite poor, and her last name is now Slater. This Edna graduated
from high school in '39 or '40, and went to Normal School for a year to
become a teacher. Her parents and the family moved to
Sidney on the island during the 2nd WW. The
Edna mentioned in Elisabeth's article is her mother, as she (her mother) was
Edna's mother's name before marriage was Verdier. 2 July 1994
Edna (Dignan) Slater called me on 13 Jan 2002, returning my call. She was
not aware of the letters her mother and Millie (Schisler) Huey had in the B.C.
Archives. She is now 81, and living with her daughter and grand daughter in
Chemainus, just south of Nanaimo.
When she was a little girl she remembers Jack Budd riding his horse in Princeton with his long white hair hanging down. She
noted that everyone in Princeton was aware
of his relationship with Miner and the other robbers. She invited Karen and I
for tea the next time we are down, and said that her home looked out over the
sea. She also advised that I should check in Princeton
with the offices of the Similkameen Spotlight. She advised that an Art
Shenton (deceased) wrote a book of ballads of Miner and his gang and other
old timers in Princeton under the title
"Similkameen Tales". His daughter now works for the Spotlight in Princeton.
maintained he took part in the pursuit of the Ducks robbers. He was living in 1906 in
Kamloops, B.C. He died
in 1970 in Kamloops in
Hospital at the age of
93. He claimed to be a member of the Ducks Robbery posse. Norm Fetterly told
the writer that George Dillabough was a member of the posse that tracked the
Ducks robbers. He was a leather tanner and importer of firearms. No record of
Mr. Dillabough being involved in any of the Miner epiodes has been found in
the writer's research.
JUBILEE SINGERS. The Dixie Jubilee Singers played in
Kamloops while the trial of the Ducks
robbers was being held.
The Williams' Original Dixie Jubilee Singers were regular Chautauqua circuit
performers. Managed by Charles P. Williams, this was an exceedingly
accomplished seven member black vocal group, three women and four men, that
sang everything from opera to ragtime and spirituals. CD's of their music are
still available today.
To listen to excerpts of their original music and recordings, go to http://www.venerablemusic.com/catalog/TitleDetails.asp?TitleID=2188
To see a photo, go to
Williams, Clara K.
Highwarden, Anna. Pianist and vocalist.
Crawford, Pearl M.
Williams, Charles P.
Williams' Original Dixie Jubilee Singers.
ND, Village of
Lakota, Lakota Herald, November 14,
"The first number of this course is due November 29th and is one of
the best attractions that will come to Lakota this winter, the Dixie Jubilee
Singers. This aggregation is so well known and so generally liked as to need
no comments. They never fail to please. The manager of the opera house at Canton, S. D. says:
"They met the most enthusiastic reception of the season.
Cheers and curtain calls at every number." The pastor of the Joyce M. E.
church at Chicago
says: "The audience filled every seat. The singing of the Jubilee
Singers was so satisfactory that we expect to have them again. It was the
most successful entertainment ever given in our church."
In 1906 William Alexander DODDS36,43,173,207
was a stock raiser, Post Master, and general merchant in Aspen
Grove, B.C. He frequently would have Miner and individuals in his
gang drop in on their way by his ranch. He provided a witness statement to
Det. Seavey. William Alexander Dodds was an original pioneer resident the
small mining hamlet.
1898 B.C. Voters List
Dodds, William Alexander, Aspen Grove, Stock-raiser, YN (Yale North)
Maisie Campbell Johnson mentions Dodds in her stories of Bill Miner, as does
Constable Hugh Hunter in his investigation report to Sup't Hussey.
In Det. Seavey's 22 May letter to C.P.R. Special Service Detective McLaws,
Seavey states that he interviewed William Dodds in Aspen Grove and Dodd
provided him with a statement 16 May 1906. Dodds' statement states as
"I have seen the said Edwards in my store several times during the past
year who occasionally made small purchases for which he paid cash. I am
informed that he came into this section of the country about two years
(ago) and that he was in partnership, dealing in horses, with a man by
the name of Jack Budd who has been in this section of the country for several
years and who with Geo. Edwards has a small horse ranch near
B.C. Also am informed that Geo. Edwards is interested in a mining claim near
here with his horse ranch partner Jack Budd and a man named Alonzo B. Roberts
who lives at Aspen Grove. George Edwards has been away much of his time since
coming here and no one seems to know where he goes to."
"Jack Budd bought dynamite from me several times during the past year
and the last he bought from me was on or before Feb. 14th /06 a sample of
which I gave to you today marked "WAD May 16th /06". Thursday May
17th 1906 Jack Budd came to my store about noon when the stage arrived. He
remained for some time until the neighbours got their mail when he said he
guessed he would go back to his claim and went away. (Was Budd waiting for
the Ducks robbers to arrive?) Some time after this, accompanied by Jack
Murray (of Nicola?) I went to guard a trail to look out for suspicious
persons passing that way which was several miles away, we waited for some
time and was surprised to see Jack Budd riding along this trail leading an
extra horse and for a few days after Budd was seen in the same locality
riding his horse and leading the same horse each time. (Was Jack Budd now
getting worried about the fate of Miner and the other robbers?)"
"It is common talk by citizens of this locality that George Edwards
and Jack Budd are carrying on a suspicious business in handling and dealing
"It is common practice in this locality for farmers who use large sticks
of dynamite for blowing up stumps and for miners who use 7/8 inch dynamite
for blasting rock etc. to lend and borrow of each other and return it when a
new supply is purchased."
The dynamite was important evidence at the trial of the robbers in Kamloops,
as they had left the sack full of dynamite sticks on the rail bed close to
Campbell's Crossing some miles west of Ducks (Monte Creek).
G. C. DOLMAN208
was living in Chilliwack,
B.C. in 1906. He provided a witness statement on Miner and the Mission robbery He saw Miner in Chilliwak in the fall
On 25 May 1906, G.C. (George?) Dolman was
interviewed by Thiel Operative #38 in Chilliwak. Dolman picked out George
Edwards' photo from an array displayed to him by the detective. "This
man used to come over and sit in my barn and talk with me for hours, as he
was a lover of horses. I saw a tattoo mark on his arm, I do not remember
which one; it was on the back of his forearm. Also a mark on his thumb,
running from the root of the nail, towards the first joint of the thumb,
which looked like a dotted line. I saw Edwards have a lot of money, a big
roll with a $1000 bill on the outside, and a long buckskin sack in which he
carried gold, mostly $20 gold pieces. I should say there was more than a
pound of it. I have played cards with him, and he would always sit with his
back to the wall. He had a very sharp eye, and watched everyone who came in.
He wore a ring on the third finger of the left hand, formed like a snake, but
with no stones in it. He wore a long fur coat and a large white hat, the same
as is shown in the photo. He came here from Ladner's Landing. When he left
here Budd was with him, and they had two horses and a red mule. They went to
Hope and were to go up over the trail, but came back here three days later, saying
that the snow was so deep on the trail they could not get through. But I know
that there was no snow up there, and I think they became afraid that somebody
was waiting on the trail to take them. And they came back and took a boat
down the river, horses and all."
DOMINION EXPRESS COMPANY. The
Dominion Express Co. was the actual entity that was robbed in both the
Mission Junction and Ducks robberies. The company was a subsidiary of the C.P.R.
W.S. Stout was the President and General Manager in June 1906. The head
office was in Toronto,
DOMINION SECRET SERVICE. The
Dominion Police Force, led by Commissioner and Lt. Col. Sherwood, appears
intermittently throughout the story. However, they played no substantive role
in our story. They were also referred to as the Dominion Secret Service.
Starting off as a police force protecting the parliament buildings in
Ottawa, they eventually became the police force of
record for eastern portions of Canada. They merged with the
R.C.M.P. in 1920.
Box 44, File 1.
A clipping (New Westminster Columbian 12Jan05) enclosed with a
letter to Hussey from C.P.R. Inspector McLeod mentions the Dominion Secret
Service working with the Pinkertons to solve the Mission Robbery case.
was living in Sep 1904 in
B.C. She witnessed the Mission train robbery
near Silverdale, B.C.
Email from Val Patenaude, Curator,
Museum. 30 Jan 2002.
"Finally, on a personal note, I am a Donatelli on my mother's side
and my grandmother was a witness to the robbery at the age of four. She
remembered the excitement and her mother pushing the children away from the
front window of the house but that was about it. A cousin of mine still owns
the old homestead and last year I took a group of students from a local high
school on a visit there to recreate the Great Train Robbery at its original
location. It was great fun."
On September 16th, 2004, while taking photos of the site of the
Mission Robbery on Donatelli
Road west of
Mission, we met Leo Patterson. Leo
was the son of Margaret Donatelli, who was born in 1895, and at the age of 9
or so witnessed the robbery of the C.P.R. train west of Mission Junction by
The Donatelli and Patterson properties are located on Donatelli Road, a turn off towards the
from the existing Lougheed
Highway, and west of
Mission. The writer and his wife Karen took
numerous pictures here of the railway, the Donatelli farmhouse (now
destroyed) properties and the
Church. Leo also
allowed me to take a photo of the old Donatelli house that he had hanging in
his living room.
The actual site of the robbery is slightly west of Silverdale at present
(2004) C.P.R. milepost #92. Silverdale is just east of Donatelli Road at McLean Road.
Leo's cousin Tom Donatelli lives across the road from him. The old Donatelli
Church is located behind his house,
however he wasn't home when Karen and the writer were there. Leo gave us
permission to go onto the property and take pictures of the old church and
the location of the old house.
The Douglas Lake Ranch provided employment
to both Bill Miner and Jack Budd. Miner was employed sometime between the
spring of 1904 and the winter of 1905.
The Canadian Census for 1901 gives us a snapshot of the people who
worked there at that time. The Census was taken during the month of April.
Joseph Greaves was noted as the head of the ranching operation. He gives his
age as 68, being born in England
in 1833. Of all the individuals noted at the ranch at that time, he is the
only one that did not divulge his annual income.
Not counting Greaves, it appears that the ranch had 17 employees, 11 of which
were of Chinese origin. One of the Chinese was the ranch cook, and the balance
are assumed to be irrigation workers, experienced in flood irrigation of the
ranch hay fields. Of the five non-Chinese, one was a blacksmith and one was a
clerk at the ranch general store. It is assumed that the other four were
cowboys and general ranch hands.
The Chinese ranged in age from 29 to 41, and were described as farm hands.
The annual wages were 300 dollars per year, and one made $250 per year. The
Chinese workers were Ah Sam, Ah Fong, Charlie, Ah Long, Ah Lee, Ah Hoy, Ah
Lem, Gee Gong, Ah Mee and Ah Lee. The 30 year old Chinese known merely as Joe
was the cook.
The store clerk at $600 per year was 43 year old Robert Beairsto (Bearstowe?)
from PEI, and the blacksmith at $600 per
year was William Knight, 28, from Ontario.
The cowboys were Henry Mass, 20, from the US,
George Hoffman, 52, from Ontario, William
McDonald, 25, from the US,
and Charlie Burns (?), 25, from Ireland. Maas
and Hoffman made $300 per year and McDonald and Burns made $250 per year. All
the white employees were noted as being Canadian citizens, the Chinese
Directory for B.C., 1904.
(see also Coutlee, Lower Nicola and
A country post office in the Yale district, 65 miles south of
Kamloops, and 20 miles south east of
Nearest railway station and telegraph office
Kamloops district 60 miles mails weekly.
Postmaster. Joseph B Greaves
Campbell, Ewen. Rancher
Cattle DL and Co. General Store
Coutle, Joseph. Douglas Lake Cattle Co., ranchers and General Store
JB Greaves Mgr
Goodwin, Alfred RG, Stock raiser
Goodwin, Benjamin, Rancher
Goodison, Herbert. Rancher
Greaves, John Blackbourn. Post master
Greaves, Joseph B. Rancher
Lauder, William M. Stock raiser.
Lowe, William. Labourer
McDonnel, Jeremiah. Blacksmith
Greer, Thomas. Rancher
Thomson, John. Rancher
Whitford, James. Labourer
Henderson Directory for B.C., 1905.
Post Master. Joseph B Greaves.
Bearstowe, Robert, Cattle, DL and Co.
Douglas Lake Cattle Co., Ranchers and General Store, JB Greaves, Manager.
Goodwin, Alfred RG. Stock raiser
Goodwin, Benjamin. Rancher
Gracey, John. Labourer
Greaves, John Blackbourn, Post Master
Greaves, Joseph B. Rancher
Hazelhurst, Richard. Labourer
Ianson, John. Blacksmith
King, John. Labourer
Lauder, Frederick. Labourer.
Lauder, William M. Stock raiser
Walker, Oliver. Labourer
Wickford, James. Labourer
Okanagan Historical Society Vol 38, 1974
Herbert Heald Thomas was the youngest son of Charles and Alice Thomas. He
first came to Princeton in the 1890s. He
left Southampton, England,
in 1892, and while going past Ducks, B.C. he got off the train to go and
visit his brother at Nicola. Bert went to work at the Douglas Lake Ranch
where he met Jack Budd, who was also working there. Later he would run into
Budd again in Princeton. Budd was a ranch
hand at that time at the Douglas Lake Ranch.
Bank of B.C. Pioneer News, 1984, VB Cawston
Cawston quotes Herb Thomas in this article as saying that he first met
Jack Budd at the Douglas
Lake cattle ranch in 1892, before either of them
came to Princeton.
Carrol's "Three Bar. The Story of Douglas Lake" (1958), he
notes the tie between Jack Budd and A. R. Goodwin who owned the Fish Lake
ranch beside the Douglas Lake ranch, then run by J. B. Greaves. (This
ranch was later known as the Norfolk
In 1905-1906, Goodwin was charged by J. B. Greaves of the Douglas Lake Ranch
with horse stealing. Carroll also notes that Jack Budd was an accomplice of
Goodwin's, and that charges were laid against him also. Despite the testimony
of a young cowboy employed by Goodwin named Oliver Walker, who testified that
he and Goodwin had rounded up 28 of the Douglas Lake Company's purebred
mares, the charges were dismissed. Walker also
testified that 11 of the Douglas
Lake horses had their
brands treated to an application of a blistering agent such as lump jaw or
spavin cure. This caused the hide to raise and the
brand to come off in three or four days.
Walker testified Goodwin said that he
intended to ship the animals once they were back in good shape.
While the charges were eventually dismissed, Greaves was no longer plagued
with his horses being rustled. (In actual fact, the trial took place in
This is the first indication that Budd was involved with Goodwin. However,
the probability is high that Budd was indeed partners with Goodwin, as other
sources note Budd and Edwards' rustling activities in the Quilchena-Nicola
Wooliams' "Cattle Ranch" relates a story of Miner working at
the Douglas Lake Ranch, and transporting Chinese irrigation workers by
buckboard. The team spooked, and one of the labourers was thrown off and killed.
Feelings ran so high against Miner that Greaves advised him to leave the
area. A supporting tale was told by Bud Walters' daughter (June Walters
Charlton) to Savona
resident Chris Green in email to Ken Favrholdt. These two sources are the
only ones that relate this anecdote.
In 1907 Instructor James DOYLE134
was a prison administrator in New
Westminster, B.C.1 Doyle is noted as living in the
"Penitentiary Cottages". He was the senior guard on duty during
Miner's escape. Doyle was the yard supervisor at the time of Miner's escape
from the B.C. Pen.
Columbian 9 Aug 07
Instructor Doyle was on guard duty at the time of the escape, and at the time
the Columbian went to press in the afternoon the next day, he was still in
pursuit of the escapees.
Columbian 12 Aug 1907
Doyle was overseeing sixteen convicts in the brickyard that afternoon. He
only exercised general supervision as the men passed out of his sight from
time to time, behind the rows of bricks, and in the vicinity in and around
the machine shop. The only other guard assisting him was McNeil.
Albert William DUCK18,54,120,136,214,215,216,217,218
was born on 9 Feb 1862 in England.
He immigrated in 1883 to Canada.
In 1906 he was a rancher in Ducks, B.C.1 The 1906
Voters List also notes Duck as a rancher. He died on 8 Jul 1932 in
Kamloops, B.C. He
witnessed some of the pre-robbery activities of the Ducks robbers. Jacob
Duck, Albert Duck's uncle, came to the Monte Creek (formerly Ducks)
area in 1862 with Alex Pringle. They established an excellent and extensive
ranch. He pre-empted land on both sides of the river, and together with
Pringle, ran a roadhouse. In 1882, Pringle sold out to Duck, and the ranch
expanded to 3000 acres. Six years later Jacob sold out the whole property to
Hewitt Bostock for $45,000, and returned to England.
Jacob's nephew Albert joined him in Canada in 1883 (1881?),
and together they built the Brunswick Hotel. Albert then started ranching at
Grande Prairie, and while he was in
Grande Prairie, he was manager of the
Adelphi Hotel built in 1885. He soon moved to develop the Holmwood ranch,
which was previously the Robbins' ranch. It was located between Monte
Lake and Barnhartvale, (then called
Upper Campbell Creek) and it was a natural stopping place for travellers.
Stages changed their horses there at the barn that still stands beside the
In the 1901 Census, we find Albert Duck and his family at the Holmwood
Ranch on the Old Vernon Highway,
east of Campbell Creek. He and his wife Edith
(33) have two daughters, Mona (7) and Doris (5), and two sons, Rupert (3) and
Wilfred (2). They have two farm hands working for them on the ranch. A son
Arthur was later born at the Holmwood Ranch.
Albert Duck saw Edwards on a roan pinto horse at his house on 29 Apr 1906. It
is assumed that he and his wife were on the old Robbins' ranch (Holmwood)
when they both saw the robbers before the robbery.
Albert William Duck's witness statement.
I live about 4 miles south of Ducks, almost directly south of Ducks. On
Sunday 29th April about 11am I was called downstairs by my wife that a man
wanted to see me - I came down stairs. He asked if he could get some supplies
- I told him we did not keep a store and asked him what way he had come, he
said we came this way and motioned to the East, I told him if that was so he
must have come through Grande Prairie and passed the stores. He said they had
been in the mountains for some time. He said he wanted tobacco both chewing
and smoking, milk, eggs and rice and lard. I gave him one plug T&B
smoking tobacco and my wife got him the rest of the stuff. My wife boiled
either 2 or 3 doz. eggs. He paid us I think $1.75.
I mentioned the earthquake news to him and he said he had heard nothing of it
that he had been in the mountains six weeks. I gave him the Victoria Colonist
to read. The oldest prisoner is the man who called this day. He took off his
coat and hat and had a wash so that I had a good chance to see his face. He
was riding a roan pinto.
May 19th '06
Albert William Duck.
(In Detective McLeod's transcript submitted to McLaws by Seavey, the same
information is given, almost verbatim.)
Hussey telegrammed Murray in Victoria to subpoena Mr. and Mrs. Albert
Ducks, presently staying at the Dominion Hotel. The Ducks were holidaying
during the time that the trial was in progress.
In a telegram dated the same day at 7:58 pm and sent to B.C. Provincial
Police Sergeant Murray in Victoria, Hussey advises him to subpoena Mr. and
Mrs. Ducks, who are holidaying in Victoria and do not wish to return to
Kamloops and testify at the trial of the robbers.
In Deputy Attorney General McLean's closing argument notes, he quotes Albert
Duck as being able to identify the man at his ranch as "Edwards, no
doubt about it". He also identified the roan pinto horse held "in
the yard" in Kamloops
as the one Edwards rode.
In a letter to B.C. Provincial Police Sup't Hussey 9 Jun 06, Pearse
asks permission to compensate the Ducks for being subpoenaed as witnesses for
the trial of the robbers. Mr. and Mrs. Ducks were holidaying in
Victoria, and had only just arrived when notice came
for them to return to Kamloops.
They put in a claim for return fare from Victoria
and a sleeper on the train and berth on the boat. This would be the boat
taken from Vancouver to
Victoria. Pearse recommended that compensation
Albert was President of the SPCA in 1931.
A direct descendant of Albert and Edith, Ian Duck, son of their son Arthur
Duck, resides in Houston,
Spouse: Edith (Morely) DUCK. Albert William DUCK and
Edith (Morely) DUCK were married on 23 Nov 1892 in
Kamloops, B.C. Children were: Doris
DUCK, Mona DUCK, Rupert DUCK, Wilfred
DUCK, Arthur DUCK.
Arthur DUCK. Parents: Albert
William DUCK and Edith (Morely) DUCK.
was born on 4 May 1895 in Kamloops,
Okanagan Historical Society Vol 60, 1996. (by
Doris remembered meeting Bill Miner when he
came to Holmwood to buy supplies before the Ducks robbery. She first married
a Bertie Butler and lived in Westwold, then after Bertie's death in 1948, she
married Ivan Crossley.
Parents: Albert William DUCK and Edith
Edith (Morely) DUCK54,120,121,220,221,222
sold supplies to Miner before the Ducks robbery. She was a prosecution
witness at the Ducks robber's trial. Edith Duck identified George Edwards at
the trial as wanting to buy provisions at her ranch.
"Mrs. Albert Duck had also sold him lard and a dozen boiled eggs,
and when she gave her evidence, Miner pulled an egg from his pocket to show
In a letter of 22 May 1906 to McLaws of C.P.R. Special Service Dept., W.
McLeod of the same Dept. writes,
"Mrs. Ducks claims the old man came into the house and bought 2 bottles
milk, 1 doz. eggs, some lard and rice and stated he came in from the
mountains and had been in said mountains 6 weeks. Went on to state he had not
heard of the San Francisco
disaster and he was given some papers to take away with him.
The other two men were outside, one having a pack horse, I am positive they
are the three men as per photos shown, my three children also are certain
they are the same as these photos.
Mr Russell claims he was coming towards the house on that date 29th and saw
the two men making camp a little way from house and the old man was coming
down the road with a bottle of milk in each hand. I am certain and will swear
they are the same men as photos shown.
Mr Ducks is away from home but he can substantiate my statement."
Mr Russell claims he was coming towards the house on that date 29th and saw
the two men making camp a little way from house and the old man was coming
down the road with a bottle of milk in each hand. I am certain and will swear
they are the same men as photos shown.
Mr Ducks is away from home but he can substantiate my statement."
Detective McLeod's transcribed notes in the documents submitted by Seavey to
McLaws in mid-June 1906 seem to be a bit more detailed in some aspects.
"Mrs. Ducks claims that on Sun. 29 April the old man called at her place
and wanted to take a wash; and bought 2 bottles of milk, 1 doz. eggs, some
lard, tobacco and paid her $1.75. He had a horse tied at the fence while he
was in the house, the horse being a spotted bay and white, more bay than white,
and having some white in it's face. Also that the two men (Dunn and
Colquhoun) passed by, leading a dark coloured horse. She said the old man
left the house about 12 o'clock, noon, headed towards
Mr Russell, who works for the Ducks, stated that he was riding with Judge
Butler from Kamloops, and passed two men camped at the forks of the road,
leading to Ducks Station. about 3/4 of a mile west of Ducks' ranch. And that
after passing the ranch a short distance, they met the old man riding a roan
or spotted horse, going toward the George Edwards camp, and carrying a bottle
of milk in each hand; and that the old man said, "This is not whiskey,
Investigator G.H.'s record of his interview with Edith Duck is substantially
the same. "Mrs. Albert Duck of Ducks (sic) says that the old man
Edwards call at her place on Sunday April 29th and wanted to take a wash, and
bought lard tobacco, rice and two bottles of milk for which he paid her
$1.75. He had a horse tied at the fence while he was in the house, there was
two men passing by leading a dark horse, the horse that the old man had was a
spotted bay and white, more bay than white, some white in face, he left the
house about twelve o'clock noon headed towards Kamloops.
In Deputy Attorney General McLean's closing trial arguments, he notes that
Mrs. Duck identified all three of the prisoners as the ones who passed by her
place on Sunday 29th April. She also confirmed that the old Man (Edwards)
was riding a pinto.
Spouse: Albert William DUCK. Albert William DUCK and Edith (Morely)
DUCK were married on 23 Nov 1892 in Kamloops,
B.C. Children were: Doris DUCK, Mona DUCK, Rupert
DUCK, Wilfred DUCK, Arthur DUCK.
Mona DUCK. Parents: Albert
William DUCK and Edith (Morely) DUCK.