GTPR- Last Spike

Fort Fraser, British Columbia, Canada

Last Spike in the Second Transcontinental Railroad in Canada
Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP)

Took place 1 mi east of Fort Fraser BC, on Highway 16 on Apr 7, 1914

Latitude- 54.0601939269918° N
Longitude- 124.554061889648° W


Photograph above from Library and Archives Canada (Mikan 4477048)
showing Chief Engineer Kelliher driving the last spike, but one.
This photo was actually part of Alfred W. Smithers personal album.

General Superintendent Brewer assisting. I believe he was the guy in the foreground, back to the camera.
On right side, one foot on rail, gentleman with his hat off, handkerchief in his coat pocket, I believe was Morley Donaldson

Photo and Corrections sent by Kerry Guenter, Smithers


The last spike was to be driven in a fancy ceremony in August, with Edward Chamberlin doing the honours, but this was cancelled, so the “Last One” became Kelliher's honour.

Last Spike GTP Railroad, Fort Fraser
Last spike was driven by B. B. Kelliher, the Chief Engineer of the GTPR.


B. B. Kelliher
Bartholomew Brosnan Kelliher
Chief Engineer of the GTPR
b- Dec 26, 1862, Ballyplimoth, Cordal, Castleisland, County Kerry, Ireland
d- Nov 7, 1929, London England, age 68
buried in Crosstown Cemetery, Crosstown, Wexford, Ireland

He has been called the greatest Railroad Engineer of his time.

  • Educated Dublin University
  • Came to America 1886
  • 1886-1904- Civil engineer western railway systems in US
  • 1899 he worked in Salt Lake Utah.
  • 1904 came to Grand Trunk
  • June 20, 1904 he was living in Winnipeg with his new bride.
  • Aug 1905 appointed Chief Engineer
  • 1909- Moved his office from Montreal to Winnipeg

Kelliher Saskatchewan named in his honour

son of John D. Kelliher and Joanna nee Brosnan
married #1-Anna Isabelle (alt-Isabel) Souter, June 1, 1904, in Dallas Texas
b-
d- Sept 1, 1908, at her residence at 261 University st, Montreal Quebec
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal Quebec

married #2- Johanna M. (Creusie?) O'Connor,
married bet Apr-June 1915, Islington Reg. dist, London England
b- Wexford, Ireland

Henry H. Brewer
b- Nov 19, 1862 at Owosso, Michigan, USA
d- Aug 8, 1940, Portland Oregon
He retired in 1924 in Winnipeg as Assistant General Manager of the CNR
41 years of experience in Railways
17 years in the US before joining the Grand Trunk
as yardmaster at Durand Michigan in 1900.
1902 shown as a conductor, Chicago IL
Nov 1902- May 1904, GTR Montreal General Yardmaster
Became Terminal Superintendent at Toronto for 3 years before being stationed at Winnipeg.
He retired on the Pacific North coast
son of Edward R. Brewer and Carolyne Brydle
married Blanche Walker, Oct 1, 1902 Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
b- age 26 in 1902, in Michigan USA
daughter of Rodger T. Walker

Last Spike from Fort George Herald Newspaper Account, At a point near Mile 373, about 2 miles E of Fort Fraser
Monday Apr 6, 1914 at 12:30
The Exact true date was Apr 7th, 1914

About 20 Railway officials from Winnipeg arrived without notice.

The train consisted of Engine #112, and 7 cars,
The General Manager's Private Car,
The Private Car of W. C. C. Mehan, Superintendent of the Western Section.
1910-1918 Mehan was based in Prince Rupert
Also included on the train, 2 sleeper cars, a Dining Car, Tourist and Baggage Car.
Supt. Mehan was in charge of the Special Train
The Special train left Winnipeg, and added special guests as it went along.

Locomotive #112 was a 4-4-0 type built by Montreal Locomotive Works, Taken over by CNR as #386, scrapped in May 1937.

Newspaper said “Even with no notice”, around 1500 people showed up for the occasion.

I found an article Apr 2, saying they were going to meet on the 7th.

The Track Laying teams left 1 mile of track open, on purpose, for a race, one from the East, other from the West.

Stewart Bros. were the contractors from the West, and Bostrum and Green were the Contractors from the East.
A large flag pole was placed at the center line just to the side of the rails.
When they joined, the Union Jack was lifted on the pole.
A picture online shows the pole cut from a tree, and they actually left part of the tree on the top, like a Christmas tree.
The East team beat the West by 14 minutes.

Foreman Daniel Joseph Dempsey was in charge of the winning crew
the last half a length of rail was cut and placed by a Mr. Egan in about 3 minutes.
Only can find the name Philip Egan, no further info on him.
The last spikes in the rail were driven by the officials.
The special train then took the officials to Prince Rupert.
There was an official photographer, with a moving picture machine in attendance.
No name shown for the photographer sad to say.

Also only record of an Egan is a Philip Egan but again no other info for that name.
Usually this means wrong spelling etc.

I am going to keep researching him.

Officials Present on that day:

(per the Fort George Herald Newspaper article)


Morley Donaldson
Vice-President and General Manager of the GTPR
b- May 1,1851 in Edinburgh, Scotland
(age 67 on his Death Reg. makes b- 1851)
(1911 census says born May 1869, in ON? age 52)
(1901 census says 1855), (1891 shown as age 38)
d- Aug 27, 1918 at 504 Albert St., in Ottawa ON
buried in Ottawa ON

He retired after 12 years with the GTR, in 1917 due to ill health
He died from complications of diabetes
Educated privately in France and Canada
Began his career in 1869, with E. Gilbert & Co. in Montreal.
1871-1876 he worked for Walter Shanly, on the Hoosac Tunnel, in Mass. USA

Became mining engineer, and assayer in CO, USA for 4 years.
Returned to Canada and entered service of the Canada Atlantic Railway, in 1881 as Chief Draughtsman.
He worked his way up to General Superintendent.
This company merged with the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1905
He became Superintendent of the Ottawa Division.

1901 he was single, living with his sister in Ottawa
1912 appointed Vice-President and General Manager
Member of the Canadian Society of Engineers

1911 census shows him as a widow, no sign of his wife.
Father- Major Robert Donaldson
Mother- Louisa Evelyn (or Emily?) Morley

sister- Marie E. Donaldson, b- Nov 19, 1860 in ON
she married a Mr. Remon, she was shown as a widow in 1891
She lived with Morley the rest of his life it appears.

National Archives of Canada has his photo albums of this and other events.

George W. Caye
George Washington Caye

Assistant to the Vice-President, and GM, and Purchasing Agent, Winnipeg
b- Dec 1, 1865, Malone, Franklin Co, NY, USA
d- ca 1953, nine years before his wife in 1962

son of William A. Caye and Florence E. Caye, nee ?
married Florence Estelle Van Fleet, Feb 8, 1910, at Tinton Ave. NY
b- 1873 Morrisania, Bronx, NY
d- Apr 1, 1962, Yonkers, Manchester, NY, USA
daughter of Henry Switzer Van Fleet and Esther Flandreau Van Fleet, nee ?
Her and George migrated to Michigan

1882, worked in Passenger dept. Central Vermont Railway at St. Albans.
1900-1902, travelling car Agent with Canadian Atlantic Railway.

1903-1905- Private Secretary to the GM of Canadian Atlantic Railway.
1905-1907- Chief Clerk to the Vice-President and GM, Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
Aug 31, 1907, Moved to Winnipeg MB, when he was appointed
Assistant to the Vice-President, and General Manager, and Purchasing Agent
for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which is the title he had at this event.

H. H. Hansard
Hugh Hazen Hansard

Solicitor for the Company, Winnipeg

b- Oct 6, 1869 in Colombo, Ceylon, India
d- Jan 9, 1931, Montreal Quebec
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec
Immigrated in 1891

son of Capt. Arthur Hansard and Margaret Ann Hazen

educated Malvern College, Worcestershire, Oxford University
Law course St. John Law School
Called to NB Bar in 1894
Assistant Solicitor GTPR, 1911-1912

Appointed Solicitor of the GTPR in 1912

married Annie Maud Burpee, Oct 30, 1901 in St. John NB
b- Jan 1872 in NB
d- Oct 18, 1940 in Montreal Quebec
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal Quebec
daughter of Hon. Isaac Burpee
son- Hugh Gerard Hazen Hansard
b- Dec 3, 1904 in St. John, NB
d-

family living in Winnipeg in 1911

Hansard, 62 km east of Prince George, named after this man

W. Le B. Ross
William Le Breton Ross
Local Treasurer of GTP, in Winnipeg

b- Aug 9, 1868 in Ottawa ON
d- June 21, 1964 in Cloverdale BC, age 95
buried in Valleyview Memorial Gardens, North Surrey, BC

1932 living in Ottawa ON
Retired in 1933 after 50 years
Chairman of the Athletic Association in Winnipeg MB
son of John Ross and FNU Penestone
married Caroline Lampman,
b- Mar 31, 1868, Rice Lake ON
d- Jan 10, 1962, Ganges BC, age 93
buried in Royal Oak Cemetery, Royal Oak BC
daughter of Archibald Lampman and Susan Gestener
They had at least one son, name?
daughter- Elsie Stewart Ross

J. M. Rosevear
John M. Rosevear
Auditor of Disbursements, Montreal

b- Aug 1868 in Quebec
d- July 13, 1943 at Montreal, age 73
retired General comptroller for the CNR June 1, 1930 after 34 continuous year service.
Began his career in 1885 as Junior Accounting clerk for the GTR
He worked his way up to comptroller

married Henrietta M. Rosevear, nee ?
b- July 1869 in Quebec
son- Frederick S. Rosevear
b- Jan 1894 in Quebec

Chamberlain appointed a A. J. Rosevear

as Assistant of the Vice-President in 1912
same guy, relation?
A. E. Rosevear shown as General Freight Agent in Winnipeg in 1914
I know A. E. was a separate fellow for sure.

J. A. Heaman
John Andrew Heaman
Assistant to the Chief Engineer

b- June 3, 1874 in Memphis Tenn, USA
d- Nov 9, 1960 in Oak Bay, BC, age 86
buried in Church of the Epiphany Anglican Cemetery
Kingsville, Gosfield South Township,
Essex County, ON
educated at London ON, Collegiate Institute
and at McGill University, graduating in 1902
Resident Engineer first,
He rose to Assistant of the Chief Engineer, GTPR.
Retired Civil Engineer CNR

son of George Heaman, b- England

married 1- Edith Edna Dunlop, July 10, 1907 in Carlton ON
b- July 1880
d- 1941
buried in Church of the Epiphany Anglican Cemetery
Kingsville, Gosfield South Township
Essex County, ON
son John Dunlop Heaman
b- Mar 11, 1911 in Winnipeg, MB

married 2- Alice Victoria Williamson

G. W. Robb
George Watson Robb (name clarrified by great great grandson of George's brother William Robb, Robb Surridge, Apr 2018)
b- July 18, 1863 (per burial record) in Montreal, Quebec, d- Jan 12, 1934 in Montreal Quebec, age 70
buried in Smith Falls, ON, per obit, and per church records.
Became Superintendent of Motive Power in 1909, (title he held when he appeared here), from Transcona Shops, MB
He became associated first with the CPR in Winnipeg in 1884
He left the railroad business in 1914 to enter other business interests in Montreal. married Elizabeth Carolina White (Whyte in married reg), b- Balderson ON, from Perth ON when married, Apr 8, 1890, Lanark, ON
daughter of Joshua Whyte, and Ann Gallenger
one son Douglas Robb of Winnipeg, b- USA, and a daughter Christian, b- ON

I did show a George W. Robb, shown as Master Mechanic for GTP in Winnipeg in 1914, which was this fellow
His brother- William Doig “Billy” Robb
b- 1857 in Longueuil, Canada, near Montreal
d- June 23, 1947
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal
1902 appointed Superintendent of Motive Power of GTR.
1922- Vice-President and General Manager of GTR, later CNR
First Canadian to achieve this high in the Company
Began his career in 1871 as Apprentice Machinist.
retired age 74, after 60 years service. Both sons of Joseph Morrison Robb and Susan Farquharson Doig
Father Joseph Robb, who was a machinist and later a locomotive foreman working out of Brockville, per Robb Surridge.

William married Catherine Haggart Black
daughter of James Black and Helena nee Ross, born Espline.

They had another brother Joseph Robb in Chicago and a sister Mrs. Thomas Rowlands, Toronto, in 1934,

J. L. Holgson
Master Car Builder, Transcona MB
This was actually J. L. Hodgson
John Lawrence Hodgson
b- Nov 15, 1858 Simcoe ON
d- July 6, 1917, Winnipeg, MB age 58
Entered the service at Brantford ON
1884 he was transferred to Toronto as Car foreman, and in 1897 made Master Car Builder at Port Huron.
Master Car builder, Port Huron MI in 1910
Oct 1913 made Superintendent of the car dept of the GTP at Transcona, MB
Father- Edward Hodgson, mother- Grace Hodgson
married 1- Lavina Peachey, Dec 25, 1879 at Norfolk, ON
daughter of Abraham Peachey and Sarah Peachey
5 daughters, 2 sons by 1910
married 2- Lillian B. Parson Apr 7, 1903 Oxford Co, ON
had 2 sons

H. E. Bissell
Homer Elmer Bissell
Right of Way and Claims Agent, Winnipeg MB

b- Dec 18, 1867, St. John, NB (1911 census shows ON)
d- Oct 1967
buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg MB

son of Henry Bissell and Hanna Adelaide nee ?
I believe he married Helen Francis nee ?
b-
d- Oct 23, 1931 in Winnipeg, age 65

Guy C. Dunn
Guy Cramp Bell Dunn
Divisional Engineer, Winnipeg, MB

b- May 1862 in Quebec
d- 1950
buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, Lanark, ON
He was working in St. John NB before being made Chief Engineer
of the Western Lines of the GTPR, from Fort William to Edmonton.

married Charlotte Elizabeth Leeder
b- Oct 1868 in Quebec
d- 1955
buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, Lanark, ON
daughter- Jessie Leeder Dunn
b- Aug 1895 in ON
d- 1956
buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, Lanark, ON
she married Francis C. G. Wright

A. B. Smith
Alex Bruce Smith
b- abt 1850 in Montreal, Quebec
d- Feb 6, 1921, in Montreal, Quebec, age 71
but pretty sure he is buried in Montreal Quebec, since his wife's body was shipped there, and buried there.
Both Parents born in Scotland
Telegraph Operator in Hamilton ON in 1872, working for the Montreal Telegraph Company, shown single.
Nov 1872, Appointed Deputy Inspector of the Western Division of the Montreal Telegraph Co. headquarters in Toronto ON.
Telegraph Operator in 1877 in Hamilton ON when his daughter was born
Manager of Telegraphs for Grand trunk, Montreal (based in Winnipeg in 1912)
Worked with Montreal Telegraph Company of Canada, hiring on in 1862
1869 appointed Chief Operator at Hamilton.
He served as military operator on the occasion of the Fenian raid at Hemmingford, Que.,
and also at the time of the Fenian raid on the Niagara frontier, for which services he was given medals by the Militia Department
Then went to the Great Northwestern Telegraph Company
He was appointed Superintendent of Construction for that company in 1889.
1908 they lived at 56 Edmonton st, in Winnipeg MB

Hayes himself asked him to join the Grand Trunk Pacific system, Nov 1, 1905.
He transferred his office to Winnipeg in 1906.
Jan 1, 1913 moved his office to Montreal, but appears in Winnipeg a year later.
1914 his office was working out of Union Station in Winnipeg
He was replaced in Oct 1, 1915 by a Mr. H. Hulatt, reason given, retired due to ill health.
He received a Victrola and some records as a retirement gift.
For someone so important, I could not find his first name very easily.
Then I found a clue in a newspaper article saying A. Bruce Smith headed back to Montreal in 1911 after an inspection tour, so now we have his middle name.
1 daughter Edna Florence Smith born June 10, 1877 in Hamilton, Wentworth, ON, married an Edmund Taylor Jan 27, 1904 in Toronto. He was manager of the HBC stores in Winnipeg. 1912 they were in Calgary.
Their marriage record gave me his first name, Alex!
Bruce was married to Elizabeth Helen MacLaughlin, (McLaughlin in Death Reg)
b- Apr 1, 1853, in Kingston, ON,
d- Jan 27, 1935, St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, Wentworth, ON, age 72
Buried in Montreal Quebec
Daughter of James McLaughlin, b- in Ireland a Moulder, and Madeline nee ?, b- in Scotland
Children:

  • daughter Gertrude Smith- b- ca 1875 age 16 in 1891, in ON , married a Frank Pearce
  • daughter Edna Smith- b- 1877, described above
  • daughter Effie Hamilton Smith- b- ca 1881, age 10 in 1891, in ON she married Edward Newcome Martin of Calgary, Apr 26, 1913
  • son- Alex Smith- b- ca 1885, age 6 in 1891, in ON
  • son- James Smith- b- ca 1889, age 2 in 1891, in ON

Bruce AB, Hamlet, named after A. Bruce Smith

James Gorman
Superintendent of Dining and Sleeping Cars, Winnipeg
b- Oct 7, 1873 in Hamilton, ON
d- Feb 20, 1928 in Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg MB

Entered the Grand Trunk Railway service in Hamilton as a Clerk, in 1889.
10 years later transferred to Sleeping and Dining Car Dept in Toronto.
He came to Winnipeg as Supt. in 1910
Stayed in that position when railroad became CNR.
Member of Rotary Club and Knights of Columbus.
married Grace Gorman, nee ?
b- Apr 1879 in Quebec

daughter- Margaret Gorman, survived him
b- Aug 1903 in USA, immigrated in 1908

son- Hugh Gorman
b- Sept 1910 in ON

son- James Gorman, survived him

H. A. K. Drury
Henry Arthur Kingsmill Drury

Chief Engineer of the Board of Railway Commissioners

b- 1870 in NB
d- July 1, 1940 at his home, 209 (or 309?) Daly Ave, in Ottawa, age 70
buried in Fernhill Cemetery, East St. John, NB

son of Ward Chipman Drury and Charlotte Hayne of Newland Saint John NB

Began his career with GTP and then CNR.
Then went to Mexico with the Mexico Light and Power Co.
He then worked on the Cuban Railway.
Returned to Canada, became engineer in charge of the Georgian Bay Canal Survey.
1907 he became dist engineer for the Board of Railway Commissioners.
His residence was in Winnipeg at this point.

member of the Rideau Curling Club, and Royal Ottawa Golf Club.

Hak Saskatchewan named after this man

In 1921 census- Henry Arthur K. Drury,
living at 275 wellington Cres in Winnipeg, age 51,
Civil Engineer, both parents born in NB

married- Helen Robina Richardson, Apr 27, 1909 in Middlesex County, ON
b- ca 1886, age 23 in 1909 when married
d- Feb 21, 1956 in Lisbon, Portugal
Buried Feb 23, 1956 in the English Cemetery, Lisbon, Portugal
Memorial was held in All Saints Anglican Church in Ottawa
daughter of J. Banning Richardson, Archdeacon, Clergyman,
and Mary Jane Trepranie
1921 census- age 35, born in ON, father born in NS, mother in PEI
living in Bronglidale, London Twp, Middlesex, ON when she married
Her father performed her marriage service
she lived at 309 Daly Ave in Ottawa.
She died on a visit to Portugal
She sailed from New York on a trip to Portugal, Spain, France and England
but became sick on board the ship.
She travelled widely, when she returned from a trip
to South America, she gave lectures under the Women's Canadian Club.
She was shown coming from London ON.
She had 7 grandchildren.
When she died- she had 2 sisters- Mrs. E. L. Howell, Toronto,
Mrs. B. H. Boucher of London ON

Son - David Kingsmill “Dave” Drury
b- Feb 8, 1910 in Winnipeg MB
d- 1988 in Ottawa ON
1921 census in Winnipeg b- age 11, in MB
Lived in Lisbon Portugal in 1956 per one article,
per another, Ottawa ON.
In 1940 he was living in Hamilton ON
Attended Bishops College School Sept 1924.
He also married and had children

Daughter- Frances Helen Diana Drury
b- Aug 5, 1912 in Winnipeg MB
d- July 25, 2002 at her home in Ottawa ON
1921 census in Winnipeg, b- age 8 in MB
She married a Charles “Blair” Birkett, prior to 1956
b-
d- 1976
She had 4 children
lived in Lisbon Portugal in 1956 per one article,
Montevideo, Uruguay per another.
1940 she was married living in Auckland NZ.
She remarried a General W. A. B. “Bill” Anderson
b-
d- 2000

Henry had one sister- Mrs. C. E. U. Porteous of Island d'Orleans, Quebec.

Somewhere I assumed he married a
Harriet Evelyn Drury, nee ?
b-
d- July 11, 1936, Montreal Quebec, age 66
who is buried in Fernhill Cemetery
but now I doubt this is true.
as Helen was the mother of the 2 children for sure.

note- Henry Brewer from picture above, not listed

another paper added a few more names:

They said Mr. F. Van Brysells, was on board.
He was representing a Belgian-Canadian Investment Syndicate.
This article claimed Mr. Brysells had the photographer with him who had a Movie machine with him,
So somewhere there is a movie of this historic event.

Also there H. B. Duffie, Legal Representative
can't find this fellow, so wrong spelling?

and H. L. Lampkin, Travelling Passenger Agent shown as Herbert Lambkin in Winnipeg in 1911

Herbert James Lampkin?
b- July 1882 in ON
married Mary Lambkin, nee ?
b- July 1884 in ON
daughter- Evelyn Kathleen Lambkin
b- July 1907 in Carlton ON
son- James Lambkin
b- Jan 1909 in PEI

R. C. W. Lett
Tourist and Colonization
(Travelling Passenger and Colonization Agent, based in Winnipeg in 1912)
Robert Chamberlain Westover Lett
b- May 27, 1870, Ottawa ON
d- Feb 3, 1957 Saanich BC, age 86
buried in Royal Oak Crematorium, Victoria BC
married #1- Helena Sarah DeCourcy Topley, Dec 18, 1912 in Carleton, ON
b- Jan 7, 1879 in Carlton ON (age 35 in 1916 census)
daughter of the famous photographer, William James Topley
b-1845 in Montreal
d-Nov 16, 1930 at his daughter's temporary home in Vancouver
Topley BC named after this family

married #2- Queena Mae Swartz
b- Jan 9, 1901 in Brantford ON
d- Dec 12, 1978 in Victoria, BC
daughter of Watson Guthrie Swartz and Mae Gertrude Vaughan

Robert Lett was the youngest of 9 children
Robert had his own movie making machine, as early as 1910,
the very first one in Canada as well, so very well could have been the “official” photographer referred to in the newspapers at that time.
In 1910 he took 10,000 ft of movie, and lantern slides, to the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
He took an active part in choosing the sites of famous hotels along the GTPR
Highland Inn at Minaki, ON, the Macdonald Hotel, in Edmonton in 1909, and the first camp for tourists in Jasper Park.
In 1916 the GTR sent movies to England for the war rest camps

father- William Pittman Lett, b- Ireland
mother- Maria Hinton, b- in ON

John H. Hodgeson
Master Car Builder (same as Mr. John Lawrence Hodgson above, I am pretty sure, shows adding one letter or 2 makes it hard to research the correct man)

I do know a C. H. Hodgson, was Chief Clerk in Car Service Dept. in Winnipeg in 1914

An Engineer/Surveyor at the time,
R. A. Harlow, witnessed the event, and wrote with white paint on the connecting rail, which was removed and sent to Winnipeg,
where it was cut into 1/4“ slices, polished, and engraved, as gifts to Grand Trunk Officials.

Mr. Harlow verified the date as Apr 7th, 1914.
I recommend going to the Prince George Railway Museum, where this man's letter, and a slice of the rail can be seen.

Roland Arden Harlow
b- Mar 22, 1889 in Brewer Maine, USA
d- July 4, 1878 in Kelowna BC, age 89
son of Joseph Harlow and Rose Smith, both born in USA

Mr Harlow's story is slightly different than above.
He was there, he should know.
He claims 2 trains came, one from Winnipeg, another, Mr. W. C. C. Mehan's train from Prince Rupert.
Mr. E. J. Chamberlain was on the Winnipeg train,
who was President of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad.
Also Alfred Waldron Smithers was on that train as well.

With Mr. W. C. C. Mehan, General Superintendent,
George Alexander McNicholl, Division Engineer, and Chief Engineer of the Grand Trunk Pacific, C. C. Van Arsdol, and Assistant Engineer, W. H. Tobey

Now this story makes 100% sense, after this length of time to build this railroad, everyone involved would want to be there at the end.


Edson Joseph Chamberlain
b- Aug 25, 1852 in Lancaster N.H.
d- Aug 27, 1924 in Pasadena CA
son of Joseph Mark Chamberlain and Rae Ann (Roeann?)(Rosana?), nee ?
both born in Vermont, US
married Sara Griffin Place in St. Albans, Vermont

1909 appointed Vice-President and General Manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific
June 1, 1912 appointed President, after Charles M. Hays died on the Titanic.
They had no children

sister- Sarah G. Chamberlain, age 40 in 1880, living with her brother and wife
in St. Alban, Vermont.

Heatherwood Alberta, name was changed to Edson Alberta to honour this man

Cassius Cash Van Arsdol
b- Aug 19, 1851 near Muncie, Delaware Co., Indiana, USA
d- Feb 25, 1941 at Clarkston, Asotin Co., WA
Vanarsdol BC Named after this man
He was Chief Engineer on many Railways, and Highways
Memorial Lewiston Hill, Idaho
He graduated in Civil Engineering from University of Iowa in 1876
May 4, 1914 he was seriously injured in the First Passenger Train Accident on the GTP, at a trestle near Rose Lake.
One shoulder was dislocated, the other fractured.
His head, face and hands were cut.
8 passengers were injured in total.
The passenger cars rolled over on their side, and were partially submerged in water in the creek under the trestle.
It was a combination freight and passenger train.

W. C. C. Mehan
William Charles Clyde Mehan
b- Oct 16, 1866 in Quebec, Canada (June 1918 he was 51 years old)
Death Registration shows he was born in St. Albans Vermont
d- Aug 4, 1939 in Saint Albans, Vermont, age 67
buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Saint Albans, Franklin Co, Vermont, USA
lived at 170 Shelburne Rd when he died

Educated in St. Albans Vermont.

1868 to 1899 he was in the US
Sept 1906 he left Ottawa.
He was the Train Master for the Canada Atlantic
Jan 30, 1910 he was promoted from Superintendent
of the Grand Trunk Pacific at Melville, SK,
to General Superintendent of the Mountain Division with his headquarters in Prince Rupert.
June 24, 1918 he was heading to port of St. Albans, Vermont, from Prince Rupert.

Heading to join his niece J. Chamberlain.
so now we know he was related to E. J. Chamberlain.

1930 William and Abbie in Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont
he is shown as a railroad contractor
son of Edward Mehan and Elizabeth nee ?
William married Abbie Jane Graves (Abbie Clara Graves?) in 1889 St. Albans Vermont
b- Apr 4, 1856 in Sheldon, Vermont USA (June 1918 she is shown age 58)
d- Jan 24, 1939, Vermont, USA, age 82

buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Saint Albans, Franklin Co, Vermont, USA
She was the daughter of Buell Graves, b- Sheldon VT
and Jane Ann Morrill, b- Sheldon VT

Informant on her death Mrs Fannie L. Chamberlain

W. H. Tobey
William Homer Tobey
b- Jan 15, 1880, North Berwick, Maine, USA
d- Feb 3, 1959 Vancouver BC, age 79
buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver BC

Attended Brown University
1902 started his railroad career with Wabash Railway, West Virginia
1904 he became Resident Engineer for the CPR
1906 went over to the Grand Trunk Pacific
ca 1920 he was Division Engineer, Maintenance of Way, and Superintendent at Prince Rupert.
Made General Manager of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway
headquartered in Vancouver BC, for 9 years before he retired.
son of William Burton Tobey and Ariana Almira Small

married #1- Lena Richards Edmands in 1914, Saugus, Essex, MA, USA
b- July 24, 1881 in MA, USA
d- Mar 6, 1948, in Vancouver BC
buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver
daughter of Solon V. Edmands and Cora Frances Bentley

married #2- Rosina Agness Hewitt


President of the GTP that picked Prince Rupert as it's terminus died on the Titanic in 1912, body no 307, and never got to see the last spike driven on his vision.
Mr. Charles Melville Hays


l/r- Mr. D'Arcy Tate, Frank Watrous Morse, and Charles M. Hays at Prince Rupert 1910 Mr. Tate was Solicitor for GTP
Frank Watrous Morse Vice-President and General Manager of GTP
Credit: Charles Melville Hays / Library and Archives Canada / PA-021985

Grand Trunk Pacific Telegraph Company inaugurated their service between Winnipeg and Prince Rupert, Nov 21, 1914

Tid bits of history below

H. McCall was Superintendent for rail lines west of Edmonton.
Before this he was Superintendent in Melville SK
1916 he was in Melville as Superintendent
Harry McCall
b- ca 1875, age 41 in 1916, in USA
d-
Immigrated in 1903, naturalized in 1907
married Edith McCall, nee ?
b- age 34 in 1916, in ON
d-

Alfred Erwin McMaster
GTP Freight and Passenger Agent in Prince Rupert in 1911
b- Oct 22, 1885 in Perty, ON
d- Sept 12, 1965 in Vancouver BC, age 79
buried in Mountain view Cemetery, Vancouver BC

son of John McMaster and ?

retired in 1955 as a Port Manager

married #1- Phyllis Margery McMaster, nee Nelson
b- Oct 6, 1887 in ON
d- Apr 12, 1949
buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver BC
daughter of William Henry Nelson and Annie Josephine Robertson
both born in ON

married #2- Margaret “Edith” Hope, nee Cooke, aft Apr 1949
b- May 28, 1891, Orillia ON
d- July 19, 1974, in Vancouver BC, age 83
daughter of Edgar Franklin Cooke and Mary Tudhope


Apr 1903, a Party of GTR Officials visited Canada, and the USA, checking the condition of the rail lines.

May 18,1903 they were staying in the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, ON
They took over the 1st floor of rooms facing King St.

President- Sir Charles Rivers Wilson G.C.M.G. ,C.B.
(He succeeded Sir Henry Tyler in that position, and Hays succeeded him)
He was also representing Central Pacific Railroad shareholders in England
and his wife, Lady Wilson, (Beatrice Violet Mary Mostyn),

plus fellow members of the GTR Directorate
Sir William Lawrence Young, (1864-1921) Director, (8th Baronet of North Dean)

Sir Alfred Waldron Smithers, Director (1850-1924)

Mr. Langley Smithers
and Mr. Henry Deer, Assistant Secretary.

They left Montreal June 10, 1903.
heading to New York to catch the steamer Lucania,

heading home to London England

with them Charles Melville Hays, 2nd vice-President and GM, at that time

Mr. Frank M. Morse, 3rd Vice-President

Mr. William E. Davis, Passenger Traffic Manager

Mr. Henry C. Philips

and Mr. George Alexander McNicholl


Aug. 1909, a Party of GTPR Officials travelled to Seattle WA by a special train.
Sir Charles Rivers Wilson, and his wife, Lady Wilson,
and Henry Deer, Asst Secretary of the Grand Trunk,
were the leaders of the party, from London England.

With them from Montreal, the Headquarters of the system.
President, and GM, C. M. Hays

E. H. Fitzhugh, 3rd Vice-President

W. E. Davis- Pass, Traffic Manager

J. W. Loud, Freight Traffic Manager

Dr. Hutchins- Medical Adviser

J. Coleman- Supt Car Dept.

H. G. Kellog- Chief Engineer

They attended the Seattle Fair, where the Grand Trunk had a display.
and the Yakima Valley, looking at the Irrigation systems used.


Langley Smithers
b- bet Jan-Mar 1884 at Knockholt, Sevenoaks, Kent, England, (Bromley Reg. Dist.)
d- bet July-Sept 1955, Westminster reg Dist, Westminster, London, England, age 71
living at Godstone, Oxted, Surrey Co, England, ca 1911-12

married Mabel Lily Bishop, bet Oct-Dec 1909 in Bromley Reg dist.
they lost 2 sons in WWII:
Pilot Officer, Julian Langley Smithers, d- Aug 11, 1940, age 24
Second Lieutenant, Alfred John Langley Smithers, d- Nov 25, 1941, age 20

son of Sir Alfred Waldron, Major Norman Smithers, won the Military Cross in WWI

Supervisor of the Kent Special Constabulary in WWII

son of Sir Alfred Waldron, Hubert Smithers
Hubert BC named after him

Langley Smithers, son of Sir Alfred Smithers,

His other brothers, Hubert Smithers, Norman Smithers, and Waldron Smithers, were living at Knockholt Sevenoaks, Kent

Smithers Family Photograph, and information, see EXT link below

Henry C. “Harry” Phillips
alt- Henry C. Philips (Headstone transcribed with 1 L.)
b- June 1866 in USA
d- Abt- Aug 3, 1946, probably in Montreal Quebec
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec
Family immigrated in 1896

1911- Family living at 160 Crescent, St. Antoine Ward, Montreal, Quebec

Private Secretary to President Hays, and Secretary to the Company,
living in Montreal, 1912

Phillips Alberta, named in 1909, in his honour
married Catherine (alt- Katherine) Rodgers
b- Oct 1866 in Upper Alton, IL, USA
d- Nov 5, 1960 in Montreal Quebec
Buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec
daughter of Col. Andrew Fuller Rodgers, of Upper Alton IL
Veteran of the Mexican and Civil War,
and Permelia Jackson

daughter- Dorothy Helen Philips
b- Dec 1893 in USA? or Quebec
d- 1980

studying Music in 1911
she married Ross Hutchins, lived in Montreal

daughter- “Marjorie” Madelaine Rodgers Philips
b- Sept 1899 in Quebec

she married a Mr. Mitchell

—-

William Edward Davis
b- Aug 2, 1850 Wilson, Niagara Co., NY, USA
d- May 15, 1913 in Montreal Quebec, age 65

Funeral was held May 17th, 1913 in Montreal
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal

Educated at Wilson and at Commercial College in Poughkeepsie, NY

entered Railway Service in 1868
As a Ticket Clerk for the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railway, to 1873.
Lived at Hannibal Missouri

1873-1877- with Kansas City Fort Scott & Gulf Railway

Aug 2, 1977- entered the Chicago & Lake Huron Railway,
which became Grand Trunk Western Railway.

bef 1884- Assistant General Passenger Agent, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway

1884- Asst. General Passenger Agent, Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway, office in Chicago

1892 he was General Passenger and Ticket Agent, for the GTR, in Chicago, IL
Apr 1, 1896 transferred to Montreal.
Oct 1, 1898 he was Gen Pass Agent for the Grand Trunk in Montreal.

May 1, 1900 appointed Passenger Traffic Manager, Grand Trunk Railway

son of Nathaniel Davis and Harriet Holden

He was 1 of 9 children

married Mary Long, Mar 17, 1870
b-
d-

they had one son, William Edward Davis Jr.
b- 1871 probably in Hannibal Missouri


Henry Deer
b- ?
d- ? aft 1921
Assistant Secretary, GTR
no wonder I couldn't find him in Canada
He was based in London England,

With H. H. Norman, also shown as Secretary,
They would have been the President and Vice-President's secretary in London.
H. Deer was shown as Sir Charles Rivers Wilson's Secretary, Aug 1909
Before Charles M. Hays took the President's position.
Mr. H. H. Norman died in 1921 and H. Deer was appointed Secretary, office London England.
Found a reference that Deer MB named after this man, but can not find it anywhere.

same as Mr Deer, he has been great at hiding from me.

George H. Salmon
b- Sept 1879 in Austria
d- ?
He doesn't show up in Vancouver after the 1917 Vancouver Directory.

Immigrated in 1906 to Canada, 1904 to England, per 1911 census
1910- Managing Director of the Dominion Stock and Bond Corporation Limited, Vancouver
shown as a Broker in 1911
Member of the Jewish Community in Vancouver.

married Bertha Robinson
b- Mar 1885 in Austria
d-
daughter of Adolph Robinson, and Helen Blinder,
Adolph financed the first automobile trip in 1911,
to Fort Fraser, 500 miles, along the Yukon Trail.
Travelling with him, his son in law, George H. Salmon.
Adolph was also a prominent member of the Jewish Community in Vancouver.
1917 shown as a Broker in Vancouver

Bertha had a sister, Sonia Robinson,
b- Mar 25, 1896 in England (age 21, b- Russia in her marriage cert?)
d- Dec 1, 1982 in Victoria
buried in Jewish Cemetery in Vancouver
Sonia married Joseph Rose, Mar 17, 1918 in Vancouver BC
Mrs. Joseph Rose lived in Victoria, ca 1938
Joseph Rose was a jeweller/optometrist in Victoria

Bertha also had a brother, name unknown, who lived in Australia, ca 1938

George's daughter- Dolly Salmon
b- May 1907 in England
d-
Immigrated in 1907

1911 family living at 1111 Jervis in Vancouver
1917 lived at 1611 Davie in Vancouver

B. B. Kelliher bio
http://www.kelliher.ca/pages/bbKelliher.htm

B.N.A.P.S.
http://bnatopics.org/hhlibrary/newsletters/rpo/rpo-2004-07-v032n06-w173.pdf

Hazelton Museum
http://www.museevirtuel-virtualmuseum.ca/GetMuseumProfile.do?lang=en&chinCode=guadia

Prince Rupert Archives, great photos here.
http://princerupertarchives.ca/search/results.php?searchDate=1911

GTP Station info and pics
http://www.michaelkluckner.com/bciw10gtp.html

After I tracked down the info above I tripped over this site.
He has some great station info here.
http://www.oil-electric.com/2008/09/type-e-mythology.html

and here is his last spike page
http://www.oil-electric.com/2011/04/april-7-1914.html

his main link here, and thanks for the compliment!
www.oil-electric.com

More stations listed here
http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/pdfcanada/britishcolumbia2rlys.pdf

Shirley Mill History
http://www.cassiarcannery.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Boneyard-Creek-Shirley-Mills-History-2.pdf

1911 GTP pamphlet, map in back
https://archive.org/stream/plateauvalleylan00gran_0#page/2/mode/2up

1940 article, one of the best for the history of this railroad
starts on page 163
http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/pdfs/bchf/bchq_1940_3.pdf
Interesting to note- on page 178 the author reports the first train from the East to Prince Rupert was on Apr 8, 1914, not on Apr 9th, as reported in today's articles.

Skeena Crossing photos from Prince Rupert Archives site
some great old photos on their site.
http://princerupertarchives.ca/search/detail.php?ID=1302

http://princerupertarchives.ca/search/detail.php?ID=571

http://princerupertarchives.ca/search/detail.php?ID=566

GeoBC
http://geobc.gov.bc.ca/base-mapping/atlas/bcnames/search/searchForm.html

GTPR Locomotive 112
http://imagescn.techno-science.ca/railways/index_view.cfm?photoid=1248765778&id=53

BC Archives Photos http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/archives-visual-records-collection/digitalobject/browse?sort=identifier&page=1110&sf_culture=en&limit=30

Smithers Family Photo http://www.knockholtparish.org.uk/historyimages/smithers500.jpg



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  • Last modified: 2018/04/07 09:07
  • by dlgent