SS Mount Royal- Survivors

British Columbia, Canada

Hudson Bay Company, SS Mount Royal, Stern Paddle Wheel Steamer

At 3 pm on Saturday, July 6, 1907,
Sunk on route from Hazelton to Port Essington, at Kitselas Canyon, 93 miles from Hazelton.

6 of her crew of 22 drowned.

This page is the list of surviving Crew Members that I have been able to find

There were 55 passengers on board per one article from the time

Stewart Burr Johnson
aka S. B. Johnson

The Captain did not go down with the Ship in this case!

Have seen his first name as Stuart Burr Johnson
but clearly Stewart in 1880 census, and on his headstone

(abt 37 years old at time of the accident)
b- Mar 3, 1870, NY, USA (1870 on headstone, 1871 in other places)
d- Jan 17, 1949, At Wenatchee, Chelan Co., WA, USA, age 78
Burial: Waterville Cemetery, Waterville, Douglas Co., WA, USA

Link to a Picture of him, I think, below

son of Captain Charles Johnson and Hattie Johnson, nee De Puy (or DePuy?)
Father- Charles Johnson,
b- July 8, 1842 at Neversink, Sullivan Co., NY, d- Apr 4, 1912, at Lakeside WA, age 69 Buried in I.O.O.F. Fraternal Cemetery at Chelan, Chelan Co. WA He bought his burial plots in Aug 1912 for $10

shown age 36 in 1880, Bookkeeper in Chicago

The son of Nicholas and Nancy (Sheely) Johnson. Stewart's Grand-Parents.
One record I have seen says her maiden name was Leroy.

Stewart's Great-Grandfather John Johnson, served in the war of 1812
His grandmother Nancy's mother was a Grant, from the Grant family that came over on the Mayflower, She was a relative of Ulysses S. Grant.

Mar 1904, found a note that said Captain Charles Johnson
of Lakeside, is spoken of as Representative for Chelan Co.
Capt Johnson lost a leg, above the ankle, in the war of the rebellion.
at the battle of Honey Hill, November 30, 1864.
July 3, 1863, he was made Captain.
After the war he returned to New York,
went into the mercantile business in 1877.
went to Chicago, as he was there in census time of 1880.
Family went to Wayne Nebraska in 1880
He was elected Clerk of Wayne Co. in 1866.
Stewart's father?, yes he was.
Apr 1888 the family of Captain Johnson
came to the Lakeside, Chelan Co. area.
here it says he was b- 1842, d- 1912

He returned to Nebraska to convince his 2nd wife to come to this area,
His 2nd wife- Clara Gustina Emerson, Jan 12, 1888, at Cedar Falls, Iowa
daughter of William and Emily (Hapgood) Emerson
b- Aug 17, 1853
d- Oct. 26, 1903
buried in I.O.O.F. Fraternal Cemetery at Chelan

WA. State Rep., Mayor of Lakeside, Okanogan Co. WA

Married his First wife, and mother of Stewart, Dec 19, 1866, at Hasbrouck, NY
Mother- Harriet “Hattie” Johnson, nee DePuy
b- ca 1846, in NY, age 34 in 1880
d-1887, at Ashland, Wisconsin, while visiting friends.

1880 all living in Chicago, Cook Co. IL, USA, Stewart age 9.
Father was a member of the State Legislature in Washington or Oregon?.
Capt Johnson shown in Port Essington in 1901, married,
One of 3 women on board, when the ship went down, the Captain's wife,
Carrie B. Johnson, nee Pepper, escaped as well to the Island.
they were married Apr. 11,1898 in King Co., WA
b- Aug 11, 1875 in IL, USA,
d- 1957
Burial: Waterville Cemetery, Waterville, Douglas Co., WA, USA

Father- Walter J. Pepper (1841-1921)
Mother- Clara Emma Pepper, nee Zimmerman (1850-1938)
1880- Carrie was age 5 at home at Millersburg, Mercer Co., Illinois, USA

Carrie and her husband immigrated in 1900 to Canada
1897 he co-owned and was Captain of a steamer Stehekan on Lake Chelan, WA
He sold his half share in Oct 1897.
1910-1911 he is listed in Prince Rupert Directory,
as Supt. Transportation, Foley, Welch & Stewart, (contractors for the GTP Railroad)
Jan 19, 1920 census says Stewart Johnson and his wife
were in Lakeside town, Chelan Co, Washington USA
He is now shown as a contractor for the Railroad
1930 in Seattle, King Co. WA with his wife
1940 they were living in Manson, King Co., WA
1940 they attended a funeral in Chelan Co, obit say they were from Manson.

As a boy he worked as a deckhand on river steamers, on the Lewis, Snake and Upper Columbia River.
Worked his way up to command of one of the best Steamers on the Columbia River

He was the one and only Captain of the SS Mount Royal

Benjamin “Ben” Madigan
b- Feb 26, 1838, in County Cork, Ireland
d- Jan 4, 1920, age 81 in Victoria BC

One of the survivors of the sinking of the “Mount Royal” Sternwheeler
He was saved by George Little, and a Companion who canoed out to part of the wreck
then chopped a hole in the overturned hull
so Madigan could escape from part of the wreck.

He was a Marine Engineer

Engineer on the “Sir James Douglas” Steamer ca 1872
earned $120.00 a month
William Clarke was the master of that steamer at that time

from Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest

Benjamin Madigan, engineer, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1838. When quite young he came to this country and learned his trade in the DeLamater Iron Works in New York, leaving there to enter the steamship service. After a short time on the Ct ba route he went to San Francisco in 1862, and thence to Victoria in July of that year. He secured employment on the steamer Diana, and also on the old steamer Thames, remaining on the latter about two years. In 1865 he joined the steamer Oiler and made two voyages North with Captains Lewis and Swanson, then going to the steamer Isabel, where he remained for two seasons. After leaving the Isabel he spent the next four years and a half on the mail steamer Sir James Douglas, and when the Douglas was laid up with a broken shaft he was transferred to the Maude, owned by Captain Spratt. While in Spratt's service he was also engineer on the Cariboo Fly for nearly three years, but left to serve on the Beaver, then belonging to Saunders. He purchased an interest in the Beaver (the first steam powered vessel on the west coast, it brought Sir James Douglas to Victoria in 1858 for the first time.) and replaced her old-style engines with poppet valves, provided new boilers, and made other improvements. He operated the old craft about three years, and was subsequently employed on the steamer .41e:rander, then in the possession of Warren & Saunders. After she was bought by Dunsmuir he remained at his post until 1882, when, with Captain Myers, he went to England and brought out the steamer Sardonya:. The following year he accepted a position on the Barbara Boscowitz, which he is still occupying. think this book is ca 1883

wife- Margareta “Margaret” Francis Madigan, nee McCoyle
b- 1838 in USA
d- 1896
Died Jul 29, 1896 at Victoria, BC, Margaret Francis, wife of Benjamin Madigan, 58, native of NY res/here since 1862. Leaves also 4 daughters, 2 sons, 2 sisters. Pallbearers: T Geiger, Capt J D Warren, J Levy, H Saunders, L G McQuade, M McTiernan. [Colonist, 1896-07-29*] from Leona Taylor and Dorothy Mindenhall, “Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers,” Victoria’s Victoria, http://www.victoriasvictoria.ca/, 2007

1874 Ben Madigan is shown in Victoria Directory, Engineer, living at Rock Bay

4 daughters and 4 sons I have found:

daughter- Eleanor Madigan
b- Dec 17, 1873 in Victoria BC
d- June 23, 1952
buried Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria
married Arthur Lineham, Apr 13, 1898 in Victoria, BC
He was age 27 when he married, b- England
son of Francis R. Lineham, and Eliza Trueman
Eleanor was age 24 when she married
she had 4 children

daughter- Margaret Adalade Madigan
b- ca 1870, baptized in Victoria, age 20 when she married
married Stephen O'Brien, Sept 4, 1890 in Victoria
age 39 when he married, born in Wisconsin, Railroad Conductor
Lived in San Francisco in 1965

daughter- Mary Elizabeth Madigan
b- baptized Apr 3, 1866 in Victoria
1905 Victoria Directory shows her as a Nurse, lvs 320 Dallas Rd
Miss M. Madigan lived in Los Angeles CA, in 1965

daughter- Catherine Agnes Madigan
b- ca 1868, in Victoria, age 22 when she married
married Rodney Stewart Norton, Jan 10, 1890 in Victoria BC
he was age 33 born in New York
She was living in NY in 1965

son- Benjamin James Madigan
b- ca 1872 in Victoria BC
baptized St. Andrews Cathedral, Victoria
mothers name McCloy here.
d- Feb 11, 1875, age 2 yrs and 10 mo, in Victoria
Father reported death, living at Rock Bay, Victoria at the time.

son- Benjamin Valentine Madigan
baptized St. Andrews Cathedral, Victoria
mothers name MacCloy here.

son- George Owen Madigan
b- ca 1864, baptized in Victoria
d- Apr 19 Apr.1965, at Everett, Snohomish Co., WA, USA,
Died while on route to his home in Vancouver
married Kate Vincent “Katie” Adler, Dec 14, 1886 in Victoria, machinist
He was age 22
Him and his wife travelled to Havana Cuba in 1915
one of Ben Madigan's sons was “Inspector of Boilers” in 1907
found an Inspector in New Westminster, named G. O. Madigan,
I also found G. O. Madigan, “Boiler Inspector” in Vancouver, ca 1919.
then I found George O. Madigan so now know this is the right guy
I know George and Kate had a daughter Irene Mary Madigan
she married Percival Harold Harold Murphy, Mar 15, 1913, in Vancouver.
Irene was Baptized Jan 1, 1888 at St. Andrews Cathedral in Victoria
Picture link below for George

son- Louis John Madigan
b- Jan 12, 1879, Esquimalt? BC
baptized at St. Josephs Esquimalt, no date
1940 shows he was once married, a widow,
a placer miner on Franklin Creek, in Alaska, age 61
He was in Fairbanks AK when George died in 1965

1891 Ben shown married, no wife listed, living on Johnston st, Ward 1, Victoria, age 54

1911 Benjamin Madigan was in Port Essington, Chief Engineer, (G. Boat Cignet? hard to read)

David Albert Good
b- Feb 16, 1863 in ON
(He was in Port Essington in 1901)
1905 Victoria Directory, Marine Engineer, SS Mount Royal, HBC wharf
listed next to him the widow of a Captain C. Good, living at Balmoral Hotel
possible mother and father?
1911 he was in Bamfield BC, shown as a Mechanical Engineer, single, at Cable Station

C. Cluneness (spelling?)
(Colin Clunes? age 42 in 1901 in Georgetown, Port Simpson, Nass river, Census)
shown as night-watchman, Canadian, single

Died May 20, 1923 at Victoria, BC, Capt Colin Clunes [Cluness], 67, born on a sailing ship off coast of NA, resident of here 57 yrs. Leaves 2 sisters in Seattle, and a brother, D McLeod, of Victoria. Clunes followed his calling for 52 yrs in these waters, and many a time, in the early days, among the hazards of Indian trading and the perils of navigating a little-known and little-frequented coast, carried his life in the hollow of his hand.
He was a lifelong mariner, truly a son of the sea. It was on the salt wave that he was born; all his years were spent on the billows; and death came within a few wks of his last trip, ashore. It was in 1858, aboard sailing ship Avenger, of which his father was master, that he was born. He came to BC as a lad of 13, in 1871, turned to the sea on arrival, and began sailing out of Victoria on schr Discovery. He secured his master's ticket at age 18, and subsequently commanded many vessels in coast trade. Woodside, a small steamer that plied between Victoria and Alberni with passengers and freight, was Capt Clunes' command for many yrs. On one occasion, in collision with another ship off Sooke, he narrowly escaped with his life. It was necessary to take to the boats and that in charge of the master capsized. He distinguished himself by saving not only his own life, but of swimming to safety as well, with a woman and child.
Woodside was saved on that occasion, but subsequently met complete disaster when Clunes was still in command. This was in 1888. The vessel's rudder was carried away when she was about 5 miles from Nitinat Rv, WC, and the crew and passengers took refuge in the boats. They landed 3 miles from Pachena, and were later taken to Victoria by Indians. During the night the steamer drifted ashore and broke up. It was owned by Muir Bros, of Sooke.
Numerous other small craft had Clunes as skipper in later days. He was master of Lottie, 30 yrs ago, when that vessel was being used on the construction of Esquimalt graving dock. Later he was in charge of steamer Falcon, utilized in bringing coal from Nanaimo to Victoria for the old Seattle-Victoria flyer, City of Kingston.
Twenty yrs or so ago, Capt Clunes was steamboating on the Fraser and Skeena Rvs. On the latter he went as master and sometimes as chief officer on HBC craft, among them Mount Royal. He was aboard the latter when she turned turtle in the Skeena when loaded with passengers and cargo. He escaped with his life, but was never the same man after this terrible experience. During the last decade or two, he had been employed in various capacities aboard CPR coast service ships. His last vessel, Tees, tied up recently. Clunes was a man widely known among shipping men of the coast. Pallbearers: Capt Paxton, J Clark, R Hampton, W Spencer, D McLeod, J Ogden. N 015 E P [Colonist, 1923-05-20*]

info above from : Leona Taylor and Dorothy Mindenhall, “Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers,” Victoria’s Victoria, http://www.victoriasvictoria.ca/, 2007.

- name unknown

6 Port Simpson Natives
One name- Joseph Offut (alt Offett)

One Wood Passer,
2 Waiters,
2 Chinese Cooks,
and one Deck Boy.
no names recorded in records I have seen
I would imagine Hudson Bay Archives would show who they were paying.

from Susan Tomlinson Durban, May 2013
Great-Granddaughter of Robert Tomlinson (Cedarvale)
sent this tidbit on the women passenger:
“Robert and Alice Tomlinson's daughter Anna Lucretia Moberly (nee Tomlinson - 1880 - 1969)
who married Walter Moberly and was known as Annie.

Annie was on the Mount Royal the day it wrecked in Kitselas Canyon and I have a letter from her to my grandparents, telling her story of the experience.
She was one of three women on the Mount Royal, that day headed for Port Essington.
The other two were Mrs. Phillips and the Captain's wife.
Annie continued on to Port Essington to catch the boat to Victoria.
While in Victoria she attended the funeral of the Steward at Christ Church Cathedral and went to see the mother of the purser.

Mrs Phillips was Mrs F. M. Pillips, possibly Rowena nee Hume or Rowena Elizabeth nee Sperling, from the Dalles, Oregon, was heading home from Hazelton.
Her husband was shown as Street superintendent of the Dalles, Oregon (alt Street Commissioner, Businessman) I think she was the daughter of Robert A. Hume, and Minnie A. Humem nee Childs, a sand and gravel contractor at The Dalles If I found the right one, she was very young at the time of the accident
Rowena Elizabeth Phillips, nee Sperling b- June 17, 1891 in St. Charles City, Winona MN d- Feb 20, 1972 Lebanon, Linn, Oregon Burial Belcrest Memorial Park • Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA daughter of August Lewis Sperling and Amelia Matashka she was married to Fred Marion Phillips, but he was only born in 1894? too young to be the right guy I think.

2 tons of furs were on the boat when it went down.

Other survivors, Monte Rhodes and Edward Harrison Besett, (alt Besset) of St. Joe Idaho who were returning from telkwa area after a year of prospecting.
E. E. Potts, of Vancouver, K. H. Rolley, Matsqui BC, O. Spidal, Camrose AB.

  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 11:06
  • by dlgent