James Kelso Gordon

Terrace, British Columbia, Canada

James Kelso Gordon
b- May 31, 1867 in New Perth, PEI, Canada
d- Jan 20, 1946, Seattle, King Co., WA

Builder and Owner of The First Terrace Hotel

father- Captain James R. Gordon
b- June 1823 in PEI
d- Jan 6, 1913 Oregon City, Clackamas, Oregon
buried in Rose City Cemetery, Portland Oregon
1901 shown in Portland Oregon as a farmer
1910 census, a widower,
mother- Jane MacLaren, they were married in 1860
b- Sept 1833
d- 1905

His father was a well known Captain of Ships on the Atlantic

Grandfather- James Gordon (b-1800- d-1886)
Grandmother- Betsy Stewart (b-1806- d-1880)

James used the name Kelso before his dad died, after that it was James, and while in Terrace, known as J. K. Gordon, in the papers at least.

1895 in Portland Oregon Directory, rooming at 35, 9th st.

1896 Directory, same place, shown as a Carpenter

1897 Directory, same place, but now he is Front Clerk for The Dalles, Port & Astoria Navigation Company
which was formed in 1891 operating sternwheelers, on the Columbia River.

1901 he shows up in 1901 Yukon Census, in Dawson City, single, age 33, came into Canada in 1898

Now I found out J. K. Gordon was Postmaster at Amsbury, from Oct 1, 1918 to Dec 1, 1918
It was a Post Office and flag station for the GTP railroad. 9 miles west of Terrace and 2 1/2 miles west of Remo.

1940 he was in Monohon, King Co., WA
per US census, at his brother-in-law's place
Brother-in-law shown as- Edward J. Sharp, (Smith?)
b- Wyoming, age 57, in 1940, shown as single
(sister to Edward) wife of James K. Gordon-
married Josephine Gordon, nee Smith,
Oct 13, 1903 at her home, on Hunker Creek,
in Dawson, Yukon Territory, Canada
b- Oct 22, 1869, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, German ancestry
in her obituary it says she was born in Wyoming
d- Dec 3, 1953 in a rest home in Seattle, WA., USA, age 84, cremated
Father Name: James Smith
Mother Name: Helena Schafer

1910 US census shows Josephine with James
and her son from her first marriage, Frank Phiscator Jr.
Says she was b- age 39 in Missouri
Father- b- Alabama, mother- b- Missouri
James, Josephine and Frank in Ward 12, Seattle, WA
James is now shown as a Gold Miner.

In the papers at the time it says they were well respected residents of Hunker Creek.
James was in the freighting business at one time, and later owned the Athol Hotel, which was an Old Valley Roadhouse, at Gold Bottom Creek, Yukon.
It was renamed “The Dawson” by one of the owners in 1903, a Mr. Herbert
Gold Bottom Creek was a tributary of Hunker Creek.

Josephine shown age 70 in 1940 census,
Residence Apr 1, 1935 for James, Josephine, and Edward and son Frank
all shown as Terrace BC
Josephine went to Seattle in 1909,
in her obituary it said James K. Gordon was a Building Contractor
and Department Store Employee, and he died 7 years before her.
Her obituary says she made Seattle her permanent home in 1923.
Her Survivors were 2 nephews and 2 nieces.

James Step-Son-
Frank Phiscator Jr.
b- June 11, 1891, at Horr, Electric, Park Co., Montana, USA
d- Mar 31, 1947, Seattle, King Co., WA, USA, age 55, cremated

In 1906, Josephine, her new husband James Gordon,
her son, Frank Jr., C. B. Scott and his wife, Mrs. Scott
went to Dawson City to look at the Eldorado claim, that belonged to Frank Jr. at that time.
Frank Jr. was 16, attending Bishop Scott Military Academy, in Portland Oregon

The Gordon family moved back one last time to the US in 1937

James K. Gordon arrived in Terrace in 1911.
He started as an agriculturist, and by Oct 1931, had over 16 acres of many varieties of Apple trees and was in the business of selling them.
He owned 15 acres of apple trees on the bench, just west of a Mr. William West's dairy farm.
Billy West pre-empted land where Heritage Park Museum sits today. so somewhere west of that was his orchard.

He was one of the Original Commissioners of the Village of Terrace.
He resigned this position Dec 12, 1931.
He was the one who took the lead in the Incorporation of the Village.
Other commissioners that accepted his resignation were Kenney and Agar.
Mr. Gordon was heading south for the winter, from Jan to Feb.
He was heading for Vancouver, Victoria and a visit to Oregon.

As early as June 1913, J. K. Gordon was raising his own beef, pork and poultry for the hotel.

1931 he was still buying lots in Terrace, at tax sales.

He hosted an annual bachelor Christmas Eve dinner.

He was elected President of the Terrace Board of Trade, Apr 1932 he held this position.

shows up in BC directory in 1920 as owner of the Lakelse Hotel, and no Terrace Hotel is shown, so they got the name wrong.

I wasn't sure if he was married or not, but when he sold the hotel in 1931, an article said He and his wife were expected to stay in Terrace,
and he was concentrating on his apple crop.
He was moving to live at his orchard on the hill at the time.
He also had an orchard below Terrace. (south side?)

a Mr. Frank Phiscater was living in the house on the “south side?” it seems. (turns out that it was his step-son)
I'm not positive but appears, Mrs Gordon lived here also.
Frank was James Gordon's step-son, age 49 in 1940, born in Montana,
with James, and Josephine, at Monohon WA in 1940
Frank was shown as a Trader, on the Stock Exchange
last name shown as Phispator in this census.
Apr 1, 1935 his residence was in Terrace BC, shown as single

1893 James R. Gordon family moved to Portland Oregon from PEI

siblings of James Kelso Gordon

Brother- Charles Henry Gordon
b- ca 1864?, PEI
d- ?
He went to Melbourne Australia
not sure what happened to him.

sister- Margaret “Emily” Gordon
b- Dec 27, 1865 in Georgetown, PEI
d- 1941, Portland, Multnomah, Oregon
1895 and 1897, Portland City, Oregon Directory,
shown as a Dressmaker
for Mrs. R. A. Rolfson, boards at 497 Montgomery
1896 she was boarding at 321 4th
shown as a dressmaker in 1901 census, born in 1860?

sister- Harriet L. “Hattie” Gordon,
b- Oct 1868 (1864?) in New Perth PEI
d- Nov 15, 1952, Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA
she was a school teacher, and had some ties with Lucy Maud Montgomery of “Anne of Green Gables” fame

brother- Dr. George Byron Gordon, F.R.G.S.
b- 1870, PEI
d- Jan 30, 1927, Jefferson Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA, age 57
Director of the Museum of the University of Philadelphia
Was Known the World Over as Explorer,
Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Author and Teacher.
Fell on stairs at the Philadelphia Racket Club
and hit his head on a marble floor.
George was also supposedly a character written about in “Anne of Green Gables”.

brother- Frances Gordon
b- ca 1873 in PEI
d- 1878, in PEI, age 5

sister- Ada Jane Gordon
b- Feb 1876 in PEI
d- in Portland Oregon, I am sure
1897 Portland city directory she was rooming at 326 5th
shown as a bookkeeper in 1901 census
1910 a bookkeeper at a publishing house

brother- Henry Gordon
b- 1879 in PEI
d- 1879, in PEI, 1 mo old

brother- Milton “MacLaren” Gordon
b- June 4, 1880 in PEI
d- Oct 21, 1916 at the Battle of the Somme, France.
1901 in Portland Oregon with Parents and his family
shown as a clerk at a merchandise store
1910 shown as a carpenter
In 1913 he moved to Prince Rupert.
He enlisted in WWI at age 35, shown as a Master Builder,
Living in Terrace when he enlisted in Comox, May 1, 1916
went by his middle name MacLaren when he enlisted.
next of kin his brother, Dr. George Gordon
See Terrace Area War Memorial page

Who would believe the original owner of the Terrace Hotel was related to characters in Anne of Green Gables?
And also one of the richest men from the Klondike!



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  • Last modified: 2018/01/22 09:24
  • by dlgent