It happened this week in 1912

It happened this week in 1912

Nov. 24 - 30: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre & Archives

November 24 – 30: Items compiled by Dave Humphreyfrom the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Train wreck … The early morning train due in Medicine Hat at 4:20 from Kootenay Landing piled in a heap about 3:30 on Monday morning at Fitzgerald, a small crossing between Seven Persons and Bullshead.

Two engine men lost their lives and some 67 people were more or less injured. Two or three of them were seriously hurt and one will likely die.

Engineer James Cain, a veteran of the throttle, lay under the firebox of his engine. He suffered a most terrible death, as did also his fireman, H. H. Fowler.

When it struck the switch, the engine careened and rolled completely over, the train broke loose and the baggage, express and mail car and coaches left the rails and rolled over.

Engineer Cain’s left side was badly cut but from the state of his body he evidently died a terrible death, the escaping steam from the engine evidently slowly but surely claiming his life. When the rescuers found him he was dead.

H. H. Fowler, Calgary, the fireman died, like his chief, at his post, and in the same manner only that there is not a mark of any kind on his body other than scalds.

Of the eight injured, who were taken to the hospital, one George Dowling, a carpenter of this city, will likely die. He is in a precarious condition.

The others are seriously hurt and it will likely be a few days before it is known just what the outcome will be.

The train in question was in charge of Conductor Beeber. He is not seriously hurt, but was badly shaken up and bruised. The brakeman was badly shaken up. The baggage man and the five mail clerks on the train had a wild experience. That they escaped with their lives is miraculous. They were the greatest sufferers in the smash.

Thief … Philip Foley, who is charged with having taken $115 from the pockets of a man at the Wardner hotel, was brought up from Wardner Wednesday by Sheriff Morris for trial before Justice of Peace E. A. Hill and committed.

Hand bells … The Imperial Hand Bell Ringers at the Auditorium last night rendered a very classical programme on the bells, but were not well patronized. Prof. Giggle, the director, is known as the English Sousa. Heavy overtures were produced by the bell beaters in sweet cadences and voluminous grandiose.

Died by explosion … The body of M. N. Hobbs was taken from the Kimberley train to the undertaking parlors of F. M. MacPherson on Wednesday.

Early Wednesday morning while working with a crew of men making a road from Staples Lumber Company, camp No. 6, to the St. Mary’s river, deceased was instructed by the foreman, H. Ness, to fire seven holes which had been dug under as many stumps. It is supposed that the fuses used were too short as later deceased was found dead with six of the dynamite charges fired and one had not been lighted.

The body was badly shattered and torn. The hat was found beside the body torn in two.

The body was taken to the camp of the Staples Lumber Company and sent to Cranbrook in the afternoon train.

Coroner Bell held an inquiry this afternoon, deciding that deceased came to his death by the accidental or premature discharge of dynamite. Mr. Ness and James Riley were the only witnesses examined.

Deceased was about fifty years of age and had been working at the camp for the past two weeks.

Buried … Wm. Grant, who committed suicide at the Imperial hotel last week by shooting himself through the head, was laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon, from the undertaking parlors, of W. R. Beatty. Rev. W. K. Thomson, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, conducted the services. His mother, Mrs. James Scott, resides at Kirkfieldbank, Lanark, Scotland. Deceased was employed by the Clover Bar Sand Company, of Clover Bar, Alberta, for several months prior to June, 1912, when he accepted a position clearing land near Mayook.

Manual Training School … On Monday, next, the Manual Training school will be opened under the management and direction of Mr. A. H. Webb.

The new school building is a brick structure, one storey in height with walls of sufficient dimension and strength to carry a second storey when needed.

It is said to be the best and most modern building of its kind in the province of British Columbia.

The main room is 30 x 50, with windows on four sides, is well lighted and fitted with electric lights for night work if necessary.

The room contains 24 work benches each bench being equipped with the following tools. Rule, square, chisels gauge, knife, compasses, creaser, dodwing pit, plane, hacksaw, two vices and bench book. These benches are adjustable to the size of the pupils, so that they can work freely and without trouble.

Each pupil is provided with a locker for his tools and is held responsible for the same.

The school is also equipped with a large number of tools such as rip and cross cut saws, mallets, gauges, files, hammers, etc., such as would be found in an up-to-date wood-working plant; also a large wood rack and sawing benches, benches for glazing, painting and finishing.

There are about 30 manual training schools in B.C., but it is said that the Cranbrook school is the most modern and comfortable building in the province, and its equipment is second to none.

The school will be formerly opened on Monday. It will provide training and work for 100 pupils and its principal, Mr. Webb, is considered to be one of the most careful and efficient teachers in manual training there is in the province.

It would be interesting for the parents of the pupils to occasionally look into this busy work shop and see for themselves just what is being done for their children in the educational line.

Knights of Pythias … The Knights of Pythias met in their Castle Hall on Norbury Avenue last Tuesday evening when the special business was for the election of officers for the coming term. The Knights who were present will tell you that this was the best meeting that has been held for some time.

Elko news … There was a flour peddler in Elko last week dressed like a vaudeville sketch — like the rest of the fresh guys that drift into Elko. We made it so warm for him that the starch melted out of his collar. If we’d had a bow and arrow we’d have stuck him to the bill board. On account of the writer’s absence in the Roosville Valley, the society scandals that have been going on in the old historic burg will appear next week. The way Dave Easten killed the black tailed deer will be illustrated and is just as funny as a funeral.

Cranbrook visitor … Mr. Price, the general superintendent of the C.P.R. at Calgary, with a party of officials, including Mr. N. E. Brooks, the divisional engineer, was in Cranbrook this week on a tour of inspection.

Mr. Price stayed some little time in the city and the Herald took the opportunity of interviewing him on several matters which are of interest to the city and district.

Mr. Price complimented the town on the steady progress it has made, and the substantial character of the new buildings which had been erected during the year. He was pleased to note that Cranbrook had begun to lay cement sidewalks and to actively improve the streets.

The Herald representative asked regarding the rumored plans for large expenditures in the round house and other divisional buildings. Mr. Price admitted that plans had been prepared by the local officials with a view to securing for this point the improvements in that direction, which the expanding business of the railway company corresponding with the development of the city and country demanded.

Slaterville greenhouse … One of the phenomenal successes of the past year in Cranbrook has been the growth of the East Kootenay Greenhouse company.

The first glass for this company was only erected a few months ago, early last spring, and during the summer they have succeeded in growing a great variety of flowers, bulb plants and vegetables, and are providing a large patronage with everything needed in this line.

Mr. G. B. Willis, the manager, says that he was greatly surprised to find such an excellent market here and sorry that he is unable to keep up with the demand. He plans enlarging greatly in the spring, doubling the capacity of his greenhouses and thinks that by another season he will be more completely fitted to supply the trade. He invited the people of Cranbrook to visit his greenhouses and view his flowers and plants.

A Herald representative visited the new greenhouses in Slaterville recently and was more than surprised by the showing made by Mr. Willis and his company. The display of flowers is beautiful, chrysanthemums, geraniums, heliotrope, carnations, roses and cyclamen, growing in profusion. Bulb plants, hyacinths, sweet peas, potted palms and ferns, lettuce and celery are also growing prosperously.

Two glass houses are fitted with double tier beds in three rows from end to end and heated with a large steam boiler.

All the plants were in good healthy condition and Mr. Willis says that everything that he received in good shape from outside florists has grown rapidly, and he has suffered few losses. He has made special preparations for the Christmas trade and is prepared to execute designs, or provide cut flowers or plants to order.

Hotel changes hands … At noon on Saturday, November 30th, the Royal Hotel in Cranbrook will change hands, W. A. Rollins disposing of his interest therein to Mr. Wm. Steward, better known in the city as “Billy.”

Mr. Steward has been a citizen of Cranbrook for some ten years and has been manager of the hotel for Mr. Rollins for the last three years, and is well and favorably known to everyone who has stopped there in that time.

The new proprietor hopes and intends to give the public the same satisfactory treatment in the future as the house has been noted for in the past, and to that end has engaged Mr. Ralph Whebel as office manager, in order to be able to devote his own attention solely to the comfort of his guests and patrons.

Mr. Rollins has not announced his future intentions, but will remain in the city for some time, excepting as outside interests claim his attention.

Fire … An incipient blaze in the chimney at the residence of F. M. MacPherson was sufficient to call out the fire department on Monday evening at 7 o’clock.

Kootenay Orchards Dairy … J. A. Pringle, who owns a tract of Kootenay Orchards, returned the first of the week from Alberta with a carload of Ayrshire cattle to add to the stock on his farm, which is known as the Hillside Dairy. He will commence a milk route in this city about December 1st.

Buena Vista Orchards … Mr. Orr, who recently purchased twenty acres of land at Buena Vista Gardens, has commenced clearing and will immediately commence the erection of a house. In the spring he will plant out several acres of fruit trees. Butcher brothers, the first settlers on the land, have three acres cleared and plowed and will set out fruit trees and small fruits next spring.

Salvation army… Capt. W. F. Carruthers arrived last week to assume charge of the local Salvation Army corps, in place of Capt. Stride, resigned. Capt. Carruthers has recently been in charge at Brockville, Ont., and other eastern points but is himself a westerner, hailing from Wetaskiwin. He is accompanied by Lt. Cooper, recently of Vancouver, who will serve as his assistant here.

Waldo Hotel … Con Whelen of Fernie, has commenced the construction of a new hotel at Waldo. This hotel will be fitted up with all the latest improvements and the comforts of the travelling public is being well looked after.

Windermere news … A Dominion government post office inspector visited here recently and completed all the arrangements for the opening of the post office. All the required supplies are by this time on the way and by the time this ap­pears in print the much required post office will be an established fact.

Don’t forget … the Bean Supper and Bazaar, to be given by the Ladies of the Methodist Church in Worden’s Store, next to Park’s Hardware Store, on Saturday, December 7th. Everybody welcome. Supper from 5 to 8 p.m.