It happened this week in 1914

April 11 - 17: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

April 11 – 17: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Sad drowning … John Alton Staples the 4 1/2-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Staples of Wycliffe, fell in the St. Mary’s river at Wycliffe at 3 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon and was drowned. The accident was seen and an alarm immediately sounded and a rush made for the river. Mr. McDonald, the storekeeper at Wycliffe, raced down the river and was just in time to recover the body as it floated around a bend in the river. The boy had only been in the water a very few minutes but was dead when taken out.

The river is very high at this time and with the very swift current and icy water the boy had a very poor chance, as it would have been almost impossible for an expert swimmer to save himself.

Coroner Dr. J. M. Bell and Undertaker F. M. Macpherson were called to Wycliffe Wednesday, the coroner deciding an inquest unnecessary. Funeral services were held in Cranbrook this afternoon from the Kimberley train, conducted by Rev. W.E. Dunham, assisted by Rev. Joseph Heidman, pastor of the Methodist church at Wycliffe.

Wycliffe news … Mrs. S. G. Clarke was hostess at a very jolly party last Friday afternoon. Her lady friends had been asked to come dressed to illustrate the work which they most dislike to do.

The costumes were most unusual and amusing and caused much comment and laughter.

As each guest entered she was given ten beans, and at any time household duties or worries were mentioned, one of these beans were forfeited.

A number of guessing games were provided, also a peanut hunt.

Delicious viands were served at the tea hour, to which ample justice was given.

The hostess was assisted throughout the rooms by the Misses Mabee and Christenson and Mrs. Buchanan.

Much interest is being manifested these days by the ladies of Wycliffe in basketball. The members of the club recently extended the use of the club house to the ladies one afternoon and evening of each week, and since this time much enthusiasm has been shown in learning not only basketball but billiards.

Invermere news … Last week a gruesome find was made by one of the members of an engineering party on the Kootenay Central branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway at a point some miles north of here, when, after a wayside lunch, he chanced to examine an old disused stable and there discovered a man hanging to the beams, dead beyond recall.

The proper authorities were promptly notified and steps taken to ascertain fuller particulars in regard to him. At the inquest which was held, it was learned that his name was Jan Sarlie, an unknown Swede of the laboring class. No trace has so far been found of his home or any of his relations.

After hearing such witnesses and listening to such evidence as could be brought forward the coroner’s jury brought in a verdict of willful suicide.

No reason could be found for the rash act, the deceased seemed to be in good physical condition and when found had money on his person and a good pack of blankets. He was apparently journeying on foot from one place to another in search of work and for some reason or other at present only known to himself, he determined to end the search and entering this unfrequented building hanged himself by a quarter inch rope.

The body has been buried in the union cemetery at Windermere.

Sailing from England … Mr. R. Randolph Bruce, C.E., F.R. G.S., sailed with his bride, nee Lady Elizabeth Northcote, from England on the fourth of this month. He will probably reach here by the end of April and for the present has resolved to take up his residence in his comfortable bungalow in Wilmer.

Change of climate … Mike Durick, who has been employed as bartender at the Cranbrook hotel for the past several years, was ordered by his doctor to change climate on account of his health, and left last week for Calgary, Alta., where he will visit his sister. Chas. Howard, formerly with the Cosmopolitan, has taken the vacancy at the Cranbrook.

Stolen wood … A large quantity of cordwood which was cut during the past winter, south of town has been seized by the forestry department, the wood having been taken from government land. Notices of seizure were posted on the wood, but according to some of the settlers who reside in that section, the notices have not stopped the removal of the wood.

Farm sold … J. Brault has sold his farm consisting of thirty acres of fine improved land, one mile south of the city to J. A. Pringle, proprietor of the Hillside Dairy. It is Mr. Pringle’s intention to immediately commence the erection of a house on his new property and he expects to move the Hillside Dairy headquarters there about May 1st.

Boxing … Joe Uvanni and Dick Robinson attended the boxing match at Fernie last Monday night between Dick Marshall and Cyclone Scott. The decision was a draw, although according to Uvanni, Marshall had a shade the best of the go. Mr. Uvanni challenged the winner, and was later matched to meet Sailor Jones at Fernie on May first. Uvanni is anxious to arrange a match with one of these men in Cranbrook next month and states that a good drawing card could be arranged.

Almost ready … Mr. C. T. Davis, proprietor of the Cranbrook Steam Laundry, reports that his new cleaning business will be ready to start about May first, the building being completed and the machinery now being rapidly installed. He has purchased a Ford car which will be used in making his out-of-town deliveries.

Thomas Starbird commits suicide … Thomas Starbird was found dead in bed in his home last night. From a note which he left behind and a bottle found near the bedside the jury brought in a verdict of suicide.

Deceased was a prominent mining man and resided in this neighborhood for two decades. He was manager of the Ptarmigan mine, one of the largest in this district, until it closed, and had a wide experience in mining throughout the west.

He was born in Maine and lived during boyhood in Haverhill, Mass. He leaves a widow and two small sons here and some relatives in the east. He was a prominent Mason.

Thomas Starbird’s wife and two young sons were spending Easter with friends in Windermere and it is thought that the news that he was to get no insurance for some property destroyed by fire last winter was responsible for the worry that caused the suicide.

Dr. Shaw visited the house in the evening to return a book and found a note: “Look through the house and take care of what you find.”

Deceased, who was about 60 years old, was found dead in bed with a bottle of strychnine close by. Under the pillow was a photo of his wife and on the back was written “Let this go with me.”

He left a letter to his wife saying he could not buck the troubles of this world any longer.

Spoon shoot … Last Friday afternoon the Cranbrook Civilian Rifle association held their first shoot of the season on the range east of town, which proved a very successful event. The shoot was advertised as a “Spoon Shoot”. About thirty competitors appeared and good scores were made.

Local gardening … One man in the Cranbrook district has solved the problem of making money from a small acreage.

These interesting facts were brought to the attention of the Herald man the first of the week and he called at the farm of W. D. Stone, four and a half miles south of the city.

Last April Mr. Stone made his first visit to the Cranbrook district, coming here from Winnipeg. On his return he purchased fifteen acres of the Cranbrook Orchards from the Campbell Realty Co. and moved his family here in May. Last December he started the erection of a greenhouse for the purpose of growing vegetables for the local market. The first house erected was 45×90 feet in size and cost Mr. Stone $1,700.00.

Last week Mr. Stone sold lettuce and radishes in the city to the extent of $50 and states that he is able to market from $45 to $50 worth of vegetables weekly.

On his property Mr. Stone has erected a house, barn, chicken house and boiler house.

His property is the old site of the Peavine Lumber mills and was chosen principally because of the inexhaustible supply of water available and the great amount of fire wood which is on the property.

This week he is busily engaged in clearing the stumps near the present greenhouse and expects to erect two more greenhouses this year equal in size to his present one. One of these will be devoted exclusively to the growth of lettuce, and the other one will be devoted to increasing the variety of vegetables.

A visit to his farm is well worth the time. He is the kind of settler of which the district needs more. He is making the most of his opportunities, has transformed the virgin forest into a veritable little garden spot, is building a home for himself and within the space of one year has accomplished enough that he can see success assured.

Methodist church … The pastor of the Methodist church, Rev. W. E. Dunham, is to give a series of sermons on four consecutive Sunday evenings on “Solutions Offered for the Problem of Life.” The series apparently deals with the problems of thinking men and should prove not only timely but of great interest.

Elko news … It is beautiful weather in Elko at this writing and the town is just as full of money as an elephant is out of feathers.

Moyie news … At St. Peter’s church, artistically decorated for Easter Sunday, mass was celebrated at ten-thirty a.m. and seven children took first Communion. The children participating were: Alma Desaulnieis, Hilda Wills, Helen Dimoch, Julia Horne, Gertrude Conrade, George Smith and Dominie Feraghia. It was interesting to see the children as they were dressed for the occasion. The little girls in white, wearing veils and wreaths, and the boys in dark attire. The March was from the vestry, over the grounds, thence down the church aisle, with Mrs. Goselin as conductress. The congregation was one of the largest that has been seen in the church for some time. Special music was rendered for the occasion and a very interesting sermon was delivered by Rev. Father John at the evening service.

Y.M.C.A. Notes … Rev. W. Elson Dunham was the speaker at the Ry. Y. M. C. A. Men’s meeting last Sunday. His talk was very much enjoyed. He emphasized the fact that in leading a Christian life there was no middle course. Every man is either a gatherer or a scatterer and if a man is not for Christ he is against him. Other enjoyable features of the day were solos entitled “Shepherd of Souls” by Mr. Frank Broughton and “De Profundis” by Arthur Proudfoot. Both solos were exceptionally well rendered and many expressions of approval were afterwards given by the boys.

Charity ball was successful … Over two hundred people attended the Charity ball given at the Auditorium on Easter Monday. Being the first social event following the Lenten season most everyone was in readiness to attend and many friends of St. Eugene hospital who do not usually attend dances, make an exception of this one annual event.

The Auditorium was crowded with the dancers. The Cranbrook orchestra furnished the music and kept the dancers moving with a long and varied program.

The supper committee had prepared their refreshments and arranged the service so that 180 persons were served in an hour and a half and no one had to wait.

All who attended seemed to be in the spirit of having a good time and dancing was continued until 3 a.m.

Full returns are not available, but the hospital will net about $175 from the dance.

The good work of the various committees in bringing the Charity ball to a successful conclusion has received the thanks of the St. Eugene Hospital for the handsome returns as well as those who attended for the good time afforded.

Oil discoveries in the Flathead … The good work done by the B.C. Oil company is at last bearing fruit. Not that those who have studied local conditions ever doubted of ultimate success, but the difficulties and delays inseparable from pioneer development work in a new country, far from transportation facilities, have created just as much trouble for this company as for many others.

The Indians have known of considerable seepages of oil in the Flathead from time immemorial; the geologists have known of it for half a century, and one of the most noted, the late Dr. Selwyn, always anticipated that sooner or later an oil field would be located there.

Dr. Selwyn gave more personal attention to the Flathead than any other eminent Canadian geologist, and it was his detailed examination which furnished grounds for an optimistic opinion.

When the Crows Nest coal mines were opened up, Mr. William Fernie, who had visited the Flathead with Dr. Selwyn, wished his company to proceed at once to exploit the oil features, and always attached great importance to the showing, But that company was more concerned about, coal than oil, and allowed the opportunity to slip. During the last ten years, many prospectors and geologists have visited the Flathead, including accredited representatives of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway and the Standard Oil company; in each case the conclusion formed was favorable. Only last summer the brothers Green, who rank high among the professors of the American Geological Survey, spent several months in the Flathead examining its geological features, and their report again was favorable to the existence of oil in commercial quantities.

Young Men’s club notes … The ladies are getting down to work for their exhibition to be given on the evening of the 22nd Inst. As they are to show their prowess in aquatic as well as gymnastic exercises and sports, the evening should be one of the best ever given in the club. And that’s saying a good deal. Then to make success doubly sure refreshments are to be served.

Every week sees an additional number of members enjoying the swimming pool. The boys all declare it to be the best ever. And as the water is maintained at a temperature of over 70 degrees, the pool promises to be more popular than ever this summer. Come on in boys the water’s fine.

The classes are well attended these fine spring nights, in fact the ‘gym’ was never more popular or better attended than at present. Some faces rather new to a gym floor have been at work of late, among them a few making a desperate effort to stop the persistent development of aldermanic proportions. It’s as good as a circus to see them at it.

Easter … Easter is parade day for millinery, the day when a married man, feeling like a bankrupt Croesus, wagers a seventy-dollar hat against the world that it won’t rain — and loses nine times out of ten. It is a day of feminine preening and masculine ogling. It corresponds in the chicken world to the reddening comb of the pullet, and in the realm of the robin with the redder iris on the breast. It signifies to the sleeping bear that the time has come to throw off the comatoseness of winter, and to the suburban resident that sweet peas will soon please and vernal flowers invite the soul to soar.

The fasting world lets out five notches on its belt and passes back its plate for another helping of pate de foie gras. The sedate Miss Society quits saying her Aves and bursts from her drab cocoon in varied hues that put a Broadway store front on a bad street. It sets the small boy to prospecting out back of the barn for worms, and titillates the Isaak Waltons of the day into overhauling their tackle boxes anticipatory of the voracious trout.

It sends the children scurrying to the succulent meadows in search of golden caltha palustri and the shooting star.

Ah, sweet, shivery Easter, what a day of portent! Lovely femininity, bedecked in gay colors and wreathed in smiles, stands enticing by, beckoning with all a woman’s fascinating lure to romanticism – to the land of warm arms and honeyed lips, to home and the prattle of kids. It is a day to enter the borderland of adventure and deep in the innermost recesses of the resinous wood, rescue the princesses from the ogre of spinsterhood. It is a fit napping day for the beginning of Love’s young dream, for great resolves and mighty covenants. It is a day to plight troth and build airy castles of tomorrow.

Easter! Today the world is free from bondage and from doubt, and who is afraid to take a chance with a pretty maid who owns her own Easter hat?