It happened this week in 1916

July 30 – August 5: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

July 30 – August 5: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Church fire … Early Monday morning fire broke out in the vestry of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, causing a loss of probably $800, which is covered by insurance. The cause of the fire is unknown.

The fire was first noticed by Mr. McGinnis, one of Mr. Worden’s employees, about five o’clock, when he saw smoke coming out of the vestry window. He promptly turned in the alarm. By this time smoke was issuing quite freely from the belfry at the opposite end of the church.

The firemen quickly responded and it is only due to their promptness that no greater damage was done, the blaze being completely extinguished in about half an hour.

It is estimated the damage will not exceed $800. The vestry was pretty well gutted, the woodwork and furniture being practically a total loss. Several sets of costly vestments, some of the altar linen, and the altar boys’ robes were completely burned, and the vestments and altar linen not burned were badly damaged by smoke and water. Some of the church plate, including several beautiful candelabra and a silver chalice, were melted by the intense heat. The monstrance was saved although slightly damaged at the top.

The body of the church was untouched by the flames though the statues and decorations were slightly discolored by the smoke.

The origin of the fire is unknown.

When the firemen arrived they found all the doors locked, and it is supposed that either a spark from the incense burner or a match fell on the carpet the previous evening, when Benediction was held in the church, and smoldered away all night.

Mrs. Egan was in the church at nine the previous evening but noticed nothing wrong at that time.

The fire brigade wish to express their thanks for the generous donation from the church in appreciation of their services.


Letter to the editor … The Editor, Herald. Dear Sir:—The letter from “The Mother of a Boy” appearing in your last issue illustrates the readiness with which anonymity lends itself to wholly unmerited attack and to the exhibition of a false sentimentality which the lady would never entertain if she had informed herself of the facts leading to the sending of the boy in question, not to prison, but to a reformatory school under government supervision.

One fact in connection with the trial of this unfortunate boy may be mentioned. He was asked why other boys of his age did not indulge in the crimes with which he was charged? He answered, “They are not smart enough”. Such a horribly cynical answer from one so young proves the utter perversion of his moral sense and the necessity of discipline and training being applied in his case.

That fact, and all the other facts — and they were many and grave — were before the County Court Judge, himself the father of a family and a man of wide experience both as counsel and as Judge in dealing with juvenile offences.

Then, because he, after weighing and considering all these facts, decides to send the lad for four years to a reformatory boarding school where he will be properly disciplined, educated and taught the stern lesson that the way of the transgressor is hard, the people of Cranbrook are asked to make a pack of fools of themselves at the invitation of “The Mother of a Boy” who, if she knew the facts, would no more permit the boy of whom she is the mother to associate with the object of her pity and sentiment, than she would cut her hand off.

Yours truly, Joseph Ryan.

Cut down on speeding … At a meeting of the executive of the Cranbrook and District Automobile Association held yesterday, arrangements were made for a big basket picnic at Green Bay on Wednesday next, as stated elsewhere in these columns.

The matter of arranging for boats, dressing tents, hot water, etc., has been provided for. Parties will be expected to bring a basket with their own eatables.

The meeting also instructed the Secretary to arrange to have signs erected at the Alberta-B. C. boundary and at Kingsgate and Port Hill marked “Turn to the Left” for the instruction of tourists entering the province.

Several accidents have occurred lately through drivers not being familiar with the B. C. practice of turning to the left, all the other provinces and states turning to the right, and these sign-boards will give the tourist a little warning.

The Secretary will also arrange for a sign on the Wattsburg road leading out of the city.

The dangerous habit of some drivers in exceeding the speed limits also came in for strong condemnation at the hands of the meeting, and a resolution was carried that the Association ask the different provincial and police authorities to warn motor car owners that the speed by-law would be rigidly enforced owing to the many complaints received of reckless driving.

Another war dead … Word has been received by his parents here of the death of Private P. Cahill, from wounds received in action on June 10th.


Provincial nominations … Nomination proceedings were very quiet in Cranbrook today, only the two party nominations being made.

The first nomination made was that of Thomas Donald Caven, railway conductor of Cranbrook, proposed by Lester Clapp, seconded by N. Hanson, with Alfred Clay Smith, J. P. Fink and A. J. Balment assenting to the nomination. A. J. Balment has been named financial agent.

The second nomination was James Horace King, physician of Cranbrook, proposed by Charles Reginald Ward, seconded by Joseph Jackson, with Charles John Little, John Henry Hayes and Thomas Summers assenting to the nomination. A. B. Macdonald, financial agent.

The Premier will hold a big public meeting in Cranbrook on Friday next, August 11th.

The following are the polling places for the Cranbrook riding: Sullivan Mine, Kimberley, Marysville, Wycliffe, Mission, Westport, Tata Creek, Mayook, Wardner, West Gateway, Kingsgate, Yahk, Moyie, Wattsburg, and Cranbrook.

For the Columbia riding Dr. Taylor remains the unanimous choice of the Conservatives.

A public meeting will be held in Athalmer Tuesday evening, the 8th, to be addressed by Hon. W. J. Bowser and Hon. R. F. Green. In Fernie it will be a fight between Thomas Uphill for the Conservatives and Sherwood Herchimer for the Liberals.

In Kaslo R. J. Long is the unanimous choice of the Conservatives, John Keen of the Liberals.

In Nelson Dr. Rose is the Conservative candidate, A. Johnson the Liberal.

A.E. Watts refutes untruths … A bitter personal attack on the Wattsburg politician calls forth strong reply. The following letter from A. E. Watts to the Vancouver Sun is self-explanatory:

To the Editor, the Vancouver Sun:— Sir, your district correspondent under date of July 26th, reports and you publish amongst other untruths that: “A. E . Watts of Wattsburg, who was the unanimous choice of the Conservative Association had ‘sold out’ his wing of the party; that he had visited the Premier at Rossland to cinch the nomination; that at this meeting Mr. Watts made a statement which should forever condemn him by the intelligent electorate of British Columbia.

He stated that he had a document to read from the Premier and asked any liberals present to withdraw. His language, it is said, was disgraceful with a reference to liberals.

When a man stoops to this he should be locked up, for safe keeping. There is a place for men of this calibre and that place is in jail.

It is known that the Premier held out inducement for him to retire from the Cranbrook fight, and he will be the candidate in the Columbia riding taking the place of the nominee of that riding Mr. Taylor, who has enlisted for active service.

Mr. Gordon, Government organizer, has gone to Columbia to pave the way of his being received.”

Now, Mr. Editor, I wish to point out that your local correspondent habitually reports falsehoods as facts, and these being published by great journals like yours is more damaging to the publishers than to the victims. Your correspondent sent out the same malicious report to other liberal journals which censored or cut out the virulent portion, being aware of the bitter personal animus your correspondent cherishes against me.

Having published the report now please read the facts:— At the meeting in question I said that a report was current that I was to be the candidate for the Columbia riding, and explained that Dr. Taylor, who had joined the Army Medical Service Corps and was now at Salonika, was the nominee. Prior to the Doctor leaving for the front, I had volunteered to assist him during his absence, that this had the approval of the Premier. At the meeting in question I delivered no attacks on the liberals; on the other hand as President of the District Conservative Press, I have advised a policy of refraining from “mudslinging” of any kind, and that policy has the approval of the Directors, who agree that “mudslingers” of the venomous kind should have no place either amongst decent liberals or conservatives; fair criticisms we invite, proofs of wrong doing we have asked for.

The public are both judge and jury; assertions, innuendo, vilification are not evidence, 95 per cent of the human family are endowed with a keen sense of justice and deeply resent repaited charge of “base corruption ”, especially when not a shadow of proof by evidence is forthcoming. It should be borne in mind that intelligent people soon grow weary and sick of political “mud slingers” and that history shows that few attain power through that medium.

Real statesmen never lose their dignity by resorting to such disgraceful tactics. The people cannot prosper on political “mud” filth and destruction, what they want is constructive ability in the management of public business. Legislators who enact improved laws far in advance of any other state or province, are entrenched in a commanding position of dignity that cannot be successfully assailed by professional “mud slingers” and natural “gas artists” no matter how foul or poisonous the gas generators may be it is an evidence of puerile incapacity gone mad with the desire to control the emoluments attached to power.

Yours truly, A. E . WATTS, Wattsburg, B. C., 2nd Aug., 1916.


Perry Creek … The piling around the grave of Mr. Perry, the discoverer of gold on Perry Creek, is rolling away. It seems as if those graves should be preserved and care taken of them. The pilings are of whip sawed stuff and put together with wooden pegs, showing that there was a great deal of labor and time spent in preparing them. The people who did the work must have thought a great deal of Perry and it seems a shame that those old timers should be so forgotten as to let their resting place go into decay. There are two other graves, but we do not know their names, perhaps some old timer from Fort Steele may know. Their names should be secured if possible. These graves are on the south west corner of Mr. Burges’ 160 acres which his Hotel stands on, about a quarter mile from the house on the second bench. It is a beautiful spot but should be cleared of underbrush and a fence put up to protect it from stock and something to mark the graves, if only of rough stones engraved with their names. A few years ago Mr. Deane, of the Herald, made a visit to Perry Creek and visited those graves. He tried to get the people or government to take some action in the matter but it was finally dropped. The late storms have made it seem necessary for something to be done if we wish to preserve the piling as they are in their original form.

Jaffray school news … We are informed that there were two candidates from the Jaffray School who were successful in passing their entrance exams., Jean S. Hunter with a mark of 571 and Gordon M. Jewell who obtained 551.

Kootenay Central to reopen … It is expected that the first through train from Golden to Colvalli on the Kootenay Central will get through tomorrow, Friday. A regular service has been maintained between Golden and Athalmer, but since the floods no trains have been run this side of Athalmer. The road is now almost in shape again and the latest word is that the first train will be through tomorrow.

The track on the Kim\berley branch has now been completed to the tipple from the mine, and direct shipments will be commenced again.

Women’s Institute … The regular monthly meeting of the Women’s Institute held at the Maple Hall on Tuesday proved a very busy one preparing for the Flower Show and Exhibition of Women’s Work to take place on August 24th, at the Parish Hall.

No efforts are being spared to make the occasion a huge success and as the proceeds are being devoted to Red Cross Work it is hoped the show will be well patronized.

The arrangements are now complete and prize list will be found in this issue together with full details.

Mesdames J. F. Smith and W. H. Brown have kindly consented to take charge of a stall for antiques and relics. This is not a competitive feature but was introduced to enhance the interest of the show and the committee will appreciate any offer of curios or relics of any kind for that day. The articles will be called for, if desired by the owner, and great care and watchfulness will be given them.

Subsequent to the appointment of the several committees a demonstration on Gelatine and its uses was given by Mrs. J. W. Burton who had some interesting, appetizing and attractive dishes at hand.

Recipes were given and the jellies handed round with the refreshments.

Nominations were made for delegates to attend the annual conference of Kootenay Women’s Institutes at Nelson in September and Mesdames J. F. Smith and B. Palmer were selected.

Mrs. Carter contributed a pianoforte solo and accompanied the singing while Mrs. Russel rendered a solo.

The usual good attendance was maintained and several new members joined.