It happened this week in 1916

January 8 - 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

January 8 – 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Badly frozen … Pte. Morris, of the interment guards, who was badly frozen while driving in from Morrissey, is in a dangerous condition in the Fernie hospital, and the probabilities are that he will lose both hands and feet.

Disastrous fire … According to the Creston Review the most disastrous fire the valley has had in many months occurred early on Monday morning, when the commodious bungalow residence of W. A. McMurtie, on his ranch about three miles north-west of the town, was completely destroyed, along with practically all the contents which included many curios and antiques of rare value.

Frost on the marriage front … Matrimonially speaking 1915 was a frost insofar as Creston Valley is concerned. All told only seven marriages were solemnised, three being under Presbyterian discipline, three Anglican and one Methodist.

Ice harvest … The ice harvest is now on and a plentiful supply is to be obtained for the cutting. The ice is of splendid quality, clear and pure, about two feet in thickness. W . K. Worden is putting up the supply for the local hotels and business places and is unloading the C. P .R. cut from the cars here and at Lethbridge and Macleod.

Unfortunate affair … An unfortunate and regrettable affair occurred Tuesday night as a result of which Frank Espanosa, one of the local recruits, is in the hospital with a broken nose and other injuries, just what are the facts of the case we are not prepared to say but there seems to have been considerable feeling against Espanosa in some quarters on account of his remarks Saturday night.

Ringed and penned … Before leaving for the Coast this week Lieut. Banfield was the recipient of a handsome gold ring and fountain pen from the business men of the city. The presentation took place at the City Hall on Monday with Mayor Bowness presiding and making the address.

In a few appropriate words Mayor Bowness gave expression to his own and the general feeling of regret at Lieut. Banfield’s departure from the city and hope for his safe return when victory has finally been wrung from the enemy.

Lieut. Banfield replied briefly and feelingly.

Leaves for the front … Rev. D. B. D. Robertson leaves tonight for the front, having received orders from military headquarters to sail on the Scandinavian from St. John on the 14th. Fernie unites in wishing him Godspeed and a safe return. Rev Davis, of Michel, will have charge of the church services during his absence.

Obituary … The Angel of Death has this week laid heavy hands on another Cranbrook family, Jennie Appleton Matilda, beloved wife of Fred W. Swain, being called from this life on Sunday last.

The deceased was in her 44th year, and while ailing more or less all winter, it had not been considered serious till a short time before her death.

Mr. Swain has been working in Grand Forks and was not able to get to Cranbrook until Tuesday.

Three children are left to mourn their loss, Fred, Joe and Queenie.

The funeral took place Thursday afternoon from the Methodist church, service being conducted by Rev. Mr. Keyworth.

McGuffie/Easton wedding … A wedding of much interest to Cranbrook people took place on Dec. 30 at Keremos when Miss Fanny Easton became the bride of Provincial Constable McGuffie of this city.

The ceremony was solemnized at the home of the bride’s parents by Rev. Mr. Cameron in the presence of a large number of friends and relatives. Afterwards a sumptuous wedding supper was served and bride and groom received the congratulations and best wishes of the many present.

A large and varied array of wedding gifts testified to the high esteem in which the bride is held by her townspeople.

Mr. and Mrs. McGuffie arrived in Cranbrook last week after a trip to Spokane and other points, and have taken up housekeeping here.


Continuous cold … This is a winter which makes the old-timers reminiscent, and makes everybody think yearningly of the good old summer time.

The winter commenced early and has been exceptionally severe and steady. Not for many years has the cold weather continued so long without interruption with such a heavy snowfall. The deep snow is interfering seriously with lumbering operations and some of the camps have laid off men in consequence.

Since Nov. 10th the snowfall locally has amounted to 58 inches to date, and all records for snowfall in B. C. appear likely to be broken. Up to the end of December the snowfall at Glacier was 23 feet, which is the greatest in 20 years for the corresponding period, and may reach 50 feet before May 1st.

At Nelson it exceeds 60 inches. The first of this week the city had the road-grader at work on Baker St. levelling down the huge piles of snow cleared off the sidewalks. The city snowplow however has only been brought into use once to clean off the sidewalks.

The thermometer since Dec. 26th has been continuously below zero, reaching its lowest point on Tuesday night this week, 36 below being recorded at the Government buildings. Thursday morning it was 15 below and during the day seemed to be on the upgrade.

Railway traffic east of Cranbrook and on the Kimberley branch has been somewhat demoralized the last few days, No, 513 having been from two to three hours late, while the Kimberley branch has been pretty badly bunged up with snow.

Homesick for Cranbrook … Mr. C. A. Cock has received the following letter from James Milroy, a Cranbrook boy who was wounded in the trenches and is now in the Canadian Base Hospital in France:

Can. Base Depot, B .E.F., France December 12th, 1915 — Dear Mr. Cock; I was very much pleased to get your book today. It is always a pleasure to know that one is not forgotten by their friends. I can assure you I often think of the very good friends I have in Cranbrook and look forward longingly to the time when I shall be back with them again.

To tell the truth, I am more homesick for Cranbrook than I have ever been for any place, and would give a lot to be there now. I suppose the war will finish someday, but it is a wearisome time doing so. I little thought when I left you a year ago last August that I would be quite so long away. However, here I am and must make the best of it!

I am working in the base orderly room here, and have nothing to complain of, as far as comfort goes, lots of work, good food, and a roof to sleep under, which is more than the poor beggars at the front have. I often think of the ghastly conditions one has to live under while up at the front, and I wish with all my heart that the war may finish soon, so that they won’t have to put up with such hardships.

We are having the usual weather incidental to winter, rain and mud, a good deal like England, and reminding one of last winter, only a great deal better. I shall never forget last winter.

Living in the Kootenays would make anyone hate wet weather, I get desperately homesick when I think of the nice clean snow , and the bright weather. I have just had a nice newsy letter from Miss Paterson, and one from Mrs. Patterson so I am quite well posted in home news.

You must miss Mr. Flewelling very much. Cranbrook won’t seem the same to me without his familiar figure and his cheery greeting. He was a dear old chap. I hope the new vicar finds the place suitable and am looking forward to making his acquaintance.

May I ask you to convey my sincere thanks to the Rector and congregation of Christ Church for their good wishes? And I must also thank you for remembering me. The little book (Cranbrook Annual) is very nice indeed and much appreciated. It is just the right kind of book for this kind of life. I can pick it up at any time and read at any place.

After a little while I will send it on to my wife to go with our other little treasures. And my heartfelt wish is that we shall be back amongst you very, very soon.

All good luck to the Christ Church congregation during the coming and many other years.

Sincerely, James Milroy.


St. Mary’s School closed … Father McGuire formally took charge of St. Mary’s Parish on Sunday, while Father Kennedy began his duties in Creston. They both intend to reside at Cranbrook though Father Kennedy will no doubt be absent a good deal of his time on his Missions.

They are kindred spirits in many respects as they have both spent several years as Professors in the University of Ottawa.

Almost the first official act of Father McGuire was to close St. Mary’s School. Everyone knew that the financial strain of the last few years had rendered its continuation almost impossible though some thought it would continue till the summer holidays.

“By leaving the Public Schools” said Father McGuire, “we cast no aspersion on the efficiency of their work, nor do we suffer any humiliation in returning. Catholics hold with many others that some moral and religious instruction should go hand in hand with intellectual training. In the Public Schools, where I attended myself, religious instruction is left to the parents, Catholics, where and when they can, maintain separate or parochial schools to obviate the difficulty. The Catholic people of Cranbrook will find it a cruel sacrifice but they can and will make it with as much goodwill as any other sons or daughters of the Empire.”

Both priests are young and full of optimism for the future of Cranbrook and British Columbia and have already made a most favorable impression not only on the members of their own congregations but on those of the general public with whom they have come in contact.

By acclamation … There was an entire absence of all excitement or hard feelings in municipal matters this year, the mayor and aldermen all being returned by acclamation while the two vacancies on the school board were filled in the same manner.

The two returned for the school board are W. H. Wilson and W. J. Atchison. Mr. Wilson was a member of last year’s board and Mr. Atchison will occupy the seat vacated by Mr. Quain. Both are capable business men and the personnel of the entire school board is exceptionally strong.

It was generally expected that Mr. Clapp would be the next Mayor so that his return by acclamation is no surprise. He has served faithfully and well as alderman for the last several years, and will guard the city’s interests from exploitation and keep economy in the foreground.

On the council there are three new faces this year, Messrs. W. F. Cameron N. Hanson and W. S. Santo. With the three old members, Messrs. Balment, Erickson and Leask, we have a council that needs no introduction by the Herald and which is quite capable of looking after the business interests of the city.

It will be a “business administration” following along the lines of economy and retrenchment.

Boy scouts … On Friday, January 14th, at 7.30 p.m. in the Presbyterian School room the officers and members of the Executive will entertain the scouts to a New Year party. All scouts are requested to be present. Each boy to bring a cup, a pencil, and the capacity for having a jolly good time. Friday night— at 7.30—in the new clubroom in the Presbyterian Schoolroom.—W. C. Crebbin, Scoutmaster.

The “Victorian” makes good … Cranbrook citizens will be glad to hear of the success of F. E. Simpson with his new venture “The Victorian” at Victoria. Starting up a new paper nine months ago in a time of business depression and financial stringency did not look to be a very promising venture. However our friend of “banana belt” fame persisted with undaunted energy and stick-to-it-iveness, and by sheer weight of ability and pluck has “made good. “The Victorian is a bright readable sheet and to-day claims the largest paid-up bonafide subscription of any weekly circulated in the city. It also enjoys a commensurate advertising patronage. Here’s to your continued success Bro. Simpson.

Soldiers’ salvationist social … The “Fighting Parson” Creates a Sensation by his Allegations.

There was a splendid gathering of soldiers and others at the Army Barracks Saturday evening last in response to the invitation from Capt Kerr.

After the singing of a number of patriotic songs by the audience, Mr. T. H. Kay took the chair and called on Mr. Espanosa as the first speaker on the program. Mr. Espanosa took for his subject “Military Reforms Necessary to the Well-being of the Soldiers in Cranbrook”, but his chief complaint seemed to be that the accommodation was inadequate and not conducive to the physical or moral welfare of the recruits. He also made some serious allegations as to the conduct of the hotel-keepers. However from his own explanations to a later speaker of two of his most striking statements, it would appear that he did not intend a too literal interpretation to be placed on his remarks.

The remarks of the first speaker almost put a damper on the meeting coming like a bolt from the blue sky, at a time and place little expected by anyone. Before long however, the atmosphere of the room got back to its normal condition and by the time lunch was served everybody was in fine fettle.

Rev. W. K. Thomson in the course of his remarks stated most emphatically that the men who enlist have a right to all the comforts possible. The Ry. Y.M.C.A. had offered to accommodate forty men, but had not been called upon to do so. He promised that the churches would do all they could to make life pleasant for the recruits if they stayed here.

The Ministerial Association had been criticized because they protested against the condition under which the soldiers were living, but their protest had been in the interest of the soldiers to secure greater comfort and proper accommodation for them here in Cranbrook.

“The best people of Cranbrook have the best interests of the boys at heart” was the opening statement of Rev. Mr. Keyworth, and that the majority in Cranbrook were ready and anxious to help the recruit to be a better man and better fighting man in any and every way possible. If ever there was a religious war he believed this was one. It was not a war of creed or dogmas, but a religious war in this respect, that everything that religion stands for has been flaunted by the empire that desires world dominion, those who are enlisting have not been attracted by the glamor and glory of war but from a sense of duty to fight to protect the principles which make life worth living.

Solos by Mr. W. W. Scott and Mr. Broughton added greatly to the pleasure of the evening. Capt. Kerr also had a few remarks to make, and afterwards coffee, cake and oysters were served to all present.

Presented with pipes … After the regular meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter No. 125, O. R. C., on Tuesday night the various Masonic Lodges united in a pleasing send off and presentation to one of their number, Lieut. T. H. Banfield, who is soon to leave for the coast.

Dr. F. B. Miles in a few well-chosen words presented Lieut. Banfield with a case of pipes as a tangible token of the high regard and esteem in which he is held by his Masonic brethren, and expressive of their regret at his departure.

Lieut. Banfield replied briefly and speeches were made by a number of others present. A splendid banquet added to the enjoyment and pleasure of the proceeding.

This is your paper … We want the people of Cranbrook and district to regard the Herald as their Paper. Its columns will always be open for the discussion of any subject of public interest and timely contributions will be welcomed, while practicable suggestions for the improvement of the Herald will be thankfully received by the Editor.

We realize our short comings and failings and want the help and support of the public in overcoming them. A paper with the united support and assistance of the community behind it can accomplish much that can never even be attempted otherwise.

We will endeavor to prove worthy of your support, and the advancement and interest of this city and district will always be our first aim and object.

There are many small towns and villages in this district not represented in the columns of the Herald. We want a good live correspondent at every point in the district, and will be glad to hear from anyone willing to act in that capacity. A little publicity of the right sort is valuable to any district, and at the same time does much to make the local paper interesting. Let us hear from you if your district is not represented.

We take this opportunity also of publicly thanking the citizens of Cranbrook for the kindly welcome and hand of good-fellow ship tendered the new Editor on all sides since his arrival.