Saturday, July 6, 2013

Henry Emerson

This post is not about the Tri-Cities, but about B.C. (you never know, maybe there is a Tri-Cities connection in the following story )

HENRY EMERSON   ( 6 December 1889, Victoria - 8 April 1917, Vimy Ridge, France )
      I came across this short story at the Salt Spring Archives,  and just knew that I should be able to find out some more about him and his family. Hopefully researchers will see this and hopefully add some more life to the story, and some pictures too!  Lest We Forget
Inset of Henry Emerson
The inset above was taken from this photograph
Ganges (soccer) Football Team. (c1913) (Jessie Toynbee)
Rear l to r: Robbie Norton, Gavin Mouat, Stanley Dean, Godfrey Milne.
Centre: Tom Lang, Eric Springford, Henry Emerson (killed WWI)
Front: Cecil Springford, HH Robinson, Ernest Stanford, Vernon Cass-Morris, Basil Cartwright.
 From the Toynbee collection, Saltspring Island Archives
There are errors in the above photo description; here is a more correct and revised version:
Rear L to R.:  Robert "Robbie" Percy  Preston Norton,(1889-1916, front - back - killed WWI  );  Gavin Colvin Mouat,(1893-1961- Cem);   Stanley William Dean, (1882-?); Godfrey Herbert Cecil Milnes,  (1894-1917, front - back - killed WWI )
Centre:  Thomas "Tom" Beattie Lang, (1892 - marriage - 1938);   Eric Springford, (1893 - marriage - 1984); Henry Emerson, (1889-1917 killed WWI )
Front: Cecil Springford, (1891- marriage - 1949); Hubert Arthur Robinson,(1885 - marriage - 1969); Ernest Henry Stanford, (1883 - marriage - 1921); Vernon Bryham Case Morris,(1890-1968); Alan Basil Cartwright, (1884 - marriage - 1971)

*     *     *     *
Henry's  parents were Arbuthnot Macaulay Emerson, (1) of County Antrim, Ireland and Emily Hill (2).  The family immigrated to Canada circa 1888-9, with their first born Florence "Flora"  Emily Emerson (3).  Henry Emerson  was born on the 6th of December 1889 in Victoria BC, and baptized on the third of September 1900, in Victoria; Henry was the family's first child born in Canada;  quickly followed by a brother: George Macaulay Emerson (4) and a sister: Elizabeth "Lizzie" Maude Emerson (5)

In 1890  we find the family in Victoria. Arbuthnot was working as a freight clerk, for R.P. Rithet and Co., a wholesale merchant, shipping and insurance agent.
Rithet's Pier, Victoria. ca.1890  BC Archives B-02694
Robert Paterson Rithet, 1844-marr cert.-1919.  Arbuthnot Emerson's boss
short biography found on pages 1134-5 of; BC from the earliest times to the present Vol IV
see also Canada Bio.         BC Archives F-07390

The 1891 census captures the family: 20 April, Johnson Street Ward, Div. No. 1  District No. 4 Victoria city
Arbuthnot Emerson age 36,b.Ireland. freight clerk, for R.P Rithet.
Emily Emerson,  age 31, b.England 1860
Florence Emily Emerson, age 3 b.England.
Henry Emerson, age 1, b. B.C.
In 1892 the father is working as a night watchman, and then all hell breaks loose the following year

British Colonist 8 October 1893, page 5;
" Mrs. Trounce (6) , who has kindly interested herself in relieving the necessities of Mrs. Emily Emerson and her little family, takes this opportunity of thanking all who contributed to the relief fund. Mrs. Emerson, it will be remembered, was left almost destitute and with four children dependent upon her, by the desertion of her husband last March."
Mrs. Trounce ca. 1870       BC Archives  A-01870

From 1893 to 1895 all four children were put into the care of the British Columbia Protestant Poor Orphans Home, (7) in Victoria.

BC Protestant Orphans Home, Victoria; Workers after laying of cornerstone. July 1892
 Photo: Richard Maynard,1832 -1907   BC Archives  E-01296

The completed Orphans Home ca.190-   BC Archives  D-03597
Today's building, also known as the Taylor building.
  Pic. Cridge (click for Large version )
     Henry Emerson, age 4 along with his brother George Macaulay, age 2 were surrendered to the Orphanage on the fourth of October 1893, the Taylor building would have been very new at this time.
Their sister Florence, age 6 years, 4 months was given to the care of the Orphanage on June 29, 1894.
Followed by their youngest sister Elizabeth  on the third of April 1895 age 1 year, 4 months !!!

1895 The children are all in care, and both parents are nowhere to be found

Page one of the 1901 census - IMG  Finds the children still in the Protestant Poor Orphans home, Cook and Hillside Ave, ( Hayward Heights, today ) Victoria along with sixty other souls,(  page 2 - IMG )
"Flora" Emerson                        Inmate     b. September 20, 1888.
Henry Emerson                          Inmate     b. December   6, 1889
George Macaulay Emerson        Inmate     b. September 19, 1891
"Lizzie" Emerson                        Inmate     b. September 23, 1893

      The children appear to have stayed under the care of the orphanage until they came of age to fend for themselves as adults; they do not appear in the ( 1911 Census listing - IMG ) of the Orphanage.

 Henry Emerson
     He died in the Vimy Ridge Battle in France, sometime between April 8th - 10th in 1917
and  is buried in the Arras road Cemetery in Roclincourt France.
Arras road Cemetery
Canadian Virtual War memorial page for Henry Emerson
Private. service No. 180216. age 27 Canadian infantry 7th battalion. (B.C. Regiment)
 Colours of the 7th Battalion C.E.F. - The B.C. Regiment . ca. 1923 Van. Archives A32332

The original Salt Spring Island memorial, ca. 1917   BC Archives D-08846
The original memorial ca. 1917   BC Archives D-08847
Later the cenotaph was replaced by a stone Cenotaph  that exists today.
Henry was/is memorialized on both monuments.
Ganges Memorial/ Cenotaph pictures
1917 memorial unveiling,  BC Archives D-08844;  1917 memorial, BC Archives D-08846;  1917 memorial, BC Archives D-08847 
New cenotaph:  1923? memorial, BC archives D-08842 ; 1947 cenotaph,  BC Archives I-20717;  1947 cenotaph,  BC Archives I-20718;  1949 cenotaph, BC Archives I-26712; 1956 cenotaph, BC Archives I-26716
More pictures from Salt Spring Archives of BOTH memorials, and of the New cenotaph with names.

Attestation Front --- Back;  Henry joined the 88th Battalion Victoria Fusiliers, Canadian Expeditionary Force,(C.E.F.)
Based in Victoria, British Columbia, the unit began recruiting in the autumn of 1915 in Victoria. After sailing to England in June 1916, the battalion was absorbed into the 30th Reserve Battalion on July 18, 1916. The 88th Battalion, C.E.F had one Officer Commanding: Lieut-Col. Harold Joseph Rous Cullin. (1875-1935)

Living at Ganges, Henry listed his next of kin as his sister Florence Songhurst, (3) his year of birth as the sixth of December 1892, (the year is wrong, he wanted to appear three years younger than he was ).
He signed his life away on the 8th of December 1915
Blues eyes, fair hair, fresh complexion. 5'4" apparent age 23.

Two other residents of Salt Spring Island signed up the same day as Henry Emerson;
 Edward Cartwright ( June 1882  -  11 October 1916 details )  attestation papers, Front --- Back
Virtual Memory page for Edward .  1911 Census details  Edward  Married Mary Margaret Royal, on Salt Spring Island on the fifth of May 1908, Mary's death certificate . Edward left his wife and two daughters; Mary Margaret,(1909-) and Lettice Sybil Cartwright,(1911-) to mourn his loss. Henry Emerson played soccer with Edward's brother, Alan Basil Cartwright,(1884 - 1971)  [ SEE picture above ]
               Note: Edward and Henry were also in the same battalion.

And Wilfred Sharpe ( Oct 1877 - 1956, Saanich )  attestation papers, Front --- Back   1911 census Chemainus  Married Margery Cheshire Lort, in Victoria on the seventh of March 1919.
  At least Wilfred made it back alive.

Henry worked as a clerk at the Mouat Brothers store (8)  for at least three years  at Ganges on Saltspring Island
Mouat's Boarding House (1905)
Percy Purvis  (9) and Joe Malcolm (10) built a store and blacksmith's shop at Ganges in 1904. Purvis had previously had a store at Central. His brother-in-law, Malcolm, was a blacksmith. The future for their joint enterprise appeared bright, but, following the sudden death of "Joe" Malcolm, Purvis sold to Jane Mouat and her son Gilbert James Mouat (11).      Accession number  1994.137.006
ca. 1920

>>>    NOTES   <<<

(1)   Arbuthnot Macaulay Emerson.  In the 1911 Census, I found the father living at PHI (Public Hospital for the Insane;changed name in 1950 to Woodlands now closed)   A.M. Emerson, resident of Vancouver,  Patient   ( listed under Emmerson )
Arbuthnot Macaulay Emerson: died later that year in New Westminster, at PHI  on the fourth of November 1911, at the age of 59. Unknown at this time where he is buried, in theory it should be New Westminster.

(2)  Emily Emerson
1903, 1904, 1905 Vancouver directory:  Lists  Emily Emerson, nurse city hospital, rooms 579 Howe. Nurses house. (would have worked at Vancouver City Hospital
Man and nurses on lawn in front of the Vancouver City Hospital - 530 Cambie Street  1902
 Photo by: William Stark.   Vancouver Archives

1910 Vancouver directory, lists an E. Emerson, retired. rooms 407 Keefer. {Home of Richard T. Jones, mariner.} None of this listing for Emily probably applies, but it is the only listings that I could find in B.C. that have her name.
Otherwise she just disappears from the local scene, or more commonly changed her name.

(3)  Florence  "Flora" Emily Emerson
                ( b. 20 September, 1887, Reading, England  -  24 August 1958 )
1908 Victoria:   Florence Emerson, domestic., living at 516 Rupert; home of accountant, Walter Gilbert Sparrow, (1856-1913) looking after Walter's large family. On the eighteenth of December 1908 Florence married John William Songhurst,d.14 October 1943, Victoria. John worked as a mail carrier, but mostly as a shoemaker, he also served his country:  page1 he joined  "S" Company of the Royal Canadian regiment:
Service No.: 479928  John William Songhurst, b.Shere, Surrey, Eng. 27 Nov., 1876, shoe maker. Sworn on the 20th of April 1917. Note:  Interesting that John W. Songhurst enlists three days after Henry Emerson's death.
page1a   --- page2   --- page2a  previously married to Florence Annie Street, at Farnham, Surrey, England 26 Sept., 1899. At least two children with Florence Emily Emerson:
Arthur Emerson Songhurst,( b. 31 October 1909, Saanich - Marriage cert. -  1985)
George Weston Songhurst, b. 25 January 1911, Saanich - Marriage cert. [Wife: Helen, Death cert., one - two ] Children: Karen Georgina,(1939-1959); Denis George,(1940-); Myrna Helen,(1944- )
For many years the family ran the Songhurst Grocery and shoe repair from 2427 Fernwood Rd, Victoria.

(4)  George Macaulay Emerson, 
      ( b. 19 September 1891 - baptized 11 January, 1891{something wrong here}, Victoria - )

1916 Vancouver directory:  I find a George Emerson living at 992 Hornby. Unknown if this is Henry's brother. George has proven to be difficult to find locally, he may have moved away, died young. . .

(5)  Elizabeth "Lizzie" Maude Emerson
       ( b. 26 September 1893, Victoria, B.C.  -  22 October 1980, age 87 )
Elizabeth married  Roy Garner Hutchinson on 3 March 1920 in Vancouver, he was into real estate at that time. Note: at the top of  the marriage certificate is says that the marriage was dissolved at Vancouver on May 11, 1937
1911 census, Oak Bay:  We find that Elizabeth, a 17 year old maid from the poor house, head of house was Henry Austin Goward, ( 1879 - Marriage cert. -  1952 ), Real estate agent for Grant and Lineham, (Roland A.C. Grant and Arthur Lineham) 941 St. James. "Lizzie" was looking after the Goward's four young daughters.
It was common practice for the Orphanage to indenture, or place into service the children under their care.
Husband:  Roy Garner Hutchinson, ( 1891 --  1983  )
Daughter:  Beverley Maude Hutchinson, of Vancouver

(6)  Mrs. Trounce: Emma Richards b. May 10 1839 in Fraddam (Gwinear), Cornwall, England. She died on April 27 1902 in Victoria.  She married Thomas Trounce on January 6 1889 in San Francisco, second marriage for Thomas.

Thomas Trounce, ca.188-.
Photo by: Stephen Allen Spencer, 1829? - 1911
BC Archives A-01866
       Thomas was a prominent Victoria architect, who was born  on September eighteenth 1813 in Feock, Cornwall, England. He died on June 30 1900 in Victoria.

(7)    Protestant Orphans Home
B.C. Protestant Orphans' Home, reports. ( which are also listed separately below ).
British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home BC Archives fonds (1883-1926)
The British Columbia Protestant Orphan's Home  ( detailed UVic history website )

Later known as The Cridge centre for the family was located at the peak of King's Road in Victoria, British Columbia. 1873-present, in 1969 the building was converted into a daycare center. It raised more than 1600 orphans by the time it closed. There are about 800 of these orphans still living who say it was a great opportunity to be raised here. Most of the records are still held at the Cridge Centre.

Amateur dramatic entertainment in aid of the Protestant Orphans Home, on Thursday eve'g, Nov.'r 18th, 1880 [microform] : Tom Taylor' s celebrated comedy, in three acts, Still waters run deep (1880)

      An example of some of the things they had to do
to generate the monies needed to run the orphanage.

The sixteenth annual report of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home, Victoria, for 1888 [microform] (1889)
The seventeenth annual report of the British Columbia Protestant Orphan's Home, Victoria, for 1890 [microform] (1890)
The eighteenth annual report of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home, Victoria, B.C., for 1890 [microform] (1891)
The nineteenth annual report of the British Columbia Protestant Orphan's Home, Victoria, B.C., for 1891 [microform] (1891)
Constitution and by-laws of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home [microform] : incorporated under the Benevolent Societies Act (1892)
British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home [microform] : incorporated under the "Benevolent Societies Act, 1891 (1893)
22nd annual communication of the M.W. Grand Lodge of British Columbia A.F. and A.M. [microform] : laying corner stone of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans Home, Hillside Avenue, Victoria, B.C., on Saturday, June 24th, 1893 at 3 p.m (1893)
The twenty-first annual report of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home, Hillside Avenue, Victoria, B.C. [microform] : [presen]ted at the annual meeting held in the City Hall, Victoria, B.C., January 30th, 1894, F.H. Worlock, Esq., in the chair (1894)
Report of the twenty-second annual meeting of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home, Hillside Avenue, Victoria, B.C. [microform] : held at the City Hall, Victoria, B.C., on Friday, March 15th, 1895, Mr. Charles. Hayward in the chair (1895)
Report of the twenty-third annual meeting of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans' Home, Hillside Avenue, Victoria, B.C. [microform] : held at the City Hall, Victoria, B.C., on Friday, February 28th, 1896, Mr. Charles Hayward in the chair (1896)

 (8)  Malcolm and Purvis; later Mouat Brothers store

Malcolm and Purvis and Mouat Picnic (1904) (Jessie Toynbee)
About the time the business moved from Central to Ganges. Both ran for a period. (Mr George Howard (Fred's father) kept Central Store going for awhile.
Rear L to R: Mr Joe Malcolm, Mrs Margaret Malcolm, Mary Mouat, Will Mouat, Percy Purvis, Gilbert Mouat, W.H. McAfee.
Middle: Laurie Mouat, Bill Purvis, Ethel Purvis, Mrs Jane Mouat, Jessie Mouat, Beth Purvis,
Mrs Susan Purvis holding Jack
Front: Jerry Mouat, Lydia Mouat, Belle Nightingale, Herbert Purvis, Margaret (Minnie) Mouat, Jean Purvis, Eva Jenkins.        Salt Spring Archives Accession number 1994.137.128

(9)  Percy Purvis   ( 1869 - 1960 Cemetery )

Percy Purvis, came to Saltspring Island in 1898, was born in Bruce County, Ont. married  on the fifteenth of June 1892 Susan Helen Malcolm, (1865 - 1949 Cemetery ) also of Bruce County, Ont. Percy was the  Ganges Postmaster 1901-8, store owner 1904-8, along with Joseph Malcolm, who was married to Percy's sister. After Joseph Malcolm's death, Percy sold out to G.J. Mouat, and moved to eastern Oregon, near its border with Idaho.

"Gems" of our valley : a written and pictorial history of Gem Valley located in southeastern Idaho along the Bear River, 1811-1977, and the people who have lived there (1977)
       (numerous mentions of the Purvis family)

(10)  Joseph "Joe" James Malcolm, blacksmith 
       ( b. 7 February 1863, Ontario - d. 25 January 1907  Cemetery )
 Joseph James Malcolm,  married Margaret Purvis  on the eleventh of September 1901, at Victoria . Margaret was the sister of Percy Purvis, whom "Joe" was in business with.
Malcolm 1891 census

(11)  Gilbert James Mouat 
   ( b.15 May 1886 Saltspring Island  -  5 August 1946 )
Gilbert James Mouat      pic. from Mouat Trading

          The Mouat family came from the Shetlands, settling  on Saltspring in 1885. In 1908 after Joseph Malcolm unexpectedly passed away, Percy Purvis (9) sold out to Gilbert who along with his mother Jane, bought the Malcolm and Purvis store, which is still operating today as the  Mouat Trading.  Founder of G.J. Mouat and Company, he contracted polio in 1915, wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. Henry Emerson worked for Gilbert at the store for at least a few years.
Father: Thomas William Mouat (1853-1898) Mother: Jane Manson (1859-1935)
Jane Mouat, nee Manson (1859-1935)  Pic. from Mouat trading

Gilbert was married to Martha Isabelle  (1890-1950)


Salt Spring Island Ganges Cemetery listings, other cemeteries on SSI

Map of Saltspring Island 1895

 Click on the list below to download 20K scale PDF maps that cover Salt Spring Island
092B093  --- 092B094
092B083  --- 092B084
092B073   --- 092B074


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