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Whitehorse Pioneer Biographies, 1900-1965


    This page contains a wide variety of biographies and death notices related to people buried at the Pioneer Cemetery in Whitehorse. The cemetery, which closed in 1965, was called the 6th Avenue Cemetery until 1975. The information on this page has been copied primarily from Whitehorse newspapers.





ADAMS, J. (1856-1938)

Whitehorse Star, July 8, 1938:

    A familiar figure has been removed from our midst in the person of J. Adams who has resided in the Yukon for many years and who passed away in the local hospital on Saturday.
    The late Mr. Adams was well-known throughout the Territory. He arrived in Victoria, B. C. from Scotland in 1882 and for a few years was employed on the steamer "City of Kingston" plying between the capital city and Tacoma. On coming north in 1899 he worked for a time on the steamer "Australian", at that time operating between Bennett and Miles Canyon. For many years he was pantryman on several of the B. Y. N. boats and for a time was also cook at the local police barracks in the days when a large contingent of police was stationed in Whitehorse. For some years he also operated the roadhouse at Takheena which he purcashed from Mr. W. A. Puckett and also another one located close to Yukon Crossing.
    During his long residenue in the Yukon the late Mr. Adams is understood to have accimilated two fortunes both of which were lost - the one in a hotel venture in Vancouver and the other in a restaurant business in Victoria.
    The late Mr. Adams was about 82 years at age at the time of his death. The funeral service was held Monday at Christ Church, the Rev. G. A. Cross officiating. Many local residents attended in order to pay their last respects to the departed.




AUSTON, Marion (1920-1954)
AUSTON, Wilfred (1951-1954)

Whitehorse Star, April 9, 1954:
Second Fire Victim Dies From Burns
    Mrs. Marion Auston, age 34, who was seriously burned in a fire that destroyed her home March 11, died in Whitehorse General Hospital last Tuesday, April 6.
    Wilfred, her three-year-old son, died from burns the day following the fire, and her five-year-old daughter Louise was injured.
    Mrs. Auston was born at Fort Selkirk, Y.T., and leaves her husband Robert, two daughters, and her mother Julia living in Whitehorse.



BLACK, Martha Louise (1866-1957)

Separate page




BROWN, James R. (1848-1900)

Separate page




BROWN, John Douglas (1955-1955)

"Johnny" Brown, the son of Whitehorse dog catcher Douglas Allen Brown and his wife Jean Norma Brown, was born on December 1st, 1955. A twin girl, Joanne, was also born. Johnny died after 5 days, on December 5th - he was buried in the 6th Avenue Cemetery, but the location has been lost.




CARUSO, Ralph (1925-1952)

Born: 1925, Died August 11, 1952

    This is a sad story of a senseless act of violence which left one man dead. Ralph Caruso worked for the White Pass & Yukon Route railway. To help make ends meet, he took a second job as a part time driver for Inn Cabs. On the evening of August 11th Ralph was dispatched to pick up a fare on 4th Avenue. Joseph Mahnsten (alias Joe Brent and Joe Armstrong) and Glenn Smith (alias Lloyd Olsen) got into Ralph's cab. Glenn told Ralph to drive them to Prince George, British Columbia, several hundred miles south of Whitehorse. When Ralph refused, a quarrel ensured and according to the testimony given at the trial by Joseph, Glenn shot and killed Ralph.
    According to Joseph, Glenn was very drunk and earlier that evening had caused trouble in the Regina Hotel cocktail lounge and had also shot off his gun in the Whitehorse Inn. Glenn was convicted of Ralph's murder and was sentenced to hang on July 10. Joseph received three months for accessory to the crime. Both men were army deserters.




GIBSON, Andrew Harold (1882-1957)

Separate page




GREY, Lula Belle "Lou" (Palmer) (1900-1950)

Separate page




HERRINGTON, Russell Thomas (1949-1953)

Born in 1949, died on April 1, 1953

    The bodies of Russell Herrington and David Magnusson were recovered from the cold waters of the Alsek River at Mile 1016 last Thursday. The children, sons of civilian personnel working for the Canadian Army at Mile 1016, evidently wandered away from their home and managed to get through a fence that had been erected to keep them from the river. They were reported missing about 11:00 a.m. on April 1st. Russell Herrington was found about 1:30 that afternoon and David Magnusson at 1:00 p.m. on April 2nd. A search party from Whitehorse went to Mile 1016 to join other parties from Canyon Creek Creek, Destruction Bay, and Haines Road to assist in the search, but the second boy was found soon after their arrival.




LaROSE, Alphonse (1870-1908)
LaROSE, Eugene (1883-1908)

Separate page




McCARNEY, Edward (1920-1954)

Whitehorse Star, May 7, 1954:

    Edward McCarney, Business Agent and Maintenance Engineer of the Yukon Telephone Co., in Whitehorse, was found dead in the living quarters at the rear of the company's office last Monday afternoon.
    According in an employee of the company. Mr. Dick Irving, Mr. McCarney had worked all night Sunday through to Monday and when Irving arrived at work at 8 a.m., Monday morning, McCarney was sleeping. Irving woke him up at 10 a.m. and McCarney is reported to have exclaimed, "I am just about going crazy. I worked all night." Irving then left McClarney to attend to his duties.
    Later that afternoon, Irving was doing some work in another part of the City and phoned in to McCarney on a test call, he could not get an answer in the office, so returned to find out why. This was approximately 3:30 p.m.
    When Irving entered the living quarters of the telephone office, he said he saw McCarney slumped in a large chair near the window and thought he was asleep. When he came up close, he saw blood covered the side of the chair and a .22 automatic rifle leaning on the armrest. Two empty .22 shells were lying on the floor. McCarney had what appeared to be a bullet hole immediately above the right ear.
    Irving immediately called a doctor, but it was too late to save the man.
    Ed McCarney came to Whitehorse last year as Resident Maintenance Engineer for the company. Some of his past experience had included the building of the present exchange at the factory before it was sold to the Yukon Telephone Company.




MAGNUSSON, David William (1949-1953)

Born in 1949, died on April 1, 1953

    The bodies of Russell Herrington and David Magnusson were recovered from the cold waters of the Alsek River at Mile 1016 last Thursday. The children, sons of civilian personnel working for the Canadian Army at Mile 1016, evidently wandered away from their home and managed to get through a fence that had been erected to keep them from the river. They were reported missing about 11:00 a.m. on April 1st. Russell Herrington was found about 1:30 that afternoon and David Magnusson at 1:00 p.m. on April 2nd. A search party from Whitehorse went to Mile 1016 to join other parties from Canyon Creek Creek, Destruction Bay, and Haines Road to assist in the search, but the second boy was found soon after their arrival.




MILLER, John James (1867-1920)

The Weekly Star, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory - Friday, November 12, 1920
John Miller Dead
    John Miller, a pioneer resident of the Yukon, died Wednesday morning at the Whitehorse General hospital. Valvular heart trouble was the cause of his death. He was brought here from Carmacks by auto last Friday, and had been confined to the hospital since that time.
    Deceased was a native of St. Mary's, Ontario, and came north as a deckhand on one of the river boats which were brought to St. Michael in 1898. After mining two years in Dawson, he started prospecting, having been a participant in all the stampedes in the Yukon since 1900.




MORRISON, Joseph Chauncy (1894-1945)

Separate page




MURRAY, Norman (1883-1960)

Whitehorse Star, August 25, 1960:
    A Masonic funeral was held today at 2 p.m. for the late Norman Murray. He died Saturday night at Whitehorse General Hospital after a short illness.
    Born in Scotland, Mr. Murray was 76 years old. He would have celebrated his 77th birthday next month. A retired ship builder, Mr. Murray lived in the Yukon for 42 years. His wife predeceased him.




PALLISTER, Jean Ann (1949-1955)

Died on November 15, 1955.

    Jean, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John E. Pallister, was on her way to school when she slipped under an army school bus. The driver was freed of any blame regarding her death (the first to occur involving a school bus).




PATERSON, Bertha (Lawrence) (1891-1939)

Died on April 4, 1939.

    The wife of W. A. Paterson, manager of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Mrs. Paterson was born in Ayr, Scotland, where she was married in March, 1918. She came to Prince Rupert, B.C., and later lived for a time in Matsqui and Vancouver before coming to Whitehorse in 1934. Possessed of a cheerful, optimistic spirit and winning personality. she took an active interest in the social and cultural life of this community, as well as in its social welfare work. She had entered hospital for an operation, and was progressing well, when she suddenly collapsed and died. In her memory, the stores were closed during the funeral; there was a large attendance of friends. She leaves, as well as her husband, a daughter, Betty, and a son, Jimmie, and relatives in both Scotland and England.




STARK, Charles Daniel "Danny" (1951-1960)

Born in 1951, died on October 5, 1960.

    "Danny" was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Stark. He was going west on his bicycle at the corner of Second and Hawkins when he was in collision with a car, which was travelling south and attempting to pass a truck. The boy was thrown off his bicycle, over the hood of the car, and fell beneath the rear wheels of the truck. He was taken to the hospital immediately, but died from his injuries shortly thereafter. Besides his parents, Danny is survived by three sisters.




SWITZER, William Irwin (?-1953)

Whitehorse Star, July 31, 1953:
    A body, identified as that of Irwin Switzer who drowned in Marsh Lake July 1, was recovered from the lake Wednesday, July 29.
    A party of tourists travelling the highway spotted the partially submerged body about Mile 888 and notified the RCMP Town Detachment, Whitehorse.
    The body was brought to town and identified.




WALLACE, Lila (1879-1903)

    On May 17th, 1903, Lila Wallace and Bud Harkin,owner of the Windsor Hotel, were running the Whitehorse Rapids in a Peterborough canoe being handled by Gene LaRose. The canoe swamped, and Wallace and Harkin were both drowned. Five years later, Gene and his brother Al LaRose were drowned in the same rapids when their canoe swamped. Wallace was buried in what is now called the Pioneer Cemetery in Whitehorse, while Harkin's body was shipped to Marshfield, Wisconsin, for burial in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery.