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Fred William Giesen (1893-1958)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Atlin Cemetery

    Although the surname was spelled "Geeson" in this article, it was correctly "Giesen".

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, November 20, 1958

Lone Discovery Inhabitant Dies, 1958

    Tuesday, November 11, Fred William Geeson, who for the last few years has been known as the Lone Inhabitant of Discovery, was killed by a slide of earth while working in a tunnel on his claim.

    For the summer months of this year he has had a partner, Karl Sieger. Mr. Sieger, who was working on another part of the claim, saw his partner walking round the face of the portal at about 3 p.m. At 3:50 p.m. he called for Mr. Geeson, while en route to their cabin, and found the tunnel had caved in.

    Mr. Sieger, who was accompanied by his German Shepherd dog, Finnette, saw the dog digging frantically at the earth and realised that Mr. Geeson was under the slide. He saw that he could not rescue his partner alone and rushed into Atlin for help. A rescue party under Constable Howk, ably assisted by Lyman Sands, was on the spot quickly with the Red Cross Nurse in attendance.

    Through the efforts of experienced placer miners who had preceded the main body of the Rescue Party, the body was soon released but after more than an hour of artificial respiration and injection of heart stimulants, hope was abandoned and the body was brought into Atlin.

    At the Court of Enquiry, held Thursday, November 13, a verdict of accidental death was given.

    Mr. Geeson, who was 65 years of age, was born in Gavelitz, Germany, on June 17, 1893. He was a baker by trade. He came into Atlin in 1930 and worked as a placer miner from then until his untimely death. He worked on his own claim since 1934.

    He leaves no known relatives but has property in Edmonton, Alberta.

    His many friends will also miss the shrewd and knowledgeable advice he gave on the stock exchange, only last week that he had sold some valuable shares.

    The funeral was held at the Pentecostal Church Sunday November 16 at 2:00 p.m. and the remains were interred in Atlin Cemetery.