William Charles (Bill) MacKinnon was born in Canoe Cove, Prince Edward
Island, on July 4, 1862, the son of Neil MacKinnon and Christy Ann MacLeod.
He grew up in Summerside, and went to work
for his uncle, Angus MacKinnon, in Brae Station about 1880. He seems to have stayed at
the sawmill for several years before moving to Arizona to prospect in the late 1880s. In
the fall of 1891, he and William Hunter founded the town of
Silverton, in southeastern British Columbia.
He and Hunter started a general store called Hunter and MacKinnon. James (Jim) MacKinnon
went west about 1894, and joined his brother in the firm of McKinnon & Co.
In early 1898, Bill decided to head for the Yukon, but was drowned in
the Stikine River between Glenora and
Telegraph Creek on May 19, 1898.
The following telegram
announcing his death was sent back to Prince Edward Island by James MacKinnon and
his sister Jessie, who had come out to join the brothers.
May 28, 1898
To: Mr and Mrs Neil McKinnon
We received a letter today stating that our dear William Charles was drowned on the
19th between Telegraph Creek and Glenora the body was shortly after recovered and is
buried at Glenora. May God strenthen you to hear this great affliction.
James and Jesse
This information about William MacKinnon was sent to me by Joan MacKinnon, a great-niece of his.
Below: the cemetery at Glenora, British Columbia, where William MacKinnon
and several other men headed for the Yukon were buried in 1898.
Photo taken in 2000 by Murray Lundberg.
Klondike Gold Rush
Yukon & Alaska Pioneer Biographies