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Joseph Lee Banks (1858-1906)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Atlin Pioneer Cemetery

The Atlin Claim - Saturday, November 3, 1906

Serious Accident At the Yellow Jacket Shaft on Pine Creek, 1906.

    Mr. J. L. Banks, last Thursday, met with a very painful and serious accident while working in the shaft of the Yellow Jacket mine on Pine creek.

    He was standing on a stage about 45 feet from the surface, engaged in hoisting sections of pipe which had been used to pump out the mine. In some way either the sling slipped or a joint worked loose and a section about 15 feet long dropped, striking the unfortunate gentleman on tbe left breast, pinning him to the wall. He saw it coming but could not get out of the way, being confined in too narrow a space. After being struck he released himself and started for the top, nearly reaching it, when assistance came. Mr. Banks showed the greatest fortitude and pluck throughout the whole sad affair.

    It was thought necessary by Dr. Young to have the injured was conveyed to the Atlin hospital in a chair, the roads being too rough to use a vehicle of any kind. Willing hands were immediately offered and after a long and tedious journey the patient was safely landed, about 9 o'clock. It took over three hours to accomplish the distance.

    At the present time it is almost impossible to state the extent of the injuries. Up to going to press Mr. Banks was resting as easily as wounds of such a nature allow, alleviated by the kind and willing hands of the nurses and the skillful care of Dr. Young.

    Mr. Banks is a gentleman of sterling qualities and has been associated with J. M. Ruffner for some time past in mining ventures in this district. It is hoped he will soon recover. Such accidents at first sight sometimes seem worse than they really are.

The Atlin Claim - Saturday, November 24, 1906

Joseph L. Banks Passes Away, 1906.

    The funeral of the late Joseph Lee Banks took place Monday last from Pillman's undertaking rooms. Service was held at the Presbyterian church by the Rev. A. M. Ross, and also at the cemetery. The pallbearers were H. Young, R. B. Dixon, T. Hanna, J. Cartmel, M. R. Jamieson and H. Brown.

    The late Mr. Banks was a native of Kentucky, born in the 50's. Since early manhood he has been engaged in mining, with the exception of a few years he was Indian agent in East Washington. For the last 12 years he was in Alaska and the Yukon, where he was well known. Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, Burma and Japan, had at various times been his home. His married daughter now resides in Australia.

    He made a remarkably strong fight for life, and Saturday morning at three o'clock, had never, since the accident, been apparently so well and his chances for recovery brighter. He fell into a restful sleep from which he never awoke. He died at 5.30.

    No one knew just how badly he had been hurt, until the examination held afterwards, when it was found that three ribs had received compound fractures, the lung had been perforated in two places and the diaphram punctured. The accident was so serious there was really no chance for recovery.