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John Edward Austin Barton (1875-1908)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Weekly Star - Friday, January 31, 1908

    Edward Barton of the firm of Barton Bros., meat dealers and stock importers of Dawson where he was well and favorably known as as upright, straightforward business man, ended his life at the White Pass hotel in this place Wednesday morning at about 8:25 o'clock by shooting himself in the mouth with a 38 calibre revolver, the bullet coming out in the rear part of the top of the head.

    Edward Barton arrived here on the White Pass stage trom Dawson Monday along with half a dozen other passengers on his way to the outside on a businees and pleasure trip, intending to make a visit to his old home at South Durbam, Quebec, where his mother resides.

    The Dawson party, Barton among them, remained here until Wednesday morning, when they all prepared to leave lor Skagway to catch the steamer Princess May for Vancouver.

    Barton ate breakfast with the others and had the hotel porter carry his baggage over to the depot. He paid his bill at the desk, shook hands with and said goodby to Landlord James Murray and started across the street for the depot. That was the last seen of him alive.

    When the train was ready to pull out O. F. Kastner, also a Dawson meat dealer and very intimate friend of Barton, missed him and made inquiry but some said he, Barton, had certainly gone aboard the train. This, however, proved to be incorrect and the other members of the party realized just as the train was pulling out that Barton was not aboard.

    Landlord Murray came back to the hotel and went up stairs to the room Barton had occupied. He tried the door which was locked and just as he turned the knob a muffled report was heard in the room. Mounting on a chair and looking over the transom the landlord realized the worst, for lying on the floor near the wash stand was the body of the man he sought.

    Hastily breaking into the room the lifeless form of the vigorous and popular Ed Barton was recognized, the death-dealing weapon still clasped in his hand and his life's blood ebbing away.

    The police were at once notified and took charge of the body. Dr. Pare was in the room within a very few minutes but life was extiner and had been since the moment the fatal shot was fired.

    Manager Griffith, of P. Burns & Co., an old and intimate friend of the dead man, at once wired his brother, G. I. C. Barton, at Dawson of the tragedy and the latter wired instructions to have the body embalmed and held here pending his arrival, he leaving Dawson on an outbound stage within an bour after receiving the sad news.

    Mr. Barton will take his brother's remains to their old home in Quebec for burial.

    A letter was found in the dead man's room addressed to O. F. Kastner who was wired to at Carcross of the tragedy. He returned on the evening train and, while he has not made known the contents of the letter for publication, it is understood that the writer stated that he had decided "to end all" and asked his friend to take charge of his money and effects pending the arrival of his brother from Dawson. Deceased had several hundred dollars in his pocket at the time of his death.

    Edward Barton went to Dawson in 1900 with P. Burns & Co. and has been there even since. Two years or more ago he with his brother engaged in business and they have since heen very successful, the brothers constituting one of the most popular business firms in the territory. G. I. C. Barton was for a long time manager for Burns & Co. at this place and he, like his unfortunate brother, was known only to be honored and respected.

    Edward Barton was about 32 years of age and unmarried.

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, August 24, 1961

    The body of Edward Barton, whose death occurred at this place on January 29th while he was en roure from Dawson to the outside, was buried in the local cemetery Tuesday afternoon after appropriate services which were conducted in the Presbyterian church by Rev. Turkington, music being furnished by a select choir. Considering that the weather was nearly 40 degrees below zero, the funeral was one of the most largely attended in the history of the town, attesting the respect in which the deceased was held in this community.

    Mr. G. I. C. Barton, brother and only relative deceased had in the Yukon, arrived from Dawson on a White Pass stage Monday afternoon and, after consultation with friends, decided to bury the body of his brother here rather than make the long, sad journey back to their home at South Durham, Quebec, abou: 40 miles south of Montreal.

    In the death of Ed, Burton one of the most upright, honorable and respected of all the young business men of the territory has gone to his reward.

    To Greer Barton, the aged mother and other members of the bereaved family, is extended the sympathy not only of this community, but of the entire Yukon.

    Greer Barton left on the return trip to Dawson Tuesday evening.