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Syd Burgeest (1888-1918)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Weekly Star - Friday, October 25, 1918

Sudden Death

    At 6:30 Tuesday morning Syd Burgeest, who had been employed during the season of navigation as waiter and barber on the Lower Yukon river steamer Alaska, dropped dead as he reached the bottom of the stairway in the lobby of the White Pass hotel, in his descent from the hallway above.

    The only witness was Foreman Sam Turnbull of the Copper King mine, who stepped from the street through the front doorway of the hotel into the lobby, as Burgeest was nearing the foot of the stair with his hand upon the bannister rail. When he reached the bottom of the stair, he placed his hand upon the top of the newel post and, swinging half around, fell at full length upon the floor.

    Turnbull, thinking Burgeest was intoxieated, waited for a minute, expecting the fallen man to arise, but the latter not doing so, he took him in his arms and seated him in one of the chairs. After placing Burgeest in the chair, Turnbull spent some time in trying to arouse him, but finally it dawned upon him that the man was dead. The alarm was given and a messenger sent for Dr. Clarke, who pronounced Burgeest dead, and the cause, heart failure.

    Burgeest was an Australian, about 30 years of age, but a naturalized American. It is said his people in Australia are quite well to do. He has four brothers serving in the war. He was quite well known in Whitehorse and upon several occasions has been employed for short periods by J. E. Marcotte. John Topham of the steamer Tutshi has Mini Burgeest intimately for a number of years.

    The remains were taken charge of by Undertaker Durie and will be buried in the Whitehorse cemetery.