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Terrance F. Curran (1873-1918)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Weekly Star - Friday, August 9, 1918

    Thursday night of last week, at 11 o'clock, Terence F. Curran, mining recorder for Southern Yukon, was in the barroom of the Commercial hotel and from that time until now no trace of him has ever been seen or found, although the R. N. W. M. P. have diligently searched the shores and sandbars of the Yukon river between here and Lake Lebarge and combed the forests and underbrush in Whitehorse and vicinity in the most thorough manner.

    The first intimation of the disappearance was on Friday morning when Chas. H. Johnston of the Regina hotel went to the room which Mr. Curran had occupied for years and found that the bed had not been slept in Thursday night, although the watch and eyeglasses of Mr. Curran were lying on the dresser, as though they had been left there while the occupant of the room intended to be temporarily absent.

    For two weeks previous to the first above mentioned date, Mr. Curran had been in a despondent and highly nervous condition, and this, in connection with his absence from the room, alarmed Mr. Johnston to such an extent that he at once instituted a personal search of the town in the places in which Mr. Curran would likely to be found, and failing to locate him, Mr. Johnston reported the matter to the police, with the result as above stated.

    The theory of the police, which is in a measure born out by corroborative circumstances, is that the missing man, while temporarily out of his mind, jumped into the river and was drowned. A few of Mr. Curran's friends, however, believe he wandered away into the woods, and being in a very weak conditions physically, perished.

    The search has been abandoned by the police as hopeless, but the Whitehorse lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose, of which Mr. Curran was a member, is offering a reward of $100 for information as to his whereabouts, if living, or the recovery of his body, if dead.

    The missing man was a very affable gentlemen and in this community, in which he has lived for the past ten or twelve years, had many warm friends. He was about 45 years of age and born in Rexton, Kent. county, N. B., the birthplace of Postmaster Geo. Wilson, with whom he grew up to manhood and who is acquainted with all his relatives. His parents are both dead; but he has two sisters, both of whom are married, one living in Massachusetts, the other in New Hampshire. His only other relative, as far as known by Mr. Wilson, is an uncle, Terence Curran, who lives in Victoria, B. C.

    For many years before coming to Whitehorse Mr. Curran was employed as book-keeper by Sumner & Co. of Monckton, N. B. After reaching Whitehorse he went into the Livingstone creek country, where he was engaged in prospecting and mining for several months. Afterward he was employed as book-keeper by Taylor & Drury, and later was in both the Kluane and Wheaton districts prospecting. About four years ago he was appointed to the position he held at the time of his disappearance,

    When the disappearance of Mr. Curran had become an assured fact Capt. A. L. Bell of the R. N. W. M. P. took over the mining recorder's office and has since been notified by Administrator McKenzie of Dawson that he is expected to continue permanently in charge. Owing to the amount of other business he has to look after, Capt. Bell will only keep the mining recorder's office open from 11 a. m. to 2 p. m daily except Sunday.

    Since early Friday morning of last week, when it was found that Mining Recorder T. F. Curran had disappeared at 11 o'clock on Thursday night, and no trace of him afterward seen, the people of Whitehorse have been on a nervous tension of expectancy to hear of any new developments in the case that would clear up the mystery, but up to the present writing none have been forthcoming although the police have exhausted every resource at their command in the search, in which they have been joined by many of the close personal friends of the missing man, who have likewise failed to find even a clue.

    The chronicling of passing events, usually a pleasant occupation for the newspaper writer, becomes in this instance, as it not infrequently does even in other circumstances, more of a duty than a pleasure, for the pathway that lies between the doing of justice to the living as well as to the dead is so narrow and so difficult to follow that it is almost an impossibility.

    To say that the missing man deliberately jumped into the river, and thus ended his own life, would be a far-fetched statement indeed, for there is no positive evidence as yet that his body is within the embrace of the waters of that mighty stream which hurries swiftly past our doors on its silent journey toward the distant sea, And even were it true that he had thus made away with himself, there is every reason to believe that when doing so he was temporarily irresponsible for his actions.

    There has been heard considerable criticism of liquor dealers for having sold their goods to a man with an uncontrollable appetite for intoxicants, but the fact of the matter is that the liquor dealer who did so is no more to blame than either you or I, or any other adult member of the community, for however much we may try to evade responsibility for the disappearance of a man with whom we have for years associated daily on terms of intimacy, and for whom we had a profound liking and respect when in his normal condition, there is no gainsaying the fact that it is either by our open consent or silent acquiescence that the liquor traffic is carried on.

    Therefore, let there be no recriminations of anyone nor accusations as to responsibility in the deplorable matter above referred to, but rather let us draw the mantle of charity over both the one who has passed beyond our ken as well as those who are left behind, with the hope that the lesson inculcated by the tragedy may serve as a guide to our future actions and aid us in our efforts to do what is right.

The Weekly Star - Friday, August 16, 1918

Gives Up Its Dead. Body of T. F. Curran Washed Up On River Bank. 1918

    All doubts, if any existed, of the fate of the late Terence F. Curran, mining recorder for Southern Yukon, were dispelled early Wednesday afternoon when his body was found by Jim Boss, head of the Lake Lebarge Indians, lodged in a clump of willows on the east shore of the Yukon river, opposite the mouth of the Takini river, and about 12 miles below Whitehorse.

    As soon as the news reached town, Capt. A. L. Bell, acting coroner, C. W. Cash, Chas. Eisenhauer, Frank Harbottle, Ike Seevers and Corp. Clifford set out in a gas boat to bring the remains to Whitehorse and reached here on their return between 12:30 and 1 o'clock Thursday morning. The body was turned over to Undertaker J. D. Drurie, who prepared it for burial.

    At 2:30 Thursday afternoon a coroner's inquest was held, the jury's verdict being that deceased had come to his death by drowning, but whether intentionally or accidentally, they were unable to determine.

    The funeral will be held at 2:30 this afternoon from Christ Church.

The Weekly Star - Friday, August 23, 1918

Funeral Services Held Friday Over Remains of Late T. F. Curran, 1918

    Funeral services for the late Terence F. Curran were held at Christ Church Friday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock by Archdeacon Whittaker. The attendance was probably the largest ever seen in Whitehorse upon any similar occasion.

    Upon arriving at the cemetery Archdeacon Whittaker made a few further remarks, after which members of the Whitehorse Moose lodge, who had attended in a body after holding ritualistic ceremonies in Moose hall, took charge and performed the last sad rites in accordance with the beautiful and impressive funeral services of the order. There were not many dry eyes among those who witnessed the lowering of the remains of genial, warm-hearted Teddy Curran, with whom most of them had been intimately associated for years and whom they had grown to respect and love for his many sterling qualities of both heart and mind, into their final resting place.

    The deceased was a member of the Moose lodge of Whitehorse, and also belonged to the Masonic lodge in his home town in New Brunswick, but had not affiliated with the Masonic lodge in Whitehorse.

    The affairs of the mining recorder's office were found by Capt. A. L. Bell, who was appointed to take charge, to be in the most perfect and orderly condition, with the books all balanced up to the time of Mr. Curran's disappearance.

    Although The Weekly Star consistently used "Terence" as the spelling of Mr. Curran's given name, the Public Administrator published it as "Terrance" and we are using that as the correct spelling.