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James Irwin Geary (1869-1958)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, May 29, 1958

James Geary dies, mourned by many - 1958

    Many friends gathered at the Old Log Church Tuesday to pay their last respects to the late James Irwin Geary, who died here Saturday. Born October 27, 1869 in Oregon, Mr. Geary spent 52 years in the Yukon.

    The first Yukon couple to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in the territory, Mr. and Mrs. Geary were married in Oregon December 26, 1897. Messages of congratulations were sent to the couple last year from Her Majesty the Queen and several high-ranking government officials in Ottawa.

    Their first home in the north was at Livingstone. In 1906 when they came, the area was the scene of considerable mining activity. With them from the States came their only son Lyle, then six months old. A second son died in infancy.

    The family moved to Whitehorse in 1918, where for seven years they worked at T and D's fox farm across the river. In 1925 they moved to their home near Moccasin Flats.

    Before he took up mining in the north, Mr. Geary was a cowboy in the States. After their marriage, he and his wife lived on a ranch in Oregon for several years. After arriving in the Yukon, each made a trip outside but the Yukon always seemed home.

    Commenting on their long years together, Mrs. Geary said at the time of the Diamond Wedding anniversary, "He's always been good to me and we always worked together. More couples should do that today."

    Mr. Geary 1s survived by his wife and son Lyle at home. Rev. A. L. Privett conducted the final rites May 27 and interment followed at Whitehorse cemetery. Pall bearers were R. Steinbeck, M. Steinbeck, T. Miller, E. Pretzer, T. Cowan and S. White. Wallden Funeral Home cared for arrangements.

    Five months before James' death, he and Elizabeth (nee Wilson) had celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary:

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, January 30, 1958

60 Years Together

    Mr. and Mrs. James Geary, photographed in their home last Boxing Day, when they celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. The first Yukon couple to have a 60th anniversary in the Territory, the Gearys received wires of congratulation from Her Majesty the Queen and Northern Affairs Minister Alvin Hamilton. Many Whitehorse friends visited them to extend best wishes.

August 8, 1967, Victoria Daily Times:
GEARY - In Victoria, on Monday, July 31, 1967, Elizabeth Geary of 567 Goldstream Road. She leaves a son in Whitehorse, Yukon. The Rev. J. A. Roberts will conduct the funeral service on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 10:00 a.m., in Chaplin's Funeral Chapel. Interment in Royal Oak Burial Park.

    James and Elizabeth's son, William Lyle Geary, was born at Eagle Point, Oregon on February 9, 1906. He died at Whitehorse on December 21, 1975. He was living at Mile 12.6 on the Mayo Road at the time of his death. Interment was at Grey Mountain Cemetery.