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William Spencer Lanktree (1876-1904)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Daily Evening Star - Tuesday, June 14, 1904

Funeral Today, 1904

    The body of Telegraph Operator W. S. Lanktree, who was drowned in the Yukon below Tantalus last Thursday, accompanied by C. M. Lanktree, brother of deceased, reached here by steamer last night. The funeral was held from the telegraph headquarters this afternoon at 3 o'clock, the services being conducted by Rev. J. J. Wright. Interment was in the Whitehorse cemetery. Many of the young man's old-time friends followed his remains to the grave.

The Daily Evening Star - Thursday, June 30, 1904

Tribute To Dead, 1904

    One of the most commendable acts that has come to the attention of the Sun for some time is the promptitude with which the telegraph operators on the river division of the government telegraph service has made arrangements for erecting a monument over the grave of one of their craft.

    W. S. Langtree, the operator at Yukon Crossing, was drowned in the Yukon Thursday, June 9th, while shooting the Rink rapids in company with Ralph Creighton, mining recorder at Selkirk. On Sunday, June 12, two men in a small boat found the body near Minto, and after putting it ashore continued on their way until they met the Casca, the officers of which being informed of the location of the remains, stopped to pick them up. At Yukon Crossing, Charles Langtree, a line man and brother of the unfortunate operator, got aboard and accompanied the remains to Whitehorse, where interment followed.

    Immediately after the funeral the operators from Whitehorse to Fortymile began to talk by ticks of what they should do for their lamented fellow craftsman. There was no hesitation in the first suggestion offered that a monument worthy of the man and themselves be ordered for his grave.

    There is now on the way from Vancouver a granite headstone, weighing 1,000 pounds, suitably inscribed, which will mark the resting place of Langtree. On account of the deceased having been an operator in the employ of the White Pass before he entered the government service, A. B. Newell has given orders to transport the monument free of charge from Skagway to Whitehorse.

    There is a lesson in this which it would do others good to follow. A man drowned on June 9, and already his fellow laborers have a suitable mark of esteem on the way for his grave. - Yukon Sun.

The Daily Evening Star - Wednesday, July 6, 1904

Fine Monument, 1904

    The monument mentioned in the Star| a week ago as being intended to mark the grave in the Whitehorse cemetery of W. S. Lanktree, the popular telegraph operator at Yukon crossing lately drowned in the Yukon river, has been received from Vancouver and placed in position at the grave, the latter task having been completed last night by Local Operator G. S. Fleming and Lineman George Marshall.

    The monument consists of a blue granite base on which is located a white marble column formed from three seperate pieces.

    The cost of the monument delivered at Skagway was about $125, the money being supplied by employes of the government telegraph, every man connected with the system from Atlin to Forty mile contributing to the fund as a mark of esteem for this unfortunate fellow employe.

    General Manager A. B. Newell kindly transported the monument from Skagway to Whitehorse free of charge.