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William Patrick Perkins (ca. 1872-1902)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Semi-Weekly Star - Wednesday, April 16, 1902


    At the General Hospital in White Horse, Y. T. at 1:30 a. m. Tuesday, April 11th, Wm. A. Perkins, a native of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in his 30th year.

    To a stranger the above announcement will simply mean the passing away of a young man in the prime of life who had come to this northland like so many others to try and better his worldly condition, but had been called away before the realization of his dreams. To those who knew and loved him, however, it will have an infinitely deeper meaning. It will mean the loss of a staunch and loyal friend, respected and honored by the entire community for his manly and upright character; the loss of a good citizen; the loss to society of one of its brighest and most versatile members, and the loss to a fond mother in the distant land of Australia of a loving and dutiful son, the news of whose demise will cause her a heart agony that time alone can assuage.

    In this land of the Midnight Sun men in their wild scramble for gold, and for the reason that they are almost daily brought into contact with danger and death, have become calloused to a certain extent, and it requires the happening of the unexpected to pierce through the outside veneer of selfishness and indifference and cause them to drop a tear over the silent form of a departed comrade or friend. But this feeling of indifference waa marked by its absence during Mr. Perkins' illness, and when he was taken to the hospital and it was learned that serious complications had arisen and that it was doubtful if he would recover a pall of sadness settled upon the entire community, and his death, though anticipated from the words of his physician, was the cause of universal sorrow, and regret.

    Mr. Perkins first came north in the spring of '98, and joined with the rush of that memorable year to the gold fields of the Klondike. For almost two years he lived in or near Dawson, but his ventures in the mines only proved moderately successful and early in 1900 he left there and came to White Horse. On his arrival here he was taken in as a partner in the Grafter copper mine by Mr. Woodney, whe had known him for a number of years.

    After doing considerable work on the mine, and satisfying themselves that it was a valnable piece of property, Messrs. Woodney & Perkins concluded to try and interest capital to open it up and Mr. Perkins made a trip to New York and visited Marcus Daley, who, as it afterward proved, was at that time lying on his deathbed. Mr. Daley expressed bis willingness to go into the deal, but before arrangements could be perfected died.

    Mr. Perkins then went to London for the same purpose but met with no success, after which he paid a visit to his father and mother in Australia and then returned to White Horse, arriving here the 5th of April, 1901. Since that time he has continued to reside here until the time of his death.

    A few months ago the Moore Investment Co., of Seattle, bonded the Grafter mine for $30,000, Mr. Perkins' interest amounting to $5,000. Monday the first payment became due and was paid, $1000 being placed to the credit of Mr. Perkins in the Canadian Bank of Commerce.

    After the sale of the Grafter mine Mr. Perkins associated himself with Mr. Archie Gould and started the White Horse gymnasium, of which he became physical instructor, and which position he filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public until his last illness.

    A few weeks ago, at the earnest solicitation of Mr. John Barrett, the proprietor, Mr. Perkins took charge of the Hotel Grand and under his able management it was fast recovering the ground it had previously lost in the estimation of the public.

    On Tuesday, April 5th, Mr. Perkins was taken with severe pains in the bowels but thought by keeping quiet he would recover in a short time. He went to bed, but continued to suffer and finally called in Dr. Lindsay. After two days with no relief, he called in Dr. Nicholson, who at once ordered his removal to the hospital, to which place he was taken Friday night. Saturday morning he felt so much better he got up and dressed himself, but only remained up for a short time, as his malady recurred with extreme violence, causing him excruciating pain. After this he continued to grow worse until Monday morning, when it was decided as a last resort to perform an operation.

    Mr. Perkins bore up heroically under his affliction, and when informed of the necessity for an operation expressed a wish to set his affairs in order. With the aid of Mr. Gould he prepared a letter to his mother, to be forwarded in the event of his death; and also made a will bequeathing to her everything which he possessed.

    Monday morning Dr. Nicholson, assisted by Dr. Scharschmidt, performed the operation, but before its conclusion it was apparent to their experienced eyes that no earthly power could save the sufferer.

    After the operation he appeared to rally, but it was only the flickering of the lamp ere it was extinguished forever. The end came peacefully at 1:30 o'clock Tuesday morning.

    Mr. Perkins leaves a father, mother and two brothers to mourn his loss. His father, mother and one brother live in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, while the other brother is with the Australian "Contingent" in South Africa, where he was recently decorated with the Victoria Cross for bravery on the field of battle.

    The funeral services took place today at 10 o'clock in the Catholic church where beautiful and impressive services for the dead were conducted by Rev. Father Lafebvre. Tender hands had placed beautiful artificial floral decorations on the coffin, and we felt as we gazed upon the casket in which he lay that even though he had passed away while far from home and kindred nothing had been left undone that should have been done.

    Upon the conclusion of the services in the church the body was followed to its last resting place 'neath the whispering pines by the largest concourse of people ever seen in White Horse upon a like occasion.

    Dutiful son, loyal friend, staunch comrade, farewell. May your sleep be calm and peaceful.

The Semi-Weekly Star - Saturday, April 19, 1902

        WHITE HORSE, April 17th. 1902.

    Dear Sir - Your statement in yesterday's SEMI-WEEKLY STAR which reads as follows: "He went to bed, but continued to suffer and finally called in Dr. Lindsay. After two days with no relief he called in Dr. Nicholson," is inaccurate in some important particulars. As a matter of fact the late Mr. Perkins received very great relief from his sufferings and slept well, both the nights referred to; which can be verified by not only Mr. Samson, who was frequently at the patient's bedside, but also by Mr. Barrett and his night and day clerks, who were all very attentive to the late Mr. Perkins prior to his removal to the hospital. Besides, his temperature was reduced from 103 degrees to 99 degrees during the 48 hours showing a decided abatement of the peritonitis. The pulse improved and became more nearly normal, the patient took a little nourishment with advantage, and altogether appeared to be improving.

        Yours truly
            N. J. LINDSAY.