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Thomas Cecil "T.C." Richards (1892-1961)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Monday, November 13, 1961

Headline: T. C. Is Dead - Era Ends, 1961

Headline: One Of The Great Yukoners, 1961

    Yukon this week had a farewell in their hearts for one of the almost legendary sons of the territory - "T.C." Richards. Mr. Richards died Thursday night in Whitehorse General Hospital after an extended illness.

    His death closed a forty-six-year history in the North.

    To view his life from this close to home brings forth a flood of anecdotes, stories and personal reminiscences. The colour that surrounded him may best be told in the words of MacLean's magazine, which some years ago wrote:

    "Thomas Cecil Richards, the man who personally improves on every vivid-hued story told about him, the man who is himself a suitable figure to place, commandingly, against the scarlet and green and blue backdrop of past and present Yukon history. In 1947, T.C, would only wink when asked how he got control of the restaurant, the taxi service, the butchery, the Blue Owl cafe, the laundry, the dude lodge three miles out of town, the Whitehorse Theatre and the finest house in town. He allowed people to think that all his business acumen had been over a poker table and that he was as much a sucker for gambling as the dead beats of the town, most of whom have borrowed five dollars from him at one time or another, And when asked, if it's true he's a millionaire, he says, "If the Judge said, 'Pay $3000 or go to jail,' I'd have to go to jail." T.C. is supposed to have said, "What we aim to give the tourist is hardship, with modern plumbing, "

    In 1947 T.C was described as: "the heavy, genial man of 55 who walks out of the Inn as though he owns the town. He does."

    Mr. Richards came North in 1915. He had emigrated to Canada from his home in Leicester, England, six years before. After spending some time in Brandon and Vancouver he joined the Burns meat-packing firm and was transferred by them to Whitehorse.

    He remained with Burns for some 35 years but his career in the North was enlivened by many other episodes, perhaps the most interesting of which was that of mail contractor when his tractor trains travelled between Whitehorse and Dawson City.

    T.C. was pre-deceased by his wife in July of 1956. Surviving the tall, husky-voiced, 72-year-old hotel-keeper is his son, Robert Samuel of Whitehorse and his daughter, Mrs. Evelyn May Brown of Watson Lake, and her nine children, Cecil, Gayle, Roberta, Richard, Douglas, Bernelle, Charles, Michael, John and Nona.