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E. Alfred Spreadbury (1868-1914)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Weekly Star - Friday, November 27, 1914

Headline: Had Tired of Life. Alfred Spreadbury Ends Earthly Career With Shotgun

    On Friday, November 20th, Alfred Spreadbury, cold in death, was found in the woods about a mile north of town and west of the old steamer Monarch. The body was reclining against a tree, while between his legs was a twelve guage shotgun which was grasped by his left hand while in the right hand was a stick about two feet in length which was presumably used in pressing the trigger of the gun. There was a gaping wound a little to the left of the center of the breast where the charge from the gun had entered. Death was probably instantaneous.

    Alfred Spreadbury, an Englishman by birth, was between forty five and forty eight years of age. He was a member of the police force and stationed at Whitehorse a dozen years ago. Since leaving the force he had spent much of his time around Dawson where he was an aspirant for the office of sheriff of the territory after the election three years ago. For several winters he was employed by the White Pass company as stableman on the winter mail trail.

    Late in September of this year Spreadbury left Dawson and came to this place, going on to the outside to look up some real estate he owned at Calgary and elsewhere, returning to Whitehorse about a month ago. On his return he appeared to be much worried over the depreciation of real estate in the west and also over not being able to secure his former position with the White Pass company for the winter.

    After coming back from the outside he had a room at the Commercial hotel and on Thursday of last week borrowed a shotgun from Landlord Frank Dumontier for the purpose of going hunting. That was the last seen of him alive. When he did not return Thursday evening Mr. Dumontier notified the police and Friday morning Constable G. R. Pearkes began a search for the missing man. During the day the policeman confided his fears to "Red" Brown and Walter sharp who were hunting on the flat north of town and later in the day Brown came upon the body. He reported at once to the police. With Magistrate Taylor as coroner an inquest was held with the following jury: J. R. Alguire, Captain P. Martin, W. A. Puckett, Robt. Holborn, Thos. Griffiths and Ernest Johnson.

    The coroner and jury visited the body where it had been found in the woods and, after hearing evidence and making further investigation, arrived at a verdict to the effect that deceased had come to his death from the discharge of shot fired by himself with suicidal intent.

    Spreadbury's body was buried in the Whitehorse cemetery Tuesday at 11 o'clock.

    From papers found among the effects of the dead man it was learned that he has a sister in England. Besides considerable property, town lots and acreage in Alberta, he had $500 in cash in a Calgary bank. He was a man of fine physique, weighing considerably over 200 pounds, and was not a man who dissipated.