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John Owen "Jack" Williams (1869-1911)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Weekly Star - Friday, April 28, 1911

Headline: In Prime Of Life Jack Owen Williains Passes From Life to Death, 1911

    John Owen Williams died at the General hospital Tuesday morning at 3:30 o'clock after being unconscious from about 2 p. m. of Sunday.

    "Jack" Williams, vigorous and ener- getic as he always was, performed his usual work at the B. Y. N. shipyards Saturday, was around town that night and went to his home, a cabin near the shipyards, and retired as usual at probably about 11 o'clock. Sunday morning his longtime friend, Malcolm McAskell, called at the cabin about 7 o'clock but found him still sleeping. Between 10 and 11 McAskell again called when he found Williams up and partially dressed. The latter said he would call at his, McAskell's, cabin for breakfast in a few minutes.

    Nothing more was seen of him until about 1 o'clock in the afternoon when George Thompson, whose house is nearby that of Williams, heard groaning and, going into Williams' house, found him in a recumbent position on the floor. McAskell and others were called and Jack, who was still conscious, requested that Dr. Clarke be called. It was less than half an hour later that the doctor arrived but by that time Williams was unconscious. He was taken to the hospital where, as above stated, he died Tuesday morning, not having regained his senses. An autopsy held showed death to have resulted from tuberculosis of the brain, there being distinct growths on both sides of that organ.

    Malcolm McAskell who left here last fall with Williams and worked with him at Prince Rupert during the winter, says he, Williams, suffered greatly with headache during the past several months, which suffering is now known to have been caused by the growths which had been for some time forming on the brain.

    John Owen Williams was born about 42 years ago in Wales where his father, mother and several brothers and sisters still reside. At 15 years of age he became a sailor and in that capacity visited nearly every port in the world. Nineteen years ago he came to the Pacific coast and has since made Victoria his headquarters, coming north every year, this being his 11th year here. He carried coastwise mates papers and served as mate on the river steamer White Horse last season, although he preferred work in the shipyards to steamboating.

    At the time of his death he was a member of the board of directors of the hospital in which he died. Deceased owned real estate in Vancouver and had some money in bank.

    The funeral was held Thursday afternoon. At 2 o'clock the body was taken from the house owned by the railroad company near the postoffice, where it had lain in state since the morning previous, to the Masonic lodge room, deceased having been a member of that for many years, where the Masonic services were held. At 3 o'clock the remains were escorted to the Episcopal church, of which deceased was both a vestryman and valued member of the choir, where the services were continued, being conducted by Rev. W. B. Blackwell, music being provided by a special choir of about twenty members.

    Interment was in the Whitehorse cemetery where both the church and Masonic funeral services were concluded. The shipyards were closed down for the afternoon and all the business houses were closed during the funeral hour, the funeral being one of the largest ever held in Whitehorse. The pallbearers were chosen from among the fellow workmen of deceased at the shipyards and were M. McAskell, W. Chantler, P. Murray, Bert Fowler, Geo. Thompson and W. Hughes.