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Joseph West Wilson (1873-1921)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Weekly Star - Friday, September 30, 1921

Yukon River Claims Two More Victims, 1921

    Fate is a strange thing after all. When two men who knew or was supposed to have known the ways of the mighty Yukon for the past twenty years, and who, it is supposed, could navigate that body of water in a row boat with perfect safety, and then start down the river in one of the best boats that is available, and in some way run into one of the rocks in the famous Five Finger Rapids, and are lost, it is fate indeed.

    About a week ago J. W. Wilson, fuel agent for the White Pass, took Frank Dumontier as his engineer on the Hawk, one of the staunchest little craft on the river, and started down the stream to make a final inspection and pay off trip for the various wood camps along the line.

    In some unacounted for way they struck one of the rocks in the Five Finger Rapids and the boat was smashed and the two men were presumedly lost, as no trace has been found of them by the various searching parties along the line. The boat was picked up below the rapids with its side smashed and the stern of the little craft all stove in.

    The Dawson brought in the Hawk as well as a blanket roll and suitcase which were picked up on the end of a sand bar some distance down the river below the scene of the wreck.

    Mr. Wilson leaves a family here in White Horse to mourn his untimely death and Mr. Dumontier was unmarried.

    The whole of White Horse join in giving sympathy to Mrs. Wilson and children.


The Whitehorse Star - Friday, October 9, 1925

Remains of Joseph W. Wilson Found, 1925

    On September 23rd, 1921, Joseph W. Wilson and Frank X. Dunmontier were drowned in Five Finger Rapids. The remains of Mr. Dumontier were recovered some two years later, but no trace was found of Mr. Wilson's body until a few days ago when H. O. Lokken, while moose hunting in the vicinity of Yukon Crossing, found what appeared to be a clue.

    Constable Thornthwaite at Carmacks was immediately notified and a search was made, which resulted in the finding and identification of the remains of Mr. Wilson. In and on the clothing were two gold medallions, one of which had been given deceased by the Yukon Order of Pioneers, and the other by the Dawson Band; a pocket book or wallet containing a sum of money beyond identification; a small case containing a pass, and a pair of glasses.

    The remains were taken in charge by Whitehorse Lodge No. 46, A. F. & A. M., under whose auspices interment will take place on Sunday afternoon.

    A few days before the finding of the remains Mrs. Wilson had left for Vancouver to spend the winter with her daughter Grace. The son, Oliver, resides in Whitehorse.

    The late Mr. Wilson was well and favorably known to all old timers of Yukon, having entered the country over the Teslin Trail in '98.

The Whitehorse Star - Friday, October 16, 1925

Remains of Joseph W. Wilson Found, 1925

    Many friends of the late Joseph W. Wilson attended the impressive funeral services on Sunday afternoon when interment was made in the Whitehorse cemetery.

    Deceased was a member of the Masonic Order and of the Loyal Order of Moose, and the members of both orders attended in a body.

    An impressive service was conducted at Christ Church and at the grave side by Rev. W. H. L. West, and at the grave the Masons and Moose in turn conducted the burial service of their respective orders.

    The pall bearers were W. D. Gordon, D. A. Muirhead, J. R. Gaudin, W. D. MacBride, P. Murray and C. H. Johnston.