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John Hamilton McInnes – So few like him

March 14, 2014

John Hamilton McInnes (1884)- Section 25, B5N R2W – Brownsville BC

John Hamilton McInnes took up land at Brownsville in June 1884.
Born at Lake Ainslie, Nova Scotia in 1820, McInnes was 66 years old. He had spent years as a mariner in the Maritimes before coming to BC in about 1876.
A widower, he had a grown-up son who was living in Michigan State.
There were other members of the McInnes family in the district.  He was a brother of doctors Loftus McInnes and Thomas R  McInnes (later Lieutenant-Governor of BC).
JH McInnes mapSection 25 amounted to 160 acres. After building a house in the summer of 1884, over the next three years McInnes struggled to make a clearing for a farm.
In 1887 McInnes was occupying a house 20 feet by 11 feet, with an 8-foot ceiling.
“I have six acres well cleared and under hay; crop and fruit trees, made steadily since settlement.”
He had two fields enclosed separately with about a half-mile of fencing and some ditching.
He had built a barn 17 X 50 feet with 10-foot posts, but as for livestock:
“I have none yet; there was no chance for feeding them until a good clearing was made.”
Other structures amounted to an 8-foot high root-house 12 X 22 feet, and a wood shed. He had dug a couple of wells, one covered with a small pump-house.
Attesting to McInnes’ occupancy of Section 25, were neighbors Nils Hjorth and James Wilson, both of whom had known McInnes for about three years.
John Hamilton McInnes obtained the crown grant to his property in May 1888, but in the fall took ill and he died in the Royal Columbian Hospital on September 26, 1889.
JH McInnes was a religious man.  A newspaper eulogized:

“He was probably one of the purest specimens of simple genuine humanity. He could or would not believe evil of anybody, and although rebuffed in his contact with his fellow men he never seemed to think the worse of them. It is unfortunate for this world that we have so few like John Hamilton McInnes.”

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