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Abraham Reid To Captain Frank Reid

March 19, 2016

Abraham Reid was born in London, Canada West, in 1842. On January 7, 1867, he married Florence Brousseau, daughter of Basile Brousseau of Fort Langley. Witnesses at the ceremony in New Westminster were Thomas Park and Hariet Jones.

Abraham and Florence had three children: Frank was born in 1865 before they were married; Elizabeth was born in 1868; Mary born in 1870.

By 1884 Abraham was out of the picture for Florence, who was living with another man and gave birth to John E Spilsbury.

What became of Abraham Reid we have yet to discover.

Florence (Brousseau) Reid died in 1899 at her birthplace, Fort Langley. She was 50.

Daughter Elizabeth Elann Reid, born 1868, was married at age 32 to Abraham Muench of lower Langley. This was likely a second marriage.

Daughter Mary Blanche Reid, born in 1870, was married first to JW Wirth at Yale, at age 20. When she was 33 she married George S Browse of Derby. George Browse was the squatter who took up the late Alexander Williams’ homestead at the old Langley townsite. Mary died in 1956 leaving seven grandchildren and six great-granchildren.

Captain Frank Reid

Abraham Reid’s son Frank Reid, born in Maple Ridge in 1865, married the widowed Minnie (Mina) Robertson, daughter of Matilda and George Rehberger, in 1890. Pioneer Presbyterian preacher Alexander Dunn brought together this Roman Catholic and Methodist couple in holy matrimony.

Minnie’s mother Matilda was a daughter of Narcisse Falardeau of Fort Langley. Minnie had children from her first marriage to Donald Robertson, son of Samuel Robertson (Sr). (Donald’s sister Mary Robertson married Thomas Shannon of Cloverdale. Minnie’s children from this first marriage were first cousins of author Mary Jane Shannon.)

Frank Reid was working on the river boats at an early age.

In 1894 he was employed by John Irving’s Canadian Pacific Navigation Company.

Fraser River Sternwheeler SS Beaver - New Westminster Public Library photoHe was serving as Mate of the modern Fraser River sternwheeler Beaver, when veteran Captain George Odin retired in 1902 Reid’s promotion to Master of the Beaver, was welcomed in Chilliwack.

“The Beaver will increase in popularity in the hands of the new Captain.”

Frank and Minnie Reid lived at Albion, close by a large extended family.

Captain FW Reid’s career was summed up by the British Columbian newspaper, on his death in 1931, at age 66.

“The late Capt. Reid was born in the old Hudson Bay Company’s fort at Fort Langley. His father, Abraham Reid, an employee of the company, was an Englishman and was a steward on the original steamer “Beaver” on her maiden trip out from England. [Note: this information about Abraham Reid does not match the records.]

His grandfather on his mother’s side, B. Brasseau, was head dairyman at the fort at Langley.

Capt. Reid was one of the outstanding figures in the Fraser Valley in the heyday of river traffic.

For many years he was mate and master of several of the boats plying the river between New Westminster and Chilliwhack.

When a boy of 16 he made his first acquaintance with the sea, joining a German sailing ship loading lumber at Hastings sawmill, where he had been working, and making the voyage to Australia.

Returning the following year, he started his steamboating career on the Fraser river as quartermaster on the “William Irving,” running to Hope and Yale.

He also served on the “R.P. Rithet,” “Gladys,” “Delaware,” “Royal City,” “Transfer” and “Beaver.” and later with the B.X. Company on the Upper Fraser, between Soda Creek and Fort George. [Note: Reid was Mate with Captain OW Browne of the steamer “B.X.”]

In recent years he was master of the Mission ferry and three years ago he retired.”

Mina Rehberger-Robertson-Reid died at Albion in 1939, age 75.

Note: Pioneer families of the central Fraser Valley are covered in great detail at the websites Whonnock History and The Children of Fort Langley.


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