Port Simpson

Port Simpson, British Columbia, Canada

Fort Simpson BC

aka: Port Simpson, Name changed ca 1880

aka: Lax Kw'alaams, Name changed July 1986

Lat- 54º 33' 24“ N,
Long-130º 26' 1” W

Map showing location of Port Simpson / Lax Kw'alaams
plus Georgetown Mills, Metlakatla, Digby Island, and Prince Rupert

Located in Range 5, Coast Land District

650 miles north of Victoria BC

On the NW end of the Tsimshian Peninsula, separated from Alaska by the Portland Inlet

At one point, it was to be the terminus of the Grand Trunk Railroad, Until Mr. Hays picked Prince Rupert.
They used this strategy to confuse the land speculators.

Situated on a sloping hillside, visible in the picture below

I have been given the photo below, so decided to add a little bit to go with it.

Note- there is a Fort Simpson NWT that is not this location

Note the Tsimpsian Natives had a large village here. Long before the Missionaries, and other White People came.

The name Fort Simpson derived from Capt. Aemilius Simpson, who died in 1831 at Fort Naas.
Superintendent of the HBC's Marine Department, prior to that a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.
He built the First Port Simpson at the mouth of the Naas River, with Peter Skene Ogden (see below)
In 1831 Fort Naas was built, and renamed Fort Simpson, in honour of the Captain.
3 years later it was moved to the present day site.
Aug 30, 1834 the old fort was destroyed in a drunken frenzy.

Site of the Fort was made July 12, 1834 by James Birnie, Alexander C. Anderson, Clerks, Dr. William F. Tolmie, Clerk and Surgeon, all in the Hudson's Bay Co. Service,
with Captain Alexander Duncan, of the Company's Brig, Dryad

July 14, 1834 clearing of the land began. Mr. James Birnie was in charge. (see link below)

First Survey of Port Simpson was done in 1853, by Mr. George H. Inskip, R. N. Master of H.M.S. Virago

Port Simpson Postcard, ca Early 1900's, photo by P. E. Fisher.
see Postcard Photographers
In the photo, Hudson's Bay Company, General Store, on left, Rooming House on right foreground.
Directly behind it was the Methodist Church.
Right side, same level as the Church, Crosby's Girl's Home, opened 1892
Left side, edge of picture, Rev. William Hogan's House.
They had an electric tramway for freight, tracks can be seen in foreground.

Early April 1912, Manager of the Hudson's Bay Store, J. C. Boyd, went from Prince Rupert to Port Simpson, to close out the business of the store.
All the stock was moved out to other Posts in the District. Prince Rupert had become the main post in the area.
Sept 1912 J. C. Boyd was given a gold watch from the HBC employees when he moved from Hazelton to Telegraph Creek, as manager of the HBC store there.
Oct 1917, Johnny Boyd, spent 10 years at Hazelton, before moving in 1912.
In 1917 he was promoted to District Manager for Athabasca. He had worked at sixteen Hudson Bay Posts at this point. His headquarters was in Edmonton.
He had 25 years service in 1917.
John C. Boyd, was married with 2 sons.
His wife's sister was a Mrs. E. R. Cox in Hazelton in 1918

John Charles Boyd
b- Oct 28, 1869 at Cold Spring Ranch, Cottonwood, Cariboo, BC
baptized Jan 12, 1869, in Cold Spring House, BC
either born 1868 or baptized in 1870?
I believe baptism date should be 1870
shown age 11 in 1891 census
d- Jan 16, 1960, White Rock District Hospital, White Rock BC, age 90
buried in White Rock Cemetery
1891 a clerk in HBC store in Quesnel BC
Sept 15, 1912- Manager Hudson Bay Co. Post at Hazelton for 10 years
left to establish a post at Telegraph Creek
Day after he left, the Hazelton Post burnt down.
Hudson Bay Co. Manager and Agent at Teslin BC, ca 1898
He was to be appointed first Post Master there.
today there is nothing left there.
Worked up to Manager for Hudson Bay

father- John Boyd, (see bio links below)
b- June 22, 1833 in Belfast Ireland
d- Mar 28, 1909 at Cottonwood House, Cariboo, BC, age 75
Farmer and Merchant, age 45 in 1881
youngest of 8 children
Father Immigrated to US age 15
1st Married Elizabeth Mullen, Oct 28, 1860 in CA, USA.
had one child,
Mary A. Boyd, b- Nov 1861, Smartville-Marysville, CA, USA, age 20 in 1881

married again, Janet Boyd, nee Fleming, May 16, 1868, San Juan Islands, WA USA
b- Nov 17, 1851, in San Juan Islands, USA, age 30 in 1881
d- Jan 10, 1940
siblings: (there was 10 more children)
Oldest child, John Charles “Johnny” Boyd
William Henry Boyd, b- Oct 21, 1872, in Cariboo District, BC, age 9 in 1881
Ida Grace Boyd, b- Apr 15, 1875, Cariboo District, BC, age 6 in 1881
Henry Thomas Boyd, b- May 5, 1877 in BC, age 4 in 1881
Albert Edward Boyd, b-Nov 8, 1879, in Cariboo District, BC, age 2 in 1881
Alice Jane Boyd, b- Dec 24, 1881, in Cariboo District, BC, age 9 in 1891
Agnes Maud Ellen Boyd, b- Sept 26, 1885 in BC, age 6 in 1891
Archibald Arthur “Archie” Boyd, b- Aug 21, 1887, in BC, age 4 in 1891
Enlisted in WWI, Reg # 103101, Army, Canadian Pioneers, Lance Corporal
d- Apr 9, 1917, He died in WWI
Chester Fleming Boyd, b- Mar 24, 1889 in San Juan, WA ,USA, age 2 in 1891
Enlisted in WWI, Reg # 103114, Army, Canadian Infantry, Corporal
d- July 8, 1916, He died in WWI
Walter Harold Boyd, b- Aug 14, 1891 in BC

by 1891 John Charles “Johnny” Boyd was already on his own and not with his family

His brother Henry Boyd, operated the family ranch/road house business at Cottonwood House, until ca 1950

1881 family in Richfield, Barkerville area.

John Charles Boyd married Charlotte Seymour Hankin, May 11, 1905 in Hazelton BC
b- Sept 27, 1880, Inverness BC, age 20 when she married
daughter of Thomas Hankin and Margaret Macauley

son- John William Boyd
b- Mar 1905 in BC
he lived in Tacoma WA in 1960

son- Howard Hankin Boyd
b- Jan 31, 1909 in Hazelton BC
d- Aug 7, 1959 in Virginia USA

Rev. William Hogan
b- Sept 4, 1851 in Errismore, County Galway, Ireland
d- Feb 1, 1914 at Massett Native Reserve, age 62
Immigrated in 1893
married to Margaret Louise Hogan, nee Hutchinson
b- Sept 12, 1856 in Newport, Monmouth, Wales
d- Mar 14, 1930 in Hazelton BC, age 72
Immigrated in 1893
daughter, Eva May Hogan,
b- Sept 2, 1881 in Dublin Ireland,
possibly? d- Apr 5, 1945, New Westminster, age 63
Immigrated in 1899
She was a Teacher in Port Simpson in 1901.
She married the famous Dr. Horace Cooper Wrinch, of Hazelton fame, Sept 15, 1927 in Van BC
He was a widower at the time.
son of Leonard Wrinch and Elizabeth Cooper

aka- Crosby Girl's Home
Building bought from Gordon Lockerby
located in Sec 4, Township 1, Range 5, Coast District
It sat on 2 acres.
1902 owned by the Women's Missionary Society, of the Methodist Church
1902 it had the capacity of 45 students, and 4 teachers.
(see link below)

Port Simpson Hospital
Port Simpson General Hospital was completed in 1891.
It was demolished in 1946.
Port Simpson General Hospital was incorporated in 1903.

First Doctor (1891-1901)
Dr. Albert Edward Bolton
b- Sept 9, 1862 in ON
d- Dec 26, 1914, Vancouver BC, age 52
wife- Nellie Baillie Bolton, nee Blanchard
b- June 27, 1867 in ON
daughter- Mary “Isabel” Bolton
b- Oct 14, 1890, in Port Simpson, BC
daughter- Grace Alberta Bolton
b- Jan 24, 1893 in Port Simpson, BC
daughter- Dorothea Blanchard Bolton
b-Sept 12, 1897 in Port Simpson, BC

Second Doctor (1901-1910)
Dr. William Thomas Kergin
b- May 17, 1876, St. Catherines ON
d- July 21, 1961, Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, BC
he lived in Vancouver BC
son of William Henry Kergin, b- Ireland,
and Margaret Emmett, b- ON
married to Fannie (alt- Fanny) Stevenson, a teacher in Port Simpson
they had a son- William Stevenson Kergin
b- Aug 14, 1905 in Port Simpson
d- Jan 23, 1973, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, age 67
he became a Physician and Surgeon also.
William had a brother Louis Wellington Kergin
who was also a Doctor
another brother- Herbert Frederick Kergin

Third Doctor (1910-1920)
Dr. Richard Whitfield Large
b- Feb 3, 1874, Orangeville, ON (age 26 when he married in 1899)
d- Aug 25, 1920 in Prince Rupert, BC, age 47
son of Richard W. Large and Martha Jane Cunningham
married Isabella “Isabelle” Matilda Geddes, May 22, 1899 in Vancouver
b- Jan 14, 1875, Toronto, ON
d- Sept 11, 1966 Arbutus Private Hospital, Vancouver BC, age 91
daughter of William Geddes and Matilda J. Geddes, nee Trowell
4 children:
son- Dr. Richard Geddes Large
b- Oct 21, 1901, Bella Bella BC
d- Apr 26, 1988 in Prince Rupert BC
He was a historian and author of four books:
“Skeena - River of Destiny”,
“Prince Rupert: A Gateway to Alaska”,
and “Drums and Scalpel”.
he was also a Doctor in Port Simpson
son- Dr. Gordon Cunningham Large
son- Dr. Alfred Whitfield Holmes Large
daughter- Marian Isabelle Large

1921, 1922
Dr. Cager

1923, 1924
Dr. A. E. Friend

1925, 1926
Dr. William Sager
b- Jan 16, 1887, in England
d- Sept 21, 1953 Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster BC
son of William Arthur Sager, b- Hereford, England
and Nancy Procton, b- Sawley, England
married Esther Mary Duckers
His sister Beatrice Sager was a nurse in Port Simpson at the same time.

1927-1932 (1933?)
Dr. Richard Geddes Large

1934, 1935
Dr. A. E. Perry

Dr. C. H. Haugh

W. H. McNeill, Esq, in charge Hudson's Bay Co.
William Henry McNeill b- 1801 in Boston, MA, USA d- Sept 3, 1875, Victoria District, BC, age 73 (see link below)

Residents/ Business list

  • Rev. Thomas Crosby (1840-1914)
  • H. Brentzen
  • Hudson's Bay Co., - R. Hall
  • Miss Knott
  • Morison
  • Peter Quintal
  • Williscroft & Co.- Georgetown and Fort Simpson (see below)

Population= 800 Natives
Fire Brigade, Brass Band, a Rifle Company,
Area governed by a Native Council

W. B. Anderson- Constable

Brentzen family
P. Brentzen- Hudson's Bay Co.
(I believe this was Paul Brentzen, shown as storekeeper in 1892)
(or Philip Brentzen?)

H. P. Brentzen, Farmer (Hanns Peter?, Hans Peter, or Henry Peter?)
Henry Brentzen was a labourer in 1892 in Fort Simpson
Hans Brentzen, Bricklayer in 1892

found a Fritz Brentzen in 1901 census,
b- Feb 7, 1865 in BC, Engineer
1892 he was a tinsmith
wife- Jane Nelson
daughter- Bertha Sara Brentzen
son- Frederick Peter Brentzen
daughter Beatrice J. Brentzen
son- Philip Brentzen

Rev. Thomas Crosby
b-1840 in Pickering, Yorkshire
Went to BC in 1862 from Woodstock ON
July 1897 he took the Methodist Missionary steamer “Glad Tidings” to Victoria with all his personal possessions, after 23 years in the north.
Rev. E. Robson replaced him.
His family arrived 2 days earlier on the Danube.
wife- Elizabeth, daughter of an Ontario Minister

  • L. Gordon, Clerk, H. B. Co.
  • R. J. Hall, Clerk in Charge, H. B. Co.
  • Miss Knight, Teacher
  • J. Lockerby, H. B. Co. (see below)
  • William Madden, Ship Master
  • F. Oliver, Carpenter

George Williscroft, Sawmill Owner, Box Factory, Steamboat owner
See Georgetown page for his bio and genealogy

Lots were being sold in Port Simpson, by Francis Bouchier in Victoria, for $90 inside, and $100 for corner lots.
R. P. Rithet and Frank S. Barnard owned land nearby.


  • Dr. A. E. Bolton, Methodist Missionary (see above)
  • J. A. L. Alexander- Stock Raiser
  • James Alexander- labourer
  • John Callahan, Cooper
  • Rev. Albert E. Green, Methodist Missionary
  • Robert Hanley Hall (Sr.), Agent H. B. Co. (see below)

Gordon Lockerby, Clerk, H. B. Co.
b- Apr 1839 in Scotland
d- Feb 11, 1918, in Port Simpson, age 78
shown retired in 1911 census
wife- Lucy Lockerby, nee ?
son- James Gordon Lockerby
b- Aug 1890 in Metlakatla, BC
d- Feb 7, 1915, Port Simpson, age 24
sister- Janet Lockerby
b- Dec 1850 in Scotland
see link below

George R. Robson, Clerk, H. B. Co.
George Robert Robson, the HBC Manager was the Post Master.
b- Jan 16, 1866 in North Shields, England
d- July 21, 1936 in Victoria, BC, age 76
1901 he was a buyer for HBC store in Victoria BC
son of Charles and Eleanor Robson
married to Martha Robson, nee Holloway, Nov 21, 1886 in Victoria BC
b- Apr 14, 1868 in Victoria, BC
daughter of Robert and Margaret Holloway

son- George Bertram Robson
b- May 12, 1889 in Metlakatla, BC

daughter- Eleanor Scott Robson
b- Oct 2, 1893 in Port Simpson, BC

Fred Walker, Teacher

General View from the hill, behind Hudson's Bay Post, Sept 1878
Credit: George Mercer Dawson/Library and Archives Canada/C-002791

Port Simpson ca 1907

Post Office History

Name of Office: Port Simpson
Federal Electoral District: Skeena (BC)
Office Opened Oct 1, 1885 as Fort Simpson
Changed to Port Simpson Mar 1, 1900

Postmaster Information:

Name of Postmaster Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
Robert Hanley Hall 1885-10-01 1891-05-05 Resignation
Charles William Digby Clifford 1891-07-01 1897-11-29 Resignation
A. C. Murray 1898-04-01 1900-04-14 Resignation
James Marsden Lindsay Alexander 1900-10-01 1901 Death
John Hanson Richdale 1901-09-01 1904-03-21 Resignation
James Sharpe 1904-04-01 1912-07-13 Dismissal, political partisanship
Herbert Cecil Flewin 1913-03-01 1917-11-04 Death
Mrs. Eliza T. Flewin 1918-05-01 1918-05-29 Resignation
Charles Bertram Flewin 1918-07-15 1923-12-30 Resignation
Robert Boyd Young 1924-03-24 1932-11-18 Resignation
George Paterson McColl 1933-01-17 1936-08-31 Resignation
Wesley Layman Burk 1936-08-31 Acting
Wesley Herbison Houston 1936-10-01 Acting
Mrs. Vesta Holt Deane, nee Smither 1937-01-16 1945-12-15 Resignation
Mrs. Dora Dixon Flewin, nee Spencer 1946-01-01 Acting
1947-05-23 1948-05-07 Resignation
Miss Pansy Margaret Moraes 1948-05-18 Acting
1949-12-21 1968-05-08 Resignation
Mrs. Frances Olive Sankey 1968-07-12 Acting
1968-07-12 1970-02-28 Resignation
Miss Inez G. Dudoward 1970-02-28

Additional Information:

Location - Lots 11, 12 and 13, Block 1, Hudson's Bay Co.'s Townsite Co., Prince Rupert

This reproduction is NOT represented as an official version of the materials reproduced, nor as having been made in affiliation with,
or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada. The source of this material is the National Archives of Canada

First Post Master
Robert Hanley Hall (Sr.),
b- ca 1850 in Ireland
d- aft 1921
Agent H. B. Co.
wife Rachel Sarah Hall, nee Ogden,
b- ca 1850, in BC
d- aft 1921
daughter- Carrie Hall (Caroline below?)
daughter- Martha Caroline Hall
b- in BC, age 42 in 1921
son- Gordon Ogden Hall
b- in BC, age 36 in 1921
son- Deacon Alexander Hall
b- in BC, age 34 in 1921

son- Robert Hanley Hall (Jr.)
b- July 4, 1890, in Port Simpson
Robert Jr. enlisted in WWI, Aug 1916 in Regina SK
father next of kin, Insurance Agent, in Prince Albert SK

Charles William Digby Clifford
b- October 14, 1842 in Ireland
d- May 10, 1916, Vancouver BC, age 73
Manager of the Hudson's Bay Co. in Port Simpson, ca Oct 1895
see Charles William Digby Clifford

A. C. Murray
my guess for this guy
Alexander “Alex” Campbell Murray
b- Apr 25, 1858, in George Town, (Dakota?, hard to read last word)
marriage cert says, he is age 25, b- Fort Pellie, Swan River District
shown as a Store Manager in 1901 census, in Hazelton BC
Feb 1907 he was H. B. Co. Agent at Fort St. James.
so he moved around a lot with the company.
son of Alexander Hunter Campbell and Ann Campbell
His father was in Fort Simpson in 1846
when he married he was a clerk in Hudson's Bay Co. in Hazelton.
married Mary Boire, (age 15), Oct 7, 1883, in Hazelton

J. Lindsay Alexander
James Marsden Lindsay Alexander
b- ca 1841, Musselbourgh Scotland
d- July 23, 1901 in Port Simpson
Oct 1892 appointed Justice of the Peace, for Cassiar Electoral District, at Port Simpson BC
Hudson's Bay Co. Factor, Quesnelle BC in 1899
married first, Sarah Julia Ogden
b- 1852
she died in July 24, 1887 in Quesnel BC,
she was one of the daughters of Peter Skene Ogden
b- 1794 (on headstone)
d- Sept 27, 1854, Oregon City, Oregon, USA
a famous trader, and explorer in this region.
Peter was the First Chief Trader at Fort Simpson
Ogden Utah named after this man.

James had 5 daughters by 1881 with Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Sarah and Wilhelmina

St. Catherine's Episcopal Church in Port Simpson,
Rev William Hogan, married his 3rd daughter, June 5, 1899
Sarah Alexander to George O. Rudge.
then Rachel Ogden Lindsay Anderson, b- Nov 6, 1883 in Hazelton
Adelaide Lindsay Alexander, b- Jan 1, 1886
Annie Lindsay Alexander, b- June 18, 1887 at Stuart Lake BC

He was married 2nd time, to Mary Teresa Veasey (sp?) by 1901
b- Sept 8, 1862, NY City, New York, USA
d- Mar 15, 1928 in Victoria, age 65
She was first married to an O'Neill, and had 2 children with him
Martha and Catharine, who are living with the Alexander family in 1901
It appears he then had 3 more children with Mary

son- James Marsden Lindsay Alexander (Jr.)
b- June 19, 1889 Bonaparte Ranch, Ashcroft, Cariboo district, BC
d- Nov 10, 1972 West Vancouver BC, age 82
He enlisted in WWI, Mar 12, 1918, Reg #2022110
mother shown as Mary Lindsay Alexander

son- John Home F. Lindsay Alexander
b- Sept 19, 1898, in Port Simpson, BC
d- Dec 16, 1968, North Saanich BC

daughter- Hannah Alexander
b- Sept 19, 1900 in Port Simpson BC

J. H. Richdale
John Hanson Richdale
(alt- John Hansen Richdale)
b- Nov 17, 1867 in Tunstall, England
d- ? presume in USA
found this one- Mar 22, 1912 in St. Joseph Hospital, Victoria BC, age 73
(but age doesn't match up?) father?
shown age 33, Merchant, in 1901
1920 shown in San Francisco, Manager Grocer.
Immigrated to US in 1918
in 1927 age 59 he came from England to Philadelphia, last residence CA
shown as an Importer, exporter
married to Florence Irene Richdale, nee Rowley, Nov 8, 1888, Cook Co, Illinois, USA
b- Jan 5, 1866 in USA
d- Sept 1, 1934, in Vancouver
buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver BC
daughter- Marguerite Richdale
b- Feb 8, 1891 in BC
son- Eugene Rowley Richdale
b- Feb 7, 1894 in BC
d- 1973

James Sharpe
shown as James Sharp in 1911 census
b- Oct 1869, in Scotland

b- Dec 1906 in BC

Herbert Cecil Flewin
b- Jan 14, 1882 in Victoria BC
(d- Nov 4, 1917 per PO records above)
d- July 24, 1931 in Port Alberni BC, age 50
Herbert shown as a Sawyer in 1911
Application to purchase lot 1381, Coast District, Range 5, dated Aug 18, 1908
father- John Flewin, Police Officer in 1882 in Victoria
1892- Collector, Constable and Registrar at Metlakahtla BC
1894- shown as Government Agent in Port Simpson
mother- Helen Copeland
(see link below)
married Eliza Theresa Flewin, nee Carroll, Dec 8, 1904 in Port Simpson
b- Feb 29, 1872 in BC (Feb 29, 1864 in ON, per 1901 census, Teacher)

She became Post Mistress for a short time after Herbert died

son of John, brother to Herbert
Charles Bertram Flewin
b- May 12, 1890 in Victoria BC
d- Jan 13, 1970 Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver BC, age 79
Customs Officer in Port Simpson, in 1895
married Dora Dixon Spencer, Oct 11, 1921 in Vancouver BC
b- Sept 3, 1895 in Duncan BC
who also became a Post Mistress at Port Simpson
She was a Nurse in Port Simpson
daughter of John Clark Spencer, b- Lindsay ON
and Sarah Hart, b- Nova Scotia

Robert Boyd Young
b- Jan 10, 1877, Whiting KA, USA
son of James Wright Young, and Martha Emaline Cogan
married Eva Ina Young, Nov 21, 1901, Grant's pass, Josephine, OR, USA
see daughter's book link below

George Patterson McColl
b- 1887
d- ?

Wesley Layman Burk
b- ca 1910
d- Jan 7, 1937 in Ocean Falls BC, age 27

Wesley Herbison Houston
b-1909, in Belfast ireland, (age 27 in 1936)
d- 1999 in Thunder Bay ON
1936 he was the manager of the Hudson's Bay post in Vanderhoof
son of David Herbison Houston and Jean Service
married Vivian Bertha Orme, July 30, 1936 in Mcleod Lake BC

Mrs. Vesta Holt Deane, nee Smither
b- Nov 13, 1885 in Westminster BC (alt Nov 12)
d- Apr 28, 1960, Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster BC, age 74
she lived in Prince Rupert, before she died
daughter of Alfred Smither and Aravesta Smither, nee Holt
married John Richard Chambers Deane, Nov 28, 1903, in Sapperton
He was a Civil Engineer

and more that get into privacy issues.

Northland Dock and old HBC Store (see old postcard above) Photo by Brian wolfe

Ext Links
Not my sites



Birnie bio

Alexander/ Ogden history

Flewin bio

Crosby Girl's Home

Gordon Lockerby HBC record

Young family, book link

United Church of Canada Archives photos
click photo tab for more

McNeill Bio

Cold Spring House, John Boyd Sr


I am not First Nation, and do not profess to know their history
I can only relate what I read.
I know they were here in this area,
long time before the Europeans shown above.
I will leave their history to them to record


  • Last modified: 2018/01/11 19:15
  • by dlgent