Pioneer Passes Away
Resident of Prince Albert district since 1878 and one who passed through many stages of pioneering in th Dominion, Captain Richard Deacon died here early Sunday morning at the age of 85 years. The funeral will be held from Wesley United Church at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Born in London, England on September 16, 1849, Captain Deacon's name had been linked with the progress of this country since his youth.. He came to Montreal with his parents and as a boy was among volunteers who repulsed the Fenian Raiders. When 21 he joined General Wolseley's volunteers to suppress Louis Riel's rebellion.
His career was at once interesting, varied and useful to the communities in which he lived. The Captain had been a Silversmith, watchmaker, jeweller, boat builder, and brick maker. He saw Montreal as well as New York, Chicago, Duluth, Winnipeg and other cities which have since grown to be outstanding on the continent.
It was in 1870 he took up land in Manitoba, and became a goldsmith in Winnipeg, where he was a neighbor of J. H. Ashdown. On September 16, 1871, he married Mary McBeth, daughter of two original Selkirk settlers, who survives him here.
The Rev. John Black,D.D. minister of the Presbyterian outpost which in later days was to become a suburb of the city of Winnipeg, performed the ceremony.
Rev. James Nesbit had by this time had founded a mission at Prince Albert and the McBeth family along with Captain and Mrs. Deacon, moved in 1878 to Prince Albert, then inhabited by about 20 white people.
After farming for a short time, the Deacons located in Prince Albert, where the Captain, built and operated the first independently owned steamboat. Later he built and operated the "Marion" and "Pathfinder" which plied upon the river until the beginning of the World War. These craft were used in the development of lumbering, and later with in connection with the Red Rock Brick Company, a firm which operated clay beds down the river.
Richard Deacon was the first certified captain on the Saskatchewan River. He trained his son A.A. Deacon who later was to command a Hudson's Bay Company steamer at Fort McPherson on the McKenzie River.
During thee Rebellion of 1885, Captain Deacon, under Colonel Sprout, was charged with training volunteers for home defence at Prince Albert, after helping to organize the first company of volunteers which went into Duck Lake.
Captain Deacon inspired the enmity of the rebels of the Metis, by denouncing Riel and telling him that he would not escape hanging and warning his followers of his leadership. As a result it was necessary to give him police protection while the trouble was brewing.
Mr. and Mrs. Deacon had a family of six children, two of whom are deceased. Their daughter, Mrs. James Wilson, of Saskatoon, was married on an anniversary of her parents' wedding.
Three sons are living. They are Arthur , of Edmonton; Morrison of Prince Albert; and Albert of Eldersley, Saskatchewan. There are 20 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Hamilton Funeral Home has charge of funeral arrangements.
Well Versed in History
As one who had watched Prince Albert grow from a mission in the wilderness to a thriving city, Captain Deacon was well versed in the history of the West.
His brick-making enterprise began three years before the outbreak of the World War which interrupted the company's progress. Bricks made by him can be seen in the Prince Albert Armoury, collegiate city hall, power house and Victoria Hospital. He also supplied bricks for the old jail which stood near the present site of the court house.
Testifying to the part Captain Deacon played in community enterprises in the early years, the first cured bacon exhibited at the first annual exhibition here was shown by him. He also exhibited salt pork and smoked pork at the '84 fair. He recalled the first fair well, saying it was an excellent exhibition with a fair prize list and fine displays of leather work and home-made harness.
Captain Deacon knew the country lying between Prince Albert and North Battleford as the hunting ground for buffalo. From those pioneer days of the '70's to his retirement he had worked actively to promote the advance of this city and the district it represented.
The funeral service will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Wesley United Church with the Rev. Dr. A. Young officiating, assisted by Rev. R.G. McKay. Internment will take place in the family plot in Colleston cemetery. Friends are requested not to sent flowers, a desire personally expressed by Captain Deacon while he lived
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