W. J. Brewer, Vancouver Alderman

W. J. Brewer, Vancouver Alderman

This biography of Vancouver Alderman W. J. Brewer was originally published in the Vancouver Daily World newspaper of December 31, 1888, and transcribed by volunteer Lesley H. in May of 2018.


the colleague of Robt. Clark, in Ward 3, comes into the council for the first time. He came to the Province, from Australia, about 18 years ago, and farmed for a considerable length of time at Mud Bay. He was born in the year 1842 at Falmouth, England. And was brought up and educated there, leaving for the Australian Colonies in 1865. Thinking that he would better himself here, he left Australia and came to British Columbia in 1870. In the year 1882 he, in conjunction with Donald Chisholm, M.P., made the purchase of 36 acres of land just west of the British Columbia Smelting Company’s site, which land has now become immensely valuable. In the year 1885, Mr. Brewer stopped farming, and seeing that the town site of Granville was likely to be transmogrified into the glorious City of Vancouver, came to reside here permanently, and went into contracting with Mr. Fraser. Both are practical carpenters and many buildings in the city show the evidences of their handiwork. Last spring Mr. Brewer erected the fine double residence to be found on Pender Street owned by T. C. Sorby, architect. Of Victoria. Latterly, he acted in the capacity of foreman and overseer in the Lady Stephens and A.G. Ferguson Blocks, on Hastings Street. Mr. Brewer is about 46 years of age and a bachelor. His career in Vancouver, as a private citizen. Has shown him to be an honest, straightforward and outspoken gentleman, one who could be relied upon for keeping his promises and with a level head on his shoulders. The electors of Ward 3 may feel sure that their interests will be well looked after by Mr. Brewer.the colleague of Robt. Clark, in Ward 3, comes into the council for the first time. He came to the Province, from Australia, about 18 years ago, and farmed for a considerable length of time at Mud Bay. He was born in the year 1842 at Falmouth, England. And was brought up and educated there, leaving for the Australian Colonies in 1865. Thinking that he would better himself here, he left Australia and came to British Columbia in 1870. In the year 1882 he, in conjunction with Donald Chisholm, M.P., made the purchase of 36 acres of land just west of the British Columbia Smelting Company’s site, which land has now become immensely valuable. In the year 1885, Mr. Brewer stopped farming, and seeing that the town site of Granville was likely to be transmogrified into the glorious City of Vancouver, came to reside here permanently, and went into contracting with Mr. Fraser. Both are practical carpenters and many buildings in the city show the evidences of their handiwork. Last spring Mr. Brewer erected the fine double residence to be found on Pender Street owned by T. C. Sorby, architect. Of Victoria. Latterly, he acted in the capacity of foreman and overseer in the Lady Stephens and A.G. Ferguson Blocks, on Hastings Street. Mr. Brewer is about 46 years of age and a bachelor. His career in Vancouver, as a private citizen. Has shown him to be an honest, straightforward and outspoken gentleman, one who could be relied upon for keeping his promises and with a level head on his shoulders. The electors of Ward 3 may feel sure that their interests will be well looked after by Mr. Brewer.

Michael Costello, Vancouver Alderman

This biography of Vancouver Alderman Michael Costello was originally published in the Vancouver Daily World newspaper of December 31, 1888, and transcribed by volunteer Judy Lam Maxwell, owner of Historical Chinatown Tours, in May of 2018.

MICHAEL COSTELLO

a representative of Ward 4, is an Irishman,
and is rated a good fellow by all that know
him. He brings new blood, grit, wit, and
common sense into the Counsel for 1889, and
is sure to ably second his colleague, G.S.
McConnell, in carrying out the necessary
measures for the benefit of the ward he
represents. Mr. Costello was born in the
County Galway, Ireland, in the year 1844,
and emigrated when a boy of 9 years of age
to the city of New York, where he learnt
the tanning trade. From 1862 to 1863 he
served in the ranks in the U.S. Army, and
was present at the engagements of Harper’s
Ferry and Obistee. At the latter place he
was captured and held prisoner of war for
300 days. On his release he rejoined under
General Sherman and an armistice was ar-
ranged and the force was disbanded. In
New York he received the major part of his
education in the school in the district in
which he resided. In the year 1873 Mr.
Costello left New York and, in company with his
brother, commenced farming near
Farmington, Dakota County, Minnesota,
which, however, he gave up and came to
Victoria direct, having heard so much of
our beautiful Province. For a term of five
years Mr. Costello worked in his trade in
the city of Victoria, but seeing in his mind’s
eye that the future metropolis of British
Columbia was certain to be here on the
mainland, he invested his savings in real
estate in our townsite, principally in the
ward he represents, and has no reason to re-
gret his investments. Most of his property
he bought before the fire of 1886. Although
this is the first year that Mr. Costello lays
claim to the title of Alderman, it will pro-
bably not be the last. His views on the ne-
cessity for general advancement in Vancou-
ver are known to the public and the feeling
prevails that, besides his colleague G.S.
McConnell, no more fit or proper person
could have been chosen to represent Ward 5.

Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1888

Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1888

Oppenheimer (b. 1832, Bleiskastel, Germany, d. 1897) was one of early Vancouver’s biggest landowners and businessmen. He was elected by acclamation for two of his four one-year terms. During Oppenheimer’s tenure, the city’s first water main was laid from the North Shore, a streetcar system was established, and electric streetlights were introduced. He also helped persuade the Canadian Pacific Railway to move its terminus to Vancouver, and helped secure Stanley Park for the city from the federal government.

John Mackie, Vancouver Sun, 2002
quoted with permission

Mayor:  David Oppenheimer (1888 – 1891)

Aldermen:

Ward 1:  Sam Brighouse, John M. Lefevre

Ward 2: Joseph Humphries, John Dougall

Ward 3:  Henry Bell-Irving (resigned), Robert Clark, Charles A. Coldwell (elected in byelection)

Ward 4:  Richard H. Alexander, Joseph Mannion (resigned), G.S. McConnell (elected in byelection)

Ward 5:  Robert Couth, Isaac Oppenheimer

information from Vancouver’s Elected Representatives by Wayne D. Madden, 2003

Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1887

Mayor:  M.A. MacLean

Aldermen:

Ward 1:  L.A. Hamilton, John M. Lefevre

Ward 2:  Joseph Humphries, Joseph Manion

Ward 3:  Richard H. Alexander, Robert Clark

Ward 4:  Edwin Sanders, George H. Lock

Ward 5:  David Oppenheimer, Isaac Oppenheimer

information from Vancouver’s Elected Representatives by Wayne D. Madden, 2003

Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1886

Vancouver’s first election on May 3, 1886, was a wild affair, rife with labour unrest and racism. The favourite going into the election was Hastings Sawmill manager Richard Alexander, of Alexander Street fame. But a strike at Hastings Sawmill divided the community, particularly after Alexander announced he would hire Chinese workers to replace the white strikers. The strikers talked real estate salesman Malcolm MacLean (b. 1844, Tiree, Scotland, d. 1895) into running against Alexander. MacLean won in a squeaker, 242 votes to Alexander’s 225.

John Mackie, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 30 2002
quoted with permission

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Mayor: M.A. (Malcolm Alexander) MacLean (1886-1887)

Aldermen:

Robert Balfour, Charles A. Coldwell, Peter Cordiner, Thomas Dunn, Joseph Griffith, Joseph Humphries, Harry Hemlow, E.P. Hamilton, L.A. Hamilton, Joseph Northcott

information from Vancouver’s Elected Representatives by Wayne D. Madden, 2003