David Russell Ker

(3 October 1862 - 12 July 1923)

Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No.1

Here is a brief biographical sketch of Brother David Russell Ker taken from local newspaper reports of his death and funeral:



Leading Milling Company President Passes
Had Been Closely Identified With Many Institutions

            A wide circle of friends will sympathize with the relatives of David R. Ker, president of the Brackman-Ker Milling Company, who passed away last evening at his residence, Kershaugh, Yates Street, at the age of 60 years.

            Mr. Ker had been ill for a number of years, and the end of his life was not unexpected.

            The funeral arrangements are in the hands of the B.C. Funeral Company, who announces that the cortege will leave the residence on Monday next at 1:45 for St. John’s Anglican Church, where service will be held at 2 o’clock.

            The late David Russell Ker was born here on October 3, 1862, the son of Robert and Jessie Russell Ker. His father, the late Robert Ker, was Colonial Treasurer and Auditor General for a number of years before Confederation, having emigrated to British Columbia from Scotland in 1859.

            The early years of Mr. Ker’s boyhood were passed on the Ker estate at the Gorge, the property now faced by the B.C. Electric Park. He was educated at the old Craigflower School, and later at the Collegiate School here, and determined to devote himself to a business career. He chose the occupation of a miller, and with that intention learned the business thoroughly, spending several years in establishments here and in San Francisco. In San Francisco he was associated with the Golden Age and the Caledonian Milling Companies.

His Business Career

Mr. Ker returned to Victoria in 1882, and in 1883 joined Henry Brackman in the Brackman mill at North Saanich, which had been founded by Mr. Brackman in 1878. This firm became known as Brackman & Ker, and was later incorporated as the Brackman-Ker Milling Company, Ltd. The business continued at North Saanich for several years, the office in Victoria being opened in 1886, and in 1891 the headquarters were moved here. The business now has interests in Vancouver, New Westminster, Nelson, Nanaimo, Rossland, Edmonton and Calgary. For a number of years Mr. Ker was a director of the Alberta-Pacific Grain Company, and of the Western Canadian Flour Mills Co., Ltd., as well as President of the Brackman-Ker Company, and was general manager of the last named company up to the time of his illness.

The Brackman-Ker Company is now amalgamated with the Western Canada Flour Mills Co., Ltd., of Toronto, one of the largest flour milling concerns in Canada, with flour mills at Winnipeg, Brandon, Calgary and Goderich; also oatmeal mills at Calgary, Edmonton and Brandon.

To Mr. Ker’s initiative is due the fact that Victoria has a large cereal mill at the Outer Wharf, one of the larger of the numerous enterprises in different cities of the Brackman-Ker interests.

                        His Public Work

Mr. Ker for a great many years took an active share in public affairs, and in 1895-97 was President of the British Columbia Board of Trade. He was also for a term President of the Victoria Agricultural Society. He was all his life closely identified with St. John’s Anglican Church, where he was christened by the late Rev. P. Jenns, and attended Sunday School in his childhood, and throughout the subsequent years of his life he was one of the leading laymen in the diocese. He was one of the moving spirits in the construction of the new church edifice, and for several years acted as churchwarden.

His political opinions were Conservative, and he was a member of Lodge No. 1, A.F. & A.M. of B.C. Golf was his favorite recreation, and he was a member of the Victoria Golf Club, as also of the Union and Pacific Clubs.

                        Family Associations

His marriage to Miss Agnes Heisterman took place in 1894, and there were born two sons, Robert Henry Brackman Ker and Bernard Russell Ker, and two daughters, Laura Davida and Inez Jessie. All the family are resident in Victoria, the younger daughter now being at home on holiday from the Bishop Strachan School, Toronto. The late Mr. Ker had also three brothers, Robert James Ker, who died in 1919, and two who survive him, Walter Henry Ker of Vancouver, and Thomas Arnot Ker, at present in California.”

Source: Victoria Daily Times, 13 July 1923, page 1

David Russell Ker family grave, Ross Bay cemetery

The family grave of Brother David Russell Ker in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

The GPS location of the grave is:

The Ross Bay plot designation is:

David Russell Ker

Brother David Russell Ker

- Vancouver Island Masonic History Project -

Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

- Deceased Brethren -


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