Alexander Gilmore (died 1910, aged 86) was a pioneer in Victoria and in Victoria business. He came to Victoria from California in 1858 and opened a tailoring and clothing business which continued well into the early 20th century. We know he was a Freemason but at this point we are not sure which Lodge he was a member of.
Here are the local newspaper reports of Alexander Gilmore’s death and funeral:
“ALEXANDER GILMORE DIED HERE YESTERDAY
Was One of the Oldest Surviving Pioneers of the City, Well Known Throughout the Province
Yesterday there passed away one of the oldest pioneers of Victoria in the person of Mr. Alexander Gilmore, whose residence in the city covered a period of 52 years. During a large portion of that time he was actively engaged in business and few of his contemporaries had a more extensive acquaintance in the city and the province.
Mr. Gilmore was a native of County Derry, Ireland, [note: his gravestone says he was a native of Ballyvenox, Ireland]coming across to Philadelphia in 1849, at the age of 25. In 1852 he travelled to San Francisco by way of Panama, and there remained until 1858, when he came to Victoria, establishing shortly afterwards the tailoring and clothing business with which his name was so long connected. During the seventies [1870’s] his store was on Government street, but be removed some thirty years ago to Johnson street [note: 557-559 Johnson Street], where the business is still carried on by his nephews, the brothers McCandless.
In 1881, while construction of the Canadian Pacific railway was in progress, Mr. Gilmore opened a store at Yale, the firm’s name being Gilmore & Clark. In 1885 this firm removed in Vancouver, being among the business pioneers of the then small Terminal City. In 1887 Mr. Gilmore took into partnership his nephew, A. G. McCandless, retiring himself at that time from active business. During the last 20 years he had spent most of his time in travelling and in attending to his many speculations and property interests.
Besides carrying on the clothing business he always took an active interest in the mining industry, assisting freely in the development of various mines in this province. At one time Mr. Gilmore owned much property in Vernon, Vancouver and Victoria, but daring the last ten years he had disposed of the greater part of this. He was the owner of the Goldstream hotel ranch for many years prior to 1885, when he sold a half interest to James Phair, who a few years later acquired the whole of the property.
Although 86 years of age. Mr. Gilmore was vigorous and active up to near the lime of his death. Only last week he had arranged to pay a visit to A. G. McCandless in Vancouver, and later intended to proceed to Vernon, his preparations for the trip being almost completed when illness overtook him.
Mr. Gilmore was a member of the Masonic body and of the Victoria Pioneer Society. Although not well known to the present generation In Victoria, he enjoyed the friendship and esteem of .many among the older residents. His generous nature and his honesty in business won him both popularity and success.
The surviving relatives of Mr. Gilmore are three nephews, A. G. McCandless, of Vancouver, Henry and George McCandless, of McCandless Bros., Victoria, and two brothers who are now in the United States.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 12 May 1910, page 2)
“Gilmore – the funeral of the late Alexander Gilmore takes place today (Friday) at 3 p.m. from the residence, 515 Ellice street, where service will be conducted by the Reverend Dr. Campbell. Interment will be at Ross Bay cemetery.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 13 May 1910, page 2)
“Gilmore – The funeral of the late Alexander Gilmore took place yesterday afternoon from the residence, Ellis Street, where service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Campbell, assisted by the Rev. D. McRae at the residence and graveside. There was a very large attendance of friends, many beautiful flowers being sent. A delegation from the Masonic order attended and the Pioneer Society was present in a body. The following acted as pallbearers: James Mann, James Tagg, Walter Walker, James Phair, R.B. McMicking and Edward Pearson.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 14 May 1910, page 7)
The image below shows an 1892 advertisement for Gilmore & McCandless.
Gilmore & McCandless was located at 557-559 Johnson Street in downtown Victoria.
Alexander Gilmore is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
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