As part of our Vancouver Island Masonic History Project, with its sections on Vancouver Island Cemeteries – Masonic Interments and Deceased Brethren, here is a page on Dixi Harrison Ross (1852-1899), a member of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No.2, who is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
First here are some links to B.C. Archives photos of Dixi Ross’ business, Neufelder & Ross, located on the east side of Government Street, between Yates Street and Johnson Street, in downtown Victoria. This business was a partnership with E.C. Neufelder, who was also a Freemason.
- BC Archives photo B-00510 – Neufelder & Ross, circa 1880s
- BC Archives photo B-01095 – Neufelder & Ross, circa 1880s
Here is a brief biography of Dixi Harrison Ross taken from the contemporary newspaper reports of his death and funeral:
“AFTER LIFE’S FITFUL FEVER
Dixi. H. Ross Passes From the Scenes of a Useful and Active Life
The news that Dixi H. Ross, the Government street merchant, has passed from the scenes of a useful and active life, will come as a personal grief to many in Victoria. The shock is more severe because it is altogether unexpected, for while the majority of the late Mr. Ross’ many acquaintances were aware that he was in ill health, very few anticipated that his malady would have so speedy and so terrible an ending.
Mr. Ross had for some time been a victim of kidney trouble, the complications multiplying until an operation was decided on as absolutely necessary – a forlorn hope to save. The operation was performed on Wednesday afternoon by Dr. Davie, but the constitution of the patient was not sufficiently strong to sustain the heavy demands upon it. The end came yesterday, the deceased having been removed to his home on Hillside avenue, where a family of three – a widow, one son and a daughter – are plunged into mourning. The funeral is arranged to take place to-morrow afternoon, the Masonic order, of which Mr. Ross was a veteran member, having charge of the arrangements
The late Dixi H. Ross was one of the pioneer business men of the city, with which all his manhood has been identified. He was a son of the late Hon. A.D. Ross, of Cambridge Springs, Pa, at which place he was born on March 11, 1852, and where he grew up to manhood. In 1870 the Cariboo gold excitement drew him westward, Cariboo first claiming him as a citizen. On the subsidence of the Cariboo excitement Mr. Ross came to Victoria, to engage in the retail grocery business in partnership with J. Cameron, and afterwards with Mr. Neufelder, subsequently conducting the business in his own name, and latterly under the firm name of Dixi H. Ross & Co.
A businessman first, last and all the time, he declined all overtures looking toward his engagement in public affairs, being at the time of his demise the head of the business he had created and developed into one of the largest retail concerns of the city and province. His loss will be keenly felt by many outside of the relatives immediately bereaved by his demise, for he was a man of large and unostentatious charity – a man of deeds, not words whose heart was always warm to the cry of distress, and whose pocket answered its demands.”
(Source: Daily Colonist, 21 July 1899, page 2)
“BORNE TO THE GRAVE
Large Cortege Follow the Remains of the Late Dixi H. Ross to the Grave
Very general sorrow was manifested by the community at large at the obsequies of the late Dixi H. Ross yesterday afternoon. The funeral took place from the family residence on Hillside avenue at 2:30 and half an hour later from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church. Out of respect to the deceased, all the grocers in the city drew their blinds during the ceremony.
The Pioneer Society, Vancouver & Quadra Lodge of the Masonic craft and the Workmen were all in attendance and largely represented. There were too very large offerings of flowers, the hearse as it passed to the cemetery hardly providing sufficient room for the immense floral collection.
At the church Rev. W. Leslie Clay conducted a most impressive but simple service, while at the grave the Masonic rites were performed by Mr. A. Maxwell Muir.
The funeral was a very large one, and those present included many of the oldest and most successful businessmen of the city and the province. Those who acted as pallbearers were Messrs. D. Wilson, W.W. Northcott, R.B. McMicking, William Dalby, Thomas Shotbolt, ex-Ald. Glover, J.B. Lovell and J.E. Phillips.
The chief mourners were Mrs. Ross, Miss Ross, H.G. Ross, Miss McPhadden, E.C. Neufelder and J.A. Graham.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 23 July 1899, page 6, column 3)
Dixi Harrison Ross is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
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