As part of our Vancouver Island Masonic History Project, here is a page on Felix Neufelder (died 1879), who is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

The records of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No. 2 in Victoria show Neufelder, F., Occupation: merchant, becoming a member of the Lodge in 1877.

Felix Neufelder ran a wholesale distribution business with its office at the downtown Victoria intersection of Wharf and Yates Streets.

Advertisement for Felix Neufelder & Co., 1878.
Advertisement for Felix Neufelder & Co., 1878.

His son Edward Collins Neufelder was also a Freemason, a member of Cariboo Lodge in Barkerville, B.C. Edward C. Neufelder later moved to Victoria, where he affiliated with Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No. 2 on 20 August 1879. In Victoria, he joined Dixi Harrison Ross, another member of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No. 2, in setting up a grocery and hardware business, operating under the name Neufelder & Ross, in what is now the 1300 block of Government Street. That business later became a grocery store operating under the name of Dixi Ross.

Felix Neufelder’s life ended tragically. In 1879, he became despondent over the collapse of a mining company in which he had invested heavily. In his despondency he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. The story of Brother Felix Neufelder’s demise appears in the contemporary newspaper reports of his death and funeral, shown below:

“Melancholy Occurrence

Yesterday morning, shortly before 11 o’clock, Mr. Felix Neufelder, an old and respected merchant, while in a state of temporary insanity, shot himself in the region of the heart at his place of business, corner of Wharf and Yates streets, and soon afterwards died. Deceased was one of the first to take an interest in the development of the quartz mines at Cariboo. He invested heavily in the Enterprise Company’s stock, and threw himself heart and soul into the undertaking. The result of the recent crushing under Mr. Riotte’s management disappointed him very much and his manner has since been abstracted and singular. Yesterday morning he rose early and seemed to be in good spirits. He reached his office about 8:45 a.m. and from thence walked to the rooms of Mr. D. Guttman, a confidential clerk, with whom he returned to the store. About 10:30 o’clock Jacob Guttman, his bookkeeper, saw Mr. Neufelder in an inner room or office at the rear of the store with his coat off. Deceased made a sign that he did not feel well. About half an hour afterwards he sent J. Guttman out to find his brother, and upon the return of the messenger Mr. Neufelder was found lying on the floor of the inner office, with blood flowing from a wound in his side and a pistol lying on the floor. He was still alive when found and breathed heavily, but died soon after the arrival of Drs. Helmcken and Davie, Mr. Lubbe, Mr. Joshua Davies and other neighbors, who were quickly summoned. The pistol used was a five chambered revolver. The bullet hole was about three inches below the nipple; but the ball did not pass entirely through the body. The clothing was burned by the close contact of the pistol with the body when discharged. The evidence of all the gentlemen named above, together with that of Mr. Goodfellow, manager of the Bank of B.N.A., was taken before Hon. A.F. Pemberton, and a jury composed of J.H. Todd, Esq. (foreman), T. Earle, S.J. Pitts, F. Sylvester, T.J. Burnes, and A. Rome. All the witnesses bore testimony to the unfortunate gentleman’s depression on account of the unsatisfactory condition of his mining property. Mr. Goodfellow said Mr. Neufelder was not at the bank yesterday and he knew of no reason why he would have taken his own life.

The jury after an absence of a few minutes returned a verdict that the deceased, Felix Neufelder, came to his death by a pistol shot inflicted by his own hand while in a fit of temporary insanity. The remains were conveyed to the late residence of deceased, James Bay, last evening. Mr. Neufelder leaves a widow and one son, Mr. E.C. Neufelder, U.S. Vice Consul at this port, who is now on his way from Cariboo to Victoria. This is one of the saddest events we have had to chronicle for some time. The deceased gentleman came to Victoria in 1856 and was the soul of honor in all his transactions, besides being universally liked by everyone who knew him. He was a most valuable citizen and the news of his melancholy end will be received with a feeling of sincere regret and sympathy to his stricken family.”

(Source: British Colonist, 23 February 1879, page 3)

FUNERAL OF THE LATE FELIX NEUFELDER – The remains of the late Felix Neufelder were conveyed to the grave yesterday. The cortege was large and impressive.

A large number of Masons were in attendance to pay the last tribute of respect to their deceased brother, whose melancholy end has so shocked and excited the community. The pallbearers were Messrs. A.R. Robinson, J.H. Todd, R.P. Rithet, C.E. Dawson, A.E.B. Davie, E.C. Baker, Colonel Houghton and A.A. Green. The Masonic service was read at the grave by W.M. R.B. McMicking and Rev. H.H. Mogg, Grand Chaplain.”

(Source: British Colonist, 25 February 1879, page 3, column 3)

Felix Neufelder is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

Felix Neufelder grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C. Felix Neufelder (died 1879, aged 59) was a member of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No.2 in Victoria, B.C.
Felix Neufelder grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C. Felix Neufelder (died 1879, aged 59) was a member of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No.2 in Victoria, B.C.

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