Vancouver Island Masonic History Project

Richard Hall (30 April 1853-29 March 1918) was a member of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge No. 2 in Victoria. He was a leading figure in local business and politics, serving on the School Board, on Victoria City Council and in the B.C. Legislature.

His family home at 906 Linden Avenue is still standing; it is listed on the City of Victoria Heritage Register.

Richard Hall, newspaper obituary photo, 1918
Richard Hall, newspaper obituary photo, 1918

Here are the local newspaper reports of Richard Hall’s death and funeral:


One of Victoria’s Pioneers Summoned by Death—Was Well Known Coal Merchant and Insurance Man.

Mr. Richard Hall, a native son of the Pacific coast, and one of the best known business men of this city, where he had resided for nearly three decades, passed to rest yesterday morning at his residence, 906 Linden avenue.

For about a month preceding his death the late Mr. Hall had been confined to his bed suffering from a cardiac attack, the result of an Ill¬ness some years ago. Up till the middle of February he had been engaged in his business activities, and his end yesterday, while not unexpected, was a great shock to his hundreds of business and social friends and acquaintances throughout the city. He passed away quietly at 7:30 in the morning, the majority of the members of his family being present at the bedside.

Born In California

Deceased was born In Grass Valley, Cal. in 1853. His parents, Richard and Sarah Hall, having come from Lancashire, England, a few years previously. When the late Mr. Hall was six years of age the family moved to this city und while he was still In his teens the parents returned to their native city of Preston, Lancashire, where Mr. Hall. sr. was a member of the stock exchange.

After the completion of his education at the St. Louis College and Collegiate School, deceased accepted the position offered him of purser on one of the steamers plying between Victoria and Mainland ports, and spent some time in the transportation trade. During 1875 and 1876 he was purser under Capt. Wm. Moore, on one of the old-fashioned stern wheelers which ran on the Stikine River, handling freight and passenger traffic during the boom days that accompanied the extensive work on the Cassiar mines. He was also connected with the late William Denny in the dry goods business and held interests in the wholesale commission trade of the city.

Enters Coal Trade

Severing connections with the transportation, he entered the service of Robt. Ward & Co., and remained with them for some years as head of their Insurance department. During these years he acquired a very remarkable knowledge of this work, which was of inestimable value when, in 1882, he left that concern and established himself in the coal trade, at the same time becoming general agent for the Liverpool, London & Globe Insurance Company. The firm, which was business representative of several Old Country concerns, was known by the name of Hall, Goepel & Co.. his partner being W. J. Goepel, for many years past Provincial Deputy Minister of Finance.

Connected With Sealing Industry

As long as thirty years ago Mr. Hall was associated as a member of the Victoria Sealing Company, but even before this he was connected with the actual business of sealing. Many of the schooners in which he was interested will be recalled by city residents of two decades ago, among the many ships being the Bell, Alnoka, Juanita, Jessie and Lady Mine. He was associated in this firm with Capt. Wm. Grant, and at one time was president of the company.

After the retirement of Mr. Goepel from the firm of Hall, Goepel & Co., deceased took Alderman Walter Walker into partnership with him in 1899 in the coal agency part of the business, the real estate, financial and Insurance department, however, being held by deceased under his own name.

Was Member of Legislature

For many years Mr. Hall was active in the political life of British Columbia, and on several occasions acted on commissions investigating different Provincial and Federal questions. From the time of his entrance into political activities until the year 1896 he was a Conservative. In that year, however, he changed his party and under the Liberal banner successfully contested one of the Victoria seats during the elections of 1898. He was returned to the Provincial Legislature In 1900 and again in 1903.

When the Federal Government in 1905 appointed a commission to investigate fisheries matters in this Province. Mr. Hall was appointed commissioner for Victoria. Among some of the important recommendations which developed as a result of the investigation were those which called for a more efficient patrol of coastal waters and the removal of all obstacles in the salmon rivers of British Columbia.

Municipal Politics

Mr. Hall also took an active interest in municipal politics and sat on the City School Board in 1890-91 and on the City Council in 1908. Ha was also, up till the time of his death, a director of the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

He married In 1887 Miss Louisa Kinsman, fourth daughter of the late Alderman John Kinsman. He was a member of the I.O.O.F., the W.O.W., the S.0.E., in addition to being a Mason, being a member of Vancouver and Quadra Lodge No. 2. A.F. & A.M. He was also a respected member of the Pacific Club and the Victoria Board of Trade.

The late Mr. Hall Is survived by his widow, one brother, John Hall, of the Provincial Printing Depart¬ment: four sons, R. Cecil Hall, N. Burnley Hall and J. Rodney Hall, all of whom are residing In Victoria, while the other son. Lieut. T. Hall. Is with the Royal Flying Corps In France. Mr. Hall’s daughters, Mrs. H. A. Brown and Kathleen Dunderdale, and a grandchild, Richard Hall Brown, are also residing here.

The funeral will take place from the residence,. Linden Avenue, on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock. The remains are In the meanwhile reposing at the B. C. Funeral parlors.

(Source: Daily Colonist, 30 March 1918)


Funeral of Mr. Richard Hall Took Place Yesterday After¬noon From Residence After Simple Service.

The funeral of Mr. Richard Hall, one of Victoria’s oldest business men and a pioneer of the early settlement of the city, took place quietly yesterday afternoon from the family residence on Linden Avenue, the funeral cortege proceeding direct to the cemetery after a simple service at the house.

Scores of friends and acquaintances of the deceased began to assemble at the residence as the hour for the funeral service approached, and the long, sad procession which filed after the hearse bore mute witness to the high esteem in which Mr. Hall was held by his fellow citizens. The Rev. Dr. Clay officiated at the services, both at the house and at the graveside, and Mrs. D. E. Campbell, at the service at the residence rendered as a solo the hymn “Rock of Ages.”

Among the many representative bodies which assembled at the graveside to pay their last tribute of respect to the deceased were delegations from his three lodges, the Masonic, Independent Order of Oddfellows, and Sons of England. Especially striking were the large and beautiful floral tributes sent from all over the city and Province by social and business friends of Mr. Hall. The remains were Interred In the family plot at Ross Bay Cemetery.

The honorary pallbearers were Messrs. D. E. Campbell, A. J. Bechtel. Joshua Kingham, Frank Norris, J. Savannah and Mayor Todd. The active pallbearers were Messrs. E. B. Paul, Eli Harrison and Capt. C. Harris, representing the Masons, and Anton Henderson, D. Dewar and James Wilby, representing the I.O.O.F.”

(Source: Daily Colonist, 3 April 1918, page 7)

Richard Hall is buried in the family plot in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C. Dr. George Lawson Milne is buried in the same plot.

Richard Hall grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C. (photo by Temple Lodge No. 33 Historian)
Richard Hall grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C. (photo by Temple Lodge No. 33 Historian)

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