Dates: b. Nova Scotia, 1878 d. 31 July 1929
Cemetery Location: Block J, Row 25, Plot 19
Born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1878, Hector McKinnon was the eldest of six children, his family immigrating to Canada from the Isle of Barra, Scotland, in 1821. His father, Archibald McKinnon, settled his family in Wellington, Vancouver Island, where he worked in the mines.
In 1894, Hector moved to Revelstoke to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and married Delia Morgan on 6 August 1906. They had four children: Archie, Margaret, Mary and Jim.
Hector purchased the Revelstoke Cigar Store on Mackenzie Avenue in 1907, renaming it the McKinnon Cigar Store. He then took over the premises vacated by L. Brown on First Street in 1908, and in July 1911, commenced the construction of a grand, three-storey concrete and pressed brick building (the McKinnon Block). By February 1912, the new business block was finished, complete with bowling alley and poolroom and apartments for rent on the upper floor.
Several years later, he purchased land at the junction of the Columbia and Illecillewaet Rivers in 1917, and established the Standard Dairy, in operation until flooding in the 1960s.
Hector was alderman from 1910 to 1913, and served as mayor of Revelstoke for ten terms between 1915 and 1929.
In May 1917, Hector led a ceremony to honour the town’s men serving in World War I. Maple trees were planted around the Revelstoke courthouse to mark the event. Less than a month earlier, Hector’s own brother Leo had been killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917.
Tragically, while serving his tenth term as mayor, Hector was seriously burned in a barn fire on his property on 30 July 1929, and died of his injuries the day after, aged 51. The St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church was so crowded, both sides of Fifth Street were lined with mourners unable to fit into the church for his funeral.
A memorial ceremony in honour of Hector McKinnon was held in Mountain View Park (now Queen Elizabeth Park) on 21 May 1930. The memorial was officiated by Dr. W.H. Sutherland, MLA, who referred
“to the abounding energy that characterized the make-up of the late mayor, and enabled him to perform outstanding service to the district, as a civil servant; to the city as Mayor and Parks Board President, and to his family as a successful dairyman.”