Posts tagged #chief of police

Thomas W. Bain

Dates:  b.1855 d. 2 April 1921

Cemetery Location: Block F, Row 15, Plot 19


Originally from Lanark County, Ontario, Thomas Wilbert Bain moved to Illecillewaet, British Columbia, in April 1885. After founding Thomas Bain Mining Co., he established the Laurie Mines at Illecillewaet and the Dunvegan Mines south of Flat Creek.

On 9 Jan 1889, Thomas married Mary McRae in Ottawa and they lived together at the mining camp at Illecillewaet until 1890, when they acquired farming land along the Fraser River, near Dewney, B.C.  The couple had three daughters: Mrs. Nellie MacDonald, Mrs. Tessie Barton and Mrs. Alice “Allie” Paterson.

The Bains farmed at Dewney until they lost everything in the flood of 1894; moving back to Revelstoke where Tom would prospect for the next five years. When Revelstoke was incorporated in 1899, Tom became the city’s first chief of police.  He retired from the force in 1910 and became jail warden until his death in 1921, aged 66.

Thomas was prominent in Masonic circles. He was a past master of Kootenay Lodge, past principal of the Revelstoke Chapter, Revelstoke Arch Masons and Knights Templar. He was also a past grand master of Selkirk Lodge IOOF and a member of Gold Range Lodge, Knights of Pythias.

On the day of his funeral, the city hall flag flew at half-mast, the fire hall bell tolled for 20 minutes and businesses closed for an hour – a fitting tribute to one of Revelstoke’s earliest pioneers.

James & Marjory Cleland


James Cleland: b. Torfechan, Scotland, 13 July 1880 d. 19 February 1920

Marjory Cleland: b. 1906 d. 27 June 1920

Cemetery Location:

James Cleland: Block F, Row 15, Plot 28

Marjory Cleland: Block F, Row 15, Plot 29


James “Scotty” Cleland was born in Torfechan, Scotland, on 13 July 1880. He joined the Edinburgh police in May 1900, where he served for seven years before immigrating to Canada in 1907. After a short period in Montreal, James moved west to Revelstoke in 1909, where he was employed by the local police force and promoted to Chief of Police in 1916. During his career, James suffered a gunshot wound while arresting a man attempting to rob the Dominion Express Office.

James died at the age of 39 in 1920, following complications from the flu. His funeral was well attended, many citizens lining the sidewalks on Second Street to say goodbye. He left behind a wife and four children: Malcolm, Marjory, Ina and James.

Tragically the same year, James’s 14 year-old daughter, Marjory Cleland, was drowned when her boat capsized on the Columbia River on the 27 June 1920. Three other young people from Revelstoke, aged 18 to 21 years, also lost their lives in the accident. Two months later, on 26 August 1920, the Cleland family home was burnt to the ground, allegedly caused by faulty electrical wiring in the front of the house. Only a few valuable papers and a pet canary were saved from the fire.