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W. R. "Doc" Keithley

This pioneer  family profile is being compiled from public records.   Family members have not been contacted.  Please forward any comments/corrections or additions to Wanda Story.

-born William Ross Keithley.

- Doc Keithley may well have come to the Cariboo from the California Gold Fields.

1860 - W. R. Doc Keithley was one of the original discoverers of gold on the Quesnel River.  He was working with  George Weaver, on Antler Creek in the winter of 1860. 

- The K claim yielded pounds of nuggets daily for months Doc K was in partnership with several other men on that first claim

- from "Quesnel - Commercial Centre of the Cariboo Gold Rush" by Gordon R. Elliott":
"The miners pushed over the hills and up the north fork (of the Quesnel River). By the time the town was developing at the (Quesnel) Forks, W.R."Doc" Keithley and J.P. Diller made their strike high on a bluff above the high water mark of Keithley Creek. They conveyed dirt from their stakings to the water by a chute and washed by rocker. George Harvey had been with them, but went to Harvey Creek alone, built sluices and prospered. "Doc" stayed, but after mining the first claim successfully for a short time, sold.

- A reporter from the Victoria Colonist said that by Oct. 1860, the gambling halls were full blast on both Keithley and Harvey Creeks..... Nevertheless, Moody was right: Keithley, too, was soon a thing of the past. John Rose, George Weaver, "Doc" Keithley and Ben MacDonald, the original discoverer(s?) of gold on the Quesnel, struck paydirt on Swamp Creek, and those three thousand men who had swarmed over the banks of the Quesnel in 1860 left it to the Chinese."

- Many years later he died suddenly and mysteriously at Soda Creek, 40 miles south on the Fraser River.  It appears he is not buried at Soda Creek.

-The Calgary Museum has the buggy that use to belong to Doc Keithley.

- Keithley Creek would be named for Doc Keithley.

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Comments and corrections always welcome !!

Last updated 30 June 2002