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FrogLakeJohn_A_Gowanlock





MR. GOWANLOCK. John Alexander Gowanlock, one of the Frog Lake martyrs, was born in the City of Stratford, Province of Ontario, on the 17th of April, 1861. He was the youngest son of Mr. Jas. Gowanlock, of East Otto, Cattaraguas County, New York State. He has three brothers living, and one sister, A. G. and J. Gowanlock of Parkdale, Ontario, R. K. Gowanlock, of Oscoda, Michigan, and Mrs. Daisy Huntsman, of Tintern, Co. Lincoln. From a boy he was a general favorite, quiet and unassuming, yet withal, firm and decided in his opinions. After leaving Stratford he resided for some time in Barrie, and then went to the Village of Parkdale, where he resided until he left for the north- west. Being in ill-health (at the age of 19), his physician and aunt, Dr. J. K. Trout, of Toronto, advised a change of climate, and acting upon that advice left for that great country. After a short residence every symptom of disease had vanished, and upon his return some eighteen months after, he felt and was a new man in every particular. In three months time he returned to the land of his adoption. By honesty and energy he succeeded well. He took hold of every kind of work that he thought would pay. He became farmer, mill-builder, speculator, surveyor, store-keeper and mill-owner in succession, buying and selling, and at the same time pushing further west. His greatest success was in Battleford, the Indians of that district would flock to his store, because they knew they could get a good article at a reasonable price. Last year the Government wanted mills for the reserves in the region of Frog Lake, and after negotiating with them for some time he finally decided, in conjunction with Mr. Laurie, to accept the offer made, the Government giving them the sum of $2,800 as an inducement. In the month of October of last year, he began operations, which, if those poor, deluded savages, who did not know when they were well off, had allowed him to finish, would long ere this been a hive of industry and a blessing to those Indians. He visited Ontario the same year, buying all the machinery necessary for the mills and superintending its shipment. He also took unto himself a wife from among the fair daughters of Ontario, and never a happier couple went forth to brave the cares of life. Both young and fell of energy. But they were not allowed to enjoy their domestic bliss long. The sad event which terminated with him being murdered, along with eight others, being still fresh in the memory of all; it was a sudden call, but he was prepared for it. An oath was never uttered by him, nor did he know the taste of liquor, a temperance man in the full meaning of the term. He also took a hearty interest in church matters having been one of the managers of the Battleford Presbyterian Church. Wherever he went he did good, in a gentle and kind way; and he will be remembered by both Indian, half-breed and settler, as one who never took advantage of them in any way, and the very soul of honor. Not himself, but the truth that in life he had spoken, Not himself, but the seed that in life he had sown, Shall past to the ages--all about him forgotten, Save the truth be had spoken, the things he had done.



--Two months in the camp of Big Bear by Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney (Primary source documents / Timeline)



Métis Nation History

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