Right from the beginning, Stewart enjoyed the benefits of having popular and public-spirited government agents.
John Conway and his good wife were always in the fore of hospital, lodge, dance and concert committees between 1910 and 1920.
Conway's successor, John P. Scarlett, was more reserved, but always ready to give a helping hand and active on the hospital board, at musical concerts (he always enjoyed playing his cello in the orchestra).
Probably the most colorful agent was Harry W. Dodd, who was transferred to Stewart in 1932. With Mrs. Dodd, their two youngest boys (Gerry and Fred), he arrived from Telegraph Creek, where he had been stationed for the previous 24 years.
Harry had been posted to Telegraph in 1908 and was appointed a provincial police constable the following year. In 1913 he was transferred from the force to become, in turn, mining recorder, gold commissioner, government agent, judge and government liquor vendor. From September 1921 until July 1929, he held all five positions at the same time. In the earlier days at Telegraph Creek, Harry at times acted as midwife to some of his Indian friends, having gained considerable practice in the mysteries of birth by helping to deliver two of his own children.
This was before Telegraph enjoyed either hospital or doctor.
One fall, two big game hunters from New York sought to obtain their hunting permits, only to be informed that the government agent was busy--attending to the delivery of a baby. The hunters then identified themselves as doctors, and asked to be directed to the expectant mother.
Upon their arrival, they found mother and baby doing well, thanks to Harry's tender care. The astounded doctors later sent him a set of medical reference books to help him in his extra line of endeavor.
When Harry moved into the old government buildings at Stewart, he was joined by his two oldest sons, Jack and Dan. One of Harry's daughters married Dick Gaskell, well-known lineman-operator of the Dominion Telegraph Service.
A second daughter became a nurse at the Telegraph hospital. The Dodd family fitted in nicely at Stewart, and the town lost some of its strongest boosters when Harry Dodd and family moved to Victoria upon his retirement in 1940.
NEXT BILL CRAWFORD