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Newspaper Clippings for
March, 1945

loose obituary, possibly from Prince Rupert 16 March 1945
Jacob William Henkel
First White Man to Winter at Ootsa
Death came quietly in his sleep in the early hours of the morning to Jacob William Henkel of Francois Lake, aged 78 years.
Until a few months ago he was in good health and cared for his beautiful garden himself as well as cutting wood and doing other chores. In the fall his health began to fail and for some weeks he had been a patient in Burns Lake Hospital.
Jacob Henkel was born at Wadsworth, Illinois on June 21, 1866. There he was educated.
In March 1898 he went to Dawson City via Fort Wrangell and the Stikine River, Telegraph Creek and Teslin Lake with seven men, 12 oxen and several tons of provisions. It took two eventful years to reach Dawson by this inland route. A pay claim was staked on Green Gulch.
He left the Yukon in 1904 and on his way down the coast, hearing of the fertile and beautiful Francois Lake district, he stopped off at Bella Coola, bought a year's supply of provisions and started out over the Coast Range through the now-called Tweedsmuir Park. Arriving at the north shore of Ootsa near the present settlement he built the first log cabin and was the first white man to winter in the district.
In 1905 he and George Culp cut out the trail from Cheslatta to Francois Lake where he prempted on the north shore of the lake. There he built a beautiful home and farmed for 40 years until his retirement a few years ago, when he and Mrs. Henkel moved to their home nearer the lake sore. Mrs. Henkel has the diary which he kept during his two years in the Yukon.
On July 2, 1917 he married Mrs. J. Colberg Christensen at the little church at Francois Lake and her grandchildren affectionately refer to Mr. Henkel as "Grandpa."
Jacob Henkel was the only man to have taken a canoe from Francois Lake down the Stellaco River, Fraser Lake and the Nechako River to Soda Creek Hospital south of Quesnel where he took an injured man. He was the first justice of the peace in the Francois Lake district, which position he gave up in 1917. He was well known for his friendliness and high principles and will be sadly missed throughout the whole district.
Funeral service was held in the Anglican Church in Burns Lake on Monday afternoon, Rev. Atkinson officiating. The church was filled to capacity and the casket was covered with beautiful flowers. Pallbearers were Joseph Sugden, Captain Mackinnon, Robert Jeffrey, William Bickle, Del Cassidy and Andrew Brown.
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