“A Fatal Office”

A curious and short item from the Los Angeles Herald 1898:

VANCOUVER, B. C. Jan. 16.—Mayor Templeton died this afternoon of an apoplectic stroke. Mr. Templeton is the third one of Vancouver’s mayors to die a sudden death.

william_templeton_mayor_of_vancouverTempleton was born in 1853 in Belleville Ontario and arrived in the town of Granville, the future city of Vancouver, in  January, 1886. He opened up the Ontario Grocery on Carrall Street, built the Templeton Block at Carrall and Hastings and ran for office. However he was considered as a bad political strategist with an aggressive personality. He served as an alderman and later as school trustee before before becoming mayor. In his first attempt at winning the mayor’s office he failed to unseat David Oppenheimer after a particularly unfortunate episode where he mocked the mayor’s accent. He was successful in winning the office in 1897, but the victory was short lived as Vancouver’s sixth mayor died a year later, three days after losing a re-election bid. His death was rumoured to be a suicide.

He was in favour of building a smelter in the city, extending voting hours so  more working men could make it to the polls, and removing the provision that candidates for civic office own property in Vancouver. As Mayor, he presided over the meetings of the anti-Chinese league and pushed for higher head taxes.

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