Samuel Greer

b.1843 – d.1925

Samuel was a colourful early Vancouver pioneer. He was born in Ireland and immigrated to the States where he fought in the Civil War. The news of the Cariboo Gold Rush attracted him to B.C. in the 1860s. He was one of the successful miners and recovered gold worth $8000 from a claim on Williams Creek.

Samuel lived for a few years in the Chilliwack District (he was the area’s first constable and customs officer) and then settled with his family in Kitsilano.

According to Samuel’s version of events, he purchased 160 acres from Samuel Preston in 1882. Later the CPR was given 6000 acres by the Provincial Government which included Samuel’s land. The CPR was planning a terminus in Kitsilano and wanted Samuel evicted. Samuel didn’t agree to go peacefully. Events cumulated in 1887 with Samuel shooting Sheriff Thomas Armstrong. His case came up in front of Judge Begbie and he was sentenced to a term in jail.

Samuel never gave up his fight for compensation but he lost every time. His land was the subject of two parliamentary investigations and his ownership was established by these commissions but parliament failed to confirm his title.

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