Theodore Fay Elliott (1888-1958)

Long Time Employee of Art Monument Company

Theodore Fay Elliott, through his employment with Art Monument Company Ltd., helped leave a significant legacy on the grounds of Mountain View Cemetery. The company designed many of the grave markers that today commemorate the pioneers who helped build the City of Vancouver.
Theodore Fay Elliott (called Fay) was born in Farmington, Washington Territory, USA on October 14, 1888. His parents were John Hess Elliott and Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott. Fay’s paternal great grandparents, James Elliott and Mary E. (Laughlin) Elliott, were frontier farmers from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Theodore Fay was named after his maternal uncle, Theodore Thompson Faris, of Page County, Iowa.
At nine years of age, Fay arrived in Vancouver with his parents and younger sister, Elva Eleanore Elliott. He spent his childhood in the Fairview Slopes neighbourhood, excelled at sports, and began work as a carpenter in 1906. By 1914, Fay was employed at the Eburne Sawmill where it is believed he sustained an injury to his leg that left him with a permanent disability. He went on to work for John and Vern Whitworth in the sales division of Art Monument Company Ltd. Art Monument was founded in Vancouver in 1919 and its office was located at 602 East 15th Avenue. The company was acquired by Service Corporation International (Canada) Ltd. in 1989.

Theodore Fay Elliott married Eneath Lulu Whitman in Vancouver, BC on January 11, 1911. The couple were members of the Odd Fellows Lodge and lived at 631 East 11th Avenue, Vancouver. They raised two sons, Ray Worth Elliott (1914-1992) and Lorne Quentin Elliott (1919-2001). Fay and Lulu divorced and Fay later married Norma Viola Riley of Saskatchewan. Theodore Fay Elliott died in New Westminster, BC on April 21, 1958.

Theodore Fay Elliott and his sister, Elva Eleanore grew up here in the family home, located at 1167 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver. Their father John Hess Elliott built the home in 1908. The house, which had a view of the local mountains and False Creek, also boasted electricity, city water and indoor plumbing, “modern” features for its day. The kitchen, with wood stove and icebox, was fully equipped for their mother Nettie Elliott, and came with a separate pantry room for her baking supplies. The home’s exterior showcased beautiful Victorian details with clapboard and shake wood siding. There was also an attractive sundeck on the second floor. The home hosted numerous parties and family gatherings including Elva’s wedding reception. The Elliott family home was sold in 1937.

Biography by Raymond Reitsma.

Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott 1865-1937

Independent Woman and Trailblazer

Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott was a fascinating character who traveled across the United States in a horse-drawn covered wagon. Her reputation as a trailblazer continued throughout her life.

Nettie Florence Faris was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, USA on May 26, 1865. She was raised a Methodist, and was one of nine children born to Samuel Faris, a farmer from Washington County, Indiana, and Frances Ann (Montgomery) Faris, of Adams County, Ohio. Nettie’s ancestors were early Scottish Colonialists. Her three-time great grandparents, Patrick Montgomery and Agnes McCord, were recorded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the 1720’s.

Nettie Florence Faris married John Hess Elliott on February 18, 1888 in Adams, Ohio (See the biography of John Hess Elliott). The couple had two children, Theodore Fay (1888 – 1958) and Elva Eleanore (Elliott) Patterson (1896-1973). In 1898 Nettie Florence and her family crossed the border into Vancouver, British Columbia and made the Fairview Slopes district their home.

Nettie Florence continued her independent ways. She smoked a corncob pipe and taught herself how to drive at a time when it was not popular for women to do so. She was also one of the first to exercise her right to vote when women in British Columbia were extended the franchise in 1917. In addition to being an active gardener, Nettie participated in many community minded projects in the City of Vancouver through her membership in Grandview Chapter No. 8, Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic organization, and Mizpah Rebekah Lodge No. 2, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Nettie was also an adherent to Vancouver’s Sixth Avenue Methodist Church, built in 1900.

During the summer months between 1910 and 1916, the family would board the Union Steamship vessels at Coal Harbour and travel to Savary Island, where the Elliott family had built one of the first homes on the island. Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott died in Vancouver, BC on August 11, 1937.
Biography by Raymond Reitsma, family historian.

John Hess Elliott 1863-1929

Pioneer of Vancouver, Builder and World War One Veteran

A pioneer of Vancouver, John Hess Elliott was a builder of many fine homes. He was also a distinguished World War One veteran, and helped to establish Savary Island as a vacation destination.

John Hess Elliott was born on April 3, 1863 in Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA. His mother was Catherina (Flick) Elliott and his father was Dr. Ferguson Elliott, who studied medicine at Bakerstown, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. John Hess Elliott’s ancestors were Scottish Presbyterians. They left Scotland for Ireland, and then made the journey to Pennsylvania in the 1700’s in search of political and religious freedom.

John Hess Elliott married Nettie Florence Faris in Adams, Ohio in 1888 (See the biography of Nettie Florence (Faris) Elliott). After their marriage, John Hess and his wife traveled across the United States, and after a short stay in the Slocan Valley, settled in Vancouver, BC.

Once in Vancouver, John Hess Elliott established himself as a building contractor and in 1908 built his own home at 1167 West 7th Avenue. In 1910, John Hess co-founded the real estate firm of MacDonald, Keith & Elliott. This company, located at 2042 Granville Street, not only provided real estate services to its clients, but also offered loans and insurance to its many customers. John Hess also became involved with the early development of Savary Island in 1910. He served as a director of the Savary Island Park Association, and the home and tennis court John Hess built on Savary Island later served as the district’s first school.

On September 23, 1916, John Hess Elliott enlisted with the 242 Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force to serve in World War One. He was severely injured on the battlefield and, months later, was brought back to Vancouver on a stretcher. Although he was not able to work again, he continued to be active in both Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges. John Hess Elliott died at Shaughnessy Military Hospital in Vancouver, BC on February 6, 1929.

Biography by Raymond Reitsma, family historian.