John Hislop

John Hislop was the first Mayor of Skagway and President of our City Council from 1900-1901. He was a former High School teacher and came to Skagway from Cripple Creek, Colorado. He became the White Pass Chief Engineer and surveyor working closely with Michael Heney.

John was born in 1856 in Galt, Ontario Canada and his father also worked on the railroad as a section foreman.
On February 22, 1901, in Chicago the tragedy of John’s death brings tears to my eyes. Standing on the platform for the train, getting ready to meet his bride, his jacket caught and he was thrown under the train and killed. He was 45 years old.

The Barley photo above shows a WP official, probably Hislop surveying the White Pass summit for a route to build the railroad.

1881 Canadian and 1900 Skagway census; Goldrush website; Skagway News; Cy Warman; Mills; Minter.



One Reply to “John Hislop”

  1. I’m curious about the source of the comment that John’s father worked on the railroad as a section foreman as I’d not heard that before. As far as I knew, his father George was a farmer occupying a farm at #9 Bean’s Tract, near the village of Doon, on what is now the outskirts of Kitchener-Waterloo but what was then Berlin. My grand-father, who was John Hislop’s brother took over operation of the farm until he moved west.

    Regarding his death, one (rather melodramatic) report I read said that he was late for the train but too honest to not buy a ticket so he paid for it and then had to run for the departing train and slipped on a patch of ice was thrown under the wheels but not killed immediately. His leg was severed and he had a severe brain injury but was loaded on the train and taken to the hospital. His new wife was called and she rushed to the hospital and he died just as she was entering the building.

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