BRITISH COLUMBIA Revelstoke W. Cowan, Good For One 15¢ Drink, 24.4mm brass token Breton 938, Greene R0960c (The "C" in BC and "DRINK" is weakly struck)
Born in 1855, William Cowan married, in 1903, Bertha Beatrice Cowan, born in 1880. It was a mixed marriage between a Protestant and a Catholic, unusual for that time. Bertha and William had a son Patrick, born in 1904, and two years later, Bertha died in childbirth with their second child, who also died. William died in April of 1926 in Rochester, Minnesota, where he had gone seeking treatment for an illness.
William Cowan was one of Revelstoke's most enterprising pioneers. He arrived to Revelstoke in 1885, where he built the Victoria Hotel on Front Street. He was one of the partners in a steamship company that saw the building of the S.S. Dispatch and the S.S. Lytton.
Cowan had the first telephone in town, with a line between his hotel and the Canadian Pacific Railway station. By 1896 he had incorporated the Revelstoke, Trout Lake and Big Bend Telephone Company Ltd. He formed the Revelstoke Water, Power and Light company that constructed the first water system in 1896 and the first electric power plant on the Illecillewaet River in 1898. The company was sold to the City of Revelstoke in 1902. Source: Revelstoke Museum and Archives