Deceased Brethren

Andrew Elisha Lees (1855-1937) was Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1889.

Here is some basic information about him from Ashlar Lodge, No.3 records:

  • Born 1855 in Fallbrook, Ontario
  • Occupation: Sawyer (in 1884 when he petitioned for Initiation in Ashlar Lodge No.3)
  • Initiated 17 May 1884
  • Passed 12 July 1884.
  • Raised 6 September 1884
  • Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1889
  • Demitted 5 August 1891. Subsequently affiliated with Mt. Hermon Lodge, No.7, B.C.R., Vancouver, B.C.
  • Died 2 December 1937
W.B.Andrew Elisha Lees, circa 1900
W.B.Andrew Elisha Lees, circa 1900

Here is a biography of Andrew Elisha Lees taken from British Columbia: From the Earliest To The Present, published in 1914 by the S.V. Clarke Publishing Co., Vancouver, B.C., 1914:


Andrew E. Lees is spoken of in terms of high regard throughout Vancouver. His genial disposition has won him many friends, while his business ability placed him in a position that now enables him to live retired. He was born in the village of Fallbrook, near Perth, in the county of Lanark, Ontario, December 7, 1855, his parents being William and Mary (Playfair) Lees. The founder of the family was William Lees, grandfather of A.E. Lees, who came from Scotland and took up his abode in Lanark County, where he followed farming throughout his remaining days. It was upon his farm there that William Lees was born and reared, and when starting out in business life on his own he chose an occupation with which he had become familiar in the days of his boyhood and youth. In connection with farming, however, he erected and operated on his land a flour and sawmill, and this became the nucleus of the village, which growing up around his mill became known as Fallbrook. Mr. Lees was not only a leading business man of the community but also a prominent citizen in connection with public affairs, taking an active part in politics as a conservative and doing everything in his power to promote the growth of his party and secure its success. For a number of years he filled the position of county councillor, was also reeve of the township of Bathurst, and served in the provincial legislature for twelve years. His entire life was spent in Lanark, where he passed away February 2, 1903, at the age of eighty-one years. In the maternal line, Andrew E. Lees is descended from the well known Playfair family of Ontario, established on this continent by his grandfather, Colonel Andrew W. Playfair, who was the first member of the family to visit Canada. He was born on Paris, France, in 1790, was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland and while in that city on 1806 responded to the call for soldiers. Although only sixteen years of age he left school and entered the Thirty-Second Regiment as ensign. He served with that command for four years and at the age of twenty was gazetted second lieutenant in reward for services rendered his country through the invention of a firearm, a weapon much appreciated by the Duke of York and the Spanish Duke de Linfantardo. In 1812, as first lieutenant in the One Hundred and Fourth Regiment, Mr. Playfair went to St. John, New Brunswick. He was later offered a tract of several hundred acres of land if he would become one of the community of the military settlement at Perth, which was then being organized. He accepted the offer and in what is now the county of Lanark, near Perth, he founded the village of Playfairville, there establishing saw, grist and carding mills. He wrote a score or more articles on various subjects, but usually on matters of military importance, and thus his name became widely known to the reading public. In a pamphlet which he published in 1852, writing on the question of a Canadian Pacific Railway, he made a prediction to the effect that “the time was not far distant when a man could sail from the coast of Ireland, land at Quebec, and reach the Pacific coast by way of a transcontinental railroad in ten days.” This prediction, which was then considered most absurd, has long since been fulfilled.   [note: we will continue transcribing this as time permits]

Here is a biography of Andrew Elisha Lees taken from Gosnell’s History of British Columbia:


Progress might well be termed the keynote of the character of Andrew E. Lees. It is a noticeable element in his business career, in his citizenship and in his social relations and it has been an essential element in making him one of the valued residents of Vancouver.

For a quarter of a century he has been a resident of British Columbia, keeping in touch with its growth, which has been so rapid as to partake of the nature of the magical. He was born in Perth, Ontario, on the 7th of December 1855, and is of Scotch and English lineage. The founder of the family in America was William Lees, a native of Scotland, who crossed the Atlantic to Canada and settled upon a tract of land which he developed into a highly improved farm. Upon that place William Lees, the father of Andrew Lees, was born and reared. He too became a farmer, but did not confine his attention  entirely to agricultural pursuits, for he became the owner of a flouring mill and was also interested in the lumber industry. He and his wife held membership in the Presbyterian church and so lived in their lives as to exemplify its teachings. Four of their family have chosen British Columbia as a residence: James W., Guy, George Albert and Andrew. Albert is in partnership with Andrew E. Lees.

In the common schools at Falbrook, Ontario, Andrew E. Lees acquired his literary education, and later attended the Belleville Commercial College. he came to British Columbia in 1880 and was first identified with its business interests as an employee in the Royal City Mills, at [New] Westminster. Subsequently he worked at sawmilling in Nanaimo, after which, with capital acquired through his own labors, he purchased an interest in the Royal City Mills, which he conducted for five years, meeting with satisfactory success.

[note: we will continue transcribing this as time permits]


We will add more information about W.B. Andrew Elisha Lees as we discover it through additional research.

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