Fauquier’s namesake was guilty of graft

What Arrow Lakes community is named after a man jailed for embezzlement? The answer, likely to surprise many, is Fauquier.

What Arrow Lakes community is named after a man jailed for embezzlement?

The answer, likely to surprise many, is Fauquier.

Frederick George Fauquier’s incarceration was a severe aberration in an otherwise distinguished career that included many government appointments. Indeed, he emerged from prison virtually unscathed: no one seemed to think any less of him for it.

Born in Woodstock, Ont. to an Anglican bishop, Fauquier came to West Kootenay in 1893 and was appointed mining recorder, police officer, and notary public at Nakusp.

His diligent service was recognized in 1900 when he was transferred to Revelstoke and named stipendiary magistrate, justice of the peace, government agent, assistant lands and works commissioner, assessor and collector, vital events registrar, and gold commissioner.

Something, however, went wrong.

In August 1901, a government auditor was dispatched to Revelstoke to look into irregularities in the gold commissioner’s office.

Fauquier was arrested at home and charged with misappropriating $100 in public funds while mining recorder at Nakusp. He was released on $2,500 bail.

“The greatest regret is expressed in town at this unfortunate affair as Mr. Fauquier is not only personally popular but has proved himself both at Nakusp and here a most acceptable and capable official,” the Revelstoke Herald wrote.

The Kootenay Mail added Fauquier “had many warm friends” who would have repaid the money had they known it was missing before the auditor arrived.

“It is evident that Mr. Fauquier had been making an effort to straighten matters up as he has been offering for sale his ranch in the lower country,” the newspaper said.

When Fauquier next appeared before a judge, he was further charged with stealing $2,097 in land sale money between Oct. 15, 1900 and Aug. 21, 1901 at Revelstoke as well as $811 in taxes collected from the Imperial Bank on June 22, 1901. The earlier Nakusp charge was dropped.

The auditor produced a list of land transactions for which no receipts existed, ranging from $3 to $213.

The auditor also presented a statement showing Fauquier received $819 in taxes, while the books recorded only $8.

Fauquier was committed for trial, and released again on $12,000 bail. Several more prominent businessmen stepped forward to post sureties.

A few weeks later, however, Fauquier pled guilty. The motivation for the crimes was never explained. His lawyer only said he took the money “to pay claims that other men would have ignored.”

And while there was no justification for the offence, “it had always been Mr. Fauquier’s intention to replace these monies,” the Kootenay Mail wrote.

“Mr. Fauquier had a wife dependent on him and also a family, and was without other means than this property. He was prepared, if he got his liberty at no distant date, to repay every cent he had taken.”

The judge sentenced him to two years in the provincial penitentiary.

It’s not clear how much time he served — nor if he ever repaid the money he stole — but around 1904, he returned to his ranch, later known as Fauquier’s Landing, or just Fauquier, and began growing fruit.

Overall, despite his transgressions, Fauquier’s kept his reputation intact.

In 1911, he was spoken of as a potential candidate for provincial office, and upon his death in 1917 at age 65, his obituary was adulatory.

“Always of a bright and cheerful nature Mr. Fauquier was universally liked and highly respected by all who came in contact with him,” the Nelson Daily News wrote. “He was the most extensive fruit grower on the lake, his orchards being considered among the models of British Columbia.”

Fauquier was buried in Nakusp.

 

Although his crimes were whispered of in his namesake community, they are not recorded in any history book.

 

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

West Kootenay gleaner’s group gets big funding boost

CBT grant allows project to save more local produce from compost bin

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

RDCK passes climate change ‘call to arms’

Director says the statement will help guide policy

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Most Read