Collection 2000.660; 2008.3 - William John Burchill Family Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William John Burchill Family Collection

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Reference code

CA DHM 2000.660; 2008.3

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Physical description area

Physical description

484 photographs (approx.)
9cm photograph albums
42.5 textual records
1 framed needle work
3 paintings
1 coat of arms
3 prints

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

William John Burchill (1859 - 1934) was born in Holland Township, Grey County, Ontario to parents John H. Burchill and Ann Howey. After learning the butchering trade near Owen Sound, Ontario, he moved west in 1882, settling in Brandon, Manitoba. In Brandon, he started a butchering business with his bother Jason Burchill (c.1863 - 1937) and his cousin, John A. Howey (1860 - 1915). They established a meat market at 906 Rosser Avenue called Burchill & Howey Butchers. They also owned a cattle farm near Bradwardine, Manitoba. During the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898, William Burchill and John Howey led a cattle drive to the Yukon. There was a meat shortage for Dawson City gold-seekers and Burchill and Howey decided to ship their beef cattle there. With a team of thirteen men they drove their live cattle by train, boat, and on foot, to Dawson City. The trip took four months and they spents the winter in Dawson City. The following year they participated in one more cattle drive to the Yukon. With the money the men earned from these trips, they built two city blocks in Brandon in 1902. These blocks were named the Burchill and Howey Block and the Yukon Block.
In 1884, William Burchill married Lillias Gibson in Brandon. Lillias Gibson (1858-1946) was born in Ormstown, Quebec to parents James B. Gibson and Mary A. McEvoy. She came to Brandon around the year 1883. William and Lillias Burchill had four daughters: Mary Olive (1892-1964), Velna Clare (1894-1985), Anna Victoria (1899-1918), and Edith Nellie (1900-1995). The family lived at 404 Eleventh Street in Brandon. Sadly, Anna Victoria died in 1918 at age nineteen of Spanish influenza not long after graduating from Brandon Collegiate. In 1928, Edith married Harold Stoll, a lawyer from Aurora Illinois. Edith lived in Aurora for the rest of her life. She had one son, Austin Stoll (1936-1999). He grew up to become a real estate broker, opening up his own firm in Chicago. Mary Olive married Thomas Coldwell, son of prominent Brandon lawyer George R. Coldwell in 1929. The couple moved to Detroit, Michigan. Later, Mary Olive lived in Chilliwack, British Columbia. William and Lillias remained in Brandon until their deaths. Velna was never married and moved to Chilliwack, British Columbia in 1949, three years after her mother's passing. She resided there for the rest of her life.

Custodial history

The majority of the items from this collection were donated to Daly House Museum in the year 2000 after the death of Austin Stoll. The donated items were bequeathed to Brandon Museum Inc. in Stoll's will.

Other items from this collection were aquired from the The Aurora Historical Society of Aurora, Illinous. In 2008, the society donated a collection of items that had belonged to the Burchill/Stoll family to Daly House Museum.

Scope and content

The material in this collection belonged to the Burchill/Stoll family. The collection includes photographs, paintings, books, written records, genealogical records, letters, and other documents. The majority of the photographs are of the William J. Burchill family of Brandon, Manitoba. There are many pictures of family and friends, especially of Burchill's daughters in childhood and youth; some are casual photographs and others are formal portraits. Photographs are from family events, weddings, social gatherings, school, and during recreational activities. Also included are photographs of Edith Burchill Stoll's family and friends during her adult life after moving to Illinois. Each photograph is described at the individual level. There are three albums of photographs and the rest are separate. Also included in the collection are portraits of members of the Gibson and McEvoy families. Two of these are oil paintings. There are also prints and needle work. There are books in the collection which belonged to different members of the Burchill Family. These include Bibles, prayer books, a hymn book, an atlas, personal notebooks, and collections of poetry. The collection also contains genealogical records, correspondence, and written histories pertaining to the Burchill family history and to the history of the Canadian Prairies. Other documents include, will and funeral records; birth, marriage and death certificates; letters, postcards, obituaries, and newspaper clippings.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Items are individually numbered and described. The majority of the collection is stored on the third floor of Daly House Museum. Archival items are stored in two boxes on the middle shelving unit of the main room. Framed photos are stored in the file room. Specific locations are noted in individual level item descriptions.

Language of material

  • English

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Finding aids

Box 1 - 2000.660.21 - 2000.40
Box 2 - 2000.660.56 - 153.2; 2008.3.1 - 2008.3.77

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physical storage

  • Box: CA DHM 2000.660; 2008.3 Box 1
  • Box: CA DHM 2000.660; 2008.3 Box 2