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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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FREEZE, SAMUEL (1843-1916)

FREEZE, SAMUEL, sawmill and woodworking factory owner, land surveyor, prospector, and adventurer; b. Doaktown, 27 Sep 1843, s/o Hiram Freeze and Margaret (Doak) Robinson; m. 1873, Isabella A. Fowler, d/o Elijah Fowler and Jane MacAllister; d. Doaktown, 1 Sep 1916.

In 1866, Samuel Freeze went to Colorado, where he worked at mining and staked claims near Leadville. He soon returned, however, and was working in the lumber industry in 1871. He had qualified as a land surveyor by February 1873, when he was made a seizing officer of lumber cut on crown land. He was also a labor act commissioner for Blissfield parish. In 1880 he tried to get a company organized to develop the claims which he still held in Colorado. He travelled there again in 1881, but so much time had elapsed that he failed to re-establish his interest in the properties.

In 1886 it was reported that Freeze had discovered particles of gold on Stewart Brook, a tributary of the Taxis River. When not prospecting he ran survey lines for property owners and operated steam-powered shingle and clapboard mills and a sash and door factory. In the winter of 1893 he had a crew of men employed sawing pine for doors which he was shipping to Nova Scotia. In November 1897, having decided to join in the gold rush to the Yukon, he advertised his mill and factory for sale. He left for the Klondike at the beginning of March as head of a party which included his son Herbert Freeze and Charles and Isaac Walls of Blackville. The four men took their departure by train, "accompanied by two enormous dogs."

In August 1898 Freeze was back in Doaktown, explaining that gold was not as plentiful in the Yukon or as easy to find as he had been led to believe. Within three months he had a new sawmill erected and was preparing to cut furniture stock from birchwood for shipment to Britain. An unceasing activity of his was prospecting and staking claims in the Southwest Miramichi area. His reported discovery of a tungsten deposit at Burnthill led to the organization, in 1912, of Acadia Tungsten Mines Ltd, of which he was managing director.

Freeze left his name to Freeze Brook, which empties into the Lower North Branch of the Little Southwest Miramichi. He and his wife, Isabella A. Fowler, had five children. Their son Herbert D. Freeze was with the Richards Co. at Boiestown and its successor, the Miramichi Lumber Co., of which he was resident manager in the 1930s and 40s. Their son Walter S. L. Freeze was a contractor and builder at Doaktown who also worked as a woods guide. In 1915 he guided the Toronto retailing magnate Sir John Eaton on a hunting trip in the Cains River district. Their daughter May Irene Freeze worked as a nurse in the home of Sir John and Lady Eaton. In 1921 she was married to Dr David A. Keys, the McGill University physics professor who later headed the nuclear research laboratory at Chalk River, Ont. The wedding ceremony was conducted by her uncle, the Rev. William J. Fowler, at the Timothy Eaton Chapel in Toronto, after which she and her husband left for Doaktown in the Eaton family's private railway car, the Eatonia.


[b] Freeze Genealogy [m] official records [d] Advocate 6 Sep 1916 / Advance 5 Feb 1880, 26 May 1881, 2 Mar 1893, 27 Jan 1898, 10 Mar 1898, 10 Nov 1898; Advocate 21 Apr 1875, 15 Apr 1885, 6 Jul 1887, 3 Nov 1897 (ad), 16 Aug 1898, 4 Jul 1900, 26 Nov 1902, 4 Oct 1916; Allen; Can. Encycl. (re. David Arnold Keys); clipping, n.d. (re. Keys/Freeze marriage); Commercial World 3 Dec 1953; Rayburn; Telegraph 23 Oct 1915; World 27 Apr 1912


See note following Hiram Freeze. If Margaret (Doak) Robinson was married to John Wesley Robertson on 1 Oct 1842, and if her son Samuel was born on 27 Sep 1843, a question arises concerning his paternity.