Birth: June 4, 1840 in Hohensaltzer, Posen, Germany
Death: October 24, 1921 in Victoria, B.C.
Charles Brash was a local businessman, inventor and later in life the father-in-law of a Victoria rabbi.
According to the 1901 Canadian Census, Charles immigrated from Germany to Canada in 1876. He came to Victoria with his wife, Antonia “Tony” Ball Brash (1846-1932), and three of their four children; Hugo (1872-1946), Eda (1874-1912), Celia (1876-1966). Their daughter Rosa (1884-1939) was born in Victoria.
Charles’s name first appears in the 1895 City directories which listed him as an agent for hides and wool and living at 197 Johnson Street.
On March 5, 1895, the Daily Colonist reported that Charles appeared before Magistrate Macrae as an accountant for Bissinger & Co. (formerly H. Bornstein & Co.). The case was against Victoria fur trading company, Joseph Boscowitz & Sons who was charged with being in possession of deer skins contrary to the act. Charles gave evidence as to the amount of shipments that were made before the game protection act came into effect. A conviction was entered against Joseph Boscowitz & Sons the case was sent to the Supreme Court.
Charles’s career was with Bissinger & Co., a San Francisco based company that dealt in hides, wool, furs and leather. They also tanned hides some of which were used to make saddle leather and fine harnesses. The company had locations in Portland, Seattle, Spokane, The Dalles, Salt Lake City and Victoria.
The January 1898 U.S. Treasury records indicate that Charles exported raw cattle hides to the U.S. It was recorded that on January 19, 1898, there were 29 mixed hides which entered the U.S. First valued at $84.09 each, that amount was later advanced to $109.41 U.S. dollars. On January 24, 1898, Charles sold salted hides, mixed, 363 pieces and was paid $4.25 U.S. per hide.
According to the August 16, 1899 edition of the Victoria Daily Times, on July 3, the police seized 50 sacks of pickled deer skins which were ready for shipment. On July 5, the police raided and confiscated more deer skins from the Bissinger & Co’s. warehouse. A case was brought against Charles Brash, agent for Bissinger & Co, for “recently” exporting 3,000 pickled deer skins and for having about 18,000 raw skins on hand with the intent to pickle them as well. After hearing testimony from expert witnesses for the prosecution and defence the Judge ruled the statute does not forbid the exportation of treated hides and dismissed the case.
On November 27, 1900, Charles filed a claim to patent an Ore Concentrator. He describes his invention as follows:
“In an ore washing and concentrating machine, a suspended receptacle for receiving the water and the ore, and provided with an outlet which extends below the bottom of the receptacle, combined with suitable eccentrices, a rod operated thereby, a ring upon the end of the rod and which encircles the outlet extending below the bottom of the receptacle, suitable curved springs placed inside of the ring, and means for operating the eccentric, substantially set forth.”
The patent was received on May 28, 1901.
In 1901 Charles was listed in the City Directories as the manager of Bissinger & Co, located at 38 Yates Street & Outer Wharf Street and living at 197 Pandora Street. In 1910-11 the family lived at 1133 Fort Street.
Charles and Tony’s third child Celia married Rabbi Montague N. A. Cohen (born in London on May 19, 1877) on October 20, 1903. Rabbi Cohen had been appointed by Chief Rabbi Herman Adles to serve as Rabbi for Congregation Emanu-El in 1901. He was the first rabbi to marry a local woman. A well attended wedding reception was held that afternoon in the Hebrew Ladies Hall between 3 and 5.
Gravesite Details: Row C – Plot 36
Beloved Husband of
Oct 25, 1921
Rosa Bonn Brash
Antonia “Tony” Ball Brash (1846-1932)
Hugo Brash (1872-1946)
Eda Brash Cathcart (1874-1912)
Celia D. Brash Cohen (1876-1966)
Rosa Brash Cathcart (1884-1939)