Adolph Lancaster

The Victoria Daily Times December 3, 1931

Birth: July 19, 1882 in Kent, England

Death: January 17, 1961 (age 78) in Victoria, B.C.


Adolph Lancaster was a British born clothing merchant who was engaged in Jewish life and heavily involved in fraternal organizations.

Adolph’s father, Simeon, was in the clothing business, both as a tailor and later as a travelling salesman. Adolph went into the same trade. Adolph was listed in the 1901 British Census as living with his father and siblings in London. He appeared in the 1906 British Electoral Register as a voter in Greenwich, England.

Adolph first appeared in Victoria’s City Directory in 1908 and was listed as living at the same address as his uncle, Isador Lancaster and as clerk at Isador’s Clothing shop at 1323 Government Street. In 1909 the shop was listed as Army & Navy Clothing Store with Isador as the proprietor and Adolph as salesman. Adolph became the proprietor in 1910 when apparently his uncle moved to Vancouver. Isador returned to Victoria in 1915 and clerked for his nephew in the Army and Navy Store. In about 1915 Lancaster & Co was formed. 1917 with Isador as manager and Adolph as a worker. September 21, 1919 the British Colonist reported that Adolph opened a second men’s clothing store.

According to the City Directory for Victoria, Adolph continued to work at Lancaster & Co until 1935. He then became a salesman for E.E. Heath, a notary, real estate, general insurance, and timber broker. From 1940 to 1950, Adolph was a salesman for the insurance and real estate brokers Brown Bros. In 1950 Adolph was listed as a salesman for Green Reality. That company handled real estate, insurance and mortgages. Beginning in 1951 the City Directory records: Adolph (Josephine) salesman, residence 326 Dallas.

Adolph was engaged in civic and religious affairs. He was a member of the Victoria Board of Trade which later became known as the Chamber of Commerce. His involvement in fraternal organizations included the Knights of Pythias, Oddfellows, Ancient Order of Foresters, and the International Order of B’nai B’rith. He is listed as a Master Mason of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge No. 2 in 1914 and 1930.

On September 9, 1911 the Victoria Daily Times reported that Adolph was elected Treasurer of Congregation Emanu-el at the anual meeting. In October, 1913 the British Colonist wrote that Rev. Dr. Elias Friedlander would be officiating at the High Holiday services and that tickets could be “reserved by application to Mr. A. Lancaster, Army & Navy Clothing Store.”

According to the 1911 census, Adolph is listed as a lodger in the home of Kate Davis, the divorcee of Maurice Salmon. On September 17, 1911 the 29 year old Adolph, married Kate’s 19 year old, Victoria born daughter, Victoria Josephine Salmon.

The lavish wedding took place at the bride’s home with Rev. Dr. Friedlander performing the service. Following the wedding, the couple left for their honeymoon. Isador and his wife travelled from Vancouver to attend the wedding.

The 1921 census listed Kate Davis, Adolph’s mother-in-law, as living with Adolph, Josephine and their eight year old son Ralph. Kate often accompanied the family on trips including visits to Vancouver, and to England. The couple had another son, George, who died in infancy.

In the 1930’s, Adolph was involved in political life. At a public meeting to introduce the candidates on November 28, 1931, The Victoria Daily times quoted Adolph as saying that he would run the city on a business basis, “getting a dollar for every dollar spent and not spending two where one would do.” He also proposed reducing the taxes on corner lots by levying taxes on the front footage and 1/3 of the side footage. Adolph said that this plan worked successfully on the prairies.

It appears that Adolph unsuccessful ran was as part of a slate of candidates for the Ratepayers’ Candidates. The Victoria Daily Times published the following letter to the editor on December 12, 1931:
To the Editor:
With your permission, we, the undersigned candidates of the Ratepayers Association desire to express our thanks and appreciation of the support extended to us by the electors of the city.
It is impossible to specify, but we do want particularly to thank those men and woman who voluntarily gave their time and cars for our cause.
Majorities must rule and we bow to the inevitable.
Frank Le Roy
Adolph Lancaster
Mrs. Julia de Blaquire,
Roland H. Powell

Adolph was President of the Conservatives Association in 1932. On September 29, 1932 the Times Colonist reported that Adolph gave a speech to the association. He said that extremely high expenses and decreased revenue created a difficult time for the government. On a motion, a resolution of confidence in Premier Tolmie was passed. Adolph was elected Vice Chair of the Conservative Association on October 13, 1937.

Gravesite Details: Row E – Plot 22

In Loving Memory
1882 – 1961

Mary Elizabeth Marks Lancaster (1849-1891)
Simeon “Sampson” Lancaster (1855-1934)

Victoria Josephine Salmon Lancaster (1893–1981)

Ralph Lancaster (1913-2010)
George Marks Lancaster (1917–1918)

Half brother Manuel Lancaster (1866)
Maurice Lancaster (1887-1972)
Catherine Lancaster (1890)

Vancouver Island Masonic History Project:

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