Isador Lancaster

JMABC The Scribe #20 November 1984

Birth: circa 1876 in London, England

Death: October 17, 1924 (age 47-48) in San Francisco, California

Isador Lancaster; Clothing retailer, Freemason, and heavily involved in Jewish affairs.

British born Isador first immigrated to Canada in 1898. He lived in Vancouver when on November 24, 1908 he married Australia born Rosetta “Rose” Hannah Harris. He was about 31 years old and she was about 21 years old.

The 1911 Canadian Census lists Isador as living in Vancouver with his wife, Rose, daughter, Esther and son, Gerald (1910–1976). However, both Isador and his nephew, Adolph begin to appear in the Victoria City Directory in 1908. They are both listed as living at 923 Johnson. Isador was working at a Clothing Shop at 1323 Government Street. Adolph was a clerk.

In 1909 Isador is listed in the directory as the proprietor of an Army and Navy Clothing store with Adolph as the salesman. In 1910, Adolph is listed as the proprietor of the Army & Navy Clothing store. Isador was in the clothing business at 1323 Government Street. Between 1912-1915 Isador’s name does not appear in the directory. It seems that he moved to Vancouver and was an employee at a clothing store there. Adolph continued to be listed as the proprietor of the Army & Navy Clothing Store.

Isador returned to the city directories in 1915 and is listed as a clerk in the Army & Navy Store. That same year, the directory shows; Lancaster & Co. (Rose Lancaster) Clothier at 1316 Government St. By 1917 through 1924 the directory lists Isador as the manager of Lancaster & Co located at 1316 Government Street.

On September 1, 1903, The Nanaimo Daily News reported that Isador was liquidating his stock and selling his Nanaimo store.

In 1904 Isador was the foreman of a Coroner’s July. Edward C. Hart was the Coroner. A copy of the Inquisition of February 8, 1904 reads:
Verdict of Coroner’s Jury. Victoria, B.C.
“That on January 31st, 1904, at Victoria, a certain person, or persons, at present to the jurors unknown, did wilfully, felonious and of malice aforethought kill and murder Man Quann, against the peace of our Lord the King, his Crown and dignity.”
(Sgd.) Isador Lancaster (Foreman.) Raymond A. Power. John Munro. Robert Evans. Gilbert D. Christie. John Jos. Fitzgerald.

In October, 1906, Isador publicly agreed to contribute $50 to the Consumptive Sanitarium fund as long as 50 others make a similar pledge.

Isador was involved in a number of fraternal organizations. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, and a Freemason. The 1914 membership list for Vancouver & Quadra Lodge No. 2 lists Isador as a Master Mason. When he died, Freemasons gathered at the cemetery for his funeral. There is a Masonic Square and Compasses on Isador’s gravestone. The pallbearers at his funeral were J.C. McNeil, P.J. Hall, B.H. Aaronson, M.L. Platnauer, Herbert Leiser, and L.J. Levy.

The Lancaster’s were part of the social scene in Victoria. Rose began monthly “receivings” on December 3, 1914. Announcements of parties at their home, and reports of their comings and goings appeared regularly in Victoria’s papers.
From 1917-1920, Isador was the president of Congregation Emanu-El. As president, in the fall of 1918 he appealed for funds for B’nai B’rith.

Isador and his family moved to San Francisco in 1924. Isador attended the 61st Convention of B’nai B’rith held at the Concordia Club in Vancouver. He died in San Francisco and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Victoria.

Gravesite Details: Row F – Plot 20

In Loving Memory of
Isador Lancaster
Died Oct 17.1924
Aged 48 Years
May His Dear Soul Rest in Peace

Ernestina Lancaster
Jeremiah Lancaster

Rosetta “Rose” Hannah Harris Lancaster (1887-1894)

Gerald Joseph Lancaster (1910–1976)
Esther Lancaster (1911–)

Simeon “Sampson” Lancaster (1855-1934)
Four sisters

Vancouver Island Masonic History Project:

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