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R. L. Cawston  (1849-1923)


Richard Lowe Cawston, pioneer rancher of the Cawston district, and for whom the town of Cawston, B.C., is named, arrived in Osoyoos from Stratford, Ontario, in 1874.  Cawston remained foreman at the Haynes Ranch for the next ten years.

In 1883, a smallpox epidemic, to which the Natives were susceptible, spread over the province.  Cawston, because of the absence of a medical practitioner, vaccinated the Natives in great numbers with the vaccine that was sent from Victoria.

 

In 1884, Cawston entered into a ranch partnership with Mr. Lowe.  They purchased the “R” (F. Richter) ranch near Keremeos.  The ranch comprised over 5000 acres of crown granted land, together with extensive leased ranges.  The ranch prospered and cattle numbered as high as 2000 head.  Cawston as manager became widely known as one of the big stockmen of the Boundary Valleys.

 

In December of 1884, Cawston returned to Ontario and married Mary A. Pearson and brought her back to Osoyoos in February of 1885.  Cawston was made Justice of the Peace in 1889.  He passed away in 1923; Mrs. Cawston survived him by ten years.