Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson arrived in Burnaby in 1894. She and her husband Dugald Campbell Patterson Sr. built a pioneer homestead and farm on 5 acres at what would become the north east section of Central Park. By 1904, the family moved to the Edmonds district where in 1909 she operated the po…
Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson arrived in Burnaby in 1894. She and her husband Dugald Campbell Patterson Sr. built a pioneer homestead and farm on 5 acres at what would become the north east section of Central Park. By 1904, the family moved to the Edmonds district where in 1909 she operated the post office that her husband founded. In 1910, Frances and Dugald began construction of a new house on 14 acres which they purchased for $720. The house is now located at 7106 18th Avenue and is a dedicated heritage building.
Frances Mabel assisted her husband with an insurance and real estate company that he founded in Burnaby and New Westminster. This experience would prove invaluable, as she would later become an insurance agent for the Wawanesa Insurance Company (founded in 1896). Frances never owned an automobile, so she met her insurance clients all over Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver by using the lower mainland’s street car system. The insurance profession continued to provide her with a steady income long after her husband’s death.
Frances Mabel (Webb) Paterson, called “May” by her family and friends, was born in Cradley, England on December 5, 1872. She sailed from England to Victoria with her parents, Joseph William Webb and Frances Jane (Yapp) Webb on the SS Lake Winnipeg in 1889. One of the few possessions that she brought with her was an old wood rimmed bicycle which she found quite useful after her move to Burnaby. She would ride it all the way from Patterson’s Trail and Westminster Road (today’s Patterson Avenue and Kingsway) to the Woodward’s store in Vancouver where she would place her grocery order. She packed a pearl handled revolver with her in order to scare any bears she might see along her ride.
In addition to becoming a respected insurance woman, Frances Mabel and her husband Dugald raised 7 children. They also helped build the Central Park Presbyterian Church, along with other pioneer families. Patterson Avenue and Patterson Skytrain Station are also named for the family. Frances Mabel died in New Westminster, BC on August 30, 1960.
[Biography provided by Raymond Reitsma (great-grandson)].