Henry Cogan was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1839, and spent his early manhood as a yeoman farmer. He sailed around the Horn and arrived in Victoria on the Tynemouth, September 27, 1862. He first located on a farm on Burnside Road near Wilkinson, and was later manager of the Hudson’s Bay farm at Craigflower. He bought property on the Sooke Road on what is now known as Dewdney Flats and was a successful farmer there.
In 1871 he offered himself as a candidate for Esquimalt District in the Legislative Assembly. Although he had no political record prior to this, he was elected on his platform. He claimed a “clean and spotless private life” and promised he would expend his efforts to get a modified tariff, free non-sectarian schools, good roads and heavier taxation of holders of wild lands until they were cultivated. He was elected and held office until 1875.
After his retirement from politics he took charge of the lighthouse at the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour, and later returned to his farm at Metchosin. In 1906 he was stricken with partial paralysis and was forced to withdraw from active life. He sold his holdings to a son of Sir James Douglas, who later sold to Lieutenant-Governor Dewdney. After a trip to England, he returned to Victoria and spent the rest of his life at a home on Agnes Street, Victoria West. He died on July 20, 1913, at the age of 74 years and 5 months. He is buried in Metchosin Cemetery.
Mrs. Cogan, (Mary Charlotte Robson), was born in England on February 28, 1854, and came to Vancouver Island with her parents while still an infant. They settled in the Comox valley and later moved to Victoria, after spending some time on the mainland. When she was four years old, she was kidnapped by some Indians at Ladner, but was unharmed. She died on September 16, 1922, at the age of 68, and is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Metchosin. Her sister, Amelia, who was the widow of Captain George Collins, pre-deceased her by two weeks. She was survived by another sister, a Mrs. Hood. There is no record of the date of Mr. and Mrs. Cogan’s marriage, nor is there any record of any children.
Source: FootPrints Pioneer Families of the Metchosin District, Marion I. Helgesen editor
Photo: BC Archives Image A-01218