Trutch, John
b. 1828
d. 1907-02-02
John Trutch was the younger brother of Sir Joseph William Trutch, the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. John worked alongside his brother as a surveyor and engineer in the United States and British Columbia, and helped further his brother's many political and entrepreneurial endeavours. John married Zoe Musgrave, the sister of former Governor of Newfoundland and British Columbia, Anthony Musgrave, in 1870.1
John Trutch was born in 1828 in St. John's, Jamaica, while his father, William Trutch, was posted there as a British government official and landowner.2 He returned to Somerset, England with the family in 1834 and attended school at Mount Radford College in Devonshire, with his brother Joseph.3
Joseph moved to America during the gold rush in 1849, and he secured survey contracts in North America for John in 1854.4
When Joseph returned to England to lobby for a government position with the colonies, around 1856, John remained in the United States.5 He attempted to become an American citizen, but ultimately abandoned his Oregon land claim because citizenship was a requirement.6 Ten years later, his claim was under dispute by two rivaling groups and the home was dynamited.7
When his brother was appointed to political office in 1865, John received his brother's interest shares from the Alexandria Suspension Bridge in order to lessen public disdain from Joseph's growing affluence from political influence.8
During his brother's political career, John likely benefited from his family's social standing and continued to receive substantial survey contracts until 1889, when he was appointed land commissioner for the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway.9 He lived in Victoria until his wife Zoe died in 1894, returning to England in 1896, where he would live until his death in 1907.10
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