Beatton River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows SE into Peace River between Rolla and Taylor, Peace River Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 56°05'58''N, 120°22'37''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 94A/1
Related Maps:
94A/1 94A/10 94A/15 94A/2
94A/6 94A/7 94G/1 94G/2
94H/2 94H/3 94H/4 94H/5
94H/6

Origin Notes and History:

"Beatton River (not North Pine nor Terrace River)" adopted in the 17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1921. Had been labelled "Pine River North" on 1875 & 1879 Geological Survey maps (titles not cited), corrupted to "North Pine River" on later maps including BC map 1H, 1917; title/date of maps or documents calling this "Terrace River" are not cited in BC records.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

After Francis "Frank" Work Beatton (1865-1945), who served the HBC from 1883 to 1928, and was their factor (trader) at Fort St. John. Beatton was an Orkneyman who travelled from Lake Winnipeg by York boat and Red River cart, arriving in the Peace River country in 1883, age 18. The rest of his long life was spent in this area, with the exception of a few months in 1885-6, when he left the Lesser Slave Lake post to go to Fort Smith and help build the Wrigley, first steamer on the Mackenzie. After some years at Trout Lake post near Lesser Slave, he moved back with his family to Dunvegan. Later he was at Hudson's Hope for a year, after which he moved to Fort St. John, where he lived until his death. In his capacity as factor, he opened outposts at Fontas, Sikanni, Beatton River and Nig Creek. In 1912 an epidemic of influenza swept the district and a great many Indians died. It was largely owing to Mr. Beatton's exertions that the number of deaths was not much greater. After serving the company for 44 years, he was pensioned off at the beginning of 1928; continued to live at Fort St. John, and was local sub-mining recorder and a Justice of the Peace. Died at Fort St. John 5 January 1945. Obituary in The Beaver, March 1945, p.47. Birth Certificate (received Sept 1975, file F.1.48) clearly indicates that Beatton's middle name was Work, not Wark. Born in Kirkwall, Orkney, at 6:20am on 10 July 1865. Parents Thomas Waugh Beatton, day labourer, and Mary Beatton nee Mary S. Work, married 2 June 1859 at Shapinshay, Orkney.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Shortly after Beatton's death, Duncan Cran of Fort St. John interviewed his son John and daughter, Mary (Mrs. K. Birley) and wrote an article about Beatton. This was published (with some alterations, eg. name given as Frank Worth Beaton), in the Dawson Creek Peace River Block News, Jan 18, 1945. From information in the BC Directories and the obituaries (see list on file C.2.54, received 1966), it would appear that the family name was originally Beatton. In the 1940's, son Frank adopted the spelling Beaton, a practice which was followed by other members of the family, including Angus, Duncan and Fred (relationship unclear). Francis Beatton's son, John, was manager at the HBC post at Moberly Lake; two other sons, William and Frank, and two grandsons, Douglas and Frank Birley were enlisted with the Canadian Army in WW II. Another grandson, Derek Birley, was killed in action [rank, service, date not specified; no such listing with Commonwealth War Graves Commission].

Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions

North Peace Museum Archives advises that Beaton [sic] River was named by surveyor Berno [sic], likely a reference to Dominion Land Surveyor Lucien Brenot who worked here in 1913. (see Brenot Creek)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"...the name Beatton as applied to the River (also known as North Pine River) is in error as the name should be spelled with one T. Mr. Frank W. Beaton came to Fort St. John as Hudson's Bay Company factor in 1899 and shortly afterwards moved the post to the north side of the Peace River." (Duncan Cran, BCLS, A Brief History of Land Surveying in the North Peace River District, reminiscing about his surveying activities 1931-c1954, and published in The Peacemakers of North Peace, published by Davies, Ventress and Kyllo, 1973, pp.392-394) This article located and shared by J. Cosgrove, July 2009.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office