John Broder

ID# 180, (1854-1917)
John Broder
About 1912
     John Broder was born on 8 July 1854 in Lissaneagh, Achonry, Co Sligo, IrelandG.1,2 He was the son of Robert Broder and Margaret Cuffe.1,2 He immigrated to the United States entering at Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, in September 1880.3 He declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States on 16 October 1880 in Outagamie County, Wisconsin.3 His aunt and uncle, Maria Cuff and Alexander Cuff were living in Hortonia, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, at this time; perhaps John was with them.

Sometime between late 1880 and early 1883 John made his way to California. He probably travelled by train as the railroads had been completed by the 1870s. On 7 May 1883, John filed for pre-emption (Cash Entry #1712) of 160 acres in Sections 12 & 13, Township 42 North, of Range 9 East, in Modoc County, CA. He claimed to have settled there on 30 Apr 1883. On 25 Oct 1884 he appeared at the Modoc County Clerk's office to provide final proof in support of this claim. He described his house as 12x16 feet. He paid the $200 fee on 13 Dec 1884 and the patent was granted.4 He married Alice Mary Graves, daughter of Roswell Graves and Eugenia C Clapp, on 1 February 1887 in Alturas, Modoc County, California.1 On 10 July 1888, John filed Homestead Entry #2566 for 160 acres in Section 13, Township 42 North of Range 9 East of Modoc County, CA. He claimed to have settled there on 10 Apr 1888 and built a home and a corral. On 25 Nov 1889 he appeared at the Modoc County Clerk's office to provide final proof in support of this claim. His testimony on that date indicated that he had previously resided on a piece of land S.E. of this claim but had sold it. He described his house as "18x20 feet, double floor, matched lumber inside and rough lumber outside; 2 windows and 1 door, all in one room, worth about $100". However, "owing to the extreme hard times and scarcity of money" John was unable to pay the required $200 to finalize his claim. He paid the fee on 17 Mar 1890 and the land was granted.5 He had become a US citizen on 3 August 1888 in Superior Court, Alturas, Modoc County, California.6

In 1897 the Klondike Gold Rush began, attracting thousands of fortune seekers to Alaska, the Yukon and Northern British Columbia. In 1898/99, gold was discovered in Pine Creek, BC and the town of Atlin, British Columbia, was born. John saw this as an opportunity and went to Atlin in the summer of 1900 where he opened a store and sold supplies to the miners. On 26 Aug 1900, a fire consumed much of Atlin, including John's business. The Victoria Times Colonist of 5 Sept 1900 and the The Atlin Claim of 1 Sept 1900 reported on the fire. On 22 Sept 1900, The Atlin Claim printed a card of thanks from J. Broder to the residents of Atlin for receipt of $150 from the relief fund (p 2) and a note that he had left on Tuesday's boat to return to his wife and children in Washington (p 4). A map of Atlin is here and photos of the town during that time can be seen here.

John operated a number of clam canneries in Friday Harbor, WA and in BC. A family story suggests John and his son Robert sold canned clams that were were marketed as "fresh". Customers were urged to eat them immediately because John knew that the cans were often not properly sealed and would likely explode. Photos of Friday Harbor at that time can be seen here.

On 21 Jan 1906, John Broder sailed from Seattle, WA to Victoria, BC. He made almost the same journey on 6 Feb 1906 accompanied by Robert Roswell Broder. On this second trip they sailed from Port Townsend, WA. Both trips were on the CPR's steam ship Princess Beatrice. a wooden hulled, single-screw 193 foot 1,290 ton ship having 40 rooms with 114 berths.7,8

John died on 28 February 1917 of cancer of the stomach in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, at age 62.2

John's obituary in the The Bellingham Herald on 1 March 1917 read:
"JOHN BRODER; aged 62 yrs, passed away at a local hosp Wednesday 28 Feb after an illness of several months. Mr Broder was a resident of Friday Harbor for a number of years, where he has a large circle of friends who will mourn his loss. Mr Broder is survived by Mrs Broder, 4 sons & 1 dau: Robert R - New Westminister BC; J Harold - WallaWalla; Orville & Percival Broder - Friday Harbor & Mrs S Manery - Similkameen BC. Funeral services will be held Friday Mar 2nd from the funeral parlors of Undertaker Harry Bingham with Rev Hans Hanson pastor of Seventh Day Adventist church officiating. Interment will be made in BayView Cem."

He was buried on 2 March 1917 in Bayview Cemetery, Bellingham, Whatcom County, WashingtonG.2

There are a number of references to John's life in his son Robert's bio.

Census Records

YearPlaceHead of Household
1900La Conner, Skagit County, WashingtonJohn Broder9
1910Bellingham, Whatcom County, WashingtonJohn Broder10
1911New Westminster, British ColumbiaJohn Broder11
Last Edited=27 Jan 2020

Children of John Broder and Alice Mary Graves


  1. [S117] John Broder & Alice Graves, Marriage license & certificate un-numbered (25 Feb 1887), Modoc County Recorder's Office, Alturas, Modoc County, California.
  2. [S118] John Broder, Death Certificate 52 (2 Mar 1917), Washington Bureau of Vital Statistics, Olympia, Thurston County, Washington.
  3. [S119] John Broder, Affidavit of Immigration, filed with land grant application (16 Oct 1880); National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
  4. [S351] John Broder Land Grant; 1712; General Land Entry Files; Susanville, California; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
  5. [S495] John Broder Land Grant; 2570; General Land Entry Files; Susanville, California; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
  6. [S350] John Broder, Citizenship Record, un-numbered (3 Aug 1888); Modoc County Court, Alturas, Modoc County, California.
  7. [S617] RG76, Princess Beatrice, 21 Jan 1906, Passenger List, Library & Archives Canada T-510 ( accessed 28 Jun 2009).
  8. [S618] RG76, Princess Beatrice, 6 Feb 1906, Passenger List, Library & Archives Canada T-510 ( accessed 28 Jun 2009).
  9. [S443] John Broder, 1900 Federal Census (Skagit, Washington), HeritageQuest,
  10. [S444] Alice Broder, 1910 Federal Census (Washington), HeritageQuest,
  11. [S468] 1911 Census (New Westminster, British Columbia), Library & Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Page 14, lines 21-23.
  12. [S79] Robert Roswell Broder, Affidavit of Birth by Bertha May Graves Sealock, April 22, 1944, privately held by Faye West, Edmonton, Alberta.
  13. [S80] Robert Roswell Broder, Death Certificate 56-08-007547 (22 November 1956), Alberta Health & Social Development, Vital Statistics Division, Edmonton, Alberta.
  14. [S7] Letter from Elaine King Willson (Coquitlam, BC) to Faye West, May 1978; privately held by Faye West (Edmonton, Alberta). File: Broder, general. Elaine received info from Mabel Hallberg Broder (for Harold) and from Sam Manery (for Mabel).
  15. [S124] Mabel Manery (obituary), The Penticton Herald, Penticton, BC, 26 Feb 1958, pg pg 3.
  16. [S581] Mabel Elizabeth Manery, Death Registration 58-09-003015 (27 Feb 1958), BC Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria, British Columbia.
  17. [S125] John Harold Broder, Funeral Card, 18 Mar 1971, file: Broder, general, privately held by Faye West, Edmonton, Alberta.
  18. [S126] Social Security Death Index, online (
  19. [S911], online database, "California Death Index 1940-1997" ( : accessed 2010 - 2012).
  20. [S45] Barbara Hill, "Rev Graves Family," e-mail message from e-mail address (Berkeley, California) to Faye West, 9 Mar 2002.
  21. [S128] Percy Broder, Funeral Card, 20 Aug 1974, privately held by Faye West, Edmonton, Alberta.