Israel Wood Powell

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Israel Wood Powell (April 27, 1836 – February 25, 1915) was a doctor, businessman and politician in British Columbia. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island from 1863 to 1866.

He was born in Colborne, Norfolk County, Upper Canada, the son of Israel Wood Powell and Melinda Boss. His brother Walker later served in the legislative assembly for the Province of Canada. Powell was educated in Port Dover and at McGill University, where he studied medicine. He set up practice in Port Dover, moving to Victoria, Vancouver Island in 1862. Powell was surgeon for the local fire department and also served in the militia.
He was also a founding member of a freemason lodge there and later served as provincial grand master.

Powell was elected to the House of Assembly of Vancouver Island in 1863. He was defeated when he ran for election in 1866 and the 1868 BC elections.

He served as chairman of the General Board of Education from 1867 to 1869. In 1865, he married Jane "Jennie" Brank.

He was a supporter of union with Canada and brought the first Canadian flag to BC on June 17, 1871[1] which he presented to the Victoria Fire Department on Jul 1st.[2] He got the flag from his close friend John A. Macdonald After BC joined Canada in 1871 he was named Superintendent of Indian Affairs, serving in that post until 1889. In 1886, Powell became the first president of the Medical Council of British Columbia. He was also the first chancellor for the University of British Columbia. Powell died in Victoria at the age of 78.

A number of geographical features of British Columbia, including Powell River and Powell Lake, were named in his honour.

See also[edit]


  • Lutz, John (1998). "Israel Wood Powell". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved 2010-12-27.

External links[edit]