Leroy Sterling Cokely
1884 - 1956
Leroy Sterling Cokely was born in Independence, Iowa, to American-Irish parents on November 23, 1884. His education was completed in the United States after attending Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois.
In 1904 Cokely moved to Canada where he took out Dominion Land Surveyors articles under A.W. McVittie and worked on Dominion surveys in Alberta. In 1910 he moved to British Columbia with his family and in March of that year received his Dominion Land Surveyors Commission and then next month his Alberta Land Surveyors and British Columbia Land Surveyors Commissions.
Cokely was in private practice in Courtenay on Vancouver Island for many years. In 1929, while surveying in the Peace River District, Cokely received word that his youngest daughter, Betty, had died while staying with friends when a sand bank at Kye Bay collapsed suffocating her. During the years 1912 to 1930 in addition to the private surveys he carried out considerable work for the Provincial Government some of which involved surveying the mountains in and around Strathcona Park: Alexandra Peak, Mount Albert Edward and Mount McBride.
In 1933 he took the position of Assistant General Manager of Consolidated Gold Alluvials' mine at Wingdam east of Quesnel where he stayed for five years. In 1941 he was made the Chief Surveyor of West Coast Shipyards, holding this position until 1945 when he joined the British Columbia Power Commission and was in charge of surveys until his death.
Leroy Cokely died in West Vancouver on September 7, 1956, at the age of seventy-one. Mount Cokely, a peak to the east of Mount Arrowsmith which in the 1920's was called "The Hump," was renamed in 1973 in his honour. Cokely had set a triangulation station on the summit for the Geodetic Survey of Canada in 1926/27.
"Girl is Buried Under Sand Bank." Comox Argus [Courtenay, B.C.] (July 4, 1929) p. 1.
Obituary. Corporation of Land Surveyors of the Province of British Columbia. Report of Proceedings of the Fifty-Second Annual General Meeting. 1957. Victoria, B.C. p. 59.