C.1835-40 - November 4, 1875
Born in Hartland, Maine, Moody crossed the American continent to San Francisco when he was 14, and came to New Westminster about 1861.
In a partnership with Moses Ireland they imported cattle and other supplies. In 1862 Moody formed a syndicate that included Ireland, Joshua Attwood Reynolds Homer, and Captain James Van Bramer to build a steam sawmill at New Westminster. This was the first mill of any size on the mainland of British Columbia. They also incorporated the British Columbia Coal Mining Company in 1865, but nothing came of this venture.
By February 1865 Moody had purchased the Pioneer Mills on Burrard Inlet. He slowly built up the first substantial lumber export business from the British Columbia mainland, and sent shipments to California, Hawaii, Peru, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain.
An 1866 partnership with George Dietz and Hugh Nelson made it possible to expand the mills. "First known locally as "Moody's Mills," the surrounding settlement was officially named Moodyville in 1872. Moody was an enterprising, astute, and perhaps occasionally sharp trader; but he had a puritanical streak and a liking for law and order. Moodyville was a company town, and he ruled it and his men with a firm hand. The sale of liquor was forbidden, and in large part owing to Moody himself Moodyville had the first school, the first religious service, the first library and reading room, and the first Masonic lodge on Burrard Inlet. He also extended the telegraph line from New Westminster at his own expense. Sewell P. Moody thus built a community as well as an important pioneer industrial enterprise." [Dictionary of Canadian Biography]
He was drowned in the steamer Pacific off Cape Flattery November 4, 1875.
Initiated : April 9, 1863|
Raised : January 5, 1865
Union Lodge No. 899 ER
Inner Guard : 1869
Senior Warden : 1872
Mount Hermon Lodge No. 491 SR
Sources : Grand Lodge of British Columbia records ; Daily Colonist (Victoria), 12, 13 Sept. 1901. W. A. Carrothers, "Forest industries of British Columbia," in A. R. M. Lower, The North American assault on the Canadian forest: a history of the lumber trade between Canada and the United States (The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of economics and history, Toronto, New Haven, Conn., London, 1938) ; J. S. Matthews, "Early Vancouver: narrative of pioneers" (unpublished typescript, 7v., 1932-56, IV, VI, copies in City Archives, Vancouver, and Library of Parliament, Ottawa) ; R. L. Reid, Grand Lodge of British Columbia A.F. & A.M.: historical notes and biographical sketches, 1848-1935 ; (Vancouver, n.d.). F. W. Howay, "Early shipping in Burrard Inlet, 1863-1870," BCHQ, I (1937), 1-20. Also see Howay and Scholefield, History of B.C., v. 2, p. 338.