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Simeon Kamenchikoff Statement to RCMP


10:10 a.m.

Nelson. B.C. Oct. [Nov.] 5/24

Simeon Kamenchikoff.

Aged 42 years, born in Bessarabia, village of Grubia, Province Gottin, worked at Agriculture. Came to Canada 1913, left old country 5th March, sailed from Hamburg and came to Halifax, from there to Montreal, worked on streets (St. Charles St.) stayed Montreal 3 months, after I went on Railway near Cochrane and then to Winnipeg stayed there some years, worked on water works, from there to La Pas on Railway, then came to Vancouver, B.C. I think 1917 or 1918 worked on snow shed for Mr. Creelman, Contractor C.P.R. Then I came to Grand Forks and joined the Doukhobor Community, I think 1917 or 1918 I paid in $300.00 to Community, lived 4 miles from Grand Forks with John Kazakoff. I got short of money different times and Peter Verigin gave me $50.00 at 3 different times. I stayed 1 year and went to California and worked at Fresno and also Big Creek. Came back to B.C. 1921 and went to Brilliant. I left the Community at Grand Forks because I went to California, had no trouble at Grand Forks. I lives at Brilliant maybe five days and then went back to Grand Forks to John Kazakoff. Peter Verigin never whipped me and I never had trouble with any Doukhobors. Started work on section at Billings last August, made $7.00 and then to Coryell and worked there until wreck. I worked on Section west of Coryell two days before wreck, also day before wreck, stayed that night in Section house, sleeping in same room with other Section man Elias Swetlichinoff. I stayed in Section house all night never went out. Section foreman told me next morning put in crow bar, hammer, etc. on speeder and we go to Farron, when I saw wreck that was first I knew there had been a wreck. I helped clear wreck away, we got to wreck after daylight, Coryell I think is ten miles from Farron. I know Wasil Koochin and I see Bill Lazareff on train and Wasil Koochin son was with him, we were on train between Grand Forks and Coryell. I do not know Dan Grenor a Russian who repairs clocks and watches. I sat on train and had my crown of oranges (21) on head. Lazareff told me that foolish and after more talk I tell him he no believe in Heaven he go to "Hell". We never mentioned Peter Verigin. This conversation took place on train maybe two weeks before explosion on train. Twice last spring Peter Verigin gave me $50.00 each time he gave me Canadian money. I got now American which I changed Bank, Grand Forks, $100.00 one time and paid 75 for it. I got American Money because I want to go California again. I cashed it I think June month.

Sam Kamenchikoff
Czar of Heaven

G.O Reid
Ernest Gammon

Source: Library and Archives Canada, Access to Information Act, RG:18; Vol. 3306; File 1924-HQ-750-E-1-1, Simeon Kamenchikoff, Simeon Kamenchikoff Statement to RCMP, November 5, 1924.

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