Otto Bond was the first person to be buried in this cemetery. Until late 2014, nothing was known about him beyond his name, but research done as part of the Mountain View Cemetery Restoration Project has revealed quite the story.
Otto Bond arrived in Vancouver in December 1892, intent on opening a shop selling Remington typewriters. He is described to be a man about 25-30 years old, 5’7”, with a black moustache and dark complexion. He claimed to represent a typewriter company in Seattle, who had licensed him to be their Canadian representative from here to Calgary. Over the course of a few days, he made his way around town gathering the necessary supplies: a room in the corner of the Ferguson Block, $182 worth of furniture, a new suit of clothes, office supplies, and a subscription to the Post-Intelligencer, all paid by cheque. But when the merchants involved took these cheques to the bank, they discovered them to be worthless.
Mr. Shelton, the furniture salesman in question, was sufficiently upset that he went to confront Bond directly, at the hotel where Bond was staying. When there was no answer at the door, Shelton took out a warrant and returned the next day with Officer Grady, who burst the door open. “At once they saw what had happened,” reports The Daily News Advertiser of December 21, 1892. “On the couch Bond lay stretched out at full length quite dead, and had apparently been so for a couple of days. Poison had effected the terrible deed, and his face presented a ghastly appearance. From the fact that Sunday’s Post-Intelligencer had been read, it would seem that he had committed the rash act on Sunday night or early Monday morning.
“The supper had evidently been a very dainty affair, while he had also drunk half a dozen bottles of champagne, which were lying around the room. The furniture consisted of a couch, on which he was lying, a table, two chairs, a desk and washstand. Among the bills was one for a revolver and a box of cartridges. The latter were found in a drawer, but the former could not be found anywhere, and it would seem as though he had been frightened to take his life by that means, and had chosen poison instead.”
The coroner determined morphine to be the poison used, and an empty pill box that had contained morphine was found on the table.
The paper goes on to report that Bond “seemed to have plenty of money as he drank considerable wine, drove around in carriages, and as has just leaked out, spent considerable of his time among the houses of bad repute on DuPont [Pender] street.”Otto’s plot remained unmarked until 2013, when the Mountain View Cemetery Restoration Project began. Until the beginning of this project, there were 145 other unmarked graves in this cemetery, in addition to Otto’s. These have now been marked with small, temporary stones.