Historical Biographies of Mayors and Councillors 1892-2006

 
Edmonton Mayors: M. McCauley (First Mayor), K.A. Blatchford, H.D. Ainlay, I.G. Dent, S. Mandel

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The short biographies have been compiled from a number of sources available at the Edmonton Public Library. These sources, noted with each biographical entry, often contain other biographical data and can be consulted in the library if more information on a particular person is needed.


 Calder, Hugh Alfred

Born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, in 1873. Received his education in Bridgewater. Started the first lumber company in Labrador before moving to Edmonton in 1902. Employing Indian guides, he spent his first five years in the Edmonton district looking for suitable timber for Grand Trunk Railway ties. Became partner of Foster and Calder, one of Edmonton's earliest real estate firms, in 1907. Went overseas in 1916 as major with the 19th Alberta Dragoons. Served in Scotland as commanding officer of the Canadian Forestry Battalion. After WWI retired to his south Edmonton farm. Member of Knox United Church for over sixty years; helped construct the Church's first building. Member of the Edmonton Exhibition Board and Masonic Lodge. Died in Vancouver, August 6, 1964. Survived by three daughters and one son. The Calder district of Edmonton was named after him.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton official gazette, p. 12

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, August 10, 1964, p. 18

 
 
 Calhoun, J. C.

Born in Albert Country, New Brunswick. Moved to British Columbia in 1885 and Alberta in 1895, engaging in the ranching business. Later became associated with fur trade. Built King Edward Hotel in 1906. One of a group which acquired the first gas franchise in Edmonton. Associated with the discovery of oil at Fort Norman in 1918. Sold hotel in 1940. Member of Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Died in 1948. Survived by his wife and three sons.

Additional Photos:


Source of Text:
City of Edmonton Archives.

 
 
 Cameron, John

Came from Winnipeg by ox cart in 1881 with 96,000 pounds of merchandise, the initial stock of his A. McDonald Company. Managed the store for about 15 years. Member of the first Edmonton Board of Trade in 1891. Also director of the early Agricultural Society. Was one of the original guarantors of the salary of the first school teacher in Edmonton in 1881. Died in October 1919. Survived by his wife and one daughter.

Additional Photos:
McGregor, J.G. Edmonton, a history. 2nd ed., p. 109

Source of Text:
Edmonton Bulletin, October 9, 1919, p. 3

 
 
 Campbell, Alexander Bowen

Born near Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, on September 20, 1859; son of John G. and Helen (nee Murdock) Campbell. Father a prominent lumberman. Educated at public and high schools in Perth. Spent 10 years in stock farming after finishing school in 1878, and another 10 years working for his father in a flour mill in Kingston. Came to Edmonton in 1901. Five years as manager of Dowling Company's flour mills, then established Campbell & Ottewell, a wholesale business in partnership with Richard Phillips. President of Edmonton Exhibition Association, Edmonton Board of Trade, member of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Presbyterian Church, Edmonton Hospital Board and Masonic Lodge. Married Katherine C. Kippin in 1885. One daughter.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton official gazette, p. 6, 169

Source of Text:
History of the Province of Alberta v. 1, p. 884-885

 
 
 Campbell, Bruce

Born in Cadomin, Alberta, on June 6, 1923. Involved in construction industry most of his life. Started in 1946 as carpenter apprentice with C.H. Whitham Ltd.; promoted to superintendent. General superintendent, Forest Construction Company, 1955-1959. Founded Camwill Construction in 1959 which he operated until 1985. Past president of Edmonton Chamber of Commerce; member of Rotary Club of Edmonton. Has served as volunteer with United Way and Cancer Fund. Married to Phoebe. Four children.

Additional Photos:
The City of Edmonton: your city, its attractions, government and services

Source of Text:
Alberta who’s who 3rd ed., p. 114; 4th ed., p. 49
Edmonton Journal, October 14, 1989, p. 14

 
 
 Campbell, George Alexander

Born in Prince Edward Island; son of a school teacher. After his father's death moved to Elkhorn, Manitoba. From 1896 to 1906 was blacksmith and machinist in Virden, Manitoba, then went into retail lumber business in which he spent most of his life. Lived for some time in Fleming, Lipton and Macklin in Saskatchewan. Was mayor of Micklin in 1919. Moved to Edmonton in 1920, retiring here in 1938. Served as chairman, Edmonton Hospital Board and director, Edmonton Exhibition Board. Member of Edmonton Rotary Club, Strathcona Curling Club, Alberta Curling Association, and Metropolitan United Church. Died on July 4, 1963. Survived by two sons and three daughters.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, November 13, 1941, p. 1

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, July 6, 1963, p. 3

 
 
 Campbell, Lois Norene

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, April 29, 1919. B.Ed. from the University of Alberta. Former teacher and Edmonton Public School Board trustee (1968-1974). Member of University of Alberta Senate for six years. Married to Duncan. Four children.

Additional Photos:
A civic handbook, 1980-83, p. 31

Source of Text:
Alberta who’s who 1st ed., p. 67
Aldermanic biographies

 
 
 Carey, Edward Francis

Born in London, Ontario, in 1832. Went to California gold fields in 1849 and from there to the Peace River district in 1864. Came to Edmonton in the 1870s and engaged in trading. Started the first general store under the name Norris & Carey which he managed until his retirement in 1894. Died on September 9, 1908. Survived by one son and one daughter.

Additional Photos:
MacGregor, J.G. Edmonton, a history. 2nd ed., p. 109


Source of Text:
Edmonton Bulletin, September 12, 1908, p. 1
Edmonton Bulletin, September 15, 1908, p. 1

 
 
 Casselman, Frederick Clayton

Born in Helmsville, Montana, in 1885; son of Samuel Clayton and Albertina (nee Hilborn) Casselman, both Canadians. Parents returned to Canada when he was five years old. Educated in Forest and Watford public schools in Ontario. LL.B. from University of Toronto. Taught school from 1905 to 1906. Entered Queen's University at Kingston and graduated in 1911 with B.A. honors in mathematics. Came to Edmonton in August 1913. Articled law student to P.W. Abbott and later to Norman C. Wilson. LL.B. from University of Toronto. Went overseas in 1916 with the Canadian Expeditionary Force to serve in WWI. Seriously wounded in France in 1918. Returned to Edmonton on December 1, 1919; confined in a hospital for nearly a year thereafter. Awarded a number of military medals, including the Military Cross. Senior member of the law firm Casselman & Dunne since 1920. Elected to the House of Commons for Edmonton East in 1940. Member of the Liberal Party, Presbyterian Church, Masonic Lodge and other associations. Married to Cora Taylor Watt on July 12, 1916. One daughter. Died from a heart attack on March 20, 1941. His wife Cora ran in the federal by-election that resulted from her husband's death. She won and was the first woman MP from Alberta, and the first to serve as Speaker.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, November 12, 1930, p. 1


Source of Text:
Alberta past and present v. 3, p. 442-443
Edmonton Journal, March 21, 1941, p. 1

 
 
 Cavanagh, June Carol

Born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, on November 26, 1928. Promotion manager with CJCA radio station for fourteen years; Edmonton Welcome Wagon, 1977-1978; design consultant for Miller Stationers, 1979. Director and fund raiser for various associations and societies. Married to Terry J. Cavanagh. Three children.

Additional Photos:
A civic handbook, 1980-83, p. 29

Source of Text:
Alberta who’s who 1st ed., p. 74

 
 
 Cavanagh, Terence (Terry) James

Born in Edmonton, July 19, 1926, two years after his parents arrived from Edinburgh, Scotland. Educated at Grandin and St. Joseph's High School. Six-week course in management at the Banff School of Advanced Management, 1978. Went to Galt, Ontario, in 1944 to play junior hockey. Later played for the Dallas Texans, Valleyfield of the Quebec Senior League, Los Angeles of the Western International Hockey League and seven years with the Trail Smoke Eaters of Trail, B.C., another WIHL team. Worked in the purchasing department of Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. (Cominco) in Trail, B.C., 1947-1957; Premier Steel Mills Ltd. in Edmonton (taken over by Stelco Steel in 1962), 1957-1962; purchasing manager, Western region, Stelco Steel, 1962-1977. Chairman of Alberta Rent Decontrol Appeal Board, 1977-1980. Public communications advisor for Alberta Energy Company Ltd., 1980-1984. Manager, Corporate Communications, 1980-1987. Taught a course in effective speaking at Victoria Composite High School (two years) and NAIT (seven years) and a purchasing management course at NAIT (six years) and the University of Alberta Extension Department. Served on several hospital boards and active in United Way. Director of a number of organizations, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Alberta Heart Foundation, Greater Edmonton Foundation and St. Joseph's Hospital. Married June Gould on April 12, 1948. Three children.

Additional Photos:
Alberta who’s who 3rd ed., p. 120

Source of Text:
Alberta who’s who 3rd ed., p. 120-121
Edmonton Journal, November 6, 1971, p. 5
Edmonton Journal, October 14, 1989, p. 12
Edmonton Examiner, September 4, 1998, p. 403

 
 
 Chahley, Leroy

Born in Edmonton in 1934? Former Edmonton chief of police. Education: high school diploma and a certificate from the University of Alberta in business administration (six university courses which he completed in six years while he was a detective with Edmonton Police). Graduated at the head of the first class of Edmonton City Police recruits in 1955. Worked as a patrol constable for two years. Promoted to detective in criminal investigation division and worked within various departments of that division for the next thirteen years. Promoted to staff sergeant in morality and later became an inspector in the drug squad. From 1979 to 1980 headed a special project before moving to Jasper Place subdivision as superintendent. Credited for bringing electronic surveillance t Edmonton's police force. Became deputy chief in charge of operations on September 3, 1986. Acting police chief on March 20, 1987 and appointed Edmonton chief of police in August 1987. Retired from the police force in 1990. Member of a number of boards, including the Edmonton Northlands, Greater Edmonton Foundation, and Edmonton Arts Council. Married to Donna. Five children, three daughters and two sons.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, August 30, 1987, p. A11
Edmonton Journal, October 8, 1995, p. B3

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, February 25, 1987, p. B6
Edmonton Journal, August 30, 1987, p. A11
Edmonton Examiner, September 4, 1998, p. 403

 
 
 Chichak, Catherine

Born in Wynyard, Saskatchewan, (1977 ed. of Canadian parliamentary guide has Krasne, Sask. as place of birth), October 7 (no year given); daughter of Alexander Shular and Anne Melnyk. Educated at Wynyard elementary and high schools, McTavish Business College, Edmonton, and the University of Alberta. Elected to Alberta Legislature in 1971 as a Conservative MLA for Edmonton-Norwood; re-elected in 1975 and 1979. Lost her seat in 1982 election to NDP leader Ray Martin. Edmonton Separate School Board trustee, 1983-1989; helped create new French School Program for the Edmonton school district. Key activist in establishing Institute of Canadian Studies at the University of Alberta. Member of Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, and the Progressive Conservative Party. Convicted and fined $200 in 1990 under the Local Authorities Election Act for signing a false statement about her tax arrears. The courts found she wasn't qualified to run for council in 1989 because she owed the city $8,400 in unpaid business taxes on her downtown gallery going back to 1986. But the Court of Queen's Bench ruled she was legally entitled to take her seat because she had since paid the amount owing. She ran again in 1992 in Ward II but lost her seat. Ukrainian Catholic by religion. Married to Stanley Chichak on May 14, 1960. Independent businesswoman.

Additional Photos:
The City of Edmonton: your city, its attractions, government and services

Source of Text:
Canadian parliamentary guide, 1977, p. 543
Canadian parliamentary guide, 1981, p. 574
Edmonton Journal, September 5, 1992, p. B3
Alberta Report, September 10, 1990, p. 20

 
 
 Chmiliar, William

Born in Myrnam, Alberta, December 19, 1921; son of Fred and Ksenia (nee Iskiw) Chmiliar. Educated at New Myrnam School, University of Alberta, and Grant McEwan College. Federal government accountant, Edmonton, 1946-1949; Alberta provincial government, Health and Social Development Dept., 1954-1978. President, Best Agencies Ltd., 1955-?; president, Best Holdings Ltd., 1966-? Served with Canadian Army overseas, 1942-1945; five military medals. Married to Helen Cherniwchan on September 24, 1946. Five children.

Additional Photos:
Municipal manual: city council term, 1977-1980, p. 9


Source of Text:
Who’s who in Alberta, 1978-1979, p. 83

 
 
 Clare, Rupert M.

Graduate of University of Alberta in medicine. Served as wing commander in RCAF in WWII. Served as vice-president, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club; president, Edmonton Athletic Club; president, Canadian Medical Association (Alberta branch). Medical director, Edmonton General Hospital.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, October 9, 1965, p. 49

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, October 9, 1965, p. 49

 
 
 Clark, William Harold

Born in London, England, July 1, 1869; son of William and Ellen (nee Joyner) Clark. Educated in public schools in London. Went to work for his father at age sixteen in the building and contracting business. Came to Canada in 1889, first to Toronto and then to Edmonton where he followed the building and contracting work until 1895. Established a large manufacturing company, W.H. Clark & Company, producing sash, doors and interior furnishings. Also established the Edmonton Lumber Company in 1905 and was president of the Edmonton Brick Company. Director of YMCA, member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Sons of England, Edmonton Club and the Masonic Lodge. Married Agnes Jane Robson in 1898. Three sons and one daughter. Died in 1913.

Additional Photos:
Greater Edmonton number, p. 57
History of the Province of Alberta, v. 1, p. 731-732
Edmonton Journal, December 12, 1959, p. 28

Source of Text:


 
 
 Clarke, Edwin Irwin

Born on August 24, 1914 in Edmonton, Alberta; son of Edwin Isaac and Jean (née O'Neill) Clarke. Attended Bennett School, King Edward School, Scona High School, and the University of Alberta. At an early age started E.I. Clarke Trucking, soon to be followed by Clarke's Tire Ltd. and Capital Retreaders. Served as president, Edmonton Exhibition Board; president, Western Canada Fairs; chairman, Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Also president of Edalca Hotels Ltd., which operated hotels around the country. Married Aileen Jensen in 1939. Three daughters.

Additional Photos:


Source of Text:
E.I. Clarke's family.

 
 
 Clarke, Gwendolen A. (nee Asbury)

Born in Durham, Ontario. Came to Edmonton in 1907, working first for the provincial government and then as secretary for city council's committees. While working as secretary met Joseph Clarke, then city alderman, and married him in 1911. Was elected alderman in 1941 following her husband's death. She was the third woman in Edmonton's history to be elected to civic office. President of Edmonton branch of United Nations Association in 1954. Died on March 25, 1972. Survived by one daughter.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Bulletin, December 9, 1942, p. 13
Edmonton Journal, March 27, 1972, p. 34

Source of Text:


 
 
 Clarke, Joseph Andrew

Born in Osnabruck Center, Ontario, September 20, 1869; son of James and Margaret (nee Adams) Clarke. Educated in schools at Prescott and Brockville, Ontario. Joined the North West Mounted Police in Regina in 1892. Lasted only a short time and returned to Ontario. NWMP had him brought up on a charge of desertion. He was able to get off with a hundred dollar fine as the magistrate was his uncle. Studied law at Osgood Hall in Toronto. Fresh from law school, he joined the Klondike rush to Yukon. While there, he became a member of the Yukon Council (1903-1904) and was admitted to the bar. Outstanding athlete in lacrosse, football, and track and field. Came to Edmonton in 1908 to practise law. Personal friend of W.L. Mackenzie King. Tried unsuccessfully to be elected to Alberta Legislature and House of Commons in late twenties. Known as "Fighting Joe" as he was implicated in many prostitution and gambling conspiracies and took part in many fights. Belonged to the Protestant Church and the Liberal Party. Married to Gwendolen Asbury on October 9, 1911. Three children. Died from a heart attack on July 26, 1941 in his sleep.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton official gazette, p. 7


Source of Text:
Alberta past and present v. 1, p. 135-136
Edmonton Journal, October 1, 1989, p. C1
Edmonton Journal, July 28, 1941, p. 1, 3

 
 
 Cleveley, W. W.



Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, November 14, 1935, p. 13

Source of Text:


 
 
 Collisson, James Thomas Joseph

Born in Lucan, Ontario, in 1876. Received his early education in Lucan and London, Ontario. Came to Edmonton in 1898 and taught school for five years. Moved to Dawson in 1903 and taught there for two years. Returned to Edmonton in 1905 and entered law firm Short, Cross and Bigger as law student. Graduated and admitted to Alberta bar in 1908. Chairman of city's public welfare board, 1914-1924; school trustee. Member and president of Edmonton Community Chest, 1941-1948. Died on July 30, 1962. Survived by his widow Irene, one son and two daughters.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, August 1, 1962, p. 47

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, August 1, 1962, p. 47

 
 
 Connelly, William J.

Born in 1918 in Edmonton; son of William J. and Isabelle (nee Milne) Connelly. His father was the founder of Alberta’s oldest funeral firm, the Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home. His mother was a teacher. Drove the firm’s ambulance at age of twelve; became a full partner in his father’s firm on July 1, 1935.Attended Campion College in Regina, Sask. Active in sporting circles and brought harness racing back to Alberta in 1961. Known as the "Father of harness racing" in Alberta and is in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame for his many efforts on behalf of harness racing. Past deputy of Alberta for the Knights of Columbus. Director of Edmonton Eskimos (10 years) and Canadian Trotting Association (6 years). Shareholder of Edmonton Northlands (formerly Edmonton Exhibition Association) since 1936. Catholic in religion. Married Phyllis Bird, daughter of H. Frank Bird, advertising manager of the Edmonton Bulletin, in 1939. Six children, three sons and three daughters.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, October 20, 1955, p. 1

Source of Text:
A history of funeral service in Alberta, p. 56-60.

 
 
 Cowie, I.



Additional Photos:


Source of Text:


 
 
 Crang, Margaret Tryphene Francis

Daughter of Frank Crang, former Edmonton Public School Board chairman and trustee. Received B.A. in 1930, law degree in 1932, and admitted to bar in 1934. Elected alderman in 1933 at age 23; ran on a platform of increased assistance to the unemployed. Member of League Against War and Fascism, Canadian Labor Party, Canadian Commonwealth Federation (predecessor of the NDP). Went to Spain in 1936. Friend of Dr. Norman Bethune whom she met in 1939. Ran unsuccessfully three times in provincial elections. Later became reporter for Montreal Gazette. Spent many years in the U.S. to receive treatment for Cushing's disease. Never married and lived with her parents in Garneau. Has lived in Vancouver since 1953.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, October 22, 1989, p. B2

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, October 22, 1989, p. B2

 
 
 Crawford, Neil Stanley

Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, on May 26, 1931; son of William Francis and Hannah (nee Hoen) Crawford. Educated at Humbolt Public School and Collegiate, Elrose High School, City Park Collegiate (Saskatoon), and University of Saskatchewan. B.A. degree in political science, 1952; Bachelor of Law, 1954. Admitted to Alberta bar, 1955, practised until 1961. Executive assistant to PM John Diefenbaker, 1961-1963. Resumed law practice in 1963. Appointed Queen's Counsel in 1972. Past president of several community leagues, president of Alberta Young Conservatives, 1963-1964, MLA for Edmonton-Parkallen, 1971-1989. Held several ministerial portfolios, last one being Minister of Special Projects, 1987-1989. Did not run in 1989 provincial election due to poor health (diagnosed in August 1986 as having Lou Gehring's disease). Progressive Conservative in politics; Protestant by religion. Known as accomplished jazz trumpeter, member of the Edmonton Jazz Society. Married to Catherine May on September 3, 1951. Six children. Died on August 25, 1992 after a six-year battle with the disease.

Additional Photos:
Alberta public sector directory, 1988, p. 15
Edmonton Journal, January 10, 1989, p. A1
Edmonton Journal, August 26, 1992, p. A5

Source of Text:
Alberta public sector directory, 1988, p. 15
Edmonton Journal, January 10, 1989, p. A1
Edmonton Journal, August 26, 1992, p. A5

 
 
 Cushing, Arthur Thompson

Born in Kenilworth, Ontario, February 10, 1869; son of William and Sarah (nee Thompson) Cushing. Educated in public schools and Essex High School. B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1898. Came to Edmonton in 1900 to manage his brother's lumber business. Built a new factory in 1911, the Edmonton branch of Cushing Bros. Company, Limited. Served as Public School Board trustee, president of the Board of Trade, president of the Edmonton Public Hospital. Married Annie Nelson in 1902. Three children. Died in Vancouver on March 26, 1944.

Additional Photos:
Greater Edmonton number, p. 57


Source of Text:
History of the Province of Alberta, v. 1, p. 559-560
Edmonton Journal, March 28, 1944, p. 5