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.


 Ramsey, James

Born in Imlay City, Michigan, on April 4, 1864; son of John and Agnes (nee Davidson) Ramsey, both natives of Scotland. Came to Canada in 1868. Attended public schools in Oxford County, Ontario. Employed in general store, Plattsville, Ontario, 1877-1884. Had commercial interests in Toronto, Montreal, Guelph and New York before coming to Edmonton in 1911. Established one of the largest department stores in western Canada, James Ramsey, Limited. Store was sold to T. Eaton Company in 1929 (EJ has the date as 1928). Ramsey is credited with bringing the one-cent piece into circulation by pricing his merchandise in odd cents. Until his time the one-cent piece was a curiosity in Edmonton since everything was priced in multiples of fives. Director of CNR and H.H. Coper Company. President of Edmonton Stock Yards Limited. Made honorary lieutenant-colonel of Edmonton Regiment. Retired from business in 1928. Member of Masonic Order, Edmonton Club, Canadian Club; president, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. Conservative in politics; represented the district of Edmonton in Alberta Legislature, 1917-1921. A Methodist by religion. Married to Clara Alice Reynolds on October 1, 1884. Three children. Wife Clara died on January 18, 1931. Remarried to former wife of Milton R. Jennings. Two children. Died on December 25, 1939 at his winter home at Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Bulletin, December 26, 1939, p. 1
Edmonton Journal, December 26, 1939, p. 1
Alberta past and present v. 3, p. 517-518
Canadian parliamentary guide, 1917, p. 467-468

Source of Text:
Edmonton Bulletin, December 26, 1939, p. 1
Edmonton Journal, December 26, 1939, p. 1
Alberta past and present v. 3, p. 517-518
Canadian parliamentary guide, 1917, p. 467-468

 
 
 Rea, William

Born at Walton, Huron County, Ontario, in 1874. Son of John Rea, native of Kelso, Roxboroughshire, Scotland and Ellen Rea of Dublin. Educated at Seaforth Collegiate Institute, Ontario Normal School and Toronto University, where he graduated in modern languages and history. Held degrees of B.A., M.A. and L.L.B. Came west in 1901 and settled in Edmonton. Appointed principal of College Avenue School (high school) in 1902. Articled in law firms of Bishop, Grant and Delevault, and Dawson, Hyndman and Hyndman, 1906-1912. Admitted to Alberta bar in 1912. Queen's Counsel. Served many years on Edmonton Public School Board. President, Alberta School Trustees' Association and Edmonton Liberal Association. Ran unsuccessfully as Liberal candidate in 1926 provincial election. Freemason, member of First Presbyterian Church. Married to Alice Blanche Wooster in 1906. Wife died in 1920. Died at age 84 on August 18, 1957. Survived by one son and two daughters.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, August 19, 1957, p. 1, 14

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, August 19, 1957, p. 1, 14

 
 
 Reimer, Janice Rhea

Born in Edmonton on May 23, 1952; daughter of Neil Reimer, first leader of Alberta New Democratic Party. B.A., University of Alberta, 1973; studied urban sociology and political science. Spent three years after graduation travelling and working in Southeast Asia, Australia and India. (Was welfare officer in Darwin and Brisbane, Australia, 1975-1977). Citizens co-ordinator, Calder Action Committee, 1977-1980. Served as director, Board of Governors, Royal Alexandra Hospital Board; director, Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission; co-author of N.U.T.S. and B.O.L.T.S., a self-help guide for community groups. Past president, Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation; former chairman, City of Edmonton Task Force on Economic Development; former chairman, Inter-Municipal Task Force on Out-of-School Care; former chairman, River Valley Steering Committee; former board member, Edmonton Social Planning Council. Married to Dr. Hubert Kammerer, a physician at the Boyle McCauley Health Centre. Two children.

Additional Photos:
CE; Alberta who’s who 4th ed., p. 324

Source of Text:
Alberta who’s who 3rd. ed., p. 473; 4th ed., p. 324
Edmonton Journal, June 4, 1989, p. C5

 
 
 Richards, Valentine T.

Born in Tara, Bruce County, Ontario. In 1892, at age sixteen, went to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, with his brother. Worked in a general store. Arrived in Edmonton in 1897. Farmed near the city for two years. Later established a department store on Whyte Avenue with his brother, under the name of Richards Bros. Alderman on Strathcona City Council, 1908-1912. Member of Metropolitan Methodist Church. Married, four sons.

Additional Photos:
December 14, 1920, p. 8

Source of Text:
Edmonton Bulletin, November 26, 1919, p. 3

 
 
 Robson, Charles G.

Born in Durham, Grey County, Ontario, on June 1, 1872; son of Adam John and Mary (nee Grant) Robson. Educated at Collegiate Institute in Owen Sound, Ontario. Taught school until 1902, first in Ontario, later at Duluth Business University in Duluth, Minnesota. Came to Edmonton in 1904; went into partnership to establish W.H. Clark & Company, Limited, manufacturers of sash, doors and other building materials. Became president of the company in 1914. Member of Edmonton Board of Trade, YMCA, and All Saints Anglican Church. Conservative in politics. Married to Barbara McNabb in 1908. One son.

Additional Photos:
Alberta past and present v. 2, p. 468-471

Source of Text:
Alberta past and present v. 2, p. 468-471

 
 
 Roper, Elmer Ernest

Born in Ingonish, Nova Scotia, on June 4, 1893; son of sea captain George Franklin and Nettie Edith (nee MacDonald) Roper. Educated in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Spent summers on his father's ship "The Basutoland." Family moved to Calgary in 1907 where he apprenticed as printer. Worked for the Calgary Herald. In May 1917 became foreman of Edmonton Bulletin's pressroom. Started his own printing business in 1921 which became Commercial Printers Limited in 1932. Established associated companies Comset Business Forms Limited and Plastic Platemakers Limited. Elected to Alberta Legislature in the 1942 by-election; served until 1955. Active in labour affairs. President of Calgary Trades and Labour Council, 1916. Secretary-treasurer of Alberta Federation of Labor, 1922-1932. Active in organizing Labor Party of Alberta and Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) with which Labor Party was merged in 1932. Leader of CCF in Alberta for thirteen years while serving as MLA. Served on various boards, including the library, public school, and U of A Hospital boards. Awarded honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, University of Alberta, at 1959 spring convocation. Honorary life member of the Edmonton Rotary Club for sixty-six years. Married to Goldie C. Bell on June 15, 1914.Three daughters and one son, G. Lyall Roper, who served as alderman from 1983 to 1986; youngest daughter died of liver disease at age 21. Retired to Victoria, B.C., in 1975. Wife died in August 1994. He died on November 12, 1994 at the age of 101 years.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, October 13, 1959, p. 14

Source of Text:
Aldermanic biographies
City of Edmonton Archives
Edmonton Journal, June 15, 1984, p. E2
Edmonton Journal, November 13, 1994, p. B3
Alberta Report, December 5, 1994, p. 41

 
 
 Roper, G. Lyall

Son of Elmer E. Roper, former mayor of Edmonton. Started as apprentice with his father's company, Commercial Printers Ltd., becoming president and owner of the company. Served as officer in Canadian Navy during WWII. Owned and operated Commercial Printers, a family business founded by his father, for thirty years. Was also president of Plastic Platemakers Ltd., Roper Holdings Ltd., and Comset Business Forms Ltd. Since his retirement from printing business has held positions including president, Rodenn Holdings Ltd.; president, Primrose Management Ltd.; sales manager, Alberta Division of Western Canada Lottery. Also served as business consultant to businesses in areas of production planning, general management, sales, and employee relations. President, director or member of a number of associations, clubs and other organizations. Was a sportsman who loved small sailboat racing and cutting horse riding. Former Canadian Cutting Horse Riding champion who, at the invitation of Price Philip, organized a team of Canadian horses and riders that toured England for three months in the 1960s. Married to Isabel Hartley. Died at the age of 80 on September 8, 1996 of pneumonia which he developed after a long-term illness. Survived by Isabelle, his wife of 56 years and four children, Lee, Pat, Ron and Mike.

Additional Photos:
Alberta who’s who 2nd rd., p. 407, 458
Edmonton Journal, September 9, 1996, p. B3

Source of Text:
Alberta who’s who 2nd rd., p. 407, 458
Edmonton Journal, September 9, 1996, p. B3

 
 
 Rosenberger, Rose

Born in September 1946. Bachelor of Education, University of Alberta, 1969. Resident of Ward II for twenty years. Former teacher and mediator. Has served as chairperson, Edmonton Police Commission, Edmonton public School Board trustee (two terms), fundraising co-chair for Castledowns YMCA, and member of Mayor's Task Force on Safer Cities. Married. Two sons.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, October 8, 1995, p. B3

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, October 8, 1995, p. B3

 
 
 Ross, H.J. McKim

Born in Lamont, Alberta, on May 1, 1910. Graduated from Normal School in Edmonton in 1929. His first teaching job was in one-room log school in Conrad, Alberta. Later taught at Vilna, 1936-1940, and at East Coulee, 1940-1943. Served as lieutenant in Royal Canadian Navy Voluntary Reserve, 1943-1946. Received his education degree from University of Alberta in 1949 and joined the Edmonton school system. Obtained master of education degree in 1952 and taught at Oliver and Parkallen schools. Principal of Windsor Park school, 1958-1965. After retiring in 1965 due to poor health, worked as personnel assistant to Edmonton Public School Board, interviewing applicants for teaching positions. Served as chairman of the Board of Administrators of ATA's teacher retirement fund; member of Edmonton Exhibition Association; president of ATA; member of Royal Alexandra Hospital Board; president of Montgomery branch of Royal Canadian Legion. Died of a heart attack on March 28, 1968. Survived by his wife and two sons.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, March 29, 1968, p. 3

Source of Text:
Edmonton Journal, March 29, 1968, p. 3

 
 
 Ross, Izena (Mrs. Will J.)

First female alderman in Edmonton. Active member of the Local Council of Women. Served on the Edmonton Public School Board from 1935 to 1945. Died in 1945.

Additional Photos:
Edmonton Bulletin, December 10, 1921, p. 16

Source of Text:
City of Edmonton Archives


 
 
 Ross, James

Born in Toronto, Ontario, on August 14, 1851; son of James and Fannie (nee Foster) Ross. Educated in public schools and attended Collegiate Institute in Toronto for a short period. Apprenticed as tinsmith and worked as journeyman in Ontario. Came to Edmonton in August 1878. Worked as freighter between Winnipeg and Edmonton and as carpenter. In 1883 established Ross Bros., Limited, a wholesale and retail hardware business, with his brother Frederick. Sold business to Marshall-Wells in 1912. Also director of Western Canada Vinegar Company and vice-president of Alberta Milling Company. Public School Board trustee, Freemason, and member of Methodist Church. Liberal in politics. Married to Ellen McBeath in 1885. Seven children. Died on June 21, 1936.

Additional Photos:
Greater Edmonton number, p. 20


Source of Text:
History of the Province of Alberta v.2, p. 894-895
Greater Edmonton number, p. 20
Edmonton Bulletin, June 22, 1936, p. 1

 
 
 Roy, Clifford A.



Additional Photos:
Edmonton Journal, October 10, 1953, p. 2

Source of Text: