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18 Jul 2002


Old Timers

The old-timers in a new country are what the oaks are to the primeval forest. They are generally sturdy and rough-harked without, but solid and sound at the core. We may mention here a few of the old-timers near and around Calgary, who are more or less identified with its history and progress.

Samuel Livingston

heads the list, as his advent to the country dates about a decade ago. He is a rancher on his own account, his place being situated about six miles from Calgary, on Fish Creek. Mr. Livingston has wandered along the Rockies and Sierras, and finds no country more suitable to his ideas than the District of Alberta. He has made considerable improvements on his ranche, and can count a large number of cattle on his range. He is a warm-hearted pioneer, whose latch-string always hangs out for the virtuous wayfarer.

John Glenn

is another of the pioneer old-timers, who has shown abundant proofs of what may be done by industry and perseverance, backed up by sound judgment. His farm and ranche at Fish Creek have been frequently referred to in the descriptive 'ketches, and his hospitality has been as unbounded as the prairies to the east of his location. Mr. Glenn has spent a great deal of money on experimental farming, and he has had good luck as well as many reverses. He has been in the district about nine years, and is "well heeled,' as they say in the west. In addition to his farm, which is situated about eight miles from Calgary, Mr. Glenn has proved his faith in Calgary by erecting the largest stables in the town, and two of the largest stores. His motto through life has been, "Live within your means, and save a beef for a hungry day." He has been all over the western country, and prefers the Calgary district to any he has yet seen.

James Vottier,

another of the old guard in this district on whose head the snows have deepened, is the subject of this sketch. Mr. Vottier ranks with Messrs. Livingston and Glenn, as old-time chiefs whose latch strings are never out of sight and who have put in their time rough-mg it in downright earnest. Mr. Vorture's ranche is on Fish Creek. He is a thorough stockman, and in all matters connected with the welfare of the district he has been found standing up for the rights of the pioneer.

David Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton was the first Tubal Cain in this district. His old forge across the river on the old town site is an evidence of his blacksmithing and pioneering at the same time. He carried on business as a blacksmith for a number of years in this district, and dates his advent ten years ago.

He is a good mechanic and did well at his trade. He recently went to settle on his ranche, which is close to the town, and which he intends to carry on. Dave is known all over as one of the hard-working kind with a big heart and an honest tongue. Few men combine more of the qualities of the pioneer mechanic than does the subject of this sketch.

James Harris

is a son of Lieut.-Col. Barns, of Quebec, and who is now introducing to the Fish Creek country a large number of worthy settlers. Mr. Barris' ranche is on the north side of the Bow, near the ferry. He has been in the country a number of years, is one of the regular pioneer settlers and is esteemed as a good citizen and friend of the town.

Mr. William Barris, a brother of Mr. James Barns, has also a ranche north of his brother's.


Space prevents us from giving similar sketches of all the oldtimers whose ranches center around Calgary, but we cannot omit a passing allusion to them so far as our memory serves their names.

  • We may begin with James Owens and Wm. Scullion.
  • Mr. Alexander Gilmore has a ranch next to Mr. Scullion's.
  • Mr. Wm. Smith another old-timer well-respected.
  • Mr. James Coburn, one of the early arrivals, well-known and respected all over, not only as an old-timer, but as the efficient bookkeeper and manager for G. C. King & Co. Mr. Coburn's home stead is on the east side and it is nicely situated.
  • Mr. Augustus Carney's homestead adjoins the mission property and the town-site. Mr. Carney is an active public worker, and a warm friend of the pioneers' claims. He is president of the Agricultural Society of Calgary, and his property must sooner or later become valuable.
  • Mr. John Holmes and Mr. John Lowry have also ranches contiguous to the town; also Frank Louis. Along the Bow, and close to the town, are Thomas McHugh, Jas. Sproule, and Mike Walsh, the latter having a dairy; also John Dean, George Hamilton, next to Mr. Carney's, on the Elbow.
  • Geo. Moneylaws, a very old-timer and respectable citizen, has also a dairy farm as well as a ranch.
  • McInnes Bros. have four ranches on Fish Creek.
  • Mr. Wilkinson has also a fine ranche; and Mr. Winterbottom one six miles from town.
  • Joseph Garon has his ranche between the Elbow and Fish Creek ; Mr. S. H. May's ranche is on the Elbow; and Messrs David Kennedy and John Ennis have a good horse-ranche about eight miles from town, on the Bow.
  • Mr. Thomas Righton has a farm and ranche on the Elbow, close to town; also; Rev. Mr. Jacques and Frank Rivers.
  • Mr. Lynam, who rents the Government farm on Fish Creek, the property of Lieutenant-Governor Robitaille of Quebec, is neither last nor least in the list of pushing pioneer farmers and stockmen.
  • Mr. E. Robb has a ranche on Pine Creek.
  • George Kirbv has a ranche just east of Major Walker's, on the Bow.
  • Mr. Hugh R. Jardine, elsewhere sketched, has a ranche next to Mr. Colvin's; and Mr. Charles Sharples is another neighbor in the same line.
  • Councillor S. J. Clark, who is sketched elsewhere, also has a ranche two miles south of the town, on the east side of the Elbow. He has sixteen acres broken, a log-house and well, and ten acres of wire-fencing

The above is probably an incomplete list, but with several others mentioned elsewhere comprises most of our pioneer ranchers and stockmen whose ranches and property are more or less tributary to Calgary. They are all worthy men and deserve well of the Government, and we hope they will be justly and liberally dealt with in regard to their patents.