Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Alex M. McKay, D.V.S.
Dr. Alex M. McKay is one of
the most successful veterinary doctors in Canada and he conducts one of
the largest infirmaries in the Dominion, at Calgary. He was born in
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on the 27th of February, 1873, a son of William
and Mary (Gillespie) McKay, the former a native of Scotland and the
latter of Ontario, in which province they were married. The father was a
farmer. He was an active member of the Presbyterian church and was
readily conceded to be an exemplary member of the Masonic craft. His
political views were those of the Conservative party and he held many
local offices. Mr. McKay was one of the best educated men of his day and
was a deep student of civic affairs. His death occurred in Ottawa in
1915. Mrs. McKay continues to reside in Ottawa. To them three children
were born: Alex M., whose name introduces this review; J. G., who is a
prominent physician and surgeon of New Westminster, British Columbia,
where he conducts a sanitarium, and for several years he was
superintendent of the asylum in British Columbia; and Florence, who is
the wife of Mr. Shepperd, a well known agriculturist of Ontario.
The country schools in
the vicinity of the home farm afforded Alex M. McKay his early education
and subsequently he attended school in Ottawa. At the age of sixteen
years he put his textbooks aside and went to Montana, living with his
uncle, J. R. McKay, from 1890 to 1891. His uncle was a prosperous
rancher and a prominent resident of the community in which he resided.
Alex M. McKay returned to Canada and enrolled in the Veterinary College
at Toronto, from which institution he was graduated in 1893. He
immediately located in Winchester, Ontario, for the practice of his
profession and remained there fourteen years, during which time he built
UI) an extensive and important practice and won for himself a position
among the foremost members of his profession in the province.
Subsequently he entered the service of the Dominion government as
veterinary inspector and removed to Calgary in 1906. He remained with
the government eight years and then accepted a position as veterinary
surgeon of the Canadian Pacific Railroad's Natural Resources for three
years. In July, 1917, he established an infirmary in Calgary and has
since been active in its conduct, and has one of the largest infirmaries
in Canada. Although Dr. McKay devotes the greater part of his time and
attention to his professional duties, he is interested in ranching and
owns valuable land at Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan, where he breeds
full-blooded Hereford cattle. He has seventy-five head of standard bred
cattle on the ranch.
On the 9th of May, 1894,
Dr. McKay was married to Miss Mollie McVeigh, who was born near Ottawa.
To them two children have been born: Bessie, the wife of Douglas
Hutchins of Calgary, who is active in the conduct of the Great West
Saddlery concern; and William Gordon, who is living at home.
In his political views
Dr. McKay is a Conservative and although he is actively interested in
party affairs and civic betterment he has never sought nor desired
political preferment. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and his religious faith is manifest in his
membership in the Presbyterian church. Dr. McKay is a man of strong
personality and he has the genius for making and keeping friends.
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