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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
Irving Brass Howatt, K.C., B.A., M.A.


Although physically handicapped, Irving B. Howatt has risen to a position of distinguished prominence as a representative of the Edmonton bar and the consensus of public opinion names him with the foremost barristers of Alberta. He was born in Prince Edward Island, in 1875, and his great-great-grandfather in the paternal line was a native of Scotland. He is the son of Josiah Howatt, who was born in Prince Edward Island, in 1851, and his grandfather, Charles Howatt, was also a native of that province. In 1874 Josiah Howatt married Janie Best and they have always resided in their native island, the former having reached the age of seventy-one years.

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After completing the curriculum of the public schools, Irving B. Howatt enrolled as a student at the Prince of Wales College in Prince Edward Island and graduated in 1895. The next three years were devoted to teaching school in that locality and he then matriculated at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, which he attended for four years, winning the B. A. degree in 1902. The following year was spent as a teacher in the schools of his native island, after which he entered the office of a prominent barrister, Hon. A. A. McLean of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where he pursued his law studies for four years, being called to the bar in 1907. In 1908 the University of Dalhousie conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. In the same year he came to Alberta and became associated with the law firm of Messrs. Emery, Newell, Bolton & Ford in the city of Edmonton, where he remained until 1918.

Mr. Howatt is a veteran of the World war. After several rejections, owing to the fact that one of his eyes was sightless, he finally secured admission to the service and in June, 1918, became a private in the Engineers Corps. In December, 1918, he went to Siberia with the Two Hundred Sixty-sixth Battalion, which formed part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and in 1919 he returned to Canada, being demobilized in May of that year.

From May, 1919, until August, 1921, Irving B. Howatt was acting attorney-general of Alberta and in the latter year he was created a King's Counsel. In 1921 he was joined by his brother, Bruce D., who is now the junior member of the firm of Howatt & Howatt and they have successfully handled important litigated interests.

Apart from the law Mr. Howatt has business interests, being a director in the Ingenika Gold Mining Company. He is also a member of a syndicate that owns and controls valuable mining properties in the Hudson's Bay Mountain in the province of British Columbia.

He is an able exponent of the profession and success has come to him because of his close reasoning, his keen and logical argument, his correct application of all legal principles and his ability to present his contention in the strongest possible light.

He is a Master Mason and his political support is given to the Liberal party, while his religious views are in accord with the doctrines and teachings of the Methodist church. He has ever borne in mind the old adage "The harder the conflict the greater the triumph," and his indomitable spirit has enabled him to overcome all obstacles and difficulties in his path. He has demonstrated that he possesses exceptional qualifications as a barrister and while devoted to the interest of his clients he never forgets that he owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law. Devotion to duty is one of his outstanding characteristics and he measures up to the full stature of honorable, upright manhood.


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