Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
James Wilson, late recorder
of brands at Edmonton, was born in Portobello, Scotland, in February,
1850, arid was a son of James and Christina Catherine (Weatherhead)
Wilson, both of whom were natives of Scotland. Coming to the new world,
they settled in Winnipeg in 1882. The father was a son of James Wilson,
who was a farmer and contractor of Scotland, and the mother was a
daughter of Robert Weatherhead, who spent his life in the land of hills
and heather. With his emigration to Canada, James Wilson, Sr., took up
the occupation of farming in Manitoba and followed that pursuit
throughout his life. He owned a farm at Regina for a number of years,
but his death occurred in Macleod, Alberta. His wife, however, passed
away at Regina. They were members of the Presbyterian church and the
political belief of Mr. Wilson was that of the Liberal party. To him and
his wife were born four children, two of whom are living, James and
David, the latter for a number of years a farmer in the vicinity of
Macleod, but now a resident of Edmonton.
The youthful days of
James Wilson of this review were largely devoted to the acquirement of
all his studies being pursued in Dee, Keith and Portobello and completed
by a. course in the free high school. He afterward spent thirteen years
in civil service work in Scotland before coming to Canada and following
his arrival in the new world he located at Brandon, Manitoba, in 1883.
There he took up agricultural pursuits and later removed to the vicinity
of Regina, where he engaged in farm- in from 1883 until 1886. in. the
latter year he located at Macleod, where he accepted a position as
instructor on the Blood Indian Reserve, acting in that capacity for five
years and also filling the position of Indian agent or thirteen years.
He then left that locality and for a time was manager of the Cochrane
ranch near Macleod, upon which ranch there were between eleven and
twelve thousand head of cattle, while under his supervision were
sixty-seven thousand acres. After this ranch was sold to Mormons he
accepted a position as recorder of lands at Medicine Hat, for Alberta
and Saskatchewan, and continued to act in that capacity until May, 1922,
when he removed the office and everything connected with it to Edmonton.
His office was that of recorder of brands for the province of Alberta,
in which he was very successful, and he employed three assistants to aid
him in the prosecution o[ the duties that devolved upon him, continuing
active in this work to the time of his death, which occurred on August
In Scotland, in 1878, Mr.
Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Wilson and they became the
parents of seven children, five of whom are living: Agnes, the wife of
Charles M. O'Brien, residing near Macleod; Kate, who married James Ray
of Medicine Hat; Edith, who was housekeeper for her father from the time
of her mother's death until he also passed away; Annie who is employed
in the Bank of Commerce and is living at home; and Dorothy, who is a
teacher and resides at home. The wife and mother passed away on the 11th
of November, 1918, her death being deeply regretted by many friends, as
well as by the members of her immediate household. She was a faithful
follower of the teachings of the Presbyterian church, to which Mr.
Wilson also belonged, as do his children. He likewise had membership
with the Independent Order of Foresters and with the Sons of Scotland.
Politically he was a Liberal. He had a wide acquaintance throughout this
section of the country and had made a most enviable record whereby he
gained the esteem, confidence and goodwill of all with whom he was
brought into contact.
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