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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
William David Spence


William D. Spence, a member of one of the pioneer families of eastern Canada, has been chosen to fill the office of tax commissioner for the province of Alberta and is thus an important factor in governmental affairs. He was born in Perth, Ontario, November 16, 1869, and is a son of William Spence, a native of the Orkney Islands. The father was born in 1839. In 1846, when seven years of age, he was brought to Canada by his parents, who settled near Hamilton, in the province of Ontario. In 1859 he removed to Perth county, Ontario, and there he was married, in 1866, to Miss Martha Dowzer, a native of County Wicklow, Ireland. They are now residents of Granton, Ontario, and the father has reached the age of eighty-three years. The Spence family is all one in Scotland and there is also a strain of Danish blood in the paternal line.

In the public schools of Perth county, Ontario, William D. Spence obtained his early education and following his graduation from St. Mary's high school he became a student at Toronto University, which he attended until 1893. He then became principal of St. Mary's high school and filled that position for fourteen years, being very successful as all in 1907 he came to Alberta, establishing his home iii Calgary, where he turned his attention to accounting and auditing, being thus occupied for thirteen years, except during 1910 and 1911, when he served for one and a half years as city clerk of Calgary, being appointed by the city council. In May, 1920, Mr. Spence was appointed by the lieutenant governor in council a member of the assessment equalization board of Alberta, in which capacity he served for a year, and he has since been tax commissioner for Alberta, receiving his appointment from the same source. During the absence of the department minister of municipal affairs the responsibilities of that office also devolve upon him. His experience as all has been of great assistance to him in the discharge of his present duties and the work of his department is characterized by a high standard of efficiency.

Mr. Spence was married at St. Mary's, Ontario, on the 8th of February, 1898, to Miss Mary Victoria Keen, a daughter of John A. Keen, deceased. Mr. Spence is a Presbyterian in religious faith and his political support is given to the Liberal party. He is a member of the Edmonton Club and is prominent in fraternal circles, having filled all of the chairs in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a Chapter Mason and is serving as chancellor commander of Edmonton Lodge No. 13, of the Knights of Pythias. His ideas are practical and his methods progressive and what he has undertaken he has accomplished. He discharges his pub- lie duties to the best of his ability and is loyal to the trust reposed in him.


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