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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
Albert E. Potter

Mr. Albert E. Potter is a native of Ontario, born August 15, 1859. He was educated in the public schools of that Province and spent most of his early days on the farm. In the autumn of 1882 he came west, making Moose Jaw his destination. After a seven weeks' trip on the railway, with a carload of settlers' effects, he landed in Regina, that point being the end of steel on the C. P. R., and was forced to transfer the carload of equipment by ox team to Moose Jaw. having the call of the west in his veins he remained there fourteen years. During the season of 1885 the Riel Rebellion was staged and Mr. Potter threw all of the energy at his command to assist the authorities in quelling that disturbance.

In the year 1886 Mr. Potter was married to Isabella MacDougall, who had recently arrived from Scotland.
In 1887 he accepted the agency of the Massey Manufacturing Company, which company, after the merger, was termed the Massey Harris Company, which included all of the manufacturing concerns represented there at that time. During his Moose Jaw residence Mr. Potter was very active in social and civic life, having twice headed the poll for councillor and had also the honor of being offered the mayoralty by acclamation, which honor he could not accept, as time would not permit.

In 1895 he made a trip through the province of Alberta, and being very much impressed with the climate and prospects of Edmonton, finally decided to make it his future home. The first five years in Edmonton were largely devoted to general investigation of conditions, during which time he built the first and only successful power gold-mining machine that ever operated on the Saskatchewan river. Out of the mining experience he had at that time he developed ideas which have since materialized, having invented and patented a mineral separator on the gravity plan, which will solve the problem of placer mining in the near future. In the year 1900 Mr. Potter established a wholesale and retail seed business, which grew to large dimensions, and later on, a storage and forwarding business, which was much needed at that time. In making his investments and in managing his business interests, he has always displayed sound judgment and keen insight and his enterprises have always brought to him a substantial measure of success.

During this time his family has grown up around him: Three daughters, Jessie Annette, Norah Margaret, and Constance MacFarlane, the latter being the wife of Mr. James C. Thompson of this city; also three sons, Richard 1-lelson, Albert Duncan, and Roderick Cuthbert. These three sons, together with himself, served their country to their fullest capacity during the late World war, and now comprise the executive of the Big 4 Transfer & Storage Company, Ltd., and take an active part in that company's operations.

Mr. Potter is a member of the Knights of Pythias and has always been identified with the Board of Trade, while his religious faith is that of Presbyterian. In these associations is indicated much of the nature of his interests and the rules which govern his conduct. His life has been characterized by marked activity and usefulness in the material development of the districts in which he has lived. He has also lent much aid and influence to all measures of a public-spirited nature and is an outstanding figure among the old timers of Edmonton, having spent just over forty years in the west, still being as active and optimistic in the future of this province as ever.


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