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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
Duncan MacEachern

Duncan MacEachern is prominent in milling circles in Wetaskiwin and throughout the district, and has been connected with this line of occupation for many years. During this time his work has influenced the general business growth of the town and has resulted in prosperity which places Mr. MacEachern among representative and substantial men. He was born in Quebec, on the 17th of October, 1863, a son of John and Jennie (McDermid) MacEachern, the former a native of Glengarry, Ontario, and the latter born in Scotland. The paternal grandfather, Duncan MacEachern, was born in Scotland and came to Canada in early life. He sailed on one of the most up-to-date vessels of that time and was six weeks in crossing. After arriving in Canada he located in Glengarry, Ontario, and homesteaded some land there. It was heavily wooded and to him fell the hard task of clearing it and putting it under cultivation. He brought the land to a highly cultivated state in due time and lived thereon until his demise. The maternal grandfather, Duncan McDermid, was likewise a native of Scotland, and he was one of the pioneer settlers of Quebec, where John MacEachern and Jennie McDermid were married. They lived in that province throughout their lives, the father being a successful agriculturist. To their union six children were born, three of whom are living, Duncan, whose name introduces this review being the eldest.

Mr. and Mrs. MacEachern were consistent members of the Presbyterian Church and he was a stanch supporter of the Conservative party.

In the acquirement of his early education Duncan MacEachern attended an old log schoolhouse iii Quebec and remained on the home farm until he was eighteen years of age. lie then went to work in an old stone mill and spent some time familiarizing himself with that line of work. That was some thirty-eight years ago. He worked in different mills in Ontario and in 1897 came to Wetaskiwin and entered the milling business. He began in a minor capacity but in 1899 bought an interest in the mill and in 1903 was placed in entire charge of the mill. Two years later he bought the mill outright and has continued to operate it. The mill has a one hundred barrel capacity and he sells his flour and feed to a large trade throughout the province. He is probably the oldest business man in Wetaskiwin and this community owes him a debt of gratitude for the part he has played in making it the thriving metropolis it is today.

On the 14th of October, 1892, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. MacEachern and Miss Jennie Waterston, a native of Ottawa. To their union five children have been born: The eldest member of the family, Norman A., came to Wetaskiwin with his parents when he was three years of age, in due time attended the high school here and spent one year in the Alberta University at Edmonton. Upon the outbreak of the World war he was one of the first to volunteer his services to his country and he served with the Tenth Battalion overseas for two years. Tie was severely wounded and was confined to a hospital for some nine months. He was cited for bravery in action and was promoted to a lieutenancy and later to a captaincy, and decorated with the badge of the Distinguished Service Order and bar. lie returned to his home in Wetaskiwin in February, 1919. He married Agnes J. McDonnald of Calgary, a niece of Dr. Crawford, and they have one son, Norman Donald, who is one year old. Norman A. MacEachern is now engaged with his father in the operation of the mill, having an interest in the enterprise, and he is devoting his entire time and attention to his work. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and of its choir, and is one of the most popular and efficient young business men of this community. The second member of the MacEachern family is Marion M., who graduated from the University of Alberta in 1923. The other two living members of the family are Stanley Duncan, who is engaged in the grain business in Winnipeg, and John Andrew, who is fifteen years of age and an employe of the Imperial Bank. Charles Lorne died at the age of five years.

Mr. MacEachern has always given his political endorsement to the Conservative party and he has been active in party affairs. He was mayor of this city in 1907 and his administration was progressive and businesslike. lie was chairman of the hospital board for two years, a member of the city council for five years, and served on the local school board for seven years. The religious faith of Mr. MacEachern is evidenced by his membership in the Presbyterian church and he was chairman of the managing board for many years. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons. Many years have come and gone since Mr. MacEachern arrived in Wetaskiwin and throughout the period he has been a prominent factor in the advancement of the commercial interests upon which the growth and prosperity of a village always depend. He came here a poor man and today is numbered among the leading, influential and honored citizens of this district.


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