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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
Hugh MacBeth

Hugh Macbeth, engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Lethbridge, is winning success in both departments. I-Ic is thoroughly familiar with property value and knows the real estate that is on the market. At the same time he has comprehensive understanding of the insurance business and his close application and progressiveness have been the salient elements in winning his Present-day success. Mr. Macbeth was born north of Winnipeg, on the 8th of April, 1859, and is a son of Alex and Margaret (Setter) Macbeth, both of whom were natives of Scotland, though their marriage was celebrated in Manitoba, to which province they had removed with their respective parents. The former was a son of John Macbeth, who was born in Scotland and settled in Manitoba in pioneer times. There he took up land and engaged in farming throughout his remaining days. The mother was a daughter of George Setter, also one of the early residents of Manitoba, where he, too, followed agricultural pursuits. Alex Macbeth devoted his life to the task of tilling the soil and brought his land under a high state of cultivation. Both he and his wife passed away in Manitoba, where they had long resided, enjoying the confidence and warm regard of all who knew them. They were consistent members of the Presbyterian church and in his political views Mr. Macbeth was a Conservative. To him and his wife were born eight children, four of whom are living.

Hugh Macbeth, who was the fourth in order of birth in the family, is indebted to the public school system of Manitoba for the educational opportunities which he enjoyed. His first occupation was fur trading and in 1874 he became identified with the Hudson's Bay Company, being then a youth of but fourteen years. He remained with that corporation for a period of nine years, leaving its employ in 1882, after which he worked for a forwarding company, engaged in forwarding government contract supplies in Saskatchewan. A year was spent in that connection, at the termination of which time he secured employment with the Gait Coal Company and his efficiency and fidelity are indicated in the fact that he continued with them for twenty-one years. He came to Lethbridge and entered the office of the Galt Coal Company in 1885, remaining continuously with that corporation until 1903. He gave up his position and turned his attention to the insurance and real estate business. He is now agent for the Hudson's Bay lands and for the lands of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and also handles some private property. He likewise conducts a general fire insurance business and both branches are proving profitable, owing to his capable management, his progressive methods and his indefatigable energy.

In December, 1885, Mr. Macbeth was married to Miss Jean Bassett, who was born in Ontario, a daughter of Thomas Bassett, a hotel man, who settled in Medicine Hat in an early day. Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth have four children: John, who is connected with the auditing department of T. Eaton & Company at Winnipeg; Roderick, who is with the Lethbridge Mercantile Company; Jean, in school; and Fred, who enlisted for service in the World war in 1914, with the Thirty-first Battalion, and was killed in action at Hill GO, oil 17th of November, 1915. Roderick was a member of the Thirty-ninth Battery and was in the service from May, 1916, until the close of the war.

Mr. Macbeth belongs to the Presbyterian church and he is an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity, loyally following the teachings and purposes of the church and of the craft. In politics he is a Conservative but without political ambition for office, preferring to concentrate his time and energies upon his business affairs. Step by step he has advanced since starting out in life oil own account when a youth of fourteen years, and whatever success he has achieved and enjoyed is attributable entirely to his own efforts.


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