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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
James McDonald Carter

For a quarter of a century James McDonald Carter has resided within the borders of this province, and although he has visited many parts of the Old World and the New, he has never found a climate more healthful and invigorating than that of Alberta, nor a country which offers greater opportunities to the young man of ambition, enterprise and ability. A native of Scotland, he was born November 12, 1866, and his parents were John and Jeannette (P11mev) Carter. They spent their lives in that country, where the father engaged in farming, while he also followed the trade of a stonemason. Ten children were born to their union, but the subject of this review was the only member of the family to come to America.

In 1888, when a young man of twenty-two years, James McDonald Carter severed home ties and went to England, where he remained for three years. He then decided to try his fortune in a newer country whose resources were as yet largely undeveloped, and in 1891 sailed for the United States. He did not remain in the east but at once made his way across the continent to the Pacific coast, with Washington as his destination. He resided in that state until 1894, when he crossed the border into Canada, going to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he spent three years. Soon afterward he met with an accident, going over the falls in the Columbia river, and the report of his death was sent to his relatives in Scotland. In 1897 he left Revelstoke for Nelson, British Columbia, whence he journeyed once more to the States in search of a climate which would restore his health, as he was still suffering from the effects of the accident. For a short time he was in Spokane, Washington, and then went to Shelby Junction, Montana, but derived no benefit from the change. Becoming greatly discouraged, he left the next move to chance, being undecided whether to try the climate of California or that of Alberta, Canada. Accordingly, with eyes blindfolded, he placed his future upon the toss of a coin, which three times in succession indicated Alberta, so he at once started for this province. After reaching Lethbridge he traveled by stage to Macleod, the Canadian Pacific Railroad being at that time under construction to Crovsnest. lie realized at once that he had at last found the locality best suited to his health and at Macleod enjoyed the first night's restful sleep he had experienced since his accident. With renewed vigor, he reentered business life, freighting between Pincher Creek, Alberta, and Crowsnest, British Columbia. He also worked on a ranch for a time and at that period there were very few settlers in that section of the province, the land being largely undeveloped. In 1905 Mr. Carter entered a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres, near Lundbreck, in the Rocky Mountain district of Alberta, and proved up on his land, also purchasing a half section. lie remained in the vicinity of Lundbreck until 1910, when he removed to Blairmore and embarked in the real estate business. He was thus occupied until 1915, when he enlisted for service in the World war, joining the Fiftieth Battalion at Calgary, with which he was sent overseas. In December, 1917, he returned to Blairmore and has since filled the office of chief of police, while he also acts as health inspector, He has brought the department up to a high standard of efficiency and his course as a public official has received strong indorsement. He was the first road overseer in the Lundbreck section and erected the first frame house at Bellevue, in the Rocky Mountain district.

Mr. Carter is the father of two children: Alice and Lindsay. He is ever ready to give his support to measures for the promotion of the public welfare and has always been faithful to any trust reposed in him. He is numbered among the leading citizens of Blaii'more and is well entrenched in popular confidence and esteem, by reason of his steadfast integrity, his enterprising spirit and his distinctive civic loyalty.


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