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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
James Wilson

James Wilson, late recorder of brands at Edmonton, was born in Portobello, Scotland, in February, 1850, arid was a son of James and Christina Catherine (Weatherhead) Wilson, both of whom were natives of Scotland. Coming to the new world, they settled in Winnipeg in 1882. The father was a son of James Wilson, who was a farmer and contractor of Scotland, and the mother was a daughter of Robert Weatherhead, who spent his life in the land of hills and heather. With his emigration to Canada, James Wilson, Sr., took up the occupation of farming in Manitoba and followed that pursuit throughout his life. He owned a farm at Regina for a number of years, but his death occurred in Macleod, Alberta. His wife, however, passed away at Regina. They were members of the Presbyterian church and the political belief of Mr. Wilson was that of the Liberal party. To him and his wife were born four children, two of whom are living, James and David, the latter for a number of years a farmer in the vicinity of Macleod, but now a resident of Edmonton.

The youthful days of James Wilson of this review were largely devoted to the acquirement of all his studies being pursued in Dee, Keith and Portobello and completed by a. course in the free high school. He afterward spent thirteen years in civil service work in Scotland before coming to Canada and following his arrival in the new world he located at Brandon, Manitoba, in 1883. There he took up agricultural pursuits and later removed to the vicinity of Regina, where he engaged in farm- in from 1883 until 1886. in. the latter year he located at Macleod, where he accepted a position as instructor on the Blood Indian Reserve, acting in that capacity for five years and also filling the position of Indian agent or thirteen years. He then left that locality and for a time was manager of the Cochrane ranch near Macleod, upon which ranch there were between eleven and twelve thousand head of cattle, while under his supervision were sixty-seven thousand acres. After this ranch was sold to Mormons he accepted a position as recorder of lands at Medicine Hat, for Alberta and Saskatchewan, and continued to act in that capacity until May, 1922, when he removed the office and everything connected with it to Edmonton. His office was that of recorder of brands for the province of Alberta, in which he was very successful, and he employed three assistants to aid him in the prosecution o[ the duties that devolved upon him, continuing active in this work to the time of his death, which occurred on August 17, 1923.

In Scotland, in 1878, Mr. Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Wilson and they became the parents of seven children, five of whom are living: Agnes, the wife of Charles M. O'Brien, residing near Macleod; Kate, who married James Ray of Medicine Hat; Edith, who was housekeeper for her father from the time of her mother's death until he also passed away; Annie who is employed in the Bank of Commerce and is living at home; and Dorothy, who is a teacher and resides at home. The wife and mother passed away on the 11th of November, 1918, her death being deeply regretted by many friends, as well as by the members of her immediate household. She was a faithful follower of the teachings of the Presbyterian church, to which Mr. Wilson also belonged, as do his children. He likewise had membership with the Independent Order of Foresters and with the Sons of Scotland. Politically he was a Liberal. He had a wide acquaintance throughout this section of the country and had made a most enviable record whereby he gained the esteem, confidence and goodwill of all with whom he was brought into contact.


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