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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
William Laurie

William Laurie, a prominent barrister of Cardston, was born at Owen Sound, Ontario, on the 28th of September, 1856, a son of Patrick Gammie and Mary Eliza (Carney) Laurie, the former born ill in 1833, and the latter born in Barrie, Ontario, in the same year. The paternal grandfather William Laurie, was born in Scotland and emigrated to Ontario in 1843. He was well educated for his day, being a graduate of the Mareschal College in Aberdeen, Scotland, and he taught school and engaged in farming until his demise in 1879. The maternal grandfather, Richard Carney, who emigrated to Ontario in 1833, from London, England, was sheriff of the Algoma district of Ontario for many years. His death occurred in 1885. Patrick G. Laurie located in Ontario in 1843 at the age of ten years. He learned the newspaper business in Toronto and worked on various papers there, and later became manager and editor of the Owen Sound Times, subsequently establishing and managing the Essex Record, at Windsor, Ontario. In 1869 he went to Winnipeg as an employee of the Nor'wester, then owned by Sir John Schultz, and he was connected with various papers in Winnipeg until 1878. At that time he located in Battleford, Saskatchewan, and established the Saskatchewan Herald, the first newspaper ever published west of Winnipeg. It is still in existence and is now owned and managed by his son, Major R. C. Laurie. Mr. Laurie devoted practically all of his life to newspaper work and he was widely known in that connection. He was Queen's Printer for the Northwest Territories from 1878 to 1883. He was an inspector of schools in the early clays and also served as a coroner for some time. His political allegiance was given to the conservative party and his religious faith was that of the Anglican church. His wife was a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Laurie's demise occurred in 1903, and his widow died in 1912. To their union eleven children were born, six of whom are living: William, whose name introduces this review; Major Richard C.; Mabel, the wife of John A. Reid, who served as Alberta representative to England; Minnie, the widow of P. V. Gauvreau, first agent of the Dominion lands at Edmonton; Effie, the widow of Lieutenant J. H. Storer, who was killed in action in France in 1917. Mrs. Storer is now a member of the staff of the Moose Jaw Times; and Jessie, the wife of J. C. DeGear of Battleford, Ontario.

In the acquirement of his education William Laurie attended Manitoba College at Winnipeg and later began the study of law in that city. He was admitted to the territorial bar in 1895. He was engaged in civil service work from 1884 to 1890 in Battleford, and from. 1890 to 1897 in Regina, Saskatchewan. He worked in a law office in Lethbridge for some time, having located there in 1897, and in 1901 he came to Cardston and established offices for the practice of law. In 1914 he went to Battleford, Ontario, where he served as mayor for two and one-half years. He returned to Cardston in 1918 and resumed his practice, and he is a prominent and highly esteemed barrister and has an extensive clientele. Mr. Laurie is a veteran of the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. He joined the Royal Northwest Mounted Police as special constable and was active in the battle of Duck Lake.

Mr. Laurie has been twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Herbert, a native of Warwick, Ontario. They were married in 1892 and her death occurred in the same year. In 1894 he was married to llla Humphries, a native of Strathroy, Ontario, and to them two children have been born: William T. joined the Princess Pat Regiment for service in the World war and went overseas. He was wounded at Vimy Ridge, on the 9th of April, 1917, and upon recovery he was transferred into the air service, and was flying in France when the armistice was signed. He entered service in 1916 and was overseas almost three years. He is now living at Tampa, Florida, where he is engaged in the banking business; Douglas C. M. joined the Princess Pat Regiment in 1915 and was wounded on the 8th of October, 1916. He was sent to England to convalesce and in June, 1917, returned to France, and was with the Old Regiment at Mons when the signing of the armistice closed hostilities. He is now a clerk in the Union Bank at Cardston.

Mr. Laurie is a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, while his wife is a member of the Evangelical church. His political allegiance is given to the Conservative party and he was town soicitor for nine years. He has also been school trustee. Fraternally Mr. Laurie is identified with the Knights of Pythias. He is a man of high intellectual attainments and possesses a genial and pleasing personality, which has won for him many friends.


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