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William Roper Hull fonds


Physical Description:
4 cm of textual records. -- 81 photographs

William Roper Hull, 1856-1925, was born in England and came to Canada with his brother, John, in 1873. They started in the stock-raising business in the British Columbia interior, and in 1884 bought a former government supply farm near Midnapore, Alberta. Here they established a major meat business, including the supply farm, butcher shops and an abattoir. John left the partnership and returned to British Columbia in 1892. William expanded the business to include the Oxley Ranch and many other ranches. In 1903 he married Emmeline Mary Banister Ellis, 1866-1953. They had no children. In 1902 he sold the supply farm to Patrick Burns (who renamed it the Bow Valley Ranch), and moved into Calgary. The Hull Mansion, Langemore, at 12th Avenue and 6th Street SW, was completed in 1905. William, also prominent in the real estate business, erected many major Calgary buildings, including the Grain Exchange, Alberta Block, Albion Block and the Opera House. Langemore was purchased by the Glenbow Foundation in 1955, and was the Foundation's headquarters until it was demolished in 1970. William Roper Hull Home in Calgary was named in his honour. In 1988 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated Hull as a National Historic Person. For further information see "William Roper Hull : Meat Packer and Rancher" in Eye on the Future : Business People in Calgary and the Bow Valley, 1870-1900 / Henry C. Klassen. - Calgary : University of Calgary Press, 2002, p. 247-251; and Warren Elofson's entry, "William Charles James Roper Hull", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XV, online at

Custodial History:
Some records (M-547) were found in an out-building of the Hull estate when the Glenbow Foundation took it over in 1955. The specifications for the Grain Exchange Building were preserved by Henry D. Mann who owned the building in the 1950s and 1960s. Ray McKnight obtained them from him.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of agreements and specifications for the Grain Exchange building; floor plans of the Hull house; a partnership agreement with F.G. Topp; miscellaneous correspondence, invitations, greeting cards and certificates; and brief biographies. Includes a promotional leaflet for the Chipman Ranch.

Source of Acquisition:
Gifts of the W.R. Hull estate, Ray McKnight, George Gooderham, W.L. Jacobson, A. Turner Bone, R.S. Traquair, Irene Murray, Joyce Roper, and Bruce Kendall, 1956-1997.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-546, M-547, M-548, M-2679, M-3041, M-4004, M-7516, M-7709, M-8554, PA-38, PA-52, PA-2093, PB-6, PB-13, NA-453, NA-514, NA-1045, NA-1984, NA-2171, NA-3918

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