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Hugh Beynon Biggs family fonds

1885-1965, predominant 1902-1955

Physical Description:
56 cm of textual records. -- 1390 photographs

Hugh Beynon Hesketh-Biggs, 1876-1941, was born in Lahore, India and emigrated to the Rosebud Valley area west of Drumheller, Alberta in 1893. He bought the Springfield Ranch that same year, and in 1906 married Mabel Florence James, 1881-1970. Mabel emigrated from Guernsey, England in 1903 and trained as a nurse at the Banff Sanitarium before her marriage. The Biggs had four daughters, Marion Phyllis, 1909-2013, Doris (Hutchinson), 1910-?, Myrtle Agnes (Hansen), 1912-1998, and Rachel (Kilsdonk), 1915-2012. The town which grew up around the Springfield Ranch was named Beynon after Hugh. For further information see "The Springfield Ranch" / Kenneth W. Tingley. -- Alberta Culture, Historic Sites Service, 1982; "Hugh Beynon Biggs, Ranch Photographer" in Alberta History. -- vol. 26, no. 3, (Summer 1978), p. 13-20; and J. H. Turner's article, "Springfield Ranch : A Picture Story Going Back to 1892" in Canadian Cattlemen. -- vol. 22, no.6 (June 1959), p. 12-13, 41.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of Hugh's diaries and notebooks (1902-1940) and his extensive photographs of the Springfield Ranch. ranch life, his family, trips to the UK and Guernsey, and the construction of the Canadian Northern Railway line through his property. The fonds also consists of agreements with CNR (1913-1932); H.B. Biggs' estate papers (1943-1955); Mabel's business papers and income tax returns (1936-1965); Myrtle's extensive photographs of plants and birds of the area (1933-1948); Rachel's childhood diaries, school records, and photo albums (1930-1935) and family memorabilia including the 1885 diary of Hugh's father T. Hesketh Biggs.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of Rachel Kilsdonk, 1964-2003, Larry Olsen, 1981, and Peter Kilsdonk-Biggs, 2016.

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)
PA-699, PA-4066, PD-430, NA-1121, NA-4195, NC-43, NC-82, M-9772

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