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Wesley F. Orr fonds

1849-1972, predominant 1849-1898

Physical Description:
75 cm of textual records. -- 77 photographs

Wesley Fletcher Orr, 1831-1898, was born in LaChute, Quebec. In 1861 he married Priscilla Miller, 1846-?, and they had three children, Maggie Jane (Beattie), 1865-1949, Adelaide Elsie "Addie" (Wood), 1867-?, and Albert Lorne Clark, 1879-1955. Wesley invested in property in Calgary, Alberta in 1883, and in 1886 moved to the city, although his wife and Addie never joined him. He was assistant editor of the Calgary Herald in 1888, but left in 1889 to devote himself fully to promoting his property and the development of Calgary. He became one of Calgary's most active civic politicians. He was first elected as alderman in 1888 and subsequently served five terms. As Chairman of Public Works he oversaw the development of Calgary's water, sewer and electric lighting systems. He was elected mayor in 1894, shortly after Calgary was incorporated as a city. He was re-elected in 1895, defeated in 1896, and elected by acclamation in 1897. He spent much of his time encouraging the agricultural and industrial development of the Calgary area, including railways and coal mining. He died shortly after completing his last term in office. For further information see Max Foran's article "The Making of a Booster : Wesley Fletcher Orr and Nineteenth Century Calgary" in Town and City : Aspects of Western Canadian Urban Development / Alan F.J. Artibise, ed. - Regina : Canadian Plains Research Center, 1981. See also Max Foran's entry, "Wesley Fletcher Orr", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XII. - Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1990, p. 806-807.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of Orr's diaries (1849-1887, 1893-1897), indexed letterbooks (1888-1897), certificates, and account books; and family correspondence, autograph albums, family photographs, newsclippings and scrapbook.
LETTERS TO/ABOUT THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE/SUBJECTS ARE IN THE LETTERBOOKS. SEE INVENTORY FOR DETAILS AND FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE LIST: Lord Campbell Gordon Aberdeen, Alberta Southern Railway, George Alexander, James Alexander, William H. Atkinson, Hon. A.R. Augers, John Bain, John A. Bangs, James Bannerman, James W. Barclay, William Barker, Reginald Barthorp, Lewis Baxter, John Beattie, Margaret Beattie, Charles Beck, Mayor Bentley, H.D. Beveridge, J.W. Boss, O.H. Bott, Robert George Brett, J.S. Brisco, N.E. Brooks, Samuel Brown, William Brown, George Barclay Bruce, buffalo bones, A.M. Burgess, Acton Burrows, W.C. Caldwell, Calgary Agricultural Society, Calgary-Alberta and Montana Railway, Calgary Herald, Calgary Tribune, Arthur L. Cameron, Alexander Campbell, Canadian Agricultural, Coal and Colonization Co., Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) (passenger traffic, repair shops and stations), Alfred Carey, Hon. John Carling, James Carroll, Hugh S. Cayley, Chinese, Duke of Connaught, W.G. Conrad, Charles F. Conybeare, J. Creagh, Mr. Justice A. Cross, Crowsnest Pass Railway, William H. Cushing, Thomas Mayne Daley, Donald Watson Davies, Edgar Dewdney, W.H. de Wolf, Frank Dick, Howard Douglas, electric lighting, R. Elliott, A.J. Ellis, William Fisk, J.G. Fitzgerald, George Fleming, James Forrest, I.S. Freeze, Leonard Gaetz, W.J. Gage, Mayor C. Gallagher, Paul Gaston, Edward F. Gigot, R.B. Gordon, Great North West Central Railway, Rev. Sister Green, A.F. Grady, James Grierson, Harold Gruner, John A. Hamilton, L.A. Hamilton, Col. Josiah Harris, Frederick Haultain, George Hellier, James Henderson, High River Coal Mine, G. Hiller, Hudson's Bay and Pacific Railway Co., William Roper Hull, John A. Ingram, Col. Atcheson Gosford Irvine, R.A. James, Hon. J.H. Jameson, Robert Kerr, James Delamere Lafferty, John Lineham, James A. Lougheed, Dr. Lovingheart, Alexander Lucas, lumber trade, Alexander McBride, George W. McBride, Peter McCarthy, Rev. John McDougall, Walter McIntosh, J.S. Mackie, James A. McKenzie, Hon. Charles H. Mackintosh, D. McLean, C. McMillan, James A. McMillan, H.W. McNeill, Charles A. Magrath, Miss J.M. Malloy, Supt. Richard Marpole, George Morrison, John T. Moore, George Morrilaws, James Muir, Augustus Meredith Nanton, John Ryerson Neff, John Niblock, Frank Oliver, Adam C. Orr, James Orr, J.G. Osborne, J.T. Pattison, William Pearce, F.W. Pettit, Bishop Pinkham, prostitution, public welfare, James Quinn, A.G. Ramsay, Silas Alexander Ramsay, William T. Ramsay, Red Deer Valley Railway, William Reid, Daniel Riley, J.B. Ritchards, Rocky Mountain Railway, Norman Ross, Amos Rowe, Joseph Royal, sanatoriums, Saskatchewan Homestead and Colonization Co., W.B. Scarth, Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred C. Schreiber, Henry Scott, Sheep Creek Coal Mine, Arthur L. Sifton, Clifford Sifton, Leopold Slatterly, smallpox, smelting, John Stewart, McLeod Stewart, Thomas Stone, David Suitor, Thomas Sutherland, Harry Symons, W.B. Thorne, H. Villard, Major James Walker, William V. Walsh, F. White, Frank White, Harry White, Gen. Supt. F. Whyte, Rev. Thomas G. Williams, and Mrs. Fred Wood.

Source of Acquisition:
Gifts of Mary Beattie and Marguerite Rutherford estate, 1957-1993.

The material is in English.

Originals and Reproductions:
Orr's letterbooks are also available on microfilm.

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-927, M-928, PA-243, PD-23, NA-293, NA-3926, Microfilm-Orr

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