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Archibald McDonald was born on February 3, 1790 in Glencoe, Scotland to Angus McDonald and Mary Rankin. After being recruited by Lord Selkirk to serve as clerk and agent for the Red River settlement and in the process being appointed to the Council of Assiniboia, McDonald intended to travel in June 1813 from Scotland to York Factory. However, after disease arose amongst several passengers McDonald and the settlers were put off at (Fort) Churchill forcing them to spend winter there. In the spring of 1814 McDonald and many of the settlers travelled by foot to York Factory and then by boat on the Hayes River to the Red River settlement, but after encountering resistance from local First Nations people, McDonald and many of the settlers briefly abandoned the colony in 1815. While the settlers attempted to reestablish the colony later that summer, McDonald returned to England to report on what had transpired. He sailed back to Canada, and came to Montreal in 1816 where he would rejoin and assist Lord Selkirk with problems between forts of the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company. In 1818 McDonald returned to the Red River settlement by way of York Factory to again assist with the administration of the colony, but in February 1819 he was indicted on charges of conspiring to ruin the trade of the North West Company during events with which he was involved at Fort William three years earlier, eventually the charges were dropped.
Beginning in the 1820-1821 outfit year McDonald became a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company at Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, and from there he became an accountant and clerk at Fort George (New Caledonia), British Columbia. The 1826 outfit year saw McDonald being appointed the clerk in charge at the Thompson's River post (Kamloops, B.C.). In outfit year 1828, McDonald became chief trader in charge at Fort Langley, British Columbia, and explored the Thompson River to its junction with the Fraser River, preparing a map of the the region that detailed the associated drainage patterns and contours of the land. While at Thompson's River, he would also complete a 90-day voyage from York to Fort Langley that followed a northern route from Cumberland House across the Methy Portage (Portage La Loche, Sask.), down the Clearwater River, up the Peace River, and then down the Fraser River. In outfit year 1833-1834, he served as chief trader in charge at the newly established (Fort) Nisqually (at the time in the British Columbia district, but is now in Washington state near Tacoma). After a furlough for the 1834-1835 outfit year, McDonald became chief trader in charge at Fort Colville (located in British Columbia at the time, and also now in Washington state) and then later in outfit year 1841-1842 he became chief factor in charge at Fort Colville. While working in the Columbia district, McDonald would frequently send flora and fauna specimens, and geological samples from the area to the British Museum and the Royal Horticultural Society. McDonald proceeded to take a leave of absence from the Hudson's Bay Company starting in September 1844 and was subsequently placed on furlough from 1845 to 1848. On June 1, 1848 he retired from the Hudson's Bay Company and settled on a farm by the Ottawa River where he became active in local affairs serving as a justice of the peace and a surveyor.
McDonald was married twice, first at Fort George (Astoria, Oregon) to "Princess Raven (Sunday)," daughter of Chief Comcomly in 1823 (with whom he had one son) and upon her death in 1824, he married Jane Klyne on September 1, 1825, with whom he had thirteen (13) children (twelve sons, one daughter).
Albert C. Talbot was born in Montmagny, Quebec in 1856, and received his education at the Montmagny College. In 1877 he was commissioned as a Dominion Land Surveyor, and in this capacity Talbot conducted several surveys in the lands west of Manitoba, of note was his role as the head of a survey crew on the boundary between British Columbia and Alaska. From 1902 until 1925 he was Examiner of Surveys for Alberta.
He was a charter member of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association (ALSA) and served as its president in 1915.
Taylor died on June 12, 1929 in Calgary, Alberta.
Dominion and Saskatchewan land surveyor.
Saskatchewan land surveyor
Abel Seneca Weekes was born in Moss townshhip near Glencoe, Ontario on February 17, 1866 to a farming family as one of thirteen children. Weekes attended Wardsville High School during the winter months from 1879 until 1886, while working on the farm during the spring and summer. In 1885 he passed his second class non-professional teachers' examination. However during the winter of 1886/1887, he became employed in the offices of Coad and Robertson, Surveyors and Engineers of Glencoe. Weekes subsequently passed the preliminary surveyor examination in April 1887, served three years apprenticeship and thereupon received his commission as an Ontario Land Surveyor in April 1890. During his apprenticeship he participated in government surveys of northern Ontario with Richard Coad in 1887 and 1889. In the summer of 1890, he worked as an assistant to James Tiernan on a township survey in the Spanish River District, and by the fall he opened an office in Clinton, Ontario. In February 1892, Weekes wrote his Dominion Land Surveyor exam and successfully received his commission. In the summer of 1892, he was assistant, along with James Hutchin, to Elihu Stewart of Collingwood on the survey of Falconbridge and McLellan on Lake Wahnapitae. At the end of the year he closed his office in Clinton and returned to Glencoe. In the spring of 1893 he moved to Alberta where he acted as assistant to J.L. Foster of Toronto on subdivision surveys of several townships southeast of Wetaskiwin and then joined the party of Joseph Doupe at Buffalo Lake (in the area currently near Stettler, Alberta). His survey work diminished for the next four or five years, and lived in the west and made a living trapping and placer mining on the North Saskatchewan River. When the Yukon Gold Rush began in 1897 he joined the rush along with his trapping partner Albert E. Shaefer and two brothers named Jenner who had been operating a trading steamer on the North Saskatchewan River. Weekes arrived in the Yukon in July 1898 and became another unsuccessful gold miner, and thus found himself working on the Alaska Commercial Steamboat "Victoria" as 2nd Engineer, and in the Fort Yukon store of the North American Transportation and Trading Company. In the spring of 1903, Weekes applied to the federal Department of the Interior for work and was appointed assistant to Thomas Turnbull who was helping with the location of the Barr Colony and afterwards inspecting surveys, and having charge of all the work not lying between the North and South Saskatchewan rivers. In 1904 he got a contract for the survey of a township south of Whitemouth, Manitoba and upon its completion in April 1904, he received another contract for the survey of fourteen (14) townships south of Tramping Lake in Saskatchewan. Upon the completion of the township work in Saskatchewan he was offered a job in November 1904 on the right-of-way and township surveys for the Canadian Northern Railways, beginning with the survey of the town of Humboldt. Weekes continued with Canadian Northern Railway until it's amalgamation with the Grand Trunk Pacific to form the Canadian National Railways. In 1919, after taking up residence in Winnipeg, Weekes was made chief land surveyor for western Canada, retiring from the railway in 1931.
In addition to his qualifications as an Alberta Land Surveyor, Dominion Land Surveyor, Ontario Land Surveyor and Saskatchewan Land Surveyor, he was a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a member of the executive of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (serving as its president in 1918), and president of the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors' Association.
Weekes died on April 25, 1936 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In December 1906, he married Miriam Millicent Smith of Bothwell, Ontario by whom he had one son (William James) and five daughters (Miriam, Betty, Frances, Mary, and Ruth). After Smith's death in April 1925, he married Anna Whiteford in 1926.