Encyclopedia of the Great Plains

David J. Wishart, Editor

LOUGHEED, JAMES (1854-1925)

Sir James Alexander Lougheed was a prominent Calgary lawyer and entrepreneur and, from December 10, 1889, until his death, a member of the Senate of Canada. Of Protestant Irish descent, Lougheed was born in Brampton on September 1, 1854, was raised in Toronto, where he trained as a lawyer, and settled in Fort Calgary in 1883, just as the Canadian Pacific Railway was being constructed there. He married Belle Hardisty, daughter of William Hardisty, a prominent Hudson's Bay Company factor; they eventually had four sons and two daughters.

Lougheed's law practice grew rapidly, particularly as solicitor for the railway, and he invested heavily, and profitably, in Calgary real estate. He constructed numerous rental properties in the downtown area, culminating in the Lougheed Building (1912), an office building with a 1,500-seat theater. Lougheed was leader of the Conservative Party in the Canadian Senate from 1906 until his death, and he was government leader from 1911 to 1921. He served in the federal government under Sir Robert Borden as minister without portfolio (1911-18), minister of soldiers' civil reestablishment (1918-20), and (under Arthur Meighen) as minister of the interior, superintendent general of Indian affairs, and minister of mines (1920-21). Lougheed's diplomatic skills were a great asset in securing the passage of government measures. He always was a vigorous representative of western Canada in Ottawa. Perhaps his greatest work was the resettlement of demobilized soldiers, many of them in western Canada, following World War I. Sir James Lougheed died in Ottawa on November 2, 1925.

David J. Hall University of Alberta

McKenna, Marian C. "Calgary's First Senator and City Builder: Sir James Alexander Lougheed." In Citymakers: Calgarians after the Frontier, edited by Max Foran and Sheilagh S. Jameson. Calgary: Historical Society of Alberta, Chinook Country Chapter, 1987: 93–116.

Morton, Desmond, and Glenn Wright. Winning the Second Battle: Canadian Veterans and the Return to Civilian Life, 1915– 1930. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987.

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