Brownlee, J.E.

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Brownlee, J.E.

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  • Brownlee, John Edward

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      J.E. (John Edward) Brownlee was born in Port Ryerse, Ontario, in 1883. He attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1908. He moved to Calgary in 1909 and married Florence Edy (1887-1975) in Toronto in 1912. Brownlee and his wife had three children: a daughter stillborn in 1913, John Edy (1915-1996), and Alan Marshall (1917-2007).

      In Calgary, he initially articled with the firm of Lougheed, Bennett, Allison & McLaws starting in 1909 before transferring to the firm of Muir, Jephson and Adams. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 1912 and remained with Muir, Jephson and Adams, becoming a partner in 1914. His primary client at the firm was the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), and Brownlee was instrumental in the creation of the Alberta Farmers' Cooperative Elevator Company in 1913, which later merged with the Grain Grower's Grain Company of Manitoba to form the United Grain Growers (UGG) in 1917. He left the law firm in 1922 to take a position as the UGG's in-house legal counsel.

      He was elected as a UFA MLA in 1921 for the Ponoka electoral district. He served as Attorney General of (1921-1925) and Premier of Alberta (1925-1934) until his resignation. He was defeated in the 1935 provincial election.

      After serving as Premier, he established his own law practice in Edmonton, and his clients included the UGG as well as other agricultural organizations. He was appointed the UGG vice-president in 1942, became its General Manager in 1948 and its president in 1948. He served until his resignation on June 21, 1961.

      He died in Edmonton on July 15, 1961.


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