Fonds PR1845 - W. C. McKillican fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

W. C. McKillican fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

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    Edition statement

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    Statement of scale (cartographic)

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area


    • 1908-1989 (Creation)
      The fonds includes correspondence from the McKillican family relating to the transcription.

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    0.01 m of textual records. – 7 photographs

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    William Christie McKillican was born August 22, 1882 in Breadalbane, Glengarry County, Ontario; he was the son of William Greville Ewing and Emma May (Christie) McKillican. He attended Vankleek Hill High School, and in 1905 graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario.

    In 1905, he began work with the dominion Department of Agriculture's Seed Branch in Calgary, Alberta, as a seed inspector and later as district officer for Alberta and British Columbia. William married Anna Mary Stewart (1882-1973) on September 2, 1909; they had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth (1912-2005).

    In 1911, William became the superintendent of the Experimental Farm at Brandon, Manitoba. In 1924, he was appointed Dean of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1934, he became supervisor for the Colonization Finance Corporation for the Indian Head area of Saskatchewan. He retired in 1951.

    William C. McKillican died June 14, 1964 in Ottawa, Ontario.

    Custodial history

    Alan Stewart initially allowed a copy of the transcription to be copied by in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1989. Also that year, Dr. Mary E. McKillican, the daughter of William C. McKillican, offered the original transcription to the National Archives of Canada, who in turn contacted the Provincial Archives of Alberta as a more suitable institution.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of a transcribed copy of “A Description of the Land and Life: Edmonton to Peace River, 1908,” transcription prepared by William C. McKillican’s for his mother of his journal kept during his and Horace A. Craig’s May 19 to June 22, 1908 journey from Calgary to Edmonton and then onto Peace River, to hold agricultural meetings/information sessions for an unidentified institute at various locations. McKillican’s account refers to the quality of the land and its agricultural potential, the flora and the fauna, settlements they passed through, as well as individuals they met along the way, including surveyors J.B. St. Cyr and (J.L.?) Coté, and Members of the Legislative Assembly T.A Brick and W.F. Bredin. The fonds also includes photographs relating to the journey, including images of the boat “Midnight Sun,” wagons and horses, the Athabasca and Peace Rivers, tents, a homesteader and a moose calf, as well as photocopies of these images and others from a photograph album.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Dr. Mary E. McKillican authorized the National Archives of Canada to transfer the transcription to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1989. Dr. Mary E. McKillican deposited the photographs in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1991, which were added to the accession.


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        Language and script note

        The material is in English.

        Location of originals

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: Some records are restricted.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File lists are not available.

        Associated materials

        Also see the Department of Agriculture fonds, Corporate Services Branch series, at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, Ontario.

        Related materials


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the biographical sketch is taken from Henderson's Calgary, Alberta city directories, from, accessed June 19, 2006 and from the records. The images can be located in the A file of the Provincial Archives of Alberta reference prints under the numbers A.19,499 through A.19,505.

        General note

        Includes accession PR1989.0342.

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