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As well, Burns eventually owned almost 30 wholesale provision and fruit houses. Most of these derived from two big companies, Scott Fruit and National Fruit, which he acquired in and merged into the Consolidated Fruit Company. Bigger operations were obtained through purchase or lease.

He bought the 7, deeded acres of the CK Ranch on the north side of the Bow River about eight miles west of Calgary in Originally owned by Charles Edwin Banks Knight, it became a dairy farm when Burns established a herd of purebred Holstein cattle and marketed their milk and cream in Calgary. He bought the 3,acre Ricardo Ranch near the city in Mackie spread of some , acres on the Milk River. In he leased the 37, deeded acres of the famous Walrond Cattle Ranch in the foothills north of Pincher Creek.

Burns knew and admired Lane, who had been one of the most respected members of the western cattle fraternity. In Burns sold P. This left Dominion Securities in control of the packing plants and related industries.

Burns remained a small shareholder and became chairman of the board of directors. His nephew John Burns, who had formerly been general manager, was made president of the company, while the former vice-president, Blake Wilson, continued in his office. Not all his business interests proved successful. He had made an attempt to compete in the United States creamery market with a plant in Seattle, but decided to close it four years later. Although his investment in Mexican copper mining apparently paid well, he spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to establish a coalmine near Sheep Creek, while mining ventures in Rossland and other British Columbia coal towns appear to have brought less than spectacular rewards.

A source of consternation was public suspicion of unfair dealing that dogged Burns during much of his career. This distrust was a consequence of his meteoric rise as a businessman. He got rich trading in cattle and beef and, under frontier conditions, he faced very little competition.

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His early specialty was purchasing cattle that gave coarser meat and marketing them to railway-construction crews and mining-town labourers. There were many cattle of this type for two reasons. Secondly, most farmers and ranchers who settled the Canadian west attempted to fatten their stock on grass, a very undependable method.

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Without short, mild winters, plentiful rains, and lush grass, cattle tended not to fill out. Their meat was often not well marbled, and consequently was stringy and anything but tender. This situation naturally caused some cattlemen to believe that he commonly took advantage of them.

What seemed to vindicate their suspicion was the fact that there appeared to be a conspiracy between Burns and the other big middleman on the ranching frontier, the firm of Gordon and Ironside of Winnipeg Gordon, Ironside, and Fares after Gordon and Ironside generally bought the well-finished cattle that could be marketed in eastern Canada and overseas.

What we want is to establish a fair market without any favors so that we know we can get at any time the right market value for all or any of our beef cattle and not go round with your hat in your hand at the mercy of one or two concerns. In a joint Manitoba—Alberta body, the Beef Commission, was set up to examine the meat trade and allegations of combination among western cattle dealers. Called upon to testify, Burns made it clear that he deeply resented the accusation of price fixing.

Unquestionably he played a crucial role in the formation of the beef industry in western Canada. It is telling, and perhaps somewhat ironic, that as many of the big cattlemen sold out, their operations were bought up by Burns. There can be little doubt that some, perhaps all, of these ranchers gave up because they could not make their operations pay. If they had received a bigger share of the market price, many might have been able to stay in business. The findings of the Beef Commission exonerated both P. Burns and Company and Gordon, Ironside, and Fares of price fixing, but not all of the farmers and ranchers may have been equally convinced.

Burns attained a great deal of public acclaim in the west and across the country during his lifetime. He supported the Liberal Party and in was offered a seat in the Senate, which he refused because of his heavy workload. When the offer was made again in after the death of Prosper-Edmond Lessard , he was close enough to retirement to accept; he would sit as an independent.

It was read before the audience along with telegrams from Governor General Lord Bessborough and the Prince of Wales, who had bought the E. A 3,pound birthday cake was distributed to some 15, people. The community-spirited action for which he is probably best known is the organizational and financial backing he provided together with Archibald James McLean , A.

Charles M. Russell

After the town of Fernie, B. It is said that while the Catholic church near the Lacombe Home was being painted at his expense, he noticed the shabby condition of the nearby Anglican church and told his workers to paint it too. He gave financial aid to two sisters struggling to establish the Braemar Lodge, which became an important Calgary hotel. Burns had his own problems in the s. Most immediate were the financial difficulties of P.

Burns and Company Limited would soldier on and eventually expand and prosper, although Burns did not live to see this development. His other major financial headache in later years was the fall in his personal net worth. This decline resulted not just from the problems of the company.

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His family situation was difficult at best. He and his wife, the daughter of a rancher from Penticton, B. Some evidence suggests that Burns made a genuine attempt to make his wife happy. Oak from eastern Canada was used extensively for the interior, while furniture imported from England and a landscaped garden helped to sustain an Old-World air.

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In its time Burns Manor, which had been commissioned from the prominent architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury , was probably the most luxurious dwelling in Calgary. However, it was not enough to give the Burnses a strong domestic bond. They were separated by both age and religion. Their major problem, however, seems to have been that he was addicted to work: even their wedding, at a registry office in London, was arranged to coincide with a business trip. Unable to adjust, she went to live in California and then Vancouver.

Burns was as generous at his death as he had been in his life. Warren Elofson. Calgary , 44 , no. Encyclopedia Canadiana , ed.


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Uitgever: University Of Calgary Press. Samenvatting Settler ranching in southern Alberta conjures the image of a lone cowboy riding through the foothills or a stoic ranch hand roping errant cattle. But women have always played an integral part in the cattle industry, often working without recognition or support to meet the challenge of the frontier. Ranching Women in Southern Alberta examines the rhythms, routines, and realities of women's lives on family ranches.

As these ranches replaced the large-scale cattle operations that once covered thousands of acres, women were called upon to ensure not only the ongoing economic viability of their ranches, but also the social harmony of their families and communities. At the same time, ranching women enjoyed personal freedoms and opportunities unknown to their urban and European contemporaries.

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The great-granddaughter of pioneer ranchers, Rachel Herbert brings a unique insight to the stories of these brave and talented women who carved a role for themselves and their daughters during the dawn of the family ranch. Toon meer Toon minder. Recensie s A well-qualified insider who runs a family beef cattle operation, Herbert bases her rich and sophisticated analysis of womenas contributions not only on comprehensive scholarship but also on intimate knowledge as a daughter of four generations of accomplished ranch women in Albertaas foothillsa Herbertas engaging account critiques conventional gendered binaries-bachelor cowboy, nomadic farmhand or sacrificing, thrifty wife-that frequent popular sources, while uncovering how women ensured the continuity of Albertaas family ranchesa With Ranching Women in Southern Alberta, Herbert delivers a radical redress of ranching history and grants girls hope for a more equitable future.

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