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Home > History of Development > Alberta's Heroes of Resource Development > Forestry Heroes > Colonel James Walker

Alberta's Scientific Heroes

Colonel James Walker

Colonel James Walker, N.W.M.P., n.d.Col. James Walker was born April 14, 1864, near Carluke in Ontario. James was the fifth child of Margaret and John Walker. He attended the School of Gunnery, which is now the Royal Military College of Kingston, Ontario. In 1873, James became one of the first commissioned officers in the North West Mounted Police. 

In 1880, Walker was offered a position at a large cattle ranch started by Senator Cochrane. He left the ranching business in 1882 and took over a sawmill that supplied the majority of the lumber for Calgary and area. He became one of Calgary's first manufacturers with the establishment of Bow River Mills sawmill on the banks of the Elbow River. 

Walker supplied timber to the settlers and to the Canadian Pacific Railway for railway ties and bridges. Soon his business was thriving. He invested in real estate, primarily in East Calgary, and became known for his honesty and fairness. 

The Walker family also owned a farm, in an area that was then east of the city and is now Inglewood. Walker was a prominent and well loved Calgarian; in 1884, he was declared chairman of the newly formed Calgary Citizen's Committee. On April 3, 1936, James Walker died. In 1975, the City of Calgary proclaimed Col. James Walker "Citizen of the Century".

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