Colonel James Walker
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
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".