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The Honourable Frederick Haultain, 1897 - 1905

The Hon. Frederick HaultainThe Honourable Sir Frederick W.A.G. Haultain was the first and only Premier of the North-West Territories.  He is generally recognized as the leading figure in the development of responsible government in the Territories.

Frederick William Alpin George Haultain was born on November 25, 1857, in the Borough of Woolwich, which is now part of Greater London, England.  He was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel F.W. Haultain, Royal Artillery, and Lucinde Helen Gordon.  Frederick W.A.G. Haultain was a member of the Church of England (Anglican).

When he was three, his family emigrated to Canada and settled at Peterborough, Ontario.  Frederick W.A.G. Haultain received his primary and secondary education at Peterborough and Montreal, Quebec.  I The Hon. Frederick Haultainn 1879, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree (First Class Honours in the Classics) from the University of Toronto and then went on to study law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.  After articling with the Toronto firm of Bethune, Moss, and Falconbridge, he was called to the Ontario Bar in 1882 and the North-West Territories Bar in 1884.

In 1884, Frederick W.A.G. Haultain moved to Fort Macleod where he began practising law.  He also served as Crown Prosecutor at that location for several years and did some editorial work for the Fort Macleod and Lethbridge newspapers.  He represented the electoral district of Macleod in the North-West Territories Council during the years Sir Frederick Haultain, 1884 1887-88 and in the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories which replaced it from 1888 to 1905.  He was Chairman of the Advisory Council of the North-West Territories Council in 1888-89 and Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1891 to 1897.  Following the amendment of the North-West Territories Act , he was appointed President of the Executive Council, or Premier, by The Honourable Charles H. Mackintosh on October 7, 1897.  As well as serving as Premier, Frederick W.A.G. Haultain was also Attorney General and Commissioner of Education.

Frederick W.A.G. Haultain thought that the area which now constitutes Alberta and Saskatchewan should be one province named "Buffalo" and that this province should be governed by non-partisan administration.  Because of his outstanding service to the North-West Territories, many people felt that Haultain should be the first Premier of the new Province of Alberta or Saskatchewan.  However, because of his Conservative political leanings, this idea was not acceptable to the governing federal Liberal Party at that time.  Following the formation of the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan on September 1, 1905, he represented South Qu'Appelle in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as a member of the Provincial Rights Party and served as the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Sir Frederick Haultain in carriage, centreIn 1906, he married Marian St. Clair Castellain, the daughter of The Honourable Charles H. Mackintosh who served as Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories from 1893 to 1898.  His wife had one daughter by her first marriage with Louis Castellain.  Following the death of his first wife in 1938, Frederick W.A.G. Haultain married Mrs. W.B. Gilmour of Montreal in September of the same year.

In 1912, Frederick W.A.G. Haultain left politics when he was appointed Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Saskatchewan.  In 1917, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and was elected Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan.  In 1939, he retired from public life following over fifty years of service.

Frederick W.A.G. Haultain was a Commissioned Officer in the Fifty-seventh Rifle Regiment of Peterborough, Ontario; Vice-President of the Canadian Bar Association (1896); and Vice-President of the Liberal-Conservative Association (1898-99).  He represented the North-West Territories at the coronation of King Edward VII (1902) and he was Honorary President of the Territorial Conservative Association (1903).  As well, he was appointed Kin The Hon. Frederick Haultaing's Counsel (1902), was knighted (Knight  Bachelor) (1916), was awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees by the University of Toronto (1915) and the University of Saskatchewan (1915) and the University of Saskatchewan (1939), and was made an Honorary Chief ("White Star") by the Saskatchewan Cree Indians.  He was an avid sportsman and was a member of the Assiniboia Club in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Frederick W.A.G. Haultain died on January 30, 1942, at Montreal, Quebec.  His ashes were buried near the Memorial Gates at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon.  A provincial government building in Edmonton, an elementary school in Calgary, and a mountain in Jasper National Park are named in his memory.



Reprinted from Premiers of the Northwest Territories and Alberta 1897-1991 with the kind permission of the Legislative Assembly Office.

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