After serving as a Cabinet Minister for thirteen years,
Richard G. Reid was appointed Premier of Alberta by Lieutenant-Governor William
L. Walsh following the resignation of John E. Brownlee in 1934. His was
the briefest administration in the history of the Province.
Richard Gavin Reid was born on January 17, 1879, at
Glasgow, Scotland. He was the son of George Reid and Margaret Ogston.
Richard G. Reid attended Hutchison's Grammar School in Glasgow and was a
He served in the South African War (1900-1902) in the
Royal Army Medical Corp with the rank of Lance-Sergeant. Following his
immigration to Canada in 1903, he worked briefly on a farm at Killarney near
Winnipeg, Manitoba, and following that, in a lumber camp in western
Ontario. In 1904, he began homesteading in the Mannville district of
Alberta when it was still part of the North-West Territories.
On September 19, 1919, he married Marion Stuart, daughter
of Kenneth Stuart of Mannville, Alberta. They had five children: Stuart,
Flora, James, Richard, and Kathleen.
Prior to his election as a Member of the Legislative
Assembly of Alberta, Richard G. Reid served on the Mannville Hospital Board, was
a member of the Buffalo Coulee Municipal Council, served as Reeve of the Buffalo
Coulee Council, and was President of the Battle River United Farmers of Alberta political association.
At the provincial general election of July 18, 1921, he
was elected the Member for the electoral district of Vermilion. During his
political career, he served as Minister of Public Health (1921-23), Minister of
Municipal Affairs (1921-23, 1925-34), Provincial Treasurer (1923-34), and
Minister of Lands and Mines (1930-34). Richard G. Reid's greatest
contribution to the Province of Alberta was his ten year tenure as Provincial
Treasurer during the Greenfield and Brownlee administrations. During that
period of time, he was involved in all major provincial financial matters.
Following the resignation of John E. Brownlee, Richard G.
Reid was appointed Premier of Alberta by Lieutenant-Governor William L. Walsh
effective July 10, 1934. As well as serving as President of the Executive
Council, Richard G. Reid was also Provincial Secretary (1934-35). During
his brief administration as Premier, measures were taken to provide debt relief
for farmers and access to telephone service for all Albertans. When
political support for his United Farmers of Alberta Government shifted to the
Social Credit and Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.) Parties, he was
defeated at the general election of August 22, 1935.
Following his tenure as Premier, which officially ended on
September 3, 1935, Richard G. Reid became a commission agent, and he also
served on the Canadian Government Mobilization Board during World War II.
During the latter part of his life, he was in charge of the Canadian Utilities
Limited Library in Edmonton.
Richard G. Reid was an Honorary Member of the Edmonton
He died at Edmonton on October 17, 1980, and his ashes
were buried in the Edmonton Cemetery.