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Gaetz Family Fonds

Leonard Gaetz, 1841-1907, was born in Nova Scotia. He married Caroline Blowers Hamilton, 1845-1906, and they had eleven children: Raymond, Halley, Clarence, Carrie (Smith), James, Frederick, Gertrude (Clarke), Marion (Woodsworth), Leola (Stephenson), Gretchen (Wallace), and Isaac. Gaetz was a Methodist minister in eastern Canada until he and his family moved to Alberta in 1884. They became close friends of Reverend John McDougall, who helped them choose a homestead in the area which would later become the city of Red Deer. Leonard Gaetz was an active promoter of settlement in the Red Deer area and he was the local agent for the Saskatchewan Land and Homestead Company, which owned considerable land holdings in Central Alberta.

The eldest son, Raymond Leonard Gaetz, 1866-1939, opened a trading post called Smith and Gaetz, and was the first mayor of Red Deer. In partnership with his cousin and brother-in-law, George Wilbert Smith, he built two commercial blocks. Raymond also had a two-and-a-half story neo-classical residence built for himself in 1903. He married Mary Gertrude Linton, 1866-1955, and they had six children, John Raymond, 1894- 1945, Linton Leonard "Dick", 1898-1993, Mary Caroline "Daisy", 1899-1976, Wilfred, 1903-1981, Dorothy (Flewelling) and T.M. "Ted".

The second son Halley, or H.H. Gaetz, was a real estate speculator in Red Deer, who owned a lot of property in the city. In 1909, Halley donated a large tract of land along the Red Deer River, which would become Waskasoo Park. In partnership with his brother Raymond, Halley ran the Gaetz Manufacturing Company, a garment manufacturing company and one of Red Deer's earliest manufacturing facilities.

Gaetz United Church, Gaetz Library, and Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer are named after the family.

This biography is adapted from the Gaetz Family fonds of the Glenbow Archives Copyright © Glenbow Archives, Calgary


Dawe, Michael. Red Deer: An Illustrated History. Red Deer and District Museum Society, the City of Red Deer Archives and the Red Deer Visitor and Convention Bureau, 1996.

Gaetz Manufacturing Company Building. Red Deer Historical Walking Tours. Red Deer Historical Preservation Committee and Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism, n.d.

Meeres, E.L. The Homesteads that Nurtured a City: The History of Red Deer. Red Deer: E.L. Meeres, 1977, 1984.

Raymond Gaetz Residence. Red Deer Historical Walking Tours. Red Deer Historical Preservation Committee and Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism, n.d.

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