Biographies of council members

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The following biographies were complied from the vast information found at the City of Edmonton Archives. Please feel free to contact the Office of the City Clerk or the City of Edmonton Archives if you have more information regarding any of the people mentioned in the following pages. The sources used for each of the biographies are found at the end of each individual summary. Please note that photos and additional biographies of these Mayors, Aldermen and Councillors are available on the Edmonton Public Library website at:









I, J, K



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Please select the first letter of the last name to look up a member of Council.

Abbott, Percy W.

Alderman, 1920-1921

Born on April 29, 1882 in Lucan, Ontario where he was educated. Left Lucan at 17 and relocated to Stony Plain, Alberta where he taught school from 1901 to 1902. He then joined the law firm of Taylor and Boyle and in 1909 was admitted to the bar. He was on the Board of Trade and was a member of the Library Board for two years. He married Margaret McIntyre in 1908. They had three daughters. He died at the age of 60.
Source: Edmonton Bulletin, Nov. 9, 1942 - City of Edmonton Archives

Adair, Joseph W.

Alderman, 1921-1924

Born in 1877 in Glasgow. Came to Canada in 1899 and worked on newspapers in Toronto and Winnipeg. He came to Edmonton in 1906 to work for the Edmonton Bulletin. He founded his own linotyping business and ran it from 1911 to 1946. Mr. Adair was a member of the Public School Board, Library Board, and a member of the Exhibition Board for over 40 years. He died November 1, 1960. Mrs. Adair died August 16, 1960. Two daughters and two sons survive him.
Source: Edmonton Journal, Nov. 2, 1960 - City of Edmonton Archives

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Agar, A. B.

Alderman, 1909

Mr. Agar came to Edmonton in 1902. He had an enterprising hardware business on Namayo Avenue. He was elected in 1909 to fill the vacant seat caused by the resignation of Alderman Lee.
Source: City of Edmonton Archives

Ainlay, Harry Dean

Mayor, 1945-1949
Alderman, 1931-1935, 1942-1945

Born in Brussels, Ontario where he received his early education, including his teachers’ certificate. Came to Alberta in 1907 and spent his early years in Stavely, in southern Alberta. Moved to Edmonton in 1912 and entered real estate. He then graduated in 1920 from the University of Alberta and returned to teaching. He was married in 1911 to Edith Hamilton, who died in 1959. He was principal of Garneau public school and later taught high school. In the 1940’s and 1950’s he headed the Yellowhead Route Association and remained interested even after his retirement. He organized the South Side Athletic Association and was president of the Edmonton Amateur Baseball Association. Following his retirement to British Columbia, he became active in politics there. He died in Haney, B.C. March 12, 1970 and is survived by his second wife Jean.
Source: Edmonton Journal March 16, 1970 - City of Edmonton Archives

Anderson, Bryan

Councillor, 1998 - present

In 1964 received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He worked as a teacher in Edmonton from 1964 to 1998 and was the head coach at Strathcona High School from 1964 to 1969 and at Harry Ainlay High School from 1969 to 1998. He is also a certified Canadian Basketball Coach. Received the R.G. Glassford award for contribution to University of Alberta athletics in 1995 and the Alberta’s Urban Coach of the year award for football in 1976, 1986 and 1994.

Source: Office of the Councillors

Anderson, Cameron

Alderman, 1907, 1908

He was a builder and a contractor in Edmonton.

From the 1906 Edmonton Bulletin: “Cameron Anderson is a builder and contributor in this city. He has been in Edmonton for many years and might well be classed as one of Edmonton’s oldtimers. Although he has no previous municipal experience, he has for many years taken a practical interest in all the affairs of the city. He has watched its gradual growth from a Hudson’s Bay Post to its present position as the capital city of Alberta, and has the welfare of the city at heart.”

Source: City of Edmonton Archives

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Armstrong, George Seale

Mayor, 1911-1912
Alderman, 1908-1910

Mr. Armstrong was born in Grey County, Ontario. He moved to Edmonton in 1905 and opened up a drug store on Namayo Avenue where he erected a brick building. He died June 9, 1947 and is survived by his wife, one son and two daughters.

Source: City of Edmonton Archives

Baker, Herbert

Alderman, 1927-1928, 1930-1933

Born in Hull, Yorkshire, in 1866 and left there in June 1882 to settle in Canada. In 1883 he worked at Massey-Harris Co. Ltd. becoming manager in Edmonton in 1910. He retired from the Massey-Harris Co. in 1926. June 3, 1889 he married Grace Timewell in Toronto. They had one daughter and two sons. He died December 21, 1941 at the age of 75.

Source: Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 22, 1941; Edmonton Bulletin, June 5, 1939

Bateman, James W.

Alderman, October 1966 – 1971

Mr. Bateman was born June 10, 1936. He attended public school and graduated from St. Joseph’s High School. He later graduated with a bachelors of business administration at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Mr. Bateman was assistant store manager of Bateman’s Food Markets Ltd., in 1959. He was president and shareholder of Guiseppi’s Pizza Ltd. starting in 1960. Mr. Bateman is a member of various organizations including Edmonton Jaycees, YMCA, Knights of Columbus and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. He is married to Rose and they have one son and three daughters.

Source: Edmonton Journal, October 10, 1968.

Batty, Jane

Councillor, October 2001 - present

Mrs. Batty was born in 1946 and was raised in Edmonton. Prior to her election to City Council, she was the former Executive Assistant to former Edmonton Alderperson G. Lyall Roper, from 1983 to 1986, the former Vice-President, Operations, Denny Andrews Inc., from 1986 to 1999 and a management consultant, Denny Andrews Inc., from 1999 to 2001. She is a member of the University of Alberta Senate Chair and the Provincial Affairs Committee. She is on the Board of Directors of Odyssium (the former Edmonton Space and Science Centre) and Northlands Park.
Source: City of Edmonton website, Office of the Councillors

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Bellamy, Ralph Victor

Alderman, 1928-1931, 1933-1935

Born August 26, 1880 in Port Hope, Ontario. Earned his B.A. from McMaster University in Toronto and was Alberta’s first Rhodes Scholar. Married Mabel Clar at Aylmer, Ontario in October 6, 1908. They had one son and three daughters. Died July 25, 1949.

Source: City of Edmonton Archives

Bellamy, Thomas

Alderman, 1895, 1896, 1905-1906

Born on a farm in Durham County, Ontario. In 1881 he and Mrs. Bellamy, the former Miss Lora Davis, came west to Portage La Prairie and took up land in the district. Later he entered into the implement business as local manager for A. Harris & Co., Ontario. In January, 1892 Mr. Bellamy came to Edmonton and represented the Massey-Harris Company for four years. In 1896 he started in business for himself with much success. The Bellamy’s brought the first lilac plants to Edmonton. Died in Edmonton on October 11, 1926.

Source: Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 7, 1907 - City of Edmonton Archives

Bethel, Judith C.

Alderman, October 1986 – 1995

Mrs. Bethel was born on August 24, 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was educated at University of North Dakota and graduated with a B.Sc. in 1965 and with a B. Ed. from the University of Alberta in 1974. Following graduation, she was a teacher with Edmonton Public School Board between 1974 and 1981. From 1981 to 1982, Mrs. Bethel was an investment broker with Midland Doherty. From 1982 to 1987, she was an investment broker with Richardson Greenshields. Mrs. Bethel is a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Edmonton Women’s Network, and the Edmonton Society of Financial Analysts. She is a past director of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. Mrs. Bethel was elected to House of Commons as Liberal for Edmonton East in October 1993 and lost her seat to Peter Goldring, Reform, in the 1997 election. Mrs. Bethel is married to Clarence and they have two children.

Source: City of Edmonton Archives, Alberta who’s who 4th Ed. p. 21, Canadian parliamentary guide 1994, p. 223

Binder, Melvyn A.

Alderman, October 1986 – 1992

Born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1938. Attended University of Western Ontario between 1957 and 1963 where he received his law degree. He has practiced law since 1966 and was appointed as a Queen’s Council in 1985. Mr. Binder served on the Edmonton Public School Board from 1974 to 1986 and served as chairman on the Edmonton Board of Health from 1977 – 1985. He became a judge in 1996 when he was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench on March 29, 1996.

Sources: Edmonton Journal, May 1, 1992, Edmonton Journal, February 22, 1996 - City of Edmonton Archives.

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Bissett, Athelstan

Alderman, 1934-1938, 1940-1952

Born December 31, 1883 in Goderich, Ontario. His family lived in North Dakota for eight years before settling in South Edmonton. Got his B.A. at McMaster University in 1909. Awarded the Chief Justice’s Gold Medal for highest standing. Admitted to the bar in 1916. Went overseas in the First World War. When he returned, he formed the firm of Young and Bisset, which lasted until 1952. Was president of the Edmonton Bar Association, appointed King’s Counsel in 1943 and appointed to act as the Rentals Appeal Court from 1945 to 1951. In 1952, he was appointed judge of the Family Court and of the Juvenile Court of Alberta. Died January 6, 1973 and is survived by his wife of 47 years Mary, three daughters and six grandchildren.

Source: Edmonton Journal, Jan. 6, 1973

Blatchford, Kenneth (Kenny) Alexander

Mayor, 1924-1926
Alderman, 1922-1923

Born in Minnesoda, Manitoba on March 5, 1882. Son of Peter and Margaret (nee Murchison) Blatchford, both of Scottish-Canadian parentage. They moved to Alberta in the 1890’s by ox-cart from Winnipeg. Once in Edmonton he tried various occupations. He sold newspapers, operated the old Fraser gristmill, worked at the Edmonton Power Plant and was also an insurance broker. He persuaded city council to purchase a farm to establish the Air Harbour, which is now the Municipal Airport, (the first municipally run airport in Canada). In December 19, 1904, he married Grace Lauder Walker and had two sons and one daughter. He died April 24, 1933 at the age of 51 by taking his own life.

Source: Katherine Jaster Sept. 10, 1992 - Awards Night

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