Charles Alexander Magrath

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Charles Alexander Magrath
C A Magrath.JPG
Member of Parliament
for Medicine Hat
In office
1908–1911
Preceded by District created
Succeeded by William Ashbury Buchanan
Personal details
Born (1860-04-22)April 22, 1860
North Augusta, Ontario, Canada
Died October 30, 1949(1949-10-30) (aged 89)
Victoria, British Columbia
Political party Conservative

Charles Alexander Magrath conducted foundation surveys of the Northwest Territories from 1878 until 1885. He joined Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt and Elliott Torrance Galt in their western industrial enterprises as a surveyor, later becoming Elliott's assistant and Land Commissioner of the North Western Coal and Navigation Company. He was also the first mayor of Lethbridge, Alberta, which has a major street (Mayor Magrath Drive) named after him.

Magrath was a member of the Northwest Territories Legislature from 1891–1898. He was appointed as a cabinet minister in the Frederick Haultain administration in 1897. In the 1891 and 1894 general elections and an 1897 by-election, he represented Lethbridge and was acclaimed.

Magrath ran as a Member of Parliament representing the Medicine Hat constituency (1908–1911). He was fuel Controller during the Great War and chairman of Ontario Hydro and the Canadian section of the International Joint Commission. He also served on the Newfoundland Royal Commission of 1933.

He married Margaret Holmes White Mair in 1887. After giving birth to a son, Charles Bolton, in 1888, she died in June 1892 of complications following the birth of a daughter. In 1899, he married Mabel Lillian Galt, a daughter of Sir Alexander and half-sister of Elliot Galt. Two daughters were born of this union: Amy and Laura.

Magrath has been called "The Father of Irrigation in Southern Alberta". However, during his lifetime he was quick to acknowledge the contributions of Charles Ora Card, the LDS Church, and Elliot Galt to the development of irrigation in the Lethbridge region. The community of Magrath is named in his honour.

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Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
Preceded by
New District
MLA Lethbridge
1891–1898
Succeeded by
Leverett DeVeber
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
New District
Member of Parliament Medicine Hat
1908–1911
Succeeded by
William Ashbury Buchanan