Kenny Blatchford

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Kenny Blatchford
Kenneth Alexander Blatchford.JPG
Member of the Canadian House of Commons for Edmonton East
In office
September 14, 1926 – July 28, 1930
Preceded by Ambrose Bury
Succeeded by Ambrose Bury
17th Mayor of Edmonton
In office
December 10, 1923 – December 13, 1926
Preceded by David Duggan
Succeeded by Ambrose Bury
Alderman on the Edmonton City Council
In office
December 12, 1921 – December 10, 1923
Personal details
Born March 5, 1882
Minnedosa, Manitoba
Died April 20, 1933(1933-04-20) (aged 51)
Edmonton, Alberta
Political party Liberal Party of Canada, Citizens League
Spouse(s) Grace Lauder Walker
Children Two sons (including Howard Peter Blatchford) and one daughter
Profession Businessman
Religion Presbyterian
Signature

Kenneth Alexander Blatchford (March 5, 1882 – April 20, 1933) was a Canadian politician who served as both mayor of Edmonton, Alberta and a member of the Canadian House of Commons.

Early life[edit]

Kenny Blatchford was born in Minnedosa, Manitoba. He was educated at a commercial college, and was an excellent wrestler and all-around athlete as a youth.

He moved to Edmonton with his parents by ox-cart during the 1890s, and began selling newspapers. During the Klondike Gold Rush, he took over operation of the grist mill operated by Daniel Fraser, and later worked in the Edmonton Power Plant. He married Grace Lauder Walker on 19 December 1904, with whom he would have two sons and a daughter.

Kenny Blatchford was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Municipal Politics[edit]

Blatchford first sought public office in the 1921 municipal election, when he was elected to Edmonton City Council for a one year term as an alderman, finishing fifth out of seventeen candidates. While the top five candidates were to have been elected to two year terms, with the sixth and seventh place finishers winning one year terms, Bickerton Pratt, who finished seventh, won a two year term by virtue of being from the south side of the North Saskatchewan River; resultingly, Blatchford won only a one year term.

He was re-elected, this time to a two year term, in the 1922 election, in which he finished third of sixteen candidates. He resigned midway through his term to run for mayor in the 1923 election, in which he handily defeated James Ramsey. He was re-elected with relative ease in the 1924 and 1925 elections, and did not seek re-election thereafter.

As mayor, Blatchford convinced the city to purchase a farm to establish an "air harbour", which would later become the Edmonton City Centre (Blatchford Field) Airport.

After his federal political career faltered, Blatchford attempted a return to municipal office by running for mayor in the 1932 election. However, he finished a distant third of three candidates, behind incumbent Daniel Kennedy Knott and perennial candidate (and former and future mayor) Joseph Clarke.

Federal Politics[edit]

While still mayor, Blatchford ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1926 election as a Liberal in Edmonton East. He defeated incumbent Conservative Member of Parliament Ambrose Bury by fewer than two hundred votes.

He served until 1930, when he was defeated by Bury (who had gone on to succeed Blatchford as mayor of Edmonton) in that year's election.

Death and legacy[edit]

Five months after his defeat in the 1932 mayoral election, Blatchford suffered a nervous breakdown and disappeared. His body was found in the North Saskatchewan River on April 22, 1933 after he had been missing for two days. His death was ruled a suicide.

His son, Howard Peter "Cowboy" Blatchford went on to become a flying ace in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

Blatchford Field, location of the Edmonton City Centre Airport or ECCA, is named after Kenny Blatchford.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
David Milwyn Duggan
Mayor of Edmonton
1923-1926
Succeeded by
Ambrose Bury
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Ambrose Bury
Member of Parliament Edmonton East
1926-1930
Succeeded by
Ambrose Bury