Alfred Ernest Cross

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Alfred Ernest Cross
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
In office
Constituency East Calgary
Personal details
Born (1861-06-26)June 26, 1861
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died March 10, 1932(1932-03-10) (aged 70)
Alberta, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Helen Rothney MacLeod (m. 1899)
Residence Alberta, Canada
Occupation politician, rancher, brewer

Alfred Ernest Cross (June 26, 1861 – March 10, 1932) was a Canadian politician, rancher and brewer, known as one of the Big Four who founded the Calgary Stampede in 1912.

Early life[edit]

Born in Montreal, Cross was the oldest of seven children.[1] He trained as a veterinary surgeon.

Cross moved to Alberta in 1884 to work at a ranch near what is now Cochrane, Alberta[2] owned by Matthew Henry Cochrane.[3]

In 1899 he married Helen Rothney Macleod (1878-1959), daughter of North-West Mounted Police Commissioner James Macleod.[4]


By 1886 Cross owned his own ranch, the A7 Ranche, located near what is now Nanton, Alberta.[2]

Cross returned to Montreal for hospital treatment for appendicitis.[when?] He returned to Calgary in 1891 holding a diploma that he had been trained as a brewer’s apprentice[2] and established the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, the first brewery in what was then the Northwest Territories.[2]

Ranchmen's Club[edit]

That same year Calgary’s oldest and most exclusive club, the Ranchmen’s Club, was established; and A.E. Cross was a founding member.[2]


In 1898, Cross entered politics, and was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for East Calgary. In 1899 he married Helen Rothney Macleod, the daughter of Colonel James F. Macleod, the lawman who gave Calgary its name.[2]

Cross was active in community affairs, serving as a director and president of Calgary General Hospital, as president of the Alberta Exhibition Association, and as president of the Calgary Board of Trade (now Calgary Chamber of Commerce) in 1909.[2]

Calgary Stampede[edit]

In the summer of 1912, Cross, along with Patrick Burns, George Lane, and Archie McLean (“The Big Four”) put up the combined amount of $100,000 to finance the first Calgary Stampede held in September 1912[5]


Cross died in 1932. The following have been dedicated in his name:

  • A.E. Cross Junior High School located in Calgary, Alberta.[6]
  • The Big Four Building at the Stampede Grounds in Calgary, Alberta.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Brennan, Brian (2001). Alberta Originals: Stories of Albertans Who Made a Difference. Fifth House. p. 2. ISBN 1-894004-76-0. 
  3. ^ Morrison, Elsie (1950). Calgary, 1875-1950 : A souvenir of Calgary's seventy-fifth anniversary. Calgary: Calgary Publishing Co. p. 132. 
  4. ^ "A.E. Cross family fonds". Glenbow Museum. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Brennan, Brian (2001). Alberta Originals: Stories of Albertans Who Made a Difference. Fifth House. p. 22. ISBN 1-894004-76-0. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]