Archibald J. McLean

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Archibald J. McLean

Archibald J. "A. J." McLean (1860–1933) was a cattleman and politician from Alberta, Canada. He was one of the Big Four who help found the Calgary Stampede in 1912.

Born in southwestern Ontario in 1860, McLean moved to what is now Alberta to work as a ranch hand; soon becoming the manager of the large CY Ranch near what is now Taber, Alberta.[1]

Archie McLean was first elected as an Independent Liberal MLA for the Lethbridge constituency in the 1909 Alberta general election. His election to the legislature made him one of the first two independents elected in Alberta history, the other being Edward Michener.

On June 1, 1910 he accepted an appointment by Premier Arthur Lewis Sifton to cross the floor to the government and join the cabinet to become the new Provincial Secretary. He was acclaimed in a ministerial by-election on June 22, 1910 and officially took over the position.[2] He served as minister of municipal affairs, and as minister of public works.[3]

McLean was re-elected to a second term, this time in the new Taber provincial electoral district in the 1913 Alberta general election. He defeated two other candidates in a landslide victory.

McLean would be re-elected to his third and final term in the 1917 Alberta general election. The election was hotly contested but with Conservative candidate Thomas King providing a strong showing, but McLean still won with an 800 vote plurality.

In the 1921 Alberta general election he would run again attempting to win a fourth term in office and a fifth straight election, but was defeated by candidate Lawrence Peterson from the United Farmers of Alberta in a tight race. McLean left politics to return to ranching. He lived to the age of 73. The Macleod Gazette newspaper described his memorial service as being "probably the largest funeral ever held in southern Alberta".[4]


  • The Big Four Building at the Stampede Grounds in Calgary, Alberta (opened 1959).
  • A member of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame located in Toronto, Ontario.[4]
  • McLean Bridge located north of Taber, Alberta.


  1. ^ Brennan, Brian (2001). Alberta Originals: Stories of Albertans Who Made a Difference. Fifth House. pp. 26–27. ISBN 1-894004-76-0.
  2. ^ "Alberta Gazette: Notice of Ministerial Appointments". Government of Alberta. June 1, 1910. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  3. ^ Brennan, Brian (2001). Alberta Originals: Stories of Albertans Who Made a Difference. Fifth House. p. 27. ISBN 1-894004-76-0.
  4. ^ a b Brennan, Brian (2001). Alberta Originals: Stories of Albertans Who Made a Difference. Fifth House. p. 28. ISBN 1-894004-76-0.

External links[edit]

Alberta Provincial Government of Arthur Sifton
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Duncan Marshall Provincial Secretary
June 1, 1910–August 25, 1918
Wilfrid Gariépy
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Preceded by
New District
MLA Lethbridge District
Succeeded by
District Abolished
Preceded by
New District
MLA Taber
Succeeded by
Lawrence Peterson