Charles W. Fisher

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For the California politician, see Charles W. Fisher (American politician).
Charles Wellington Fisher
A formal portrait of a moustached man in formal robes and a white bowtie.
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
March 15, 1906 – May 15, 1919
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Charles Pingle
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
March 22, 1909 – May 15, 1919
Preceded by New district
Succeeded by Alexander Moore
Constituency Cochrane
In office
November 9, 1905 – March 22, 1909
Preceded by New district
Succeeded by District abolished
Constituency Banff
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
In office
February 4, 1903 – September 1, 1905
Preceded by Arthur Sifton
Succeeded by District abolished
Constituency Banff
Personal details
Born August 4, 1866
Hyde Park, Ontario
Died May 5, 1919(1919-05-05) (aged 52)
Edmonton, Alberta[1]
Resting place Union Cemetery, Calgary
Political party Liberal
Children Seven: Sons C. B. Fisher, Richard James Fisher, John Wellington Fisher, Gordon Thomas Fisher; daughters Helen Angela Fisher, Marjorie Louise Fisher, and Muriel Elsie Fisher (Buller)
Residence Cochrane

Charles Wellington Fisher (August 4, 1866[2] – May 5, 1919)[1] was a Canadian politician who served as the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Biography[edit]

Born in Hyde Park, Ontario, Fisher came to Cochrane from Ontario in 1899, and became the town's leading merchant. In 1907 he married a niece of the Carling family (of Carling Brewery fame), and promised her that they would live in a castle. By way of fulfilling that promise, he built a mansion in Cochrane in 1908 (which became the Just Home Guest Ranch in 1931 and was donated to a Franciscan order in 1948).[3][4]

In January 1903, Arthur Sifton, the Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories for Banff resigned to become territorial chief justice.[5] In the ensuing by-election, held February 4, Fisher defeated H. J. Richardson to replace him. He served until the district left the Northwest Territories to become part of the new province of Alberta in 1905.[6] He subsequently ran in Banff in Alberta's inaugural election. Though politics in the Northwest Territories had been conducted on a non-partisan basis, this was not the case in Alberta, and Fisher aligned himself with the Liberals. In the election, he faced Conservative Robert Brett, who had been Sifton's predecessor as Banff MLA from 1891 until 1899.[6] He more than doubled Brett's vote count on his way to an easy victory.[7]

Fisher was part of a Liberal majority of 23 seats in the 25 seat Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and was one of only seven members with previous legislative experience. In deference to this experience, and as a reward for having beaten Brett, considered a strong opponent, he was elected the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on March 15, 1906.[8] He was re-elected in each of the next three elections, in the new riding of Cochrane, and was re-elected Speaker after each of them. As Speaker, he presided over the tumultuous Alberta and Great Waterways Railway scandal, when he ruled future premier Charles Stewart out of order in his attempt to report a scandalous rumour about fellow Liberal John R. Boyle in the legislature.[9]

Fisher died May 5, 1919, a victim of the 1918 flu pandemic. His death left his Cochrane seat vacant, and in the ensuing by-election the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) ran a candidate, Alexander Moore, for the first time in their history. He won, and two years later the UFA won a majority government.[10]

Charles Fisher is buried in Calgary's Union Cemetery.[11]

Electoral record[edit]

1917 Alberta general election results (Cochrane)[12] Turnout N.A.
     Liberal Charles Wellington Fisher 630 57.32%
     Conservative H.E.G.H. Scholefield 469 42.68%
1913 Alberta general election results (Cochrane)[13] Turnout 85.1%
     Liberal Charles Wellington Fisher 475 55.56%
     Conservative H.F. Jarrett 380 44.44%
1909 Alberta general election results (Cochrane)[14] Turnout 89.7%
     Liberal Charles Wellington Fisher 627 67.56%
     Conservative Robert Brett 301 32.44%
1905 Alberta general election results (Banff)[7] Turnout 89.7%
     Liberal Charles Wellington Fisher 421 53.70%
     Conservative Robert Brett 363 46.30%
1903 by-election results (Banff)[6] Turnout N.A.
Charles Wellington Fisher 263 57.68%
H. J. Richardson 193 42.32%

References[edit]

  • Hall, David (2004). "Arthur L. Sifton". In Bradford J. Rennie. Alberta Premiers of the Twentieth Century. Regina, Saskatchewan: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina. ISBN 0-88977-151-0. 
  • Thomas, Lewis Gwynne (1959). The Liberal Party in Alberta. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. 
  • Perry, Sandra E.; Footz, Valerie L. (2006). A Higher Duty : Speakers of the Legislative Assemblies of the North-West Territories and Alberta, 1888–2005. Edmonton, Alberta: Legislative Assembly of Alberta. ISBN 0-9689217-3-6. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Perry, Footz (2006) 271
  2. ^ Perry, Footz (2006) 263
  3. ^ "The History of St. Mary's Parish". St. Mary's Parish. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  4. ^ "Neighboring parks and trails". Sunterra Ridge/Cochrane Heights Community Association. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  5. ^ Hall 23
  6. ^ a b c "Saskatchewan Executive and Legislative Directory: North-West Territories: Council and Legislative Assembly, 1876-1905" (PDF). Saskatchewan Archives Board. p. 22. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  7. ^ a b "Election results for Banff, 1905". Alberta Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  8. ^ Thomas 34
  9. ^ Thomas 84
  10. ^ Thomas 195
  11. ^ Carpenter, Erin (April 22, 2005). "A grave history". OnCampus Weekly (University of Calgary). Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  12. ^ "Election results for Cochrane, 1917". Alberta Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  13. ^ "Election results for Cochrane, 1913". Alberta Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  14. ^ "Election results for Cochrane, 1909". Alberta Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 

External links[edit]