Peter Anthony Prince

Peter Anthony Prince

Trois-Rivières, Mauricie Region, Quebec, Canada
Death 13 Jan 1925 (aged 88)
Calgary, Calgary Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Burial Calgary, Calgary Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Memorial ID 134429548 · View Source
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Peter Anthony Prince, has long be regarded as the Lumber Baron, of Calgary Alberta, leaving a legacy that Calgary residents and visitors still enjoy to-day.

Born 4 May 1836, near Three Rivers, Quebec, Peter was a son of John Enoch and Angeline Prince. In the 1840’s the Prince family settled in Mara Township,Ontario, on lot 14, Concession C. Here is where Peter was raised and educated, and where he learnt the Millwright trade from his father.

In 1857, he married Margaret Corrigan, a daughter of Michael and Rosanna Corrigan of the 7th concession of Mara. They lived on lot 14, Concession A, and had two children a son John Enoch, and daughter Rosanna. From 1859 to 1865, he owned and operated both a lumber and a hotel business, on Concession A in Mara Township, Ontario.

In 1866 Peter Prince and his family, along with the extended family including his parents and siblings, Elizabeth, Andrew, George, and Anne, all moved to the Eau Claire area of Wisconsin. There Peter continued to work as a millwright, by 1875 we was General Manager of the North West Lumber Company, with 500 employees. In 1886 he went to Calgary, to build the Eau Claire Lumber Company and serve as General Manager, a position he held until 1916. During this time, Calgary became the lumber capital of Western Canada, and Peter Prince was known as a lumber baron.

In 1886, Peter Prince, deepened a channel in the Bow River, in order to float logs directly to the sawmill he was building, creating an island in the Bow River. This 20 hectare island, was donated to the City of Calgary, by the Prince family in 1947, and today is one of the premier urban parks in Canada, known as Prince’s Island Park. It is accessible from the downtown and the Eau Claire districts of Calgary, and is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Peter’s interest did not stop at his sawmill, he owned the first gas operated car in Calgary, he built a flour-mill and elevator, which later became Robin Hood Mill, he was president of the Calgary Iron Works Company ( which built the first traffic bridge in Calgary), the Calgary Milling Company and the Louis Petrie Company, a wholesale grocer firm, plus he held interest in the John Irwin grocery business. In Brooks Alberta, he owned a large ranching operation called the Prince-Kerr Ranch.

One dark night in 1886, Peter Anthony Prince slipped off a board side-walk and landed in a muddy street in Calgary. Right there he decided that Calgary’s streets should be lit by electric lights. That was the moment of conception for the Calgary Water Power Company. By 1889, he won the rights to erect poles and string wire, making Calgary the fifth city in Canada to have street lights. Initially he burned sawdust from his lumber yard to fuel a steam-driven generator, by 1893 he was generating electricity via water-power, harnessing the current of the Bow River. The steam plant was kept in use during periods of low river flow. By contract, Peter’s Company was the only provider of electricity to Calgary, until his death in 1925.

Peter Prince designed his home from plans of a Connecticut house published in the November 1893 issue of Scientific American, Architects and Builders Edition. This 3000 square foot mason, was built at 238 4th Avenue. It was the home of his four wives, three of whom predeceased him, Margaret died in 1898, from diabetes, Emma of TB, in 1902, Rosa died in 1907 of Cancer, his fourth wife Emily outlived him and died in 1944. Emily’s daughter from a previous marriage remained in the house until 1965. In 1966 the Prince House was donated to Heritage Park, the moved required the removal of 25,000 bricks, and the house was divided into three sections. It was reassembled, as part of a Centennial project. Today, it is a major tourist attraction, open to the public, the interior has been restored and refurnished, to depict the end of the Edwardian Era. Still today, items which originally belonged to the Prince family are on display in the dining room. Some believe this house is haunted, images of a lady in a long white dress with a high lace collar have been reported, and many Heritage Park employees refuse to enter the house alone.
(Above bio by Mike Crosby, member #47634387)
P.A. Prince, Oldtimer In Calgary, Passes Away
Was 89 Years of Age and Had Lived Here for 39
He Was Also Interested in Other Local Industries; Built First Light Plant
Peter Anthony Prince, one of the few remaining old-timers of Calgary and Alberta, passed away on Monday, at the ripe age of 89 years. Nearly all of his life was passed in active business in Calgary, although, for the past seven years he lived practically in retirement, his health having begun to fail. The remains of the deceased are to be laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery on Wednesday, following a service at St. Mary's Cathedral.

Peter A. Prince was born at Three Rivers, Quebec, on May 4, 1836, the son of John and Angeline Prince and was educated in the public schools of ... Ontario. For six years he was a millwright, in his father's business at Ontario county. Following that he was engaged in the ... and hotel business on his own... Mara township, Ontario.
Moved to the West
Previous to 1866, Mr. Prince ... to Chicago, and was engaged in ...tion work. This completed, he went to Wisconsin, where there were great developments taking place in the lumber business. He being a millwright, soon found work at his occupation there, and erected several mills for different companies. He was engaged by the North Western Lumber Company as millwright and later as manager; and had charge of a number of mills, employing about 500 ...

When a number of Eau Claire lumbermen became interested in timber rights in Alberta, he was engaged by ... to come out and erect a mill. Mr. Prince came here in 1896, and built the present mill where it stands today, and conducted the lumbering operations up to the time of his retirement, in 1917. Since then Mr. Prince has been looking after his own private interests.

On the occasion of Mr. Prince's retirement from active service, the shareholders of the Eau Claire Lumber Co. gave a banquet in his honor and presented him with a grandfather's clock.

Built First Light Plant
When the electric light question came up in the early days in Calgary, and citizens were demanding a better service of light, Mr. Prince made a contract with the town to build a plant and install street lighting. He undertook to do this work privately, and accordingly made a contract with the city for a period of five years. Shortly after this was made it was found desirable to form a company, to take over Mr. Prince's interests, so the Calgary Water Power Co. was organized. Mr. Prince was vice-president of this company up to the time of his death.

In 1909, he married Emily Douglas, of Southampton, England, who survives him. There were two children by a former marriage, J.E. Prince of H..vwood, California, and Mrs. Rose Eide, of Calgary, and Norah Whitlock, also a step-daughter who were with him at the end. He has four grandchildren, Margaret Eide, John and Chester and Mrs. Longpre, as well as a number of great-grandchildren.

Through a long life actively engaged in his business pursuits, Mr. Prince was never engaged in public life, though taking a keen interest in politics, municipal, provincial and federal. He was a great reader and kept well posted on the affairs of Canada and the world. His tastes were simple, and his only recreations were shooting and walking.

Had Other Interests
In addition to his interests in the Eau Claire Lumber Co., Mr. Prince was interested in the Calgary Iron Works, was president of the Louis Petrie Co., and also had an interest in the John Irwin Co. Ltd.

The passing of Peter Anthony Prince is regretted by a wide circle of friends and business associates, but who realize that he leaves behind a record of faithfulness to his trusts in life, and has contributed materially toward the upbuilding of his adopted country.

The Calgary Daily Herald, Tuesday, January 13, 1925, page 6 (article also includes a photo of Mr. Prince)


Son of John Prince and Angela Trottier

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


  • Created by: Deb
  • Added: 16 Aug 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 134429548
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Peter Anthony Prince (29 Jun 1836–13 Jan 1925), Find a Grave Memorial no. 134429548, citing Saint Mary's Pioneer Cemetery, Calgary, Calgary Census Division, Alberta, Canada ; Maintained by Deb (contributor 48155269) .