19th Premier of British Columbia. A member of the Liberal Party, he served in this position from March 1918 until his death. The oldest of eight children, his parents were modest English farmers. At age 11, he dropped out of school to work in a local lead mine. A few years later, he emigrated with his family to Ontario, Canada where they pursued farming. Following his mother's death, he traveled west in search of work and obtained a job in Victoria, British Columbia with a survey crew of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He saved enough money to purchase land to start a farm and began getting involved in community affairs. In 1900 he entered politics and won a seat in the British Columbia Legislature, and became Leader of the Opposition. In 1909 he lost his seat but regained it in the 1916 election and became Minister of Agriculture and Railways. Following the death of Premier Harlan Carey Brewster in March 1918, he was selected to fill his position. During his tenure, his government was instrumental in the development of the produce industry in the Okanagan Valley region and pushed to have the federal government lower the freight rate for rail transportation, but was unsuccessful. In May 1927 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he offered his resignation but it was refused by his colleagues. He died in office at the age of 71 and was succeeded by John Duncan MacLean.
Bio by: William Bjornstad