Series 1 - Matthew McCauley Family

First Train Across Low Level Bridge Children of Matthew & Matilda McCauley First Presbyterian Church Choir, Edmonton
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Title proper

Matthew McCauley Family

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of series.

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Reference code

CA EDM MS-320-1

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  • 1887-1902, [ca.1985]-1992 (Creation)
    Matthew McCauley Family

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Physical description

1.85 m of textual records. - 3 photographs

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Biographical history

McCauley, Alexander J.H. 1876-1948
McCauley, Anne Cookson 1868-1948
McCauley, Frank 1888-1930
McCauley, Julia Alberta 1883-1966
McCauley, Lillian Bell 1877-1939
McCauley, Mabel Victoria 1883-1957
McCauley, Margaret Jane 1880-1979
McCauley, Matilda Benson 1875-1896
McCauley, Matthew 1850-1930
McCauley, Maud Muriel 1886-1941
McCauley, May Emeline 1884-?

Matthew McCauley was born 11 Jun 1850 to Eleanor Latimer and Alexander McCauley near Owen Sound, Ontario. Matthew first moved to Winnipeg in 1874, then to Fort Saskatchewan in 1879, and to Edmonton the following year.

In 1881, Matthew McCauley opened a butcher shop and a livery/cartage business. By 1890, he was no longer in the butcher business and the livery/cartage business became known as the M. McCauley Cartage, Feed and Sales Stables, eventually becoming the Edmonton Cartage Company. It was the only livery, cartage and stable business in Edmonton for many years and became an important part of Edmonton’s business scene. The livery was a both a stable where horses and teams could be hired and a stable for boarding privately owned horses. The cartage company was noted for hauling large heavy loads, including being known for bringing the first piano to Edmonton. Matthew McCauley sold the business in 1902.

Matthew McCauley was very involved in the community in early Edmonton. He organized Edmonton’s first public school in 1884. He was a founding member of Edmonton’s school board and served on it for 18 years. When Edmonton was incorporated as a town in 1892, he was elected Mayor by acclamation. He secured a charter from Ottawa for a municipal railway system – the first west of the Great Lakes. He was re-elected as mayor in 1893 and 1894.

In 1905, when Alberta became a province, he was elected to the first provincial legislature as a representative for the Vermilion area. He was a member of the provincial legislature until he was appointed as the Warden for Alberta’s first penitentiary. Matthew served as Warden from 1906 to 1911. He retired to Penticton, B.C. in 1912 to take up fruit farming. He returned to Edmonton in 1925 purchasing a 1000 acre farm in the Peace River District.

Matthew married Matilda Benson in 1875 and they had eight children – Alexander James Henry (1876-1948), Lillian Bell (1877-1939), Margaret Jane (1880-1979), Julia Alberta (1883-1966), Mabel Victoria (1883-1957), May Emeline (1884-?), Maud Muriel (1886-1941), and Frank (1888-1930). As the children grew, many were very active in the community including the choir of the First Presbyterian Church.

After Matilda’s death in 1986, Matthew married Annie Cookson in 1902. They had four children – George (born ca. 1901), Raymond (born ca. 1903), Jack (born ca. 1904) and Ada (born ca. 1906).

Matthew McCauley died 25 Oct 1930 at the age of 80 in Sexsmith, Alberta, and is buried at the Edmonton Cemetery.

Custodial history

Margaret Wood is the daughter of Alexander J.H. McCauley and the granddaughter of Matthew McCauley.

Elizabeth Aylen is the daughter of Julia Alberta McCauley Norquay and the granddaughter of Matthew McCauley.

Marjorie van de Sande is the daughter of Elizabeth Aylen, granddaughter of Julia Alberta McCauley Norquay, and the great granddaughter of Matthew McCauley.

It is not known how Tony Cashman acquired the records.

Scope and content

The series consists of family and business records of Matthew McCauley and his family. The family records include biographies on Matthew McCauley and his family. There are also family history narratives, family tree sheets, and some photocopies of photographs.

The business records are for Matthew McCauley’s butcher shop and cartage businesses. The ledgers list the daily transactions or general accounts of the businesses, which include the names of many (now well known) Edmonton families and the costs of the material, product or service provided (ex: hay, meat, livery, hauling and cartage).

The photographs include the first train across the North Saskatchewan River, Matthew’s children, and the First Presbyterian Church Choir.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This series was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives in six donations between 1971 and 1992 made by descendants of the Matthew McCauley (Margaret Wood, Elizabeth Aylen, and Marjorie van de Sande), and one donation made in 1998 by Tony Cashman.


The material was arranged by the archivist by type of record, then by date.

Language of material

  • English

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There are no restrictions on access.

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Copyright may apply.

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Finding aid available online.

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General note

Accession numbers: A71-54, A77-122, A81-101, A81-102, A89-7, A92-167, A98-63

General note

This series consists of records formerly known as:
MS-135 Mrs. Rennie Wood fonds
MS-240 Elizabeth Aylen and Louise Thompson fonds, later E. Aylen collection, later CNR Telegram fonds
MS-320 Matt McCauley fonds
MS-530 Elizabeth Aylen fonds

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