Title and statement of responsibility area
Anderson Family fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Textual record - published
- Graphic material - photograph
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- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Anderson Family
Physical description area
1 cm of textual records. - 23 photographs. - 3 published works
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Anderson, Robert Thompson 1880-1960
Anderson, Margaret “Greta” McPherson 1890-1979
Anderson, Malcolm Robert 1920-2007
Robert Thompson Anderson was born in Rapid City, Manitoba, on August 2, 1880 to William Anderson (1843- 1925) and Jane Struthers (1840-1907). William and Jane had four children: Clara Jane (1868- ), John (1873- ), Robert, and Walter (1883- ). In 1897, they moved west to Lemon Creek, in the Slocan Valley region of British Columbia. John also moved to the area to work as a druggist. By 1898, Robert had also moved to B.C. and was working in his brother's drug store. Robert became a prolific poet earning rave reviews and by 1900 The Slocan Drill was regularly publishing his poetry. One of his poems, titled The Message of Grief, on the death of Queen Victoria, was praised in both Toronto and Vancouver papers.
In 1905, Robert came to Edmonton and first worked at the W.H.Clark lumber company. By 1906, he joined the Edmonton Fire Department and became the Department's fourth staff member. In 1910, he married Isabella Edith McGhee (1888-1913) and they had one daughter, Clara Edith Anderson (1911-1933). Anderson continued to write poetry and his first book, The Old Timer & Other Poems, was published in 1909. Some of his poems were also published in the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Bulletin.
Isabella McGhee Anderson died in 1913. Robert enlisted in 1914 with the Alberta Dragoons and served for the duration of the First World War. His attestation papers list his marital status as widower and according to the article, "The Kipling of the Kootenays," Robert's military pay cheques were sent to his sister Clara who was the guardian of his daughter Clara Edith. In 1916 Robert received a military medal for great gallantry when on reconnaissance patrol for pushing forward under sniper fire and when his horse was shot, he carried on dismounted and brought back reliable and valuable information as the enemy position. He was discharged on 20 Apr 1919.
Robert married Margaret ‘Greta’ McPherson Grant, a Scottish immigrant, in May 1919. He also took a position with the City of Edmonton's Health Department as Quarantine Officer. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1947. He then served with the Corps of Commissionaires for eight years.
Many of Robert Thompson Anderson poems were inspired from his work or reflect his activities, family and heritage: The Fire Laddie’s Call Three, De Health Inspector, and The High Hills of Scotland. Anderson had two more books of his work published, Canadian Born & Other Western Verse (October 1913) and Troopers in France (December 1932).
Robert and Margaret had two children, Malcolm Robert and Ailsa Theresa.
Robert Thomspon Anderson died 3 Apr 1960 and is buried at Edmonton’s Westlawn Cemetery.
Ailsa Anderson Evans is the daughter of Robert Thompson Anderson.
It is not known how Alex Latta acquired the material.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of a diary belonging to Robert’s second wife, Margaret ‘Greta’ McPherson (Grant) Anderson and papers relating to the birth registration of their son Malcolm Robert Anderson (b 19 Apr 1920). There is also a poem written by Robert Thompson Anderson, Our Capital Town, about the city of Edmonton and apparently read at annual events in the fire department.
The photographs include the Anderson home and family members, Edmonton street scenes and events, and the Edmonton Fire Department and Health Department.
The fonds also includes Robert’s published works, The Old Timer and Other Poems (819 AND), Canadian Born and other Western Verse (819 AND 1913 c.3) and Troopers in France (819 AND 1932).
File 1. Schoolwork dairy of Margaret ‘Greta’ McPherson Grant, 29 Aug 1905 to 24 Oct. 1905,
File 2. Birth records for Malcolm Robert Anderson – includes birth tag (name, weight, date, doctor’s name) 19 Apr 1920; abstract of birth with covering letter and receipt, 21 Apr 1920; notice of registration and birth certificate 11 May 1920; doctor’s receipt 13 May 1920,
File 3. Poem – Our Capital Town, by Robert Thompson Anderson, n.d.
Immediate source of acquisition
This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by Alisa Evans in 1969 and by Alex Latta in 1982.
The material was arranged by the archivist based on creator.
The photographs were assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-65.
Language of material
Script of material
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Restrictions on access
There are no restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright may apply.
Reproduction restrictions may apply.
See Scope and content above.
Photographs have been described at the item level and are available in the Reference Room.
No further accruals are expected.
Accession numbers: A69-22, A82-129
This fonds was formerly known as the Ailsa Evans fonds.
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