Secord, Richard Henry

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Secord, Richard Henry

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Richard Henry Secord was born 19 Jul 1860 to Jane Manley and James Richard Henry Secord in Gray County, Ontario. He was a great grand-nephew to Laura Ingersoll Secord.

In 1881, Richard Henry moved to Edmonton and began teaching in Pakan, and later Edmonton. He became Edmonton's first full-time teacher and by 1885 was a high school Principal in Edmonton. Richard Henry married Annie York, a teacher at Poplar Lake School, on 4 Aug 1891. Richard Henry and Annie had five children - Lillian Laura, Annie Helena (Lena), Imogene (Gene), Richard York, and Isobel.

Richard became a prominent businessman in association with John Alexander McDougall, an Edmonton merchant, in the firm McDougall and Secord. From 1890 to 1906 their business outfitted northern fur traders. Richard later expanded his businesses to include fur trading, real estate investment, banking, property development, hotel management, northern transportation and sports management, including construction and operation of the Thistle Rink in Edmonton.

Richard and Annie built their mansion, Chateau Rochelle, in 1907 at 9842 - 105 Street. It remained the family's home until 1951 and later was the first home of the Edmonton Art Gallery. The building was demolished in 1968.

Richard was also involved in politics, serving as an Edmonton alderman in 1899, a Northwest Territories MLA from 1902 to 1904, and ran unsuccessfully for the House of Commons in 1904. He was active in a number of community organizations, including freemasonry.

Richard Henry Secord died 12 Jan 1935 in Edmonton.


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