Fonds MS-244 - William P. Wagner fonds

Jasper Avenue - Looking East W.P. Wagner Edmonton Public School Board Members Strathcona High School Jasper Avenue Lovingly Vera & Eunice Smith Vera Smith Eunice Smith In Front of Aunt Louise's House Queen's Avenue School Class

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William P. Wagner fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph

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

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1902-[ca.1964] (Creation)
    Wagner, William P.

Physical description area

Physical description

2 cm of textual records. - 10 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

William P. Wagner was born 1 May 1899 in Edmonton, to Philip and Amelia (Berg) Wagner. William had four siblings, Rudolph, Edward, Dorothy and Gertrude.
William attended Queen’s Avenue School and then Victoria High School. Upon graduation from Victoria High School in 1916, he completed six months training at the Camrose Normal School. The following year, at the age of 16 yrs, he began his teaching career in the one-room Castle School in the Fort Saskatchewan, AB, area. He served in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Upon returning to Edmonton, he taught in Daysland and Viking, AB., then became principal of the high school in Mannville, AB. In 1929, he took a teaching position at the Strathcona High School. In the 1930’s, he attended the University of Alberta, earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees in education while teaching at Alberta College and the Edmonton Technical School at night.
In 1942 he enlisted in the Canadian Army, serving in the personnel section in Canada and overseas until his discharge with the rank of Major in 1946. Back in Edmonton he joined the Edmonton Public School Board as its first counselor and head of the board’s department of guidance. In 1950 he became the Assistant Superintendent of the school board, then Deputy Superintendent in 1954. He served as Superintendent of the School board from 1955 to 1964. Upon retirement in 1964, a school in Edmonton was named after him and he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The University of Alberta awarded an honorary doctor of laws to William Wagner in 1982.
William married Olinda Manz and they had three children, Dorcas, Elaine and William.
William P. Wagner died 6 Aug 1986.

Custodial history

It is not known how William P. Wagner knew Vera Smith.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual records and photographs created and collected by the donor. The photographs include street scenes of Jasper Avenue [ca. 1914, 1969], William’s teaching and educational administration career [ca. 1930, 1964], Vera Smith [ca. 1900, 1960] and the students of Queen’s Avenue School, 1909 (it is likely William is in the photo).
File List:
File 1: W.P. Wagner autobiography, includes accounts of childhood, early teaching career, military service and educational administrative career; written for William Wagner’s retirement. [ca. 1899-1964], (photocopy);
File 2: Commemorative Booklet for the Inauguration of the Province of Alberta, September 2, 1905. Includes 'Telegram from His Majesty King Edward VII; Address of His Excellency Earl Grey, Governor General of Canada; Address of the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada; and Telegram from the Right Hon Alfred Lyttelton, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Note: booklet is annotated 'Dorothea Wagner, Edmonton, Alta, 1905' (nb: Dorothea is William’s sister).
File 3: Certificates for Vera Smith. Include High School Certificates for Vera Eloise Smith, Provincial Examinations sat at Liverpool Station, Nova Scotia, 1902, 1904, 1905 and Certification for Teacher’s Professional Qualification, Nova Scotia, 1911.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by William P. Wagner in 1977 and 1978


The material was arranged by the archivist based on creator.
The photographs were assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-311.

Language of material

  • English

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.

Finding aids

See Scope and content above.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Accession numbers: A77-51, A78-43, A78-117

General note

Formerly known as Vera Smith fonds.

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City of Edmonton Archives

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Rules for Archival Description (RAD)
Archives Society of Alberta Subject Terms



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Physical storage

  • Box: MS Room
  • Box: Library