Archive Finding Aids

Here are detailed file-by-file descriptions of the contents of specific fonds and/or links to scanned documents.

John Higinbotham, Lethbridge, 1887
John Higinbotham, Lethbridge, 1887

John D. Highinbotham fonds

To view brief biography and summary of contents click here.

Table of Contents

indicates that the series includes scanned documents or photographs.

Series 1 Scanned Document Correspondence. -- 1879-1960
Series 2 Higinbotham's historical writings. -- 1933-1962
Series 3 Notebooks and notes. -- [ca. 1875-1905], 1950 and n.d.
Series 4 Poetry. --1882-1953
Series 5 Diaries and journals. -- 1885-1941
Series 6 Scanned Document Various personal and historical papers. -- 1876-1955, 1970
Series 7 Newspaper clippings. -- 1882-1953
Series 8 Photographs. -- [ca. 1874-1930] and n.d.


Series 1

Correspondence. -- 1879-1960

M-517-1 Personal and family correspondence. -- 1884-1960. -- Consists mainly of letters to Higinbotham from members of his family. Includes correspondence of a personal nature with close friends, and letters relating to personal tributes.

Scanned Document View 1884-1898 letters.
Scanned Document View 1901-1929 letters.
Scanned Document View 1930-1935 letters.
Scanned Document View 1937-1944 letters.
Scanned Document View 1951-1960 letters.

M-517-109 Letter written by Higinbotham describing Calgary. -- 1884. -- Incomplete. One page only.

Scanned Document View now.

M-517-111 Letter written by Higinbotham describing a stage coach trip to Fort Macleod. -- 1884

Scanned Document View now.

M-517-118 Letters to his brothers. -- 1885. -- Describing his new ranch and advising them what to bring with them. Includes newspaper clippings about Lethbridge hospitals.

Scanned Document View now.

M-517-131 Letter to brother Edward N. Higinbotham. -- 1885. -- Re ranch affairs.
M-517-126 Letters to family from Fort Macleod and Lethbridge. -- 1884, 1893. -- Consists of a letter to parents re recommendations for position of postmaster, plans for acquiring homestead, information re Dr. Kennedy and life in Fort Macleod; and to grandfather re post office work, mining and CPR activities. The second letter is written on the back of a printed map of oil field and mining location near Lethbridge.
M-517-2 General correspondence. -- 1876, 1883-1908. - Includes correspondence dealing with a post office controversy arising from Higinbotham's refusal to open the post office on Sundays; letter naming those elected to the first Council of the Phamaceutical Association; letter from T.B.H. Cochrane stating his platform fro the North-West Territories election of 1895; letters of appreciation; business communications, etc.
M-517-3 General correspondence. -- 1909-1921 and n.d. -- Contains many letters relating to the Presbyterial Church and Sunday School. Includes a letter from Dr. Mewburn planning a trip to the north, one containing information about Robertson College in Edmonton, and a letter from George W. Kerby about his book.
M-517-4 General correspondence. -- 1922-1940. -- Consists of several communications from the Canadian Authors' Association; letter from Higinbotham to W.L. Mackenzie King; letter re the NWMP by Thomas Clarke; letters from Charles Mair and C.A. Magrath; letters of introduction, etc.
M-517-5 General correspondence. -- 1941-1957. -- Consists of a letter from W.B. Cameron of the RCMP Museum; letters to Robert E. Gard; communications re article on Guelph buildings; letters about Higinbotham's writings; request for information abou the Rocky Mountain Rangers; letters from C.A. Magrath, etc.
M-517-114 General correspondence. -- 1909-1953. -- Includes Higinbotham's resignation as Lethbridge postmaster (1910); letter from Dr. Mewburn re proposed Mackenzie River trip (1928); letter to Colonel Blair Ripley re narrow gauge "Turkey track" railway (1928); letters from Marian Mortimer Harvey of Hay River re Indian [First Nations] Christmas customs (1929-1930); letter from Thomas Clarke and Henry G. Hewson; Dr. Alexander R. Colvin's reminiscences about Dr. Mewburn; Emily Canfield's 1946 telling about Christmas of 1884 when her father drove to Fort Macleod from Medicine Hat.
M-517-6 Lethbridge history. -- 1928-1954. -- Contains letters of enquiry re history of Lethbridge and area, including some copies of replies. Includes letters from Senator W.A. Buchanan and H.G. Long which give survey of progress of Lethbridge.
M-517-7 W.P. McKenzie. -- 1889-1935. -- Contains correspondence between William P. Mackenzie, writer and active Christian Scientist, and D.J. Higinbotham, and articles about McKenzie.
M-517-8 Fort Benton Trail. -- 1948. -- Contains two letters by Higinbotham giving data on the trail, and newspaper clipping from the Lethbridge Herald. [The clipping is missing as of 2009]
M-517-101 Dr. P.M. Campbell. -- 1950. -- Consists of correspondence with biographical data about Dr. Mewburn.
M-517-102 C. Frank Steele. -- 1951. -- The correspondence contains a list of Lethbridge mayors from 1891 to 1951.

Series 2

Higinbotham's historical writings. -- 1933-1962

M-517-9 Fort Whoop-Up. -- 1941. -- Consists of a short typewritten articles by Higinbotham, and a letter re the preservation of the Fort Whoop-Up site.
M-517-10 Lethbridge Jubillee. -- 1935. -- Consists of Higinbotham's typewritten manuscript of articles on the history of Lethbridge and area, which were subsequently published in the Lethbridge Herald; account of trip on Great Falls and Canada Railway; sketch by Frank Strong; and short historical radio script.
M-517-11 General manuscripts. -- n.d. -- Consists of article re experiences in Lethbridge post office; incident of Paddy Nolan; introductory speech for Archdeacon Tims; manuscript of story called "Waterwood", etc.
M-517-12 Radio script re Higinbotham biography. -- 1952. -- Written for a radio broadcast by CJOC radio station. Related correspondence is included.
M-517-13 Manuscript - "When the West was Young" by Higinbotham. -- Consists of a typewritten copy with corrections and notes by the author.
M-517-14 When the West was Young fan letters. -- 1934-1956
M-517-15 When the West was Young orders and letters. -- 1933-1954. -- Includes 1933 mailing list; correspondence re printing copies for the War Services Libraries, etc.
M-517-16 When the West was Young scrapbook of reviews. -- 1933-1939. -- Included are some prospectuses and loose clippings.
M-517-115 Newspaper clippings re Higinbotham and his book, When the West was Young. -- 1955, 1962
M-517-116 Newspaper clippings from Higinbotham's personal copy of When the West was Young. -- 1948-1955 and n.d. -- Higinbotham's personal copy included clippings on personalities of the west, including Frank "Polly" Pollinger, James Evans, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, James Kennedy Cornwall (Peace River Jim), John Ware, Bob Edwards, F.G. Haultain, Lionel Brooke, Howell Harris, Pat Burns and Dr. R.C. Duthie.
M-517-117 Newspaper clippings from Higinbotham's personal copy of When the West was Young. -- 1906-1938 and n.d. -- Includes brief articles on buffalo in Canada, Louis Riel, Cree-Blackfoot battle at Lethbridge, North-West Mounted Police, northern rivers of Canada, Yukon, artificial lakes in Canada, Sir Charles Tupper, poem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about his visit to Canada, map of BC and Yukon showing 1906 survey route, and silhouette of Higinbotham (1938).
M-517-130 Author's edition (no.1) of When the West was Young. -- 1933. -- This copy has extra margin notations, pasted in newspaper clippings, and autographs of early Albertans (James F. Macleod, F.W.G. Haultain, D.W. Davis) pasted inside the front cover. The inside is annotated: "Anna Torrance Higinbotham, Nov. 8, 1933".
M-517-17 Manuscript - "Salad Days". -- [late 1940s]. -- Typewritten, arranged in sections under headings.
M-517-18 Manuscript notes - "The Old West". -- Consists of handwritten notes, later incorporated into "Salad Days" manuscript.

Series 3

Notebooks and notes. -- [ca. 1875-1905], 1950 and n.d.

M-517-19 Notebooks for "Salad Days". -- Includes loose notes, poems, etc. for the manuscript.
M-517-20 Western history notebooks. -- [ca. 1875-1905]. -- Consists of five notebooks written by Higinbotham, which contain items on the North-West Mounted Police; Indians [First Nations]; western personalities, speech and life.
M-517-103 Notes on the Riel Rebellion. -- n.d. -- Consists of dated record of events in Fort Macleod from April 14-June 28, 1885, on Lethbridge post office letterhead.
M-517-28 Pharmaceutial notebook. -- n.d. -- Consists of drug descriptions and notes by Higinbotham.
M-517-39 Notes and personal jottings of Higinbotham. -- Includes a description of Riverview, the Higinbotham home in Guelph.
M-517-124 Notes re E.H. Falkland Warren, Lethbridge schools. -- 1950
M-517-104 Miscellaneous notes. -- n.d. -- Consists of humorous court instances, notes for historical talks, Higinbotham's drugstore prescription forms, envelopes, tags and stickers.
M-517-119 Miscellaneous notes. -- n.d. -- Consists of notes about language used with bull teams, re Charles Rouleau, Judge of Supreme Court of the North-West Territories.
M-517-132 Note rebuilding traffic bridge in Lethbridge. -- n.d. -- From a page of diary of Miss Higinbotham's great grandfather, David Allan.

Series 4

Poetry. -- 1822-1953

M-517-21 Poems. -- 1882-1954. -- Consists of written and typewritten poems by Higinbotham, some published in leaflet form, and correspondence related to poems.
M-517-22 Fan letters re poetry book, Foothills and Prairie Memories. -- 1948-1953. -- The letters are in a loose-leaf notebook.
M-517-23 Notebook of poems. -- The book contains some poems by Higinbotham, written and printed, and favourites by other poets. On loose sheets are a poem by J.W. Reid to Dr. F.H. Mewburn (1912); one called "Evolution" found in a propector's shack; and "To an Old Branding Iron" by Colonel H.A. Mullins, Cochrane Ranch.

Series 5

Diaries and journals. -- 1885-1941

M-517-24 Diaries. -- 1885 and 1887. -- During 1885 Higinbotham moved from Fort Macleod to Lethbridge.
M-517-25 Five-year diary. -- 1937-1941. -- Higinbotham was living in Guelph, Ontario at this time.
M-517-26 Journal of a trip down the Mackenzie River. -- 1928. -- Dr. Mewburn and Higinbotham made the journey. Consists of daily account of the trip, with details about places and passengers.
M-517-27 Journal of a trip to South America. -- 1939

Series 6

Various personal and historical papers. -- 1876-1955, 1970

M-517-29 Horoscopes, palm readings, etc. -- 1896-1938. -- All related to Higinbotham.
M-517-30 Papers found at Fort Whoop-Up in 1892 by Higinbotham. -- 1876-1887. -- Consists of three T.C. Powers and Brothers invoices, D.E. Akers; one headed Fort Hamilton (all furs); one bill of buffalo robes sold at Fort Benton by D.E. Akers; one promissory note to J.J. Healy from Fort Hamilton; and further miscellaneous accounts.
M-517-31 Verdict of jury, Fort Macleod. -- 1884. -- Written in pencil and signed by jurymen.
M-517-32 Sketch of Fort Macleod, signed by A.G. Nedham. -- 1876
M-517-33 Programs of Lethbridge events. -- 1886-1938. -- Consists of programs for a citizens' ball (1885), church concert in barracks (1889), St. Andrew's Society dinner (1890), Masonic Lodge program; Jubilee celebrations (1897, 1935), opening of Kenyon Field (1939).
M-517-121 Hunt club invitation, Kipp, North-West Territories. -- 1895
M-517-34 Certificates and presentations. -- 1882-1948. -- Includes brand record form (1902), Higinbotham's pharmacy certificates, Masonic Lodge certificate, presentation from Lethbridge Presbyterian Church Sunday School, etc. Also includes Mrs. Higinbotham's IODE certificate.
M-517-120 Appointment as postmaster. -- 1888
M-517-112 Appointment as Commissioner of Oaths. -- 1897
M-517-113 Appointment as Coroner. -- 1892
M-517-35 Pledges of abstinence. -- 1886-1887. -- Signed by Rennie Burford Barnes and witnessed by Higinbotham.
M-517-36 Religious papers. -- 1790-1859. -- A type of religous covenant, unsigned; and a prayer written by Mrs. David Allan (Mrs. Higinbotham's mother).
M-517-37 Letterheads, cards and ribbons. -- Consists of Macleod Gazette letterhead; J.D. Higinbotham & Company letterhead; cards of Higinbotham, Edna Jaques, and Charles H. French; and ribbon of a Lethbridge ball (1886).
M-517-38 Christmas cards. -- n.d. -- Includes cards from the Northern Alberta Pioneers' and Old Timers' Association, Senator W. A. Buchanan, etc.
M-517-40 Calgary Stampede program (1925) and miscellaneous items. -- Includes proclamation by Lord Minto from the North-West Territories Gazette (1901); reproduction of the first train, Vancouver, etc.
M-517-41 Article re Churchill trip by E.N. Higinbotham. -- 1931. -- The tour was made by Canadian Chamber of Commerce delegates, including J.D. Higinbotham's brother, E.N. Higinbotham, of Edmonton. Attached is a sketch of Fort Prince of Wales, Churchill, copied from an 1894 version. Includes a souvenir folder of caricatures of delegates.
M-517-42 Article on Indian [First Nations] medicine men by Cecil Denny. -- 1909. -- An explanatory note by E.N. Higinbotham is attached.
M-517-122 Article about the Galt Hospital by Mrs. E.N. Higinbotham. -- n.d.
M-517-123 Article re Charles Mair. -- n.d.
M-517-43 Biographical article about J.D. Higinbotham. -- 1955. -- From the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.
M-517-44 Radio broadcast script about Alberta druggists. -- 1952. -- For a radio show sponored by Calgary Power.
M-517-45 Article by Nellie McClung. -- 1922. -- Entltled "The Adaptable Hen". The setting is the Higinbotham home in Lethbridge.

Scanned Document View now.

M-517-98 Biographical sketches of Canadian druggists. -- 1944-1946. -- Reproductions from the Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal.
M-517-99 Extract from the House of Commons debates. -- 1915. -- Re dismissal of post office case.
M-517-100 Advertisement for the Higinbotham drugstore.
M-517-105 Biographical sketch of J.D. Higinbotham for Who's Who.
M-517-108 Program of family reunion. -- Re the Higinbotham family, including the Allans, Blaneys, Torrances and Wallaces.
M-517-125 "Essence of Drug Fun", vol.1, no.1. -- 1880. -- C onsists of a handwritten mock newspaper, edited by Higinbotham (when he was a pharmacy student?).
M-517-128 Galt family tree and letters from Mrs. E.C. Sprinett of Lethbridge.
M-518-129 Financial accounts re enterprise, sale of horses to Klondike gold seekers, Edmonton. -- 1898-1899. -- In a small notebook.
M-1472 Drug labels. -- [1890s-1910s]. --46 items. -- Consists of labels used in Higinbotham's drug store, including labesl for barb wire liniment, bed bug poison, best gasoline, bitter cascara, blue stone, bon sang, camphor cream, camphoraged chalk, carbolic acid, cold tablets, cream balm, cream tartar,creosote, dentifrice, diarrhoea mixture, epsom salts, eradica, essence jamaica ginger, hair tonic, improved dyspepsia tablets, insect powder, la grippe powders, linc tussis, linseed oil, mentha koff, oil eucalyptus, oil of cedar, oil of star anise, oil of wintergreen, paregoric, poison label (blank), prescription label (blank), rhubarb and soda mixture with pepsin and nux, sa babdilla powder, scalp oil, seduisant, spanish saffron, sperm oil, spirits of camphor, strychnine, sweet spirits nitre, trench powder, vegetable blood tonic, violet ammonia, worm powders and zincola.
M-4264 Genealogy of the Higinbotham family, Guelph, Ontario and Lethbridge, Alberta. -- 1970. -- 2 volumes. -- Written by Dr. Norman L. Higinbotham.

Series 7

Newspaper clippings. -- 1882-1953. -- Primarily arranged alphabetically.

M-517-46 Scrapbook of articles by J.D. Higinbotham. -- 1882-1953. -- Includes poems, news stories, etc. For earlier poems, the pen name "Arcticum Polo" was used.
M-517-47 Alberta communities. -- Re Crownest Pass, Norquay, Spring Ridge, etc.
M-517-48 Arctic and north. -- Re Aklavik, Yellowknife, Norway's claims to the Arctic, mineral wealth in the north, etc.
M-517-49 Biographical, A and B. -- Re Robert M. Armstrong, R.T. Barker, Kootenai Brown, Commissioner W.C. Bryan, R.B. Bennett, Captain John B. Bright, and L.W. Brockington.
M-517-50 Biographical, D to J. -- Re Nicholas Flood Davin, Frederick Grove, John Herron, George Hope Johnson, Mrs. Eli Hodder, and Bob Edwards.
M-517-51 Biographical, L-P. -- Re George Lane, Edward Maunsell, Norrie Macleod, Nellie McClung, P.J. Nolan, A.P. Patrick, and Jerry Potts.
M-517-52 Biograhical, R-W. -- Re Joseph F. Ritchie, Louis Romanet, Walter Ross, Charlies Schillings, Nicholas Sheran, Fritz Sick, Emily Sick, William R. Watson, Norbert Welsh, Seager Wheeler, and Mrs. Leslit Wood.
M-517-53 Biographical - W.G. Haultain. -- 1942-1944
M-517-54 Biographical - Charles A. Magrath and Elliot T. Galt. -- [ca. 1938-1949]
M-517-55 Biographical - Early ministers. -- 1913-1931. -- Re Dr. John McLean, Dr. A.B. Baird, George Pringle, Knox United Church in Lethbridge, and the first church in Fort Macleod.
M-517-56 Biographical - Reverend R.J. Renison. -- 1956. -- Consists of "My Life as a Missionary", an autobiographical account of his experiences from northern Ontario to Athabasca region and Vancouver.
M-517-57 E.N. Barker's "In the West Forty Years Ago" series. -- 1923
M-517-58 British Columbia - History
M-517-59 Buffalo. -- Includes "Last Treks of Buffalo across Plains of Montana".
M-517-60 Calgary - History. -- Includes articles from the Eye Opener, and by Leishman McNeill.
M-517-61 William Bleasdell Cameron's article, "The Trail of '81". -- 1943. -- Consists of an account of a trip with Ad. McPherson from Winnipeg to Battleford via Red River cart.
M-517-62 Dr. Cheadle's journal, reviewed by Freda G. Bundy
M-517-63 Cardston - History
M-517-64 Cariboo gold rush. -- 1925. -- Consists of artlcal on overland trip from Fort Garry to Quesnel in 1862.
M-517-65 Edmonton - History
M-517-66 Fort Macleod. -- Includes evidence taken at a Royal Commission on the liquor traffic, and an interview with Tom Clarke.
M-517-67 Frank - History. -- 1901-1903. -- Consists of articles about a celebration in Frank, and the Frank Slide.
M-517-68 J.D. Higinbotham. -- 1924-1960. -- Consists of interviews, tributes, and obituaries.
M-517-69 Indians [First Nations]. -- 1933-1951
M-517-70 Lethbridge - Early history
M-517-71 Lethbridge - Pioneers. -- Re Sydney Jackson, Mrs. W.H. Fairfield, Charles Bowman, George B. McKillip, Mrs. L.G. De Veber, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Nolan, John Craig, Bob O'Hagan, Thomas MacPherson, etc.
M-517-72 Lethbridge - Doctors and hospitals. -- Re Dr. Frank H. Mewburn, Dr. P.M. Campbell, Dr. Alan M. Lafferty, and the first hospitals.
M-517-73 Lethbridge - Churches
M-517-74 Lethbridge - North-West Mounted Police
M-517-75 Lethbridge - Civic history. -- 1951. -- Consists of articles re the incorporation of the town, first elections, first council meetings, etc.
M-517-76 Letbhbridge - Railway hisotry. -- 1951
M-517-77 Lethbridge - Sports. -- 1951. -- Re soccer, baseball, tennis and lacrosse of 1891; also hockey in 1951.
M-517-78 Lethbridge - Museums and historical association. -- Includes article on the Walter Gurney Museum in the Galt Gardens.
M-517-79 Lethbridge - Progress. -- 1933-1951. -- Includes statistics, and items on water projects.
M-517-80 Lethbridge - Miscellaneous
M-517-81 Mackenzie River. -- 1930, 1947. -- Includes article by W.D. Albright about a river trip (1930).
M-517-106 Mrs. James F. Macleod. -- n.d. -- Consists of an interview re the Red River Rebellion from 1896-1870.
M-517-107 Mrs. David McDougall. -- 1939. -- Consists of an interview by Edna Kells.
M-517-82 E.H. Maunsell's series of reminiscences. -- 1923. -- Re his life in southern Alberta beginning in 1874.
M-517-83 Medicine Hat - History
M-517-84 Mining - Names of mines, etc.
M-517-85 J.W. Morrow's "Early History of Southern Alberta" series. -- 1931. -- Re Indians [First Nations], flora and fauna, Cypress Hills, buffalo, NWMP, etc., which were published in the Lethbridge Herald.
M-517-86 Oil industry - History
M-517-87 Pincher Creek - History. -- 1922. -- Includes an article by Mrs. Lynch Staunton.
M-517-88 North-West Territories Council. -- 1930. -- Includes biographical sketches of members.
M-517-89 Ranching - History. -- Includes Senator Dan Riley's 1931 speech on livestock.
M-517-90 Riel Rebellion. -- 1925-1942. -- Includes interview with W.B. Cameron re Frog Lake Massacre.
M-517-91 River boats in Alberta. -- 1927, 1931
M-517-92 Royal Canadian Mounted Police. -- 1923-1949
M-517-93 Southern Alberta - General history. -- 1889-1932
M-517-127 Mrs. E.C. Springett of Lethbridge
M-517-94 Waterton Park - History
M-517-95 Winnipeg - History. -- 1925, 1937
M-517-96 Yukon - History. -- Re dance halls, first bank, etc.
M-517-97 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings. -- Re Canadian trails, Brandon Hotel, Annie Oakley, early motoring, chinooks, saskatoons, huskies, song about Cardston-Waterton road, etc.
M-517-110 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings. -- 1887-1948. -- Re land in Manitoba, rivalry between the HBC and NWC, review of William Griesbach's book I Remember, report of letter from R.J.C. Stead, etc.
M-517-vol.1 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings. -- 1922-1953 and n.d. --174 pages. -- Consists of articles about western Canada, mainly Alberta, with a large proportion about Lethbridge.

Series 8

Photographs. -- [ca. 1874-1930] and n.d. -- 433 photographs

Some of the photographs have been scanned. Scanned Document View now.

Photographs of Mounted Police, Fort Whoop-Up, Fort Macleod, J.D. Higinbotham, Lethbridge, Bloods, Blood reserve, Doukhobors (in Yorkton, Saskatchewan), Frank Slide, Higinbotham's drugstore and home, Mackenzie River trip and NWT towns. -- [ca. 1874-1930] and n.d. -- 159 photographs.
PA-325 Portrait of J.D. Higinbotham. -- n.d. -- 1 photograph
PA-469 Ranching scenes, Lethbridge, First Nations, and various Alberta views. -- [ca. 1886-1920s]. -- 179 photographs
PA-988 Mackenzie River trip, Lethbridge Experimental Farm, First Nations, etc. -- [ca. 1913-1928]. -- 87 photographs
PA-1159 Dr. Mewburn in Lethbridge. -- n.d. -- 1 photograph
PA-1384 Lethbridge Old Timers. -- 1938. -- 5 photographs
PE-27 Panorama of Lethbridge business district. -- n.d. -- 1 photograph

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