James L. McDermott was born in Washago, Ontario in 1885. He married Mary Ann Rafferty of Waterloo, Ontario in July 1913. They came west and lived in Diamond City for a short while then settled in Coalhurst where they were active members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the community for over 60 years.
They raised eight children: Howard - born in 1914 received all his education in Coalhurst, he was very active in sports, mainly baseball and soccer, and he played soccer for the Lethbridge Miners. Howard died suddenly in 1935 of appendicitis. Lloyd born in 1919, also educated in Coalhurst was killed in action in Ortona, Italy in 1944. Roy - born in 1921, educated in Coalhurst, served overseas during World War 11. He became a barber, married and settled in Edmonton, then Pincher Creek and finally Lethbridge where he died in 1968. Leo - born in 1929 - educated in Coalhurst, worked for years with the C.P.R., then trained in Calgary to become a Painter and Decorator. He established his own business in Calgary. He passed away in 1983.
In 1942, J. L. McDermott was named secretary of the South Alberta Water Conservation Council - a position he held for a number of years. He had been active in the formation of the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District and had farmed under the ditch in that project for 15 years prior to his appointment as secretary of the South Alberta Water Conservation Council.
James L. McDermott died May, 1974. Mary Ann McDermott died June, 1975.
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