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Alexander Petrie and
Lucy McGann Petrie

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Pages 408 - 409

Alexander Petrie - 1886-1953, came to Canada from Scotland in 1905 at age 19. He worked on a farm in Manitoba, a dairy in Oregon, tried farming in Saskatchewan, had a stint with the Great Northern Railway, building line from Montana up into B.C., before settling in the Magrath area. This began his career in irrigation, starting with the A.R. & I, later to be part of the C.P.R. Alexander was predeceased by his father in 1886, and his mother in 1923. His only brother, James was killed in 1916 while serving with a Highland Regiment (Seaforth). Beekeeping was Alex's principal hobby and provided many hours of relaxation as well as keeping the family supplied with honey for the entire year.

Lucy McGann (1888-1974), came to Magrath from Nottingham, England in 1913. She arrived with her mother Elizabeth and was active in dressmaking and drycleaning. Lucy had served seven years as an apprentice in the tailoring trade. Her father, Isaac McGann arrived later, having been a foundry worker in Nottingham. Lucy's mother and father both worked for the irrigation company, she as a cook for the men, and he as a blacksmith.

Alexander and Lucy were married in Lethbridge in February of 1916. They moved from Magrath to the Chin Gates house in the spring of 1916. Their first son James was born in 1917. He drowned in an irrigation canal in 1925. A second son was born in 1919, and a third son was born in 1928.

Lucy was active with many community and church organizations throughout her years. Her beautiful flower gardens, easily visible from the old Coutts highway, were always a show piece. Poetry was a gift, that provided suitable verse for any and all occasions. After the death of Alex in 1953, Lucy moved to Calgary, and resided in her own home until her passing in 1974.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup