JAMES CLINKSKILL.
No history of the commercial and political development of Saskatoon district would be complete without extended mention of James Clinkskill, who is now living retired in Saskatoon. He was born in Glasgow, Scot- land, on the 9th of May, 1853, a son of James and Josephine Katrine Marie (Michel) Clinkskill. The father was an engineer and iron founder and for many years manufactured mill machinery at Glasgow, and was one of the foremost business men of his day. His death occurred in 1892, at the age of eighty-four years. Mrs. Clinkskill died in 1884, when seventy-nine years of age. In the pursuit of his education James Clinkskill attended the public schools of Glasgow and subsequently entered Madras College of St. An- drews. At the age of seventeen years he began an apprenticeship in the cotton and yarn business, serving three years. He was then identified with that line of business for a period of ten years. Subsequently he went into the grocery business for three years and in 1882 he came to Canada. He located in western Canada, at Winnipeg, and remained there until the fall of that year, when he moved to Prince Albert. At that early day there was no railroad crossing the Northwest Territories and the entire region of the province of Saskatchewan had only a sparse population composed of native Indian traders and stockmen. Those who came into the region at that time were the advance guard of pioneers, whose work finally disclosed the resources of the country to the modern farmers and builders, and who made the history of the country. Mr. Clinkskill formed a partnership with T. E. Mahaffy, for the conduct of a general mercantile business, and they decided on Prince Albert as the location for their enterprise. They shipped their goods by the Red river and Lake Winnipeg and thence up the Saskatchewan to Prince Albert. The shipment was retarded, however, when the water in the river became so low that the steamer could not continue until the spring of the follow- ing year-1883. In the intervening period Mr. Clinkskill and Mr. Ma- haffy had brought some of the goods overland from Troy, now called South Qu'Appelle. In the fall of 1888 they moved their business to Battleford, which was then the capital of the Northwest Territories, and they opened a store on the south side of Battle river, on the old town site, conducting it until the spring of 1885, the year of the Riel Rebellion. During that time the store was looted and burned by the Indians. Mr. Clinkskill was a member of the Home Guards during the rebellion and remained under arms for sixty days, awaiting the arrival of troops. At the close of the rebellion he resumed business on the present townsite of Battleford. Mr. Clinkskill at once became active in civic affairs and for more than a quarter of a century he served in one capacity or another. His initial step was made in 1888, when he was elected to the first Territorial Legislature as representative from the Battleford district. He sat as representative of Battleford district, 1888-1898, ten years, and as repre- sentative of Saskatoon district, 1902-1905, four years. In 1891 he was chosen a member of the Executive Committee by Premier Haultain but resigned from this committee the same session, owing to a difference of opinion on school legislation. In 1898 Mr. Clinkskill and Mr. Mahaffy had dissolved partnership and in 1899, while still retaining his mercan- tile interests at Battleford, he came to Saskatoon and bought the small establishment of Leslie & Wilson. Saskatoon in that year comprised a railroad station, section house, two taverns and two or three dwellings. The business purchased by Mr. Clinkskill was the only business enter- prise west of the river. In 1903 at the by-election, he was chosen to the Legislature as a representative of the Saskatoon district, to fill the vacancy caused by the accidental shooting of the sitting member, William Sinclair. Mr. Clinkskill continued to sit in the Legislature until the passing of the old Northwest Territories. His service in that body had been continuous from the first Legislature, with the exception of the term 1899 to 1903. In 1906 Mr. Clinkskill enlarged his store in Saskatoon and in that year built the block on Twenty-first street, which he still owns. His friends and many of the citizens of the town derided him at the time he built the block, for it was so far out of what was then the business dis- trict. It is now, however, practically in the center of the business dis- trict and is one of the most valuable pieces of property in the city. Mr. Clinkskill purchased the property for two thousand dollars and sold part of the site for a post office for nine thousand dollars. In the fall of 1905 Mr. Clinkskill was elected mayor of Saskatoon and in July of the follow- ing year, when the town became a city, he was chosen to fill the executive chair of the municipality, an honor which will always be associated with his name. He took an active part in drawing up a special charter for the city. In the fall of 1910 he was again elected mayor of Saskatoon and was reelected for the year 1912. In 1909 he was elected a governor of Saskatchewan University and upon the expiration of that term was reelected by the Senate. The Board of Governors chose him as its chair- man in 1911 and he has since held this position. In 1884 Mr. Clinkskill was married to Miss Dora Babington Taylor, a daughter of Alexander Taylor of Winnipeg. In 1909 Mr. and Mrs. Clinkskill celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. To Mr. and Mrs. Clinkskill seven daughters and one son were born: Thomas, the only son, was killed in the battle of the Somme. He was the first man to enlist in Saskatoon, in the service of his country, and was but twenty-eight years of age at the time of his death. The oldest daughter is now Mrs. W. W. Ashley. The other daughters are: Mrs. C. R. Veannatter, of Ottawa; Mrs. A. M. Hush, of Saskatoon; Mrs. H. S. Smith, of Saskatoon; Mrs. G. B. Woods, of Saskatoon; and Mrs. Allan Smith and Jean of Saskatoon. Mr. Clinkskill is very proud of his fourteen grandchildren, all of whom are girls, with the exception of two. In September, 1917, Mrs. Clinkskill passed away. In August, 1918, Mr. Clinkskill was married to Mrs.Gibson. Throughout his life Mr. Clinkskill has given his political allegiance to the Conservative party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, in which he is a zealous worker. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, and since 1882 has been a member of the Masonic order of Scotland and is one of the oldest Masons in Saskatoon. He was active in the organization of the lodge here and also of the lodge at Battleford. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. In 1922 Mr. Clinkskill built his present beauti- ful home, where he is living retired, enjoying well-merited rest. His life has been useful and active and Saskatoon and the district are indeed fortunate in having him for a citizen. Bibliography follows:


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THE STORY
OF
SASKATCHEWAN
AND ITS PEOPLE




By JOHN HAWKES
Legislative Librarian



Volume III
Illustrated



CHICAGO - REGINA
THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1924



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