JOSEPH WRIGHT SIFTON.
In considering the growth of any community and the influence vari-
ous men and women have had on its development it is always necessary
to pay especial attention to those educators who, as the teachers of the
rising generation, have ever played an important part in molding public
life and thought. As a man intimately connected with the public school
system of Moose Jaw for twenty years, Joseph Wright Sifton, now super-
intendent of the city schools, has been an important factor in the intel-
lectual and cultural advancement of this city and no account of Moose Jaw
today would be complete without some extended mention of his
Joseph Wright Sifton was born in Middlesex county, Ontario, on the
8th of November, 1872, a son of Joseph W. and Hannah (Sutton) Sifton,
both of whom are deceased. His father and mother were each born in
Middlesex county, married there and spent all their life in that same
locality, where the father operated a farm. Joseph W. Sifton, Sr., was
the son of John Sifton, a native of the Emerald Isle, who came to Canada
in the early days accompanied by his father, Charles Sifton. The latter
made his home in Ontario until his death, which occurred when he had
passed the century mark. In connection with his farming interests
Joseph Wright Sifton's father operated a cheese factory and in the sum-
mer time manufactured butter. He was an active Liberal in political
circles and held some of the minor township offices. Both he and his
wife were consistent members of the Methodist church. Five of the eight
children born to Mr. and Mrs. Sifton are living; Mrs. John Kelley, who
makes her home in Ontario; John D., of Moose Jaw, a large farmer of
this province; Charles, a farmer of Ontario; and Truman and Joseph
Wright, twin brothers. Truman lives on a farm north of Pascoe.
Joseph Wright Sifton obtained his early education in the Ontario
common schools near his father's farm and the Strathroy Collegiate In-
stitute, where he prepared for entrance to Toronto University, from which
he graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1898.
All of his mature life Mr. Sifton has been engaged in educational
work, where he has reached a position of distinction. He began teaching
in the high school at Uxbridge, Ontario, and there remained for three
years. After a year spent teaching in the Edmonton schools he came to
Moose Jaw, in March of 1903, as principal of one of the city schools. In
1906 he was advanced to the position of superintendent, and he has thus
served for nearly eighteen years. Under his able administration the
schools have advanced steadily, in keeping with the development in edu-
cational methods and with the growth of the city, so that they now rank
among the best in western Canada. Mr. Sifton is one of the oldest super-
intendents of schools in Saskatchewan in point of the length of time he
has held such a position in this province and is one of the men who have
been instrumental in building up the educational profession in this part
of the Dominion. He was one of the organizers and the first elected
president of the Saskatchewan Educational Association, in which he has
always been an effective worker.
It is a tribute to Mr. Sifton's business ability that he has prospered
financially, in spite of the fact that he is connected with a profession
that is not generally considered a very lucrative one. When he went to
Edmonton in 1902 he was twelve hundred dollars in debt for his rather
expensive educational preparation. This borrowed money was well in-
vested, however, for the young man forged rapidly ahead in the educa-
tional world, unhandicapped by lack of proper schooling and university
training. At the same time he saved something from his salary and was
soon able to become interested in some financial enterprises of this city.
He is now a director of the Saskatchewan Life Insurance Company of
Regina and holds a similar office in the Administrative & Executors Trust
Company. Moreover, he and his brother own seven sections of excellent
farm land in this part of the province which they operate jointly.
On the 17th of August, 1904, Mr. Sifton was married to Miss Maude
Nokes of Uxbridge, Ontario, who was educated in Uxbridge and taught
school before her marriage. One son has been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Sifton: Steele Sifton, who graduated from the Moose Jaw Collegiate In-
stitute in the class of 1923 and the following fall went to Toronto to enter
Toronto University. Mr. Sifton is a member of the board of the Metho-
dist church, while his wife is active in various branches of the church
work. He represents the educational profession in the Moose Jaw Rotary
Club and has served as chairman of the local library board, of which he
has been a member for a number of years. His political affiliations are
with the Liberal party, but he does not take an active part in its affairs,
for he rightly considers that he is performing a more valuable public
service by devoting his time and talents to the betterment of the public
schools than he could possibly do by holding any of the various
municipalor provincial elective offices.
Visitor # 1194
Web Master: Sask Gen Webmaster,
for Sask Gen Web Project
Re-published ©: Monday, 06-Jan-2003 22:03:06 MST
We encourage links to this page.
These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format
for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons.
Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must
obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal
representative of the submitter, and contact the listed Web
master with proof of this consent.