2221 26A St. S.W. (1914)
This home has reached the cusp of its 100th Cenntenial. At 98 years old, it was built during Calgary’s first building boom, a time when thousands of homes were built within a decade.
Originally homestead land, this plot was part of the Glengarry Ranch, owned by Thomas Jackson in the late 1800’s. Subdivisions began in 1906, and by 1910 the “Glengarry Subdivision” became part of the city of Calgary. The Wishard Langan Company developed this property in 1914 while Glengarry was quickly transforming into a vibrant city-edge community.
Built as a “workers cottage”, this home has elements of Edwardian architecture that include a front Gabled roof, decorative dentils and square porch columns.
The Original John H. Ford Residence
It was 1911 and word was circulation over sees about the vast opportunities in Calgary, Alberta. John Hooper “Jack” Ford, who operated the Castle Hotel in Barnstaple, England, was one of many who decided to come here. He brought with him wife Susan and Miss Lucy Brookman.
“We reached Calgary at 7am and …one had a glimpse of a western city just awakening to the bustle of a busy day. It appeared strange at first with much more hustle and bustle than expected. Streetcars, autos and teams and buggies all going”
From JH Ford’s personal notes.
In 1915, Ford purchased this house on 26A Street for $2100.00. He lived here for ten years. In that time he would take on a career that would impact the early political atmosphere of Alberta.
He met minister and political radical William Irvine at the Unitarian Church of Calgary. Together they organized the People’s Forum, (1916), a platform for progressive thought and discussion.
They also created the Albertan news paper The Nutcracker (1916) which became The Alberta Non-Partisan (1917), and The Western Independent (1918). Ford was the business manager and Irvine was the editor. These papers delivered a strong political message in support of farmers, labourers, and women in Alberta. Their goal was to empower these groups to elect representatives to government.
“Our movement is towards a better and fairer organization of society; and our faith is strong that the time will surely come … when the dull grey clouds under which thousands of our countrymen are monotonously toiling will break and melt …” .
JH Ford, published in The Alberta Non-Partisan, November 1917
As the president of the Alberta Non-Partisan League, Ford worked hard to promote fellow member Mrs. Louise McKinney (of the Famous Five) into a leadership role that made her the first woman elected into any legislative assembly within the British Empire.
By 1922, the United Farmers Association had assembled a political party which merged with the Alberta Non Partisan League. Ford continued to work for the Albertan newspaper for the remainder of his career.
After his wife’s death in1939, he married Miss Brookman. By this time he had moved to a home on 13th ave SW
1. William Irvine: The life of a Prairie Radical, by Anthony Mardiros.
2. The Agrarian Revolt in Western Canada, by Paul Sharp.
3. Glenbow Collections & Archives
Others that lived in this house throughout the many years of its history include:
William Gover an accountant (1933)
RCMP Officer Jesse J. Weaver and his wife Birtha Hester Weaver (1939). The Weavers were the longest residents of this home and stayed for several decades. He continued to live here after she passed and well into his retirement. He was honoured in 1973 as a Royal Mounted Police Veteran with a visit from the Queen of England.