• 2123 52 Street NW
• Demolished: 1974
• 1850 – 1924
James Shouldice was born near Ottawa in 1850 to Irish parents. When he was three, the family moved to Bruce County, Ontario. James farmed in the area and in 1880 married Mary Margaret Elizabeth Purdue. In 1897 Shouldice added politics to his resume when he was elected Bruce County Warden. In 1900 he left Ontario for health reasons and moved to Alberta where he took out a five-year lease on the Namaka Ranch. The following year Mary and their nine children arrived. According to son Stanley, they travelled on a "settlers’ effect train" which dumped them in the dead of night, at a railway siding 40 miles east of Calgary." Mary carried the eight-month old baby in her arms and with the rest of the children in tow, walked across the prairie to their new home on the range.
The nearest school was nearly twelve miles away and for a number of years Mary tutored the children. In 1906, concern for the children’s education prompted James to buy 480 acres six miles west of Calgary and move the family closer to city schools. Four years later James and his neighbour, A.S. Mackay, donated 50 acres to Mount Royal College and 100 acres to the city for park use. In 1913, James built a 25-room brick mansion overlooking the Bow River, an area the family called Shouldice Terrace. (Calgary’s Montgomery District). The family also owned a house in Calgary that they used as a base for the children’s city activities – school, piano and voice lessons. Many of the Shouldice children attended college or university. Earle became a noted physician, hernia specialist and founder of Toronto’s renowned Shouldice Clinic.
While the family carried on with life near the big city, James continued ranching three sections of land south of Gleichen, Alberta where he was known as "one of the pioneer agriculturalists of Alberta." Shouldice was one of the first Albertans to breed Hereford cattle and from 1901 to 1905 exhibited his prize stock at fairs throughout the west.
By 1937 Shouldice’s stately mansion by the Bow been converted to the Calgary crematorium and in 1974 was demolished.
The Shouldice legacy includes a Calgary park, bridge, senior citizen’s home and an Alberta town bearing the family name.
James died in 1925 followed by Mary in 1939. Both are buried in the family plot at Calgary’s Union Cemetery.