Member Biography

Jacob Lonsdale Doupe

(1867.09.14 - 1952.02.11)
Commission #021

The Son of Joseph Doupe, C.E., OLS, DLS (1838-1910), Jacob followed his father into surveying as a career. Jacob's father had come west in 1871 as a government surveyor in Vancouver and the North West Territories. His early forefathers came from one of the old Palatinate families in the latter part of the 17th century. They were harassed by the bigotry of Louis XIV and emigrated to the south of Ireland. Between 1827 and 1832 many of these families immigrated to Canada and the United States.

Jacob received his education in Winnipeg attending St. John's College and the University of Manitoba, where he obtained his Master of Arts and Engineering.

Upon receiving his Manitoba and Dominion Land Surveyors Commissions in 1988 he entered private practice for a short period of time. In 1889, he was appointed resident engineer with the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway and in 1890 became resident engineer of construction. In 1891, he was hired as a Land Surveyor for the Land Department, Canadian Pacific Railways. He was soon promoted to assistant land commissioner and general townsite agent covering western Canada. In 1912 until his retirement in 1933, he was Chief Surveyor for the western lines of the C.P.R.

Quote from "Compass to Satellite":

"It was because of his far reaching responsibilities that he qualified as a Provincial Land Surveyor in each of the four western provinces. Official business and a railway pass made him a popular member of the four survey associations and a perennial delegate from one association another. In 1932, shortly before he retired, he presented gavels to each of the associations."

Today, our association uses this gavel at all of our official meetings.

Quote from a letter by A.C.Garner to the association in 1952:

"A gentleman always, highly esteemed by all who knew him and particularly by the members of his profession, his passing will be keenly felt. His record is an outstanding one and this, combined with the excellent work he performed, will ever be remembered as a lasting tribute to his memory."

When Mr. Doupe retired from the C.P.R. in 1933 he was presented with many accolades and gifts. One such address read:

"In the hard exciting times of the western infancy of the C.P.R. you were its hardy warrior. For all the years you have been with it the company has received your first consideration."

Mr. Jacob Lonsdale Doupe was thoroughly acquainted with western townsite development and was associated with the building of the majority of the earlier branch lines. In all probability he might have had a hand in selecting the names of the towns and villages along C.P.R. properties in the west.

There are virtually hundred's of subdivision plans along the railway lines that were signed by J.L. Doupe.

Mr. Doupe had the honour of being president of three western Land Surveyors Associations. The Manitoba association in 1912-13, the Saskatchewan association in 1921, and Alberta in 1924.

Mr. Doupe was married to Mary Young and they had two sons and two daughters.

Compiled by J. H. Webb, September, 1996

(See also biography on Alberta Land Surveyors Association web site. )