Member Biography

Hugh Edward Pearson

(1887.10.17 - 1980.12.26)
Commission #059

Mr. Pearson was born at Glendale, Manitoba on October 17th, 1887 and educated in Minnedosa, Manitoba, where he received public and high school education.

In the spring of 1906, he joined a survey party headed by L.T. Bray, DLS, at Macleod, Alberta. During 1906, the party performed subdivision surveys in the foothills West of Macleod, Crowsnest Pass and at Oil City West of Waterton Lakes.

In the spring of 1907, he joined Mr. Bray at Edmonton and the party was engaged on the survey of road diversions for the Government of Alberta in the Edmonton district under instructions from L.C. Charlesworth, Director of Surveys. In the fall of 1907, Mr. Pearson started to work for J.L. Cote, DLS doing land survey work. Mr. Cote became a Member of the Legislature of Alberta in 1909 and later became Provincial Secretary in Honourable Arthur L. Sifton's cabinet which succeeded the Liberal Government elected in 1905.

Mr. Pearson articled to Mr. Cote in 1909 and received his commission as a Dominion Land Surveyor March 25th, 1912 and registered in the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association June 29th, 1912. Mr. Pearson became a partner later in the Cote, Tremblay and Pearson firm of surveyors and engineers whose office was in the old Crystal Block on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.

Hugh Pearson was active in the formative years of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association before the First World War, attending annual meetings in Calgary and Edmonton. He contributed to lively debate during the sessions after the war and served as a member of Council in 1922.

Mr. Pearson enlisted with the 138th Battalion in the First World War November 29th, 1915 which was drafted into the 10th Battalion overseas. He was wounded twice; August 18th, 1917 (Hill 70) and September 27th, 1918 (Cambrai) and was in hospital on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. He was discharged with the rank of captain and was adjutant of the battalion at the time. He was awarded the Military Cross.

He returned to Canada in January 1919 and went to Manitoba late in the year to do some day work on land surveys. In 1920, he subdivided land in the Clear Hills, north of Peace River. In 1921, 1922, 1923 and 1924 he did miscellaneous jobs for the Surveyor General of Canada and in the fall of 1924 went to Ottawa to plot maps from his notes. In the spring of 1925, he resigned from the staff of the Surveyor General.

During the later years, Mr. Pearson had been investing in the Radio Supply Company Limited which had been started in Edmonton by his friend Mr. J.M. Taylor. In the spring of 1925, he became a partner in this organization and took on full- time duties. This business expanded into wholesale and retail dealing in automobile parts and accessories, radios and household appliances. After the Second World War, a Mr. Carson joined the business and the name was changed to Taylor, Pearson & Carson Limited, which also became involved in radio broadcasting and television. Branches were established in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge. Mr. Pearson was president of Taylor, Pearson & Carson until his retirement in 1960. He was chairman of Selkirk Holdings until 1970, with interests in several radio and television companies, one of which was CJCA Edmonton.

A lifetime of activity, such as this, could not be sustained without assistance. That assistance was Constance Pearson, wife and mother to their three children. Hugh and Constance were married November 16th, 1918 in England, just after Armistice Day. They celebrated their sixty wedding anniversary in November 1978 in Edmonton.

Mr. Pearson was made Member of the Order of Canada in October 1976. He was active in the Anglican Church, the Edmonton Club, the Mayfair Golf and Country Club and the Salvation Army. He held directorships with the Toronto-Dominion Bank, National Trust and Inland Cement Ltd. He was also founder of the Bishops Men and served as a governor of the University of Alberta and Trinity College School.

Mr. Pearson and his wife were largely responsible for the restoration of the post office clock which stands in front of the Edmonton Plaza Hotel.

The Edmonton business pioneer remained active until his death and often visited his office and the Edmonton Club. Mr. Pearson died December 26, 1980.

See also biography on ALSA website

by Monroe Kinloch