Fonds 048 Albert O. Sproule, D.D.S., fonds

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Summary information

Repository: South Peace Regional Archives
Title: Albert O. Sproule, D.D.S. fonds.
Reference code: 0048
Date: 1911-1941 (date of creation)
Physical description: 17 cm of textual records
Language: English
Dates of creation, revision and deletion: Exported from AoR and added to new database April 2022 – TD

Administrative history / Biographical sketch

James Albert Orr Sproule was born in Westbrooke, Nova Scotia in 1869. He passed his matriculation examinations in Nova Scotia on Sept. 23, 1896, went on to graduate from Boston Dental College in 1898, and was registered as a dentist in Nova Scotia on June 22, 1899. He practiced in Westbrooke for 6 years, then moved to Edmonton in 1904 and on to the Peace River Country over the Long Trail in 1911.

On August 6, 1911, Dr. Sproule and his wife, Agnes, filed on the West half of Section 15 and the East half of Section 16, Township 72, Range 5, southeast of Clairmont Lake. At first, he practiced dentistry only on demand, in a granary on his farm, but in 1913, he began to offer a regular service 3 days a week. By then, he had also built a caboose outfitted as a mobile dental clinic with which to cover the Peace River country from Peace River town to Dawson Creek, B.C. In 1915, he bought a car to replace the horses that had pulled the caboose.

After proving up the homestead, now called the Sproule Ranch, Dr. Sproule rented out the ranch and set up a permanent practice in Grande Prairie, about 1917. The Sproules left Grande Prairie in 1926, moving to Edmonton, where the doctor again established a travelling practice, with his home office and residence listed as 11009-85th Avenue, Edmonton, and a practice on the corner of 101 St. and Jasper Avenue.

Dr. Sproule was also somewhat of an inventor — with a three-horse hitch and a radiant gas furnace invention credited to his name.

The Sproules had three children: Donald Orr Sproule, born ca. 1900, who became a Doctor of Physics and worked on developing sonar radar for use in World War II; J. Campbell Sproule, born ca. 1905, who became a Doctor of Geology and discovered oil in the Alberta Tar Sands (J.C. Sproule & Assoc.); and Dorothy A. Sproule, born 1908, who achieved a Masters of Social Work at McGill University. Mrs. Sproule died in Edmonton on April 21, 1933. Mr. Sproule passed away April 23, 1941.

Custodial history

Records donated, along with many artefacts from the dental office, by Judith Sproule, granddaughter.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of personal papers from the Sproules’ time in Edmonton and business records from his travelling practice in the Peace River Country, his office in Grande Prairie, and his practice in Edmonton.


Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title of fonds based on contents.

Restrictions on access

No access restrictions

Access points

  • Textual record (documentary form)
  • Family and personal life* (subject)
  • Health care (subject)

Table of contents

0048.01, Personal Papers, 1930-1941

0048.02, Business Papers, 1911-1941

Series descriptions

Series 0048.01: Personal Papers

Date: 1930-1941 (date of creation)

Scope and content:

Series consists of documents relating to the education of Dr. Sproule, legal documents such as motor vehicle licenses and insurance agreements, an incomplete history of the Lodge-Sproule family, Dr. Sproule’s patent on a radiant gas furnace, personal financial records and correspondence from the Edmonton address, and some religious songbooks.

Physical description: 6 cm of textual records

Access points:

•                Textual record (documentary form)

Series 0048.02: Business Papers

Date: 1911-1941 (date of creation)

Scope and content:

Series consists of customer records from the traveling practice in the Peace River Country; advertisements, correspondence and financial records from the Edmonton practice; and a collection of articles on medical products and procedures.

Physical description: 11 cm of textual records

Access points:

•                Textual record (documentary form)