1934-1991. — 9 cm.. — 32 photographs.
Clarence Russell Burgess was born June 4, 1905, in Lion’s Head (Bruce County), Ontario. In 1909, he came west to High River, Alberta, with his parents, Alexander and Jennie (Cameron) Burgess. He spent his youth attending Last Chance and High View Schools. When he was sixteen, he apprenticed for two years in a machine shop in High River and continued to help his father on the farm. In 1928, after hearing so much about the north country, he thought he would look for a homestead and took the train to Grande Prairie. Russell originally planned on homesteading in the Fort St. John area but it seemed too far away from everything so he came back to Grande Prairie. As his money was running out, he got a job cutting wood for Mr. Wong who owned the Windsor Café which gave him a meal ticket and that turned his luck around. He got a winter job making ice in the arena to pay for room and board. In the spring of 1929, he began working for the town of Grande Prairie as a policeman and later as a works foreman. March 29, 1929, he married Pearl Munkholm, also of High River. They had three children, Robert, Kenneth and Kathleen.
In 1934 he went to work for three years for the provincial government on bridge building crews all over the province. He then worked for Union Tractor for two years, became ill and took up lock smithing as a hobby. He also became a licensed electrician and went to work for Cookshaw Electric where he stayed until 1965. In his retirement he gardened, maintained a large stamp collection and a woodworking shop where he made children’s toys to sell at the Farmer’s Market. Pearl died in 1985 and Russell in 1991.
Robert Burgess was born and raised in Grande Prairie. He later moved to Calgary and worked for many years for Imperial Oil. He married Joan __ and they had three boys: Russell, Brian and David. Bob died at age 42 from complications of Diabetes Type 1.
The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Russell’s son, Ken Burgess, in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2012.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 31 photographs, 1 souvenir issue of The Daily Herald Tribune featuring a Grande Prairie High School reunion in 1979; a copy of a program from the fourth Soap Box Derby in Dawson Creek, an obituary card for Russell Burgess and 20 membership cards belonging to C.R. Burgess. An accrual contained 2 ration booklets, a foreman’sTime Book, a trade certificate, a radio licence, vehicle and voter registrations, insurance card and driver’s licences, receipts, lists of toys, and membership cards belonging to Russell Burgess. Also included are a scrap book of WWII clippings, 2 notebooks (Art and Chemistry) and a 1945 GPHS Yearbook belonging to Robert (Bob) Burgess.
Title based on the contents of the fonds.