F.N. Gisborne, Report on the Telegraph Lines of the North West Territories

The first Telegraph Office in The North West Territories.

In the March 1997 and April 1997 issues of CJOW, Mark Laukner wrote a great article on the Dominion (Battleford) Telegraph. Below is the full report by Gisborne that is mentioned in the Lauckner article.  For further reading, try to find a copy of “The Dominion Telegraph” published by Canadian North-West Historical Society Publications.

TELEGRAPH LINES – NORTH WEST TERRITORIES.

Ref. No. 40,774.

Ottawa, 8th November, 1883.

Sir,I have the honour to report that I left Ottawa, August 22nd, and arrived, at Winnipeg via., New York and Chicago, on the 26th of the same month, having meanwhile examined the Postal and Rapid systems of telegraphy, between the two latter cities, and also several systems of telephony to which I shall refer in a separate report when treating upon such subjects.

Having purchased the necessary outfit, viz : a pair of horses, harness, buckboard, &c., &c., and attended to various matters of business connected with line construction contracts in progress, I left Winnipeg for Qu’Appelle Station on Saturday, September 1st, and having completed all requirements on Monday, the 3rd, started the following morning for Fort Qu’Appelle accompanied by one man, and by Mr. Hartley Gisborne, the District Superintendent (in a single horse buckboard,) then en route for his new head-quarters at Battleford, as directed by the Minister of Public Works.

When at Fort Qu’Appelle, I found it necessary to make arrangements for a new station house, as Mr. Clarke then notified me that from 1st January next he should charge $10 a month rental for a small corner in his dwelling house, plus large estimate for fuel and light. Versus such demand, a central town lot upon which a well built two roomed house has been erected, was offered to the Government either at cost price, viz : $360, or at a rental of $8 a month and I recommend that the offer of purchase be accepted.

The land between Qu’Appelle Station and Fort Qu’Appelle (eighteen miles,) is good and well adapted for settlement, and the telegraph line has been substantially erected upon the winter trail, which is approximate to the summer route of travel.

After passing over a well watered and wooded prairie country for twenty-five miles, bad weather overtook us, and durinig the ensuing night our horses, though hobbled, were stolen. Our District Superintendent’s pony was found next evening and a most diligent search was instituted during two subsequent days, both Indians and half-breeds being employed under a promised reward of $50, if successful in finding them, but without avail, and I was finally necessitated to return to Fort Qu’Appelle to procure another pair of horses (under an agreement to purchase or to hire them pro tem if meanwhile the stolen horses were recovered). I may here state that having given due notice of the theft to the Mounted Police, and having offered the above reward they were finally produced from the hiding place, (where they had been cached in expectation of a higher reward being offered) within a week of my departure and are now in possession of our District Superintendent, who requires them for the service.

Despite such delay we arrived at the Government Model Farm at Touchwood on Sunday the 9th September. The land throughout the sixty-six miles traversed, is almost uniformly good, though somewhat marshy in spots, with plenty of good water and groves of poplar trees. The telegraph line follows the winter trail which is shorter and better adapted for line repairs during the most inclement season of the year.

After leaving Touchwood Model Farm, we traversed a well wooded and watered lay of land for about ten miles (upon which several Cree Indiana had erected neat log hats and had cultivated small fields of grain), until we entered upon a treeless and, in great part, alkali plain over which the telegraph line was erected in a substantial manner for a distance of about thirty-three miles until we struck the rising, and well wooded ground of Humboldt, where the newly built telegraph line terminates and connects with the old line from Winnipeg via Fort Pelly (Livingston) to Edmonton, upon the abandoned northern route of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Humboldt telegraph office is at present in a log hut which belongs to the mail contractors who now require it for their own service, and it will be necessary to erect a small station house two or three miles south of its present position, where good water and wood are abundant.

The land about Humboldt is very well suited for farming purposes, and is of inviting appearance to settlers.

Finding that the old telegraph poles were rotten and that the line could be materially shortened by following the established western trail towards Prince Albert, I entered into a written agreement with Mr. Andrew McConnell (the contractor for the Prince Albert branch line, who had also erected the poles across the Touchwood to Humboldt alkali plain), for the erection of an entirely new line of poles, using the old wire etc., for a distance of fourteen miles at $60 a mile, and also instructed him to thoroughly repair the line, putting in alternate new poles where required as far as Clark’s Crossing on the South Saskatchewan River, and for which he would be allowed a fair proportionate price, upon the certificate of our District Superintendent.

We left Humboldt on the 13th September. The trail passes over a long rolling prairie destitute of wood for thirty-two miles, when several heavy bluffs (the local name for groves of trees) are found upon rising ground where I have since had a small log shelter hut, 20 feet by 10 feet, constructed for the use of line repairers and their horses, and I may here state that such huts (where a little firewood and bay can be stored) are absolutely necessary for the due maintenance of the line during the winter months. They are divided into two compartments, each 10 feet by 10 feet, one with a mud chimney and log flooring for the repairers (who here meet midway between stations), the other chamber being for their shelter of the horses. The cost of these huts, including doors, and one small window is, per contract, $126 each.

From shelter hut No. 1 the telegraph line passes over good land with occasional oultying bluffs of small poplar wood, marshes and ponds, twenty-eight miles to Clark’s Crossing on the South Saskatchewan. Here, contrary to expectations, there was no ferry boat, as advertised in the newspapers, and we had to travel down the eastern bank of the river, fourteen miles to Saskatoon, the proposed future town of the Temperance Colony. At Saskatoon there were three or four framed buildings awaiting the arrival of a raft of lumber from Medicine Hat Station on the Canadian Pacific Railway, to complete them. Here we found the scow ierry destined and then en route for Clark’s Crossing, and having embarked the three horses and two buckboards we laboured for three hours and were carried three miles down stream before we could effect a landing upon the opposite side of the river, and had tnen to drive back along its western bank to Clark’s Crossing where we arrived long after dark.

The telegraph wire was carried across the river at Clark’s, between two rotten poles since replaced by two heavy spruce spars for which I paid $15, per contract, as they had first to be rafted up stream many miles and then hauled up the steep banks of the river there over 100 feet in altitude. From the western side of Clark’s Crossing the branch telegraph line to Prince Albert starts, and it will be necessary to erect a repeating station house either upon the right or left bank of the river. Meanwhile, however, an office has been opened by Mr. Caswell, a resident telegraph operator, who, with his brother, has erected a small houne upon their pre-empted farm land, about two miles north of the Crossing, and upon the Prince Albert route.

When there, the poles (poplar), furnished cost free by the Prince Albert inhabitants, had lately been delivered on the ground, and have since been erected by the contractor, Mr. Andrew McConnell, who expected to complete the connection about the end of November.

I may here state that as poplar poles rot off at the surface of the ground within two or at the longest three years, and can then be reset, shortened by three or four feet to last another season, it would be much more economical to procure spruce, hacmatack or iron poles, even at a cost of two or three dollars each, rather than to make use of such fragile and unreliable timber, more especially as even poplar poles will now have to be transported for many miles (sometimes thirty) as the small bluffs or groves have been culled for those in use to such an extent, that little other than bean sticks can be procured within moderate hauling distances. I shall refer to this subject again at the end of this report.

Leaving Clarke’s Crossing, open rolling prairie, destitute of wood, was traversed until we arrived near the elbow of the North Saskatchewan, at a flat bottomed ravine, known as Telegraph Coulee, distant thirty miles, where, also, a shelter hut (No. 2) has since been constructed, and about a ton of hay stacked for winter use.

Travelling westward nine miles, we next crossed Eagle Creek, a wild and precipitous ravine, with a clear stream of running water at its base ; then came rolling prairie, capped with poplar bluffs, upon good, though sandy land, which stretched northward three or four miles to the banks of the North Saskatchewan, and then passing through several wooded, steep gulleys, we arrived at the east side of Battleford Eiver, at 6 p.m., 18th September, 302 miles distant from Qu’Appelle station.

With the exception of one heavy fall, caused by the seat of the buckboard giving way, and by which I was much cut and bruised, the journey was accomplished without accident.

Considering the rotten condition of the poles, the telegraph line throughout was in tolerably effective condition, the wire being good, but the brackets old and split and topped with insulators of the worst description. I, therefore, at once started two or three active men to renew fallen poles and otherwise repair the line as far as practicable before snow-fall.

I may here state that the line was entirely unprovided with lumber waggons, harness, tools, &c., or with horses suitable for the service and necessary for ordinary repairs, and that I supplied such deficiencies, as far as possible, on the spot, leaving one of the heavy animals which I had procured at Fort Qu’Appelle, as a substitute for a pony which I subsequently drove through to Edmonton and Calgarry, and which had hitherto been used by our District Superintendent, who here remained at his new headquarters.

It appears that the site originally surveyed for the town on the flats of the Battle River is subject to spring inundations of ice and water, and a new town, about two miles distant on the higher lands west, has been commenced and several framed buildings erected thereon, to which the post office and the inhabitants of the old site buildings were removing. Finding it impossible to procure even a small room for the District Superintendent’s office, or shelter for the service horses, tenders were at once invited for a small building 12 x 24 feet, divided into two rooms (an office and bed-room) and a log stable, both since erected at the lowest of the tenders, which varied from $600 to $800, in consequence of the great price demanded lor small logs, viz., $1 and $1.25 each ; spruce timber being worth $45 per 1000 feet.

The land about Battleford is good, though sandy, and the country is not ordinarily subject to summer frosts, although during this exceptional year, succulent plants and grain suffered more or less from such cause. Leaving Battleford early on, 2Oth September with one man and one conveyance, we passed over twenty-four miles of good, light sandy soil, well wooded and watered, whereon several half-breed tanners had large fields and were then reaping very satisfactory crops. Thirteen miles west we left the main trail to Fort Pitt.and travelled in a south-westerly direction, following the telegraph line (here strung with No. 11 wire only) through a wooded country for ten miles, and then through a marshy valley of unlimited grass lands of the most luxurious growth, but destitute of wood for the next twenty-five miles,when we reached Blackfoot Coulée. Feathered game, comprising grey and white geese, brant, mallard, black, spoon-bill, pie, widgeon, and teal, ducks, prairie grouse, snipe end piovor were in wonderful abundance and easy of approach ; but no deer, and only two prairie wolves, two foxes, a few badgers and skunks,with numerous gophers and muskrats, were seen throughout my entire journey of over 1000 miles.

For fifteen miles east and twenty-five west of Blackfoot Coulee to Grizzly Bear, the land is rolling and hilly with very little wood but excellent soil. Grizzly Bear is a flat alkali bottom about 150 feet below the surface of the prairie and from a quarter to a half mile wide, with bluffs of poplar upon its western bank, which extend twelve or thirteen miles westward, and bring you, at thirty miles distance, to Buffalo Coulée a similar depression, each having a small creek of slightly alkaline water running through it. West of Buffalo Creek the country is also rolling and hilly, with innumerable ponds, timber bluffs, and excellent soil, until an alkaline plain and swampy ground of forty miles in extent intervenes between it and the marshy and wooded country about Hay Lake.

The telegraph line throughout this distance is in a very rotten condition, and is carried through and over lakes, and through groves of timber, now grown up, where it was formerly cut out by the C.P.R. surveyors ; the wire is also small, No 11, weighing 199 lbs. only to the mile, and is strung upon brackets much split, and from small glass insulators of inferior quality.

Having met the line-repairer from Edmonton, then distant about 100 miles, I learned that the telegraph line west of Hay Lake passed through a swampy and woody country quite impassable for wheeled vehicles for eighteen miles until it entered upon the main trail between Edmonton and Calgarry, and as I had to pass over that trail and could then inspect the telegraph line erected thereon, when on my return journey to Winnipeg we, per his advice, followed the Beaver Lake trail which runs north-west from a small lake fifteen miles west of Buffalo Coulée. This Beaver Lake trail lor twenty-nine miles passes over rolling prairies, interspersed with several large shallow lakee, with occasional patches of wood and sections of good land, the intervening sections showing considerable alkali, and thence having crossed the headwaters of Vermillion River, a small running creek, entered upon rising ground which continued for twenty miles, the land throughout being very rich and producing grass and pea vines of luxuriant growth, until we arrived at the log huts and small clearings of two or three French Canadian half-breeds, who have settled upon the north eastern shore of Beaver Lake. This lake is a large shallow sheet of water said to be forty miles long by from five to ten broad, and frequented by countless flocks of ducks, geese and pelicans.

Four miles from these small clearings, we crossed the Beaver River, about 100 feet wide and three feet deep, when the trail for sixteen miles bends around the northern extremity of Beaver Hill woods, in which large spruce trees first greet the eye of a westward traveller. “We then passed over heavy grass lands and through groves of large willow bushes for twenty miles, until we arrived at the settlement of Fort Saskatchewan, on September the 28th, having travelled 259 miles from Battleford within nine days, or an average of twenty nine miles per day, the horses being thoroughly exhausted, although drawing little over eight cwt., including men, buckboard, oats, &c.

On the north bank of the Saskatchewan (the old Hudson’s Bay trading post, and the Mounted Police barracks, both considerably out of repair, being upon the south bank), the usual town, upon paper, has been laid out, and a comfortable hostelry erected thereon, by Mr. Heimish ; also a new grist and saw mill, by the Messrs. Lamoureaux, French Canadian settlers, of great energy and considerable mechanical skill. A few small houses comprise this embryo city, which has “great expectations” in consequence of the best crossing for a bridge over the North Saskatchewan, upon any future railway en route to the Peace River district, being in its immediate vicinity.

When here, this small but thriving community offered to supply good spruce and hacmatack poles, an office rent free, and an operator upon the usual commission agreement, if the Government would extend the telegraph line from Edmonton, distant eighteen miles, to the settlement.

Leaving Saskatchewan during the afternoon of the 29th, we passed over eighteen miles of good trail, through fine farming lands, many acres of which were under cultivation, until we arrived at Edmonton, which is beautifully located upon the northern bank of the River Saskatchewan here, exceedingly picturesque from its lofty and well-wooded cliff banks of over 150 feet in altitude.

The following day being Sunday, was our first day of rest since leaving Winnipeg, and on Monday, October 1st, I visited the Roman Catholic Mission of St. Albert, nine miles north of Edmonton, where the Rev. Father Le Duc, (under His Lordship the resident Bishop), the priest in charge of the material, as well as the religious well-being of the settlement, very kindly explained the progress, prosperity and contentment of one ot the most interesting settlements in the North-West Territories. Here the orphans of Indians, who perished in the small-pox epidemic, have been carefully educated, not only in reading, writing and arithmetic, but also instructed – the girls in household duties, and the boys, as soon as they are strong enough, at about 14 years of age. in the cultivation of the land, &c. A large general hospital, 80 by 80 feet, and three storeys in height, in which sufferers of all creeds will be generously attended to by Sisters of Mercy, was in course of erection ; all the stone and brickwork, carpentering, plastering, &c., being performed in the established workshops of the Mission.

Here also, the inhabitants were axious to have telegraphic or telephonic connection via Edmonton, and they volunteered to provide good spruce or hacmatack poles free of cost if the Government will construct a short nine mile line to their settlement.

At Edmonton a large town has been plotted and the great bulk of lots actually disposed of at prices varying from $50 to $800 each, over a spaces exceeding 1,000 acres, and already over two dozen framed houses and stores have been erected thereupon.

By general consent and approval the telegraph station has lately been removed from an old and inconvenient room in the Hudson Bay Fort to a new building in a more central situation, and the operator, Mr. Taylor, is of opinion that the station will be more than self supporting when a good and reliable line has been constructed.

As far as practicable (the station being destitute of almost every necessary appliance for maintenance until my visit when such requirements were promptly furnished) the line will be put in order for winter use, by two or three active men whom I provided with a waggon, pair of horses, &c.

Leaving Edmonton on the morning of the 3rd October, we crossed the North Saskatchewan River by a wire rope ferry and mounted the high and heavily wooded banks opposite the Fort, where the last great massacre of Blackfeet Indians by their enemies the Crees, took place, and travelled along side of the telegraph line upon the main trail towards Calgarry until at about eighteen or nineteen miles distant (there are no mile posts or measured distances over the trails,a desideratum which if attended to would be an immense boon to all travellers) until it branched off at right angles eastward to Hay Lake. The poles were in a great measure rotten, the wire being small, and the insulators poor, as throughout the route eastward to within 25 miles of Battleford where No. 9 wire commences. The country through which we passed was inviting and fit for settlement, timber and water being abundant. Twenty miles further on, after crossing the Pipe-stone, we arrived at the Government Model Farm upon the Big Stone Creek, where Indians are instructed in the cultivation of the soil, cattle raising, &c. Here were several full blooded Indians at work with commendable vigour, despite that impediment to hard work, their loose blankets, so universally worn by Western tribes. Very little encouragement would, I think, induce them to adopt the Mexican blanket or poncho, which leaves the arms free to work without in any manner destroying its utility as a night covering.

Three miles south of the Farm, are the Peace Hills, then rendered exceedingly picturesque by an encampment of over 150 lodges of Indians there assembled, as at Touchwood, to receive the annual treaty bounties awarded to them by a most paternal government, whose wise treatment of the aboriginess it is a pleasure to witness.

Twenty seven miles south of the Government Farm the Battle River, a pebbly bottomed stream, about 150 feet wide and two or three feet in depth, is crossed, and nineteen miles further on Blind-Man’s River, a some what similar stream of 100 feet in width, well wooded with spruce, poplar, birch, &c., which continued until the Red Deer River, a swift, running streem 500 feet wide, and three or four feet deep, is reached.

During this day’s drive of twenty one miles the land was of extraordinary richness, the black loam being frequently over three feet in depth as seen in the test pits dug near the trail.

At the Red Deer River Crossing, considerable acreage was under cultivation, and the crops, despite unusually early frosts, had turned out well. The site upon the southern bank is a remarkably good one for either village or town, and the place will without doubt become an important centre of settlement upon the Calgarry to Edmonton and Peace River route.

For twenty five miles south of Red Deer River crossing, to “Lone Pine,” the land continues good with abundance of timber within moderate distance of the trail, after which you enter upon a perfectly open, treeless prairie, with little or no water until the Willow Creek Coulée, sixteen miles south of the Lone Pine, is reached, and here, even email growth poplar, is scarce. Mr Scarlett, a settler from British Columbia, has however erected a way-station house at the Creek for the accommodation of travellers.

Fitteen miles southerly, McPherson’s Creek, of running water but no wood, is reached, and 29 miles additional of treeless, open, rolling and hilly prairie brings you to Calgarry, distant about 185 miles from Edmonton, and certainly one of the most picturesquely beautiful places throughout the thousand miles over which I had driven my now thoroughly exhausted team lean horses, despite their being carefully attended to, and regularly fed upon oats (two days only excepted), during the entire journey.

I may here state that at Calgarry I was fortunate enough to make an exceedingly satisfactory sale of my entire outfit, which had cost about $490, for the earn of $367.50, so that my actual transport materials throughout the foregoing long journey cost less than $125. I was also thus enabled to repurchase a necessary and thoroughly efficient outfit for our District Superintecdent’s service upon the lines between Qu’Appelle, Prince Albert and Battleford, at a much less cost than if I had paid freight upon the horses and much worn material back to Qu’Appelle plus the hire of the mare taken from Port Qu’Appelle, and the then value of an exhausted and lean pony which was estimated at $40 only by the Calgarry purchaser of the outfit as a whole.

From Calgarry I proceeded per Canadian Pacific Railway via Medicine Hat, Regina and Brandon to Winnipeg, and thence via Chicago to Ottawa, where I arrived October 29th, 1883.

In conclusion of this report I have now to add the following observations and recommendations :

1. That the telegraph line between Qu’Appelle Station and Humboldt 151 miles, and between Clark’s Crossing and Prince Albert, 95 miles, being newly built, although of poplar poles, is in good order ; the wire, No. 8, weighing 376 lbs per statute mile, and the brackets and insulators being of good quality.

2. That the line between Humboldt and Clark’s Crossing, 60 miles, has been rebuilt for 14 miles, and repaired for 46 miles with alternate now poles ; the wire being No. 9, weighing 303 lbs to the mile, but the brackets being old, and the insulators of small and poor description.

3. That the line from Clark’s Crossing to Battleford, 155 miles, is in a bad condition, the poles (poplar) being rotten; the wire, No. 9, good, but the insulators and brackets poor. It has however been placed in as good order as practicable by three repairers, for winter service.

4. That from Battleford to Edmonton, 302 miles, the line is upon its last legs, the poles being rotten, the wire, beyond twenty-five miles west of Battleford, being No. 11, weighing 199 Ibs to the mile and much too weak for service, many of the brackets split, and the insulators of the poorest description.

5. That throughout the entire line there was either a marked deficiency or total absence of all necessary material for the repair and maintenance of the line ; the office instruments being also ineffective.

6. That the telegraph line is rarely near the travelled trail, as it was originally erected, and has since been maintained, upon the abandoned surveyed route of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and in consequence passes through and over lakes, muskegs, and bluffs of timber which have since grown up and now bear upon the wires. The inconvenience and greatly increased difficulty of repairing such a line can hardly be overestimated, for even a poor trail is luxury in comparison with a drive over rough ground perforated with innumerable badger and gopher holes.

7. That the total revenue of the line, when transferred to the Department of Public Works, did not exceed $50 per month, versus an expenditure of over $600 per month.

8. That it was the unanimous opinion of settlers throughout the North-West that in no other manner could the Dominion Government, at such small comparative cost, so conduce to the welfare of the people, and settlement of the land, as by the establishment of an effective system of telegraphy, connecting outlying localities with the capital of Manitoba and Eastern Canada.

RECOMMENDATIONS.

1. That in all future telegraph lines erected by Government in the North-West No. 6 galvanized iron wire, weighing 670 pounds per statute mile, and equal to a breaking strain of 1850 lbs., be used, together with first-class insulators and good screw, oak or iron brackets or pins:

2. That wherever practicable hacmatack or spruce poles be obtained, although at a cost of not exceeding $2 each delivered on the ground, rather than use poplar which eventually costs much more during the life-time of the better wood. And that light iron or steel poles, at a cost of not exceeding $3 each delivered on the ground, be used throughout prairie sections which are distant from spruce or hacmatack groves of timber.

3. That telegraph stations be established at not over 100 miles apart, and that shelter huts for repairer’s use be erected within 33 miles of each station, or each other.

4. That the lines between Qu’Appelle Station, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, via Touchwood, Humboldt and Clark’s Crossing to Battleford, and between Clark’s Crossing and Priuce Albert, be maintained in effective working order, the poles being gradually replaced by a better class of timber or iron, as required.

5. That the 24 or 25 miles of No. 9 wire, west of Battleford, be taken down, and that the line thence to Edmonton,which parses through an almost entirely uninhabited country, one not likely to be settled or traversed by a branch railway for many years, and far south of the North Saskatchewan route of travel via Fort Pitt, be abandoned in toto.

6. That the offer of the inhabitants of Saskatchewan and of St. Albert to provide spruce and hacmatack poles, be accepted, and that a line be erected to those settlements, 18 miles and 9 miles, respectively, from Edmonton.

7. That an entirely new line, furnished with hacmatack and spruce poles, which contractors offer to deliver along the trail for $1.40 each, be erected between Edmonton and Calgarry, the distance being 180 to 185 miles,

8. That prior to the erection of such telegraph line, a new main trail probably approximate to the present one though shorter, be surveyed out between Edmonton and the most convenient station for freighters, at or near Calgarry.

Finally, I may add that should the foregoing recommendations meet with the approval of the Government, I am of opinion that, when established, such lines would not only be self-supporting but also at a comparatively small cost, tend very much to the prosperity of the inhabitants, and also to the more rapid settlement of the North-West; nor should it be forgotten that the Calgarry to Edmonton line would be a section of its future extension to the Peace River district.

I also take the liberty of suggesting that a very small expenditure of money upon the survey and improvements of the main trails between important points of distibiuioin, would most materially leseen the cost of freight conveyance throughout the North-West, and, by facilitating the speed of mail delivery and passenger travel, greatly assist the immediate settlement of the country through which they run.

Probably in no country in the world could so much be effected in road making at a trifling cost, by simply gravelling (from knolls in the vicinity) the bottoms of mud creeks or sloughs, where there is no timber available for bridging, and by straightening tortuous trails which were originally made by buffaloes and wandering Indians or freighters, and since travelled by persons only too glad to follow any land mark rather than run the risk of coming across bad spots, or losing themselves in an endeavor to improve the old and unnecessarily circuitous routes.

I may here state that the telegraph line erected by the Government between Winnipeg and Port Arthur, 436 miles, having been assumed by the Canadian Pacific Railway Co., as a portion of the necessary equipment of the permanent way transferred to them, I did not inspect or report upon its condition during my late visit to the North-West Provinces.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,

F. N. GISBORNE,
Superintendent of Telegraph and Signal Service.

F. H. Ennis, Esq.,
Secretary, Department of Public Works.


References:
Annual Report of the Minister of Public Works for the Fiscal Year 1882-83 on the Works under His Control. [1883] Pages 251-258
Crown Jewels of the Wire, March 1997
Crown Jewels of the Wire, April 1997

Photo courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan.

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