Page: Database online.
Publication: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA;
Title: Public Member Trees
Page: Database online.
Publication: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2006;
Note: Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, Canadian fur trader, businessman, railroad financier, politician, diplomat and philanthropist, b. 6 AUG 1820 in Forres, Morayshire, Scotland, died 21 JAN 1914 in London, England. Donald grew up on the stories of his uncle John Stuart's exploring adventures. He studied at the Forres Academy and then briefly apprenticed to the town clerk. He immigrated to Canada in 1838 at the invitation of his uncle John Stuart and began work as a clerk for the Hudson Bay Company eventually succeeding his uncle as Chief Factor for the HBC. In 1869, he was sent to Red River, Manitoba, as the government representative to negotiate with Louis Riel, leader of the Red River Rebellion. In 1883, Smith became Director of HBC and its largest shareholder. He was a co-founder of the Canadian Pacific Railway and became its director in 1883. He was invited to drive the Last Spike when the railroad was completed in 1885. He was principal shareholder in the Bank of Montreal and president of the bank in 1887. In 1889 he became Governor and CEO of HBC. He was representative for Winnipeg in the Manitoba provincial legislature and, later, federal parliament representative for Montreal West. In 1896 (at the age of 76) he was appointed High Commissioner for Canada in the UK. In 1897, he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal (Strathcona was in far eastern Ontario and Mount Royal is believed to be synonymous with Montreal). During the Boer War (1899-1902) he commanded the 500-member mounted regiment of Lord Strathcona's (Royal Canadian) Horse. He was cofounder and chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in London, England. He was chancellor of McGill University in Montreal and founded the Victoria College for Women and built the Royal Victoria Hospital. His 75 year tenure with the HBC has never been matched. He married repeatedly, due to strange circumstances, to Isabella Grant-nee-Hardisty. She was previously "married" to James Grant by whom she had a son. However she was of Metis origin and her marriage to Grant was never legally recognized. Neither did she actually divorce Grant. Thus when she married Smith the legal status of their relationship was constantly called into question and he ended up marrying Isabella on multiple occasions in order to re-establish the validity of their marriage. The couple used 9 MAR 1853 as the official date of their marriage. Smith adopted Isabella's son from her first marriage, and together they had the following child.
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