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LEVEL OF DESCRIPTION: Fonds
No.: PR1831
TITLE: Frank Oliver Family fonds
CREATOR: Frank Oliver Family
DATE RANGE: 1881-1979
EXTENT: 1.26 m of textual records. -- 211 photographs.
ADMINISTRATIVE
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Frank Oliver (Sr.) was born Frank Bowsfield in Peel County, Ontario in 1853. In his teens, he reverted to his mother's maiden name "Oliver", and dropped "Bowsfield". As a youth, he worked for a local newspaper and eventually moved to Toronto to work as a typesetter. In 1873, he came west and spent three years in Winnipeg. While in Winnipeg he worked for the Winnipeg Free Press. In 1876, he moved to the Edmonton area, and set up a store on the outside of Fort Edmonton. On a trip back from Winnipeg in 1880, he returned with a printing press. Oliver then partnered with Alex Taylor and founded Edmonton's first newspaper, the Edmonton Bulletin, in 1880. Elected to the Northwest Territories Council in 1883, in 1896, he entered the House of Commons as an independent Liberal -- the first Member of Parliament from Alberta. In 1905, Sir Wilfrid Laurier appointed Oliver Minister of the Interior. Oliver later became a member of the Privy Council. Oliver was defeated in the federal election of 1917. After the First World War, Oliver served on the Board of Railway Commissioners until his death in 1933. Frank Oliver married Harriet Dunlop (1863- 1943), daughter of Thomas Dunlop of Prairie Grove, Manitoba in 1881. The two had two children: Allan and John. Allan Oliver was killed in action in 1916. He enlisted in the Ottawa battery in 1915. He graduated with a B.A. from McGill University in 1915. John Oliver worked as a Legislative reporter and music critic for the Edmonton Bulletin and the Edmonton Journal. Rose Oliver, John's wife was active in the Local Council of Women, and the Alberta Women's Institute. She also served as President of the Hospital Associated Auxiliaries. Frank Oliver Jr. (1932), son of John Oliver, grandson of Frank Oliver, began working in the field of journalism in 1951. In the 1950's, the Edmonton Journal did not employ a staff photographer, but contracted photographic work to independent studios. In 1952, Laddie Ponich received a contract, and Oliver apprenticed under Laddie Ponich. In 1953, Oliver established the Frank Oliver Studio at 11220 Jasper Avenue. The studio completed commercial work such as portraits, and weddings. He also maintained a contract with the Edmonton Journal from 1953- 1955. Frank Oliver Jr. left journalism in 1955.
CUSTODIAL HISTORY:Frank Oliver Jr. donated material to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1992, and 2007. The fonds also includes material from an Information File held at the Provincial Archives of Alberta and transferred to the fonds in 1992.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of records related to the professional activities of the family including correspondence, memorandum, addresses, speeches, and photographs. In particular these records document Frank Oliver's professional activities as Minister of the Interior and as the editor of the Edmonton Bulletin, Rose Oliver's professional work with the Hospital Auxiliaries Association, John Oliver's journalistic and musical activities, and Allan Oliver's military career. The fonds also includes personal records created by the family such as diaries, photographs, musical compositions, notebooks, and financial records. In particular, these records document Frank Oliver's interest in historical writing. Additionally, the fonds contains commemoratory records collected by the family such newspaper clippings, publications, sheet music, articles, telegrams, cards, certificates. The records also document the achievements, births, and deaths of the Oliver Family. The fonds dates from 1881 - 1979.
ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: Please also see the Frank Oliver fonds at the City of Edmonton Archives.
RELATED RECORDS: For more material on the Frank Oliver family, please see the Oliver Studios fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the administrative history/biographical sketch sourced from the records. Accession 1992.0261 also contains the records of Oliver Studios Fonds.


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