Fonds F0257 - J.H.G. and Colin Bray fonds

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J.H.G. and Colin Bray fonds


  • 1878-1960 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2220 photographs. -- 10 cm of textual records. -- 2 microfilm reels

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Henry Gresham Bray, 1840-1923, was born in Worcestershire, England. He served with the 10th Royal Hussars for ten years, then moved to Canada in the early 1870s. He joined the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in 1873, and was stationed at Fort Macleod, Alberta and Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan before his 1882 discharge. He married Jemima McKay, daughter of trader Edward McKay, in 1876 and they had thirteen children, Flora, Elizabeth, Nellie (Crockford), Harry, Reggie, Caroline, Colin, William, Lillian, Louis, Henrietta (Erickson), Bertha and Bertram.

Bray ranched in Alberta near Pincher Creek, 1882-1892, then near Medicine Hat. He was Medicine Hat's brand inspector, ca. 1894-1919, and from 1896 to 1903 was the secretary of the Stock Growers' Association of Medicine Hat. He retired in 1919.

For further information see Ruth M. Daw's article "Sgt-Major J.H.G. Bray, the Forgotten Horseman" in Men in Scarlet / edited by Hugh A. Dempsey. -- Calgary : McClelland and Stewart West, 1974.

His son, Colin Bray, 1888-1964, was born in Pincher Creek. From 1907 to 1913 he worked as a surveyor, and during First World War he served overseas with the Canadian Mounted Rifles. On his return he worked for the Soldier Settlement Board. In 1925 he became a civil servant, working as a civil engineer for the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) and the Water Resources Branch. He became an irrigation expert. He retired in 1958. He and his wife, Dora, whom he married in 1913, had four sons, Colin, Robert, Bernard and Alan. Both Bray Crescent in Medicine Hat and Bray Lake, Alberta are named for Sergeant-Major Bray.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Colin Bray, and Bertha Clark, 1956-1981.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of J.H.G.'s articles and photographs re the NWMP; and a microfilm copy of the Stock Growers' Association minutes, cashbooks and membership lists (1896-1903), and livestock shipment records (1896-1913). Also consists of Colin's article on early Alberta ranches (1960); and his extensive photographs of: surveying and general views of Alberta and Saskatchewan (1910-1913); Eastern, United, and Lethbridge Northern Irrigation Districts (1938-1939); irrigation works on Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company, and Canada Land and Irrigation Company blocks (1938-1939); Bartman Dam (1937-1940); and construction of Currie Barracks (1934-1935). Includes Nellie Crockford's newsclippings about Medicine Hat and the Bray-Crockford families (ca. 1900-1960).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

No finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The original Stock Growers' Association records are held by the Colin Bray estate.

Existence and location of copies

Digital content is available

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Notes area


Title based on contents of records.


The NA's are probably all copies of the P's.



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Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Thursday, November 09, 2017




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