University of Calgary
UofC Navigation


Search archival collections at the University of Calgary

Fonds F1340 - Moodie family fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Moodie family fonds


  • 1850-1990, predominant 1891-1957 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.45 m of textual records. -- 1 audio cassette. -- 843 photographs

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Francis Melville "Frank" Moodie, 1878-1943, was born near Chesterville, Ontario and was educated at various technical schools. He came to Calgary in 1901 and had a jewelry/watch repair business while at the same time working on local ranches and studying the geology of the local area. Beginning in 1911 he developed the Rosedale Coal Mine in the Drumheller coal field, with the backing of Sir William Mackenzie and the Canadian Northern Railway. After the death of Mackenzie, Moodie turned his attention to the oil industry, first in the Coutts/Sweetgrass field and then in Turner Valley. He formed the Sentinel Oil Company and Anglo-Indian Oils. He married his cousin, Lucy Catherine Moodie, 1869-1965, in 1907 and they had four children, James Fife, 1908-1909, Margaret B.A. “Peggy” (Munn), 1909-1974, Norman Francis, 1911-1995, and Kenneth William Byron “Bill”, 1915-1942. For further information see Feasting on Misfortune: journeys of the human spirit in Alberta's past / David C. Jones. -- Edmonton : University of Alberta Press, 1998. See also Catherine Munn Smith's article, "J. Frank Moodie: The Man and the Mine" in Alberta History, vol. 48, no. 2 (Spring 2000), p. 2-9. Lucy and her sisters, Margaret Amelia “Maggie” Moodie, 1865-1926, and Marion Elizabeth Moodie, 1867-1958, were born in Quebec City and moved to Alberta in 1891 with their parents Walter and Janet E. Johnson Moodie to join their brother Walter Hill Moodie, 1871-1955, at the Glenbow Ranch northwest of Calgary. Lucy trained as a teacher in Regina and taught in Calgary from 1898 until she retired in 1922, mainly at Central High School. She moved to Montreal where she died in 1926. Marion trained as a nurse at the Calgary General Hospital from 1895 to 1898, and spent ten years as a hospital and private nurse in Calgary and Frank, Alberta. During the First World War she served as a nursing sister and was matron of the Red Cross Convalescent Hospital at Ogden from 1917 to 1919. She was in charge of the Ninette Sanatorium in Manitoba from 1920 to 1926 and then moved to Montreal to care for an elderly relative. She returned to Calgary in 1951 where she died in 1958. A collection of her poetry was published called Songs of the West and some of her poems were set to music by Clifford Higgin. She also painted and collected, studied and drew botanical specimens, many of which she donated to natural history collections across North America. For further information see Catherine Munn Smith's article "Marion Moodie : From Proper Lady to New Woman" in Alberta History. -- vol. 49, no.1 (Winter 2001), p. 9-15; and Beryl Hallworth's article "Miss Marion Moodie, 1867-1958 : Calgary's Pioneer Nurse and Botanist" in Fort Calgary Quarterly. -- vol. 6, no. 1/2 (1986), p. 2-7.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gifts of Dr. Angus Munn, Catherine Smith, Margaret Munn, Norman Moodie, Marcella Bell, Janet Graham, and Mrs. C.F. Parks, 1966-2014.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Frank and Lucy's personal papers including correspondence, financial and miscellaneous material; Frank’s business records related to the Rosedale Coal Mine (including reports from a Pinkerton detective he hired to work undercover at the mine during a time of labour unrest, the Winnipeg General Strike, and the One Big Union), Sentinel Oils, etc.; a recorded interview with Norman Moodie about his father’s career and his own career (1982); miscellaneous papers related to Maggie, including her notes on teaching; Marion's correspondence, poems, sheet music, artwork, and certificates and newspaper clippings related to her nursing career; miscellaneous recipe books, scrapbooks, greeting cards, etc. related to Frank and Lucy’s children and extended family; and extensive photographs of the Moodie family, Calgary General Hospital and early nursing, the Rosedale Mine and the Drumheller area, Sentinel Oils and the Turner Valley area, etc.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

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

Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Marion's poem, "The Mission Bell", is held by Special Collections at the University of Calgary Library.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of records.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Friday, July 31, 2015




Accession area

Request archival material »

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places