Support the podcast and page for as little as $1 a month: https://www.patreon.com/bairdo
Join the Canadian history chat on Discord: https://discord.gg/zVFe36E
Subscribe on iTunes to the podcast (many bonus features) right here
One of the most important individuals in the history of Prince Albert has to be Thomas Osborne Davis. This man, who was born in Sherrington, Ontario on Aug. 16, 1856, would be tutored by his father Samuel Davis and he would eventually find his way to the small, new community of Prince Albert.
In the early 1880s, he found himself in the community, coming with his brother J.O. Davis. Thomas owned the Woodbine Billiard Parlor, which was called the Palace Saloon of the North West. With his growing prominence in the community, it did not take long before he was elected to town council for Prince Albert, becoming a leading voice for the community. It was on his watch on council that the Presbyterian Church was built, on a site he chose, in 1890.
From 1894 to 1895, he served as the mayor of Prince Albert. In 1896, he was officially elected to the Canadian Parliament for Saskatchewan. It was in that year when Davis was the leading contender for the Liberals to be chosen to represent them. This was after they had chosen Wilfred Laurier in the previous election to represent them, despite him being 3,000 kilometres away. Challenged by H.W. Newlands, who was backed by a number of townsmen, Davis still won the election. He didn’t win it without controversy though and there were cries from his opponents of bribery and intimidation of voters. Some said he promised jobs from land agent to senator to some people, and a petition was even drawn up to unseat him. The protest was eventually dismissed on lack of evidence.
This would begin a long career in parliament that would run until 1904 when he was succeeded by John Henderson Lamont.
Shortly after leaving Parliament, Davis was offered a position as a senator thanks to the nomination from the Liberal Party’s Wilfrid Laurier.
He would serve as a Canadian Senator from Sept. 1 1905 to January 23, 1917.
Through his life, he was always known for championing the cause of Prince Albert and doing what he could to bring a railway to the area.
He would pass away on Jan. 23, 1917 in Prince Albert at the age of 60.
The town of Davis, Saskatchewan was named in his honour.
His son Thomas had a large impact on the community as well. He served as a lawyer and judge for the area, and from 1925 to 1939, he served in the Saskatchewan Legislature as a Liberal. Before that, he was mayor of the city from 1921 to 1924, just like his father. It was also he who convinced Prime Minister King to create the Prince Albert National Park in 1928. In 1939, he resigned from the assembly and became a judge. In 1940, he was name Deputy Minister of War Services, and in 1943, he was named as the Canadian High Commissioner to Australia. He would then go on to serve as the ambassador to China, Japan and West Germany before passing away in 1960.