LOCAL RAILWAY PERSONNEL CONNECTED WITH THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
by Farley Wuth, Curator,
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Copyright, Pincher Creek & District Historical Society
CLARENCE AND FREDA BUNDY
Clarence Bundy was a career railway official. Born in December 1892 in Miami, Manitoba, as a youngster he took his schooling in Winnipeg. At age 16 years, he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and by 1910, moved west to accept the post of railway agent in Frank, one of the coal mining settlements of the Crowsnest Pass. Subsequent agency postings were at Cranbrook and New Dayton but the bulk of his railway career was in the Pincher Creek area. In 1917, Bundy became the railway agent at Cowley where he adeptly served for an impressive 29 years. A transfer to Pincher Station, his last posting, came in July 1946. After an industrious career of more than forty years and citing poor health, Clarence Bundy retired in March 1957.
Bundy was active in professional and community endeavours. During his career, he was a railway representative in the Trades and Labour Board and for two decades, served as the local chairperson for the Order of Railway Telegraphs. Locally, Bundy was an active member of three lodges, the International Order of the Oddfellows, Lions and Masons. He also served with the Pincher Creek and District Board of Trade and with the Pincher Creek United Church.
Clarence Bundy’s wife Freda was a community promoter in her own right. She was born in Truro, Nova Scotia in 1895 and came west to marry her husband in Lethbridge on April 15th, 1916. She was an active supporter of Clarence’s career throughout their years in Cowley and Pincher Station. Following her husband’s retirement, the couple resided in Pincher Creek itself for several years. A teacher by profession, she taught during the early years and again in the 1950s. She too was active in the local United Church. But it was her work as a local historian that won her the most acclaim. Fascinated with the tales and chronicles dating from the earliest era of our local frontier history, she sought out the oldtimers and written records documenting the past. A number of historical manuscripts were written, some of which appeared as articles in the Lethbridge Herald. Twice, once during the early 1950s and the second almost a decade later, she had published in the Pincher Creek Echo a serialized history of the area entitled “In The Foothills Of The Rockies”. Today her work remains as one of the most interesting sources for local history.
ARTHUR GEORGE FOX
Arthur George Fox and his family were destined to have a historical impact within the Pincher Creek district.
Born in Minnesota in 1876 where he was raised, A. G. Fox moved to Manitoba as an adult where he first entered employment with the C.P.R. There he became a Station Agent but later moved onto Alberta where over nearly thirty years he was stationed at four different postings including Stettler, Sedgewick and Carbon. His last posting was at Pincher City (also known as Pincher Station) where he adeptly served as Station Agent from 1933 till his retirement some five years later. Socially, he was active in the IOOF and the United Church. Fox and his wife spent their retirement years in Grand Forks, B.C. where he passed away in 1946.
One of their sons, Del Fox, remained in Pincher Creek as a businessman. From 1941 until his own retirement, the younger family member owned and operated the Fox Theatre, first at the old Opera House site on Christie Avenue and then as of 1947, at its current Main Street location.
MATTHEW AND LILLIAN MURPHY
Matthew Alger Murphy (1881 – 1957) was another illustration of Canadian Pacific Railway officials to develop ties with southwestern Alberta. From 1902 through 1913, Murphy adeptly served as the C.P.R.’s esteemed Station Agent at Cowley.
Born in Ottawa, this Cowley pioneer accumulated a fifteen-year career in the railway industry. Starting at the age of 17 years, his first posting was as a C.P.R. telegraph operator near the city of his birth. Murthy further gained experience with two other railway companies before signing up again with Canadian Pacific. By 1901, he had transferred to Elko, B.C., again as a telegraph operator. Matthew Murphy was in the west to stay.
Following his railway stint in Cowley, Murphy remained in this ranching community to serve 39 years as the local Postmaster, finally retiring in 1952. For the previous twenty years, he also operated a mercantile business in the Village. Very active in the community, he served on the executive of the Chinook Lodge No. 53 (Cowley) of the Masonic Lodge and volunteered with the Independent Order of the Oddfellows.
Matthew Murphy and his wife the former Lillian Swinney had a family of five children.