top of page
  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

The 1905 Election in Vermilion

We are amid our latest election in Alberta, so throughout the election campaign I will be sharing stories from the past in the area regarding elections.

This time, we are looking at 1905, the very first election in Alberta’s history. This election was held on Nov. 9, 1905, and it was won by the Liberal Party. In fact, the Liberal Party ruled Alberta from 1905 to 1921. The party has never returned to power since then.

This election was important because it was the first one to be held in Alberta, and those elected would vote on important issues such as establishing either Calgary or Edmonton as the capital of the province.

At the time, Vermilion was its own electoral district, and one of 25 created in the 1905 election. The district existed from 1905 to 1971, when it was changed to Vermilion-Viking. During that period, the district supported the Liberals for many years, electing them from 1905 to 1921, and again from 1955 to 1959.

The candidates in the area were Matthew McCauley for the Liberals and Frank Fane for the Conservatives.

McCauley was able to easily defeat Fane, taking 673 votes and 73 per cent of the votes, to 248 won by Frank Fane, who took 26.93 per cent of the vote.

With that win, Matthew McCauley was elected to the Legislature to represent the area. He had co-founded the Edmonton Board of Trade, served in the Home Guard during the 1885 North West Resistance and was the first mayor of Edmonton from 1892 to 1895. He never really lived in the area, and was far more associated with Edmonton.

Nonetheless, he won and played a vital role in making Edmonton the capital of the province.

He only served until 1909 and then became the warden of the Edmonton Penitentiary, serving until 1912 when he moved to B.C. to be a fruit farmer. He died in 1930.

Contact Craig at

Support Craig by donating at (Click Donate)

Listen to his podcasts Canadian History Ehx, Canada’s Great War, From John to Justin, Pucks and Cups and Canada: A Yearly Journey on all podcast platforms.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A Big Class At The Vermilion School Of Agriculture

The largest class in the history of the Vermilion School of Agriculture, to that point, graduated in the spring of 1932. It was a major victory for the school, which had been doing well as The Great D

Sweet And Sour Burger Stir-fry

Here is a dish that is designed to be a quick and easy after-work meal. You can use ground beef, turkey, or moose. The garlic is important to help the body absorb the iron in the meat. Vinegar is prov

Vermilion 100 Years Ago This Month

It is that time again, when I journey back once a month to 100 years ago to find out what was going on in Vermilion in 1924. Let’s strap in, get up to 88 miles per hour and journey back to April 1924!


bottom of page