Charles Stewart (premier)
Charles Stewart was a Canadian politician who served as the third Premier of Alberta from 1917 until 1921. As premier, Stewart tried to hold together his Liberal Party, which was divided by the Conscription Crisis of 1917. After leaving provincial politics, Stewart was invited to join the federal cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King. He served in King’s cabinet until 1930, when the King government was defeated, but remained a member of Parliament until he lost his seat in 1935.
About Charles Stewart (premier) in brief
Charles Stewart was a Canadian politician who served as the third Premier of Alberta from 1917 until 1921. He was a farmer who moved west to Alberta after his farm was destroyed by a storm. As premier, Stewart tried to hold together his Liberal Party, which was divided by the Conscription Crisis of 1917. His government took over several of the province’s financially troubled railroads, and guaranteed bonds sold to fund irrigation projects. After leaving provincial politics, Stewart was invited to join the federal cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King, in which he served as Minister of the Interior and Mines. He served in King’s cabinet until 1930, when the King government was defeated, but remained a member of Parliament until he lost his seat in 1935. He died in December 1946 in Ottawa, Canada, and was buried at Mount Royal Cemetery in Calgary, Alberta. He is survived by his wife, Jane Russell Sneath, and their eight children, all of whom were born in Canada. Stewart was the first person to hold the position of Minister of Public Works and Minister of Municipal Affairs in Alberta; he was also the first man to hold that position in Alberta’s legislative assembly. He also laid foundations for the Canadian Pacific Railway, worked on the High Level Bridge in Edmonton, and dug Killam’s town well. In 1909, the Alberta Liberal Party came seeking a candidate to run in the new riding of Sedgewick, and Stewart was elected by acclamation in the 1909 election. At the time, he controlled 36 of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta’s 41 seats and his Liberals had just sixty percent of the vote in their re-election bid.
Months later, however, his party was embroiled in the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway scandal, and the Liberal Party was split. As a child, Charles Jr. accompanied his father to Carlisle to hear Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald. According to family lore, Macdonald noticed the young future Premier and told him that he was a fine boy who would make a good politician someday. When he was 16, he moved with his family to a farm near Barrie, Canada. Seven years later, on December 17, 1891, he married JaneRussell Sneath; the pair had eight children. As he was unsuccessful at farming, he supplemented his income using the stonemason’s skills he had learned from his father: he laid foundations of Killam, Alberta, in 1907. In 1912, he bought a new and larger homestead in Killam and became the first chair of the Killam School District. In January 1908, he was involved in the incorporation ofKillam in January 1908. He later worked in real estate and as a farm implement dealer, earning enough to buy a new home in 1912. In 1913, Stewart moved to the new home and was elected to the legislative assembly of Alberta. In 1914, he joined the provincial Liberal Party and won a seat in Sedgewock. In 1916, he became the party’s first female member of the legislature. In 1917, he signed an agreement that transferred control of the Alberta’s natural resources from Ottawa to the provincial government.