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James Macleod

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Title: James Macleod  
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Subject: Timeline of Calgary history, Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, Inglewood, Calgary, 1836 in Canada, Calgary
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James Macleod

Lieutenant-Colonel James Farquharson Macleod (c. September 25, 1836 – September 5, 1894), born in Drynoch, Isle of Skye, Scotland, was a militia officer, lawyer, NWMP officer, magistrate, judge, and politician in Alberta. He served as the second Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police, from July 22, 1876, to October 31, 1880. Fort Macleod and Macleod Trail, a major Calgary, Alberta, thoroughfare, are named after him.

In 1887, Macleod was appointed to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, which then included what is now known as Alberta and Saskatchewan. He held this position until his death in 1894. He is buried in Union Cemetery in Calgary.


Macleod immigrated with his family from Scotland in 1845 when his father purchased a farm at Richmond Hill, Ontario. Macleod attended Upper Canada College in Toronto, Ontario and then Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated in 1854 from Queen's with a B.A. in classics and philosophy and then enrolled in 1856 at Osgoode Hall to attend law school. He graduated with an LL.B. in 1860 and articled with the law office of Alexander Campbell. It was also sometime around this time that he joined the Orange Order, L.O.L. 141, as was common of Canadian Ulster-Scots at the time.

Before law school during the summer of 1856, against the wishes of his parents, Macleod joined the Volunteer Militia Field Battery of Kingston as a lieutenant and his enthusiasm was such that his brother-in-law William Augustus Baldwin persuaded Governor General Sir Edmund Walker Head to offer Macleod a commission in the British army. His father insisted that the offer be refused.

Military service

From 1860 to 1870 Macleod practiced law in Bowmanville, Ontario, but during that time he retained an interest in the militia. He transferred in 1862 to the Bowmanville Volunteer Militia Rifle Company and was promoted to captain in 1863 and major in 1866. Active service during the Trent Affair in 1861 and the Fenian Raids of 1866 confirmed his interest in the military.

Northwest Territories Legislature

James was appointed the Legislative Assembly of Northwest Territories on October 7, 1876, to serve as one of the first three members on the permanent Northwest Territories Council.

He served as a regular appointed member until

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