Major James Morrow Walsh

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Major James Morrow Walsh
Credit: Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / PA-208638

Major James Morrow Walsh of NWMP fame,
b- May 22, 1840 in Prescott, South Grenville Co., ON, (Canada West), Canada
d- July 25, 1905, at his home, “Indian Cliff” 207 King st. E.
located by the river, east end of town, in Brockville ON., at the age of 62
Obit says he was sick for 10 days, from an affection of the heart.
buried- Old Protestant Cemetery just west of Brockville
Marker on his grave includes the crest of the North West Mounted Police
and reads “James M. Morrow Supt. Reg. No 07 North West Mounted Police 1873-1883”

Father- Louis “Lewis” Walsh
b- 1811 in Ireland,
d- ?
occupation- Ship's Carpenter, Welsh ancestry
Mother- Margaret Morrow,
b- 1819, Ireland, Irish ancestry
d- ?
Lewis married in Ogdensburg NY, July 28, 1839 by Rev. Mr. Barlow

Lewis and Margaret Walsh had 9 children:

1. James Morrow Walsh

2. Katherine (Catharine?) Walsh
b- 1843 in ON
b- ca 1841 in ON
d- July 10, 1915 in Prescott, Grenville, ON, age 72
married a Mr. ? Padgett
(1845 in 1871 census) (1848 in 1881 census, age 33, single)

3. Susan Walsh
b- 1843 in ON
(1850 in 1881 census, age 30, single)
d- ?

4. John Walsh
b- 1847 in ON
d- ?

5. Richard Walsh
b- 1850 in ON
d- ?
Richard married Harriet McGannon,
b- ca 1857 in Edwardsburgh ON
he was 31 when he married, occupation- mechanic
she was 24, from Edwardsburgh
married Jan 27, 1881 at Prescott Roman Catholic Church, Prescott, ON
Harriet was the daughter of Edward McGannon, and Mary O'Connor

6. Anna “Annie” Walsh
b- May 1853 in Prescott, Grenville Co., ON
(b- 1854 in 1881 census, age 27, single, clerk)
(b- Apr 15, 1860 in 1901 census, age 40)
(Feb 15, 1856 another census date?)
(Feb 1853 in 1911 census, brother George living with her)
d- Nov 15, 1921, in Prescott, Grenville, ON, age 68, single
1901 census living with her brother Philip in Prescott

7. Philip “Phil” Walsh
b- Aug 1855 in ON
(ca1857, in ON, age 24, machinist in 1881)
(May 10, 1862 in 1901 census, age 38)
(Oct 1855 in 1911 census, age 55)
d- Oct 27, 1932, Port Arthur, Thunder Bay, ON, age 77
he worked for his brother James, at the Dominion Coal Mine in Estevan, ca 1892
1901 living with his sister Annie in Prescott
1911 living in Edwardsburgh, with wife and grandson
married Amelia Walsh, nee ?
b- Aug 1857
grandson- Gerald Walsh, b- Mar 1906
(marriage based on right Phil Walsh in 1911 census)

8. Louis Walsh
b- Aug 16,1858 in ON
(1858 based on death entry)
(ca 1860, age 21 in 1881 census, Telephone Operator, single)
(Aug 16, 1860 in 1901 census, living in Port Arthur, age 40)
d- Nov 20, 1920, Port Arthur, Thunder Bay, ON, age 62
1901 coal Merchant in Port Arthur, Algoma Co, ON
married Edith Walsh, nee ?, b- Mar 17, 1865
daughter- Philias walsh, b- Aug 12, 1888
son- Robert Grenville Walsh, b- Mar 23, 1892
Grenville became a Port Arthur alderman
Grenville Ave. in Port Arthur named after him

9. George Walsh
b- Feb 16, 1862 in ON
(ca 1862, age 19 in 1881 census, single, Fireman)
(1901- Locomotive Engineer)
(Feb 1860 in 1911 census, age 51, now living with his sister Annie)
d- ?
married Mary C. Walsh, nee ?,
b- June 7, 1869
shown married in 1901 census, living in Prescott, Grenville, ON

more children names below, from other census records
I believe they might be middle names of above
or children that died young, or they had more than 9 children,
Becha (Becca?) Walsh, b- 1845
Maryan Walsh, b- 1850 (possibly Anna?)

Apr 19, 1870 James married Maria “Mary” Elizabeth Mowat of Prescott ON
in Prescott ON
b- June 27, 1853 (ca1851, age 19 when she married)
d- 1930
daughter of John and Mary Mowatt of Prescott, ON (Mowat)

James and Mary had a daughter
Cora Mowatt Walsh
b- Oct 23, 1871
d- 1945
shown as Annie C. McGannon in 1901 census with her parents
she married Dr. Edward A. McGannon, July 18, 1892
at Saint Francis Xavier, Brockville, Leeds, Ontario
b- 1855
d- Nov 1894 at Toledo, Leeds, ON,
buried Saint Francis Xavier, Brockville, Leeds, ON
son of John McGannon and Harriet O'Connor.
He graduated from McGill University in 1881
Served as a Surgeon on many Canadian Transatlantic liners,
then started a practice at Lowell, Mass.
1885 he moved to Brockville ON.
Here he became Grand Trunk Surgeon at Brockville.
ca 1893, Appointed Vice-President of
the Association for Railway Surgeons of North America

It is reported James had a child with a native Blackfoot woman.

Trained at Military schools in Kingston ON
Captain of the Lisgar rifles
Attended the Calvary School

In 1866 he was commissioned as Lieutenant in the rifle Company of Prescott,
and in 1867 appointed Captain and Adjutant of the 56th battalion, on its formation.
He raised and took command of the Prescott Troop of Calvary the same year,
and then was appointed an ensign of the first Ontario battalion
of the Red River Expedition force, but resigned in 1870.
He was gazetted a Brevet-Major in 1872
He served throughout the Fenian raids of 1866 and 1870
and in 1873 was appointed an inspector of the North West Mounted Police,
then being organized.
In the Northwest he had a great reputation with the Native Indians,
especially in the treatment of the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Chief,
Sitting Bull, (Ta-tanka I-yotank) (nickname slon-he or “slow”)
(b- ca 1831 – December 15, 1890)
after he retreated to Canada after defeating Custer with 2500 Sioux.
Chief Sitting Bull was induced to surrender to the American authorities, with the prior help and direction of Major Walsh.

By the summer of 1877, James Walsh, although still in command of Fort Walsh, in the Cypress Hills, spent little time there.
His headquarters became the Wood Mountain post, among Sitting Bull and between 2400 and 5,000 Sioux

1880 he was transferred to Fort Qu'Appelle

He learned the Sioux and Blackfeet languages.
By the Peigans he was known as “ White Chief of the Assiniboines,”
and by the Blackfeet as “The one who ties”
known by the American's as “Sitting Bull's boss”

Sitting Bull gave Major Walsh his War Bonnet as a friendship gift.
Major Walsh gave it to Cornelius Van Horne, of CPR fame.
It was eventually donated to the Royal Ontario Museum.

Major Walsh was involved in the cessation of what became known as Assiniboia, to the Canadian Government, by the Indian Tribes that owned it.

He belonged to the Presbyterian Church.

Book written about his experience with Sitting Bull
“Sitting Bull's Boss: Above the Medicine Line with James Morrow Walsh”
by Ian Anderson
ISBN-10: 1895811635 published in 2000

In 1873 he was made Inspector of the NWMP under Lt. Col G. A. French
James Walsh was in command of D troop, NWMP in July 1874.
when they went west through Roche Percee and Estevan area.

Later commanded “B” Troop.

Resigned and retired Sept 1, 1883 from the NWMP in the Yukon.
He was the First Governor of the Yukon.

Fort Walsh, National Historic site, named after him.
James Walsh Exhibit at the RCMP Museum in Regina
Mount Walsh in Kluane National Park,
in the Saint Elias Mountains, Yukon, named after him
Town of Walsh Saskatchewan, just north of Highway 1, near SK/Alberta border,
originally a siding on the CPR, is named after him.

His word was law and he never broke it.
By every tribe he was recognized as a big Chief
and possessed the confidence and esteem of every Lodge.

Built his elaborate home in Brockville, in 1884

He had 2 partners in a Coal Company in Winnipeg,
before the Dominion Coal Company Mine, in Estevan He was heavily involved in this coal mine.
From all accounts, Major Walsh watched over the operation of the mine.
In one article it stated he was President of the Company.

I believe he started the Dominion Coal Company
head office in Winnipeg first.
460 or 480 Main st, Dinxles? Block (ad hard to read)
Then he formed the Dominion Coal, Coke and Transportation Company Ltd.

He established and was the Manager and President of the Dominion Coal, Coke and Transportation Company
which he first established in Brandon MB.
Company Head Office eventually moved to Winnipeg.

Apr 13, 1891 it was printed in the Winnipeg papers, a railway deal was made between the CPR and the Canadian Government.
The Northern Pacific failed to build the Souris branch, and with the new arrangement, the Plum Creek Branch of the CPR was to be extended from Harntney to the Coal fields.
The distance to be covered 120 miles.
Then the Deloraine branch was to be extended to Melita, where a junction was formed with the Plum Creek Line.
The distance covered 25 miles. the Glenboro branch was extended five miles, the CPR building in all 150 miles.
For this they received $150,000.00 of Cash Bonus.
from the actual paper
“Dependent on the arrangement above,
is another respecting the development of the Coal fileds.
The Dominion Coal Company, through Major Walsh,
agrees to develop without delay the coal mines,
and with the Canadian Pacific Railway,
have entered into a $50,000 bond
that coal hitherto selling at $7.50 throughout
the Province will be supplied at $4.00 per ton.
This arrangement is for 10 years.
The CPR is to commence work immediately,
and all extensions will be ready
to carry out the fall crops.”

He knew and was friends of the General Manager of the CPR,
William Cornelius Van Horne, in Fort Qu'Appelle,
while he was there for 2 years.
He sold his coal to the CPR, his biggest customer.
He built an elaborate home named “Indian Cliff” in Brockville ON.
Named after a place in the Wood Mountain area,
western most point of Wood Mountain, 30 miles from US border
120 miles East of Fort Walsh, SW of Assiniboia SK today.

After the coal quality deteriorated in the Estevan Mine, He moved his operations to Roche Percee.
He is listed in “A Tale That Is Told” Estevan history book, as owning NE 1/4 of Section 22, Tsp 2, Rge 8, W2
Entry Aug 8, 1892, Coal Land Sale #77

Receipt of patent, Sept 9, 1892.

He arrived in a Personal Railcar called the “Virginia”
owned by a Mr. Arthur Gould Yates.
arriving after dark on Sept. 10, 1892.
Their story is on my Dominion Coal Company web page.

Then end of April 1893, the bottom fell out of the financing.
Mr. A. G. Yates had a personal and business money failure,
initiated by his partner, Mr. H. H. Warner.
When he needed cash to get out of it, he obviously
drew on his major shareholdings in the Dominion Coal Co.
So one time in 1892 he was major Walsh's savior,
a year later he was in financial trouble.

Apr 20, 1894

Major Walsh on his way to Roche Percee from Winnipeg, to make arrangements for summer coal mining operations.

June 2, 1894
Major Walsh, described as Manager,
described their new mine, 3 miles down the valley,
east of Roche Percee, alongside the Hassard mine,
the Property of The Souris Coal Mining Company.
Coal quality harder than at Estevan.
He is still adamant the Estevan Mine will remain open.

Another very famous person, who spent time in Estevan, at the turn of the Century.


  • Last modified: 2017/10/24 08:34
  • by dlgent