Sam Livingston

Calgary's first citizen

Following an unsuccessful venture in the California gold Rush of 1849, Sam Livingston came to Canada and eventually found his way to Jumping Pound, Alberta in 1873 where he opened a trading post. He was going to settle near the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in 1875 but, when the North West Mounted Police arrived and established Fort Calgary, Livingston and his family moved further up the Elbow River to the current location of the Glenmore Reservoir. When the Glenmore Dam was built and the area flooded, part of the Livingstone house was preserved and now stands in Heritage Park.

Livingston was a great innovator who brought the first examples of mechanised equipment to farming in the Calgary area. Some people call Sam Livingston "Calgary's First citizen", but George CLift King (the first man to marry in Calgary) is also given that title.

This photo shows the problem that vandalism poses to the historical graves in Union Cemetery (and a lot of other cemeteries). Although the parks and recreation department (who are responsible for Calgary cemeteries) will upright overturned markers, the repair of damage is the responsibility of the families. Due to budget/staff constraints, the cemetery staff have a hard time keeping up with the vandalism. The Obelisk you see toppled from on top of Livingston's monument is a replica. The original is on display in Heritage Park.

Sam Livingstone died in 1897 shortly after the birth of his fourteenth child. His funeral procession was forty carriages long.

Note also that his surname is spelled wrong on his tombstone

 

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