James McKay (1861-1931

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James McKay was born at Fort Ellice on July 12, 1861, the son of William McKay (1819-1884) and Mary Cook, and the grandson of John Richards McKay and Harriett Ballendine. He was educated at St. John’s College and the University of Manitoba. In 1882, he joined the law firm of Bain, Blanchard and Mulock at Winnipeg and was called to the Manitoba Bar four years later. James married Florence Annie Reid the daughter of J. Lestock Reid and Louisa Herbert, in 1900 at Prince Albert. He died on December 1, 1931 in Toronto. During the 1885 North West Resistance, he served on the Canadian side as a private in the 90th Regiment. He practiced law for a brief time at Winnipeg then moved to Prince Albert, North West Territories. He served as a Crown Prosecutor of Saskatchewan from 1888 to 1897 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1891. In 1914, he became a judge of the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan and, when it was abolished in 1918, he moved to the Court of King’s Bench. In October 1921, he joined the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute