Fonds F 65 - James G. Gardiner fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

James G. Gardiner fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Cartographic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

F 65

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1893 - 1961 (Creation)
    Gardiner, James G., 1883-1962

Physical description area

Physical description

27.87 m of textual records

60 photographs : prints, b&w

60 photographs : negatives, b&w

ca. 75 maps

4 posters

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

James Garfield (Jimmy) Gardiner was born on November 30, 1883, in Farquhar, Ontario, to James C. and Elizabeth (Brown) Gardiner. He received his early education in Ontario, Nebraska and Manitoba. He later attended Normal School in Regina, North-West Territories (1905) and Manitoba College in Winnipeg (1906-1911). Upon completion of his education, he had received a first-class teacher's certificate and a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Between 1904 and 1914, Gardiner taught at various schools in what is now southern Saskatchewan. His longest tenure was at Lemberg S.D. #1752 where he served as principal from April 1911 until August 1914. During this time, he also farmed in the Lemberg district and supported and campaigned for the Saskatchewan Liberal Party.

Gardiner was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in a 1914 by-election as the Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the North Qu'Appelle constituency. He continued as MLA for North Qu'Appelle until 1934 and for the Melville constituency from 1934 until 1935. Gardiner was appointed to the Charles Dunning Cabinet in 1922, and until 1926 served as Minister of Highways and Minister-in-Charge of the Bureau of Labour and Industries. Upon the resignation of Dunning as Premier on February 26, 1926, Gardiner was appointed leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party and was sworn in as Premier of Saskatchewan and President of the Executive Council. He also became Minister of Railways and served as such until 1927. He also served as Provincial Treasurer from November 1926 until December 1927. Gardiner's government oversaw the establishment of the Saskatchewan Power Commission and enabled residents to receive free treatment for tuberculosis. Gardiner also initiated negotiations with the federal government for the transfer of jurisdiction of Crown lands and natural resources to the Province. Soon into the first session after the 1929 general election, the minority Gardiner Government was defeated in a motion of confidence by a coalition government led by Conservative Party leader J.T.M. Anderson.

From 1929 to 1934, Gardiner continued as leader of the Liberal Party and was Leader of the Opposition in the Saskatchewan Legislature. The Anderson Government was defeated by the Liberal Party in the 1934 general election and on July 19, 1934, Gardiner was once again sworn in as Premier of Saskatchewan. He also served again as Provincial Treasurer. During its second ministry, Gardiner's government focused its efforts on addressing problems related to relief administration and government finances that were a result of the Depression. On November 1, 1935, Gardiner resigned as Premier and MLA to accept a federal post as Minister of Agriculture in the W.L. Mackenzie King Cabinet. He also served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Assiniboia constituency (1936-1940) and for the Melville constituency(1940-1958).

Gardiner remained as Minister of Agriculture for a remarkable twenty-two years, serving in both the King and Louis St. Laurent Cabinets. As Minister, Gardiner helped craft the Prairie Farm Assistance Act (1939) and the Agricultural Prices Support Act (1946), examples of legislation aimed at supporting the agricultural industry and the well-being of farmers during the post-Depression and war years. He also served as Minister of National War Services (1940-1941) and was a constant on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Colonization (1945-1958). Upon the defeat of the St. Laurent Government in 1957, Gardiner remained an MP, but was defeated in the 1958 general election.

In the years following his political career, Gardiner continued to farm his land near Lemberg. He died in Balcarres on January 12, 1962, and was interred at
Lemberg Cemetery.

Honours bestowed upon Gardiner included honourary degrees awarded by the University of Manitoba (1927) and the University of Ottawa (1944), an appointment as Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold by Prince Regent of Belgium (1947) and an appointment to the Imperial Privy Council (1947). In addition, the Gardiner Dam on the South Saskatchewan River was named in his honour (1967).

James Gardiner was married three times: in 1912 to Rosetta Jane Gardiner (d. 1916); in 1917 to Violet McEwen (d. 1944) and in 1946 to Maude Isabella (Scott) Christie (d. 1964). He had four children with his wife Violet: John Edwin; Florence Ellen; James Wilfrid; and Violet Elizabeth.

Custodial history

The Office of the Premier transferred some of these records to the Saskatoon office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1947: P 40 (June 17, 1947).

The Executive Council Office of the Government of Saskatchewan transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession ca. 1958: PL 127.

James Wilfrid Gardiner, son of James G. Gardiner loaned for copying some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in two accessions between 1962 and 1966: 642 (Photo R) (August 1962), and 426 (R) (April 1966).

The Western Development Museum donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1992: R92-295 (November 16, 1992).

Mrs. Bobby McMillan donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 2005: R2005-376 (December 1, 2005).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by the Rt. Hon. James G. Gardiner from 1914 to 1958 during his political career as the Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for the North Qu'Appelle (1914-1934) and Melville (1934-1935) constituencies, provincial Minister of Highways (1922-1926); Premier of Saskatchewan (1926-1929, 1934-1935); Leader of the Opposition (1929-1934); Member of Parliament for the Assiniboia (1936-1940) and Melville (1940-1958) constituencies, federal Minister of Agriculture (1935-1957), and as a member of the Saskatchewan
Liberal Party and the Liberal Party of Canada. The fonds also consists of personal and family records from 1896 to 1962.

This fonds contains public, political and private records.

No series assignment has been applied to the records in this fonds. Headings used for descriptions completed for GR 4-1 are: Early Papers, 1910-1913; Member of the Legislative Assembly, 1914-1922; Minister of Highways, 1922-1926; Premier of Saskatchewan, 1926-1929; Leader of the Opposition, 1929-1934; Premier of Saskatchewan, 1934-1935; Minister of Agriculture, 1935-1957; Rt. Hon. J.G. Gardiner, 1957-1962; Personal and Family, 1909-1962 [see GR 4-2]; Political Party Publications, 1896-1962; Miscellaneous Pamphlets and Publications, 1914-1961; and Clippings, 1916-1958.

The types of records included are: correspondence; addresses; publications; reports; newspaper clippings; pamphlets; certificates; programmes; invitations; notebooks; maps; posters; and photographs and negatives.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition


The factors determining the arrangement of records in old guides GR 4-1 and GR 4-2 have not been documented during the description process.

Original order maintained for records processed as F 65.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

A microfilm copy exists for some of the records in this fonds. See: S-1.137 (Reels 1 to 49).

Restrictions on access

These records are subject to access restrictions. Please consult the reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

SAFA 650 (old guides GR 4-1 and GR 4-2) consists of a fonds description and file listings of the textual records. Item descriptions of the photographs are available in Threshold.

Associated materials


Jimmy Gardiner fonds - Held by Glenbow Archives. Consists of a recorded interview of Gardiner in which he discusses his political career See CAIN No. 251762.

James Garfield Gardiner fonds - Held by Library and Archives Canada. Consists of correspondence received by Gardiner as federal Minister of Agriculture. See CAIN No. 262296.


R-2.280 Gardiner Family Record Book - contains genealogical charts, bibliographical information, photographs and clippings related to the family of Rt. Hon. James G. Gardiner.

Additional textual, photographic, audio and video records related to James G. Gardiner are available. Please consult the Regina and Saskatoon main card catalogues, audio and video card catalogues and Threshold for descriptions of these records.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina and Saskatoon offices.

General note

S-1.137 may be available for inter-institutional loan. Please consult the reference archivist.


Conservation practices in place at the time of processing of R-1022, R-1022.1 and S-M7 were applied to the records.

Location note

Locations for retrieval: Regina - Hillsdale; Saskatoon - Murray.

Alpha-numeric designations

Other codes: Textual Records:Old guides GR 4-1 (R-1022) and GR 4-2 (R-1022, R-1022.1); R-E473; S-M7. Photographs: R-A6026 to R-A6076; R-A12388 (1)-(2);R-B2984 to R-B2986-1; R-B2987 to R-B2988; R-B2990. Posters: IV.C.2; IV.J.1; IX.37; XV.43

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres