Fonds MG 385 - McKay family fonds

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McKay family fonds

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MG 385

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  • 1878-1984 (inclusive); ca. 1878-1917 (predominant) (Creation)

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Physical description

32 cm of textual records and graphic material (376 photographs, 319 negatives, 2 postcards and 16 drawings)
2 wooden document boxes

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The McKay family was prominent family in the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan. The extended family were involved in business, education, church and political life.
Annie Maude (“Nan”) McKay was born in 1892 at Fort a la Corne, Northwest Territories, the daughter of a Hudson Bay Company employee, Angus McKay. She completed high school in Prince Albert where she won a scholarship to the University of Saskatchewan. At the U of S McKay took an honours course in English and French, was active in student affairs, serving on the student council and the executives of the YWCA, Penta Kai Deka, and was the staff artist of the Sheaf. McKay was a member of the U of S women’s ice hockey team in 1915 and played hockey on University-affiliated teams until well into the 1920s. In the ’flu epidemic of 1918 she worked as a volunteer nurse (her name is painted on the stairwell in the College Building) and was chosen to unveil the plaque commemorating the undergraduate student who died in the epidemic. When she graduated in 1915 McKay was hired as assistant librarian of the University Library, and would become the first secretary-treasurer of the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association (established in 1917). McKay worked at the Library until her retirement in 1959.
Angus McKay, the son of William and Mary was born at Fort Pelly in December, 1858. Educated at St. John's College, Winnipeg, he joined the Hudson's Bay Company as an apprentice clerk at Fort Carlton in 1877 and remained there until 1882 when he was transferred to Prince Albert. In 1885 he was sent to Fort Pitt to help re-establish it after the post had been plundered during the North West Resistance. Promoted to clerk-in-charge, he operated Fort a la Corne, 1889-1899; Green Lake 1899-1907; Ile-A-La-Crosse 1907-1909 and was transferred to La Ronge in 1909. He was given the title 'Post Manager' in 1913 and finally retired from La Ronge in 1921 after 44 years service. He also served as a Justice of the Peace. He died in 1952.

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Scope and content

The McKay family fonds contains material created and assembled primarily by Angus McKay and his daughter Nan McKay. The photographs include family members as well as HBC staff; the University of Saskatchewan campus during Nan McKay’s time as a student; and a variety of scenes and people in Northern Saskatchewan, documenting Angus McKay’s work and family life at various posting, and including a photo identified as a treaty party in La Ronge. The textual material accumulated by Angus McKay includes business, family and personal correspondence, including correspondence relating to his award of scrip, receipts, financial accounts, price lists, tax assessments, etc. There is also material relating to the McKay family tree; printed reminiscences (1935) of the Riel Rebellion of 1885; notes and sketches for a talk by Nan McKay about bird watching.

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Physical condition

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The first three accessions (2008-107, 2009-106, 2011-094) were combined and filed together. The fourth accession (2012-037) was kept separate and has its own arrangement and structure.

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