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John Telford was born in Valens, Ontario in 1878. He attended Woodstock College and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University in 1908. From 1910 to 1919 Telford served as minister of the Baptist Church in Roland, Manitoba. He also served in Weyburn and Yorkton, both in Saskatchewan.
In 1920 Telford began articling with the firm of McKim and Gerrand in Melville, Saskatchewan. After his admission to the Bar in 1924, Telford practised law the firm of Wilson, Stewart and Telford in Pelly, Saskatchewan. He was active in community organizations. Telford purchased the law practice from his partners in 1930 and continued to work until October, 1944 when he moved to Regina to serve as Clerk of the Executive Council. Telford remained in that position until 1956. Telford died in 1963 in Regina.
Gertrude Steinhoff was born on January 9, 1887 in Simcoe, Ontario. She was the daughter of Lyman Herbert Steinhoff and Mary Hammond Steinhoff. She obtained Batchelor and Master of Arts degrees from McMaster University. She was a school teacher in Ontario and Saskatchewan before her marriage. Gertrude Telford was very involved in church and community activities. She served as president of the Pelly Homemakers' Club, the Regina Council of Women and the Provincial Council of Women.
She was also an active supporter of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. She spoke at election meetings, served on the Provincial Council and Executive of the party and was a provincial candidate for the CCF in 1938. After the death of her husband, she moved to Edmonton to reside with her daughter, Margaret. Gertrude Telford died on November 2, 1978 in Edmonton University Hospital.
John M. Telford and Gertrude S. Steinhoff were married in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 4, 1912. They had two daughters: Margaret and Mabel.