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Sir Cecil Denny

Cecil Denny served as the police magistrate at Fort Steele in southeastern British Columbia during the construction of the Crow’s Nest Railway in the late 1890s. He was an integral figure in the development of Western Canadian policing.

Formerly nicknamed “Texas Jack” for his yarns about travelling in the United States as a remittance man, Sir Cecil Denny went on to be Alberta’s chief archivist from 1922 to 1927. He wrote about the “taming” of the west in his books, which recount (and glorify) the achievements of North West Mounted Police Officers such as himself who journeyed 1,300 kilometres to provide law and order between Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains.

Denny was co-founder of forts Macleod and Calgary, as well as an Honorary Chieftain of the Blackfoot Nation. Denny resigned from the force in 1882. He was subsequently an Indian agent, a fire ranger in the Athabasca and Lac La Biche areas and leader of a NWMP pack-train expedition into the Peace River region in 1904.

When his half-brother died in 1922, Denny inherited the family estate and the title of sixth baronet of Tralee Castle, Ireland, but remained in Canada. Denny died on October 21, 1928, at age 78 in Edmonton, Alberta.

  Books by Sir Cecil Denny

Denny's Trek
A Mountie's Memoir of the March West
by Sir Cecil Denny
Release Date: January 2004
CDN$ 9.95 (paperback)
Heritage House Publishing

See all books by Sir Cecil Denny


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