Hugh Matheson

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Hugh Matheson, DLS
Laid out the original townsite of Jasper
Known for Annette Lake, Beauvert Lake, Cabin Lake, Christine Lake, Edith Lake, Hibernia Lake, Katrine Lake, Patricia Lake, Trefoil Lakes in Jasper were named by him.

After a heavy stroke on the night of April 3, 1959, Hugh Matheson died in St. Vincent de Paul Hospital, Brockville, early in the morning on April 9 - just three weeks short of his 80th birthday. Except for signs of growing fatigue, his days, were filled to the end with his reading, mental tests he set himself for discipline, professional interests as surveyor and civil engineer, highland and symphonic music, and a study of the Gaelic. Less frequently did one hear his fiddle in rhythmic Strathspeys; less often did he turn 10 the fine cabinet-making of earlier times. At the time of his death, however, he was still a member in good standing of Queen's University Alumni, of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Hugh Matheson, son of Donald Matheson and Mary Munro, his wife, was born May 2, 1879 near Kincardine, Bruce County, Ontario, of Highland Scottish ancestry. He obtained his early education locally in public and high schools, after which he taught from 1899 to 1903 in the rural school at Berne, nine miles east of Kincardine. From 1904 to 1907, he attended Queen's University as a student of mining engineering, working during the summer months on surveys on the prairie, north of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, under James Warren DLS, and under C.D. Cairns of the Geologic Survey of Canada; in 1905 in the Yukon Territory and Southern British Columbia. In 1907, he graduated from Queen's as a Bachelor of Science and spent the following two years in the Yukon and southern British Columbia. In 1910, he became apprenticed to George Watts, DLS, and later qualified as a Dominion Land Surveyor. From 1911 to 1914, he was occupied with miscellaneous surveys with Department of the Interior, of which perhaps the most important was a topographical survey of Jasper Park including laying out the original townsite of Jasper.

In 1913, he married Christine Macfarlane of Frank, Ontario, and Ottawa. She died in 1921.

The year 1916 found him no longer in government service, but in the vicinity of Cobalt, Ontario, where he is still remembered as a topographical and mine surveyor. The same year on February 15 he was commissioned as an Ontario Land Surveyor. From 1917 to 1946, he taught advanced mathematics and surveying in the Mining and Technical School at Sudbury; during the school term and conducted student field parties, as an Ontario Land Surveyor, during the summer months. In 1922, he married Helen Claire Parlow of Toronto and Iroquois, who survived him. Since his retirement from teaching in 1946, he engaged in a certain amount of survey practice, first for the Ontario Government in the Peterborough district, then in private work in the county of Dundas where he made his home. In 1956, he completed the first subdivision Morrisburg had known in fifty years; besides this, he had been on call in the Village of Morrisburg when the village council required an engineer.

by Mrs. Helen P. Matheson Association of Ontario Land Surveyors