James McEvoy

James McEvoy [1862–1935]

b. 1862 — Carleton County, Ontario, Canada
d. 1935 — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

James McEvoy was a prominent geologist and mining engineer. The son of a farmer, he was educated in Ottawa Public schools and McGill University, graduating in science in 1883. For a short time he taught school and then accepted a position on the staff of the Geological Survey of Canada, where he remained for 15 years.

In 1900 he surveyed in the Yellowhead Pass route from Edmonton to Tête Jaune Cache for the Geological Survey, passing by Mount Robson

When we first caught sight of it, a shroud of mist partially enveloped the summit, but this presently rolled away, and we saw its upper portion dimmed by a necklace of feathery clouds, beyond which its pointed apex of ice, glittering in the morning sun, shot up far into the blue heaven above.’ The top of the mountain is usually completely hidden and rarely indeed is it seen entirely free from clouds. The actual height of the peak is 13,700 feet, or 10,750 feet above the valley.… Although Robson Peak has been long known, its height had never been determined, nor was it supposed to be particularly notable in that respect, but now since the height of Mts. Brown, Hooker and Murchison have been proved to be greatly exaggerated, it has the distinction of being the highest known peak in the Canadian Rockies. [p. 16]

In 1901 Mr. McEvoy became geologist for the Crow’s Nest Pass Coal Co., Limited, at Fernie, B.C., and in 1906 was appointed chief engineer. He relinquished those positions to commence practice in Toronto. He was regarded as one of the best authorities on coal and his services had been retained for numerous enterprises in connection with coal, iron and oil operations, not only in Canada, but in all parts of the world. He was a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Mining and Metallurgy Institute, London, England.

As a young man, he became interested in military affairs, was an officer in the Governor General’s Foot Guards, Ottawa, later a Captain in the Kootenay Rifles, having organized two companies in that Regiment. In the Great War, with the rank of Major, he was on the staff of the chief instructor in trench warfare at Niagara, London and border camps. He is survived by his widow formerly Miss Florence Alice Ray of Ottawa (married 10 Dec. 1902), and one daughter, Dorothy.

Sources of biographical information about McEvoy:

  • “James McEvoy (obituary).” Ottawa Journal, 22 July (1935)
McEvoy is the namesake of the following places in the Mount Robson region:

Events in the Mount Robson region in which McEvoy was involved:

  • 1898 McEvoy Yellowhead Pass
Works pertinent to the Mount Robson region of which McEvoy was author or co-author:

  • —   Report on the geology and natural resources of the country traversed by the Yellowhead Pass route from Edmonton to Tête Jaune Cache comprising portions of Alberta and British Columbia. Ottawa: Geological Survey of Canada, 1900. Natural Resources Canada
  • —   “Map Showing Yellowhead Pass Route From Edmonton To Tête-Jaune Cache.” (1900). Natural Resources Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *