Calgary Board of Education

 
Who was Marion Carson?

The history of Marion Carson ... the woman


Born: Marion Young Coutts
Date of Birth: May 09, 1861
Birthplace: Kent County, Ontario
Death date: July 13, 1950 in Calgary, Alberta

Who was Marion Carson and who cares? So many times throughout our lives, we have attended schools or have been in buildings bearing the name of someone, yet we have no idea who they were, or why the school or building was named after them. History has been lost for a brief moment in time. To understand the future, one often has to appreciate the past. Come join us in a journey through time to learn about the story behind the name of our school.

September 2009 marked the 40th year of learning at Marion Carson School. We would love to have a wonderful celebration next year and are asking members of our community who would like to share some of their memorabilia with us to contact us. We are also looking for any volunteers who would like to get involved in organizing events throughout the year to contact us in the office - - if anyone would like to help devlop the Marion Carson history web page, please contact the school as well.

A brief biography of Marion Y. Carson

In September of 1969, the doors of Marion Carson School opened for the first time. The school was named in honour of Mrs. Marion Young Carson, one of Calgary's former best-known and beloved citizens. Marion Carson devoted her time to bettering the lives of those around her and worked tirelessly to make Calgary a better place in which to live.

Mrs. Marion Carson was born in Kent County, Ontario on May 9, 1861 as Marion Young Coutts. Her early years were spent in Manitoba and she came to Calgary in 1893 with her husband, William Carson.

From her first days in Calgary, she was impressed with the number of people suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and it was through her hard work that the first TB Sanatorium in Alberta was made possible in 1910. Mrs. M. Carson headed the Alberta Tuberculosis Society for eleven years and was made an Honorary member of the Canadian Tuberculosis Association in 1949.

Education received a great deal of her attention and she sat as a member of the Calgary School Board for four years from 1920-1924. She helped organize the Women's Literary Club in 1906, and when she was on the Calgary Library Board, she helped instigate the establishment of a central library. As chairman of the City Health Committee, she worked toward both constructing free clinics for school children and distributing milk to needy children. She was a member of the Alberta Council of Child and Family Welfare for twenty-seven years. She also participated actively in the Women's Canadian Club, Local Council of Women, and the Calgary United Nations Association. She was a member of Knox United Church and attended services regularly. She was the first to form a group to feed the unemployed.

Mrs. M. Carson received several awards including the King's Medal in 1938 and the "Citizen of the Year" award in 1946.

Marion Y. Carson died in Calgary at the age of 89 on July 13, 1950.

Mrs. Marion Carson and husband William lived at 526, 4th Ave. SW, Calgary, Alberta.
AJ P 188 photo reference number.

The above photo of Marion Carson and her family is from about 1902 at the location of their new house on 5th Avenue, on the north side, a block west of 4th Street. William Carson built this house himself. The house is no longer standing.

The two story house was eventually faced with a striking red brick and with the addition of a stately porch eventually looked very impressive.

This photo shows Marion and her family. One son, Bill, was borne subsequent to the taking of this photo. Starting from the left side.

- Herald, (Richard Carson's father) born in February 1895.
- Jamie
- Marion Carson
- Rachel Coutts, sister to Marion
- Grace, Marion's eldest child
- Janet Farquharson, widow of Rev. Farquharson and older sister of Marion
- Flora holding the doll and standing beside William Carson, Marion's husband.
- Evelyn.
- Not in this picture is Bill Carson, Marion's youngest child born 1905.

The above infromation was compiled from communicaton between Richard Carson, grandson of Marion Carson in March 2005 in conjunction with the Alberta Centenial Project. In that previous communication, background information, copies of documents, newspaper clippings and other items collected were shared by the grandson of Marion Carson. Richard Carson was living in Toronto at the time.