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Other Name
WOOD, LEATHER
Date Range From
1952
Date Range To
1975
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, LEATHER, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20170019000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WOOD, LEATHER
Date Range From
1952
Date Range To
1975
Materials
WOOD, LEATHER, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
100
Length
41
Width
49
Description
WOODEN CHAIR COATED IN A LIGHT WOOD-COLOURED PAINT. LION’S FEET LEGS IN THE FRONT, DETAILS ON FRONT OF THE LEGS NEAR THE GROUND AND NEAR THE SEAT; DECORATED KNOBS ON TOP OF THE SIDES OF CHAIR. THE BACK SUPPORT IS MADE UP OF ONE WIDE PANEL AND ONE THIN PANEL HORIZONTALLY PARALLEL WITH ORNATE DETAIL WITH OVAL IN THE CENTER OF THE BACKREST. BACKREST IS 4 CM IN WIDTH. WOODEN STRIPES BETWEEN BACK LEGS AND ON EITHER SIDE BETWEEN LEGS. CONDITION: VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION: SLIGHT WEAR ALONG CORNERS OF CHAIR; DARKER WOOD COLOUR SHOWS THROUGH THESE WORN SPOTS ESPECIALLY ON THE TOP OF THE CHAIR; GLUED ON CORNER OF BACK OF CHAIR DESIGN NEAR THE TOP RIGHT CORNER.
Subjects
FURNITURE
Historical Association
FURNISHINGS
PROFESSIONS
History
ON MAY 16TH, 2017 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED DONOR GERALD TODD ABOUT A CHAIR HE DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM. TODD BEGAN, “I GOT [THE CHAIR] FROM MY DAD WILLIAM (BILL) TODD. WHEN MY DAD PASSED AWAY, MY MOTHER PASSED IT ON TO ME. I USED IT AT MY DESK AT HOME, WHERE I WOULD SIT ON IT NOW AND THEN TO DO MY PAPERWORK.” HE CONTINUED, “MY DAD GOT [THE CHAIR] FROM [WHEN] HE WAS THE PUBLIC SUPERINTENDENT FOR THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT OF ALBERTA. [HE WAS IN THIS POSITION WHEN] THEY WERE RENOVATING THE COURTHOUSE IN LETHBRIDGE – JUST EAST OF CITY HALL – AND WHEN THEY WERE DEMOLISHING THINGS IN THERE, THEY FOUND [THIS CHAIR]. THEY TOLD MY DAD TO THROW IT AWAY, BUT INSTEAD HE ASKED IF HE COULD HAVE IT. THEY TOLD HIM ‘YEAH TAKE IT,’ AND SO HE DID. HE PROBABLY RECEIVED THE CHAIR IN THE MID-1960S – I THINK THAT’S WHEN THEY STARTED TO REVAMP THE COURTHOUSE. I KNOW HE DIED IN ’76, SO I’M JUST GUESSING. IT COULD HAVE BEEN SOONER OR A LITTLE LATER [WHEN HE RECEIVED IT]. BUT AT THAT TIME I WASN’T REALLY INTERESTED IN THE CHAIR MYSELF, [SO I NEVER LEARNED WHAT JUDGES SAT IN IT]… ALL HE TOLD ME [ABOUT IT] WAS THAT IT WAS A JUDGE’S CHAIR IN THE COURTHOUSE. AS FAR AS ANYTHING ELSE GOES, I DON’T KNOW. I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, IT’S JUST A CHAIR’ [I DID NOT BECOME INTERESTED IN IT UNTIL] MY MOTHER SAID, ‘DO YOU WANT THE CHAIR?’ MAYBE SIX MONTHS OR SO [AFTER MY DAD’S PASSING]. I SAID, ‘SURE. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT?’ AND SHE SAID, ‘NO, YOUR DAD NEVER TOLD ME. HE JUST BROUGHT IT HOME, PUT IT BY HIS DESK AND THAT WAS IT.’ IT WAS SORT OF A REMEMBRANCE OF MY DAD WORKING.” “[MY DAD] WORKED FOR THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT [WITH THE PROVINCE OF ALBERTA] STARTING IN THE ‘50S,” TODD EXPLAINED, “HE WORKED FOR I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS AND THEN BECAME THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR PUBLIC WORKS FOR SOUTHERN ALBERTA. ANYWHERE THERE WAS A GOVERNMENT BUILDING – FROM THE [CROWSNEST] PASS, TO MEDICINE HAT, TO LETHBRIDGE, AND ALL OVER SOUTHERN ALBERTA – HE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS.” TODD EXPLAINED THIS CHAIR IS THE ONLY THING FROM A BUILDING HIS FATHER WORKED IN THAT HE ENDED UP BRINGING HOME: “IT WAS JUST ONE ITEM OUT OF PROBABLY MANY THINGS BEING THROWN AWAY. HE JUST HAD ROOM FOR THE CHAIR, SO THAT’S ALL HE TOOK. THEY THREW AWAY THE DESK AND THE JUDGE’S CABINETS, WHICH HE WAS QUITE UPSET [ABOUT], BUT [HE COULD NOT KEEP IT ALL].” WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHY, OUT OF EVERYTHING, HIS FATHER WOULD HAVE SELECTED THIS CHAIR TO BRING TO HOME, TODD SPECULATED, “I THINK IT WAS BECAUSE IT WAS A UNIQUE CHAIR TO HIM AND IT WAS SAT ON BY A JUDGE IN THE COURTHOUSE. [MY FATHER] LIKED THE CHAIR. HE SAT IN IT QUITE A BIT AND IT BRINGS LITTLE MEMORIES OF HIM TO ME. I’D WATCH HIM GO DOWN AND SIT IN THE CHAIR IN THE BASEMENT, WHICH WAS FINISHED. [IT WAS WHERE HE] HAD HIS DESK [AND WHERE HE WOULD] TINKER AROUND. [THE CHAIR] WAS SOMETHING [MY DAD HAD] FOR REMEMBERING HIS WORK. IT WOULD BRING BACK MEMORIES TO MY DAD OF WHAT HE HAD DONE.” “MY DAD WAS IN POLITICS BEFORE. HE DID QUITE A BIT OF WORK WITH THE ALBERTA GOVERNMENT – THE SOCIAL CREDIT GOVERNMENT IT WAS – AND HE HAD JOHN LANDERYOU HERE IN LETHBRIDGE, HARTLEY FROM FORT MACLEOD, AND OTHER FELLAS THAT I DON’T REMEMBER THAT HE ASSOCIATED WITH. HE TOOK IN A LOT OF FUNCTIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT,” TODD STATED, REMEMBERING HIS FATHER, “MY DAD WAS A GREAT GUY. HE WAS ALWAYS GOOD TO ME. HE GOT ALONG WITH PEOPLE VERY WELL. HE WAS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE. HE COULD SIT DOWN AND TALK TO ANYBODY.” “[DONATING MY FATHER’S CHAIR TO THE MUSEUM] MAKES ME FEEL GREAT, BECAUSE IT [WILL BE SOMEWHERE] WHERE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET TO LOOK AT IT [AND CONNECT WITH ITS HISTORY].” THE OBITUARY OF WILLIAM TODD WAS PUBLISHED IN THE APRIL 29, 1975 EDITION OF THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD. IT READ, “BORN IN BUTTE, MONTANA… TODD CAME TO CANADA WITH HIS PARENTS AT THE AGE OF TWO. HIS PARENTS HOMESTEADED IN THE NEWLANDS DISTRICT SIXTEEN MILES NORTH OF LETHBRIDGE WHERE HE LIVED AND WORKED UNTIL 1920 WHEN HE LEFT THE FARM AND WORKED IN A COAL MINE IN COMMERCE, AND LATER IN COALHURST, WHERE HE MET AND MARRIED MARY (BABE) VICKERS IN 1931. AFTER A SHORT TIME THEY MOVED BACK TO HIS PARENTS’ FARM, WHERE HE FARMED AS WELL AS [WORKED] IN THE COAL MINE AT SHAUGHNESSY.” IT CONTINUES, “IN 1945, HE MOVED TO NOBLEFORD WHERE HE OPERATED THE TODD BROTHERS SEED CLEANING PLANT. IN 1956, HE MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE… HE WAS A VERY ARDENT WORKER FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT FOR ALBERTA AND SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME TO THAT END.” WILLIAM AND MARY TODD HAD ONE SON, DONOR GERALD TODD. WILLIAM TODD PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON APRIL 26TH, 1975 AT THE AGE OF 72 YEARS. A BRIEF HISTORY OF LETHBRIDGE COURTHOUSES TITLED, “BETTER GET TO KNOW A BUILDING -- LETHBRIDGE’S 1952 COURTHOUSE,” WAS PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 30, 2016 BY THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT POST: “LETHBRIDGE’S ‘OLD COURTHOUSE’ LOCATED AT 4 AVENUE AND 11 STREET SOUTH IS ACTUALLY THE 3RD COURTHOUSE LETHBRIDGE HAS HAD. IT WAS OPENED OFFICIALLY IN SEPTEMBER 1952 AND SERVED AS A COURTHOUSE UNTIL 1983 WHEN IT WAS SUPERSEDED BY THE PRESENT COURTHOUSE ON 4 STREET SOUTH. WHILE THE 1952 COURTHOUSE WAS BUILT AS A PROVINCIAL COURTHOUSE, THE ARCHITECTS WERE FROM LETHBRIDGE AND THE DESIGN AND PLACEMENT WAS DONE TO TIE IN WITH THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE’S URBAN RENEWAL PLANS AND THE CITY’S PLANS FOR CIVIC CENTRE... THE NEW 1952 COURTHOUSE BECAME THE ‘OLD COURTHOUSE’ IN JUNE 1983 WHEN THE COURTHOUSE ON 4 STREET SOUTH WAS BUILT TO REPLACE IT." PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, LETHBRIDGE HERALD OBITUARY, AND LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY TEXT.
Catalogue Number
P20170019000
Acquisition Date
2017-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail