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Season 3

Andy Russell
Jack Morton
Father Lacombe
Bill Twan
David Thompson
William Roper Hull
Louis Riel
Jerome and Thaeus Harper
James Gladstone
Bert Sheppard
Harry Hargrave
Paddy Cripps
Pat Burns

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Patrick Burns

In 1878 a young farm boy without much formal schooling walked nearly 200 miles from Winnipeg to the homestead he’d selected near Minnedosa. To earn some working capital, young Patrick Burns was trailing his neighbour’s cattle to the Winnipeg market, and freighting goods with a team and wagon.

He was born in 1856 in Ontario, and moved to Manitoba after the Riel uprising.

His ranching career got started when a neighbour gave him a pair of steers in return for the work he did on the neighbours farm. By 1885 he was buying cattle full time and in 1886 got his first contract to supply beef to a railway construction gang. Spurred on by the railroad boom, he expanded aggressively into ranching, packing and the retail meat trade. By 1914 his meat empire was a corporate giant. His packing supply network included ranches, abattoirs, processing facilities and retail outlets throughout Canada and as far away as Australia.

At the height of his success, Pat Burns could travel from Cochrane Albert to the U.S. border and never leave his land.

He sold his packing business in 1928 but he continued to operate his vast cattle outfits.

He was made a senator in 1931 and is honoured as one of the original “Big Four” Western Cattle Kings who start the Calgary Stampede back in 1912.

Pat Burns died in Calgary Feb. 24th, 1937. He made an immense contribution to the history of ranching, business, and the Western way of life.

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