Saskatchewan Gen Web Project - SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE by JOHN HAWKES Vol 1II 1924

         
WALTER DAVY COWAN, D. D. S.
Dr. Walter Davy Cowan has lived in Regina since 1889. He was one of the early representatives of the dental profession in this section of the Dominion and has done much to promote the profession and at the same time his energies have been directed to many other movements for the betterment of the social and civic welfare. He was born in Guelph, Ontario, on the 31st of October, 1865, a son of Walter Scott and Mar- garet (Watson) Cowan, the former a native of Galt, Ontario, and the latter of Perthshire, Scotland. In the pursuit of his education Walter Davy Cowan attended the grammar schools of Guelph and received his professional training in the University of Maryland at Baltimore, graduating from that institu- tion with the D. D. S. degree in 1888. During the first year Dr. Cowan practiced in New York and in the following year came west and located in Regina, where he opened an office in 1889. He devoted his entire time and attention to his profession and rapidly acquired a large and import- ant practice. Upon the adoption of the first dental law, regulating the practice of dentists in the Northwest Territories, the Doctor organized, in the summer of 1889, the first dental association in this country. The law went into effect in 1890. Dr. Cowan was elected president of the association and held that official position until 1913. For some time, and originally, the association was known as the Dental College of the Northwest Territories, and it is now known as the Dental College of Saskatchewan. The first meeting of the association was held in Dr. Cowan's office on Scarth street, the quarters now occupied by Dr. Low. In 1889, when Dr. Cowan arrived in Regina, there were but thre~ brick buildings in the town-the Grand Hotel, the courthouse and a resi- dence on Scarth street, on the site of the present Presbyterian church. In 1890 the Doctor was elected a member of the town council, serving in that capacity for one year. The following year he was appointed associ- ate editor of the Dominion Dental Journal, whose chief editor at that time was Dr. W. George Beer of Montreal. In 1904 the dentists of the Dominion began the agitation for Dominion registration, a movement in which Dr. Cowan took a prominent and active part. In 1904, at the first convention held in Montreal, he was elected secretary-treasurer for the Dominion, an office which was bestowed upon him in 1913, and he still holds that office. The matter of organizing the council and its work was left largely in his hands and at the meeting of the National Dental As- sociation held in Toronto he was elected president of the Canadian As- sociation for the regular two-year term. The influence of these different organizations has been effective in changing the narrowness of the pro- vincial laws regarding registration and practice in dentistry and the strongest supporters of the regulatory laws were in Saskatchewan, a fact that speaks favorably for the high average ability of the provincial dentists, without whose support, indeed, the present system could not have been introduced when it was. Upon the organization of the dental association previously mentioned the officers elected were: Dr. Cowan, president; Dr. Guerin, secretary; and Dr. Sovel of Prince Albert, treas- urer. In 1916 Dr. Cowan was elected mayor of Regina and he held that im- portant office until 1918. They petitioned him to serve a third term, the petition being signed by the leading residents of Regina, but election to the Dominion House was offered him and he was elected in the general election of 1917, serving until 1921. During the Great war the Doctor was commanding officer of Dental Corps, District No.12, with the rank of major. In 1888, at Toronto, Dr. Cowan was married to Miss Minnie Mc- Carten, a daughter of Edward McCarten of that city. Mrs. Cowan is a woman of charming and magnetic personality and for years she has been prominent in the club and social circles of this city. Dr. Cowan has always been prominent in fraternal organizations. He is affiliated with the Masons, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of Pythias, Sons of Scotland and Royal Tem- plars of Temperance. He likewise holds membership in the New Order of United Order of Canadians. For two years the Doctor was grand master of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. During his term the movement began which resulted in the secession of the Canadian branch of the order from the Supreme Lodge in the United States. For two years he was grand master of the three provinces of Canada. In 1905 he was sent to Tennessee, U. S. A., to fight the cause and with the establishment, in 1905, of the Ancient Order of United Workmen for the Northwest Territories, there came into existence the first purely western fraternal benefit association. Dr. Cowan was also the first grand coun- cillor of the Northwest Territories of the Royal Templars of Temperance. For four years he was editor of the Indian Head Vidette and he was also associated with Hon. Nicholas Flood Davine, in editing the West. It was while Dr. Cowan was serving as president of the Regina Debating Club that the Hon. Walter Scott made his first public speech. The meet- ing was held in the office of Dr. Cowan and the young speaker held the floor but a very short time. Dr. Cowan has been president of the Con- servative Association and in 1911 he was Conservative candidate in the Regina constituency, and in 1917 was elected to that position. The re~ ligious faith of the Doctor is that of the Congregational church. "In all this world, the thing supremely worth having is the oppor- tunity, coupled with the capacity, to do well and nobly a piece of work, the doing of which shall be of vital significance to mankind."-Roosevelt. Bibliography follows:


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THE STORY
OF
SASKATCHEWAN
AND ITS PEOPLE




By JOHN HAWKES
Legislative Librarian



Volume III
Illustrated



CHICAGO - REGINA
THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1924



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