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

Stuart Muirhead, director of the Division of Vital Statistics of Sas- katchewan, has been the head of this important branch of the govern- ment service since its organization in 1914. He was born in the north of Ireland, on the 15th of September, 1866, son of Stuart and Margaret (Rogers) Muirhead, who were of Irish birth, but of Scotch descent. The family came to Canada in 1882, when he was sixteen years old and settled in Montreal, where the parents resided the remainder of their lives. In Ireland the father had been a farmer but he retired from active life after coming to the Dominion. The Muirheads were Presbyterians and took an active interest in church work. They were the parents of three chil- dren, of whom Stuart is the eldest. He has a brother, George Rogers Muirhead, now connected with the Thomas Robertson Company, a plumb- ing concern; and a sister, Miss Mary, a librarian at McGill University. In Ireland, Stuart Muirhead obtained his early educational training and learned the trade of a furniture maker in Montreal. He gave up this trade after several years, when he became deeply interested in Sun- day school work. He was the first paid secretary of the Sunday School Union of Quebec and spent three years in this office, during which he organized the work throughout the province. He resigned this position in 1893 to go to Springfield, Massachusetts, to take a course in pedagogy. For some time after that he remained in the States, continuing his work along Sunday school and church lines in Pennsylvania and Illinois. He returned to Canada in 1900 and became secretary of the Sunday School Association in Nova Scotia for five years. His first acquaintance with the west was made in 1907, when he came out to organize the work of the Sunday schools in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia and spent two years in the three provinces getting the movement well estab- lished. He became secretary of the association in Saskatchewan in 1909 and held that position for two years. When the vital statistics was trans- ferred to the Bureau of Public Health in 1914 the work of directing this division was given into Mr. Muirhead's charge. At the outset he had the assistance of a stenographer and a clerk; now he has fifteen clerks on his staff of helpers. His powers as a manager and an executive are too well known to need comment here. Suffice it to say that Mr. Muir- head's long experience in organization work had well prepared him for his task of launching the work of this division and keeping it off the rocks on which new projects are so frequently stranded. His staff is now putting out material that is most valuable in completing the statis- tical record of the province. Although he has for some years been occupying an important gov- ernment position Mr. Muirhead has never lost touch with his earlier church and Sunday school work. In this city he is affiliated with the Knox Presbyterian church, where he is prominent as a member of the session. He belongs to the local and provincial religious educational coun- cils, and represents the latter in the general council of North America. He is an Orangeman, a member of the grand lodge of Saskatchewan and grand lecturer and master of the Regina district, and is affiliated with the Canadian Club. During his many years as an organizer in religious circles Mr. Muirhead has made a large number of friends among the clergy and laity of the various denominations in all parts of Canada, many of whom have been great leaders in the moral and religious work of the country. Wherever he has had occasion to go in connection with his work he has been recognized as a man of unusual gifts and deep de- votion to his cause, winning the admiration and sincere regard of all who know him. Mr. Muirhead was married in 1896, to Miss Georgie Taber, whose en- couragement and assistance was of great value to him in his work throughout the twenty-five years of their married life. Mrs. Muirhead was born in the province of Quebec, where she was educated. A woman of high intellectual attainments, she was always interested in those things that make a community a better place in which to live and rear a family and did all within her power to contribute to the civic betterment. As a mother she was deeply concerned with educational matters and was the first woman in Regina to serve on the city school board. When, on the 31st of October, 1921, death claimed Mrs. Muirhead, her loss was mourned by the entire community, which felt that it had been deprived of the influence of one of its most able and public-spirited citizens. Be- sides her husband, Mrs. Muirhead left seven children, four sons and three daughters: The oldest child, Marion, married Sergeant Taylor of the Royal Mounted Police and now lives at Prince George, British Columbia. She is the mother of four children, the only grandchildren in the family. Stuart Robert Muirhead, the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Muirhead, is a senior in Toronto University; George Keith is employed in the tele- phone exchange; Miss Margaret lives at home; Landon is a student in the Collegiate Institute of Regina; and Lawrence and Carolyn, the two younger children, are still in the public schools. Bibliography follows:

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