This house is atypical example of a large number built during the period of economic boom preceding the first World War, - the two-storey “railroad” style of architecture, with front door off-centre and stairs on the left leading to the upper floor, as well as featuring a long hallway through to the kitchen and back door. It was most likely constructed about 1911, based on the fact that the following year it was listed as a “new house”. A year later still, in 1913, Alfred C. Foster, a City labourer, appears as probably its first occupant.
From that day to this, excluding occasional periods of vacancy, approximately 30 separate families have occupied the structure, and it seems to have been partitioned into up and down units sometime round about the end of the second World War. A few of these residents may be regarded as newsworthy and of general interest.
For a couple of years at the beginning of the 1930s this edifice was home to the distinguished educator Milton Ward Brock and his family, during which time he was serving as Principal of nearby Mount Royal School.
Milton Brock was born 24 March 1889 at Wyevale, Ontario of proud United Empire Loyalist lineage. He gained a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Toronto, before enlisting in the British Royal Flying Corps toward the end of World War I. Discharged with the rank of Lieutenant, he almost immediately proceeded westward, taking up teaching duties at High Prairie in 1919. A year later he began his career as a school principal at Calgary, in which capacity he continued until retirement in 1957. Those nearly four decades spanned and embraced his Principalship of four different schools: Stanley Jones, Mount Royal, Victoria and finally King George.
Additionally, in 1924 Mr Brock served as President of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. During his lengthy involvement with the ATA he also introduced and sat as Chairman of its Pension Committee.
Milton W. Brock was a founding member and subsequently President of the Calgary Chapter of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.
Principal Brock was married to the former May Elizabeth Cripps, who was born 10 March, 1896 at Singhampton, and whom he predeceased 10 January 1984 at Calgary, at the age of 94. the pair are buried at Mountain View Memorial Gardens, Calgary.
Interestingly, during M. W. Brock’s tenure at Mount Royals School and his residency in this house, the Principal of Bankview school was Miss Melissa Brock, whose relationship was not immediate. She had come west from Ontario in1907, and taught at Mount Royal until 1919 when Bankview was opened and she was appointed its first Principal, in which office she presided until her own retirement in 1938. However, she never actually lived in Bankview, Miss Brock died at Calgary General Hospital in April 1954 and is interred at Union Cemetery.
Another couple who resided at this address for a few years, just after the close of World War II, early in their marriage were William Ross Rogers and his wife Lorna. Ross was for many years a valued employee of companies such as Marshall-Wells and later Ashdown’s Hardware. It appears the Rogers family occupied the upper premises, and after a time Ross’ parents William and Evelyn joined them here in the lower suite.