Bezanson, Ancel Maynard

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Bezanson, Ancel Maynard

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Ancel Maynard Bezanson, born near Halifax in 1878, began his love affair with the Peace Country in 1906. That year he traveled throughout the Peace with a camera and a notebook, and shortly thereafter published The Peace River Trails, which was a success. He was convinced of the agricultural potential of the area, and returned for a scouting trip in 1907, and again with his bride, Dorothy Robillard, in 1908. That winter, Dorothy died in childbirth, but her child (Frank) survived. In 1910, Bezanson married Dorothy's sister Lois and the couple returned to the Peace Country. The couple lost twin girls and had one more son who survived (Jim). The Bezanson Ranch was called Teepee Ranch, but Bezanson also kept herds of cattle at Saskatoon Lake. When the C.N.R. Survey came through Teepee Ranch in 1908, Bezanson began to promote a townsite "along the railway" on a bench above the Smoky River. In 1913, Bezanson drove the first car over the Edson Trail. Accompanying him was A.J. Davidson, a real estate dealer from Edmonton, who supported Bezanson's vision of a railroad and town. In 1914 Bezanson published "Looking Ahead in the Peace Country-Building of a City" with a detailed map of the Bezanson townsite. However, when the railroad finally came in 1916, it came to Grande Prairie. Bitterly disappointed, Bezanson left the area, returning to settle at Pouce Coupe in 1931. His sons Frank and Jim, with their families, continue to make their home in British Columbia. Ancel Maynard Bezanson died in Vancouver on September 2, 1959.


Halifax, Nova Scotia
Bezanson, Alberta
Pouce Coupe, British Columbia

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Husband of Dorothy Robillard Bezanson
Father of Frank Bezanson
Husband of Lois Robillard Bezanson
Father of Jim Bezanson

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South Peace Regional Archives

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Description revised by TD on July 16, 2015.


  • English



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